Archive for the ‘ Contemporary Jazz ’ Category

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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The David Ullmann Group – Sometime

Each step that guitarist and composer David Ullmann has taken along his musical path has been an unpredictable one. Reinvention has been the key to each new release; his music thrives on surprising combinations of electric and acoustic sounds as well as left-field additions like tabla and sitar. Such inventive thinking has led the New York Times to call Ullmann “a thoughtful guitarist and composer,” while All About Jazz has praised his ability to provide listeners with “a satisfying sense of taking a journey.”

On his 2005 debut, Hidden, the New York City native kept listeners off balance with an eclectic mix of influences from modern jazz and jam band rock to funk, soul and country balladry. His follow-up, Falling (2011), further pulled the rug out with a guitar/vibes/sax frontline that aimed for a free-fall feeling with dreamy atmospherics and gentle but off-kilter angularity. Ullmann’s next release, Corduroy (2014), expanded the band to an octet and drew inspiration from a wholly unexpected source: the brassy, memorable theme songs from Ullmann’s ‘70s childhood. The result was simultaneously fresh and nostalgic, with exhilarating playing as the ensemble navigated the music’s narrative twists and turns.

On his new album Sometime, Ullmann takes the concept of reinvention and applies it to his own catalogue. Using an unreleased organ trio date as a leaping-off point, Ullmann fleshed out the music with a larger ensemble of collaborators, taking what was a lively soul-jazz outing into strange and exciting new territory with the addition of synths, sitar, mandolin, vibes, horns and percussion.

Get the album on CDBaby.

Otmaro Ruiz – Jimmy Branly – Jimmy Haslip – Elemental

Grammy-nominated Pianist/Composer Otmaro Ruiz, Drummer Jimmy Branly and Bassist Jimmy Haslip team up together to create an incredible jazz trio album titled, Elemental. All compositions by Otmaro Ruiz (Minina Music ASCAP), except “Boomtown” by Jimmy Haslip & Russell Ferrante (LaViera Music BMI, Teeth Music BMI). Considered one of the most important jazz pianists in the current scene, Venezuelan Otmaro Ruiz is known for his versatility and virtuosity. Regarded as one of the most sought-after keyboardists for recordings in today’s scene, Otmaro is still able to dedicate time to teaching, scoring of movie sound-tracks and to the production of his works as a leader with original compositional material, captured in the CDs “Otmaro Ruiz plays Ryuichi Sakamoto”, “Distant Friends”, “Nothing to Hide”, “Latino” and in his most recent album “Sojourn”.

Jimmy Branly was born in Havana, Cuba, and grew up in a rich musical environment of Cuban flavors. Jimmy moved to the United States in 1998, performing and recording with many groups and artists. Jimmy Haslip was born December 31st, 1951 in the Bronx, New York. He grew up in Huntington, Long Island. Jimmy was actively composing, arranging, producing and performing with Yellowjackets. He also worked and recorded with numerous other musicians among them Jeff Lorber.

“This is a beautiful album! Incredible compositions, playing, inter-play and production. This is a phenomenal album for fans of great music (jazz/fusion aficionados will especially love this). Everyone needs this album!” (Joseph Patrick Moore)

Elemental is scheduled for release 11-23-2018 in all online and offline shops. Listen to the album here.

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.

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