Archive for October, 2010

Akusticos – Lluvia

During the Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2010 I had the opportunity to attend a concert of the group Akusticos. Their fresh smooth jazz performance received great applause of the audience and all listeners trust in the splendid future of these young musicians.

Akusticos are John Odio (sax) and Walter »Chepe« Blanco (guitar). This band from San Jose, Costa Rica plays together since ten years and shows top-quality music. In more musicians are needed, they also perform as trio or with six musicians in the maximum formation.

The group plays rock, pop, smooth jazz, ballads, Latin music or oldies. According to their website they are characterized by professionalism, seriousness, responsibility, punctuality and good treatment to their customers and the public.

Their debut album Lluvia (2010) was released by Print Sound UG, a German label. A young company, which has set itself the task of making saxophone music popular.

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Michael Fair – Funk In The Trunk

Grammy nominated writer/producer Brandon Barnes once again blends his talent with smooth jazz Flugehorn artist Michael Fair to produce their fourth project together titled Funk In The Trunk. This CD features a wide variety of music with hard driving funk tunes like the title cut “Funk In The Trunk” to beautiful haunting ballads like “Tell Me Why” and “Smiles From Heaven.” “Danza Del Verano” has an infectious upbeat Latin groove and “Good To Be With You” has a contemporary pop vibe guaranteed to instantly brighten the listener’s mood.

This CD also covers the Jimmy Webb classic “Wichita Lineman” which has to be one of the most beautiful melodies ever written. You’ll hear superb production with passionate attention to detail on every track of this, the latest offering by the writing and recording team of Michael Fair and Brandon Barnes. This is a CD with something for everyone. As the title implies, it’s a fun collection that we know will put a smile on your face and most of all it will put some “Funk In Your Trunk.”

The ultra warm sound of Fluglehorn over superbly produced Smooth Jazz tracks with everything from up tempo funk to buttery smooth ballads for a nice balanced collection of music perfect for any setting or occasion. Now  at CDBaby.

Fo/mo/deep – Eclecticism

When you live in Columbus, Ohio and regularly attend concerts in and around that city, you certainly have the opportunity for a close encounter of the third kind, a musical one. I speak about fo/mo/deep, what stands according of the band’s website for an eclectic groove oriented-funky jazz collective.

Fo/mo/deep are Ron “FatKat” Holmes. Jr (bass), Kenneth “Pounce” Pouncey (percussion), Keith Newton (sax, flute), N. Michael Goecke (trombone), Andre Scott (drums), and Kevin Jones (Keys). For those, who haven’t listen to their music yet, we have good news. The group has just released their debut album Eclecticism.

Now, what’s that? According to Wikipedia Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.

Now, are we wiser? No! Let’s ask the bandleader. Ron explains: “Eclecticism in music draws from a plethora of grooves/styles from around the world.” In short we can await a diversity of styles.

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Ego – Still At Your Side

Still At Your Side is the second album of Jeroen & Gaby van Helsdingen (K-Bee).

This album is not easy listening or for background purposes. All compositions deserve to be heard, and the arrangements and live instruments make this production to an outstanding listening experience. The best Dutch studio musicians have cooperated to this album and it can be heard. From start to end a tantalizing journey through the land of Ego.

This remarkable project is now available at CDBaby.

Oli Silk – All We Need

Keyboardist Oli Silk is best known by the albums Fact or Friction (2000) and Duality (2002), which he released with Danny Sugar. During his relative short solo career he already published the albums So Many Ways (2006), and The Limit’s The Sky (2008). I recommend to visit his new-look website, a piece of impressive artwork, where you can find more information about this upcoming smooth jazz star in a few days.

Born in London, UK he is frequently touring with The Sax Pack, Jackiem Joyner and Cindy Bradley. During the concerts in venues such as Pizza Express and Jazz Café, London he often supports artists like Peter White, Marc Antoine, Richard Elliot, Jaared and Rick Braun.

His new album All We Need (2010) will certainly stimulate the interest for this musician, who is destined for higher merits. Oli is joined by Joe Becket (percussion), Oscar Seaton (drums), Mark Jaimes (guitar, bass), Shannon Pearson (vocals), Dwayne Smith (bass), Gary Honor (sax, flute), Cindy Bradley (flugelhorn, trumpet), Rebeca Vega Felipe (vocals), Carl Stanley (sax) and Marc Antoine (guitar).

