\"Cameron Mizell\'s playing is up there with some of the best electric jazz/funk guitarists around, and along with Hammond B-3 master Brad Whiteley and drummer Mike Fortune, they get into the kind of spaces that fans of instrumental jazz will love.\" -John Book, Music For America
\"This album was crafted, not merely put together. It is (in my opinion), an antique in the making. And, I must say, there is more jam in Cameron Mizell’s guitar than in any breakfast restaurant on the east coast.\" Mr. G, DJ for the Green Arrow Radio Show
The Story Of Life Is Loud
by Scott Yanow
A talented and colorful guitarist with a distinctive style, Cameron Mizell recently released his second CD as a leader, a funk laden jazz outing titled LIFE IS LOUD.
LIFE IS LOUD seamlessly blends Mizell\'s originals with a few carefully selected covers. “I wanted to pay respect to musicians that have inspired me, but without trying to imitate them,” says the guitarist. “I\'m really loving James Brown, The Meters and Grant Green these days. When I started learning to play jazz I was listening to Wes Montgomery, Dexter Gordon and Bill Evans. The tunes on this album, and my style in general, are the result of their combined influence.”
On LIFE IS LOUD, Mizell chose organist-keyboardist Brad Whiteley and drummer Mike Fortune for his trio. “I look for musicians who I can play off of, and who can play off me. I met Brad while cutting my teeth in Indiana, before moving to New York. He played in the funk band on my first CD. When he finally came to NYC, I wouldn\'t settle for anyone but him on keys. Mike and I met shortly after I moved here. The first few times we played together as a duo we didn\'t miss having a bass or keyboard at all. We just felt the same groove immediately.”
From first note of \"Fearless,\" the opening track on LIFE IS LOUD, it is obvious that the trio has its own sound. While the band often riffs like an organ trio, Mizell’s guitar playing is both very soulful and consistently creative, Whiteley uses his keyboards to conjure up a wide variety of sounds, and Fortune’s drumming is always dynamic and attentive. The wide-ranging 13-song set includes “Cold Sweat” (a new take on the James Brown classic), The Meters’ “Pungee,” a fresh look at the Blood, Sweat & Tears hit “Spinning Wheel,” an adventurous \"Let The Music Take Your Mind\" by Kool & The Gang, and a variety of originals. Some selections, such as “Soulfunksticat” and the soulful strut “Chester Bustamante,” find Mizell hinting in places at \'70s Grant Green but with more contemporary rhythms and ideas. While the music is certainly danceable, the playing is sophisticated and full of subtle surprises.
“I’m constantly bombarded by sound in NYC; there is noise here all the time. The title of the CD, Life Is Loud, represents both the literal audible noise, and also all the figurative noise going through my head in this hyped-up, iPodded, smart phone, multitasking society--both of which are amplified in a crowded city like New York. Completing this album amongst all the noise turned out to be a big endeavor, so Life Is Loud just sort of hit me as a kind of Hemingway-esque statement of how the music I make has changed since coming to New York.”
LIFE IS LOUD, one of the funkiest jazz recordings of the year, will certainly force the jazz world to take note of Cameron Mizell.
Cameron Mizell (Guitar, Flex-a-tone, sleigh bells)
Brad Whiteley (Hammond B3 and C2 organs, Fender Rhodes, Moog Prodigy, ES1 synth bass, toy piano)
Mike Fortune (Drums)
Produced by Cameron Mizell
Engineered, mixed, and co-produced by Rob Fillmore at the Cutting Room Studios in New York on June 14, 2006 (3, 4, 8, 11, 13), and Mission Sound Recording in Brooklyn on April 29, 2007 (1, 2, 5-7, 9, 10, 12)
Mastered by Kevin Reeves at Universal Mastering Studios-East
Photography by Rob Mizell
Design by Philip Manning