Royce DeZorzi & the New Freedom Movement released their debut self titled album last month, delivering what anyone could expect from a jam album: jams.
They have a pocket groove, play elongated solos, and do a great job of building energy collectively. But what really stands out about the album is not the notes they play, but how they want the listeners to hear them: every track on the album is a first take recorded directly to tape.
Third & James Studio in Denver, where the record was laid down did not have a tape machine on hand, but DeZorzi did, so just after a couple of hours, the whole album was recorded over an old reel of Bruce Springsteen songs. (Sorry, boss!)
The first track fades into a nostalgic white noise listeners might remember from their dad’s old Beatles albums (not the remastered ones, of course), quickly followed by a familiar groove from a Gwen Stefani song, “The Sweet Escape.”
Their three tracks include reimagined covers of famous songs from the 2000s, including Stefani’s song and “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, plus an original by guitarist DeZorzi. As their name the New Freedom Movement suggests, after departing from the main melodies, the 9 minute tracks are largely improvised solos using grooves and Jack White-inspired guitar effects while reincorporating bits of the original melody to make sure you’re still listening.
Royce DeZorzi & the New Freedom Movement highlights the rawness of improvisation with full commitment by using first takes on a tape reel. DeZorzi and crew not only trust themselves as individual players, but they trust the moment and their music itself.