Buffalo Monroe meets Willie Waldman

Metacognitive Records - Street date June 4th 2024
Jazz Funk, Jazz Fusion
Buffalo Monroe Meets Willie Waldman

If you only consider the album cover, which is totally psychedelic, and then insert the CD into the player, everything fits perfectly, as you find yourself in a form of jazz/funk with intonations of the 70s, except the quality of the production and the rhythms are very much of our time. Buffalo Monroe is a group that defines itself as (jazz/fusion), offering their first album with a great lineup of truly unexpected artists, including the excellent Ron Carter and Greg Bissonette. This formation, which was born in 2020 near Boston, is led by Rachel and Matt Courtney. Willie Waldman, trumpeter and co-producer, features on all the tracks of this album. Originally from Memphis, he started playing in the clubs of Beale St. and eventually teamed up with Herman Green, Calvin Newborn, and Jimmie Ellis at Club Hardy. The group transformed into FreeWorld and toured with Stevie Ray Vaughn, the Robert Cray Band, Albert King, and Joe Cocker. Willie Waldman, a member of the group Banyan with Stephen Perkins, released a solo fusion-improvisation album, *Trumpet Ride* (2001), which reached the Top 20 on the NACC and Jazz Charts. Willie has participated in numerous recordings and you can hear his trumpet on albums by 2pac, Snoop Dogg, Warren G., K-Ci & Jojo, Jodeci, Salt & Pepa, the Eastsidaz, Coolio, and Perry Farrell, to name just a few. He has also been hired to work on several soundtracks, including *Tombstone*, *Under Siege 2*, and *101 Dalmatians*. Waldman, an artist with a grueling tour schedule with the Willie Waldman Project, has played alongside countless greats, including Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Joe Satriani, Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Norwood Fisher, Flea, John Frusciante, Jake Cinninger, Thomas Pridgen, Tony Austin, Jay Lane, Terry Saffold, Herman Green, John Avila, Tony Franklin, Rob Wasserman, Norton Wisdom, and Robby Krieger.

All of this is to try to show you how surprising, timeless, and extraordinary this album is, and that the combined experience of these artists offers a remarkable album where it is easy to get lost on the first listen. Besides the excellence of all these artists, there is a very advanced sound research here, a form of experience, certainly, but one that fills our heads with images, pushing the boundaries of what is possible, in part thanks to Bissonette’s powerful and very inspired drumming, which provides a foundation for the musicians, allowing them to exploit all their resources.

You may be surprised at the first listen, finding this album too rhythmic—it’s just an impression, as the notes come from all sides, not to overwhelm the listener but to take them directly into this unique universe. The track “Ode to the Maestro” certainly best represents the very essence of this album, a perpetual sound balance, and at the same time, one cannot help but think of artists who have given us this kind of emotions in the past. Whether you categorize this group as jazz/fusion or jazz/funk, it is evident that this is great art, which rightfully deserves to be among our “Essentials.”

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, June 1st 2024

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Performers on this album include:

  • Upright Bass: Ron Carter
  • Electric Bass, Ukulele, Guitar: Matt Courtney
  • Keys: Rachel Courtney
  • Keys, Rhodes Piano, Melodica: Ross Rice
  • Trumpet, Horns: Willie Waldman
  • Drums: Vinnie Amico
  • Drums and Percussion: Gregg Bissonette
  • Guitar: Harold McCummings
  • Guitar: Clint Wagner
  • Producers: Matt Courtney, Rachel Courtney, and Ross Rice
    Co-Producer: Willie Waldman
    Sound Engineer: Ross Rice
    Sound Engineer: Frank Rosato
    Sound Engineer: Nolan Thies
    Mixing Engineer: Ross Rice
    Mastering Engineer: Frank Rosato
  • Metacognitive Records © 2024