Archive for November, 2018

Otmaro Ruiz – Jimmy Branly – Jimmy Haslip – Elemental

Grammy-nominated Pianist/Composer Otmaro Ruiz, Drummer Jimmy Branly and Bassist Jimmy Haslip team up together to create an incredible jazz trio album titled, Elemental. All compositions by Otmaro Ruiz (Minina Music ASCAP), except “Boomtown” by Jimmy Haslip & Russell Ferrante (LaViera Music BMI, Teeth Music BMI). Considered one of the most important jazz pianists in the current scene, Venezuelan Otmaro Ruiz is known for his versatility and virtuosity. Regarded as one of the most sought-after keyboardists for recordings in today’s scene, Otmaro is still able to dedicate time to teaching, scoring of movie sound-tracks and to the production of his works as a leader with original compositional material, captured in the CDs “Otmaro Ruiz plays Ryuichi Sakamoto”, “Distant Friends”, “Nothing to Hide”, “Latino” and in his most recent album “Sojourn”.

Jimmy Branly was born in Havana, Cuba, and grew up in a rich musical environment of Cuban flavors. Jimmy moved to the United States in 1998, performing and recording with many groups and artists. Jimmy Haslip was born December 31st, 1951 in the Bronx, New York. He grew up in Huntington, Long Island. Jimmy was actively composing, arranging, producing and performing with Yellowjackets. He also worked and recorded with numerous other musicians among them Jeff Lorber.

“This is a beautiful album! Incredible compositions, playing, inter-play and production. This is a phenomenal album for fans of great music (jazz/fusion aficionados will especially love this). Everyone needs this album!” (Joseph Patrick Moore)

Elemental is scheduled for release 11-23-2018 in all online and offline shops. Listen to the album here.

Kenwood Anderson – Christmas Dreaming

Kenwood Anderson is a recording artist, producer, and songwriter. He grew up in Rochester, NY, surrounded by music and art. “My obsession with music was instant, and permanent,” he says. He graduated from School Of The Arts, and from Berklee College Of Music. He moved to Los Angeles in 1993 and took every gig he could find. He has logged countless hours playing drums and singing background vocals for live performances. He was a member of the bands RioSoul, Kontroversy, and the Reall Deall Band.

Along the way, he developed his producing and songwriting talents. He creates smooth jazz albums under his own name, and produces other artists in various genres. His debut album “Handful Of Grooves“, earned a 5-star review in Recording Magazine. Christmas Dreaming is his new album offering your favorite Christmas classics done in a smooth, tasteful style.

Our second recommendation of a Christmas album is available on CDBaby.

Nate White – Up Close

Nate White always wanted to play just the bass. He did it for The Spinners, his own band RAMP, with Roy Ayers, Chuck Loeb, Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Gerald Albright, Dave Koz and many more.

His first album Come Into Knowledge (1977) was followed by That’s The Way It Is (2009) and this year Up Close. White wrote, recorded, arranged, mixed, and performed on all of the tracks, with other writers such as DJ and producer Nick Luscombe out of the UK, and producer Tony Heath A.K.A. Tony Heat. Other musicians include Randy Villars, Paul “PC” Caver, Dave Stewart, Iva Durand, and Eliot Slaughter.

The album starts with Kupenda, which is the Swahili word for love. With this tight and infectious killer groove Nate sets a strong pulse.

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Javon Jackson – Four You

Among the many important names in Jazz with whom Javon Jackson has been associated two spring immediately to mind: Cedar Walton and the great Elvin Jones. Mr Jackson made the groups of both masters infinitely better because of his eloquent musicianship. A virtuoso tenor saxophonist Mr Jackson has a sinuous elegance and because he often hovers in the middle and lower registers of his horn he brings a silken gravitas to his voice. Few saxophonists – not only tenor saxophonists – display the kind of melodicism and raw power that Mr Jackson does. Moreover when he is in full flow – which is throughout this album For You – he puts all of his sublime Jazz musicianship on display connecting him with the greatest tenor saxophonists of the past – Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, (the) Albert Ayler (of Goin’ Home), Archie Shepp and Wayne Shorter.

