Home Reviews Josiah Woodson, Suite Elemental (TRR Collective)

Josiah Woodson, Suite Elemental (TRR Collective)



PRE-RELEASE: http://trrstore.bandcamp.com


On his debut album titled, Suite Elemental multi-instrumentalist Josiah Woodson weaves an epic story of a prince on a journey to become a king. Over the course of six tracks, Woodson creates a sound sculpture (suite) inspired by the elements – Air, Water, Fire and Earth – and universal themes that revolve around inheritance, ascendance, struggle, adversity and eventual triumph.  

“In reading the story and listening to the music,” says Woodson, “I hope to spark something in people and they take away a message that is pertinent to them in their lives, whoever they might be.”

Currently based out of Paris, Josiah Woodson is poised to take the international music scene by storm.

TRACKS: Air, Eau (Water), Feu (Fire), Terre (Earth), Solstice, (rep)Rise.

“AIR” represents energy, movement transcendence.

“EAU” (Water) was composed by Woodson during a difficult time in his life. He likens it to a “soothing musical balm.”

“FEU” (Fires) states that there is no triumph without trial; there is no temperance without a test. The tune moves through sections of intense “reds” and “oranges” and a temporary respite rest in “purples” and “yellows.”

“TERRE” (Earth) is a journey. It is the uneasy yet the steady calm before the storm that provides solace for the body but not the mind. Also, it conjures up images of a vast forest and the epic story of “The Prince of Soro.”

“SOLSTICE” is the culmination of the story.

“(rep)RISE” is where the composer comes to terms with forging his path, mind and name. Also, Woodson reveals the story – literally and figuratively – is his.

PERSONNEL:  Pianist Daniel Gassin, Drummer Laurent-Emmanuel “Tilo” Bertholo, Guitarist Ralph Levital, Saxophonist Ricardo Izquierdo, Bassists Peter Giron, Zacharie Abraham, Gwo Kwa Philippe Makaia, Trumpeter, Guitarist, Flutist Josiah Woodson.


A Grammy award winning sideman (for Beyoncé’s “Love on Top”), Josiah Woodson picked up the trumpet at the age of twelve. As a product of the Oaktown Jazz Workshop he refined his craft under the tutelage of his late mentor, Khalil Shaheed. Since leaving the Bay Area, Woodson has regularly returned to teach and perform, including an exposition of an original piece for orchestra entitled “The Third Day,” with conductor Michael Morgan and the Oakland East Bay Symphony.

Woodson obtained his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, where he studied under Marcus Belgrave. There, he was a member of several ensembles, most notably the Oberlin Jazz Septet. Moving to Boston to receive a Master of Music degree (with academic honors) from the New England Conservatory of Music, Woodson was among students selected to perform at the Panama Jazz Festival with Danilo Perez, sharing the stage with David Sanchez, Victor Paz, and Kurt Rosenwinkel. The Boston Globe heralded his playing as “outstanding!”

While in Boston, where he toured with Lamine Toure and Group Saloum playing trumpet, flute, and guitar, Woodson became an integral member of “The Makanda Project” with Oliver Lake, Yoron Isreal and John Lockwood, playing trumpet and flute. He continued to perform with the Boston-based ensemble while stationed in New York and played trumpet, flute, and guitar in several bands including Out to Lunch, The People’s Champs and The SuperPower Horns, with whom he wrote and recorded material for seven tracks on the award-winning singer Beyonce’s latest album, 4.

Woodson has collaborated and shared the stage with such notable artists and musicians as, Branford Marsalis, Billy Hart, Gary Bartz, David Sanchez, Danilo Perez, Ronnie Burrage, John Lockwood, Dave Holland, Ben Williams, Mulgrew Miller, Marcus Belgrave, Clarence Clemons, Beyoncé Knowles, Blitz the Ambassador, Mos Def, Winard Harper, Steve Turre, Najee and many more.

Artist Website: http://www.josiahwoodson.com
Truth Revolutionhttp://truthrevolutionrecords.com
Airplay: Feu (Fire), Air.

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject.


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