Archive for the ‘ CD Reviews ’ Category

Freeze Frame – Endless Summer

Lincoln Park – The Best Of Freeze Frame should be a crowning end to his life’s work. A carefully selected compilation of the defining pieces of his varied albums as a statement and key to discover his opuses.

The cat cannot stop chasing mice and the musician cannot stop creating new music. Ray Bach comments: “While one might remember that I have announced that I have to stop future releases that create a massive effort I have to admit that I can’t help myself here.”

That said Ray Bach aka Freeze Frame presents his newest project Endless Summer (2017) with the title “the last album”. Ray has written, performed and produced all tracks. Further musicians on selected tracks are Tom Farmer (sax), Jan Hiltman (guitar), Stefan Gade (bass) and LIZA (vocals).

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Fay Claassen – Luck Child

Vocalist Fay Claassen has been singing for many years. Luck Child (Challenge Records, 2017) is a compilation of favorites that she’s never recorded before.

The artist presents an ode to youth and beauty, with a mix of old songs and new, including two written by Paul Heller.

The musicians are Olaf Polziehn, piano; Peter Tiehuis, guitar; Ingmar Heller, bass; and on “Miniature No. 7,” Paul Heller, clarinet, bass clarinet and tenor saxophone.

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Ben Rosenblum – Instead

How does one emerge on the scene in a trio format and be distinctive? Well, one way is to bring some original material and take ownership of covers. Pianist Ben Rosenblum accomplishes this with his debut, Instead (One Trick Dog Records, 2017).

Accompanying Rosenblum are Curtis Lundy, bass; and Billy Hart, drums.

Rosenblum successfully avoids sounding ordinary by steering clear of the standards, popular jazz songs that have been covered ad nauseam. Instead, perhaps a hint of the thinking behind the album title, he composes six original songs and reinterprets five others that are a bit off the beaten path.

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Ard Sherrod Jr. – Back 2 Business

Saxophonist Art Sherrod Jr. is influenced by David Sanborn, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Kim Waters and other professional sax men of the smooth jazz genre. This includes admiration for their virtuosic art and their spiritual behavior.

His debut project All 4 Love was released in 2005. After signing to Pacific Coast Jazz followed his second project Seasons in 2009. With Intervention (2016) he released after two smooth jazz albums his first Gospel project. Back 2 Business (2017) is his fourth release and a return to the smooth jazz genre.

Art is joined by a crew of top professional musicians such as Chris “Big Dog” Davis (keyboards, programming), Rohn Lawrence, Robert “WaWa” LeGrand (guitars), Asa Livingston and Corey Baker (bass), Salena Dunbar Gibbs, Anthony Buffy Burnett, Dawn Tallman, Lamone Andrews, Tiffany Tzelle (background vocals).

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Jason Miles – Kind of New 2: Blue is Paris

He performed with Miles Davis, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross. Keyboardist Jason Miles is integral part of music history. In numerous solo albums he has realized his vision of music.

Kind of New 2: Blue Is Paris is different. Some artists realize the widest range of styles in their album. Others pursue a permanent theme. Still others create a continuum of homogeneity. Jason Miles has a completely diverse concept.

Jason visited Paris in the weeks immediately following the 2015 terror attacks. Under the impression of this voyage he composed Blue Is Paris. He had the idea to write a follow-up to his previous album Kind of New (Whaling City Sound).

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Joel Larue Smith – The Motoroman’s Son

Pianist and composer Joel Larue Smith has a passion for mixing styles, Afro-Cuban, jazz and classical. He presents samples of each with The Motoroman’s Son (2017).

Personnel are Charles Langford, alto saxophone; Carlos Averhoff Jr., tenor saxophone; Jeff Galindo and Takahide Watanabe, trombones; Flavio Lira, bass; Tiago Michelin, drums; and Wilson “Chembo” Coriel, tumbadoras, which is a type of hand drum.

Each song is a work of a wonder. Standouts are “The Seed,” “Reverence,” “The Motorman’s Son” and “Sin Miedo.” Lira and the percussionists set the tone for most of the tracks, laying a solid foundation for the melodies and solos. On some tracks, Smith pairs with one of the saxes for a beautiful blend. The faster songs shift gears multiple times, altering both the themes and moods, as if on a journey through varied terrains and climates. The listener must take care not to presume a change is another song.

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Maysa – Love Is A Battlefield

The critics are raving, the audience is captivated. Everything Maysa is touching with her voice turns to gold. She is the undisputed queen of soul, R&B, acid jazz and all that genres she comes in contact with.

Her new album Love Is A Battlefield revolves around the topic love like many of her previous projects. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that the starting track has the title The Things We Do For Love. With the enchanting love ballade she echoes her unrequited emotive affection. Producers Chris “Big Dog” Davis has perfectly captured the magic moment of ultimate sweetness.

Can We Talk is a song recorded by R&B singer Tevin Campbell and composed and produced by Babyface. Maysa changes the persons in the lyrics to give the song more sense. When she intonates her truly rewarding vocals, the sun stands still shining right on your place. The million-selling sound explosion Love Is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar is up-tempo and rebelliously minded. Maysa slows down the song to a spiritual content, and the ability to involve the listener in an intense dialogue.

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