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New CD From Monkey House Nabs Impressive Chart Debuts: #9 on iTunes U.S. Jazz Chart, #2 on Canada iTunes Jazz Chart ; The Brainchild of Don Breithaupt, Popular Groove/Jazz/Pop/AC Band Celebrates Release of ‘Left' via ALMA Records
(Published: July 05, 2016)

For Immediate Release                                                                                                     
July 5, 2016

New CD From Monkey House Nabs Impressive Chart Debuts: #9 on iTunes U.S. Jazz Chart, #2 on Canada iTunes Jazz Chart 

The Brainchild of Don Breithaupt, Popular Groove/Jazz/Pop/AC Band Celebrates Release of ‘Left' via ALMA Records, as an All-Star Roster of Guest Artists Add Their Talents to the Recording

"Sophisticated, supple, funky, and smart tunes, heavy on the horns, backing vocals, and slick solos, jazz ideas with a rock band in behind. There's only one comparison really, and that's Steely Dan, and in particular, the Aja-Gaucho period"

Popular Groove/Jazz/Pop/AC Band Monkey House has reason to celebrate, as their new ALMA CD ‘Left' nabs impressive chart debuts: #9 on iTunes U.S. Jazz Chart, and #2 on Canada iTunes Jazz Chart.  The brainchild of singer/songwriter/arranger/producer Don Breithaupt, Monkey House is known for attracting an all-star roster of guest performers, and on ‘Left' (only the band's fifth album in a nearly 25-year career,) they do not disappoint. Breithaupt has assembled an elite community of musicians that includes LA session great Jay Graydon, guitar ace Elliott Randall (Steely Dan), and jazz star Donny McCaslin (David Bowie), while returning guests include current Steely Dan members Drew Zingg and Michael Leonhart. Breithaupt talks about the project in this recent interview:

The sound of Monkey House is evocative of Steely Dan, and it's no accident - in fact, as mentioned in the interview link above, "If Steely Dan seems like an obvious inspiration, there's a reason: Breithaupt, in fact, wrote a book on Aja as part of the 33 1/3 series."

Much of Breithaupt's beautiful songwriting on ‘Left' took shape during a long-distance drive he took across the continent, three years ago, when he relocated to Los Angeles from his Toronto home. "Driving eight hours at a stretch across the flattest part of continent you get into a zen thing," he recalls. "The mind gets more fertile when there is less input. I kept having lyric and melody ideas that I'd scratch down on gum wrappers, scrap paper, magazines, anything! I'd say at least half the songs on this album started on that road trip."

The result is a variety of musical styles and lyrical themes: There's a melancholy tinge to "It's Already Dark In New York," a song that has impressed Alan Paul of Manhattan Transfer fame. "It Works For Me" is a pop-meets-soul tune featuring old school horns and a lovely guitar solo from Randall. "None Of This Would Have Happened" is an AC-friendly pop ballad featuring a strong vocal performance that Don says was influenced by the song's co-writer, Marc Jordan. Breithaupt talks about the album in this Canadian radio interview: http://www.wave.fm/index.php?url=audio/view/audio-clips/don-breithaupt-interview-june-2016

Left represents an artful starting over for Monkey House following its acclaimed 2012 album ‘Headquarters', and Breithaupt is justifiably enthusiastic about it. "Part of the buzz for me on this album is that I sense a lot of people are waiting for it. I keep getting inquiries from people from all over the world giving me grief for taking so long, but that's a fun situation to be in."  A podcast interview about the project is here: http://www.insidemusicast.com/musicasts/2016/5/30/don-breithaupt-of-monkey-house.html

More about the making of ‘Left', collaborators, production team, etc:

To record Left, Breithaupt again set up shop at elite Toronto studio The Drive Shed with the team of co-producer Peter Cardinali and engineer John ‘Beetle' Bailey. "My comfort level with Peter is high, and John is indispensable for making records these days," reports Don. "For the first time, I decided to have a core quartet at the heart of this album on all the basic tracks, as a way of making the album cohesive.'

That all-star grouping comprised drummer Mark Kelso, bassist Pat Kilbride, and guitarist Justin Abedin, with Breithaupt contributing typically eloquent keyboards, and bassist Peter Cardinali guesting on one track. After bed tracks and vocals were recorded, a five-piece horn section (William Carn, John Johnson, Perry White, Christian Overton, and Vern Dorge) came in for a full day of recording, adding their versatile magic on most of the tunes. But wait, there's more! Monkey House is renowned for big name guests, and Left is certainly no exception. "I put feelers out for soloists, and ended up getting audio from around the world: Toronto, London, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles," says Breithaupt.

Stellar guitarists featured include Elliott Randall and Drew Zingg (both of Steely Dan fame), L.A. session great Jay Graydon, and rock legend Kim Mitchell. Other guests include backing vocalists David Blamires (Pat Metheny Group) and Lucy Woodward (Snarky Puppy), trumpeters Michael Leonhart (current musical director for Steely Dan), and William Sperandei, and saxophonist Donny McCaslin, a key player on David Bowie's final album. Breithaupt's ability to attract guests of this caliber speaks volumes on the peer respect now enjoyed by Monkey House, something that thrills him. "I was proud to nab Elliott Randall," he says. "He was the lead guitarist on a lot of early Steely Dan stuff, including ‘Reelin' In The Years,' such an important song to me growing up. I was tickled by how much he loved the tune he's on, and he's offered to help us talk the album up. Donny McCaslin, who discovered the last Monkey House record via a mutual friend, is a fellow Berklee alumnus. And I've been working closely with Jay Gaydon ever since I moved to California."

The collaborating also extended to some of the songwriting on Left. Marc Jordan co-wrote "None Of This Would Have Happened," Julie Crochetière co-wrote "The Art of Starting Over," Don's acclaimed lyricist brother Jeff Breithaupt co-wrote the very witty "What Exactly Is It That You Do All Day?," and Jay Graydon co-wrote "Good To Live."

Veteran Canadian broadcaster/writer Bob Mersereau reviewed the album:

About Alma Records:
Alma Records discovers and develops new and original artists who choose not to be compromised by an obsessively commercial music industry - where an equally talented but lesser known artist might be overlooked by the mainstream music industry in its perpetual quest for the next "flavor of the month".

Launched in 1992 by recognized bassist, producer, arranger, composer Peter Cardinali, Alma seeks to make a difference by creating a "music first" label that looks for the "feel" in a song and its performer, and not just the formula. Cardinali chose the name of the company to symbolize its standards and sensitivity to talent and the creative process. That name is "Alma", which means "soul". Without it there is no artist - Without it there is no label.

Cardinali says the philosophy has been a success. "Our company has a roster of exceptionally gifted musicians and artists who have recorded an enduring catalogue of albums. Their work is now available around the world via prudent licensing deals with kindred labels such as Universal, eOne, P-Vine, edel, Membran, JVC, Proper, Perleberg, Pony Canyon, Gallo, EMI, Scorpio, Sony, Warner, and more."

Now, with a solid business foundation and a growing international footprint, the label continues to augment their strengths via more direct artist signings and development, licensing deals - foreign and domestic, increased marketing and promotions, a film music division, multi media productions, and expanding its publishing company, "Cardster Music Co."  

Read the ALMA One Sheet, here:

Visit: http://www.almarecords.com
Visit: http://www.almarecords.com/artists/monkey-house/
Visit: https://twitter.com/monkeyhouseband
Visit: https://www.facebook.com/Monkey-House-231967776841121/
Alma Store - http://shopalmarecords.com/products/left

More Information: http://www.almarecords.com/artists/monkey-house/

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