Grammy-winning pianist/keyboardist Shaun Martin (Snarky Puppy, Erykah Badu, Chaka Khan) has just released his first album as a leader, 7 Summers, on Ropeadope records.
On “The Yellow Jacket”, Martin and his band — Keith Taylor on bass, Frank Moka on percussion, and Robert “Sput” Searight on drums — energetically conjure a varied and infectious groove. Seamlessly weaving uplifting melodies reminiscent of gospel and the harmonic ambiguity and emotional conflict of modern jazz, Martin plays with a profound sense of intention. His solo builds masterfully, beginning with just a few quiet and perfectly voiced chords before a driving and restrained ascent to recap the head of the tune with even more energy. The closeness of the group dynamic is palpable as they progress through the remainder of the tune, confidently moving as a single musical unit to a satisfying conclusion.
Check out the video, directed by Andy LaViolette, below.