As a follow up, she envisioned an album that would take her talents to the next level. She assembled an extraordinary band that complimented her musical vision and rather than wait for the majors to come to her, Mazz launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the project independently. Vernon Reid – who as guest conductor for Burnt Sugar during the Bowie and Steely Dan retrospectives, got to see amazing Mazz’s skills firsthand – came aboard the project as a producer.
Anyone who has seen Burnt Sugar’s David Bowie retrospectives were blown away by Mazz Swift’s mind blowing reworking of ‘Heroes’. Julliard-trained, Mazz is a multi-tiered threat: Badass singer, violinist (acoustic and electric), songwriter and arranger. With rock, soul, prog-rock and classical and pop in her bones, Mazz scored a breakthrough performance on the Today show in 2012.
MazzMuse: The Band is a tour de force showcase for Mazz’s vocal, composing and violin skills. Whether totally shredding on the violin (‘Molten’) or taking your breath away with a sublime cover of Annie Lennox’s ‘Cold’, MazzMuse signals the arrival of the next great voice in the Alternative Black Music scene – or any scene, for that matter. It’s a joy from start to finish.
Major props to Vernon Reid for his in your face, immediate production that really puts Mazz’s talents upfront and in full fruition, giving birth to a new genre: Prog-soul. Here is a late contender for one of the best albums of 2014.
MazzMuse:The Band is out now via Bandcamp: www.MazzMuse.bandcamp.com. There will also be a CD launch party at Black Bear in Williamsburg on Friday, December 19th.
You can also go to www.mazzmusic.com for more info.
Reviewed by Earl Douglas, Jr., Dec 2014