Archive for December, 2020

Mitch Cairns – The After Hours Project

The After Hours Project is a melting pot of captivating rhythms, sonic textures and infectious melodies. A stunning collection of compositions filled with hints of influences of The Crusaders, Bob James and Sting. This album from Mitch Cairns is feel good music that takes you on an emotional journey from start to finish. Like a slow cooked meal, where all of the right ingredients simmer delicately until the flavours are just right. “I’ve cherished the opportunity to take a break from the rigorous isolation of being on the road. Creating and recording with musicians I have an enormous respect for has been a blessing, but most importantly a chance to cherish the time that we get to just hang out”.

The After Hours Project is a close collaboration between Mitch Cairns and renowned pianist Bill Risby. Featuring an enormous depth of talent including Bill Risby – Rhodes, Gordon Rytmeister, Johnny Salerno, Nic Cecire – Drums, Ross Irwin – Flugelhorn, Pat Bergeson (USA) – Harmonica and of course Mitch Cairns on Electric Bass.

Buy this CD on bandcamp.com.

YolanDa Brown – Love Politics War

Award winning saxophonist YolanDa Brown is the premier female saxophonist in the UK. She has toured with The Temptations, Diana Krall, Courtney Pine and Billy Ocean and collaborated with artists such as Mica Paris, Reggae Legend Bob Marley’s son Julian Marley and as part of Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.

Double MOBO winning saxophonist YolanDa Brown releases her stunning sophomore album “Love Politics War”. An eclectic mix of genres, touching on Reggae, Jazz and Soul. YolanDa commented: “This time around I wanted to create an album that reflected the current state of the world with its political tensions and its numerous uprisings and protests – with the underlying message that LOVE conquers all.” Love Politics War follows the success of her debut album “April Showers and May Flowers”, which debuted at No.1 on the UK Jazz charts.

We discovered this gem on bandcamp.com.

Vanessa Collier – Heart on the Line

Fresh off winning a 2020 Blues Music Award (BMA) for Instrumentalist – Horn Player of the Year for the second year in a row (2020 & 2019), Vanessa Collier is releasing her highly anticipated and self-produced fourth album, Heart on the Line. As a multi award-winning songwriter, master musician, and multi-instrumentalist, Vanessa shares a new album that weaves together funk, soul, rock, and blues. In her trademark style, Vanessa seamlessly blends musical styles, all while delivering soulful vocals and searing saxophone solos and demonstrating witty and impressive songwriting skills.

If you haven’t been fortunate enough to meet Vanessa Collier and witness one of her head turning, fiery, and passionate performances, you should definitely make sure you do. A 2013 graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Vanessa has toured extensively, both nationally and Internationally, and has released three critically acclaimed albums prior to 2020’s Heart on the Line (2014’s Heart, Soul & Saxophone; 2017’s Meeting My Shadow; and 2018’s Honey Up). Honey Up spent 9 weeks on the Top 15 Billboard Charts, three months on the Living Blues Report, and is currently spinning on Sirius XM in regular rotation.

Drawing once again on her music production and engineering degree from Berklee, Vanessa’s self-produced Heart on the Line includes eight new original songs, all written by Vanessa, as well as three re-imagined covers. Vanessa’s stories are delivered with incredible musicianship, gorgeous horn arrangements, and with engineering and production detail that is second to none. We hope you will enjoy Vanessa Collier’s Heart on the Line!

Buy the album at bandcamp.

DiCosimo / Pagán – Con Moto

When bassist Jimmy Haslip produces an album, you know what’s going to come out: a jazz fusion album. The initiators of the same are organist Bill DiCosimo and bassist Edgar Pagán, who have been working together for more than twenty years. The album, which will be released in January 2021, is called Con Moto, which means “with movement”.

Contributors to the album are, who would be surprised, Jeff Lorber, Gary Novak, Jeff Richman, Jose Varona, Paulie Cerra and more. People know each other. For example, Edgar has already worked on Jeff Lorber’s joint album Eleven with Mike Stern or Jeff and Jimmy have played on Edgar’s album What A Feeling.

The album starts with the aptly titled So It Begins. A piece that flows along with a continuous rhythm like mercury. The piece is structured comparable a mathematical challenge and bass, rhythm guitar and keyboard complement each other seamlessly like a laying puzzle.