The repertoire on this album reflects the respect and gratitude which Mr Jackson has for his lineage – his biological family and his musical family – with music that is patently dedicatory. He takes a bold and refreshingly unabashed step here by playing music “in the tradition” – one hesitates to use the word “mainstream” because that word comes with a certain “stodginess” attached. Rather this music pays its respects to The Ancestors in much the same manner in which Anthony Braxton sometimes (but not too often these days) does. Every piece is played with by Mr Jackson with a kind of languid ease, each melodic variation following the other, quite inexorably, his sumptuous tenor sound brilliantly caught on record by Tom Tedesco. There’s an unhurried quality to his approach, a lived-in character to his phrase-making that is engaging and reflects – at times – the brimstone and fire of youth as well as – at other times – a lived-in character that comes from his well-honed values and experiences with the aforementioned (among other) masters.

Mr Jackson is joined here by a trio of musicians who are completely attuned to his vision and artistry and they reflect a combination of youth and wizened experience. Bassist David Williams – another celebrated alumnus of Cedar Walton’s band delivers a hugely powerful performance. Drummer McClenty Hunter shows through his percussion supremacy and elegance why he is all the rage these days and Jeremy Manasia delivers a sterling performance with his masterful pianism comprised of vivid boppish clusters and rolling modal runs and arpeggios. Together the musicians tackle this repertoire featuring beautifully-crafted originals from Mr Jackson’s pen in an eminently memorable manner. They range in beguiling variety and sensuousness in every lovingly-crafted phrase from “My Man Hubbard” and “Mr Sanders”, to standards such as “I’m Old Fashioned” with its delicious trio introduction, “Backstage Sally” – an older Wayne Shorter classic, two great works by Cedar Walton: “Simple Pleasure” and “Holy Land” and a beautiful piece – “Native Son” – from David Williams.

Listening to the way in which Mr Jackson seductively bends the notes in the opening song, and how he sculpts the long, sustained invention of his elegiac “Lelia”, it’s clear that there’s not a single semi-quaver hasn’t been fastidiously considered as, with his singular mellifluous timbre Mr Jackson negotiates the music on this memorable recording.

By Raul da Gama

Phil E. Brown & Top Notch Ensemble – I’ve Been Around All the Time, And Yeah, I’m Still Playing

This album is a compilation of songs performed in a Smooth Jazz mode, jazz, Reggae also R&B .It is a versatile CD that consist of some danceable tunes as well as easy listening selections. this album ( music ) will define periods in people’s lives. Phil

Get this compilation on CDBaby.

Urbanity – Urban Soul

One of Australia’s own Jazz legends, guitarist & producer Albare, and accomplished pianist/composer Phil Turcio have combined forces to become Urbanity, with their debut collaborative album Urban Soul released 2017 on AlFi Records. Urban Soul features ten original compositions and shows off a distinctive feel for the groove that runs through every track and permeates both the dark and light spaces of these songs.

That’s all down to the interplay between Albare and Phil and their instruments throughout as they build on the free-form, architectural edifices that have established them as one of the most intuitive and inventive partnerships in small group jazz of recent years. The spatial dynamics of these pieces swing from a delicate filigree finesse to full chordal harmonic assaults and showcase a powerful musical alliance between the two. They started playing together 27 years ago when Albare was looking for a new pianist for his band. At the time Phil had just turned 18. Since their first encounter, Phil’s and Albare’s paths keep on intersecting. Phil says that he and Albare hear music in the same way, “Everything I throw at Albare comes back as if I would have played it myself.” Albare likes to describe Phil as his musical soul mate.

From beginning to end, listeners will hear the pair’s innate instincts, the perfect partnership, the gorgeous groove of two friends making music. “We love jazz beyond the traditional sense,” says Albare. “I think that Jazz of the 21st Century is all-encompassing. There are no limits.” Urban Soul does that rare thing that all great jazz albums do. It tells a story that the listener translates to their own canvas.

Get the album on

Fabio Mignola – Encantado

Suisse based guitarist Fabio Mignola has released a lot of albums with diverse styles in his solo career. Chitarra Ticinese (1999), Flor de Luna (2000), Flyin’ Away (2003), Luna Rossa (2005), Take Me Higher (2008) are to mention. His new one, Encantado was released in September, 2018.

Fabio has composed all songs and performs guitars, keyboards, accordion, programming and vocals. Additional vocalists are Sofia Vassere and Laura Pura. Ezio Della Torre plays flute on selected tracks.

First warm up of the album is the uplifting Cheer Up. To put it bluntly, Fabio brings it directly to the point of happiness. Tucano is the Italian name of a bird family. Fabio transforms it into a lively festival of joy.

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