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MP3 J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm - Crossing Oceans of Time

Jazz Fusion with flavors of World Beat, Funk, Free Jazz - and all collective improvisation.

14 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Fusion, JAZZ: World Fusion

Both CDs are double-disc sets.


Themes of funky introspection, free-jazz-fusion and swing, inside and outside, are stated, stretched and experimented with on this J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm CD set. Funky grooves with earth-tones of World-Beat erupt into free-jazz textures and rhythmic modulations as the musicians develop and explore this music.

The live sessions include J.D. Hopkins and sons Jayson and Rickie, and bass, guitars, keyboard, sax and trumpet. Bassists David Blaetz, Tony Stefanelli and Kenny Cornelius take turns, guitar regulars Mike Ohm and Sheldon Peterson are sometimes joined by newcomer Joe Frisina, and guitarist, keyboardist and guitar-synth player Frank Singer joins in for most of the tracks. J.D. and Sons add horns for the first time, with Phil Papotnik on sax and flute and Chad Garrison on trumpet. Singer and Papotnik overdub parts on three cuts above the drums and electronic percussion of the Hopkins family rhythm section.


After three years and fourteen sides (seven double-disc sets), J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm return with a vision of renewed purpose in collective improvisation and with four more sides.

Beyond Attention and Crossing Oceans of Time serve as companions to one another, bringing spontaneous playing together with techniques normally used to provide predictability, such as overdubbing, editing and mastering. Both CD covers show similar design, with original art by J.D. Hopkins similar to his T Shirt art. Both CD sets have a similar mix of vintage J.D. and Sons jamming, interlaced with the overdub style found on two Primate Gestures cuts and the first side of Imagination Doctors. Both CDs also show the freshness of music born of trying new ideas, new players, and allowing the process to take place naturally.

One of the facets of this music that keeps it fresh, spontaneous and natural is the philosophy of its creation. From the beginning, the live jams have always been what they are, noise, talking, equipment buzzes, and all. This is the J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm way of keeping the music real and honest. So much of music today is contrived, even created with a philosophy of marketing. The approach taken by this ensemble offers an alternative.

Yet each of the players on the CDs have played and still do play many different styles of music, sometimes from one night to the next. Some of these styles are Jazz, Latin, Funk, Reggae, Hiphop, Blues, Fusion, Rock, Metal, Country, Folk, Classical, Motown...the list could continue for a while. The awareness of how most of us hear music influences the way these players make music in the Sons. This includes telling stories and having conversations, and playing the occasional blazing solo or bass line. In this, the group''s vision is the same as it is for most music - entertain, edify, enlighten, enjoy and have fun!

"...we have been playing long enough to know how to be responsible for the music we create, and J.D. offers us the chance to be free knowing we will still play music that satisfies and makes sense, and pay attention!" states one of the band members. The result is Beyond Attention, and Crossing Oceans of Time.

This philosophy of spontaneity also shows itself in the overdubbing process, a process which is often used to create repetition and sameness in the recording studio. By improvising each layer, musicians have the chance to relate to what has already been recorded, yet build new layers even as the knowledge of the existing tracks becomes more sure with each pass. Not rehearsing parts beyond working out a few sketched ideas keeps the playing fresh and explorative, and allows the music to evolve in unpredictable ways.

Side one of Imagination Doctors was a serious foray into this overdubbed sound, with various combinations of players creating layered tracks for the ten cuts. Beyond Attention and Crossing Oceans of Time have similar collectives, typically pairs of harmonic and melodic players playing first tracks with the percussion section, and then improvising layers simultaneously. Many of these sessions occurred without the use of the bass, which is also unusual for scripted music. Some of the results are striking, and rather than feel empty they are enhanced by the use of the space.

New to this series of recordings is the use of direct editing cuts between tracks in the mastering process to integrate the overdubbed tracks with the live tracks, and contrast various configurations, from percussion, sax and piano to full ensemble and everything in between. The result is music from one recording session will suddenly fade or cut into another. Anyone familiar with John McLaughlin''s Extrapolation album will be reminded of the beauty of this effect on that recording, which in the same way helps to tell the story the recording portrays in its music.

