One Track Mind: Zo!, ManMade via The Washington City Paper

Source: Washington City Paper
Author: Marcus Moore

One Track Mind: Zo!, ManMade

Standout Track: No. 11, “Body Rock,” an eight-minute slow burner that sounds borrowed from Prince’s sex-ballad songbook. Over light piano and drum taps, Sy Smith gently coos, “I don’t need another love, you make my body rock.” It’s the final track on Lorenzo “Zo!” Ferguson’s new album, ManMade, which finds the Silver Spring composer experimenting with dance music, varied time signatures, and traditional soul.

Musical Motivation: Zo! wanted to create an ode to ’90s R&B. He chose Sy Smith for the vocals after conferring with collaborator Phonte Coleman, frontman of the North Carolina-based Foreign Exchange, who wrote the lyrics. ManMade is Zo!’s first album as a full-time musician; the Detroit native made his last one, the 2010 LP SunStorm, while teaching music at Rock Creek Academy in Van Ness. “I had more time to give to this album,” Zo! says. “That gave me more time to push the creative envelope.”

On the Grind: “Body Rock” is an “adult-time joint,” says Zo! “When you wanna have your quiet time with your significant other, you don’t wanna hip-hop ’em to death, you wanna slow grind,” he says. “That’s what we’re giving them with this record.”


Questlove/The Foreign Exchange/Zo!/Carlitta Durand EXCLUSIVE!

Let’s get down to business immediately… I want to drop something new on y’all today. The night before our vacation to Bermuda a couple weeks ago, Phonte hit me up at about 1am and passed me this joint to play on. He was telling me that Questlove had flipped Prince’s “Take Me With You” and that he and Carlitta Durand also did their own take on the lyrics…. Dope. I sent my parts back, Nicolay finished it up while we were gone and now we have a 5-person collaborative effort in tribute to the living legend himself….

PURPLE FLIP [right click and save to download MP3 file]

Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson– Drums, Samples

Nicolay– Fender Rhodes, acoustic piano

Zo!– Moog synth, additional rhodes

Phonte and Carlitta Durand– Vocals

This is the first in a series of random goodies that we will be periodically dropping off in your mailboxes. (Who loves ya, baby?)

We recorded this over a month ago specifically for a ?uestlove tribute party dedicated to The Purple One himself. Other than passing it off to a few DJ friends who vowed to keep it on some secret squirrel, “bet you aint up on THIS!” status, no one has ever heard it. In the wake of the incredible loss we suffered on June 25 however, this joint took on somewhat of a deeper meaning.

We decided to share it with our fans not only as a token of appreciation, but also as a way of paying respect to one of our last living musical geniuses.

Let’s not wait until tragedy strikes before we show love and gratitude to our heroes, people. Give them their flowers while they live.

This one’s for you, Mr. Nelson. You are loved and appreciated.


One Love,

‘Tay and Nic

Enjoy this one!…