Garrett Harris 6 a.m., Jan. 18
Sound description: Nu-jazz and hip-spoken-word by which to funk, bop, and rock 'til ya drop.
RIYL: Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, Michael Wolff, Larry Coryell
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Inception: Oceanside, 2010
Influences: Gil Scott-Heron, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Miles Davis
"I was born in San Francisco, with strong family ties to the Bronx and Brooklyn, New York," says singer/spoken word artist Tony Adamo. A former radio announcer at KPLS radio Santa Rosa, he started his music career in rock and jazz bands. "Up until my time in the U.S. Navy, I never really thought about being a spoken word artist," he says
During a recording session at a studio in Half Moon Bay, CA, "The producer, who was playing with Cold Blood at the time, arranged for Mic Gillette and Skip Mesquite, Tower of Power original members, to record with me. We became fast friends and he later introduced me to Stephen 'Doc' Kupka, co-founder of Tower of Power and owner of Strokeland Records."
"Over the next few years, Doc, Mic, Skip, and Tom Politzer recorded on my early CDs, with Mic Gillette
writing horn arrangements." With producer/guitarist Jerry Stucker, Adamo recorded his own arrangements of songs by Tower of Power, including “Soul Vaccination,” “What Is Hip,” and “This Time It’s Real.”
His 2013 full-length Miles of Blu (Random Act Records) was produced by his drummer on “Soul Vaccination,” Mike Clark (Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters). "My producer at the time called in Mike, who had recorded on many of my previous songs, to do 'Soul Vaccination.; The day before, I had laid down a vocal spoken word track and was very hip to the fact that Mike Clark could bring out the
groove that I needed to my lyrics."
"Mike laid down a couple of screamin’ drum tracks that he felt were some of his best ever. My producer was not satisfied with what Clark was doing and asked him to do many other takes. After that session, I realized Mike was the producer I needed for my vocal hip-hop spoken word."
Mixed by Tim Ouimette, Miles of Blu features guest Headhunters Bill Summers (percussion), Rob Dixon (horns), Richie Goods (bass), and Derrick Gardner (trumpet). “It’s a really new concept,” says Adamo of the music. “Oakland funk and New York throwdown meets vocal/hip-hop spoken word.”
His album Tony Adamo & the New York Crew was released in 2015.