Archive for October, 2010

U-Nam – Live @ Anthology

Paris born guitarist Emmanuel Abiteboul, better known as U-Nam, started his career with the debut album The Past Builds the Future on the Trippin’N’Rhythm record label in 2005. In 2007 his sophomore album Back From the 80’s received rave reviews by many Internet websites. With his third album Unanimity (2009) he built up his popularity.

This year U-Nam shined as one of the most in-demand guitarists on several concerts and festivals. The new DVD Live @ Anthology captures a live concert on March 24, 2010 at the well known location in San Diego, CA.

Anthology has become one of San Diego’s premier upscale dining rooms. On stage, Anthology plays host to renowned local and international musicians in Jazz, Classic Rock, Blues, Latin and World music.

The DVD surprises with an overwhelming title-art, intro and menu presenting a helicopter fly over skyscrapers, which display different oversized views of U-Nam. U-Nam’s band include drummer Tony Moore, bassist Darryl Williams, keyboardist Kim Hanson, saxophonist and flutist Shannon Kennedy.

Read more …

Zaza Marjanishvili – Zazanova

Born in the Republic of Georgia, Zaza Marjanishvili has played and composed music as long as he can remember. At the age of five, he toured Europe and the Soviet Union playing the drums with an all children’s band, composed of only the highest musically talented children in his country. It wasn’t until the age of six that he looked to the piano, discovering its range and commencing his formal studies. A desire to know, compose and orchestrate sounds led him to master the piano, as well as guitar, bass percussion and drums.

The political and economic instability of his country created a vacuum for access to contemporary musical influences and Zaza was forced to develop his own style. It wasn’t until the age of fourteen that he heard his first contemporary jazz album, “My Spanish Heart”, performed by Chick Corea. He embraced this sound which evoked his passionate interest in modern jazz and artists such as Jaco Pastorius and Pat Metheny. A strong interest in film scores lead him to admired composers like Nino Rota and Ennio Marricone, who inspired and affirmed his intentions.

From 1986 to 2007, Zaza’s professional record includes composing, arrangements, producing, playing piano and keyboards at concerts, music festivals, and club venues in Tbilisi, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vienna, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Zaza’s sublime interest in human emotions, coupled with a gift for other forms of art prompted him to complete by the age of twenty four, entire musical scores for three theater productions and four motion pictures. His compositions have also been solicited for television programs throughout Georgia, Russia, Europe and the United States.

Zaza is currently collaborating in the art of music-composing and performance. Inspired by his many journeys, he is currently recording another contemporary jazz album. His goals are to continue to score for films, theater, cable and television and to work with other dedicated musicians, producers and directors on a global level.

Experience Zazanova at CDBaby.

Quincy Bullen – On Q

On Q is Quincy Bullen‘s first solo album. Produced by his juno award winning father, Eddie Bullen, the album is a collection of original songs highlighting Quincy’s composing and piano skills. There is a funky and cool vibe to this album. Following on the heals of Quincy’s successful album with the Quintessential Boys, he has finally come into his own to display the talent that is part of his family legacy. The album also features Quincy’s funky take on the John Coltrane classic, Giant Steps.

Quincy (on piano and keys) is joined by a great group of musicians on his first solo album, On Q. On drums: Larnell Lewis, Bass, Andrew Stewart, Etric Lyons and Alex Toth, Guitar: Lucian Gray, Sax: Rob Christian, Flute: Rob Christian, Trumpet: Bryden Baird.

On Q is now on the turntable of CDBaby.

Michael Fair – Funk In The Trunk

Michael Fair describes himself as a leader in the smooth jazz genre, specialized in the performance of flugelhorn and trumpet. After his debut album Love Me Like That (2002) followed his albums How Close Are We (2003) and Back For More (2006). His newest album is entitled Funk In The Trunk and was just released at CDBaby.

