Giant Step & (Le) Poisson Rouge Present Aloe Blacc & The Grand Scheme plus Maya
Thursday, November 18
(Le) Poisson Rouge, New York NY
This past July, Giant Step hosted its annual SummerStage show in Central Park with a brilliant line up of established and upcoming artists. Shinning brightly amongst them was Aloe Blacc. Needless to say we fell in love with this man's delivery, diversity and musical command. So we decided once just wasn't enough! Join us on Thursday, November 18th as Giant Step and (Le) Poisson Rouge present Aloe Blacc & The Grand Scheme; plus Maya Jupiter, The Stepkids and DJ $mall Â¢hange
"My purpose for music is positive social change," says Orange County, California native Aloe Blacc. "Even if the music itself does not explicitly express anything that may signify positive social change, the product of the music will." He is speaking in general terms regarding his career, but more specifically about the circumstances surrounding his upcoming album, Good Things, co-written by the versatile vocalist and songwriter in conjunction with the in-house production team at Truth & Soul Records.
Good Things marks a shift in methodology from personal to political for Aloe, who refers to the project as his report on present conditions—joblessness, homeless, the misappropriation of wealth, pillaging of resources, and a universal lack of compassion from the capitalism at-large under which we all function, but some struggle to survive. Song titles such as "You Make Me Smile" and "Miss Fortune," coupled with airy, ethereal production from Truth & Soul's Leon Michels and Jeff Silverman mask a foreboding undercurrent in which Aloe crafts lyrics both thoughtful and thought-provoking. Nowhere is this more evident than on lead single, "I Need a Dollar" — commissioned by HBO as the theme music for the series How to Make It in America — because ultimately, that is how to make it in America.
The first-generation American offspring of Panamanian parents, Aloe has become what writer and activist Amiri Baraka (née Leroi Jones) once said of John Coltrane. He is a singular "scope of feeling...a more fixed traveler" who has found cohesion in art and life. The path from his 2006 debut, the multi-genre Shine Through, to Good Things is akin to the maturation of Marvin Gaye between That's the Way Love Is and the What's Going On masterwork that followed. Aloe has never purported to be any heir to Gaye, but musically, Good Things and What's Going On are companion pieces as both albums establish a character for the artists that sets them apart from the sea of performers making very vivid and discernible — yet normative and conformist — statements about who they are and what they do. Good Things is a definitive declaration that places Aloe directly in the framework of modern soul.
1/2 Turkish, 1/2 Mexican, Australian raised MC and radio personality, Maya Jupiter released her debut album in 2001. As an MC she is as diverse as her background, performing live with the 11 piece salsa band Son Veneno one minute, and the next leading music and hip-hop workshops at various community centers for disadvantage girls. In 2004 she took over the radio show Triple J and became a regular radio personality on the air from then on. In 2006 she joined forces with MC Trey and DJ Nick Toth to form the group Foreign Heights. 2010 sees Maya returning to her solo roots, gearing up to release another album featuring collaborations with Aloe Blacc, Quetzal Flores, and Martha Gonzalez.
The Stepkids are singer/songwriters Dan Edinberg (formerly of Zox), Jeff Gitelman (former guitarist for Alicia Keys), and Tim Walsh. The group formed in late 2009 as the trio experimented with recording to analog tape. Sparks started flying and their sound was created, fusing a very psychedelic 70s aesthetic with a more modern sensibility. The trio strive to create a full on sensory experience with a video/projectionist being a full time member of the band. They drape everything on stage in white (including themselves) and create a union between the imagery and the music they play.