On the fifth album of his career, appropriately titled Cinco De MOWO!, Adam Dorn a.k.a. Mocean Worker (pronounced Motion Worker) has assembled the quintessential feel-good summer record of 2007. To be released on his own label MOWO! Inc. (distributed by RYKO Distribution) in summer 2007, the opening number, quite simply, says it best: “Shake Ya Boogie.” In what has become the incomparable Mocean Worker sound, Dorn mixes and matches the best of modern beat-making with live musicians like trumpeters Herb Alpert (”Changes”) and Steven Bernstein (”Shake Your Boogie”), bassist Marcus Miller (”Brown Liquor”), alto saxophonist Cochemea Gastelum (”Les & Eddie” and “Son of Sanford”) and vocalists Morley (”I Got You”) and Alana Da Fonseca (”Que Bom”). Also contributing to the sessions from “the great beyond” is the late and legendary jazz icon Rahsaan Roland Kirk (”Reykjavik” and “Siss Boom Bah”).
“I don't hear anybody else making records that sound like this, so I'm happy to be that guy,” states Dorn. “That's why it was so significant to get Herb Alpert on board because much like he appealed to a lot of people back in the day, my records are likewise making single women in Iowa dance to that scary four letter word 'jazz' without them even knowing it. And simultaneously it's not compromising or dumbing the music down at all.”
Cinco De MOWO! follows up Mocean Worker's 2005 release Enter The MOWO!, which has gone on to become Adam Dorn's biggest record to date after having success at radio across the country. It's also where Dorn's true vision for the definitive Mocean Worker sound began to gel. Shedding the expectations of the electronica scene with which he was often associated at the outset of his career, Dorn began to more liberally embrace his jazz and funk influences, while keeping the focus on crafting songs with undeniable hooks. On Cinco De MOWO!, that vision has come into full focus. More than just funky break beats, tunes like “Shake Ya Boogie,” “Tickle It” and “Sis Boom Bah” find their way deep into the sub-conscious with melodies that reverberate long after the record has ended.
Dorn also further explored sounds and flavors from different periods in music's history, re-conceptualizing them for the 21st century. “Les & Eddie” and “Changes” are obvious nods to the late '60s/early '70s soul-jazz-funk gumbo of artists like Les McCann & Eddie Harris, while songs such as “Tickle It,” “Son of Sanford” and “Brown Liquor” draw from '30s big band swing. Jump ahead to the late '70s/early '80s and “Que Bom” parlays elements of Nuyorican soul. Go even deeper and “Pretty” is a contemporary Bossa Nova.
“This time out I wanted to mess around more with things that sounded old, but present them in a new context,” explains Dorn. “There are tunes that emulate music from the 1930s, like if Cab Calloway was making records now. That music had mass appeal, but was rooted in jazz. It's a perfect indication of what my goals were while I was making the album.”
On Cinco De MOWO!, the Mocean Worker sound is ultimately defined. From the opening rumble of “Shake Ya Boogie,” it's audibly apparent you've entered the world of Mocean Worker. Subtle improvisations emerge within tight arrangements, grooves appear inside of grooves, samples of samples are re-imagined and mingle comfortably among some of the world's finest living, breathing jazz musicians and always present are the hooks that make for the tastiest of tasty ear candy.
Dorn concludes: “I really just want people, all kinds of people to put this record on and have a nice time, enjoy themselves, clean their houses, drink themselves into a stupor, whatever it takes, it's all good.”
Mocean Worker is confirmed to appear at Bumbershoot 2007 and will host a residency this summer at New York City's Nublu, which will feature his live band and rotating cast of special guests.