TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics in the February 2019 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Major Label Debut From The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Bandleader!
Double LP With Etching!
2019 Grammy Award Nominee:
• Best American Roots Performance: Saint James Infirmary Blues
With Hollywood Africans, Jon Batiste dives deep into his own personal and cultural heritage, weaving an intimate and emotional tapestry out of original material and American standards that carries the listener from the early jazz of New Orleans to the present day. Guiding the acclaimed singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and leader of the group Stay Humansince 2015 the house band of The Late Show with Stephen Colbertwas legendary producer T Bone Burnett, whose numerous accolades include Album of the Year Grammys for the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack and Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.
"The goal was just to collaborate on something that felt authentic to both of us," says Batiste. "What we came up with was an intimate, stripped-down portrait of who I am, and the lineage of musicians and performers who are really vital to my work and to his. On this record, I want us to bop, dance, laugh and cry to the sound of the music while we remember our black heroes and wield the superpowers they left us with. Because of them, I don't have to wear a mask. I get to be who I am."
"Jon's genius lies in his uncanny ability to connect to his audience in a way that arrests the imagination and inspires on a spiritual level. This is clearly evident when one listens to his interpretation of 'What A Wonderful World'. He transforms the song into a meditation that touches the soul. The Verve Label Group is proud to call him family." - Danny Bennett, President and CEO of Verve Label Group
"What a beautiful album. ...it's the warmth and, at times, light-hearted humor with which he cloaks these 11 songs that makes this collection so special - he even transforms "Green Hill Zone", from the Sonic the Hedgehog video game, into a catchy ditty that sits comfortably alongside "Saint James Infirmary Blues". The result recalls the sentimentality of Randy Newman's best work... If you only know Batiste as the bandleader for Stephen Colbert, you've missed out on one of the most intelligent and gifted musicians working today." - Greg Cahill, The Absolute Sound, February 2019
• Double LP
• Etched D-Side
1. Kenner Boogie
2. What A Wonderful World
4. Saint James Infirmary Blues
1. Nocturne No. 1 In D Minor
2. The Very Thought Of You
3. Green Hill Zone
4. Mr. Buddy
1. Is It Over
3. Don't Stop