Archive for June, 2012

G’s Way – Seventy Seven

The Parisian group G’s Way consists of Gérald “GG” Bonnegrace (percussions, trumpet, trombone, keys, bamboo flute), Thierry “JP Groov” Jean-Pierre (bass), Stefane Goldman (guitar ), Sylvain “Sly” Fetis (tenor and baritone saxophone) and Christian Templet (drums).

This French project is created and leaded by Gérald “GG” Bonnegrace, composer and musician. He also composed and arranged all tracks of the debut album Seventy Seven (2012). This album is available on his website. Quiet unusual is also the fact, that the album can be listened in full length at this site. So the listener can really check out, what he gets.

Gérald cites his influences with Ray Baretto, Eumir Deodato, Fela Kuti, Grover Washington Jr and many others, what is from the stylistic view very broad.


Sabrina Lastman – The Candombe Jazz Sessions

Sabrina Lastman begins “Axis” using her voice as an instrument. That’s only a taste of things to come as the Montevideo, Uruguay native presents The Candombe Jazz Sessions (Zoho Music, 2012).

Lastman is based in New York. Candombe is the percussion-driven genre that has origins in African Bantu. The set represents the music audiences have come to expect when Lastman performs. The core ensemble is comprised of Emilio Solla on piano; Pablo Aslan on double bass; and David Silliman on drums and percussion. Several guests appear on selected tracks.

“Axis” begins as if Lastman were a human trumpet, introducing the piece. The voice scats its way through, complemented by the instruments, including a middle solo by violinist Meg Okura. It’s one of seven original songs written or co-written by Lastman. The other three are Uruguayan/Brazilian standards.


Marcus Miller – Renaissance

A generation is roughly defined as a period of about 30 years. 30 years ago – in the early ‘80s – America was rolling with Ronald Reagan at the wheel and his conservative “back to family values” tenets. A similar traditionalism was also being adopted by several prominent up-and-coming jazz musicians. While most of the then-young flock was looking back, Marcus Miller was looking ahead. By the middle of that decade in 1986, Marcus – the musician, composer and producer – was at the helm of one of the most impactful modern jazz masterpieces of the era with some futuristic roots music he composed for the legendary Miles Davis entitled Tutu.

Now with Renaissance in 2012, Marcus Miller surveys the landscape of not just music but society as a whole. In the same profound way that anointed gospel-soul singer Sam Cooke prophesized 50 years before in 1963, Miller feels that “a change is gonna come.” And just as with Tutu, he is ahead of the storm with Renaissance, for release on August 7, 2012 from Concord Jazz, a division of Concord Music Group. Fortified by a team of hungry young players that includes trumpeters Sean Jones and Maurice Brown, alto saxophonist Alex Han, drummer Louis Cato, guitarists Adam Agati and Adam Rogers, and keyboardist Kris Bowers along with veteran keys wizards Federico Gonzalez Peña and Bobby Sparks, Miller is creating the soundtrack for this musical, cultural and spiritual revolution.

“I feel like a page is turning,” Miller muses. “The last of our heroes are checking out and we are truly entering a new era. Politically, things have polarized and are coming to a head. Musically, we’ve got all these cool ways to play and share music – MP3 files, internet radio and satellite radio – but the music is not as revolutionary as the media. It’s time for a rebirth.” Continue reading

Ben Tankard – Full Tank

Ben Tankard (born January 24, 1964) is a former professional basketball player and an American gospel, jazz keyboardist producer, songwriter and motivational speaker. Ben dropped out of college after one year to play minor league pro basketball in Canada. He was invited to an NBA camp but was injured and cut. Ben rebounded from his basketball injury to become the world’s bestselling and most popular musician in gospel jazz music.

On July 16, 2011 Tankard was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Musical Excellence as an artist, producer, and songwriter by The Atlanta Gospel-fest. Ben Tankard is also a noted speaker and has spoke at major venues and events for the National Basketball Association, Joel Osteen, and Bishop T.D. Jakes amongst others.

