Andre Ward, Rahni Song & Rob White – Jazzilicious Vol. 2

jazzilicious2

Andre Ward, Rahni Song & Rob Whitehope hope you enjoy their musical selections for Jazzilicious Vol. 2. Smooth jazz saxophonist André Ward was born and raised in Chicago. His first instrument, which he took up at age eight, was the snare drum. He later moved to trumpet and tenor saxophone before settling on alto saxophone and becoming sufficiently proficient to earn a music-performing scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

Based in Boston, he played internationally and did session work for such artists as Freddie Jackson. He was signed to Orpheus Music and released his debut solo album, Feelin’ You, in October 2001. It reached number four on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and also appeared on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. His second album, Steppin’ Up, released in March 2004, was similarly successful.The new album could have just as easily been titled “Duets”. It features some of the top vocalist in the music industry today.

This album is available at CDBaby.

Kim Waters – Rhythm and Romance

RRSaxophonist Kim Waters has made a career of writing timeless anthems with insatiable grooves, undeniable hooks and memorable melodies that combine the best of jazz, R&B, funk and soul. This formula has catapulted him to the top of the charts time and time again and prompted JazzTimes Magazine to declare, “Waters is simply one of the planet’s best saxophonists.” Instantly recognizable for his keen melodic sensibilities and soulful approach to his saxophone, The Washington Post has likened Waters to, “A romantic pied piper out on a long evening stroll.” The prolific saxophonist, composer and producer has enjoyed a career longevity that is rare. Waters’ Zen-like approach to his life and artistry is simple, “My motto is to try and live in away where I am not stressing about anything. What’s going to be is going to be. I strive to be happy because life is short.” It is with this pointed and in the moment approach that Waters’ delivers his most enjoyable solo effort yet, Rhythm And Romance. The album is dedicated to his inspirations – Kayla and Kimberly. “My daughters are my everything,” beams Waters. “They are smart, talented and focused. I am proud that they see me as a role model.” Rhythm and Romance showcases Waters compositional prowess and features seven dynamic originals and three re-workings of hits by Janet Jackson, Sam Smith and DeBarge.

Through the years Kim Waters has proven he knows a thing or two about romance. Just take a look at the titles of his hit Shanachie albums over the last decade and half and you can see that love is a reoccurring theme: Love’s Melody (1998), One Special Moment (1999), From The Heart (2001), Someone To Love You (2002), In the Name of Love (2004), All For Love (2005), You Are My Lady (2007) and I Want You: Love in the Spirit of Marvin (2008), Love Stories (2010) and This Heart of Mine (2011). Kim Waters 22nd recording as a leader and twelfth CD for Shanachie, Rhythm and Romance, finds the saxophonist doing what he does best — creating dreamy melodies, crafting funky dance-inspired originals, immortalizing sultry ballads, and putting his own indelible imprint on timeless R&B hits. The charming and spiritually grounded saxophonist has proven through the years to be a master composer. “I usually start at the piano and write the song and melody and then I go in the studio and bring the song to life, he shares. “Sometimes it all comes together immediately while other times it slowly evolves.”

In typical fashion, Waters is like a one-man band playing virtually all the instruments on Rhythm And Romance. However, he does get a little help from some friends including guitarist Dave Manley. Waters shares, “Dave is a great guitarist who can play any style. He has toured with Jill Scott and a host of other great artists and he brings the flavor every time I call him. Waters is also joined by his long-time friend and collaborator, Chris “Big Dog” Davis (Kim Burrell, George Clinton, Maysa). “He is a super talented keyboard player and a master producer,” exclaims Waters. “Everything he touches turns to gold. He is truly a superstar.” Rhythm and Romance also joins Waters with up and coming vocalist Christi Jones who Waters says we will definitely be hearing more from in the future and singer Dave Manley who has toured with Jill Scott and who Waters says “brings the flavor every time I call him.” Continue reading

Ejazz Artistry – Smooth Pack 1

Multi-instrumentalist Konstantin Klashtorni asked after the special feature of the eJazz Artistry series explains: “There is not much specialty in this series except the more groovy and probably funky concept. Unlike my previous albums, in eJazz series I explore new instruments, playing less saxophone, more guitar and piano. I tried to make commercial Smooth Jazz, easy to listen and understand for (specially) US residents, as I “speak” on albums “their” SJ language using my background and influence as European.″

We Belong Together sounds familiar compared to Konstantin’s other releases. Describe it as a slow jam easy listening experience with a catchy melody recited by his most popular instruments, sax and guitar. The rhythm as an important element has its place on Just Fine. Guitar, sax and keyboards are the triumvirate of overwhelming easiness.

