Lost & Found
Somewhere between New York and DC, a few miles off of exit 3 (or was is 8, or 13?), next to some empty warehouses, is The Motel. No one is sure how they got there, but everyone ends up there eventually. That's probably why they call it The Lost and Found: 'Where you can do what you do, the outcome is on you.' Most lost souls heed the slogan and take advantage of the fact that no one's gonna know what they did there. You might see some really strange shit. Even if someone sees or hears something, who would they tell? How could they describe it? Who would believe them? One winter night in 2006, there was a chance meeting of DC's hottest and New York's sickest. Maybe someone planned it, but no one knew what they were getting into. And they knew no one had done it like this before. Welcome to Motel. The Motel Protect's album, 'Lost and Found,' brings together an unique mix of original 'new New York' jazz and DC freestyle hip-hop. The music is "jazz" only in the Bill Evans sense ('Jazz is not a what, but a how.') and spans the spectrum from straight-ahead swing to dark funk, from uplifting fusion to heavy rock. Just about everything makes you want to move something. Add to the mix eight unconventional MCs, each one paired to their own track, blend well and serve. Bassist Matt Grason, the brains of the operation, has paid dues in both worlds. He's a fixture on the DC jazz scene and got his first taste for this project while playing avant-guard hip-hop band Miscellaneous Flux. While getting a masters degree at Manhattan School of Music, Matt absorbed the depth and breadth of New York's scene--the likes of Chris Potter, Andy Milne, Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman and Groove Collective. He brought it home with him and let it incubate. Then... He assembled an impressive roster of musicians. He started with old friends saxophonist Jon Irabagon and guitarist Jostein Gulbrandsen. Pianist Raymond Angry, in between tours with Michelle N'Dege Ocello and Joss Stone, played any keyboard instrument he could get his hands on. DC transplant and Juilliard scholar McClenty 'Mac' Hunter rounded out the group on drums. Fascinated by the untapped potential of MCs in a jazz context, Grason was fortunate enough to have access to the world class talent that came out of Tony Blackman's Freestyle Union workshops of the 1990s. A decade after the last of those ciphers, DC's freestyle poets are something of a best kept secret. Several of the MCs on Lost and Found have toured and recorded with world class musicians, including Andy Milne's Dapp Theory and Steve Coleman's Five Elements. Matt Grason poured his heart out on staff paper, the musicians played their asses off and the MCs came up with some of the most creative, tasteful and introspective rapping to date. This is the Motel Project. Every room is different. Yours is the second one on the left. After you stay here, you won't hear music the same way. Consider yourself warned: eavesdrop at your own risk.