Archive for the ‘ Contemporary Jazz ’ Category

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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Yellowjackets – Raising Our Voice

While the Los Angeles-based Yellowjackets have been a creative force on the jazz scene since 1981 when they recorded their eponymous debut, their fourth Mack Avenue Records album, Raising Our Voice, once again ups the ante with bold new strides by inviting vocalist extraordinaire Luciana Souza to collaborate with the group for seven of its thirteen tunes as well as subtly taking a resistant stand against the status quo of the cultural and political undercurrent of our times.

The Jackets are comprised of pianist/keyboardist/co-founder Russell Ferrante, bassist Dane Alderson in his second recording with the group and drummer Will Kennedy, who joined the band in 1987 and then in 2000 took a 10-year hiatus before returning to the drum chair. As a relative outsider, Souza contributes wordless vocals as well as songs sung in Portuguese and English. She was quickly won over by the band.

“They’re killers,” she says. “They’re so serious yet also so much fun. We laughed a lot during the sessions. Their curiosity is alive, and their joy is to make great music. I was originally going to just do three songs, but it ended up that I’m on over half the record.”

The collection features three old Yellowjackets tunes arranged for a fresh ride with Souza’s contributions, two co-writes with Ferrante and Souza, three new originals each for Ferrante and Mintzer, and Alderson’s first original piece for the band along with two short electronics interludes.

You can pre-order the album on Amazon.com.

Jimmy Haslip, Scott Kinsey, Gergö Borlai – ARC Trio

The jazz fusion musicians Jimmy Haslip, Scott Kinsey, Gergö Borlai have come together under the band name ARC Trio to create their eclectic imagination of how fusion jazz has to sound. Each musician comes from a different cultural background, but they are united in the direction of the joint project.

The most famous member is certainly bassist Jimmy Haslip who was a founding member and 32 year band mate of The Yellowjackets, before he decided to concentrate his activity in a plethora of different undertakings and formations. Among the artists he has played with are names such as David Sanborn, Pat Metheny, Al Jarreau, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, George Harrison, Chaka Khan, Diana Ross and many more.

Keyboardist and pianist Scott Kinsey has worked with Joe Zawinul, John McLaughlin, Pete Erskine, Victor Wooten, Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, Bill Evans, John Patitucci, John Scofield among others. Hungarian drummer Gergö Borlai is professor at the Liceu Academy/Jazz department in Barcelona and performed with jazz stars like Al DiMeola and Hiram Bullock. Guest musicians on this album are drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Gary Novak, Steve Tavaglione on sax, flute and EWI, and Judd Miller on EVI.

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David P. Stevens – Rogue

David P. Stevens has released his 6th studio album, Rogue! Why Rogue? In every artist’s career, they must ignore what is expected of them from others, ignore the chatter and the direction others believe they should go in, lock themselves in the studio, and let their hearts and inner musicality lead them. David has done just this! Though known for his exciting, genre bending smooth jazz, we now find David branching out into many contemporary jazz directions, and done so, seamlessly. Journey with David as he goes Rogue!

David P. Stevens releases an artist masterpiece! A new must listen album, from beginning to end! Now get your personal impression on CDBaby.

Jeff Lorber Fusion – Impact

“I hope people listening to Impact will enjoy it as much as we did making it. The real completion of the album is when the fans get their hands on it and hopefully really dig it. We’re also looking forward to playing this material on the road, which will be a lot of fun,” concludes Jeff Lorber.  “I think it’s pretty solid. Lots of great playing by excellent musicians.. Gary Novak drums, Jimmy Haslip Bass, Andy Snitzer on sax.. It’s funky, melodic and fresh!”

Will this album have an Impact on you? Listen to it on Amazon.com.

Pelle Fridell – Soul Go Jaz

Born in Stockholm, Sweden and since 1993 resident in Copenhagen, Denmark,  saxophonist Pelle Fridell can look back on an exquisite list of top musicians with whom he has already performed together. Among them are Toots Thielemans, Randy Brecker, Sir Charlie Watts, Tom Waits, Ivan Lins, Angelique Kidjo, Georgie Fame, Geir Lysne, Chris Potter, Michael Mantler and more.

Pelle has already released five solo albums. Soul Go Jaz (2018) is the latest release in the Go Jaz series with Go Jaz (2002) and More Go Jaz (2011). Pelle performs on his album sax, flutes, bass-clarinet, keys, programming. Additional artists are Tim Lutte, Niclas Campagnol (drums), Søren Reiff (guitar), Lars Danielsson ( bass), Mads Storm (Rhodes, piano), Jesper Christenson (Wurlitzer, piano), and Michael Mølhede (trumpet).

The starter of the album, For The Ladies, presents Fridell in the best light. He performs the sax with great passion and emotion. Marvin Gaye could be the inspiration for his saxual approach. On Johanna he hits the sweet spot with his graceful flute in combination with sax burning the notes in a fast run.

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Steve Oliver – Illuminate

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Steve Oliver is known for his distinctive style, which results from three components. Foremost a jazz guitarist, he follows his guitar performance with his voice. This jazz singing wherein words are sung note for note to melodies is called vocalese. Steve Oliver’s trademark is the wordless vocalese. The third component is the Roland (Boss) GR-33 guitar synthesizer which bases on the Roland JV-1080 sounds and is triggered by his guitars.

His album Illuminate is now available, his 11th career album. Steve has written and produced all songs. He plays all guitars, guitar synth, vocal sounds, bass, keyboards, drums, sound design. On selected tracks he is joined by Joel Taylor (drums), Cory de Brake, Jimmy Haslip, KT Tylor (bass), Walle Larsson, Chase Huna, Nelson Rangell, BillyRay Sheppard (saxophone), Tateng Katindig (piano), and Craig Chessnut (percussion).

The best way to get started on a new project is to get going at full steam. The aptly titled Full Tilt features Steve Oliver as master at work in the style he is known for and loved by his audience. The Game Is On serves syncopated thrill with exciting freshness.

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