Archive for July, 2021

Jayl Band – When The Light Comes

whenthelightcomesThe psychedelic-tinged design of the record cover illustrates the claim that the Jayl Band makes for itself. Unconventional and unbound contemporary jazz music with that certain fusion factor. The band has dedicated the album When The Light Comes (2021) to their role model and doyen Jeff Lorber.

The Jayl Band are Alberto Giraldi (piano, keyboards), Andrea Verlingieri (alto sax), Andrea Gentili (guitar), Flavio Calogero (bass) and Cristiano Micalizzi (drums). All of them are seasoned jazz musicians with numerous connections to other formations and their own projects. Together with the aforementioned musicians, Alberto Giraldi has realized his own compositions in his spirit.

As can be seen from the liner notes, the band makes a point of stating that the recordings were made after the outbreak of the pandemic. The restrictions regarding public appearances also gave this group enough time to realize the project in their own home studios. The album’s starter is the track Purple Energy, a powerful run through the scale in which Andrea Gentili edges with his distorted guitar, while Alberto Giraldi also allows harmonic sequences on the keyboard.

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Groove55 – Jazzful Spirit

JazzfulSpiritThe principal Groove55 members, consists of Yves Adam (alto, tenor & baritone sax, as well as clarinet) a graduate of McGill’s music faculty in jazz performance and former saxophone teacher at The Montreal International Jazz festival Blues Camp, and currently teaching in a high school music program. Jacques Mignault (Keyboards) studied alongside Art Roberts at Montreal’s Concordia University; he would later go on to win the inaugural grand prize of the Roland Synthesizer music contest among seven hundred entrants spanning over twenty-two countries that was judged by the late great Oscar Peterson. Nicolas Chourot (Guitars) has been a favourite of Montreal’s International Jazz Festival. He played with many African and Fusion groups in time, and you can hear the influences. Nicolas appeared first on the 4th Groove 55 album “New Beginning”.

Groove 55 presents its 6th album, called “Jazzful Spirit”. The album contains twelve songs, some of which are pure fun, and some of which are more into the Jazz Realm. The first song (We Are) Brothers speaks of friendship and true respect in family brotherhood. It is a trippy and funky song written and performed by Yves Adam on alto sax and Jacques Mignault on keyboards and drum programming, and featuring Peter Dowse on bass. Sweet Potato features the baritone sax skills of Yves Adam, with Lewis Orenstein on bass and Jacques on keys and drum programming.

Sunset Drive is another collaboration between Yves Adam on tenor sax, Peter Dowse on bass and Jacques on keys and drum programming. Someone To Love features Quebec acclaimed singer Jean-Claude Béliveau and Mike Di Nardo on backup vocals. The song is played by well known Montreal bassist Wayne Smith, Nicolas Chourot on guitars, and Jacques on keys and drum programming. Angel Heart is a ballad on which are playing Bill Bennett (Mango Taxi) on bass and fretless, Yves Adam on his first instrument, the clarinet, and Jacques doing the rest of the tracks.

Waltz For Jaco is in honor of Jaco Pastorius, one of the greatest bass players ever to have lived. This song features Éliane Doucet on trumpet, a 16 years old, vision impaired girl whose talent will captivate you. Well known Montreal session drummer Joann Blondin handles the drums here, with Wayne Smith on bass. Yves Adam is on sax and horn arrangements, and Jacques is on keys. In Your Eyes is a Peter Gabriel song which we adapted to our style. Nicolas Chourot is on guitar, Christian Proulx on guitar as well and Yves Adam on tenor saxophone. Jacques arranged and played the rest of the instruments. My Favourite Things, a Hammerstein classic, is given an Acid Jazz feel with Yves Adam on clarinet, Peter Dowse on bass and Jacques on keys and drum arrangements. Continue reading

Demetrius Nabors – Perseverance

PerseverancePianist, composer, producer and arranger Demetrius “Krayon” Nabors is well known and in demand in the Detroit area and on the national contemporary jazz scene.  Demetrius’ influences include gospel, jazz, classical and blues which can all be heard in his compositions and performances.  He is a two-time Detroit Music Award Winner in the Outstanding Gospel/Christian Musician category. Armed with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Jazz Studies from the University of Michigan, Demetrius’ talents have taken him to Europe and Africa as well as on national television (the former “Arsenio Hall” show).

