Stefon Harris & Blackout | Urbanus [Concord Jazz,2009]Concord Jazz presents the release of vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris’ 7th album as a bandleader and Concord debut, Urbanus. The new release picks up where 2004’s Evolution left off in that it features Blackout, his scintillating ensemble that’s as versed in modern jazz as it is with rhythms, melodies and soundscapes associated with R&B, pop, hip-hop and funk. The 10-track-album will be available August 25, 2009.
The GRAMMY-nominated musician has been hailed as “one of the most important young artists in jazz” (Los Angeles Times), and is widely recognized by both peers and critics alike for his innovative compositions, blazing new paths on the vibraphone and marimba. On Urbanus, Stefon Harris and Blackout display a deeper group rapport as well as a more expansive sonic palette as Marc Cary complements the acoustic piano with Fender Rhodes, alto saxophonist Casey Benjamin lends his captivating vocoder work to the proceeding and there’s Terreon Gully on drums and Ben Williams on bass. Harris’ brilliance at broadening textures and colors comes to play with his sensational woodwind and string arrangements on a few of the compositions as well.