Archive for the ‘ Soul ’ Category

Bluey – Life Between The Notes

Jean Paul Maunik, better known as Bluey, is the icon of acid jazz. He is founder and leader of the project Incognito, with which he has released fifteen studio albums as well as a number of live albums, remix albums and compilation albums. Before he was a member of the group Light of the World. His further projects are Citrus Sun and Innershade.

In 2013 he released his first solo debut album Leap of Faith. His sophomore solo album Life Between The Notes will be released in Japan this week, in UK on April 20 (Dôme Records) and in USA on Apr 28, 2015 (Shanachie Entertainment).

The album starts with the appetizer Dance To My Drums. A bass line and pushing drums are underlining the message. Life Between The Notes conjures the open road of soul, R&B and acid jazz. With a keen sense of harmony Bluey exerts his sensitive voice and even presents some overtones. With electronic accents, bass rhythms and hand clapping Hold On is well prepared for the club scene.

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Greg Adams/East Bay Soul – That’s Life

Jazz trumpeter Greg Adams, known by his work for Tower of Power, is now building a new monument with the formation East Bay Soul. Adams has recorded six solo albums, three releases with East Bay Soul and fourteen recordings as a founding member of Tower of Power. That’s Life is his fourth album with the new band.

Greg is joined by Kay-Ta Matsuno, guitar, Joey Navarro, keys, Dwayne “Smitty” Smith, bass, Herman Matthews, drums and Johnny Sandoval, percussion. The horn section consist of Lee Thornburg, trumpet, flugelhorn, French horn and trombone, Johnnie Bamont, alto, tenor and bari sax. Greg Vail, alto and tenor sax.

If one frequently plays with a band, then the recording of a new CD is a flash. Greg say’s꞉ “It’s like looking bliss in the eye. Before you know it, we’ve made a record. It is amazing how it happens.” The album starts powerfully with Little Black Dress. Darryl Walker gives this song his voice and makes it to his own. With Hush Hush Greg Adams presents his muted trumpet in perfect harmony with the horn section. A self-perpetuating piece.

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Jeff Bradshaw and Friends – Home

Mr. Magic Slide Jeff Bradshaw is back with his first Live album at Shanachie Entertainment entitled Home. The album was recorded at Philadelphia’s premiere arts venue, The Kimmel Center, in May 28, 2014. Jeff’s band of 20 members supported guest musicians Robert Glasper, Eric Roberson, Tweet, Marsha Ambrosius, Kim Burrell, Trombone Shorty, Black Thought, Take 6, Bilal, Will Downing, Kenny Lattimore, and Najee. Jeff was boosting his horn-heavy ensemble with a ten-piece string section of members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and other chamber ensembles from the city.

Robert Glasper coproduced the album together with Jeff. Jointly they planned the event and the participating artists, all Jeff’s friends. He comments꞉ “I just want people to know that this is the best of me thus far. I believe in my heart that this is the album of the year because it is a collection of brilliance that magnifies my gift. That’s what it is. It’s a live collection of brilliance that magnifies the gift that God gave me.″

The event starts with the intro Open Your Eyes. It should be better called Open Your Ears Impressing vocals meet Jeff’s phenomenal trombone play. Not perfectly timed but that is the raw version of a live concert. Robert Glasper introduces into harmonic ballad All Time Love with a skillful piano solo featuring vocalists Charlene Keys, whose stage name is Tweet and Eric Roberson aka Erro. When Jeff enters the ring, the tune turns wild.

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Jeff Bradshaw – Home

HomeOnce upon a time R&B was known for great live performances marked by passion, spontaneity and even transcendence through the great soul revues at such storied venues as The Apollo Theater, The Howard Theater and The Uptown. The musicians playing behind the singers were often the finest players from the realms of R&B jazz and gospel, who delivered intricate arrangements, electrifying solos and undeniable groove. In recent times, such performances have been rare but the hunger for that special sort of musical experience is still there and maybe it just takes someone with great determination and vision to bring it back. Jeff Bradshaw, a key player in Philadelphia’s influential neo-soul scene is the man with such vision.

