Archive for January, 2010

Steve Laury – Volumes 1 – 3 – New Steve Laury

Steve Laury is a guitar player’s guitarist (Pat Metheny). As Steve says, “Let the music speak for itself”. In 1983, Steve started the band known to this day as Fattburger. With Steve’s compositions, signature sound and stellar guitar playing, Fattburger immediately shot to #1 spots in R & R, Gavin and Billboard. After seven successful years with the band, Steve decided that it was time to pursue a solo career. Steve’s first three solo albums went #1 across the board. Needless to say, there was no turning back. “Now I can produce the music that I write exactly the way that I hear it.” Steve’s success as a solo artist allowed him the creative freedom that was not attainable with Fattburger.

As a guitarist, composer, and producer, Laury operates in that rarefied air where composition, execution and spontaneity interact to produce truly satisfying music. He also has a rare ability to keep his diverse musical gifts in their proper perspective: “My whole approach to music is that it should be like a painting. A guitar sound and guitar soloing are the focal point of that painting. But all the other things that go around it — the arrangement and everything else — fit into that picture and embellish the focal point.”

Fans of Steve Laury’s guitar music will certainly have observed, that Steve published in 2008 three albums on CDBaby, entitled Volumes 1 -3 and in 2006 New Steve Laury. For now the tunes are only available as mp3s. Please support this great guitarist, his music is amazing and unsurpassed.

Alan Hewitt – Retroactive

Visiting Alan Hewitt‘s new website is a spectacular pleasure. The same is to say about his new album Retroactive, which is just released in January 2010. The first single of the album Shaft is already in heavy rotation on many Internet radio stations. Alan Hewitt’s footprints are inestimable in music industry. He worked with Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), Donny Osmond and other artists.

He started his solo career with Noche de Pasion (2004), followed by his critically acclaimed 2006 release Metropolis. On his third album Retroactive (2010) he presents artists like Greg Adams (Tower of Power), Paul Jackson Jr., Steve Madaio (Stevie Wonder) and Steve Oliver.

Isaac Hayes’ soulful and funky theme song to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film Shaft (1971), is reactivated by Alan Hewitt as instrumental piano driven version. “Alan has the golden touch. This single reminds me of the killer sound that defined the airwaves of the 70s. I think there is a real movement in music to return to the mother groove of R&B,” enthuses David Checkler, CEO of nuGroove Records. A perfect introduction to Alan’s new endeavor.

Continue reading Alan Hewitt – Retroactive

Tia Fuller – Decisive Steps

The astonishingly gifted, Colorado-born, alto / soprano saxophonist / flautist Tia Fuller is at home at all points of the musicverse – from her show-stopping solos as a member of superstar Beyoncé’s all-female band, to her scintillatingly swinging jazz dates and recordings. Her newest Mack Avenue release Decisive Steps, is the long-awaited follow-up to her 2007 label debut Healing Space. It features her Beyoncé bandmate, drummer Kim Thompson; bassist Miriam Sullivan; Fuller’s sister, Shamie Royston on piano and Fender Rhodes; with special guests, trumpeter Sean Jones and bassist Christian McBride (both Mack Avenue label mates); vibraphonist Warren Wolf; and tap dancer Maurice Chestnut.

“It’s a continuation of Healing Space, evolving from a stationary place of healing to steps of action,” Fuller says. “I’ve been in the mindset of really moving forward to the next level in my life, constantly being in the mindset of greatness, relentless in my pursuit and progressing with purpose by embracing my talents, recognizing my strengths and improving upon my weaknesses…but also in not being afraid of change; stepping forward in faith and not in fear.”

