Of Sound Mind | Jon Batiste’s ‘WE ARE’ – University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News

Of Sound Mind is a biweekly blog about new albums, old albums, forgotten albums, overrated albums and any other type of listening experience from senior staff writer Lucas DiBlasi.

Due to my family’s enduring allegiance, I’ve seen quite a few episodes of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” over the years. It’s a good show, but I’ve always been a little more interested in the lanky piano-player-bandleader just offscreen to Colbert’s left.

Jon Batiste — pianist, songwriter and entertainer extraordinaire — came out with his fifth solo album, entitled “WE ARE,” on March 19. It spans a wide range of genres, inspirations and themes in a way that clearly displays Batiste’s subtle, nuanced talent for songwriting.

On “The Late Show,” Batiste and his band, Stay Human, play a catchy riff at the beginning and snippets of songs before and after commercial breaks, but it never felt like enough to me. Batiste sounds so interesting when he talks, and the little snippets of songs are tantalizing. I would pay money to listen to Stay Human continue to play, instead of enduring the endless commercials.

I always knew Batiste had to have some sort of backstory in order to get the gig on “The Late Show,” but it turns out it’s even more rich than I imagined. Batiste grew up in New Orleans as a member of a musical dynasty and graduated from the renowned Juilliard School conservatory. He’s also been nominated for two Grammys and won a

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