Tankard’s sixteenth studio album, the highly anticipated ” Ben Tankard / Full Tank ” on his revamped Tribute Records (Ben-Jamin’ Universal Music & Film) label. It features music from legendary producer-songwriters, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and special guest appearances by Mark Kibble / Take 6, & Gerald Albright and others. This is the launch pad release that marks his return to the corporate executive chair.

Get your Full Tank at CDBaby.


Gerald Albright and Norman Brown – 24/7

Saxophonist Gerald Albright is best known for his popular and signature sax sound. His stage presence is brilliant. He wins the audience in seconds. His newest repertoire consists of Groovology (2002) and Kickin’ It Up (2004) on GRP, followed by New Beginnings (2008) and Sax for Stax (2009) on Peak Records, both GRAMMY® nominated in the category of Best Pop Instrumental Album. His latest solo album is Pushing The Envelope released in June 15, 2010 on Heads Up International.

At eye level reveals guitarist Norman Brown. One can feel his vibrant energy, when Norman Brown fiercely performs onstage. Assembling a huge fan community he is one of the shining stars of this genre. All started with his debut Just Between Us (1992), followed by the albums After The Storm (1994), Better Days Ahead (1996), Celebration (2000), Just Chillin’ (2002), West Coast Coolin’ (2004), Stay With Me (2007) and Sending My Love, released June 22nd, 2010.

Although both artists know each other since the ’80’s, this project is the first one, they work together. Because of the small time window was the disk recording really short. Brown comments: “When we were recording the project, we didn’t have a lot of time – so we were working on it 24/7!”

While Brown performs on lead and rhythm guitars, Albright expands on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flutes, bass guitar, electric wind instrument, percussion, programming and background vocals. They are joined by keyboardist Tracy Carter, rhythm guitarist Rick Watford and drummer Jay Williams; and keyboardist Herman Jackson, bassist Byron Miller, drummer Charles Streeter and percussionist Ramon Yslas.


Rick Drumm and Fatty Necroses – Return from the Unknown

Fusion? Blues? Jazz buffet? Whatever it is, Return from the Unknown by Rick Drumm and Fatty Necroses challenges the listener to step outside that comfort zone of the familiar and the catchy, and appreciate something that has depth and strays, happily, from the beaten path.

Drumm, a drummer, is a proverbial late bloomer. A longtime business executive, he was 47 when he went to college and earned an MBA. He was 55 when he made this debut recording. Drumm draws inspiration from the early days of fusion, admiring such artists as Return to Forever, Miles Davis, Weather Report and the Crusaders.

Drumm is supported by Fred Hamilton and Corey Christiansen on guitars; John Benitez on bass; Axel Tosca Laugart on piano; Frank Catalano on saxophone; Mike Brumbaugh on trombone; and Pete Grimaldi on trumpet.

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Freeze Frame – The Smooth Shore

Ray Bach better known under his project-name Freeze Frame started his career with the legendary debut album The Book of Moviescores (1991), which was released on IC Digit the same year. He stayed connected with this label in the following years with The Crossover (1992), Loving Life (1994), Feelin’ So Good (1996), and A Balanced World (1999).

After a long hiatus he returned in 2006 with his album Transition followed by the album Colors Of Summer (2009) and The Score Of Moviebooks (2012). Ray Bach’s style belongs to the fields of smooth jazz, new electronic and Pop. He is a representative of the European smooth jazz with a slight but significant difference to the American Urban influenced approach.

The Smooth Shore (2012)  is the coolest and most relaxed Freeze Frame release ever. While the former release The Score Of Moviebooks took its listeners on a journey through time and space, with many different musical styles, the brand-new EP The Smooth Shore captures the mood spanning a sunny afternoon until the evening sunset on a Balearic island.

“It’s a declaration of love. I found this place a couple of years ago. The beautiful environment and the relaxed atmosphere give time to breathe and help recharge one’s batteries,” says Ray Bach about the new release.

