In the spring of 2015, Zo!, Carmen Rodgers and Sy Smith came together as an underground soul power trio, playing live shows on the west coast for a stint they called the “California Love Tour”. Director Shawn Carter Peterson filmed the Los Angeles performance and created a beautiful long play video/short film, capturing the trio’s musical mastery and camaraderie in this presentation of three captivating singles from the show. Sy playfully flaunts her quick-paced scatting chops on “Personal Paradise”, Carmen drips with honey-coated cooing on “It’s Me”, and Zo! shows off his piano virtuosity with “Flight Of The Blackbyrd”. The acoustic set exhibits a beautiful simplicity of instrumentation; just piano (Zo!), upright bass (Maurice Ellis) and drums (Stacey Lamont Sydnor) which makes plenty of sonic room to experience the tunes stripped all the way down. And just like the human form, these tunes are even better naked.
There are only two rules I have for watching this new video:
1. Leave your cool at the door…
2. HAVE SOME FUN.
The day before this video shoot, I was catching up with Eric Roberson in the car where we had the heat blasting as it was cold as shit outside (of course with today’s ‘Polar Vortex’, it probably seems like nothing now). Anyway, as we were talking… almost in mid-sentence Erro stops and said, “Hol’lup, we’re shooting (the video) outside tomorrow?” …To which I responded, “Yeah.” It was supposed to be 30-35 degrees (F) in the morning and top off at about 40 in the afternoon. We all met up at around 7:30a the next morning, threw a couple of dance moves together, looked at each other like, “It’s cold as hell, but we’re out here… Let’s have some damn fun.” And that is EXACTLY what happened…. Enjoy!!!
Zo! “We Are On The Move” featuring Eric Roberson & Phonte (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
Directed by: Kenneth Price
Back in April, I received an email basically out of the blue from Gene Avery Hogsett asking me about doing a show in Vegas. I had NO idea after setting everything up with him that come July, I would not only play the show, but leave Las Vegas with a day named in my honor AND enough video footage for Suite Sessions to put together an excellent 44 minute documentary about my activities while the crew and I were in town. Now, y’all have to understand… I am a documentary FANATIC. With THAT being said, to be the subject of one that I enjoyed watching is HUGE for me…
This is my first, so you all enjoy!
Zo! – Keyboards Carmen Rodgers – Vocals Zach Cutler – Guitar Darion Alexander – Bass Tim Scott Jr. – Drums LaDarrel “Saxappeal” Johnson – Saxophone
I’ll just start by saying that I love this clip. Rarely do I watch a performance of ours without heavily critiquing it, but this one I can actually sit and enjoy. This entire show was just… FUN. I wish there was more footage available on the net from it. The band that assembled to play with Sy Smith and I that night was incredible, the crowd was ridiculous and showed BIG love after the show. What better way to begin the “Time Rewind” series than with this particular video…. Love to Paris! I’m ready to go back…
Bobby Caldwell’s “Open Your Eyes” is a joint that I’ve always enjoyed. Common and Dilla put their spin on it when they introduced us to “The Light” and it has since become a very well recognizable song, especially when the second verse comes in with “There are tiiiiiiimes…..”
The chord changes are beautiful and I have been working with the music for a few days now… even worked in a “hand separation” drill at the end of it where my left hand does something consistent and my right hand solos. I finally got the nerve up to record myself… I think it came out ok.
I thought it would be fun to record myself laying down the first layer of talkbox vocals for The Foreign Exchange’s “Don’t Wait” track from their album Authenticity. This didn’t end up being the final take, but it’s very close… Those of you who have played around on the talkbox before can truly understand the musicianship and craft of the late Roger Troutman. He did this for a LIVING. Wow… Huge respect, and enjoy!