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RLT Band Bio
RLT Band Bio PDF Print E-mail
Written by rltguy   
Thursday, 01 February 2007 04:28

RLT is keyboardist/producer/composer Ramon Lazo's organ trio. The group sound takes its stylistic influences from progressive jazz rock Tony Williams' Lifetime featuring Larry Young and Santana, to neo-soulsters Maxwell and Soulive as well as the old school funk of Earth, Wind & Fire, Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway.  The sound is definitely beyond soul jazz and is very different from contemporary organ groups that have emerged since Soulive sparked interest and revival of the organ group (albeit with an aggressive hip-hop sound) at the new millennium.


Lazo, formerly a member of Michael Franti & Spearhead, participated in two albums including the breakthrough "Stay Human".   RLT was originally formed in 2001 after Lazo left Spearhead prior to the release of the award-winning record.  This early version of RLT featured a power jazz trio sound featuring Lazo on multiple keyboards.  However, in 2001 the United States began a dark economic period with the demise of technology and Internet based companies and which was made worse later in the year with the destruction of by terrorists of the World Trade Center on September 11.  The fledgling group soon discovered that the artistic and social culture in the San Francisco Bay Area had changed -- many clubs and other venues for entertainment either cut hiring or closed completely.  The group folded within the year.

Three years later, in 2004, Lazo formed an organ trio.  This new incarnation, under a different name and new personnel, featured material that worked the sound and repertoire of the old Jimmy Smith/Grant Green/Wes Montgomery recordings from the Blue Note catalog of the 1950's and 60's.  The group found modest, yet increasing success playing in the slowly reviving Bay Area arts and music scene.  During this time, the group released two EP collections of classic soul-jazz material strictly for regional distribution.  However, in 2006, Lazo decided it was time for the group to mature and promptly changed the sound (and the lineup) to reflect a more mature, aggressive and winning sound.  The name of the group was restored to RLT and aims to pick up where it left off in 2001.  The aim of this group in the near future is to enter (or re-enter) the American jam band, progressive rock and jazz scene with a vengeance.  This attitude is articulated on 'FOCUS', the band's latest album.

"FOCUS" is an album of original tunes written by Lazo and features a splendid group of supporting musicians:  Dave Shul (currently with Michael Franti & Spearhead), Roberto Quintana (formerly with Michael Franti & Spearhead and currently with Booker T & The MGs) and Matthew Swindells (formerly with the UK electronica band Filla Brazilia).

These four musicians create a stunning, unique and poignant sound which music lovers will find appealing, familiar yet challenging and new.  The album release date is slated for February 14 and will initially be offered exclusively online via LATIN PULSE MUSIC (http://www.latinpulsemusic.com).  FOCUS will see wider release in the coming months.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 February 2007 06:58