Tastemaker record label Fresh Selects (known for releasing debuts by the likes of SiR, Kadhja Bonet, and Charlotte Dos Santos) welcomes the multi-faceted instrumentalist, composer, and arranger Reginald Chapmanto their roster with the July 26th release of “Prototype.” The 9-track album prominently features the Virginia native on a custom-built bass trombone and calls upon a star-studded cast of supporting musicians that includesDJ Harrison (Stones Throw; Jack White), Corey Fonville (Christian Scott; Butcher Brown), Reggie Pace (Bon Iver), Scott Flynn (Odesza) and a host of others.
The diverse cast of Prototype is mirrored, and built, by Chapman's wide-ranging and cross-genre activity over the last decade. Having recorded and toured with international groups including Foxygen, The Mountain Goats, and appearing with Broken Social Scene, while making a splash at home co-founding the No BS! Brass Band, Chapman has made an indelible mark on the east coast Jazz community. This experience was capped with a 4- year residency outside of Chicago while earning his Masters of Music and starting a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Jazz Bass Trombone Performance (with a cognate in Classical Compositions).
In 2015, Chapman took a sabbatical to tour and began writing what would eventually become Prototype, seeking to make sense of the transition back home and establish his own sound. At the same time, he started working with Mike “The Horn Doctor" Corrigan at Best American Craftsman in Kansas City, helping them build their new Bass Trombone model.
According to Chapman, “whereas most bass trombones are built to be simply foundational or fundamental, we specifically designed this one to be a full-on 'jazz' horn, intended for improvisation, soloing and being able to carry a melody – instead of just being the bottom of a horn section, as they typically are. Through multiple trials of sending horns back and forth throughout the process of this album, we finally got it right just as were wrapping up our recording sessions. Much like that process, I find that my life is one of constant prototyping – iterative processes of creation, innovation, and re-creation with hopes of continuously raising the bar to create a new future.”
It is in Chapman's bright, dynamic ode to artistic discovery and re-invention that we find his refreshing blend of sounds, drawing comparisons to the groove-inspired Soul & Hip Hop of the Soulquarians, the classic touch of theHot 8 Brass Band, and a hint of the beat-tape sensibilities of Madlib's Yesterdays New Quintet.