Archive for June, 2021

Jeff Lorber Fusion – Space-Time

space-timeKeyboard wizard Jeff Lorber has already pressed his idea of fusion jazz into the black grooves with his group Jeff Lorber Fusion in various lineups. With albums like the self-titled debut album (1977), followed by Soft Space (1978), Water Sign (1979), Wizard Island (1980), and Galaxian (1981) he has served the spirit of contemporary jazz for decades..

He continued this glorious period with albums such as Now Is The Time (2010), Galaxy (2011), Hacienda (2013), Step It Up (2015), the GRAMMY awarded Prototype (2017), and Impact (2018). On the new album Space-Time (2021) Jeff Lorber is joined by his longtime friends drummer Gary Novak and bassist Jimmy Haslip.

Further supporting musicians are flutist Hubert Laws, guitarists Paul Jackson, Jr., Michael Landau and Robben Ford, saxophonists Bob Mintzer, Dave Mann, Gary Meek and Gerald Albright (on bass). Bob Mintzer is thus back as on the previous albums, just not on all the tracks. The album opens with the title song, a sparkling up-tempo tune showcasing Lorber’s elegant keyboard play to the fullest. Lovers of Jeff’s Rhodes performance will be enchanted. Bob Mintzer on tenor sax takes over the melody line to a perfect finish.

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Donn Bynum – Donn B!

203974745_3882850381813980_8816706200586510660_nWhile other kids were making college plans, saxophonist Donn Bynum was creating a future with his horn. At the tender age of 18, Bynum joined the legendary Bootsy Collins Group for several shows before attending Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. After graduating, Bynum joined the world famous Commodores and ventured on several world tours of Europe, Asia, Africa, as well as the USA. Playing sax, flute, keyboards and drums, Bynum would also join the Commodores for concerts in Bermuda, Nassau Bahamas, and the Virgin Island with an appearance on the Motown 25th Anniversary television show.

Bynum performed for several years with international recording artists The Brothers Johnson, and appeared on the TV show Motown Live. Later, Bootsy’s Rubber band called him back for more international touring and recording. During this time, he played on Bootsy’s CD entitled Bootsy’s New Rubber Band Live in Japan.

As a studio musician, Bynum was featured on the song “Make My Funk The P-Funk”, along with funk master keyboardist Bernie Worrell. Bynum has also recorded and performed with stellar award-winning gospel artist Kenny Smith and many other artists. His new album Donn B! (2021) features Gary “Mudbone” Cooper (formerly with Bootsy’s Rubber Band), Vincent “Cino” Calloway (formerly with Midnight Star and Calloway), Sheldon Reynolds (formerly with Earth, Wind, & Fire for 15 years), and many others!

The album is available on your favorite online retailers.

Jonathan Sargent – New Horizons

NewHorizonsJonathan C. Sargent is a songwriter, producer, and keyboardist from Dallas Texas that comes from a family of talented singers and musicians. He’s written, produced, and self-published over 100 songs and music compositions in his catalog. Jonathan blends his songwriting and music production experience to create a body of work to be used for new recording artists as well as commercial use in TV and film. His musical style is contemporary gospel and smooth/gospel jazz. His life’s scripture is Jeremiah 1:5 and he believes that his life’s potential is only defined by God’s truth.

His newest project is New Horizons (2021), which is available on all digital platforms.

Peter Lenzin – Here And Now

PeterLenzin-HEREandNOW-Cover4000px-scaledThe music of saxophonist Peter Lenzin is as simple as it is all-encompassing: love and live life, in all its facets! Those who dive into the sonic hyperspace that the saxophonist Peter Lenzin creates together with his congenial musicians will appear differently than before. It is the power in Lenzin’s virtuoso playing that inevitably grabs you and the sensitive sensitivity of his playing that sometimes makes the cells cry. Concerts by Peter Lenzin and his ensemble arise from the creative power of the moment and in the end are nothing less than hymns to life. Jazz-pop-rock soundtracks that look out into the world for all those who roam the world with open antennas. For lovers and the living. Here and now!

