Mekiel Reuben – M.R.

The Chicago born native Mekiel Reuben became interested in music at the early age of eight when his mom gave him a guitar for Christmas. At the age of 15 he began studying music and woodwinds under Louis Gray, high school band director (Crane HS). He studied privately in St. Croix with jazz woodwinds player James (Jimmy) Hamilton, a 27 year veteran of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Hamilton taught me the “Art of Reservation,” and how to enhance my playing style.” Studied with Benny Jacob El (a graduate of Juilliard School of Music) and while living in St. Croix, learned calypso, reggae, Latin and other Caribbean rhythms. Today he resides in the greater Los Angeles, California area.

Miles Away (1994), Simply Peaceful (1996), Shadows of Love (2000), Hangin in the Moonlight (2005), Cookin’ in East L.A. (2009) and If you were here tonight (2012) are his solo albums. His newest album is M.R. (2019), the 7th album on MekMuse Records that continue to give you a glimpse of M.R. musical life he lived in the U.S. and Caribbean. This album give music lovers a taste of Jazz/ Smooth Jazz/ Funk and R&B. The single “Last Forever” is featuring Cornitha Field (vocals).

Get the album on CDBaby.

 

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Ronald Boo Hinkson – Shades

St Lucia’s premiere Jazz guitarist Ronald Boo Hinkson is back with a new CD! For all the devoted fans who have waited since his popular release, “Beyond”, this new project is definitely worth the wait. Infused with his signature Caribbean take on the smooth jazz culture, Boo flows effortlessly from the more traditional Smooth Jazz genre with “Making It Easy” and “How Can I”, to the more Caribbean influenced selections like “Dance The Hall” and “African Queen”, to even more Latin leanings with “La Luna Latina”. Boo even demonstrates his vocal skills in his memorable scat solo on “Dance The Hall”. His friend George Benson would be proud. His skills are on full display on “Shades”, even giving us some more taditional Pop/R&B flair with the vocal performance on “User Friendly”. This CD is jam packed with memorable hits that you will find yourself singing from the moment you pop this into your CD player.

Shades is an excellent balance between traditional Smooth Jazz and the Caribbean influenced styles perfected by St Lucia’s premiere Jazz Guitarist, Ronald Boo Hinkson. Fans of Al Jarreau, George Benson and even Michael Bublé will love this one!

Available on CDBaby.

Tye Maner – I’m Feeling You

Tye Maner is a contemporary jazz artist whose methodical sound transcends beyond the listening experience to a euphoric emotional journey of keys and chords. With every musical note he delivers an intimate insight into the vast array of passion and precision evoked only through the greats who proceed him. Tye’s self composed breakthrough album, I’m Feeling You, invites listeners to an elevated sound of a seasoned artist clearly on a mission to create a legacy. As a mature artist, Tye credits life experiences as his muse and motivation. The voyage of I’m Feeling You is just the beginning and the ride promises many successes to come.

I’m Feeling You is available on CDBaby.

Shannon Kennedy – Back Again

Southern California based Shannon Kennedy is an ambitious linguist but a passionate singer and saxophonist. Her wide-ranging talent has been reflected in numerous projects. As singer she has released the albums Only One (2011) and Behind Your Eyes (2012). With guitarist U-Nam she furthermore collaborated on the projects K.A.S.E. 87, Nivo Deux and Groove Ltd.

As saxophonist she released Angel Eyes (2005), Steppin Up and Never My Love (2007). Her new album is Back Again (2019). She invited guest musicians Peter White, Kat Dyson, Chieli Minucci (guitar), Jordan West, Kurt Hamernick (drums), and Jeff Carlson (bass).

Something by the group Girl’s Day is the introduction to Shannon’s new album. Girl’s Day was a popular South Korean girl band founded in 2010. The appealing melody is realized by Shannon polyphonic and in modern style. Peter White with his acoustic guitar is responsible for the Spanish coloring.

