Archive for June, 2011

Eugene K – Magenta Green

Eugene K is a UK based musician. He was born in Russia into a musical family and from a very early age was surrounded by music. At the age of 12 he started seriously studying music and playing guitar under the influence of his father, who was also a musician.

His musical career started in a school band, playing pop and rock music. In parallel with many hours of rehearsing with the band he studied music theory and classical guitar. With a view to advance as a musician, Eugene undertook a four-year course at the Moscow College of Music. During this time he studied other musical instruments and music subjects, composing and arranging music for various orchestras and bands.

After years of studying and analyzing music, he developed his own method of teaching, and remained at the college as a teacher of Jazz Improvisation.Since living in the UK he has toured with the band, and as a solo artist. He has lectured and performed at The Royal Academy of Music, BBC radio presented a special program about Eugene and his musical career.

Eugene also composes and produces original compositions for films, commercials, TV and radio programs. Amongst his clients are well-known film/TV production companies such as Universal, NBC¸ Fox, CBS, Walt Disney, Warner Bros., etc.
Magenta Green is his new album now on sale at CDBaby.

Marcus Anderson – NOW

No one can deny the energy created during a live performance; it’s magical how an artist can mix with the audience and make that moment powerful and memorable. That’s exactly what saxophonist Marcus Anderson’s intent was when he recorded NOW, his third solo CD. He was determined to capture that energy from his live shows, and make NOW his most dynamic, joyful, and creative recording yet. Joining Marcus on NOW is Four80East, Nicholas Cole, Julian Vaughn, Nate Najar, Marcus Cole and Marcel Anderson.

Each artist has a special connection to Anderson’s live performances and understands what he wanted to capture. NOW is rich with 13 solid tunes; 11 originals that show his vibrant horn playing, a couple of stylish R & B vocals and two fan favorites: Smokey Robinson’s “Cruisin” and “Remember the Time”, a Michael Jackson cover. Marcus Anderson’s NOW will rock you, groove you, move you and fill you with the energy that you feel when you see him perform live.

This title was released on June 28, 2011.

Carmen Cuesta – Mi Bossa Nova

As romance goes, the cross connection couldn’t be more appropriate. Vocalist Carmen Cuesta celebrates bossa nova, that elegant blend of Brazilian song and North American jazz. Mi Bossa Nova (Tweety Records, 2011) is a collection of 11 titles, seven of them written by renowned Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Cuesta’s core accompanists are pianist Matt King, drummer Brian Dunne , percussionist David Charles and her husband, guitarist Chuck Loeb, who also plays keyboards and, on selected tracks, bass. Bassist Christian Diener appears on several songs.

“Jobim” is Cuesta’s tribute to the artist whose music provides the deepest inspiration for Cuesta. Cuesta’s blends well with the flutes. The lyrics provide hints of Jobim’s great songwriting, mentioning locations like Copacabana, Ipanema and Corcovado, as well as the “waters of March.” The song features flutists David Mann, Christina Loeb and Lizzy Loeb.

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Courtney Fadlin – The Next Chapter

The son of acclaimed Caribbean musician, Jethro Fadlin Sr., Courtney’s early musical influences were sound. He pursued excellence while attending and ultimately graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts with a Bachelor in Music, and a Masters in saxophone performance from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Courtney’s musical ministry has taken him to various cities in the United States, Canada, Europe and The Caribbean. While he has performed for both Christian and secular artists, he has maintained his convictions and never compromises his style.

Among the performers with whom he has shared the stage is, Ben Tankard, Warner Brothers recording artist John Stoddart, Hubert Powell, Melba Moore, Jamaican Reggae group “Culture”, legendary jazz drummer Louie Bellson and world-renowned jazz pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs. Gospel greats, Alvin Slaughter, Angie & Debbie Winans, Stephen Hurd, Willie & the Keynotes and Donnie McClurkin. In appreciation of his noteworthy talent, he has been invited to and has ministered at the Northern California Blues Festival, for the Governor General of Jamaica, and at a United Nations Conference held in Kingston, Jamaica.

He has released five albums – Center of My Joy, I Believe, Another Chance, The Journey and Hymnology on the Acquire Records label. His newest album is entitled The Next Chapter and now available at CDBaby.

Lisa Deveaux – Language of Love

Chicago native songstress Lisa Deveaux unites a lovely voice with an extraordinary good-looking outward appearance. Sergio Mendes, Earth, Wind & Fire, Diana Ross and Sade are her idols and influences. She sings many styles from R&B to jazz and soul. Phyliss Hyman as her vocal coach and her own natural beauty are the groundwork for a great career.

