Archive for July, 2013

ZOÉ – Unstoppable

UnstoppableSince this multitalented group of musicians known as ZOÉ (pronounced z -AY) burst onto the smooth jazz scene cradled deep in the heart of Philadelphia, listeners have been captivated by their soulful sound fueled by smooth funk, R&B and pure entertainment. The group includes Reggie Harris (saxophonist), Cleveland Belin Jr. (keyboardist), David Ferebee (drummer), H. Maurice Fonville (bassist), and Bolivar Guadalupe (percussionist).

This band of brothers , unified by optimum musicianship and sheer talent has poured their strength and soul into their latest compilation entitled Unstoppable . The feel good, high spirited, groovy and refreshing music of this CD reflects the best passion and joys of life. Enjoy every moment of this blend of ZOÉ s diverse musical styles, as Unstoppable comes together to create a wonderful and unique sound of its own. Whether dining with friends, cruising in your car, or just relaxing after a long hard day ZOÉ has something for your heart and soul.

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Brian Clay – Honey Grove Lane

Honey Grove LaneAccomplished keyboardist … gifted vocalist … sought after composer and studio musician, Brian Clay has been a principal player in an Atlanta smooth jazz scene that boosts some of the best musicians in the country.

Brian’s style on piano draws comparisons to the likes of Joe Sample and Bob James, while his vocal style conjures up the spirits of Nat King Cole, Donny Hathaway and Luther Vandross. His stage presence is magnetic and his performances are dynamic.

Brian combines an extraordinary talent with an amazing knowledge of the contemporary jazz genre as well. He is a veteran radio broadcaster with over 18 years of experience; 10 years of which he was an air-personality on Atlanta’s Smooth Jazz 107.5 WJZZ. He is also creator and program director for his own Internet station and long-form syndicated radio program called JAZZSPIRATIONS; a program that features the genre known as inspirational jazz or gospel jazz.

Brian has 4 CD’s to his credit. His first release, entitled “The Nu Flava”, was recorded with his band KOMPANI and featured Gospel Jazz instrumentals and vocals. He followed that CD with “Tell Me”, a collection of contemporary gospel tracks. His third release was a collaboration with Atlanta singer songwriter Pamela Best called “Word and Music.” Brian’s 4th project, called “Lookin for Something” is a smooth jazz project of groove oriented instrumentals and romantic and smooth vocal tracks.

Brian’s new CD “Honey Grove Lane” was released in summer of 2013 and is now on sale at CDBaby.

UroSoule – Colors

Jazz vocalist, composer and lyricist Agnieszka Iwanska is a graduate of the Jazz Studies program at the University of Katowice, Poland. Currently she is living in Chicago, where she formed her own band. In collaboration with keyboardist/composer Paul Scherer she recorded her debut album All That I Am (2009).

Now she is back with her sophomore album Colors (2013). She shares music with Paul Scherer (piano, keyboards, percussion), Cooke Harvey (bass), and Paul Townsend (drums). Guest musicians are Dave Schiff (sax, flute), Don Schiff (ns stick), Freddie Franken (guitar), Dan Graper (guitar), and Bob Kase (flugelhorn).

I confess that vocal jazz is not for everyone. However, the accompanying musicians are playing at such a high level that even instrumentalists will enjoy this album. Moreover Agnieszka merges with her ​​musicians to form a unit. So melt all caveats after the first sounds.

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Giovanni Moltoni – Tomorrow’s Past

After four albums as a leader, guitarist Giovanni Moltoni releases Tomorrow’s Past (C#2 Music Productions, 2013).

Accompanying him in this session are Greg Hopkins, trumpet; Fernando Huergo, bass; and Bob Tamagni, drums.

“Just a Thought” begins the set. Trumpet leads while guitar fills on the moderate, happy-go-lucky melody. Bass and drums keep time, throwing in personal touches here and there. Hopkins then steps out for an extended solo, playing freely as the pace shifts back and forth between 4/4 and 3/4. Moltoni follows. The transitions are seamless.

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Robin Bramlett – This Is My Life

This Is My LifeThis Is My Life is basically a instrumental autobiography which highlights life and musical experiences throughout bassist’s Robin Bramlett‘s life. Robin has also invited some very talented friends of hers to join her on this project including virtuoso violinist Karen Briggs, keyboardist Gail Johnson, saxophonists Darren Gholston and Jeanette Harris, guitarist Kat Dyson, and many others. You will hear a mixture of jazz, r&b, neo-soul, and funk on this project.

