The Four Track All-Stars premier and self-titled release represents nearly five years of work by J, the groups founder and creative instigator. Starting in earnest in 1998, literally within a week of his last show as a member of local funk super-group SHAG, J sought to truly put the contemporary into comtemorary jazz. In modern instrumental music, J found a form that had been languishing since the mid-1980s, caught in a soft-core purgatory between Orange County mall-music, stand-up comedic walk-on segue, and new age. It was time to bring jazz up to date, to remind it that it had once been labeled devil- or race- or refer-music and that it was damn well time for it to act accordingly. Lawrence Welk and Kenny G=Bad. Sun Ra and Wayne Shorter=Good. To achieve this, J enlisted the help of some unlikely friends. Some were old (like the Arp Axe synthesizer and Fender Mark 1 Rhodes languishing in his Cliftonian basement). Others, new (a digital Alesis HR16 drum machine and Yamaha REX-50 effects unit). But the final lynch-pin of the entire process was loaned to him by ex-(and then later current-)band mate Chris Freekbass Sherman. During years on the road together with SHAG, a certain Tascam PortaStudio four-track recorder had changed hands. This cassette four-tracker became the centerpiece in the projects early and prodigious writing phase. Over time, the album and band began to take shape, adding members and better gear as it neared completion. Still other, carbon-based friends contributed. Old and new band mates. Former schoolmates. Family member, of sorts and actual. Members of distinguished regional acts like Freekbass, Rays Music Exchange, Bastion, and Monk. The confluence of ideas, musical and sonic, became so great that the Four Track All-Stars stepped beyond the boundaries of jazz, hip-hop, electronica, and rock all together and into something truly fresh. In fact, J is still trying to come up with a name for it, genre-wise. Whatever it ends up being called, one thing is for certain: you haven't heard anything like this before and you'll want to hear it again and again after the first listen. Featuring: J, Mista Swift, Chris Freekbass Sherman, Mike Mad Dog Mavridoglou, Kirsten Rauch, Nick Barrows, Matt Green, Don Gauck, Stu Engle, Brahm Sheray, Jim Tobias, Mark Samson, Sean McGary, Melanie Gregory, Aaron Michael, Joanne Reynolds, and Michael Shure.
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