Sunday, October 21, 2007

Experience The Harlem Experiment

"History is too often told from a very narrow perspective. Ironically, this tendency inevitably dilutes and diminishes the reality it sought to represent in the first place. In America, these divisions typically fall along racial and ethnic lines. Perhaps no place has been subjected to this monomania more consistently than Harlem. The original village of Harlem was established by Dutch settlers in 1658. 244 years later, it had become a haven for a burgeoning immigrant Jewish community and fifty years later, it was home to an overwhelming African-American and Puerto Rican population.

These tectonic shifts are essential to telling the full story of this remarkable neighborhood. Whether it was the Harlem Renaissance of the 20's to Yiddish theatre at the dawn of the 20th century or the Puerto Rican social clubs of the 40's the kaleidoscope of Harlem is one that defies easy categorization."

-from the liner notes to The Harlem Experiment

Try bringing together a hundred years of audio cultural history into one CD. That's the ambitious goal of The Harlem Experiment, the third in a series of projects by the label Ropeadope to bring the past and present together into a musical archaeological spectrum.

The nucleus of the album is the Harlem Experiment House Band, which features Carlos Alomar (guitar,David Bowie), Eddy Martinez (keys, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Run D.M.C.), Steven Bernstein (trumpet, Sex Mob), Steve Berrios (drums, Chick Corea), Don Byron (clarinet, The Klezmatics, Vernon Reid) and Ruben Rodriguez (bass, Tito Puente). The members put their combined skills and experience together to produce an album that embraces and celebrates all of the musical heritage that Harlem is built on: jazz, hip-hop, funk, Latin rhythms, and Yiddish folk songs. Put them all together in the melting pot that is Harlem, and you have a recipe that produces the unique flavor of Harlem. Look for the album on October 30th. In the meantime, enjoy the following:

the Harlem Experiment House Band - One for Jackie : The Harlem Experiment

the Harlem Experiment House Band - One for Malcom (feat. Malcolm X)
: The Harlem Experiment

Visit the official site


Sam Cooke - Cupid : One Night Stand: Live at the Harlem Square Club

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - Stompin' at the Savoy : The Complete Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong on Verve

James Brown - I'll Go Crazy : Live At The Apollo

Cab Calloway - Tarzan of Harlem
: Are You Hep To The Jive?

Langston Hughes - Too Blue : Voices of Black America


Music Snob said...

I'm so glad that someone is blogging about this project. What excellent music, and what an innovative way to help people listen and learn!

BTW: I love the High Fidelity quote. John Cusack is the man!

-Music Snob

AC@44 said...

Thanks for letting me know about this project ... some of what is on the album is my wifes favorite music. I hear Christmas Gift.

Thanks again

Sean said...

I'm glad everyone is enjoying this album as much as I am. I can't wait to check out the two previous discs in the project (Philadelphia and Detroit).