James Kipp's violinist and jazz pianist father, Art Kipp, planted the seed for his son's musical roots early. Raised on the greats like Mulligan, Davis, Brubeck, Cannonball Adderly, Kai Winding and J J Johnson, he developed an appreciation for the sound whether it was East or West Coast, Bebop or Swing. "Of course I got into all the Rock and Roll stuff, but it was the innovative artists, rock or jazz, that got my attention. Kipp adds "when I heard the "Head Hunters" album with Herbie Hancock, or Brian Eno's "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" the fusion of sounds really made me take notice...I really admire inventive, less linear, musicians like Thelonius Monk, innovative sounds like Koop, EST...these are sounds I like to hear interlaced with jazz rhythms and melodies. Combining and contrasting electronic and acoustic drums and bass is where my energy is at the moment..."
Still wanting to explore other areas in art, he studied fine art at Michigan State University, and became an accomplished oil painter. His work can be seen on the CD cover.
Now back to his roots this time on keyboards, synthesizers, guitar, vocoder and vocals. With the release of "Driving to Europa", Kipp paints his music with a wide variety of colors, sounds, rhythms and melodies. Hop into this space buggy, turn up the sounds, and take a drive to Europa.
Driving to Europa / side notes
Four tracks; "For Four", "Lady Bug", "Spank" and "Sambata" center on piano and synthesizer exchanges with sweet bass and drum rhythmic grooves.
Three tracks; "Driving to Europa", "Space Case" and "Off Beat" have a more visual and less linear "electronic" sound using a synthesizer, virtual synthesizers, keyboards, and vocoders.
"You and Me" is a vocoded ballad with a synthesized Motown sound.
"Tangle Foot" might be best described as "Funky Electric Salsa".
The last track; "Presidential Bop" is a funky piece of silliness, built to make you smile.