Music is a great and powerful connector. There’s nothing quite like hearing the palpable and electric connection between musicians in an inspired performance or feeling an intrinsic connection to a song that causes your emotions to take flight. Making that connection happen on his new recording is acclaimed Canadian pianist and singer Michael Kaeshammer with live-off-the-floor performances on his joyful and inspired new album The Warehouse Sessions set for world-wide release on Oct. 7.
A delectable concoction of funky soul, gospel revival and rollicking boogie-woogie, The Warehouse Sessions showcases the fine-tuned prowess of a trio that has spent countless hours together on stage and off, honing their musical connection. Not wanting that connection to dissipate, Kaeshammer, bassist David Piltch and drummer Johnny Vidacovich gathered at Bryan Adams’ famed Warehouse Studio in Vancouver to capture their unique symbioses together in more permanent form.
A lost-in-the-moment capture of the multi-Juno and WCMA winner and his hot trio, the punchy lead-off single You’ve Got It In Your Soulness is a lovingly reverent but progressive take on the Les McCann jazz-soul song that first appeared on McCann’s and trumpet player Eddie Harris’s 1969 Grammy nominated live album Swiss Movement.
“The concept was simple,” reflects Kaeshammer. “Let’s call a tune and then, let’s record it. These are all first takes, loose and energetic.”
That approach has made The Warehouse Sessions a collection that is imbued with an immediacy and excitement that’s apparent from the first notes of You’ve Got It In Your Soulness, through the trio’s engaging takes on other classics like Ain’t She Sweet, Down By The Riverside and Bourbon Street Parade. A mélange of styles masterfully conveyed is a hallmark of Kaeshammer’s versatility and inclusive approach to making music. Throughout decades as a professional performer first in Germany and then Canada after making Vancouver Island his family home, Kaeshammer has interwoven elements of classical, jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, stride, and even pop into his signature brand of music.
“When I play, I don’t worry about if it’s jazz or pop or classical or whatever; I just play what I hear and let the music decide what it wants to be,” he explains. “Sure, there are different styles, different eras, different approaches, but when you really look at it, it’s all just music based on 12 notes.”
Sure, you can always distill music down to those 12 simple notes but, the wondrous art you can build them into is the magic. On The Warehouse Sessions and all the music he’s released since his 1996 debut album Blue Keys, Kaeshammer displays his keen handle on creating that art for all of us to enjoy. He’s definitely got it in his soulness.
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