Archive for July, 2019

Lowell Hopper – Magic In The Air

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).

His new album Magic In The Air is a colorful blend of crisp electric guitars, jubilant bass, haunting melodies, and fresh beats! Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Lowell Hopper’s Magic in the Air is packed with a rich selection of funky grooves and soulful jazz tracks.

This album is just now available for download only at CDBaby.

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Ron Hutchens – Date With Destin

After growing up in Asheboro, N.C., Ron Hutchens moved to Nashville in 1980 to pursue music. For several years he worked with recording artist “The Girls Next Door” on MTM Records, Rex Allen Jr. of the Statler Brothers Show, and the great Slim Whitman. He began to play on recording sessions, writing songs, and performing with numerous bands around Nashville.

In 1990, he wrote a song that was recorded by the rock band “Blue Tears” on MCA Records. In 2000, he co-wrote and produced a contemporary jazz project “The Strange-Hutchens Ensemble”. 2003, the song “Strong”, written with Gregg Fulkerson, was released on “Attraction 65” with Atenzia Records. 2008, he recorded “A Different State Of Mind” with Terry Vuncannon.  2010 , he released his first solo project “Something In Blue”. In 2013 , the next project “After Eight” followed.

Date With Destin, by multi-instrumentalist Ron Hutchens, is a beautifully melodic collage of c-jazz in its more tranquil, laid-back mood (for the most part). With only guitar help on select tracks, Hutchens pulls together yet another tasteful example of class and musicianship (Ronald Jackson, The Smooth Jazz Ride).

This EP is available on CDBaby.

Alex Faldin – Through Practice

Moscow based bass player Alex Faldin has just released a new album with the aptly title Through Practice on his own label FaldinBassman Music. This is his second album after the debut album A Peaceful Place, which was released in 2018.

Both albums are available on Amazon.com.

Steve Cole – Gratitude

Saxophonist Steve Cole had retired for a short time due to health problems of a family member, he was caring for. Now he is back in old presence. Appropriately his new album Gratitude has just been released, like his earlier albums on the label Mack Avenue Music Group. After Stay Awhile (1998), Between Us (2000), NY LA (2003), Spin (2005), True (2006), Moonlight (2011),Pulse (2013) and Turn It Up 2016). Gratitude is his ninth album.

According to the credits Steve performs on the new album tenor sax and keyboards. He is joined by Trevor Neumann (trumpet), Dan Levine (trombone), David Mann (tenor sax, flute, keyboards, programming), Ricky Peterson (Hammond B3), Bernd Schoenhart (guitar), Khari Parker (drums), Lamar Jones (bass), John James (vocals), and Marcus Anderson (flute, keyboards, programming). The album was produced by David Mann.

The album starts in uplifting mood with Good News Day presenting a finely tuned saxophone arrangement in combination with a balanced chorus line. Neo Sol is a mesmerizing tune with harmonies inspired by EWF.

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Motown Moe – Parts Well Known

Motown Moe is a Detroit area producer and keyboard player with six CD’s to his credit. Moe’s playing style ranges from Herbie Hancock to Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Motown Moe has worked with the likes of fellow producer and keyboardist Nate Harasim, guitarists Daniel Domenge, DF Michael, James Davis, and Mike James, along with sax players Randy Sherwood, and Martin Sharpe. His previous albums range from chill, r&b, to smooth jazz. Motown Moe describes his sound as very relaxing and soothing to the soul and spirit, classy music to warm your heart and mind. Moe’s influences include Greg Karukas, Marcus Johnson, Kevin Toney, Bob Baldwin, Jeff Lorber, and Nate Harasim.

His new album Parts Well Known (2019) show this funk jazz artist who pushes boundaries of cool, smooth and neo funk jazz. This project is a funk jazz tribute to the late Anthony Bourdain and hopefully inspires you to travel.

Buy this album on CDBaby.