Read more …

Rob White – Keep Riding (Remastered)

Millions of musicians play the saxophone but few have the ability to stand out among the rest. Rob White began his musical journey at the tender age of 7 with a violin. Brought up in a family of singers, his mother encouraged him to play music and chose the instruments for young Rob to learn. In every instrument that was given to him, from the soprano, alto and tenor sax to the flute, Rob mastered it.

Creating his debut CD, “Let It Ride,” was a wonderful experience for this young talent. When Rob stepped into the studio, Yasha and he met on an entirely different level. The connection was a divine appointment. Yasha, a seasoned producer who has been a part of the Orpheus magic since the beginning also helped create the sounds for Najee and Alex Bugnon. Yasha took Rob to a level professionally that he didn’t know was obtainable. “When Rob began to play “I Wish I Wasn’t,” it sounded like a Heather Headley song, but when I told him to play it 2 octaves higher, he made it into a Rob White song. I saw Najee and “Sweet Love” all over again” says Yasha. And Rob makes it known, “Yasha taught me to take control of the tune and not let the tune take over me.”

Keep Riding was originally released in 2010 on Orpheus Records. Now Rob has released a remastered version available on CDBaby.

Craig Sharmat – Nouveau

Some 12 years after Craig Sharmat created his first “gypsy jazz” project for licensing purposes on assignment for what is now the Warner Chappell Productions Library, the guitarist and veteran film and TV composer’s passion for the style and desire to master gypsy guitar has evolved into a full blown creative addiction.  It’s reached such a fever pitch that instead of immediately following up his hit 2013 urban jazz album Bleu Horizons with a like-minded sequel, he immersed in the music scene of his new adopted hometown of Santa Barbara and formed The Idiomatiques – which became the first Gypsy Jazz band in history to score a hit on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart. True to its title, Sharmat’s latest collection Nouveau is a fresh, visionary work that finds the multi-talented artist in full on hybrid mode, artfully fusing the funky urban side of smooth jazz with Django Reinhardt inspired gypsy jazz guitar.

It’s a bold, dynamic approach that builds on the extraordinary critical acclaim and chart success he’s enjoyed these past years in both genres. Chosen one of the year’s Critics’ Choice Ten Best in Jazziz magazine, Bleu Horizons – designed as a spirited musical travelogue – included the Top 5 Billboard single “A Day in Paris,” the Top 10 single “Agua Do Brasil” and the Top 20 single “Surfing the Caspian Sea.” The single “C’est la Vie” from Craig Sharmat with the Idiomatiques’ second album Out on the Town also hit the Top 30 on the contemporary jazz chart.

While Bleu Horizons was filled with exotic sounds and rhythms representing various locales throughout the globe, it was in essence a groove driven, in the pocket smooth jazz experience, featuring guest appearances by genre greats like Peter White and Rick Braun. In the spirit of putting as much organic, Djangofied gypsy magic as possible into Nouveau, Sharmat surrounds his transcendent and deeply soulful guitarisma with three core members of the Idiomatiques: renowned accordionist, keyboardist and composer Brian Mann (Larry Carlton, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald), bassist, vocalist and jazz educator Kim Collins and the group’s newest member, George Quirin, who adds his flamenco guitar energy to a snappy yet sensual twist on the traditional French valse (waltz) “Indifference.” The song is a standard high in the gypsy jazz repertoire that serves as a showcase for Sharmat’s imaginative acoustic brilliance. Continue reading

Cal Harris Jr. – Soulful

Cal Harris Jr. is a well-respected recording engineer, programmer, and keyboard player, who worked for music giants like Earth Wind and Fire, Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Whitney Houston, and Beyonce.

But like many other musicians he has the insatiable desire to create his own project to show the world his talent as composer of solid, seductive, and infectious melodies through impeccable production. So he has released his debut album Inside Out. His next album was Shelter Island in 2014.  Now Cal Harris Jr. returns with his long awaited 3rd Release Soulful . This collection of emotionally captivating Instrumentals speak volumes without saying a word. His first CD on the Innervision Label includes the #1 hit songs Soulful and Timeline.

Pre-order the album on Amazon.com.

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