Archive for January, 2016

Chris Standring – Ten

His music style is unique and has a high recognition value. Guitarist Chris Standring is one of the rare guitarists, who invents himself again and again. Thus, each of his albums has the charm of discovery. So it is with his latest album that’s aptly called Ten.

While he focused on his previous album on songwriting, composition and arranging, he allows himself on the new one to improvise and just really play what he defines as jazz guitar performance. The elite circle of musicians accompanying him are Andre Berry (bass), Chris Coleman, David Karasony and Sergio Gonzalez (drums), Dino Soldo (sax), Dan Lutz (acoustic bass), Jeff Babko (Fender Rhodes), and Rodney Lee (organ).

Ready Steady Flow starts the album with a memorable hooking groove, which unmistakably sets this guitarist on the forefront of the smooth jazz genre. He combines a catchy rhythm with classy talk box and his resounding Benedetto Bambino archtop guitar. Don’t miss the remarkable video of this song featuring model Shasta Wonder.

Read more …

Ernie Krivda – Requiem for a Jazz Lady

Cleveland, Ohio, is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s also a hotbed of jazz. In Requiem for a Jazz Lady, saxophonist Ernie Krivda sends a love letter to the city on the shore of Lake Erie.

Krivda plays tenor saxophone. With him are Lafayette Carthon, piano; Marion Hayden, bass; and Renell Gonsalves, drums.

“The Remarkable Mr. Black” is vintage, straightforward jazz. Krivda comes right out of the gate, blowing with vigor. The rhythm trio is firmly locked in, each player making a mark. But it’s the leader expressing freely from start to just beyond the midway point. Carthon takes point briefly. The piano is followed by a call-and-response sequence, with Krivda leading the band during the calls, and Gonsalves going it alone on the responses. It sets up a delightful ending.

Read more …

Threestyle – Smooth n Chill

Smooth n ChillThreestyle, and their efforts produce a “triple crossover,” as it were. Are they smooth jazz, lounge or chill? This is where one stops and realizes the best way to label their self-produced original music is to do what comes naturally: trust your ears. For certain, Magdalena Chovancova and Robert Fertl are gifted musicians, and they’re joined in the studio (and in live performances) by equally talented contributors. So, prepare for some enjoyment and forget any debate of genre. Savor Threestyle, as I do.

Roberto Q. Dias – journalist and music enthusiast – Tampa /Florida.

Smooth n Chill is now on sale at CDBaby.

R.L. Walker – From Sunset to Sunrise

From Sunset to SunriseSmooth and chilled sax grooves from beginning to end. Slow jams and mid-tempo tunes that are sure to make your days more relaxed and your weekends more tranquilo! From Sunset to Sunrise is the brainchild of saxophonist and composer, R.L. Walker. Fans of Najee, Kim Waters and George Howard will appreciate the Washingon, D.C. based artist’s laidback vibe here.

Smooth, Jazzy, Funky and yes Sexy-Saxy!! Comprised of 10 tantalizing tracks combined together delivering an array of musical emotion and over 45 minutes of Smooth-Jazz sensory overload. Get this album at CDBaby.

Jazz Funk Soul – More Serious Business

Contemporary jazz supergroup Jazz Funk Soul was founded by keyboardist Jeff Lorber, guitarist Chuck Loeb and sax player Everette Harp. Their same titled debut album unites their skills to create something that is greater than the sum of its participants. Making some impact on fellow musicians and audience is all the group want to do.

More Serious Business is the title of their sophomore album. Their second project is supported by prolific musicians like Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Novak and Michael White (drums), Michael Thompson and Paul Jackson Jr. (rhythm guitar), David Mann (sax and flutes), Ron Jenkins, Will Lee, Nathan East and Alex Al (bass), Lenny Castro and Kevin Richards (percussion), Harry Kim and Trevor Neumann (trumpet), and Darryl Crooks (Wahguitar).

Our Thing is the acoustic statement for smooth jazz. Up-tempo, dynamic and a hooking melody. Propelled by Vinnie’s drums the trio shows how brilliant performance in fast pace sounds. On Connections the group serves a heartfelt melody in a Fourplay style. Tuesday Swings jumps into a groovy music with Everette Harp’s fantastic horn arrangement.

Read more …

Mike Holober – Balancing Act

Work vs. play. Sharing vs. keeping. Dreams vs. realities. And so on. Pianist Mike Holober says we all have acts to balance. Expressing his personal take on this concept, he presents Balancing Act (Palmetto Records, 2015).

Performing with Holober are Kate McGarry, voice; Marvin Stamm, trumpet and flugelhorn; Dick Oatts, alto and soprano sax, flute; Jason Rigby, tenor sax, clarinet and bass clarinet; Mark Patterson, trombone; John Hebert, bass; and Brian Blade, drums.

