Archive for January, 2021

Keith Slattery – Duality

Keith Slattery decided a year ago to start his own solo CD project. He had some help from a wonderful benefactor and recorded drums for 5 original songs in Chicago. He is planning on completing the project with more recording in Los Angeles in late June with some amazing world class musicians (Vinnie Colaiuta and Nathan East). In addition he will be having some wonderful guest artists on his CD such as Kirk Whalum, Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal, Eric Valentine, Mike DeMicco, and many more.

The CD Duality is projected to be released later this year and will be distributed by Maxophone Records which is the same label that released Lindsey Webster’s debut CD. You can support Keith and buy his upcoming album here.

Hot Damn Horns & The Soul Machine – Shake Your Leg

The Hot Damn Horns & The Soul Machine are a 7-piece funk firework from Stuttgart (Germany) that combines instrumental funk, soul, afrobeat and hip-hop with the virtuosity of first-class jazz musicians. The notoriously sexy „Hot Damn Horns” are a horn section that not only impresses with its wholesome appearance, but above all with razor-sharp riffs, dizzying solos and daring “doits” sure to make any keyboarder who tries to play „brass section licks“ quake. An absolute highlight in times of electronically alienated brass sounds, Christian Mück (trumpet), Christoph Beck (saxophone) and Florian Seeger (trombone) celebrate the analog brass section. No wonder they have already shared the stage with greats like Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) or Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood).

They are supported by The Soul Machine – a rhythm section that knows every trick in the book. Christoph Neuhaus (guitar), Lukas Großmann (hammond organ), Alex Uhl (bass) and Eckhard Stromer / Andy Schoy (drums) form the foundation of rousing instrumental funk & soul originals. The focus is on the groove…danceable and full of energy.

Get the album Shake Your Leg here.

Dumpstaphunk – Where Do We Go From Here

New Orleans funk powerhouse Dumpstaphunk announces their new album Where Do We Go From Here, set to release on April 23, 2021 (via Mascot Label Group / The Funk Garage). The release marks the band’s first full-length album in seven years, and undeniably the most powerful and politically pointed of their career. Previously released singles include “Justice 2020,” recently called one of the “Best Songs of 2020” by the New York Times, and the contemplative title-track “Where Do We Go From Here.” The record is a sharply relevant statement, even more-so than the group anticipated during writing and recording sessions just prior to the unprecedented events of the last year.

Dumpstaphunk released the album’s title track “Where Do We Go From Here” in August 2020, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. On the eve of the presidential election the band strategically released the single “Justice 2020” (featuring Chali 2na and Trombone Shorty), which became an unofficial anthem of the social justice movement.  Dumpstaphunk will release a remix of “Justice 2020” by Cut Chemist this Friday, January 15th.

The band’s arsenal of classic and modern influences can be heard throughout the new album, a distinctive mix of genuine New Orleans funk, old school R&B and guitar fueled modern rock; from the slap-bass rave “Make It After All” to the band’s contemporary renderings of NOLA R&B rarities (the 1975 Blackmail gem “Let’s Get At It”) and early Seventies classics (Sly and the Family Stone’s “In Time”). One song with an unexpected genesis is the band’s urgent cover of Buddy Miles’ 1973 Hendrix inspired “United Nations Stomp,” which features searing guitar solos from special guest, rising blues guitar phenom Marcus King. Continue reading

Les Sabler – Tranquility

Nashville based guitarist Les Sabler started his career in Canada with the album Hidden Treasure (1990) initiated by Canadian Television Network documentary titled Lost Treasures of the TitanicTime For Love (1994), Bridge The Gap (2003), Sweet Drive (2007), Live (2009), Crescent Shores (2010), and Jobim Tribute (2014) mark the career of a great guitarist.

His new album Tranquility (2021) has, according to the credits, a wide range of excellent accompanying musicians, who have their creative circle in the Californian focal point of smooth jazz. The well known names in the scene signal a high quality and up-to-dateness of the new album. Les wrote the tracks mostly in collaboration with Shane Theriot, Paul Brown, Jeff Carruthers, and Lew Laing.

Starter of the album is Crescent City Strut which accentuates a musical theme and is especially characterized by a rock-solid horn arrangement. Les himself plays his guitar with skillful nonchalance and routine.

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Masa Kohama – Masa’s First Take

Masa Kohama began playing the guitar as an 11-year-old. After graduating from Aoyama Gakuin University Anglo-American Faculty of Letters, he moved his base of operations in 1991 to Los Angeles. He graduated from the Musicians Institute, and then spent nine years as a house – guitarist at one of LA ‘s largest black churches in the “City of Refuge” playing gospel music. He also played with West Coast hip-hop stars Warren G and Nate Dogg, and frequently co-starred with WC (Westside Connection). He has also played with Italian artist Marco Mishinato, Thai superstar Boi Koshabon, British singer Glenn Scott, American song poet Steven Bishop, contemporary R & B child prodigy Rodney Jenkins (Destiny’s Child, Biyanse and Utada – Purodeyusa such as Hikaru,) saxophonist Kirk Whalum, and legendary drummer James Gadson.

