Archive for the ‘ Funk ’ Category

Ron Otis – Stay In Your Lane

A common denominator of Earl Klugh, Bob James or Al Turner is drummer Ron Otis. You find him in addition to on recordings of Kim Scott, Lin Rountree, Brian O’Neal, Justin Young, Dave McMurray, Alexander Zonjic, Al McKenzie, Charles Greene, Randy Scott and more.

After his debut album Upfront (2009), Stay In Your Lane (2017) is his sophomore album. The album comprises nine musical works, shaped by alternating teams of musicians, in which drummer Ron Otis is the common factor and style-forming element.

Low Beat is a creation by pianist Charles Scales, who together with Ron and bassist Al Turner forms a punchy trio. The ground patterns are layered by Charles with a signature clavinet part on which he expands his spacious piano excursion. The theme accelerates in a staccato tempo, a great basis for Ron, to elaborate a filigree structure on the various percussion ensembles.

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The New Triumph – Keep on Push’n

Funk, Afro-Latin and jazz come together with The New Triumph’s Keep on Push’n (2017).

The musicians are Camilo Estrada, bass; Marc Hager, keyboards; Arie Pytel, guitar; Adam Kessler, drums; Ahkeenu Musa, percussion; Robby Beasley, trumpet on five tracks; Scott Morning, trumpet on three songs; Ariel Chi-Linh Nguyen Loud, saxophones.

“Intro Cut” is a sensational opening track. Imagine you’re at a concert, and anxious for the show to begin. Then, when the curtain finally opens, a dramatic swell, not unlike the production company fanfare that introduces a movie. That formality aside, the band shifts into a free-for-all jam. The blended horns carry the lead. Or do they? There’s so much going on from the other instruments, the bass line, the wah-wah guitar, the keys, drums and percussion. Everybody gets in on it.

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Grainger – Phase III: Lets Go Back

Whoever was waiting for a new album of the group Grainger had to bring great stamina. Brothers Gary Grainger (bass guitar, tenor bass, keyboards and vocals) and Gregory K. Grainger (drums, percussion, keyboards and vocals) have started their project with the debut album Phase I in 1998, soon followed by Phase II in 2002.

Finally, after a longer than anticipated time both show some understanding and release Phase III: Lets Go Back, an EP with the promise for more to come. This time sequence can be explained with the fact, that the brothers belong to the most active musicians in the history of music. Reading their biography is in this context very helpful.

Guest musicians on this album are saxophonist Kim Waters, vocalists Brian Fox and Freedom Imani, and keyboardist Jim Beard, who performs in John Scofield’s band.

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Candy Dulfer – Together

Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer continues to push boundaries with the release of her new album Together. The album was inspired by all that’s great in jazz, disco, soul, dance and r&b, but is also a contemporary interpretation of what’s happening in music and the world today. Candy created a deeply personal and unique blend of musical genres & influences, bound together by her trademark sound, showcasing her extreme versatility.

The album is a collaboration with guitarist/producer Ulco Bed, member in Candy’s band since 1984, producer Dennis Letnom and composer, producer and singer Rico Greene (Anouk, Chaka Khan).  The title track conjures tolerance in our society. “Show Ur ID” brings some funk. “Sincerity” is a wonderful smooth jazz piece. Rico Greene sings on the swinging “After Tonight”, while she delivers with “Out of Time” her tribute to Prince Prince. She performed over a long time in his band. Chance Howard showcases on “Hold Up” his skills as singer and keyboard player. “D.I.S.C.O.” invites you to the dance floor.

This danceable and multifaceted album is available in all stores.

Nathan East – Reverence

A musician’s musician, platinum awarded bassist Nathan East has performed with Barry White, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder. Just the most known stars of music entertainment are mentioned.

The smooth jazz genre loves his activity as a founding member of the super group Fourplay. He started his solo career with his self-titled debut album in 2014. Reverence is his sophomore project released this year on Yamaha Entertainment Group.

East invited on his new album such top players like Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Philip Bailey and Yolanda Adams to name a few. The voice of Earth, Wind and Fire Philip Bailey gives Love’s Holiday an unmistakable and exciting profile. Originally the song was composed by late Maurice White for EWF’s Grammy awarded album All ‘N All (1977). East brings on his rendition the glamour back to shine.

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George Anderson – Body And Soul

If you have been a fan of British jazz-funk and soul music for more than twenty years, you’ll know Shakatak. And if you know Shakatak, you’ll know George Anderson – he’s been holding down the low end since the early 80’s.

His touring schedule, both with Shak and with his own band is very hectic – you only need to look at his Facebook page to see that.

Let’s talk about what came out of the sessions for his latest solo CD…

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Kenny Wellington – Free Spirit

Jazz trumpeter Kenny Wellington is one of the founders of the legendary British jazz funk band Light Of The World. Wellington is also a member of the offshoot band Beggar & Co. Kenny performed with Tom Browne, Tina Turner, Incognito, Spandau Ballet, Boy George, and many more.

His new solo project Free Spirit (2016) is inspired by the horn players of the past Donald Byrd, Jimmy Owens, Chuck Mangione, Eddie Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis and continues the tradition of British jazz funk and the acid jazz genre.

Kenny performs on the new album trumpet, flugelhorn, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals, all the programming and bass. Further musicians are David Baptiste (sax, flute, backing vocals), Jerome Harper (trombone), Clifford Rees (strings, violin, cello), Camelle Hinds (bass, percussion), Breeze McKrieth (guitar), Toby Baker (synthesizers), Steve Salvari (keyboards), Billy Osborne (drums), Ian da Prada (vibraphone), and Augie Johnson, Bobbie Lee Anderson, Gee Morris Osborne, David Lee Andrews (vocals).

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