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Malik Alston Presents Painted Pictures: Air


Following a prosperous career in music and poetry, Detroit-based musician and performer Malik Alston readies his vibrant album Malik Alston Presents Painted Pictures: Air. The album is a spirited celebration between jazz virtuosity and Motor City house music, showcasing Alston's roots in jazz, gospel, soul and dance music. Alston's story is one that is intrinsically aligned with the story of Detroit itself. Having hosted one of the first Slum Village concerts, and teaching vocal lessons to many members of the Detroit music community. His production and writing collaborations read like a who's who of Detroit artists including Alton Miller, Amp Fiddler, Roy Davis Jr. and Javonntte and releases on Moodymann's Mahogani Music to name a few. Malik's mastery also earned him a nomination as 2005 "Outstanding Electronic/Dance Writer Producer of the Year" at the Detroit Music Awards. His poetry and music performances have been featured with the poetry troupe EmRuop and in concert with The Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron and Jessica Care Moore. Presenting a collection of long-lost tracks created by Malik and his band Painted Pictures, Alston manifests strong emotions for the LP's title track "Air". As he explains, "When I think of 'Air'... for me, it exists to express a combination of freedom, self-awareness, and doing something different and new. In 'Air' you get to really hear the band as a whole, no one stands out individually. It was all a matter of showing that we brought the music to life together as a unit. 'Air' is definitely a true reflection of what Painted Pictures was: free musicians who play good music." The immaculate and vivacious qualities of the LP convey a message steeped in the spirit. As intricate piano melodies run deep, dancing around impressive percussive motifs, creating seamless foundations for saxophone and trumpet performances. Every now and then, captivating vocal riffs surprise listeners adding just another sensational layer to the arrangements. The production elements are what perfectly marry the instruments together to offer a cheerful, soulful and expressive work of music and emotion, an emotion which Alston in his own words "wants the world to hear. And not because I'm trying to tour off of it. Obviously if that happens, it would be beautiful. But rather because I believe the world needs to hear this project. It's a fun project, it has a lot of love, it has a lot of positive energy in a world that is going through so much right now." Features Chicago luminaries Roy Davis Jr., William Kurk and Doc Link.