Shakatak – On The Corner

A quick glance at the list of reviews for Shakatak and their band members reveals the incredible amount of recordings. A clear sign of constancy and long lasting creativity of this formation, which has also although long in the music business lost none of its originality.

Shakatak are Bill Sharpe (keyboards), Jill Saward (vocals), Roger Odell (drums) and George Anderson (bass). Guest musicians on this recordings are Alan Wormald (guitars), Jacqui Hicks and Debby Bracknell (backing vocals), Derek Nash (saxes), and on selected tracks Roberto Tola (guitars) and Jamie Odell (additional keyboards).

Shakatak hasn’t changed their signature style in over 50 albums and that’s the reason why their fans stay faithful to this group. On The Corner showcases the core of their charming music. A vocal carrier of the captivating melody flavored with Bill’s piano runs.

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The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman – Fountain of Youth

One thing a credits geek looks for in a new recording is to see who the musicians are and what instruments they’re playing. One thing that jumps out to a credits geek when perusing Fountain of Youth (Peak, E-One, 2014) by the Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman is the absence of any musicians other than Freeman. It looks and feels like a solo project.

Freeman, a fabulous guitarist, songwriter and producer, founded the Rippingtons in the middle 1980s. At the time, the group was basically Freeman surrounding himself with a flexible and versatile lineup of musician friends, including Kenny G, Brandon Fields and David Benoit. A few albums later, the group began to take shape with such players as Tony Morales, Steve Reid, Mark Portmann and Kim Stone being regular fixtures, with saxophone duties spread among Paul Taylor, Jeff Kashiwa, Kirk Whalum and Eric Marienthal.

It wasn’t until 2003’s Let It Ripp that the touring band of Freeman, Marienthal, Stone, Scott Breadman and Dave Karasony was also the session band for the entire album. That configuration remained in place until Stone’s departure a few years later. Over the years, Freeman released two solo albums and two recordings with Benoit, the Benoit/Freeman Project. However, this is the first time in Rippingtons history that there appears to be no Rippingtons – only Freeman.

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Jim Manley – Chilled Brass

Chilled BrassChilled Brass the new recording by trumpeter Jim Manley explores the smooth jazz genre with pulsating rhythms, melodic solos and punchy horn lines. It includes ten new original tunes and brand new versions of “Wade in the Water” and “Walk on By”

Jim uses his trumpet and trombones to add colors to the sometimes black and white smooth jazz genre. Chilled Brass is available at CDBaby.

Adrian Perry – Life in Slow Motion

Life in Slow MotionLife In Slow Motion is a very personnel album to me, it looks back over a period in my life where I thought I had lost everything and nearly did! However its not a depressive album instead the songs are about growing stronger, hope, realizing what has gone before and wanting to correct the wrongs. About watching somebody grow and pick themselves up from the lowest point and come out stronger. About the hope, fears and dreams we all have inside us and lastly about love and its effect on all of us.

The album is saxophone driven but the sax shares the lime light on most tracks with jazz acoustic guitar, I have tried to avoid a bit of the syrup that is sometimes present in smooth jazz and bring a harder edge to the songs so electric guitar and piano feature strongly in the tracks. Songs have pretty melodies, strong bass lines, some dramtic piano lines and of course sweet saxophone. Try it at CDBaby.

Eric Marcellin – In the Moment

In the MomentMelodies put together to create an expression. All songs were recorded live and since the project is themed in the moment what ever was gotten from that take was used..

In the Moment , you find this EP at CDBaby.

Wenso Ashby – The Rebirth: Mind, Body & Soul!

The RebirthWenso Ashby, a talented songwriter, producer, and keyboardist is known for his rhythmic inventiveness and collective improvisation. In 2002, Wenso recorded the well-received album Midnite Walkin’, then relocated to Minneapolis to promote the silken sound he dubbed “Contemporary Jazz with Soul”

With his 2011 release, “The Moment of Truth”, Wenso decided to once again be an independent artist. In his own words he is “Blessed” to share his gift with the world. Being an independent artist allows creative freedom to record and perform. He loves performing live on stages from small intimate 100 seat venues to large festivals.

The Rebirth: Mind, Body & Soul! is his newest effort now available at CDBaby.

Michael Barone – Jazz Montage

Jazz MontageBoth retro and new, easy listening but rhythmic and lively. Themes and instrumentation invoke early Pop Jazz, late Smooth Jazz, Latin New Age Jazz, Caribbean Steel Drum Themes, New Age Orchestra and Spy Themes.

Michael Barone demonstrates his musical style, performing on piano, organ, synthesizer, classical guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, pedal steel guitar, drums and percussion. “Jazz Montage was created to offer the listener an organized variety of original instrumental themes that express various rhythms and emotions”.

Many of the songs express a percussive rhythm that invites dance, particularly songs in the “Latin Contemporary” and “Caribbean Party” sections, as well as a few in the “Smooth Jazz” and “Blues Band” sections. The balance of simplicity and complexity is intended to accommodate a wide range of listeners, most notably Smooth Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, and New Age enthusiasts.

The “New Age Cinema” and “Spy Themes” sections are intended to take the listener into a journey of evolving emotions, dramatics and the unexpected.

The songs are categorized in sequence as follows:
Smooth Jazz – tracks 1 to 8
Blues Band – tracks 9 to 11
Latin Contemporary – tracks 12 to 15
Caribbean Party – tracks 16 to 18
New Age Cinema – tracks 19 to 22
Spy Themes – tracks 23 to 25

Get this album at CDBaby.


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