COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (grooveworks ENT) heralds the arrival this season of highly regarded young R&B/Soul keyboardist-producer AARON HARDIN as solo artist through an innovative collection of new jazz arrangements of old Christmas favorites.
At the same time, this seven-song offering is a stylistic departure from soul/R&B/hip-hop scene in which he’s been rising quickly as a sideman or producer for the likes of Talib Kweli, The Pharcyde, Lalah Hathaway, Musiq Soulchild, Jesse Boykins, Ann Nesby, Tyler The Creator, Trina Broussard, Slum Village, and buzzing hip-hop experimentalists Sore Losers.
Highlighting his compositional and orchestral arrangement prowess in a jazz fusion context, Hardin summons influences old (Oscar Paterson, Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi, Ahmad Jamal) and new (Robert Glasper, Kendrick Scott, Brian Blade Fellowship, Yellowjackets) to create a fresh take on holiday music blending jazz, soul, and R&B, with hints of classical – or what Soul Bounce calls “the perfect blend of jazz and the Christmas spirit.”
Eric Roberson, for whom Hardin plays and most recently produced “Picture Perfect” and “At the Same Time,” characterizes the classically trained, church-raised, jazz-loving, hip-hop influenced, and soul guided Maryland native as “the definition of a hustler” in taking this definitive step in yet another direction.
“This project takes on a special meaning to me, because it taught me a number of things about being an independent artist,” says Hardin. “As a producer and multi instrumentalist, I’m very accustomed to doing everything myself. This was the first time I was able to put together a group of individuals for the purpose of recording in this way, and to have everyone stand behind the project and enjoy the ideas and arrangements as much as I did made for an awesome chemistry that made the work easy. “
COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS features several extremely talented musicians and vocalists who, like Hardin, are on the verge of breakout awareness. Christie Dashiell, currently seen on NBC’s The Sing Off with Afro Blue, is showcased on “Silent Night.” Featured on “Rest Well, Gentlemen” is 2005 Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition winner Nikoletta Szoke, alongside vocal arranger and sultry vocalist Claudia Melton, producer/host of House of Blues’ HOB Underground. DC singer/songwriter Levi Stephens lends his vocals to “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” while DC vocalist Kenny Wesley adds atmosphere to “LDB.”
COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, the album and digi-booklet, are available at www.grooveworksENT.com, iTunes and Amazon.com, for $6.93. Autographed hard copies also are available via mail order for $10 through the grooveworksENT website. grooveworks ENT is a division of Hardin Enterprises, LLC.
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