Archive for August 1st, 2010

2wo 4our 1ne – 2wo 4our 1ne

Ric Alexander is an award winning Bay Area saxophonist, songwriter/producer, and recently won the Dave Koz Smooth Jazz Cruise Idol Competition. He has toured parts of the world as a sideman with local multi-million selling R&B hit artists: Timex Social Club and Tony Toni Toné. His reputation for playing two saxophones simultaneously with sensual harmonies and jazzy grooves appeal widely to both smooth jazz and R & B listeners.

Currently, Ric has teamed up with Grammy nominated producer Levi Seacer Jr. (former guitarist and music director for Prince & The New Power Generation) and vocalist/songwriter Michelle Hailey to form the group 2wo 4our 1ne and co-produce this new self-titled album. 2wo 4our 1ne features nine originals ranging from the romantic and laid back steppin groove of “K.I.S.S.” (Keep It Simple Steppin), to the spicy Latin Jazz flavored “Kebasa Gupe Dr.” which features percussionist Estaire Godinez.

The soulful mid-tempo “Get Blue” features vocalist Derick Hughes on background vocals and was co-written by Prince and Levi. Their simmering rendition of the Natalie Cole classic “Our Love” captivates the essence of great songwriting. The collaboration of creativity and diversity shared among saxophonist Ric Alexander, guitarist Levi Seacer Jr. and vocalist Michelle Hailey is one of the Bay Area’s “best kept secrets”.

Their energetic live shows allow you a chance to enjoy performances of songs from their newly released Grammy worthy album. Special guests include Tony Lindsay (11-time Grammy winning vocalist with Santana), Nelson Braxton (Braxton Brothers) and Carl Wheeler (Maze featuring Frankie Beverly) who also composed the hit songs “Anniversary”, and “Feels Good” for Tony Toni Toné.  2wo 4our 1ne is now available at CDBaby.

John Blackwell Project – 4ever Jia

This album is about redemption, rebirth and truth, coupled with the musician’s love of their art and the song. It features musicians who have been heard on thousands of CDs playing what they want to play how they want to play it. It features performances from folks who have played with James Taylor, Justin Timberlake, Prince, Carly Simon, Alicia Keys, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Cameo, Hall & Oates and many, many more.

They have played on songs which have formed much of the soundtrack of the last thirty years. For a musician, performance and writing and recording is art, catharsis and just what they do. In the case of this CD, the death of John Blackwell‘s daughter Jia (to whom the album is dedicated), meant that this record was a necessary release of emotion and love.

To achieve that aim, John surrounded himself with like minded musicians who shared the desire to do something different: to tap into the jazz tradition and to play with soul and funk; to draw on personal and musical inspiration; to pay tribute to those who came before and at the same time to leave their own legacy on the musical world. This is a self released CD which always strove to put the music and the musician first and has succeeded in doing so. It pays homage to past trailblazers but never loses its own spirit: a spirit which is unique among much of the music available today. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed playing!

For all friends of jazz funk and jazz fusion my recommendation, listen to this album at CDBaby.