Konstantin’s ability to shift harmonics on the fly finds its expression on the shuffle beat based Love Calls. Fine keyboard sound tapestries combined with celestial piano play are the main elements of this groove oriented tune. You’re Mine offers shimmering keyboard chords decorating a repetitive theme.

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Phil Casagrande – Missing You

Missing YouBeing a writer, composer and producer Phil Casagrande shows great talent in all genres. From original solo piano performances, to pop music, to an amazing smooth-jazz original of “Let’s Groove”, he truly shows his range. In 1982, Phil worked for Atlantic records as a writer, and has also worked for Starlight Records where many songs he worked on ranked high on the Billboard charts.

Phil has worked with Jessica Cleeves from P-funk, he played keyboards, bass, synth, and even did some production on the Rap smash-hit “Inspector Gadget” (Bad Boys), he wrote and co-produced Paula Anderson’s song “Four Year Battle”-which made it to number 32 on the Billboard Chart with a bullet, and was picked up by Atlantic Records, he has also worked with Jeannine Carter, and has worked with songwriter and producer Dennis Johnson.

Currently playing out of his studio in NYC, Casagrande Studios, Phil has recently been working on some new musical creations that are simply breathtaking. His new album is Missing You offering  relaxed, enjoyable groovy and classy tracks is a main feature of Casagrande’s music.

You can find this his 3rd smooth jazz album at CDBaby.

Jason Miles – To Grover with Love / Live in Japan

Having musical idols is something normal for a musician. To perform with most of them is fortune, grace and bases certainly also on the skills of the artist. Keyboardist, arranger and producer Jason Miles is the perfect example for such a lucky high talented guy.

He performed and recorded with Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, David Sanborn or Grover Washington Jr., to name a few. His intimate knowledge of these musicians has been reflected in numerous tribute albums.

But the music and the person of Grover Washington Jr. has especially not let him go. The homage albums To Grover with Love (2001) and 2 Grover With Love (2008) and the production of Grover Live (2010) come from his feather.

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Absinthe Minded – Soundtrack for a Louisiana Swamp

Soundtrack for a Louisiana SwampWelcome to the world of Absinthe Minded. With Frank Ball on guitar, dobro, mandolin, and harmonica, and Jon R Smith on Sax, Absinthe Minded weaves a lush tapestry of the haunting images and sounds of Louisiana. Many natural sounds of wildlife and nature are incorporated into this production. We are a part of life in South Louisiana and it is definitely a part of us. Videos accompanying these songs can be seen at http://www.AbsintheMinded.rocks . The songs are written with the intention of being used as soundtracks for motion pictures. From the urban world of New Orleans to the swamps of the Atchafalaya Basin these songs will transport your soul to the heartbeat of Louisiana.

Absinthe Minded is their most recent project and this is the first in series of forth coming CDs. Absinthe was a popular drink in France and New Orleans in the 1800s until eventually made illegal due to it’s psychedelic properties. It is now legal once again and is gaining popularity. Drinking of Absinthe is referred to as “Dancing with the Green Fairy”. Absinthe has a natural green colour and was referred to as the Green Fairy. Two famous artists who helped popularize the notion that absinthe had powerful psychoactive properties were Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent van Gogh. In one of the best-known written accounts of absinthe drinking, an inebriated Oscar Wilde described a phantom sensation of having tulips brush against his legs after leaving a bar at closing time.

Soundtrack for a Louisiana Swamp is a musical excursion into psychedelic dreams at CDBaby.

Jashaun Peele – No Boundaries

No BoundariesJashaun Peele is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at William Peace University, a private four-year university located in downtown Raleigh. Beside his day job he builds his career as saxophonist. Watch his interview at Youtube.

We welcome him with his debut album No Boundaries. Feeling happy, fun, loving, and passionate all at the same time? That is what you can expect from this album. From upbeat to slow melodic tunes you can expect to be taken on a musical journey! Grab this album now for your listening pleasure! Get it at CDBaby.

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