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It’s shaping up to be a stellar year for celebrated New Orleans outfit Galactic. In 2010 the band released their groundbreaking new album Ya-Ka-May a visionary mix, intertwining New Orleans sounds from jazz to brass band to funk to bounce and far beyond. With this release, the five-man group comprised of drummer Stanton Moore, bassist Robert Mercurio, saxophonist/harmonica player Ben Ellman, keyboardist Richard Vogel, and guitarist Jeff Raines – reaffirms their status as the quintessential modern day New Orleans band and one of the funkiest outfits in the known universe.
Ya-Ka-May features all-new material generated by the band in collaboration with a stellar series of New Orleans guests, who range from iconic figures of the 1960s to the younger veterans to the underground. These invitees appear here outside their normal contexts and away from the sound you might typically associate with them, like putting a picture in a different frame. Guaranteed you know some of their names, but it’s unlikely that you know them all, even if you live in New Orleans. At first listen you’re bound to discover scorching talents from the worlds of music you know – jazz, brass bands, r&b, gospel, rock – and one you may not have encountered before: bounce.
Being immersed in all the various New Orleans music scenes, Galactic are in a unique position to bring them all together. On Ya-Ka-May (to be released Feb 9th, 2010 on Anti-), they have powerfully connected these genres, illuminating how they are all part of one distinct musical continuum. The album features established legends such as the Rebirth Brass Band, Irma Thomas, Big Chief Bo Dollis, Allen Toussaint, Trombone Shorty and Corey Henry, John Boutté, Josh Cohen and Scully, Glen David Andrews, and Walter “Wolfman” Washington alongside groundbreaking new “Bounce” artists like Cheeky Blakk, Big Freedia, Katey Red, and Sissy Nobby,. The end result is New Orleans like it’s meant to be heard, and pure Galactic.
(2) The New Orleans-based jazz-funk ensemble Galactic formed in 1994; originally an eight-piece, the group soon pared down to an instrumental sextet comprised of guitarist Jeff Raines, organist Rich Vogel, bassist Robert Mercurio, saxophonists Ben Ellman and Jason Mingledorff, and drummer Stanton Moore. Later adding Crescent City music scene vet Theryl deClouet on vocals, Galactic built a fervent local following on the strength of a relentless live schedule that included opening slots for group heroes including the Meters, Maceo Parker, and Medeski, Martin & Wood. In 1996 Galactic issued their debut LP, Coolin' Off; upon signing to major-label Capricorn, they re-released the album two years later, soon followed by the all-new Crazyhorse Mongoose. Since that time, they have released a handful of albums including Late for the Future in 2000, Ruckus in 2003, and From the Corner to the Block in 2007. The band itself released a pair of live albums of its sets at Jazz Fest in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 they issued their most ambitious project to date with Ya-Ka-May, a wholesale New Orleans recording featuring guest appearances by everyone from Irma Thomas and Big Chief Bo Dollis to the Rebirth Brass Band and Walter "Wolfman" Washington. Galactic decided to explore the various connections between New Orleans' annual Mardi Gras and the nearly nationwide Carnivale of Brazil. Carnivale Electricos did exactly that. Enlisting help from Cyril and Ivan Neville, rappers Mystikal and Mannie Fresh, Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Juan Pardo, the KIPP Renaissance High School Marching Band, and Al "Carnival Time" Johnson. Galactic stretched itself toward Brazil's native samba by covering Carlinhos Brown's "Malagenha." They composed two tunes that bridged the continents: "Guero Bounce," fusing NOLA bounce and Brazilian rhythms, and "Julou," titled for the band's own outsider Mardis Gras parade. They also include the traditional Carnivale number "O Côco da Galinha" with the help of samba poet Moyseis Marques on vocals. Carnivale Electricos was issued on Mardis Gras Day in 2012. ~ Jason Ankeny & Thom Jurek, Rovi Read more on Last.fm
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