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3rd Degree, The Odyssey Sound. What it is and Why I Hope It Inspires You


3rd Degree, The Odyssey Sound, Why it is, and why I hope it inspires you. 


The Long Short of It


3rd Degree is a new style of music we are working to pioneer based in the genre of jazz however, is not in and of itself Jazz. The three degrees represented by the title indicate the foundations on which the music was built. They are Contemporary fusion ideologies, the genre of 3rd Stream, and Jazz ideologies and attitudes. In these we find the corner stone of The Odyssey sound. The band and I work together to produce a solid piece of work to you that is familiar but something you’ve never quite heard before, communication and collaboration are paramount to making this happen. I want this music to serve as both proof and as testament to the collaborative power of creation. Working with others to bring down the walls of ignorance and one-track mindedness, to building bridges of knowledge and understanding, not only in a musical context, but in a societal one as well. 



The Slightly Longer Short of It


As an artist in today’s social climate, I believe that now more than ever we are called to speak our truth. Not only to speak the truth that we hold dear to ourselves as values and ideals, but to speak truth to power. To speak truth to those that would call upon us to be silent. 


The truth I speak of is this: Artists are the keepers of culture. 


In a broad sense, civilizations since the dawn of man have been using art variably in societies for a multitude of reasons. While those reasons may change based on the need of the civilization one thing remains constant, the thinkers and the arts are always involved. in fact, the thinkers, arts, and artists are often the facilitators of that change. 


The Concept of 3rd Degree


As i’m sure we can all attest, artist or not, life has its moments of peaks and valleys. That said, I think its our responsibility to make the most of what we have. To look out for one another and push the bounds of our own limitations mentally, physically, and creatively. In doing so raise each other up, to create a better world for us all. 


3rd Degree is meant to be a musical embodiment of this ideal. It is a reflection of what has come before us, in order to reshape the future. It is ever growing, ever evolving in its journey of discovery to find that which has yet to be found. On a societal level, it is finding common ground with one another. It is trying to understand who we are as individuals and who we can be as a larger community. To do this of course, we must understand each other. On a musical level, this goes beyond simply being proficient at your craft. It is knowing your roots, it is digging through the past in order to find your future. Without digging too deep into the past, allow me to share a story:


While attending my first college. Where a majority of the concept was fleshed out. I was hell bent on becoming a great Jazz musician (whatever that meant to me at the time). I would hang on the words of my young trumpet idols, people like Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Arturo Sandoval, Roy Hargrove, Theo Croker, Christian Scott and countless others. There’s an old saying that goes “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” and everything these guys said seemed to perpetually embody that notion. With that in mind, I decided to enroll in 2 jazz history classes that next semester, one for majors, and one for non majors. Long story short, by the end of the semester I was left with more questions than answers. However something became very apparent to me, you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. As artists, it is our duty not only to create art, or to document that which has already happened. But to pass on knowledge, as we move from students to mentors on the path of honing our truth. 


3rd Degree is an attempt to take musical tropes, ideologies, generic stereotypes and ultimately creative passion and throw them into one sound that you, the listener, can identify with. The hope is to present you with a new and unique perspective that is familiar and yet somewhat foreign in execution. The goal is to create a sonic environment that combines old school jazz methodology with newer sounds, for example Rock, Trap, and Fusion. Bringing them together in such a way as to produce a genre that mixes them but does not blend them. This is very important, as it allows each element to provide its additive texture while allowing for a generically democratic conversation throughout. In addition to this, using old and modern song forms and compositional techniques, we can produce a variety of unique song forms that allow us to give an objective perspective to each stylistic element present in our songs and hopefully, provide you with an enjoyable listening experience. 


Each day we play this music, it continues to bring us new meaning and purpose. It pushes us to further explore what it means to be an artist and creator in our modern times. For everything that it is worth, and it is worth a lot, we must never shy away from what came before us. WE MUST EMBRACE IT, use it to refine our edge. Use it to redefine ourselves with each passing decade, in order to preserve the sanctity that is artistic creation and expression. We the artists must take our roles as modern Griots in a modern age, and do so with a humble respect to those who have come before us, an understanding mind and open heart to what lies ahead of us, and a cautious optimism of what is yet to come. As a listener, if our music speaks to you, please give credence to our notes. Please find hope in our lyrics, and good in our intentions. We look forward to taking this journey of discovery with all of you.


Enjoy The Music


-Roman G