Archive for August, 2020

Phillip Doc Martin – Phillip Doc Martin

Phillip Doc Martin has released his seventh album. This self titled set of music was produced by Super Producers Marvin Tony Hemmings and Jacob Webb. It was mixed by Jacob Webb and mastered By Darren Rahn. Artwork by Chris Fischer!

CD is available for purchase on iTunes, streaming on all platforms and physical CDs are available here.

Citrus Sun – Expansions And Visions

Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick’s creative power is inexhaustible. Even though his main focus is the group Incognito, he still finds time for his side projects, which include Citrus Sun. Besides Bluey his group consists of keyboard player Matt Cooper, bassist Francis Hylton, guitarist Francisco Sales and drummer Francesco Mendolia. The group is completed with guitarist Jim Mullen, trumpet player Dominic Glover, the vocalists Noel McKoy, Valerie Etienne, Hazel Fernandes and Deborah Bond and finally harmonica player Rega Dauna.

Expansions And Visions is the fourth album of the group, scheduled for release August 14, 2020. The album was recorded in London and Thailand, whereby Bluey ingeniously combined tourist relaxation with record production.

The album opens with Expansions, a track that could easily be located in the 70s. Indeed the original is an album by keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith, featuring performances recorded in 1974. Unbridled, it tests the limits of the possible, takes up the challenge of virtuosity and at the same time devotes itself to the freedom of music.

We need A Lust for Life especially in these dark times and so Bluey’s music also serves as an emotional brightener. Rega Dauna gives a new instrumental face to the piece’s effervescent liveliness. While Dominic Glover on trumpet and Francisco Sales on guitar can easily follow the geniality of the new instrumental star.

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Eddie Daniels – Night Kisses: A Tribute to Ivan Lins

Six-time GRAMMY nominated jazz clarinetist-saxophonist-flutist Eddie Daniels is in love all over again and he describes his new album, “Night Kisses: A Tribute to Ivan Lins,” as “A concert of love.” The romantic collection of acoustic jazz, pop and Brazilian music that dropped Friday on Resonance Records and has critics proclaiming their affection for the album derived inspiration from a couple of unlikely events: oral surgery and a random kiss. The follow-up to Daniels’ 2018 GRAMMY-nominated Heart of Brazil: A Tribute to Egberto Gismonti” and the second chapter in a trilogy conceived by the albums’ producer George Klabin saluting seminal Brazilian composers reignited Daniels love affair with the flute, an instrument he had not recorded with in 30 years. And that happened as a result of ill-timed – or divine-timed – dental work. A dentist put in a bone graft a month before Daniels was to head to Los Angeles to record the album, ordering Daniels not to play the clarinet or saxophone for fear that it would blow out the bone graft. Daniels picked up the flute and played it exclusively in advance of the recording date, rekindling his ardor for the instrument. Much to the surprise and delight of listeners, he is featured playing flute on four tracks on “Night Kisses.”

“I fell in love with the flute again. Going in, I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to do justice to the romance and beauty that Ivan Lins brings to his music. The flute added that magic, taking the album somewhere special. It turns out that the album is more romantic than I ever could have imagined. I’m in love with this album,” said Daniels, a self-professed “romantic guy.” A major coup for Daniels is that “Night Kisses” includes the first-ever recording featuring GRAMMY and Emmy winner Bob James and GRAMMY and Academy Awards winner Dave Grusin. Daniels has a long history with both artists having played on many of their records dating back to the 1970s. While “Night Kisses” celebrates songs written by Lins, the three jazz illuminati team up on the album closer “Ivante,” a new composition penned by James in honor of his longtime friend, Lins.

