Photo by Jeremy Elder
Today, Boston-born funk sextet Lettuce have released a new video showcasing their recording session of “Shine” off their latest album Unify. The LP was released back in June and served as their eighth album and final addition to a trilogy of projects recorded at Denver’s Colorado Sound Studios following 2019’s Elevate and 2020’s Resonate.
The trio of albums came together after the Lettuce – comprised of Nigel Hall (keyboards/vox), Adam Deitch (drums), Ryan Zoidis (saxophone), Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff (guitar), Erick “Jesus” Coomes (bass) and Eric “Benny” Bloom (trumpet) – were stopped in their tracks during their European tour due the outbreak of COVID-19. Though the other albums are solid in their own right, they were crafted remotely; Unify was shaped in person, and the newfound energy and unprecedented excitement are sonically palpable.
“Music is the great unifier, and we produced this album with the intention of bringing people together in truth, respect, and love,” Coomes said of the album.
Sonically “Shine” showcases hip-hop’s influence on the gilded and stamped jazz/funk fusion Lettuce so blissfully emits. The song is relaxing and smooth, yet full of energy as each member of the band infuses their groove, not unlike a cool wind passing under a glistening sun. As the track continues, each member gets a little further out, dissipating their rays of light into individual streaks of color on a sonic sky. In the video of the studio session, the band clips together moments highlighting their shared runs and individual fills, offering a look at how they flow behind closed doors.
“Let’s go for a ride in the whip and turn it up!” Shmeeans said. “’Shine’ has both that bumpin’ and relaxing feel all at once. Golden era hip hop feels with a heavy nod to A Tribe Called Quest. Boom bap, a baseline line to make you move, Rhodes, Melodic Horns and Wes guitar octaves keep this one feeling like the warm sun on your face.”
It’s notable that Lettuce will perform at Brooklyn Comes Alive at the Brooklyn Mirage in New York City on Saturday, Sept. 17, along with STS9, Medeski Martin & Wood, Cool Cool Cool and more. They’ll then head over the pond for a run of dates in the U.K. and Europe, starting with a performance in London on Sept. 20.
Find tickets and a list of dates here.
Read Relix’s piece on the making of Resonate here.
Watch Lettuce’s studio performance of “Shine” below.