Posts Tagged ‘ Violin ’

Maestro J – My Take

My TakeMaestro J (James Racine) was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti into a family of musicians. His parents are both professional classical musicians and educators. Maestro J began playing the violin at the age of four, instructed by his mother, and later studied with Yvrose Philippe-Auguste and Romel Joseph.

Maestro J regularly honors performance commitments at public and private events and many festivals across the nation and in the Caribbean. He has performed shows with artists such as Marsha Ambrosius, Roy Ayers, Gerald Albright, Jon B, Dru Hill, Amel Larrieux, Al Jarreau, George Duke, Chaka Khan, Ledisi, Lalah Hathaway, and more… Maestro J recently released his neo-soul jazz album “So Far” on which he showcases the best of his talent.

His album My Take is on sale at CDBaby.

Da Phatfunk Clique – Phat Jazz

There are a few instruments in the Funk/Jazz-Genre, which are very unusual as a lead-instrument. One of them is definitely the electro-violin, here played by Darrell “D-Funk” Looney.

In 1998 Looney founded ‘Da Phatfunk Clique‘, first as a project with different musicians on every processing step. In 1999 he released his first album called “Pandemic Love“. In 2000 ‘Da Phatfunk Clique’ became a steady band, utilizing local talents in support of the new album release.

The violin, almost always in the lead on every track, gives the whole sound of the album an exotic touch. The musical style is an entertaining mixture of Funk, Pop, and Jazz. Looney himself names some of his influences, such as violinist Jean Luc Ponty, John Mc Laughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra, George Clinton, Herbie Hancock and George Duke.

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Mads Tolling Quartet – Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty

A few decades ago, when I first began to grow as a jazz listener, I recall a friend saying that he likes jazz but couldn’t get used to “Jean-Luc Ponty and that violin.” At the time, I was barely aware of Ponty, but I agreed. So used to the notion that violins belonged in a symphony orchestra, it was difficult to appreciate it as a lead instrument in jazz.

That attitude changed over the years, with increased exposure to Stephane Grappelli, Karen Briggs and, of course, Mr. Ponty. So by the first time I saw the name Mads Tolling in a CD liner, I was ready to accept his violin as a key component of the music I was about to listen to. Now, when I see his name, I expect an enjoyable experience.

Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty by the Mads Tolling Quartet (Madsman Records, 2012), recorded live at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California, is exactly that. From the opening notes of “Lila’s Dance” to the conclusion of “Pontyfication,” this is a fine example of the two-time Grammy winner’s expertise. Also on the recording are guitarist Mike Abraham, bassist George Ban-Weiss and drummer Eric Garland.

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Ken Ford – State of Mind

Electric. A word that describes not only Ken Ford’s violin but aptly describes the man himself, with electrifying and deeply physical live performances that have audiences up on their feet and into the aisles, feeling the music as much as he does, jumping and dancing around on stage.

Far from being any quiet instrument, Ken’s infectious energy takes the violin center stage with amazing artistry and creativity, rocking out on the violin with a passion and fervor that rivals the biggest and baddest guitar solos. Now signed on independent label Twelve Music Group as the first artist and album release on the label, Ken brings his celebrated live playing to audiences everywhere with the forthcoming release of his latest album, State of Mind.

A wonder to behold on stage, Ken’s evocative playing and passion for strings on the electric violin have enthralled fans of all ages, as well as peers from diverse genres, from jazz to blues, R&B to hip-hop and more. With a soul-stirring style that highlights all the voices of the violin, from sensuous and genteel to dramatic and muscular, Ken’s talents have brought him on stage and into the recording studio with a range of superstar artists including Bruno Mars, Jill Scott, Wyclef Jean, Chaka Khan, Ledisi, Brian Culbertson, the late Barry White, Cee-Lo Green, Erykah Badu and more. Promising to take fans to a whole other level on this fourth album with a new edge and energy, Ken plants the seed for any music lover to discover violin on a whole new journey with him on State of Mind.

The Atlanta-based artist and producer says of this new record, “People want to hear what they get when they come to my shows,” taking listeners on a roller-coaster ride throughout State of Mind, doing things on the violin that he did not do before, recording songs that embody sexy, electrifying allure flavored with Ken’s compelling twists on R&B, hip-hop and jazz. From the sweet and later fervent opening strains on the first single (and first track) “Guttaville” to the familiar, driving hip-hop melody on the fifth track “State of Mind” with Ken’s urgent, feverish playing transporting listeners into another state, Ken declares, “each song gives you a ride”.

 

Ken Ford – Right Now

Ken Ford received training from various members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He moved on to join the African American Philharmonic Orchestra where he was soon promoted to Concert Master. While with the AAPO, Ken was chosen to perform with the late Barry White & The Love Unlimited Orchestra.

