Tuesday, March 3, 2009

John Novello redefines the Hammond B3 soul

Hammond B3 Legend Novello Redefines the Groove in B3 Soul with Multi-Platinum Songwriter/Producer Andy Goldmark

Legendary Niacin band member and Hammond B3 player John Novello joined forces with nuGroove Records for the release of B3 Soul in conjunction with the NoGo label. B3 Soul is co-produced by the multiplatinum songwriter/producer Andy Goldmark. The first single to be released to radio in March 2009 is "Feelin' the Beat."

If fences were responsible for the demise of the old West, some might say that genre categories did the same thing to modern music. In order to release a new CD to the market, it has to be labeled by style. However, sometimes you meet an artist that defies this logic and reasoning. As the fuses of your mind are blown, the music takes you to another place and you’re forced to reconcile the very existence of everything you know. Such is the story of Hammond B3 player John Novello.

It would be an injustice to John Novello to try and compress a biography of his creative travels into just one page. Fans in fusion circles will be aware of his huge body of work with Niacin. Made up of Novello, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Dennis Chambers, Niacin is a trio that has remained a defining figure in progressive jazz rock. Originally on Chick Corea’s Stretch label in the 90s, Niacin’s experiential influence on modern musicianship can be compared to the shock wave created by Herbie Hancock in the 70s with sonic surrealism.

After years of working on various projects as both a musician and educator (including the widely recognized and utilized textbook collection published by Hal Leonard entitled The Contemporary Keyboardist), the story of the man, the music and the groove has come full circle with his latest solo release, B3 Soul. Released on the NuGroove/NoGo label, the music of B3 Soul infuses old-school jazz with hip hop into a mix unlike anything smooth soul jazz listeners have heard before. However, fans that have witnessed the progression of Novello’s music will understand that B3 Soul is indeed a “return home” for this musician that was nursed on blues and soul jazz.
The pocket vibe synonymous with Niacin reigns supreme with the funkadelic compositions of B3 Soul. “B3 Soul is the impetus of Niacin. Niacin was a morph from my roots,” explained Novello, “I’ve played lots of music and important projects and what is important to me is my roots. This project is me returning back to those roots. Besides, I love playing ‘feel good’ music which touches the listener's soul," said Novello.

Novello didn’t set out to purposefully create a soul jazz sound with B3 Soul. It was his work with his friend and multi-platinum songwriter/producer Andy Goldmark that gave birth to the funky vibes on the tracks. Novello recorded the arrangements for the twelve originals and three covers, including a special guest appearance by Eric Marienthal on “Apologize” and Bill Sharpe on bass in “Feelin’ the Beat.” Then, Goldmark enhanced the mood and arangements by layering in segments like Jevon McGlory’s rap to “The Message 2008.” (Goldmark has worked with artists such as Al Green, Elton John, Patti LaBelle, Pointer Sisters, and Carly Simon to name a few.)

Although a consummate and prolific artist always experimenting with new musical ideas, Novello is inspired by his new collaboration with Andy Goldmark and is looking forward to promoting his new CD, B3 Soul, and bringing its groove to his fans! The release of B3 Soul marks yet another chapter in the life of this great musician. Novello looks forward to touring B3 Soul with an all-star band.

Sample the music: (click for mp3 snippet link)
"Feelin' the Beat" (single)
B3 Soul (title track)
"Show Me the Honey"

Check out this hot video from groove-meister John Novello

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