Independent label Ropeadope Records has announced that Harlem, N.Y.C. will be the focus of the third installment in their Experiment series, bringing together musicians from the same hometown but with different musical styles to create a genre-bending tribute album. The series began in 2001 with Philadelphia Experiment, and was followed shortly thereafter with Detroit Experiment. For Harlem Experiment, which, like the two preceding albums, was masterminded by Grammy-winning producer Aaron Luis Levinson and Ropeadope founder Andy Hurwitz, a host of well-known musicians with Harlem roots was assembled to perform together. The musicians’ backgrounds range from jazz and funk to klezmer and salsa.
Guitarist Carlos Alomar was performing as part of the house band at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem by age 16, and East Harlem native and bassist Ruben Rodriguez brings his salsa music skills to the group. The other performers who comprise the Harlem Experiment house band are Eddy Martinez on keyboards, Don Byron (pictured) on clarinet, Steve Berrios on drums and Steven Bernstein playing trumpet and arranging. The record uses the format of an imaginary radio station hosted by favorite Harlem radio personality Mums, who takes listeners on an exploration of the neighborhood’s different sounds and musical genres. The album also features special guest performances from Taj Mahal, Olu Dara, James Hunter, Queen Esther and Larry Legend.
2. One for Jackie (featuring the Harlem Experiment House Band)
3. Rigor Mortis (featuring the Harlem Experiment House Band)
4. Reefer Man (featuring Taj Mahal on vocals)
5. Harlem River Drive (featuring Steven Bernstein on trumpet)
6. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen (featuring Don Byron on clarinet)
7. Mums Interlude
8. It’s Just Begun (featuring Larry Legend on turntables)
9. Mambo a la Savoy (featuring Carlos Almoar on guitar)
10. A Rose in Spanish Harlem (featuring James Hunter on vocals & guitar)
11. One For Malcolm (featuring Malcolm X)
12. ‘Lil Bit (featuring DJ Mums on the mic)
13. Think (featuring Queen Esther on vocals)
14. A Rose in Spanish Harlem (Instrumental)
15. Walking Through Harlem (featuring Olu Dara on vocals, guitar & pocket trumpet)