Archive for November, 2009

Joe Troup – Sunrise

Sunrise is a collection of catchy and inspirational songs played with a passionate approach that’s evident throughout the album. The record is dedicated to Joe’s father who passed away in late 2007. After hand picking some of Tucson’s most talented musicians he recorded Sunrise at Allusion Studios along with the help of the engineering guru Jim Pavett.

Joe Troup is an acoustic guitarist based in Tucson AZ. He originally hails from the Southwestern Michigan town of Kalamazoo. With his prized Les Paul Custom at his side Joe has played in numerous rock bands over the years. For a creative change of pace he switched gears in 2007 to play an Ovation acoustic guitar. You can listen this change to smooth jazz on his new album at CDBaby.

Collage & Company – Checkmate

Howard C. Perkins aka Collage & Company presents lively smooth jazz that makes you want to move. It also has a variety of music for that special mood. Checkmate has more to offer than you await.

Make your move at CDBaby.

Lawson Rollins – Espirito

Many believe that the arts mirror what is happening in the world and if that is the case, perhaps Lawson RollinsEspirito serves as a monumental soundtrack to the unification of our disparate cultures. The guitarist’s epic thirteen-song collection, to be released January 19th by Infinita Records, which is distributed by Baja/TSR Records, serves as the very definition of World Music with its seamless multicultural mélange of sound, style, composition and performance by musicians reflecting such culturally rich locales as Spain, Brazil, Cuba, Persia, Afghanistan, India and the U.S.

Rollins wrote the compositions for the album, his second solo release, which he produced with Shahin Shahida (of the Persian-American World Music group Shahin & Sepehr) and Dominic Camardella (3rd Force, Ottmar Liebert). Preceding the album release at radio will be “Moonlight Samba,” a sensual groove with an enchanting melody along with dexterous guitar soloing by Rollins, classy muted trumpet swatches, and dreamy vocals from Brazilian icon Flora Purim and her husband, master percussionist Airto Moreira.

Espirito evolved from Rollins’ critically-acclaimed debut disc, Infinita (2008), made by the same production trio and the same core ensemble consisting of Purim, Moreira, Grammy-winning violinist Charlie Bisharat (Shadowfax), Afghan vocalist Humayun Khan (harmonium), Jeff Elliot (trumpet), Randy Tico (bass), and Dave Bryant (drums, percussion). As grandiose as Infinita was, Rollins was determined to elevate every aspect of the 66 minutes of music on Espirito by stretching his wanderlust further outside his comfort zone, weaving a greater unifying theme throughout the compositions, assembling an even more diverse cast of players from all over the world, and utilizing a larger spectrum of sound captured in maximum fidelity.

Three of Infinita’s tracks – “Café Jobim,” “In Motion,” and the title track – scored major radioplay, and Espirito is primed with radio playlist possibilities. Songs like “Rumba del Sol” and the title track are festive, fun and celebratory. “Return to Rio” is whimsical while “Blue Mountain Bolero” is an exotic romancer. “Cape Town Sky” is constantly changing tempo while a gorgeous contemplative melody hovers radiantly above the horizon. The album concludes with “The Caravan Trilogy” – “Migration,” “Shadowland” and “Into the Light” – a poetic passage through time and geography spanning music’s migration from east to west starting in India and passing through Persia, the Middle East, Spain and onto the New World.

Continue reading

I Happened To Hear 11/2009

This 5-track EP taken from the album of the same name comes from Christian singer, composer, pianist and producer Eric Copeland. It contains the lyrically very clever ‘The Jazz in Me’ which grows on me the more I hear it with a vocal delivery reminiscent of Michael Franks, and some scatting.

There’s a funkier feel on ‘My Steps are Ordered’ with some very nice piano sounds. ‘Come to Me’ is a mellow piano-led song with gospel undertones and surely has the potential to be a radio hit – I wish the guitar/vocal scat break had been a bit longer…

The Latin feel on the vocal ‘Have Thine Own Way’ is enhanced by the sweet acoustic guitar. The elegant production on this song lets the Christian lyrics speak for themselves.

Continue reading I Happened To Hear 11/2009

Skip Martin – Formal Dining

Skip Martin, lead vocalist and trumpeter (Dazz Band and Kool & the Gang) delivers a true master piece with Formal Dining. This 11 track CD features Skip’s soulful vocals on jazz tracks such as ‘Since I Fell For You’ and ‘Feel The Fire’ and soaring trumpet solos on ‘Around Midnight’ and ‘Send One Your Love’

What else would you expect with a production team made up of 11-time GRAMMY nominated artist Tom Schuman of Sypro Gyra and GRAMMY award winner Skip Martin (Dazz Band and Kool & the Gang). This new production team JTS Productions (Just Tom & Skip Productions) truly released at CDBaby.

Dan Reynolds – River Maiden

Dan Reynolds started his career performing regularly with DC-based jazz greats such as Marshall Keys, Ron Holloway, Keter Betts, Scott Ambush, Vinny Valentino, & Keith Killgo of the Blackbyrds. He also worked with Eddie Harris, Larry Coryell, Najee, Maysa, Ken Navarro and many more.

His first solo project Never Alone (1993) was followed by Lifeline (1994), To Be Sure (2000) and now River Maiden. Greg and Gary Grainger, Marshall Keys, Al Williams, & Scott Ambush are among the artists of this album. To classify his album just as smooth doesn’t do justice to his musical art. His work deserves a closer observation.

Last Chance is the starting point of all good. Dan’s piano and Rob Holmes’ sax introduce into the melody expanding to awesome solo performances of Dan and guitarist Dan Leonhard which bridge the fragments of the melody line. The song is closed by Rob’s final subtle sax solo.

Continue reading Dan Reynolds – River Maiden

Melvin Pierce – Something To Remember

Melvin Pierce was born in Brooklyn, NY, but was raised in Marrero, LA, a city right outside of New Orleans. With Jazz flowing through the heart of the city, the music bee stung him at an early age. He is a self-taught trumpet player. In 2005, he debuted his first cd, The Journey, smooth jazz groove with soft lyrics that left his new fans wanting more.

His sophomore cd, Something To Remember, picks up where The Journey left off. Upbeat and flowing jazz sounds will take your musical soul on a journey that you’ll want to remember. Melvin’s new album is available at CDBaby.