The first single, “The Gospel,” from drummer Steve Jordan and Mix Master Mike‘s upcoming Beat Odyssey 2020 album [Jay-Vee Records—due August 28] is dedicated to all the non-violent protestors this year. The release is paired with a video directed by Anaka Marie that documents the peaceful protests across the nation.
The cinematic track and album were completely improvised and recorded spontaneously—just drums and turntables—with Jordan using a hybrid kit assembled from different vintage drums, such as Slingerland Octatoms , Ludwig bass drums, Paiste cymbals, and a Rogers snare.
“We would play live—plain and simple—and just have these explosions,” describes Jordan. “We were on fire.”
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The duo first met when Jordan was music-directing the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards, and he felt the orchestra needed a turntablist.
“Mike freakin’ blew my head off,” he remembers. “I had never heard anyone do what he did before, and on such a musical level. He invigorated the entire orchestra.”
Jordan credits the duo’s melodic improvisation to their shared knowledge of jazz.
“Mike can pull up a Lee Morgan vibe, or a thing inspired by some of my favorite musicians and composers,” says Jordan.
“The Gospel” resonates beyond current events, as Jordan’s father was part of The March on Washington in 1963, where he heard Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.
“In 1968, when Dr. King was taken from the world and hope was in doubt, we kept marching,” he says. “In 2020, we’re marching louder, longer, and more collectively than ever before. We’re keeping the dreams and hopes alive for a just and peaceful society. We are all created equal.”