Reachin' Out

Reachin' Out

Catalogue no: VIS115CD

I wanted an album that would resolve all the styles that I've played as a live drummer and reflect my journey as a musician.

In his new album, Reachin' Out, Manchester-based artist Dubble D, aka Danny Ward, expresses his love for diversity and a desire to cross both age and culture. The album glides effortlessly across musical genres, bringing together jazz, house, hip hop, reggae and soul, to create a perfectly balanced album rooted firmly in the song-writing tradition.

Danny has worked as a drummer for over 15 years, gigging six nights a week with a wide range of artists, from live electronic band 2020Soundsystem to renowned jazz musicians Gilad Atzmon and Jim Mullen. He also worked as musical director and percussionist for both Rae & Christian and AIM on tour and has produced with notable artists such as Fila Brazilia, Only Child, Veba, Chapter & the Verse and The Pharcyde. He's also an integral member of the much-lauded 2020Soundsystem with Ralph Lawson and label mates Silver City.

The result of Danny's live and studio experience comes to fruition on Reachin' Out, in both the skilful way he works with each collaborator and on his solo tracks. Some of the world's most respected artists have signed up to collaborate with him, from Grammy-nominated jazz singer Flora Purim to NYC hip hop producers Qball and Curt Cazal and soulful beat scientists Nightmares on Wax.

The solo excursions include: Super Hi, which kicks off proceedings, referencing the many hours Danny spent on the Hacienda dancefloor; Squelch, with its bouncy bassline, deep pads and crisp production; nu-jazz dancefloor classic Stench; jazzy hip hop instrumental Big Fish; and lazy, string soaked affair King.

Guest stars

Brought up on a diet of Miles Davis and Art Blakey, these early influences cemented Danny's love for jazz music and can be heard to permeate his sound alongside more contemporary inspirations such as Pete Rock and A Tribe Called Quest. But where all time favourites are concerned, its Flora Purim who tops the list; first hearing her unique voice at the age of 13, he has collected her records ever since. So when she agreed to sing on his album a lifetime ambition box was given a big red tick. Anyone with even a passing interest in Latin and American jazz music of the last 25 years will have heard of Flora Purim. The lady with the 6-octave voice has no less than 2 Grammy-nominations for Best Female Jazz Performance and has sung on 2 Grammy-awarded albums: Mickey Hart's 'Planet Drum and 'Dizzy Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra'. Her equally talented daughter Diana Booker, who sings in her own band Eyedentity and works as a vocal instructor at the LA Music Academy, joins Flora to write and sing lyrics on the superb track Switch. A beautiful mix of Portuguese and English vocals float over Danny's cool, shuffling, nu-jazz rhythms, combining to become a real melting pot of Latin jazz vocals and modern beats. This has the potential to become a modern classic.

In complete contrast, the next artist who brings his skills to the fore is legendary scratch DJ and one half of quirky hip hop visionaries Fingathing. Peter Parker adds his magic to My Ass! with choice cuts and scratches over a wobbly, fun, Latin-influenced hip hop fusion on a Mr Scruff kind of tip.

In a different style again, the next collaborator to deliver their talent to Danny's door comes in the shape of respected underground dub star Dubdadda, who adds amazing vocal tones and lyrics to dubwise, speaker-troubler Love Holds. Dubdadda is a highly esteemed artist on the dub reggae scene and has sung with internationally acclaimed artists Mad Professor and Lee Scratch Perry.

An equally talented, but again, very different artist brings a beautiful soulful moment to the album on Multiply. In working with Canadian chanteuse Kate Rogers, Danny showcases his songwriting talent and his skilful beat programming. Kate made her name by singing for Rae & Christian and AIM before releasing her debut solo LP St Eustacia on Grand Central in 2004.

Next the fantastic Ms Diane Charlemagne steps up to the mic to deliver her sweet sexy voice to Reachin' Out and Rain. Diane is renowned for her vocals on Goldie's Inner City Life, being Moby's backing singer and working with a long list of artists and bands including Urban Cookie Collective, Satoshi Tomiie and The Prodigy.

In a nod towards Danny's love of old school hip hop, Diane passes the mic on to heroes of the genre Qball and Curt Cazal, originally from the legendary JVC Force. QNC's ode to rap music on Would You? fits perfectly over Danny's deep and funky beats, and will be released as a single with new remixes. The pair are signed to NYC's famous hip-hip label D&D Records and are currently working with M.O.P., Guru from Gangstarr and Brand Nubian's Lord Jamar.

For the final meeting of minds, fellow beat supremo George Evelyn or DJ EASE from Nightmares on Wax joins Danny in the studio to produce Pudpots. George recorded Dubble D's live drums and fed them into the sampler, added horns and Danny joined in with the funky double bass to create a real treat for beat junkies. NOW were innovators on the 'Northern bleep' scene in the early 90s before reclaiming their childhood roots in hip-hop and soul in the shape of their stunning 1995 LP Smokers Delight, which marked the start of their now trademark laid back, smoked-out sound.

Reachin' Out is the first of five new 2020 artist albums set to be released in 2005 and marks the start of 2020Vision becoming a major album force. In the last 10 years the label has become renowned as a purveyor of the finest 12" DJ vinyl with superb long-player moments interspersed. Having worked hard to dig out a wealth of fresh, young talent queuing up with material, the 2020 team are making top quality albums a regular fixture in the release schedule.

Dubble D - Reachin' Out

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