The Cleveland-based jazz fusion act Matthew Alec and the Soul Electric just released its funky new single, “Cleveland Time,” along with an accompanying music video filmed in downtown Cleveland. The title track from the band's forthcoming album that's due out Feb. 19, the song really swings and draws from funk, jazz and hip-hop.
“'Cleveland Time' is the last track I wrote for the album,” says saxophonist Alec in a statement. “I thought the album had the makings of a great fusion record, but it was missing that ‘epic’ title track to bring it all together cohesively.”
Alec wrote the sax hook during a practice session, and song evolved from there.
"I just started playing it and liked how catchy and forceful it was," says Alec. "I also liked that it was primarily in the altissimo register which I haven’t really heard done before. I told my friend Ameer Williamson (aka Minus the Alien) that I wanted him to write a verse that was artistic and focused on downtown Cleveland’s resurgence. He hit the nail right on the head. Jared Lees is the newest member of the group, and he has that rare gift of being a great bass soloist, so it was important for me to give him the opportunity to show that. The bass solo really sings on this. As far as Tom Malone’s involvement, I dreamt that up at 4 a.m. one night. As it turned out, he wound up really digging what we were doing and added one killer horn section and absolutely destroyed the trombone solo that I find myself singing along with every time I hear it. I can’t imagine the tune or the record for that matter without him being on it. Everything literally came together perfectly.”
Cleveland Time is the first release from the group that features Alec (tenor saxophone and EWI), Brian Woods (piano, keyboards, organs, plus vocals on “Give What You Take” and “Baby You Got Me”), Steven Forest Sanders (guitar, plus vocals on “Enigma Man”), Jared Lees (bass), Jeremiah Hawkins (percussion, plus drums on “Baby You Got Me”) and Leon Henault (drums).
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