Archive for January, 2014

Tony Dancy – Tony Dancy Presents Some Kinda Jazzy Poppy Jazz

tonydancy3These jazz tunes are born from the imaginings inspired by the magical view of the best back yard in Los Angeles. Cedaredge Dreamscape is a real place where a krazy kat named Sadie (RIP) lived. A nod to Gabrielle and Jeffrey who so generously trusted us with their prized possession. The appropriately named Dizzy Pears is a delectable dessert created by my chef cousin, Amanda. And we cannot forget Joyce, decidedly always THERE, befriending us gweilos during our all too brief stay in Hong Kong. Who is Gypsy Johnny? Yes, my Roma heritage emerges in homage to my father John. Martha’s Mood, need we say more? The resurrected Resurrection is brought to exhilarating life by Francesca Falcone.

This album contains subtly complex “unsmooth”, smooth jazz with giant pop overtones. Produced by saxophonist Joe Turano (featured artist and music director for Al Jarreau), along with a plethora of the best unsung artists from Milwaukee to Los Angeles. We discovered this album at CDBaby.

Willie Bradley – Another Day & Time

AnotherDayWillie Bradley was in the midst of recording a group project with his contemporary jazz/funk band Essential Elements earlier this year when an extraordinary opportunity to do a solo project came up and inspired him to take his career in a new direction. The Fayetteville, North Carolina based trumpeter had invited several young urban jazz sensations, including saxophonist Marcus Anderson and then 18 year old keyboardist Nicholas Cole, to join him onstage during one of his regular First Saturday of the Month gigs at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux.

At the urging of Cole’s manager at the time, Kim Giles, owner of Beyond One Entertainment, Bradley hired Cole to produce & co-write Bradley’s first solo album. Several months later, the trumpeter and Nicholas are halfway through the trumpeter’s edgy, urban jazz flavored solo debut Another Day & Time. Released as a preview for the full collection, the title track has already been picked up and played regularly by the national cable service Music Choice.

“Nicholas is very talented as both a writer and producer and we have an awesome chemistry in the studio,” says Bradley. “He’s very calm and humble and has incredible talent and an innate knowledge of music that’s far beyond his time. All of this is most amazing because I’m almost 50 years old, have played music for many years, and I learn new things from him every day! Working with him felt right because as I thought about doing a solo project, I didn’t want my music to sound like anyone else’s. He brings a fresh, young perspective to my trumpet sound and the result is great songs that are very unique. The title ‘Another Day & Time’ refers not only to the fresh start my collaboration with Nicholas is bringing to my career, but also a new chapter in my spiritual life after God helped me survive and kick addictions.

Another Day & Time will also feature many special guests from the contemporary urban jazz realm, including saxophonist/producer Darren Rahn, guitarist Matt Marshak, bassist Julian Vaughn and saxman Marcus Anderson.

The CD is available at Barnes & Noble.

Four80East – Bibliotheca

Four80East is the project of Toronto based musicians Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace. They started with The Album in 1997, followed by Nocturnal (2001), Round Three (2002), En Route (2007), Roll On (2009), Off Duty (2012).

Their newest album is entitled Bibliotheca (2013) and is their best-of collection added by a special remix. Currently this album is only available as download version designed exclusively for Europe.

The album starts with Been Too Long from the album En Route. The piece has a special chill-out flavor, which is very popular in Europe. The song features Jon Stewart on tenor saxophone making it delicious for smooth jazz fans. The Rhodes solo is the icing of the cake.

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Ed Barker – Simple Truth

Simple TruthEd started work on his album, Simple Truth, in 2012 after touring with George Michael as his sax soloist, recording with some of the finest musicians from London, LA and New York. The album brings together all his favourite styles of music, fusing together elements of pop, jazz, soul, rock, funk and R&B.

If you like the grooves of Earth Wind and Fire and Tower of Power, the voices of Al Jarreau and Michael McDonald, the soulfulness of Dave Koz’s saxophone playing, David Sanborn’s funk playing, bebop, soft ballads or hard funky grooves with screaming sax, there is something on this album for everyone. There’s even some Beyonce and Michael Jackson covers on there!

Ed hasn’t confined himself to any one strict musical style as he finds that this sometimes constrains the artistic process. Ed says: “For me, the most important task is to compose melodies of strength and beauty and to perform them with passion, groove and emotion – that’s the Simple Truth behind good music and that’s the Simple Truth I’ve tried to convey with this album.

