Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gold Fever

As many of you will know, I saw Steely Dan live a month or two ago. Their touring band is smoking hot - three lovely backing singers, a Grand piano, and a four piece horn section all feature. Their trumpet player is Michael Leonhart. He has been with the Dan since 1996, both in the live band and as their arranger, performer, and conductor on Two Against Nature and it's follow-up Everything Must Go. As a solo artist Michael has released six albums. He won a Grammy at the age of 17. He has performed and/or recorded with many acts, including A Tribe Called Quest, Arto Linsday, Bill Frisell, Bill Withers, Brian Eno, Busta Rhymes, Caetano Veloso, David Byrne, Henry Mancini, James Brown, John Barry, Joshua Redman, Lenny Kravitz, Levon Helm, Mark Ronson, Michael McDonald, Mos Def, Todd Rundgren, and Wynton Marsalis. He recorded with Yoko Ono as a featured member of the Plastic Ono Band for her 2009 album Between My Head and the Sky, and appears on upcoming albums by Sharon Jones and the Dapkings, Foreigner, Sean Lennon, and Yuka Honda.

His latest venture is Michael Leonhart & the Avramina 7, a gritty funk combo that records for Brooklyn's Truth & Soul Records - where he has been the house trumpeter for a while. The Avramina 7 is comprised of musicians who have been involved in the New York/Brooklyn funk & soul scene, featuring members of the Dap-Kings, Phenomenal Handclap Band, Budos Band, Menahan Street Band, El Michaels Affair, and Antibalas. Michael plays the trumpet and sings. Their debut 7" single is out now - Scopolamine b/w Gold Fever and Leonhart’s heavy-funk concept album "Seahorse and the Storyteller” comes later this year. Enjoy the swampy breakbeats, horns drenched in reverb, tablas pounding and massed vocals combined with spy theme vamping on Gold Fever. The live takes were recorded earlier this year and show off the band's funky chops. If you live in NYC be sure to check them out Nov 4 & Dec 09 @ Joe’s Pub (both shows @ 9:30pm).

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Michael Leonhart & the Avramina 7 - Gold Fever (via HypeM)
Michael Leonhart & the Avramina 7 - Disco Udaipur Into Scopolamine (Live @ Zebulon, March'09)

1 comment:

drfeelgoed said...

Sorry, but the Gold Fever link only goes to Hypemachine...