Archive for February, 2011

Return To Forever – Forever

During the core of its heyday, the electric jazz fusion band, Return to Forever, featured Chick Corea on keys, Stanley Clarke on bass and Lenny White on drums. The trio returns to glory with Forever, a two-disc set on Concord Records.

Although each musician has a long, distinguished discography as a front man and as a session player with other ensembles, it was during their spirited 1970s association that they made the world stop and take notice. The band got back together in 2008 and, in 2009, went on a world tour, “RTF Unplugged.”

Disc 1 is a sampler of the tour, with all-acoustic performances of some jazz standards, as well as a few Corea compositions, a new one by Clarke and some RTF pieces. Among the selections are standards “On Green Dolphin Street,” “Waltz for Debby,” Corea’s “Bud Powell” and RTF’s “Senor Mouse.”

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Elliot Levine – Smash

Always a smile on his face Elliot Levine is the positive mastermind in many musical formations. He toured with Wilson Pickett and Heatwave and opened for artists like Brian McKnight, Freddie Jackson, McCoy Tyner, and Gerald Albright.

His first solo project was With Light Images (1993), a jazz fusion album. On Urban Grooves (1997) Elliot entered the smooth jazz genre. Later he released Smash (2000), The Funk, The Whole Funk And Nothin’ But The Funk (2004) and Live +7 (2008). All albums are now available at CDBaby.

When Eliot isn’t touring with Heatwave, you can find him performing live entertainment jazz in the City View Bar & Grill, Maryland on Friday and Saturday nights.

His album Smash was released in 2000, when one could download his songs from mp3.com, at this time the leading music site especially for independent artists. Many of the music stations on this site were playing his songs and that way he got more than one million downloads in between a short time.

Time pasts by but meanwhile his album is available again at CDBaby, a good moment to review this remarkable album in our flashback. The album has a good opening with Just Chillin’. Elliot Levine unfolds his elegance on piano, while Pete Jordan adds some smoothness on soprano sax.

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Shawn Brock – Sight UnSeen

Bringing the “diversity” back to contemporary jazz! This 2011 Innervision records debut release from Grammy winning guitarist Shawn Brock hosts the grooves and melodies designed to enhance and entrance you! Sight UnSeen is made up of up tempo, memorable and danceable melodies, as well as great relaxing ballads that will become the instrumental soundtrack of your life.

A brilliant blend of pop, latin, urban and acoustic grooves, tailor-made for the contemporary jazz listener.  Sight UnSeen is now on sale at CDBaby.

Aaron Benson – After the Rush 2011

After The Rush – Re-mastered 2011 is a welcome update to Aaron Benson’s both highly popular and critically acclaimed album. Newly available for worldwide download with the never before released bonus track, Twilight’s Grace, the album recaptures the spirit and vibrancy of the original 2005 release, with that added spark of warmth and excitement that comes from being fastidiously re-mastered to enhance and optimize all the qualities that have made this album a must have for true guitar aficionados and anyone who enjoys music that can set a mood that inspires repeated listening time and time again.

After The Rush – Re-mastered 2011 is now available at CDBaby.

Alexander Kuzmin – A Secret Wish

Alexander Kuzmin is a composer, arranger, multi instrumentalist. He was born and brought up in Sevastopol (the Crimean peninsula) in a jazz musicians family. In his early childhood he started listening to and playing music. He was greatly influenced by his parents’ music and by such bands as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Jaco Pastorius, John Scofield, Joe Zawinul, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, Weather Report, Earth, Wind & Fire, Level 42, Deep Forest, etc.

He got interested in playing the bass and sax and entered a jazz college in Kiev. He participated in various music competitions and jazz festivals. Alexander used to work in some funk-groups and big-bands as a leader and a session musician. He took part in some soloists projects as a composer and arranger.

He comments his new album: Dear Friends! In this new album I wanted first of all to join various kinds of music in a well-balanced way: jazz, R&B, funk, fusion, and of course ethnic and oriental music.

A Secret Wish is now available at CDBaby.

