Archive for April, 2010

Alan Adams – Testament

Alan Adams grew up in a classical music home, having his first piano lesson at the age of five. Throughout his childhood, he and his family traveled all across the big state of Texas competing in piano competitions and recitals. Living in a musical mecca like Texas that has produced artist such as ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The One O Clock Lab Band, Bugs Henderson, and Pantera to name a few, as well as living near the host town of the most prestigious piano competition in the world, (The Van Cliburn) Alan had a wide range of influences to draw from the past twenty-plus years of composing that would eventually serve him to create a music style all his own. Playing with bands and orchestra’s mostly as a drummer and percussionist in his young adult years, onstage and in studios was exciting, but it was composing and recording music where Alan’s passion grew.

Using only digital keyboard technology, and drawing from his love of Fusion and Jazz artist like Jeff Lorber, Chic Corea, and Herbie Hancock, Classical composers like Beethoven, Scarlatti, and Grieg, and Rock bands like Robin Trower, Grand Funk, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and even Ted Nugent, Alan has put all of those influences into a style of music that makes you forget that you are not listening to a room full of musicians. Living in Texas all his life, Alan has hung his hat now in the Pacific Northwest for the past five years.

For Testament, his third album, Alan Adams used his experiences in becoming born again to create a soulful set of smooth jazz instrumental melodies. You’ll be whistling these songs to yourself well after you turn the music off. As with his first two CD’s, My Notes and Fuel, Alan composed, recorded, and performed all the music that you hear, showing his wide range of talent and exceptional innovative use of digital keyboard technology. A must have in your collection.  Testament is now on sale at CDBaby.

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Sound Of Vision – …Better Off Live

In 2009, Valerio Cantori and Orlando Machado set the first milestone of their ambitious project, to create a fusion band that could capture the multi-cultural sound of South-Florida. Recorded at the end of Sound Of Vision’s first national tour. For more information visit the website of the group.

Better Off Live is a synthesis of different music languages, performed by a multi-ethnical group that shares a common passion for the groove. A blend of contemporary jazz with multi-cultural urban funk and latin rhythms. A unique sound that crosses many stylistics borders. Enjoy it at CDBaby.

Bob Baldwin – Never Can Say Goodbye

June 25th, the day that rocked the music world with the tragic death of the King Of Pop, will mark a day of celebration of the life of Michael Jackson with the release of Never Can Say Goodbye, a fitting title of this thoughtful collection of past to present Jackson hits from contemporary jazz pioneer, Pianist/Arranger Bob Baldwin and speaks of the sentiment felt by millions of fans worldwide. A special radio tribute and promotion will be made available for broadcast, June 25th across the terrestrial, satellite, internet jazz radio spectrum, including his own “NewUrbanJazz Lounge” program.

Having received the blessing of the Jackson estate, and as a followup to previous Jackson hits on previous discs, “Goodbye” is the first jazz record to pay homage to MJ and boasts a sterling handpicked collection of Jackson classics served up Baldwin style. This stirring and feel good tribute to all the man was and the influence he had across the musical spectrum, features original Baldwin reads on the early Jackson 5 hits, the organic “I’ll Be There”, Jackson/McCartney hit “This Girl Is Mine” with a lovely Steve Oliver guitar/scat solo (the first on record) as well as the laid back and soul drenched Temperton classic, “Lady In My Life” (from the “Thriller” vaults) to the funky side with unique touches on “Bad” and the Gamble and Huff classic “Let Me Show You The Way Go”, as well as the highly infectious title track, featuring a cameo appearance from new Fourplay guitarist Chuck Loeb.

“She’s Out of My Life” gets the Nashville treatment, with the soulful guitar riffs ushered in by Special Efx staple Chieli Minucci. The personal Baldwin tribute “Prodigious” is soulful and sensitive, much like his approach to the entire project, while “Don’t Say Goodbye” is haunting and reflective.

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Gerald Albright – Pushing The Envelope

Jazz and R&B icon Gerald Albright is considered to be one of the most innovative and successful artists of the last twenty-five years. With the June 15, 2010, release of Pushing The Envelope on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, Albright’s super cool side is back. With its polished soul/jazz vibe, Pushing The Envelope is a showcase for Albright’s remarkably fine balance of songcraft and musicianship, and features special guest appearances by Fred Wesley on trombone, Earl Klugh on acoustic guitar and George Duke on acoustic piano.

