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Stephen Jay | Physical Answer

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Album Links
"Can't Wait Long" video stephenjay.com

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United States - California

Other Genres You Will Love
Pop: Pop Underground World: African- West Moods: Featuring Bass
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Physical Answer

by Stephen Jay

Emergent world funk, surprising arrangements from a musical wilderness create an ideal habitat for abstract lyrics. Fun, strange, cool grooves, brilliant playing, mesmerizing.
Genre: Pop: Pop Underground
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. What They Say
3:35 $0.99
2. Bailed Outside
3:37 $0.99
3. To Be You
4:07 $0.99
4. Running Thru the Forest
4:55 $0.99
5. So Far
4:39 $0.99
6. Broken String
4:52 $0.99
7. If Ever
4:59 $0.99
8. Can't Wait Long
3:51 $0.99
9. Flour
4:06 $0.99
10. Not That Far
4:29 $0.99
11. Pendulum Swing
3:58 $0.99
12. Mushi No Aikata
3:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Every physical object in the universe, regardless of size, is the concrete answer to a myriad of questions, 99.9 % of which have not yet even been dreamed of, much less formulated. Funky, unimaginable, and oozing, this little piece of plastic is no exception!"

An entirely new species of musical exploration emerges in Stephen Jay’s “Physical Answer”. Spacious, crystal clear parts grow into surprising arrangements in an organic universe of co-catalytic, self creation. Oblivious to stylistic convention, this musical wilderness forms the perfect habitat for Jay’s emergent, abstract lyrics. Here the listener is actively involved in the creation of meaning, as poetic ambiguity balances with spontaneous intent within an audio environment that tells the story. Music with a “mind of it’s own”, different every time. Fun, strange, cool grooves, brilliant playing, mesmerizing. Spare and open in production, Physical Answer begs the most intangible of questions.

Stephen Jay is a composer, bassist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist who explores common ground between world music and jazz/funk. His original music is bass-driven, innovative, exotic funk, blending world influenced polyrhythmic grooves with elements of Jazz, Rock, Roots, and Classical. His combinations of ethnic and modern instruments and styles result in unique, richly textured musical images.



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Louise Hunter

Stalking through a rich mindscape
This dark, dense jungle of an album is the perfect place to begin to explore the music of Stephen Jay for the first time. Exploring is a perfect metaphor here, as we are taken on a journey, both physical and spiritual, in the company of a warm and funny companion whose lively mind is full of questions and curiosity about the world, and everything that is in it.

The mellow warm bass-driven richness of the music is full of surprises at every turn. It makes no attempt at commercialism and consequently is able to reflect closely Jay's magpie like interest in a vast palette of different colours and shades of music from all over the world. This "World Music" feel makes the album seem almost "live" in places, so it luckily escapes the heaviness of over-production, and despite the lavish many-layered musical textures, it manages to retain a sparse spacious vibe to it which excites the curiosity.

Physical Answer is an exploration of the relationship between simplicity and complexity, the physical world and the spiritual dimension. It examines everything with the openness of a child looking for that answer, and I feel, concludes that spiritual enlightenment comes from understanding our physical world more fully, and preserving it, rather than living our lives as events incidental to, or conflicting with our spirituality or religious impulse.

Jay is not just a musician credited on three Grammy Award Winners, nine Grammy Nominees, nine Gold and five Platinum Albums, he is also an accomplished and thought-provoking poet who throughout this album takes us along with him on his expedition, acting as a rookie guide showing us the wonder of everything he sees in the world around him; asking us to take a second look at what we take for granted.

Brian Kruse

Love this album more and more with each listen...
I was just listening to "Can't Wait Long" and I decided that I must place a review. This song gives me tingles. The whole album is exceptional and I get something new out of it with each play. The array of sounds and Stephen Jay's warm vocals really wrap the listener in a delicious blanket of music. Just can't say enough about it... OK, back to my headphones.

Ena Zefram

So much to discover in Stephen Jay's musical universe
For me this was a highly anticipated album – after listening to 4 of Stephen Jay’s CDs many times I was wanting more – when I heard of this album, and it’s intriguing title, I knew I’d enjoy it. Each of his CDs are unique – their own world – but all use various threads from Stephen Jay’s musical universe. ‘Physical Answer’ has a more contemplative feel overall than his other albums yet still keeps the music and lyrics on edge – there’s always experimentation – and indulgence in notes and words.


Along with new tracks several songs from past albums are rerecorded. They aren’t remakes, rather they are revisited – like the songs begged to be reinterpreted in a new way. Lyrics from past songs are revisited as well such as “wild and scenic.” You get the feeling that the songs and poetry are close ups of a much larger tapestry – it’s familiar, but you’ve never seen it before.


It's not easy to describe the music on Physical Answer - words like "danceable," "sensual," "complex," "inquisitive" and "playful” come to mind. “Pendulum Swing” is a thoroughly enjoyable with Miles Jay’s excellent bass playing. "Broken String" is like savoring chocolate at 2am and it's a clear night out. "Flour" is like early evening in summer and there's colors everywhere in sight. “Bailed Outside” is a favorite of mine – though each time I hear “Running Through the Forest” I love it more and more for it’s energy, and the words – I listen and smile and think in some way “been there, done that.”


For a few people I know this album will be their first exposure to Stephen Jay’s music. I’m excited for them – they’ll walk in the room not knowing all there is to discover.