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by Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber

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Blood Music 04:11


“You have to stretch your vocabulary to parse All Ya Needs That Negrocity, the pointedly titled 12th album from Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber. Burnt Sugar is the sprawling, tribal band Village Voice writer Greg Tate (on guitar, lyrics and laptop) and bassist Jared Michael Nickerson founded in 1999. The New York-based ensemble scrambles genres, paying homage to everyone from Ellington to Sun Ra to Hendrix to Parliament-Funkadelic in the process. There’s more: As interpreted by vocalists Lisala and Maya Azucena, Astor Piazzolla’s “Libertango” soars and pops, Mazz Swift’s dervish violin giving it a stunning Gypsy overlay. Burnt Sugar may be a collective, and it’s a jam band for sure, but Tate and Nickerson’s production guarantees each player full power, and the group’s purpose is unmistakable: to shake things up, your booty included. Frees your mind, too: Check out the pungent sax interplay on “Bliques Haff Moor Funn,” also a showcase for “Sugar emeritus” pianist Vijay Iyer.” Carlo Wolff ~ JazzTimes

“Burnt Sugar, the provocative aggregate that was doing mashups before the term was even coined, returns with its most accessible offering. Greg Tate, the group’s ringleader, still emphasizes tex- tual ingenuity and controlled cacophony but the results are less murky and less derivative. During the band’s early years, Tate’s fascination with P-Funk, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and Butch Morris’ conductions often got the best of the ensemble, making the music loud and quizzical but wanting for a distinctive sound beyond its influences. By moving to the center and at times concentrating more on durable songs, Burnt Sugar is inching its way into its own thing.” John Murph ~ Downbeat

“Sonically and structurally grounded in jazz, Burnt Sugar’s latest album, All Ya Needs That Negrocity, continues the group’s tradition of exploding walls between genres. While there’s something for everyone here, the group’s commitment to idiosyncracy and hybridization runs deeper: they cite Duke Ellington, Sun Ra, and Parliament Funkadelic as influences, all artists who sampled freely from various genres of black music. For Burnt Sugar (founded by bassist Jared Michael Nick­er­son and Vil­lage Voice icon Greg Tate), constantly mixing genres is political, conscious subversion of the commodification of black music by the record industry. And it sounds good, too.

The funky jazz-inflected opener, “The Cold Sweat Variations,” and the smooth almost-pop sound of “Burning Crosses” are winners. The ethereal, sparsely-textured “Blique Strategems” is largely piano and electronics-driven, providing an aural rest from the album’s dense instrumentation. Finally, the entrancing “Throne of Blood 33 1/3 (Encrypted Vernacular)” is jazzy with a quiet hip hop undercurrent that, over its nearly 13 minute playing time, gives way to more and more electronic intrusion until the track dissolves into itself.”
David Lewis ~ BlackGrooves.org


released January 1, 2011

Greg Tate ~ Conduction & Loops
Maya Azucena, Abby Dobson & Lisala Beatty ~ Voices
Rene Akan, André Lassalle, Ben Tyree, Thom Loubet & Greg Tate ~ Electric Guitars
Jared Michael Nickerson & Michael Veal ~ Electric Basses
Jason DiMatteo ~ Acoustic Bass
Vijay Iyer & Myles Reilly ~ Piano
Bruce Mack ~ Synthesizer & Percussion
Mazz Swift ~ Violin
Meret Koehler, Trevor Holder, Swiss Chris & Qasim Naqvi ~ Drums
Dave “Smoota” Smith ~ Trombone
Lewis “Flip” Barnes ~ Trumpet
Michael Veal ~ Soprano Sax
Micah Gaugh ~ Alto Sax
Harald Kisiedu & Avram Fefer ~ Tenor Sax
Moist” Paula Henderson ~ Bari Sax
Mikel Banks ~ Freak-a-Phone

All music composed by Burnt Sugar Arkestra & Greg Tate.
Except for:
“Libertango”: composed by Astor Piazzola, Lyrics By Nathaly Delon, Barry Reynolds, David Wilkey
“Cold Sweat”: composed by Pee Wee Ellis
“Burning Crosses” : lyrics composed by Greg Tate
“Libertango” : poem recitation by Maya Azucena
“The Guru’s Lover”: poem recitation by Lisa Teasley

Recorded At Peter Karl Studios, Brooklyn NY. 2008-2011
Peter Karl ~ Recording & Mixing Engineer
LaRonda Davis ~ Graphic Design
Greg Tate & Jared Michael Nickerson ~ B.S.I. LLC Executive Producers


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Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber New York, New York

BURNT SUGAR is a neo-tribal thang, aspiring to the condition of all that is molten, glacial, spacial, telepathic.
''A multiracial jam army that freestyles with cool telekinesis between the lustrous menace of Miles Davis’ On The Corner, the slash-and-om of 1970s King Crimson, and Jimi Hendrix’ moonwalk across side three of Electric Ladyland.”- David Fricke, Rolling Stone.
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