Naughty Professor is an iconoclastic New Orleans-based jazz-funk sextet whose adventurous recordings and horn-charged, high-energy live performances have earned them an enthusiastic fan base, critical acclaim, and widespread attention from their musical peers.
Their diligent roadwork has established Naughty Professor as a beloved live act. Weaving together complex, inventive compositions and loose, organic improvisation, the band honors their hometown's jazz, R&B and brass-band traditions while looking to the future.
Naughty Professor raises the stakes on its new album Identity (Release date June 23rd, 2017). Where their prior four releases showcased the group's knack for self-contained instrumental experimentation, Identity finds the band teaming with a stellar assortment of more than a dozen cutting-edge collaborators, whose vocal, instrumental and compositional contributions expand the music into new musical territory.
Identity's prestigious gallery of guests includes Jurassic 5's Chali 2na, who's featured on a pair of tracks, "Darker Daze" and "Sugar Coat," which also features contributions from New Orleans legend Ivan Neville. David Shaw of the Revivalists lends his vocals on "Stray" and singer/guitarist Dexter Gilmore contributes on "I Can't Sleep At Night." Additional special collaborators include trumpet player Eric “Benny” Bloom of Lettuce, percussionist Mike Dillon, much-lauded jazz vocalist Sasha Masakowski and members of the renowned New Orleans horn outfit Soul Rebels, who turn up the brass on the album-closer "Funk 4 Lunch."
"They're not just guests," explains Naughty Professor drummer Sam Shahin. "The collaborators on this album were chosen because we respected what they do and felt that they could be a complement to our ensemble.”
"When these kids first started coming up on the scene, I could tell right away that there was something very special about their energy and music," David Shaw comments on his excitement to collaborate with Naughty Professor. "I believe that the sky has no limit for these boys."
"My first impression of Naughty Professor was one of amazement,” Chali 2na notes. "New Orleans is full of musicians that are masters of their craft, and Naughty P is no exception. They are also perfectionists and students of the game. This is immediately apparent once you hear them play.
"I am loving the resurgence of jazz combined with this youthful mindstate that musicians have today," Chali continues," and Naughty Professor is pushing that envelope."
The band recorded each track on Identity live in the studio, heightening the immediacy of the performances and solidifying the band's connection with the guest collaborators. The sessions were also documented on video, with an eye towards releasing a video version of the album.