Archive for May, 2011

Various Artists – Jazz Responds: An All-Star Compilation To Benefit Victims Of Human Trafficking

It is estimated that there are 27 million slaves in the world today, which is more than at any other time in history. This shocking statistic is even more compelling when you consider that approximately 1 million of these slaves are children. Many of these children, some as young as five years old, are forced to work as prostitutes in brothels to fuel the Global Sex Trade. Shockingly, this is not an issue relegated to Third World countries – it happens on nearly every continent, including right here in the United States.

So, what can we do about it?

The solution is complex because laws in every country need to be considered, the safety and anonymity of the victims must be considered, and the fact that human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry means there are enemies to those who would try and stop it.

However, there are solutions and you can take part in them. For example, making sure the products you buy are “Slave-Free” helps to curb the demand for slave labor. Being vigilant and knowing what signs to look for when you see young children or foreign workers in seemingly unfamiliar situations is important. Helping to fund groups that are working to rescue and restore victims and punish the perpetrators is crucial to eradicating the issue.

At FACT Alliance, our primary mission is the building of aftercare homes for both international and domestic victims. Studies have shown that, without proper aftercare, rescued victims often end up back in their slave life. There are known victims who could be rescued at this very moment, but they aren’t because there are not enough aftercare facilities to house and care for them. It is our hope to help raise money and partner with other existing organizations to fulfill this great need. By building new homes and supporting existing ones, we can begin to see more victims rescued and restored.

To learn more about the issue and how you can get involved (or to donate more!), please visit us at

All profits will go towards the rescue and restoration of victims of human trafficking and the child sex trade.
12. DAVID PACK– “UNTIL THE TIME” (Exclusive Track)

Support this mission and buy the album at CDBaby.

Dillon Taylor – Guitar Visions

Dillon Taylor is a guitarist based in Pennsylvania. Since he began playing at age 11, he has worked to become a versatile guitarist, playing many styles of music while keeping a foundation of classical guitar technique. With the CD Guitar Visions, he writes 11 instrumental songs using both electric and acoustic guitars. The music spans many genres and moods, all the while staying focused on the quality of the melody and song structure.

A collection of melodic, instrumental guitar -based music that combines many styles and techniques. The 11 tracks borrow elements of Latin, smooth jazz, classical, rock and more. This album is now available at CDBaby.

Fowler And Branca – If Wishes Were Horses Beggars Would Ride

Bob Fowler and Steve Branca‘s music is an eclectic mixture of various genre including Jazz, R&B, Latin, World, and even Country. Listening to their songs one remarks an indisputable affinity to smooth jazz.

Their debut album The Face on Cydonia was released on the Silver Wave Records label in 1991. Etched in Stone followed a year later and then Three Flights Up in 1994. Real Nice Ride was their first independently released CD in 1995. After a long hiatus the music veterans are back with their newest album If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride.

On their new album the duo slightly changed their style to a more up-tempo but really catchy style. Bob Fowler plays basses, guitars, keyboards and drum programming, Steve Branca guitars, mandolin, keyboards and vocals. Guest musicians on some tracks are Kathy Wilson Fowler (vocals), Dean Carrigan (bass, vocals) George Mesterhazy (keyboards, accordion), Marc Adler (flute) and Matt Newsome (vocals).

Some albums are so touching, that one is lucky for the opportunity to listen to the music. If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride is one of those rare magical gems. The title song awakes attention with a mesmerizing mixture of world music, guitar and bass wizardry.


Jay Rowe – Live At Daniel Street

Jay Rowe is a pianist/keyboard player from Milford, Connecticut. He has been performing and recording for the last 20 years with artists such as Nelson Rangell, Marion Meadows, Chieli Minucci and Special EFX, Ken Navarro, Eric Darius, Phil Perry, Angela Bofill, Pat Dinizio, David Mann, Eric Marienthal, Paul Taylor, Chuck Loeb, Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters and F.U. Jazzboy. He also performs as a solo artist and has released 4 cds under his own name which are A Dream I Had (1994), Jay Walking (1997), Laugh Out Loud (2001) and Red, Hot and Smooth (2006).

This is Jay Rowe at his most exciting way he was meant to be recorded-LIVE!!! This cd was recorded on December 12, 2010 at Daniel Street Night Club in Milford, Connecticut. Jay was asked to perform an opening act set before he performed with the headlining legendary contemporary jazz band Special EFX. Joining Jay on this cd is legendary guitarist Rohn Lawrence (Najee, Boney James, Pieces Of A Dream), bassist Dave Livolsi and drummer Trever Somerville. This cd is filled with exciting musical spontaneity and interplay!!

 Live At Daniel Street is now available at CDBaby.

Player A – Our Own Devices

Player A is a new contemporary jazz group that features some of the top studio session players in the Nashville, TN area. Certainly known for it’s country & gospel music industries, music publishing, and famed Music Row, Nashville also boasts the last bastion of consistent studio work for quality players, as well as some SERIOUS jazz talent.

Now on this new release, Player A celebrates the magic world of the process of recording, with Our Own Devices. From the blistering opening tune, “Sleekness”, which features smooth sax man Marcus Anderson, you know this is something special. Next up, Player A gives you a unique and funky version of the Bee Gee’s hit “Staying Alive”. Then we slow down the groove and treat you to a laid back beat, and some smooth piano and guitar with “The Deepest Love”.

Next up is the first national smooth jazz single from Player A, “Coming On”. This is led by Nashville veteran sax man Sam Levine. World class jazz fusion guitarist Tom Hemby takes over the title song “Our Own Devices”, which has a deep Joe Sample vibe. Then bassist Gary Lunn slaps and funks up “Steppin”, a toe tapping c-jazz classic jam with a monster bass solo section.

