The Groove Project is a Jazz super-group fronted by Grammy nominated artist, composer, and producer Arun Shenoy. His cohorts include co-producer Matthew Shell, saxophonist Marcus Mitchell, and pianist Lonnie Park. All are world-class musicians who have previously worked with the likes of Merle Haggard, Marcus Johnson, and Destiny’s Child.
Grooving on a Theme
The ensemble is building a smooth jazz concept album, one single at a time. Each month they are releasing a new aeronautically inspired track, leading up to a full LP release in the summer of 2020. Mr. Shell has kept me in the loop on each new tune. August saw the smooth “Pilot,” followed by September’s funky, “First Flight”.
Staying true to their schedule, this month the group delivers their latest tune “To Be a Bird”. There is a real cohesiveness forming around this project. It is clear that the aerial theme is not limited song titles. The arrangements breathe.
Each of the three singles relies on a solid bass and drum groove to set the stage. On the new song, the rhythm section lays down a 4/4 punch. They do just enough to keep things interesting while still allowing the lead instruments to soar. And indeed they do.
“To Be a Bird,” may be my favorite Groove Project tune yet. The track has a real live sound to it, as though we are sitting in the studio control room listening to the band jam. The playing feels comfortable and loose. There is a good dose of guitar, sax, and vocal improv on this one. The band is having fun, but they never lose sight of the melody and groove at the core of the song.
It is exciting to listen to this record come together, piece-by-piece. Check out “To Be a Bird,” and follow the links below to connect The Groove Project, and join them on their journey.