Archive for the ‘ Funk ’ Category

Richard Elliot – Summer Madness

Scottish-born Saxophonist Richard Elliot reflects with Summer Madness (2016) on his musical roots. “When I was growing up in the ’70s and first learning to play the saxophone,” he comments, “I was mostly attracted to instrumentally based R&B and to jazz that had R&B roots. This record definitely goes down that path, leaning more on the funk side.”

Beside Rick Braun, who also produced the album, Richard is joined by baritone saxophonist Curt Waylee, Ron Reinhardt on keys, Randy Jacobs on guitar, Nate Phillips on bass, Third Richardson on drums, and Lenny Castro on percussion.

Cachaça is a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice. The fiery Latin-American force inspired the interplay of these top notch musicians. With a minimal concept Richard let the participating artists create the powerful excellency in all levels.

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Kim Scott – Southern Heat

Birmingham, Alabama based flutist Kim Scott has already released the albums Crossing Over (2011) and Rite of Passage (2013). Her third album Southern Heat (2016) does not only show the flutist but increasingly more the vocalist.

Kim performs on the new album with James “PJ” Spraggins, Ron Otis (drums), Sean Michael Ray (bass), Eric Essix, Michael “Big Mike” Hart (guitar), Kelvin Wooten (rhythm guitar, keyboards, synth bass, programming), Lin Rountree (trumpet), Jim Lowe III (programming, horn arrangement), Darryl Tibbs (percussion) and more.

The starter Billie Jean is best known as one of the musical diamonds by the late king of Pop Michael Jackson. Kim Scott serves a pristine rendition of this popular song with a tasty flute. Fantastic Voyage surprises with heavy funk, a genre already adapted to smooth jazz namely by Brian Culbertson, Candy Dulfer and Wayman Tisdale.

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U-Nam – Surface Level

Guitar virtuoso U-Nam is not stingy with bright colors and catchy music. A herald of smooth jazz, he has led in the youngest past the music of George Benson to new heights. With Surface Level he returns to his roots, the music of the 80’s.

Besides U-Nam who performs guitars, bass, talk box, vocoder, programming, editing, keyboards, chimes are playing Shannon Kennedy (sax, flute), Christian Martinez (trumpet), Denis Bennarosh and Ramon Yslas (percussion), Dwayne “Smitty” Smith (bass), Maria Grig (viola and violin), Fran Merante and Jorel “JFly” Flynn (drums), Bill Steinway and Bob Baldwin (piano), Valeriy Stepanov (Fender Rhodes & Clavinet), Kim Chandler and Tim “Tio” Owens (vocals).

The starting Going For Miles spreads fun with a Nile Rodgers (Chic) inspired tune. Rhythm, guitar riffs and even the electric drums are in full effect. Groove Paradise copies dangerously well the spirit of the 80’s with flutes, strings and much percussion and detached from all U-Nam’s performing a Benson like guitar.

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Brian Culbertson – Funk!

FunkBrian Culbertson‘s Funk! is a throwback, funkadelic, old-school record in the style of P-Funk meets Prince that will make you dance, laugh, sing along and pretty much get down. That’s what Funk! is all about. It’s been 8 years since the release of Bringing Back The Funk so get ready for the latest evolution coming this September 30th! Pre-order today to reserve your copy and get it before release day! They’ll be shipping these out starting September 12th.

Get Funk! here.

Mitchell Coleman Jr. – Perception

12963863_902379359861112_7432377261375069394_nWith the release of his first solo CD effort, ‘Soul Searching’, and single ‘Genesis’, an instrumental jazz/funk fusion collection that interweaves music inspired by his much admired influences, Mitchell Coleman Jr. has fulfilled a lifelong dream of creating the music he hears in his heart and feels in his soul – and sharing it with the world.

His new album Perception has definitely a funky attitude and is now on sale at

Jack Turner – I Got Next

Raised in Pittsburgh guitarist Jack Turner earned his first merits as a member of jazz organist Charles Earland’s band and appeared on five recordings from 1973-1977.

With his solo album I Got Next Jack Turner returns to the audience and opens a new chapter in his musical life. The album already received rave reviews at CDBaby and by Ronald Jackson.

Guitarist Jack Turner is supported on this recordings by Mose Davis, Carl Breeding and Moe Daniels (keyboards), Jeff Smith and Sam Sims (bass), Melvin Jones (trumpet), William Green (piano), David Haynes and Aaron Turner (drums), and Kofi Macdonald (percussion) on selected tracks.

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Groove Legacy – Groove Legacy

It’s all about the funk, or maybe it’s fusion. A group of Los Angeles-area musicians come together as Groove Legacy to release their debut, Groove Legacy (2016).

The leaders of this ensemble are saxophonist Paul Cerra, keyboardist Bill Steinway and bassist Travis Carlton. Guitarists Kirk Fletcher, Sam Meek, Robben Ford and Larry Carlton contribute here and there. Other musicians are Andrew Lippman, trombone; Lemar Carter, drums; Tim Curle, percussion; Chris Lovejoy, percussion; Ricky Peterson, Hammond B3 organ; Lee Thornburg, trumpet and valve trombone.