He worked for a dozen years as a close friend of Xavier (Xavier, in 1995 from East West Japan X Factor release) and is currently composer in a number of projects, recording sessions, and as a producer. Masa’s First Take (2021) is his debut album. Go to his website to take a listen and buy the album.

Gerald Albright – G-Stream

The “G-Stream” EP is a composition of three action-packed songs that Gerald Albright has chosen specifically to enhance the listening experience of his audience that have witnessed a historical change-of-life, due to the current pandemic and multi-layered polarity of our globe. With the unique and daily challenges of our “new normal,” coupled with it being an election year reflecting, potentially, one of the most intense political battles in history, he feels that this EP release is very timely. The musicianship on this project is stellar, with the partnership of Chris “Big Dog” Davis on keyboards, James “JRob” Roberson on drums and keyboards, and Rick Watford on guitar, and Cory Baker on vocoder. Even in the worst of times, music has always been celebrated as a source of enjoyment, therapy, and emotional enhancement. This EP project is specifically designed to reach those listeners who fall into these categories!

Gerald Albright comments: “I’m very proud of this project “G-Stream.” Honestly, this project was unpredictable, as the music came out of the experience of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and the civil unrest in the United States. There were a plethora of emotions that came from these events, which directly affected the music: fear, anxiety, faithfulness, hope, and reassurance. It is my hope that, even though this is instrumental music, you will feel the chapters that I went through during these unique times.”

Download, stream or buy this EP on bandcamp.

Lowell Hopper – No Turning Back

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), Delayed Reaction (2018), Magic In The Air (2019),  Overtime (2020) and Collection (2020).

Who is surprised that the next album is already announced? It’s called No Turning Back and is scheduled for release January 29, 2021. Lowell’s got it going on.

For more information visit Lowell’s website.

Karén Devroop – Ancestral Home

Hailing from South Africa Karén Devroop finished his studies in Texas, USA. After his return to SA he is now Artistic Director of Music Competitions at Unisa – The University of South Africa, Acting Director of Music at University of South Africa (UNISA) Music Foundation and Director, on the School of Music at NWU – North-West University and lives in Pretoria.

Independent of his academic line of business, he has also pursued his career as a musician. He released his debut album Reminiscing in 2010. The South African Jazz Songbook followed in 2018. Ancestral Home (2020) is his third album so far.

In the liner notes Karén mentions the participating musicians on the new album with Trino Jiménez (piano, keyboards & percussion), Bongani Sokhelo (electric bass), Kevin Gibson (drums), Eddy Perez (electric and acoustic guitars), Sydney Mavundla (trumpet), Dan Selsick (trombone) and Daniella Hart (vocals). All tracks are composed by Karén Devroop. Karén plays alto and soprano sax.

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Anita Carmichael – Lipstick On My Reed

Anita Carmichael internationally acclaimed singer saxophonist is releasing her first album for 15 years. She has a new album Lipstick On My Reed on UK’s leading independent Saxology Records. The album is full of ballads, funk soul and jazz vibes with Anita’s trademark searing sax and soulful vocals. She has collaborated with Fayyaz Virjii from Incognito and has guested with Shakatak to soul superstar Alexander O’Neal. Anita Carmichael has also recorded a Live album in Barcelona, a fabulous live concert recorded in Spain for Spanish TV and Radio in 1998. Under her own name she has already played at festivals in Montreux, Glastonbury Jakarta, San Sebastian, and as opening act for George Benson as well as guesting with Alexander O’Neal and Shakatak, Jonathan Butler and Fred Wesley. She was voted one of the top female instrumentalists in the world by JazzLife Magazine in Japan.

The album is available at bandcamp.

Dave Dunlop – Midnight Gamble

Trumpet, flugelhorn and sometimes also the flute, these are Toronto based Dave Dunlop‘s favorite instruments. He has performed with great musicians like Gino Vannelli, Aretha Franklin, Michael Buble, Roger Daltrey, & Aaron Neville and played in over hundred shows.

In his long and successful time as a musician, he has released a total of two albums. His debut album was The Hang (2006), followed by Midnight Gamble, released in November 2020. Both albums are available at bandcamp. Insiders of the smooth jazz genre will discover some known musicians in the credits.

With the opening Fiesta Grande Dave recommends himself directly as a show act, as is not at all rare among trumpeters. A successful start. Soulful Strut was a huge hit of the group Young-Holt Unlimited in 1968. Especially in the smooth jazz genre this song was often covered. Most popular versions are by Nick Colionne, Grover Washington Jr., Kim Waters, Gail Jhonson or Rocco Ventrella. Dave’s rendition shines with a successful arrangement and, of course, his exceptional solo performance on trumpet.

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