If you’ve been in the Toronto music scene for the past few decades, especially in gospel music, “Larnell Lewis” is one of those names you would’ve heard whispered before. If you’ve been lucky enough to see him play live, you’ll agree he’s one of the best drummers you’ve ever seen, if not the best. His live performances include audiences looking around in awe as if they’re having an otherworldly experience, and fans have even more reason to be excited.
The Toronto-based musician and Grammy-winning drummer for the Brooklyn-based jazz fusion band Snarky Puppy, who has toured with the likes of Gregory Porter, Pat Metheny, Etienne Charles, Benny Golson, Lalah Hathaway, John Scofield, Lisa Fisher, Kurt Elling, and Gary Burton, is back with a new project Relive The Moment. The project is a reimagining of his 2018 debut album In The Moment on which the multi-instrumentalist played drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, melodica, percussion, piano, and synthesizer, while holding down singing, writing and producing duties.
Aside from new renditions of the original six songs from the previous album, his latest offering features a brand new song, “The Forgotten Ones”, a percussion solo which pays tribute to the sounds of his ancestors, exploring a variety of tempos and instruments.
“For this album, I took the opportunity to reimagine six compositions from my debut album by recording new live drum performances”, Lewis explains. The closing track, “The Forgotten Ones”, is new to this collection of songs and pays tribute to my ancestral lineage. I truly love telling stories through music, especially when it means that I get to relive my moments from a place of wisdom and celebration. With this album, I hope you too are able to reflect on your own defining moments and cherish those memories.”
Aside from his African heritage, traces of his roots in gospel and jazz can also be found on the album.
It’s the latest in a series of accomplishments for the triple threat musician, composer and producer, which includes playing drums on Snarky Puppy’s Grammy-winning albums We Live It Here and Culcha Vulcha, playing on Emilie-Claire Barlow’s JUNO Award-winning jazz album Root Structure, being named one of CBC Music’ Top 35 artists under 35 in 2017, and serving as the musical director for the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of the documentary QUINCY about the life and career of musical legend Quincy Jones, leading performances by the likes of Chaka Khan, Mark Ronson, and Yebba Smith.
His new album, Relive The Moment, is available on all major streaming platforms.