Fostina Dixon – Vertical Alignment

One of the few female jazz instrumentalists to front her own band, Winds of Change, the saxophonist, composer, vocalist and educator’s comeback album in 2016, “Here We Go Again” Fostina Dixon has garnered complimentary reviews. The single “Vertical Alignment” released the beginning of 2019, made the Smooth Jazz Network Charts multiple weeks. This new CD Vertical Alignment, which features original materials and multiple talented musicians, is making great impressions, getting much praise with musicians, and creating a buzz in the music business. It hits the depth of your soul. There is no holding back or compromise of interpretation or expression.

Fostina’s unique improvisational style shows her experience in playing all genres of music. Her producers Al Turner and Ray Chew add even more flare to these original compositions. After a storied early career that included playing alongside such Jazz greats as Abbey Lincoln, Melba Liston, Frank Foster, James “Blood” Ulmer, Tom Browne, Roy Ayers, and playing in the Gerald Wilson Big Band, touring with Marvin Gaye, and many other experiences too vast to mention, Fostina has made significant contributions to the arts and education scenes. Fostina received a Christi Award for her contributions to promoting the arts in the community, an Outstanding Arts Educator award from the Delaware Board of Education, and an Outstanding Contributor award from the Council of Jazz Advocates for her work as an arts educator, and is the Founder and longtime Executive Director of the Wilmington Youth Jazz Band.

Vertical Alignment is on sale at CDBaby.

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Cory Wong – Live On The Lido Deck

Recognized for his high-speed improvisational skills, fun-loving performance spirit, and a flexible right wrist, guitarist Cory Wong had a multifaceted music career in his base of Minneapolis, Minnesota before becoming better known for regular guest spots as rhythm guitarist for R&B/funk outfit Vulfpeck in the mid-2010s. Often incorporating intricate, percussive picking into his rhythm playing, his style merges acoustic and electric techniques gleaned from years invested in both. Wong’s second solo LP, a set of lighthearted jazz-funk titled The Optimist, debuted in the Top 20 of the Billboard Jazz Albums chart upon its release in 2018.

in 2016 Wong released the solo EP MSP, Pt. 1. He made his official full-length solo debut in September 2017 with the eclectic Cory Wong and the Green Screen Band, a playful fusion of funk, R&B, jazz, and rock. Wong’s second solo album came about after he got a call from organist Ricky Peterson (George Benson, David Sanborn) saying he’d be in Minneapolis the following week. Excited about the prospect of joining him in the studio, Wong told Peterson he’d been working on some songs and asked if he would like to get together to record them. Wong scrambled to write some songs in the days leading up to the session, while also putting together a rhythm section comprising bassist Sonny Thompson and drummer Michael Bland, both former Prince bandmembers. A second lineup joined him for an additional session in Minneapolis, and a third session with Ben Rector and his band took place in Nashville. The resulting release, August 2018’s The Optimist, also featured long-distance contributions from Stanley, Marti Fischer, and KATIS, as well as the horn section Hornheads (Prince).

In the meantime he was an attraction on Dave Koz’s Cruise in 2019. From that sessions on board and other live sessions he now releases several live albums, which are, his studio albums included, available on bandcamp. I especially recommend Cory Wong’s Live On The Lido Deck.

Al Gomez – Groovesville

Guitarist Al Gomez is referred as one of the most versatile guitarist in Texas…tejano, country, rock, r&b, jazz and funk.  As a freelance guitarist, Al stays busy working with various groups in Texas.. Currently Al is working in the West Texas area. Al Gomez first solo CD “Casa Groove” on Shade Records, was released in the summer of 2014.  Al’s solo CD will contain some tunes he grew up listening to as well as his original songs.  A smooth jazz CD packed with funky, bluesy and smooth guitar playing and his love of great vocal harmonies.

His newest album is Groovesville, released in 2019.

Get this album on iTunes.

Urban Jazz Coalition – Covers

Columbus, Ohio very finest contemporary jazz band Urban Jazz Coalition has now released Covers (2019), their 23rd album. The group consists of bassist and founder Phil Raney, percussionist Hector Maldonado, keyboardist Brendon Howard, saxophonist Richard Randolph, drummer Rich “Rico” Adams and guitarist Duane Tribune.

The group is accompanied on selected tracks by their friends Joe Gothard (guitar and vocals), Lee Savory (trumpet and flugelhorn), Keith Newton (saxophone and flute), Ben Sherburne (sax), Brian Skeel (keyboards), Jim Bridges (drums), and special guests lead vocalists Jamar Ward, Quan Howell, Janeen Holmes and background vocalists Andrea Jackson, Nikia Humphrey, Brian McKnee & Electa Dawn Lee.

Motto of this album is “Learning From The Greats”. Some of the cover songs were already recorded by the group over the years, others are part of their live repertoire or the band just like them to do.

Read more …

Lee Jones – Far East

Lee Jones is a multi-instrumentalist. Playing woodwinds( flute, clarinet and alto sax), guitar, bass guitar, keys, composer and occasional vocals. His self produced music features him playing multiple instruments on a recording. As a veteran of the live jazz scene, Lee finally released his debut album in 2018 after spending a number of years of writing songs. He stays mainly on the sax and keys as lead instruments.

His album, Watercolors has remained on the Hot New releases for CD sales. With his most popular song, “once in a lifetime” hitting international radio airplay on jazz radio stations and online streaming. Now he returns with his newest album Far East.

Get this album on Amazon.com.

T-Square – Horizon

T-Square is a Japanese jazz fusion band formed in 1978. They became famous in the late 70s and early 80s along with other Japanese bands in the genre. Its most famous lineup included its members from 1986 to 1990: guitarist Masahiro Andoh, saxophonist/flutist/EWI player Takeshi Itoh, bassist Mitsuru Sutoh, keyboardist Hirotaka Izumi and drummer Hiroyuki Noritake. They are known for songs such as “Truth”, “Japanese Soul Brothers”, “Takarajima”, “Omens of Love”, among others.

More information about the band is to find in the Wikipedia.

Their newest album is Horizon (2019). The album is available at CDJapan.

Martin Taylor – Love Songs

GRAMMY nominated musician Dr. Martin Taylor, MBE, is a virtuoso guitarist, composer, educator and musical innovator whom Acoustic Guitar magazine calls ‘THE Acoustic Guitarist of his Generation’. Widely considered to be the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz and finger-style guitar playing, Martin possesses an inimitable style that has earned him global acclaim from fellow musicians, fans and critics alike. He dazzles audiences with a signature style that artfully combines his virtuosity, emotion and humor with a strong, engaging stage presence.

Taylor has enjoyed a remarkable musical career spanning across five decades, with more than 100 recordings to his credit. Completely self-taught beginning at the early age of 4, he has invented and developed a unique way of playing the guitar that is greatly admired, and often emulated, by guitarists all over the world. In addition to his solo concerts and recordings, he has also collaborated with musicians from many different musical genres, including: Jeff Beck, Tommy Emmanuel, Bill Wyman, Chet Atkins, Stephane Grappelli, David Grisman, George Harrison, Jamie Cullum, Bryn Terfel, Dianne Schuur and Gary Burton.

Taylor brings a rich and varied musical heritage to his play, to the extent that Tommy Emmanuel remarked that [Taylor] is “a portal into all that came before.” Over his stellar career, Taylor has amassed a record 14 British Jazz Awards as a guitarist. Several of his albums have been in the Top 10 in the USA and Europe.

Love Songs is an solo acoustic guitar album to buy on Amazon.com.

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