Her debut album Shakin’ That Jazz (2003) featured Bobby Lyle, Karen Briggs and Everette Harp. Blending Brazilian, Smooth, and R&B sounds her devotion for jazz is undeniable.

Now Lisa is back with her sophomore album Language of Love (2011) still in the tradition of soulful jazz. “Language of Love is a look into my journal,” the lady shares. “It’s about being open, honest and willing to be hurt. Love is beautiful yet unpredictable – fragile and frustrating – and sometimes tragic. No matter how hard some of my experiences have been, I have always survived by maintaining an optimistic perspective.”

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Gìo Lombardi – Scripta Manent

In this debut album “Scripta Manent” Gìo is taking the listener to a musical journey through out the continents. As a summary of his extensive international experiences and as his modern vision of a musical style with “no-barriers” would suggest Gìo’s Guitar is the perfect company for the open-minded music lover. A quote form an interview given to the European press will probably describe in Gìo’s own words what to aspect in his debut record:

“I was about Ten when I felt in love with Music, a Guitar was available at home and the love story that has changed my life was started. This incredible journey has brought me around the world, has given me the chance to meet, play and interact with many talented artists across the continents and has enriched me with an incredible life experience that made me understand what really identifies the essence of a person, the “SOUL”

….and the “SOUL” factor shall definitely be the common element throughout the entire record. Starting with the Acid-Jazz Funky influences of “And on this Light note” to the Brazilian touch of the more sentimental ‘Mio Amor” to the rock edge of “Squartazz” your musical panorama will be unmistakably spiced. If you are a guitar lover and a Smooth Jazz “WITH AN EDGE” enthusiast you’ll be delight by the virtuoso-tasteful soloing present in this record without loosing a strong sense of the melody. Imagine a crossover between Geroge Benson, Larry Carlton and Santana “with a Flamenco twist”, then add a touch of modern fusion, blend the whole thing together and what you’ll get is a style of music that will get you going:-) The band present on this record is a unit deserving international recognition since most of them have experienced world tours with Major acts and “will do” the rest by delighting your ears with some “high-energy-funk” rhythm section plus a delicious “Saxophone work” present on “Something like love” dueling with Gìo’s guitar in a ending musical climax.

Scripta Manent is just arrived at CDBaby.

Don Braden and more – Hidden Jewels

Some CDs have “hidden” tracks. A glance at the label shows a list of 10 songs, but when you put the disc in the player, the counter shows 11. Recently, I discovered some hidden CDs – promotional copies that were sent to me several years ago. Due to a combination of timing and an accident that involved spring cleaning and broken furniture, several got separated from others that I was going to review at the time. Because of their age, there’s little point in giving individual reviews. But I do believe they deserve some mention.

So here’s a roundup of hidden jewels among my musical treasure:

Workin’ (Highnote Records, 2006) is a live recording by saxophonist Don Braden, featuring Kyle Koehler on organ and Cecil Brooks III on drums. Recorded at Cecil’s Jazz Club in West Orange, New Jersey, the set includes unique arrangements of vintage soul ballads like Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Can’t Hide Love,” as well as “The Closer I Get to You” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love.” Most of the other songs are also romantic. Braden’s tenor is clean and rich throughout, and his interaction with accompaniment is first-rate.


Nicole Henry – Embraceable

After releasing a trio of critically-acclaimed albums and amassing reams of rave reviews and accolades about her live performances, Nicole Henry could have simply continued singing the Great American Songbook to blissfully satiate discerning music listeners.  But like the truly gifted artist that she is, Henry deemed the time right to change, grow and expand her artistic muse.  Audacious and undaunted in the face of uncertainty and risk, the highly rewarding result is Embraceable, an exquisite and elegantly performed twelve-song collection that adeptly delivers material certain to please those familiar with Henry’s soul-stirring artistry while garnering ardent admirers beyond jazz.


Grammy nominated producer Matt Pierson (Kirk Whalum, Jane Monheit, Joshua Redman) produced the gorgeous record that will be released August 23rdthrough ArtistShare, a unique platform that invites fans to help finance and follow the creative process of their favorite artist’s recording project through exclusive behind-the-scenes video clips, photos and updates.

While jazz standards are timeless, Henry is a young, radiant, contemporary woman and an innate story-teller who desired to pour her passion into newer songs about experiences and emotions related to love and romance that she could establish as her own “modern standards.”  Henry and Pierson elected to record four original songs for Embraceable, including a pair of soulful ballads from gospel/R&B artist John Stoddart (“Anything For You” and “Even While You’re Gone”), the triumphant affirmation “Hush Now” penned by Oli Rockberger, and collaborated with Stoddart and Doug Emery to compose the rousing “A Little Time Alone,” featuring Kirk Whalum’s soaring sax and a celestial, Sunday morning churchlike Henry vocal.

