G Koop + O-Man: from Berklee to Beats

G Koop & O-man is an effort to capture the creative process of hip-hop collaboration in a simple, streamlined, and public way. This project, broadcast on YouTube from an unassuming studio in Oakland, provides a weekly push to produce new music and invite guest artists into the fray as they welcome the world to experience this process through the magic of technology.   Graham Richards and Rob Mandell first connected at Berklee College of Music in ’98.  The kindred wits began collaborating on several bands and hosted a regular jam session at a Boston tavern under names like Shivery Delicious , Teen Chat Room, The Pirates of Relaxation, and, of course Busty Nutsack.

The pair eventually found their way to the Bay Area where they quickly became a part of the artistic community, spending much of the time in a little jazz club bouncing between piano and bar.  Graham and Rob were heavily influenced under the mentorship of legendary jazz drummer, Donald “Duck” Bailey.

“Duck taught us how to play, how to listen, how to treat ourselves and other musicians with respect.” Graham said.  “He told first-hand stories of a by-gone era, gave us insight into how things really went down in the jazz clubs back in the day.  He played music with us and never judged us by our technical facility; rather by our willingness to let go of ego and preconception and just play music with him.  It was kind of a boot camp that Rob and I went through together.”

This history is important in understanding the evolution of G Koop & O-man.  Graham returned to school to receive a Master’s Degree from the University of North Texas’ legendary Jazz program and wrote a groundbreaking piano method book, Piano, Yeah! Meanwhile, Rob spent ten years in an intense hip-hop tutelage working with great producers such as Jake One and Easki.

“We each have our own trip, and we have always been 100% supportive of each others’ creative endeavors.” Graham said.”  Rob is one of the most prolific artists I have ever met; his discography is legendary and growing every day.”

“Working with a musician of Graham’s caliber is like holding a musically loaded weapon;” said Rob. “His skill knows no boundaries, and his openness to follow the creativity wherever it may go is unparalleled.”

“My job is to make the language we use more universal,” said Rob. “Less is more.”

Their unique collaborations are reminiscent of individual style augmented by trusted teamwork.  The team takes impassioned ideas and filters them into a product palatable for a wider audience, often taking live gig inspiration and transforming it into a worthy beat.  They work together, trading off on the driver’s seat based on the stronger musical vision at hand while the other offers guidance and suggestion.  When strong ideas strike simultaneously, Graham and Rob explore both ideas, thus revealing the duality of G Koop and O-man

“Because of our history, we trust each others’ ears completely.” Graham said.

The trust is what makes our thing work so well; “Rob adds, “We’ve been doing this so long that we know neither would lead the other astray.”

Advertisements

The Undead Jazz Movement Needs YOU

Are you ready for the Zombie Jazz apocalypse?

Over the past year,  I have had the pleasure of working with Adam Schatz and the fine, frenzied folk at Search and Restore.  We first met at the NYC Winter Jazz Fest where I had my face repeatedly rocked-and-wooed by artists like Gretchen Parlato, Rudder, Ambrose Akinmusire, The Chris Dave Trio, and Lionel Loueke (among dozens more).  Since then we have bonded over a shared passion for proselytizing the living gospel of live jazz — get it?  Not dead.

We know they’ve been declaring “jazz is dead” since 1929.  Got it.  It’s all over.  We also know we’ve been listening to innovative movements of the finest American art form ever since.  Today’s generation of jazz artists face many of the same challenges the BeBop cats had to deal with (just look at Jason Marsalis and the “jazz nerd” debate).  Many traditionalists don’t like the way hip-hop bleeds into jazz, sparking once again the unending debate of what is or is not “jazz.”

Search and Restore is not taking this lightly.  Live from the boiling pot of New York City comes a massive project ready to represent the state of jazz in our generation.  Jazz is a living beast that feeds on your very ability to listen. I’m going to let Adam take it from here and implore you to find that rebellious, jazz-loving fool within you and throw a little love their way.  They’ve got you covered for anything you’ll ever need about NYC jazz (and I love, love, love the podcast).