Tony Cimorosi – NY International

Tony Cimorosi is a Bassist, Composer, Producer, Writer and Educator who has been on the NYC music scene for over 30 years playing, recording and touring with internationally acclaimed artist including: Randy Brecker, Baba Olatunji, Michael Wolff, Frank Colon, Walter Bishop Jr., Mike Clark, The Temptations, The Drifters, Bobby Rydel, and Michael Urbaniak. He recently returned from a successful tour to Russia and Siberia sponsored by the US state department and Exxon Mobil with percussionist Frank Colon and the Wild Shamans.

His album NY International was released in 1990 and offers jazz-fusion and contemporary jazz at its best. Now this album is available at CDBaby.

Sound Of Vision – Better Off Live

In 2009, Valerio Cantori and Orlando Machado set the first milestone of their ambitious project, to create a fusion band that could capture the multi-cultural sound of South-Florida. Recorded at the end of Sound Of Vision’s first national tour.

Better Off Live is a synthesis of different music languages, performed by a multi-ethnical group that shares a common passion for the groove. The album offers a blend of contemporary jazz with multi-cultural urban funk and latin rhythms. A unique sound that crosses many stylistics borders.

The new album is available at CDBaby.

 

Nils – What The Funk?

Is it a little wonder that Nils became so popular? No, it’s his unique and signature sound and his dynamic presence producing a well-seen musician on every big festival.

Best known as a smooth jazz guitarist by his solo projects Pacific Coast Highway (2005), Ready To Play (2007) and Up Close And Personal (2009) he now gives his music a new touch for the next generation.

What The Funk? is the question and the title of his new album, which was released in 2010. Most of the tunes are written and arranged by Nils, but he invited some great cats like Oliver Brown (percussion), Alex Al (bass), Reggie McBride (bass), Ricky Lawson (drums), Clydene Jackson (keyboards) and many more to make his album vivid and attractive.

Nils gives us a first impression of the new direction with Shake It. Shake your booty, wiggle and enjoy the music. The Hump continues the catchy mood. C’est la vie!

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Alberto Monnar – On The Move

Alberto Monnar is an 18 year old saxophonist, trumpeter, percussionist, pianist, singer, and bassist. Alberto is what you may call an auto-didactic musician. This means that he has had no professional tutoring of any kind, and he teaches himself. Alberto has recorded with artists like Martita Roca, Argel Rojas, Angel Lucena, Ana Martinez, Vicente Rey, Ley Alejandro, Alex Leon, Ismael Chavez, and Victor Concepcion. Alberto has been deeply interested in music since his childhood.

Now, he has been currently enrolled at New World School of the Arts in Downtown Miami where he is studying for his Bachelor’s Degree in Composition. Today, he still continues to pursue his talents, and hopes to expose everything he knows about music to the world. Alberto comments his debut album: “This CD is a sample of many of the compositions that I have done. The musical styles featured in this album are jazz, pop, salsa, ballads, and mambo. I believe that this album will be the first of many to come, and I hope you will enjoy it.”

On The Move is available at CDBaby.

Pro2Call – First Fruit

Formed in 2000, this collection of industry veterans is ready to take the new millennium by storm. Brought together by a common love for skillfully executed modern sounds, Pro2Call blends the best of smooth, electric and gospel jazz into fresh new directions.

Combining the earthly grooves of soul jazz with laid back mellow harmonies and uptempo hard hitting rhythms, their music takes listeners on a journey that inspires and uplifts.

As Christians, the band’s ultimate goal is to take the same love they have for spiritual worship out onto the concert stage, offering the audience a glimpse of that type of powerful encounter, perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic that separates the group from other artists in the genre. Even through instrumental music one can feel the invisible presence and power of the Spirit.

What can one expect from a live Pro2Call performance? Up-tempo energetic sounds that are cutting edge, where listeners not only see, but engage the true heart of the band. Pro2Call aspires to inspire, as well as entertain. Members of the group have performed with/written for/or produced such luminaries as Eric Benet, Will Smith, Kenny Loggins & Jim Messina, Brandon Fields, Special EFX, Wilton Felder, Kebmo, Dave Koz, Louis Johnson, Donald Byrd, Alvin Bautiste, Justo Almario, Jimmy Smith, as well as recent “Best New Smooth Jazz Artist” nominees JANGO & The Lao Tizer Band.

After spending the last 2 decades lending their talents to other artists Pro2Call is breaking out and helping to reshape the face of contemporary smooth jazz.

Experience their album First Fruit at CDBaby.