Archive for April, 2011

Nelson Riveros – Camino Al Barrio

Nelson Riveros has just released his first CD titled Camino Al Barrio. It is a Contemporary-Jazz recording with diverse Latin influences. It features the talents pianist Hector Martignon (Ray Barreto, Gato Barbieri, Paquito D’Rivera), bassist Armando Gola (Arturo Sandoval, Alejandro Sanz) , Ernesto Simpson (Arturo Sandoval, Richard Bona) , Samuel Torres (Arturo Sandoval, Richard Bona, Tito Puente) . As well as special guests, Christos Rafalides on vibes and Andres Garcia on 12-string Colombian Tiple.

The reason that I wanted to record this CD came from my desire to have people listen to and experience the music that I had written throughout my time living in the different New York City boroughs’. I had played this music with many great musicians around the city. The final stops of my path were written in the last ‘hood’, which was East Harlem ‘El Barrio’. I heard many inspiring sounds in my 4 years living there, and for this reason I called this CD “Camino al Barrio”

Blue Cha-Cha was written while studying Jazz composition in college. It was based on Horace Silver’s music and has my Wes Montgomery influence. Los Primos is a combination of Contemporary style melody with a Bambuco rhythm from Colombia enhanced with the traditional Tiple which is a 12-string guitar. Camino Al Barrio, has a Bomba rhythm from Puerto Rico in the A section changing to a more Afro-Cuban vibe in the bridge. Mis Amores is a duo with vibraphonist Christos Rafalides. It was written for my wife and daughter. Continue reading

Chuck A. Gentry – Back 2 Basix

Chuck A. Gentry began his professional music career as lead guitarist for a popular Baltimore-based band, the first self-contained African/American band to be signed by MCA Records (1975) joining the roster of artists like Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Olivia Newton- John, and Lynard Skynard. By the age of 17 his fondness for piano became a reality when he taught himself to play and opened up a new world of composing and arranging.

From his hungry club band days in Baltimore and D.C., Chuck relocated to L.A where he performed guitar studio session work interspersed with several years touring the world with internationally known top-40 groups such as the Bee Gee’s (via The Sweet Inspirations) and Shalamar. He did significant studio work with Motown Records artists and worked on projects for producers such as Leon Sylvers, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, in addition to working on more than hundreds of projects with various artists, producers, writers, and/or arrangers.

In 1987, he signed with A&M Records and joined the roster with Janet Jackson, Barry White, Sting and released “Just Havin Fun.” The group The Fit, (the collaborative name of Chuck and singer Vince Ebo) sold extremely well on both adult contemporary and r&b charts and whose video “Just Havin Fun” held strong in the top 20 countdown on both B.E.T.’s video soul (with Donnie Simpson) as well as VH-1 was the most requested for it’s time frame.

While Chuck’s musical style has always been known for funk, rhythm-n-blues and rock, his versatility has allowed him to work with artists as varied as jazz greats George Duke and Stanley Clarke and pop music sensations of the 70s and 80s, The Jacksons. His personal style has been shaped by artists like: Earth, Wind & Fire, Ramsey Lewis, Sergio Mendez, James Brown, Burt Bacharach/Hal David, Paul McCartney, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Bob James, George Duke, Earl Klugh, Sly Stone and others. In addition, Chuck has recorded with artists such as Stephanie Mills, Cheryl Lynn (Encore single), David Benoit, Klymaxx, Jeffrey Osborne, The Temptations (Reunion album), saxophone great the late Junior Walker (Blow the House Down album), Dave Koz, Jeff Lorber and more. Chuck’s musical focus has evolved into a preference for old school r&b and the smooth fusion guitarists of artists like Eric Gale, Lee Ritenour and David T. Walker.

Back 2 Basix is Chuck’s quintessence of his musical career compiled for smooth jazz lovers at CDBaby.

Patrick Bradley – Under The Sun

What is the recipe for a successful album? Elect Jeff Lorber as your executing producer, write some intelligent arrangements and let them play by musicians like Dave Koz, Eric Marienthal, Rick Braun, Dwight Sills, Michael Thompson, Alex Al, Nate Phillips, Tony Moore, Dave Weckl, David Mann and Irene B.

Southern California native Patrick Bradley uses this recipe for his second album Under The Sun, which was released April 26th, 2011. Patrick comments: “The idea behind this record is to enjoy life and celebrate all it offers during the brief time we have under the sun. No matter what life dishes up, we should keep our dreams alive and pursue our passion, hopes and aspirations.

The last few years have been challenging for all of us as we find ourselves in times of change and uncertainty. Seasons of change hit home for me personally when my parents passed away. I found myself in a period of reflection. These songs were written in times of joy, sorrow and triumph, yet with an eye on eternity. Life is speeding by. My hope is that we all will take the time to prioritize and tend to the important things and important people and relationships, and not just chase the mad pursuits of this life.”