– Crisman


Jazz is dying, or so the critics would have you believe…

In a world where the audience for jazz is shrinking, Search and Restore is stepping up to change the future of the music as we know it, and we need your help!  Between 2002 and 2008, the median age of Americans who attended a live jazz performance increased from 29 to 49.  The fact that the media coverage of jazz has been in strictly traditional outlets with heavy references to the past, reinforces the stigma of jazz as an old music.  Coupled with cover charges at high profile clubs of $30 or more, new fans are increasingly less likely to discover and connect with the music.

Our mission: Develop and Unite the New Jazz Community!

The audience may be fading, but the music most definitely is not.   Search and Restore wants to introduce a new generation of fans to the powerful new jazz being created in New York and beyond.   Since 2008, Search and Restore has been expanding the reach of new jazz.   Our shows, with new, dynamic presentation and promotion do justice to the excitement we all feel for this music, and attract a growing audience of young, passionate fans.  With an expanding group of committed volunteers, we have started building a palpable community for contemporary jazz, bringing aboard hundreds of new fans and artists along the way.   Last June’s Undead Jazz Festival alone, attracted a crowd of 1500!  SearchAndRestore.com has become the go to place to see what’s happening in jazz in NYC, with nightly listings and original content.    But don’t take our word for it; see our press in the Wall Street JournalVillage VoiceNPR and New York Times.
 


With our new 501 (c) (3) status from the IRS, we are ready make Search and Restore a viable non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a sustainable community for new jazz.   But the hard work and good will of volunteers cannot continue to sustain our operations.  Our business plan is to generate revenue through a mix of advertising, grants and private donations.   We are learning the hard way that foundations want to see an operating history before awarding grants, so expanding our web presence is at the heart of our plans.   With your help, we can expose new audiences around the world to new jazz music and build a scene that is more sustainable and vibrant than ever before.

Our goal: $75,000 (Go big or go home!)

Search and Restore is embarking on a groundbreaking web-based video project that will simultaneously expand the contemporary jazz community without borders, and make us an attractive site for advertisers, supporting the sustainability of our efforts.   The new SearchAndRestore.com will become a one-of-a kind home base for a growing audience for new jazz, providing them access to hundreds of artist pages for the mind-blowing composers and improvisers that make our community such a special one.

Over the course of one year, we will

•    Send our team out to the New York City clubs and spaces where new jazz happens in New York City and capture footage of 4 concerts per week; that’s 208 concerts in one year!
•    Integrate the footage into artist pages for every musician we film, complete with streaming mp3s, upcoming shows, a bio, and links to purchase their music.
•    Create a feature for up and coming musicians to build their own artist pages, making SearchAndRestore.com simultaneously an amazing tool for the discovery of new music, and a way to consolidate promotional efforts for artists.
Your contribution will go towards the costs of redesigning the website, as well as staffing and equipment for video production and post-production work.

Donating is easy; you can help save jazz!

I’m asking you to join me and the others who believe jazz that is still groundbreaking, truly exciting, worth saving and indeed, celebrating!  Our goal is to create a sustainable community for jazz with a new generation   who will come to the music on their own terms.  
With your support, Search and Restore will be at the heart of that community.
Follow this link for more details on our video project, or to make your tax deductible donation now.
Thanks for your support,

Adam Schatz
Founder, Search and Restore
P.S.  Click the donate button and help save jazz today!
DONATE HERE (tax deductible!):
We will only receive the money if we meet our goal!

Dallas Underground Scene Emerges in Deep Soul Revolution

 

 

Enter "LEELA" promotional code for $10 Tickets

 

Homegrown R&B Artists Deonis and Geno Young to play Granada Theater Sunday, October 17 with Headliner Leela James

There is a deep Soul revolution brewing in the heart of Dallas, and the time has come for our homegrown artists to take to the stage.  Raised up in the spirit of Gospel, R&B, Soul, and Jazz, this underground culture represents a fierce community of musicians celebrated by industry insiders around the world.  Now it’s time for the neighbors to take notice.

Sunday, October 17th, the legendary Granada Theater welcomes headlining Soul Train Award nominee, Leela James along with two of Dallas’ most energetic R&B artists, Deonis and Geno Young.  These fine gentlemen will bring their seductive solo projects alongside their Big D-heavy bands featuring plenty of Grammy-winners backing each set.  This is a lady-killer show, folks.  Come prepared.

