Archive for November, 2012

Jackiem Joyner – Church Boy

Saxophonist Jackiem Joyner from Norfolk, Virginia, has a good name in the smooth jazz genre. With his albums Baby Soul (2007), Lil’ Man Soul (2008) and Jackiem Joyner (2010) he has built up a strong following.

So far we had only known that he played with Marcus Johnson from 2001–2004, and also performed with Bobby Lyle, Angela Bofill, George Duke, Najee and many others.

With his new album Church Boy (2012) he gives us the first glimpse into the dark ages of his youth. In Mack Avenue’s biography he reports about the difficult times, when he found himself with no money, no job and homeless.

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Carl Stanley – A Beautiful Thing

After hearing a piece of music by Najee at the age of 14, UK based saxman Carl Stanley fell in love with the sound of the saxophone, that piece of music was ‘betcha don’t know’ from Najee’s 1986 debut ‘Najee’s Theme. It wasn’t until 2 years later in 1988 on his 16th birthday that he actually got his hands on an alto saxophone and a tape of a Grover Washington Jr album, and began to teach himself to play by ear every evening after school.

He performed with Roy Ayers, Will Young, Mica Paris, Andy Abraham and Jeff Lorber.

A Beautiful Thing is a fusion of jazz, funk, soul, R&B and pop featuring tenor, alto & aoprano saxophones with lead vocals by Gianna. This album just arrived at CDBaby.

Steven Gores & Chico Chavez – Around the Sun

World Jazz styling with Smooth Jazz overtones…..Steven Gores ( Composer/Keyboards) and Chico Chavez (percussion) team up to bring you an energizing set of flowing lines and beautiful haunting melodies. Wanna feel good?…..put this music on.

Around the Sun shines at CDBaby.

Jackson Rice – The Firefly

Jackson Rice is since 40 years a professional trumpet player. He has recorded, mastered, produced or performed on over 2000 recordings. His modesty forbids more details.

Now he steps into the spotlight for the first time and presents his debut album The Firefly (2011). Musicians on this release are Jackson Rice on trumpet and VL-1 synthesizers, Chris Attwood on trombone, Mark Wilson on guitar, Marc Miller on bass and Kevin Blackwood on drums.

The very first piece 180 Degrees alone draws our attention. The arrangement shows depth, the melody isn’t played down only. There is a real interaction between the musicians. The rhythm has a gripping drive. Enthusiasm is spreading.

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Anna Estrada – Volando

Anna Estrada’s voice has a rich, soothing quality, enhanced by her versatility of style and language. The San Francisco Bay-area vocalist scores with her third release, Volando (Feral Flight Productions, 2012). The 12-song set brings a taste of Latin and Brazilian, throwing in some clever arrangements of pop and rock hits.

Estrada injects a bit of Mediterranean sound on the medley of the Beatles’ “Happinesss Is a Warm Gun / I want You.” The mood is augmented by Rich Kuhns’ accordion and Tommy Kesecher’s marimba.

That is followed by a hint of up-tempo reggae on Jorge Ben’s “Mais Que Nada.” Instrumental enhancements include Al Bent’s trombone, Phil Thompson’s drum play and the electric bass solo by Alex Baum. Kuhns accents some phrases with the organ.

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Reza Saleh – First Step

Reza Saleh is an exceptional bassist and musician with a passion for jazz, music and the arts.

Reza’s simple, integrated approach emphasizes chord progressions, riffs and harmonies, resulting in distinctively intelligible, enjoyable music that everyone can appreciate. His compositions and performances leave listeners and audiences impressed and delighted. With recordings of his work and performance clips available on YouTube, Facebook and featured on several podcasts, Reza’s enthusiasm speaks for itself.

Originally from Indonesia, Reza became interested in playing guitar when he was 12. After his father, the late Usmawi Saleh, challenged him to learn as many rhythmic variations of the 12-bar Blues as possible, and with his older brother, Emir, playing piano, Reza was captivated. With after-school jamming as an everyday practice with his family, Reza developed impeccable skills. By the time he caught an Earth, Wind and Fire performance—which convinced him that music could be thrilling both to create and consume—Reza committed to music as a way of life.

