Pianist Jon Batiste cooks up new beats with added Chili

New Orleans young lion Jon Batiste has teamed up with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith and producer Bill Laswell for a progressive music project called ‘The Process’.

New Orleans young lion Jon Batiste has teamed up with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith and producer Bill Laswell for a progressive music project called ‘The Process’. Initially it was an experiment for a film putting musicians from hugely different backgrounds together and see what came about but soon turned into a record.

Bill Laswell’s driving bass-lines underpin an energetic, even aggressive concoction, drawing elements from the funk of The Meters, to Miles Davis’ electric fusion to the Chili Pepper’s wild attack with a dose of hip hop attitude. It was conceived and recorded as an improvisational work.

“I wanted to take a risk and be inspired by other musicians who feel the same. There was no music written before we got to the studio. Whatever comes into your head. Grab a rhythm and run with it,” Chad Smith said. “Jon and I had an unspoken musical telepathy from the very first time we jammed at the church in Harlem. He’s the main inspiration for me wanting to do this. Bill is kind of a mad scientist, his work speaks for itself.”

Jon Batiste is one of the most adaptable musicians in jazz with a wide appreciation for music well beyond the genre. A virtuoso pianist from a New Orleans musical dynasty, he remains open to exploring music and brings with him a natural freedom and uncanny ability to communicate with the listener. Live, Batiste seems instantly familiar with the space he’s in and the personality of the audience and works the two perfectly. Bill Laswell has long since been admired for his pioneering fusion of sonic ideas, unconfined, and has a wealth of experience working with musicians right across world music, jazz, rock and funk. 

The result is something quite different to anything each has previously done. Laws commented, “I kept saying it’s a Process, it takes time. The result is strikingly unique.”

‘The Process’ features indie rocker Tunde Adebimpe from the band TV on the Radio, Wu-Tang Clan’s Killah Priest, Jamaican singer Garrison Hawk, avant-garde jazz trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, avante-garde jazz multi instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum and guitarist Dominic James.

Listen to Jon Batiste’s Jazz FM live session and interview with Chris Philips online here.

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