As a boy in Philadelphia Bradshaw performed with brass bands on Broad Street, just a stone’s throw from the spot where Philadelphia¹s most prestigious performing arts center, The Kimmel Center, stands today; he dreamed: why not bring the crème-de-la-crème of singers and players to The Kimmel for a genre-crossing one-night-only musical event that would replicate the excitement of the classic R&B revues for this generation of fans? Since Bradshaw¹s trombone has propelled horn-sections for everyone from Jill Scott to Jay Z and Erykah Badu to Kirk Franklin, this was an easy sell.

The respect accorded Jeff Bradshaw by his peers is shown by the impressive list of artists who wanted to be a part of the concert: Marsha Ambrosius, Will Downing, Black Thought of The Roots, Kim Burrell, Take 6, Najee, Bilal, Eric Roberson, Tweet, Kenny Lattimore, Trombone Shorty and Executive Producer and Grammy-winning pianist Robert Glasper, whose recent BLACK RADIO albums have been innovative fusions of jazz and R&B, becoming some of the biggest-selling jazz releases of the past decade–ironically scoring big with a concept Jeff Bradshaw had been presenting for years. Bradshaw’s Kimmel Center dream came to fruition on May 28, 2014 and the result was a sold-out success in front of a rapturous, wildly appreciative audience. HOME will be released on March 31, 2015 by Shanachie Entertainment, enabling those who were not there to enjoy the magical experience. Continue reading

Yonrico Scott – Only A Smile

OnlyASmileThird Blue Canoe Records release from Grammy Award winner Yonrico Scott (Royal Southern Brotherhood, Derek Trucks Band) titled, Only A Smile. Featuring Ronda Scott (vocals), Kofi Burbridge (keys/flute), Todd Smallie (bass), Joseph Patrick Moore (bass), Larry Jackson (alto/tenor sax), Mace Hibbard (alto/tenor sax), YS Jr. (hand percussion), Lebron Scott (bass), Randy Honea (guitar), Buzz Amato (keys), Rick Hinkel (guitar), Count Mubutu (congas), Grant Green Jr. (guitar), Bruno Spreight (guitar), Oliver Wells (keys, bass, string arr.), Tiffany Jackson (bgv) and Minnie Orr (bgv).

Throughout the 1980’s to the Present, Yonrico has enjoyed working with various composers and arrangers for a multitude of commercial recordings for advertising/ commercials, jingles, individual songs, etc. Probably one of the more important recordings of this nature, working with Producer, Tim McCabe, Yonrico collaborated with Ray Charles to re-record Georgia’s State Song, Georgia On My Mind. Additional composers Yonrico has worked with include Bill Meyers, Jim Ellis, Jack Turner, and Steve Holts, among others.

Listen to the album here. Only A Smile is available at

Peter Muller – No Mind

German bass player Peter Muller is no unknown to the contemporary jazz scene. He sets the first signal with his debut album M-Vibez (2003), later followed by his sophomore album The Flow (2008). The wait is over. Peter returns with No Mind, scheduled for release November 15, 2014.

Peter comments: “The new album explores my favorite musical worlds from Soul to Jazz, Fusion to R&B – but Funk is the red line that holds it all together. This is where I come from and the reason I started making music!”

Peter gathered his supporters from his musical environment. Included are the musicians Tobias Neumann and Coen Molenaar (keys), Frank Mead (sax), Tim Cansfield (guitars), Mr. T (Talkbox), Nick Gibbs (vocals, beatboxing, synth, drum programming), Oliver Spanuth (hi-hat, cymbals), John-Dennis Renken and Christian Kappe (trumpet), Sebastiaan Cornelissen and Kristof Hinz (drums).

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Thom Douvan – Brother Brother

Apart from a few selections from dance music and R&B from the 1980s and ’90s, it’s all about the soul – even the blue-eyed kind. Guitarist Thom Douvan presents Brother Brother (2014), a 15-song tribute to the Funk Brothers, with whom he has played.

Douvan spent much of the ’80s performing with a group of former Motown session men, who were collectively known as the Funk Brothers. They were the background to many Motown hits in the 1960s and ’70s. And some of the members went on to record more of the hits that are referenced here.

Accompanying Douvan are Duncan McMillan, Hammond B3 organ; Tony Malfatti, saxophone; with drum duties split among Ralph Penland, Frank Wilson, James Gadson , Michael Barsimanto and Tony Moore. Bobby Pierce takes over on the organ for one song.

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