Archive for March, 2016

Groove Legacy – Groove Legacy

It’s all about the funk, or maybe it’s fusion. A group of Los Angeles-area musicians come together as Groove Legacy to release their debut, Groove Legacy (2016).

The leaders of this ensemble are saxophonist Paul Cerra, keyboardist Bill Steinway and bassist Travis Carlton. Guitarists Kirk Fletcher, Sam Meek, Robben Ford and Larry Carlton contribute here and there. Other musicians are Andrew Lippman, trombone; Lemar Carter, drums; Tim Curle, percussion; Chris Lovejoy, percussion; Ricky Peterson, Hammond B3 organ; Lee Thornburg, trumpet and valve trombone.

The opening track, “Sweetness,” is a tribute to NFL great Walter Payton. It’s got a smooth groove, reminiscent of the type of sound one might have heard in the 1970s when Payton made his transition from the Jackson State Tigers to the Chicago Bears. Cerra and Lippman team up for the lead, playing in unison at times and harmonizing. When Cerra breaks into his tenor solo, one can imagine a highlight reel of Sweetness in action. If the tenor represents Payton’s speed, Fletcher’s guitar personifies his agility and the Rhodes his gracefulness. The bass, drums and rhythm guitar exemplify Payton’s power.

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John Novello – Ivory Soul

IvorySoulKeyboardist John Novello was a member of the famous formation A Taste of Honey. With his trio Niacin he performed progressive jazz rock. Some of his solo albums are Too Cool (1990), Always & Forever (2004), Threshold (2004), Organik (2005) and B3 Soul (2008).

After a long hiatus he is back with the new album Ivory Soul (2016) on 529 Music. On his new project he is joined by stellar artists like Gerald Albright, Eric Marienthal, Donald Hayes, Tom Scott, Melvin Davis, Rayford Griffin and many more.

Novello produced the album together with multi-platinum songwriter/producer Andy Goldmark, with whom he already worked on his previous album B3 Soul.

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Phillip Doc Martin – Pocket Love

Pocket LoveWorking once again with producer / keyboardist Marvin “Tony” Hemmings (Montel Jordan, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Jeff Lorber and Kirk Whalum) Phillip “Doc” Martin’s 11-track collection Pocket Love puts Martin’s fresh horn melodies front and center. The bright and spirited atmosphere-rich soul ballad title track and a lush, seductive cover of the Grover Washington, Jr. classic “Just The Two of Us” feature the distinctive tones of Grammy winning guitarist Paul Brown. Elsewhere, the percussive mid-tempo seduction “Club Life” features exciting horn doubling textures, old school key harmonies, trumpet and flugelhorn. The moody and whimsical ballad “Black Shoebox” finds Martin soaring over an easy shuffling groove, while the spirited jam “Hip Today” blends the best of modern and old school sensibilities.

Other highlights include the mystical soul-jazz sheen and dark guitar strumming on “Groove Love” providing a foundation for Martin’s candlelit sax passion; the crunch-groove and wistful synth harmony driven “LA Nights”; the swaying, sensual funk ballad “Pardon Me”; and the high octane, brass-fired jam “REM Funk”. The saxophonist closes Pocket Love with an hypnotic cover of John Legend’s #1 ballad “All of Me,” performed to perfection as a stripped down duet by Martin and Hemmings.

Scheduled for released March 18, 2016 on Innervision Records you can pre-order the album now at Amazon.com.