After a thirteen year break, Jing Chi, the groovin’ blues fusion powerhouse featuring guitarist Robben Ford, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta deliver their incredible 4th record for Tone Center, Supremo, produced by Jimmy Haslip and co-produced by Robben Ford. Ford’s solo career and other collaborations, together with Colaiuta and Haslip’s demand as top LA session players, have more than kept the guys busyin the interim. However, when the opportunity arose to get together once again and make some great music, each player brought his A-Game to the table and the result is nothing short of a collaborative masterpiece that breaks new musical ground for this stunning trio.
The Tone Center label’s mission has been to place highly talented, yet diverse players in the studio, and let the tapes roll. Tone Center’s fourth Jing Chi release continues to follow that tradition of the Super Session, but with more emphasis on their compositions. This is a collaboration between renowned guitarist Robben Ford who has been recording under his own name and as a session player since the 1970’s, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting, Frank Zappa, Steely Dan) and bassist Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets, Tommy Bolin, Steely Dan) with special guest appearances by saxophonist Jeff Coffin and trumpet session veteran Mike Haynes. The collective sessions and the names of the A-list artists with whom the members of Jing Chi and their guests have played would literally fill a book as each performer has amassed a staggering discography.
Supremo is more than a vehicle for fantastic soloing as the compositions are important, well arranged pieces of music that exhibit a synergy rarely heardin today’s music. The horns are used primarily as an underlying texture with clever lines that weave in and out bringing to mind vintage jazz and soul music with a modern edge.
Producer Jimmy Haslip says this about Supremo and Jing Chi: These recordings are always compelling, tightly fused and joyfully challenging musically and creatively. We are like family, yet we are chemically charged at this point and that makes these projects easy to comfortably find clear focus and a unified direction. We have been working with chief engineer Rich Breen on all of the Jing Chi records. He is a gift and is the band’s sonic architect. I’m proud to say that Supremo is a high energy Modern R&B Fusion explosion of sound!
01. The Majestic
02. Better Times
05. On Green Pepper Street
09. At the Apollo
10. Jing XI