New York based singer, songwriter and pianist Jon Regen has spent the better part of the last decade telling a singular musical story, with a steady stream of critically acclaimed albums and capacity concert appearances on both sides of the Atlantic. Now with the release of his new album Revolution, Regen returns to the recorded stage with yet another captivating chapter in his already auspicious career.
Featuring ten affecting originals, as well as guest appearances by some the world’s most acclaimed musical artists like Andy Summers of The Police and Benmont Tench from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Revolution is a tonal testament to Regen’s continued musical evolution – from instrumental jazz journeyman, to internationally-headlining pop artist. And much like Regen’s touring schedule itself, the album was recorded and produced in a myriad of cities around the globe.
“Revolution started at the Steinway grand piano in my New York City apartment,” Regen says of the album’s infectious title track. “The melody and lyrics came to me in a matter of minutes, and before long, I was recording them into my laptop. In fact, 90% of what you hear in that song – all the vocals and keyboards - even the song’s signature Casio drum machine, was recorded in my home studio. You just never know when a song will hit you.”
The recording of Revolution would turn into a truly global affair, with sessions scheduled in seven cities across two continents. “I was on-tour with my band across Europe,” Regen explains, “so we tracked a handful of songs on a day off between shows in London. In fact, some of the album’s most spirited playing comes from those sessions – we were literally running between airports!” Tracks for the album would also be recorded at studios in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Berkeley, California.
Revolution features a captivating cast of musical heavyweights, both in-front of, and behind the studio glass. From acclaimed artists like guitarist Andy Summers and keyboardist Benmont Tench, to ace engineers Michael Brauer (Coldplay/John Mayer) and John Porter (Ryan Adams/The Smiths), Regen would spend the better part of a year assembling the creative team that would ultimately complete the album.
“I came-up in the jazz world, where paying homage to your musical heroes was the norm,” Regen explains. “So for me, it was important for that kind of legacy to permeate Revolution.” Summers’ singular guitar sound on the hushed, string-laden ballad ‘Spirits of The Soul’ recalls his fabled guitar work on The Police’s classic track ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger.’ And Benmont Tench’s iconic Hammond B3 organ delights on Regen’s ode to misfit love ‘Delores.'
“Many of the guests on the album like Andy and Benmont, were heroes of mine when I was coming-up as a musician,” Regen continues. “So it was the thrill of a lifetime to have gotten the chance to record with them here.”
Other alluring artists also make cameos on Revolution, including Bonnie Raitt and Bruce Hornsby alum George Marinelli on guitar, along with fellow Raitt bandmates Ricky Peterson on organ, Hutch Hutchinson on bass, and Ricky Fataar on drums. “I’ve been listening to all four of them on their own and in Bonnie’s band for years,” Regen says. “Find me another group that grooves like they do!” Blues powerhouse Dana Fuchs joins Regen on the unabashed rocker ‘Fighting For Your Love,’ Regen’s nod to the music of his youth. “My father had Elton John’s Greatest Hits on perma-repeat in our family car when I was a kid,” Regen admits. “I think ‘Fighting For Your Love’ was almost an auto-immune response to hearing ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’ for all those years!” And Regen’s co-producer, famed keyboardist Matt Rollings guests on organ and accordion on a number of key album tracks, including Regen’s haunting tale of a failed love affair ‘One Part Broken, Two Parts Blue.’ “We cut that one in one take – completely live,” Regen recalls. “When Matt started into his accordion solo, I almost lost it. He has a way of cutting right to the core.”
Regen also co-wrote three of the album’s tracks with storied songsmiths like Matchbox Twenty front man Rob Thomas (‘Just Waiting For Now’), and UK soul phenom David McAlmont (‘Spirits of The Soul’ and ‘Run Away’). “Rob and David pushed me into territory I couldn’t have found on my own,” Regen says. “They forced me to step outside my comfort zone.”
Jon Regen was raised in Maplewood, New Jersey. A protégé of the legendary pianist Kenny Barron, Regen began his career as a sympathetic sideman to renowned jazz artists like Jimmy Scott and Kyle Eastwood. Named Runner-Up in the 1996 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, Regen would jump-out on his own with a series of critically acclaimed instrumental jazz recordings; From Left To Right (1996), Live at The Blue Note (2000), and Tel Aviv (2001).
In 2004, Regen made an abrupt left turn and released the self-produced, singer/songwriter EP Almost Home. Universally acclaimed throughout the US, Europe and Asia, the EP would formally announce Regen’s arrival on the world stage, and would kick start a concert career that thrives to this day. Regen followed the EP up with his full-length 2008 release Let It Go, which featured appearances by Andy Summers of The Police, Martha Wainwright, and other iconic guests. The album would receive worldwide praise from critics and listeners alike, and go on to sell over 5,000 copies without a label or distributor attached. Regen would tour for nearly 3 years in support of Let It Go, with a steady stream of sold-out shows on both sides of the Atlantic.
On Revolution, Regen weaves an artful tale of humor and heartbreak across each of the album’s ten tracks. From the sardonic tenor of “She’s Not You (But Tonight She’ll Have To Do),” to the hushed resignation of “One Part Broken, Two Parts Blue,” Regen’s unique sonic stamp permeates with both both guts and grace. “I think it’s the most complete album I’ve ever made,” Regen says of his latest work. “Musically, lyrically, thematically - it’s the perfect amalgam of where I’ve been, and where I’m headed.”
“There’s a revolution inside my head,” Jon Regen sings to open his arresting new album. Spin it on your music player of choice, and you’re sure to join the Revolution too.
JON REGEN - SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY
Dr. Mitch Gaynor and Jon Regen
CHANGE YOUR MIND
LET IT GO
JRM 100089/Sandfish 6003 (JAPAN)
ALL OF ME - LIVE IN TOKYO
Venus Records TKGV-1004
Sony Classical SK87888
Jon Regen Trio
LIVE AT THE BLUE NOTE
(with Ray Drummond & Yoron Israel)
Half Note 4909
Jon Regen Trio
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT
(with Earl May & Sunny Jain)
Jon Regen is a STEINWAY ARTIST and uses NORD Keyboards and NEUMANN Microphones