Positivity, feel good, fabulous jazzy funk are the things I wrote down within the first minute of listening to Connected, the new EP from Dutch composer, producer and musician d’Z, aka Hans-Peter de Zeeuw. Released mid 2018, the five tracks shine with rock solid rhythm (as you might expect from a drummer), glorious vocals and unadulterated funky jazz overlaid with a modern pop twist. If you want something to get you up and dancing, this is it.
Having attended the largest conservatory for pop, jazz and world music in Europe, d’Z went on to be a sought-after drummer in the Netherlands. With this career in full swing, d’Z took to composing his own music, influenced by Incognito, Steely Dan, The Brand New Heavies, Tower of Power and Gino Vannelli. However, in 2016, d’Z decided to record an EP of music “made without concessions”. With the five tracks in hand he went straight to his favorite producer, Raoul Soentken and the process began with choosing five vocalists who would do the songs justice. Collaboration is all about finding the best people to complement each other and Connected shows what can happen when you get it right.
All the vocalists are sensational but German singer Freddi Lubitz throws down the challenge with lead track, ‘Conviction’. Should you be in need of motivation and a pep talk, listen to ‘Conviction’ and you’ll be pumped up for the rest of the day. Classic, funky jazz rhythms and sounds abound and together with Freddi’s superb vocals, add up to a fabulously upbeat track with a positive message.
Before you read on, d’Z is giving a FREE download of “Lovin’ and Dancin'”, to Angry Baby readers. If you’re not already subscribed to Angry Baby, just pop the email address that you’d like it delivered to here and it will be on its way to you straight away, together with a bumper collection of music that has been shared by Angry Baby. The music comes from outstanding artists that you may not have heard before. With a mix of rock, pop, folk…you name it…there’s bound to be something new that floats your musical boat, and all for free! What’s not to like about that?!
The strength of positive emotion is evident throughout the EP, particularly with ‘Clean Slate’, as happy a song as you could wish for.
Funk and jazz are the norm in this collection of songs and the funkiest is the title track, ‘Connected’. The voice of Sandra St. Victor (Prince, The Family Stand, Chaka Khan, twice Grammy nominated) fills the song with joy and soul, letting loose and bringing the whole thing together. This last track personifies the feeling throughout, that the artists are really having fun, almost as if they’ve just got together for a jam session and this great music was a happy accident.
d’Z’s advice for young musicians in both inspiring and practical:
“Find out your (micro) niche and build your fanbase around it. Create an artist page on Facebook to engage with your fans.”
Connected was released in June 2018. Get your copy here.
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