Archive for October, 2011

Gordon James – A New Kind of Love

There are several tracks on this recording that could have easily served as the title cut. Straight from the Heart, With Our Love even Smile were all considered. I chose A New Kind of Love because it has all of the qualities the others have oneness, happiness, hope, and both personal and universal love.

But more than that it tells of a shift in consciousness that’s happening on the planet. This music follows a movement towards love, kindness, gratitude, compassion, oneness and peace. It may not seem that way if you turn on the news but whats not getting reported on are all the amazing stories of people in all walks of life who are dedicated to waking up to love, art and beauty and who are giving and sharing there incredible talents to make a better more cooperative and creative world.

This recording for me was one of those break throughs to a new level in my own art, talent and in consciousness. I feel truly blessed to have had this music and these arrangements come through me this past year. In many ways I feel like this is really my debut album as it is the first CD that I have produced, arranged and written all on my own. It was truly magical the way the original music on this project poured through me with such ease. Even the arrangements on the covers came effortlessly and it all fell into place even right down to which musician played on what track. Continue reading

Todd Ashley – Funky Nylon

Southern California born guitarist Todd Ashley graduated at the Guitar Institute of Technology, where he developed his unique “ruff jazz nylon-string style”. Inspired by Steve Oliver, Ken Navarro and Earl Klugh he made his debut with the album Sedona (2003).

Opening for Mindi Abair, George Benson, and Dave Koz you find Todd Ashley at venues like La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Malibu or Santa Barbara. His second album Funky Nylon was released in October, 2010 featuring some of the top artists including Will Donato, Bert Vela, Baba Elefante, Jason Weber, Rod Kokolj, Craig Chesnut, Steve Madaio, and Jeff Stover.

With the exception of Black Orpheus Todd has written all the songs. Todd plays keyboard, bass, guitar and sequences the drums on a handful of tracks. First song of the album The Coug is also the single, which climbed to #18 on the Groove Jazz Charts. While Todd plays smooth guitar riffs, sax player Will Donato and trumpeter Steve Madio supports with an excellent horn arrangement. Also superb Johnny Meza on piano.

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Chuck Loeb – Plain ‘n’ Simple

Known largely for his contributions to the format known as smooth jazz, guitarist Chuck Loeb ventures outside the norm with Plain ‘n’ Simple (Tweety Records, 2011), a cool set of mostly original music, performed by the trio of Loeb, drummer Harvey Mason and organist Pat Bianchi.

From the first song to the last, this 12-track set is delightful, fresh and presents a different side of Loeb than we’re used to. And while the music seems it’s from the 1950s or ’60s, all but three songs are original – two penned by Mason, the rest by Loeb.

The trio is supplemented on selected tracks by Loeb’s wife, Carmen Cuesta, daughter Lizzy Loeb, bassist Will Lee, percussionists Mauricio Zoratelli and David Charles, trumpeters Till Bronner and Nathan Eklund, and saxophonist Eric Marienthal.

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Slim Man – Thousand Miles Away

Slim Man is singer, songwriter, bassist and a man, who isn’t in the constant pursuit of perhaps unattainable material goals, but takes life as it is and receives solely from the existing beautiful things personal satisfaction. Reading his diaries, enjoying his receipts of belle cuisine and listening to his beautiful music is like Yin and Yang.

Thousand Miles Away is an album full of top notch love ballades, strong compositions, fine arrangements and overall Slim’s convincing and authentic vocals.  This album is now available at CDBaby.

Edward Brown III – Dream

Born and residing in the Suburbs of Los Angeles, California, Edward Brown has the ability and talent to perform all styles of music as a pianist/ keyboardist. Edward began his musical career by learning classical music through school and private lessons with some of Los Angeles’ best instructors. He performs Classical, Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Latin Jazz, Calypso, Rhythm & Blues and Gospel.

He worked with Debbie Allen, James Ingram and Keith Andes in the musical “The Bayou Legend,” composing music with Debbie Allen and being the lead keyboardist for the theatrical presentations of the play.  His solo project is entitled Dream. Listen and buy this entertaining album at Amazon.com.

Kim Waters – This Heart Of Mine

Now we talk about the saxiest man in the smooth jazz world, the creator of Sweet & Saxy (1989), All Because of You (1990), Sax Appeal (1991), Tribute (1992), Peaceful Journey (1993), It’s Time For Love (1994), Home For Christmas (1994), You Are Not Alone (1996), Love’s Melody (1998), One Special Moment (1999), From The Heart (2001), Someone To Love You (2002), In The Name of Love (2004), All For Love (2005), You Are My Lady (2007), I Want You (2008), Love Stories (2010) and This Heart Of Mine (2011), the one and only Kim Waters.

Nothing can stop his productive creativity. So he also served Streetwize (2002), Streetwize II (2003), Streetwize/Slowjamz (2004), Streetwize Does Dre (2005), Streetwize Sexy Love (2007), Streetwize Does Mary J. Blige (2008), Streetwize – Put U To Bed (2009). As member of the Sax Pack he released in addition The Sax Pack (2008) and The Pack Is Back (2009).

I would ask Kim, when do you have time for recreation? “I believe that the world cannot live without new music. I know I can’t!” Following this answer we should direct our attention to his new album This Heart Of Mine. Kim performs on this album most of the instruments only supported by Allen Hinds on guitars.

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Jim Peterik’s Lifeforce – Forces at Play

Pop, rock, sass. All come to mind while playing Jim Peterik’s Lifeforce Forces at Play (SMC Records, 2011). The singer, songwriter, producer and guitarist made his mark with rock groups Ides of March (“Vehicle”) and Survivor (“Eye of the Tiger”). Now, he culls all of his musical influences, including jazz, and stirs an elixir of love, joy and good vibes.

Among the notables joining Peterik on this venture are Steve Oliver, Mindi Abair, Acoustic Alchemy, Chieli Minucci, Jessy J, David Pack, Alex Ligertwood, Nick Colionne, Steve Cole and Peterik’s son, Sijay.

The set opens with “Forces at Play,” featuring Cole and Minucci. It’s an upbeat, sax-led instrumental piece that represents Peterik’s “jazz that rocks” statement. Abair plays sax and sings lead on “’Sall Good.” The lyrics again emphasize the overall vibe of the album while paying tribute to jazz legend John Coltrane. The shuffle beat gives this one a swinging groove.

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