Whether it be a Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil tune (“Just A Little Lovin’”), a signature song from Bob Marley (“Waiting In Vain”), or a Gershwin classic (“Embraceable You”), each song emerges from the core of her being.  Although Henry possesses the vocal power capable of lighting up her hometown of Philadelphia, instead she skillfully lets her voice caress, emoting with the same kind of iconic grace, class and control from which legends are made.  And when she does release her full command, it’s genuine, poignant and stunning.               


Pierson was savvy to maintain the sense of warmth and intimacy that Henry’s alluring voice fosters naturally by using only live instrumentation, including horn and string sections.  Recorded in New York City, he summoned world-class musicians to contribute to Embraceable including Whalum, guitarists Julian Lage, Jef Lee Johnson and Larry Campbell, Gerald Clayton (piano), Shedrick Mitchell (organ), Gregoire Maret (harmonica), Larry Grenadier (bass), Eric Harland (drums), Bashiri Johnson (percussion), and Gil Goldstein (piano), the latter of who splendidly arranged “Waiting In Vain” and “Embraceable You.”

“The creation of Embraceable afforded me a wonderful opportunity to challenge myself to grow musically, personally and professionally.  I wanted to take a larger step in a new direction.  And we know change is often met with resistance – even when it is self-initiated.  Embraceable reflects a process of letting go and getting out of my own way.  It’s about being open, honest and communicative.  There were a lot of new things and new people to trust, which has always been the hardest thing for me, and I had to trust and listen to myself.  I had to be forgiving, willing and loving.  Most importantly, I had to not only accept all of what I was going through, but I had to love and embrace it,” explained Henry. 

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Jessie Marquez – All I See Is Sky

When the term “Latin jazz” is mentioned, one usually thinks of horns and percussion. Jessie Marquez reminds us that the human voice is also an important element in the genre. All I See Is Sky (Todo Lo Que Veo Es Cielo) (Carena Records, 2011) also injects some Brazilian and pop sounds.

“Dime, Amor (Tell Me, Love)” starts the set in romantic fashion. Marquez’s earthy alto is soothing. The subtle strings, the keyboard and the congas blend perfectly to give the song both a touch of elegance and a groove for dancing. The liner includes lyrics in Spanish, in which they’re sung, as well as the English translation. The closing phrase sums up the singer’s thoughts: “Amandanos tan solo, sin hablar,” or, “Loving each other without speaking.”

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David Anthony – Kool & Smooth

Smooth Jazz Artist and Composer David Anthony hails from Chattanooga, Tennessee where his musical journey began in grade school with a stirring vocal rendition of “Blues In the Night” that classmates who were present still talk about to this day. That “My momma done told me” moment was a pivotal one as the seed was planted for David to began formal musical training choosing the trumpet as his instrument. By high school he was playing gigs on the adult level performing mainly with The Black Diamonds, an R&B Soul group he started. Quickly the group became popular even on the adult level as they performed at major venues and organizations around the city. David furthered his music education by enrolling at Tennessee State University in Nashville “Music City USA.”

By then he had taught himself to play piano, using it to compose and arrange. While at college, David honed his performance skills at talent shows, and in the practice rooms of the music building. It was there at the University that David landed a his first professional job as keyboardist for “The Montclairs,” a vocal group based out of St. Louis, Missouri. Although that group enjoyed a string of regional hits during this time, they broke up and lead singer Phil Perry went on to enjoy a successful solo career. David continued to perform and landed a gig as the musical director for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’sThe Impressions. of which he still enjoys today. In 2007 the group celebrated 50 years in the entertainment business with a sold out concert backed by The The Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra. David’s arrangements of the Curtis Mayfield songbook echoed through out the Tivoli Theatre Performance Hall backed a 50-piece orchestra.

During his travels David has shared the stage with the likes of George Duke, Little Richard, Lakeside, Leroy Hutson, The Stylistics, The Delphonics, Martha Reeves, Little Anthony and The Imperials, Zapp, The Dennis Edwards Temptations Revue, The Manhattans, Little Richard, The SOS Band, Rose Royce, Denise Williams, and “The Iceman” Jerry Butler. He also serves as The Musical Director for Ultimate Tours, “It’s All About Doo Wop” concert series.

When at home, he leads ‘The Gentlemen’s Jazz Quartet” a smooth jazz quartet he founded that performs traditional and smooth jazz, classic soul/rhythm & blues. As a composer and arranger, he continues to orchestrate music for a number of clients and media for radio, film, theater and television. From solo piano vocal gigs to full orchestrated size events and venues, David continues his musical journey.

David presents his new album Kool & Smooth at CDBaby.