Aaron Jerome - Time To Rearrange
Aaron Jerome - Time To Rearrange
(CD/LP) BBE Music BBECD090/BBELP090, 2008-01-28
01. Kwa Kungasa (feat. Simphiwe Dana) 3:54
02. Dancing Girl (feat. Mozez) 6:10
03. Angel Lady (feat. Andreya Triana) 3:18
04. Reason To (feat. Kathrin De Boer) 5:39
05. Way Of Life (feat. Bajka) 3:06
06. Reel Time (feat. Voice) 3:31
07. Time To Rearrange 5:12
08. Light Night Mission (feat. Yungun) 4:09
09. Rearrange 1:20
10. Blow Your Own Part 2 (feat. Kathrin De Boer) 4:21
11. Silent Suffering (feat. Mike Orwell) 4:47
12. Marrakesh 6:13
13. Misunderstanding (including Bonus Track) 12:35
Press Release :
Maiden voyage, first affair. Debuts tend to have a certain quality, as if the excitement of making a proper record lurks in every bar, even in this age of the download. For the artist the chance to set out their stall, to present a body of work is still the ultimate goal. Doubtless listening habits have changed, the I"-pod is often set on shuffle, and the temptation is always to cherry pick the best bits of everything. Even respectable, publications follow their reviews with the recommendation to "download this". How soul destroying for the artist. After months of toil and tweaking, fretting over running orders and overall balance, their lovingly constructed magnum opus is reduced to a tip to check out one, maybe a couple of tracks. However even in these digitally blighted times the artist has little option, even if less and less people buy "hard copy", there's no better way to structure a recording career, how else can we judge the artists development, how else will they focus their creativity? Still for the debut artist the thrill is undiminished, for the likes of Aaron Jerome there's s every reason to be excited...
Of course the history of dance music reveals an uneasy relationship with the whole album concept. It's always been about the cut, the twelve inch, the killer track. As a relatively young branch of the popular music tree, dance music doesn't have it's roots entangled in that whole mythology, rock'n roll's history can be persuasively told by just selecting a list of iconic landmark albums. Then there's the addled old cliché of the faceless dance music producer, the image of the knob twiddler hiding behind some suitably exotic production moniker.
At least Aaron Jerome is just himself and even if he does have seven guest artists in tow on Time To Rearrange that's just because he doesn't sing! However he does play instruments and he does nurture great performances from his collaborators, and even with the humble means available to him he does have a way of conjuring epic music on a shoestring. One man and his laptop against the world, the boy who would be Quincy Jones; or Charles Stepney, or Larry Mizzell or even Marc Mac! No cast of crack musicians available, no big studio, no huge advance. Surely there must be better career options? A young man like Aaron has no choice, one of the afflicted, he's got the bug and music is very much his master. What kind of music? Do we have to call it something?
This music is deeply unfashionable, if you're reading this you're probably painfully unhip. If jazz is a four-letter word then "jazzy" is a foul-mouthed string of expletives. Aaron Jerome's music is undoubtedly jazzy, unashamedly so, but more to the point unselfconsciously so. That's where he has an advantage. Young enough to be untainted by it's history but old enough to have learned the lessons and absorbed the aesthetic; Aaron brings a new vitality to a familiar palette. Time To Rearrange mixes all the familiar colours, warm electric piano, crisp drums, lush strings, horns, and acoustic bass. A dash of hip-hop attitude and a whole heap of old-school musicality. Though sometimes these elements combine in a surprising way, it's a record that sounds both familiar and strange. Lurking beneath the surface is an attitude that is both irreverent and audacious, there's a vein of positivity that runs through it that seems to say why not have a go? It's the sound of talent falling in love with it can achieve, the sound of possibilities being explored.
21st century soul-fusion?