Veteran instrumental jazz combo Sokoband, established by composer Michael Sokolowski (piano) and Houston Ross (bass), delivers a reworking of songs off its 1997 debut In November Sunlight... that are surprisingly contemporary — 15 years after they were originally released.
Sokoband's new release is well worth some serious listening time! The record mixes styles and genres from world beat, funk/r&b, jazz, and jam and comes together unlike anything else we've heard recently. And the guest-list of musicians who appear on the record is just astounding, like a virtual who's-who of the Charlottesville live music scene!
Brad Savage, Program Director, WCNR: 106.1 The Corner, Charlottesville, VA
Sokoband - Carefully crafted music that defies description. A uniformly positive vibe runs throughout compositions that perhaps are best thought of as intelligent fusion with large scoops of progressive rock, chamber jazz, and dashes of lounge and even gospel. The core trio of Sokolowski, Ross, and Nir Z are great players, and with guests ranging from David Darling to Steve Kimock to Dave Matthews, Tim Reynolds, and the late LeRoi Moore, eclectic is not broad enough to sum it up. I've played it over and over and it stands up - and even with repeated playing, never seem to know what is coming next - and that's a very good thing...
Steve Huff, Announcer, WTJU, Charlottesville, VA
Wow, Soko: Two is amazing. And I love the music because, like Channel 76 on XM Radio, it's hard to describe. Why even try?
Ben Smith, Program Director/Fine Tuning (XM 76)
This is what pianos hear when they dream.
One of the most tuned-in and sympathetic melodic/rhythmic combinations Charlottesville has produced.
Fred Boyce, The Prism Coffeehouse
Soko transforms pianist Mike Sokolowski's tuneful compositions into free-flowing accessible improv. Mike knows how to get into the heart of the piano, and drummer Johnny Gilmore and bassist Houston Ross form one of the tightest rhythm sections around.
Greg Howard, Espresso Recording Artist
Soko is a band I could listen to for three or four hours with my eyes closed and never want to be someplace else. Absolutely fantastic!
John Hill, host of "Acoustic Sunrise" WNRN, Charlottesville, VA
Remember losing interest during math class in high school? While staring out the window, thoughts could float miles away from your immediate surroundings like dust on the wind. Soko's first CD release captures that moment, when a journey away from convention seems like the best idea.
There is a family of musicians in Charlottesville unlike anywhere I've ever been. It's people like Mike Sokolowski that make it so special. He's world class.
Dave Matthews, RCA Recording Artist
The Charlottesville-based group takes a basic melody line and paints a topography that runs from mambo to easy listening and even a touch of gospel thrown in for good measure. And along the way the listener is treated to one discovery after another, the music moving lightly at times, crashing in a roaring cacophony that is almost dizzying.
Lexington News Gazette
Soko's music is fresh and free melody
Jeff Hunt, host of "The Jeff Hunt Show" WVTF, Roanoke, VA
[T]his is the type of album you will listen to with your eyes closed, simply floating on the music.
Dupree's Diamond News