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Kimo Cornwell – Hawaii State Of Mind

Kimo Cornwell‘s first ever CD “Hawaii State of Mind”, is available since 2018. Kimo wanted to do a CD that would reflect his ties to Hawaii. The 9 originals that he wrote are very diverse in musical style and tell a story of personal loss, local food eateries, Hawaiian spirituality, and well known places and a song for his wonderful wife called “Song For Kepola” (Kepola is Hawaiian for Debbie).

The 4 classic Hawaiian covers that he picked are all well known in the islands, and he really tried to bring something different to them. “Pupu Hinuhinu” (means shiny shells in Hawaiian) is from a revered family of song in Hawaii, The Beamers, and it is usually beautifully performed as a simple lullaby. He turned it inside-out and gave it an aggressive jazz-Latin sort of treatment. “Nani Waimea” (means beautiful Waimea), which is written for a beautiful place on the Big Island of Hawaii, is given a Latin-jazz funk vibe. “Kimo Henderson Hula” was written for a person who owned a beautiful estate above the town of Hilo. A beautiful melody and story of appreciation for a dear friend to Helen Desha Beamer who wrote the song to thank him for his friendship. “Akaka Falls” is a song that was written for a well known waterfall on the Big Island. I’ve always loved this song and he gives it sort of a jazz-bossa feel.

There are 2 songs that he wrote in tribute to 3 family members that he sadly lost during this project. “She Wore A Haku Lei” was written for his dear mother. “We used to call her the ‘energizer bunny’ because of her endless energy. She had a vibrant personality and a zest for life. She lived a very full life to the young age of 98. “Wave Rider” was written for my 2 brothers who used to surf a lot and I try to give you that feeling of riding a wave.” Continue reading

Theresa Grayson – Mystical

Theresa Grayson is a Texas original born in Tyler and raised in Houston. She was exposed to music at the early age of four and learned to play all of the woodwind instruments, the piano and guitar. At the age of 8, Theresa formed an unbreakable bond with the saxophone which led her to receiving accolades for her outstanding musicianship all through grade school. By the age of 16, Theresa was already performing with local bands and gaining valuable experience in show business and recording. She earned a sterling reputation from musicians, recording artists and choirs as an accompanist in their live performances and recordings.

Theresa’s performances have been described as eclectic and cutting edge and her achievements are many and varied that ranges from inspirational, pop and jazz performances sharing the stage with great artists. Theresa toured with nationally with legendary artist Grammy award singer Michael Bolton and International Harpist Jeff Majors. A dazzling artist, Theresa headlined on the Annual Red Cat Jazz Festival 2010-2012. Demonstrating true artistry, she received exceptional reviews for her performance in the Houston International Jazz Festival 2011 that sparked Houston Magazine to a two page spread featuring Theresa as the “Jazz Musician of the Month.”

She started her musical career with the album It’s All About You (2010), followed with her sophomore album Live 2 Love (2013). With My Favorite Things she offers her personal Christmas CD. Her album World Blue (2015) pays tribute to the 30th anniversary of “We Are the World” originally written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Her newest album is Mystical (2020).

Buy the new album on Theresa’s website.

Jakob Elvstrøm – ElectrOrleans

Saxophone players from Europe often develop a different style than American musicians. This can be seen also in the Danish saxophonist Jakob Elvstrøm, who has remained unlike Michael Lington in his homeland. This was already visible on his debut album SaxClub vol. 1 (2009) and continued on his second album SaxClub vol. 2 (2013). His next albums are Play It Back (2014) and Silent Sax (2016).

Influenced by the music of New Orleans he has now created the album ElectrOrleans (2020). After Play It Back this album is the second of his trilogy Funky Sessions. Listen to the album which is featuring Danish musicians Esben Just, Jesper Riis, Steen N. Hansen, Karsten Vogel, Henrik Silver, Martin Schack and more on Apple Music.

Bill DiCosimo and Edgar Pagán – Con Moto

Bill DiCosimo and Edgar Pagán have been performing music together for over 20 years, including backing GRAMMY-winning jazz flutist Dave Valentin. They have shared the stage with varied world-class artists Spyro Gyra, Xtreme, Ismael Miranda, Andy Montanez, Lou Gramm, Bela Fleck, Bernie Williams, Wayne Newton, The Average White Band, Tom Scott, Ambrosia, Earl Slick, Joey Molland, Mary Fahl, Bernard Fowler, Stanley Turrentine, and Charo to name a few.