Celebrated by insiders for his unique voice and en pointe production for his work with Kirk Franklin, Erykah Badu, and Musiq Soulchild; Deonis unleashes the follow up to cult-favorite debut album, Cat Phood, on November 16, and we hear him at his most vulnerable.  Backed by a powerhouse production team including S1 (Kanye, Dre), Terrace Martin (Snoop Dogg) Ernie G (Geno Young), Grammy-winner Shaun Martin, and Deonis himself.

This week introduced the freshly-minted single, “Woman” – a tune that picks up where D’Angelo left us aching for more.  Sunday night, Deonis’ band features Shaun “88 Fingers” Martin and Daniel Jones (usually seen with Janet Jackson, but he’s home this weekend, so we get him all to ourselves).

About Geno Young

Born and raised in Dallas, Geno cultivated his talent at the Arts Magnet High School where he walked the same hallways as Roy Hargrove, Erykah Badu, and Norah Jones.  Geno worked as musical director, arranger, and producer for multiple Grammy award winner, Erykah Badu, for whom he wrote and produced the hit songs “Times a Wastin” and “Orange Moon” on the 2001 release Mama’s Gun.

Just mention the word “Shoulda” to a grown lady around town and your conversation may be cut short as Geno Young’s hypnotic spell takes over her mind and she starts singing and/or grabs for the nearest copy of Ear Hustler. Dallas women know something the rest of the world will soon be in on — that man knows where it’s at!

#PupCulture: Tell Yo Tweeps

LOL Pups for your discerning feline friends.

“You’re Sarah Crisman from Twitter!”

If I had a dime.  Seriously, Twitter, just one dime for every time someone recognizes me out in the world because they are familiar with @sarah_crisman and my twin flame, Snarky Puppy.  It’s pretty awesome, actually.  My Twitter feed is chock-full of wonderful people with clever ears from all over the world.  No matter what city I find myself in — from Dallas to Montreal, Philly, NY, and everywhere in between — I get to meet these people every day.  They are more of a blessing than they realize.

If you are one of my said followers (I love you), you have no doubt noticed my propensity for Pup-related Tweets.  This is only partially my fault.  I can’t help but ReTweet when another soul has fallen under the Snark.  Having labored happily under this booty/brain spell for several years now, I feel a great responsibility to help you navigate (dizzy spells are to be expected).  It’s okay to love this band that much.  It’s completely natural to feel the overwhelming confusion of mind-blowing grooves and supernatural rhythm.  Rest assured you have someone to talk to when your friends tell you to stop talking about Snarky Puppy — I will listen.  And I’ll very likely RT you.  Your support matters to me, it matters to the family, and it matters to the music.

I encourage this Twitter revolution.  When the spirit moves and you just have to tell your Tweeps about how this music has taken hold, throw in the hashtag #PupCulture.  I will feature this feed here on my blog, plus RT and conversate, and select a few each week of the tour to recap the Pup’s crawl across the US/Canada.  You may even wind up in my book — your voice is important to this sound.  Ya dig?

Without further adieu, may I introduce the Tweeps who inspired this wicked conversation.  Follow them.  They cool.

@RaySMAASHdaBass: Well snarky puppy did me pretty damn good this weekend. It made me think if music ain’t grooving what you doing.

@PsalmistKing: Snarky Puppy – Tell Your Friends. Nuff said.

@KalibTracks: @rayrayluvsmusic put me on to “snarky puppy”, I bought 1 album… I put my homeboy on to them & he bought all they albums!

@Kibabot3000: Also, Snarky Puppy is in fact the snarkiest…

@jrosonet: I’m currently being amazed by Snarky Puppy at the Thirsty Hippo. Noone in hattiesburg has a right to be anywhere else tonight. Amazing.

@JoshBMyName: Snarky Puppy equals #greatness

@TheRevivalists: Snarky Puppy is an incredible group. We just had our minds blown watching them perform tonight. Great guys, great music.

@DrMrsHenderson: Snarky Puppy is definitely the ticket!

@philaud: Snarky Puppy is the funkiest band I have heard in…maybe ever. wow.

Now see what happens when a tune written on piano is played sans keys… 34 Klezma (written by Bill Laurance) played at Fat Tuesday’s (filmed by fonky YouTube User ChrisGotFunk).