Archive for the ‘ Soul ’ Category

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 Amazon.com.

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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Jazz Funk Soul – Jazz Funk Soul

Three heavyweights of contemporary jazz joined to form the supergroup Jazz Funk Soul, keyboardist Jeff Lorber, guitarist Chuck Loeb and sax player Everette Harp. Chuck Loeb has an affinity for collaborations such as Metro and Fourplay. He comments this new formation꞉ “Making this album seemed like a natural extension of the fun and high level of creativity that was taking place on stage each night.” We will see concerts of this group in September, 2014.

On selected tracks the group is joined by Gary Nowak, Lionel Cordew and Brian Dunne (drums), Dave Mann (horns), Lenny Castro (percussion), James Genus and John Patitucci (bass), A. Ray Fuller (rhythm guitar), Till Brönner (trumpet), and Mark Hollingsworth (flutes).

The album starts with Speed Of Light designed by Jeff Lorber to bring the skills of the trio in the foreground. Jeff Lorber gives his Rhodes a lead, while Harp adds the alto sax accentuated horn segment, finally Choeb decorates it with quick chords in the style of Benson. If it ain’t got that swing, it don’t mean a thing. That’s the simple reason, why Chuck serves Swingette. A piece with that jazzy extra꞉ Combine that heart swinging groove with a sophisticated harmonic palette (Loeb).

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Slim Man – Sweet Sixteen

Musician and bon vivant Slim Man has just released his new project Bona Fide (2014). Together with his new album he sent me the compilation Sweet Sixteen, which isn’t listed on his website and isn’t available in online stores.

Last year he sent out an email to his fan community Slim People. He asked them to name their favorite Slim Man songs. Slim put as many as he could fit on Sweet Sixteen. There are actually 17 songs on Sweet Sixteen.

The CD is only available for purchase at Slim Man shows. But anyone who orders the new Bona Fide CD gets a free Sweet Sixteen CD as a gift. All songs are the original recordings from the original masters, except for Now And Forever, which is from the Slim Man Live album and Secret Rendezvous, which is from Bella Mia.

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Jeff Golub – Train Keeps A Rolling

TrainIt’s been a helluva two years since guitarist Jeff Golub released his last album, “Three Kings,” which paid tribute to blues legends B.B., Freddie & Albert King. As the record was released, the optic nerves in Golub’s eyes inexplicably collapsed leaving him blind. Adjusting to his new life meant adopting Luke, a guide dog. While attempting to catch a New York City subway last September, Golub fell onto the tracks as a train rapidly approached. He was clipped and dragged by the train as Luke and bystanders frantically attempted to help. Miraculously Golub escaped the harrowing and what could have been a fatal ordeal with only minor scrapes and bruises. Undaunted and as boisterous as ever, Golub stands defiantly, toting his guitar with Luke perched at his feet, at the crossroads of train tracks on the cover of his aptly titled new album, “Train Keeps A Rolling,” which will be released August 13th by Entertainment One Music.

Golub’s 12th solo album had to be something special and have a lot of soul. At the suggestion of his manager, Bud Harner, he teamed with British keyboard great Brian Auger for a rollicking 11-song collection of soul, jazz, blues and rock combining Golub’s raw bluesy guitar licks with Auger’s hallmark Hammond B-3 organ. Golub produced the set with Harner, a Grammy-nominated producer who shared production duties with Golub on the guitarist’s five most recent records. Anchoring the grooves were steady-as-a-rock drummer Steve Ferrone, who was an original member of the acclaimed jazz-rock ensemble Brian Auger & The Oblivion Express, and bassist Derek Frank, who also had a history playing with Auger. Augmenting the tracks were percussionist Luis Conte and a lively horn section comprised of Mindi Abair (alto sax), Nick Lane (trombone), Dave Woodford (baritone sax, flute) and Steve Madaio (trumpet). Making guest appearances on the vocal selections were Christopher Cross, Ambrosia’s David Pack and Alex Ligertwood, who was also an original member of The Oblivion Express.

“When I was about 15 years-old, I picked up a copy of ‘Closer To It’ by Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express and it changed my life. That is why I was looking forward to doing this record. It was the first time I heard rock musicians playing jazz and it was the first time I knew you didn’t have to be a jazz musician to play jazz,” explained Golub. “The vibe of the new record is soul-jazz. It has a lot of Latin grooves – a lot of grooves period. My last couple of records have been blues records, especially the last record was straight ahead blues, but now I’m kind of going back to what I did before that with soul-jazz. No matter what I do is blues-oriented guitar, but the record itself is music that is more jazz oriented.”

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