When Lins heard “Night Kisses,” he said that he cried. “The album is fantastic. Totally surprising. Not only the repertoire, because there are songs that nobody recorded besides me, but the textures, the timbres, the ideas of the arrangements, the instruments used. It’s incredible.” Joining Daniels on “Night Kisses” are pianist Josh Nelson (who also contributed three arrangements), bassist Kevin Axt and drummer Mauricio Zottarelli. Kuno Schmid makes an appearance on piano and authored a handful of arrangements. The tracks are lavishly draped with string section work by GRAMMY winners The Harlem Quartet. While the album title refers to the romance, sweetness, tenderness and love inherent in Lins’ music, which James describes as “romantic and adventurous,” Daniels fondly recalls another story that is romantic and adventurous as well as audacious. While standing in the wings waiting to go on stage 38 years ago, singer Deborah Rothrock turned her head just as Daniels was overcome with the spontaneous desire to kiss her. Their lips met and the couple has been together ever since.

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Jelene – Ineffable

With her first single ‘Soundcheck’ released early 2019, Jelene hopes to be an inspiring independent artist, building up her path to create a breakthrough in the local Jazz scene as well as forming her reputation worldwide with her passionate energetic fresh sounds as heard in her debut instrumental jazz EP ‘Ineffable‘. A multi talented keyboardist who plays between genres of Pop, Jazz, RnB and Blues, Jelene is a passionate musician that has led her to outstanding opportunities during her time with Lasalle College of the Arts including performing for televised shows, musicals and publicized gala events.

With her freshly released debut EP ‘Ineffable‘, her instrumental tracks includes astounding beats of funk and jazz. Working hand in hand with local and international recognized artistes such as saxophonist Daniel Chia with his take on soulful and funky jazz tunes and international guitarist/producer Adam Hawley who has appeared beside a list of wide variety genre artists including celebrity artist Jennifer Lopez, Natalie Cole, Dave Koz just to name a few. ‘Ineffable‘ will definitely create an impressionable new beginning for her music career. Throughout her journey, she had the pleasure of performing with recognized artistes from both local and international such as Barry Likumahuwa, Bass G, Ezra Brown, etc.

Check it out at https://manylink.co/@Jeleneofficial.

Lowell Hopper – Overtime

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 newest project is the EP Overtime (2020). It is a nice collection of feel-good funky grooves and soulful instrumental tracks. Over the course of 17 albums stretching back to the mid-1990’s, the multi-talented composer and producer has carved out a powerful indie niche via his colorful blend of crisp electric guitar, jubilant bass, haunting melodies, and fresh beats. The single release off this smooth project is “Turnaround” featuring smooth jazz saxophonist Chris Godber, bringing a sweet vibe between these great artists.

Overtime is available at Amazon.com.

Andrey Chmut – Soulmate

Ukraine based saxophonist Andrey Chmut has already introduced himself to the smooth jazz community with his debut album Smoothability (2018). Only two years later he presents the successor Soulmate (2020) on the same label Skytown Records.

For his second project he falls back on the proven crew of scenic musicians as listed below. Andrey has written and arranged all tracks. The introducing Night Town features a modern dialog between Andrey and keyboardist Alex Logvinenko which perfectly assimilates in taste and presentation to the American smooth jazz style.

Listening to Dance with Me you get the impression of hearing Peter White in action. Indeed, Gennadii Bondar’s brilliant playing on the acoustic guitar shows many parallels to the iconic guitar player.

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Sonar Kollektiv – Key Elements

Sonar Kollektiv has been waiting for it anxiously: Key Elements‘ debut album leads Jazz music into the new decade down-the-line. The music Key Elements create is fresh, merciless and ruthless and has always the finger on the pulse of the time. The album‘s eight tracks are all far away from Broken Beat nostalgia or Beat-making nerdism, they breathe inspiration from the young, thriving British jazz scene. Key Element‘s initiator, DJ and producer Marian Tone, built up a reputation in the Berlin hip hop, soul and jazz scene over the years (also as a co-founder of Beatkollektiv). With all of his compositions you always feel this heritage and his love and passion for hiphop. But the other two allys within «Key Elements», drummer Waldi and the keyboard or bass player Jim Dunloop made their contribution with compositions and ideas as well. An album which was initially designed to be a mere solo project became an effort of a trio over the years being inherently consistent.

