Archive for the ‘ Jazz Fusion ’ Category

Steve Hunt – Connections

connectionsJazz pianist Steve Hunt has linked his musical agenda to jazz. Steve attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he is still an instructor. He studied with concert pianist Albert Hirsh, jazz pianist Sid Davis and Lyle Mays. He performed and toured with Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke, Angela Bofill, Tom Brown, and Allan Holdsworth.

He recorded with Allan Holdsworth, Stanley Clarke, Lucas Pickford, Gregg Bandian, Bruce Bartlett, Randy Roos and Pam Pryo. His debut solo album was From Your Heart and Soul (1997). Connections (2021) is his sophomore album. Musicians of distinction in the field of jazz have gathered on his album. More details can be found in the credits.

Starter of the album is Now’s The Time. The intense texture that percussionist Jorge Bezerra spreads out as the foundation of the piece is impressive. The structure and flow remind me strongly of the music of Joe Zawinul’s Weather Report. From the dense mesh that the musicians build together, the individual contributions are hardly to be equalized and that is obviously also intended.

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Patrick Bradley – Exhale

Patrick Bradley has always emphasized exquisite quality in his productions. This is easily recognizable by his albums Come Rain Or Shine (2006), Under The Sun (2011) and Can You Hear Me (2014). Already on his previous recordings were always big names among the studio musicians. This is no different with his new album Exhale (2021). If on his previous albums the main anchor and producer was Jeff Lorber, this time Darren Rahn is clearly at the center of the action.

Patrick understands his new project also as a way of switching off, forgetting the worries of everyday life and recognizing music as a source of comfort and inspiration. He explains: “This is a special project and I’m hoping people get that when they listen to it because it’s almost like there’s some of my DNA in there. We’ve all had a hard year – whether it’s COVID fatigue, political fatigue or whatever. I’m hoping people will listen to the album and it will give them some sort of release, a sense of hope, and that somehow it’s inspirational.”

With the opener Completely Yours Patrick and Darren address the romantic highlights of a love relationship. The song is inspired by Mort Garson’s Our Day will ComeReinvention is a collection of pure harmony. Jeff Lorber inserts his familiar bubbling synth bass, while Michael Thompson adds glittering points of guitar riffs with his distorted electric guitar.

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DiCosimo / Pagán – Con Moto

When bassist Jimmy Haslip produces an album, you know what’s going to come out: a jazz fusion album. The initiators of the same are organist Bill DiCosimo and bassist Edgar Pagán, who have been working together for more than twenty years. The album, which will be released in January 2021, is called Con Moto, which means “with movement”.

Contributors to the album are, who would be surprised, Jeff Lorber, Gary Novak, Jeff Richman, Jose Varona, Paulie Cerra and more. People know each other. For example, Edgar has already worked on Jeff Lorber’s joint album Eleven with Mike Stern or Jeff and Jimmy have played on Edgar’s album What A Feeling.

The album starts with the aptly titled So It Begins. A piece that flows along with a continuous rhythm like mercury. The piece is structured comparable a mathematical challenge and bass, rhythm guitar and keyboard complement each other seamlessly like a laying puzzle.

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ABC – Begin Again

The Italian trio ABC (Alchemy Brotherhood Cheerfulness) consists of Sebastiano Marino (piano and keyboards), Jacopo Ferrazza (electric bass) and Luca Fareri (drums). Begin Again is their debut album and was released in 2018 on AlfaMusic.

Sebastian lives in Rome as artist, piano player, composer, teacher, music lover. His newest project is the Sebastian Marino Trio with the different drummer Valerio Vantaggio, who replaced Luca.

Jacopo was born in 1989 in Frascati, a city near Rome. Jacopo is an acoustic and electric bass player and pianist as well. He’s graduated in classical bass and classical piano from the Italian conservatory of Frosinone “Licinio Refice”. Jacopo has recorded two albums as a leader for the CAM jazz label. He has also collected various experiences as composer and teacher.

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Anastasio – Through The Sky

Flutist and saxophonist Enzo Anastasio graduated in saxophone at the conservatory Guiseppe Martucci in Salerno, where he got a degree of second level with the best grade. With the Neapolitan band Midi Funk he published the album Finalmente Funky (2005). In November 2015 he released his debut solo album Che Soddisfazione. His second album is Through The Sky, released on AlfaMusic in 2018.