Indeed, the ten tracks on this sumptuous CD aurally illustrate Fuller’s artistic fearlessness fulfilled by her agile, buoyant and elegant full-bodied sax lines effortlessly improvising a number of moods and grooves, as evidenced by the take-no-prisoners tempo of the title track. “The first track, ‘Decisive Steps,’ was one of the last songs that I wrote for the album,” Fuller says. “This particular song is very intricate – it has a lot of hits and time changes, so, compositionally, I wanted to portray a sonic representation of momentum; in moving forward, and really feature everybody in the quartet.” Royston’s Icarusian “Windsoar” highlights she and her sister’s telepathic compositional bond. “We have a way of writing, where our songs are almost seamless,” Fuller says. “It’s funny; when Shamie started writing ‘Windsoar,’ it begins with a melody surrounded by a concert B-flat, and I was like, ‘Shamie…I just started writing ‘Clear Mind’ with the same concept of the harmonies surrounding the melody of the B-flat.’ We were writing in the same light of each other. We didn’t talk about it; it was intuitive.”

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Wayne Linsey – A Song Without Words

The consummate musician, producer, arranger, songwriter and artist in his own right, Wayne Linsey’s list of credits reads like a who’s who in contemporary music. Legendary names like Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder are among the plethora of artists with whom the L.A.-based maestro has worked on stage and in the recording studio. Super producers like Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and hitmakers like Whitney Houston and Earth, Wind & Fire always call Wayne to work on their projects; as a touring musician, Wayne spent many years with the ever-popular band Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, lending his distinctive and soulful touch as the primary keyboardist to the group’s energetic live show.

While he maintains a non-stop schedule of touring and studio work, Wayne’s focus in 2009 is his first solo project: “As a professional, I’ve been blessed to work with every artist of my dreams. I also see the purpose of my gift to provoke thought and enjoyment through my own music.” In keeping with an array of personal musical influences – which include Duke Ellington, Parliament, Oscar Peterson, Donny Hathaway, Wonder, Beverly and Davis – Wayne’s new project runs the gamut from jazz and R&B to world music and rap: “The album is not based on one dimension stylistically,” he notes. “Diversity is important to me. There’s enough material on the CD for the smooth jazz market: as an instrumentalist, that can be your only outlet for radio. But I didn’t approach this album the way the industry usually does by favoring one musical style…”

As a multi-talented instrumentalist, Wayne plays keyboards, guitar, bass and drums on the record; special guest players include trombonist Fred Wesley, Bobby Brown, Michael ‘Patches’ Stewart on trumpet, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, drummer Teddy Campbell, Kevin Ricard on percussion, Hiram Bullock, Paul Jackson Jr., John “Jubu” Smith & Tariqh Akoni on guitars and vocalists Leon Ware, Louis Price, Lamont Van Hook and Wayne’s former wife, artist in her own right, Lynne Fiddmont, among others. Incorporating funky grooves, soulful slow jams and pieces with topical lyrical messages and including “Bookendz,” a tune originally commissioned by Miles Davis which appears on his live recordings as “Wayne’s Tune,” Wayne’s new CD reflects the broad spectrum of music he’s mastered since his early days studying at Washington DC’s Howard University.

Don’t miss this great album, which is available at CDBaby.

Jaared – Manhattan Nights

Multi versatile saxophonist and vocalist Jaared is one of the most in-demand instrumentalists in the United States. His talents on alto and soprano saxophone, not to mention his exceptional talents on vocals, have been utilized by such artists as Peter White, Deborah “Debbie” Gibson, Robbie Dupree, Howard Scott (from the band “War”), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (from the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan), Nils Lofgren (from Bruce Springsteen and the “E” Street Band), Steve Ferrone (of the Average White Band), Freddie Jackson, Angela Bofill, Lester Chambers (of the Chambers Brothers), Jeff Levine (former keyboardist for Hall & Oates), and Rhian Benson just to name a few. Jaared currently has two solo CD’s to his credit.

Now his next album Manhattan Nights is scheduled for release on the Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm Records label on March 30, 2010. Jay Soto, Tim Bowman, Cindy Bradley, Freddie Fox, Mel Brown, are guest musicians on the new album, which is produced by Michael  Broening. Cindy Bradley and Tim Bowman are Jaared’s label mates, while Freddie Fox, Mel Brown and Jay Soto regularly work with producer Michael Broening.

Manhattan Nights is a sophisticated follow-up to his previous CD, Addiction, which was pre-nominated for two Grammy Awards. The title track is already on heavy rotation on some radio stations like Sky FM. The CD release parties will probably be in March in Washington, DC. with two shows. Look after Jaared’s tour schedule on his Myspace site.