He came to America, where he was named the Long Beach Jazz Festival’s Best New Smooth Jazz Artist in 2006. Reza has since played the festival circuit and opened for top acts, including Peter White, Ray Parker, Jr., and the Brand New Heavies. His debut album First Step is now available at CDBaby.

Paul Von Thadden – New Day

Von Thadden has been producing, composing, arranging and performing for over 30 years. His experience and diversity are evident in his fluid yet precise playing style. His command of the instrument is direct , yet effortless.
He has studied with jazz masters such as David Baker(Cycles) as well as Theory legends like Bob Bianco(The Shillinger System).

He is currently co-producing, composing & arranging with Motown Producer George Kerr ( his current credits
include a song on Jill Scott’s latest CD & a song sampled on Kanye West’s latest CD and a # 6 song by Fat Joe ! ). Von Thadden has performed with icons in the music industry such as Ashford & Simpson, Debrah Cox, Melisa Morgan, Grady Tate, Bobby Humpfrey, Micki Howard ,Vickie Natalie ( Star Search GrandChampion), Chantell Dorset (Star Search Champion), Sherrod Barnes ( Beyonce / Whittney H.), Omar Hakim ( Madonna /Police ), Bernard Davis (Anita Baker), Cassandra Hawkins, J-Nyce, Maridalia ( Santa Domingo), Andre Smith (Roberta Flack), Cuba Gooding Sr., The Manhattans, Sidney Barnes ( Motown / Northern Soul), Timothy Wilson (Motown), Eric Frazer , Allyson Williams, George Bien, and more. One listen , and you will hear his virtuosity !

His current solo album is New Day. You can buy it at CDBaby.

Streetwize – Feelin’ Sexy

Kim Waters is certainly the most productive saxophonist of the smooth jazz genre. Very popular are his Streetwize albums Streetwize (2002), Streetwize II (2003), Streetwize/Slowjamz (2004), Streetwize Does Dre (2005), Streetwize Sexy Love (2007), Streetwize Does Mary J. Blige (2008), and Streetwize – Put U To Bed (2009).

His latest project in this series is Streetwize – Feelin’ Sexy, which was released October 30, 2012 on Shanachie Entertainment. Kim Waters played all instruments except Bernd Shoenhart (guitar). In his own way interprets Waters R&B hits with market success in recent years.

Crooner Robin Thickes’ Love After War has a high seductive potential, shared by Waters on his faithful rendition. Ledisi’s lead single Pieces Of Me has a critical attitude. Waters perfectly crystallized the melodic part with his tenor sax.

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Brittni Paiva – Tell U What

Some artists, because of their penchant for excellence without sounding trite or cookie-cutter, earn the designation of “can do no wrong.” Normally, this applies to veteran musicians who have been at it for decades, like guitarist Steve Khan or drummer Peter Erskine. Brittni Paiva, just 23 at the time of recording Tell U What (Brittni Paiva Music, 2012), is quickly moving in that direction.

The Hawaiian-born ukulele player impressed with her previous releases, including Four Strings: The Fire Within. And earlier in 2012, she released Living Ukulele, which accomplishes several things in its 80 minutes. In addition to giving audiences insight to the artist, the DVD shows the beauty of Hawaii, visits some of Paiva’s cross-cultural influences, takes a close look at her instrument of choice and shows how the young performer has won over some musical icons.

Renowned composer and saxophonist Tom Scott, who invites Paiva to perform with his band in one segment of Living Ukulele, produced, arranged, engineered and mixed the new recording. He says that he was so impressed by Paiva’s performance with his band, he wanted to take her to new heights and invited some of his friends. The duo is assisted on selected tracks by Michael McDonald, Chuck Findley, Ray Parker Jr. and Arturo Sandoval.

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Charles Walker – Life Changing: A Journey Called Grace

For over 25 years, the name Charles Walker has been synonymous with soulful, passionately inspiring instrumental music. His soulful sounds have engaged him with some of the industry’s most elite artists. Charles’ studio sessions with countless artists attributed to projects with notable artists such as Bernard Harris, Kirk Whalum, Marion Meadows and Kevin Whalum.

The message behind his music is to simply provide hope and encouragement to the listener. This long awaited debut cd is an inspired collection of contemporary, traditional and smooth jazz sounds. It is distinctly flavored by the use of gospel, jazz and powerful vocals. Life Changing: A Journey Called Grace is now arrived at CDBaby.