David McLorren – Life Happens

Life HappensLife Happens with or without you. So get involved, that’s the overall theme of this project. Jazz, Funk, Latin rhythms, R&B and a whole lot more helps paint the canvas for Life Happens. It is a soundtrack, a journey and an evolution of musical consciousness. With the help of Joyce Spencer (Sax & Flute), Sam Hankins (Trumpet), Gary Fuston (Guitar) and Rod Williams (Sax), a timeless collection of music is produced. It captivates, motivates, soothes and encourages the soul of the listener who will be hooked. Inspired by life, love and other life changing events, this album captures the spectrum of life in 11 tracks and a bonus 12th, which is only available on the hard copy CD. In this crazy climate, isn’t it nice to know that Life still Happens and you are a part of it. Life Happens, become a part of our lives and enjoy this musical experience.

Life Happens is a recommendation at CDBaby.

Naomi Moon Siegel – Shoebox View

With support from the community of her Seattle home, Naomi Moon Siegel presents an eclectic soundscape with Shoebox View (2016).

Siegel plays trombone, and on selected tracks, piano, ukulele and keyboard. Other musicians are Sean Woolstenhulme, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and banjo; Wayne Horvitz, piano, organ and Wurlitzer; Eric Eagle, drums and percussion; Keith Lowe, upright bass; Alex Guy, viola; Ivan Arteaga, alto saxophone; Michael Coleman, Wurlitzer and synthesizers; Thione Diop, percussion; Jefferson Rose, electric bass; Andrew Vait, synthesizers; Jacques Willis, beat production; Greg Sinibaldi, baritone saxophone; Steve O’Brien, trumpet.

“Punta Uva” is a tranquil piece. Siegel opens the song accompanying herself, trombone and piano. After the initial pass, Woolstenhulme joins. Followed by Arteaga. The incremental elements give the song a sense of growing depth and an aromatic blend.

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Russ Hewitt – Cielo Nocturno

Guitar virtuoso Russ Hewitt describes his style as smooth jazz, Nuevo Flamenco and Latin World music. He counts the albums Bajo el Sol (2008) and Alma Vieja (2011) to his credits. His new album Cielo Nocturno (2016) already garnered rave reviews.

Guest musicians on this album are Larry Carlton, Ardeshir Farah and Alfredo Caceres (guitars), Bob Parr (bass, keyboards), Raphael Padilla (percussion), Walfredo Reyes Jr. (drums) and Wladimir Kaliazine (accordion).

A colorful bunch of musicians, a motley crew of styles. All songs are composed by Russ, no cover in sight. The album starts with Presidio, a Latin tinged song with a strong shot of joie de vivre. A catchy melody brilliantly presented.

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Freeman L. Semons, Jr – Free

freeFreeman L. Semons, Jr is a published fiction author, a songwriter, a smooth jazz keyboardist, a graphic artist/designer and a book publisher. He started drawing things around age 5. He studied Commercial Art in high school at Milwaukee Tech and Graphic Design at MATC. He graduated from MATC in May 2013. earning an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design. He has been writing fiction since age 10. He released his first novel The Oracle Book through Stonegarden.net Publishing (an independent book publisher) in 2008. His current novel Archangel (as well as the re-release of Oracle Book) were self-published under his own Morning Breeze Publications imprint August 2015 via Amazon.

In 2011, Christopher’s Project (a renowned jazz group in the greater Milwaukee area) covered four of Freeman’s songs for their CD release entitled “Givin’ It To You”. Freeman has been writing and composing music under his own Morning Breeze Music imprint since age 20. To date, he has produced over 30 CD albums ranging from R&B and Gospel to Smooth Jazz and New Age Soundscapes. His current album is entitled Free. Free is a new collection of sophisticated smooth jazz grooves and up-tempo vibes highlighting Freeman’s unique songwriting style.

Get Free at CDBaby.

Jazmin Ghent – Chocolate Sunshine

jazmin_ghent_chocolate_sunshineJazmin Deborah Ghent is a new contemporary jazz artist with a passion for music. Born in Heidelberg, Germany and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, she became interested in music at age 5 when she began taking piano lessons. She became the Sunday School pianist at the age of 8 and often practiced with the adult musicians and church choir members. After being introduced to the saxophone in Middle School, she progressed to becoming the church pianist and saxophonist. She is a recent graduate from Florida State University (bachelors) and Tennessee State University (masters). Jazmin majored in music education and is an accomplished musician in contemporary jazz, standard jazz and gospel.

Her album Boss combines smooth, soulful jazz saxophone stylings reflecting a wide range of eclectic jazz phrases that makes the head bob and the body move. Now she returns with her album Chocolate Sunshine.

Get the album at CDBaby.

Kim Scott – Southern Heat

Birmingham, Alabama based flutist Kim Scott has already released the albums Crossing Over (2011) and Rite of Passage (2013). Her third album Southern Heat (2016) does not only show the flutist but increasingly more the vocalist.

Kim performs on the new album with James “PJ” Spraggins, Ron Otis (drums), Sean Michael Ray (bass), Eric Essix, Michael “Big Mike” Hart (guitar), Kelvin Wooten (rhythm guitar, keyboards, synth bass, programming), Lin Rountree (trumpet), Jim Lowe III (programming, horn arrangement), Darryl Tibbs (percussion) and more.

The starter Billie Jean is best known as one of the musical diamonds by the late king of Pop Michael Jackson. Kim Scott serves a pristine rendition of this popular song with a tasty flute. Fantastic Voyage surprises with heavy funk, a genre already adapted to smooth jazz namely by Brian Culbertson, Candy Dulfer and Wayman Tisdale.

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Ricky Rodriguez Group – Looking Beyond

Some artists write music based on their inspirations, and typically feature their own instrument, be it piano, guitar, trumpet or saxophone. However, bassist Ricky Rodriguez composes with the other musicians in mind. In this case, Looking Beyond (Destiny Records, 2016) is a collection of songs that feature the sidemen chosen for the project.

Musicians performing with Rodriguez are Adam Rogers, guitar; Luis Perdomo, piano and Fender Rhodes; Obed Calvaire, drums; Myron Walden, alto saxophone and bass clarinet; with special guests, David Sanchez, tenor saxophone; Pete Rodriguez, trumpet and Obanilu Allende, barril de bomba, a hand drum similar to the conga.

“Living” is an easygoing, walk in the park. With the piano and bass setting the pace, the horns blend for the all’s well-inspired melody. After the opening sequence, Sanchez goes on a leisurely stroll with sidekicks Rodriguez and Calvaire in tow. As the determination of his strides become more pronounced, Perdomo joins in. With the tenor emoting, the others stretch out a bit underneath. The full ensemble is engaged for a brief transition, leading to Walden’s turn out front. A highlight is when the alto builds to climax while repeating the same, two-note wail – like something out of Kenny Garrett’s trick bag. The song reverts to the melody and closes with the two saxophones ad libbing until a full stop.

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