Mikhal Caldwell (Guitars & Guitar Synth) and Charles Stuart (Percussion).
Brandi Caldwell supplies Laughter on Track 5 / "Open Hearts".
Blend of Middle Eastern/Jazz/Funk played with such intensity that it was recieved well by all guitar and percussion enthusiasts.
CHOP SHOP PROJECT is the result of a meeting between two of Detroit's most respected and talented musicians Charles Stuart and Mikhal Caldwell that took place in the mid eighties. Both were at that time already well known as "chops" kinda players and fusion guys. Both of these musicians have long been considered virtuosos.
Charles was and still is a 1st call session drummer, and was at the time doing up to 3 gigs in a day, playing in a multitude of styles and locking himself away and doing Zen like woodshedding, and doing recording sessions while handling a massive teaching roster. Mikhal was at the same time hosting a weekly television show the mutli award winning "Fretboard Frolics", playing in Detroit's first instrumental neo classical metal band "Electric Warrior", working in the fusion band "Clinic", teaching and training for his other career as a professional fighter.
According to both they had heard of each other through a network of Detroit's small progressive / jazz musicians, a call was made by Mikhal to Charles and they made plans to engage in a "progressive" project which never happened due to both guys just plain being to busy to commit to a demanding project such as they were planning. 1996, a phone call from Charles and plans are made again this time there's time and both musicians had become MONSTER players and mature well rounded musicians.
After the first meeting and the material was discussed and planned within and 2 weeks the project was recorded/mixed by Jay ( Coo Coo Bird) Clifton. The result was the all acoustic instrumental CD "Earth Music". Both the recording and the musician's performances receieved rave reviews.
Both were exicted to push into the "Electric Zone" and the material was written by Mikhal for the next CSP recording "Leap of Faith". Realizing that a Bassist would be needed to express the complete vision of the compositions and to ever perform the music live, the search for a bassist began. After a year of searching the task of playing bass was given to Mikhal, who then went and purchased a 6 six bass and within 2 weeks the CD Leap of Faith was done. Freeman Spells Jr was brought in to perform live material, but CSP still needed a bassist. To this end there has been an on going search for a permanet bassist which continues to this day.
They laughingly say that they are the Detroit Fusion Blues Brothers! Both musicians say in a word the problem is "CHOPS!" They have never been able to find a bassist that can adjust to the unusual meter and tempo changes and the extended melodic phrases and stay funky! Mik has confessed that "he HATES playing bass" and really was not able to handle the demands of the basslines to the music on the next recording project!
Both are also involved in outside projects such as "The Charles Stuart Trio" and Mikhals solo project "Reality Check" as well as with other musicians and sessions. These two musicians have forged a trail into the new fusion movement that can be traced back to over a decade of ground breaking fusion to a whole new generation of listeners and musicians. Thanks for the visit.
Track 1 Silat
Track 2 Tribes
Track 3 The Message / Jihad
Track 4 Stained Glass
Track 5 Open Hearts (For My Mom)
Track 6 Path Home