The mediums used for improvisation continue to expand, with mixing combinations of players, introduction of new musicians and new situations, and always new ideas and challenges from J.D. and between all of the musicians participating in this exciting project. Some of the new members include guitarist Joe Frisina, saxophonist Phil Papotnik and trumpeter Chad Garrison. They join the crew of rhythmists J.D., Rickie and Jayson Hopkins, bassists David Blaetz, Tony Stefanelli and Kenny Cornelius, guitarists Mike Ohm and Sheldon Peterson, and guitarist, keyboardist and bassist (Crossing Oceans of Time) Frank Singer.

Together J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm take you on 28 journeys through a quantum horizon of possibilities, unique as a snowflake, yet universal in scope.


Crossing Oceans of Time begins with a classic live J.D. and the Sons jam, with the core members gelling around the 6/8 groove set up by J.D. Hopkins on the V-Drums. Rickie Hopkins starts moving things along as players fall into 6/8 Lullaby. Mike Ohm kicks off the first solo, with Tony Stefanelli on bass, Sheldon Peterson on the other guitar, and Frank Singer on a mix of guitar and keyboard (guitar-synth). Chad Garrison joins in for some trumpet fills as Frank moves into the solo spot, transforming into a lead guitar sound as the jam progresses. Singer ends on a harmonic riff which moves into the groove, leaving space for Garrison''s laid back playing on the fade.

A quick cut begins track two, called Eric Dolphy, which features Phil Papotnik on soprano sax and clarinet (not listed) and Frank on guitar. J.D. and sons Rickie and Jayson keep a tribal feel going as Frank and Phil keep the (musical) discussion going. Jayson has some great sound effects on this cut, sweeping in and out from the left and right stereo fields in the mix. As the music concludes, musicians who just had a great time are heard on the fade. Heavy Metal fades in during a Singer guitar lead in a jam with Ohm and Peterson on guitars, J.D. and Jayson on electronic drums, Rickie on traps, and Kenny Cornelius on bass. Ohm takes the next solo as the metal gets funkier, followed by Peterson. Kenny and Rickie build into a funky texture underneath until the guitarists begin to dialog with the rhythm. Modern swing erupts from the texture and then fractures during a clean lead from Singer that moves into kicks with Rickie and then a quick fade into Randy''s Dream.

It''s unclear as to why Randy was dreaming this way, but it has a strange, far away quality as Tony joins Chad, Mike, Sheldon, J.D., Jayson, Rickie and Frank on keyboards for a mellow groove. Peterson leads the song in, trading with Garrison, then Ohm. Garrison returns as the harmony evolves towards the end fade and into Blaetz Runner. Bassist David Blaetz joins a funky jam with guitarist Joe Frisina playing first solo, Sheldon and Mike on guitars and Frank on piano. J.D. and Sons Jayson and Rickie keep the funk moving as Frank takes second solo. After an interlude of groove, Frisina plays the fade. Straight Ahead is, well, straight ahead, with Kenny walking along side J.D. on the traps, Jayson on electronic drums, Sheldon playing a funky lead, Mike playing the next one, and Frank on Piano up next. Some two-fisted lines lead into a post-Monk crunch as Kenny heats things up for a bit. A more modern approach to jazz leads into the fade.

A quick dip opens up into J.D. on the V-Drums grooving as Joe, Mike and Sheldon handle the guitars, Frank chords the organ, Jayson is on electronic drums, and Rickie and David keeps the funk intact. This is a classic Midtown Recording jam, located at the title, 25th and Peach. After much exposition and development, the first side ends in a cadential fade.

Phil ushers in the second side as Phil''s Funk begins with an Avant-Garde interchange with Frank on piano and J.D., Rickie and Jayson on drums and electronic percussion. J.D. sets up the funk after a climactic exchange, and Singer moves over to guitar for a long sax jam with funk rhythm. Originally intended to be an overdub session, this was left intact. Thhe interaction between the players keeps this piece going until it ends with a stock jazz ending and a laugh from J.D.. An urban Flight 54 in 5/4 time brings back Chad, Tony, Mike and Sheldon, with Frank on guitar-synth and Jayson, Rickie and J.D. laying down the rhythm. Garrison steps up as the groove evolves, then fades into Russian Lullaby.

