What follows is why I’m earnestly glad that social media exists. Here’s what happened last week in New York City.
1. John Mayer started tweeting again in the last month, which is really not a big deal, except when it’s regarding him recording music. And in the last week, he had a lot to say about recording music. He first tweeted that the John Mayer Trio would be reuniting to perform on Late Night With Seth Meyers, as well as hitting the studio to record an LP with some “legendary guests.” The first JM3 record was released in 2005, and their last release could be considered 2008 if you count the set they played for JM’s Annual Holiday Revue concert in ’07, the entirety of which eventually got released as Where The Light Is: Live In Los Angeles in 2008. We haven’t heard legitimately new music from JM3 in 6 years.
So the mere fact that they’re recording a new LP is nearly the biggest news to that could possibly rock my musical world (second only to the release of you’know’who’s forever-in-limbo third album). Then JM tweets that the Trio will be joined in the studio by living legend Chick Corea. Are you kidding me?! This is monumental news. Add to it they’ve also got Miles Davis-approved trumpeter Wallace Roney in the sessions as well. JM also posts some photos up of Pino, Chick, Steve, and Wallace all clearly enjoying the results of their musical collaboration.
On top of that, he posted two videos on Instagram of Chick playing a gig with fellow jazz legends Ron Carter and Roy Haynes at the Blue Note, a jazz club with some notoriety. Very cool, but not particularly significant, until…
2. James Poyser, keys player for The Roots and the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (he’s the guy who plays Thank-You Notes), posted a picture of him chatting with Chick Corea (see below). Only then did I put it together that Late Night With Seth Meyers tapes in 30 Rock, as does the Tonight Show, and the Blue Note is a venue in New York, and JM3 was doing Late Night this week. Also, James Poyser is one of the four-founding members of the Soulquarians, which is always worth stating, even if it doesn’t necessarily tie to anything else.
3. Back to JM, his Twitter account led me to the Twitter account of Chick Corea, on which were posted several pictures of the actual recording session in which he took part with JM3.
It was at the Electric Lady Studios in New York City, a historical recording studio where countless landmark artists have recorded, including:
- Jimi Hendrix (the original creator/founder of the studio)
- The Roots
- Led Zeppelin
- The White Stripes
- Diana Ross
- Stevie Wonder
- Erykah Badu
And that’s a short list of artists who have recorded at this studio. Insane.
4. Finally, D’Angelo’s sound engineer Russ Elevado (who has now replied to me via Twitter 3 times. That’s right, a Grammy-winning artist has tweeted me 3 separate times. This is my 15 minutes.) retweeted a picture posted by drummer Chris Dave of the same Blue Note gig JM was at. Except in his picture, Savion Glover was on stage.
This has suddenly become the craziest gig ever. Dave also posted a picture of him with Chick, Steve and Pino, right around this time. Which is awesome and notable, mainly because of this last bombshell: Chris Dave has contributed a great deal of the drum work on D’Angelo’s new album. You’ve got a guy in a band with JM taking a picture with a guy in D’Angelo’s band, plus an extra guy who is playing for both JM and D’. Then throw in a jazz legend to boot.
All of this culminated with JM3’s first performance on TV in over 5 years on Late Night With Seth Meyers, where they were joined by Chick Corea, Wallace Roney, and former Weather Report percussionist Manolo Badrena. They did a cover of J.J. Cale’s “After Midnight” which featured fantastic solos by Wallace, Chick, and JM.
It was a very groovy performance, and it was a good reminder that as far as career choices go, JM could play/record exclusively with older, established musicians, and all of his output would be fantastic. He doesn’t need to guest on Frank Ocean’s album to stay relevant (although when he does, it’s awesome). He just needs to keep creating awesome, powerful music, which is a rare commodity nowadays.
What I love about all of this is how interconnected music is. Being a musician is being in a big club, and a bunch of clubmembers who might not normally interact came into each other’s orbits this week, and I can only hope strong connections were made (i.e. a D’Angelo/JM collaboration would be the pinnacle of all my musical hopes and dreams). Here’s hoping we get a full on jazz record from JM3 soon.