Archive for May, 2018

Jeff Ryan Taboloff – Embrace

After years of playing in a variety of regional soul, funk and even big band ensembles, the San Francisco Bay Area based saxophone sensation has captivated thousands with his robust, heartfelt vibe at numerous prominent Northern California jazz festivals – including a four year run at the Stockton Jazz Festival, where he has opened and performed along with urban jazz greats Marion Meadows, Eric Darius, Paul Taylor, Nick Colionne and Julian Vaughn. Fans in Southern California have seen him jam with guitarist Nils at Spaghettini. Now, with the release of “Up and Up” and his multi-faceted debut album Embrace, Jeff Ryan Taboloff is in prime position to join their ranks as one of contemporary jazz’s top emerging artists of 2018.

Though he is engaging us right out of the box with his powerful funk/R&B artistry, and the ten track collection will include other hard grooving tracks like “Matter of Fact,” the multi-talented artist is equally excited about presenting his more sensual, romantic side on passionate mid-tempo ballads like the soaring title track. “I approached each piece differently, to showcase all the contrasting facets of influence that have developed me as a player,” he says. “I focused on having this initial album represent as many aspects of my artistry as possible. I hope to convey to the listener a genuine passion in each note that I share. For me, music is intensely emotional, a personal expression unique to us all. It can guide, heal and reveal in so many ways.”

For Ryan, the simple yet high impact title Embrace works on many different levels – not the least of which is at last embracing a destiny that seemed inevitable from the moment he heard Richard Elliot’s radio hit “Candlelight” at age ten when he began playing the sax himself. “I love the word “embrace,” and it is undoubtedly a power ballad,” he says. “It has such a positive driving feel and is intensely emotional. On top of that, there are so many great connotations associated with the idea of an embrace. I want there to be a mutual embrace between the audience and myself, a musical career is not possible without pure relatability. These songs are the full embodiment of what I have hoped to achieve with this project. Every step to this point has opened my eyes to what it truly means to be an artist. It is really about me embracing the music and sharing it with others.” Continue reading

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Citrus Sun – Ride Like The Wind

The London band was born out of Bluey’s love for the music of Jim Mullin, who now, after the debut album People of Tomorrow, is part of the band again. He is assisted by Incognito colleagues Matt Cooper on keyboard, bassist Francis Hylton, guitarist Francisco Salas, drummer Francesco Mendolia and trumpeter Dominic Glover.

Although the constellation of musicians is very similar to that of Incognito, the music still differs. Citrus Sun is mainly purely instrumental like the songs “Refugee” and “Calling Mr Wolf”. In addition, the band ventures into new areas, such as with their five-part Krabi Suite (Recorded in Krabi, Thailand) or with the cover song by Marcos Valle and Leon Wares “Vondate de Rever Voce”, in which the percussionist of the band Joao Caetano takes over the singing in Portuguese. Furthermore, the artists Imaani and Natalie Williams were invited to perform for the songs “Ride Like The Wind” (the worldwide Christopher Cross hit) and “Send Me Your Feelings” (originally recorded by the New York-based Japanese jazz trumpeter Terumasa Hino).

Bluey himself comments on his project: “In terms of sound, it is a bit reduced by the trumpet reminiscent of Donald Byrd. It’s the same cast as Incognito, but you should be glad that it’s a new project with the same band with me at the top. ”

Get Ride Like The Wind at Amazon.de.

Phil Denny – Align

Saxophonist Phil Denny has already released four albums in a short time: Crossover (2012), The Messenger (2013), Upswing (2015) and this year Align. Performances on many festivals will not rest him on his laurels. With his 2nd annual Armory Smooth Jazz Fête he is among the exclusive circle of promoters.

His fourth album Align was written by Phil in parts with the support of participating musicians. Phil performs on this album tenor, alto and soprano sax, EWI. Further joining musicians are Matt Godina (keys, guitar, programming), Nathaniel Kearney Jr., Mel Brown (bass), Eric Valentine (drums), David P. Stevens (guitar), Lew Laing (keys, bass, programming), Adam Hawley (various instruments), Big Mike Hart (guitar, acoustic guitar), programming), Andrew Freeman (rhythm guitar), Buddy Bangs (keys, programming), Joe Archie (keys, guitar, synth bass, programming, strings) and Stacey Lamont Sydnor (percussion).

