Archive for the ‘ CD Reviews ’ Category

David Benoit – David Benoit And Friends

Pianist and composer David Benoit has dedicated his new album David Benoit and Friends(2019) to his fellow musicians. Collaborations with other musicians are nothing new for David. Legendary is his partnership with Russ Freeman, which includes the albums The Benoit/Freeman Project (1994) and The Benoit/Freeman Project 2 (2004). David Benoit and Jane Monheit teamed up for 2 in Love (2015). Guitarist Marc Antoine and pianist David Benoit were the surprise packet of the year 2017 with So Nice!

On his new album David Benoit invites Peter White, Marc Antoine (acoustic guitar), Tim Weisberg (flute), Lindsey Webster (vocals), Dave Koz (alto sax), Rick Braun (trumpet), Vincent Ingala (soprano sax), Justin Cheung (cello). The rhythm section encompasses David Benoit (piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3), JR Robinson (drums), Ken Wild (electric and acoustic bass), Luis Conte (percussion), Pat Kelly (guitar), the horn section Mike Cottone and Jamey Havorka (trumpet), Erm Navarro (trombone).

Jane Hawk is a novel character by the American author Dean Koontz, which he has portrayed in a series of 5 books. With a cinematic orchestration David sketches on Ballad of Jane Hawk his imagination supported by Peter White on the acoustic guitar and Tim Weisberg on the flute.

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Euge Groove – Slow Jams

The well known and popular saxophonist Euge Goove has released this year a collection of slow ballads under the title Slow Jams on the label Shanachie Entertainment. Unlike previous releases, this collection, which is only available for download, mp3-album or streaming, is not documented or promoted.

It is a collection of already released recordings, so that it is most notably of interest to listeners who are not yet in possession of his albums. First track of this compilation is Slow Jam taken from the album Born 2 Groove (2007). The eponym of the set indicates the direction, sensitive, tender, harmonious.

On Rain Down On Me from Got 2 Be Groovin’ (2014) Euge takes a different approach. Already the piano intro of almost two minutes promises meaningfulness. With Peter White on acoustic guitar and Euge on sax we hear some high-caliber.

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Gino Rosaria – Still Waters Run Deep

Curaçao born keyboardist Gino Rosaria moved in 2003 to the US. After his graduation he performed with violinist Karen Briggs, jazz clarinet player Tim Laughlin, flutist Kim Scott, jazz guitarist Adam Hawley, and flutist Althea Rene.

His first project is the album Joy, Peace, Christmas featuring saxophonist Chris Godber (2012), followed by Some Other Time in 2013. Under the project name Groove Symphony he released the album Simon Says in 2016.

His album Still Waters Run Deep is available since July, 2019. Gino is supported by Eric Valentine, Omari Williams, John Jones (drums), Mel Brown, Eric Lampley (bass), Adam Hawley (electric guitar), Noah Thompson (acoustic guitar), Marcus Anderson, Carlos Vizoso, Christopher Spies, David Mann, Elan Trotman (sax), Marcus Anderson, David Mann, Althea Rene (flute), and Brynne Heatley (vocals).

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Dave Koz – Live From The Dave Koz Cruise

Dave Koz is not only an outstanding saxophonist, composer, and producer but also a passionate entertainer, radio host and entrepreneur.

As an entrepreneur, Koz founded Rendezvous Entertainment. In 2014 he joined forces with Cary Hardwick and Laurie Sisneros, partners and owners of Spaghettini in Seal Beach, to open a restaurant/live music venue in the heart of Beverly Hills’ restaurant row – Spaghettini and The Dave Koz Lounge.

Currently he concentrates his activity on the highly successful Dave Koz & Friends At Sea cruises to Alaska, Spain, Greece, Vancouver, Caribbean islands, Venice and beyond, Scandinavia and the Baltic, Australia and next year Amsterdam and The British Isles.

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Lowell Hopper – Magic In The Air

Hailing from Panama City guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Lowell Hopper has started his solo career in 1995 with the album Invisible Touch. Since several years he nearly release every year a new album. His newest project is Magic In The Air (2019).

Lowell plays on this album guitars, basses, keyboards and drum programming. He is supported on selected tracks by Chris Godber (tenor sax), Derek Burrell (electric bass) and G. Vernon Burrell Jr. (additional keyboards). Lowell has composed all tracks with the exception of Tropical Feeling which he has written together with G. Vernon Burrell Jr., who also plays keyboards on this tune.

Lowell Hopper introduces into his new project with Magic In The Air featuring popular riffs and hooks perfectly embedded in a sophisticated instrumental environment. Just Like That compels the listener to finger snipping with his gentle guitar performance.

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Monkey House – Friday

Monkey House is a band consisting of the core members singer, songwriter, keyboardist Don Breithaupt, drummer Mark Kelso, bassist Pat Kilbride, and guitarist Justin Abedin.

On their new album Friday (2019) the band is supported by the elite Toronto horn section of William Sperandei, Vern Dorge, John Johnson, William Carn and Tony Carlucci, as well as percussionist Art Avalos.

The new album is written by Breithaupt with the exception of one cover. Those who are not familiar with the music of this formation, will quickly remark by listening to 10,000 Hours that this music is neither jazz nor smooth jazz. According to my own musical experience the group is comparable to 10CC, Godley & Creme or Steely Dan.

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Rick Braun – Crossroads

A brilliant cover photo says a lot about the illustrated musician. Rick Braun made it. He is at the height of his musical career both as a soloist and as an accompanist. His new album Crossroads (2019) is his second album on the prestigious label Shanachie Entertainment after Around The Horn (2017).

His popularity in musical circles and his high degree of awareness allow him to access a large pool of colleagues. Keyboardists Philippe Saisse and Greg Phillinganes, guitarists Peter White and Michael Thompson, bassist Nate Phillips, sax man Richard Elliot, drummer Eric Valentine and Gregg Bissonette, and percussionist Richie Garcia are welcomed guests on his album among many others.

The introducing Around The Corner is committed to Braun’s daughter Emma to which he dedicates songs on many albums. Braun cleverly takes advantage of Herb Alpert’s Tijuana brass style by overdubbing his horn with very slight delay in order to create the illusion of a full brass section.

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