James “JD” Dawkins Jr. – A Jazzy Christmas

ajazzychristmasJames “JD” Dawkins Jr. is an accomplished musician, composer, songwriter, and producer. James was born and raised in Miami, Florida. James Dawkins plays several different instruments including bass guitar, drums, trumpet, lead guitar, and B3 organ. Dawkins developed his soulful rich sound from influences such as Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Chic Corea, and the Average White Band just to name a few. His unique sound is a combination of Jazz, Soul, R&B and Gospel genres.

In 2015 he released his debut Smooth Jazz album titled Smile For Me which is still in rotation on Smooth Jazz and Contemporary Jazz radio networks across the country/world. When the James Dawkins Band is not touring, he actively serves as the music director for various artists and organizations throughout Los Angeles. He is dedicated to philanthropic initiatives which involve working with youth and young adult students during the summer by giving private lessons and mentoring sessions. His new album is entitled A Jazzy Christmas.

A Jazzy Christmas is now on sale at James’ website.

Jarez – Sexy Saxy Vol. 2

sexy-saxySince breaking through in 2013 with his solo debut On Top Of The World, L.A. based saxophonist Jarez has been a non-stop hit machine. He’s been at forefront of an exciting revitalization on the contemporary jazz scene with his explosive blend of soulful jazz and hip-hop. The innovative saxman, who has recorded and toured with music icon Coolio for years, fashions his cool, fashionable and relaxed new EP Sexy Saxy Vol. 2 as a sequel to 2015’s Vol. 1. Jarez sets the funk aside for a set of silky and sensual romantic mood setting originals – including one featuring guitarist Dirk K and a “chilled version” of his hit single “In Too Deep.” Turn the lights down low and embrace the vibe of Sexy Saxy!

Jarez goal is to create the finest quality entertainment possible that reflects musical integrity and expands musical awareness. Jarez creates entertainment that is uplifting and enlightening, by satisfying the needs and interests of music lovers.

Now check this at CDBaby.

Christoph Spendel – Jazzmatics Vol.3

Jazz genius Christoph Spendel released the album Jazzmatics Vol. 3 at the same time as Jazzmatics Vol. 4. Christoph comments: “It is a kind of summary of my ambitions, knowledge and experiences”. As on the previous albums of this series all songs are composed and performed by Christoph Spendel.

All Lines Are Open comes rough and unadulterated in acid jazz style. Organ, clavinet and hard snare beats give the song a specific character to a great extent. A howling sax and hip bridges complete the picture.

Bay Of Rhythm is a pulsing festival of beats with an extended range of scratching, Tablas and scat song, ecstatic trumpet and flute and much piano. Dogs And Melons persists first in a hypnotic loop, wherein tonal sequences are used as a rhythm generator. On this tapestry Christoph celebrates the utmost pinnacle of piano and keyboard sound architecture.

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Afro Bop Alliance Big Band – Revelation

Call it an audible adventure. The Afro Bop Alliance Big Band goes deep with Revelation (OA2 Records, 2016).

Joe McCarthy is the leader, and handles drums and percussion. Rolando Vazquez conducts three songs. The rhythm section is comprised of Harry Appleman, piano; Jim Roberts, guitar; Tom Baldwin and Oscar Stagnaro, bass; Samuel Torres, congas on three tracks; Ed Fast, vibraphone on three tracks; and Robert Quintero, percussion on four tracks. On trumpets are Brian MacDonald, lead, Rich Sigler, Mark Wood, lead on “Creencias”, Chris Walker, Dan Orban and Tim Stanley, with Alex Norris appearing only on “Family of Four.” Trombonists are Matt Niess, lead, Rhoades Whitehill, Joe Jackson, Jeff Cortazzo, Victor Baranco, Dave Perkel and Matt Neff. Saxophonists are Vince Norman, lead, alto and soprano, Bill Mulligan, alto, flute and piccolo, Pete Barenbregge, alto and flute, Joseph Henson, tenor and flute, Matt Stuver, tenor, Luis Hernandez, tenor, and solo on “Dialed In”, and Darryl Brenzel, baritone and bass clarinet. On steel pans are Victor Provost, lead, Josanne Francis, tenor, Khandeya Sheppard, double seconds, and Adam Grise, cello.

