© 2023 Boise State Public Radio
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Julius Rodriguez, 'Gift of the Moon'

When a rising jazz phenom gets the go-ahead to make a first impression on a major label, pyrotechnics is the standard mode. But Julius Rodriguez — a hyperacute pianist, drummer and now guitarist known to many in alternative R&B and hip-hop circles as Orange Julius — opted for a warmer glow. "Gift of the Moon" is the first single from his debut Let Sound Tell All, which Verve will release on June 10.

Beginning with a woozy synth pattern and what sounds like the whir of field crickets, the song tumbles into gear about 20 seconds in, shifting from waltz time into a relaxed yet sharply syncopated groove. Tending that groove with bassist Daryl Johns and drummer Jongkuk Kim, Rodriguez sets a stage for some solo elaboration from trumpeter Giveton Gelin — in a wash of overdubs, as if to embody an improvising chorus. Some wordless vocals by Nick Hakim, Rodriguez's longtime associate in Onyx Collective, brings the tune to a close, if not a conclusion; this is music that prioritizes a vibe, rather than the mechanics of plot.

Copyright 2022 WBGO. To see more, visit WBGO.

You make stories like this possible.

The biggest portion of Boise State Public Radio's funding comes from readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

Your donation today helps make our local reporting free for our entire community.