top of page

The Big Hustle – "The Dallas LP"

The Big Hustle – The Dallas LP
The Big Hustle – The Dallas LP

Sébastien Levanneur, bass player, composer and leader of the Paris based jazzfunk band The Big Hustle, takes us on a new ride for his new album The Dallas LP, part of a journey started almost ten years ago traveling around the world mostly to Detroit, Tokyo or New York. The Dallas LP is the follow-up to Worldwide, released in 2016 with the help of his devoted Parisian hustlers, then Live Large (2018) and For Life (2021), two records that featured prestigious guests like Cheick Tidiane Seck, Beat Assailant, Raashan Ahmad, Baptiste Herbin and Nina Attal.

For this new opus, Sébastien chose to surround himself with musicians raised or based in Dallas, TX in order to soak up this rich yet sometimes unsung musical heritage. The city nicknamed 'Big D' or 'D town' helped greatly to the development of genres like blues, jazz, gospel, hip hop and rock but still isn’t often mentioned as a major city of American music. Blues musician T-Bone Walker and Freddie King, rhythm and blues saxophonists David Fathead Newman and King Curtis, jazz pianists Cedar Walton and Red Garland, singers Erykah Badu and Norah Jones, gospel superstar Kirk Franklin, the late great jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove and keyboard wizard Bernard Wright are just a small glimpse of the musical heritage Dallas has offered to the world.

'You should go to Dallas, you’ll like the music there !' Sébastien was given this good advice by his dear friend Michael League back in 2012. Michael spoke knowingly about the Dallas music scene. This is where, while studying at North Texas University a few miles from Dallas, he started his super band/collective Snarky Puppy and met most of the core members. Sébastien first came in 2013 and quickly made strong musical connections, developing friendship and collaborations through multiple trips to Dallas along the years. He also took the opportunity to play in all the jam sessions happening around town (Prophet bar, Freeman cafe, Balcony). His first encounters were with Wes Stephenson (bass player / leader of the Funky Knuckles), RC Williams (keyboards), Cleon Edwards (drums) both members of RC and the Gritz, Shaun Martin (keyboards) and Mark Lettieri from Snarky Puppy. Slowly but surely the idea of making music with all those greats and include them in the Big Hustle musical story started growing.

The project built between Paris and Dallas, mostly through studio sessions recorded live with Mark, Shaun, Cleon and drummer TaRon Lockett when they stopped in Paris for their Europe tour. Some tracks were home recorded by Dallasites and sent through internet. Sébastien did one final trip to Dallas in march 2022 to complete the album with Bobby Sparks, Candace 'Mahogany' Miller and Wes.

After Sébastien got all the material together, Antoine Martin (Kripsy Records studios) mixed down the tracks and Sébastien Houot did the mastering. Dallas recording engineer Mason McCall also helped mixed a few tracks. The Dallas LP fits beautifully with the previous Big Hustle records, all the diverse influences cherished by Sébastien (funk, jazz, hip hop, gospel, nusoul, rock) are heard here again.

The list of musicians playing on the album is mind blowing but doesn’t get in the way of the consistency of the record. Big names who participated are Miracle Foster, Candace 'Mahogany' Miller (vocals), Bobby Sparks, Shaun Martin, RC Williams, Bernard Wright (keyboards), Phil Aelony, Bob Lanzetti, Todd Parsnow (guitar), Cleon Edwards, TaRon Lockett (drums), Ben Bohorquez, Jonathan Mones (saxophone), Evan Weiss (trumpet), Frank Moka (percussions). All of them are well acquainted and have many times collaborated in legendary bands born in Dallas (Erykah Badu, RH Factor, Ghost Note, God's Property Snarky Puppy, RC and the Gritz, Lucky Peterson, Dos Negros, The Funky Knuckles ...).

What stands out from this wonderful musical and human patchwork is the bond established year after year between Sébastien and all those exceptional artists as well as their sincere and complete involvement in this 'French project!' The album starts with the powerful "Caveau", a down to earth heavy funk groove carried by synth bass and baritone guitars, and proceeds with sparkling gems like 'Knucklehead', where the influence of Snarky Puppy and the Funky Knuckles is underlined, 'Short Pants Blues' a superb bass duet in tribute to Texas blues, the more acoustic and intimate track 'Southern Most Confortable,' also '6020 1/2 Llano Avenue' and 'Dallas Boy,' reinterpretations of songs first published on

. On every occasion Sébastien lets all the guests be and features their virtuosity with magnificent keyboards, guitar, saxophone or talk box comments.

The release of The Dallas LP wraps up a long term titanic labor of love and clinches the connection between this French bass player/globetrotter and the city of Dallas which can now add to the local musical pantheon a new name : The Big Hustle !


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page