Archive for the ‘ World Music ’ Category

Slow – Under Everchanging Sky

undereverchangingskyPolish group Slow was founded by Tomasz Kaczmarczyk (guitar) and Krzysztof Wermiński (piano). Their debut album Art of Silence (2011) was followed by Songs For Everyone (2015). Their newest project is Under Everchanging Sky (2022).

The group’s leader, composer, arranger and producer Tomasz attaches importance to the fact that the new project is stylistically different from its predecessors. The emphasis is on diversity and ranges from contemporary jazz to classic bebop to world music.

The melodies are lead by his guitar and Leszek Szczerba’s soprano sax. Furthermore pianist Krzysztof Wermiski participates. The rhythm section is built by bassist Tomasz Grabowy and drummer Sawomir Berny.

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Madalena – Briza

brizaItalian singer Madalena is in her fifties, and chose to go back to singing. She is (like me) fascinated by Brazilian music, because the language sounds so seductive and lyrics are so poetic, while the rhythm and melody are enchanting.

In addition, since childhood on the Amalfi Coast, she has also been passionate about traditional Neapolitan songs, as well as American jazz standards.

Her new CD is called ‘Briza’, which is a small cluster of vegetal hearts attached along the stem, eager to surrender to the wind. At the same time, subtle music is playing and Madalena hears those notes coming from afar.

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Sergio Pereira – Finesse

FinesseBrazilian guitarist & singer Sergio Pereira will release his third album tomorrow, on the Spanish label Sedajazz Records. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he started playing acoustic guitar at the age of eight.

Later on, Sergio was influenced by bossa nova giants such as Joao Gilberto, Tom Jobim, Carlos Lyra, Joao Donato, Marcos Valle etc. During the 1980s he moved to New York and studied with jazz greats such as Chuck Wayne, Sal Salvador, Alex Adrian, Hui Cox, and Joe Carter. He has performed all over the world since the 1990s.

This third album again reflects all the emotions, energy and dynamism he experienced growing up in Rio. It was co-produced by drummer Mauricio Zottarelli and recorded during the 2019 & 2020 pandemic. Sergio is assisted by no less than 20 musicians and brings magic, joy and positivism during these strange times.

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Sergio Pereira – Finesse

FinesseBorn in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sergio Pereira started playing acoustic guitar at the age of 8 years old. Motivated by his older brother, who played the guitar and helped him with his first chords, Sergio was later influenced by the music of bossa-nova giants at the time such as Joao Gilberto, Tom Jobim, Carlos Lyra, Joao Donato, Marcos Valle, and many others.

Sergio is currently releasing his third album, Finesse. The album will be released by the Spanish record label Sedajazz Records. His previous albums include Swingando (released independently) and Nu Brasil, released in 2018 by the New York Latin label Zoho Music. These albums reflect all the emotions, energy, and dynamics of growing up in Rio, living around the globe, and being in touch with his culture throughout his life.

His latest album, Finesse, has been co-produced by drummer/producer Mauricio Zottarelli and was recorded remotely during the Pandemic 2019/20. It includes twenty-one top world musicians bringing magic, happiness, and positivity to the world during these crazy times.

The album is scheduled for release February 8, 2022 on all platforms.

Christophe Goze – Soul To Soul

a3831088172_16Guitarist Christophe Goze is a world wanderer. This applies both to his changing residences, which has taken him through eight countries from his birthplace Paris to his current home, Barcelona, Spain, as well as his stylistic orientation, which has a lot to do with world music but also with his jazzy roots.

The story behind the creation of this album is explained by the basic polyglot attitude of this musician. At the outbreak of the pandemic, Christophe was staying in Morocco, which closed its borders as a result of the first wave. He had not expected that this blockade would last a year. Christophe made the best of this predicament, rented a small studio with a sea view and devoted himself to musical recordings.

The result is the album Soul To Soul (2022), with which Christophe approaches the realm of smooth jazz in his own special way. Thanks to the possibilities of the Internet, he was able to involve the following musicians in the creative process: Marc Antoine (guitar), Roberto Briot (bass), Curtis Lyons Jr., Laurent Facheux, Matthieu Rabatte (drums), Frederic Langlais (accordina), Michel Gaucher (flute), Ravi Prasad (Indian vocals), and Skeb (vocals).

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Gregg Karukas – Serenata

Great melodies; the essential quality that has defined Grammy winning keyboardist/composer/producer Gregg Karukas’ 12 solo CD’s over a three decade career, with many #1 radio hits, both sophisticated and accessible. Serenata, his first ever solo piano project, offers romantic impressions of classic songs from iconic Brazilian artists Milton Nascimento and Dori Caymmi as well as new and re-imagined Karukas originals.

