Archive for December, 2021

Michael Ross – Four Seasons To Cross

michael_ross_seasonA native of Chicago, Illinois. Michael Ross was encouraged at an early age to take private guitar lessons at the Chicago School of Music. While advancing his studies in music, Michael has played some of Chicago’s local jazz clubs. His first big break was becoming a staff guitarist for the New York Broadway National Touring Company’s production of “The Wiz,” that toured across the country.

Michael’s style and artistry have enabled him to perform with a number of great artists such as, Ramsey Lewis, Hank Crawford, Najee, Jimmy McGriff, Angela Bofill and Jonathan Butler. Michael Ross continues to shine on his release CD A Special Thing (2009), a very romantic piece that takes the listener on a rendezvous of romance and adventure. His newest album is Four Seasons To Cross (2021).

Buy this rare CD on Ebay.

Kim Scott – SHINE!

Shine!Birmingham, Alabama based flutist Kim Scott has reinvented herself again and again with the albums Crossing Over (2011),  Rite of Passage (2013), Southern Heat (2016) and Free To Be (2019).

In our dark times, she has taken on the not-so-simple task of being a guiding light and encouragement. Her album SHINE!, to be released next year, is appropriately titled and brings the music we all so need.

Unlike many other contemporary musicians who offer a one-man show as part of their recordings, Kim has taken the costly route of inviting a wide range of studio musicians.

Read more …

Skyline – City Silhouette

269843283_4451372174961795_5450417127421929735_nFounded in 2003, Skyline is one of the most renowned Jazz Fusion bands in Taiwan. Its music covers genres like Jazz, Funk, Latin, R&B, Soul, Pop, Rock and World Music. Embracing influences from Jazz masters in U.S., Japan, Latin America and Europe, the band is committed to creating their original music by combining western elements with local cultures for an unique fusion style. As the name indicates, Skyline’s music boasts a distinctive metropolitan style and strong urban focus. The band also seeks to inject greater musical richness and cultural depth into the production to create some truly unique Jazz Fusion tunes.

In 2013, Skyline launched “Alchemy”, its 10th Anniversary Tour, and created great resonance among fans. Thus the band decided to release its debut album “City Glide” in 2014. Since the album launched, Skyline has received wide acclaim from home and abroad for its diverse music elements and mature urban Jazz style. Following its debut success, Skyline released its second studio album “City Colors” in 2016. Extending the concept of its first album “silhouette of the city”, the band created this sophisticated and melodic production rich in delicate musical arrangements and remarkable depth. Jazz virtuosos Gerald Albright, Paul Jackson Jr., Alain Caron are all featured in the production. In the same year, Skyline went on an Asia tour with 20 concerts in a total of 12 cities in Japan, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and released its first live album and DVD/BD “2016 Asia Tour Live” in 2017.

Skyline released its third studio album “City Explorations” in 2018 – a breakthrough album marking the band’s 15th anniversary blending Jazz, classical and world music, containing the music elements such as traditional Chinese, Japanese, Indian, African, European (Middle Age), Flamingo, Tango, Latin, Chill-out, Also, the band partnered with Taipei Symphony Orchestra (TSO POPS) and classical-crossover music master Joe Che-Yi Lee to begin a groundbreaking “Symphojazz” tour blending Jazz with symphony orchestra in major concert halls around Taiwan, embarking an unprecedented music journey featuring original jazz, classical and world music. Right after the tour, the band released its 2nd live album and DVD/BD “Symphojazz”. The album is nominated as “Best Crossover Album of the Year” by Golden Melody Award (GMA) for Traditional Arts and Music and won “Live Performance Album” by U.S. Independent Music Awards (IMAs).

To fully convey this album’s concept and techniques, Skyline invited the best of jazz fusion: members of the Corea Elektric Band (saxophonist Eric Marienthal and guitarist Frank Gambale) and quintessential master musicians from GRP (jazz drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and bassist Abraham Laboriel) along with other musicians. Their goal was to produce a high standard and exquisite jazz performance album that has international impact.

With the same impetus they now have produced their newest album City Silhouette (2021) feat. Frank Gambale, Abraham Laboriel, Eric Marienthal, and Vinnie Colaiuta. Available on all major digital platforms.

Bernie Williams – Moving Forward

51SW+2+12lLGrowing up in Puerto Rico, Bernie Williams discovered his love for baseball and music at roughly the same time, when at the age of eight he fell in love with the sounds of a flamenco guitar his merchant-marine father brought home from Spain, and also felt the same exhilaration when he first picked up a baseball bat. The young student-athlete quickly excelled in both pursuits, going on to attend the special performance arts school Escuela Libre de Musica at the age of thirteen and becoming one of the most noted young athletes on the island, both as a track and field standout posting record times in the 400 meters, as well as one of Puerto Rico’s most sought after young baseball prospects. Bernie was signed by the New York Yankees after high school in 1987. After working his way through the farm system, the switch-hitting Williams made his Major League debut with the Yankees in May, 1991. The rest is history.

Throughout Williams’ years with the Yankees, his passion for music never waned, and the sound of his guitar would often be heard emanating from the clubhouse or during team flights. Whether acoustic or electric, a guitar was a constant presence in the star’s locker or equipment bag, and it was no surprise when he demonstrated how serious his musical pursuit was with the release of his first GRP album, The Journey Within in 2003. Since 2006 Williams retired from baseball and pursues his career as musician.

