Michael J Thomas
The truth couldn’t be clearer. In these uncertain, crazy-challenging and pandemic-weary times, we all need an emotional-spiritual pick me up that reminds us life can still be good and that there’s hope for us all in 2022. #1 Billboard charting saxophonist Michael J Thomas graces and showers us with sunshine and optimism galore on his latest single “The OG Bounce” – an ultra-infectious, high octane, hard groovin’ funk jam bound to get our bodies moving and minds focused on brighter, joyful things.
Named for the song’s co-producer and Thomas’ A&R director and mentor Carl Griffin (whose nickname is “OG”), the track’s buoyant bassline, old school Parliament Funkadelic styled vibe, and irrepressible drum groove that may remind listeners of the popular four-count line dance “The Wobble” have inspired some early listeners to liken it to a modern twist on Go-go music – a popular subgenre of funk that originated in the African-American community in the Washington D.C. area in the mid-60s to late ‘70s. The single’s cover pays homage to this regional connection, with an image of Thomas playing his sax artfully photoshopped over a beautifully lit, purple-hued nighttime shot of the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool.
In addition to Thomas’ tight regular crew of keyboardist/co-producer Trammell Starks, guitarist Chris Blackwell, bassist Sam Sims and drummer Louis K Newsom, “The OG Bounce” sizzles and soars to the next level with the trademark fire of Nashville’s The Smokin’ Section horn ensemble – Steve Patrick (trumpets), Mark Douthit (alto, tenor, baritone saxes) and Barry Green (trombones).
Thomas’ declaration that “it’s my favorite track I’ve ever written” is remarkable considering the chart success he’s enjoyed with his earlier original songs, including his breakthrough single “Baby Coffee” (his first #1 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart) and “Sippin’ The Yak,” which hit #2 on the charts, remained in the Top 5 for nine weeks. “Baby Coffee” currently has over 2.5 million streams on Apple Music, while “Sippin’ the Yak” is up to over 1.3 million. Another one of his enduring hits was “I’ll Never Love Again,” an explosive re-imagining of the Lady Gaga hit from “A Star is Born,” which became Michael’s second #1 smash, dominating the airwaves throughout 2019.
“The OG Bounce” will be included in the saxophonist’s upcoming 5-track EP Outside the Door, which includes high-profile guest performances by jazz and country music greats, Chieli Minucci of Special EFX, Randy Brecker, and Vince Gill. The set will feature new twists on Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” and Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (feat. Brecker), as well as “It’s Christmas,” Michael’s delightful recent holiday single featuring Maysa.
The project breaks ground in the smooth jazz genre as the first original recording to utilize and be mixed with the revolutionary immersive Dolby Atmos technology. Its sonic design expands on existing surround sound systems by adding height channels, allowing sounds to be interpreted as three-dimensional objects. Outside the Door will be released in its entirety first to all platforms that support Dolby Atmos, including Apple Music, Tidal and Amazon. Its tracks will also be released as standalone singles in the coming months.