You find this album filed under contemporary jazz at CDBaby.

Rodney Foster – Maya

MayaRodney Foster had many childhood musical experiences that helped nourish his musical creativity from touring the United States with his aunts to winning talent shows from grade school through high school. After a devastating military accident that permanently damaged his hearing, Rodney got very serious about music as a career. He purchased a set of congas and taught himself to play. He joined the group named Strong, a top 40’s band, and went on tour to Japan as a lead singer and percussionist.

When he returned to the States he formed several R & B bands but couldn’t find members as dedicated as he was to working towards success. He purchased his first keyboard, a Juno 106, and quickly mastered midi techniques, which lead to purchasing computers, modules, multi-track recorders and a 48 channel mixer. Rodney likes to stay on top of all the newest technological trends in music. These innovations have allowed him to create his music on his own terms. He has a catalog of well over 5000 tracks and growing.

His new album Maya has a warm uplifting smooth jazz feel. Great background sounds for travel, chores, and parties. Enjoy it at CDBaby.

Robb Cappelletto Group – !!!

Points of emphasis? Excitement to the third power? Triple exclamations? Robb Cappelletto shuns conventionality with his debut recording, titled in punctuation marks instead of words or numerals. !!! by the Robb Cappelletto Group (2013) features the Candian guitarist and two sidemen, Jon Maharaj on bass and Ahmed Mitchel on drums.

“Scare Tactics” opens the set. The trio plays with such passion, it’s easy to forget there are only three musicians. Mitchel plays a shuffle beat behind Cappelletto and Maharaj. Though the drummer is firmly locked in throughout, it’s the guitar that leads most of the way, with the bass getting its moment in the spotlight. Toward the end of the track, guitar and bass step aside. Mitchel takes full advantage, rolling through the entire kit before transitioning back to the melody.

The trio takes a tranquil approach to the bossa nova classic, “Corcovado,” also known to some as “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars.” After the opening sequence, the musicians soften the tone, the peace occasionally broken by Mitchel’s timely cymbal splashes. Gradually, the group turns on the heat during Cappelletto’s middle solo. Maharaj’s play here is mindful of John Patitucci.

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Carl Frederick Wright – Wrightus Jazzertation

JazzertationJazzertation Noun: a collecton of smooth jazz sounds that relaxes the soul. Jazzertation music readies the mind to meditate on things that are excellent and worthy of praise. … things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Rebuke those thoughts that are not Christ like.

Wrightus Jazzertation will enthuse you at CDBaby.

Daniel Deaguero – Infusion

InfusionInfusion is an eleven-track instrumental collection, “infused” with an eclectic mix of Jazz genres including Nu/Cool/Smooth, Contemporary, Latin and Jazz/Rock Fusion. All tracks are upbeat/moderate tempo with song personalities ranging from mainstream Smooth, to jazzier Contemporary, to heavily Latin-influenced Smooth, to high-energy Fusion. Each track not only stands on its own – uniquely original, intensely creative, with pleasing arrangements – together as a collection they weave a rich tapestry that is interesting and entertaining.

Infusion is now on sale at CDBaby.

Monica Ramey and the Beegie Adair Trio – Monica Ramey and the Beegie Adair Trio

Romance is the theme with Monica Ramey and the Beegie Adair Trio (Adair Music Group, 2013). It’s a set of 14 ballads that defies the trend that seems to have flamed out. That trend, rock stars from the 1960s and ’70s recording albums of jazz standards, wore out The American Songbook – that collection of vintage jazz songs that have been covered by just about every singer who has done a jazz album.

Instead of an aging rock star, such as Rod Stewart, deciding he must get jazz out of his system, we have Ramey, a vocalist whose style is more suited to this music. A native of Francesville, Indiana and now based in Nashville, Tennessee, Ramey began her musical journey as the age of 3, and has studied at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts. In 1995, she was selected to become a member of the Grammy National All-American High School Jazz Band and Choir.

Monica Ramey and the Beegie Adair Trio is the first recording featuring these two entities. The trio is Adair, piano; Roger Spencer, bass; and Chris Brown, drums. George Tidwell, trumpet and flugelhorn; and Denis Solee, saxophones and flute, appear on a few tracks.

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