Today, Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra releases Good Time Music, the second album in the venerated arranger and trumpeter's four volume Community Music series. Joined by special guest vocalist Catherine Russell, the 6-track collection celebrates the joyous spirit present in the blues with jubilant interpretations of songs by Percy Mayfield, Allen Toussaint, Bessie Smith, Professor Longhair, Earl King and WC Handy.
"Good Time Music is a continuation of the music I was making with Levon Helm, with roots in Ray Charles, New Orleans, and the blues," Bernstein says. "But refracted through my own musical prism, the particular language of the MTO and Catherine Russell's magnificent voice."
In a review for the Wall Street Journal, music journalist Will Friedwald writes: "Good Time Music: (Community Music, Vol. 2), the new album by trumpeter, bandleader and composer Steven Bernstein, serves as a vivid illustration of how inclusive the impulse of the blues really is—how it transcends time (both musical and chronological) and interacts with other genres of music, often in surprising ways."
A longstanding presence on the New York City music scene, Steven Bernstein has played with and written arrangements for everyone from John Lurie's Lounge Lizards and Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band to Lee "Scratch" Perry, Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull. His Community Music series, recorded in just four days, showcases four different facets of a remarkable, telepathic musical language that Bernstein has created with a circle of musicians with whom he's been playing for upwards of four decades.
Steven Bernstein's MTO
feat. Catherine Russell
Good Time Music
1. River's Invitation
2. Yes We Can
3. You've Been A Good Old Wagon
4. Loveless Love
5. Come On
6. Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand
Steven Bernstein - Trumpet, Slide Trumpet
Catherine Russell - Vocals
Curtis Fowlkes - Trombone
Charlie Burnham - Violin
Doug Wieselman - Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Peter Apfelbaum - Tenor & Soprano Saxophone
Erik Lawrence - Baritone Saxophone
Matt Munisteri - Guitar
John Medeski - Organ (Track 6)
Ben Allison - Bass
Ben Perowsky - Drums
Available Now on Vinyl & Digital Formats via RPF Records