All the players contribute to “One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward”, a David Benoit like piece that is grand in scope, and also recalls Dave Grusin. Then we go coastal for the Caribbean inspired “Talk About It”, featuring the guitar of Mark Baldwin. And the groove heats up again with “(Hate to Say) I Told You So”, with a sure fire smooth jazz beat, and some funky guitars and keys.

Think you remember the 70’s song “Windy”? Listening to Player A’s version, you may not be sure. It starts out Nintendo, then goes calliope, and ends up as a fusion inspired wild ride. The uptempo “Chiller” is next with Player A driving right down the smooth jazz parkway, with strong solos and leads by all members, including a blistering solo by bassist Gary Lunn. Then Lunn and producer/keyboardist end the album with the soothing bass/electric piano duet of “A Fitting End”.

Our Own Devices  is now released at CDBaby.

Delfeayo Marsalis – Sweet Thunder

In one stroke of brilliance, master trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis pays tribute to both Duke Ellington and William Shakespeare. Such Sweet Thunder (Troubador Jass Records, 2011) recaptures and reinterprets Ellington’s homage to The Bard of Avon.

Although the collection is an attempt to bring classics of the past into the present, these interpretations of Ellington’s suite also stand apart as a new thing, with Marsalis’ stamp. Accompanying him is a variable lineup of musicians, including brothers Branford (soprano sax) and Jason (percussion and drums) Marsalis, pianists Mulgrew Miller and Victor “Red” Atkins, trumpeter Tiger Okoshi and saxophonist Victor Goines.


Michael Gayle – The Michael Gayle Experience

Michael Gayle is a force to be reckoned with in today’s music. He credits his musical inspiration to Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and Roger Jean, who happens to be a personal friend. Michael’s music is reminiscent of the classic musical structure found in songs of the ‘80s with a Caribbean/Jazz-infused style. Michael’s profound love for music is evident in each note he plays, and his dedication to sharing this love with one and all will ensure his musical longevity in an otherwise short-lived industry.

The Michael Gayle Experience is available for purchase. This Instrumental Christian Saxophonist plays smooth Gospel Jazz music that grooves and uplifts your spirit. This unique album offers you a small glimpse into the heart of a man that has a heart for God. If you want to experience something different in Gospel Contemporary Christian music, then this CD is a must have.

 Michael Gayle Experience is now available at CDBaby.

Tito Puente – Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!!

Born Ernest Anthony Puente Jr., master percussionist Tito Puente is highly regarded as a driving force in the marriage between Afro-Cuban music and jazz. Though he died in 2000, his music – and the impact he’s had on others – lives on.

The Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra presents Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!! (Jazzheads, 2011), an hour-plus set of 13 brassy, percussive songs that were written or arranged by Puente. The concert was recorded on November 3, 2008, in the John C. Borden Auditorium at the institution. The album was produced by conductor Bobby Sanabria, who also contributes voice and percussion on selected tracks.

Danny Rivera reconstructed Puente’s arrangement of “Bohemia (Birdland) After Dark,” which features Alex Lopez on tenor sax, Norman Edwards on vibes, Anthony Stanco on trumpet, Eddy Hackett on bongo and Christian Sands on piano. With multiple percussionists on this and other tracks, the song is busy in a notes-per-beat sense. The band’s enthusiasm carries over into the audience, as cheers can be heard at various points.

Read more …

Ron Brown – Urban Jazz Network

The great jazz master Duke Ellington once said that “there are two kinds of music, good and bad,” a simple truism recalled heartily by modern musicians who dare to blend a wide range of styles and influences in a time when radio formats would segregate them. The Duke’s open-minded spirit must have made a resounding impact upon saxophonist Ron Brown, who played with the legend’s Duke Ellington Orchestra at the start of his career in the late 70s.

All these years later, Brown – who launched his own smooth jazz career with the well received From My Eyes Only on Discovery Records – digs deep into the roots of all the genres he’s ever played in to create the innovative and dynamic Urban Jazz Network an ongoing project, with new artists rotating around his sax and production in the way that Urban Knights evolved in recent years around Ramsey Lewis.

Featuring some of the best loved artists and studio performers in R&B, Be Bop, Smooth Jazz, hip hop and gospel, the Urban Jazz Network is more than merely a funky, cool and adventurous melange of soul music.

This album is now available at CDBaby.

Euge Groove – S7ven Large

What makes a great musician? May be that Euge Groove already has recorded his seventh album, but foremost his glooming relationship to the audience. When he performs, he is the vivid center of action. He is the hero of party and fun. A real master of entertainment. No wonder that diva Tina Turner chose him as her sax player during her tour in 2008.

After Sunday Morning S7ven Large is Euge’s second album for Shanachie Entertainment. “The number seven is a very powerful and significant number. God rested on the seventh day, there are seven wonders of the ancient world, seven celestial bodies visible to the naked eye, and many other miraculous instances of the number seven throughout history. On my 7th, I’m hoping that listeners will hear the evolution and growth in my music,” says Euge.

Euge assembled the finest artists of smooth jazz on his new album: Trevor Lawrence and Dan Needham (drums), Tracy Carter (piano, Fender Rhodes), Cornelius Mims (bass), John Jubu Smith and Ross Bolton (guitar), Lee Thornburg (trombone, trumpet) and as special guests Paul Brown, Rick Braun, Peter White, Jeff Golub and Gregg Karukas.

Euge admits that it’s easier to record an album then to name it. Somehow he is joking around, when he calls the starting track Track 1. When you believe, that Najee or Kenny G can blow the most affectionate soprano sax then listen to Euge’s interpretation.

Read more …