Shifting Paradigm Records is proud to announce the October 5th release of Mestizo, the new album from bassist and composer Evan Salvacion Levine. Mestizo, Levine’s sophomore release as a leader, debuts his new trio project, which features Matt Gold on guitar and Andrew Green on drums. This seven-track collection of originals – each penned by the Chicago-based musician – celebrates both his musical and cultural identity. By intertwining both, Levine has developed himself into a musician who, from the get-go, displays an open and accepting approach to varying and dynamic musical opportunities.
Growing up with a Filipino mother and a Jewish father, the Jersey-native truly identifies with the term “Mestizo”. Primarily used in Latin America and the Philippines to describe someone of mixed race, “Mestizo” assumes it’s own identity and means more to those who embody it than the sum of its parts, explains Levine. Mestizo/Mestiza people have their own unique experiences, cultures, opinion and appearances. With this term lending itself to the title of the album, the music heard on Mestizo perfectly mirrors Levine’s dynamic cultural background.
While the title track attempts to represent Levine’s wide-spanning cultural upbringing through rhythmic inflections, “Little Shells” is a reflection upon the sounds and rhythms present on water – specifically the water of the Atlantic ocean which Levine lived close to in Miami, before moving to Chicago. Waves crashing on the water are always happening in different intervals, at different spots and create something more complicated than meets the eye. The combination of the brass bells, guitar and bass on this track weave something that is relaxing in sound, yet at the same time retains a certain complexity. “The Best Things Never Change” evokes a real feeling of nostalgia for Levine. With a slow, bittersweet melody, this track recalls a reunion with an old friend and highlights the fact that even though both have grown older, the intangible things that blossomed the friendship in the first place remains. Another stand-out track from the album is “Highways” – a fun song about road trips! With a groove that pays homage to Ahmad Jamal’s “Poinciana”, Levine wrote this track on the road while moving from Miami to Chicago.
By maintaining an open mind to both cultural and musical experiences, Levine has developed a unique ability to create grooves and sounds that reflect all of the experiences he has encountered while performing with musicians from all over the world. As a result, a blend of jazz, rock and World music defines and shapes Mestizo.
“This album is a record of all of the wonderful people I have met and places I have been in the last two years.”