Gregg looks back on his years touring with Brazilian artists Sergio Mendes, Dori Caymmi and Ricardo Silveira in the 1990’s as some of his favorite musical experiences. As producer, pianist, composer and arranger, Gregg won the New Age Grammy in 2013 (Echoes of Love), and has also worked with pianist David Lanz, arranging and producing two successful crossover CDs. A versatile, founding member of the Los Angeles smooth jazz community, Gregg contributed to many seminal projects (The Rippingtons, Dave Koz, Peter White, Boney James).

After a recent move, Gregg discovered a dusty box of cassettes of his live shows in the 1990’s with Dori Caymmi and Ricardo Silveira and was curious to check out one particular tape marked “Dori – Le Cafe” with a star! Gregg says, “Those Dori shows at that tiny Los Angeles music room were legendary, with everyone from Michel LeGrand, Dave Grusin, Quincy Jones to Wayne Shorter in the audience. I had to buy a used cassette deck to play it, and it was one of our magical nights. I sat down at the piano and recalled many of the Dori Caymmi songs as best as I could and got very emotional. That evening pulled me out of my comfort zone and set me on a surprising new adventure, a solo piano project that I hope will bring some peace and joy to all who are suffering during this challenging time.” Continue reading

Kirk Whalum – Humanité

Sax legend Kirk Whalum is as I already stated in another review a wanderer between the two worlds of smooth jazz and Gospel music. With his new album Humanité he breaks through this scheme.

Humanité is an album, whose music is formed in mosaic shape by the musicians and their involved personalities they have brought in to the recording process. Among many others the following musicians are participating: Japanese jazz pianist Keiko Matsui, the young bass phenomenon Barry Likumahuwa, gifted singer/songwriter Grace Sahertian and global pop star Indonesian singer/actor Afgansyah Reza, known to many as Afgan, vocalist/guitarist Zahara, one of South Africa’s biggest stars, Kasiva Mutwa of Nairobi, and the veteran UK jazz vocalist Liane Carroll.

Curtis Mayfield’s song Move On Up has lost none of its radiance since its inception in the ’70s. Especially in the last months you can meet his song in ever new variations. Kirk Whalum goes his own way with his interpretation which is settled near a jazzy attitude in a Weather Report way. Singer Brendan Reilly is sensationally excellent.

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Incendio – Summoning the Muse

The acclaimed Los-Angeles-based group Incendio performs original “world guitar” compositions, featuring incredible guitar-playing across a variety of genres: latin, middle-eastern, and celtic grooves. Formed in 1999, the group has 10 CD’s and 2 DVD’s available internationally, variously hitting the Billboard, CMJ, NAV, and Amazon.com charts. Averaging over 150 shows a year since 2000, INCENDIO’s live performance is an explosive improvisatory journey, garnering tremendous audience response in such diverse venues as the National Gallery of Art, Reston Town Center, Strawberry Music Festival in Yosemite, the Sundance Film Festival, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, California World Festival, the Beishan World Music Festival in China, the national Levitt Pavilions and many more across the U.S. Their ninth international release, the recent Christmas-themed “O Night Divine”, came out in December 2015.

Their previous release, June 2013’s “The Shape of Dreams”, stayed at or near the top of the Amazon flamenco and world charts for the remainder of that year. They have reached over 96 million spins on Pandora alone, and can be heard on terrestrial radio as well as many other streaming services. The group will promote their new 2019 CD “Summoning the Muse”, across the USA this summer. This album settled between Flamenco and world music is recommended by smooth jazz expert Ronald Jackson (The Smooth Jazz Ride).

The album is available on Amazon.com.

Dirk K – Selfie Nation

Dirk K, guitarist with German heritage, has a strong affinity for Latin jazz and smooth jazz. More than 16 solo albums, eight CDs with band projects and over 30 albums for other performers are a vivid testimony to his productivity. His newest project Selfie Nation (2019) is however a departure to new shores.

Dirk himself settles his new music on in the area of electronic dance music, jazz and world music and uses the adjective incongruous, ambient, peculiar. So let us prepare ourselves for the special. The length of the pieces, which are not at all adapted to the radio format, is already unusual. A rebellion?

Dirk K plays on the new album all instruments and is joined by David Inamine (bass) and Michael Joy (Wurlitzer, Rhodes and Mini Moog on Nothing Personal). Special guest is King Ibu on Selfie Nation (vocals and talking drum). Dirk has written Selfie Nation, all other songs are covers.

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Adam Urban & Aficionados – Ab Origine

Hailing from Prague, Czech Republic multi-instrumentalist Adam Urban (who previously released his music under pseudonym RENK) is coming up with a new approach to creating and presents his new album in collaboration with a group of artists he called Aficionados.

This album beyond the usual genres is available on CDBaby.