Founded by guitarist composer Kelvyn Bell, the musical concept known as KELVYNATOR has been an innovating force in the world of Jazz-Funk since 1984. This new recording features some bass work by the incredible Jamaaladeen Tacuma as well as a track with the esteemed brass master Graham Haynes.
Kelvyn Bell – Guitar / Vocal
“Kelvyn was one of the people who had gotten me seriously into music.”
Anthony Kiedis/ The Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Scar Tissue (Hyperion Books 2004)
It wasn't long after guitarist Kelvyn Bell moved to New York from St. Louis in the late 1970s that he began attracting attention. Touring and recording with one of saxophonist Arthur Blythe's most provocative ensembles, he was soon recognized as a true innovator-- successfully expressing himself in a style that embodies funk, jazz, blues, energy, improvisation and rhythm. He's continued to work regularly with Blythe since 1978, along with leading his own band, Kelvynator, and collaborating with trombonist/vocalist Joseph Bowie in the New
York based jazz-funk band Defunkt. While Bell is most known for these associations, he also cites his first European tour--with acclaimed avant garde drummer Charles "Bobo" Shaw--as a very pivotal experience.
By the time Bell formed Kelvynator in 1984, he had absorbed elements of the avant-garde from Shaw, progressive creative concepts from Blythe and the modern essence of funk from his work with Defunkt. In describing the impact these experiences had on forming the concept of his own band, Bell refers to the James Blood saying "jazz is the teacher, funk is the preacher." As he tells the
story of Kelvynator's development, he asserts,” Arthur Blythe was my jazz teacher, Defunkt was the preacher and Kelvynator is my own church."
"(Kelvyn Bell) a tireless innovator in the hard-driving music of New York's jazz-rock-funk scene."
--Rickey Vincent/ Funk: The Music, the People, and the
Rhythm of One (St. Martin's Press 1996)
With Kelvynator, Bell was on a mission to deliver exotic, sophisticated rhythms while still being commercially viable. And when the band made it's New York debut in the summer of '84,
New York Times critic Jon Pareles hailed it as "explosive" and credited Bell for putting together "a funk band to play dance
music...that isn't over simplified."
JAMAALADEEN TACUMA - Bass
Few musicians leave their audiences with a feeling that they have truly witnessed something amazing. Artist/Producer/Performer/Arranger/Innovator AND Bassist - JAMAALADEEN TACUMA does just that.
This native Philadelphian has always stretched the old mold of what and how a bassist is supposed to play. Tacuma has simply re-defined his instrument's artistic potential.
In the mid 70's, his creatively free approach to the bass caught the eye and ear of the legendary saxophonist Ornette Coleman. Tacuma became a member of Coleman's electric band, Prime Time, he toured with the group and played on some of Coleman's historic recordings such as: "Dancing In Your Head", "Body Meta", and "Of Human Feelings".
Graham Haynes - Cornet
The son of drummer Roy Haynes, Graham Haynes grew up around jazz musicians; his Hollis, Queens, neighborhood was also home to Roy Eldridge, Milt Jackson, and Jaki Byard. The younger Haynes played in the same high-school band as bassist Marcus Miller. In 1982, he began an association with saxophonist Steve Coleman; he played on the latter's 1985 debut recording, Motherland Pulse, an album that also featured a young Geri Allen. Haynes' work occasionally hints at an experimental nature, but too often he's apt to place his Miles-ian cornet in static, synthesized funk-oriented contexts that do not enhance or augment the essential lyricism of his work. Haynes is obviously attracted to various world music traditions on records like 1994's The Griot's Footsteps
Tony Lewis – Drums
Carlos Henderson - Bass