The third +FE Music release from producer, multi-instrumentalist, and musical director of The Foreign Exchange, Zo!.
The 10 song collection features guest appearances from Eric Roberson, Phonte, Muhsinah, innovative UK soul wonder Dornik, and longtime Dungeon Family affiliate and funk/rock veteran Joi.
01. Lake Erie feat. Sy Smith
02. Starlight feat. Phonte
03. Packing For Chicago feat. Muhsinah
04. I Don’t Mind feat. Shana Tucker
05. Wishing You Well feat. Carmen Rodgers
06. A Season feat. Eric Roberson
07. Just Whatcha Like feat. Joi
08. Lifelines feat. Dornik
09. For Pops
10. Steal My Joy feat. Tamisha Waden
SkyBreak followed ManMade by almost exactly three years. During the intervening period, Lorenzo Ferguson assisted in the making of two Foreign Exchange albums, served as that group’s musical director, and contributed to releases from the 1978ers, Talib Kweli, Sy Smith, and fellow Detroit nativesJamall Bufford and Collective Peace. As on ManMade and the preceding SunStorm, the multi-instrumentalist works tightly with production and songwriting partner Phonte, who is among nine featured vocalists. Most of them are familiar to FE-related sessions and are also credited as composers, fitting into the album’s scheme — uplifted views of flings, falling in, out, and back in love — without lending it a muddled mixtape quality. Likewise, Ferguson and company continue to evangelize, with a modern perspective, late-’70s to early-’80s sophisticated funk and soul. Even with its pair of Phonte rap verses, including a slightly lewd smash-and-grab job pulled on “I Don’t Mind,” the album has much more in common with Rufus & Chaka‘s Masterjam or an Earth, Wind & Fire satellite project than it does with any given post-1983 commercial R&B recording. A couple voices previously unheard on a Zo!release arrive consecutively during the second, superior half. Undersung veteran Joi Gilliam lures on the frisky “Just Whatcha Like,” trailed by “Lifelines,” on which U.K. up-and-comer Dornik sings of romantic salvation with a DeBarge-like hushed sweetness. Another detail that separates this from previous Zo! output is the bounty of burbling synthesizers. As prominent as the thick bass guitar lines, they reinforce several songs. They’re deployed to most pleasurable effect on the Muhsinah-led “Packing for Chicago,” where Ferguson‘s keyboard makes Stevie Wonder-type low-end streaks that swim through steady percussion reminiscent of Herbie Hancock‘s similarly expectant “Come Running to Me.” Filled out with an instrumental dedication to Ferguson‘s father, who passed away during the album’s creation, SkyBreak is another step forward. Ferguson doesn’t allow his expanding knowledge and ability to overshadow his personal touch.
SoulBounce Listening Lounge:
Zo! SkyBreak Release Celebration & Day Party
Sunday, May 22, 2016 – Silver Spring, MD
Kaldi’s Social House
918 Silver Spring Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910 | (301) 557-9991
Doors: 3 – 6:30p BUY TICKETS
via SoulBounce.com All DMV Bouncers are invited to join us in celebrating the release of Zo!’s new album at the SoulBounce Listening Lounge from 3 – 6:30 p.m. Come through to listen to SkyBreak and hear Zo! break it down during a candid and comical Q&A, lounge on the new rooftop deck at Kaldi’s Social House in Silver Spring, MD and let your soul bounce to sounds by DJ Stylus – The Vibe Conductor as he expertly moves the crowd at the day party. Zo! will meet and greet everyone, autograph their CDs and take photos to commemorate the occasion and document it on social media.
Attendees can sip on signature cocktails featuring Chairman’s Reserve rum, or make other selections from the full bar and nibble on items from the food menu.VIP Tickets are $25 and include a copy of Zo!’s SkyBreak CD, guaranteed seating and a VIP gift bag. General Admission Tickets are $15 and include a copy of Zo!’s SkyBreak CD. VIP and General Admission tickets are on sale now at Eventbrite.
If you’re in the DMV area and a fan of Zo! and his impressive body of work, then we expect to see your face in the place on Sunday, May 22nd at Kaldi’s Social House for the Zo! SkyBreak Release Celebration & Day Party.