Keyboardist-composer Javier Santiago released Phoenix, his Ropeadope Records debut album, on June 29. Watch the video premiere of Santiago and his band performing the title track from his new album live in the studio:
Phoenix is an album full of snow-dusted funk and a refreshing approach to jazzified fusion. It features Santiago on Rhodes and synthesizers, joined by saxophonist Dayna Stephens and Ben Flocks, guitarist Nil Felder, bassist Zach Brown and drummer Corey Fonville, plus special guest trumpeters Nicholas Payton and John Raymond, and vocalist J. Hoard.
Santiago explains via a press release that the album was forged from his own unique experience: "All throughout my life, I feel like I have gone through a series of personal deaths. I begin something new, a new life or a new community, then at some point there is an inevitable crash or fall -- one that cleanses, renews and marks a turning point of change and growth. This natural death and rebirth is like the Phoenix. It's a process that all beings go through, whether it be humans, animals or Gaia, the earth itself."
"Phoenix," a ten-minute tour-de-force, perfectly captures this theme. The song has also become an anthem for Santiago, with its synthesizers humming from all sides, its tight horn harmonies and searing instrumental solos, and Felder putting down solid emphasis amidst Fonville's groove and unyielding cymbals.
Feature photo provided courtesy of Jack Davis, LoonarCity Productions.
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