Putting this album together has been an incredible adventure. I have had the privilege of working with some of the finest musicians in the world from London, Los Angeles and New York. Every moment with these musicians has been both joyous and educational. I will treasure the memories forever.”

Curious? Then give this album a listen at CDBaby.

Keith Stead – Sometime Somewhere…

Sometime SomewhereRecorded in Japan, manufactured in the UK, this CD has received wide acclaim as being a beautifully relaxing album. However, don’t take other peoples’ word for it. Decide for yourself by auditioning some of the tracks.

Sometime Somewhere… is a jewel of the past and now available at CDBaby.

Phil Denny – The Messenger

To talk about a Christmas album in January, is certainly a little late. On the other hand, the album contains a high content of jazz, which makes it digestible even out of season. The Messenger is saxophonist Phil Denny‘s sophomore album released in 2013.

Phil was joined by Nate Harasim (keys, programming), Matt Godina (guitar, Rhodes), Lin Rountree (trumpet, flugelhorn), and many more. The album was produced by Nate Harasim, who also arranged the songs together with Phil Denny.

The album starts with Radio Flyer, a song that connects seamlessly on his first solo album Crossover (2012). Phil performs on a high level comparable with his idols Boney James and Richard Elliot.

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Ken Peplowski – Maybe September

Some jazz artists revisit the American Songbook for a thematic cover album. Some adapt pop or R&B songs into instrumentals. Ken Peplowski takes a different approach. Maybe September (Capri Records, 2013) features new arrangements of 10 songs that come from an array of artists – songs that aren’t commonly covered.

Among those composers whose songs are arranged here are Irving Berlin, Artie Shaw, Brian Wilson, Duke Ellington, Percy Faith and Harry Nilsson.

Peplowski plays clarinet and tenor saxophone. His sidemen are Ted Rosenthal, piano; Martin Wind, bass; and Matt Wilson, drums.

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Jim Samuel – Now

NowWith something for every Smooth Jazz fan, NOW offers jazz that is more funk and dance than smooth. An album full of melodies that will stay with you long after the music stops thanks to outstanding performances from guest artists Gerald Albright, Rob Tardik and Tony Neenan, NOW is the time to jump on the Jim Samuel bandwagon. You are in for a fun ride!

Outstanding originals, cool covers and intoxicating melodies make NOW the time to discover ths unique brand of Smooth Jazz at CDBaby.

Arno Haas – Magic Hands

Magic HandsJazz saxophone virtuoso Arno Haas enchants us with “Magic Hands” – his first rousing album produced by the famous musician Tom Saviano.

Gripping melodies, popular grooves, intoxicating fusion jazz – all this is provided on the first album from the virtuoso saxophonist Arno Haas “Magic Hands”, which will be published on the 4th of November in Germany. This musician has a distinctive appearance and stretches out, with several other famous musicians and renowned producer Tom Saviano, bringing the whole “sound panorama” of the current West-Coast-Jazz on the highest level.

The thrilling tracks and crisp hooks have something magic which will inspire people who did’nt like Jazz music before. The grooves are funky, simply magical!. Born in the Black Forest, Arno Haas has become famous in the world of music. He has more than 250 performances in the year in various formations and sometimes together with stars. He is also involved in a variety of CD productions – now he has his own album. It’s available at CDBaby.

Tim DeHuff – Big Water Little Boat

Guitarist Tim DeHuff performed with Main Ingredient, Larry Coryell, Joe Beck, Ronnie Spector, Vicki Sue Robinson, Alfonse Mouzon, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, George Duke, David Benoit, John Klemmer, Dave Liebman and many more. The year 2013 is very important for Tim, he released his debut album Big Water Little Boat.

Tim comments his new album: “This effort offers an exciting blend of instrumental music, spanning contemporary jazz, funk, rock, a touch of Latin and reggae.” Beside Tim, who performs all guitars, we find on selected tracks Chris Parker, Tyger McNeal, Trever Sommerville (drums), Nick Bariluck, Robert Aries and Jay Rowe (keyboards), and many more.

An upbeat music, but not written with nimble pen that is Hurry Home. Tim’s guitar playing is crystal clear and precise. Robert Aries on keys can equally electrify with dominant sounds. On Y Otra Vez Tim spreads the same magic as Santana. Jay Rowe (Special EFX) adds dynamic organ chords to round up this impression.

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