Keyboardist Jakob Magnusson Releases New EP “High North” | LISTEN to Single “Next To You!”

Keyboardist Jakob Magnusson drops a jazz-funk set from “High North” on Friday

The Icelandic artist teams up with GRAMMY winner Paul Brown for a new EP

REYKJAVIK (6 May 2020): Observing the global pandemic from his relatively unscathed northern perch in Iceland, keyboardist Jakob Magnusson follows developments on the virus and its economic impact closely. With less than a dozen deaths directly attributed to coronavirus in this Nordic nation, the jazz-funk artist is focused on dropping his “High North” EP on Friday on the Woodward Avenue Records label. As some astute observers believe that Iceland is in one of the strongest positions to recover and rebound swiftly from the worldwide challenges, Magnusson exudes a sense of national pride, which inspired the title to the five song-set he wrote with two-time GRAMMY-winning producer-guitarist Paul Brown.

“Indeed, the title ‘High North’ refers to my Icelandic origins. I come from what used to be considered the outskirts of the habitable world. Iceland used to be seen as a very remote, cold little island somewhere between Moscow and Washington, but thanks to international aviation, telecommunications and social media, it is now more and more seen as the most ideal and desirable location in the whole world. Living here gives you a different set of values and the musical life in Iceland has for years been blessed by free musical education for all, the presence of American radio and television networks, and some great American musicians and producers like Paul Brown who have been coming here for years to play and produce local talent. I´ve certainly benefitted from this,” said Magnusson, who has also released recordings under the name Jack Magnet.

“High North” was created as an international collaboration between the Reykjavik-based Magnusson and the Los Angeles-based Brown utilizing musicians from both countries. Flugelhorn player Snorri Sigurdsson, trumpeter Ari Bragi Karason and vocalist Ragnhildur Gisladottir are among the Icelandic musicians contributing to the collection with most of the grooves anchored by the Icelandic rhythm section formed by bassist Johann Asmundsson and drummer Thor Thorvaldsson.

“We were lucky to have one of the world´s foremost bass players here to lay the foundations with us, jazz-funk maverick Johann Asmundsson, who has provided some of the key elements to the sound of renowned groove-jazzers Mezzoforte,” said Magnusson, who went on to reveal the inspiration for the EP opener, “Karlsson’s Arrival,” a toss around the musical horn that affords each player the moment to shine by offering clever retorts in response to Magnusson’s deft keyboard calls.

“One of the songs on the EP is aptly named ‘Karlsson´s Arrival’ due to the fact that Mezzoforte guitarist Fridrik Karlsson volunteered to come to the studio and lend his magic guitar touch to some of the tracks together with his longtime American friend, Paul Brown, with whom he has frequently performed in Iceland and London.”

Among the other American players are horn men Greg Vail and Lee Thornburg, percussionist Lenny Castro, keyboardist-drummer-songwriter Lew Laing, and Billboard chart-topping saxophonist Jeff Ryan, who was featured soloing on the EP’s “Hook, Line & Sinker,” which dropped in 2018, Ryan’s breakthrough year. Cowriting the energizing jam with Magnusson and Brown was British hitmaker Chris Standring.

Serviced to radio and set to begin collecting playlist adds on Monday (May 11) is “Caption This,” a retro cool vibe that opens with a slick 1970s guitar riff from Brown that churns away in the background as Magnusson dispenses soulful keyboards throughout the cut. While citing the song’s message, Magnusson offers the track as a state of the union on the future of the contemporary jazz-funk genre.

“‘Caption This’ refers to playing within certain musical concepts and commenting on them with our own rather personal musical phrasings – mostly short and sharp. It means creating your own musical phrases as a response to a given musical setting. In this case, we are referring to the rephrasing and repositioning of a friendly retrospective genre that now may have been granted a new lease on life.”

Magnusson & Company playfully embark on the quirky “Reykjavik Romp.” One of the most interesting EP credits is credited to Thor Thorvaldsson and Einar Scheving on the haunting “Next To You,” an atmospheric number showcasing Magnusson’s nimble keyboard explorations.

“We spice up our rhythms with local human elements like Polar Beat. The Icelandic Polar Beat involves some mouth & body percussion,” Magnusson explains.