Already the opening track «Mike Needs Sugar» shows the direction this album will take us: To the land of the good groove. It‘s here where the three thoroughbred musicians feel on top of the world obviously and deliver one luscious track after the other. From the cheerful «Morning Boom» to the kinda furtively laid back «Impossible» and the final «Funky Dave», which could be on an Italian soundtrack from the 70‘s every single tone and note from «Key Elements» is great fun. Especially because even when you listen to it a second, third or fourth time you will discover new nuances and niceties again and again. As is right and proper for really good jazz album.

Berlin based DJ and producer Marian Tone came up with the name «Key Elements» long before forming the trio that now puts forward a promising album on Sonar Kollektiv. After the release of two EPs («EP One» and «Beats vs. Bad Karma» both on Dooinit Music) the expertly and sought-after DJ with a background in Hiphop, Soul and Jazz consequently ventured to record his debut album. Marian’s idea was to produce music that sounds organically abandoning the use of samples completely but only focusing on own compositions. But things didn’t turn out as planned at all. Continue reading

Michael Whalen – Sacred Spaces

Michael Whalen is an internationally known recording artist. His soaring melodies and beautiful ambient spaces are beloved by fans throughout the world. From New Age/ambient to classical to pop to jazz/fusion to his many soundtrack recordings, Michael’s catalog of music is deep, rich and filled with beauty. As a producer, Michael has worked with over a hundred artists creating gorgeous projects for: Stephen Sondheim, The Bala Brothers, Jim Brickman, Andiamo, Mary McLaughlin, Chris Botti and many others. Explore Michael’s vast collection and fall in love with the perfect soundtrack for your life.

2020 release. Sacred Spaces has been an album many years in the making. First, it started as a classical project in the late 2000s. Michael thought that he would write a “string symphony” based on his search for spiritual path. A three-movement piece was plotted and a number of musical themes were developed… and then nothing for years. In 2018, Michael picked-up the project again but decided to put the classical treatment aside in favor of a large scale electronic project. He picked some of the existing melodic material to work on for the recording. He then started to create sounds for the project. Over three months, he created over 800 sounds, textures, loops and timbres. “After working on thousands commercials for over 30 years” Michael says, “I am not sure how many of my listeners know how much sound design work I have done. Honestly, sound design is a skill that is at the same level as my melodic skills – I think. I am surprised how many new timbres I made that I had never created before. A whole new palette. Once I had the sounds all set, the album happened very quickly.”

Get this album at Amazon.com.

Calvin Napper – Making Moves

Calvin Napper is a natural born drummer. Although addicted to gospel music he pursues his musical destination in smooth jazz or more precisely funk. Sticks Of Praise (1999), Soul Rhythms (2005) and Good Vibes (2015) are his previous works. His new album is entitled Making Moves (2020).

Buy his new album on his website.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – Close But No Cigar

81rP6CHVlGL._SL1200_Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio was founded in 2015 and originally consisted of keyboardist Delvon Lamarr Dumas on Hammond B-3, guitarist Colin Higgins and drummer David McGraw. Soon after guitarist Jimmy James replaced Higgins. All members had been active instrumentalists in the Seattle music scene. With the help of Lamarr’s wife, Amy Novo, acting as manager and booking agent, the group was solidified. Originally a drummer and trumpet player, Lamarr switched to organ at age twenty-two. He said he picked up the instrument naturally by observing organist/keyboardist Joe Doria. James and McGraw had previously co-founded ‘The True Loves’, a Seattle-based 9-piece soul band.

The trio’s debut album Close But No Cigar was originally released in 2016 (on CD), and was re-released in March 2018 (on both LP and CD) by Colemine Records. The album reached number one on the U.S. Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and number three on the U.S. Jazz Albums chart.

The debut album is still available on bandcamp.