Archive for the ‘ Contemporary Jazz ’ Category

Under The Lake – Your Horizon Too

Under The Lake is a project by Jayson Tipp (keyboardist, songwriter and producer). The debut album was Dive In (1993), followed by Up For Air (1995), People Together (2007) and Jazz, Groove & Attitude (2018).

On his new album Your Horizon Too (2020) Jayson is supported by sax player Quintin Gerard W., bassist Nathan Brown, guitarist Patrick Yandall and drummer Richard Sellers. The album contains two covers, most of the songs however are originals written by Jayson and in part together with Quintin.

Opener of the album is the title song It’s Your Horizon Too. The songs on this album are not a one-man-show but a band at work. That said, the theme is multiplied and performed by all band members, which is the charm of a live band.

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Karl Sterling – Dream

This album serves a good cause. Ninety % of album proceeds are going to fund the much needed Parkinson’s education and research. Karl Sterling is a neuro rehabilitation specialist based in Syracuse, New York, and is the creator of the Parkinson’s Regeneration Training® education program.

Originally working as drummer he gathered a large number of musicians around him to finance his charitable project with this album. On Dream (2020) are playing Jimmy Haslip (bass and producer), Scott Kinsey (keyboards and producer), Jeff Richman (guitar and producer) Peter Erskine, Gary Novak, Karl Sterling, Archibald Ligonierre, Gergo Borlai (drums), Mer Sal Coomes, Jimmy Keegan, Carolyn Samuelson (vocals), Brandon Fields (alto sax), Bob Reynolds (tenor sax), Naina Kundu (bass and vocals) and Nir Felder (guitar).

The band has carefully chosen popular songs, which have passed the test of time. The album is opened with Here to Love You, originally a song from the album Minute by Minute (1978) by the American Rock band The Doobie Brothers. With the vocalist Mer Sal Coomes the band ignites a firework of creativity.

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Warren Wolf – Reincarnation

Since graduating from Berklee, Warren Wolf has taken the jazz world by storm, first as a sideman in Christian McBride’s Inside Straight quintet, then with his self-titled Mack Avenue debut in 2011 and Wolfgang in 2013. Now the vibraphonist-composer and multi-instrumentalist takes things up another notch on his excellent all-star outing, Convergence.

On his latest album, Warren Wolf reveals an entirely different side to his multi-faceted talents. As the title implies, Reincarnation (2020) represents a rebirth of sorts for the Baltimore vibesman. In part, it frees Wolf to indulge his love for the R&B and soul hits that served as the soundtrack to his formative years in the 1990s. It’s also a celebration of a new lease on life, a happiness and contentment that he’s discovered through a new marriage and his five beloved children.

Pre-order the album here.

The Park Avenue Experience – Life Span

Syracuse, Italy based multi-instrumentalist Fabio Puglisi is known by the project Soul Basement, a collaboration with singer Jay Nemor. Now he returns with a new project called The Park Avenue Experience, which will go live this year in a trio set. The debut album of this project is Life Span, which will be released February 1, 2020.

The album opens with Getting Closer. A piece that puristically develops the melody in chords and leaves a soothing impression overall. This principle is continued at the beginning on Balance, but receives cascade-like amplification by other melody segments.

That Good Old Trick introduces into the song with a percussion sequence, then the bass jumps in before before the melody follows on the keyboard. The actual jazzy accents are however set by the piano.

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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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