Archive for July, 2011

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!

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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.

Neamen Lyles – So Free

So Free, a debut release by Tucson-based saxophonist Neamen Lyles, demonstrates – that Neamen knows his way around the world of smooth jazz. For a debut album, the recording demonstrates both a remarkable freshness and a surprising level of musical maturity, all of which bodes well for Neamen’s future in the music business.

The CD offers ten tracks conveying a wide range of moods and musical sentiments, but with an uplifting, confident feel from start to finish. The album was produced by Pop/jazz veteran Jay Soto (Nu Groove Records), who contributes guitar, keyboard tracks, and composed or co-wrote most of the material with Lyles. In addition to Soto, the recording features well established keyboardist Jeff Lorber (Heads Up International) and Brian Simpson (Shanachie), along with familiar star, electric bassist Mel Brown.

Together Lyles and Soto have assembled a top-flight cast of contributors for this effort, all of whom give the album a sense of musical prowess seldom heard in a debut release. Brian Simpson and Jeff Lorber provide nuanced keyboard tracks; Mel Brown and Ray Reindeau lay down electric bass lines; and Freddie Fox provides confident rhythm and solo guitar.Other contributors include: Anthony Morra and Rayford Griffin (drums), Darren Rahn (alto and tenor sax), Jason Rahn (trumpet & flugelhorn) and Michael Broening (B3 synth). David Lancette and Jodi Light provide backing vocals on one track.

But, the star of the show is Neamen’s seasoned yet free-wheeling solo lines, which both honor the melody and simultaneously take the listener to unexpected musical destinations – clearly a combination that expresses Neamen’s love of the music and his natural, joyful fluency. According to Neamen, “The album is designed to be something that anyone can listen to. It’s heavily focused on current pop music in its appearance and delivery, but at the core it always reaches for the artistic maturity of jazz.” So Free reflects not only Neamen’s deft and nuanced sax chops; it also reveals the depth of his musical training, his immersion in the smooth jazz genre since his early years, and influence of smooth jazz giants: David Sanborn, Gerald Albright, Eric Marienthal, Grover Washington, Jr. and beyond. None of this should be taken lightly; the recording is bound to draw attention to this gifted, ambitious soloist from day one. Another testament to the musicality of Lyles music is “Things Change,” is receiving regular national airplay on The Weather Channel.

This exciting album is arrived at CDBaby.

Dida Pelled – Plays and Sings

The phrase, “You’ve come a long way,” means a lot to Dida Pelled. At the age of 21, she’s already making a name for herself in jazz.

Her journey began in native Israel, where she accumulated extensive experience as a guitarist and vocalist. Obligated to serve in the military, she spent two years performing at high-profile events for the Israeli Army. Upon her release, Pelled set her sights on the United States, where she enrolled at the Berklee College of Music and later The New School Univesity in New York City.

Trumpeter Fabio Morgera discovered Pelled playing gigs in the New York area and introduced her to trumpeter Roy Hargrove and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. Like others, they were impressed by her sound. Those meetings ultimately led to her first release, Plays and Sings (Red Records, 2011). Her accompanists are Hutchinson and bassist Tal Ronen. Hargrove and Morgera appear on selected tracks.

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Jeff Logan – Black Tie Affair

Although he appears on the album cover wearing a tuxedo with a bowtie, keyboardist Jeff Logan’s forthcoming Black Tie Affair is far from a stuffy, extravagant and exclusive soirée. Everyone is invited to enjoy the irresistibly charming, jazzy R&B collection that humbly serves an endless feast of soul-nourishing melodies. Literally “the host with the most,” Logan wrote ten of the twelve songs, produced the whole shebang, and played all the instruments on the record, which, yes, he will release on his own BASS-mint Records label on August 9th.

Believing that artists come and go, but well-crafted songs stand the test of time, Logan is passionately committed to composing meaningful, memorable melodies that convey moods, communicate feelings, and emote about emotions with or without words. His gift as a songwriter lies in his innate ability to construct songs of simplicity and pristine beauty. While making the piano and keyboard melodies prominent, Logan adorned the tracks with guitar, bass, percussion, drums and drum programming.

His DC-area roots are clearly in evidence from the shuffling go-go beat that underscores “Black Tie Affair,” the first single recently serviced to radio stations where the infectious cut is already receiving airplay. On “Smoothology 101” and “Stratosphere,” the multi-instrumentalist breaks the silence by crooning lead and background vocals that vacillate between sensual falsetto seductions and soulful, gritty growls. Logan tips his chapeau to Rodgers & Hammerstein with a classy piano and organ duet on “Favorite Things.” Vibrant and festive, he converted The Ohio Players’ hit “Sweet Sticky Thing” into a danceable instrumental because no affair would be complete without a bit of funky business.

Logan said, “Black Tie Affair personifies my undying passion for developing melodic vignettes into full-blossomed compositions. The album is an eclectic blend of musical bliss with a twist where each song feeds off of the energy of another. Discerning contemporary jazz enthusiasts will appreciate it because my aesthetic expression is simple yet serenely soothing and sublime as a hybrid organism born out of complex melodies.” Continue reading

Nick Colionne – Feel The Heat

Chicago is a fountain for smooth jazz artists with big talent. Among those talents one can find a bird of paradise. Renowned jazz guitarist Nick Colionne is the best-dressed musician always clad in colorful suits. But these garments aren’t satisfying no other purpose than the enjoyment of doing it, they are Nick’s trademark signaling his musical stardom. His first albums It’s My Turn, Arrival and The Seduction were released on the Lake Shore Jazz label followed by Just Come On In (2003), Keepin’ It Cool (2006), and No Limits (2008). His new album Feel The Heat (2011) will be released on Trippin & Rhythm next month.

After the first tones you know, this is a Nick Colionne quality. Some Funky are his first steps into the new album. The Steve Miller influenced tune is the right place for Nick’s brilliant guitar performance.

The Windy Dance is Nick’s new radio single. A tribute to his hometown. Funky, crispy and a great hit for the hot summer. John Blasucci supports Nick’s guitar play with distinguished keyboard lines.

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