“No Rest for the Bones of the Dead” opens as a moderate, mellow piece that quickly warms into something more fiery. The horns and percussion set the mood. Hernandez takes off on a sunny romp, with the other horns doing some interesting things underneath. When the full band comes back in, the different horn groups each are seemingly in their own zones, yet working together as a unit. Stagnaro gets a moment to stretch out before passing the baton to the saxophones, with the piano and percussionists setting the same groove behind both passages. The song goes through several changes throughout, making it an epic.

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Ronald Lee Ward Jr – It’s Just Music, Vol. II: Music Made Me Who I Am

ronaldwardAs the son of a minister, Ronald Lee Ward Jr. from an early age was blessed with a gift for music. From his first piano recital, it was apparent to see that he was extremely talented. Growing up in the hip hop/new jack swing and those familiar with the DMV (DC, Maryland and Virginia) Go-Go era, a musical foundation was solidified, and thus a musician was born. His sound is a fresh blend of old school and new incorporating elements of Vintage Soul, Gospel,R&B and Jazz. Ron is an extraordinary songwriter, producer, pianist and a talented singer. In high school Ron excelled in ear training, music theory, and voice and harmony structure. Ron played keyboards for his church youth choir and many local Go-Go bands.

In the early 90’s, Ron teamed up with Craig T. Dobson, Frederick Simpson, Troy Hilliard and later Gerald Coates and Antwan “TAO” Simpson (who is currently the newest member of the Platinum selling group Dru Hill) to form theR&B group known as SMUV (Seductive Music Unique Vocals). In 2002, Ron teamed up with Eugene Alexander and Michael Anderson, becoming the third member of the production team Trackstar Productions which later changed to NBB (Nothing But Bangas) productions. NBB was one of the most sought after production teams in the DMV. Currently, Ron is the Minister of Music at his home church.

It’s Just Music, Vol. II: Music Made Me Who I Am is a special series presenting the finest tunes, Ron has performed and produced. Give it a listen at CDBaby.

Darren Motamedy – All About Love

allaboutloveSince 1989 Darren Motamedy has released 11 albums: First Generation, Square One, Dangerously Close, Peace, The Best of Darren Motamedy, It’s All Good, Relax Your Mind, Intimate, Don’t Cha Know, Gruv Horn, and All About Love. All About Love delves deeply into nine smooth jazz cuts. “I wanted to allow the songs to be a longer and allow them to breathe” exclaims Motamedy. Each song is written with purpose and played thoughtfully and soulfully. Most of the works on All About Love are not only written by Motamedy but also played by him. Floetic Smooth has Motamedy playing trumpet, trombone, saxes, pianos, and programming all of the drums and bass guitars. Portionte’ Floes adds to vocal twist and the spoken word.

All About Love is exactly what it’s about. Songs written in the name of Love. This album is “All About Cruising” down the highway and letting the music take you there. This Album is “All About Romance” and a candlelight dinner. This Album is “All About Feeling Good” and letting go.

Get the smoothest and best yet from Darren Motamedy here.

Christoph Spendel – Jazzmatics 4

Jazz professor, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer Christoph Spendel has a great impact on the German jazz scene. With a plethora of released albums he showcases his multifaceted artistry in jazz, Latin jazz, smooth jazz, classic, lounge, chill out and many more genres.

In the chill out section he already released among other albums the series Jazzmatic Vol. 1 (2012), Jazzmatics – Upbeat (2012), Jazzmatics – Chill Out Vol. 1, Jazzmatics – Chill Out Vol. 2 (2012), Jazzmatics – Deep Down Ibiza (2012), Jazzmatics – City At Dark (2012) and this year Jazzmatics New York Sessions Vol.2, Jazzmatics Vol. 3 and Jazzmatics Vol. 4. All songs are composed and performed by Christoph Spendel and available as downloads only.

This volcanic outburst of creative energy demands more intensive consideration. The title of the starting tune Jamiro Jam is derived from the famous British funk and acid jazz band Jamiroquai. The powerful tune grasps playfully various elements of keyboard sounds like Rhodes, Hohner clavinet, synth strings and more in combination with drums and percussion driving the melody to the final summit.

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