John Evans & Dream – The Winding Road

While David Sanborn returns with the soon be released album Only Everything to the jazz roots, he was however one of the pioneers of the Smooth Jazz genre in 1979, when John Evans joined David on his album Hideaway. Evans composed and co-penned Creeper with Sanborn. This tune became the single release from the album, which turned into RIAA certified gold.

Recently John has build a state of the art studio, in which he recorded his sophomore album The Winding Road (2009). Keyboardist John Evans is joined on this album by his band Dream, Ron Jones (saxophones & flute), Larry Spencer (trumpet & flugelhorn), Brady Mosher (guitars), Johnny Hooper (guitars), John Evans (keyboards), Chuck Rainey (Fender bass), Gene Glover (congas & percussion), Mike Collier (drums & vocals), Jennifer Perryman (vocals), Rosana Eckert (vocals), Annagrey Labasse (vocals).

The Bossa Nova flavored Easy Love allures with Annagrey’s and Rosana’s humming swing perfectly harmonizing with Larry Spencer on flugelhorn, who adds his jazzy approach.

Continue reading John Evans & Dream – The Winding Road

Batik – Vudu

Barry Hartglass, a gifted musician (electric bass and soprano sax) and composer/producer (music for TV, film, video and internet) journeyed to the wilds of Putnam County in the year 2000 from his native home of Long Island. He has since then built a recording studio on scenic Lake Carmel in the town of Kent. Many established and highly successful musicians/recording artists live in this area, such as Natalie Merchant, Jan Hammer and the award winning composer, John Corigliano. Prior to relocating in Putnam County, Hartglass studied composition at the world-renowned Juilliard school, which is where he met fellow composer/percussionist Tom Nazziola. Tom has been known in the family circuit for his keyboard performances on Disney’s “Baby Einstein” DVD/CD catalog, in addition to working with organizations and artists such as Garrison Keillor, Terrance Blanchard, the New York Philharmonic and Marvin Hamlisch. Both Hartglass and Nazziola found common interests in their composing efforts and soon set out to form an ensemble that could realize their collaborative efforts through a fusion of world music and contemporary jazz.

From there, Hartglass recruited longtime friend and brilliant pianist/composer, John Roggie (also a fellow classmate from the University of Miami). John has programmed music for several Broadway plays (Fosse, Tale of Two Cities, Radiant Baby) in addition to performing with artists in genres ranging from hip-hop to classic rock to straight ahead jazz. John’s eclectic writing style and musical sensitivity made him the obvious choice for keyboardist extraordinaire in this fresh, new jazz ensemble. Shortly thereafter, Barry suggested that both he and Tom invite Dave Anthony to play drums with their group, now called Batik. Dave, who has played on Broadway’s “Moving Out” in addition to performing with Oscar award-winning Tan Dun, Patty Smyth and John Wait (to mention a few), is one of the most versatile, musical drummers on the scene today. Both Anthony and Roggie also bring a fresh new compositional approach to the ensemble (in which, incidentally, each member composes!)

Last but not least, Lake Carmel’s very own Tim Ouimette, who has performed with a “who’s who” of jazz ensembles and artists, actually heard a recording of Batik in rehearsal and expressed great interest in joining the band. Touting performances with jazz luminaries such The Count Basie Orchestra, Ray Charles, Ben E. King and Blood Sweat and Tears, Tim Ouimette brings a very sensitive and informed approach to the group with his unique trumpet sound and diverse writing style.

With all of the players in place, the next obvious step was to record their first album, Vudu, which took nearly two years to assemble in Barry Hartglass’s home studio. The CD features a hauntingly beautiful morning sunrise of Lake Carmel on its cover. Give this exceptionel contemporary jazz album a listen at CDBaby.

Kathy Sanborn – Small Galaxy

Singer-songwriter Kathy Sanborn’s musical goal was to create the feel-good album of 2010, and many contemporary music fans believe she’s succeeded with her new release, Small Galaxy. The cheerful tunes of  Small Galaxy are infectious and fresh. From tap-your-feet tracks like the title song,  Small Galaxy to the inspirational Himalaya, the new album shines with positive vibes. Be Coolin’ is a tropical laid-back pleasure, while Catalunya Breeze captures romance on the Mediterranean Sea. Catch the Wave is a funky, feel-good ride, featuring trumpeter extraordinaire Wayne Ricci.

