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Next Level
     

The Next Level

4.0 1
by Sekou Bunch
 
It's an amusing little slice of the pop culture times that veteran bassist Sekou Bunch is better known to the American public as the first eliminated contestant from Survivor: Cook Islands (2006, the thirteenth season of the show) than for his incredible all-star résumé featuring everyone from Quincy Jones and Luther Vandross to

Overview

It's an amusing little slice of the pop culture times that veteran bassist Sekou Bunch is better known to the American public as the first eliminated contestant from Survivor: Cook Islands (2006, the thirteenth season of the show) than for his incredible all-star résumé featuring everyone from Quincy Jones and Luther Vandross to Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, the Winans, and Stevie Wonder. His experience on the show probably made him impervious to the odds of a new name (this was his first solo effort since the early '90s) breaking through the smooth jazz format when this was released. The success of Wayman Tisdale aside, another obstacle was the fact that he's an ace bassist, not the most radio-friendly instrument in the genre. All that said, The Next Level is a solid, coolly funky, and supermelodic date, on par with and even surpassing the catchy and grooving joy that Tisdale was famous for. And you can't beat the big shots he invited to the party: Stanley Clarke (who adds a chops happy tenor bass solo to Bunch's lead piccolo on the breezy, laid-back "Sun Goddess"); Angela Winbush and Boney James, who sway along with Bunch on the romantic-lite urban jazz of "Smooth Sailing"; George Duke, who adds his elegant piano touch to the dramatic, orchestrally enhanced grooving jazz of "The Return of Superman"; and Sheila E. and Everette Harp blazing along with Bunch's Fender jazz bass and Thomas Organ's blistering guitar on a wild "Purple Haze." The progressive fusion of these last two tracks and the high spirited tropical Latin jam "Ploom Ploom Ploom" add a nice complement of depth and jazzy soul to the handful of radio friendly potential singles. Likewise, the socially conscious "Haters" rocks steady into forward-thinking "Marcus Miller" territory. But even when Bunch is just playing it cool, his heart's completely in it, dedicating "Everything I Miss at Home" to his old friend, the late George Howard and the silky "Essence" to Vandross. He was the first guy to be voted off the island, but this diverse disc made it clear he was finally dedicated to his solo career for the long haul.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/13/2008
Label:
Trippin & Rhythm
UPC:
0020286118022
catalogNumber:
26

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sekou Bunch   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Guitar,Percussion,Strings,Electric Bass,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Fretless Bass Guitar,Acoustic Bass,Piccolo Bass,Soloist,Fender Jazz Bass,Lead
Rodney Franklin   Synthesizer,Piano,fender rhodes,keyboard bass
George Duke   Piano
Karen Briggs   Violin
Boney James   Tenor Saxophone
Marina Bambino   Percussion
Johnny Britt   Trumpet
Bobby Broom   Guitar
Stanley Clarke   Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Melena DeOlga   Shaker
Sheila Escovedo   Percussion
Rayford Griffin   Drums
Everette Harp   Tenor Saxophone
Munyungo Jackson   Percussion,Timbales,Bata Drums
Roman Johnson   Organ,Synthesizer,Flute,Piano,Strings,Keyboards,Vibes,fender rhodes,Synthesizer Bass,keyboard bass,Soloist
Trevor Lawrence   Drums
Wayne Linsey   Piano
Wally Minko   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Soloist
Thomas Organ   Guitar,Steel Guitar
Angela Winbush   Vocals,Vocal Ad-Libs
Lamont VanHook   Voices
Lori Andrews   Harp
Will Kennedy   Drums
Steve Alaniz   Flute,Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Natisse Bambi Jones   Vocals
Kim Hansen   Synthesizer,Soloist
Sean Patrick Thomas   Background Vocals,Rap
Mads Tolling   Violin
Jimi Macon   Guitar
Brooke Lynne Bunch   Vocals,Background Vocals,Lead
Ellegua Vocal Choir   Vocals

Technical Credits

Dave Brubeck   Composer
Ramsey Lewis   Composer
Sekou Bunch   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Andre Berry   Engineer
Stanley Clarke   Engineer
Jimi Hendrix   Composer
Roman Johnson   Programming,Producer,keyboard arrangements
Keith Jones   Engineer
Johnny Rivers   Engineer
Otmaro Ruíz   Piano Arrangement
Angela Winbush   Composer
Brian Schwab   Engineer
Jack Frisch   Art Direction
Kim Hansen   keyboard arrangements
Alex Todorov   Engineer
Charles W. Johnson   Programming

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The Next Level 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago