And it's good.
You can check it out on the player embedded below the fold (so the auto start doesn't kick in when you load my home page).
It's a project called The Harlem Experiment.
'The Harlem Experiment' takes on the melting pot identity of Harlem, from the early Jewish enclaves to the epicenter of African-American culture to the Latin legacy of Spanish Harlem titans like Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri. The Harlem House Band features Carlos Alomar (guitar, David Bowie), Eddy Martinez (keys, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Run D.M.C.), Steven Bernstein (trumpet, Sex Mob), Steve Berrios (drums, Chick Corea), Don Byron (clarinet, The Klezmatics, Vernon Reid) and Ruben Rodriguez (bass, Tito Puente). Grammy Award-Winning producer Aaron Levinson, creator of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, produced the album.
An audio homage to Harlem would clearly have to include jazz, funk and hip-hop, given that Harlem is synonymous with James Brown's 'Live At The Apollo' and Duke Ellington's "Stompin' At The Savoy." 'The Harlem Experiment' does just that with its' big beats, horns, and swagger. But the project also digs deep into Harlem's illustrious roots and gives shout-outs to the Jewish and Spanish communities that also helped to create one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world. It makes sense that Latin rhythms are laced throughout the jazz and hip-hop of tracks like "One For Jackie," and "It's Just Begun." It makes sense that the Klezmer style of Don Byron's clarinet transcends the playful jazz on "Reefer Man" and the funkified Yiddish folk song "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen."
'The Harlem Experiment' achieves a mighty task: summing up the cultural rainbow of Harlem in 50 minutes of music. Listen to this album and 100 years of Harlem begins to unfold in your ears.