Jon Regen - Higher Ground (LP)
A jazz/pop tour de force, “Wide Awake” marries Regen’s signature soulful vocals and infectious piano work with the funk production prowess of longtime Jamiroquai keyboardist Johnson.
“What began as me fooling around on my old Roland Juno-60 synthesizer and Steinway grand piano, soon took on a life of its own once I met Matt at a Jamiroquai show in New York City,” Regen says. “Soon after, we were crafting an entire album together, all via email. So for me, it’s a song about taking chances and seizing the moment.”
With early praise from luminaries like fellow singer/pianist Bruce Hornsby, Toto’s Steve Lukather, famed songwriter Rob Thomas, and jazz great Kenny Barron, “Wide Awake” is striking a chord with legends and listeners alike. Surprisingly, track was recorded and produced entirely remotely, with Regen and Johnson both working in their respective New York and London recording studios.
“As a new parent, the idea of me locking myself away in a proper recording studio to make an album was a daunting proposition,” Regen explains. “But Matt and I have a rhythm in the way we work together. It’s like we’re in the same room, even though we’re an ocean apart.”
“It’s been great collaborating with Jon from either side of the pond,” Johnson says. “He has a rich sounding voice and is really a fantastic piano player too. We got a bit of Stevie mixed up with some Steely and everything in between on this one!”
Higher Ground is the follow up to Regen’s critically-acclaimed 2015 release Stop Time that was embraced by media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, DownBeat and the Sunday Times in the UK. Other notable guests on Higher Ground include Keith Carlock (Steely Dan), Tim Lefebvre (David Bowie), Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell), Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett), Ricky Peterson (David Sanborn), Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel), George Marinelli (Bonnie Raitt), Julia Kent and Grégoire Maret. The album was produced by Matt Johnson, mixed by famed engineer Michael Brauer (Coldplay, John Mayer) and mastered by 2019 Album of the Year Grammy winner Greg Calbi (Kacey Musgraves).
“It’s a thrill when your heroes want to make music with you,” Regen says. “So stay-tuned for the album!”
Hole In My Heart
Who Cares If Everybody Else Knows
East Side Blues
The Last to Go
Goodnight, New York
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