Trumpeter/producer Josef Leimberg is one of those musicians who’s very well known to other players but not to casual music fans. He has worked with Snoop Dogg, producing R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece and Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss as well as supporting him on tour, and Kendrick Lamar.
In 2014, he teamed up with Terrace Martin to form LoveDragon, a production duo best known for its work on Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy-winning album, To Pimp a Butterfly. Besides production duties, Leimberg played and co-wrote “You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)” and contributed vocals to “Wesley’s Theory.”
In his youth, he was drawn to music, especially his father’s shiny trumpet. He confessed that he just loved the sound it made. His mother taught herself to play the piano, practicing daily. Her discipline was an early influence. His own hard work has paid off, leading him to work with not only some of the brightest stars of the day but also to create music of his own.
In 2016, Leimberg released his debut, Astral Progressions. The cover itself is a clue that this is no ordinary jazz record. Harkening back to the P-Funk traditions, the artwork looks like it was released in the mid-70s. It’s fitting enough, as bands like Parliament-Funkadelic broke down barriers between genres. Astral Progressions carries on that tradition while infusing modern hip-hop sensibilities into his spacey, jazzy grooves. The Good Men Project notes how “the album explores West Coast G-funk and two major historical components of Afrofuturistic sound art: spiritual cosmic jazz…and cosmic funk…” Sounds like a pretty good reason to keep an eye on this one.