Half Japanese, half New Zealand, LA-based pianist, composer, producer, DJ and live remixer Mark de Clive- Lowe (MdCL) is a rare kind of musician. As at-home sitting behind the grand piano as he is creating bodygrooving beats on the fly, his sonic vocabulary fearlessly integrates everything from classic house records to a full-size big band to hard-hitting electronic beats…completely live.
An acclaimed veteran of London’s turn-of-the-century Broken Beat scene, his new album CHURCH is a return to his first instrument, piano, and his first love — jazz — yet this time via the filter of a life-long journey through styles and across continents. It’s an album that showcases his unique range as a composer, arranger, producer and a live electronic artist.
CHURCH is de Clive-Lowe’s LA/NYC bi-coastal party that he describes as “equal parts jazz club, electronic remix experiment and dance party”. It tells the story of his musical trajectory over the course of a night and on this album of the same name, it’s captured that essence, transporting the listener to the live experience. The new album was predominantly recorded live in NYC and LA studios with de Clive-Lowe’s bands, employing minimal post-production. From his control center of grand piano, fender rhodes, drum machine, sampler pads and synthesizers, de Clive-Lowe leads his bandmates through 13 tracks of jazz as he hears it. Where electronics are an equal improviser along with the musicians and compositions that are as much for the mind and soul as they are to bump a dancefloor.
The new album features some of the best young musicians on the planet — including Nate Smith (Michael Jackson/José James), Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Duane Eubanks (Talib Kweli/Dave Holland), Robin Eubanks (Sun Ra/Stevie Wonder), Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Suite for Ma Dukes) and special guest spots from vocalists Nia Andrews (Janelle Monae/Common), John Robinson (Danger Mouse/MF Doom) and theeKIDICARUS (Pharrell/Chad Hugo) as well as cameos from harpist Low Leaf, capoeira master Contramestre Xingu and more. It’s a full cast of de Clive-Lowe’s favorite collaborators who join him in bringing the CHURCH experience to life.
From the opening theme of “The Mission” with John Robinson’s masterful storytelling of de Clive-Lowe’s journey of how CHURCH came into being, to the dancefloor bounce of “Brukstep” and “Ghaziya”; the poignantly breathtaking vocals from Nia Andrews on “Hollow”; the dubstep-meets-jazz of “Distractions”; the eerie horn musings on “Mason’s Galaxy”…CHURCH is a full palette of flavors and moods as de Clive-Lowe takes us on a magical trip into his imagination…