Archive for March, 2021

Charles Langford – Powerless

PowerlessCharles Langford has been writing music since his teenage years. This Springfield, Massachusetts jazz man does it all…tenor, alto, soprano sax, clarinet and flute. Mr. Langford came to the Northeast United States after attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the New School for Social Research in New York City. He studied composition and teaching with Billy Harper, Donald Byrd, George Coleman and Barry Harris, among others. Prior to that, Mr. Langford studied with Archie Shepp and Yusef Latef. Since then, Charles Langford has become one of the Boston area’s top A-list players. That’s Wassup was the debut release from Charles Langford. This imaginative creator displays his knowledge of musical history on his debut. Mr. Langford seems to move effortlessly from straight ahead swing to funk to crooning, romantic ballads.

Contemporary and Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Charles Langford releases in March 2021 his sophomore album titled, “Powerless“. Featuring guest appearances from Jimmy Haslip (bass), Russell Ferrante (keys), Jimmy Branly (drums), Avery Sharpe (bass), Poogie Bell (drums), and many other notable musicians. With “Powerless”, Charles and his talented group take the listener on a smooth musical journey by way of deep grooves, soulful horns, and passionate textures that blend seamlessly with their superior musicianship and production.

Get the album at Blue Canoe Records.

Lee Jones – Take Two

TakeTwoLee Jones is a multi-instrumentalist. Playing woodwinds (flute, clarinet and alto sax), guitar, bass guitar, keys, composer and occasional vocals. His self produced music features him playing multiple instruments on a recording. As a veteran of the live jazz scene, Lee finally released his debut album in 2018 after spending a number of years of writing songs. He stays mainly on the sax and keys as lead instruments.

We already presented his albums Free (2019), Watercolors (2019), Far East (2019), and Grace (2019). His newest project is Take Two (2021). It’s no secret that this project also contains some tunes from his previous releases.

We discovered this project on iTunes.

Knick Smith – Romance

romanceNick Smith has been playing music almost his whole life. The exact age that he began playing the piano is unknown, but it was before he was two. His mother thought his oldest brother had been playing the piano, but he told her that Nick had been playing. She did not believe until Nick climbed back up on the piano bench and began to play “The Work Song,” by Cannonball Adderley.

Nick Smith, well known as a Jazz Pianist, is also skilled at several other musical genres including Latin, Rhythm & Blues, Rock, and Country. His imposing talent in diverse musical environments reflects Nick’s passion for excellence and his mastery of all aspects of his craft, from performing to composing to producing. Nick is devoted to providing performances that adhere to the correct form of the composition with persistently lyrical, stratospheric comping.

His new album is Romance. You can find it on iTunes.

Marc Antoine – Something About Her


“It’s all about the voyage for me. I hope I can take listeners along with me to enjoy the voyage,” exclaims Marc Antoine. The Parisian born guitar extraordinaire’s spark for music began as a child. He recalls, “My parents told me that when I was four, I went into a trance while listening to Igor Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring.’”

The same deep emotion that Antoine felt towards music as a child, has manifested itself in his remarkable ability to translate his powerful connection with music to his listeners. May 21, 2021 Marc Antoine will release his second recording for Shanachie Entertainment, Something About Her, dedicated to his wife Rebeca. “After 25 years, we are still in love,” reflects Antoine. The new recording is a life-affirming celebration that sizzles with dazzling melodies, dancing rhythms and exotic harmonies.

Antoine is joined by many of his all-star friends including keyboardists David Benoit, Brian Simpson, Philippe Saisse and saxophonists Marion Meadows and Greg Vail, among others. “We are all good friends and everybody is magical in their own way,” shares Antoine, who is based in Laguna Niguel, a little town south of Laguna Beach in Southern California. “I prefer going to a studio and recording live with everyone but in this case, the collaborations were done in everyone’s own recording spaces. Technology these days is amazing and I think we still managed to make it sound like a live record. We defeated Covid in a way.” Danny Weiss, Shanachie Entertainment VP of Jazz A&R states, “Marc Antoine’s mastery and depth of expression of both jazz and classical guitar result in an absolutely exquisite style that is both beautiful and profound.”

