trumpeter/flugelhornist Michael “Patches” Stewart describes
his latest musical antidote as being, “jazz for the new
millennium”. Why not? He’s called upon his long time friend,
musician and producer Marcus Miller to handle production duties
on his hot new project titled “Blow”.
This is Patches third recording as a soloist. On “Blow”
he opts to take the listener on a musical journey that contains the
tasty flavorings of jazz, funk, with a twist of R&B
and dipped into the pulsating grooves of Hip-Hop!
Quik ~ beats, Roger Byam ~ tenor sax, Kenny Garrett
~ alto sax, Steve Baxter ~ trombone, Carl Cyrius
~ vocals, Poogie Bell ~ drums, Diane Gordon ~
funki-jazzi vocals, Donald Blackman ~ vocal ad libs, Tonni
Smith ~ hi vocals, LeDon Bishop ~ vocals, Will Downing ~
vocals, MC Lyte ~ rap, James Walker ~ flute, Marcus
Miller ~ percussion, clarinet, keys, guitars, organ, Fender
Rhodes, clavinet, bass, acoustic bass, tenor sax, moog synthesizer, bg
vocals, acoustic piano, scratches, soprano sax and Patches Stewart
~ trumpet, vocals, flugelhorn, Produced by Marcus Miller
for Pork Pie Productions and Co-produced by David Isaac
on Koch Records, © 2005
Nawlins native teases with a taste of “Gumbo”
(intro) on the opening track for about nineteen seconds
and before you know it you’ll find your head boppin’ to title cut
“Blow”. This infectious vibe has a twist of hip-hop penned
by producer Marcus Miller, who actually starts the groove
the three spot, Patches and the crew steps out with “I
Know What You Like”. At
a first glance, I thought I was listening the Parliament Funkadelic
because the vibe taps into this throwback groove. This track contains
some elements of songwriter Ron Temperton’s “Give Me the
Night” from George Benson’s album of the same title.
Ironically, there are also hints of Sly and the Family Stone
locked into this groove as well! How mercy!
have been so many talented artists that have covered “Overjoyed”
by Stevie Wonder. Patches and Miller reworks this
classic by giving it an unusual twist of vibrant and colorful flavors
that envelope’s you. Therefore, their effort makes this one of the
most invigorating renditions of “Overjoyed” that I’ve
heard to date.
pens the next tune called “We Be Gettin’ Down”. Never
mind the Ebonics folks, this jam is strictly for the players
and wannabes. Oh yeah, everyone is welcome to get into these seriously
“nasty grooves” like no bodies business cause they do, what
company slows the pace with “Don’t You Know” featuring
the one and only Will Downing. Now, you can imagine the purpose
of this sonically infectious tune. Stewart blows some seriously
sweet and soulful musings into his flugelhorn that slowly but surely
resonates in the atmosphere with warm and sensuous stylings of late
Song” (written by John L. Montgomery) falls into the
seventh spot on “Blow”.
Patches plays his trumpet on this trip but also features
the incomparable Kenny Garrett on alto sax. Road Song is
definitely one of the less urban sounding tracks on the disc and
possibly giving radio the opportunity to say let’s add this track to
sonically tight urban vibes on “Blow” continues with “Crusin”.
Have no fear folks it’s not another cover of Smokey Robinson’s
classic (love you Smokey). However, rapper MC Lyte adds
more than an adequate dose of freshness to this groove. Crusin’
reminds me somewhat of Will Smith’s “Summertime”. MC
Lyte charms you with the warmth of her linear phrasings as she
serves up a hint of poetic freshness that calls for a little fun in
the summertime kind of groove.
killer groove titled “Congo Square”.
This track features the trio of Stewart, Garrett and Miller.
I really dig this track because there’s this funkiness about the
vibe; it grabs and sticks to you with an adhesive that binds you to
the groove. It’s got that straight to the blue light in basement
kind of funk going on.
love it when an artist takes a cover song and molds it to his or her
musical personality. This
time it’s Herbie Hancock’s “Tell Me A Bedtime Story”
that’s on the cutting board. I can see a lot of folks digging this
tune; it’s one of the jazzier cuts on “Blow”.
next track is titled “No More” that features Marcus Miller
on all instruments except trumpet, which of course is Patches Stewart
who handles his business with style. The melody is picture perfect and
the hooks are attractive as well on this piece. The cd concludes with
a forty plus second snippet “Gumbo”.
and the crew
stir’s up a delicious 12-song music set on “Blow”.
This project seduces you by pulling you into the elements of these
hooked laden and cosmic urbanized vibes that leaves you simply begging
for more. Frankly, I love this cd! Why? Because it’s fresh, Stewart
has a strong understanding of what’s happening musically within
the urban communities around the globe. It’s a blessing to hear Michael
“Patches” Stewart at this stage of his career; he’s
exactly where he belongs, up close and personal, playing music that he
loves to play. Producer Marcus Miller has done and eloquent job
in the process of being creative and innovative. Therefore bridging
the genre gap with tastefully addictive and accessible palette of
music in one serving, which is a mighty difficult task to accomplish
these days. The musicianship on this project is no doubt supreme, (take
another look at the lineup). Artistically Patches Stewart is
at the pinnacle of his game with “Blow”, he should get
major spins from jazz and curious music aficionados everywhere.