Kenny and Rickie keep things funky as Frank plays violin(s) (guitar-synth) and
Mike and Sheldon form stereo guitar. Ohm leads the way for a while, then Singer follows with a violin solo that soon doubles on lead-guitar. Ohm flows out of the ending power-chord of Singer''s foray, following with his own. The music drops dynamically into the original feel as Frank switches to electric piano (guitar-synth) and the music stretches. The band plays a groove-texture until the end and fade. What''s Up falls right in, with Rickie laying down some swing, Chad back on trumpet, Frank on keyboards, Mike on funky rhythm and Tony on bass. Frank and Rickie jam for a while, then Mike joins in, moving to a lead sound. Sheldon enters as the groove thickens and swings over a keyboard bass-line.

The fade cuts into Headhunter, an overdub session with Phil on soprano, Frank on bass, clarinet and trombone (synth-guitar), Jayson on electronic drums, Rickie on V-Drums and J.D. laying down the backbeat on the traps. This funky role-switching piece fades into the urban, Monk-esque Struttin'' Again, with Kenny back on the bass in a laid-back groove. Singer leads first with soprano-sax (guitar-synth), supported by the dual guitars of Ohm and Peterson and all three Hopkins back in their usual seats. Mike plays through for a bit until a fade on soprano brings in the final track, Post Modern World.

Guitarist Joe Frisina joins the group again with David on bass, the full Hopkins rhythm section, Mike and Sheldon on guitars and Frank on keyboards. Mike cuts loose for an extended guitar lesson in this industrial funk jam, with Frank following suit on the sound of a Fender Rhodes. A cascade into the low register launches Joe into growling harmonics as the song and album recede.


The sound of J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm is organic. It is what music is before composers, arrangers, lyricists, critics, academics and others shape it to their will. This is the raw substance of music, born in and of the musicians who play it. It is what it is.

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm hope you enjoy it.



Produced by J.D. Hopkins
Cover Art by J.D. Hopkins
Cover Layout by Mark Saunders
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by
Randy Hetherington
Recorded at Midtown Recording
CDR Duplication by FAR


J.D. Hopkins - Roland V-Drums, Traps
Rickie Hopkins - Traps, Roland V-Drums
Jayson Hopkins - Electronic Drums & Percussion
Tony Stefanelli - Fretless Electric Bass
Kenny Cornelius - Electric Bass
David Blaetz - Fretless Electric Bass, Upright Bass
Mike Ohm - Electric Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer
Sheldon Peterson - Electric Guitar
Joe Frisina - Electric Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer
Phil Papotnik - Saxophone, Flute
Chad Garrison - Trumpet
Frank Singer - Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer, Keyboards


Member Discography:


https://www.tradebit.com - BEYOND ATTENTION
https://www.tradebit.com - CROSSING OCEANS OF TIME
https://www.tradebit.com - LIVE AT FORWARD HALL
https://www.tradebit.com - IMAGINATION DOCTORS
https://www.tradebit.com - SMOKE SHADOWS
https://www.tradebit.com - QUANTUM EVENTS
https://www.tradebit.com - MUSIC FROM ANOTHER PLANET
https://www.tradebit.com - PRIMATE GESTURES
https://www.tradebit.com - FAMILY VALUES


https://www.tradebit.com - THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM
https://www.tradebit.com - ONE THING AFTER ANOTHER
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https://www.tradebit.com - oFF tHE tOP: standards 1
https://www.tradebit.com - GENERATIONS STRING QUARTET
https://www.tradebit.com - THE WORLD TODAY
https://www.tradebit.com - UNITY AND DIVERSITY


https://www.tradebit.com - TITO IN WONDERLAND
https://www.tradebit.com - TITO: IN SEARCH OF A REVOLUTION
https://www.tradebit.com - EYE OF THE PYRAMID


https://www.tradebit.com - MAMBO


https://www.tradebit.com - THAT DOG IN EGYPT ''97
https://www.tradebit.com - THAT DOG IN EGYPT ''99


https://www.tradebit.com - SKUDD


https://www.tradebit.com - I SPY THE HOOTZPAH - LIVE AT FORWARD HALL


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