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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Drawing on a smorgasbord of inspiration, Jon Batiste and Stay Human’s album “Social Music” is just that — social music.

Intended to be music people can connect to, “Social Music” is a genre-bar hopping compilation of jazz, funk, classical and ragtime that is refreshing to listen to.

Pianist Jonathan Batiste was raised in New Orleans, born into a long line of jazz musicians.

He started playing music at a young age and eventually went on to study at The Juilliard School, where he met the rest of Stay Human: Joe Saylor, Ibanda Ruhumbika and Eddie Barbash.

The album feels very easy, like a 12-track improvised jam session.

The effortless sound that Stay Human has created makes jazz extremely accessible, especially for an audience not familiar with contemporary music.

Although the album is at its best when the focus is on the instrumentals rather than the vocals, “Let God Lead” blends the two, making it one of the best songs on the album.

Though “St. James Infirmary” and “Star Spangled Banner” are arguably overdone, Batiste manages to shell out a new take on the classics.

“Social Music” goes beyond glorified elevator music. It’s jazz that leaves a serious impression.

Jon Batiste and Stay Human will be performing tonight at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m.

[A version of this story ran on page 10 on 2/20/2014 under the headline “Jon Batiste’s new album delivers"]

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