Archive for February, 2022

Dwight Sirls – Retro

RetroMusic is an art form that moves the listener emotionally. The transformation of a thought, an emotion, into a physical wave that travels on air, into the hearts and minds of the listener.

An engineer, composer, musician, and producer, Dwight Sirls makes a direct tap into his inner-most visions and translates this into his music. His record label, Japoonoonie Records, was founded in 1985. He works in his private project studio, The Noonie Room.  Dwight Sirls plays six, five, fretless, and four string bass, electric and classical guitars, synthesizers and other keyboards, electronic percussion, drum sample manipulation.

In addition to spending time with his eight grandkids, acting and filmmaking, the Northeast Texas native continues to build his legacy as a rock, soul and jazz influenced bassist, guitarist, composer and producer with his perfectly titled 5th album Retro.

Buy the CD on Ebay.

Melvin Smith – Blessed

BlessedGospel Jazz Music is a burgeoning genre consisting of the improvisational and African American influences of the sacred, Gospel music, and secular, Jazz. Melvin Smith is a master at both. A consummate saxman, his talent has placed him on stages with artists such as Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, Oleta Adams, Norman Connors, Fred Hammond, BeBe Winans, Israel Houghton and Byron Cage. A skilled musician, who was a performer at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival – at the age of thirteen, Melvin is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the City of New York – Queens College.

Now he is taking his education and experience and pouring it into his first Gospel Jazz project, Blessed. available now on digital media outlets everywhere, Blessed is a collage of Gospel music favorites. A five-song EP, Blessed, features the Fred Hammond hit, “We’re Blessed.” A long-time fan of the urban praise and worship icon, Smith’s remake is a unique take on the church classic. Pulling from the musical influences of Washington, DC, he infused Go-Go into the song, providing the listener with an African-inspired praise experience. “We’re Blessed” holds a special place in the musician’s heart. “This song has reverberated in my soul from the first time I heard it in 1998,” Melvin said. “’We’re Blessed’ is a song I live by, and it’s a song that inspires me to this day.”

Smith features other well-known Gospel tunes on the record as well including Lamar Campbell’s “More Than Anything”, Mary Mary’s “Walking” and Vashawn Mitchell’s “Nobody Greater”. Flowing from one familiar cut to another, Smith’s saxophone tells a story with each song on the newly released EP. His tone, interpretation and execution make listening to Blessed a memorable musical experience.

Download the album here.

Rod Tate – In Your Ears

273752398_4629463247152686_3847052296014690131_nAs an artist, performer, songwriter and musician Rod Tate‘s goals are to continue to learn, grow, and to touch lives positively through his musical expressions. As a songwriter, Rod’s motto is: ” This music is intended to soothe your soul and speak love to your spirit “. Rod also aspires to have his music in movies, commercials, and television programming.

In Your Ears is Rod’s 39th album.

Download the album or buy a physical CD here.

Paolo Vivaldi Cinematic Quartet – Our Life

ourlifeLike many other musicians we have featured in our reviewer’s special of Italian jazz music, Paolo Vivaldi can rightly be called a creative force in the field of theater, television, cinema and discography.

The famous Ennio Morricone once described his student as follows: “Paul is a great man who will be understood after some time. As usual, people are deaf ”.  After graduating as a composer from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, he went on to devote himself with great success and numerous awards to cinema, television and theater.

The intimate album Our Life was created with the collaboration of Paolo Vivaldi (piano), Marco Guidolotti (soprano sax), Dario Rosciglione (double bass) and Alessandro Marzi (drums). Paolo has composed most of the tracks.

Read more …

Darren Rahn – Rock The World

RockTheWorldWith multiple GRAMMY nominations over the past 14 years as an artist, producer and mixing engineer, Darren Rahn has become urban jazz’s premiere sonic architect – the “go-to” guy for established genre greats and up and comers looking for their next sure-fire hit.

After launching his career producing, engineering and mixing for local Denver area artists starting in the late 90s, Darren became the ultimate urban jazz hyphenate as an artist/producer in the 2000s, following his success with Wayman Tisdale (which included the #1 hit remake of “Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now”) with behind the scenes roles as producer, composer, arranger and/or mix engineer for music on five Dave Koz projects (Greatest Hits, Hello Tomorrow, Summer Horns, Gifts Of The Season, and A New Day ).

Over the years, as his detail-oriented sonic excellence led to more and more hit recordings, his resume has grown to include everyone from Toby Keith, Jonathan Butler and Najee to Bob James, Rick Braun, Jeffrey Osborne, Phil Perry, Jeff Lorber, Kirk Franklin, Jonathan Fritzen, Julian Vaughn, Blake Aaron, Lebron, Riley Richard and the late Nick Colionne.

