13 Songs, 1 Hour 13 Minutes


About Dept. of Good and Evil featuring Rachel Z

Formed out of a 100-date world tour throughout 2006 under the aegis of the prodigiously talented pianist Rachel Z, Dept. of Good and Evil have carved a niche for themselves in music history with the release of their debut recording of the same name. As leader of one of the more innovative mainstream jazz groups introduced in 2007, Rachel Z (aka Rachel Nicolazzo) charted new territory for the band by selecting a unique mix of original, pop, alternative, and goth songs to be arranged by Bobbie Rae, her longtime drummer, producer, and arranger. With the legendary Tony Levin rejoining Rachel Z on electric bass and Chapman Stick guitar parts, and by adding guest trumpeter Erik Naslund to Rachel's core trio of Rae and acoustic bassist Maeve Royce, Dept. of Good and Evil have been elevated from "yet another cover band" touring around the world to the status of adventurous musical collaborators critically acclaimed as being "the best project of Rachel Z."

Dept. of Good and Evil's music is about merging musical styles. It respects and expands the swing of Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, Peter Gabriel, and Joy Division, to name just a few. The group seeks to desegregate music. The band's calling is "about duality -- the music is fun, but it's serious. We're political, sarcastic and fully against the processed cheese food some music is," states Rachel. She goes a step further and offers more insight into her "harmonically evil" side of the group. By balancing Royce and Rae's "good groove department" with her "evil" dark chords (primarily influenced harmonically by the 20th century classical vibe mastered by Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock), she has created a surprisingly hip balance of adventurous moods in order to redefine the songs offered by the band. "Dept. of Good and Evil is the best of everything for me, exciting material to work with and an incredible ensemble of players who I just love vibing with," states Rachel. Rachel Z was born and raised in Manhattan. A child prodigy, she graduated from the New England Conservatory with Distinction in Performance. In addition to founding Dept. of Good and Evil, she has formed several ensembles, including Nardis and trios with Tracy Wormsworth and Cindy Blackmon, Allison Miller and Miriam Sullivan, and Levin and Rae, among others. She has recorded eight solo albums; performed with Najee, Steps Ahead, Al di Meola, Larry Coryell, Special EFX, Angela Bofill, Mike Mainieri, Vertú, and Wayne Shorter; and was a member of Peter Gabriel's band for five world tours and two DVDs.

A native of Annapolis, MD, the 22-year-old Royce was discovered as a student in a theory and performance class that Rachel teaches at New School University in New York. Royce made her recording debut with the release of Dept. of Good and Evil's 2007 self-titled recording. Trumpeter Naslund also makes his recording debut on the band's 2007 self-titled release. Longtime collaborator Rae serves as drummer, producer, and arranger for Dept. of Good and Evil. As a member of the "good" groove department, he is partnered with bassist Royce, and together their swinging, upbeat grooves keep the group's vibe positive. A master drummer, Rae has performed worldwide with the Rachel Z Trio for several years with stops in Europe, North America, and Asia. The legendary electric bassist/Chapman stick aficionado Levin not only puts the "awe" in authentic, but his involvement in Dept. of Good and Evil adds an inimitable level of musical virtuosity to the group's appeal. A solid box-office draw, Levin has toured with Seal, Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Gary Burton, and Paul Simon, to name a few. His résumé includes performances on several television and motion picture soundtracks, collaborations on over 30 recordings including 18 King Crimson records, and session work as a guest artist on hundreds of recordings, including Everlasting as a member of the Rachel Z Trio.

These five fresh interpreters of edgy, goth, and rock songs are proving their musical worth together on stages around the world. Emotional and swinging, they offer a creative and inventive connection to another side of jazz -- their way. ~ Paula Edelstein



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