Archive for January, 2019

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.

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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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Willis Wilson – Conversations

Conversations… is a new selection of music from the versatile New York based trumpeter, writer, composer, and producer Willis Wilson. Featuring a collection of musings across all genres Jazz, Funk, Latin, & World Improvisational music. “Conversations…“ seeks to connect people where words fail.

Featuring the talents of new comer Bassist Jeremy Wilson, Keyboards and Soundscaping by William Wilson, and the veteran Drummer Dave Dawson. Special appearance by vocalist Traci Tota featured on “Misty“ where she also debuted as co-producer.

Conversations… is the real deal on CDBaby.

Kool&Klean – Volume VIII

Lovers of the music of Paul Hardcastle’s The Jazzmasters and Kim Waters’ Streetwize series will be captured by the magic of Kool&Klean. Creator of these popular series is saxophonist Konstantin Klashtorni, who lives since several years in Germany, where his activity rises to unimagined heights.

Among the plethora of his serial productions Kool&Klean is the one with the most frequent following albums. The preoccupation of music enthusiasts is already assuming biblical proportions. Volume VII was released in 2017. Now follows Volume VIII. Almost taken for granted now: Konstantin has written, performed and produced all tracks.

You can already pre-order the album on Amazon.com.

Bob Baldwin – Presents Abbey Road And The Beatles

Calling keyboardist Bob Baldwin an active musician borders on simple understatement. He celebrated his twentieth album in 2013 and this year he has already released two albums.

At regular intervals he releases albums in which he thematises certain musicians or groups. On his Tribute to Michael Jackson “Never Can Say Goodbye” (2010) he performed popular songs of the king of Pop. On Betcha By Golly Wow – The Songs By Thom Bell (2012) he encompasses the Philly Sound. On Mellowonder – Songs in The Key Of Stevie (2015) he interpreted songs by Motown hero Stevie Wonder.

This year Bob Baldwin focuses with Bob Baldwin Presents Abbey Road And The Beatles on songs of the Fab Four. By the way his 25th album. Bob plays on this album piano, keyboards, vocals, Vocoder, bass, drums, melodica. On selected tracks he is joined by Dennis Johnson (percussion/atmosphere), Tony Lewis (drums), Dave Anderson (bass), Café’ Da Silva (percussion), CeCe Peniston, Lori Williams (lead vocals), Euge Groove (sax), and Ragan Whiteside (flute).

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Antonio Orrico – Urban Legends

Antonio Orrico is an Italian guitarist / composer. He just returned to Italy after 13 years living in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied guitar with jazz masters such as Bruno Marrazzo and Colombo Menniti and arrangement at the Berklee College of Music. In his years in Johannesburg he was able to write for many TV Shows, Advertising Spots and Multi-Platinum Artists: McDonald, Knorr, Multi Choice, Emperor Palace, Jamali, Kabelo, Wian Vos, Liesl Graham, SABC Sport, Woza 2010, 7de Laan , Top Billing, Wufukezele, Walk The Plank, The at Wiel and more. Antonio is also an excellent teacher and has had the opportunity to teach some of the most prestigious schools in South Africa including “The National School of the Arts” and “Campus Of The Performing Arts”.

His debut album Urban Legends is just released and available on Amazon.com or if you prefer uncompressed music on Onkyo Music.

Valeriy Stepanov – Album №1

No matter how far away his musical kernel might be considered by the geographical standpoint. Lastly, the internet of things represents a fusion of the physical and digital, the real and virtual worlds. If an historical constant is to be defined in the relationship between Russia and the West, then it is the central role that the West, in all its many musical forms, plays in Russian view. Moscow based multi-instrumentalist Valeriy Stepanov is going West.

After New Beginnings (2017) his sophomore project was Valeriy Stepanov (Live) with songs from his debut album in live atmosphere.  Now he returns with a jazz fusion album as Valeriy Stepanov Fusion Project aptly titled Album №1. Valeriy had the privilege to record his new tunes with such incredible musicians as Martin Miller, Sebastian Lanser, Steven Williams, Steve Tavaglione, Альберт Степанов, Alex Hutchings, Marcus Thomas, Jerohn Garnett, and Johannes Zetterberg.

Get the album on Amazon.com.

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