Reaching yet another creative milestone in a dual career as an artist/producer that has earned him 26 #1 Billboard singles and multiple Grammy nominations, Darren Rahn’s highly anticipated new full length album Rock The World offers a message of love, faith, and hope through music in these challenging times.

Buy the album here.

Germano Mazzocchetti Ensemble – Muggianne

muggianneItalian composer Germano Mazzocchetti has the main focus of his activities in the field of cinema and theater. He is known for musical comedies, film music, operas, classical music and television pieces. However he lives out his connection to jazz music with the Germano Mazzocchetti Ensemble.

With this formation he has already released the albums Testasghemba (2009), Asap (2016) and Muggianne (2019). The ensemble consists of Germano Mazzocchetti (fisarmonica), Francesco Marini (soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet), Paolo Emanuele (viola), Marco Acquarelli (guitar), Luca Pirozzi (contrabass), and Valerio Vantaggio (drums).

It is probably an Italian peculiarity to wrap folkloric music with strong reference to the region and its culture with the mantle of jazz music. Liner notes writer Nicola Piovani, himself an established Oscar awarded Italian orchestral conductor, film and theater composer, cautiously describes it as a surprising album. The obvious folkloric reference is already evident from the traditional instrumentation.

Read more …

BSharp Muszik – Songs In The Key Of Groove

Songs In The Key Of GrooveBSharp Muszik is an up & coming artist in Central Florida with a creative sound. BSharp Muszik delivers a neosoul and smooth jazz sound that makes you want to groove or sit back and relax.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out their new album “Songs in the key of groove” go and get it! Its available in all digital formats! If you love good music, smooth jazz and a little neo soul this album is for you!

Get the album here.

Funktastic Players – Full Circle

fantastic playersLed by a smooth lead saxophone and a distinct funky 80’s style, Funktastic Players bring with their enriching musical compositions a unique blend of diverse genres. The group’s stirring new album titled, “Full Circle”, presents listeners with an exciting contemporary take on Jazz, on the Funk end of the spectrum.

Comprising of a range of stunning singles, “Full Circle” includes the tracks, “Run Away from You”, “Summer Winds”, “In My Heart”, among others that provide a stunning and memorable soundscape. Be it Hip Hop elements or instrumentation which is high energy and evoking old-school nostalgia, “Full Circle” is a happening voyage through Jazz.

Denoted by a fun and joyous vibe, Funktastic Players’ newest album is the perfect blend of contemporary Jazz and Old-School Funk. The new album released for listeners on December 1st, 2021, and includes the prowess of lead saxophone player, Marcus H Mitchell. Meanwhile, Kevin Croom and the band’s lead powerhouse, David Williams cover keyboards, and Adrian Norton showcases his unique talents on the bass. Continue reading

Dino & Franco Piana Ensemble – Reflections

reflectionsHailing from Rome, Italy trombonist Dino and flugel horn player Franco Piana are founder of the Dino & Franco Piana Ensemble. In addition to the namesakes, the ensemble currently consists of the musicians Stefania Tallini (piano), Dario Deidda (bass), Roberto Gatto (drums), Lorenzo Corsi (flute), Ferrucio Corsi (sax) and the B.i.m. Orchestra.

The new album Reflections, released in 2021 on the label Alfa Music, contains a total of 10 tracks. Six were composed by Franco Piana, two others are covers and another two were contributed by members of the ensemble. The CD is accompanied by a richly illustrated booklet with a foreword by Franco Piana and a detailed review by jazz publicist Adriano Mazzoletti in Italian and English language.

The album lives from the peculiarity that each piece was recorded with different performers. Already by this varying instrumentation and the participating musical natures a lively overall result is created. The album opens with a rendition of Skylark, a tune composed by Hoagy Carmichael in 1941. Actually a hussar piece, because Dino interprets the richly orchestrated original alone on the valve trombone, making the melody shine like a piece of pure gold.

Read more …

Sergio Pereira – Finesse

FinesseBrazilian guitarist & singer Sergio Pereira will release his third album tomorrow, on the Spanish label Sedajazz Records. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he started playing acoustic guitar at the age of eight.

Later on, Sergio was influenced by bossa nova giants such as Joao Gilberto, Tom Jobim, Carlos Lyra, Joao Donato, Marcos Valle etc. During the 1980s he moved to New York and studied with jazz greats such as Chuck Wayne, Sal Salvador, Alex Adrian, Hui Cox, and Joe Carter. He has performed all over the world since the 1990s.

This third album again reflects all the emotions, energy and dynamism he experienced growing up in Rio. It was co-produced by drummer Mauricio Zottarelli and recorded during the 2019 & 2020 pandemic. Sergio is assisted by no less than 20 musicians and brings magic, joy and positivism during these strange times.

Read more …