Archive for the ‘ CD Reviews ’ Category

Al Turner – This Is

“The Burner” Al Turner, bass player exceptional, has released after It’s Good To Have Friends (2005), Movin’ (2009), Sunny Days (2011) and Simply Amazing (2015) this year his fifth album This Is. The cover is taken from a photo captured on a concert in Wilmington.

Marlon McClain, Tom Braxton, Ron Otis, Dana Davis, Darryl Wakefield, Calvin Rodgers, Jeff Canady, Monty Q. Pollard, Mark Mitchell, Jordache Grant, Darryl Dixon, Rick Watford, Melvin Jones, Mike Burton, Shedly Abraham, Gino Castillo and Eric Willis are listed in the credits of the new album.

The album goes into position with the affirmative This Is. In a fast race of instruments the dynamic melody crystallizes. The bass also gives the fast beat of the following piece Sunrise. There is an infectious almost captivating funky spirit that inspires the instruments involved.

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Four80East – Four On The Floor

The Toronto-based electro-jazz duo Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace have bundled their creative activities in the formation Four80East. They started with The Album in 1997, followed by Nocturnal (2001), Round Three (2002), En Route (2007), Roll On (2009), Off Duty (2012), Biblotheca (2013), and Positraction (2015). In 2014 they released the album Four80East LIVE and in 2016 a limited vinyl collection Cherry Picked.

Their new EP Four On The Floor is a musical business card inspired by their early days as House producers. The duo is joined on two tracks by vocalists CeCe Peniston and Wade O. Brown.

The title track is a highly danceable rhythm enhanced groovy tune with a savory horn background. The rhythm guitar is inspired by Nile Rodgers (Chic) and together with the steady hook line Four80East presents an ultimate dance floor hit.

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Acoustic Alchemy – Thirty Three and a Third

The group Acoustic Alchemy looks back on an ever-changing past. Originally founded by guitarists Nick Webb (steel string) and Simon James (nylon string) in the early 80s, guitarist Greg Carmichael soon replaced outgoing Simon James. When Webb died in 1998,  Greg Carmichael brought in Miles Gilderdale as his partner.

According to Wikipedia, Thirty Three and a Third is the twenty-second album of the group. The title of the album is explained by the age of the group. Beside the duo play Gary Grainger (bass), Tony Stipetic (fretless bass), John Goldsby (double bass), Anthony “Fred” White (keyboards), Greg Grainger, Bert Smaak (drums), Jeff Kashiwa (sax), Mike Herting (grand piano) Paul Stipetic (percussion), and Malcolm Strachan (trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone). The album is a tribute to late band manager Stewart Coxhead.

Acoustic Alchemy starts the album with East of Babylon. Uncompromising in virtuosity, this energetic piece is nothing for archaeologists. Carmen’s Man is a typical example of the interlaced, cascading playing style of the two guitarists building a sonic infectious synergy. The song is dedicated to late guitarist Chuck Loeb and his wife Carmen Cuesta.

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Branly, Ruiz, Haslip – Elemental

Top musicians have a certain resemblance to star chefs. Their outstanding position is based on talent and a lot of passion. When three musical greats come together, then we experience an event of a special kind, fusion jazz in the truest sense of the word. Otmaro Ruiz, Jimmy Branly, and Jimmy Haslip form Elemental.

On the new album Otmaro Ruiz performs piano, Fender Rhodes and synths, Jimmy Branly drums, and Jimmy Haslip electric bass. Ruiz has written all tracks with the exception of Boomtown, which is from the Yellowjackets album Mint Jam (2001).

The aptly titled introduction A Good Start presents three of the most talented contemporary jazz players on the scene in a breathtaking action. Otmar Ruiz keeps the music flowing on synth and keys while Branly and Haslip provide the right rhythmic frame for it.

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Doug Jones – Crossing Lines

You’ve had some opportunities to familiarize yourself with Doug Jones’ music. Heart and Soul (1994), Shades Of Gray (2002), Top Down (2013) and Secrets (2016) are his assets. Crossing Lines (2018) makes it even easier for you.

Doug performs on the new album alto and tenor saxophones, flute, keys, and programming. Rick Handville plays electric guitar on the title song, Troy Slocum Hammond organ on Hand Clappin’ and keyboards on Zen Garden. Two friends with whom he has already worked successfully on his earlier productions. Doug has written, arranged, and produced all songs.

It is the special moments in life that makes it worth living. For Doug, that includes Watching the Sunrise and this instant he lives out musically with great emotions.

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Mark Adams – I Forgot to Remember to Forget

Baltimore born jazz pianist Mark Adams had the great fortune to grow up in a musical household. In earlier years he was taught by his mother, a former music instructor. A musical director, teacher, composer and foremost a musician of his own Mark debuted in 2001 with his groundbreaking album Asceticism, followed by Feel the Groove (2007), Something’s Going On (2009), Embellishments (2011), Conversations (2012) and Love and Dance (2016).

His newest project bears the strange title I Forgot to Remember to Forget (2018). Mark performs on the new album piano, keyboards, Rhodes piano and Mini Moog. Further musicians are Trevor P. Allen (bass, producer), Jason Patterson, JT Lewis, Gintas Tanusonis, Chris DeCarmine, Camile Gainer (drums), Bendji Allonce (percussion), Abdul Zuhri (guitar), Sophia Nicole, Jonathan Quash (vocals), Gerald Thomas (sax, flutes), Joe Porcelli (trumpet, flugelhorn), Andre Atkins (trombone), Ron Carter, Donald Nicks, Gerald Lindsey, Curtis Morrison, Dave Jones (bass), Waldron Ricks (trumpet), Bill White, Larry Tamanini (guitar), Robert Meeks (keys and programming), vibes & vocals Roy Ayers.

With Woke Mark builds the first musical circle of magic with a sophisticated horn arrangement and refined piano playing. Fight the Good Fight features rapper Leonard in a breathless, evocative song. I Forgot to Remember to Forget serves a sonic alternative with singer Sophia Nicole which, however, can shine more with the harmonious song structure than with detailed lyrics.

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Nate White – Up Close

Nate White always wanted to play just the bass. He did it for The Spinners, his own band RAMP, with Roy Ayers, Chuck Loeb, Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Gerald Albright, Dave Koz and many more.

His first album Come Into Knowledge (1977) was followed by That’s The Way It Is (2009) and this year Up Close. White wrote, recorded, arranged, mixed, and performed on all of the tracks, with other writers such as DJ and producer Nick Luscombe out of the UK, and producer Tony Heath A.K.A. Tony Heat. Other musicians include Randy Villars, Paul “PC” Caver, Dave Stewart, Iva Durand, and Eliot Slaughter.

The album starts with Kupenda, which is the Swahili word for love. With this tight and infectious killer groove Nate sets a strong pulse.

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