Archive for June 5th, 2010

Oli Silk – The Limit’s The Sky

Fans of U.K.’s smooth jazz scene will remember Oli Silk as part of the group Sugar and Silk. Danny Sugar (bass guitar) and Oli Silk (keyboards) had two albums to their credits, Fact or Friction (2000) and Duality (2002).

While Danny Sugar became a designer and does lots of designs and all the artwork for Oli’s album, Oli Silk started his solo career with his debut album So Many Ways (2006), followed by the album The Limit’s The Sky in 2008. Both albums were released on Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm Records.

Oli also produced James Vargas’ debut album (2004) and Jaared’s album Addiction (2008). Oli Silk has just begun the recording of his third album, which is scheduled for release August, 31st 2010.

A good reason to listen to his previous album The Limit’s The Sky. The title track opens the album with Jaared’s dirty, gritty sax intrusion served in a turntable scratch set. Peppered with that flavor Silk’s piano performance sounds fresh and contemporary.

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Stanley Clarke – The Stanley Clarke Band

Unlike his previous acoustic bass releases, Stanley Clarke feels that this album’s music is fresh and different from just about anything he’s done before. Produced by Clarke and Lenny White, the range of collaborative material on The Stanley Clarke Band has allowed him to venture to new levels of experimentation, utilizing his arsenal of bass instruments. Clarke compares this new release to the first three albums of his solo career: Journey to Love, Stanley Clarke, and School Days, with long extended electric pieces that take the listener on a kind of journey.

“Technically, it’s a Stanley Clarke record, but it’s very much a band-oriented record at the same time,” says Clarke. “I may be the leader, but everyone played an important role in what emerged. If a project like this can be looked at like a ship, I’d be the one steering the ship and keeping everybody on course. But all hands were definitely on deck, and everyone played an important role in getting us to our destination.”

Also a new foray for Clarke, the album includes original compositions from members of the band. He is joined by Stanley Clarke Band keyboardist Ruslan Sirota and drummer Ronald Bruner, Jr. – who have been performing and recording with him for the better part of five years. Innovative young musicians, they have virtually grown up in Clarke’s band and bring a freshness he admires. Following 2009’s highly-acclaimed Jazz In the Garden, this is featured artist Hiromi Uehara’s second Clarke recording collaboration. Clarke’s rugged and complex bass work serves as the ideal foil for her trademark fiery and expressive piano chops, as reflected through critics’ praising it as “a superb trio effort” (Bass Player) and “one of the best jazz CDs of the year” (San Jose Mercury News).

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