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Meeting of the Minds (by Ari Joshua)
Meeting of the Minds (by Ari Joshua)
Meeting of the Minds (by Ari Joshua)

Ari Joshua’s “Meeting of The Minds” Is Visionary Avant Garde Opus

Ari Joshua, an exceptionally talented musician and performer, has recently released his latest work of art, “Meeting of The Minds.” This experimental album is a captivating exploration through the worlds of jazz, avant-garde music, and psychedelia. With the help of John Medeski on keys, Billy Martin on drums, and Jason Fraticelli on bass, Joshua has created a soulful jazz fusion that incorporates elements of punk rock and highlights his improvisational skills.

With a total of 27 songs, “Meeting of The Minds” provides a diverse and immersive musical experience. Each track is a compact and catchy burst of power, lasting only one to two minutes before seamlessly transitioning to the next piece. The album opens with the title track, which appears in four different versions, featuring a mix of tapes and militaristic drums working around brooding keys. The listener is then taken on a sonic journey, encountering eerie effects, space cadet tones, wind chimes, and intriguing percussion that scrambles around like loose mercury.

Joshua’s exceptional ability to balance different musical styles is truly remarkable. “Meeting of The Minds” effortlessly blends dark ambient, free jazz, and improvised jazz rock influences, resulting in a cohesive and captivating album. The intricate compositions and mesmerizing improvisations showcase Joshua’s versatility and his commitment to pushing musical boundaries.

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The decision to include shorter tracks throughout the album adds to its overall flow and feel. These brief musical interludes serve as palate cleansers, allowing the listener to absorb and appreciate the intricacies of each composition before moving on to the next. It’s a testament to Joshua’s creativity and his ability to create a cohesive narrative within an expansive collection of songs.

Beyond his musical endeavors, Joshua’s passion for music extends to his community. As the founder of The Music Factory, he has made a significant impact on music education. This dedication to nurturing musical talent showcases Joshua’s commitment to the growth and development of aspiring musicians.

The album artwork by Burgundy Viscosi is striking and evocative, perfectly complementing the music on “Meeting of The Minds.” The visual representation enhances the overall listening experience, adding another layer of depth and meaning to Joshua’s creative process.

“Meeting of The Minds” is a visionary artistic achievement by Ari Joshua. This will remind you a trippy and accessible version of Trout Mask Replica. His fearless exploration of diverse genres and willingness to experiment result in a groundbreaking album that challenges conventions and delights the senses. Collaborating with exceptional musicians and infusing each track with raw energy and improvisational brilliance, Joshua has created a musical masterpiece that will leave a lasting impact on listeners. Embark on this musical journey and let Ari Joshua’s “Meeting of The Minds” transport you to uncharted musical universes.

We get to speak to him about the music.
1. “Meeting of The Minds” is a highly experimental album across psychedelia, jazz, and avant garde music. Can you describe the process of recording with John Medeski, Billy Martin, and Jason Fraticelli? How did you collaborate on the music, and what inspired the eclectic sound of the album?
I like that description… A highly experimental album across psychedelia, jazz, and avant garde music.

First of all thanks for having me. As for the inspiration & process, I did about 14 days of prep. I flew into NYC, and drove up to Woodstock and fell asleep up there. By the time I woke up Billy was all set up and he and Jason and I just got into improvising right away. That was part of the process. The location to me was a big part of the inspiration too. John and Billy are like really special musical beings to me as well, it was super cool to be somewhere they where so comfortable. I’m really excited to share the next releases.Tthere’s still about 90% of the music from the session unreleased; this is just a round one of sorts. I wrote 15-20 ideas and had some friends help prepare some clean charts. I sent all loops and recordings to Billy and John and had a few short calls and emails. I got as good a read on what John, Billy, and Jason were sort of open and interested in doing. I tried to take it all in and then completely let go when we all met. Let whatever comes up come up. Sometimes it was improv, and other times I cherry picked through my charts based on each moment. Those guys are so creative, very present, very in the moment, very free.

2. You’ve collaborated with a diverse range of artists in your career, from members of The Trey Anastasio Band and Medeski Martin & Wood to legendary rock musicians. How has working with these different artists influenced your approach to music, and how did it impact the recording of “Meeting of The Minds”?

Each artist has their own being, their own history and sort of frequency. They all have concepts that have worked for them for years. Some uniquely their own and some that they have picked up from their hero’s both working with them and studying them. I’ve learned from all of them. I mean Peter Buck from REM taught me the importance of playing a part, and sticking to it on a recording. Similar with Stone Gossard watching him in the studio. There are some things you only get by osmosis and being there in the room. In Vermont with the Ray and Russ from TAB I was reminded that it’s not about the gear, it’s about being there with open ears. John and Billy invited me into what felt like a creative bubble to really explore, a cocoon, a place with no positive and no negative. They embody the creative side of things both with form and without it. They did a mix of my tunes and improv, but I learned things there in that room I’ll never forget. Like things I’ve known but just made more sense, that’s the thing about this art, doorways can open, and once opened you can walk back and forth. It was deep but also a lot like how I remember making music in high school and middle school was with my friends.