McGarry’s whispery scat opens the tranquil “Book of Sighs.” When the musicians join in, she sings Holober’s lyrics with bass and piano responding to her calls. After a few verses, she cedes to the instruments. Oatts is first to delight the ear with a riveting, blistering tour on the alto sax, punctuated by Blade’s dexterity on the kit. As Oatts continues, Patterson joins in with overlapping lines. Stamm and Rigby add fills. Then subtly, Oatts steps back and hands the reigns to Patterson. McGarry signals a transition to the main theme with a wordless chant that matches the phrase played by Holober and Hebert. It’s an engaging piece that has many textures and moods.

Read more …

W.R. Sanders – Believe N

Believe NAll of the songs on this CD are so special, W.R. Sanders was blessed with this gift to play and perform. With the most comprehensive list of genres of music, W.R. Sanders loves Gospel, Jazz and R&B and he calls them “The sounds of Heaven” because his music make you feel good and it makes you wanna dance. This album’s song order “Believe N,” truly expresses the highs and lows we all face everyday of our lives.

Each song title has it’s own testimony within it’s self.In September 2012 the cancer disease try to take him out, His Dad and Mom instilled in him, his gift to play guitar comes from above, that belief made him a man, that inspired the way he plays that guitar! “My Father in Heaven helped me through all crisis, that’s why I named this album “Believe N” meaning believe in Him, just sit back and relax listen to this amazing jazz!”

Believe N offers a divine groove at CDBaby.

Abstract Truth & G Lawrence – Seawind

SeawindAbstract Truth lives on the edge of classification, weaving jazz with soul, R&B, African and Latin rhythms, rock, gospel, blues, and funk. The musical foundation is the subtle, masterful interplay of the Drums (Zachuri Durham) and Bass (the band’s founding member, G. Lawrence). On top of that groove, the Sax (Roy Richardson Jr) Keys (Vince Stith) and Vocals (Valerie Ford) create a rich, vibrant and complex melodic and harmonic world echoing everything from straight ahead jazz to rock. Borrowing from this rich tapestry of musical traditions, Abstract Truth manages to create a sound that is at once fresh and familiar, honoring the masters who came before them, while creating a sound all their own. Their music does not represent Grover Washington, Weather Report, Sly & the Family Stone, Miles, Anita Baker or War – instead Abstract Truth takes the musical tradition they have inherited from these masters, and moves humbly forward, adding their own unique voice to this timeless lineage.

Seawind is yet another milestone for Abstract Truth & G Lawrence who continue to show their fans that they can play many styles of music. These cats blur the lines between genres. Smooth is the order of the day for their latest release. Now available at CDBaby.

Mark Etheredge – Connected

Los Angeles, California based composer and keyboardist Mark Etheredge started his solo career with the album As Dawn (1990), a New Age debut. With Dean Wong he founded the duo Mark & Dean releasing the albums Walking Into Freedom (1999) and Man Of My Dreams (2000). 2012 followed adult contemporary vocal session Change Coming. With his new album Connected he reached the contemporary jazz realm.

Mark calls his new project his happiest album. The album was produced by Paul Brown and lists prolific musicians like guitarists Paul Brown and Chuck Loeb, drummer Gorden Campbell, bassist Roberto Vally and percussionist Richie Gajate Garcia, further trumpeter Lee Thornburg and saxophonists Greg Vail and Andy Suzuki.

The relaxing Groovin’ With My Baby starts the album with a catchy warmhearted melody. Be Who You Are follows continuing the uplifting and positive mood.

Read more …

Nicole Glover – First Record

Sax legend Wayne Shorter is making his mark on the musical world in a way that doesn’t involve his playing an instrument. Instead, he’s using his wisdom to inspire others to focus their skills and share them with the world. So it is that saxophonist/composer Nicole Glover releases her debut, aptly titled First Record (2015).

Glover plays tenor and is joined by George Colligan, piano, trumpet on “Snow Dance”; Jonathan Lakey, bass; and Alan Jones, drums.

“Water Ritual” opens the set. It’s an upbeat, ambient song that hints on being a waltz. The piano sets the elegant mood while the tenor leads. Shortly into the piece, both step back for a brief bass solo. After a return to the main theme, Glover takes point for an adventurous workout. The drums stand out a bit more during this passage. After another pass on the theme, the piano opens up, bass and drums become more firmly locked in, and the tenor goes on a rambling, blistering jaunt. If the main body of the song represents a baptism or similar ceremony, the ending is a raucous celebration wherein individuals catch the spirit and let go of their inhibitions.

Read more …