Archive for July, 2011

Jessy J – Hot Sauce

Nothing wakes up food like hot sauce – and nothing will wake up your ears like Jessy J‘s new album. A special blend of ten fiery tunes, this Hot Sauce is seasoned with authentic Latin zing and packed with real jazz flavor. The accomplished saxophonist/singer/composer’s third album spotlights her collaborations with some of today’s most prominent contemporary jazz musicians, including guitarists Paul Brown and Ray Parker Jr, keyboardists Joe Sample and Gregg Karukas, and drummer Harvey Mason of Fourplay.

Hot Sauce showcases eight originals – from mild to wild – along with adventurous new arrangements of Francis Anthony `Eg’ White’s pop hit “Leave Right Now” and Duke Ellington’s jazz classic “In a Sentimental Mood.” Jessy returned to the studio with mentor and GRAMMY®-winning hitmaker Paul Brown, who produced her acclaimed 2009 release, True Love. In addition to handling production duties, Brown co-writes and performs on the album. “I first met Paul in 2006, and we have a strong friendship,” says Jessy. “Paul brings the best out in me. Our collaborations are highly productive, and they always sound amazing.”

Drawing on a wealth of influences, Hot Sauce combines jazz with Latin rhythms and spotlights Jessy’s stylish vocals and lush, sultry saxophone playing. “My previous recording, True Love, was an instrumental pop album,” she says. “This time I had a chance to work with some legendary musicians, and I believe I was able to show my growth as an artist.” Jessy also embraces her Latin heritage on her new album. The mellow ballad “Rio Grande” displays the best of this seductive and alluring style. “My mom is from Texas, and my dad is from Sinaloa, Mexico,” she says. “I’m really proud to be a Latina role model. It’s such a rich culture, and I have an affinity to music from both sides of the border.”

More than just another pretty face, Jessy J worked diligently to achieve recognition for her finely honed chops, songwriting skills and a strong sense of originality. Jessy was born in Portland, Oregon, she’s played the saxophone for over 20 years. An accomplished singer and dancer, she sang background vocals for Michael Bolton, played with the Henry Mancini Jazz Orchestra and performed in the off-Broadway production of Blast! She’s also done studio work with Michael Bublé, Seal, the Temptations, Jessica Simpson, Michael Bolton and Mexico’s pop diva Gloria Trevi.

Jessy’s success is the product of a lot of hard work and a never ending focus on accomplishing her goals. “I still practice every day,” she says. “I love to play music because my spirit feels at peace. I dreamed of playing music as a child and now music is my life.”

Source: Concord Music Group

Groove 55 – En Route

Groove 55 presents its new release En Route, an uptempo smooth jazz album, foot-tapping, rhythm blended & steeped in rich harmonic original melodies!

Collectively, the four band members bring decades of music experience to the project having worked with Oliver Jones, Gregory Charles, & Zachary Richard to name but a few. So it seems almost fitting that they would come together as a unified collective to share in their many years of creative experience and knowledge to create “En Route”.

The Groove 55 members, all very talented esteemed musicians, consists of Yves Adam (alto, tenor & soprano sax) a graduate of McGill’s music faculty in jazz performance as well as teaching saxophone at The Montreal International Jazz festival Blues Camp. Jacques Mignault (Rhodes, piano, clavinet, synths)studied alongside Art Roberts at Montreal’s Concordia University, he would later go on to win the inaugural grand prize of the Roland Synthesizer music contest among hundred’s of entrants spanning over 22 countries that was judged by the late great Oscar Peterson. Yves Nadeau (bass) is a veteran of the Montreal Jazz scene, having played hundred’s of shows on stages all over Quebec with his bands Solstice & Expresso.

Rounding out the Montreal quartet is Jacques Gagne (drums) he himself well known and ensconced early on with some of the biggest TV shows in Quebec and on the touring scene – Together they make up Groove 55 the number that has the remarkable property of being the 10th number of the Fibonacci suite and is the sum of the numbers 1 to 10…..The most important part is it’s groove and this band has it in spades with their new release En Route!

For more information visit

Brent Ellis – Cruisin’ Jackson Road

The newest release from the Brent Ellis Group, featuring both melodic, funky, electric guitar lines and beautiful nylon string melodies by Brent Ellis, fun and creative drum solos and percussion by Mike Michalkow, solid bass tones and grooves by Robin Ellis, and tasty closed chord voicings and acoustic and electric piano solos by Lloyd Bates. The CD features 6 original tunes written by Brent Ellis in a variety of styles and rhythms, along with 4 of Brent’s favourite Jazz cover tunes.

The title song, ‘Cruisin’ Jackson Road’ written by Brent Ellis, strikes a balance between its bluesy guitar vibe and the ‘Cruisin’ drum and bass grooves that propel it along. Brent’s band is pleased with their tribute to the well known band ‘Fourplay’, by covering Nathan East’s tune ‘101 Eastbound’. Very smooth and yet very groovy.

