Paul The Trombonist: “Journey To The World” – connecting the past, to the present and the future
Paul Nowell aka Paul The Trombonist, a child prodigy who has worked with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Noel Gallagher, Frankie Vallie, 10-time Grammy award-winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, and Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan is set to release his revolutionary jazz and electronic/Hip-Hop album, “Journey To The World” on March 7th, 2017. The 10-track record is a visionary mix of chill electro soul, hip-hop, jazz, and sublime melodic pop. The recording features an all-star cast of Grammy award-winning recording and engineering personnel, including Tom Coyne (Adele, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith), Ryan Gilligan (Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Busta Rhymes), and Steve Genewick (Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson).
“This is an album I feel very passionate about,” says the Los Angeles-based artist. “It draws from all the musical influences I have had in my life. It is really exciting to me that I can finally fuse together these sounds I love so much and incorporate the trombone into a context the world has never heard before. There is something for everyone on this album.”
Speaking to musicians these days, you’ll hear plenty about the common lineage of jazz and hip-hop. Both forms rely on a revolution in rhythmic language, combining voice and rhythm in daring syncopation. So Paul The Trombonist is an interesting case study in how to approach a contemporary jazz career.
His potpourri of sounds and rhythms has the potential to access a wide-ranging audience, putting him alongside other strong jazz/hip-hop crossover artists, except Paul The Trombonist goes much further by bringing even more styles and genre flavors to the table.
But if you’re thinking that you will encounter a mish-mash of sounds bleeding into, and over each other, think again. This side of Paul The Trombonist’s work is extremely focused. And this is mainly due to the fact that this effort is an alternative to many other crossover contemporary artists, in that while Paul experiments with new sounds and techniques, he seems to maintain a deep respect for the musical traditions that he is building on, and from.
Hopefully the accessible textures used to transmit this masterpiece to the ears of those less attuned to pure jazz will open minds to the powerful possibilities of spontaneous composition and emotive epiphany that is only possible when true artists release their talents in a creative tapestry such as “Journey To The World”.
With this album Paul The Trombonist seems to be building access points, range extenders and multiple bridges, connecting the past, to the present and the future, pulling in audiences who are starved for depth in music, and the art it is meant to be. The opening track alone “Enchanted Garden” encases all those qualities with its retro futuristic sounds.
Many artists seem to struggle with a binary choice of honoring the past and alternatively trying to embrace new ideas. Paul The Trombonist seems to transcend this dichotomy with a brilliant synthesis of all of these elements into something that feels old and new at the same time.
Checkout essential songs that go in this direction, such as “Popcorn Butter”, “Light Speed”, “A Very Bright Day” and “Time Traveller”. These tracks are melodic, memorable, structurally complex, and fiercely catchy. There can be no doubt that Paul The Trombonist’s latest labor of love, is an indicator of what 21st century jazz-influenced music can be.