Archive for September 8th, 2011

Richard Elliot – In the Zone

The reigning merchant of Soul Jazz, Richard Elliot invites loyal fans and newcomers alike to celebrate 25 years since the release of his debut album Initial Approach. Where’s the party? Where else – In the Zone, a grooving, funked up, horn splashed collection that finds the energized-as-ever tenor saxophonist paying homage to the pioneering instrumental artists of his formative years (’70s-early ’80s) whose brilliance and musical innovations inspired his own.

Drawing on the influences of legends like Grover Washington, Jr., Bob James and David Sanborn, Elliot fashions the perfect contemporary jazz complement to Rock Steady, his 2009 recording that was inspired by the great R&B artists he grew up listening to; that collection debuted at #5 on the Billboard Jazz Album chart and remained on the list for over 40 weeks.

In The Zone includes a simmering, hypnotic retro-soul cover of “Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler),” a Marvin Gaye staple whose original instrumental version marked Washington’s first session as a leader. Beyond that, the collection is driven by 9 powerful retro-flavored original songs penned by Elliot and co-producer Jeff Lorber, who share a colorful collaborative history over the past 10 years. The two played numerous shows in the early 2000s as part of the all-star Groovin’ For Grover tour (with Gerald Albright and Paul Taylor) and have worked together on various tracks on Elliot’s recordings Crush (2001), Ricochet (2003), Metro Blue (2005), RnR (Elliot’s hit dual 2007 recording with trumpet great Rick Braun) and Rock Steady.

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Phil Casagrande – Island Paradise

Music has been the guiding force flowing through Phil’s soul since he was a small child while time has allowed his musical talents to flourish into beautiful creations. His music isn’t about listening to the spoken words but rather the music that makes your body move to the beat while it speaks to your heart. To truly know who Phil is and what his passion is then you truly have to hear his music.

Phil started playing at a very young age, and at age 8, he wanted to learn the accordion. Despite his obvious musical talents, his love of sports caused him to never take music seriously even though he loved spending time with his friends having jam sessions and played for the fun of it. He graduated High School where he got accepted to a Music Conservatory through a performance on the organ-he played a song that he improvised. At age 17, he really started to play the piano, at age 20 he started professionally composing music, at age 21 he graduated from the Westchester Conservatory of Music, and had his first record out at age 25.

Being a writer, composer and producer Phil Casagrande shows great talent in all genres. From original solo piano performances, to pop music, to an amazing smooth-jazz original of “Let’s Groove”, he truly shows his range. In 1982, Phil worked for Atlantic records as a writer, and has also worked for Starlight Records where many songs he worked on ranked high on the Billboard charts.

Phil has worked with Jessica Cleeves from P-funk, he played keyboards, bass, synth, and even did some production on the Rap smash-hit “Inspector Gadget” (Bad Boys), he wrote and co-produced Paula Anderson’s song “Four Year Battle”-which made it to number 32 on the Billboard Chart with a bullet, and was picked up by Atlantic Records, he has also worked with Jeannine Carter, and has worked with songwriter and producer Dennis Johnson.

Currently playing out of his studio in NYC, Casagrande Studios, Phil has recently been working on some new musical creations that are simply breathtaking. “Midnight Desires” is a beautiful love song, and the beat will enhance any romantic night while you allow your body to sway to the music. It will truly enrich your music collection so make sure you check it out on the music samples page. Now that Phil has finished Midnight Desires, he continues to work on his next creation which is called “Island Paradise” which will also be a must add for your music collection. Island Paradise is just released at CDBaby, so check back often to fall in love with Phil’s music all over again.