Archive for the ‘ Contemporary Jazz ’ Category

The Clusters – The Clusters

The Clusters is an Argentinian band hailing from Ramos Mejía. They leave you a record of what was the last date of the Year! A different space with lots of music of jazz fusion. With their debut album The Clusters the band reaches out to the world.

This album is available for download only at CDBaby.

tiktaalik – Rush Hour

Playful, down-to earth, unpretentious: tiktaalik tears down the boundaries of traditional genres and develops a mutual understanding for the strengths of each musician during their collective creative process. tiktaalik embarks on a spirited journey outlined by highly energetic and intriguing melodies and rhythms as well as soft-spoken, delicate passages. Their elaborate compositional work leaves room for a common effort in arranging their pieces and combining uneven rhythms with complex harmonious structures in order to highlight the sound language of the quartet. This combination of varied musical stylistics and improvisational freedom defines tiktaalik.

The band is composed of Oliver Marec playing the saxophone, Clemens Rofner on double bass, drummer Simon Springer and pianist Luca Zambito. Every member of tiktaalik finds his place in the multi-layered identity of the band as they create a play that ties a knot with the name of the band. tiktaalik is the Inuit word for freshwater fish; it played a big role in evolution, as it represented the transition of the animal from the water on to land. In 2015 the saxophone player Oliver Marec founded tiktaalik with the goal to combine traditional and modern elements of Jazz. Inspired by the onomatopoetic sound of the name, the band also represents the basic idea of the evolution – one cannot come to a standstill while seeking new melodic and rhythmic ideas.

The first project is titled Rush Hour and now available at CDBaby.

Ramsey Lewis & Urban Knights – VII

Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis has been one of the main contributors to the history of contemporary jazz. Not a purist at all, he likes to incorporate crossover elements of pop, funk and soul into his music. Until high age he is involved in shaping the music scene.

With his project Urban Knights he has also transferred his high quality standards into the field of smooth jazz. Unforgotten is his song Sun Goddess, which he recorded together with the members of Earth, Wind and Fire and which decisively influenced his further musical career.

To the great surprise of many of his music fans, Ramsey Lewis released Urban Knights VII in September 2019 before finally withdrawing from the music scene. In this late work are involved his longtime companions guitarist Henry Johnson, drummer Charles Heath, bassist Joshua Ramos and keyboardist Tim Gant.

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Simon Goulding – Quadrant

Friends of contemporary jazz will like Simon Goulding‘s new EP Quadrant. Simon performs on this album bass guitars, keyboards, programming, percussion. He is accompanied by Sean Freeman (sax), Chris Taylor (piano), and Mike Smith (drums). Simon about the CD: “This new E.P. is more in the Jazz Fusion vein. I wanted to capture the quartet feel in the recordings then augment it with synths and thicker arrangements. These tunes were written between 2014 & 2017 and were never released……Until now. I really hope you enjoy Quadrant.”

The EP is available on Simon’s website.

The Justus Brothers – The Justus Brothers

Keyboardist Jason Clark, guitarist Niko Lyras, drummer Steve Potts, saxophonist Pat Register, bassist Dave Smith are the core members of Memphis based group The Justus Brothers.

Since several decades they are backing luminaries such as Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Kirk Whalum, Gregg Allman, Ike Turner, Dave Stewart and many more.

Now they have released their self titled album,  breaking new ground in 2019. The opener of the album is a medley of two songs by Sting, Fragile and Fields of GoldFragile is from Sting’s second album Nothing Like The Sun (1987), while Fields of Gold is from his album Ten Summoner’s Tales (1993).  The implementation by the group succeeds perfectly and smoothly. The Group has a broad instrumental base and can implement the topics in a differentiated and professional manner.

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Spyro Gyra – Vinyl Tap

When Spyro Gyra achieved gold status with their second album Morning Dance in 1979, many were of the opinion that the band would continue their success in this style. Forty years later we are wiser. Spyro Gyra has written contemporary jazz on their banner.

Their most recent album is Vinyl Tap, which was released this year. Currently the band consists of saxophonist Jay Beckenstein, keyboardist Tom Schuman, bassist Scott Ambush, guitarist Julio Fernández and drummer Lionel Cordew. In addition, the group is supported on the new album by Gary Schreiner (harmonica), Michito Sanchez (percussion), and Skip Martin (trumpet).

The concept of this album is based on an idea suggested by Spyro Gyra manager Phil Brennan to Jay Beckenstein. An album with covers, however of new freshness through a different approach and an unique arrangement.

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Brian Culbertson – XX

As chart-topping multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Brian Culbertson crafts his 20th album, the aptly titled “XX” – Roman numerals representing twenty – he revealed plans for the extensive US concert tour that will support the record release. Beginning April 1 in Louisville, Kentucky, Culbertson will take an elaborately designed concert production, The XX Tour, on the road for three consecutive months, playing more than 70 shows, an extremely rare feat for a contemporary jazz artist.

Culbertson’s catalogue includes recordings of jazz – contemporary and straight ahead – as well as R&B, funk, instrumental pop and New Age. “XX,” which drops April 10, reflects his remarkable diversity.

“It’s a mix of things that I’ve done throughout my twenty records. There’s a lot of funky instrumentals, some pop-sounding tracks, a couple slow jams, straight-ahead jazz, gospel, some vocals, lots of horns and some straight-up FUNK! The album is very much a mixture of some modern sounding programming along with live instruments, too. Real drums on almost everything mixed with programming. Definitely a cool sound,” said Culbertson, who invites fans to get involved with the making of “XX” via an Indiegogo campaign that launched this week (https://igg.me/at/BCXX).

Recreating that cool sound live for The XX Tour is Culbertson’s favorite part. Like his massive Colors of Love Tour that played 77 shows in three months and was captured for “Brian Culbertson’s Colors of Love Tour: Live in Las Vegas” Blu-ray disc and two-disc CD that dropped last Valentine’s Day, Culbertson is creating the sound and look for The XX Tour as a sensory experience. The exuberant performer spends months in preproduction meticulously conceiving stunning visuals – staging, lighting, wardrobe and effects – in order to put on a mesmerizing show each time he takes the stage. In addition to spotlighting the new album, the setlist will include cuts from Culbertson’s hit-filled songbook that has amassed 32 Billboard No. 1 singles. There will also be a segment showcasing songs from “Winter Stories,” an album released last month that placed him in an acoustic jazz trio setting for the first time.
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