This album is full of some of the best musicians in the world.
Playing deep Jazz cords, lushly soulful, joy-infused sounds, mixed with dark sardonic lyrics about the duplicitous madness infused New York City and our crazy US life. Harmonically complex, sweetly challenging, not just another “fusion” record. “Upscale Madhouse” is strewn with gorgeous phrasing and smoothly finished subversive, questioning lyrics.
Gideon King is not your usual musician, a successful banker from Wall Street, he served his time on the musical scene learning from the likes of John Scofield and members of Steely Dan…and it shows.
But it’s not all about the instrumentation. As a singer myself, I was pretty thrilled at how highly placed the vocals were in the tracks. Sure there are some syncopated, lovingly produced solos. Guitar, keys, sax, etc. But Gideon is an excellent lyricist and he clearly values a beautiful voice telling an emotional tale. I can hear layers of Pat Metheny and John Mayer, but there’s also a bit of Pink Floyd in there as well and definitely some Stevie Wonder, all of which are never a bad thing!
Gideon King is not a spring chicken and after a good many years of musical absorption and selective influence what comes together in “Upscale Madhouse” is a record full of the history of his journey to get there. It’s full of melancholy and longing, there’s also quite a lot of cynicism and anger as well, which is interesting in sounds so smooth and melodic. But there’s also joy and hope and a real depth of reverence to the craft of every song. King produced this himself and you can feel how gently and very specifically crafted each track is. He gives every musician a lot of space to play and find their moments and the result feels almost like live recording…it’s that honest.
This kind of jazz/soul/rock fusion isn’t for everyone, but when it’s this good and populated by these incredible musicians it’s hard to put in the “elevator” category. Give it a listen, let it breathe a bit and it might just become part of your regular rotation…I’d love to see them perform it live, maybe next time I’m in New York!
Artist Contact: email@example.com
Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist Name: Gideon King & City Blog
Release Name: Upscale Madhouse
Release Date: Oct 19, 2018
Producer: Gideon King
- Going Straight to Hell 2. Upscale Madhouse 3. Broken & Beautiful 4. Fake it on Facebook 5. Love you Love you Love you 6. Gun to My Head 7. For Your Own Sake 8. So Evolved 9. God, I’m So Alone 10. Look Ma No Hands
These are musicians ON THE RECORD: Conrad Sewell, Elliott Skinner, Marc Broussard, John Scofield, Donny Mccaslin, Carolyn Leonhart, Brendan Fletcher, Grace Weber, James Genus, Kate Kelsey Sugg,