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Alan Hampton’s debut record, “The Moving Sidewalk” effortlessly showcases his range of musicality and resourcefulness. His tender, ashy voice shimmers over lush string trios, Dr. Who synthesizers, and finger-picked acoustic guitars, all performed by many of Brooklyn’s finest musicians. The ten, carefully constructed songs are intricate hybrids of various genres and influences, pooling from Brian Wilson, Wayne Shorter, and The Band.
Enhanced only by its homebrewed process, “The Moving Sidewalk” was recorded in Pete Rende’s Brooklyn apartment, and mixed in David Boucher’s Culver City garage. The album’s cover features Hampton’s whittled self-portrait standing on a winding sidewalk that ribbons from a cityscape made of papier mâché and wire form, which was designed and constructed with close friend Lindsey Anderson.
An extensive musical education; years of experience as a sideman and bassist in NYC; and practice in a variety of different genres have all contributed to the abundant reservoir of resources that make Hampton’s record at once eloquent and unassuming. Hampton studied composition and performance, and toured and performed with jazz luminaries Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Southern California. After completing the program, he moved to Brooklyn where he made his mark as a bassist and sideman, performing around the world and recording with the likes of Gretchen Parlato, Sufjan Stevens, Clare and the Reasons, Robert Glasper, and Elizabeth and the Catapult.
Since the arrival of “The Moving Sidewalk,” and his leap from sideman to solo artist, Hampton has gained notoriety as a singer and a songwriter, and has appeared on records by singer Gretchen Parlato, and bassist Derrick Hodge, who is known for his work with Common, Mos Def, and Maxwell.
Where “The Moving Sidewalk” will take Hampton next, he can’t be sure. But the evidence rings loud and clear: In the world of music, Alan Hampton is quickly setting the pace.