New York, September 25 – In the past, jazz artists did not always mix different music styles into their performances but the practice is changing. Jazz critic Scott Yanow said, "I think people will look back at this era as a time when all different styles of jazz were being played." Consider Norman Hedman. His tropical jazz weaves catchy polyrhythmic melodies and hints of R&B that cross breezy island grooves with a Latin jazz flavor. His accessible music defies categorization and is often characterized as Latin Jazz, World, and Latin Soul.
Described as a cross between music from Cal Tjader and Pucho & the Latin Soul Brothers, jazz like Hedman's is beginning to be exploited on the internet. In 48 hours the New York percussionist had over 140 new friends added to his My Space site location. From Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter to Alicia Keys and Jermaine Paul, Hedman's friends demonstrate their interest in his music.
Hedman puts as much creativity into selling, composing and producing his music as he does playing his music. A complete "turnkey" musician with an MBA, Hedman brings a full understanding of the industry to his own business. PowerLight Media, Hedman's label, not only consolidates his collection of music, but adds artists to its catalog. Scott Yanow believes "musicians having their own labels was inevitable. Big labels are all run by giant corporations and there are no longer individuals who are fighting for jazz at those companies. It has become easier for musicians to record their own music." PowerLight Media taps into a niche market that larger companies overlook. Watch for labels to consolidate so consumers can find their music.
Garden of Forbidden Fruit
Consistent with Tropique's five previous releases, Garden of Forbidden Fruit demonstrates a high-level musicianship is accessible to the music masses. With a wide palette of Latin and urban textures, Garden attracts listeners of all ages and genres. Whether you enjoy jazz, pop, R&B or soul, Garden makes you feel good and renews your energy.
Each of Tropique's seven members is at the top of his collective game. The intricate album features Hedman on congas and percussion and blasts off with the traditional Rundadar Dance that sounds easy. If you are looking to energize your soul, Rundadar Dance, Island Spice, and Cuttin Loose are for you. Hedman and Ada Dyer, a backup singer for Sting, combine forces to write Closer for an authentic texture and pace that is reminiscent of the late '60s and early '70s.
Guest vocalists shine on this album. James D-Train Williams brings a warm soulfulness to Angel of the Night, which he and Hedman co-wrote. Dani Stevenson, lead vocalist with Nelly, also conveys soulfulness to the title track co-written by Hedman and Williams. Stevenson's smooth voice compliments Monroe's slap bass and adds a very modern flair to the piece.
Garden delivers everything its cover design promises - the romance of jazz in a blend of urban and tropical island textures. The album is everything one would expect from an accomplished band leader and sideman - tasteful compositions that indulge the listener ears.
About the Artist
A West Indies native, Norman Hedman breaks Latin jazz tradition in Manhattan, while using traditional Latin instruments in non-traditional ways. Although Tropique's rhythmic structure is considered typical Latin, Hedman presents his music with R&B at the core. The percussive parts continue to carry a traditional approach to tropical music with a Latin flavor. This unconventional fusion of multi-cultural rhythmic structures earns broad appreciation. Hedman brings his use of Afro-Latin idioms together with a fresh twist of his native Jamaican heritage. He fuses high-energy Latin jazz with rhythmic and harmonic influences from Africa and the Indies to capture the essence of paradise. Combining top jazz stars, veteran percussionists, and up-and-coming featured performers, Norman Hedman's Tropique clearly sets the Latin jazz band standard in exciting performances and ground breaking recordings.
International CD Release
Starry Nights, the enormously popular series of live jazz performances presented the first Friday of every month, continues at the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space. The series features renowned jazz musicians performingt in one of the most spectacular settings in New York. Visitors to Starry Nights can enjoy mouth watering tapas along with wine and other beverages during performances. Norman Hedman is the only artist to return six consecutive years, and his 7:30 p.m. performance will be broadcast live on WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM. The Museum's suggested admission of $14.00 for adults, $10.50 for students and seniors, and $8.00 for children covers entry to the Museum and Starry Nights concert.
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM Interview
Gary Walker & Norman Hedman
Friday, October 6, 2006
American Museum of Natural History
Rose Center for Earth and Space
Central Park West & 79th Streeet
6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM Broadcasts Live
Starry Nights Series
$8 - $14 Concert & Museum