The latest installment from the Sugarshack and Live For Live Music “Miami Sessions” sees world-class funk, jazz, and hip-hop-fusion outfit, Ghost-Note, performing a half-hour set of original songs in the living room of a historic villa in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.
Led by percussion duo/Snarky Puppy vets Robert Sput Searight and Nate Werth, the all-star lineup also featured bassist Dwayne “MonoNeon” Thomas, keyboardist Dominique Xavier Taplin, and saxophonist Sylvester Onyejiaka—all of whom worked with the late, great Prince during his all-too-short life. Guitarist Peter Knudsen and saxophonists Jonathan Mones and Mike Jelani Brooks rounded out the powerhouse funk outfit’s roster for this intimate performance. While the Ghost-Note lineup is continuously evolving, this session was notable for featuring all three of the outfit’s saxophonists (Oyejiaka, Mones, and Brooks), affectionately known as The Texas Horns.
The full-length performance release comes as the entire music industry continues to cope with the mass shutdowns of virtually all live events across the world due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As Werth and Searight explained to Live For Live Music in a statement about the Miami Sessions,
In this quarantine moment, we are happy to share our stripped-down & uncut acoustic vibes with you from the Sugarhack Music Channel. The session features all three of our saxophonists, The Texas Horns. Get your swag on to a brand new tune and check back for new renditions of some old classics from the Ghost-Note funkbook.
The octet kicks things off with “PhatBacc”, which premiered late last month, before launching into a lengthy, 10-minute rendition of “Swagism”, the title-track off the band’s 2018 release.
“Peter, give me that A-flat 13 over D,” Searight says, leading the band into “Swagism” before calling out to MonoNeon and Taplin to join in on the fun. The jazz number continues with input from Werth and The Texas Horns before Searight calls for each member to solo, starting with Mono, then Knudsen and Taplin, and finally the drums and horns. Ghost-Note then closes out the set with a rendition of “Weedie B. Good”, another track off the band’s Swagism album. Here, Taplin leads the band into the percussion-heavy jam that highlights many of the band’s best characteristics; high peaks, peaceful valleys, and masterful musicianship.
Watch Ghost-Note’s full performance for Sugarshack Music Channel below. If you like what you hear, you can drop a little something in Ghost-Note’s “virtual tip jar” to help them out during the ongoing live event hiatus (Venmo: @Ghost-Note):
Ghost-Note – Sugarshack Sessions x Live For Live Music
[Video: Sugarshack Music Channel]
The full Ghost-Note performance is the sixth video to be released from the Sugarshack/Live For Live Music Miami Sessions, following Ryan Montbleau’s “Songbird”, Ghost-Note’s “PhattBacc”, SPAGA‘s “Four Angels”, Mihali‘s “Empty Overflow”, and Tom Hamilton‘s “Running in Place”. Stay tuned for more full-set releases from the Sugarshack/Live For Live Music “Miami Sessions” coming weeks.
For more information about Ghost-Note, head to the band’s website here.