David Lavoie and Carson Tworow have released their first album together titled Urban Repurpose, bringing their love of jazz fully into beatmaking.
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“Urban Repurpose sees David Lavoie back on Inner Ocean Records with his second release, this time with fellow Capilano University Jazz compatriot Carson Tworow.
If these two names sound familiar, chances are you’ve heard of their lo-fi mixtape project, Chill Evans.
For this collaboration, Lavoie’s talents as a trumpet and guitar player and Tworow’s drumming and electronic production background are the focus, culminating in 11-tracks of all-original beat-driven jazz compositions.
Urban Repurpose features the brilliant trinket My Name, the smoky neo-soul Second Hand, and the undeniably funky Night Function. And plenty of swagger from start to finish.
“The album is the culmination of Carson and David’s years of collaborating together as jazz artists, electronic musicians, and producers. They work collaboratively online between Calgary and Vancouver, with David handling much of the writing and instrumental performance and Carson handling drum programming, production, and synthesizers.“– Inner Ocean Records
Lavoie previously released his jazz quartet album titled Juno with Inner Ocean.
Tworow is a Rhythm Changes regular. Here you can find the 2020 album tourdefrance 2 he made with Luke Fantom. He and Lavoie also both worked on the Christmas single by Nina Soro, “Pennies for Christmas“, that year.
“I would say that this is 100% jazz”, Lavoie said about Urban Repurpose on the Rhythm Changes Podcast.
Lo-fi beat music is at its best when it’s jazz. Inner Ocean believes it, and they do more than any Canadian label to promote the best of this genre fusion.
When these beats don’t have enough jazz content, they sound empty and get caricatured as music to study with. You can study to this project, but you’ll find repeat value from the jazz nuances.
“Kitchen Yellow” is a standout track with all the good stuff. Lavoie plays heavy trumpet on a vibe that you can pair with any jazz-R&B instrumentals going back to the 80s.
He also takes a nice solo, and indeed you’ll find trumpet soloing on almost every track. The harmonized trumpets recall the early Snarky Puppy albums — but on a much different budget!
The tracks that don’t have trumpet solos are “Bucharest” and “Coasting On”, which both have more synth work from Tworow; and “Screendoor” and “Doused”, two interludes that close out the album.
On another note, Lavoie’s clean electric guitar features on “Night Function”—fun solo and synth stabs! There’s another guitar solo on the title track “Urban Repurpose”.
If there’s something missing for me, it’s solos from Tworow on the synths to feature his sounds and add his jazz voice.
As Chill Evans, Lavoie and Tworow also invited rappers to collaborate. As they grow into their new duo, I’d look forward to hearing some guest spots too.
All in all, this is a solid debut by two producers who shine on several instruments. Their chemistry despite the online, cross-province collab is enjoyable all the way through.
Any jazz fan looking for accessible onramps into the genre for fans of other sounds—these folks are serving you.
Urban Repurpose is just as fun as the Inner Ocean standout project Volk // People by trombonist Carsten Rubeling. The share of all jazz fueled by this sound looks to be growing fast.
Choose your platform here to listen to Urban Repurpose by David Lavoie & Carson Tworow, out on Inner Ocean Records.