Plan9 Music

The first sounds on 'Cosmic Justice', the sophomore album from Honest Lee, are his main instrument, drums, but we quickly hear an array of others, guitar, bass, percussion, and various pianos, organs and synths, all played by Lee with dexterity, giving 'Cosmic Justice' it's singular vision. But Honest Lee does not stand alone, because he has adopted an aura of collaboration and inclusion which gives the album the weight of community. Ten of the twelve tracks have guest instrumentalists, predominately hailing from the DC area, with most providing the lead or melodic instrument, hand-picked by Honest Lee to bring their unique voices to his tracks. The most hands-on of these features is the title track, 'Cosmic Justice,' which sees New Yorker MKMKMK adding flutes, soprano, tenor and baritone saxes as well as a melody of his own design to follow the chord progression and spacey vibe laid out by Honest Lee's steady bass line and vibraphone. The result is much more than a sum of it's parts, sounding a bit like sample fodder from Stark Reality or a live band track produced by DJ Shadow.Lee put down his trumpet in the early aughts, instead concentrating on instruments he was more adept at, so any time horns are heard on 'Cosmic Justice' they are guests, with the most frequent being Matt Rippetoe and Joe Herrera on tenor or baritone sax and trumpet respectively. Rippetoe and Herrera are mainstays of the DC jazz and funk scene and are past bandmates of Lee from his time as the drummer in Will Rast's afro-funk powerhouse The Funk Ark and Rippetoe's Harry Belafonte tribute band, The Harry Bells. 'Saguaro Strut' was written by Lee in the van when he and the other members of The Funk Ark were on route to New York City in 2013. The Latin funk inspired groover sat on his Galaxy tablet waiting for the right time and is now fully produced with multiple layers of keys, synths and guitars and features the rolling congas of Javier Miranda from DC's Empresarios joining Rippetoe and Herrera's horns. 'Saguaro Strut' is not the only song to have heavy Latin, afro-funk vibes. 'Cue Burn Out' features Peabody alum Delandria Mills on flute for a Latin tinged trip hop workout buoyed by Mills' intricate melodic soloing. 'Race to the Bottom' has Highlife inspired guitar patterns from guest and Growroom Productions signee, Slanigro Renguez. In fact, the track was very open before Renguez added his slinky guitar lines, and only after did the afro vibes really begin to come out resulting in a Tortoise meets Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou odd meter mind meld.Unusual sounds are heard often but stand out on 'In a Natural Mood' and 'Soul Purpose.' The former features Trevor Olexy, Lee's bassist bandmate in The MOD, except here he's playing sitar, an instrument he picked up while traveling in India for an extended period of time. Olexy's sitar plays the perfect foil to Honest Lee's Rhodes leads and languid call and response strings, juxtaposed by Lee's Zigaboo-esque busy backbeat, creating an other-worldly version of sensuous soul. 'Soul Purpose' features Elijah Jamal Balbed, one of the DC area's foremost saxophone players, on EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument). Lee caught Elijah on EWI at the legendary Eighteenth Street Lounge, where they were both employed, Lee as DJ and Elijah as instrumentalist, and thought the instrument would compliment the down home, gut-bucket swagger of 'Soul Purpose.' This track does the final slot on the album justice, summing up the vibe of the whole, while pushing forward into new sonic territory. Three more tracks with features represent the funk grooves that Honest Lee is known for in the DC area. The bed of 'Semantics' features upright bass, harkening to early-90s hip hop when the instrument was used prominently, but jumps into Lonnie Liston Smith territory when the CP88 riff is introduced and drums and tambourine bounce off staccato electric guitar stabs. All of this is tailor-made for Baltimorean Troy Long to shine with jazzy leads and solos on keys. 'Hammered Home' puts a serious mid-tempo groove to work with soulful chord changes, Lee playing piano leads and horns from Rippetoe and Herrera. Joe Herrera also gets time to shine in the solo section which lays in a cosmic afrobeat climbing mood. Rippetoe and Herrera once again feature on the laid back 'One Heart and it's Over,' providing horn melodies on top of Rhodes, synths and guitar plucks by Lee. And on 'Y'Understand Me,' entrenched DC drummer Jerry Busher adds half a dozen layers of percussion to the schoolyard outro, hyping the track from groovy piano led hip hop to funk classic.There are two songs with Honest Lee playing all the instruments alone represented in a respite in the middle third of the album. 'Authentic Theft,' with it's title taken from a Jim Jarmush quote, is a reggae funk piano workout and 'On Days like Yesterday' has piano as it's main instrument as well, but is accompanied by drum machines and synth bass to leaven it's swamp