3. This album features 27 songs, each with its own unique experimentation and vibe. Can you talk about how you approached writing and arranging the music for the album, and how you decided the order of the songs?
MOTM is really one big improv chopped up in bite size chunks. It’s an album but it’s also like just a really beautiful record of the first notes and moments we shared. There’s just a lot more coming. But I’m still listening to this like it’s fresh. It will always be fresh.

4. How did John Medeski and Billy Martin contribute to the overall direction of this session?

John suggested the studio, he just had a bunch of his analog equipment up there at the time. The Scofield with MMW albums and a bunch of MMW Trio albums were done up there. The engineer we had Chris Bitner also did all those sessions, so it was special enough that I wanna do it all again. Chris was cool as anyone I’ve met. He’s all himself. Really it felt right from the moment I pulled up. They both did a lot to shape the session, but also didn’t. I mean I spoke to Billy initially when I was in Hawai’i for some work. I had a moment,I had just seen a whale breach the water and then got on a call, it felt like it was sort of meant to be. I feel like a few quick ideas were exchanged and then it was just clear what I needed to do & what I didn’t need to do. That music on day one with Billy and Jason loosened up the room, that was really nice, to have that extra day. John was really sweet and willing to try anything, I wrote some stuff I didn’t expect him to be able to get so fast, but he was really great. Everything he played sounded perfect. He’s a creative genius. Both them are. I knew it already but being in the room together it really clicked. Billy was as deep as the ocean and he tended to want to be in as creative a place as possible. I listened to all the stuff they said, all ideas and comments and jokes, t’s all in there in the music. Just like any similar situation I just had to jump in and swim.

5. “Meeting of The Minds” features a mix of dark ambient, free jazz, and improvised jazz rock influences. How did you balance these different styles of music to create a cohesive album, and what was your process for blending these diverse elements together?
I don’t balance them, the genres, and labels. Really they balance themselves.The music is in the air. The process, if I need to boil it into a quick answer, is listening to & learning music that speaks to my soul and my spirit and doing that for a lifetime. I mean I really dug deep into it all from rock to jazz. I have been digging the music like a religion almost since I was a young teen. Jazz has always been a centerpiece.. You learn the language so you can forget it. The point is so you can speak your feelings and listen and create. The genres and influences all balance out.

6. The album first includes several shorter pieces. Can you talk about the decision to include these shorter tracks, and how they contribute to the overall flow and feel of the album?

The modern listeners have a pretty short attention span. I wanted to reach as many people as I can, or rather as many of the right people. My main goal is to resonate with others. If a person has time I’d encourage listening to the whole thing, but if not, I hope they find favorites and save them, or skip through to get an idea of what’s all there and save it for the right time and dive in for the full experience. I assume only a small portion of listeners will understand all that’s going on. A lot of people I don’t know have already reached out saying they are loving it, so I’m already really pleased.

7. Your passion for music extends beyond your performances, as you are the founder of The Music Factory. Can you tell us more about this organization and how it supports music education in the community?
We have employed many many great artists and taught many thousands of lessons. The state of the music industry is so complicated, but my intentions and love for the art are simple. Education around the arts is as important, or more important than math sciences and history. With the right teachers you can learn all that stuff through music too. Music exercises the marriage of the right and left parts of the brian, increases love and compassion, it’s part of the stuff that makes up the universe. Now that the school I founded is on solid ground I’m hoping to manifest the next steps on my path. It will always be there as part of my story. All those little music seeds we have planted and all the fruits it will bring going forward. I’d love to get some big funds and start a whole program from K-12 based on music some day. Mostly though I wanna make art and play. The school manifested around my passion, the passion is the center of it all. We have some beautiful teachers too and I’m grateful for that.

8. Finally, the album artwork by Burgundy Viscosi is striking and evocative. Can you talk about how the artwork relates to the music on the album, and how it influenced your creative process while recording “Meeting of The Minds”?
Burgundy is like my spirit animal. We’ve been kindred spirits for sometime. I saw this work and knew it was for something special. ‘Meeting of the Minds’ is her title, it’s the title for the painting, but it worked perfectly. She has this book with quotes about life and the laws of attraction that I read all the time. Each page is one of her works and a quote. It’s a book everyone should get. If my music was a painting it might be one of her’s, she also painted a few murals at The Music Factory. Before picking the art it was while I was in Woodstock Burgundy set me up with a tour of C.O.S.M. A semi private tour with Alex Grey and Allison Grey. That type of thing is really special. This was a special trip. Special art, special players, everything lined up.

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Guitarist. I write on music and praxis.

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