The jazz group Dark Chocolate were organized by percussionist Barklie "Clay" Henry (whose previous affiliations include Pulsation and Barefoot). His goal was to bring together accomplished musicians from different disciplines at his home in Big Sur, California, and record the results. The first album, Island Gypsy, released by Megawave Records on May 6, 2008, featured Henry with Kim Stone (of Spyro Gyra and the Rippingtons) on bass and baha sexto; Joseph Lucido on guitar and guitar synth; Aaron Stone on drums, percussion, marimba, and piano; Alan Steinberger on piano; Ronnie Ray Padilla on flute, piano, guitar, and percussion; and Nico Georis on piano, plus guests Jayson Fann (steel drums, congas, percussion), Brock Bradford (dumbeki, talking drum), Nura Stone (cello), and Jaqui Hope (vocals). For the second album, Unwrapped, released September 8, 2009, returning members Henry, Kim Stone, Lucido, Aaron Stone, Georis, and Bradford were joined by John Nava on percussion; Mike Shannon on traps; Webber Iago on keyboards; and Xocoyotzin Moraza on Veracruz harp, with guest vocals by Alicia Sheek and Jane Blikert. ~ William Ruhlmann
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