THE OG BOUNCE

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.

It’s beginning to look a lot like…after the locked down Christmas of 2020, this year is shaping up to be a whole lot more wonderful as we finally get to travel freely, reconnect and spend time in person with cherished family and friends, deck those halls and trim those trees the way we did pre-pandemic. A celebration time like this needs the perfect festive soundtrack – and #1 Billboard charting saxophonist Michael J Thomas and Grammy nominated vocalist Maysa are ready to start the party. Joining creative forces for the first time, the two deliver the ultimate contemporary urban jazz holiday delight with their infectious new single “It’s Christmas.” 

Penned by Thomas and Maysa and produced by Thomas, Raymond Darius Jackson, Trammell Starks and Carl Griffin, “It’s Christmas” is 2021’s answer to Donny Hathaway’s timeless and much covered “This Christmas.” It’s a burst of joyful, sensual R&B/jazz funk that soulfully captures every aspect of the season – the great anticipation, the spirited gatherings, the love behind the gifts exchanged, the boughs of holly, the fireplace and the hot cocoa, with Santa fully on board and Nat King Cole making a special nostalgic appearance. 

These bright, swirling images and emotions are brought home to all our hearts via Maysa’s incomparable vocals – which have been part of the urban jazz world since her early 90’s recordings with Incognito – and Michael’s lyrical soprano harmonies and solo sections and dynamic textured horn accents. The song’s irrepressible hook says it all and invites us to sing along: “It’s Christmas/Best Time of the Year/It’s Christmas/Let’s toast to Another Year!”    

Set to hit radio in early November and drop on the streaming services and for purchase December 3, “It’s Christmas” is included on Michael’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, Vince Gill, and Nashville’s The Smoking Section Horns ensemble. 

The project breaks ground in the contemporary/smooth jazz genre as the first new 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 on December 3 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. 

Thomas, who became an instant contemporary urban jazz sensation when his single “Baby Coffee” stayed at #1 on the National Smooth Jazz Airplay and Smooth Jazz Songs charts in 2017/2018, has been on a momentous roll this past year and a half. “I’ll Never Love Again,” his explosive re-imagining of the Lady Gaga hit from “A Star is Born,” became his second #1 smash, dominating the smooth jazz airwaves throughout 2019. Thomas’ cleverly titled, silky light funk follow-up single “Sippin’ The Yak” hit #2 on the charts and remained in the Top 5 for nine weeks.