Fans of slammin’ yet radio-ready, Jazz-Funk Fusion, will rejoice upon the discovery of bassist/composer Mitchell Coleman Jr.! Coleman, a disciple of the Stanley Clarke, Larry Graham, Louis Johnson and Marcus Miller schools of The Throwdown, is still in awe of the success of the 2016 release of his debut CD, Perception. Perception is described as Mitchell’s second musical journey of self-exploration – which fulfilled Mitchell’s lifelong dream of expressing the music that’s been in his heart since he began thumpin’ basses at the tender age of 10.
Coleman is excited to announce the release of his new single “Euphoria”, from his third album Gravity. “Euphoria” features Hiroshi Upshur on keys and synth, guitarist Josh Sklair, pianist Michael B. Sutton and backing vocals by Dionyza Sutton. “This single is a get down dirty danceable smash with Mitchell Thumpin at his best! Get ready for the radio release date, slated for July 24th. J”Euphoria” is available now via iTunes.
The new CD Gravity, will be released independently released in August 2017 on Mitchell’s own Soul Revelations Records label. Once again partnering with veteran Motown producer Michael B. Sutton and the First Lady of Smooth Jazz Gail Jhonson, Gravity displays Mitchell’s musical growth at a whole new level. His experimental sound genre-hops from Jazz to Hip Hop to R&B proving his versatility as an artist.
The new album brings the listener closer into every unfolding genius mindset of Mitchell Coleman Jr. as displayed in the infectious track “Transcendence” and the ethereal title Track “Gravity”. “One of the hidden gems on the CD is the Michael Jackson track “I Can’t Help It” penned by the legendary Stevie Wonder and featuring Ralph Tresvant ( New Edition). The album also features top industry legends Kim Richmond: Sax (Hubert Laws) Llia Skibinsky: Sax ( David Sanborn), Josh Sklair: Guitar(Grammy winning producer ) Gregory Moore: Guitar ( Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dog, Earth Wind and Fire, Gail Jhonson: Keyboard ( Norman Brown, Nathan East) and many more!
Mitchell Coleman Jr. was born the day after Christmas of `67 in Meridian, Mississippi. He spent his early years in Cuba, Alabama. When his father returned home from Vietnam, he moved the family first to Hartford then Bloomfield, Connecticut. There, Mitchell fell in love hard with electric bass. “In Bloomfield, nobody was into basketball or anything like that - everybody played bass. My friend Greg Carrington was THE baddest bass player in town – a beast to bow down to. I begged him to teach me. He and Kevin Weaverbey laid it all out for me. The first song I ever learned was “Just the Two of Us” by Grover Washington, Jr. & Bill Withers with Marcus Miller on bass - then came the calluses and blisters.”
Mitchell received full support from his family, especially his mother Mary Ruth Coleman who bought him his first bass (a short-neck Sears special for kids that Mitchell wound up detuning to get the sounds he wanted – ironically helping him develop the sounds he gets now) and his Aunt Orcie Delaine who used her credit card to buy his first real bass. When his parents divorced, Mitchell moved back to Alabama but all his cousins and friends had moved away. “Bass became my babysitter,” Mitchell states. And once again Marcus Miller proved inspirational when Mitchell discovered what became the Funk-Jazz blend of his wildest dreams in David Sanborn’s LP, Straight from The Heart. It was really on now.
During a stint in the United States Air Force (45th Group - telecommunications), the outfit forced Mitchell into a talent show where he won First Place performing his original song, “That’s Life.” He began to gig around the Rome and Syracuse, New York blues clubs surrounding Griffith Air Force Base with a group led by Rick Montalbano (future MD for Lou Rawls). He also took two semesters of music theory classes to further improve his craft. And closely watching the sidemen of artists ranging from Be-Bop king Dizzy Gillespie to Quiet Storm queen Anita Baker further illuminated the art of the bass’ supportive role within the music.
Straight out of the service, Mitchell moved to Hollywood intending to study at B.I.T. (Bass Institute of Technology) but had to pay the bills with electrical engineering jobs. However, the universe found another way to provide Mitchell a final profound education upon his introduction to the music of master fretless electric bassist Jaco Pastorius, thanks to a music store clerk that sent him home with the artist’s self-titled debut LP. “At first, discovering Jaco depressed me by revealing how much I didn’t know,” Mitchell admits. “Then he inspired me by showing me how much further I could go. His song ‘Portrait of Tracy’ really messed me up. Learning how to play it took me to another plateau.”
Soon after a chance meeting with Otis Williams, founding member of Motown’s The Temptations (to whom his military buddy Terry Weeks became a member), Mitchell found himself in the mix of music’s unsung behind the scenes side. He began studio work with a group called Ninth Chakra led by Cario Johnson. And it was at one of those sessions that Mitchell met keyboardist Herman “Hollywood” Dawkins – a soul mate in the mission of Jazz-Funk Fusion. “The first time we hit, we were like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: ‘Man, you got jazz on my funk…and it’s soundin’ really good!’ Hollywood is the mastermind of making what’s in my head tangible. Our motto is: With Funk as our vehicle let Jazz be our journey.”
Together, Mitchell and Hollywood cooked up what became the initial tracks for his debut CD, Soul Searching, fortified by the presence of top shelf talents such as keyboardist Deron Johnson, guitarists Kayta Matsuno and Sean Fabian, saxophonists Tim Anderson and Sal Avila, veteran vocalists Jim Gilstrap, Pamela & Joyce Vincent, and newcomer singers Sean Thomas and Nodesha. After Mitchell pressed and sold copies of that first version of the CD on-line, a mutual friend steered veteran producer
Michael B. Sutton his way who provided cherry on top polish to the proceedings. “Michael is a great guy – he spoke my language and I fell in love with him right away,” Mitchell says. “As a producer and consultant, he is a gatekeeper with great ideas which I needed and appreciate.”
Now Mitchell Coleman Jr. is shakin’ things up for the third time and giving fans a taste of Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk and R&B, further challenging himself as an artist. This time around Mitchell isn’t holding back- taking his swiftly expanding audience on a musical journey that has only just begun.