The first sounds on 'Cosmic Justice', the sophomore album from Honest Lee, are his main instrument, drums, but we quickly hear an array of others, guitar, bass, percussion, and various pianos, organs and synths, all played by Lee with dexterity, giving 'Cosmic Justice' it's singular vision. But Honest Lee does not stand alone, because he has adopted an aura of collaboration and inclusion which gives the album the weight of community. Ten of the twelve tracks have guest instrumentalists, predominately hailing from the DC area, with most providing the lead or melodic instrument, hand-picked by Honest Lee to bring their unique voices to his tracks. The most hands-on of these features is the title track, 'Cosmic Justice,' which sees New Yorker MKMKMK adding flutes, soprano, tenor and baritone saxes as well as a melody of his own design to follow the chord progression and spacey vibe laid out by Honest Lee's steady bass line and vibraphone. The result is much more than a sum of it's parts, sounding a bit like sample fodder from Stark Reality or a live band track produced by DJ Shadow.Lee put down his trumpet in the early aughts, instead concentrating on instruments he was more adept at, so any time horns are heard on 'Cosmic Justice' they are guests, with the most frequent being Matt Rippetoe and Joe Herrera on tenor or baritone sax and trumpet respectively. Rippetoe and Herrera are mainstays of the DC jazz and funk scene and are past bandmates of Lee from his time as the drummer in Will Rast's afro-funk powerhouse The Funk Ark and Rippetoe's Harry Belafonte tribute band, The Harry Bells. 'Saguaro Strut' was written by Lee in the van when he and the other members of The Funk Ark were on route to New York City in 2013. The Latin funk inspired groover sat on his Galaxy tablet waiting for the right time and is now fully produced with multiple layers of keys, synths and guitars and features the rolling congas of Javier Miranda from DC's Empresarios joining Rippetoe and Herrera's horns. 'Saguaro Strut' is not the only song to have heavy Latin, afro-funk vibes. 'Cue Burn Out' features Peabody alum Delandria Mills on flute for a Latin tinged trip hop workout buoyed by Mills' intricate melodic soloing. 'Race to the Bottom' has Highlife inspired guitar patterns from guest and Growroom Productions signee, Slanigro Renguez. In fact, the track was very open before Renguez added his slinky guitar lines, and only after did the afro vibes really begin to come out resulting in a Tortoise meets Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou odd meter mind meld.Unusual sounds are heard often but stand out on 'In a Natural Mood' and 'Soul Purpose.' The former features Trevor Olexy, Lee's bassist bandmate in The MOD, except here he's playing sitar, an instrument he picked up while traveling in India for an extended period of time. Olexy's sitar plays the perfect foil to Honest Lee's Rhodes leads and languid call and response strings, juxtaposed by Lee's Zigaboo-esque busy backbeat, creating an other-worldly version of sensuous soul. 'Soul Purpose' features Elijah Jamal Balbed, one of the DC area's foremost saxophone players, on EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument). Lee caught Elijah on EWI at the legendary Eighteenth Street Lounge, where they were both employed, Lee as DJ and Elijah as instrumentalist, and thought the instrument would compliment the down home, gut-bucket swagger of 'Soul Purpose.' This track does the final slot on the album justice, summing up the vibe of the whole, while pushing forward into new sonic territory. Three more tracks with features represent the funk grooves that Honest Lee is known for in the DC area. The bed of 'Semantics' features upright bass, harkening to early-90s hip hop when the instrument was used prominently, but jumps into Lonnie Liston Smith territory when the CP88 riff is introduced and drums and tambourine bounce off staccato electric guitar stabs. All of this is tailor-made for Baltimorean Troy Long to shine with jazzy leads and solos on keys. 'Hammered Home' puts a serious mid-tempo groove to work with soulful chord changes, Lee playing piano leads and horns from Rippetoe and Herrera. Joe Herrera also gets time to shine in the solo section which lays in a cosmic afrobeat climbing mood. Rippetoe and Herrera once again feature on the laid back 'One Heart and it's Over,' providing horn melodies on top of Rhodes, synths and guitar plucks by Lee. And on 'Y'Understand Me,' entrenched DC drummer Jerry Busher adds half a dozen layers of percussion to the schoolyard outro, hyping the track from groovy piano led hip hop to funk classic.There are two songs with Honest Lee playing all the instruments alone represented in a respite in the middle third of the album. 'Authentic Theft,' with it's title taken from a Jim Jarmush quote, is a reggae funk piano workout and 'On Days like Yesterday' has piano as it's main instrument as well, but is accompanied by drum machines and synth bass to leaven it's swamp
782301928503

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Format: Vinyl
Label: Growroom
Rel. Date: 03/08/2024
UPC: 782301928503

Cosmic Justice (Ofgv)
Artist: Honest Lee
Format: Vinyl
New: Not on Hand, Let us see if we can get it for you!
