The album is Stefon Harris and Blackout’s first recording since Urbanus (which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2009), and 2004’s Evolution. The conception and birth of Sonic Creed came about as a result of Harris bursting with this music, this sound, and this album, inside of him. “What pushes me to release a new album is the answer to the question, if I don’t record this music will the sound of this music exist in the world? And if the answer is no, then we have to go into the studio!”, said Harris.
Sonic Creed is about music that chronicles the story of a people and their time on earth. It aims to be a reflection of African American life in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. And, it is a sonic manifestation and creed of family, community and legacy. “These core assets of the Black community are the messages of Sonic Creed, and we honor our legacy by exploring the music of masters such as Bobby Hutcherson, Abbey Lincoln, Wayne Shorter and Horace Silver. Their music is timeless and is the literal aural expression of those community assets”, said Harris.
The album therefore serves as a representation, through Stefon Harris and Blackout’s existence and experience, of Black American life in the present. “I want to document our time on the planet in the here and NOW! What is the sound of ‘Black Lives Matter’ for example? What is the sound of electing the first African American President of The United States? What is the sound of right now? This is what I’m interested in Blackout representing and reflecting. It’s art for our sake”, stated Harris.
INSTRUMENTATION: Stefon Harris - vibraphone & marimba (all tracks) James Francies - piano (all tracks except 9) & keyboards (1,3,7) Joshua Crumbly - bass (all tracks except 9) Terreon Gully - drums (all tracks except 9) Casey Benjamin- alto sax (1,2, 4, 5) soprano sax (6, 7) vocoder (3, 8) Mike Moreno - guitar (1,4,5,7,8) Jean Baylor - vocal and vocal arrangements (3, 8) Regina Carter - violin (8) Joseph Doubleday - marimba ( 9) Daniel Frankhuizen - cello (8) Pedrito Martinez - percussion (1,2,4,6) Felix Peikli - clarinet, bass clarinet (1,2,4,5,6,8) Elena Pinderhughes - flute (4,8) Producer and Arranger: Stefon Harris
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