For those who have been closely following the young trajectory of Yoruba Soul Records, the name Jesse Gannon will already sound familiar. For the uninitiated, welcome to the world of one of St. Louis’ hidden musical gems. When Jesse Gannon released his Yoruba Soul debut last year (YSR004), it was clear that the single merely served as a teaser to some of the work Gannon had completed. The time has finally come to share that work with the world.
The self-titled EP from Gannon is an expansion of what we previously experienced on his last single. Not only do we finally get the full-length versions of “Dr. Spin (Thrust)” and “Take Your Time” we also get a much more complete vision of Gannon’s nu-soul-funk-jazz.
“Whatever” leads off the proceedings with a beautiful piano intro by Gannon and then gets into (dare-I-say) drum and bass territory with Dhoruba Shakur bringing the explosiveness on the drums. The juxtaposition of the urgency of Shakur and the calm and collective coolness of the rest of the rhythm section it’s the perfect segue way to Gannon’s vocals…. “Living in luxury ...whatever. Nothin in front of me, but everything”. For Gannon, this piece serves a coping mechanism for failure. Or perceived failure, to not allow ourselves to be shackled by things society expect from us, to not give up, but to know how to pick your battles, and to adjust.
A constant in Gannon’s music has been its search for truth. Another constant is needing to escape certain realizations about society and our current state on earth. “Dr. Spin” is a midtempo groove that certainly questions the nature of our reality and who is really pulling the strings affecting us on the daily. “Ecstasy” urges the escape of that reality through pure and unadulterated human connection.
“Eye To Eye” is a beautiful lament on a relationship that’s not currently in the jubilance that Gannon had just previously described. A multi-faceted arrangement which climaxes with Pete Lombardo’s soaring guitar solo, once the dust settles, Dhoruba Shakur gets serious on the breakdown with some J Dilla drumming vocabulary, and the band finding a groove reminiscent of classic Robert Glasper.
The EP ends with the complete three-part version of “Take Your Time.” This version was totally worth the wait and it is the perfect conclusion to another wonderful addition to the Yoruba Soul cannon. Don’t rush, just take your time with this one.
released January 29, 2019
Recorded and Mixed @ Sherpa Studio by Brian Ryback. St Louis
Bass: Theodore Brookins, Drums: Dhoruba Shakur, Piano, Rhodes,
Vocals, Synth: Jesse Gannon
Dr.Spin (Thrust) Feat Thelonious Kryptonite (6:03)
Recorded and Engineered by Andrew Stephen at Eighfold Studios, Saint Louis
Jesse Gannon: Fender Rhodes, Vocals, Lyrics, Production, Horn arrangement, Synth
Teddy Brookins: Bass, Jharis Yokley: Drums, Kwanae Johnson: Alto Sax, Flute, Kyle Allen: Flugelhorn, Trumpet, Background Vocals: Gypsy Brown & Zelina Star
Recorded, mixed by Andrew Stephen at Eightfold Studio in St. Louis
Bass: Theodore Brookins, Drums: Dhoruba Shakur, Trumpet: Danny Campbell, Alto Saxophone: Kwanae Johnson, Drum Programming: Andrew Stephen, Vocals, Piano Rhodes/Synth: Jesse Gannon
Eye To Eye (9:47)
Written/produced/arranged by Jesse Gannon
Tracked and Mixed at Sherpa Studio in St. Louis, MO By Brian Ryback
Bass: Theodore Brookins, Drums: Dhoruba Shakur, Guitar: Pete Lombardo, Piano, Rhodes, Synth, vox: JesseGannon
Take Your Time (8:53)
Recorded and Mixed by Brian Ryback at Sherpa Studio
Musicians: Freddy Spencer: drums, Teddy Brookins: electric bass, Bob Deboo: bass viol, Pete Lombardo: guitar, Danny Campbell: trumpet, Jesse Gannon: Fender Rhodes, vocals, horn arrangement
Mastered by Wes Osborne
Label Manager: Colin Boardway
Executive Producer: Osunlade
This had been sitting in my cart for a while and it was the First Nations Bushfire Donation that really pushed the sale. Thank you Brownswood for highlighting Australian peoples' needs and their music! Matty Stanbrook
Great album beginning to end. Featured selections from it during my weekly broadcast show on WPFW 89.3FM community radio to well received listeners. Definitely will be in rotation both during my radio show as well as in my DJ gigs. Aphrosoul