Release Date: MAY 20, 2014
ABSTRACT LOGIX TO RELEASE TWISTED BLUES VOLUME 2 – THE NEW ALBUM BY INNOVATIVE GUITARIST OZ NOY – ON MAY 20, 2014
Invigorating groove-driven explorations feature appearances by Chick Corea, Allen Toussaint, John Medeski, Warren Hayes, Eric Johnson, and more…
Blues is the root, the foundation – the undercurrent churning beneath nearly all strains of popular music. “It’s a vocabulary you have to have in order to play really anything,” explains guitarist and composer Oz Noy. “If you don’t understand the blues, I just don’t think that what you’re playing will sound as good.” Available May 20 via Abstract Logix, Noy’s latest album, Twisted Blues Volume 2 (Abstract Logix) continues to mine the blues-tinted vain first tapped in the widely acclaimed first volume, which was released in 2011.
By tapping into that elusive blues feeling and exploring its potential to inform and enrich a variety of musical settings, Noy – a native of Israel who moved to the U.S. in 1996 –has emerged as a compelling new voice in a crowded field. To help realize his expansive vision of a blues-based music that still embodies the power of rock and the exploratory zeal of jazz, Noy has called upon an impressive roster of supporting musicians and fellow soloists. Special guests include jazz great Chick Corea, guitar icon Eric Johnson, Crescent City master Allen Toussaint, maverick organist John Medeski, and Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule, Allman Brothers.
Among the featured rhythm section players are bassist Will Lee (of Late Show with David Letterman fame), drummer Chris Layton (of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble), master contemporary jazz drummers Dave Weckl and Keith Carlock, and veteran blues-rock bassist Roscoe Beck. The universal yet infinitely malleable feeling of the blues provided instant common ground amongst the musicians, while Noy puts his own distinct stamp on the proceedings both via his searing fretwork and his deft touch as a composer.
“I don’t like complicated music,” Noy explains, acknowledging the directness and accessibility of his sound. “People sometimes think my music is more difficult then it really is because there are some twists and turns in my writing. But in reality, the improvisation is always on straight R&B or blues grooves. To me, blues and bebop are the glue to good music.”
“I’m a jazz player,” says Noy, “but with a blues, rock, and R&B background. To me, blues and bebop are the glue to good music.” Noy’s latest album, Twisted Blues Volume 2 (Abstract Logix), continues to mine the blues-tinted vain first tapped in the widely acclaimed first volume, which was released in 2011. While some of the same players from volume one are back on board, these entirely new sessions also introduce an array of special guests, some off-kilter yet undeniably funky rhythmic concepts, and the sort of fiercely unguarded, daring improvisational maneuvers that Noy’s growing following have come to expect.
In addition to these players, Noy cedes the spotlight to several legendary artists, each of whom thrive in Noy’s signature hybrid style. The unmistakeable touch and tone of Texas guitar icon Eric Johnson elevates the elegant, horn-flecked 5/4 swagger of “EJ’s Blues.” Allen Toussaint, one of the architects of classic New Orleans soul, contributes his trademark rippling piano to the aptly named “Slow Grease,” while Warren Haynes (of Gov’t Mule and the Allman Brothers) goes toe to toe with Noy on the surging shuffle of “Blue Ball Blues.” “Rhumba Tumba” is based on a languid Caribbean-via-Crescent City groove, and features a performance by Chick Corea on Rhodes that is as notable for its surprising rhythmic background figures as for its exquisite solo statement.
As a producer, Noy gives Twisted Blues Volume 2 coherence and depth, ensuring that the varied personnel involved add color and resonance without detracting from his core concept. “I chose all the guest stars carefully,” he explains, “to fit the songs and put their personal touch on the songs. People like Allen Toussaint and Chick Corea have a magical vibe, and once they’ve played on a song, it adds a whole new dimension to it.”
Noy honed his playing in a variety of settings, beginning in his early teenage years with jazz, blues, pop, and rock outfits in his native Israel. Equally enthralled by musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Bud Powell, and Charlie Parker, his precocious talent meant that, by the time he was barely 16 years old, he was performing alongside some of the country’s finest singers and musicians. In his twenties he was firmly established among Israel’s top session guitarists, and for over two years was seen nationally as a member of the house band on the most-watched Israeli television.
Upon emigrating to New York City in 1996, Noy wasted no time in established himself, working with leading jazz, rock, and blues musicians while continuing to develop his sound – which was quickly recognized for its determined focus on groove and feel. A series of all-star albums followed, beginning with 2003’s Oz Live, which was recorded at New York’s famous Bitter End club, where Noy retains a residency to this day. He has also made two popular instructional DVDs (Guitar Improvisational Workout and Play Along Workout) and was recognized by Guitar Player magazine’s annual readers’ poll as “Best New Talent” (2008) and “Best Out There Guitar Player” (2013).
Since arriving in America, the artists he has performed, toured, or recorded with include Richard Bona, Chris Botti, Gavin DeGraw, Harry Belafonte, Cyndi Lauper, Clay Aiken, Akiko Yano, Toni Braxton, Phoebe Snow, Nile Rogers, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Mike Manieri, John Patitucci, the Gil Evans Orchestra, Mike Stern, John Abercrombie, Steve Lukather, Don Was, Nelly Furtado, Don Henley, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Paul Shaffer, and many others.
Available May 20, 2014, Twisted Blues Volume 2 is Noy’s sixth album and his second for the Abstract Logix imprint. It’s sterling testament to his continued growth as a musician and composer, while affirming his ongoing commitment to clarity, groove, and grit of the blues. “I don’t like complicated music,” he concludes with a smile. “People mistakingly think my music is more difficult then it really is because there are some twists and turns in my writing. But in reality, the improvisation is always on straight R&B or blues grooves. The challenge is to get your own voice into it.”
Barcode number: 700261397108
Catalog number: ABLX 043
01. You Dig
02. Rhumba Tumba
03. Come Let Me Make Your Love Come Down
04. Come Dance With Me
05. EJ’s Blues
06. Get Down
07. Blue Ball Blues
08. Just Groove Me
09. Slow Grease
10. Freedom Jazz Dance