Magnusson is considered one of Iceland’s most original musical exports and a Rhodes keyboard master. He has amassed a versatile body of recordings that include collaborations with jazz royalty (Stanley Clarke, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Scott and Richard Elliot) as well as pop superstars (Elton John and Phil Collins). A dynamic multimedia personality who served as a celebrity judge on “Iceland’s Got Talent,” Magnusson starred in and produced Iceland’s biggest box office success, “Með allt á hreinu (On Top).” For more information, please visit Magnusson on Facebook and Instagram or visit http://woodwardavenuerecords.com/.

“High North” contains the following songs:

“Karlsson’s Arrival”
“Hook, Line & Sinker”
“Caption This”
“Reykjavik Romp”
“Next To You”

Great Scott P.R.oductions

MORE News on T.U.M.S.!

Saxophonist Mike Phillips Releases Star-Studded New Music Video for "Flava In Ya Ear" (Remix) | WAT...
R&B Stylist Sinéad Harnett Releases New Music Video for "Quarantine Queen" | WATCH!
NEW VOICES! Singer Jason Leon Releases New Single "Rope" | LISTEN!
Funk Legend Maceo Parker Releases New Single "Hard Times" | New Album Drops June 26th | LISTEN!
Miles Davis Estate & The JFA Present "A Miles Davis Birthday Celebration" on SiriusXM's 'Real Jazz' ...
Singer Renee Dion Releases New 3-Track EP "Patience • Relax • Endure" | LISTEN!
Singer Russell Taylor Releases New Official Music Video for "Come Morning" | WATCH!
Vintage Trouble Releases Stirring New Single “Outside-In” | WATCH OFFICIAL VIDEO!
Indie Soul Band Soulganic to Release New Single "Tabasco Jones" on June 19th, 2020 | WATCH NEW VIDEO...
Singer Bluey Returns with New Album "Tinted Sky" on June 26th, 2020 | LISTEN to New Single "Back Her...
Tay Da Prince and John Legend Release Music Video for "Love One Another" in Support of COVID-19 Reli...
Gregory D and Company Releases New Single "My Time" on June 5th, 2020
Drummer Brian Andres Debuts New Trio Latino Project "Mayan Suite" | WATCH VIDEO for Single "Viento S...
Piano Legend Chick Corea to Release New Album "Plays" {2-CD/3-LP} on Aug. 28th, 2020 | LISTEN to "Mo...
Singer Donnie Releases New Single ”America (Do You Wanna Go Higher?)" | LISTEN!
Lila Iké Releases Debut EP "The Experience" | WATCH NEW VIDEO for Single "Solitude"!
Producer Chris "Big Dog" Davis to Release New Album "Focus" on June 26th, 2020 | LISTEN to New Singl...
Singer Sherri Brown Releases New Single "Invitation" | LISTEN!
Songstress Selina Albright to Release New Single "Discovering" on July 3rd, 2020
Saxophonist Euge Groove to Release New Album "Sing My Song" on June 26th, 2020 | LISTEN to New Singl...
Pastor Stephen Robinson Releases New Single "He Can Do It" | LISTEN!
Ramsey Lewis Returns with Monthly Online Series "Saturday Salon" | WATCH NEW VIDEO!
Jazz Pianist Al Daniels Releases New Album "Brasiliana" | LISTEN to New Single "Change The World" fe...
Singer Shirley King to Release New Album "Blues For A King" on June 19th, 2020
Reggae Singer Christopher Martin Releases New Single "Little Green Apples" | LISTEN!
Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire to Release New Album "on the tender spot of every calloused moment" on ...
Jonathan Traylor Releases New Album "The Unknown" | WATCH LYRIC VIDEO for Single "You Get The Glory!...
Singer Gregory Porter Releases New Single "Phoenix" | WATCH NEW LYRIC VIDEO!
Vocalist/Trombonist David L. Harris Releases New Album "More Than Love … to be a man"
New Whitney Houston Biopic "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" Coming Soon
Funk Legend Maceo Parker to Release New Studio Album "Soul Food - Cooking With Maceo" on June 26th, ...
Singer Eric Roberson Releases New Music Video for "Already Knew You" | WATCH!
Singer Whitney McClain Releases New EP "Letters From A Broken Heart" | LISTEN!
The Jazz Journalists Association Announces 2020 Awards Nominees
NEW VOICES! Singer La'Tonya Meori Releases New Single "Superman" | LISTEN!
Singer Angel Sessions Releases New Single "Ready To Rock" | LISTEN!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *