Archive for the ‘ CD Reviews ’ Category

Kim Waters – What I Like

What I Like is Kim Waters’ 23rd recording as a leader and thirteenth CD for Shanachie. You have to let that melt on your tongue. A tremendous creative act. No licked split. Art lived piece by piece.

With the exception of three covers Kim has written all tracks. He produced and performed all instruments on the new album showing his quality as da Vinci of music.

The Touch of Love delivers a bouncy start of the album with warmth and sensitive approach. That’s What I Like is a song by singer Bruno Mars, released on his album 24k Magic (2016). A hip hop soul, new jack swing, the song became popular and the 4th best selling single of 2017. Water accomplishes the interpretation with great skill.

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The Braxton Brothers – Higher

Originally from San Francisco now based in San Diego The Braxton Brothers are the twins Nelson (bass) and Wayne Braxton (sax). They started their career with the debut album Steppin’ Out in 1996. Now and Forever followed in 1999, then Both Sides (2002), Rollin’ (2004) and True Love (2013).

Their new album Higher (2018) is exclusively their joint work. They wrote, produced and played all pieces themselves. Nelson performs bass (rhythm and lead), keyboards, percussion, drum programming, electric and acoustic guitar. Wayne handles saxophones, drum programming and background vocals. Chris Camozzi, Errol Cooney, Kay-Ta Matsuno, Ryan Parrino and Andy Quinn perform guitars on selected tracks.

Their impetus is to create music that make people feel good. The first tune of the album The Only Woman in the World was written by Nelson after a concert with Michael Bolten sitting in the touring bus during a Minnesota blizzard before he could return to his family and is a tribute to his beloved wife.

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Jeff Lorber Fusion – Impact

After Jeff Lorber has achieved nearly everything in his solo career, the win of a GRAMMY for his Jeff Lorber Fusion recording Prototype in the category of Best Contemporary Instrumental Album was the ultimate acknowledgement of his music.

At the same time this was an incentive to make the next album even better. Keyboard wizard Lorber called again his friends Jimmy Haslip (bass) and Andy Snitzer (sax) to create the new project Impact (2018).

Of course, Lorber also relies on well-known professional musicians from his close circle such as drummers Gary Novak and John Roberts, guitarists Paul Jackson Jr., Michael Thompson and Adam Hawley, and horn specialist David Mann. A concept that has also carried his previous releases.

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Paul Hardcastle – VIII

Paul Hardcastle will be known to most slightly older listeners for his megahits Rain Forest and 19, which have sold millions of copies. His series The Jazzmasters was a considerable success in the field of smooth jazz, which he also continues with The Chill Lounge for the chill out genre.

The new album Hardcastle 8 (2018) has already announced itself through a number of video releases. Insiders will have heard the new melodies several times. Afterwards the impression is confirmed that his songs mostly settle in a dance floor suitable smooth jazz. On most of the songs the old companion Rock Hendricks plays the saxophone, as far as Paul’s son doesn’t reach for the saxophone himself.

Amber Skies, in earlier publications Amber Sky, starts the album with the Hardcastle own interweaving of different melody fragments to an atmospheric unison. Turn Down the Heat is Hardcastle’s apodictic appeal against the climate catastrophe, which gives the heat-damaged listeners some cooling alternative.

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Jamie Bonk – Who Said It Was Easy?

Canadian guitarist and songwriter Jamie Bonk has set up a home studio in Vancouver with a lot of love. The identical love he gives to his albums. All started with his same-named debut album in 1997. Further projects are A Perfect Tomorrow (2000), My World (2004), 5 (2007), St. Joseph Street (2009), Side B (2010) and Necessity (2012).

He left himself some time for his new album Who Said It Was Easy? (2018). He started to write some songs for his new album, when he still lived in Toronto. But properly his album took shape in his home studio in Vancouver, BC. He played in all instruments, that means guitars and keyboards and all the midi-programming. He also engineered and mastered the album. He also did the cover photography, artwork and layout and even made a promo video.

Originally he intended to write lyrics for his songs, he also wrote them, but then recorded the songs purely instrumentally. This definitely had an effect on the way he finally recorded the songs. Jamie: “I was “thinking/playing” the lyrics as I recorded the tunes. Made me truly focus on the meaning/intent of each song.” Since the development process turned out to be difficult and complex, it was obvious for him to name his album Who Said It Was Easy?.

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Denny Jiosa – Mueve Tu Cuerpo

Nashville-based guitarist Denny Jiosa is often compared with Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Stylistically he cannot be fixed, his creative field lies somewhere between Rock, Smooth Jazz and Latin Music.

Moving Pictures (1995), Inner Voices (1996), Jazzberry Pie (1998), Among Friends (1999), Body 2 Body (2002), Dreams Like This (2008) are his solo albums, followed by the band album JIOSA On the Edge (2011). Now Denny Jiosa has with Mueve Tu Cuerpo (2018) Latin tinged jazz in his focus.

Denny plays guitar on all tracks and adds his vocals on selected tracks. Further lead vocalists are Janet Kenyon and John Santos. Keyboardists are Kenny Zarider and Pat Coil, bassists Keith Kenyon, Chris Kent, Gary Branchaud, drummers Raymond Massey and Chester Thompson, percussionists Glen Caruba, Eric Darken and John Santos. Hollie Farris plays the trumpet, Roy Agee trombone and Phil Keaggy guitar.

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Chillaxonic – Ist Facet

Ukraine-born multi-instrumentalist Konstantin Klashtorni has released his newest creation 1st Facet under the project name Chillaxonic. It is probably due to the effervescent creativity of this gifted artist that he publishes his works under more and more new names. On the other hand, this name also results from a combination of the music styles Jazz, Chill Out and Electronica, which can be found on the new album.

We are already used to it from Konstantin that he utilizes the advantages of his own studio and records the album quasi all by himself. However this album features Michael Simon (trumpet) and Alex Yarosh (guitar) as guest musicians on selected tracks. Konstantin has written, mixed and recorded all tracks.

The new project starts stylistically, where Konstantin’s previous albums left off. Ineffable elegantly mixes pleasurable sounds of guitar, synths and sax to the typical Klashtorni groove. Ethereal is the attribute for extremely light and delicate music, as if not of this world.

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