Michael teamed again with Grammy nominated writer/producer Brandon Barnes. Both wrote all songs except the songs Find Your Way Back and Wichita Lineman. Michael invites us into his world of music with Danza Del Verano. With the warm sound of his trumpet he conjures the picture of an Italian couple swinging in romance.

The uplifting Good To Be With You melts trumpet and synth to an easy going jam. Tell Me Why brings some melancholy into the mix. With expanded tones Michael creates an evocative atmosphere.

Read more …

Jim Brickman – Home

As the best selling solo pianist of our time, Jim Brickman’s music has given us “Faith,” “Hope,” “Joy” and created a “Beautiful World.” With his new CD, released exclusively for Target Stores nationwide through Somerset Entertainment the week of October 11, America’s piano sensation takes us Home, with a breathtaking collection of 18 original country-flavored songs, including four bonus tracks.

“Thank You,” (featuring American Idol’s 8th season fifth place finalist Matt Giraud’s soulful vocal), is the first single release and follows Jim’s previous two consecutive #1 singles, “Beautiful World,” with Adam Crossley and “Never Alone” featuring Lady Antebellum. A song inspired by Jim’s fans, “Thank You” shares a universal message that’s memorable. Jim states: “All these years, the fans applause has meant thank you to me! When they listen to the words, I hope each one knows this song was written especially for them.”

Jim Brickman’s signature style of playing and songwriting has earned him six Gold and Platinum selling albums, 29 charted adult radio hits, Grammy® nods in 2003 and 2009, two SESAC “Songwriter of the Year” awards, a Canadian Country Music Award and a Dove Award, presented by the Gospel Music Association. He has established a reputation for hit collaborations with many gifted musical artists crossing all genres, including: Martina McBride, Gerald Levert, Kenny Loggins, Carly Simon, Herb Alpert, Collin Raye, Pam Tillis, Michael Bolton, Sara Evans, Donny Osmond and Olivia Newton-John. For HOME, in addition to Matt Giraud, Jim features HLN anchor Robin Meade appropriately on the track “Welcome Home,” which was written for our troops returning from deployment. Continue reading

Pete Levin – Jump!

With a career defined by expertise with electronic keyboard instruments, it’s difficult to imagine Pete Levin playing French horn. Early in his career, he filled that seat in the Gil Evans Orchestra. After bringing a Moog synthesizer to a gig, Levin not only changed course but also led to that band’s evolution into an electric/acoustic hybrid.

Levin is a veteran session and live keyboardist. He has created electronic sounds for television ads as well as movies, including Missing in Action, Lean on Me and Silver Bullet. His associations of jazz and pop artists include Paul Simon, Annie Lennox, Miles Davis, David Sanborn and Wayne Shorter.

For Jump!, Levin plays the Hammon B-3 organ. His core trio consists of guitarist Dave Stryker and drummer Lenny White. Percussionist Manolo Badrena appears on a few tracks. And for the closing piece, Stryker and White are replaced by Joe Beck and Danny Gottieb.

Read more …

Fourplay – Let’s Touch The Sky

When a band deserves the title supergroup, than it’s Fourplay. The group exists since more than 20 years. Their current members are keyboardist Bob James, drummer Harvey Mason, bassist/vocalist Nathan East and guitarist Chuck Loeb, who replaced Larry Carlton this year.

“All four of us have been in this business long enough to know that there’s always pressure to compromise, and we don’t want to do that,” says James. “We don’t want to end up in the middle of the pack. We always aim to be leaders, and take the music to another level and raise the standards higher. I think the music on this new record, thanks in large part to Chuck’s early contributions – and to the ongoing team spirit of the band as a whole – is very much a reflection of that philosophy.”

Their new album is entitled Let’s Touch The Sky and an expression of this attitude. Bob James closes with the starting title song the gap to his own solo projects reflecting over the style of his early years and his fellow musicians follow him on this journey. Chuck Loeb excels on guitar in an exquisite ornamentation. Fourplay is back.

