Lori Williams – Out Of The Box

American vocalist Lori Williams has a strong connection to jazz. Here website is Lorijazz.com indicating that jazz is her profession and passion. However, limiting her vocal abilities to one genre would not do justice to her distinctive personality.

Lori Williams made her vocal solo debut with the self produced album Healing Within (2010), with which she received considerable merits as a jazz singer. This impression was intensified with her second album Eclipse Of The Soul (2012). She does not leave this musical homeland with her third album Behind The Smiles (2016), which, like its predecessors, was released on the Pacific Coast Jazz label. Nevertheless, in some songs she enjoys to seamlessly lend R&B colors to her voice across genres.

Her new album Out Of The Box (2018) appears like a reorientation of the established jazz singer. “When you reach the milestone of 50, many things begin to cross your mind,” Lori declares. “Out of the Box is a deliberate breakaway from me being stereotyped as ‘Lori only does this’ – this being straight ahead jazz. For me to be recognized and respected within that music has been quite an accomplishment but there is more to me. Out of the Box is a Neo-Soul Jazz project”.

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Kandace Springs – Indigo

Singer and pianist Kandace Springs has announced a September 7 release date for her remarkable second album Indigo, a 13-track LP of originals and choice covers that showcases the full breadth of Kandace’s artistry from smoldering R&B (“Piece of Me”) to gorgeous jazz ballads (“Unsophisticated” featuring Roy Hargrove) to the pop songcraft of “Breakdown” and “Don’t Need The Real Thing,” the album’s lead single which is out today. All but two tracks are produced by drummer/producer Karriem Riggins (Common, Erykah Badu) with additional production by Jamie Hartman (Rag’n’Bone Man), Jimmy Hogarth (Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae), Jimmy Harry (Madonna, P!nk) and Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken (Rihanna). Indigo is available to pre-order now on vinyl, CD or download.

For Kandace it boils down to a question that connects past to present: “What would Nina Simone do if she had the technology of today? You could never put Nina in a box—she would do a blues followed a classical piece, a jazz standard and then a Beatles cover. This LP took a lot of inspiration from that—it’s a mix of everything that I am.” Indigo offers a fairly plausible answer to that impossible query: songs that swirl classical composition with quiet-storm cool, jazz poise with hip-hop swing, tropical warmth with soulful depth, and earthen groove with airy psych.

Given that diverse palette, Karriem was exactly the right person to work with Kandace to catalyze the best parts of various interests into something new. “I love crossing genres and the direction on Indigo was to marry all the different things to tell her story,” says Karriem, who tracked his drums at various studios while on the road with Diana Krall, and chopped and reassembled his and Kandace’s recordings into what you hear. “It sounds organic because everything was built around the songwriting. She says so much on the piano, and her voice is amazing—it’s the focal point of the whole sound.” Continue reading

Jake Shimabukuro – The Greatest Day

As a member of the group Pure Heart, Jake Shimabukuro became a local phenomenon. From Hawai’i, his fame next spread to Japan. He was signed to Epic Records (Sony/Japan) in 2001 as a solo artist. It was the start of what would become a deep catalog of solo albums, noted for their dazzling fretwork, ambitious repertoire and wistful melodicism. And in 2005, Shimabukuro became an international phenomenon when a video of him performing the George Harrison song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral on YouTube.

“At the time, I didn’t even know what YouTube was,” Jake laughs. “Nobody did, especially in Hawai’i. But I had some friends who were going to college on the mainland and they sent me a link to the video. By the time I saw it, it already had millions of views. My name wasn’t even on it then. All it said was ‘Asian guy shreds on ukulele,’ or something like that. That’s what opened up the doors to touring in North America, Europe, Asia and beyond. It was a big turning point for me.

Widespread acclaim brought high-visibility collaborations with a wide range of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Dave Koz, Michael McDonald, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Tommy Emmanuel, and Marty Friedman. Jake Shimabukuro has topped Billboard’s World Music Chart on numerous occasions, and has sold out prestigious venues and festivals such as the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Sydney Opera House, Wolf Trap, Bonnaroo, SXSW, and the Playboy Jazz Festival. He even played for Queen Elizabeth II at The Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England.

His new album The Greatest Day can be ordered on Amazon.com.

Peter Herold – All That I’Am

The former saxophonist of internationally acclaimed Hungarian Smooth Jazz group The Peet Project, Peter Herold, brings the same funky grooves, emotional intensity and wild abandon to “Love of God,” his infectious new pop, gospel and Smooth Jazz infused single as a solo artist. Weaving his sax between the passionate lead vocals of onetime Hungarian X Factor finalist Nico Ross and a small chorus echoing the song title, Herold truly makes jazz a heartfelt and rousing spiritual experience.

Péter Herold, 31 years old, is musician and graphic artist. He tries to pass through all the impulses that come to life, both good and bad. He expresses this accumulated experience with music or visual representation and turn it back into the world.

Now his debut album All That I’Am follows on September 15, 2018.

Jimmy Haslip, Scott Kinsey, Gergö Borlai – ARC Trio

The jazz fusion musicians Jimmy Haslip, Scott Kinsey, Gergö Borlai have come together under the band name ARC Trio to create their eclectic imagination of how fusion jazz has to sound. Each musician comes from a different cultural background, but they are united in the direction of the joint project.

The most famous member is certainly bassist Jimmy Haslip who was a founding member and 32 year band mate of The Yellowjackets, before he decided to concentrate his activity in a plethora of different undertakings and formations. Among the artists he has played with are names such as David Sanborn, Pat Metheny, Al Jarreau, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, George Harrison, Chaka Khan, Diana Ross and many more.

Keyboardist and pianist Scott Kinsey has worked with Joe Zawinul, John McLaughlin, Pete Erskine, Victor Wooten, Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, Bill Evans, John Patitucci, John Scofield among others. Hungarian drummer Gergö Borlai is professor at the Liceu Academy/Jazz department in Barcelona and performed with jazz stars like Al DiMeola and Hiram Bullock. Guest musicians on this album are drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Gary Novak, Steve Tavaglione on sax, flute and EWI, and Judd Miller on EVI.

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Dave Stephens – Back on My Feet

Recorded in 2017 against a backdrop of an accident that had Dave Stephens laid-up. Following his recovery he was able to start putting down his musical ideas and came up with the Back On My Feet album. Each title reflecting different aspects of this difficult period for the guitarist. “The ideas came very fast once I was able to get back on my feet…” said Stephens, “I guess that I had had various ideas playing in my head, but just couldn’t get to the studio to put them down at that time!”

This continues Dave’s development as a composer of melodic contemporary jazz, (sometimes known as smooth jazz). He is pleased with the result and hopes that you, the listener, will enjoy the music.

Track the album at CDBaby.

Bob Baldwin – Bob Baldwin Presents Abbey Road and The Beatles

Across a career for which a two decade milestone was achieved in 2013 with his twentieth CD Twenty, Bob Baldwin has proven to be one of the most ubiquitous and ingenious chameleons of Contemporary Jazz – both in his own projects and those he has endeavored upon for others. Recently, he has twice honored the canons of giants: Never Can Say Goodbye: A Tribute to Michael Jackson (2010) and Betcha By Golly Wow / The Songs of Thom Bell (2012).

On September 21, 2018 Bob will release his newest project Bob Baldwin Presents Abbey Road and The Beatles, his 25th album. When you take the Beatles vibe and add some Baldwin-ism flava, you get a cool blend. The CD features Lori Williams, Ragan Whiteside, Dave Anderson, Tony Lewis (bass/drum) and more.

You can pre-order the album on Amazon.com.

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