Oli welcomes us with the sultry title song All We Need. He has already adapted the elegant piano style of popular artists like George Duke or Alex Bugnon. His sense for melody and arrangment is clean and tidy.

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CC Ryder – Out of My Head

.Take a listen to the album, Out of My Head , a magnificent collection of smooth jazz. The music touches the emotions with the warmth of love. His music captures the attention of both young and old.  A collection of 13 songs that take the listener to new heights in smooth jazz.

We have found this album at CDBaby.

Rob Keiter – The Glory of Love

Rob Keiter describes himself as “helpless romantic”. The best requirement as composer and jazz vocalist for a collection of love songs, he has released under the significant title The Glory of Love. What does predestine a singer to intone love songs? Certainly a break-up of a long-lasting marriage.

Rob Keiter comments: “Even though I had lost love, I wanted to sing love songs because I still believe in love. Having sung my entire life, I would say that I truly found my voice as a result of that experience (in the studio).”

Rob is accompanied on several of the tracks by Randy Brecker (trumpet), Amber Whitlock (vocals), Rob Whitlock (piano), Trey Henry (bass), Cliff Almond (drums), Pat Kelly (guitar). The horns are delivered by Wayne Bergeron (trumpet, flugelhorn), Andy Martin (trombone) and John Rekevics (sax, flute).

Rob introduces into his new album with This Nearly Was Mine from the musical South Pacific. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein composed this very popular musical. Some of Rodgers’ songs, such as My Funny Valentine and The Lady is a Tramp have become jazz standards. The heartfelt song about a soldier and his beloved woman is well interpreted by Rob Keiter accompanied by the emotional trumpet of Randy Brecker.

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Paul Brown – Love You Found Me

Smooth Jazz legend, producer, artist, sound engineer and double Grammy winner Paul Brown released his newest album on September 28th via Shanachie Entertainment. Already, this eagerly anticipated album is being anointed by his loyal fans, radio personalities, and industry icons as his best yet.

With something for every cool musical taste, you’ll find a delectable variety of laid-back, contemplative to up-tempo charts, perfectly seasoned by Brown’s inimitable R&B style.

“This CD is a real reflection of my musical influences. Folk, rock, blues and jazz all mixed together,” Brown reflected, on the album’s release date.

The album opener, “Sugar Fish,” eases the listener into Brown-ville with the help of Jessy J’s flute and Greg Adams’ flugelhorn. Further in, don’t miss Brown’s unaffected reunion with Marc Antoine in “Right Back At Ya,” that continues their magical spell created on the 2009 hit album, Foreign Exchange.

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Alexander McCabe – Quiz

The listener is in for a treat any time an artist presents music that strikes a balance between catchy familiarity and aggressive creativity. Alto saxophonist Alexander McCabe accomplishes this with Quiz (Consolidated Artists Productions).

He’s accompanied by pianist Uri Caine, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummers Greg Hutchinson and Rudy Royston.

The set begins with the delightful “Weezie’s Waltz.” Played with an upbeat, 3-4 signature, this track shows the band’s playful side. McCabe plays with joy and freedom. Caine’s solo is brief but effective. Royston does a fine job, mixing things up on the drum kit while in the background, and also enjoying a solo.

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Marc Macisso – Smooth Journey

Marc Macisso was born and raised in Portland, Maine. Marc went on to Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Music. It was while at Berklee that he acquired his love and skill for playing jazz. After graduating, Marc headed to Los Angeles, where he still resides today.

Over the past few decades, Marc’s sax, flute and harmonica have complimented many television shows, commercials, movies and albums. He has performed on albums by Bette Midler, Jessie Colin Young, guitarist Robyn Ford, and “Year of the Cat” Al Stewart, with whom he toured in Europe in 2006 and 2007. He’s appeared live with Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Steve Winwood, Carole King, Chaka Kahn, Tito Puente, Billy Preston, Peter White, Sheena Easton, Michael McDonald, Dave Koz, The Rippingtons, Dionne Warwick, the Doobie Brothers, and many others.

Marc has 6 very popular CD titles released to this date. His newest album is entitled Smooth Journey and on sale at CDBaby.

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