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MTO Plays SLY: Steven Bernstein's Tribute to Sly & The Family Stone

New York City's favorite "little big band," Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra, cracks open wide the monumental songbook of Sly & The Family Stone on its third studio album, MTO Plays SLY, due September 27 from Royal Potato Family. For this freewheeling and jubilant 13-track tribute, MTO is propelled by a dynamic cast of special guests, including vocalists Antony Hegarty, Dean Bowman, Martha Wainwright, Sandra St. Victor and Shilpa Ray, organist Bernie Worrell, guitarist Vernon Reid and remixer Bill Laswell. By re-imagining the music of Sly Stone through the filter of their own "downtown NYC" aesthetic, Bernstein and company illuminate the melodic and harmonic sophistication of Sly's timeless body of work, while upholding the Day-Glo soul and psychedelic funk that's the backbone of classics like "M'Lady," "Everyday People" and "Family Affair."

"I've been thinking about Sly's music for a long time. He represented endless possibilities by bringing creative freedom and experimentation to popular music. Sly took the whole of American sounds: blues, gospel, rock, jazz, country and gave it a fresh look through his own rose colored glasses," explains Bernstein. "Harmonically, rhythmically, linguistically, socially -- he broke ground on all fronts.  Sly was multiculti before we even knew that was a possibility.  The biggest lesson I've received from him is that it's all part of the musical gumbo and it's up to each individual to create their personal combination."

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra is: Steven Bernstein (trumpet and slide trumpet), Curtis Fowlkes (trombone), Doug Weiselman (clarinet and tenor saxophone), Peter Apfelbaum (tenor and soprano saxophone), Erik Lawrence (baritone and soprano saxophone), Matt Munisteri (guitar and banjo), Charles Burnham (violin), Ben Allison (acoustic bass) and Ben Perowsky (drums).

In addition to MTO, Steven Bernstein fronts Sexmob and leads The Levon Helm Band horn section. Over a distinguished 30 year career, he's performed and arranged for the likes of Lou Reed, The Lounge Lizards, Sam Rivers, My Morning Jacket, Rufus Wainwright, Elton John and Marianne Faithful among numerous others.

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The track listing for MTO Play SLY is:

1. Stand (featuring Sandra St. Victor, Bernie Worrell and Vernon Reid)
2. Family Affair (featuring Antony Hegarty)
3. Sly Notions
4. Que Sera, Sera (featuring Martha Wainwright)
5. M'Lady (featuring Dean Bowman)
6. You Can Make it If You Try
7. Everyday People (featuring Shilpa Ray)
8. Bernie Interlude (featuring Bernie Worrell)
9. Skin I'm In (featuring Sandra St. Victor)
10. Sly Notions 2/Fun (featuring Dean Bowman)
11. Time (featuring Dean Bowman and Vernon Reid)
12. Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa (Bill Laswell mix translation)
13. Life

Jazz Pianist Dean Malsack nominated for best Jazz CD

Dean Malsack- for the Grateful Web

Dean Malsack started piano lessons at the age of five and began playing professionally at fourteen.  His father, also a professional pianist, was his teacher.  His mother teaches piano as well. Dean has performed all over the United States as a solo pianist and with several ensembles ranging from jazz to blues to popular show tunes and has just released his 6th solo piano recording.  Dean is a voting member of the Grammy Awards and has performed on a USO tour.  Dean's enjoyment in playing is evident in his whimsical and unique style, and appeals to a wide range of listeners.  Dean performs over 250 engagements yearly.

Dean & Britta: New, Old, and Wistful

As my wife and I walked into the quiet venue to the opening sounds of vibraphonist Sean McCaul, we could hear the delicate clanking of forks, voices whispering, and the sonorous vibes echoing relaxing notes into the dining area. The venue was set up like a dining hall tonight with tables with groups of people gently conversing while McCaul supplied the ultimate background ambiance.

Howard Dean for America (November 2003)

Democracy for America  is dedicated to supporting candidates for all levels of office and building a grassroots network.

Our goals are:

  1. To have strong, sustained grassroots involvement in the democratic process.
  2. To promote an America where candidates and office holders tell the truth about policy choices and stand up for what they believe. The era when politicians equivocate about matters as fundamental as war and peace must end.
  3. To fight against the influence and agenda of the two pillars of George W. Bush's Washington: the far right-wing and their radical, divisive policies, and the selfish special interests who for too long have dominated politics.
  4. To fight for progressive policies like health care for all; investment in children; equal rights under law; fiscal responsibility; and a national security policy that makes America stronger by advancing progressive values.

Over the next couple of months we will:

  1. Recruit and encourage progressive candidates to run for office at every level. We will help them find the resources to campaign successfully with small donations from grassroots supporters, to begin to break the stranglehold special interests have on the political process.
  2. Raise funds for Congressional candidates for whom financial support could be the key to winning, and whose election will be key to winning back a House of Representatives that has become the tool of the Republican right-wing.
  3. Develop strategic partnerships with other progressive organizations to maximize resources for candidate recruitment, training, and organization.
  4. Build relationships with other political initiatives to focus on the failed, destructive policies of the Bush administration.
  5. Harness the power of the Internet to enlarge and support our grassroots organization committed to taking back America from special interests that control the right wing leadership of our Congress and the White House.

Read Governor Dean's full announcement speech.