Archive for July, 2010

Jackiem Joyner – Jackiem Joyner

Jackiem Joyner is ready for his Hollywood close-up. It’s already been a big year for the multidimensional sax player both professionally and personally. Dramatic events offstage have inspired his work in the spotlight while his passion for movies has influenced the songs, sounds and textures used in the creation of his third album, a self-titled disc that arrives as Joyner is poised to become a top-of-the-marquee smooth jazz star.

Like a silent film, Jackiem Joyner tells a story without words, with an instrumental voice that for the first time in the artist’s recording career includes a tenor sax in addition to his trademark alto and soprano horns. He also plays most of the other instruments on the album. As on his previous releases—Lil’ Man Soul and babysoul—Joyner wrote, produced, recorded and mixed the record aside from a few select cover tunes.

Sonically and compositionally, the collection reflects artistic progress and evolution while remaining true to Joyner’s core sound. Thematically, the moods and tones are varied, yet at their essence they are deeply rooted in the rich soil of soulful expression and raw emotion. Rhythmically, Joyner audaciously explores complex, astute and frenetic beats. Joyner explains, “Ever since I was 12 in my mom’s house, I’ve been drumming on walls, tapping out rhythms with spoons and beating on anything that I can. I still have that habit today. I always hear beats in my head; it’s intriguing to see where they take me.

“The whole record is about writing and making the type of record that I wanted to make. It’s me putting whatever I want on the album. I’m happy working with Mack Avenue because they gave me complete freedom to create. You can really hear me right upfront and my music. My first two albums were titled after my nicknames, but now it’s just me front and center for the entire world to see, which is why I decided to go with a self-titled album.”

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Greg Manning – The Calling

Former keyboardist and music director for GRAMMY® Award-nominated artist Jonathan Butler, announced the worldwide iTunes release of his highly anticipated solo project titled, The Calling. This fresh and innovative album of masterfully crafted tunes features the talents of Keb’Mo’, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, and smooth jazz artist Mindi Abair.

The convergence of jazz, funk, and soul intertwined with musical inspiration from such artists as Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock, are blended with Manning’s precise timbre and smooth vocal technique to create a signature sound that is simplistically complex and unique in texture.

The Calling is not just an album, but also a journey of life’s influences compiled into a rich CD that is as soulful as it is spiritual and relevant. “I wanted the project to be a great, coherent, accessible CD and not some hybrid thing that doesn’t please anybody fully,” Greg Manning says.

Manning has toured with several artists including Brian McKnight, Kirk Whalum, Will Downing, Richard Elliot, Gerald Albright, Chante Moore, and Mindi Abair. Manning is a Berklee College of Music alum and an amalgam of cultures. He was born in Nigeria, raised in Switzerland, and currently resides in Los Angeles with his family. He is a three-time certified platinum producer for Universal Music Switzerland, and has had several Swiss Chart toppers since 1996.

There is much to be said about this talented artist, Greg Manning, but it would only take away from what his music has to say. Shows are planned this month. The CD is available at iTunes.

Mike Phillips – MP3

Mount Vernon native Mike Phillips is since several years an integral part of the label Hidden Beach Recordings. Phillips’ debut album, You Have Reached Mike Phillips, was released by Hidden Beach in May 2002. In 2005 followed his sophomore album Uncommon Denominator. You can also listen to his signature sax on Hidden Beach’s serial Unwrapped Vol. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7.

But Mike is far more creative. He performed on Experience: Jill Scott 826+ (2001), Stevie Wonder’s A Time To Love (2005), or Tom Braxton’s Bounce (2005), to name a few. His newest project is MP3, which is scheduled for release July 27th, 2010. All pre-ordered CDs will be signed by the saxophonist himself as way of saying thank you. So visit Hidden Beach’s online store.

