Vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris is set to release his 7th album as a bandleader in August. The 10-track “Urbanus” picks up where 2004’s “Evolution” left off in that it features Harris’ ensemble Blackout that’s as versed in modern jazz as it is with rhythms, melodies and soundscapes associated with R&B, pop, hip-hop and funk.
Marc Cary complements his acoustic piano with Fender Rhodes and alto saxophonist Casey Benjamin lends his captivating vocoder work to the proceeding. Harris’ broadening textures and colors comes to play with his sensational woodwind and string arrangements on a few of the compositions. New Blackout bassist Buster Williams rounds out the group.
Harris and Blackout will be on tour to promote “Urbanus” (on Concord Jazz label) starting in September 2009.