|Gravity 180 ≡ ST (2009)|
Gravity 180 — ST
♠ Melodic pop framed with classic soul; global grooves polished by smooth jazz with stellar "silk & sandpaper" vocal blend. Ageless, Timeless “Noomer Music” -- new music, by baby boomers, for everyone.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Album release: 2009
Record Label: Affinity Records/CD Baby
01. Moonlight On the Water [3:57]
02. California Blues [5:00]
03. Somewhere in My Heart [4:01]
04. I Can Dream [4:07]
05. Never Stopped Loving You [4:45]
06. I Wanna Make Love to You [4:29]
07. Dancing On the Wind [5:13]
08. Vamos a La Playa [3:41]
09. My Love [4:29]
10. GAmerican Tourist/Tourist Americain [3:55]
11. Perfect One [4:32]
12. Standing On the Shoulders [4:37]
• Clydene Jackson - vocals, keyboards,
• Nils - electric guitars, additional acoustic guitars, programming,
• Harold Payne - vocals, guitars,
• Reggie McBride, Teddy Bello - bass,
• Cal Bennett - alto & soprano sax,
• Eddie Brown, Carmen Twillie, Terry Wood, Carmen Carter, Alvin Chea - background vocals
• Oliver C. Brown - percussion,
• Dov & the Lovestar Strings - live strings
≡ Within this circle is magic. Gravity 180, three master musicians: Clydene Jackson, vocals/keyboards, Harold Payne, vocals/guitar, and percussionist Oliver C. Brown. On their new eponymous CD the band distills their sterling song craft and illuminated performances into a stunning suite of songs that honors the significance of a shared history as it redefines their signature sound. Melodic pop is framed with classic soul; global grooves are polished by smooth jazz with Jackson and Payne’s patented vocal blend creating what one inspired scribe dubbed “sandpaper and silk.” Imaginative wordsmith Harold Payne describes the band’s genre as “Noomer Music” -- new music, by baby boomers, for everyone.
≡ A brief history: Jackson and Payne met when both were solo performers in clubs on the Redondo Beach pier. As a team, their first gig was at The Tijuana Inn in Gardena, California where they invited Brown down to hear them. “I had just come off a national tour with Leo Sayer,” he recalls. “I didn’t want to work a club. I went down there and heard those songs and said, ‘Please, just let me in.’’’
≡ Since that night, over twenty years ago, Gravity 180 has released a series of CD’s on both major and independent labels, launched tours from their home base in Los Angeles to Hawaii and Japan, and endeared themselves to a worldwide audience. All three members maintain separate career identities. Jackson is a first-call session singer for film soundtracks and recording projects including The Lion King, Superman Returns and American Gangster; Brown, an original member of KC and the Sunshine Band, has toured with artists ranging from Al Jarreau to Fleetwood Mac, and Payne, a solo artist, is a songwriter whose credits include Patti Labelle, Snoop Dogg, Rod Stewart and long time collaborator Bobby Womack. Instant recall is the touchstone when the three convene. “First off we’re family. We can read each other’s mind,” surmises Jackson. “Even though we do things individually, we’re always a part of one another.”
≡ While the core of the band remains solidified, other family members also contribute. Brown's brother, Eddie Brown of the famed folk duo, "Joe and Eddie", is a frequent collaborator on songs with Payne and Jackson. Eddie and smooth jazz guitarist, Nils ("Pacific Coast Highway" and composer for the Showtime series, Weeds) are credited with co-producing Gravity 180's newest project. Nils adds his lustrous guitar and Payne, his husky, heartfelt vocals to an evocative reggae-tinged, "Moonlight On The Water.” Oliver’s potent percussion propels the conscious world grooves of "Standing On The Shoulders", and Jackson's soaring take on the soulful ballad, "Somewhere In My Heart" are among the highlights on the new tracks.
≡ By updating their name from Gravity to Gravity 180, the trio confirms their legacy while noting the positive pulse of change. “A new name signifies a new turn,” says Payne. “But Gravity is still the force that holds everything together.” -- cdbaby.com
≡ Fortaken: http://www.sonicbids.com/2/EPK/?epk_id=205042
Reviewed by Elaine K. Miller
Urban Jazz News, June 26, 2009
≡ Gravity 180, the trio of Clydene Jackson (vocals/keyboards), Harold Payne
(vocals/guitar) and Oliver C Brown (percussion) has just released a self titled CD. The
disc, intended to be new music for baby boomers, consists of a blend of light rock,
sophisticated pop, contemporary jazz, Caribbean rhythms/reggae and a Motown R & B
soul sound. Gravity 180 is co-produced by smooth jazz guitarist Nils and Eddie Brown
of the famed folk duo “Joe & Eddie”. Nils brings his fresh guitar sound and edgy style
that is a combination of an R & B groove, pop melody, song awareness with a jazzy
sound, rock and roll energy and blues emotional intensity. Brown lends his distinctive
blend of gospel, folk, and blues, with a jazz-influenced theme. This combination lends it self to a well crafted album of outstanding quality with really nice, well played
arrangements by a talented line up of musicians/vocalists. While capturing the ‘West
Coast’ contemporary jazz & pop feel, Gravity 180 has managed to avoid the risk of every track sounding identical by changing up and varying the tempo, rhythm and sound.
≡ Gravity 180 is a terrific CD that is very sophisticated. When played it sounds loosely
familiar with its popping grooves, soulful ballads, jazzy undertones and hints of reggae, yet is still very uniquely fresh. Once you hear Gravity 180, with its catchy, interesting and memorable melodies, you will find the songs entering into your mind and the verses and choruses having you burst out in song.
≡ The tracks that stand out on Gravity 180 are the evocative California Blues showcasing beautiful vocals by Jackson and amazing electric guitar pieces by Nils. With hints of reggae, Moonlight On The Water with the deep vocals of Payne and again notable guitar work by Nils. Standing On The Shoulders, the upbeat, worldly social conscious tune featuring brilliant percussion by Brown. Two tunes of lost yet memorable love, Never Stopped Loving You, a strikingly exquisite tune with a beautiful melody that is deeply expressive and Somewhere In My Heart, a soulful slower ballad with lustrous vocals by Jackson. Finally, Dancing On The Wind a notable cut with a more traditional contemporary jazz feel.
≡ The CD's six remaining tracks on Gravity 180 are solid cuts that round out a superb
album. The catchy Latin themed, Vamos a la Playa; I Wanna Make Love to You with a
smooth urban feel; the light rock vibed American Tourist/Touriste Americain; Perfect
One a slower ballad again of love and the popish I can Dream and My Love.
≡ Gravity 180 is aimed to be new music for baby boomers, yet its target will be not only boomers but generation x-ers and all those to follow. As Payne puts it, “Noomer Musicnew music by baby boomers, for everyone”. So let Gravity 180 keep you spinning not only back into the sphere of great music of memories past, but into the future of a new musical horizon.
|Gravity 180 ≡ ST (2009)|