First Listen: Jon Batiste wins us over again

(March 22, 2021) Pianist and multi-instrumentalist Jon Batiste is a familiar face to fans of late-night television. Batiste is the musical director, band leader and straight man for Stephen Colbert’s late-night show. But you don’t get that kind of gig without being a top-flight talent. Batiste, after all, is from a Louisiana based musical dynasty, and that means he was raised in the competitive musical hothouse of New Orleans jazz, blues, funk and R&B. He had to prove himself and he did so, releasing his first album at the age of 17 and working with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Prince, Leon Bridges, Mavis Staples and Gary Clark, Jr.

(March 22, 2021) Pianist and multi-instrumentalist Jon Batiste is a familiar face to fans of late-night television. Batiste is the musical director, band leader and straight man for Stephen Colbert’s late-night show. But you don’t get that kind of gig without being a top-flight talent. Batiste, after all, is from a Louisiana based musical dynasty, and that means he was raised in the competitive musical hothouse of New Orleans jazz, blues, funk and R&B. He had to prove himself and he did so, releasing his first album at the age of 17 and working with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Prince, Leon Bridges, Mavis Staples and Gary Clark, Jr.

Most recently, Batiste served as co-composer for the Disney-Pixar animated feature “Soul,” winning a Golden Globe Award for best original score. Batiste new song, “I Need You,” is a rollicking piece of jump blues that would make the great Louis Jordan proud. The high energy track, which will be featured on Batiste’s upcoming album We Are, is driven by a pounding double bass and Batiste’s equally power-packed vocal.

Batiste released an artsy and fun video to promote the song. That video shot in a museum gallery where a photograph depicting dancers and a band in a in a 1950s era juke joint come to life at the pat of Batiste’s foot. It seems that Batiste learned a little bit about cinema while he worked on the music for “Soul”. Check out “I Need You” here.

By Howard Dukes

Jon Batiste – “I Need You”

 

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