sly

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.

--

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

Ethiopian Superstar Gigi Releases New Album on MOD Technologies

Ejigayehu “Gigi” Shibawbaw, one of Ethiopia's best-known singers, is releasing her latest album Mesgana Ethiopia on October 19th through MOD Technologies, the label founded by Grammy-winner Bill Laswell (who has collaborated with countless legends from Mick Jagger to Laurie Anderson to Tony Williams). This release features Gigi singing her original songs mixed with some Ethiopian traditional tunes – all sung in Amaharic – bridging African styles, Reggae, Dub, Avant-Funk,/Jazz, World Beat, Trance, and Ambient music.

Already an international star, Gigi has recorded and toured across the globe with iconic, master musicians including Tabla Beat Science featuring Zakir Hussain and Sultan Khan, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Hamid Drake, Sly & Robbie, Abegasu Shiota, Buckethead, Karsh Kale, DJ Disk and Laswell himself.  Her music has also been featured in films, including 2003’s Beyond Borders, which starred Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen.

Gigi has a powerful voice that can also convey beautiful fragility.  This versatility allows her to be the source and structural framework for her backing band’s African Futurism/One World Music approach. For a taste, click HERE to stream/download "Shemum Mune."

--

Mesanga Ethiopia features the following incredibly talented group of musicians:

Bill Laswell: Material founder, legendary bassist, producer, reconstructionist, inventor of Herbie Hancock’s mega-hit “Rockit”, creator of the first and only landmark full album remix-constructions on the music of Bob Marley, Miles Davis & Carlos Santana, cofounder of the Axiom Label w/Chris Blackwell, veteran of over 700 recordings to date.

Abegasu Shiota: Keyboardist, acclaimed producer/arranger of Ethiopian pop culture, has worked with most all of the important artists there.

Hamid Drake: Master drummer, Americas most valuable - Avant-Jazz – World/Beat percussionist.

Aiyb Dieng: From Senegal, Easily the most widely recorded African percussionist.

Dominic Kanza: Post Modern African guitarist, master of many advanced styles.

And Featuring 2 world renown guest musicians –  Steven Bernstein: Trumpet / slide trumpet; and Peter Apfelbaum: Tenor saxophone, flute, percussion.  Both are composers, arrangers and world class band leaders in their own right.

THE MOTET PLAYS THE MUSIC OF SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE

For this show The Motet will be joined by some phenomenal musicians from the west coast. In addition to Motet regulars Dave Watts, Joey Porter, and Dominic Lalli, they will be featuring former Sly and the Family Stone guitarist: GAIL MULDROW

Gail played on the 1975 Sly and the Family Stone record "I get High on You" and has recorded and toured extensively with Sly bassist Larry Graham's Graham Central Station. In addition she has also toured with Merle Saunders and JGB (among countless other artists and groups). Gail is a fantastic vocalist as well as a slamming funk guitar player so she will undoubtedly be a huge addition to this year's line-up.

Also, The Motet is bringing in from Portland Oregon our ever popular vocalist Jans Ingber, singer extraordinaire Paul Creighton, and the most raw and funky bassist west of the Willamette: Dan Scollard. And last but certainly not least, the omni-present and always charming Cecil 'P-Nut' Daniels will be joining us with his futuristic electrotrumpet!

More info @ themotet.net.