Like a convoy of musical shamans, Unit-E escort their audience on an odyssey of the soul with their new album ‘Root Note’. The Jazz-Fusion group’s latest release is the aural-equivalent of a stroll down the halls of an art exhibition. Akin to the entrancement brought on by an abstract painting, each track acts as a sonic portal, beckoning the listener to embark on a creative journey of the mind.

The ensemble’s pure synergy on ‘Root Note’ becomes evident mere moments after drummer and co-producer, Greg Smith, hits the skins on the opening track ‘What’s Next’, and the swift-yet-smooth segues from saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart, bassist Zack Lober, and pianist Erik Ritfield that follow.

Subtle smatterings of Afro, Latin, Jazz, Reggae, and Blues make their way into the pulse of ‘Root Note’, but it’s composer Erik Ritfield’s Surinamese roots and the rhythms of “Kawina” music which primarily contribute to Unit-E’s unique sound. Despite their eclectic well of inspiration, it’s Unit-E’s inner-band commitment to creative inclusivity paired with their impressive improvisational abilities that set them apart from other jazz ensembles.

Ritfield, Unit-E’s producer, composer and pianist, elaborates on the project’s mission, ‘At the heart of Unit-E’s musical narrative is a message of freedom – freedom of mind, heart, and soul.’ The band writes. ‘Through [our] music, [we] seek to create a space where positivity thrives, where individuals can find solace, inspiration, and the courage to grow.’

Unit-E’s compositional cohesion is perhaps best showcased on ‘Root Note’s’ third track, ‘The Unexplained’, where listeners descend into a dreamlike, instrumental journey – shepherded by the ensemble’s seamless interplay.

Driven by a shared passion for creating transformative musical experiences, Unit-E aims to grace stages with their unique sound, offering audiences not just a performance, but  an immersive journey filled with quality sound and a contagious, positive atmosphere.

Unit-E is currently touring throughout Rotterdam, with ‘Root Note’ due to drop on March 22nd, 2024.


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