Archive for November 12th, 2010

Steve Cole – Moonlight

Saxophonist Steve Cole is one of the most celebrated players in contemporary jazz, having sold hundreds of thousands of albums worldwide and scored four #1 R&R Smooth Jazz hits. With five CDs in his catalog for Atlantic, Warner Brothers and Narada Jazz, Cole kicks off a new multiple-album deal with Mack Avenue Records/Artistry Music by releasing Moonlight, a collection of classic pop songs and standards set against an orchestral backdrop. The project includes such iconic songs as Burt Bacharach’s The Look of Love, the classic torch song Cry Me a River, Lennon/McCartney’s The Long and Winding Road, the Guess Who’s Undun and James Taylor’s Close Your Eyes.

With his gorgeous, classically trained tone and an ear for lyrical melody, Cole most closely resembles a vocalist, emphasizing interpretive phrasing and direct emotion. On Moonlight, he has found the perfect setting for this bel canto technique-a symphonic orchestra playing inspired arrangements by Michael Cunningham, making his splashy major-label debut as an orchestral arranger. In addition to the strings, the arrangements include tastefully placed harp, woodwinds and tempered brass. The supporting rhythm section is composed of Mike Logan (Will Downing) on keyboards, Russell Ferrante (Yellowjackets) on piano and Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny Group) on bass.

At the heart of this project is the title track, which appeared in the 1995 film Sabrina. “I saw the movie a few years ago and heard that song,” Cole says, “and it was just delightful-after all, it was written by [legendary film composer and arranger] John Williams, and I thought, ‘This has all the elements I’m looking for.’ So I just sort of indexed it away, and when I started thinking about this project, I was searching for music that would be warm and enveloping. That’s when I remembered this song.” (Few others did; this is its debut cover recording). Continue reading

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Brad Rambur – Can’t Put It Down

When two-time Grammy winner Eric Marienthal announces that it’s time to make your first album, you don’t hesitate – you do exactly that! A little under a year later, Can’t Put It Down hits the streets. Released independently on August 19th, 2010, it contains 10 amazing tracks. “Warm,” the lead track, is currently being promoted at Jazz radio stations across the country.

Brad Rambur met Jazz and Fusion legend Eric Marienthal through a mutual friend and jumped at the chance to learn all he could from such an accomplished musician. A bond was forged and Eric stepped into the role of producer and musical director for Can’t Put It Down. Marienthal enlisted the prodigious playing skills and writing talents of Jazz Fusion icon Jeff Lorber and with that, the recording process began. The first track, “Warm,” was co-written by Eric and Jeff. With Brad’s tenor saxophone weighing in on this captivating tune, a hit was born. Rambur had a hand in the composition process, co-writing four of the 10 tracks. One of them, “Danielle,” was inspired by and written for a close friend; it stands out on the CD and has received rave reviews. The album was recorded in part at the La Costa Spa and Resort in Carlsbad, with additional recording done at Jeff Lorber’s recording studio in Los Angeles and locally in Rambur’s hometown of San Diego.

The launch party on August 19th was held at the beautiful La Costa Spa and Resort and hosted by morning DJ Mike V. of the powerhouse Jazz station 98.1 KIFM. The 500 or so guests enjoyed performances by Rambur and his band, with Eric Marienthal as special guest artist. Continue reading

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