Chocolate Genius, Inc.
“…Chocolate Genius produced some of the great confessional songs of the nineties.” – The New Yorker
Chocolate Genius the brainchild of Marc Anthony Thompson, an eclectic singer and songwriter whose work has encompassed contemporary forms of R&B, jazz, folk, and rock. Thompson was born in Panama, raised in California, and later moved to New York, where he became involved in the downtown avant-garde scene. Thompson conceived Chocolate Genius partly as a joke—the alias of a fictional, self-important recluse—but it soon turned into a full-fledged recording project. Two proper Chocolate Genius albums, Black Music and Godmusic, were released in 1998 and 2001, respectively. The loose, free-floating collective of instrumentalists who supported Thompson included Marc Ribot, Jane Scarpantoni, John Medeski, Chris Wood, Chris Whitley, and Vernon Reid, among others. Thompson and his associates then went by Chocolate Genius Inc. for Black Yankee Rock (2005), Swansongs (2010), and Truth vs. Beauty (2016), predominantly low-key and atmospheric works for smaller labels.