"Authentic, cosmic jazz-funk that pays tribute to the past while pushing it into the present." - Adrian Quesada, Black Pumas (Musician, Producer/Engineer, Digger)
Eastwood Music Group proudly presents Wasafiri, a jazz trip tapping into the roots of decades of creative genius and the evolution of jazz fusion.
A mutual passion for crate-digging and collecting soul/funk/jazz records led executive producers Luke Sardello and Skin Wade to develop a concept for a modern fusion project, reminiscent of the 70s funk jazz explorations they’d find while sifting through old stacks of vinyl 30 years ago. They imagined a record that would sate one’s appetite for jazz improvisation and composition, while also scratching the itch for the grooves and samples historically sought after by producers and pioneers of hip-hop, house, and acid jazz.
In search of the right fit to articulate the concept, Sardello and Wade found a kindred spirit in bassist/composer Max Gerl, who, despite his youth, was well-versed in the seminal recordings and musicians of that era. Armed with the advice of his mentor, Stanley Clarke, a living legend and one of the original creators of the jazz fusion idiom, Gerl enlisted other young jazz lions that knew their history, but also grew up immersed in a world of sample-inspired electronic music.
In order to properly cop the right vibe, the group set up camp at Klearlight Studio in Dallas, Texas – a spot known for its assortment of vintage analog gear. It would afford them the opportunity to employ some of the original tools that Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul and Chick Corea used some 50 years prior – all recorded through an Auditronics 501 console that had once resided at the famed Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco – the same studio where Herbie Hancock recorded Mwandishi, Head Hunters and Sextant in the early 70's. This record is the result of those sessions - Wasafiri’s maiden voyage through past, present, and future. It honors jazz fusion throughout the decades while charting its own course into new territories. This is for the heads.
This is Klearlight.
“...A tremendous outing for bassist Max Gerl. Of all the young bassists who have arrived onto the music scene in the last 5-10 years, he is one of my favorites. This is a strong record and it should be embraced." - Jazz Legend Stanley Clarke
About the Producer:
Max Gerl is a bassist/composer/producer from Dallas, Texas. An alum of the storied music program at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Max proceeded to graduate with honors from Berklee College of Music in 2017. Since then, he has performed internationally at the Monterey Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, amongst others.
He has performed or recorded with a stellar array of artists, including Grammy winner and jazz legend Arturo Sandoval; Emily Bear; James Francies; Jordan Rakei; Talib Kweli; Blaque Dynamite; Makaya McCraven; Tia Fuller; Sasha Berliner; Bernard Wright; Chris Cheek; Beka Gochiashvili; Stanley Clarke; and Cameron Graves.
Max’s December 2019 album Tbilisi was immediately celebrated as a promising debut for the musician as a leader and producer. Aside from spearheading the Wasafiri project for Eastwood, he is also recording a solo upright bass album for New York-based JMI Records and has plans with Eastwood for a follow up to Tbilisi.
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