Archive for January, 2014

Pete McGuinness – Voice Like a Horn

Some vocalists, whether with wordless chants or scats, successfully emulate an instrument, be it a trumpet or flute. Names like Janis Siegel and Tierney Sutton come to mind. But when a trombonist who also sings can blow the brass or croon, and make either interchangeable with the other, it’s pretty impressive.

Pete McGuinness accomplishes that with his new release, Voice Like a Horn (Summit Records, 2013). With him are Jon Gordon, alto sax and flute on two songs; Bill Mobley, trumpet on two songs; Ted Kooshian, piano; Andy Eulau, bass; and Scott Neumann, drums.

“Yesterdays” gets things started. McGuinness opens the entire kit, inflections, scats and of course singing. His middle scat could easily transcribe into a trumpet or trombone solo. That’s a trait that encapsulates the theme of the entire album.

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The Jazzinvaders feat Dr. Lonnie Smith – That’s What You Say!

JazzinvadersThis is a great jazz-funk album with lots of burning organ provided by living legend Dr. Lonnie Smith on the hammond B3. The band is on fire, and the horn driven songs groove along in a mighty fashion. This is a jolly good record! (Peter Boehi, Smooth Jazz Vibes).

That’s What You Say! is available at

Graus & Bronzwaer – Trust

TrustMarcel Graus and Frans Bronzwaer are two Dutch musicians/composers with a classis guitar background (Marcel) and popmusic (Frans). They both love jazz. The music of Graus & Bronzwaer is a perfect mix of those aspects and the result is a mainly instrumental album with easy listening smooth jazz. Recorded in Twin Studio Brunssum-Netherlands and produced by Frans Bronzwaer. Trust is the third album. The first (Storytelling) and second (Talk to me) were released in 2003 and 2006. Visit our website for information and demotracks.

Give Trust a chance at CDBaby.

Adam Rongo – Tell Your Story

When people in a particular community, or of a certain demographic, become the subject of another’s creative work, the word is often given: “If you don’t tell your story, someone else will.” Saxophonist Adam Rongo takes that to heart with Tell Your Story (D Clef Records, 2013).

Rongo plays alto and tenor saxes. His band consists of Michael Dease, trombone; Emmet Cohen, piano; Rodney Whitaker, bass; and Ulysses Owens Jr., drums. The horn trio of Anthony Stanco, trumpet, Tim Mayer, tenor sax, and Tony Lustig, trombone, appear on three songs. Other musicians appearing here and there are Etienne Charles, trumpet; Randy Napoleon, guitar; Behn Gillece, vibraphone; Miki Hayama, piano (“Good & Terrible”); and Evan Sherman, drums (“Fifty-Six”).

The band brings a bright, delightfulness to “You Don’t Know What Love Is.” The rhythm section is in a tight groove behind Rongo’s tenor. Listen for Owens’ deft stick work underneath the piano during the middle passage.

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Cecil Isaac – Road Unknown yet Known

cecilisaacA collection of songs that have stuck with me over the years with a few originals is what the meat of this project is all about. Taking a favorite tune and adding new life to it in a jazz format, you’ll be humming it all day!

Road Unknown yet Known is leaning more to jazz than smooth jazz at CDBaby.

Ty Causey – Cool In My Skin

Singer Ty Causey is the vocal alternative to instrumental smooth jazz. Many smooth jazz fans know him by his cooperation with Najee on his album Morning Tenderness. Ty started his own career in 2004 with the album N-TYSING.

Love Notes (2005), Expressions (2007), Body Language (2008), True Love In Motion (2009), Down 2 Earth (2010), False Faces (2012), and Cool In My Skin (2013) were the follow-ups.

Ty has written, arranged and produced all songs on his new album with some guest appearances of musicians on selected tracks. The starting songs Bad Boy and Step N2 Love have the typical R&B flavor with drum programmed pattern, keyboard overtones and additional chords.

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Ali Ryerson Jazz Flute Big Band – Game Changer

Game Changer (Capri Records, 2013) is as its name implies. The debut release of the Ali Ryerson Jazz Flute Big Band defies convention with a collection of 10 songs by a cross-section of jazz composers but in a different setting.

Ryerson, who plays C and alto flutes, heads a 16-piece section that’s backed by a rhythm trio. In addition to Ryerson, the flutists are Marc Adler, Jamie Baum, Andrea Brachfield, Fernando Brandao, Bob Chadwick, Richard Ford, Kris Keith, Zachary Kellogg, Billy Kerr, Paul Lieberman, Rachel Rodgers, Jonathan Royce, Donna Sevcovic, Stan Slotter and Keith Underwood.

With the following exceptions, all play the C and alto flutes. Brandao and Lieberman, C, alto and bass; Chadwick and Sevcovic, bass; Kellogg, piccolo and C; Rodgers, C; and Underwood, bass and contrabass. The rhythm section are Mark Levin, piano; Rufus Reid, bass; and Akira Tana, drums and percussion.

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Keith Mason – King of the Most High

keithmason2This album represents my passion for music and my personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ who is the Son of the Living God. The songs along with their titles are an inspiration from the Holy Spirit. A scriptural reference is attached to each song, directing the listener to the passage in the King James Bible and used to communicate/teach the word of God. My prayer is to engage listeners musically, but also spiritually and intellectually.

King of the Most High is presented by CDBaby.

Frank Piombo – The Night Speaks (A Smooth Jazz Journey)

The Night SpeaksMy musical career spans three plus decades of professional entertainment as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. I have appeared as a lead guitarist and vocalist with many live bands throughout my career. This album is a compilation of original smooth jazz guitar, saxophone, trumpet, and flute. I hope to connect to an audience that appreciates the smooth relaxing sounds of my guitar.

The Night Speaks (A Smooth Jazz Journey) is on sale at CDBaby.

Earl MacDonald – Mirror of the Mind

Award-winning jazz educator Earl MacDonald rearranges the concept of a jazz quartet. Where one normally would have piano, drums, bass and another instrument, MacDonald’s ensemble deviates slightly for Mirror of the Mind (Death Defying Records, 2013).

MacDonald plays piano. He is accompanied by the Creative Opportunities Workshop: Kris Allen, saxophones; Christopher Hoffman, cello; and Rogerio Broccato, percussion.

The title song opens the set. It starts with soft piano, cello and light cymbals. Then, the groove kicks in with the full quartet. Allen leads. The mood is bright and charming. With MacDonald and Boccato mixing it up in the background, the saxophone continues to point the way. Meanwhile, Hoffman plays the cello at times like a rhythm guitar, but later plucks the strings like a piccolo bass.

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