by Elements of Life

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The Robert Glasper Experiment significantly altered the way in which R&B fans heard jazz and vice versa with 2012's Black Radio. In 2013, Louie Vega and Elements of Life's Eclipse may be the record that enlightens views about dance music's ability to bridge (not water down) manySee more details below


The Robert Glasper Experiment significantly altered the way in which R&B fans heard jazz and vice versa with 2012's Black Radio. In 2013, Louie Vega and Elements of Life's Eclipse may be the record that enlightens views about dance music's ability to bridge (not water down) many musical genres with its sophisticated meld of live music and DJ culture's aesthetics. Vega's EOL is the first signing of a new artist by the legendary Fania Records in decades. While Latin rhythms and Nuyorican soul sounds are among those heard here, they are only elements in EOL's attack, which includes African and Brazilian rhythms, jazz, soul, R&B, gospel, and pop. Eclipse is exceptionally consistent over 17 tracks and 78 minutes. It's there in poet Ursula Rucker's reading of her "Balance in All Things" and the Afro-Cuban grooves in the killer "Canto Para Ochosi," where an Afro-Cuban chant sung by Nina Rodríguez is backed by a cooking percussion, brass, and string orchestra, which spirals it out into progressive big-band soul. Soulful house vocalist, keyboardist, and songwriter Josh Milan is important in these proceedings; he and Vega co-wrote about half the album together, and his vocals grace numerous tracks including the the bluesy Latin soul-rocker "Children of the World," with smoking guitar by Sherrod Barnes. Anané (globally renowned DJ, singer -- and Vega's spouse) and vocalist Lisa Fischer lead the stellar "Most Beautiful," where jazz, soul, merengue, and funky house grooves mingle. Raul Midón's George Benson-esque guitar playing and scatting push the track from the dancefloor into the heart. "I'm a Woman, I'm a Queen" offers a gospel intro that shifts into high disco gear with Cindy Mizelle and Fischer singing. They also deliver the soulful house burner "I Believe in Miracles" with an urban gospel backing chorus. There are a number of excellent covers on the set, too. These include a globalized reading of Webster Lewis and Barbara Ingram's "Barbara Ann," sung by Fischer and Mizelle. It seamlessly weds salsa, disco, jazz, and funk. Fela Kuti's "Overtake Don Overtake Overtake" features vocals by Sheyi Olagunju. Anané offers a moving reading of Cape Verdean legend Armando Zeferino Soares' iconic "Sodade." Milan leads a spirited reading of the Baden Powell and Vinícius de Moraes samba standard "Berimbau," as well as a salsa-meets-jazz-funk version of Larry Mizell's "Harlem River Drive" (with beautiful flute work by Monday Michiru). The closer finds Anané taking the lead on Roy Ayers' "You Came into My Life." Simply put, there isn't another album like Eclipse. On it, Vega and EOL reach far beyond their earlier efforts in combining excellent songcraft and interpretive skills, with stellar musicianship, canny production, and a philosophical attitude that affirms dignity and humanity as logical extensions of music. [Eclipse also contains a bonus disc that features a 33-minute Vega mix of legendary Fania jams and originals, bonus cuts, and alternate mixes.]

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Disc 1

  1. Balance In All Things
  2. Canto Para Ochosi
  3. Celebrate
  4. I Dream a World
  5. Most Beautiful
  6. Childen of the World
  7. Barbara Ann
  8. Overtake Don Overtake Overtake
  9. Sodade
  10. Love Is You
  11. This Is Us
  12. Berimbau
  13. Harlem River Drive
  14. Live Your Life for Today
  15. I'm a Woman, I'm a Queen
  16. I Believe In Miracles
  17. You Came Into My Life  -  Elements of Life

Disc 2

  1. EOL Soulfrito: The Movement/Swingback/Pay Homage/Going Home/Mambo Mongo
  2. Draggin' My Heels
  3. You Came Into My Life
  4. Children of the World
  5. Overtake Don Overtake Overtake
  6. This Is Us
  7. Pastime Paradise

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elements of Life   Primary Artist
"Little" Louie Vega   Indexed Contributor
William Galison   Bass Harmonica
Frank Fontaine   Flute,Soprano Saxophone
Lisa Fischer   Vocals,Background Vocals,scat,Vocal Ad-Libs
Ozzie Melendez   Trombone,Soloist
Monday Michiru   Flute
Josh Milan   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,fender rhodes,scat,Wurlitzer,Soloist,Keyboard Harmonica
Cindy Mizelle   Vocals,Background Vocals
Raul Midón   Guitar,scat,Soloist
Don Harris   Trumpet
Ursula Rucker   Background Vocals,Spoken Word
Jose Mangual   cowbell
Luisito Quintero   Percussion,Electric Bass,Conga,Drums,Timbales,Snare Drums,Shekere,Hi Hat,African Percussion,Brushes,Toms
Nina Rodríguez   Vocals,Background Vocals
Sherrod Barnes   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Rhythm
Gene Perez   Electric Bass,Electric Guitar
Francisco Martins   Background Vocals
Ricardo Ramos   Electric Guitar,Soloist
John Scarpulla   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Selan Lerner   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Hammond B3
Ivan Renta   Soprano Saxophone,Soloist,Horn Section
Selan   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,fender rhodes,Soloist,Hammond B3
Mike Ciro   Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Nico Vega   Background Vocals
Luis F. Vega   Tenor Saxophone
Junito Davila   Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,fender rhodes,Soloist
Oveous Maximus   Background Vocals,Spoken Word
Jerard Snell   Drums
Ali Bello   Violin,Viola
Dominic James   Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Soloist
Sahr Ngaujah   Vocals
Sheyi Olagunju   Spoken Word
Axel Tosca   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Strings,Keyboards,Vibes,fender rhodes,Synthesizer Bass,Wurlitzer,Soloist,Synthesizer Strings
Maria Martins   Background Vocals
Gene Peerz   Electric Bass
Encelm Kebza-Desage   Background Vocals
Sherrard Barnes   Rhythm Guitar,Soloist

Technical Credits

Ray Barretto   Composer
Rubén Blades   Composer
Roy Ayers   Composer
Vinícius de Moraes   Composer
Lisa Fischer   Vocal Arrangements,Vocal Effect
Baden Powell   Composer
Ozzie Melendez   Horn Arrangements
Josh Milan   Composer,Vocal Arrangements,Remixing
Cindy Mizelle   Vocal Arrangements
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Don Harris   Horn Arrangements
Ursula Rucker   Composer
Amandio Cabral   Composer
Ray Gilbert   Composer
Phil Pagano   Engineer
Luisito Quintero   Drum Fills
Nina Rodríguez   Composer
"Little" Louie Vega   Arranger,Producer,Executive Producer,Vocal Arrangements,Horn Arrangements
Miguel Amadeo   Composer
Argerie Ayers   Composer
John Scarpulla   Horn Arrangements
Yas Inoue   Engineer
Selan Lerner   Composer
Luis Morais   Composer
William Allen   Composer
Luis F. Vega   Composer
Enildo Padron   Composer
L. Mizell   Composer
W. Lewis   Composer
B. Ingram   Composer
Jose Luis Feliciano   Composer
Fela Anikulapo-Kuti   Composer
Efraín Dávila   Composer
Matt Maynes   Layout
Johns Carpulla   Horn Arrangements
Erni Valez   Cover Art
Armando Zeferino Soares   Composer
Ovil R. Salcedo   Composer

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