[2 November 2010]
As a sideman, New York’s Michael Leonhart has performed alongside a dizzying array of the biggest names in music, including Steely Dan, James Brown, Bill Withers, Brian Eno, David Byrne, Yoko Ono, Lenny Kravitz, Levon Helm, Caetano Veloso, Raekwon, and Todd Rundgren to just scratch the surface. Now, the immensely talented composer/songwriter/arranger/multi-instrumentalist brings together the sum of all his experiences to craft this excellent new album. Backed by his group the Avramina 7, a 16-piece collective consisting of members of Antibalas, the new Plastic Ono Band, the Dap Kings, the Budos Band, and the El Michels Affair, Leonhart delivers upon the promise of his prolific resume walking among the giants of pop, jazz, soul, and rock on Seahorse and the Storyteller. Leonhart crafts a unique and utterly addictive sound that Donald Fagen once described as “a neo psychedelic martoony with a lemon twist.” Dig it, indeed.