Archive for April, 2022

Pippo Lombardo – Railway Station

railwaystationLast year I reviewed the album Esagerato by the group Camera Soul. This group was founded by the Italian brothers Piero and Pippo Lombardo. Another formation in which these brothers are active is the group Marchio Bossa. The brothers have used the time of the pandemic to produce Pippo Lombardo’s second solo album Railway Station (2022).

Hailing from Bari both have devoted their passion for jazz, Bossa Nova and Samba. On this album Pippo plays the Farina grand piano. Further involved are the musicians Guiseppe Bassi (double bass), Beppe Sequestro (bass), Fabio Delle Foglie (drums), Elie Arcieri and Piero Dotti (vocals), Leo Gadaleta (strings and string arrangements) and Piero Lombardi (guitar).

The album opens with Railway Station. A multitude of strings carry Pippo’s lilting and graceful glide over the keys of his piano. While the melody seems to dominate on the surface, Pippo’s real supremacy is revealed in the almost indulgently sprawling jazz improvisation. This is how he spans the grandiose arc to Lyle May’s legacy. With the beige vocals, it also spreads a little Italian flair.

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Carlos Camilo – Making You Want Me

98bffdfcfbf70ec22eebdcb64558ba17Carlos Camilo is a pianist, singer, composer and producer hailing from Cuba and currently based in Miami. At just 3 years old, Carlos Camilo began playing the piano. By the time he was 11, he was composing his own music. Today, he composes anything from smooth jazz to R&B and pop. In 2012, he released his first album titled Dim the Lights, which was a smooth jazz instrumental piano album and one he says has been his most influential.  “I like to give a positive vibe with my music, making the world a better place one song at a time,” Camilo said.

Growing up in Cuba, his music is inspired by traditional Cuban flavor mixed with American music. “Love is a key player in my songs,” he said. “I’m forever intrigued and passionate about its power and how influential it is to all of us. Without love, we’re simply mechanical beings.”

Today, Carlos Camilo mainly creates Smooth Jazz, R&B, and POP. He’s released more than ten albums, and multiple singles independently and had played his music all over the globe with other artists, including Spanish Latin superstar, David Bisbal, and International Salsa Singer “India”. Currently, he’s working on his own band called Carlos Camilo and the Live Dimension. All in all, Carlos Camilo hopes to make a living doing what he loves with creating music, and completely immerse himself in it.

His newest album is entitled Making You Want Me (2022). Available on all streaming platforms.

Ryan La Valette – New Beginnings

newbeginningsLet’s describe Ryan La Valette as a multi-instrumentalist. He started to play guitar, then saxophone and also learned the bass. Influenced by music and style of guitar legend George Benson Ryan primarily consider himself as guitar player.

A graduate of the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) Auckland he was well aware that expanding outside New Zealand into America would be significant for his development. For his debut album Saturated Smooth (2018) he was able to win over guitarist Clay Benjamin and saxophonist Donald Hayes as guest musicians. After releasing his sophomore album Dimensions of Me in 2020, it was natural for him to seek further contact with American musicians.

In keyboardist and producer Greg Manning he has found his spiritus rector, who not only put him in touch with the Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm label, but also played a decisive role in his debut work for this label. His  album New Beginnings (2022) is Ryan’s embarking on a new episode in his artistic career. Ultimately, in addition to Greg Manning, keyboardists and producers Nicholas Cole and Chris “Big Dog” Davis are also involved in his album.

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Joe Leader – Seductive Sax

After some great times leading the show band, he518H8c5jlLL.__AC_SX300_SY300_QL70_ML2_ decided to change direction and concentrate on his solo career as a recording artist, starting in the Smooth Jazz genre. With the help of some great supporters, Joe Leader put together a smaller 8-piece band and launched his solo career with a fabulous gig, entitled “Seductive Sax”, in June 2011. The gig was held at one of London’s top Jazz clubs in Chelsea – The Pheasantry.

Joe is now releasing the live recording of that magical night as his debut album, entitled “Seductive Sax.” His greatest wish is to continue to record and perform music which touches the hearts of his audience.

Buy the album on Apple Music.

Castella – Let Me Love You

letmeloveyouWhen Castella of Long Beach, California released her hit song “Let Me Love You” on her birthday in 2020, she had no idea how it would do.

That led to a Central Standard Time Show Artist of the Year Award, as well as nominations for Best Female Artist of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. Castella immediately became known in smooth jazz and soul circles.

However, she had released her debut EP “Thinking About You” the year before, while she was still working as a Human Resources (HR) Executive.

