When taking stock of the various scenes at the forefront of American music’s evolution during the past four decades, Milwaukee doesn’t immediately spring to mind. The fact is that one of the city’s favorite sons, Paul Cebar, has done as much as anyone to introduce hip audiences to the seductive wonder of Latin, African and Caribbean rhythms set in a Jazz/R&B context.
Beginning almost simultaneously in the ’80s with the R&B Cadets and his own combo, The Milwaukeeans, Cebar contemporized hits by Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan while writing originals in a similarly synthesized style that filled dance floors and rattled rafters around the Midwest. The Milwaukeeans’ first recorded document, 1993’s That Unhinged Thing, raised their profile exponentially and forced them to expand their touring range. The Milwaukeeans morphed into the slightly more Pop-tinged yet still exotically influenced Paul Cebar & Tomorrow Sound about five years ago, with their first album in this new configuration sporting a title that also served as their manifesto/mantra; Tomorrow Sound Now for Yes Music People.
Call it Ska, Jazz, R&B, Soul, Afro/Caribbean Pop, Blues or any combination within and beyond (Cebar once quoted Blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson in noting, “You can call it your mammy if you like”). However you define Tomorrow Sound, Paul Cebar implores you to dance while you consider your options.