About the artists: Charlottesville's "Soko" began in 1990 as the piano/bass/drum trio of Michael Sokolowski, Houston Ross, and Johnny Gilmore playing Sokolowski compositions. After six years of live performances, the band released it's debut CD, In November Sunlight, featuring guest appearances by members of Dave Matthews Band. The band disbanded in 1997, but Sokolowski and Ross remained musical partners. On 2005's Two, Houston Ross began to collaborate as a writer, arranger, and singer. And Rob Evans essentially joined the band as studio engineer and co-producer. Though not a commercial success, Two remains, for the band, the superior musical offering. From 2006 to 2009, the band focused it's newly found studio workflow on remaking In November Sunlight. The result is 'Sokoband' - a collection of all the INS tunes plus two bonus tracks. The first bonus track is a modern take on an old Sokolowski ballad ('And Yet Your Smile'), and the other is a lush tenor sax-driven piece built on a percussion jam from the Two sessions ('Nightfall'). Houston and Mike are thrilled to have had the brilliant, ex-Genesis drummer, Nir Z replace the late Johnny Gilmore on this project. The band was also blessed to work with legendary cellist, David Darling again in the studio. HIs radiant, ethereal-yet-earthy cello tones complete the new arrangement of the record's deepest improvisational dive, 'Body Home.' Guitar hero Steve Kimock lends his soaring lap steel and searing electric leads to the new version of 'Jiriki' opposite Tim Reynolds' fiery acoustic playing and Dave Matthews' dancing vocal jams. Broadening the guitar palette with precision, soul, and a diversity of styles are Mike Colley, John Zias and Tom Harbeck. LeRoi Moore, George Brooks, Charles Owens, Bobby Read, Jay Rodriguez, David CasT, and Greg Howard complete the saxophone army. (Leroi's 'In November Sunlight' soprano solo is perhaps the defining moment of this new collection.) John D'earth and Mark Maynard bring the punchy brass to the Coast to Coast horn section. In late 2009, Soko changed it's name to Sokoband to avoid potential name confusion with any of the world's many musical "Soko"s. Track descriptions: 1. Coast to Coast: joyful, up tempo romp in 7/4 time. Think Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek's 1970s quartet meets Steely Dan. 2. Your Steps Alone: instrumental gospel/rock anthem featuring sax, organ, and guitar 3. Jiriki: up tempo Santana-esque take on a 5/4 groove with piano/drum power duet and Dave Matthews' vocal coda 4. In November Sunlight: sprightly jazz waltz with beautiful, extended soprano sax soloing from LeRoi Moore 5. Energy Changed: prog/fusion epic featuring layered keyboards, massive guitars and electrifying Nir Z drum solo. Sort of a Genesis/Mahavishnu Orchestra blend. 6. Body Home: ECM-ish improvisational voyage featuring dreamy piano plus soaring cellos by David Darling 7. And Yet Your Smile: smooth jazz with electronic beats fused to acoustic drums under a happy bass line, layered keys and topped by a romantic tenor sax 8. Lullaby for E: simple, poignant, rock-inflected ballad played by piano/bass/drums 9. Half Sleep: loop-based, trance/dream sequence for keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums 10. Nightfall: Rolling African percussion, horn section and bass set the scene for a languid nighttime melody played by saxophone and electric piano.