“They Call Me Big New York” is the newest CD by Brooklyn-born guitarist Christian DeMesones (featured earlier here). If you want to know why he’s called that, it’s because of his big personality and heart, and an approach to music that is 110% all in.
The album (just released on 2/20/20 and with over a quarter of a million streams on Spotify) draws the excitement up and over the top. Real smooth is the dance vibe of “Latin Jive Redux” which briefly respects the phrasing of “Oye Como Va.” “Throb” pulses out dynamic chopped-up rhythms whose bridges feature horn and sax solos preaching truth with strong lines. “Dekalb and Flatbush” serves up a narration by DeMesones recalling the days of the brick-and-mortar record stores and walk-in radio stations of the 1970s (“But I’ll tell you what, I’ll never forget the music back then!” he shouts). The song gives way to hearty female vocals and that inimitable fat sax sound which defines the flavor of funk. Breathy pan flutes flutter and yield to a quick blues turn on the organ which, he tells us, is the “Shape of Water,” and get ready for a quick dive, headfirst, into the densely packed “Year of the Dragon.”
“All of us need help with our dreams. Some still haven’t figured out which direction they want to go. This is my story. I didn’t create the musical offerings alone but I did weather every obstacle put in my path. From my perspective…music heals. This project healed me. My inspiration for They called Me Big New York comes from my love of life. NEVER GIVE UP!”
For more information, visit https://www.bignybassworld.com/.
Photos courtesy of and with permission of Christian DeMesones.
(c) Debbie Burke 2020