Archive for the ‘ CD Reviews ’ Category

Peter White – Smile

When distinct modesty couples with excellent artistry, this applies absolutely to the guitarist Peter White. The uncrowned leader of the smooth jazz genre has already released his fourteenth studio album, his third for the label Heads Up International.

White is joined by vocalists Mindi Abair and Stevo Theard, trumpeter Rick Braun, saxophonist Euge Groove, keyboardist Philippe Saisse, bassist Nate Phillips, percussionist Ramon Yslas and his daughter Charlotte White on violin.

Stylistically White remains faithful to himself. Also on this album the acoustic guitar is his favorite instrument. All tracks are written by Peter White and DC with the exception of Don Quixote’s Final Quest, which Peter composed with Freddie Ravel.

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Peter Muller – No Mind

German bass player Peter Muller is no unknown to the contemporary jazz scene. He sets the first signal with his debut album M-Vibez (2003), later followed by his sophomore album The Flow (2008). The wait is over. Peter returns with No Mind, scheduled for release November 15, 2014.

Peter comments: “The new album explores my favorite musical worlds from Soul to Jazz, Fusion to R&B – but Funk is the red line that holds it all together. This is where I come from and the reason I started making music!”

Peter gathered his supporters from his musical environment. Included are the musicians Tobias Neumann and Coen Molenaar (keys), Frank Mead (sax), Tim Cansfield (guitars), Mr. T (Talkbox), Nick Gibbs (vocals, beatboxing, synth, drum programming), Oliver Spanuth (hi-hat, cymbals), John-Dennis Renken and Christian Kappe (trumpet), Sebastiaan Cornelissen and Kristof Hinz (drums).

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Eric Darius – Retro Forward

Eric Darius’ performance onstage is so energetic and constantly in movement, that it’s hard to take a sharp picture of him. Always a high-class entertainer he is a real asset to every concert, festival or party. Even after a career of more than one decade nothing changed.

He came into game with Cruisin in 2000. Better known are his follow-ups Night On The Town (2004), Just Getting Started (2006), Going All Out (2008) and On A Mission (2010). Retro Forward, his second album for the label Shanachie Entertainment is scheduled for release on November 11, 2014.

Eric is supported by Superstar producers Tony Dixon (Babyface, Beyonce) and Bluetooth (Chris Brown, Jordin Sparks). More information about the participating musicians is currently not available. My suggestion: Buy the album and read the booklet.

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Trevor Gordon Hall – Mind Heart Fingers

Trevor Gordon Hall defines the term virtuoso new. His instrument is the unique combination of an acoustic guitar with a Kalimba. He calls this instrument a “Kalimbatar”. Stylistically he sorts himself in the genres folk finger style, new age and folk jazz.

One can compare him with artists such as Tommy Emmanuel, Adam Palma, Bryan Lubeck or William Ackerman. At the risk of making a lame comparison and each comparison becomes lame, if you take it too far. Just listen to his album at CDBaby to get an impression.

Mind Heart Fingers (2014) is a solo guitar album. All songs are composed, arranged and performed by Trevor. The album was produced by Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton and Trevor Gordon Hall.

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Gregg Karukas – Soul Secrets

So often you can admire Gregg Karukas as a live musician, so rare are the releases of his albums. Gregg comments: “I have struggled with the time and energy to make the best music possible, given my other productions, family matters and touring schedule. I chose to release Soul Secrets indie (under my own label Nightowl Records, which owns all but 3 of my 12 solo releases) because it is the right time for this and it is better for the integrity of the project. This is the trend that is a very positive thing for artists and fans, thanks to the internet.″

The project was worth it. The CD is packed with 14 original compositions. Supported by Rick Braun, Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala, Ricardo Silveira, Michael O’Neill, James Harrah, Adam Hawley, Eric Valentine, Nate Phillips, Charlie Bisharat, Luis Conte, Shelby Flint and Ron Boustead this is a win-win situation.

In the beginning more gospel later more jazz Gregg introduces into Do Watcha Love on his vintage Wurlitzer Electric Piano featuring the bluesy style of guitarist James Harrah and the funky Vincent Ingala on sax.

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Chick Corea Trio – Trilogy

Q: What happens when you turn one of the great composer/pianists of our time loose.
A: Nearly three hours of first-rate music.

National Endowment for the Arts jazz master and winner of 20 Grammy awards, Chick Corea releases Trilogy (Stretch Records/Concord Jazz, 2014), a special three-disc selection culled from various performances around the world. The trio includes bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. Guests Jorge Pardo and guitarist Nino Josele appear on two songs, and Corea’s wife, Gayle Moran Corea, provides the voice on “Someday My Prince Will Come.”

Disc 1 has seven tracks, including standards “The Song Is You” and “My Foolish Heart.” This part of the set ends with one of Corea’s most popular compositions, “Spain.” It begins with Josele playing a classical-style solo. The Corea’s piano comes in, offering hints of what’s to come. The guitar continues to lead as the prelude slowly builds up, eventually joined by the flute. At last, the ensemble kicks it in gear. The trio carries it early on. Guitar and flute rejoin when the familiar melody appears. Corea is clearly the star here, but Josele does plenty with the time he’s given. Things heat up when Pardo takes point. The flute easily transitions from simply intense to shrill. The energy remains high even when the volume is low for McBride’s turn out front. The song reverts to the main them for a triumphant ending.

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Maysa – A Very Maysa Christmas

The world is flooded with Christmas albums. Do we need another one with the same old Christmas hymns? When Maysa is the performing artist, definitely yes. On A Very Maysa Christmas (2014) she works together with the excellent producer and keyboardist Chris “Big Dog” Davis.

Further musicians on this albums are Ace Livingston (bass), Rhon Lawrence, Wayne Bruce and Randy Boland (guitar), Thomas Dyani Akuru and Jazz Leak Akuru (percussion), Dexter Pettyway (drums), Gerald Albright (sax) and a large number of singers.

The album starts with the popular Christmas hymn Joy To The World. After an excellent intro Maysa introduces to her impressive choral arrangement. She approaches the song with a jazzy treat and a faster pace. She also gives Jingle Bells a new direction in this style.

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