Pre-order of Higher Ground. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
Purchasable with gift card
releases October 4, 2019
$10USD or more
Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album
4 Panel Digipak
Includes digital pre-order of Higher Ground.
You get 2 tracks now
(streaming via the free Bandcamp app
and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the
complete album the moment it’s released.
“Jon Regen has a rare combination of elements - virtuosic playing ability, soulful singing, and a strong songwriting talent, all developing more and more as he grows and grows as an artist through the years. Give him a freaking listen!” - BRUCE HORNSBY
On July 12, singer, songwriter and pianist Jon Regen will release “Wide Awake,” the first single from his highly-anticipated Ropeadope debut Higher Ground due out October 4. The album was produced by Jamiroquai's Matt Johnson and includes musical performances by legends like Andy Summers of The Police, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Chuck Leavell of The Rolling Stones and Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran.
A jazz/pop tour de force, “Wide Awake” marries Regen’s signature soulful vocals and infectious piano work with the funk production prowess of longtime Jamiroquai keyboardist Johnson.
“What began as me fooling around on my old Roland Juno-60 synthesizer and Steinway grand piano, soon took on a life of its own once I met Matt at a Jamiroquai show in New York City,” Regen says. “Soon after, we were crafting an entire album together, all via email. So for me, it’s a song about taking chances and seizing the moment.”
With early praise from luminaries like fellow singer/pianist Bruce Hornsby, Toto’s Steve Lukather, famed songwriter Rob Thomas, and jazz great Kenny Barron, “Wide Awake” is striking a chord with legends and listeners alike. Surprisingly, track was recorded and produced entirely remotely, with Regen and Johnson both working in their respective New York and London recording studios.
“As a new parent, the idea of me locking myself away in a proper recording studio to make an album was a daunting proposition,” Regen explains. “But Matt and I have a rhythm in the way we work together. It’s like we’re in the same room, even though we’re an ocean apart.”
“It’s been great collaborating with Jon from either side of the pond,” Johnson says. “He has a rich sounding voice and is really a fantastic piano player too. We got a bit of Stevie mixed up with some Steely and everything in between on this one!”
Higher Ground is the follow up to Regen’s critically-acclaimed 2015 release Stop Time that was embraced by media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, DownBeat and the Sunday Times in the UK. Other notable guests on Higher Ground include Keith Carlock (Steely Dan), Tim Lefebvre (David Bowie), Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell), Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett), Ricky Peterson (David Sanborn), Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel), George Marinelli (Bonnie Raitt), Julia Kent and Grégoire Maret. The album was produced by Matt Johnson, mixed by famed engineer Michael Brauer (Coldplay, John Mayer) and mastered by 2019 Album of the Year Grammy winner Greg Calbi (Kacey Musgraves).
“It’s a thrill when your heroes want to make music with you,” Regen says. “So stay-tuned for the album!”
A protégé of the legendary pianist Kenny Barron, Jon Regen began his career as a sideman to jazz artists like Ted Dunbar, Kyle Eastwood and Little Jimmy Scott. Regen made an abrupt left turn into singer/songwriter territory with a series of acclaimed solo albums including Almost Home (2004), Let It Go (2008), Revolution (2011), and Stop Time (2015). Regen also hit Number One on the Billboard Charts with his 2013 instrumental album Change Your Mind.
The Associated Press said of Regen, “His sturdy songs, pleasing tenor and seven-foot grand are a captivating combination.” The Wall Street Journal called Regen “a confident, soulful singer,” and DownBeat said “Regen’s music shoots from - and directly into - the heart.”
Jon Regen is the Editor of Keyboard Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Billboard, Variety and Tape Op. Regen can also be seen in an upcoming episode of the Emmy Award-winning Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
releases October 4, 2019
Jon Regen - vocals, piano, keyboards
Matt Johnson – keyboards, drum programming, bass, background vocals
Keyboards: Benmont Tench (10) Chuck Leavell (8) Nick Rhodes (5) Matt Rollings (4) Ricky Peterson (6)
Guitars: Andy Summers (9) George Marinelli (8) Rob Harris (1, 6) Matt Beck (4)
Bass: Larry Klein (9) Davey Faragher (5) Tim Lefebvre (8) Derrick Mcintyre (6) Fima Ephron (4)
Drums: Keith Carlock (8) Jerry Marotta (9) David Palmer (4) Alex Reeves (1)
Harmonica: Grégoire Maret (8) Trumpet: Jim Rotondi (1, 6)
Trombone: Luis Diego Bonilla (1) Cello: Julia Kent (4, 11)
Background Vocals: Nicola Sipprell (1) Laura Doggett (5) Gabriel Regen (4) plus Abe Fogle, Alice Offley, Colin Griffiths-Brown, Conrad Korsch, Everett Bradley, John Miller, Lydia Baylis, Ricky Peterson Matt Rollings (6)
All songs written by Jon Regen and published by Jon Regen Music (BMI) except “Wide Awake,” “Who Cares If Everybody Else Knows,” and “East Side Blues,” written by Jon Regen and Matt Johnson and published by Jon Regen Music (BMI) and Matt Johnson.
Produced by Matt Johnson
Mixed by Michael H. Brauer at BrauerSound Studios, NYC
Assistant and Pro Tools engineer Fernando Reyes
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, Edgewater, NJ
Design Rebecca Meek
Cover Photo Anna Webber
Additional Photography Jon Regen
Jon Regen at Studio G-Machine, New York, NY
Matt Johnson at Wonderworld Studios, UK
Matt Rollings at The Practice Room, Nashville TN
Matt Beck at Mattymay Studios, New York, NY Rob Harris at Harritoons Studio, UK
Jim Rotondi at Little G Recording, Graz, Austria
Alex Reeves at Reevsey’s Drum Studio, London UK
David Palmer at Dave’s Garage, Los Angeles, CA
Ricky Peterson at The Workhouse, Minneapolis, MN
Tim Lefebvre at Black Bird Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Fima Ephron at Supreme Ultimate Studios, New York, NY
Andy Summers recorded by Dennis Smith in Venice, CA
Benmont Tench recorded by John Paterno at Acme Mastering and Massage, Los Angeles, CA
Chuck Leavell recorded by Paul Hornsby at Muscadine Studios, Macon, GA
Davey Faragher’s bass recorded by Bob Thiele Jr. at The Magic Kitchen, Los Angeles, CA
Jerry Marotta recorded by Ariel Shafir at Jersville Studio, Woodstock, NY
Keith Carlock and George Marinelli recorded by Michael Whitaker at Velvet Cinema Studio, Nashville, TN
Larry Klein recorded by Adam Greenspan at Strange Cargo, Los Angeles, CA
Nick Rhodes recorded by Josh Blair at Tape Modern Studios, London, UK
Yes indeed; New Orleans finest on top form!
Ever since Mr.Scott made such an impact with Marcus Miller's 'Tutu Revisited' project he has been on my radar. 'Christian a Tunde Adjuah' was a fine album but this is spectacular with Congo Square at its heart,I think...it has so many ideas and references that it is unclassifiable other than essential.
Miles Davis used to append the monogram 'New Directions In Music' to his Columbia albums...the same applies here.