What do you call a musical gumbo that recalls the ancestral strut and joie de vivre of the New Orleans’ Tremé, the drama and ecstasy of the church’s wailing floor, and the suited-up sophistication of jazz threaded with the party funk of Parliament? What do you name sounds that hail from Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, and the red dirt South all at once? How do you label music that simultaneously evokes all of the uncontainable energies and passions exploding from so many disparate musical legacies? Here we call it Water Seed.
The origins of this hybridity reflecting the diverse feels and experiences of Black America begin in New Orleans, the birthplace of multi-instrumentalists Lou Hill and J Sharp, the architects of Water Seed’s cool, elemental sound. The band’s privileging of rhythm and groove, the elegant jazz flourishes, and lyrical songs deeply rooted in both alchemists’ classical education, all hint at the sacred training grounds that sharpened Louisiana jazz greats from Jelly Roll Morton to the Marsalis Brothers, creators known for marrying the traditional with the modern in the creation of the new.