release date: july 12, 2019
A protégé of the legendary pianist Kenny Barron, Jon Regen began his career as a sideman to jazz artists like Ted Dunbar, Kyle Eastwood and Little Jimmy Scott. As the editor of Keyboard Magazine, he’s got his finger on the pulse of new music daily, yet it is his solo songwriting and recording career that interests us the most. Jon Regen calls it the way he sees (and hears) it, casting aside the yoke of criticism and self doubt. Jon writes SONGS; his five solo albums have been acclaimed by press and fans alike. We are proud to announce the arrival of Jon’s latest work - Higher Ground - at a time when we all need it. This time a host of a-list musicians join him - Keith Carlock, Tim Lefebvre, Larry Klein, Matt Rollings, Ricky Peterson, Jerry Marotta, Geoge Marinelli, Julia Kent, and Gregoire Maret. The album was produced by Jamiroquai's Matt Johnson and includes musical performances by legends like Andy Summers of The Police, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Chuck Leavell of The Rolling Stones and Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran. We’ll leave you with this quote from the great Bruce Hornsby:
‘Jon Regen has a rare combination of elements - virtuosic playing ability, soulful singing, and a strong songwriting talent, all developing more and more as he grows and grows as an artist through the years. Give him a freaking listen!’
About jon regen
“Jon Regen has a rare combination of elements - virtuosic playing ability, soulful singing, and a strong songwriting talent, all developing more and more as he grows and grows as an artist through the years. Give him a freaking listen!” - BRUCE HORNSBY
On July 12, singer, songwriter and pianist Jon Regen will release “Wide Awake,” the first single from his highly-anticipated Ropeadope debut Higher Ground due out October 4. The album was produced by Jamiroquai's Matt Johnson and includes musical performances by legends like Andy Summers of The Police, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Chuck Leavell of The Rolling Stones and Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran.
A jazz/pop tour de force, “Wide Awake” marries Regen’s signature soulful vocals and infectious piano work with the funk production prowess of longtime Jamiroquai keyboardist Johnson.
“What began as me fooling around on my old Roland Juno-60 synthesizer and Steinway grand piano, soon took on a life of its own once I met Matt at a Jamiroquai show in New York City,” Regen says. “Soon after, we were crafting an entire album together, all via email. So for me, it’s a song about taking chances and seizing the moment.”
With early praise from luminaries like fellow singer/pianist Bruce Hornsby, Toto’s Steve Lukather, famed songwriter Rob Thomas, and jazz great Kenny Barron, “Wide Awake” is striking a chord with legends and listeners alike. Surprisingly, track was recorded and produced entirely remotely, with Regen and Johnson both working in their respective New York and London recording studios.
“As a new parent, the idea of me locking myself away in a proper recording studio to make an album was a daunting proposition,” Regen explains. “But Matt and I have a rhythm in the way we work together. It’s like we’re in the same room, even though we’re an ocean apart.”
“It’s been great collaborating with Jon from either side of the pond,” Johnson says. “He has a rich sounding voice and is really a fantastic piano player too. We got a bit of Stevie mixed up with some Steely and everything in between on this one!”
Higher Ground is the follow up to Regen’s critically-acclaimed 2015 release Stop Time that was embraced by media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, DownBeat and the Sunday Times in the UK. Other notable guests on Higher Ground include Keith Carlock (Steely Dan), Tim Lefebvre (David Bowie), Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell), Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett), Ricky Peterson (David Sanborn), Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel), George Marinelli (Bonnie Raitt), Julia Kent and Grégoire Maret. The album was produced by Matt Johnson, mixed by famed engineer Michael Brauer (Coldplay, John Mayer) and mastered by 2019 Album of the Year Grammy winner Greg Calbi (Kacey Musgraves).
“It’s a thrill when your heroes want to make music with you,” Regen says. “So stay-tuned for the album!”
A protégé of the legendary pianist Kenny Barron, Jon Regen began his career as a sideman to jazz artists like Ted Dunbar, Kyle Eastwood and Little Jimmy Scott. Regen made an abrupt left turn into singer/songwriter territory with a series of acclaimed solo albums including Almost Home (2004), Let It Go (2008), Revolution (2011), and Stop Time (2015). Regen also hit Number One on the Billboard Charts with his 2013 instrumental album Change Your Mind.
The Associated Press said of Regen, “His sturdy songs, pleasing tenor and seven-foot grand are a captivating combination.” The Wall Street Journal called Regen “a confident, soulful singer,” and DownBeat said “Regen’s music shoots from - and directly into - the heart.”
Jon Regen is the Editor of Keyboard Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Billboard, Variety and Tape Op. Regen can also be seen in an upcoming episode of the Emmy Award-winning Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.