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Brian Culbertson – White


The three-phase arc of a longtime relationship serves as the muse of R&B-jazz hitmaker Brian Culbertson’s trilogy of instrumental albums that he wrote, produced and performed with creative input from the 800-plus members of his Hang Club. On Friday (May 6), the third disc in the series, a collection of hopeful songs titled “The Trilogy, Part 3: White,” drops on the BCM Entertainment label. It’s Culbertson’s 25th album that to date has launched nearly forty singles to shoot to number one on the Billboard chart.

Culbertson composed the thirty songs that populate the three albums thematically along what he describes as the three-part arc of a long-term relationship: the hot and steamy “falling in love” phase, the rocky middle when perhaps they even break up for a bit, and the couple reunites to live “happily ever after” phase. The first album in the series, the sensual and romantic “Part 1: Red” was released last October and the second set, the melancholy “Part 2: Blue” streeted in January. “Part 3: White” is slightly more diverse stylistically with the uplifting urban grooves, nuanced contemporary jazz and shimmering pop songs fostering feelings of hope as the relationship thrives and endures.

All three albums in “The Trilogy” were crafted with input from the Hang Club, a tiered membership program via Patreon that Culbertson formed in 2020 tied to the weekly Friday night show that he streams live on YouTube. Hang Club members were granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access into every aspect of Culbertson’s creative process: from songwriting, arranging, recording, producing and mixing. Continue reading

Jim Allchin – Costa Azul

91Dtg-5es0L._SX522_American guitarist and computer scientist Jim Allchin grew up on a farm in the deep south of the US. He left it to earn a Master’s & PhD from Stanford University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

He subsequently became a world-renowned leader in computer science and software. Meanwhile, he fell in love with blues & Latin. Jim has been composing, playing and recording all his life.

His digital album contains 11 new tracks, on which the following musicians play alongside him: Richard Boulger (trumpet & braces), Jack Daley (bass), Andy Ezrin (piano), Alex Foster (alto & tenor sax), Adan Perez (piano), Danny Sadownick (percussion), Etienne Stadwijk (piano & synthesizer), Walter White (trumpet & trombone) and Steve Wolf (drums).

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Gerald Albright – G-Stream 2 Turn It Up

a1564394307_16The “G-Stream 2-Turn It Up” EP is the sequel to Gerald Albrights highly successful “G-Stream” series. “G-Stream”, the inaugural EP of the series, boasts the accomplishment of all three songs from the project achieving #1 status on the Billboard Smooth Jazz National Airplay Chart and several other music charts!
As we continue to battle the challenges of the pandemic and the polarity of the political arena, music continues to remain a common thread in bringing people together from all walks of life.

Gerald is extremely proud of the musicianship on this new project. The partnerships reflect the keyboard stylings of Chris “Big Dog” Davis, James “JRob” Roberson on keyboards and drums, Rick Watford on guitars, and Cory Baker on vocoder. In addition, he had the pleasure of adding his talents on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, bass guitar, c-flute and alto flute, as well as heading up the duties as mixing engineer on all songs.

It is Gerald’s hope that the music on this project enhances the listening ears, the spirits, and the souls of all who experience this 22nd career effort of his discography.

Buy the new EP on bandcamp.

Marco Pignataro’s Dream Alliance – Awakening

awakeningMarco Pignataro is a distinguished jazz saxophonist who, together with Danilo Perez, directs the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), the world premiere jazz center of musical creativity at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He can already look back on numerous albums that he has recorded together with different formations.

His most recent grouping is Marco Pignataro’s Dream Alliance and their joint project is the album Awakening, due out in April 2022. This formation consists of Marco Pignataro (soprano, alto & tenor sax), Kenny Werner (piano, backing vocals), Nadia Washington (vocals, guitar) and Devon Gates (bass, vocals).

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s often the first track on an album that decides whether a listener likes it or not. In this specific case, Marco Pignataro did everything right. With the first two pieces, renditions of world-famous hits by Stevie Wonder (Send One Your Love) and Ben E. King (Stand By Me), the maximum in listening pleasure from the world of pop music is delivered to the interested listener.

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Marcus Anderson – Reverse

ReverseMarcus Anderson stands for variety, inventiveness and creativity. Be it smooth jazz, funk or gospel music, the combination of coffee and music or the connection of music with comic characters, he always delivers new surprises.

He started his solo career with the album My Turn (2005), followed by From The Heart (2009), Now (2011), Tender Loving Christmas (2011),  Style Meets Substance (2013), AND Coffee (2015), Marcus Anderson Experience – Live In Concert (2015), My Inspiration Vol. 1 (2016), Limited Edition (2017), This Is Christmas (2017), Limited Edition Live (2018), My Inspiration Vol. 2 (2019), Hero (2020) and Hero Live (2021).

His newest project is entitled Reverse (2022). Buy it here.