Read more …

Walter Beasley – Backatcha!

According to his website Walter Beasley is the highest selling full-time Professor/Recording Artist in modern history. He describes himself as musical “Renaissance Man” for the modern generation or the heir to Grover Washington Jr.’s throne. Now we should be impressed.

Behind these titles you find a man, who has devoted his life to music. A man, who walked through ups and downs and has found his inner peace. Beasley’s success as an educator is his seven-day a week work ethic. “I’m in love with my work and this wonderfully crazy work ethic.” No wonder, that he surprises us with a new album nearly every year.

His new album is entitled Backatcha! and will be available Oct. 28, 2010. Walter comments: “There are no words to express how I feel about the new album. This in my opinion is my best studio project ever. Thanks to all for everything.”

Walter Beasley is joined on this project by multi-instrumentalist Chris Davis, who produced and performed on most of the tracks, further musicians are Phil Davis (keys), Sonny Emory (drums), Sam Sims (bass), Sean Michael Ray (bass), Derrick Cummings (guitar), Carl Carter (bass), Wayne Bruce (guitar), Tommy Copeland (guitar) and Tiffany Davis (background vocals).

The album could be entitled Under The Covers, because Beasley like Peter White has made the covers quasi to an art form. So he starts the album with Bill Withers’s megahit Lovely Day. A high appealing song showcasing Walter Beasley in his best role as singer. As Walter says, the melody speaks to you. Remember his early success as singer with Don’t Say Goodbye and he never loose this gift.

Read more …

Wayman Tisdale – The Fonk Record

After a stellar career that produced eight top-selling jazz CDs and one gospel project, prepare yourself for a different side of Wayman Tisdale—one that was 12 years in the making!

It’s The Fonk Record featuring 11 original songs, Tisdale’s own funky vocals and a crew of down-and-dirty musicians, The Fonk Record also boasts three guest stars with extensive funk résumés—George Clinton, George Duke and Ali Woodson.

To those who knew him best, it seemed only natural that Tisdale would craft a funk project. “He always wanted to make funk music,” says Derek (DOA) Allen, who produced The Fonk Record and was one of Tisdale’s closest friends. “People are going to see a whole ‘nother side of Wayman on this record—he was on a mission to play as hard and funky as he could.”

Tisdale confided in Allen that a funk project was something he always wanted to do. At first it was a playful joke with a few demos here and there. Inspired by great funk artists like Bootsy Collins and Robert Wilson of the Gap Band, Tisdale created his own funky moniker: Tiz and named his band The Fonkie Planetarians. His power source came from Stinky the Sock! Those who were lucky enough to catch Tisdale in concert got a glimpse of his alter ego when he’d perform 20 to 30-minute funk-filled interludes during his jazz shows. “If you saw it, you knew it was the most explosive part of his show,” Allen says. “That’s when the party got started!” Continue reading

Marc Antoine – My Classical Way

It starts with toe tapping… By the second chart, your fingers will likely join your tapping toes. Marc Antoine‘s recent CD release, My Classical Way on Frazzy Frog Music, draws in the listener irresistibly. He quickly transports you to the warm sensual breezes of his smooth jazz renditions. These tracks are familiar melodies of classical heavy hitters like Bach, Debussy, Paganini and Vivaldi.

A whimsical and joyful, Paris born Antoine draws heavily on his traditional classical background at Conservatoire de Paris for a solid understanding and delivery of each composer’s intention and personality, deftly translated to the lilting language of 2010 smooth jazz.

The unmistakable, sonorous influence of classical guitarist and mentor, Andres Segovia, winds subtly in and out of the charts, particularly through his rendition of Paganini’s Caprice #24.

The call and response pattern using the initial phrase of Pachelbel’s Canon in a traditional sounding orchestration allows Antoine to use the “straight” version as a counterpoint for his interpretive creativity. Listen closely as it fades in and out of the background seamlessly and perfectly yet surprisingly timed.

Read more …