This album features Vincenzo Anastasio on sax, Gregg Bissonnette on drums, Jimmy Earl on bass and David Garfield on piano and keyboard furthermore guitarist Federico Luongo, pianist and keyboardist Mario Nappi, trumpeter Gianfranco Campagnoli, keyboardist and synthbassist Paolo Sessa, trombonist Alessandro Tedesco and vocalists Cheryl Porter, Kalind Haynes and Kaita Kerr.

The cartoonistic design of the record cover promises cheerful and relaxed music. The opener Cycling in Venice Beach can be understood in the literal sense. The driving of the bicycle pedals are the first acoustic sounds that make it clear that your music system is still working. But then orderly saxophone harmonies announce the coming happiness.

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Jules Hay – From London to Little London

British jazz fusion guitarist Jules Hay follows his passion for Brazilian music from his home in London, UK, to the Brazilian city of Londrina – aka ‘Little London.’ Immersing himself in the local music scene, his collaboration with the musicians there was captured across several days at 3 em 1 studios and is released on the 17th July. The set of 10 original compositions bring together infectious Brazilian rhythms and grooves with a modern jazz fusion sensibility.

In Thiago Ueda (keys), Diogo Burka (Bass), Roger Aleixo, Elthon Dias (drums) and Duda de Souza (percussion), Jules has brought together 5 in-demand musicians from the Londrina scene who add their own joyful playing and improvisations to the proceedings. Originally slated for March 2020 as an 8-track release, Jules took the opportunity of being locked down in the city to compose and record 2 bonus tracks for the album. From London to Little London is an uplifting journey for fans of fusion and Brazilian music alike.

Get this percussive album at Bandcamp.

Ricardo Bacelar – Ao Vivo No Rio (Live In Rio)

The discography of Brazilian composer and pianist Ricardo Bacelar is still manageable. After his debut album In Natura (2001), followed Concerto para Moviola (Concerto for Moviola),  a live album, recorded in 2015 during the Guaramiranga Jazz and Blues Festival at the Via Sul Theater, Fortalezea, Ceara, Brazil, and Sebastiana (2018). Now he returns with his second live album recorded in May 2018 at The Blue Note in Rio, Brazil aptly titled Ao Vivo No Rio (Live In Rio).

Ricardo was accompanied by guitarist João Castilho, saxophonist and flutist Danilo Sina, double bassist Alexandre Katatau, drummer Renato Endrigo and percussionist André Siqueira. Most of the repertoire of the live album covers compositions of the groundbreaking Brazilian musicians Milton Nascimento, Tom Jobim, Gilberto Gil, Flora Purim along with American greats Benny Golson, Horace Silver, Pat Metheny and Chick Corea.

Ricardo considers his album, which was recorded in the intimate circle of the 300-seat Blue Note, an incentive to return to live performances after the end of the pandemic. Ricardo comments: “People need the warm sound and feelings of live music as opposed to the electronic stuff we hear on studio recordings. By listening to this live album, you can embrace the warm sound from the safety and comfort of your home.”

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Jimmy Haslip – Nightfall

Bassist Jimmy Haslip has released in his solo career only three albums. His debut album Arc came out in 1993. His sophomore album Red Heat was released in 2000 on Unitone Recordings followed by Nightfall in 2010 on VIE Records. The latter two albums are now newly released on Blue Canoe Recordings.

Like its predecessor, Nightfall is a collaboration between Haslip and Joe Vannelli. Jimmy performs on his album electric and fretless bass, additional synths,  baritone guitar. Joe Vannelli plays keys, programming, Rhodes, piano, organ, orchestration.

They are supported on selected tracks by Bob Mintzer (tenor sax), Katisse Buckingham (flute), Wayne Bergeron (trumpet), Steve Tavaglione (alto and soprano sax), Judd Miller (EVI), Jason Hann (percussion, congas), Jimmy Branly (timbales, bongo), Roger Burn (vibraphones), Ross Vannelli (acoustic guitar), Stella Castellucci (harp), Lori Perry (vocals), and The Perry Sisters (background vocals).

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Vibes Alive – Vibrasonic

Vibes Alive is a collaboration of vibist Dirk Richter and guitarist Randall Crissman. The name of the duo is taken from the title of their debut album Vibes Alive (1997). In 2008 followed their second album After HoursVibrasonic (2020) is their third project.

With the new album the duo celebrates a reunion with the well-known musicians Jeff Lorber (Rhodes, Minimoog, synthesizers, piano), Jimmy Johnson (bass), Luis Conte (percussion), and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums).

The album opens with Sweet Vibes, a homogeneous and dynamic musical event, which shows Jeff Lorber, Dirk Richter and Randall Crissman in an inimitable vibrant unity.

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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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