As founding members of central New York SAMMY winners and standouts ‘Grupo Pagán’, Bill and Edgar felt it was time to record a solo project.

To capture the feeling of DiCosimo and Pagán’s music, an All-Star lineup was enlisted featuring Jimmy Haslip (additional bass, keys, cuatro, ancillary percussion, and background vocals), Jeff Lorber (keyboards), Karma Auger (drums, percussion), Gary Novak (drums), Jimmy Branly (percussion), Jeff Richman (guitar), Paulie Cerra (horns), Nick Kellie (guitar) and Jose Varona (percussion). All world-renowned artists in their own right. The bonus track “Show the World” featuring ‘Ceili Rain’ frontman Bob Halligan Jr. is inspired and dedicated to Peace, Love, and Unity in the world. Bob has written hit songs for Cher, Judas Priest, Michael Bolton, Kiss, and Blue Oyster Cult.

The album is produced and titled by 3-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Haslip. He felt ‘CON MOTO,’ a classical term describing forward movement, was a fitting description of the music. Haslip is no stranger in the producer role. He has worked with Jeff Lorber, Bruce Hornsby, Yellowjackets, Gino Vannelli, Kiss, Tommy Bolin, Allan Holdsworth, Marilyn Scott, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Donald Fagen, Anita Baker, Robben Ford, Mike Stern, Selena, Diana Ross, Elemental and more. Haslip found the music to be positive, uplifting and inspiring. As a producer, he is a perfect fit. We found him to be very connected with our diverse music style and desire to meld world sounds and rhythms to create something fresh.

The recording contains 5 originals that take you on a journey encompassing Funk, Blues, Jazz, and Timba flavored Latin rhythms, plus two clever arrangements of “Magic Carpet Ride” and “Cisco Kid.” The album will be released January 8, 2020.

Tom Browne – Come What May

Every music artist wants a No. 1 hit because of resulting notoriety and commercial success. Sometimes such a mega hit can also become a curse, if one is identified as a musician only with this hit. This is what happened to trumpeter Tom Browne, who landed a monster hit with his song Funkin’ For Jamaica, which took the top spot in the charts for over a month and remained in indelible memory for an entire generation of disco goers.

Forty years later after numerous albums, which unfortunately could not continue the great time, Tom limits himself to what he does best, good music. His album Come What May, released in October 2020 on Innervision Records, is a testament to his true greatness and deserves our attention without reservation. On this album, Tom collaborates with vocalist Joyce San Mateo, who is featured on all songs.

With the starter Shake Tom jumps into the center of the musical action and makes pressure with percussively loaded bass driven background. The trumpet comes off well with an amazing eloquence. Joyce gets into this point and gives the song yet more dynamics. Even though there are certain performance limits on the high notes, the overall package is exceptionally convincing and makes you curious about the other songs.

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Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – I Told You So

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio—or as it is sometimes referred to, DLO3—specialize in the lost art of “feel good music.” The ingredients of this intoxicating cocktail include a big helping of the 1960s organ jazz stylings of Jimmy Smith and Baby Face Willette; a pinch of the snappy soul strut of Booker T. The M.G.’s and The Meters; and sprinkles Motown, Stax Records, blues, and cosmic Jimi Hendrix-style guitar. It’s a soul-jazz concoction that goes straight to your heart and head makes your body break out in a sweat.

The band features organist Delvon Lamarr, a self-taught virtuosic musician, with perfect pitch who taught himself jazz and has effortlessly been able to play a multitude of instruments. On guitar is the dynamo Jimmy James who eases through Steve Cropper-style chanking guitar, volcanic acid-rock freak-out lead playing, and slinky Grant Green style jazz. From Reno, Nevada is drummer Dan Weiss (also of the powerhouse soul and funk collective The Sextones). Dan’s smoldering pocket-groove drumming locks in the trio’s explosive chemistry.

Founded by Lamarr’s wife and manager Amy Novo, the trio started from humble beginnings in 2015, but since then has released two Billboard charting albums and toured the world to sold out venues. The trio returns now with their second studio album, I Told You So, with even heavier grooves and more confidence. It may have been several years since their most recent studio effort, but they haven’t missed a beat. The album is scheduled for release January 29, 2021.

You can pre-order the album at bandcamp.