Archive for May 10th, 2010

Paul Hardcastle – Jazzmasters VI

Billboard Magazine’s 2008 Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year, prolific producer/multi-instrumentalist Paul Hardcastle, releases the much anticipated volume VI in his immensely popular Jazzmasters series, a vehicle that helped him re-launch his career in the early ’90s, made him a household name and has garnered him legions of rabid fans worldwide.

It’s been 19 years since the release of Jazzmasters I, a pet project that became a format game changer in its initial release and one that has defined a music style that has yet to be copied. VI marks the entity’s ambitious return to the fold and continues to raise the bar with a grouping of highly charged melodic and memorable pieces that have become the Hardcastle/Jazzmasters signature over the last two decades.

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Julian Vaughn – The Purpose Project

The unique stylings of solo bassist Julian Vaughn are born of a love for the smooth jazz genre. The Kansas City native takes from his historic surroundings, long known for its important contributions to jazz, and adds his youthful yet soulful style to create his debut CD entitled The Purpose Project.

Vaughn is a self-taught bass player. Born March 3, 1980 the musician grew up in the church where his grandfather pastored until turning over the reins to Vaughn’s father. Like other kids at the church, he began his music career playing the drums, but says, “Trying to play the drums at church was like ten football players going after a fumble. Everyone wanted to play.”

Years went by and the fight over the drums got old. At 15 Vaughn decided to try a different instrument. He picked up a bass guitar that another man in his church was playing and immediately fell in love. This was truly love at first sight. Vaughn was blessed with the ability to play by ear. He soon discovered how to play songs and special techniques.

One day Vaughn found his father’s Najee cassette “Tokyo Blue.” He listened, this was the first time he had heard smooth jazz, and fell in love again. He was hooked. To this day “Tokyo Blue” remains his favorite jazz recording.

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