His new album Here And Now (2021) is available on all digital platforms.

Brian Simpson – All That Matters

193746406_3833975360034816_5705152487936156656_nIt’s time to look at Brian Simpson’s previous releases. His solo albums Closer Still (1995), It’s All Good (2005), Above The Clouds (2006), South Beach (2010), Just What You Need (2013), Persuasion (2016) And Something About You (2018) have been instrumental in shaping the face of smooth jazz. With All That Matters (2021), he adds another piece to the mosaic.

The pandemic gave Brian an opportunity to break away from the daily grind and internalize what was actually important to him. Thus, the album title is also the result and quintessence of his own reflections. One’s own family plays a major role in it, as does music, of course.

Brian plays piano and keyboards as usual on his new album, but also likes to take cues from other keyboardists like Nicholas Cole and Oliver Wendell. Label mate Steve Oliver contributes some musical ideas. Brian has won for his project excellent studio musicians such as Michael White (drums), Alex Al (bass), Ray Fuller (guitar), Brian Kilgore (percussion), Najee (flute), Steve Alanis (sax), Ron King (trumpet), Roberto Vally (bass), Tony Moore (drums), Yarone Levy (guitar), Dwayne “Smitty” Smith (bass), and Jim Pisano (tenor sax).

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Tom Braxton – Lookin’ Up

lookinupDynamic…Energetic…Charismatic…Warm-hearted…These are just a few adjectives that have been used to describe saxophonist Tom Braxton, whose distinct, melodic sound has been thrilling audiences of all ages from coast to coast and abroad for nearly two decades. This versatile instrumentalist and gifted composer is a seasoned performer who has the amazing ability to “grab the heart-strings” of the audience within the first few minutes of his show; engage them with his exceptional skill, wit, and charm; and leave them astounded, clapping, and on their feet screaming for more! This native Texan has recorded nine albums including The Other Side (2016 Sanae/Braxton collaboration), The Next Chapter (2014), Endless Highway (2009), and Imagine This (2007) on the Pacific Coast Jazz label and Bounce (2005) on the Rendezvous label.

Lookin’ Up showcases saxophonist Tom Braxton’s signature originals such as the hit single “Hope for Tomorrow” a duet with the legendary Bob James, and the upbeat and funky “J Factor”. Tom’s unique arrangement of the Beatles classic “Eleanor Rigby” is mesmerizing and the playful, “Joyful Dance” featuring the sounds of Africa, is sure to get you up on your feet. This collection of brand new music from Tom Braxton will definitely uplift your spirit! The album comes out on August 6th!

Stream your album here.

Steven Garrison – Solitude

SilitudetSteven Garrison is a renown saxophonist in the DC Metropolitan area. Starting on his musical journey at the age of 7, he started off as a pianist, performing for several recitals, concerts, and church events. It was at the age of 10 that Steven was given the opportunity to play the saxophone. His music began forever changed from then on. At age 11, Steven began playing the saxophone and received private lessons under Roland Young. In addition, he was an active member of the school band. Under Young’s guidance Steven had started performing for various churches within the Maryland/DC Metropolitan Area as well as playing for both private and corporate engagements.

In July 2003, Steven met Christopher Nichols, who took him under his wing. By the age of 14, he formed his very first band and began playing in different venues and events. Through hard work and dedication, Steven became the drum major of his high school marching band, lead saxophonist in his school bands, winner of the Omega-Psi-Phi Fraternity International Talent Hunt, and the winner of the “Most Outstanding Jazz Soloist” award at both Hampton University and the Walt Disney Music Festival. Steven has had the opportunity to perform at different venues such as Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, B.B. Kings, Howard Theatre, and more.

