New Orleans funk powerhouse Naughty Professor is releasing a new EP tomorrow November 8, titled Everyday Shredder, and will be celebrating the release at 2 shows at The Maple Leaf! If you can’t make it down to New Orleans for the release, then be sure you read our review below to see what our writer Abbie thought of the EP, and bookmark their website so you can listen for yourself tomorrow after its release!

When and where did you record this EP?  Was it mixed/mastered by
someone you’d like to credit? Are there any guests or people who
contributed to the EP that you’d like to mention?

We took a very hands-on approach with this project. Recording at Wild
Child Studios, the studio owned and operated by our guitarist Bill Daniel,
enabled us to allow time and perspective for things to develop. Bill
also mixed and mastered it. We are dynamic personalities, often with
varying desires, so having someone with an intimate knowledge of how
we work helped to make this EP something that speaks so clearly for
us.

Tell me about the single “3 Wise Men,” who was the main writer of this
song and what was the songwriting process like? When was it written?
What inspired the title?

This song was written by our bassist, Noah Young. It was originally
written to have a tripled bass part, with a sousaphonist being the
third bass voice (the first two being Noah and our baritone
saxophonist Nick Ellman) but a variety of factors led to us recording
it as the six of us. The name refers to the original part writing of
three basses being the “3 Wise Men.” Noah brought it to the band
probably 2-ish years ago and we developed it from there. New melodies
were added/replaced and each of the members expanded on their
part/role to make it the song that it is today.

How have you evolved as a band since your last release?

Our last release, “Identity,” was fun and exciting to make because we
collaborated with different artists on every song. That was a fun
departure from the norm for us. “Everyday Shredder” is about
showcasing who we are and taking a variety of perspectives on our
approach to songwriting, arrangement, and personal growth. We all work
toward making this our goal every single day. We shred at our
instruments, with our songwriting ideas, and with our perspective on
how music weaves us together everyday. This mentality is what led us
to calling it “Everyday Shredder.”

Have you played The Maple Leaf before?  What do you like about this
venue? Why can’t we miss the shows this weekend?

The Maple Leaf is a truly iconic music venue in a truly iconic music
city and we love every chance we get to play there. The energy in the
room is always electric, and this will be a one-time-only opportunity
to see collaborations with master musicians Isaiah Sharkey and Skerik,
as well as having continuing contributor Sam Kuslan with us. If you’re
familiar with those guys and Naughty Professor, you already know why
you can’t miss the shows this weekend, and if you’re not familiar now
is the time to get acquainted. We’re gonna be cooking on high heat
this weekend.

How will the band be touring around the new EP? What opportunities and challenges does the road present when promoting a new release?

We’re very excited to be returning to Spain the week after the release of Everyday Shredder and will continue to tour off the EP into 2020, including some dates with Galactic in March. Often the challenge and the opportunity is the same thing: getting in front of our fans. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring our energy and music to people who want to hear it but it’s also challenging to get to primary markets on a regular basis, as well as expanding on our touring to reach into new markets. As six individuals with different schedules and different desires, making that a reality can be very difficult. 

Album Review

Written by Abigail Amor

I only discovered Naughty Professor this past summer, though they have been making some funky noise since 2011. My recommendation is to get yourself familiar with this sextet from New Orleans. They mix and mash funk and jazz with a touch of R&B elements that linger in the back. They are full of energy, like a rollercoaster of funky melodies, jamming guitar riffs, and spacey avant-garde jazz. My body wants to move but also, maybe, never leave this funkiest elevator again. Their trumpet player John Culbreth leads the way in many of their songs on this album, followed by a strong influence from the bassist Noah Young keeping the beat with his funky basslines.  It is very easy to get lost in all the layers of this band as they lead you through their trail of jazzy-funk fusion.

Their newest album takes you on a journey starting with “Pleiades,” which incorporates jazzy fusion with a touch of Latin influence. This is a lighthearted song, but the songs progress to a slightly darker side as you work your way through the album. This is an instrumental album; without the help of lyrics your brain and ears have the ability to make up an interesting story as you listen through this five song EP. My favorite is the 4th song, “Oroku Saki”–it is the perfect mix of jazzy horns as the song starts, but in the middle has a great guitar solo from Bill Daniel. The melody is catchy and very identifiable, it walks you through the woods with their light melodies towards the end, creating a safe and calm atmosphere. They take you flying high and then gently place you back on the ground as they finish this song.

This is an album I did and will listen to on repeat. I think it played round and round for three hours before I even put pen to paper, and will continue after I’m finished writing. You can find their single released on Spotify “3 Wise Men”  to get a glimpse of their newest EP, or check out the rest of their discography.  

Order the album and listen for yourself on the Naughty Professor website.

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