Archive for May, 2019

Craig Sharmat – Nouveau

Some 12 years after Craig Sharmat created his first “gypsy jazz” project for licensing purposes on assignment for what is now the Warner Chappell Productions Library, the guitarist and veteran film and TV composer’s passion for the style and desire to master gypsy guitar has evolved into a full blown creative addiction.  It’s reached such a fever pitch that instead of immediately following up his hit 2013 urban jazz album Bleu Horizons with a like-minded sequel, he immersed in the music scene of his new adopted hometown of Santa Barbara and formed The Idiomatiques – which became the first Gypsy Jazz band in history to score a hit on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart. True to its title, Sharmat’s latest collection Nouveau is a fresh, visionary work that finds the multi-talented artist in full on hybrid mode, artfully fusing the funky urban side of smooth jazz with Django Reinhardt inspired gypsy jazz guitar.

It’s a bold, dynamic approach that builds on the extraordinary critical acclaim and chart success he’s enjoyed these past years in both genres. Chosen one of the year’s Critics’ Choice Ten Best in Jazziz magazine, Bleu Horizons – designed as a spirited musical travelogue – included the Top 5 Billboard single “A Day in Paris,” the Top 10 single “Agua Do Brasil” and the Top 20 single “Surfing the Caspian Sea.” The single “C’est la Vie” from Craig Sharmat with the Idiomatiques’ second album Out on the Town also hit the Top 30 on the contemporary jazz chart.

While Bleu Horizons was filled with exotic sounds and rhythms representing various locales throughout the globe, it was in essence a groove driven, in the pocket smooth jazz experience, featuring guest appearances by genre greats like Peter White and Rick Braun. In the spirit of putting as much organic, Djangofied gypsy magic as possible into Nouveau, Sharmat surrounds his transcendent and deeply soulful guitarisma with three core members of the Idiomatiques: renowned accordionist, keyboardist and composer Brian Mann (Larry Carlton, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald), bassist, vocalist and jazz educator Kim Collins and the group’s newest member, George Quirin, who adds his flamenco guitar energy to a snappy yet sensual twist on the traditional French valse (waltz) “Indifference.” The song is a standard high in the gypsy jazz repertoire that serves as a showcase for Sharmat’s imaginative acoustic brilliance. Continue reading

Cal Harris Jr. – Soulful

Cal Harris Jr. is a well-respected recording engineer, programmer, and keyboard player, who worked for music giants like Earth Wind and Fire, Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Whitney Houston, and Beyonce.

But like many other musicians he has the insatiable desire to create his own project to show the world his talent as composer of solid, seductive, and infectious melodies through impeccable production. So he has released his debut album Inside Out. His next album was Shelter Island in 2014.  Now Cal Harris Jr. returns with his long awaited 3rd Release Soulful . This collection of emotionally captivating Instrumentals speak volumes without saying a word. His first CD on the Innervision Label includes the #1 hit songs Soulful and Timeline.

Pre-order the album on Amazon.com.

Cindy Bradley – The Little Things

If you can increase sales with an attractive record cover, Cindy Bradley has done everything for it. The Little Things (2019) is her sixth album after Just A Little Bit (2007), Bloom (2009), Unscripted (2011), Bliss (2014), and Natural (2017). Her new pink trumpet, made especially for her, perfectly underlines her impressive appearance.

Producer and keyboard wizard Michael Broening wrote in collaboration with Cindy the tunes and also performs keyboards, piano, bass, and drum programming on all tracks. Additional musicians are among others Freddie Fox (guitar), Mel Brown (bass), Skinny Hightower (bass, vibes).

Cindy’s vibrant affinity for cool jazz shines through Wind Chill Factor with her muted trumpet and the exquisite horn arrangement, which leaves nothing to be desired. The influence of Freddie Hubbard is undeniable.

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Dr. Dave & The HouseCall Band – Midnight Daydream

Turning a onetime clever album title into the name of his high energy ensemble, Dr. Dave & The HouseCall Band® work major musical healing miracles on their latest album Midnight Daydream. With a sizzling swirl of pop, R&B, traditional and contemporary jazz, topped off with tasty touches of Latin, blues and swing, Dr. Dave® embraces the freedom to improvise more than ever before and tackle jazz classics and a popular TV theme in addition to a slate of ultra-infectious originals. As the classic song says, what a day for a daydream!

The new hit song “Sexy Cindy” from Midnight Daydream, written by Dr. Dave® and performed by Dr. Dave and The HouseCall Band®, dropped on U.S. FM Radio stations and Global Internet radio beginning in April 2018. You can watch the new “Sexy Cindy” video on YouTube.

Midnight Daydream is available on Amazon.com.

Marcelo Gagliotti – Sometimes Nylon Strings

Born in São Paulo on July 18, 1976, family musical heritage, Marcelo Gagliotti had his first contact with a musical instrument at 10 years old when he began to play the guitar with his father at home. Interested in keyboard and percussion instruments, he began his career as an arranger. Producing several albums of independent artists, Marcelo began to exercise basic arrangements for strings, for horns and voices. He worked a short period on TV where he worked as sideman of numerous artists, including Fafa Belém, Wanderley Cardoso, Ovelha, Paulo Ricardo, Jair Rodrigues, Emilinha Borba, Altemar Dutra Jr., Agnaldo Timoteo, Tinoco, Almir Rogério and many others.

After this phase, still in the studio, he entered the field of advertising as instrumentalist and arranger, and even today performs several recordings in various styles. With Sometimes Nylon Strings he offers his newest album with jazz, new age, funk and rock elements.

This album is available for download only on CDBaby.

Jim Meyer – Almost There

This album contains three cover tunes from some of my favorite artists. Butterfly by Herbie Hancock, Shell of A Man by George Benson, and I don’t Need No Doctor by John Mayer. The remaining tunes are all original and cover smooth grooves to salsa.

Smooth guitar jazz in the style of Larry Carlton now on CDBaby.

Chris Standring – Best Of Chris Standring Remixed

Actually guitarist Chris Standring didn’t want to release a best-of album, because in his opinion every interested fan can download his music individually. One then came up with the idea of releasing remixed versions. Chris was immediately taken with this idea. He commissioned the producers Rodney Lee and Matt Cooper, and Chris himself set to work to include pieces he thought worthy in this collection.

The pieces were not simply remixed, but re-recorded by the musicians involved. If you want to compare the original recordings with the newly recorded ones, it’s not made that easy. The starting track Stop It (Mercury Mix 2019) for example was taken from Chris first album, released in 1996 under the band name Solar System featuring Chris Standring, keyboardist Rodney Lee and lyricist C.R.A.S.H.. Dino Soldo performed the sax on the original. That was the high time of acid jazz. The new version is more upbeat, the rhythm more powerful, one notices the routine of the last twenty years.

Fast Train To Everywhere was originally recorded on the album Blue Bolero (2010). The original orchestral approach featuring Barbara Porter’s string orchestra is only hinted  and abandoned in favor of the main motif on the Jupiter Mix 2019. Those who prefer the original can listen to an alternative recording on the album Live In London (2017).

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