Ari Joshua unites top Seattle players on new soul jazz singles

Ari Joshua unites top Seattle players on new soul jazz singles
Ari Joshua unites top Seattle players on new soul jazz singles

Guitarist Ari Joshua continues to release recordings from his vault of recent projects and new efforts. The latest is the single “Fresh,” which brings Joshua and three friends from the Seattle area together for a soulful groove and the promise of more.

Color Red Music has announced that two more digital singles will follow last week’s release. The recordings will be released in the next two months with the same selection of famous musicians. Although it’s their first opportunity to record together, these musicians share some history.

Joshua has been playing with Delvon Lamarr since before Lamarr played the organ. Now the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio is one of the best-selling acts in instrumental music. The guitarist has been a fan of Skerik long before he shared the stage. Joshua also noted his good fortune in landing busy Polyrhythmics drummer Grant Schroff for this recording session.

“Every member of this band travels a lot,” Joshua explained. “It’s magical that it came together, I hope listeners enjoy the results.”

The connections between these musicians made it easy. Schroff also has history with Lamarr, drumming on DLO3’s 2011 album I told you. When their busy schedules allowed, these four have worked together in various settings for the past decade.

Unfortunately, complicated travel plans add some uncertainty to the lineup celebrating the new single at the Seamonster Lounge in Wallingford on Thursday, March 9. Joshua, billed as Ari Joshua & Friends, told The New Cool that he is working with the personnel for the show as of press time.

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There’s no doubt that whichever of these three friends can pull it off, and whoever else finds their way on stage with Joshua, it’s sure to be a good time. That’s the idea as these four bring a modern energy to the classic organ quartet on the new single “Fresh”.

Schroff’s pocket-filled drum beats kick in with Joshua’s wah-wah rhythm guitar and Lamarr’s organ backing. Skerik then lays out the central melody of “Fresh” on tenor sax before the solos are sent around.

Joshua takes off first with a distorted fusion sound that buzzes against a soulful solo run from Skerik, putting his special twist on a sound reminiscent of sax greats like Houston Person and Pee Wee Ellis. Lamarr’s steady swing on the organ brings us back to the song’s theme and Schroff’s steady hand guides them home.

The bright recording dances with the nostalgic organ jazz tradition while subtly energizing the music with a modern perspective and adding just enough attitude to keep it fresh, as the song title calls for.

Listen to “Fresh” on the new cool Friday night and allow yourself time to recover from the concert on March 9.

Skerik will also perform at Seamonster on March 11 as Crack Sabbath with organist Ron Weinstein and drummer Mike Stone, the late show beginning after a 10pm set from DJ Woogie.

Joshua will explore his more traditional jazz side with a quartet and vocalist Chava Mirel at a soon to be announced show at the Royal Room on April 9.

The New Cool airs Fridays at 9 p.m., hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle, Washington. LISTEN ON request

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