Archive for the ‘ Soul ’ Category

Maysa – Love Is A Battlefield

The critics are raving, the audience is captivated. Everything Maysa is touching with her voice turns to gold. She is the undisputed queen of soul, R&B, acid jazz and all that genres she comes in contact with.

Her new album Love Is A Battlefield revolves around the topic love like many of her previous projects. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that the starting track has the title The Things We Do For Love. With the enchanting love ballade she echoes her unrequited emotive affection. Producers Chris “Big Dog” Davis has perfectly captured the magic moment of ultimate sweetness.

Can We Talk is a song recorded by R&B singer Tevin Campbell and composed and produced by Babyface. Maysa changes the persons in the lyrics to give the song more sense. When she intonates her truly rewarding vocals, the sun stands still shining right on your place. The million-selling sound explosion Love Is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar is up-tempo and rebelliously minded. Maysa slows down the song to a spiritual content, and the ability to involve the listener in an intense dialogue.

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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.

Maysa – Love Is A Battlefield

Stevie Wonder declares “Maysa is WONDER-ful!” The Grammy-nominated vocalist Maysa has remained one of the most instantly identifiable voices in R&B and Jazz over the past 25 years by staying true to her musical vision. “I look for soul in a song,” explains Maysa, who launched her musical career as a member of Stevie’s Wonderlove and who has been a long-time vocalist with the explosive UK Jazz/Funk sensation Incognito. The down to earth singer adds, “I sing mostly positive, uplifting and loving music and lyrics.”

LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD  is Maysa’s 13th recording as a leader and ninth for Shanachie Entertainment, and joins her with producers Chris “Big Dog” Davis, The Heavyweights and Jason Miles, as she  re-imagines a handful of R&B gems like  BabyFace’s Top 10 Tevin Campbell hit, “Can We Talk,” The Isley Brothers’ 1970s slow jam “Footsteps In the Dark,” Natalie Cole’s 1975 #1 hit single “Inseparable” and Luther Vandross’ timeless “Because It’s Really Love.” Maysa also delivers surprises like the album’s title track and Pat Benatar’s Gold-selling 80s cult classic and Justin Bieber’s hit single featuring Big Sean “As Long As You Love Me.”

Maysa Leak was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and knew by the time she was six that she would be a musician. “I was six years old when my mom took me to see Purlie,” she recalls. “When Melba Moore came on stage and sang her heart out, I knew at that moment I wanted to make people feel the way she made me feel.” Maysa graduated from Morgan State University with a degree in classical performance, meeting Stevie Wonder while a student. Upon graduating she moved to North Hollywood to join Wonder’s Wonderlove group, with whom she performed for a year, appearing on the Jungle Fever soundtrack and such television shows as Oprah and The Tonight Show. In the early Nineties, Maysa auditioned over the phone to become the new lead singer of the acclaimed British Jazz/Funk/R&B band Incognito, moving to London for four-and-a-half years. Continue reading

Phil Perry – Breathless

R&B icon Phil Perry is the featured vocalist on countless jazz and smooth jazz albums by George Benson, Fourplay, Najee, Bill Withers and many more. He is connected with Shanachie Entertainment since 2006. After Love Songs (2006), followed on this label Mighty Love (2007), Ready For Love (2010), Say Yes (2013) and A Better Man (2015). This year he returns with Breathless.

Phil works on the new album together again with longtime collaborator, producer and keyboardist Chris “Big Dog” Davis. Both have the same ideal chemistry and are a well-established team. Further joining musicians are Asa Livingston (bass), Robbie Day, Tony DePaolo (guitar), Dawn Tall, Donnelly Smallwood, Rashan Langley, Kevin And Devotion, James (Bro) Minnis, Timmy Maia (background vocals), and Joe Cunningham (sax).

The album starts with the love ballad Breathless. Phil muses about the effects of love and excels in the well-known depth of expression, whereby he partly also reveals his scat-singing prowess. With the song Never Can Say Goodbye written by Fred Sawyers Phil moves deeper into one of the most emotional compositions.

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Thomas Motter – Somewhere Out There

German keyboard genius Thomas Motter has always followed his own path in creating music of the finest vibrant quality. His albums No Return (2005), Nite Angel (2006), High (2012) and Lost & Loved (2013) are spectacular occasions of sounds. Somewhere Out There (2016) is the next level of musical evolution.

The album is enriched by an elite group of musicians. Ralf Gustke, Rodney Holmes and Camille Gainer Jones (drums), Larry Kimpel, Nathan East, Victor Bailey, Francis Hylton, Alvin Mills and Dany Martinez (bass), Bill Evans, Keith Anderson, Nathan Crosse (saxophones), Kalle Knecht (loops), Nene Vasquez, Dalma Lima (percussion), Greg Pena (trombone), Ebo Shakoor (flute), Kirt Dallaway (trumpet) are listed in the liner notes. In addition a large gathering of singers decorates the album.

While Bill Evans hits on his own albums the rock vibe, he lives on Your Smile the contemporary jazz dream. The impressive tune offers space for two guitar solos by Jimi Wilkes and Danny Martinez. With an deceptively subtle artistic sense of harmonic movement vocalists Angie Brown and Eric Conley make Call & Response 1 to a bluesy event.

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Kenny Wellington – Free Spirit

free-spiritTrumpet player Kenny Wellington was an original founder member of the groups Light Of The World and Beggar & Co and continues to write, arrange, produce and perform. As well as performing and recording with those groups he has recorded, arranged and played live dates with many artists from the different genres of soul, jazz funk, rock and pop. These artists include fine artists such as Tina Turner, Spandau Ballet, Paul Weller, and many others.

The inspiration for this album was to really tip the hat to all those great horn players over the years that have entranced us with the beauty of their music, Donald Byrd, Jimmy Owens, Chuck Mangione, Eddie Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Miles of course and so many others, the sound of the tenor voices, the flute, trumpet, flugelhorn, vibraphone a touch of strings all in the mix. Kenny has tried to find the balance within, to be able to listen and enjoy, to dance and to chill, to enjoy.

Free Spirit is available at Amazon.com.