“I’m a firm believer of things happening for a reason and I think this past year has given a lot of people time for reflection. One thing I know for sure is the world needs some help,” states Marc Antoine. Those who acknowledge the transformative and healing power of music will rejoice in the release of Marc Antoine’s Something About Her. The ten track musical journey is an invigorating collection of songs that showcase Antoine’s impeccable musicianship and vast range of influences. “I like and listen to all kinds of music,” confides the guitarist. “For me it’s like cooking, you can’t cook the same meal everyday, otherwise it would be boring and unhealthy.”

Antoine summons all of the right ingredients on Something About Her and the results are thoroughly satisfying. The album’s tantalizing and exhilarating opener “Still In Love,” features Antoine’s enchanting, melodious and crisp guitar lines, which are accentuated by the percussion of Luis Conté and the horns and flute of Greg Vail and Tony Guerrero. The swinging, breezy Bossa and title track, “Still In Love” is as cool as it gets. The interplay between Antoine and Brian Simpson is pure bliss. “Brian and I have played many gigs together and when I wrote the song, I heard his touch right away.” Bassist Roberto Vally and drummer Joel Rosenblatt round out the ironclad quartet and help to create a high point on the CD. The ebullient “Marco Polo” is a memorable and ear-catching ditty penned by pianist Philippe Saisse, who is also featured on the track. “Saisse and I are long time life brothers,” confesses Antoine. “He’s never far when I record a new project.” The album’s first single “Groovy Sunday,” has all the right ingredients for a perfect day. Antoine’s original features Philippe Saisse, saxophonist Marion Meadows and drummer Gorden Campbell.

Something About Her shifts gears with Marc Antoine’s exquisite waltz “Velvet Night” highlighting Philippe Saisse on vibes, while “Corto Maltese,” composed by Philippe Saisse, transports us on an unforgettable adventure and pays homage to the comic book sailor created by Hugo Pratt. “When Philippe sent me the tune with this title I loved it right away,” says Antoine. “I used to read Corto Maltese adventures when I was a kid. It was pretty out there back then. Philippe loves all those characters and he also has that Italian connection since his mother was born there.” Marc Antoine’s fascinating tapestry of sound on “Eclectic World” conjures up a beautiful world for all. “I think the world would be boring if it was not eclectic,” shares Antoine.

“America is very eclectic with all kinds of people from all around the world. I dream of a world where everybody can get along in harmony!” The R&B inflected “California Haze” shines a different light on Antoine as his guitar lines sail through a laid back groove enhanced the soulful tenor saxophone of Greg Vail. “I have known Greg for a long time. We are now neighbors and our wives are always hanging together so I see him all of the time. He’s way underrated so I wanted to give him a push. “Summer in Technicolor” conjures images of fluttering butterflies, melting popsicles and lazy sun-drenched days. The masterful pianist David Benoit, who helps to create a high point on the album, equally matches Antoine’s joyous vibe. “David and I made the recording So Nice together and we have toured extensively with this project. We’re now very good friends so it was logical for me to have him on this project.” Something About Her closes with the meditative “Song For Sasha,” written for Antoine’s granddaughter. He shares, “She lives on a French island called La Reunion in the middle of the Indian Ocean. I have yet to see her because of the pandemic.”

Revered for his soulful elixir of exotic textures and fluid artistry, guitarist Marc Antoine has been a force of nature on the contemporary jazz scene for over three decades. Classically trained at the International School of Classical Guitar, Antoine was first widely introduced to audiences in the late 80s when he hit the road with Basia. Loved for his unique fusion of classical, jazz, soul and world influences, Marc Antoine quickly became a mainstay on radio and the international touring circuit working with everyone from Sting and Cher to Marion Meadows, Rick Braun, Dave Koz and countless others. Through the years, Antoine has also been first call for the popular Guitars & Saxes All-Star tours and cruises.

