Archive for November, 2011

Special EFX – Without You

Special EFX entered the jazz scene in the 1980s, created by guitarist Chieli Minucci and the now-deceased George Jinda. Since then, the Grammy-nominated group has recorded 26 CDs, with eight solo releases by Minucci. Without You (Chieli Music, 2010) presents a diverse collection of favorites by the original Special EFX lineup of favorites.

With Minucci are Jeff Brooks on bass, Lionel Cordew on drums, Jay Rowe on acoustic grand piano and Rhodes, and Philip Hamilton on percussion and vocals.

“You Make Me Blue” opens with a tranquil, almost haunting quality. But it quickly kicks into a more rhythmic, and slightly funky groove. Minucci’s layered guitar harmonies are the song’s central focus, but pay attention to Brooks’ cool bass line. Alan Grubner helps out on violin, including an ad-lib on the fade. This song appeared on the Special EFX landscape in 1992, when the group began experimenting with R&B-style jazz, better known as smooth jazz.

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Joseph Alan Fears – Tap Out That Jazz

Born on 1957 in Hastings, Nebraska Joseph Alan Fears moved at age 11 to start a band.  From 1971 until 2009 Joseph Alan Fears has been performing live in concerts, festivals, nightclubs & recording & releasing songs on his own label (JAFF RECORDS – USA). Presently he is performing with his band “Zafaja”, known all over the world for a great live showcase.

His newest album is called Tap Out That Jazz. Currently this album is available at Reverbnation. Watch out for this album soon available in all retail shops.

Paul Whitley – Versatility

His experience in the music and recording industry has been a passion throughout his life. Paul Whitley began his music career at the age of 8 when he started playing drums. By the time he turned 16 he started playing piano after his father prayed for his hands. Paul has since learned to play bass and lead guitar. He began recording and producing in 2002 after being laid off from his job as a civil engineer.

Since then he has played behind and worked with artists such as Marvin Sapp, John P. Kee, Byron Cage, Steve Cole, Walter Beasley, and Joey Sommerville to name a few. Paul’s passions include playing music of all kinds, producing, and engineering. His reputation is built on “maintaining absolute quality and professionalism with everyone that he works with.”

He began working on his own personal instrumental project in March 2011, where he is featured on piano, lead guitar, and some bass guitar, and with the help of some of his fellow musicians and vocalist, he was able to finish the album in about 5 months. The album is very diverse and there is something for everyone.

Versatility is now available at CDBaby.

Gordon James – A New Kind Of Love

Trumpet and flugelhorn are the signature instruments of Gordon James. Eric Kloss, Johnny Guitar Watson, Chuck Loeb, Bob Baldwin, James Lloyd, Gil Parris, Josh Dion, David Darling and Paul Winter are among those artists, he had the pleasure to perform with.

He started his solo career with the album Candlelight Love in 1995, followed by the albums Gordon James (1999), After Hours (2004) and In Joy (2007). After a long hiatus Gordon is back with A New Kind Of Love (2011). On this album he is joined by Matt King, Joe Scott and James Lloyd (keyboards), Mike Hogan, Mike Neer, and Jerry Topinka (guitars), Mark Peterson and Chris Plinkett (bass), Jose Loo, LaJuan Carter, Ty Stephens, and Chanda Rule (vocals). Gordon plays beside his main instruments, organ, piano, synthesizers, drum programming and synth bass.

A New Kind Of Love is Gordon James’ approach to combine musical elements featuring singer Jose Loo & LaJuan Carter with his own divine trumpet performance. The result is a chorus line in the style of the Carpenters with the trumpet in the lead.

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A Conversation with Gerald Albright

PH: Hi, and welcome to Augsburg. My name is Peter Höld and I’m from the German webradio station GrooveFM (http://www.groovefm.de). So, thank you for your time. OK, let’s start with the interview. I think it’s not your first visit to Germany?

GA: No, I’ve been here for several times actually. I enjoy coming to Germany. The people really appreciate the jazz. It’s nice to come. So far away from home and have people appreciate your music that you’ve been doing for so many years. A great compliment.

