Gemini Soul has released a new compilation album of jazz funk fusion remastered hits, unreleased songs, remixed demos, and rare tracks.
The Essential Collection 2005–2015 is out now and a preview of Gemini Soul performing “Sun Goddess” (as featured on the 2008 album The Nefertiti Xperience) can be seen above. The performance was filmed live on April 10, 2008 at SoundWave Studios in Oakland, California for the Jazz Cult TV program broadcast on San Francisco Channel 29. The video was filmed by Gloria Jones. The Essential Collection 2005–2015 was curated by the founder, bassist, guitarist, pianist, and keyboardist André “Ajamu” Akinyele. The collection features remastered selections from Liquid Soul, A Cyber Jazz Holiday, Willona’s Boutique, The Nefertiti Xperience and its newly remixed demos and rare tracks, along with the entire unreleased Rebirth album that includes “Mi Corazón (Studio Version).” The collection also features an unreleased track from the aborted album A Meeting Of The Minds, and the demo track “Pots and Pans” appropriately titled as the band performed spontaneously in a living room for fun with “pots and pans and salt and pepper shakers” literally used as drums and percussion.
Gemini Soul pays tribute to Meshell Ndegeocello, Gene McDaniels, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Sade, Peggy Lee, Herbie Hancock, Jill Scott, Maxwell, and Burt Bacharach.
Gemini Soul drops brand new music for February. Imitation Is the Best Form of Flattery is a covers album composed of dynamic arrangements from Gemini Soul’s recorded history. The new release reworks 12 classic songs and capitalizes on their skill for creating rich, colossal-sized soundscapes. The first single “Take Five (2009 Unreleased Outtake) plays host to Gemini Soul’s incredible talents and launches their jazz-funk fusion into the universe and emerges as a “Cyber Jazz” experience with such a captivating rendition. The songs were recorded at Pearl Jazz Recording Studios, The Cannery, and Sea Ranch in California and Orange River Studios in Alexandria, Virginia between 2005–2015. André “Ajamu” Akinyele, the bands founder and bassist, curated the conceptual album and decided to release it. This album was created to harness and celebrate the power of his band Gemini Soul, legacy, and musical journey. Watch Gemini Soul performing a live electrified version of “Take Five” above (as featured on the album). The performance was filmed live on July 19, 2007 at The Cannery in San Francisco, California. The video was filmed by Gloria Jones.
1. Criterion (2023 Remaster) [Meshell Ndegeocello cover]
2. Compared to What (2023 Remaster) [Gene McDaniels cover]
3. Take Five (2009 Unreleased Outtake) [The Dave Brubeck Quartet cover]
4. Hang on to Your Love (2023 Remaster) [Sade cover]
5. Hot Night (2006 Unreleased Outtake) [Meshell Ndegeocello cover]
6. Fever (2023 Remaster) [Peggy Lee cover]
7. Kiss of Life (2023 Remaster) [Sade cover]
8. Chameleon (2023 Remaster Edit) [Herbie Hancock cover]
9. Butterfly (2007 Unreleased Outtake) [Herbie Hancock cover]
10. Golden (2007 Unreleased Outtake) [Jill Scott cover]
11. Ascension (2006 Unreleased Outtake) [Maxwell cover]
12. The Look of Love (2006 Unreleased Outtake) [Burt Bacharach cover]
This is Ajamu Akinyele’s “SIGN O' THE TIMES” but on steroids!!!
“Afro-futurism at its best!” / “Other worldly!” / “Funkiness of Marcus Miller!” / “The Jazz Sophistication of Stanley Clarke!” / “Ancestral Spirituality of Kamasi Washington!” / “Political and Social Conscious in the likes of The Roots, Childish Gambino, and Fela Kuti!”
Dark Skin Babies : The Movement (The Demos) is the prequel and companion album to Gemini Soul’s Dark Skin Babies : The Movement released in 2009, this version truly celebrates Black History and documents social issues in the U.S. Before Prince’s “Welcome 2 America,” Dark Skin Babies : The Movement (The Demos) presents the telling of the future of America in a beautiful and exquisite methodology, presented like a motion picture or music for a live stage production using a collage-like sound structure that fuses the revelation songcraft’s of Fela Kuti, the raw bass funk fusion of Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke. This is Ajamu Akinyele’s “Sign O' the Times” by Prince but on steroids!!! The sad thing is, in the U.S., nothing has changed since its recorded date of 2008 and its official Gemini Soul release of 2009. The conversation, or lack thereof, continues. Intellectual, atmospheric, fully realized jazz-funk fusion and sharp and lyrically political is Ajamu Akinyele’s bravest declaration. These songs are sounds from which giant bodies take shape as featured on the official Gemini Soul release. From the celebration of Barack’s presidency on “Pick It Up (America) [2008 Final Demo]” to the funk pulsations of “Right On! (2008 Final Demo),” the companion album is unafraid to convey music industry woes as a black man and a musician in the most explicit musical terms on songs such as the Prince cover of “Sign O’ the Times (2008 Final Demo Outtake)” and “There’s No Money In Jazz (2008 Final Demo). The demos were intended for band use only, with the final demo configuration completed on November 15, 2008 for Gemini Soul’s recording session at Sea Ranch, California of the album. André “Ajamu” Akinyele would often record demos of songs playing all instruments for the band to learn for recording sessions. The audible vision that runs through Dark Skin Babies : The Movement (The Demos) makes it kin to work by creative artists like The Roots and Prince, yet Ajamu Akinyele’s seductive lyrics and spellbinding performance are sure to entice fans of jazz-funk fusion and political commentary and observation. The video documents the making of Gemini Soul's album "Dark Skin Babies : The Movement" featuring André “Ajamu” Akinyele, Jon O'Bergh, Andrew Foster and Alex Marks with special guest Wahid Jones on saxophone and additional percussion. The video was filmed at The Sand Castle; Sea Ranch, CA (November 17th–20th, 2008) by Jon O'Bergh.
1. Finger Print (2008 Final Demo)
2. Dueling of the Tribes (2008 Final Demo)
3. Dark Skin Babies (2008 Final Demo)
4. Android Slavery (2008 Final Demo)
5. Pick It Up (America) [2008 Final Demo]
6. Revolution : Evolve (2008 Final Demo)
7. Dark Skin Babies : New Vibe (2008 Final Demo)
8. Right On! (2008 Final Demo)
9. Barack & Michelle (2008 Final Demo) feat. Jon O’Bergh
10. The Movement (2008 Final Demo) [Extended Version]
11. There’s No Money In Jazz (2008 Final Demo)
12. Reparation (2008 Final Demo)
13. O.C.S. (Only Child Syndrome [2008 Final Demo])
14. Smear (2008 Final Demo Outtake)
15. Nakedness : Skin (2008 Final Demo)
16. Sign O’ the Times (2008 Final Demo Outtake)