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The Harlem Experiment

The Harlem Experiment - s/t
(CD) Ropeadope, 2007-10-30

Tracklisting :
1. Intro
2. One for Jackie (feat. the Harlem Experiment House Band)
3. Rigor Mortis (feat. the Harlem Experiment House Band)
4. Reefer Man (feat. Taj Mahal on vocals)
5. Harlem River Drive (feat. Steven Bernstein on trumpet)
6. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen (feat. Don Byron on clarinet)
7. Mums Interlude
8. It's Just Begun (feat. Larry Legend on turntables)
9. Mambo a la Savoy (feat. Carlos Alomar on guitar)
10. A Rose in Spanish Harlem (feat. James Hunter on vocals & guitar)
11. One For Malcolm (feat. Malcolm X)
12. 'Lil Bit (feat. DJ Mums on the mic)
13. Think (feat. Queen Esther on vocals)
14. A Rose in Spanish Harlem (Instrumental)
15. Walking Through Harlem (feat. Olu Dara on vocals, guitar & pocket trumpet)

Band Members :
Carlos Alomar (David Bowie)
Ruben Rodriguez (Tito Puente/Eddie Palmieri)
Don Byron (Vernon Reid)
Eddy Martinez (Run D.M.C.)
Steve Berrios (Chick Corea)
Queen Esther (Duke Ellington)
Taj Mahal
James Hunter
Olu Dara

Links :

Find more music like this on The Harlem Experiment

Info :
"Too often people are content to remain stuck in safe corners, within the societal cardboard boxes in which they have been placed. But every now and again we are given the chance to stretch and leap (and even fly) and when we do, we see things in a whole new way. Imagine you are a bird circling over Harlem for a hundred years. Suppose you built a little nest above a tenement window and perched secretly above an air shaft. Imagine you were this mockingbird and could sing all the songs that you ever heard on a kitchen radio. Now stop imagining and discover the Harlem Experiment- where the world of that bird has become reality."

It started in 2001 with a simple premise: take acclaimed musicians from a shared hometown but very different musical backgrounds, put them in a funky recording studio and have them create spontaneous art. From that humble thought came the Mighty Oak known around the world as the Philadelphia Experiment and hot on its heels the underground classic Detroit Experiment.

And now after 4 years of crafty deliberation, ropeadope is breaking out the lab coats once again. We headed back into the studios, setting up shop in NYC and emerged with what is fast becoming the most anticipated record of the year. Grammy-winning producer Aaron "Ace" Levinson and ropeadope founder Andy Hurwitz have assembled another genre-bending tribute to perhaps America’s greatest cultural crown jewel, Harlem USA.

While the musicians were busy recording, ropeadope industries was back in a laboratory of their own, cooking up a line of Harlem based apparel that will celebrate the exuberant spirit of the music.

Pre-order : The first 200 orders will include a free copy of The Philadelphia Experiment Remixed. Orders ship one week before street date of 10/30/07.

Press Release :
On October 30, indie label Ropeadope will release 'The Harlem Experiment,' the third installment in their city "experiment" series. The "experiment" albums are jazz-inspired collaborations by well-known local musicians who set out to capture the sound and spirit of their hometowns.

The first two in the series focus on Philadelphia (music provided by ?uestlove Ahmir Thompson, Christian McBride, and Uri Caine) and Detroit (featuring Regina Carter, Marcus Belgrave, Bennie Maupin and others). So why Harlem? According to label president Andy Blackman Hurwitz: "The history, the present and the future. We look to Harlem as ground zero for all that is modern day 'American' music - whether you call it jazz, R&B, hip-hop or rock, all of it passed through the neighborhood's gates."

'The Harlem Experiment' takes on the melting pot identity of Harlem, from the early Jewish enclaves to the epicenter of African-American culture to the Latin legacy of Spanish Harlem titans like Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri. The Harlem House Band features Carlos Alomar (guitar, David Bowie), Eddy Martinez (keys, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Run D.M.C.), Steven Bernstein (trumpet, Sex Mob), Steve Berrios (drums, Chick Corea), Don Byron (clarinet, The Klezmatics, Vernon Reid) and Ruben Rodriguez (bass, Tito Puente). Grammy Award-Winning producer Aaron Levinson, creator of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, produced the album.

An audio homage to Harlem would clearly have to include jazz, funk and hip-hop, given that Harlem is synonymous with James Brown's 'Live At The Apollo' and Duke Ellington's "Stompin' At The Savoy." 'The Harlem Experiment' does just that with its' big beats, horns, and swagger. But the project also digs deep into Harlem's illustrious roots and gives shout-outs to the Jewish and Spanish communities that also helped to create one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world. It makes sense that Latin rhythms are laced throughout the jazz and hip-hop of tracks like "One For Jackie," and "It's Just Begun." It makes sense that the Klezmer style of Don Byron's clarinet transcends the playful jazz on "Reefer Man" and the funkified Yiddish folk song "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen."

'The Harlem Experiment' achieves a mighty task: summing up the cultural rainbow of Harlem in 50 minutes of music.


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