Mike Phillips plays the lead on sax joined by Freddy Colon and Munyungo Jackson (percussion), Joel Whitney and Stanley Cooper (guitar), and Nate Jones (bass). The album is produced by J.R. Hutson, Jamie Hawkins, JaMal, Keith Crouch, Q Coleman and Eric Wesley, who also performed on major parts of the project. Outstanding guest-musicians are Stevie Wonder, Marcus Miller, Natalie Stewart, Lauren Evans, and Norman Brown.

Mike had the idea for the title of his new album in 2002, when the format MP3 and MP3.com came into full flower. While on stage with Prince and Stevie Wonder, Mike built on his imagination of his third project, a collection of contemporary jazz and R&B.

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Benny Sharoni – Eternal Elixir

Tenor saxophonist Benny Sharoni debuts in style with Eternal Elixir, his first recording as a leader. Born in Israel to a Chilean mother and Yemeni father, he was inspired by the music of Sonny Rollins and Steely Dan.

Sharoni is accompanied by trumpeter Barry Ries, pianists Joe Barbato and Kyle Aho, guitarist Mike Mele, bassist Todd Baker and drummer Steve Langone.

“French Spice” is appropriately titled. Mixed up like a fine salad, the blended horns add a zesty flavor to this piece. It’s an energetic, fun piece that reflects the mood of the recording as a whole. Solos by trumpet, piano and tenor enhance this Donald Byrd composition.

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Oli Silk – All We Need

International Artist of the Year Nominee producer/keyboardist Oli Silk steps back into the fray and elevates the bar with  All We Need marking his third and most auspicious musical offerings to date. The old adage ‘third time’s a charm’ comes to mind as Silk ramps up the fun and the funk with this infectious assemblage of sparkling originals that truly showcase his burgeoning talent.

Silk lays the grooves fat and funky on tracks like ‘LA to London (The Return Journey)’ sets a strong hook on ‘Get Out Claws’ a piece that boasts the classic Bob James Rhodes sound and sure to be a hit. ‘Latin Haze’ smokes up guitar licks supplied by Marc Anotine, the track ‘Tokyo’ brings trumpeter and label mate, Cindy Bradley out front and center for a fun and infectious romp and rounding out the set Shannon Pearson wraps her silky smooth voice around the R&B gem ‘Didn’t Know About Love,’ which could very well find a home at Urban AC. Pure pleasure from across the pond!!

Having established himself as a fixture on the American Smooth Jazz radio and touring scene with his prior Trippin N’ Rhythm projects, Silk may well want to begin speaking with a real estate agent as ‘All We Need’ will surely elevate the demands for his time and talents here on American soil.

Source: Trippin N’ Rhythm

Chris Mann Interviews Brian Culbertson

CM – Brian I’ve been a fan of yours since about 1995 and a HUGE fan since I was lucky enough to catch you at the Capital Jazz Fest in 1999.

BC – Oh nice!

CM – I remember it was a great show. I think you played on the Sunday – maybe even the first set – and everybody was revved up and raring to go while you guys were doing the sound check, so we could see how it was going to go.

BC – All right!

CM – I caught you on Twitter this morning and I’ve noticed while I’ve been researching that you have a very strong web presence, Brian.

BC – Well I’ve tried to be on there as much as I can. Really we have these tools now as artists to be able to connect directly with the fans and we’ve never really had that before so there’s a whole new way of being connected and self marketing I guess. I love it because you don’t have to wait on the big record company machine to spin their big wheel and take a month to do anything.

This way I get to go direct – it’s instant! It’s a lot of instant feedback which I actually love.

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Konstantin Klashtorni: Kool & Klean – Volume I

koolkleanA musical adventure that has already taken Konstantin Klashtorni half the way around the world has now resulted in his latest CD Kool & Klean Volume I.

This great studio project is featuring Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Konstantin known by his earlier albums Downtown, Led By You, Smoothing and Let’s Get It On. The Volume I is starting a new series of easy and commercial attractive music. This is the crossover between Smooth Jazz and Electronica with some elements of Chill Out music.

Give it a listen at CDBaby.

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