Read more …

Superior Edwards – Trippin’

Superior Edwards started playing piano when he was eight years old. He was brought up in a lineage of great musicians from his father and mothers side and was named Superior by his father as a self fulfilling prophecy. He started playing in church and by age 12 he was the minister of music for the youth department of Pilgrim Baptist Church. By the age of 16 he was touring around the world with well known artists like Father MC, Jodeci, Brandy, and Mary J. Bilge.

Superior has gone on to share the stage with such greats as The Drifters, Nelly, Mariah Carey, Donnie McClurkin, Al Jarreau, Will Downing, Rev. Timothy Wright, the Winans family, and many other well known names in both R&B, gospel, and jazz.

Trippin‘ is a knock-out Smooth Jazz album featuring classic songs, great vocals and outstanding players. We found it at CDBaby.

Patrick Bradley – Under The Sun

Thanks to Rick Scott of Great Scott Productions, I have a copy of keyboardist Patrick Bradley’s second album and I’ve taken a look at Patrick’s website to find out more about the man and his music.

Patrick is a self-taught musician who was born in and resides in Southern California. He is eager to perform music from “Under the Sun” live. As I said, this is his second album, following 2007’s “Come Rain or Shine”.

On the chunky opener ‘Straight Path’ I can already draw parallels with the work of co-producer Jeff Lorber. The staccato right-hand piano work over this busy bassline and sharp snare crack gets the head nodding. David Mann’s horn arrangement adds that extra touch of pizzazz.

Tony Moore on drums keeps things moving at a cracking pace on ‘Into the Sunset’ which I love particularly for the chorus section. The use of keyboards and guitar together in this section is very uplifting and I also like the way a kind of mystical Eastern feel creeps into the song just over halfway through. When the song reverts to the chorus again, that hook feels like an old friend. This song really is a grower.

Read more … 

Westbound – Gone for a walk

Westbound’s brand new album Gone for a walk (2011) has been produced and arranged in collaboration with one of the most prominent musician in the California smooth jazz scene: bassist/songwriter and producer Roberto Vally, whose collaborations with Paul Brown, Bob James, Bobby Caldwell, Randy Crawford, Eric Darius, Jessy J and many, many others made him one of the leading musicians in the format.

Cristian and Enrico first met Roberto in Los Angeles in 2003 and, right after spending some time together in L.A., they had the willing of working together, despite the long distance.

This friendship led to Gone for a walk, a perfect blend of smooth jazz songs, from the funk flavoured opening track “Here I am”, to the smooth “Hollywood nocturne”, from the tasty, sexy title track “Gone for a walk”, with the special appearance of Rick Braun on trumpet, to the sunny, brazilian tinted “Bahia”, featuring flutist Paola Ceretta, and the Westbound instrumental tribute to the classy Al Green’s “Let’s stay together”.

The line up is completed by some of the most talented musicians in the north Italy area, where Cristian and Enrico are based: Fidel Fogaroli, Lino Sabbadini, Giancarlo Zucchi, Roberto Battini on keyboards and Bernardo “Sancho” Sangiuliano on congas

Guitarist Cristian Rocco and drummer/percussionist Enrico Catena begun their collaboration in 2001, after more than a decade of playing, as session musicians, with various and different artists in Italy and abroad.

The great passion for smooth jazz, and for what Cristian and Enrico use to refer to as “the California Sound”, is strong, since they’ve always been influenced during their music career by such artists as Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, David Benoit – and every production from the legendary record label GRP back in the ’80s and ’90s.

So in 2003 they decide that the time to realize what has been a life-long dream and ambition has come.

This passion created Westbound.

In 2006 their debut album as Westbound, “Miles away”, gathered very positive reviews as well as several spins on radio stations such as Smoothjazz.com.

The friendship and the collaboration with L.A. bassist/producer Roberto Vally created their second album, Gone for a walk, featuring Rick Braun. Now available at CDBaby.

Matthew Kiernan & G-Bop – First Fruits

The band’s featured musician, trumpeter Matt Kiernan, effortlessly glides from the rapid riffs of traditional jazz to the soaring smooth melodies of smooth jazz. Kiernan is no newcomer to the music scence. He has studied, trained, paid his dues and established himself as a potent musician with over 20 years of professional experience.

Keyboardist Ceylon Wise has not been at it as long as Kiernan, but he’s catching up quickly not only as a performer, but also as a composer. His writing style has great range varying from passionate ballad melodies to riffs so funky they would make a skunk turn up his nose.

Bassist Lamonte David is a slapping, popping, six string bass machine. He is a true well rounded musician fluent several instruments including bass, piano, organ, and drums. Every instrument Lamonte touches turn to gold.

Drummer Greg Owens is the youngest member of the band. What he lacks in age, Owens makes up in sheer skill and talent. Greg lives in “the pocket” and always knows exactly when to mix it up and shine. When Owens is on the throne, every strike of the drum enhances the song.

These newcomers are a little bit smooth, a little bit jagged, a little bit classic, a little bit cutting edge, a little bit mainstream and a little bit out the boat! First Fruits delivers funky riffs, soaring melodies and passionate ballads. Check it out at CDBaby!