Archive for April, 2015

Phil Casagrande – Taken Off

Taken OffBeing a writer, composer and producer Phil Casagrande shows great talent in all genres. From original solo piano performances, to pop music, to an amazing smooth-jazz original of “Let’s Groove”, he truly shows his range. In 1982, Phil worked for Atlantic records as a writer, and has also worked for Starlight Records where many songs he worked on ranked high on the Billboard charts.

Phil has worked with Jessica Cleeves from P-funk, he played keyboards, bass, synth, and even did some production on the Rap smash-hit “Inspector Gadget” (Bad Boys), he wrote and co-produced Paula Anderson’s song “Four Year Battle”-which made it to number 32 on the Billboard Chart with a bullet, and was picked up by Atlantic Records, he has also worked with Jeannine Carter, and has worked with songwriter and producer Dennis Johnson.

Taken Off is his follow up album to Manhattan Vibe which songs have charted. The feel is very relaxed and chill. Give this album a listen at CDBaby.

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Julian Vaughn – Limitless

Kansas City’s very own bass player Julian Vaughn convinced with his self-released debut The Purpose Project (2010), and his sophomore album Breakthrough (2012). Now he returns with his new album Limitless, which has been released on Trippin N’ Rhythm Records this month.

The album features saxophonists Elan Trotman, LeBron, Darren Rahn, and Marcus Anderson, flutist Althea Rene, Nicholas Cole on keyboards, vocalists Kim Griddine & Anthony Saunders and many more.

The first track Ride Along flirts with a children’s song motif. Julian and Elan Trotman are joking around and create that way the first single of the album. The interplay of bass and sax completed with a horn arrangement is also the pleasing choice of instrumentation of Initiate.

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Steve Gadd Band – 70 Strong

He’s one of the great drummers of our time, a designation he’s carried for at least as far back as the 1970s, when he contributed to such recordings as “Aja” by Steely Dan, Van McCoy’s “The Hustle” and Maynard Ferguson’s Primal Scream album. Born on April 9, 1945, Steve Gadd celebrates 70 years as the Steve Gadd Band presents 70 Strong (BFM Jazz, 2015).

For this date, Gadd is reunited with his Gadditude ensemble: Walt Fowler, trumpet and flugelhorn; Larry Goldings, keyboards and accordion; Jimmy Johnson, bass; and Michael Landau, guitars.

“Foam Home,” co-written by all members of the group, is considered the son of “Green Foam,” a track from the ensemble’s Gadditude (BFM, 2013). This track is like a group therapy session, with all five players expressing themselves as individuals yet maintaining the cohesion of the group. Gadd and Johnson mostly handle background, but they do so effectively. Fowler carries the melody with supplements by Landau and Goldings, and each contributes a solo. It’s a strutting, free-spirited piece.

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Alex Allen – Covered

CoveredAlex Allen is this generation’s answer to Smooth Gospel Jazz that has a distinct anointed sound. Alex Allen was born August 4, 1987 and is a part of a family of 6 generations of Pentecostal preaching. During the building of his saxophone career, Alex has had the privilege of opening up for Yolanda Adams, Louisiana 1st and Arkansas 3rd COGIC Jurisdictions, J. Jevon Jackson and Spiritual Attitude, Dr. Moses Tyson, and also had the opportunity to open up for Kefia Rollerson.

In 2013, Alex Allen was appointed, ordained, and installed as a pastor under Apostle Vertie Pettiford and also married Lady Amberial Allen the same year. His freshmen CD Project Covered was released in February 2015 which precedes his double-single release of “Victory” and “Coffee Shop Worship” on November 15, 2014. Covered is at CDBaby.

Point Black – SoulStream

SoulstreamSoulStream is a journey into the spirit of the listener. From the introspective to somewhere beyond extrospectiveness, this body of work captures the imagination with musical ideas that caress the soul and soar to the heights of the human experience. Indeed, it is as if these musicians have found a way to amplify thought and mood through a stream of sound that engulfs and propels one into reminiscence of people, places, and acts.

SoulStream is Point Black‘s offer at CDBaby.

Dan Carlin and Friends – Just Jazz

Just JazzGuitarist /Composer Dan Carlin presents Just Jazz released on Rhombus Records. There is more to explore about this artist on the label website.

For now just visit Amazon.com.

George Freeman – Make It Happen

Jazz pianist George Freeman is an in demand sideman for Gail Jhonson, Eric Darius, Karen Briggs, Marcus Johnson, Althea Rene, Marcus Anderson and many more. Currently he is touring with sax player Pamela Williams. While George is coming from Gospel roots, he also feels at home with R&B, neo-soul, jazz, fusion, funk, pop and certainly smooth jazz. With Make It Happen (2015) he has now built the foundation for his own solo career.

On his album George is joined by Kennedy Atkinson, KayTa Matsuno, Keith Jenkins and Ethan Henson (guitar), Jeanette Harris and Leroy Harper (sax), Jermone Randall (bass), and Anthony Roberts (drums). With Timeless he has created a soulful intro to his solo project in the style known by the late keyboard genius George Duke.

InThaMomint delivers a dynamic and sophisticated up-tempo piano piece with a precise arrangement. While that enjoy the contemporary jazz fan, may be Sweet Love for the ladies. Jeanette Harris leads on sax the romantic melody and is accompanied by George on piano.

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