Archive for the ‘ Smooth Jazz ’ Category

Paul Hardcastle – The Jazzmasters VII

Paul Hardcastle is the living prove that a studio musician can reach the # 1 on the US Billboard Contemporary album ”sales” chart without any live concert. Not that it would be a problem, to implement the recording one to one into live music.

Paul also hasn’t changed his style in all the years of his success. After the first few bars one immediately recognizes that is a Paul Hardcastle. Especially his Jazzmasters Series shows a distinctive elegance.

The Jazzmasters VII (2014) is no exception. According to the liner notes the album is purely instrumental just with some vocal drops here and there. Paul Hardcastle Jr. (sax), Maxine Hardcastle (vocals) and Rock Hendricks (sax) added their natural input, where it was required.

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Bill Heller – Find the Way

Find the WayBill Heller met Russ Freeman while recording the Brian Moore Custom Guitars Artist Collection” CD. Russ asked Bill if he would play on a few tracks that he was producing for his and Craig Chaquico’s Redwoods to the Rockies. His first Rippingtons recording was Topaz back in 1998, and he has been performing live with the band since March of 2001.

After many years of working and performing with other people, Bill has worked on his own music project. It is a contemporary oriented piano album. “It features some of my friends who happen to be some of the finest musicians that I have ever had the pleasure to work with, such as Eric Marienthal and Jeff Kashiwa. I am going to have three different rhythm sections: Dave Karasony & Rico Belled from the Ripps, Joel Rosenblatt & Dave Anderson, and Frank Bellucci & Jim Cammack.

This album Find the Way to CDBaby.

E-Von and the Time Minister – Dually Noted

Dually NotedE-Von is the pseudonym for Ivan Rafowitz, a multi-keyboardist musician, composer and producer of contemporary music. His son Adam (The Time Minister) began expressing interest in music and showed talent on the guitar at a very early age. Adam started private guitar lessons at age 7 and quickly began developing his skills. Frequently jamming with his Dad and other accomplished musicians, he early on showed a natural ability for improve and an excellent sense of time.

Passionate about his music, Adam decided to pursue it as a career and in his junior year of high school auditioned for entrance into the prestigious Berklee College of Music. One of a select few, he was given early acceptance to the college and began his first semester at Berklee in the fall of 2011. Adam is currently a guitar performance major at Berklee and plays in 2 bands performing in the Boston area. He plans to graduate in spring 2015 with a Bachelor of Music degree.

Inspired by his son’s talent and his own continued love and passion for music, E-Von felt it was time to refocus on his music. In the spring of 2012 with Adam on guitar and E-Von on keys this father and son duo began recording Dually Noted, a mixture of blues, funk and smooth groove jazz with memorable hooks and melodies and soaring tasteful solos. Now this album arrived at CDBaby.

Ragan Whiteside – Quantum Drive

Ragan Whiteside is best known to the smooth jazz community by her albums Class Axe (2007) and Evolve (2012). Now she takes off with her new album Quantum Drive (2014) in warp speed.

The album features on selected tracks Bob Baldwin, Althea Rene, Bo Valentine, Patrice Rushen, Dennis Johnson and Frank McComb. This is the first album she made after her move from New York to Georgia. Releasing albums on her own label gives Ragan the artistic freedom to express herself in her music. Nevertheless it’s the right music people can enjoy.

On the Latin tinged Valentin Dream Ragan takes the lead on flute in full flow. Seamlessly integrated follows an extensive solo of master of all keys Bob Baldwin. Patrice Rushen recorded in 1982 Straight From The Heart with the oft-sampled Remind Me. Ragan interprets the song as flutist and vocalist featuring Patrice Rushen in a keyboard solo. Of course, everything sounds better.

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Matt Marshak – Lifestyle

LifestyleMatt Marshak brings his strongest and most honest release to date. Lifestyle is inspired by the Golden Era of contemporary jazz and R&B (late 1970′s-80s), and artists such as George Benson, Larry Carlton, James Brown, David Sanborn, Prince, BB King to name a few. Organic production, absolutely no drum machines or drum loops, spontaneity, improvisation, and a human element all give the listener reassurance that this record is rooted in tradition of jazz and groove music.

Gerald Veasley on bass, Benjie Porecki on Keys, Carl Anderson on drums are the band on all the tracks. The whole album was recorded live at “Secret Sound” Studios in Baltimore Maryland and Nuance Studios in NY. Matt Marshak brings a unique guitar sound, 100% original material, and is putting forth music based on artistry, honesty, and expression.

