Archive for the ‘ CD Reviews ’ Category

Mattias Roos – It Goes On And On

Swedish musician, songwriter and producer Mattias Roos, a member of the band Soweco, that he formed with drummer Peter Gustavsson, started his solo career with the album My Story (2016). Soon followed his second project Movin’ Up (2017). Now he is back with his third project with the aptly title It Goes On And On (2019). Mattias builds on the proven cooperation with the label Skytown Records.

Mattias Roos has written, arranged and produced all songs. He performs piano, keyboards and also executes programming and editing. He is supported on selected tracks by Fran Merante, Wictor Persson (drums), Samuel Olofson, U-Nam (guitar), Greger Hillman, Mikael Emilsson, Andrey Chmut (sax), Marcus Asplund (trumpet), Jonathan Lundin, Samuel Lundell (bass).

I have to admit, I’m indulged by Keni Burke’s Rising to the Top. Mattias Roos doesn’t cover this ancient hit, but offers a modern musical concept which is been exceptionally engaged in keyboard magic. Bring It On shows more of Mattias’ elegant piano style that captures the essence of his sonic mastery.

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Konstantin Klashtorni – Best of Chill Jazz II

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Konstantin Klashtorni is one of the most popular musicians in the field of smooth jazz on CDBaby. Browsing the list of top sellers you will certainly find most of his albums there. He is known by his projects Kool&Klean,Chillaxing Jazz KollektionLove Suggestions, eJazz Artistry and Smooth Jazz. Now he has released two compilations packed with the best pieces in his opinion: Best Of Chill Jazz I and II (2019).

The collection is for download only. This has the advantage that you can pick the best raisins. This review will serve as a small guide. Blue Water (Chillaxing Jazz Kollektion) greets to Paul Hardcastle with a musical twinkle. Heaven must be in Konstantin’s mind, when he composed Angel (eJazz Artistry). In the land of rhythm and groove Konstantin has found his own sound garden to care.

Beautiful Surprise is the last song of the album Kool&Klean Vol. 4 with the same intoxicating and bouncy melody as its predecessors. How Will I Know (eJazz Artistry) comes with a relaxed swing full of warm rich tones.

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Philippe Saisse Trio – The Body And Soul Sessions (Remastered)

Philippe Saisse took Steely Dan’s invitation Do It Again at his word when he had remastered the album The Body And Soul Sessions by Colin Leonard. The album was originally released in 2006, but thirteen years later Saisse is re-releasing it under his own label, because good things should be brought back to light.

The Philippe Saisse Trio consists of Philippe Saisse (piano, keyboards, vibraphone, marimba), Skoota Warner (drums), and David Finck (acoustic bass).

Do It Again was Steely Dan’s breakthrough hit presenting a phenomenal contrast between sinister lyrics and high melodic popular in the true sense music. Perfect to the core, this song became an instant classic. As a master of the keys Philippe uses the main melody to give this song a noble finish.

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Craig Sharmat – Nouveau

Guitarist Craig Sharmat is a great number in the area of film and television music. His compositional field of activity extends to trailers for films such as King Kong, Ghost Rider, Eragon, Anchorman or TV series like CSI Miami. His scoring work he is mostly known for are America’s Most Wanted, Alone, Who the Bleep Did I Marry and a host of other shows. More than his second mainstay, rather his passion is his career as a solo musician.

After his debut album So Cal Drivin (2009) he released Outside In (2010) and Blue Horizons (2013). What lasts long will finally be good with Nouveau (2019), the aptly title of his new album. While his earlier albums reflect more on smooth jazz themes, and his album Blue Horizons traveled the world, Craig now reveals his pronounced tendency for Django Reinhardt’s heritage. Django was a Belgian-born Romani-French jazz guitarist and composer, regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century.

In creating his new album, Craig relies on the collaboration of proven professional musicians from the Californian scene, such as Greg Manning, Brian Mann (keyboards), Hussain Jiffry, Kim Collins (bass), Eric Valentine, Rayford Griffin (drums), Mark Hollingsworth (sax), Chris Tedesco (trumpet), and George Quirin (flamenco guitar). Ludovic Beier (accordina) is from France, and Christiaan Van Hemert (viola, violins) from The Netherlands, Nick Coventry (violin) lives in Tucson, AZ. Craig comments: “I wanted influence from players outside of So California as Gypsy Jazz was created in Europe and filtered back to the United States.”

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Sekou Bunch – The Next Level

New York City born bass player Sekou Bunch worked together with Tom Browne, when he recorded the hit Funkin’ For Jamaica. has performed and/or recorded with Quincy Jones, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Roger Daltry, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, Ray Charles, Chaka Khan, Paul Anka, George Benson, Wayne Shorter, the Winans, Lionel Richie, Toni Braxton, Freddie Hubbard, Roberta Flack, Liza Minneli and many others.

In 1991 he released his first solo debut album Sekou. His sophomore album The Next Level followed in 2008 on Trippin ‘n Rhythm. The album contains a harmonious balance of covers and original compositions. Starter is a rendition of Sun Goddess, the original 1974 classic collaboration of Ramsey Lewis & Earth, Wind & Fire. Sekou has assembled the perfect team with a strong Everette Harp on sax and an overtopping Stanley Clarke on tenor bass, and vocalists Fred White and Lamont Van Hook serving the typical EWF voicing.

The romantic Smooth Sailing is star-studded with singer Angela Winbush and saxophonist Boney James. The jazz standard Take Five, composed by Paul Desmond and originally recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet for their 1959 album Time Out, is a frequently covered cultural asset of the jazz community. On Take Five / In Three George Duke shines on piano, while Sekou with his defined bass caresses the tones with relish.

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Shannon Kennedy – Back Again

Southern California based Shannon Kennedy is an ambitious linguist but a passionate singer and saxophonist. Her wide-ranging talent has been reflected in numerous projects. As singer she has released the albums Only One (2011) and Behind Your Eyes (2012). With guitarist U-Nam she furthermore collaborated on the projects K.A.S.E. 87, Nivo Deux and Groove Ltd.

As saxophonist she released Angel Eyes (2005), Steppin Up and Never My Love (2007). Her new album is Back Again (2019). She invited guest musicians Peter White, Kat Dyson, Chieli Minucci (guitar), Jordan West, Kurt Hamernick (drums), and Jeff Carlson (bass).

Something by the group Girl’s Day is the introduction to Shannon’s new album. Girl’s Day was a popular South Korean girl band founded in 2010. The appealing melody is realized by Shannon polyphonic and in modern style. Peter White with his acoustic guitar is responsible for the Spanish coloring.

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Cindy Bradley – The Little Things

If you can increase sales with an attractive record cover, Cindy Bradley has done everything for it. The Little Things (2019) is her sixth album after Just A Little Bit (2007), Bloom (2009), Unscripted (2011), Bliss (2014), and Natural (2017). Her new pink trumpet, made especially for her, perfectly underlines her impressive appearance.

Producer and keyboard wizard Michael Broening wrote in collaboration with Cindy the tunes and also performs keyboards, piano, bass, and drum programming on all tracks. Additional musicians are among others Freddie Fox (guitar), Mel Brown (bass), Skinny Hightower (bass, vibes).

Cindy’s vibrant affinity for cool jazz shines through Wind Chill Factor with her muted trumpet and the exquisite horn arrangement, which leaves nothing to be desired. The influence of Freddie Hubbard is undeniable.

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