The Recording Artist behind melodic DIRT, Joe, pays tribute to the Jazz Legends that helped shape the sound of this new grunge rock gothic jazz surf metal pop music on MLK Day.

From the video without the ah’s, um’s, da’s and whatever else my frozen head on that cold post gym workout day conjured up:

“Hey my name is Joe and I’m the recording artist behind melodic DIRT. It’s January 2015 and this was the year that the music of melodic DIRT was released… and it’s actually January 17th, MLK Day weekend and I just wanted to take this time to pay tribute to the Jazz Legends that have helped influence and shape the sound of melodic DIRT to some degree. I do categorize it as grunge rock with a gothic jazz surf metal twist and part of that jazz element, is people like, you know the influence of Jackie Mclean, Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk just to mention a few… Max Roach, Bud Powell, Clifford Brown, Eric Dolphy, Charles Mingus, the list goes on… I’ve spent a few years studying jazz music as drummer actually, emulating jazz drummers like Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Art Taylor and so I just wanted to take a couple seconds here to pay tribute. So there you have it… peace out.”

I just wanted to add here that I had the great pleasure of getting to see some of these legends play live. I got the opportunity to talk with them, hang out and shoot the shit with them. Through University of Hartford I was able to meet Jackie Mclean. Through UMASS Amherst I was able to do the same with Yusef, Archie and Max. Max Roach played my drums one day right in front of me… it was awesome. These people are all top class extremely intelligent soulful people that have had a direct influence on my life as well as my music.

I was able to study drums with Stephen McCraven, Archie Schepps drummer, for a couple years out in Amherst before they both moved to Paris to gig along with Tom McClung. I consider these 3 as friends as I know if I were to run into them again it would seem like reuniting with old friends (though it’s been many years). They are my mentors and I have great respect and admiration for them.

Jackie Mclean once told me I reminded him of his son. I got in some trouble with another professor one time and had to go talk with Jackie about it. He was totally cool about the situation and understood completely how artist temperaments can sometimes flair.

I wanted to share all of this with you because I thought it was important to provide some insight into the music of melodic DIRT on a day where I think we should all pay tribute and recognize the positive influence that some individuals in the black community have had on our lives. In these crazy times these days I think it’s important to focus on the positive and not get too caught up in the negative with regards to some rotten apples that exist within our society. They exist among every race.

For me, MLK Day brings me back to all the positive, productive and inspirational moments in my life that were the result of influential black people.  And their lives are undoubtedly affected by the influence of MLK.

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