Rick Braun – Crossroads

“As musicians and people in general, we are all a collection of the places we’ve been, things we’ve heard, seen and done, and people who we’ve loved and who have loved us,” shares chart-topping contemporary jazz pioneer Rick Braun. The trumpeter will release Crossroads on Shanachie Entertainment on August 16, 2019. The 10-track recording is a thrilling musical expedition giving us an intimate glimpse into Rick Braun’s inspirations. “At this point in life,” states Braun, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to make music. I think I’m just very comfortable with where I am in life right now.” Somewhat of a musical chameleon, Braun’s vision and virtuosity have allowed him to stand at the crossroads of the music world. He’s amassed over 20 #1 Smooth Jazz hits and collaborated with Sade, Tom Petty and REO Speedwagon, among others. Braun has produced No. 1 hits for David Benoit, Marc Antoine and Jeff Golub. He’s also achieved collaborative success on massive hits with Boney James as well as with the group RnR, with saxophonist Richard Elliot and BWB, a powerhouse trio completed by Grammy® winners Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. “When I think about the word ‘crossroads,’ says Braun, “I think about the possibilities for the future as well as the places I have been.” In keeping with this theme Braun enlists a cross-section of friends both old and new. He’s joined by dear friends, keyboardist Philippe Saisse, guitarist Peter White, bassist Nate Phillips, tenorman Richard Elliot, drummer Eric Valentine and percussionist Richie Garcia. He also welcomes some first time collaborators keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, guitarist Michael Thompson, and drummer Gregg Bissonette. Braun explains, “The common thread is the musicality that everyone brought to this project. I’m so thrilled with the playing on this record. Everyone stepped up and I think there are a lot of wonderful musical moments to be heard.”

Shanachie VP of A&R, Danny Weiss states, “Rick’s tone, chops and phrasing link him to the jazz giants of the past. He can hold his own in any setting. Yet he communicates to a vast audience far beyond the jazz aficionado. His warmth, wit and musical spirit make him a great communicator – a hit maker!”

Crossroads, Rick Braun’s 18th recording as a leader, opens with the percussive and funky “Around The Corner.” The song, which was inspired by his daughter Emma, is the perfect intro as it illustrates Braun’s knack for crafting memorable grooves with fluid and soaring melodies that have a way of instantly drawing you in. “Since my daughter Emma was born every project of mine has included a song for her that she can go outside and just let loose and dance to,” says Braun. “These songs usually end up being some of the most well liked songs on the record!” Braun co-wrote the Latin-tinged and breezy composition “Brazz Street” with Chris “Big Dog” Davis, who he likes to refer to as the ‘Neil Simon of music production.’ “He is one of the most talented arrangers and producers I have ever met. If I reach out to him and I tell him what I need on a record, more often than not he delivers me a track that just gets the job done so beautifully within days of my request.” The album’s first single “Crossroads,” is a buttery-smooth swinger that showcases Braun’s joyous interplay with longtime collaborator, friend and co-writer Philippe Saisse on keys and vibes. “Philippe first brought it in and it had a very four on the floor disco eurobeat and after I listened to it with the help of my co-producer Bud Harner (who also plays drums on ‘Family’) Philippe and I went back to the drawing board and turned it into this wonderful song that ended up being the title cut for the record,” shares Braun. “Philippe is definitely one of the most talented people I’ve ever known in my life. He is one of those people that pushes me to the next level.” Continue reading

James ‘PJ’ Spraggins – Time to Heal

Drummer/producer James ‘PJ’ Spraggins is back with his third studio album “Time to Heal”. PJ started writing music for Time to Heal while he and his wife were on the mend from Kidney transplant surgery that took place in early late February 2015. PJ’s wife, Tracy (aka Sweet Nita), was in need of a kidney and PJ was a perfect match to donate to her. “Time to Heal” is comprised of songs mostly written and produced by PJ during his “Downtime” as he took “Time to Heal” appropriately from the surgery.

This CD features some of PJ’s favorite musician friends to work with live & in studio such as Eric Essix, Frank McComb, Tracy Hamlin, Kim Scott, Mike Burton, Melvin Jones, Kelley Oneal, Kelvin Wooten, Sean Michael Ray, Keith Williams, Melvin Miller and Alex Al. Also featured on this new CD is a fan-favorite cover of Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man”.

You can discover this precious album under jazz fusion on CDBaby.

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