The Jazz standard ‘All of Me’ is a straight ahead Jazz rendition and is quickly becoming a favourite with some young fans. Jazz musicians will appreciate the creativity and energy of the original songs ‘Up a Notch’ and ‘Hands of TIme’ as they depart from the typical smooth Jazz formula and bring something fresh to listeners’ ears. ‘Song for My Father’ has a live feel to it, with edgy, melodic guitar fills, with the bass and piano hinting at a Steely Dan vibe.

The 16 page full colour CD insert features beautiful pictures by 2 emerging photographers, Natalie Ellis and Michelle Ellis. The CD is mixed by discerning ears, and those with audiophile stereos will enjoy hearing this CD through their high end audio systems. Extra care was also taken in the mastering of the CD so that listening in your car would be enjoyable even for those with good to average car stereos. ‘Cruisin’ Jackson Road’ may prove to be your new favourite CD to take along on your daily commute. You are a safe driver, why not have something REALLY enjoyable to listen to on your next trip?

Get this album at CDBaby.

Patrick Cooper – The Way It Used To Be

Increasingly, it’s my custom to include a link to an artist’s website for biography and in the case of keyboardist Patrick Cooper, I’m happy to do that because it means I can get on and tell you about this very cool CD.

Now, to whet your appetite – because it sure has whet mine – here are the opening lines from the press release for this CD: “To Cooper, the halcyon days were the 1970’s. It was an experimental time as free-form jazz mingled with R&B, soul and funk”. Amen.

Let me tell you, on the opener ‘Struttn’ you will not want for funk. The driving bass and tight snare propel this chunky groove which supports a piano and alto sax doubled melody line. It’s infectious and must be great live – come to Manchester, brother! I’ve featured the dreamy ‘Come Sunday’ extensively on my Sunday playlist on Wild & Peaceful and I’ll continue with it because, to use, Marcus Johnson’s expression, it’s got the ‘neck factor’.


Dave Juarez – Round Red Light

It’s usually a good sign when an artist’s debut release features all new music. It’s even better when it’s a straight jazz approach.

Guitarist Dave Juarez doesn’t disappoint with Round Red Light (Posi-Tone, 2011), a set of nine songs featuring Juarez with tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, pianist John Escreet, bassist Lauren Falls and drummer Bastian Weinhold. Except for Falls, each member of the group has his own new release out this year.

Round Red Light is less about Jaurez showing what he can do than it is about what a group can do with his songwriting. For much of the set, Blake is out front, and the other musicians get plenty of room to stretch out. But make no mistake, when Juarez does step forward, he does it with style.

Read more …

Cindy Bradley – Unscripted

Influenced by jazz greats like Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan and Blue Mitchell Cindy Bradley nevertheless chose the smooth jazz side of life. Just A Little Bit (2007) was her self-produced debut album followed by Bloom (2009), released on the label Trippin ‘n’ Rhythm. Like on her previous album all tracks on her latest album Unscripted (2011) are written, performed, mixed, produced and engineered by Grammy award winning producer Michael Broening.

“Michael is so good at getting in my head to see where I’m at when we work together,” says Cindy. “He knew I was going through a lot and that this would lead to me writing a lot more than I did on the first album. He really did a lot to get the best songs and performances out of me. It was a unique creative process because we essentially wrote as we went along, and it evolved into a longer, deeper process. Ultimately, I feel that Unscripted is more ‘me’ than anything I had recorded before. It was completely my vision of what I wanted to play.”

With the lyrical Prelude Cindy Bradley introduces into her new project. The dynamic Massive Transit showcases the new style of this great trumpeter talent. Groovin’, hip and exciting, this is going to keep you dancing.

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Chuck Loeb – Plain ‘N’ Simple

Tweety Records is proud to present Chuck Loeb’s latest CD Plain ‘n’Simple, his seventeenth as a solo artist. It is an organ trio project, featuring Pat Bianchi on the keys and pedals, and Chuck’s fellow Fourplay band member Harvey Mason on drums. The CD represents a new direction for Chuck, while at the same time harkening back to his earliest influences as a jazz guitarist. From the beginning, he was drawn to the organ trio sound by his love for the early Wes Montgomery records, as well as the hallmark Jimmy Smith recordings of the 1960’s. The repertoire includes eight Loeb originals, two gems penned by Mason, and a couple of standards too.

The trio is joined by some very special guests as well: Chuck’s wife, vocalist Carmen Cuesta joins in with a beautiful version of the Brazilian classic “É Com Esse Que Vou Eu”, with Will Lee added on bass. Another family member, Loeb and Cuesta’s daughter, Lizzy Loeb offers her unique and enchanting take on the Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mandel chestnut “Skylark”. There is some tasty percussion from David Charles and Mauricio Zottarelli, and melodic lines and white hot solos from sax man Eric Marienthal, and trumpeter Till Brönner.