In the summers of 2006 and 2007 Steve has traveled to Japan where he was afforded the opportunity share his music in the Tokyo area. He has also been given the opportunity to share the stage with artist such as Trouble Funk, Chuck Brown, Sugar Bear, Chrisette Michele, Bootsy Collins, Gary Taylor, The Manhattans, Tank, KRS One, Anthony Hamilton, Javon Jackson, Sonny Fortune, Jimmy Owens, Hugh Maskela, and Bobby Watson. In September of 2011, Steven had the opportunity to perform for President Obama and the “First Family” at the Congressional Black Caucus. Steven performed for the 2014 Summer Spirit Festival, a major music festival held each year in Columbia, MD where he opened up for artists Raheem DeVaughn, Lauryn Hill, and Janelle Monae. In addition, Steven served as Regina Belle’s saxophonist for 2 years where he had the opportunity travel the world and perform in places such as Capetown, South Africa. Continue reading

Roberto Tola – Kon Tiki

198774788_349196683229535_3844182924169869610_nRoberto Tola was born and raised in Sardinia Island, Sassari (Italy). He began studying music when he was just six years old. In 1976 he studied Cello in the Conservatory of Music in Sassari. Four years later he continued his studies of Modern and Jazz Guitar and established the sextet named Jazzmania. For this band he composed and arranged all musics collected in the album Preludio in 1985. Since 1989 he is a member of the Italian Jazz Big Band named “Blue Note Orchestra”, and from 1991 up to 2010 he is also the official guitarist of the “Orchestra Jazz della Sardegna” (Sardinia Jazz Orchestra), also conducted by well known Carla Bley, Bob Mintzer, Colin Towns, Giorgio Gaslini, Bruno Tommaso, Giancarlo Gazzani and others more.

In 2014 Roberto collaborated for the recording of CD album On The Corner with the famous and legendary English jazz-funk band Shakatak, and also with the English singer Jill Saward on her CD Endless Summer and the single “M is for Manhattan”, both released in June 2016. In May 2017 Roberto released his debut album, titled Bein’ Green featuring some international well known guest stars as Bob Mintzer, Najee, Bill McGee, Bill Sharpe, Jill Saward and Tim Collins. His next project was the album Colors (2020). Now he returns with his brand-new album Kon Tiki which will be released September 2021.

Patrick Yandall – Chasing The Light 

chasingthelightGuitarist Patrick Yandall is a musician who is fully committed to record production. Under one or two releases a year it does not go. His newest project is Chasing The Light (2021) and will certainly not the last one.

Like many other musicians these days, he is a multi-instrumentalist and has all the production in his own hands. He also wrote all the music himself. This development was undoubtedly furthered by the pandemic, because for months the musicians could not perform life. The title of the album describes the state of the musicians, who after the long period of stagnation finally want to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Whats Cookin is the curious question that fellow musicians also ask to find out what’s new. Patrick offers a new treat from his kitchen, where everything is not only coherent but also sounds perfect.

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Stuart Steinhart – It’s About Time

a2076572480_16Born and Raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a musician since the age of 7 Stuart Steinhart has studied bass, guitar, piano, vocals, percussion, violin and string bass, furthermore composition, engineering, and music production, music pedagogy, music history, and musicology, history, theology, philosophy and spirituality. He has been performing in concerts and competitions from the age of 11.

Forget this bio and just familiarize yourself with the fact that he has a new album out this month. He comments: “In honor of my 40th anniversary of leaving Canada to study music in Hollyweird in LaLa land, California, USA and start the next stage of this life long journey of Music, Back on June 14 1981, In Dec 2020 (20=20=40) I composed 12 tunes in 12 day’s in the 12th month of the year. One for each month of the year, hour on the clock and note in a chromatic scale. I Chose 7 compositions of the 12 one for each day of the week and note in a diatonic scale. Over the last 6 months of production (1/2 a year ) this is the result.” Understand? If not, it doesn’t matter.

Just find his album It’s About Time at bandcamp.