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The first sounds on 'Cosmic Justice', the sophomore album from Honest Lee, are his main instrument, drums, but we quickly hear an array of others, guitar, bass, percussion, and various pianos, organs and synths, all played by Lee with dexterity, giving 'Cosmic Justice' it's singular vision. But Honest Lee does not stand alone, because he has adopted an aura of collaboration and inclusion which gives the album the weight of community. Ten of the twelve tracks have guest instrumentalists, predominately hailing from the DC area, with most providing the lead or melodic instrument, hand-picked by Honest Lee to bring their unique voices to his tracks. The most hands-on of these features is the title track, 'Cosmic Justice,' which sees New Yorker MKMKMK adding flutes, soprano, tenor and baritone saxes as well as a melody of his own design to follow the chord progression and spacey vibe laid out by Honest Lee's steady bass line and vibraphone. The result is much more than a sum of it's parts, sounding a bit like sample fodder from Stark Reality or a live band track produced by DJ Shadow.Lee put down his trumpet in the early aughts, instead concentrating on instruments he was more adept at, so any time horns are heard on 'Cosmic Justice' they are guests, with the most frequent being Matt Rippetoe and Joe Herrera on tenor or baritone sax and trumpet respectively. Rippetoe and Herrera are mainstays of the DC jazz and funk scene and are past bandmates of Lee from his time as the drummer in Will Rast's afro-funk powerhouse The Funk Ark and Rippetoe's Harry Belafonte tribute band, The Harry Bells. 'Saguaro Strut' was written by Lee in the van when he and the other members of The Funk Ark were on route to New York City in 2013. The Latin funk inspired groover sat on his Galaxy tablet waiting for the right time and is now fully produced with multiple layers of keys, synths and guitars and features the rolling congas of Javier Miranda from DC's Empresarios joining Rippetoe and Herrera's horns. 'Saguaro Strut' is not the only song to have heavy Latin, afro-funk vibes. 'Cue Burn Out' features Peabody alum Delandria Mills on flute for a Latin tinged trip hop workout buoyed by Mills' intricate melodic soloing. 'Race to the Bottom' has Highlife inspired guitar patterns from guest and Growroom Productions signee, Slanigro Renguez. In fact, the track was very open before Renguez added his slinky guitar lines, and only after did the afro vibes really begin to come out resulting in a Tortoise meets Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou odd meter mind meld.Unusual sounds are heard often but stand out on 'In a Natural Mood' and 'Soul Purpose.' The former features Trevor Olexy, Lee's bassist bandmate in The MOD, except here he's playing sitar, an instrument he picked up while traveling in India for an extended period of time. Olexy's sitar plays the perfect foil to Honest Lee's Rhodes leads and languid call and response strings, juxtaposed by Lee's Zigaboo-esque busy backbeat, creating an other-worldly version of sensuous soul. 'Soul Purpose' features Elijah Jamal Balbed, one of the DC area's foremost saxophone players, on EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument). Lee caught Elijah on EWI at the legendary Eighteenth Street Lounge, where they were both employed, Lee as DJ and Elijah as instrumentalist, and thought the instrument would compliment the down home, gut-bucket swagger of 'Soul Purpose.' This track does the final slot on the album justice, summing up the vibe of the whole, while pushing forward into new sonic territory. Three more tracks with features represent the funk grooves that Honest Lee is known for in the DC area. The bed of 'Semantics' features upright bass, harkening to early-90s hip hop when the instrument was used prominently, but jumps into Lonnie Liston Smith territory when the CP88 riff is introduced and drums and tambourine bounce off staccato electric guitar stabs. All of this is tailor-made for Baltimorean Troy Long to shine with jazzy leads and solos on keys. 'Hammered Home' puts a serious mid-tempo groove to work with soulful chord changes, Lee playing piano leads and horns from Rippetoe and Herrera. Joe Herrera also gets time to shine in the solo section which lays in a cosmic afrobeat climbing mood. Rippetoe and Herrera once again feature on the laid back 'One Heart and it's Over,' providing horn melodies on top of Rhodes, synths and guitar plucks by Lee. And on 'Y'Understand Me,' entrenched DC drummer Jerry Busher adds half a dozen layers of percussion to the schoolyard outro, hyping the track from groovy piano led hip hop to funk classic.There are two songs with Honest Lee playing all the instruments alone represented in a respite in the middle third of the album. 'Authentic Theft,' with it's title taken from a Jim Jarmush quote, is a reggae funk piano workout and 'On Days like Yesterday' has piano as it's main instrument as well, but is accompanied by drum machines and synth bass to leaven it's swamp
        
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