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Julius Rodriguez: Let Sound Tell All - Exclusive Milky LP
On his debut album Let Sound Tell All, 23 year old musician Julius Rodriguez stirs a cauldron of gospel, jazz, classical, R&B, hip-hop, experimentation, production and sheer technical wizardry to create a stunning debut that eschews classification, but commands attention. As an 11 year old kid, Rodriguez honed his jazz chops at Smalls Jazz Club, wowing elders while wearing a hoodie and banging out Ellington. Fast forward to 2018 when he dropped out of Juilliard, shimmying off the rigid curriculum to tour with A$AP Rocky.
Fast forward to 2022, Rodriguez is on the cusp of a stellar release that weaves his life and influences - from Monk, Coltrane, Solange, James Blake, Sampha and more. Call him Gen-Z jazz, but when you hear Julius Rodriguez play “the music,” as he calls it, it’s a modern sound, as fluent in history as it is aware of its contemporary context. His music dares to imagine a future of new standards and sonic excitement. This vanguard was raised in an atmosphere where pop and hip-hop and dance influenced their approaches to melody and harmony and rhythm, so of course it is part of their improvisational DNA. And that’s what Julius Rodriguez’s Sound tells to whoever will choose to listen.
“Gift Of The Moon” is one of the first songs Rodriguez wrote - a vibing number marked by layered solos a la Roy Hargrove, George Martin-level experimentation and a tight synth melody. “Two Way Street” is a combustible head-banger of a jazz tune with a nod to Coltrane’s high-octane Classic Quartet with an acid-trip of a production. Then you get taken to church with “When Grace Abounds,” a spiritual, self-reflective number that displays Rodriguez’s prodigious understanding of simple and profound melody. It starts as a duet between Rodriguez on electric piano and Hammond B-3 organ - it’s “a song I wrote at a time where I felt like I wasn't being the best version of myself yet, and still a lot of great things were happening to me. So it’s me being grateful for being in the situation I'm in, even though I felt like I didn’t deserve it.” Drew of the Drew and Jon Castelli mix it into a ghostly, gospel-like wonder.
1. Blues At The Barn
2. All I Do
4. Gift Of The Moon
5. Two Way Street
1. Where Grace Abounds
2. Elegy (for Cam)
3. In Heaven
4. Philip’s Thump
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