So how does the songstress feel about producing the “feel-good album of 2010“? Says Sanborn, “I’m glad that Small Galaxy inspires people and makes them happy. Music is a powerful force for change, and I’m excited when people say my songs have made a positive difference in their lives. Believe me, it makes it all worthwhile.”

Source: Pacific Coast Jazz

Pamela Williams – Chameleon

Pamela Williams released her first album on her independent label. She comments: ” This CD is my jewel. It is my 9th CD and my first truly independent project. It took a grueling 2 years to complete and I am proud and relieved at the same time…but mostly overjoyed to see it finally manifest. When an artist pours their heart and soul and vision into a CD which truly reflects who they are musically and artistically, it shows. I chose to call this CD Chameleon not only because I’ve recorded a cover of a famous Herbie Hancock song, but mostly because I feel that it describes me as an Artist.

I’ve always been an Artist of many colors, always changing styles to reflect my creative personality and my admiration for different genres of music. . This also applies to the visual Artist in me as well that most of my fans probably don’t know about me, which is how I came up with the concept for the CD cover, portraying myself half woman/half chameleon….(not an easy feat to have achieved!).

It was wonderful to have total creative control on this CD, musically and visually. This Cd is filled with Contemporary Jazz, (which I call Neo Jazz), Old School Funk, Vocals, R&B, and even some Latin grooves. I hope that my old fans will like it as much as my previous CDs and I hope that I acquire some new fans along the way. Please help support Indie Artists who have not always been able to reap the benefits they have always deserved while being signed to major record labels. As a female saxophonist, it has not always been easy to break the barriers of a field dominated by male saxophonists, but I would like to thank all of my fans for their continued loyal support to help me stay in the game. If you like smooth instrumental grooves, edgy funk, sultry ballads, danceable tracks and just plain old “make you feel good music while you’re cruising down the highway or just kicking back at home”, this cd is one to add to your collection!”

Pamela Williams released her ninth CD featuring a blend of edgy old school funk, neo-jazz, R&B, sultry vocals, sexy grooves, with a little Latin flavor on this spectacular 14 track CD! Available at CDBaby.

Ken Navarro – Dreaming of Trains

Contemporary jazz guitarist Ken Navarro has finished the 19th solo CD of his career, Dreaming of Trains, and will release it on his own Positive Music record label. The nine-song CD runs 51 minutes and has titles such as “Dream So Real,” “True Stories” and “Everything Being Is Dancing.” Navarro closes the CD with an interpretation of French composer Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie No. 1.”

Ken Navarro’s brand new CD Dreaming of Trains will not be available in stores until March 16, but you can order your copy at his website right now. Your order will ship the same day you place it. Ken will personally autograph your copy and you will also receive an autographed photo. Navarro says, shipping of orders will begin on January 13. Dreaming of Trains will not be released at retail outlets until March 16.

This is Ken Navarro’s 19th CD release and is the follow up to his breakthrough release of 2008, “The Grace of Summer Light” which was named the #1 Contemporary Jazz CD of 2008 by Jazz Times magazine. Navarro says the upcoming CD is his best so far. “I am so grateful to you all for following my music, some of you since the very beginning with The River Flows back in 1990. The musical journey continues for me and I hope for you too, and I can’t express the joy of sharing my brand new music with you and my heartfelt thanks for your support …”

Featured musicians include Jay Rowe from Special EFX and the Marion Meadows band, Tom Kennedy from the Al Dimeola band and the Mike Stern band and Joel Rosenblatt from Spyro Gyra. These 9 new recordings are built around strong melodic themes which flow perfectly within each composition. The reason a group of songs with this level of complexity can be so accessible is because they are beautiful, diverse, and there isn’t the dissonance that is often the hallmark of progressive and fusion projects. Complex solos, arrangements and rhythms? Yes. Self serving edginess? No.