Archive for July, 2011

David Hughes – Hopeful Romantic

With Hopeful Romantic David Hughes makes a powerful statement as a composer and as a musician. The album exhibits the many facets of roles and sonic possibilities the bass guitar possesses . Undeterred by the risk of creating a ‘for bass players only’ album, he has succeeded in featuring the bass in both accompanying and soloistic roles while creating music that listeners with many different tastes will enjoy.

The writing spans funky, retro inspired jazz-rock to semi-symphonic modern jazz and it is apparent that Hughes has developed a sort of signature sound. Creating rich arrangements with rhythm section, string backgrounds and featured instruments the album exhibits an organic, natural quality far from the synthetic, loop-based mashups that are commonplace in contemporary jazz today.

Hopeful Romantic is a first choice at CDBaby.

Spyro Gyra – A Foreign Affair

Sometimes when you fall in love, you know it from the first embrace. A Foreign Affair is the story of five guys and their love affair with the music of the world. This album from the venerable jazz group Spyro Gyra takes you on a journey to the music closest to them from some places in some cases farthest from them. A Foreign Affair draws from the experiences of an enduring international career, one that has taken them to the far reaches of the globe. It’s no secret that Spyro Gyra started out their career with the rhythms of the world.

From the samba rhythms and Caribbean feel of their early hits to the latest album, these musicians have made it a point to embrace the music wherever they go. For instance, not long ago they played shows in New Jersey and Rochester NY but then left the U.S. to perform in Turkey, Germany, Netherlands, Israel, India, Martinique and South Africa. That’s in less than one month. That tour is something of what this new album sounds like if you just add in a few more places.

It’s a sign of how enduring this band’s career is that, thirty-five years after their first album, their four most recent albums were each nominated for a Grammy®.

“One of the benefits of being in this band is that our music is popular all over the planet. Inevitably, we experience the local culture and inevitably we absorb some of those influences,” explains leader and saxophonist Jay Beckenstein. “The guys and I were talking about what we wanted to do with this record before we started. We decided to make it all about that. We’ve actually been talking about making this record for years.” Continue reading

Eumir Deodato – The Crossing

Eumir Deodato, a name like a peal of thunder. This Brazilian musician, record producer and arranger is best known by his Grammy awarded funky version of Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra, the theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey. With combined sales of more than 25 million records he earned 16 platinum records and worked on more than 450 albums.

With such an impressive reputation every new solo release of this blessed artist is a highlight in contemporary jazz history. On July 12, 2011 Eumir Deodato released his newest album The Crossing. This album features artists like Al Jarreau, Paco Sery, Airto Moreira, Bily Cobham, John Tropea and the groups Novecento and Londonbeat.

With his ultimate instinct for captivating hits Deodato created with Al Jarreau and Nicolisi the breathtaking song Double Face. Melting Al Jarreau scatting vocals with Deodato’s vintage Rhodes piano delivers a flabbergasting piece of music art.


Jay-Tee – Don’t Jay Walk

Dutch Composer and bassist Jay-Tee Teterissa draws from the jazz fusion tradition, while at the same time being fully aware of the current state of affairs in this music. His list of musical collaborators includes Mike Stern, Danny Gottlieb, David Garibaldi, Tony Royster Jr, Alain Caron, Jan Akkerman and Candy Dulfer.

He brings his band Jazzm to create this, his second solo album.

I love the energy on ‘Gravity Hill Bounce’. It’s an instrumental which almost immediately goes into a thumbed (not slapped) bass solo. The fretless sound and doubled alto sax line will please Yellowjackets fans and the funky off-the-beat playing will delight fans of Joe Hubbard/Hubbard’s Cubbard. It’s a very high-tech yet soulful sound. It’s the essence of funky fusion – very Herbie Hancock! Nice – what a great start! ‘Bottom Road’ has an altogether less sunny vibe with waves of dark synthesizer, but it roars off led by Mike Stern’s guitar solo and I’m reminded of the Headhunters old ‘Descending Azzizziuh’. This is nuts! More please!


Christian Papst Trio – Days of Infinity

Ambient sound, a touch of tradition and a sense of time and place are the ingredients for the Christian Pabst Trio’s Days of Infinity (Challenge Records, 2011).

The group consists of Pabst on piano and Rhodes, David Andres on bass and Andreas Klein on drums.

The set opens with the sweeping “Fly and Unfold,” a placid song in 3/4 time. Ably supported by Andres and Klein, Pabst lets his fingers fly. However, as charming as it is, the piece doesn’t completely satisfy. At less than two and a half minutes, it leaves something on the table.

That’s not the case with “A Poet’s Path.” Gerard Presencer joins the trio on this and other tracks, playing trumpet and flugelhorn. Horn and Rhodes stretch out individually, and the foursome complement one another well. Presencer also takes point on the lively “Tales from the City.” The upbeat mood conjures images of daytime traffic and nighttime fun.


Patrick Cooper – The Way It Used To Be

Keyboardist Patrick Cooper is known by his songs he composed for Marcus Johnson (Just Doing What I Do) and Jaared (Let It Happen). With his Portland, Oregon based band N-Touch he performed gigs around that area before he re-located to Washington, DC. He started his solo career with the album That Day (2007) showcasing sophisticated entertainment at its best. This album was re-issued in the following year as Vibin after adding two new tracks.

Patrick now returns with his sophomore album The Way It Used To Be (2011). Like on his previous album he is joined by fellow musicians David Dyson (bass), Phillip “Doc” Martin (sax), Robert “WaWa” LeGrand (guitar), Tony Hemming (synth programming), and further artists Tommy Tordson (bass), Jay Williams (drums), Stanley Cooper (guitar), to name a few.

In view of the fact that the rate of sale in music industry is constantly tumbling down, the question arises, if one should still invest much money in the recording of an album. It’s less a question of economic reason, than the impetus to satisfy the audience, which motivated Patrick Cooper however to his second effort.

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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