DRUMMER OTIS BROWN III SET TO RELEASE HIS DEBUT ALBUM "THE THOUGHT OF YOU" DUE OUT AUG. 26 VIA NEW REVIVE/BLUE NOTE IMPRINT
ALBUM PRODUCED BY DERRICK HODGE & FEATURING ROBERT GLASPER, GRETCHEN PARLATO, BILAL, NIKKI ROSS & OTHERS
The track listing for The Thought of You is as follows:
01. The Way (Truth & Life) 02. The Thought of You – Part I featuring Bilal 03. Interlude I – Truth 04. Stages of Thought 05. The Two Become One (For Paula) 06. You’re Still The One featuring Gretchen Parlato 07. The Thought of You – Part II 08. I Love You Lord/We Exalt Thee/In The Beginning featuring Nikki Ross 09. The Thought of You – Part III 10. I Am Your Song featuring Nikki Ross 11. Interlude II – Life
Drummer Otis Brown III – an invaluable sideman with the likes of Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, Terence Blanchard, Oliver Lake, Somi, and others – has announced the release of his debut album The Thought of You, which will arrive August 26 via Revive/Blue Note, a new partnership between Revive Music and Blue Note Records.
Brown’s maiden voyage features an impressive roll call of artists including a core band consisting of pianist Robert Glasper, trumpeter Keyon Harrold, saxophonist John Ellis, and bassist Ben Williams, with organist Shedrick Mitchell and guitarist Nir Felder making special appearances. Singers Bilal, Gretchen Parlato, and Nikki Ross contribute standout performances that underscore the sentiments of the album’s co-producer, Derrick Hodge, who says, “Otis has become one of those drummers who once you hear him play, his experience becomes your experience in the moment.”
Everything on this record is a part of me,” says Brown of the 11-track set which features originals from Brown and his bandmates as well as unexpected covers. The album embodies the essence of what Brown holds most dear: faith and family. These themes run throughout from a stunning gospel medley featuring Ross to the reinvention of Shania Twain’s “You’re Still The One” – one of two dedications to Brown’s wife – which is given a complete makeover with a new arrangement by Glasper and a moving vocal performance by Parlato.
Brown’s “family first” philosophy shines through right out of the gate with the album’s opener “The Way (Truth & Life),” co-written with Glasper. The highly energetic and lyrical piece features the album’s core quintet which, with the exception of Williams, re-assembles their college jazz ensemble from their days at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.
“The most special thing about working with Otis is simply the joy he gets out of playing music; it's all over his face like a little kid,” says Glasper. “People have lost that joy and take playing too seriously.” This point is well illustrated on “The Thought of You”; a jam session-like trilogy weaved throughout the album which opens with a signature vamp from Glasper and Brown providing a knocking backbeat before the group breaks into a glorious swing with Bilal, a vocalist of astonishing versatility offering a rare glimpse at his bona fide jazz chops.