Archive for March, 2018

Bill Leyden – Two Hearts

Bill Leyden is a prolific composer and modern-day interpreter of the Native American-style flute. For this album, Bill has used vintage guitars and world instruments to create an emotional collection of melodies ideal for relaxation and contemplation. The music seems to invite the listener to explore hidden spaces and feelings and to perhaps find … Two Hearts.

Ambient music with vintage guitars, orchestration, and piano. Ideal for relaxation and contemplation. Now on CDBaby.


Drew Simpson – Come Home

Drew Simpson embarks on his second release entitled Come Home featuring an array of talented musicians and original compositions. This album incorporates many of Simpson’s early jazz/orchestral influences with the introduction of rich, live string arrangements and horn/woodwind sections (saxophone, trombone, flute, etc…). Each of the eleven songs was recorded live within four days and will showcase Simpson’s ability to blend strong melodies with complex musical arrangements.

Come Home is a collection of original contemporary and progressive jazz compositions. Your alternative on CDBaby.

Lindsey Webster – Love Inside

The smooth jazz scene experiences a Webster-mania. She appeared like out of nowhere and is now on top of the game. After her self-titled debut album (2013), followed You Change (2015) and Back To Your Heart(2016). Her new album Love Inside is just released on Shanachie Entertainment.

Singer Lindsey Webster is accompanied by husband Keith Slattery (keyboards), Mike DeMicco (lead guitar, rhythm guitar), Fred Doumbe (bass), Foluso Mimy ( percussion), Marcus Finnie, Bud Harner, Lance Comer, Dan Hickey (drums), Ken Gioffre (soprano saxophone), Rick Braun (trumpet) and Norman Brown (guitar).

The album starts with the title song, a ballad of remarkable length. What is meant here is the playing time but not the entertainment value. The guitar riff performed by Mike DeMicco reminds me of the music by Jaffa (Elevator). However, the song’s inner value lies in its lyrical qualities. Lindsey pleases her fans on Facebook with the lyrics that are not found in the liner notes on the CD.

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Greg Adams and East Bay Soul – Conversation

It has been nearly a quarter century since the genre chameleon trumpeter and arranger became a leader in his own right with his ground breaking debut Hidden Agenda. With Greg Adams’ approach that music is a language… the Conversation continues. You will sense a direct connection with the live feel of the music, the open breath of each note and the collaboration of each player.

Adams felt he had something special happening even before the band went into the studio. “I was writing less notes with my writing partner Nick Milo and with the direction that the songs were taking us, we knew we had a different approach for writing for a ten-piece band”.

The sound of Greg Adams is one of the world’s best-known musical signatures. As a founding member of Tower of Power, legendary for his arrangements that made the TOP horn section a sought out entity all its own. With countless collaborations in the studio and live on stage, Adams has made his mark on a broad stretch of today’s musical landscape that includes jazz, pop, rock, R&B, soul, and funk.

Conversation marks the fourth studio album for East Bay Soul and takes a giant leap to cement their own style -a blend of Funk, Jazz, R&B and Soul. Their combined extraordinary talents bring incredible energy to the recording with heart and soul. The opening track “Look Book” transports you to the Runways of New York, Paris, Milan and Tokyo! Look Book in hand. Lights open – from a curtain and the show begins…Greg Adams trumpet portrays the model on the “cat walk”. Dwayne “Smitty” Smith’s bass conjures up the much-needed attitude to really sell it!

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Drew Davidsen – Innerspace

The collaborative artistic composite of guitarist Drew Davidsen & producer, multi-instrumentalist Cedric Givens. Totally conceived and performed by the two, the exquisite smooth acoustic guitar performances of Drew Davidsen and polished production arrangements of Cedric Givens has produced a gem called Innerspace.

The following is a quick walkthrough of the 7-track studio album.  InnerSpace, the title track sets an exploration into a cool drive or that special place to connect metaphysically with the power of the moment. Thrust is a multifaceted compelling groove accentuating a light horn line, developing into a melancholy harmonic melody of smooth rhythms highlighting the artistry which makes Drew Davidsen a virtuoso among the ranks. Bumpin, is a majestic stretch of improvisation with Django style riffs overlaying a Herbie Hancock Headhunters transition to crossover with a Billy Cobham groove, an off-script favorite indeed.

Overdrive, is the edgy/driving 2nd movement or part two of InnerSpace, the collective. Uptime is a light up-tempo thematic world music instrumental featuring Drew on acoustic guitar (a feel-good song). Laid Back and My Lullaby are what some would call a “Sunday Kind of Love” tunes. Both offerings are a poetic adagio of heartfelt Spanish melodies which complement the closure of a perfectly mastered collection of smooth jazz compositions. There is a superb balanced flow to this recording. Just put it on and take a ride.

About the music and creative process during an informal interview, Cedric and Drew discussed the process of writing the songs which they started in January of 2018. They wanted a “collection” of songs that worked together instead of one-off singles. This production has an “old school” feel meaning you can let it play from start to finish uninterrupted without losing the listener. “The focus was on writing great songs with musical sensibilities”. A lot of forethought and details go into the structure of composition, key changes, right down to tambourine jingle textures in relation to the piece. Continue reading

Unit 3 Deep – Groove Theory

Unit 3 Deep are pianist and keyboardist Patrick Cooper, bass guitarist David Dyson and drummer Duane Thomas. The formation was founded in 2015. As professional sidemen they have played and still perform for a myriad of musicians such as Walter Beasley, Pieces of a Dream, Spur of the Moment, New Kids on the Block, Rahsaan Patterson, Marion Meadows and many more.

They currently perform at famous venues like Rams Head Tavern, The Birchmere, South, Blues Alley or the Southern Maryland Funk Festival. Groove Theory is their debut album, released on March 1, 2018. As special guests they invited vocalist Lori Williams, guitarist Alvin White, saxophonists Walter Beasley, Phillip “Doc” Martin, Craig Alston, trumpet player
Dreandre “Dre King” Schaifer and percussionist Alfredo Mojica. Most of the songs are written by the band with the exception of two songs.

Already after the first chords of Fridays, one realizes that this formation has an ambitious impetus. The bass is not subordinate but dominant, the arrangement more contemporary than smooth jazz. While bass and drums are fast to the stop, guitar and keys give melody a chance. Tension arises from the opposing tempos. On top Schaifer presents an exuberant trumpet solo.

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Greg Bolden – Just Dream

Guitarist Greg Bolden is hailing from North Carolina. This album was a labor of love. His music was born out of necessity. Music became his constant companion and at times his only friend. It has allowed him to express himself and truly look into the window of his soul, a daunting task that has revealed who he truly is. Thank you for taking time to listen to the fruit of his journey called life.

The appropriately titled album Just Dream is on sale at CDBaby.