First track of the album is Switch Up which already climbs the charts as a single release. The forceful rhythmically-charged song encapsulates Phil Denny as a prolific artist quickly appearing on your screen. Feel Alright featuring David P. Stevens is spreading good mood going with confidence through the roof.

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Marco de Vita – Alpha & Omega Instrumental

Marco de Vita’s talent and musicianship allow him to navigate in a multitude of segments within the entertainment music industry. He has a long track record as a musical director & producer for movie soundtracks, including “Depois Daquele Baile”, a movie directed by Roberto Bomtempo. In addition Marco produces commercial soundtracks and jingles for major Brazilian agencies such as XRBM, Play It Again and MCR, to name a few. He was also the A&R representative of many artists like Elza Soares (Orchestral), Oswaldo Montenegro, Liah, Aline Muniz and some others. Out of these collaborations came opportunities to produce and play with great names in the Brazilian music scene (Lua Laffaiete, Tíbor Yuzo, Tom Capone, Elza Soares, Oswaldo Montenegro, Roberto Menescal, Liah, Tânia Maia, Aline Muniz).

Directing, composing and producing songs for theater, plays and teaching at reknown Brazilian music school CLAM is also in his activities list, when not involved in the writing, recording and producing of his own musical work. Marco de Vita released to date four instrumental music albums – A Hora Do Sonho, Instrumental, OLB and Mata Paulistana. He donates 20% of the proceeds to HOPE Children’s Hospital and day care centers.

His new album Alpha & Omega Instrumental is a romantic project with the harmonica in the focus. Just arrived on CDBaby.

Gerald Albright – 30

Gerald Albright is praised by critics to the skies for years. He has earned it through albums and performances. Compared to other saxophonists, he succeeds to keep a personal touch to the game.

His new album 30 (2018) represents 30 years since the release of Gerald’s debut release Just Between Us. This anniversary project is a reflection of some of Gerald’s favorite music that he has written over the past decades. Although the songs are action packed with new and unique arrangements, spearheaded by Albright, Chris Big Dog Davis, and James JRob Roberson, this CD is one of Gerald Albright’s finest releases to date.

Get the album right now on Amazon.com.

Gabriel Mark Hasselbach – MidCentury Modern Vol. 1

Denver Colorado born trumpeter Gabriel Mark Hasselbach was last time in our focus with his album Open Invitation (2014). His new album MidCentury Modern Volume 1 (2018) is of a special peculiarity. Although a guarantor of smooth jazz Gabriel now delivers a jazz album.

Gabriel comments: “This is an exciting project for me because I was finally able to assemble my dream team. Besides the recognizable and prolific talents of saxophonists Ernie Watts and Cory Weeds, I was able to gather my longtime friends and world-class musicians Miles Black (piano), Laurence Mollerup (bass), and Joel Fountain (drums). Adding to the proceedings are Mike Taylor (vocals) and Olaf deShield (guitar) on a couple of tunes.”

The album starts with Mississippi Jump presenting Hasselbach in best form on trumpet, apparently fluent in style. Miles Black adds on piano a perfect accompaniment and a shining solo work. Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard released the track Gibraltar as part of his album Born To Be Blue in 1981. Hasselbach delivers a compact version without missing important elements of the original.

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Ami Nakazono – The Real

Ami Nakazono is one of the most versatile and inventive saxophonists working professionally in the U.S. and Japan today. A relentless explorer of improvisation and compositional form, she is building her fan base and repertoire simultaneously at venues and festivals internationally. Her dense style is a rich medley of jazz and soul executed effortlessly and with impeccable technique. In Fall 2007, Ami moved to Boston and began her second musical journey at Berklee. There, she studied saxophone with Walter Beasley, Dino Govoni, Bill Pierce, Shannon LeClaire and Jeff Harrington, and flute with Mia Olson.

Currently, Ami Nakazono based in Tokyo Japan continues to perform prestigious venues and festivals and has been released her 1st full album Make It Happen(2015). Her next albums created with her sound producer Jun Abe is entitled The Real and was just released in Japan.

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