The Urban Renewal Project - 21st Century Ghost (Fastrac)
Add Date: 11/7
Focus Tracks: 11, 4
Formats: Top 200, Triple A, Modern Rock Specialty, Hip Hop
Artist Info: The Urban Renewal Project is a dynamic young big band out of Los Angeles, playing an original mix of jazz, soul and hip-hop. Since 2010, the 15-piece ensemble has teamed up with singers and rappers to blend the hip-shaking grooves and deep pocket of today's music with face-melting horn lines and fiery improvisation from big band jazz. In the past few years, their signature sound has blown away audiences from New York's Rockwood Music Hall to the San Jose Jazz Summerfest and beyond.
Born from a high school talent show act assembled by saxophonist and bandleader R.W. Enoch, The Urban Renewal Project began in earnest when Enoch met rapper Elmer Demond in Los Angeles several years later. After experimenting with different musical approaches and configurations which can be heard on earlier releases Local Legend (2014) and Go Big or Go Home (2012), the two settled on their current set-up: a big band performing a mix of soul, hip hop, jazz and pop music with guest vocalists from each genre - every song incorporating the polish and drive of contemporary pop records with the vibrant energy of live ensemble performance.
This record marks the first time the band worked with producer Neil Wogensen, a member of indie folk-rock band Valley Queen, who was featured on an NPR Tiny Desk concert last July. Bandleader R.W. Enoch said of the experience “it was amazing to see how Neil transformed a good-sounding band into something really special on these recordings.”