Robert Irving III/Sonic Portraits Jazz presents: Various Artists
Art of Protest

“Art Of Protest” is a Various Artists Compiliation on the Sonic Portraits Jazz record label (August 13, 2021 release) produced by Robert Irving III known for his nine year collaboration with Miles Davis. “The project explores the softer side of protest with songs that poignantly approach protest through a philosophical lens without sacrificing heart and soul,” explains the producers. The project is a eclectic mix of jazz, world music, hip hop, classical and neo gospel featuring the producers Robert Irving III & Senabella Gill with vocalist/songwriter/award winning actress, Laura Walls, jazz diva Dee Alexander, vocalist/composer/dancer Mia Rebel, acclaimed electronic music producer/spoken-word artist, Jeremiah Jae (also the project’s graphic designer), America’s Got Talent semi-finalist, Sharon Irving, classical piano prodigy, Joshua Mhoon (pronounced Moon) and the world music aggregation Diasporic Progeny, which includes cultural historian Bikbaye Inejnema and popular television actor, Aaron D. Spears; both on spoken word. Gill’s collaborations with Robert Irving III, “Strange Fruit (That Bitter Crop)” and “Dream a Dream” transverse “disparity juxtaposed with hope that makes the experience of African Americans so complex. It is the former of these two compositions that inspired the creation of this compilation.

The core musicians include Chicago All-Stars Charles “Rick” Heath IV on drums, Josh Ramos on bass, James Perkins Jr. on woodwinds and Corey Wilkes on trumpet with Irving as pianist/ arranger and musical director. Track 05 also features drummer, Vince Wilburn Jr. (nephew of Miles Davis) and guitarist, Andre Lassalle (Burnt Sugar) and bassist, Frank Russell (Ladysmith Black Mambazo).

The album opens with a melodic guitar led tune composed by Jeanne Ricks a Chicago born (currently New York based) singer/songwriter, producer whose music premeated the Weather Channel soundscape for two decades.


01 War & Insufficient Peace 4:45
(Jeanne Ricks, Composer/Arranger)
Featuring guitar and whistle by Jeanne Ricks, piano solo by Robert Irving III, drums by Charles “Rick” Heath IV. Mid Tempo ~ Smooth Jazz ~ Progressive Instrumental ~ Grooving.

02 Riot (Enjoy The Fire) 5:21
(Robert Irving III, Composer/Arranger, Herbie Hancock and Jeremiah Jae Co-Composer)
Featuring Jeremiah Jae on spoken word, Robert Irving III – piano and keys, Corey Wilkes – trumpet, Geof Bradfield – saxophone, Edwin Shotgun Velasque – trombone, Larry Gray – bass and Perry Wilson – drums. Funk Fusion ~ Post Bop ~ Free Jazz ~ Spoken Work.

03 Street Smarts 6:19
(Robert Irving III, Composer/Arranger)
Featuring Sharon Irving on vocals and spoken word, Robert Irving III – piano and keys, Miles Davis – trumpet. Slow tempo ~ Acoustic Jazz core (added electronic elements) ~ Spoken word, Singing/Jazz Hop/Grooving.

*04 Strange Fruit (That Bitter Crop) 5:40
(Senabella Gill, Composer, Robert Irving III Arranger)
Fearturing Senabella Gill on vocals, Robert Irving III – piano, Josh Ramos – bass, Charles “Rick” Heath – drums, and James Perkins – flute. Rubato (no tempo) ~ Jazz Ballad ~ Vocal-Experimental ~ Melodically Accessible.

*05 I Remember the Future 5:01
(Robert Irving III, Composer/Arranger and Bikbaye Inejnema & Aaron D. Spears, Co -Composers)
World Beat ~ Jazz Fusion ~ Spoken Word ~ Vocals ~ Solo Trumpet, Piano, and Guitar.

06 Ode To Dark Men 4:06
(Robert Irving III, Composer/Arranger)
Featuring Laura E. Walls on vocals, Robert Irving III – piano, Charles “Rick” Heath IV – drums, Joshua Ramos – bass, and James Perkins – flute. Acoustic Jazz Vocal Ballad ~ Grooving, Sax lead solo with vocal ~ Accessible.

*07 Anytime I Want To 3:51
(Mia Rebel, Composer)
Featuring Mia Rebel on vocals, Additional vocals by Marques Durieux. (Mia Rebel Spivey the granddaughter of Victoria Spivey, blues singer worked with Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Clarence Williams, Luis Russell, Lonnie Johnson, and Bob Dylan). Mid-Tempo, Urban Contemporary, Hiphop, Soulful, Grooving ~ Accessible.

*08 Liberation of Buchenwald (If Know One’s To Blame) 8:35
(Robert Irving III, Composer/Arranger)
Featuring Dee Alexander on vocals and Sonic Portraits Orchestra. Contemporary Classical Piano/Orchestral Prelude (till 2:30) Vocal Ballad ~ Jazz ~ Orchestral ~ Grooving transition with rhythm section ~ Accessible.

09 A Long Way From Home 4:25
(Robert Irving III, Composer/Arranger and Dwight McKee, Co -Composer)
Featuring Epihffony: A Various Artists Collective ~ Additional vocals by Ajene Cooks, the late Chris Murrell and Lau ra E. Walls. Robert Irving III – Keys, Joshua Mhoon – piano, Josh Ramos – bass, Charles “Rick” Heath – drums, Kahil El Zabar – percussion, Nathelie Joachim – woodwinds, Jordan Thomas – harp. Slow Tempo~ Art Hop ~ Urban ~ Spoken Word ~ Grooving.

10 Dream A Dream 3:15
(Laura Walls vocals w/ Senabella (feat. Robert Irving III, James Perkins Jr, Charles Rick Heath IV & Joshua Ramos)
Positive Uptempo ~ Contemporary Jazz Vocal ~ Groovin ~ Solo Sax throughout.

*11 Lift Every Voice and Sing for Solo Piano 2:52
(Robert Irving III, Arranger)
Featuring classical piano prodigy Joshua Mhoon. Tempo_Pianistic ~ Melodic ~ Jazz and Classical Accessibility.

12 Vapors (Remix) 5:11
(Sharon Irving, Composer and Robert Irving III, Arranger)
Featuring Robert Irving III – piano and keys, Josh Ramos – bass, Charles Rick Heath IV – drums, James Perkins – flute. ATTENTION includes “fuckin’ – hell” Urban Contemporary, Jazz flute and piano fills, Spoken Word, Stepper’s Groove.

Robert Irving III "Art of Protest"

Going for Radio Adds
August 13, 2021
FILE: Jazz
Suggest Tracks: 4, 5, 7, 8, 11

Listen to: “I Remember the Future”

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