In the tradition of Weather Report and the Joe Zawinul Syndicate, two powerhouse pan-global bands that have greatly influenced generations of musicians around the world, Human Element is staking out a new corner of the musical map…Comprised of keyboardist Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech), electric bassist Matthew Garrison (Zawinul Syndicate, John McLaughlin’s Heart of Things, Herbie Hancock), percussionist-vocalist Arto Tunçboyaciyan (Al Di Meola’s World Sinfonia, Joe Zawinul, Marc Johnson’s Right Brain Patrol) and drummer Gary Novak (Alanis Morissette, Sting, Chick Corea’s Elektric Band), Human Element incorporates elements of fusion, funk and Armenian folk tunes into a potent 21st century brew that defies easy categorization. (Bill Milkowski, Downbeat)
The plan is to really go for it with this band. We all believe in it because there’s really nothing else like this band out there. Since Joe [Zawinul] passed, there’s just no one making music that’s really on that type of wavelength. So there must be a lot of people out there who would like to find music that speaks to them the way that Joe’s music did. (Scott Kinsey)
…Human Element definitely fills that void…
Human Element is a collective of some of the finest musicians in the world, including keyboardist Scott Kinsey, bassist Matthew Garrison, percussionist-vocalist Arto Tunçboyaciyan and drummer Gary Novak who have individually performed and recorded with the likes of music giants Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Meshell Ndegeocello, Sting, John Scofield, Snarky Puppy, Alanis Morissette, Joni Mitchell, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Lalah Hathaway, among many others.
Human Element has a unique vision that is staking out a totally new corner of the musical map. Their electrifying performances and recordings speak of a forward-thinking tradition begun by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Weather Report and the Mahavishnu Orchestra to name a few, moving these traditions to a totally new place. They blend rhythms and feelings of Funk, Electronic, Improvisation and Folk to create a rich, new sound that ebbs and pulls on the very edges of the listening experience. Human Element is propelling music in a direction as fresh and historical as the musicians themselves.
“We decided that it should definitely be a band and that a record should be just the four of us,” says Kinsey. “There’s something special about that. We all loved Weather Report and the Mahavishnu Orchestra and we wanted that real band approach. So the four of us camped out for a couple of days and recorded all the basic tracks for this record. Everybody contributed tunes and we all had some input on how the songs were going to end up sounding. It was never really one guy’s vision, even if it was his tune we were recording. That’s why I really think in the end it does sound like a band record,” says Kinsey about their debut release.
And while the Zawinul influence may be apparent at times, the four kindred spirits boldly stride into distinctly new territory on Human Element. “Language-wise, we all got so much from Joe,” says Kinsey, “and yet we wanted it to be different and about us. And as we got into it, I think it started to really take on an identity of its own. It spans a big area of music and yet it still sounds like one thing.” Adds Garrison, “As far as Joe’s influence on this band, that’s undeniable. He left such a large footprint that it’s pretty hard to escape his essence. And I personally consider Kinsey just about the only musician to really take on Joe’s mantle and bring that sound and vision into the future while still keeping that essence.”