What if reggae was rooted in Fort Greene, brooklyn? What if soul was baptized in Bridgetown, Barbados? David Pilgrim was raised in an island paradise, came of age in a hard city; embodies both, but reflects an experience unlike either. Musically, he attempts to stretch the borders of traditional reggae and calypso, coaxing in chords and rhythmic structures from outside, to give the music a broader range of expression. He says 'R&B, jazz, and rock have so many different modes, but people tend to think of Caribbean music as mostly dance music. I want to change that, both rhythmically and especially lyrically.' What does he call this gumbo? ISLAND SOUL seems to best label this new fusion and has met with a good public response. His new 2004 album release, ISLAND SOUL was composed over the four year period since his last effort, UNDER THE BUSHEL. The songs are more lyrically complex, and the music is now mostly played live, by his road-tested band. He says, 'The interaction between the musicians is so immediate and spontaneous that it has become part and parcel of hearing my songs. I wanted that to occur in the recording. ISLAND SOUL will probably be one of the most significant recordings of Caribbean-based music to be made in the last few years.' An audacious statement perhaps, but delivered with a conviction that has worked for him thus far. The ISLAND SOUL of David Pilgrim spans reggae, calypso and soul music. It is a living journal of his rich musical and personal experiences. It can be playful; it can be profound. It makes linkages and connections that challenge and envelop any listener. And he has a damn good time playing it. Come take a listen.
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