Support 88Nine And This Artist:
is the solo project of studio hand and expressive songwriter Gabriel René
The son of a West Coast jazzman, René listened to much jazz-funk and soul while growing up. His first direct musical experience came in 1995, when he formed Soulstice
(with Andy Caldwell
), a San Francisco band that blended programmed house with the live feel of acid jazz.
The group released an album on the Om label (Illusion
), and René began writing songs for a solo project. He was then signed to the like-minded label Naked Music
, which specializes in a fusion of jazz, funk, and house. For his Aquanote
debut, 2002's The Pearl
, René called on an array of musician contacts he'd made around San Francisco, as well as a half-dozen female vocalists.