Archive for January, 2019

Jazz Funk Soul – Life And Times

Jazz Funk Soul was formed by keyboardist Jeff Lorber, guitarist Chuck Loeb and sax player Everette Harp. Late guitarist Chuck Loeb considered the group as a natural extension of the fun and high level of creativity that was taking place on stage each night. In this formation the trio was blessed to release two albums, the same titled debut album (2014) and the sophomore album More Serious Business (2016).

After Chuck Loeb’s all too early passing away the fan community feared a standstill of further recordings like with the group Fourplay. Now the group Jazz Funk Soul has surprisingly reunited and welcomes its new member guitarist Paul Jackson Jr., who comments: “Chuck, you’re one of the best musicians and best people, I’ve ever met. I speak in present tense because you’re not gone, you’re just not here. I miss you, and look forward to making music with you in Heaven.”

Life And Time is the name of the new album, which will be released January 25, 2019 on Shanachie Entertainment Group and is dedicated to the late Chuck Loeb. Jeff Lorber performs keyboards, Rhodes, acoustic piano, Moog bass, and guitar, Everette Harp keys, alto sax, tenor sax and EWI, Paul Jackson Jr. lead and rhythm guitars.

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Dan Bury – Kelzer / Sedio Project

Florida based keyboardist Dan Bury has his own vision of smooth jazz, which he has released under the artist name Martel and with other formations. Kelzer / Sedio Project is a Martel Music Project – produced by Dan Bury, featuring original compositions by Steve Kelzer, with Steve Kelzer on keyboards and Tom Sedio on electric guitar.

This project encompasses a great amount of tracks, which are for download only on CDBaby.

Gary Muhammad – The Fullness of Time

It has taken a while, but now the time is right for the release of this project The Fullness of Time. Gary Muhammad is back with new music. (Gary wrote and produced “Bean Soup Days” in 2006).

Since the release his first album, Gary has been busy entertaining audiences with the R&B/Smooth Jazz band “Soft Spoken” that he founded in 1999.

The Fullness Of Time speaks to various meaningful events and times in my growth and development as a man and a musician. Having a passion for my music as well as the upliftment of the human condition, this CD has something for everyone.” Blending Funk, Fusion, Smooth R&B and even an acoustic Jazz piece, “The Yellow Rose”, this album offers something for every taste. “I believe I assembled the right musicians for this effort as well…thank God for them all!

Get your copy on CDBaby.

Lowell Hopper – Delayed Reaction

Panama City, Florida based guitarist Lowell Hopper is a bassist, keyboardist, composer, producer and has a lot of music to offer. His solo albums encompass Bay View(1993), Invisible Touch (1995), Live in Panama (1997),Live on the Beach (1999), Sweet Licks (2009), In The Moment (2011), A New Direction (2013), A Touch Of Sunshine (2014), Soulful Feeling (2014), Groove Maker(2015), Early Days Vol. 1 (2016), Between The Lines(2016),  Playing It Cool (2016),  Forward Motion (2017), and Delayed Reaction (2018).

On his new album Lowell performs guitars, basses, keyboards, and drum programming. He is supported by Derek Burrell, who plays fretless bass on Free and Easyand Just Because. Lowell composed, produced and arranged all songs.

Urban Delight starts with an unusual selection of instruments, bongo and bass. Lowell combines two guitar parts in the overdub creating a sonic consonance. Back to the Basics is a return to the harmonious origins. Lowell develops his guitar fantasies on the consistent sounding basic melody.

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Spiritual Emergence – Rob Scotts Birds

Rob Scott founded this group in 2012. This is their second effort, expanding on the ideas in the first record. Relatable, innovative Jazz , with accessible melodies that push the boundaries just a little bit. The group comprises Godwin Louis on Sax , Jason Palmer on trumpet, Lee fish on drums, Justin Purtill on Bass, and Rob Scott on piano. Rob has written all the tunes, except for a fantastic composition by Jason Palmer. Jason also helped Rob arrange many of these songs onsite at the recording. They are a super-group of rising stars , and they hope you enjoy their effort. They are all from different places musically and geographically , but came together in Boston. I guess this is the Boston Jazz sound for 2019!

Rob Scotts Birds is America’s Romantic Music. 21st Century Jazz, part of the tradition, expanding the tradition. Innovative, yet relatable.

This CD is available on CDBaby.

Norman Brown – The Highest Act Of Love

Norman Brown has sold over two-million albums and is a mainstay on the contemporary jazz charts. When the iconic and pioneering guitarist George Benson sings your praises you know you are a bad man! Benson has heralded the consummate hit-maker, Norman Brown, as one of the greatest guitarists around today. Like Benson, Brown effortlessly fuses the finer elements of jazz, R&B, pop and blues to create his own insatiable and instantly identifiable and soulful sound. Brown declares, “My blending and crossing of styles happens organically by allowing the content to reveal its elements. There are only two kinds of music – ‘good and bad.’” Brown has made a career of churning out the ‘good stuff’ for over two decades. His unique elixir of urban contemporary jazz has allowed him to garner a devoted international following and an impressive career as a leader. He has also collaborated with the likes of Brian McKnight, Kirk Whalum, Miki Howard, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Everette Harp and Chanté Moore, to name a few.

The Highest Act Of Love, Norman Brown’s latest CD, is due out on Shanachie Entertainment on February 22, 2019, and has something for everyone (whether an R&B fan or a Jazz aficionado). Highlights include a beautiful collaboration with R&B legend Deniece Williams on her signature song “Free”” (from her gold-certified This Is Niecy album) and the bluesy guitar duet “Inside The Garden Of Peace And Love” with Paul Brown. Norman Brown’s inspired latest CD proves that he is at his best and that his musical offering is truly one of the highest acts of love!

Pre-order the new album now on Amazon.com.

DjembeSol – Rhythm

West Coast recording keyboardist and guitarist Terrence Curtis presents groovy music under his stage name DjembeSol. In 2015 his debut album appeared with the title Hypnotic. Now follows his second release Rhythm (2018).

With five and six tracks respectively, the projects are manageable. Since they are unfortunately only offered for download, they are more for the digital fans among us than the collectors of CD gatherings.

So there is neither an artist website with biography to report, nor a credit list of the album. It may be assumed that Terrence recorded the whole music as a multi-instrumentalist, otherwise he would surely mention his fellow musicians. Even if these facts do not simplify the review for a critic, it is worthwhile to lose a few words because of the music.

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