Some of the standouts in his illustrious recording catalogue features Gypsy (1995), Madrid (1998), Universal Language (2000), Cruisin’ (2001), Mediterraneano (2003) and Modern Times (2005), Foreign Exchange with Paul Brown (2008), My Classical Way (2010) and Guitar Destiny (2012). In 2012, Antoine faced health challenges and had to undergo major heart surgery. In 2014, after several misdiagnoses, he had surgery to relieve cramping in his hand caused by a previous accident as a teenager. Antoine’s severe nerve damage caused one of his fingers on his left hand to get stuck in an odd position, causing unbearable pain when he would play the guitar. Overcoming these challenges, Marc Antoine is back in top form. The consummate artist recently relocated back to Southern California after living in his wife’s hometown of Madrid for over a decade. Antoine released Laguna Beach in 2016 and his collaboration with David Benoit, So Nice, followed in 2017.

Marc Antoine credits his fans and the search for his own musical truth as the sources for his continued inspiration. “I started playing the guitar when I was about 11 and a year later, I couldn’t let go nor imagine doing anything else. I’m so thankful I have been able to do so much more than I ever hoped for. I have the best fans all around the world. After all these years, they are still here listening to and buying my music. I am grateful. I never tried to copy anything and I always follow my heart.”

Source: Shanachie Entertainment

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Bob Reynolds – Runway

a4141481702_16Los Angeles-based saxophonist Bob Reynolds is a Grammy-winning member of the instrumental group Snarky Puppy, an award-winning composer, and a prolific recording artist with 10 top-selling solo albums to his credit. Widely known for his work with both Snarky and John Mayer, he’s been a featured soloist with Grammy-winning instrumentalists like Larry Carlton, Chris Botti, and Jeff Lorber and worked with a host of pop artists including Michael Bublé, Idina Menzel, Josh Groban, The 1975, and USHER.

The concept for this album was to take the spontaneity of what this band does live, bring it into the studio, and build a sonic landscape for it that felt rich and wide and reminiscent of pop & rock music that’s influenced them. This album was also, for him, about experimenting with songcraft. It’s the first time he has collaborated with band members on the songwriting process. For songs like “Runway,” “Wash Over Me,” “Until The Next Time,” and “Moving Pictures,” he was trying to blur the line between improvisation and composition in a way he hasn’t done on a record before.

This whole album was a search for opportunities to explore territories he enjoys as a soloist in other groups. Often they’re different from the places he gravitates to as a composer. Collaborating with this team was a much-needed breath of fresh air for him. Like all albums, this is an experiment in documenting how he hears and plays music right now. Runway captures ideals he strives for as an improviser with elements he enjoys as a listener. It feels like something fresh that’s been there all along. Bob is excited to share this with you and hopes you enjoy listening to it.

Runway is available at bandcamp.

Craig Sharmat and Neil Andersson – Strings

StringsSome 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 previous 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. Now Craig continues this direction and is joined by Tacoma jazz guitarist Neil Andersson (of Pearl Django fame). This is not your normal Gypsy Jazz guitar album. It is mostly lush strings with Gypsy Jazz playing. It uses a combination of mocked up strings and real string overlays with of course Gypsy Jazz guitar playing featured.

You can stream the new album here.

David Sanborn – Anything You Want: The Warner-Reprise-Elektra Years (1975-1999)

David Sanborn-3CD_0Over an astounding career that began as a blues sideman at age 14 then evolving into one of the most in-demand and imitated musicians across genres, saxophonist David Sanborn is a living legend. Distinguished by a biting, ear-bending tone and a penchant for soulfully explosive runs, Sanborn’s sound has graced great recordings by artists that include David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Donny Hathaway, Chaka Khan, The Temptations, Jaco Pastorius, Kenny Loggins, Todd Rundgren, Esther Phillips and Bob James. As an artist, Sanborn earned 8 gold records, a platinum-seller, won six Grammys, and topped international critics and readers polls.

David Sanborn – Anything You Want: The Warner-Reprise-Elektra Years (1975-1999) salutes Sanborn by taking a deep dive into the 17 albums he recorded as a solo artist within the highly impressionable 25-year period he was earning a reputation for world alto saxophone dominance. From Taking Off (Warner – 1975) to Close-Up (Reprise – 1988) through Inside (Elektra – 1999).

