Archive for October, 2011

Randy Scott – 90Degrees At Midnight

Director of Music for the Southfield, MI, musician, record producer and composer Randy Scott is well known in the music scene of Detroit, maintaining his own studio. He recorded or performed with Michael Powell, J. Moss & Paul Allen, Hiroshima, Nancy Wilson, Grover Washington, Jr., Fred Hammond, The Clark Sisters, Rance Allen, Dietrich Haddon, Men of Standard, Kirk Franklin, Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, Bob James, Marion Meadows, Tim Bowman and many other artists especially of the smooth jazz scene.

He established his solo career with the albums Randy Scott (1994), Future (1999), Words Unspoken (2002), Breathe (2007), and this year 90 Degrees at Midnight. Randy is an anointed and gifted multi-instrumentalist, but his main instrument is the sax. On his new album he is supported by the Otis brothers (drums), Terrance Palmer, Al Turner (bass), Kris Johnson (trumpet, flugelhorn), Edward Gooch, Ron Kischuk (trombone), Tim Bowman, Darryl Dixon (guitar) and many more.

Randy Scott starts his album in medias res with 90 Degrees At Midnight, vibrant, dynamic and energetic this song immediately takes you to the dance floor. Disco/R&B group A Taste of Honey wrote music history with their hit Boogie Oogie Oogie in 1978. Randy dives deep into the disco scene with his creative rendition.

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A Conversation With Paul Brown

PH:  Hi, my name is Peter Höld and I’m from the Webradiostation GrooveFM. I have a few questions for you. Is this your first time in Germany?

PB:  Yes, it’s my first time in Germany.

PH:  Yes, indeed? And you like it here?

PB:  I love it. So far it’s great. I love this venue, it’s beautiful and everybody is very nice.

PH:  And we have nice Californian weather (laughs) today.

PB:  (laughs) Yes, I brought the sunshine.

PH:  One important question for me, because I’m a guitar player. You are playing a Gibson L-5?

PB:  Yes, on my recordings I use a Gibson L-5. Live I have this Nelson Palen Archtop, that’s what I’m playing tonight.

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SureWill – Out of the Shawdows

Jazz Keyboardist SureWill releases new CD Out of the Shawdows. SureWill’s 30 year music background began with his playing in church in Buffalo, NY. Will has had the pleasure of working on projects and performing with Grammy Award winning artists: Al Jarreau, George Duke, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, and New Edition. He has also performed with many hard working artists in the industry such as Ne-Yo and Sade.

Will has worked hard in the industry and has gained the respect of many peers and A-List artists. He has performed live in some great venues and events such as The Long Beach Jazz Festival (2006 & 2007). Ne-Yo and Faith Evans World Tour (2005-2006), JVC Jazz Festival (2005), Newport Jazz Festival (2005). He has also performed for the following and televised awards: Grammy’s (2005), American Music Awards (2003- 2005), BET Awards (2003-2005), Country Music Awards (2004). Most recently he wrote and performed the score to December 2010 play “The Haunting Secret”. Surewill is Nominated for 2011 Jazz Artist Of the Year At the La Music Awards.

His writing and producing skills have taken him to an area where he wants all those who have the “ToldUSo” mentality to realize their dream. SureWill is now stepping out of the shadows and will continue to reach the world through his gift of music artistry. With many new artists from across the globe expressing to work with this musical genius.

Steve Ono – Fingerpaint and Folksongs

Progressive pop-jazz-folk fusion instrumental music with soaring melodies and solos are blended with songs about subjects such as domestic violence, the death of a spouse, mental illness and economic depression.

After a 38 year career in the business of guitar, Steve Ono has a few things to show you. He has grooves and jams swinging from blues to middle eastern music to world music to Irish music. He has written songs without lyrical compromise and without Hollywood endings.

Tough times need a voice and Steve Ono is such a voice.

With the help of his friends Dave Calvert on keyboards and John Martin III on percussion Steve Ono’s instrumental music shows a happier and more playful side as well as the deeper. We found it at CDBaby.

I Happened To Hear 10/2011

This straight-ahead piano jazz CD comes from Niayana Recordings, the label that gave you (and me) SoundDoctrine. The opener ‘When Morning Gilds the Skies’ has clever excerpts from ‘America the Beautiful’. Similarly ‘Doxology’ has refrains recognisable to me as ‘All People That on Earth do Dwell’.

The lovely waltz time of ‘O How I Love Jesus’ marks a change of pace from the first two frenetic numbers. The tempo is back up for the sax-led ‘The Church is One Foundation’, one of several gospel staples which receives a storming jazz treatment on this album. I particularly enjoyed ‘Our Great Savior’ with its Latin flavour and nice, warm jazz guitar sound.

Let’s not forget that Phillip, as well as being a talented and fiery pianist, brings bass, organ and drum playing skills to the project. On ‘O God, Our Help in Ages Past’ the organ is to the fore and the bass moves around energetically. I like the Harvey Mason-esque vibes sound on ‘I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say’ and I’ve got to tell you – if you are a fan of jazz trios which can bring something new to gospel standards, you’re going to find some inventive, sometimes challenging, music here. Fans of more traditional gospel – or even people who think they know what gospel should sound like – will revel in the party-like atmosphere of the closer ‘Down by the Riverside’.

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A Conversation With Jessy J

PH:  Welcome to Germany. Is it your first time here?

Jessy J:  Thank you, it´s my first time.

PH:  Do you like it?

Jessy J:  I do. It´s beautiful. There´s a lot of nature. So I was surprised to see some interesting birds at the hotel. Very beautiful birds. Different from the ones that are in the United States. The colouring is different.

PH:  First I want to introduce myself. I´m Peter Höld from the internet radio GrooveFM.

You ever heard about it?

Jessy J:  I have heard , yes.

PH:  You have heard about GrooveFM? Hey, that’s great!

And congrats (congratulations) for your top ranking on the Jazz Billboards.

Jessy J:  Yes, thank you. Thank you so much.

PH:  It´s sensational, you are number one!

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Nicole Henry – Set For The Season: Live In Japan

Only a couple of months after releasing her critically-acclaimed Embraceable CD, song stylist Nicole Henry keeps the momentum rolling with a joyous jazz collection of holiday-themed classics that were recorded live at the Cotton Club in Tokyo. Set For The Season: Live In Japan, produced by Henry and Grammy nominee Matt Pierson (Kirk Whalum, Jane Monheit, Joshua Redman), will be released October 25th on Henry’s Banister Records.

Backed by an astute trio comprised of Pete Wallace (piano), James McCoy (bass) and David Chiverton (drums, percussion), Henry harnesses the full range of her immense vocal gift on the enchanting disc of festive tunes. From The Sound of Music, “My Favorite Things” is presented as an intricately arranged groovy waltz. You can almost hear the peaceful sound of snow falling on the graceful “Christmas Time Is Here.”

Starting out playfully, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” evolves from a children’s standard into an infectiously toe-tapping, finger-popping swinger. Henry, who the New York Times compared to a young Natalie Cole, would likely earn the seal of approval from Nat King Cole for her sterling rendition of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).” McCoy suavely duets with Henry on the cozy “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” takes the form of a New Orleans-seasoned march, and Henry’s beatific voice delivers “O Holy Night” as a prayerful spiritual.

“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” is a swinging showstopper on which Henry & Company go for broke. Finally, while not a holiday tune, she closes the set with the bombastic boogie “I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water,” a present for the ardent admirers that made it a fan favorite at her concerts. Continue reading