The Smooth Shore will be available online through iTunes, Amazon and other platforms from June 18th.

Rod Tate – Until Next Time…

Saxophonist Rod Tate’s latest musical offering, Until Next Time… features 11 Smooth/Contemporary Jazz Originals that will keep you groovin’ , peaceful and uplifted all at the same time. This CD also features 3 Classic Cover Songs made popular by three of the best artist from the 1970’s and 1980’s.

These songs will surely be a blast from the past for some and a new discovery for others: “Love Always” made famous by the great El DeBarge, “Loving You” from the original songbird Minnie Ripperton, and “Not Yet” from the legendary saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. As with all of Rod’s music his intentions are to soothe the listeners soul and speak love to their spirits through his music, songwriting and musical expressions through the saxophone.

Lastly, some suggested usage of the, “Until Next Time…” CD, but not limited to these suggestions: If you are a person that loves to take a drive on a sunny Saturday Afternoon, this CD would make a nice sound track for your ride. If you are chillin’ at home after a long day and you are ready to exhale, this CD would be a nice soundtrack for your evening of Chillaxin’. If you are the type that loves to entertain and looking for a musical backdrop to set the atmosphere, this CD will do that for you. Last but not least, if you are setting up for that perfect evening with your significant other, guess what ? This CD would be nice as your backdrop for a romantic evening…We could go on and on, but we’ll stop here…LOL

Get your copy today at CDBaby!

Jeff Bradshaw – Bone Appétit

When Jeff Bradshaw plays his trombone you will hear tones, you never heard before. He made the “slide” to a musical art form on trombone. He doesn’t plays the notes directly, but approaches them with a trombone own motion. What seems to be difficult to describe, enthuses the audience with magic charm.

Hear it to believe it. Jeff has recorded, toured, and performed with: Michael Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire, Jill Scott, Jay Z, Mary J. Blige, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Kirk Franklin, Floetry, Common, John Legend, Kanye West, Tyler Perry, Dave Chappelle, Jazzy Jeff, Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary, and many more.

But his personal style shines on his solo releases. We were excited, when Jeff released his debut album Bone Deep on Hidden Beach Records in 2003. Music journalist Rob Young described Bone Deep as most definitely one of the coolest joints of 2003! He also lent his trombone on some of Hidden Beach Recordings’ very own Unwrapped series.

It took a long time until Jeff released his sophomore album. Bone Appétit is out now and he pleases us with a double issue of 20 songs. The title is an aptly amalgamation of the short term for trombone and the French bon appétit. The following guests are joining the dinner Marsha Ambrosius, Raheem DeVaughn, Kindred the Family Soul, Maysa (Incognito), Coko (SWV), PJ Morton (Cash Money/Maroon 5) and introducing Brass Heaven. Be aware that this double feature album is a limited edition.


Oscar Castro-Neves – Live at Blue Note Tokyo

Blame this one on the bossa nova. Guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves takes on that musical style, a blend of jazz and traditional Brazilian rhythms, with Live at Blue Note Tokyo (Zoho Records, 2012). The project brings together old friends as well as shares the artist’s thoughts about the similarities between Japanese and Brazilian music.

Castro Neves plays acoustic guitar, synthesizer guitar and sings. Fellow Brazilians assist him on this project. They are Airto Moreira, drums and, on selected tracks, caxixis, pandeiro and vocal; Leila Pinheiro, vocals; Marco Bosco, percussion, voice effects, birds and kalimba on “Tatiando”; Paulo Calasans, acoustic piano and keyboards; and Marcelo Mariano, electric bass.

The set begins with “Ela E Carioca,” an enchanting piece that features Castro-Neves blending vocal scat with instrumentation. The song creates a vision of nighttime on a beach at Rio de Janeiro, with the moonlight reflecting off the surface of the ocean. Though the guitar is out front, all instruments are equally engaged.

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