Sunday, February 08, 2009
The Soul Of Black John
The Soul of John Black is John “JB” Bigham, an adventurous artist who isn’t afraid to take risks while pursuing his musical vision. His stage moniker is a name shrouded with an element of darkness and mystery, inspired by the 1976 cult film “J.D.’s Revenge.” JB declares, “I tend to like artists who lean toward the shadows and walk the edge and wanted my music to reflect that.” He draws his inspiration from blues and soul pioneers of the past and stands as a true testament to the dynamic beauty and freedom of musical expression, which he strips down to the core – guitar, voice and exposed human emotion conveyed in sparse, soulfully captivating performances wrought with raw, spontaneous power.
JB’s musical history boasts an impressive resume. He’s written songs for Miles Davis and played percussion in the Davis group. His track “Jilli” is featured on the trumpeter’s last studio album “Amandla,” and he appeared on the Davis DVD, “Live in Paris,” recorded at the 10th Paris Jazz Festival. Bigham also played guitar and keyboard for the pioneering rock-funk-ska band Fishbone for eight years, contributing songs, guitars, keyboards, background vocals and production expertise to several of their albums, and later toured as a side man and played on sessions with artists as varied as Eminem, Dr. Dré, Rosey, Joi, Nikka Costa, Bruce Hornsby and Everlast.
The Soul of John Black is a celebration of the African American musical heritage. On “Black John,” JB masterfully combines soul, gospel, funk and hip-hop, while tracing its roots all the way back to its humble origins - the blues. JB infuses his uniquely crafted music with contemporary urban rhythms and hauntingly earthy acoustic slide guitar which at once pays tribute to a bygone era of such legendary figures as Leadbelly, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, while boldly crossing over into new innovative territories and sonic frontiers. Backed by notable musicians Adam McDougal on keys (Black Crowes, Macy Gray, Maroon 5, Nikka Costa), Oliver Charles on drums (Ben Harper, Rhythm Roots All-Stars), Scott Seiver on drums (Nikka Costa, Inara George), Jake Najor on drums (Carl Denson, Connie Price, Breakestra), Shawn Davis on bass (Beck, Nikka Costa), Davey Chegwidden on percussion (Rhythm Roots All-Stars, Bitter Sweet, Ghost Face Killer, Big Daddy Kane), and Bill Botrell on 2nd guitar (Grammy winning producer for Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne, and many others), The Soul of John Black has reached a new plateau; transcending the crossroads and arriving upon an unexplored intersection on the aural highway. It’s soul music for a whole new generation.
Listen to audio clips here