Archive for February, 2018

Urban Jazz Coalition – XXII

The Columbus, Ohio based formation Urban Jazz Coalition was founded by bassist Phil Raney. Further members are percussionist Hector Maldonado, keyboardist Brendon Howard, saxophonist Richard Randolph, drummer Rich “Rico” Adams and guitarist Duane Tribune. Keyboardist Brian Skeel joins the group on the new recordings.

This album is entitled XXII (2018), what means no more or less than the group has already played together since 22 years. Their website has little information about their earlier works. We already reviewed their albums Contempo (2002), Into The Night (2003), and Long Street (2004). Further albums are Down To Get Up (2006), A New Day (2008), Gravitate (2010) and One Step Closer (2013).

One of the special features of this engaged group is that they perform since over more than two decades about hundred gigs a year, and at the same time they are proud of the attribute given to them by Michael Schivo (The Las Vegas City of Lights Jazz Festival): “Urban Jazz Coalition is the best kept secret in smooth jazz.”

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Lindsey Webster – Love Inside

Lindsey Webster is the first vocalist to score 4 #1 Smooth Jazz radio hits in a row and was recently named the #1 Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs Artist for 2017. She’s been on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart for an amazing 60 weeks. Her swift rise has been nothing short of spectacular! Love Inside promises to be Lindsey Webster’s breakout album. The album’s first single, “Love Inside,” is quickly following the suit and making it’s way up the chart!. Other highlights such as the sensuous “It’s Not You, It’s Me” (featuring Rick Braun) and the soulful “Free To Be Me” (featuring Norman Brown) help make Love Inside a must have release for Lindsey’s growing legion of dedicated fans!

Love Inside (A Shanachie Entertainment release) can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

Daniel Girón – Prisma

Daniel Girón was born in Bogota Colombia, and from a very early age, his interest in music was evident. At the age of 16, he began to teach himself to play guitar. By age 17, seeking a more solid foundation, he began his Classical guitar studies in the School of Music Luis A. Calvo in Bogota under the direction of Humberto Franco. Later, he commenced college studies in music at the Pedagogica Nacional University, where he took classes with the great Colombian guitarist and composer Gentil Montana. His studies there included flamenco guitar and modern harmony with Roberto Martinez. Daniel attended Great Lectures of Classical Guitar instructed by Eduardo Fernandez, Leo Brower, Tomas Patterson, and Alirio Diaz, among other great Maestros.

His new album Prisma is recommended by Ronald Jackson (Smooth Jazz Ride), a confluence of Spanish flamenco guitars with jazz Latin rhythms. It’s available under the genres world music and gypsy jazz on CDBaby.

The Lao Tizer Band – Songs From The Swinghouse

“Jazz Group of the Year” nominee, The Lao Tizer Band, present their long-awaited new album & film (CD & DVD combo-pack)! This epic project was recorded all “Live in the Studio” at famed Conway Studios in Hollywood, CA with an all-star cast of musicians! Produced by former “Best New Jazz Artist” nominee keyboardist, composer and bandleader, Lao Tizer, the project includes 11 breathtaking Jazz-Rock-Fusion tracks featuring 7 new original instrumentals, and for the first time, 3 vocal covers (CD only) of Led Zeppelin, U2 & Cat Stevens, all documented in simultaneous 8-camera array of HD video under the direction of acclaimed music film director, Andy LaViolette (Snarky Puppy, David Crosby). Recorded, mixed and mastered by Grammy nominated engineer, Paul Wickliffe (Kevin Eubanks, Special EFX), the recording captures the dynamic range and energy of this touring juggernaut.

The band features a cast of all-star musicians on the forthcoming album & film:

– Karen Briggs – violin (Yanni, Diana Ross)
– Eric Marienthal – sax (Grammy winner, Chick Corea, Rippingtons)
– Chieli Minucci – guitar (Grammy nominee & Emmy winner, Special EFX)
– Munyungo Jackson – percussion (Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis)
– Ric Fierabracci – bass (Grammy nominee, Bill Cobham, Blood Sweat & Tears)
– Tita Hutchison – vocals (Foreigner, Rick Rubin)
– Jeff Marshall – guitar (Bo Bice)
– Gene Coye – drums (Grammy nominee, Larry Carlton, Terrence Blanchard)
– Steve Nieves – sax (Loggins & Messina, Olivia Newton-John)
– Cheikh N’Doye – bass (Mike Stern, Baaba Maal)
– Lao Tizer – piano & keys, bandleader-composer, producer (former “Best New Jazz Artist” nominee, Down To The Bone)

This project will be released March 16, 2018.

Dirk K – Blue Sky

German-born and L.A. resident guitarist Dirk K has already released fourteen albums as a recording artist and eight albums in band projects, furthermore, he worked on over thirty albums of other musicians. His newest album Blue Sky (2018) is available on his website.

With the exception of one cover, Dirk has written all tracks. The album is featuring C.C. Thomas Jr., Darryl Williams, Al Turner and Hussein Jiffrey on bass, Bill Zappia on keys, Andre D’Angelo on drums and Kurt Rasmussen on percussion. The title song was already released as single in 2015 and the song Change is Gonna Come as single in 2016.

Can’t Let Go is the first strike on the new album. Dirk’s performance is elegant and stylish, very self-assured and absolutely confident in the mastery of his instrument. A miraculous Blue Sky will transfer you in a good mood. It’s exactly this positive atmosphere that Dirk brings with the song.

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Rob Zinn – Walk The Walk

In 2016, veteran trumpeter and flugelhornist Rob Zinn launched an exciting new phase of his distinguished, multi-faceted career, emerging as a nationally recognized independent smooth jazz artist with his critically acclaimed debut album Yesterday Again.

His new album Walk The Walk features saxman Andrew Neu, prolific guitarist/composer/producer Paul Brown, bassist Roberto Vally, saxman Michael Paulo, keyboardists Jeff Carruthers and Lew Laing. His new album will be available April 6th, 2018, but Rob is accepting pre-orders.

You can also buy the album at Amazon.com.

Scott Allman – Elevated

Chicago-based keyboardist Scott Allman comes out of the gate with his third contemporary jazz project, Elevated. Scott’s upbeat melodies and synth-backed themes are captured in nine brand new songs prepared to raise you to new heights! Plus, a special treat is Scott’s adaptation of the well-known pop-song “Sweet Freedom” made popular in 1986 by Michael McDonald. Working with celebrated producer Darren Rahn, (who also appears on the record) Scott brings a host of featured guests to the table including sax man Jeff Kashiwa, guitar virtuoso Allen Hinds, Grammy-winning bassist Mel Brown, and the inspired vocals of Christie Gerwinat. For fans of sophisticated contemporary jazz with a piano flair, Elevated is sure to please.

“Fresh, exciting and a sonic treat to listen to, Scott’s new single Radio Waves is a welcome sound in today’s smooth jazz radio format. Radio Waves takes you somewhere new, while also maintaining a commercial appeal that’ll keep listeners groovin’ all day long! Scott shines brightly on this one.” -Darren Rahn, Producer, featured Artist

Elevated is now available on CDBaby.

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