The Nuyorican Jazz Experience is the brainchild of composer and electronic musician Messiah’el Bey. Popularly known by his pseudonym Warlock Asylum, Bey’s musical history, and work as a producer spans well over two decades and includes participation in a multitude of genres. However, The Nuyorican Jazz Experience represents a definitive period not only in the work of Messiah’el Bey but also the history of Jazz music.
Work on the album began in the fall of 2017 when Bey began work on the track Nuyorican Lady, which was a tribute to the work of poet Caridad De La Luz. Initially, the composition didn’t carry any of these themes. However, based on the energy of the tune, Bey thought that it described the persona of the poetess very well. After laying some groundwork for the track, Bey retired from the project for an entire year. He returned to the idea with the thought of releasing a jazz album.
In January of 2019, Bey completed Nuyorican Lady and worked on new material with the hopes of releasing an EP. The next composition was dedicated to the Garifuna people. The idea for the track has much to do with Bey’s own ancestry, which includes the Garifuna along with African American, Latin American, and some European nobility. The composition would later be titled Symphony of the Proud Garifuna. This title gave Bey a clear roadmap and vibe that would influence the subsequent titles.
The album was solidified when Bey completed Frida Kahlo’s Dream Song. As a tribute to the late Mexican artist, it was certain that the project was going to be infused with overtones that would emulate Latino culture and New York City’s urban experience. From 2004 to 2013, Bey lived in the historic realms of Spanish Harlem. Ironically, Frida Kahlo’s Dream Song is not on the album but will be released as a single shortly following the album’s release.
After recording the album and mixing it down, Bey sent the final product to Steven Berson for mastering. While the album was being mastered, Bey collaborated with some excellent trumpeters, such as Ghost and The Chokeholder. Bey came to realize that he wanted a purer sound and removed some tracks from the album in order to add three more. One track in particular titled Purple Sunshine is dedicated to Prince (or the artist formerly known as). Originally, Bey didn’t set out to record an ode to Prince. He ventured into the ides with the hopes of making a phenomenal remake of Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles, which is one of Bey’s favorite songs. Fully encompassing a “go with the flow” attitude in the studio, Bey was reminded of Prince after listening and relistening to what he put together.
The Nuyorican Jazz Experience is a Messiah’el Bey’s masterpiece and thus begins a new era of recordings for the veteran producer. Bey seeks to imbue a legacy of dialogue of instrumentation that is both soulful and creative.