The Olympians - The Olympians (Daptone)
Add Date: 10/25
Focus Track: 1
Artist Info: In 2008 while Olympic athletes competed half a world away in Beijing, Toby Pazner (Lee Fields & The Expressions, El Michels Affair) and a group of some of New York City's most sought after musicians were locked in Pazner’s bedroom in Brooklyn with a Tascam 388 tape machine, recording what would be the first 45 by a group he would fatefully call The Olympians. Both this and a follow-up 45 would be released on now defunct Truth & Soul Records. However, it was not until a night years later while on tour with a band in the Greek Islands that Pazner’s true vision would come to him…
After playing the famous Acropolis in Athens and swimming in the Aegean Sea, Pazner dreamed he was visited by a toga-clad, curly-haired figure who told him to travel back across the great sea to his home and build a "Temple of Sound". In this temple he was to retell the great tales of Ancient Greece through the immortal language of music. When he awoke, he tried to dismiss the strange dream, but each night the the vision would return to him, and each night he would proclaim his duty more forcefully, until he could no longer deny the calling.
Pazner returned to New York City with a singular focus on completing an album he now saw as his destiny. He immediately commenced building his “Temple of Sound” from the floor up, acquiring the best microphones, tape machines and recording equipment he could lay his hands on. As a member of the Daptone Family, it was not difficult for him to call in favors from some of the world’s greatest musicians to help him bring his vision to life. For years they played alongside him as he relentlessly toiled toward his ends, crafting lush arrangements of strings, harp, vibes, guitar and a plethora of keyboards, all laced by blazing horns. Finally in the Spring of 2016, The Olympians was wholly manifested.
Pazner shared the fruit of his long venture with long time friends and co-owners of Daptone Records Gabriel Roth and Neal Sugarman who jumped at the opportunity to release it. From the cascading harps which open the “Sirens of Jupiter” to the driving horn coda of “Sagittarius By Moonlight,” The Olympians deliver a new sound all of its own: an ancient dream of far away Greece painted out in lush cinematic arrangements over the tough rhythm sounds that have become synonymous with the Daptone Stable of Musicians.
Featuring the talents of Thomas Brenneck (Menahan Street Band, Budos Band, Charles Bradley) Dave Guy (Tonight Show Band, The Dap-Kings,) Leon Michels (The Arcs, Lee Fields, El Michels Affair,) Nicholas Movshon (The Arcs, Lee Fields, El Michels Affair,) Homer Steinweiss (The Dap-Kings, The Arcs), Michael Leonhart (Musical Director for Steely Dan, David Byrne), Neal Sugarman (The Dap-Kings, Sugarman 3), Aaron Johnson (Antibalas, El Michels Affair), Evan Pazner (Lee Fields), and the maniacal wizardry of Toby Pazner, The Olympians deliver the most unique and compelling instrumental soul album of 2016.