Archive for April, 2016

Taeko Ota – Walk My Way

Pianist and vocalist Taeko Ota taps into the emotions and struggles of dealing with grief. Her self-produced debut, Walk My Way (2016) presents her thoughts and feelings with nine original songs, two covers and one new song contributed by Shoji Hisamatsu.

Ota is accompanied on most tracks by Masami Ishikawa, guitar; Seth Lewis, bass; and Paul Francis, drums and percussion. Akio Mokuno plays acoustic guitar on two tracks.

The set begins with the lively, dance-friendly “Walk My Way.” The rhythm guitar, bass line and drum play give the song a strong, party vibe. Ota’s lyrical delivery is sunny and warm.

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Mikael – Grooveology (Prelude)

Grooveology is the science of groove. In this specific case an album dedicated to the groove. Dayton, Ohio guitarist Mikael Manley has released Grooveology (Prelude) in 2015.

The former member of the legendary group Commodores started his solo career in 2007 with the debut In Ya Pocket. With the sophomore album he shows that he is still in the music ring.

Multi-instrumentalist Mikael is supported by Thomas Dawson, Marque Walker, Cliff Mitchell and Andre Hoxter (keyboards), Donald Wright (bass), John Micalak (sax), and vocalists Joi (Giel) Branker, Rachel Ricca, Bo Henderson, and Ray “Ahmeer” Harrington.

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Steve Oliver – Pictures and Frames

13071748_949881478414240_753086479226416341_oPerfectly capturing the soul-searching music of our times and the universal sense of wonder human beings have been contemplating since the beginning of time, Steve Oliver ( follows a dynamic decade and a half of #1 instrumental Billboard Jazz hit making and global touring by asking the simple but resonant question “Why?”

The soulful, thought-provoking track, the lead single from the multi-talented singer, songwriter and guitarist’s first ever all-vocal album, Pictures and Frames, is currently shipping to Pop Contemporary stations nationwide. It’s Oliver’s first official venture into the pop format after nine albums and over 15 years of dominance on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. Oliver has always sprinkled a few pop/R&B vocals into his instrumental albums — but “Why” and many of the other tracks on the album mark a deeper emergences as an observational, socially conscious songwriter.

Recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood, the John Mayer, Sting and Steely Dan influenced Pictures and Frames features the exotic soundscaping of Steve Reid (former percussionist of contemporary jazz powerhouse The Rippingtons) and the all star rhythm section of bassist Lee Sklar (whose 2,000 studio sessions include multiple albums with James Taylor, Phil Collins and Linda Ronstadt) and legendary jazz/rock drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, known for his work with Sting, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton and Herbie Hancock, among hundreds of others. Continue reading

Everett B Walters – Long Road Home

Long Road HomeLong Road Home is Everett B Walters 4th CD. Guitarist, Michael Everett Brown and Bassist, Harold Walter Brown III, the two brothers from the south side of Chicago are the founders and driving force behind the jazz/funk group Everett B. Walters. Growing up in Chicago, the Brown brothers started their career in the Chicago Vocational Music Program but it was a neighborhood friend, Tom Washington (Tom-Tom 84), who recorded and arranged with super-group Earth, Wind and Fire that influenced them most. Tom would come by their practices and invited them to record with him and introduced them to writing & pre-production.

Going back to how we started with the great sounds of jazz,r&b and soul! Long Road Home is collect of tracks with a jazz,r&b and soul grooves that make you wanna tap your toe. We want to seat back and feel the groove and hold your special one and say when u luv sumbody! So check out the music!

Long Road Home is at CDBaby.

Marc Copland – Zenith

Launching a new label is at the very least a turning point in an artist’s career. For pianist Marc Copland, it’s also a high point, as in Zenith (2016), the first release from InnerVoice Jazz.

Performing with Copland are Ralph Alessi, trumpet; Drew Gress, double bass; Joey Baron, drums; and Bill Zavatsky, poem.

“Sunset at the Zenith” is a haunting, ethereal piece. A brooding, ominous bass line augments the opening melody, a duet by piano and trumpet. After an initial swell, the mood softens. Copland, Alessi and Gress, in turn, offer musical interpretations of monitoring the sun from different perspectives. It would be an ideal soundtrack to a space exploration film.

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BWBBWB is named after the musicians Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. Their first co-operation Groovin’ was released in 2002 on Warner Brothers. With their sophomore effort Human Nature (2013) they reunited on Heads Up Music to do a Michael Jackson songbook. Their third strike is aptly entitled BWB and released in 2016 on Mack Avenue Records.

The formation is joined on selected tracks by Hamilton Hardin and Herman Jackson (keyboards), Braylon Lacey and Nathaniel Kearney Jr. (bass), Third Richardson and Gordon Campbell (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion), Demille Cole-Heard (vocals) and Ralph Lofton (Hammond B3). The new album is the result of exercises in Braun’s suburban Los Angeles-area home studio where the band moved in with their families and lived together for an entire week.

The recorded songs are without any exception own creations, masterly produced by Rick Braun. Triple Dare starts the album with an horn arrangement inspired by The Crusader’s Streetlife. Bust A Move brings the funky vibe into the session. Instead of covers like on the trio’s debut album, they showcase their personal prowess on this party burner.

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Daryl King – Transition

TransitionSaxophonist Daryl King is based in Virginia. He is specialized in Christian music. His new album is entitled Transition.

Listen to this album at CDBaby.