Archive for the ‘ Contemporary Jazz ’ Category

Soul Brass Band – Levels

Drummer Derrick Freeman leads the Soul Brass Band, founded in 2015. Initiated by a video project of contemporary rhythm and blues artist CeeLo Green the idea was to assemble some friends of the music scene. So drummer Freeman, bass player Aron Lambert, trumpeter Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown, trombonists Michael Watson and Terrance Taplin, saxophonist James Martin, guitarist Danny Abel and tuba player Steve Glenn found together. Though the Soul Brass Band is well-versed in traditional music its stage shows are more eclectic, as it turns not only to material from fellow brass bands like the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth but also funks it up. Listen for tunes that range from old-school artists like Sly and the Family Stone and the Jackson 5 to hip-hop stars Snoop Dogg and Juvenile.

“The versatility is there to do that,” Freeman proclaims. “We’ll do some traditional songs in the set and just mix it up and mess with people’s heads a little—reel people in and shock ‘em. Expect to be wowed.” Levels is their new album which spreads the legend of New Orleans Jazz in the style of Trombone Shorty.

Get it at CDBaby.

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Luca Di Luzio – Globetrotter

Jazz guitarist Luca Di Luzio has concentrated his musical activities so far on his native Italy. This changes fundamentally with his new project Globetrotter (2019).

The title is program and the list of musicians involved is more than illustrious. Beside Jimmy Haslip, as producer and bass player, are performing Dave Weckl on drums, George Whitty on keyboards and Max Ionata on tenor saxophone.

The album contains six originals and two traditional standards. The album has biographical traits, as all six pieces written by Luca refer to periods of his life that have left their mark on him.

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The Allen Carman Project – Carmanology

South Jersey born bassist Allen Carman started his professional music life with the band Renegade, but then put music on hold to become a lawyer. After more than twenty years law practice he returned to his musical roots.

With his new founded band The Allen Carman Project featuring Phillippe Saisse on keyboards, Gumbi Ortiz on percussion, Andy Snitzer on sax and Luis Alicea on drums he is ready to storm the charts.

The debut album is entitled Carmanology, and includes eight original songs and one cover. The group comes up with an incredible star cast of guest musicians as there are guitarists Nile Rogers, Marc Antoine, trumpet players Rick Braun, Don Harris, saxophonists Andy Snitzer, Bill Harris, trombonist Michael Davis and violinist Evan Garr.

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Oytun Ersan – Fusiolicious

Nicosia based Turkish-Cypriot Oytun Ersan has made a name as internationally acclaimed bassist, composer, recording artist and a member of the Recording Academy.

Ersan is also since more than 20 years member of the International Nicosia Municipality Orchestra first as saxophonist and later as bassist. He started his solo career with the album East Meets West (2015). Fusiolicious (2018) is his sophomore album in the jazz fusion genre.

Oytun Ersan assembled a great team of professional musicians to create a high-class jazz fusion album of international standing. Beside Oytun Ersan (composer, bass) are performing Dave Weckl (drums), Eric Marienthal (saxophone), Gary Husband and Gerry Etkins (keys), Dean Brown, Mike Miller, Brett Garsed and Okan Ersan (guitars), Karen Briggs (violin), Gökay Gökşen (trombone), Utku Akyol (trumpet), Aytunç Akdoğu and Simge Akdoğu (vocals).

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Phil Madeira – Crickets

A Nashville mainstay, Phil Madeira was Americana before it was a thing. His venerable pedigree as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger is assured, backed by Grammy-winning credits and a lengthy discography boasting collaborations with Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris, The Civil Wars, Elvis Costello, Alison Krauss, Toby Keith, Amy Grant, Mavis Staples, Keb Mo’, Bruce Hornsby and Vanessa Williams. Yet when this musician’s musician sits at the piano backstage or at home, it’s jazz-blues riffs that he noodles. On April 26, Mercyland Records will release Madeira’s first instrumental album, “Crickets,” comprised of ten new songs that he wrote and produced for a jazz quintet.

The straight-ahead jazz rhythms and bluesy harmonies Madeira scripted for “Crickets” harken back to another jazz era.

“It’s slightly sophisticated blues, right out of the 50s and 60s playbook. I can hear bits and pieces of what turned me on as a kid – Ramsey Lewis and Herbie Hancock, and of course, Monk, whom I later discovered. I composed the music that became ‘Crickets’ thinking I would pitch it to a music licensing company for use in film. But then I realized that I had created something far more personal,” said Madeira, who recorded all ten songs in one day accompanied by Aaron Smith (drums), James Hollihan (guitar), Rahsaan Barber (saxophone) and Chris Donohue (bass). Continue reading

Ear Candy Jazz Factory – Tangerine Peel Jam

Ear Candy Jazz Factory is a Japanese trio consisting of pianist, producer and composer Rei Narita, the now 16 years old drummer Sato Kanade and the bassist Sakurai Naoko. Rei has already released the albums The Color Of Soundscape (2011) and The Color Of Soundscape II (2015). The group’s debut album Tangerine Peer Jam was released in Asia in 2017 and is now also available in the rest of the world.

The name says it all. The three Japanese virtuosos offer a treasure chest of earwigs with their album. Tailwind starts a firestorm of sonic spryness and viability that is unparalleled. Urahara Cat Street surprises with a jam-like finesse of funk and contemporary jazz, while the vintage sound of the Hammond B3 gives the whole a special kick.

The mellow Monsoon in Crimson is a saxy excursion into the green zone of smooth jazz. Run Through the Urban City is another dynamic prove of the possibilities and abilities of the band. Soulful piano as par force hunt through the melody enthuses the audience. You will never expect behind the title The Feeling of Samurai a Latin enhanced Bossa Nova. The group takes up this rhythm and develops it into something vibrant.

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Eugen Botos Finally – Final Definition

Slovakia based jazz funk trio Finally was founded by Eugen Botos (piano) – leader and composer of the band, Robert Vizvari (bass guitar), Martin Koleda (guitar). In 2008 the trio became the touring band of Eric Marienthal in Europe which gave them some contact with the American contemporary jazz scene. In 2010 they released their debut album My Space.

Final Definition is their sophomore album, which was released in Japan in 2016 and this year in the rest of the world. The album features an incredible variety of top musicians. Among them are famous singers like Brian McKnight, Maysa Leak, Dionne Warwick, Angela Johnson, Sheldon Reynolds, sax player Eric Marienthal, drummers Dave Weckl, Eric Valentine, Oscar Seaton and Ronald Brunner Jr., bass players Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten, keyboardist Jeff Lorber and many more.

Marcus Miller introduces into the theme of Love For Real with his sonorous sounding bass. Featured singer is Sheldon Reynolds, the former singer and guitarist of the groups Sun, The Commodores and Earth, Wind and Fire. The song also offers prominent solos by Marcus Miller and Jeff Lorber on Rhodes.

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