The opening track, “Sweetness,” is a tribute to NFL great Walter Payton. It’s got a smooth groove, reminiscent of the type of sound one might have heard in the 1970s when Payton made his transition from the Jackson State Tigers to the Chicago Bears. Cerra and Lippman team up for the lead, playing in unison at times and harmonizing. When Cerra breaks into his tenor solo, one can imagine a highlight reel of Sweetness in action. If the tenor represents Payton’s speed, Fletcher’s guitar personifies his agility and the Rhodes his gracefulness. The bass, drums and rhythm guitar exemplify Payton’s power.

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Big Ben Hillman – The Friday Night Consortium

The Friday Night Consortium After more than five years since his last release, Boston-based funk and retro-soul musician Big Ben Hillman is finally releasing his debut full-length solo album. The Friday Night Consortium, a collection of a dozen all new original Hillman compositions, runs the gamut of soulful grooves; from the up- tempo kick off number “Let’s Get Crazy” and the smooth dance-floor grinder “Friday Night,” to melodious ballads like “Beautiful Stranger” (a duet with Boston-based songstress Lydia Harrell) or feel-good disco romps like “It’s Too Easy,” The Friday Night Consortium has something for everyone.

“I’d been recording an album in New York before I got called to go on tour with the Greg Luttrell Band,” says Hillman, who was born and raised in the Boston area. “We spent four months in Shanghai, China. When I got back to the states I was going to pick up where I left off, but instead I ended up writing a whole new album with all new songs.” Big Ben Hillman, best known for hits like “It Must Have Been The Music” featuring Nephtaliem McCrary of The Nephrok! All-Stars and the blues-flavored hip-hop number “I’m Sorry” featuring Boston emcee Fee (One-Love, Ex-Cal) and Meyer Statham (Chucklehead, John Scofield) has spent most of his career as hired freelance keyboardist, percussionist and background vocalist. He’s performed with local acts such as D-Tension, The Boston Horns and Michigan Blacksnake as well as major artists as diverse as hip-hoppers De La Soul and The Wu Tang Clan and rockers like Les Claypool and Jimmy Buffet, yet Hillman says that writing and producing music has long been his primary aim.

“I’ve always considered myself a songwriter first,” says the man known by many as The Professor of Funk. His first big break as a producer came in the form of “Lay ‘Em Down,” a heavy gangster rap cut featuring Krumb Snatcha that he co-wrote and co-produced with D- Tension on his Contacts and Contracts II album. “I was raised on hip-hop; it’s a part of my heritage,” Big Ben says of his past work with the Brick Records artist “but I always knew I had something else inside of me to share with the world.”

In 2010, the performer who had started his career as a session drummer in Lowell, MA would take his act on the road, performing in clubs in Philadelphia, Washington DC and New York City. “I got a whole lot of experience spending those days on the club circuit out there; I was really starting to find my voice as an artist,” Hillman says as he reflects on his days on the road. “Now that I am back in Boston I really feel like I have found my center and I am able make my visions come to life.”

Get this funky feeling at CDBaby.

Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers – Live in Seattle

A desire to deviate from contemporary jazz – or pop instrumental, for the technical – and do something edgier, saxophonist Mindi Abair called upon a friend, Randy Jacobs, to join her live band. Jacobs’ band, the Boneshakers, was playing the Newport Beach Jazz Festival on the same bill as Abair’s band. Abair sat in with that group. And with some members of Abair’s band performing with the Boneshakers, the combination became the natural next step. The result, Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers’ Live in Seattle (Heads Up, 2015).

The event was captured over Valentine’s Day weekend at Jazz Alley. The set includes a mix of original songs, some culled from Abair’s previous seven recordings, and two covers.

After the introduction, Abair and company perform the title song of her previous release, Wild Heart. It’s a moderately paced track that has a rock/funk edge. After going through the main theme and a middle break that includes some guitar magic, Abair lets loose, cranking up the intensity as she works up to the ending.

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Arno Haas – Back To You

Black-Forest-born Arno Haas released his debut album Magic Hands in 2013 receiving high accolades by critics. His sophomore album Back To You is scheduled for release on October 22, 2015 on mochermusic.

Produced by Tom Saviano the following musicians help to create this new project Arno Haas (sax), Al Jarreau, Evelyn Kallansee, Bill Champlin (vocals), Michael O‘Neill, Ralf Gugel, Benni Freibott (guitars), Randy Waldman, Rainer Scheithauer (pianos), Joel Taylor, Stephan Schuchardt (drums), Alvin Mills (bass), Arno Lucas (percussion), Chuck Findley, Jamie Hovorka (trumpets), Reggie Young ( trombone), Tom Saviano (Fender Rhodes), Ina Veli, Kathleen Sloan, Jenny Takamatsu, Anna Kostyuchek (violins), Vanessa Fairburn Smith, Alisha Bauer (celli).

The album starts full throttle with the title song Back To You. Perfectly arranged by Tom Saviano supports the brass group saxophonist Arno Haas. A treat for fans of cultivated jazz music with the emphasis on horns. Creepin’ Shadows offers in contrast a mellow ballade with the soprano sax in the lead. He is elated accompanied on the piano by Randy Waldman. Finally, the song picks up speed to gently say goodbye.

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