Archive for the ‘ CD Reviews ’ Category

Canelita Sabrosa – Canelita Sabrosa

SabrosaCanelita Sabrosa means in Spanish “Tasty Cinnamon” and indicates the multi-cultural direction in which the Atlanta-based band moves. Members of the formation are Chris Nettuno (congas, vocals and acoustic guitar), guitarist Julio Miranda, drummer Chunky Sounds and some other musicians, who play in changing line-ups.

The group sees itself as a live band with a wide repertoire that includes styles such as Latin, jazz, R&B, pop, funk and rock. Their self-titled debut album can be interpreted as a calling card, with a certain Latin orientation being unmistakable. The album is packed with a total of 16 tracks, though the last four tracks are vocal variants of previous ones.

The band gets us in the mood with the percussive Señorita, which reminds you of the sound of Carlos Santana. The leitmotif is interpreted by various instruments such as flute, saxophone and trumpet before the guitars take the lead again. Pleasing and melodious.

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Randy Roos, Mike Rossi, Tim Gilmore – Hall Of Mirrors Volume One

hallofmirrorsAmerican guitarist Randy Roos currently serves on the guitar faculty at Berklee College of Music, and has delivered numerous musical scores for TV.

You can also listen to him on recordings with Mike Stern, Mick Goodrick, Steve Swallow, Bruce Bartlett and Victor Bailey. His home studio is in New Hampshire’s Squam Lake.

Bassist Mike Rossi has played in a variety of live and studio bands over the past 30 years. And drummer/percussionist Tim Gilmore has performed with Richie Cole, Lester Bowie, Sheila Jordan, Tower of Power etc. He is also an active teacher and clinician with Adventures with Jazz, National Youngarts Foundation and Sabian Education Network.

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Rafael Greco – Dice Que Vive Signs Of Life

dicequevivesignsoflife-1Venezuelan multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer Rafael Creco was born in Maracaibo. He graduated from the prestigious José Luis Paz Conservatory as a regular member of the National Youth Orchestra.

In 1988 he moved from Zulia to Caracas, where he continued his studies. In his home country, he enjoys a successful career as a member of Venezuela’s premier group, the multi-Latin Grammy Award winners, Guaco. He has toured the world with them for decades. In addition, Rafel is also a children’s book author and gifted photographer.

Now he will release this debut album on Blue Canoe Records. On it Rafael gets support from guest musicians such as Steve Khan (guitar), Randy Brecker (trumpet & braces) etc. This album is a tribute to his family, but also to his home country, and to his memories.

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Melissa Errico – Out Of The Dark

melissa20errico20-20out20of20the20darkWhen the Corona pandemic hit in 2020, and the world locked itself at home, singer and author Melissa Errico suddenly returned to one of her lifelong obsessions, which was “noir”.

That dark, unsettling sense of intractable fatalism that Parisian existentialists discovered in 1940s American movies. With Adam Gopnik, Melissa curated a series of film noir classics at New York’s FIAF, appeared in the New York Times with an essay on a custom-made black dress portraying a “femme fatale,” and offered Manhattan a concert of ” noir” songs.

Now all those loose ends have been brought together in this new recording where Melissa shows herself as a very sexy, sensual lady. In doing so, she tells a complete story of hope, despair, and renewed hope.

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JJ Sansaverino – Soul Energy

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New York guitarist JJ Sansaverino has long been one of the greats of the smooth jazz genre. Since his debut album Sunshine After Midnight (2005) it took a bit longer that his sophomore album Waiting For You (2014) was released. His third album was International Groove (2021) followed by Cocktails & Jazz (2021). Now he is back with Soul Energy (2022).

The time intervals of the release dates are a sure indicator for the almost explosively developing creative power of this guitarist. The extremely large number of musicians involved in the production, as can be seen from the credits, speaks for the consistently excellent quality of his music.

The positive attitude of this album is already evident in the album’s opener Ride With Me. Backed by a strong horn trio consisting of Jonathan Powell (trumpet), Jeremy Powell (alto sax) and Mariel Bildsten (trombone), JJ is able to fully express himself with the guitar in a gripping song.

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Najee – Savoir Faire

SavoirFaireI have been following the Afro-American saxophonist Najee for many years. After all, he has belonged to the top of smooth jazz for about 4 decades.

On his latest album, he explores different musical genres, saying: “I gave up worrying about disputes between genres a long time ago. Duke Ellington said there are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music. So based on that I don’t worry. People seem to forget that in the early days of jazz, the music was designed to make people dance. All of your experiences live inside you and they come out in your music. I just want to make good music and make it accessible for people to enjoy.”

Najee could count on several well-known colleagues for this project, such as pianist Frank Wilkens on the soulful opener ‘Dr. Dolittle’, followed by ‘Luna’ on which pianist & keyboard player Mark Harris II is a guest, and Najee cheerfully chooses the flute himself. ‘Valentine Love’ is a vocal slow jam, a cover of the Norman Connors song, sung by Alyson Williams with Chris “Big Dog” Davis on keyboards.

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Slow – Under Everchanging Sky

undereverchangingskyPolish group Slow was founded by Tomasz Kaczmarczyk (guitar) and Krzysztof Wermiński (piano). Their debut album Art of Silence (2011) was followed by Songs For Everyone (2015). Their newest project is Under Everchanging Sky (2022).

The group’s leader, composer, arranger and producer Tomasz attaches importance to the fact that the new project is stylistically different from its predecessors. The emphasis is on diversity and ranges from contemporary jazz to classic bebop to world music.

The melodies are lead by his guitar and Leszek Szczerba’s soprano sax. Furthermore pianist Krzysztof Wermiski participates. The rhythm section is built by bassist Tomasz Grabowy and drummer Sawomir Berny.

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Brian Grace – Long Beach

longbeachSaxophonist, jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist Brian Grace began his musical career as a professional musician at a young age of 19. He spent a large part of his following years in various Army Bands before moving into the field of contemporary jazz.

Brian counts ten solo albums among his original body of work. The three latest are The Streets of San Francisco (2015), Stratosphere (2017) and his newest project Long Beach (2022). Brian considers his musical focus to be fusion jazz. He himself describes his stylistic home as progressive jazz.

Brian performs on his new album tenor & alto saxophones, piano, organs, guitars, strings, vibes, tubular bells, triangle, sound effects. As can be seen from the credits, Brian has been able to attract some big names in contemporary jazz to his EP. On all tracks you can hear the well-known bass player Jimmy Haslip, who has already proved to be a valuable support for many fusion jazz players.

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Christophe Goze – Slow

slowEarlier I reviewed the album ‘Soul to Soul’ by French multi-instrumentalist Christophe Goze here, and now a new album has arrived.

This time it’s almost all sung songs by 2 guest vocalists, plus some instrumental tracks. Christophe himself thinks that everything in our world is going too fast, and I can’t prove him wrong.

That’s why he made this album with calm soul songs. He says: “On a day when our world is racing around us, and we feel perhaps too much in control of our own time, overwhelmed and stressed, we need to take an hour to slow down and recharge. ‘Slow’ may prove just the pace-changer you need.”

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Alejandro Fernandez Lecce & Paul Eerhart – The Sensual

thesensualArgentine songwriter, musician & producer Alejandro Fernandez Lecce intertwines with Dutch guitarist Paul Eerhart on this new digital EP.

Together they bring us 4 tracks that can be classified as urban jazz or Nu jazz. But they also contain influences from trip-hop, Nu-soul and modern jazz.

Together they bring us closer to different climates, which are almost cool, to finesse, and so with them, you can enjoy these beautiful moments.

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