• Produced by Los Angeles-based musicologist A. Scott Galloway with co-production by founder David Nathan, this deluxe package explores David Sanborn’s catalogue in an artful approach – an immersive 45-song experience, filled with cherry-picked radio edits, rare mixes, live versions and overlooked album cut gems that present Sanborn at his eclectic, emotive finest. Each of the three discs covers a specific aspect of Sanborn’s vibe, offering a variety of palate-pleasing styles that plays out like three 15-song feasts in one. Continue reading

Motown Moe – Living my Best Life

motown_moe_living_lifeMotown Moe aka Detroit producer/keyboardist Kevin Dingle is a Detroit area producer and keyboard player with more than 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.

“Living my Best Life” is due out May 2021 on his self owned indie label Windee Records.  The title track was produced by Nate Harasim, all other songs were produced by Motown Moe, guest artists include Nils, Tony Guerrero, Tony Craddock Jr, Ryan Svendsen, Curtis Mccain, Darron Cookie Moore, Nick Stone, Chris Campbell.

The album will be available on all platforms.

Marion Meadows – Twice As Nice


Marion Meadows’ creative spirit is in perpetual motion. An avid and passionate cyclist with a zest for life, the debonair chart-topping saxophonist is also an accomplished photographer and visual artist. He earned his Doctorate in Arts and Humanities from Wilberforce University in 2016. Marion’s story of his ascent to fame is the stuff of legend. You might wonder what Star Trek, Star Ship and stardom have in common? Let’s just say the stars first aligned when Marion was heard playing his sax in Grand Central Station. Emmy-winning TV composer Jay Chattaway of Star Trek fame heard him and introduced Marion to iconic Grammy-winning pianist Bob James who ended up helping Marion launch his solo career.

The universe’s plans did not stop there, as it was not long before drummer and producer extraordinaire Norman Brown invited Meadows to board his Star Ship. Traveling at the speed of light, three decades later, Meadows who says his purpose is to “keep humanity moving forward,” stands as one of the premiere architects of Contemporary Jazz. On April 23, 2021, Shanachie Entertainment will release Meadows’ latest album, his 16th recording as a leader, Twice As Nice. The Nashville based saxophonist explains the title is a play on words. “Well, it certainly is Twice As Nice to have a brother and sister such as I have,” confides Marion who has collaborated with everyone from George Benson and Stevie Wonder to The Temptations. He adds, “Otha and Barbara are the best, and I am truly blessed to have them as siblings. The title also alludes to the joy I get from spinning my musical web into my albums and my artistic canvas. I guess it’s just that restless side of my brain that rarely rests!” Twice As Nice is an uplifting celebration that unites Marion with a who’s who list in Contemporary Jazz including Paul Brown, Chris “Big Dog” Davis, Jeff Lorber, Dave Mann, Steve Oliver and Joey Sommerville, among others. Marion reflects, “These guys are musical giants and I am so blessed to be in such a giving community.”

During the past year, the pandemic has been a catalyst for change in a number of ways. Collectively we have all been forced to self-reflect and assess our lives. “For me,” shares Marion, “I have been able to tap into an even deeper introspective of myself and the result has been rewarding. I realize how important my journey is on many levels and to be especially cognizant of my contribution to my friends and family as well as my community.” Marion’s mission with Twice As Nice is to use his music as a vehicle for positivity. “My fans know that when they get a new Marion Meadows album, that it will be eclectic! I have fans who tell me that my music is healing and I hope that this new music will continue to offer that to as many people as possible. Continue reading

Vann Burchfield – Keep Pressing On

KeepPressingOnThe rich musical history of Alabama has been well documented. From Muscle Shoals down to the Gulf Coast, the state has bore witness to landmark recordings in all genres – rock, soul, R&B, blues, bluegrass, country, and jazz. Saxophonist, composer, producer Vann Burchfield immersed himself in this musical potpourri from an early age and it informs his forthcoming album “Keep Pressing On”.

The title track and lead radio single is a powerful, soulful reminder to stay focused on the present while looking towards the future in the midst of all that is happening around us. “As always, this project is me trying to express my feelings and emotions through my horns”, says Burchfield.

Get the new album here.