Demetrius’ discography includes three critically acclaimed releases, “The Journey Within Part I” (2011), “Christmas with Krayon” (2012) and “The Journey Within Part II” (2014).

His new release, “Perseverance” (July 23, 2021) was borne of Demetrius’ experiences during the turbulent time of 2020. With COVID-19, police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement and his own personal health struggles, Demetrius felt compelled to put his emotions to music. Demetrius said, “I always pray before I begin to compose.  I began to hear a melody and within 20 minutes the entire title track came pouring out of me in complete form.” The album features Robert Skinner, Gary Johnson, Jeffrey Ponders, Nate Winn, Randy Scott, Joe Foster, Jeff Canady, Althea Rene, Marquis Johnson, Desean Jones, Frank Walton, Khristian Foreman, Anesha Birchett, Kris Johnson, Alan Evans, Daryl Dixon, Doobie Powell, Marcus Devine, Myron Bell, and Takara Montgomery.

Get it now here.

Vincent Ingala – Fire & Desire

vincent-ingala-fire-and-desire-20210723041510To live a life of filled with passion and purpose is one of the greatest gifts of all. The wise, young and chart-topping multi-instrumental genius Vincent Ingala seems to have mastered this feat. A Billboard Smooth Jazz Artist Of The Year, Ingala has garnered 18 Top 10 Smooth Jazz radio singles and ten #1 radio hits. “I believe it is our job as musicians to simply make music that people enjoy, and hopefully along the way, bring some happiness and inspiration into their lives,” shares the Prospect, CT native. “That is certainly my hope for when Fire & Desire is heard.”

September 17, 2021 Shanachie Entertainment will release the multi-instrumentalist’s third recording for the label and seventh as a leader. The charismatic and handsome Ingala has endeared fans, contemporaries and critics alike with his consummate musicianship, fun-loving stage presence, energized and inspired performances and all-around passion. “My earliest memories are of banging on pots and pans until my parents had to buy me a drum kit and from there it was like a domino effect.” From banging on pots to churning out hits, Ingala is a chameleon in the recording studio. Like an alchemist, he concocts the perfect elixir of his broad musical influences spanning the worlds of Jazz, R&B, Disco, Pop and beyond.

On the exhilarating Fire & Desire, Ingala confidently dons multiple hats. He plays every instrument heard on the new album from saxophones and keyboards to drums, guitar and bass. He also produced, recorded and mixed the album, as well as composed all of the songs with the exception of Jimmy Roach’s “Disco Sax,” recorded in tribute to tenor titan Houston Person. Due to the challenges of the past year, Ingala was able to hone in and devote his undivided attention to Fire & Desire. “If anything, the most positive result of recording during the pandemic was the amount of time I had to dedicate to this project alone without any other distractions that could affect the flow.” Continue reading

Dan Siegel – Faraway Place

Dan-Siegel-Faraway-PlaceEach musician has a different approach to dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic. Common to many is Dan Siegel‘s concept of recording a new album while stopping all performances. Siegel’s 22nd recording is Faraway Place scheduled for release July 31, 2021.

Most parts of the album were recorded by the musicians in their respective home studios. However, the rhythmic foundations were laid by drumming legends Steve Gadd and Vinnie Colaiuta at East West Studios in LA. From the credits you can see the numerous jazz greats who have contributed to this project.

The title of the album illustrates the unreality of the situation and the difficulty of processing it psychologically. After all, for our generation, this form of pandemic and its drastic accompanying circumstances is something completely new that needs to be overcome with. Isn’t it gratifying then to be able to hold on to music that brings familiar things back to you. With Old School, Dan Siegel takes us again to safe ground.

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Dean James – GroovySax

71hoBqk7frS._SX522_When it comes to one of the most distinctive sounds in what we call todays smooth jazz genre, Dean James comes to mind front and center. The sultry, soulful & smooth sound of his Alto & Soprano sax continues to leave a lasting impression for his most devoted as well as new listeners. With James 5th CD GroovySax in the making along with his soon to be released single entitled DJ’s Groove, James is sure to reach the masses drawing his audience closer while guaranteed to pull at they’re heartstrings.

GroovySax is a compilation of arrangements with many different elements including jazz, R&B, Latin-jazz & funk. All written, arranged and produced by James with the exception of multi-talented musician , writer, producer Cory James at the drivers seat producing the first single of this long awaited CD.