Bernie Williams raised his musical game even further with the release of his second album Moving Forward. Featuring guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Secada, Dave Koz, and an All-Star cast of renowned studio musicians, Moving Forward debuted as Billboard’s #2 Contemporary Jazz album in the country, and continued to hold that chart position for five straight weeks, and spawned two consecutive Billboard #1 singles, Go For It, and Ritmo de Otono.

On May 13, 2016, Williams graduated from the Manhattan School of Music, in New York, NY, a prestigious music conservatory in New York, NY, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance. On June 13, 2019, Bernie became “Dr. Williams”, as he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the State University of New York through SUNY Potsdam and the world-renowned Drake School of Music, considered the “birthplace of music education”.

Moving Forward is still available on Amazon.com.

E.S.P. – Ready or Not

a0132670276_16E.S.P. is a tasteful, award winning modern jazz group, featuring guitarist John Magnate, bassist Matthew Vacanti and drummer Bill D’agostino. In 2010 Time’s Up! won a SAMMY award for best jazz recording of the year. In 2011 Reach was produced by Grammy award winning bassist Jimmy Haslip from The Yellowjackets and featured three tracks from legendary keyboardist Jeff Lorber.

This critically acclaimed, award winning group proudly presented with Zero Gravity (2017) its seventh recording of original modern jazz featuring tight, grooving and creative music. Its real jazz, but you won’t need a GPS to follow it!

E.S.P. has dropped their latest record Ready or Not (2021) and you can get yours on an actual, GOOD sounding reliable CD. It is beautifully packaged in a 4 page “Digipack” with all the liner notes that you can’t get from a download.

Get your copy at bandcamp.

Pete Gitlin – Full Circle and the Great Temptation

Full Circle and the Great TemptationPhoenix-based guitarist and composer Pete Gitlin already played in his teens and twenties in rock, fusion, and funk bands. Wisely he decided to earn his money in the big business. But he has never forgotten his real love and in 2007 he returned to the music. Together with drummer and producer John Herrera from the legendary Phoenix band Turning Point he created his first album Full Circle and the Great Temptation in 2008.

This great album is still available at bandcamp.

Jeff Sturgill – Almost Too Late

a4072625258_16After over two decades of amassing an ever growing library of original compositions and studio recordings, it was finally time to select the tracks and produce an album that was, well, “Almost Too Late”.

Recording for this album began in early 2019, and after three years Jeff Sturgill have finally finished this collection of original tunes for all those wanting something a little different with their saxophone jams.

The songs presented in “Almost Too Late” take you on a range of grooves from slow contemporary tracks and soulful R&B hooks all the way to straight up Funk jam sessions. Hopefully there’s something here for everyone.

Jeff comments: “I’d like to give a special thanks to my wife Heather and my daughter Natalie for putting up with me. Also a special thanks to David Shrewsbury from Boston Massachusetts for lending me his amazing keyboard skills on the tracks Five More Minutes and Vitamin B3.”

This album was released December 10, 2021 on bandcamp.

Daryl Beebe – The Gift

TheGiftDaryl Beebe grew up with a musical pedigree. His father was a musician and composer who earned a degree in music and taught music in the Detroit Public Schools. He exposed Daryl to several instruments but the saxophone drew his interest the most. At age 16, Daryl and his friends formed a band called “Jelly” and performed in school talent shows, coffee houses and local parties. It was great stage training for him. In high school, Daryl played in the Marching Band, Symphony Band and Jazz Band and studied Music Theory. It all paid off as he earned a full music scholarship to Kentucky State University where he participated in the Marching, Concert and Jazz bands and developed skills as a musician, songwriter and producer.

Daryl next moved on to The University of Cincinnati where he earned Master of Arts and Master of Education degrees. In his first effort as a professional music producer in 2002, Daryl joined a longtime music friend to release a Gospel album entitled, “The Covenant Project.” He followed that up in 2010 with a second album entitled, “Called.”

In 2016, Daryl released his first solo project called “Sonny Side Up” This were followed up by “The Daryl Beebe Project’ in 2018 and “Breathe” in 2020. While his recordings have primarily focused on Gospel music, Daryl’s live stage performances have flourished in the Jazz realm where he has built a strong brand for himself. His next album was Better Together (2021). Now he is back with his new effort, the EP The Gift (2021).

The EP is available on all major digital platforms.

Kevin Stewart – Illustration

IllustrationPianist Kevin Stewart is from San Francisco. He performs smooth jazz and the top forties. He attended the university of Nevada, Reno. His previous album Never Look Back (2015) was released on the label A.W. Tonegold Records and consists of a stylish compilation of smooth jazz. Still available as CD here.

His new album is entitled Illustration (2021). Buy this album here.

Joe Davis – Midtown Lights

MidtownLightsHailed as the Jamaican Jacob Collier, Joe Davis is music. Recently accepted to the prestigious Berklee College of Music, the 17-year-old boy wonder, multi-instrumentalist, was a one-man band that gave a standing-ovation performance on the Band Quest stage of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival.

His debut album is entitled Midtown Lights (2021).

This album is available for download here.