by Dark Chocolate


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As if to make it clear where the inspiration for the uniquely rhythmic, genre-transcending musical vision of Dark Chocolate comes from, the collective's third CD, Caper, includes the following phrase on the cover of its eclectic third release: "From the Canyons of the Big Sur." That's the creative environment where percussionist Barklie "Clay" Henry continues to gather musician friends from varied backgrounds to jam on a wide variety of jazz-inflected global fusion -- or perhaps it's world fusion-inflected jazz, with exotic and spiritual touches to spare and an unabashed leaning toward the avant-garde. Most of the ensemble from the group's first two projects are back, notably bassist Kim Stone (the Rippingtons, Spyro Gyra), pianist Weber Iago, guitarist Joseph Lucido, and vocalist Jacqui Hope. One prominent addition, ethereal vocalist Ashley Mazanec, is introduced immediately on the hypnotic and ambient opener "I Give My Soul"; her sensual voice floats dreamily over Lucido's languid guitar and Iago's haunting, jazzy piano riffs. She also appears in vocalese fashion on the trippy, avant-garde jazz experiment "Funko," and Caper's most engaging mainstream jazz exercise, the joyfully percussive centerpiece "Chocolate Jam," led by Iago's infectious melodic inventions. The album's odd song titles on the album perfectly reflect the unusual meters and coolly improvisational approach to the 12-track set, from "Gitane" (with Hope's soothing, wordless vocals punctuating Nico Georis's infectious accordion and Xocoyotzin Moraza's sharp Veracruz Harp Plucking) to the dark, brooding "Fundament," a jazz trio piece propelled by Rick Chelew's droning bowed bass. Lest we forget that Dark Chocolate is the irresistible brainchild of a percussion master, the listener can't escape without a high-energy, all-rhythmic instrument trio piece, "Los Tres Cajones," on which Henry plays bass cajon and maracas. Inventive and off the beaten path as ever, this chapter of Dark Chocolate's story is, to extend the metaphor, richer than ever.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/08/2011
Label: Megawave Records
UPC: 0603408003828
catalogNumber: 382

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dark Chocolate   Primary Artist
Brock Bradford   Cajon
Clay Henry   Percussion,Maracas,Cajon
Ginger Holladay   Vocals
Kim Stone   Bass
Denine Monet   Vocals
Weber Iago   Piano
Nico Georis   Synthesizer,Piano,Accordion
Mike Shannon   Trap Kit
Joseph Lucido   Guitar
John Nava   Conga
Xocoyotzin Moraza   Veracruz
Rick Chelew   Bass,Bowed Bass
Jayson Fann   Percussion,Berimbau,Cajon
Ashley Mazenec   Vocals
Lori Hofer   Vocals
Steve Loebs   Percussion
Jacqui Hope   Vocals

Technical Credits

Clay Henry   Producer
Leonie   Art Direction
Jo Gough   Engineer

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