Philip Lassiter’s contribution and relevance to the music industry are as diverse and celebrated as he is. The highlights of his impressive career include production and arranging work for seven GRAMMY winning projects with Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin in addition to working as section-leader, arranger and lead trumpeter for Prince. Lassiter is revered as a sought-after songwriter (SESAC) and Jazz musician whose talents earned him an endorsement with Cannonball Instruments and a recent record deal with GroundUP Records. Lassiter is also the musical genius behind the funk group Philthy.
Two decades of gospel, soul, R&B, funk, jazz and salsa sounds have served as a combined muse for Lassiter. Over those years, he worked with some of the most talented musicians and producers in the world. Bernard Wright, Bobby Sparks, Keith Anderson and many others opened new musical doors and further expanded his notoriety in the gospel and funk industry. As an arranger with multi-platinum artists including Prince, Fantasia, Kelly Rowland, Jill Scott, Roberta Flack, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Al Jarreau, Anthony Hamilton, Frankie Beverly, Ledisi, Regina Belle, Donald Lawrence and hundreds of others.
Lassiter is most recently and widely known for leading an 11-piece horn section for the late Prince, with whom he toured internationally and in the U.S. He is currently residing in LA where he has recently worked with epic artists like Anderson.Paak, Anita Wilson and Cece Winans. His latest album Chill Mode is available on iTunes January 20th and features some of the most relevant musicians of our current time (Cory Henry, Mono Neon, James Poyser, and many others).
Phillip Lassiter Album Chill Mode
You can definitely hear Lassiter’s influences and experiences throughout the album.
For me, this is a part of the Nu Jazz genre. Artists in this mode combine a few different styles, and it is definitely a modern sound that contains a splash of traditional jazz elements.
The opening track, Jungle Feva, threw me for a loop. This is a Hip-Hop inspired track which gives the feeling of an extended interlude. I was anticipating Anderson.Paak to drop a rhyme, but no…at 2:20 Lassiter’s horn slides in there to let you know he has arrived. You get the feeling of sitting in a smoky lounge with the music in the background, then all of a sudden, you look up and say to yourself…..WHO is that?
Lassiter gives the Steppers a chance to get up and do their thing with Cheers 2 Life. This time, though, there is a short rhyme that feeds off that smooth trumpet. The synthesizer is laying there in the cut which will keep your head bobbin’. Speaking of that, Bob Ya Head is up next. The vocals come courtesy of Josephine Rojer. Although she is not singing any verses, Rojer is supplying the feel good vibes over the track.
Lassiter spent some time in Nashville, and in the next track, Sunday School, you can definitely hear those influences. You can see the video here:
Hopscotch and It Ain’t Easy both have an old school vibe. It Ain’t Easy features Life, and he drops a smooth rhyme over the track. This is a song that perfectly blends Jazz, Chillout and Hip-Hop. Lassiter then breaks it all the way down with Yo-Shahh. The track features MonoNeon on bass and Josephine Rojer is back to grace us with her vocal sensibilities.
Chill Mode is another one of those slow, funky tracks that makes you want to turn down the lights and get inside of the groove. You don’t believe me? Take a listen for yourself:
The album closes with Smilin’ Profilin’. This is an uptempo track and it is a fitting conclusion to the album. Lassiter takes that “Jazz” label and incorporates Soul, Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop, and some Southern Funk to give us something to enjoy as we start 2017. I completely recommend this album for your music collection.
Phillip Lassiter Album Chill Mode releases on January 20th, and you can get it right here.