PH: I don’t know if you are aware of it… hey, we are friends on Facebook. (laughs)

GA: Oh, beautiful. I’m big on Facebook. I love it.

PH: Yes, me too. I thinks it’s very important, because you are able to have contact with people all around the world.

GA: Yes, It’s very important. Especially with the state of the music industry right now. Where jazz has changed so much in terms of how people acquire their music and how we get the word out these days versus… back in the days when we had the record companies doing all the work. Now we as artist do a lot of the work now to get the word out. It´s a new day in time.

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Amalgamation – Factual Reality

The fusion quartet Amalgamation has produced its second recording, Factual Reality (2011). It’s an eclectic follow-up to their four-song debut, Therefore. On this tour, the group rocks more but also presents a mellow side.

Three members are graduates of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, and the fourth is from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Based in the state’s Delta region, Amalgamation consists of Ryan Betz, alto sax and keyboard, Matthew Wood, guitar, Chris Hartfield, bass, and Coday Anthony, drums.

The sassy “Drunk Kangaroo” opens the set. Hartfield’s funky bass line holds it together while Betz’s lead carries the song. Wood’s middle solo has influences of Larry Carlton, mingled with some Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix.

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Gustavo Eraso – Just for You

Gustavo about his album: “Finally after close to five years, I was able to finish my project as a Guitar player. It was difficult to combine my studies with the recording. I was able to get some music done every break I got in between school semesters. Here is a little taste of what I consider my first solo project. This recording would not have been possible without help and support of many friends. You guys know who you are so… thank you so much and may God bless you all.”

A breath of fresh air, the right touch of Smooth and Latin Jazz all in one Just For You at CDBaby.

Misz aka The Groove Producer – Lovin’ What I Do (Musical Perspectives)

Soulful rhythms. Funky beats. Jazz improvisations. Groove jazz. Phat grooves. These are the sounds of Misz aka the Groove Producer. For jazz that is contemporary and smooth, you’ve found the right artist. This is what you get as the listener, from the music of Misz aka the Groove Producer. Groove jazz and cool rhythms. Music that’s fun and relaxing.

If you like some grooves, go for more at CDBaby.

Attila Molnar – Dreams

Hungarian-born keyboardist, composer, producer, arranger Attila Molnar found his new home in Washington DC. Since 1997 he is an in-demand musician sharing the stage with Jaared, Slim Man, Tim Bowman, U-Nam, Randy Scott and Marion Meadows, to name a few.

He started his solo career with the album Dreams in 2009. Currently he is working on his new album, which will present as special guest Peter White, with whom he is currently touring in the UK. Also in the making is a Christmas project, which will be released in late 2012.

For those, who have missed this interesting debut album, here some more information. Attila invited to these recordings Jaared (sax), Nicki Gonzales (vocals), Lalo Carrillo (bass), Victor Loyo (drums), Bennett Scher (guitar), Nagyi Molni (acoustic guitar) and Don Pipu (percussions). With the exception of one cover song Attila wrote, composed and arranged all songs.

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Martin Moretto Quintet – Martin Moretto Quintet

Martin Moretto is recognized as one of the most active Argentine guitarists playing in New York. With Bill McHenry on tenor saxophone, Phil Markowitz on piano, Santi Debriano on bass and Vanderlei Pereira on drums, the Martin Moretto Quintet releases its self-titled debut CD. The release has eight original songs, all of which give the group plenty of room to stretch out.

“Uritorco” opens the set with an easygoing, 3/4 pace. Moretto and McHenry are out front, simultaneously playing different melodies. Markowitz’s solo is part jazz, part classical. The leads also take turns. Pereira’s cymbals accent key phrases.

“Iguazu” has a samba vibe, dictated largely by the rhythm set by Pereira and Markowitz. Moretto gives some Metheny-like phrasing during his spot in the lead, mixing in a few high-speed passes. The listener can visualize a festival on the beaches of Bahia. Deep into the song, Pereira steps out in a series of call-and-response exchanges with piano, sax and guitar, effectively playing mini drum solos between the calls.

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