Lifestyle is to find at CDBaby.

Greg Manning – Dance With Me

DanceWithYouHe is the internationality in person. Born in Nigeria Greg Manning grew up in Switzerland. In 2002 he moved to Los Angeles but still keep contact to the land of his youth. So he is a three-time certified platinum producer for Universal Music Switzerland, and has had several Swiss Chart toppers since 1996.

Greg worked as musical director with Jonathan Butler and also performed with Brian McKnight, Kirk Whalum, Will Downing, Richard Elliot, Gerald Albright, Chante Moore, Mindi Abair and Keb’ Mo’ just to mention a few.

His debut album Soulciety was released in 1999, followed by The Calling in April 2010. Now Greg is back with his new album Dance With Me released on the prestigious label Kalimba Music on July 8, 2014. Next good news the album is available again at Amazon.com.

Vel Lewis – Colors of Soul

You have certainly listen to the music of keyboardist Vel Lewis. TV shows such as The Sopranos, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Mad About You, and Wife Swap USA feature his compositions. In earlier time a member of the group The Futures he also followed his own path as performer with Earth, Wind, & Fire, Parliament/Funkadelic, Al Green, Isaac Hayes, David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks.

His new EP Colors of Soul (2014) is available at CDBaby, presenting the music of this great composer. Vel is joined on the album by percussionist Lenny Castro and guitarist Kevin Chokan. The album was mixed by Greg Manning.

The title song impresses with a captivating melody transported by vintage synth to our astounded ears. The melody is consistently in an appealing flow and the guitar delivers a rhythm in the style of Maze. On Song For My Love Vel reaches out to the Hammond B3 kicking the harmonies as the instrument requires it.

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Keith Bubby Webb – Groove Station Cafe

Groove Station CafeKeith Bubby Webb — who plays drums, keyboards and bass and is learning guitar — is the son of Orange Lake Drive drummer Johnny Borders Jr., while his uncle, Larry Webb, is a percussionist active in the Detroit music scene. “Those were my two foundations on my mother’s and father’s side,” Webb says. “Everybody in the family plays or sings. My mom used to play viola. I’ve got an auntie who plays piano, another auntie who plays flute, a couple of cousins who play percussion and bass. It’s a musical family.”

Webb’s most recent album, The Journey, came out in August 2009 on his own Beat Mob Productions label. Now he offers the new album Groove Station Cafe at CDBaby.

Paul Hardcastle – Moovin And Groovin

Moovin & GroovinCutting his musical teeth beginning in the 70′s when disco, bell bottoms and Soul Train were king, super producer of sexy and syncopated sides Paul Hardcastle comes out of the woodshed with back to back new projects, the latest in the Jazzmasters series VII and this a dance down memory lane with a 21st century twist.

Moovin And Groovin is a collection of disco infused pieces that recall an era where music was all about getting your ‘move on’ with Barry White, Donna Summer and Saturday Night Fever casting their respective spells on the masses. You’ll feel instantly transported back in time with this highly infectious romp that brings to bear all of the feeling moods and vibes that made the 70′s and 80′s what they were, yet all spun with musical yarns of today.

Disco has made a bit of a resurgence since 2013 with disco styled songs released by Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars, and now from a name that has been synonymous with disco infused beats.

This is Hardcastle at his absolute best, highly syncopated infectious grooves done in his own inimitable style, one that has earned him a place in musical royalty. For you lovers of his multi genre classic ‘Rainforest’, M and G is an extension of that classic sound and will be sure to energize his already rabid base and cause a seismic shift in this new century with this nod to the past but his eye solidly on the future. As the title suggests, this set will get you doing just that. Come and get your groove on.

Pre-order the album now at Amazon.com.

Gerald Albright – Slam Dunk

Gerald Albright is praised by critics to the skies for years. He has earned it through albums and performances. Compared to other saxophonists, he succeeds to keep a personal touch to the game.

Slam Dunk is Albright’s fifteens album as a leader. According to Gerald there is a difference to the predecessors꞉ “But what we wanted to do on this record was to take those instruments that are normally in the background – bass, flute and horns – and bring them up front.”

Slam Dunk is a shot in which a player thrusts the ball forcefully down through the basket. This energy puts Albright in his new album. Here are assisting him keyboardist Chris “Big Dog” Davis, drummer Jerohn Garnett, guitarist Rick Watford, and his daughter, Selina Albright, on vocals.

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