This album is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

Will Sumner – Ocean Street

71F1D5rc45S._SL1500_Ocean Street is the latest, highly anticipated work to be released from renowned jazz guitarist, composer and producer, Will Sumner. With nine CDs now in his multi-layered portfolio, the first single titled, Building Castles from this new album has been a breath of fresh air. After a year of chaos in all of our lives, Will focused his talent in 2021 on creating these mostly upbeat tunes with his signature complex modulations.

Born in Los Angeles, attending college for music in Boston and then spending his young adult life in Minnesota, Will played the clubs and led jazz bands for decades as he worked toward composing his first album, Tropic Zone released internationally to critical acclaim in 1980. Working alongside Prince, Yanni, The Peterson Family and many others on the Minneapolis music scene at the time, he started to receive industry recognition for his lush, heartfelt themes played over hot Latin rhythms, beautiful slow grooves and, of course, funky, driving electric riffs.

Eventually, a move  back to Southern California brought with it the opportunity to dive into film scores, trailers and commercial work, but his heart soon brought him back to his first love, jazz guitar. The So Cal vibe inspired him to launch his next few CDs including: Tracks and Yuletide Jazz, followed by Coast Drive, Pier Groove, Endless Sumner and Ride the Wave, just to name a few. All have been extremely well-received by the smooth jazz scene and are still getting airplay today on radio, iTunes, smoothjazz.com and numerous other music outlets.

Welcome to Ocean Street now on sale on Amazon.com.

Jules Leyhe – Your First Rodeo

YourFirstRodeoThis ain’t your granddaddy’s blues. Heck, it ain’t even your daddy’s blues. Guitarist Jules Leyhe is on an entirely different trip. His forthcoming “Your First Rodeo” is a whimsical mashup of blues, hip hop, funk, fusion, jazz, rock and Latin music dropping September 17 on Monkey Finger Records. Producing the set with Protist, the Oakland, Calif.-based slide guitar slinger wrote the bucking bronco of an album that obstinately refuses to be categorized.

An audacious collection evading lasso, “Your First Rodeo” brilliantly juxtaposes futuristic elements with downhome “comfort” sounds. Leyhe paired inventive sonicscapes with soulful blues guitar play. Conceived and constructed using vivid fantasy, the guitarman wondered what it would sound like to pair diametrically opposed artists – or, in this case, use signature elements of the imagined artists’ unique style – on one recording. Picture Cardi B sitting in with the Buena Vista Social Club. Or Jimi Hendrix playing in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Or Duane Allan jamming with jazz pianist Gil Evans.

“I wanted to create music based off of collaborations that I’ve pictured of many of my favorite artists who never actually worked together. The clearest example is picturing Jimi Hendrix playing with the psychedelic Beatles era, a wild pairing that never actually happened but sure is fun to imagine and try to create with my own flavor. My bandmates’ fantastic playing and imaginations helped me reach for this sort of potential for pairing abstract, disparate musical ideas and getting away with it, or at least creating something unique to us. This album encapsulates so many musical idioms with a gritty, urban, fun feel of an old-soul Oakland band,” said Leyhe who was empowered by his Family Jules Band – keyboardist Ian McArdle, saxophonist Nancy Wright, bassist Murph Murphy and drummer Isaac Schwartz.

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Greg Chambers – No Looking Back

nolookingbackStruck by personal fate and affected by pandemic isolation, saxophonist Greg Chambers has maintained a positive attitude toward music and life. No Looking Back is his credo and also the title of his album, which will be released this year.

As with his previous productions, this time he has also placed emphasis on good quality and has secured this commitment with numerous professional musicians as listed in the credits.

He already expresses his joie de vivre with the opener Let’s Dance. That way Greg manages to get people of the ground. No Looking Back shines with outstanding sax harmonies and an eclectic melody.

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Akio Sasajima – Images of Lennon / McCartney

71dC7XQ8oiS._SL1500_Akio Sasajima  is a jazz guitarist born in Japan and currently based in Sapporo. His playing style incorporates bebop, hard bop, and jazz fusion. He recorded several albums as a leader for Muse and Enja in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

His latest smooth jazz project is Images of Lennon / McCartney (2015) on which he transformed memorable songs of the Beatles to his stylish guitar arrangement.

Get this album on Amazon.com.