This is your Daily 2% – Chilled and Ready to Serve. We will try to bring you one “chill” track every day. This is for when you get home and you are trying to unwind. You reach for that glass of wine or that unlit Black & Mild or maybe you reach for something more herbal. This track is for those times. We are just your milkmen and I’m here to make a delivery. Chill…
Today’s delivery is brought to you by Gizmo. It’s been said that integrating creativity into daily routines — brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, eating with your eyes closed — can stimulate inspiration. If this is the case, we can only imagine what Kenneth “Gizmo” Rodgers is doing to invoke the type of creativity found on his latest album, Red Balloon released via Revive Music. At 21, he has performed and recorded with the greats of our time, including Victor Wooten, Talib Kweli, Meshel Ndegeocello, Bilal and Lalah Hathaway. Even Red Balloon has been touched by the gilded hands of Derrick Hodge, most credited for his bass work with the Robert Glasper Experiment among many other accomplishments.
As a jazz bassist himself, Gizmo’s knowledge of various music forms and daring willingness to experiment and improvise with those forms is consequential. This seen all too clearly on “Dancing” which creates a sonic ecosystem of jazz, soul, R&B and funk. Bitter guitar chords even hint at something Latin-inspired. It’s not a feat commonly attempted and even more uncommonly achieved, at least with this much ease or success.
But something about Gizmo’s music tells us that’s never been the issue. To make jazz music, there has to be a disregard for fear of failure. That’s likely the only way to produce such an honest and transcendent masterpiece. Red Balloon is out now and the reason people are buzzing about it is because it’s entirely that good. In addition to “Dancing”, check out the official video for the title track, “Red Balloon” below.