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Following his auspicious 2008 debut Rise of the Phoenix and the 2012 set Soul of Man that explored musical excursions into funk, R&B, soul and Brazilian music, Alvin Pope is now taking his musical journey farther with the release of The Good Life. This time around, Pope vibes with genre superstar and #1 hit maker Nils to create an infectious set of nine dynamic originals and two powerful covers. The title of the album came to the keyboardist towards the end of the recording process, and it perfectly summarizes the joyful spirit of the collection and Pope’s optimism moving forward: The Good Life. The first single is a lively, super soulful and funk driven “Body Heat” includes snazzy horn doubling fills courtesy of Jeff Kashiwa in addition to Pope’s lively synth and piano solos.
The core flow of the album is centered on Pope’s freewheeling melodic magic on piano and retro keyboards (including Hammond B-3 organ and Fender Rhodes) and Nils’ funk-driven production and acoustic and electric guitar energy. The project features performances from renowned indie players Reggie Codrington (“Amazing Grace”) and Charley Langer (“Island Girl”) in addition to veteran smooth jazz chart toppers Jessy J (“Mr. Marco”) and Jeff Kashiwa (“Body Heat”). Bassists include Reggie McBride (“Body Heat,” “One More Day,” “Chillin’”), Darryl Williams (“Rio,” “Amazing Grace,” “Island Girl,” “Paraiso,” Valdez In The Country,”) and Larry Antonio (“Mr. Marco”), while Oliver Brown handles percussion and Richard Wrightman keeps the beat steady on drums. The album also includes some of the last studio sessions by legendary drummer Ricky Lawson before he passed away in late 2013; he appears on “Rio” and “Mr. Marco”.
The Wilmington, Delaware raised keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist states: “The title of the album reflects the fact that everything about the experience of making it is about the positive side of life. I’ve kind of gone outside the box, exploring different textures and rhythmic ideas to create a blended style.”