New Providence is Brooklyn-based one-man-band Kazumi Umeda. His sound is rich and eclectic, with influences as diverse as John Lennon, Olivia Tremor Control, The Roches, and Japanese composer/film-scorer Toru Takemitsu, and his voice has been compared to that of Elvis Costello. Kazumi's background includes a degree in classical piano from the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music, jazz studies at the Eastman School of Music, early collaborations with avant-gardist David Shea, and being a founding member of the hardcore band Teenage Depression. In the grandest DIY tradition, NEAR SUMMIT was recorded at home using the Tascam 8-track recorder (the same model used by East River Pipe), though you may have trouble believing it when you hear the range of color on this CD. New Providence was founded in 1995 by Kazumi, guitarist Francis Locke (G.G. Allin and the Holy Men), and drummer Bob Muller (Trey Gunn, The Microtones). Bob departed shortly before the recording of N.P.'s eponymous debut CD, which received critical raves ('highly recommended listening' - Cake Magazine). Midway through the recording of their second CD, NEAR SUMMIT, Francis left, leaving Kazumi to continue the band on his own with greater freedom to explore his vision as a songwriter and musician. Other New Providence titles available through CD Baby: NEW PROVIDENCE (1995; "Eclectic and enticingly atmospheric pop." - Cake Magazine #44) FUNERAL BAKED MUSIC (2006, the new album! "The Japanese Andy Partridge." - Bob Green a.k.a. The Grassy Knoll) R E V I E W S 'XTC-like, part folky, part new-wavey experimental pop genius, brilliant versatile stuff... This is uncompromising music that sends 14 separate musical postcards from totally different positions on the map of pop. One can only sit down and be amazed in front of all this over-pouring talent. My feelings on the songs range from ecstatic adoration (just hear 'Honeysuckle'!) to slight irritation, but I'm indifferent about none of them. Most fascinating stuff.' -- Mikko Lappalainen, editor of Elysium Fanzine and member of the band Ben's Diapers 'I really enjoyed the CD, especially 'I Have Something to Tell You' and 'Honeysuckle.' The production is really impressive too... My boyfriend and I drove from L.A. to D.C. and New Providence was one of the CDs that really helped our trip.' -- Lida Husik, Shimmy Disc and Alias recording artist 'As if John Lennon joined XTC.' -- mastering engineer extraordinaire Alan Douches, West West Side Music.
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