The music is swinging, funky, lush and exciting from note one, and stays that way to the very last drop. Chuck’s fans will find the excellence in playing, sound, and production that they have come to expect from him, as well experiencing a side of the artist that they may have never heard before.

Source: Distribution13

Christian Foley-Beining – Double Exposure II

The spark that lit a fire for Jazz in Christian Beining at 17 years of age in his native Freiburg, Germany, came from the guitar of Wes Montgomery. From that inspiration he went on to study guitar first at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern. He then later refined his playing at the Berklee School of Music in Boston and the Musicians Institute’s GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology) in Hollywood. Further studies were with Ted Greene, Joe Diorio, Joe Pass, Pat Metheny, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, as well as bass teacher, Bob Magnusson.

Christian was on the faculty of the Musicians Institute in Hollywood for eight years and taught music clinics in France, Germany, and Brazil. He has recorded and performed with many well-known musicians like Randy Porter, Bob Magnusson, Jim Plank, Harvie Swartz, John Guerin, Frank Gambale, Mike Shapiro, Putter Smith, Carlos Niehues, Lorca Hart, and currently with Paul McCandless of the legendary jazz group “Oregon”.

Christian comments his album Double Exposure II: “This album reflects my interest in so many different styles of music from Jazz to Funk, Fusion, Latin and Rock. All the tunes are composed and arranged by me. ”

Double Exposure II is available at CDBaby.

Jeff Golub – The Three Kings

On his first album for eOne Music, Blues For You, Jeff Golub began a stunning career transition from a contemporary, smooth jazz icon, back to his roots as a blues-rock guitarist of tremendous power and authority. That transition is now complete with Jeff s creation of The Jeff Golub Band, featuring the living legend of New Orleans piano, Henry Butler, currently a featured artist on the hit HBO series Treme.

The Three Kings of this new collection are B.B., Albert, and Freddie: cornerstones of the modern blues revival of the 1960s, and personal touchstones for Jeff Golub as he dives deeper into the limitless wellspring of this music. Some of the best-known tunes by these three giants are given fresh, modern interpretations, along with inspired original tunes. In addition to the instrumental dazzle, the album is packed with passionate vocals by Henry Butler and drummer Josh Dion. And to add final spice and sizzle, check out the guest appearances by Jeff s fellow guitar masters Robben Ford and Sonny Landreth.

The album closes with a poignant and haunting instrumental version of B.B. King s greatest hit, The Thrill Is Gone, in which Golub and Butler bring new dimensions and details to this classic of classics. All in all, THREE KINGS promises to be one of the most listened-to and talked-about blues releases of 2011.

Smooth Jazz Daily says Good Bye to Jeff Golub!

Duane Parham – Motor City Sax Appeal

Saxophonist Duane Parham is one of the Motor City’s most beloved jazz artists. He is recognized as an innovator and top performer in Smooth Jazz, R&B and Gospel Music. Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Duane’s latest project, “Motor City Sax Appeal: My Tribute to the Motown Legends” delivers a Mo-Jazz tribute to Motown Records with guest appearances from some of the label’s most legendary performers. Guest appearances by The Four Tops, The Miracles, The Contours, The Original Vandellas, Pat Lewis, Carolyn Crawford, and five time Grammy award winner Michael J. Powell give this album an authentic Motown mix that blends wonderfully with Duane’s Mo-Jazz style. Duane who is one of the Executive Producers on this project is joined by other talented producers such as Pat Lewis, Carl “Butch” Small and Maurice Whitsett.

As an artist, Duane has amassed several accolades acknowledging his talent and civic contributions. He is the recipient of three Mayoral Proclamations of Achievement from Mayors Coleman A. Young and Dennis W. Archer of Detroit along with Mayor Martha G. Scott of Highland Park, MI for his accomplishments in the development of Music Arts and his outstanding contribution to the progress of both communities.

Duane also received the Spirit of Detroit Award for producing and arranging “Dream Detroit,” a song co-written with the late Detroit Councilwoman Kay Everett. Most recently, Duane was inducted into the “Detroit Legends of Jazz Hall of Fame”. He holds the distinction of being the youngest person to join this elite fraternity at the time of his induction.

Duane takes an active role in contributing to the legacy of Jazz in Detroit with his Saxville Avenue Record label. Saxville has released several productions, including Duane’s recent CD entitled “Martin’s Dream”. As a performer, Duane Parham has opened for noted Motivational Speakers Les Brown and Iyanla Vanzant, R&B and Soul singers Anita Baker, Martha Reeves, Freda Payne and Spider Turner. Duane has also performed alongside gospel greats Michael Matthews, The Clark Sisters, The legendary Shirley Caesar and Rance Allen.

His newest album Motor City Sax Appeal is now on sale at CDBaby.