Added to Ken Ford’s impressive list of significant accomplishments is the successful debut of Ford’s chart-topping debut CD, Burnt Toast. The sweet, soulful and funky sounds spread on Ford’s Burnt Toast clearly capture his undying passion for playing the electric jazz violin. Furthermore, his ability to incorporate his smooth and sensual moves, which are often displayed during his live performances emanates from every track on his debut CD. Prior to Ford’s release of Burnt Toast he continued to develop a very strong and loyal following who awaited the release of his debut CD. Nevertheless, Ford’s desire to keep the Toast in the oven a little longer than most had hoped was the best decision he could have made. As a result, the final product was served to mere perfection and ready to satisfy the musical appetite of those hungering for a taste of Burnt Toast.

On the heels of Ford’s incredibly successful release of Burnt Toast came the opportunity for Ford to share the stage with Hidden Beach recording artist and saxophonist Mike Phillips as his special guest performer during the opening of Jill Scott’s Words & Sounds 2001 Summer Concert at Atlanta’s Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

Ken Ford’s desire to consistently produce and deliver quality music to the masses remains apparent. In August 2003 Ford released his sophomore CD entitled Chevelle Lane. This work of musical art captures the essence of Ken Ford’s musical genius as an accomplished Electronic Jazz Violinist. This CD was truly a labor of love for Ford as he poured his mind, body and soul into Chevelle Lane. He not only proudly claims performing artist credits on his latest CD, but he also displays his talent as an executive producer.

Despite Ford’s undeniable success, he remains “TRUE” to himself and understands that his talent is a mere blessing and because of that he continues to be thankful and knows there is still room to grow in his craft as Ken Ford, Electric Jazz Violinist.

Infected by the Hidden Beach Recordings’ style Ken Ford makes the impossible possible. Electrifying, exciting and live energy all bundled into one CD! Jazz, Hip Hop, and R&B Violin with a touch of Class!! Not your traditional violinist by all means! A Must Listen!

Check it out at CDBaby.

Karen Briggs – Soulchestral Groove

Soulchestral Groove is Karen Briggs’ first, long awaited independent release since the grand exposure of PBS Special, Yanni: Live At The Acropolis! Sum up the equation of soul plus orchestral plus groove and this CD exudes it all!

The opening Title Track, Soulchestral Groove delivers an obvious orchestral connection with a ‘sure-to-make-your head-bop’ groove. Arranged by neo-soul crooner/keyboardist extraordinaire, Frank McComb, this track is sure to grab the listener. Acropolis fans will not be disappointed as Triumph and Scheherazade’s Groove (Tracks 8 & 9) remenisce the fire-driven violin ‘soul-o’s’ that the violinist is most recognized for.

Little Sunflower (Track 2) pays homage to late-great artists Freddie Hubbard and Curtis Mayfield, by elegantly joining the late trumpeter‘s Little Sunflower melody with the groove of Curtis Mayfield’s I’m Your Pusherman. Minnie Riperton’s popular classic, Loving You (Track 5) sounds like a natural vehicle for violin.

The Lady in Red has recorded extensively as featured soloist with a host of notable artists, including Ledisi (Lost & Found), Stanley Clarke (Vertu/Sony 550, Night School DVD), Hidden Beach’s Unwrapped Volumes 1-5, Wu Tang Clan (Reunited), Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin & Donnie McClurkin (Hopeville DVD). The music also exposes heart generated emotion through a soulful fiddler whose unique, melissmatic tonal expressions are likened to ‘violin ear candy!’ She improvises through the colors with pizzicato, harmonics, orchestral layers and fire with a ‘funky’ elegance and an exotic attitude. Her violin distinction flows throughout each genre, as Karen’s writer/arranger skills are uniquely tailored to her violin gifts on this easy to listen to CD.

Other standouts participants include Cameroonian bassist, composer and producer, André Manga (Manu DiBango, Josh Groban, Angelique Kidjo) and keyboardist/arranger, Brandon Coleman among the excellent accompaniment.

Enjoy this expression of improvised soul, attitude, culture and passion in Karen Briggs’s newest endeavor now available at CDBaby.

Miles Stiebel – Excellent Distraction

Miles Stiebel defines himself as special event artist. This honorable title is justified by numerous events presenting this musician on his instrument, the violin. A violin in contemporary jazz is rather unusual. Miles has a fearless explanation: “People often tell us how much they like the way we blend the sound of the violin and saxophone or the violin and guitar, so you will hear some nice conversations between these instruments in my music.”

Miles’ first CD No Hassle Miles (2007) features his version of the Beatles’ classic And I Love Her which has been played on over 65 jazz radio stations in the U.S. and Canada and Miles’ original composition A Great Day which has been played in rotation on The Weather Channel.

Now Miles is back with his sophomore album Excellent Distraction (2009). Miles is supported by Gerry Kunkel (guitars), Pete BarenBregge (sax), Dan Reynolds (piano, synthesizer), Steve Fdyk (drums), Mark Russell (bass), Sam Turner (percussion), Bob Dawson (additional percussion), Kevin Burns and Mike Crotty (trumpet, flugelhorn), Doug Morgan (sax), Ben Patterson (trombone) and a group of strings.

Continue reading Miles Stiebel – Excellent Distraction

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