Produced and arranged by Albright, Pushing The Envelope provides the perfect opportunity for this master musician/saxophonist/songwriter to exhibit his skills. He plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flutes, bass guitar, and keyboards, and also handles synthesizer, EWI and drum programming. Albright’s band on most of the album includes keyboardists Tracy Carter and Luther “Mano” Hanes, guitarist Ricky Watford and drummer Ricky Lawson.

The set opens with “What Would James Do?” an irresistibly soulful Albright original and a celebration of the legacy of “The Godfather of Soul.” The track spotlights Albright’s trademark strong chops on saxophones and bass, alongside the distinctive sound of Fred Wesley of the original J.B.’s on trombone.

Albright’s choice of Wesley is part of a natural progression since Maceo Parker and Julian “Cannonball” Adderly were two of his early influences. “I came up with this tune as a tribute to James Brown.” Albright says. “His music was a direct influence on me, and Fred was the obvious choice for a duet on the project.”

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Jeff Lorber – Now Is The Time

By the late 1970s, keyboardist and composer Jeff Lorber had become a prominent figure in the new movement known as jazz fusion – a marriage of traditional jazz with elements of rock, R&B, funk and other electrified sounds. Lorber and his band, the Jeff Lorber Fusion, first honed their craft in the Portland, Oregon, club scene and rapidly expanded their reach to a national and international audience via a combination of complex harmonies, unconventional time signatures and compelling rhythms.

In subsequent years, Lorber dropped the term “fusion” from his billing as the movement evolved into what is currently known as contemporary jazz. Still, he continued to explore the innovative, improvisational potential of grafting other musical forms to the jazz idiom.

More than three decades after his earliest recordings, Lorber has come full circle. His new recording, Now Is The Time, is set for release on June 1, 2010, on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group. The album delves back into his early catalog and reinvents some of the most compelling compositions from the Jeff Lorber Fusion heyday. As a result, the artist once again makes a bold statement in the evolution of jazz.

This new incarnation of the Jeff Lorber Fusion includes luminaries like bassist Jimmy Haslip (who co-produced with Lorber and Bobby Colomby), saxophonist Eric Marienthal, trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Paul Jackson Jr., and drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl.

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Travis Rogers – For Your Love

Travis Rogers, the man behind the scenes for all of Stanley Clark’s performances and studio work, has worked and performed with some of Gospel’s greatest artists, such as The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Shirley Caesar, Canton Spirituals. Travis spent ten years as a member of The Starlights. He is currently the CEO of Godspoke Records.

In addition to Stanley Clarke, Travis has also worked with Lady Gaga, Brandy, Brian McKnight, Montell Jordan, Tamia, Kelly Price, Kiley Dean, Tank, Missy Elliott, 50 Cent, comedian Tommy Davidson, George Duke, Chick Corea, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, Patrice Rushen, Lenny White, Bela Fleck, Jean Luc Ponty, Al Di Meola, Chaka Khan and Philip Bailey.

Stanley Clarke says of Rogers, “I can’t think of an engineer more qualified than Travis – he’s like having a whole staff in one person. Not only is he a proficient engineer and mixer with many albums to his credit, he’s been extremely successful on the business side of the industry as well. On top of that, he’s a good friend.”

For more information about Travis Rogers visit his website. Travis comments his new album: “Featured musicians are Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Chick Corea, Lenny White, Patrice Rushen, and Victor Wooten. I am truly blessed to have these legendary musicians! For Your Love is now on sale at CDBaby.

David Benoit – Earthglow

David Benoit is like Dave Grusin one of the big names of contemporary jazz. Always looking after new sides of music, he creates with Earthglow (2010) anew gripping melodies with addictive potential. Inspired by the breathtaking NASA photo of our planet, which decorates the CD, the content keeps the promise of the impressing cover.

Guest musicians on this album are Rick Braun (trumpet, flugelhorn), Brad Dutz (percussion), Jeff Kashiwa (sax), Pat Kelly (guitars), and Tim Weisberg (flutes). These names indicate, in which direction the ship is sailing: To the endless sea of contemporary jazz.

Starter of the album is Botswana Bossa Nova. Benoit comments: “I loved the world mix of exotic ethnic percussion, African voices along with Brazilian beats…” Connoisseurs of Benoit’s music will certainly recognize the seamless continuation of the style of his earlier period. A great initiator for this impression is David’s genius working on Quincy Jones’ Soul Bossa Nova, a song of timeless attraction.

Will’s Chill sets the counterpart to the previous tune. Modern, contemporary, chilly, the song experiments with the chill-out style of European musicians without neglecting the importance of classic instruments presented by Pat Kelly (acoustic guitar), Jeff Kashiwa (sax) and of course David Benoit on piano.

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