Mark de Clive-Lowe’s latest album is actually the first of a two-volume set exploring his cultural and musical heritage.
In ‘Heritage’ de Clive-Lowe deep dives into his Japanese heritage; as he states in the liner notes it is about “…questioning the meanings of cultural and ethnic identity, and what that means to me, especially with the art I create.”
Using a band of world-classLos Angeles-based musicians (the affiliations read like a who-is-who of the jazz, electronica, and hip hop worlds) and recorded in LA at The Blue Wale, and NRG Studios by Maximillian Sink, Benjamin Tierney, and Daniel Pampuri, ‘Heritage’ is a fantastic melding of all of de Clive-Lowe’s influences creating traditional Japanese influenced jazz-electronica tunes. While most of the songs are de Clive-Lowe originals (two in collaboration with two of his band members, bassist Brandon Owens and saxophonist/flautist Josh Johnson), he also arranges one traditional Japanese song Akatombo.
While the originals are very much what we would now think of as the de Clive-Lowe oeuvre, the arrangement of Akatombo is a nod back to his acoustic jazz roots of his early performing years on Auckland’s High Street (for those who can recall when it had all the jazz clubs!) as a short solo piano work.
This beautiful album will keep the listener coming back to it time and again as there’s always something new to pick up in each song, and, as always with de Clive-Lowe, the grooves are amazing. I already look forward to hearing the second volume of this set when it comes out.
Whether you’re a long time fan, or are new to his work ‘Heritage’ is an absolute must buy.