Archive for May, 2018

Marcus Miller – Laid Black

LaidBlackBass great Marcus Miller brings the influence of modern urban music to his trademark sound on his highly-anticipated, genre-defying new album Laid Black, which will be released June 1 on Blue Note Records. The album pre-order is already launched along with the lead single “Untamed” which is available to stream or download now.

It’s been three years since Miller’s last album, Afrodeezia, which The New York Times called “vibrant and expressive… music that frames his playing beautifully.” Miller says: “Afrodeezia was like a musical voyage through my history. I followed the journey of my ancestors by collaborating with musicians along the African Slave route – musicians from West Africa, North Africa, South America and the Caribbean. With Laid Black, I decided to bring the music right up to the present – using elements from what’s happening in urban music today. So you’ll hear hip-hop, trap, soul, funk, R&B and jazz on this album. The music is calm but also powerful and funky, drawing on the black musical experience. Laid Black.”

Miller recorded most of the nine tracks on Laid Black with his band in a New York studio and also recruited guest artists Trombone Shorty, Kirk Whalum, Take Six, Jonathan Butler, and Belgian singer Selah Sue. Of his band, Miller says: “My guys are incredibly talented. They play everything from bebop to hip-hop. All of the special guests I called have the same vision about jazz, which made it possible to create this mix of music. Oh and if you like bass, there’s plenty of serious bass work on this album too! Continue reading

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Byron Miller – The Gift Psychobass 2

Bassist Byron Miller shares the fate of many sidemen who play with the superstars without the fame promotes their reputation significantly. He performed with George Duke, Roy Ayers Ubiquity, Santana, Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample and The Crusaders, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, and Luther Vandross.

In 2015 he released Psycho Bass, the fourth of his solo career after Git Wit Me, Until (1997), and I’ll Come By (2003), with three of the last recorded performances of George Duke, Ndugu Chancler on drums, guitarist David T. Walker and percussionist Sheila E. Psycho Bass is Byron’s Funk name.

The Gift: Psychobass 2 (2018) is Myron’s follow up offering performances of Kirk Whalum, Paul Jackson, Jr., Walter Beasley, Gordon Campbell, Phil Davis, Munyungo Jackson and more. Three tracks with Ndugu Chancler on drums he just left off. “When he passed, I couldn’t hear anybody else playing on them…”

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Judah Sealy – Welcome Home

Judah Sealy is a saxophonist/keyboardist from Rochester, NY. Currently he is a music teacher at Destiny Christian School and Music Director at Church Of Love Faith Center. Judah is a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College 2007 with a B.A. in Music and a recording artist who has finished the process of recording his first album. His first single “Lifted” was released digitally in May 2014. He is a very much in-demand musician that plays in various jazz, R&B, and gospel groups. He is married and lives in Rochester, NY with his wife.

His new album Welcome Home offers soothing tracks and funky alternatives. Get it on CDBaby.

Plunky & Oneness – Only You

Plunky & Oneness, is an overnight success story, 50 years in the making. An early proponent of Afro-jazz and funk, Plunky, with his group Oneness of Juju with their deep rare grooves and progressive political themes, received international critical acclaim. Plunky: Juju Jazz Funk & Oneness is all about decades of transitions, completed circles, and momentous meetings. It is not a standard sex, drugs and rock & roll exposé; rather it is an insider’s look behind the scenes of the independent Black jazz and soul music business and Plunky’s philosophies and methodologies that allowed him to persevere and come out on top.

Plunky & Oneness has released Only You,a four-song EP on March 13, 2018. While this maxi-single focuses on smooth grooves, the four tracks still showcase the variety, versatility and vibes the group has shown for more than 40 years and 25 albums. But newness and innovation are also display on this EP as Plunky and his son, J. Fire Branch, have produced a collection of personal songs with multiple layers of beats, sounds and meanings.

Buy the EP here.

Chillaxing Jazz KolleKtion – Groove Jazz N Chill # 6

The facts about the multi-instrumentalist Konstantin Klashtorni are quickly put together. Since this multi-talented Ukraine born artist lives in a small city nearby Düsseldorf and built up his own studio, his musical activities are literally exploded. Personally, I consider him to be the most active musician in the Smooth Jazz genre.

I admit that activity is not everything. But his creativity and diversity of ideas sets new standards. Equipped with intuitive intelligence and the nose of a truffle hunter his melodies inspire me again and again. Influenced by the musicians Paul Hardcastle and Brian Culbertson I see him today on the same level. Among his numerous series includes Chillaxing Jazz KolleKtion.

Just released in this series is his sixth album, that was exclusively composed and recorded by him again. When you play the first piece Dearest, you immediately notice a certain closeness to the genre, which has since been forgotten, but as New Age still adequately describes the sound. Starting with a trippy water effect Konstantin quickly dives into the portfolio of his sound equipment, where the crystal clear acoustic guitar ensures a melodic constancy.

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Jeff Ryan Taboloff – Embrace

Saxman Jeff Ryan is excited and for good reason. The contemporary pop instrumentalist’s debut single, “Up and Up,” flew to No.1 on the Billboard chart as well as on three other charts in the US and UK. Even before his debut album, Embrace, drops Friday (July 13) on Woodward Avenue Records, the buzz surrounding Ryan helped him score the final performance spot in the all-star lineup for the venerable Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival, a confirmation that the Bay Area native is the genre’s breakout new artist at the midyear point.

 

Ryan’s producer and writing partner on “Embrace” is noted keyboardist and chart-topper Greg Manning. One of the saxophonist’s primary goals is connecting through music and performance, and “Up and Up” is an upbeat tune celebrating the winning chemistry and connection he shares with Manning.

 

“‘Up and Up’ is the first song we wrote together. It’s a relevant track that captures our great connection. It was two positive people, and the music flowed naturally and easily,” said Ryan about the single that also vaulted into the No. 1 position on the Mediabase, Smooth Jazz Network and British Smooth Jazz charts.

Continue reading

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.

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