Organissimo – B3tles: A Soulful Tribute to the Fab Four

It’s difficult to imagine any mainstream pop or rock band covered more than The Beatles. And jazz musicians are like pirates finding buried treasure as they peruse the Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Star songbook. Organissimo takes the music to a different arena with B3tles: A Soulful Tribute to the Fab Four (Big O Records, 2017).

Alfredson plays the Hammond B3 organ, Wurlitzer electric piano and synthesizers. His accompanists are Lawrence Barris, guitar; and Randy Marsh, drums. Percussionist Bill Vits joins for a few tracks, and Mike List plays tabla on “Within You Without You.”

“Taxman” enters a new world at the fingers of Alfredson. The beat starts with a funky groove. The verses and choruses are relatively straightforward. Then the organ goes on an excursion, making good on the 19-to-1 offer, stated in George Harrison’s lyrics. After the middle solo, the call-and-response interlude repeats, leading to a phrase where the base rhythm continues, with Barris stretching out. The song closes with the main theme.

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Marc Antoine and David Benoit – So Nice!

The historic meeting of 2 contemporary jazz giants! These trailblazing artists have scored more than 25 #1 Smooth Jazz radio hits, sold over 2 million albums and toured the world over for more than 20 years! A perfect blending of these great artist’s instrumental styles, So Nice! Combines the cool grooves of Smooth Jazz with the exotic sensuality of Brazilian music, and the result is pure magic. Highlights include Antonio Carlos Jobim’s classic samba “So Danco Samba,” the popular international favorite “So Nice” and eight inspired Benoit/Antoine originals! The first single, the funky “Caminando,” will be worked to the Smooth Jazz format along with extensive touring in support of the album.

All together you can order it now at Amazon.com.

Julian Vaughn – Bona Fide

Kansas City very own bass player Julian Vaughn has already three jokers on his hand, his self-released debut The Purpose Project (2010), Breakthrough (2012) and Limitless (2015). Now he plays his fourth joker Bona Fide (2017), the third album which is released on the label Trippin’ N Rhythm.

Julian performs on all tracks with the exception of Bona Fide bass and gathered together on selected tracks some fine names of the smooth jazz scene such as Mel Brown (bass), Adam Hawley, Matt Godina, Justus West, Gerey Johnson and Mike Hart (guitar), Nicholas Cole, Jeremy Nixon, Aaron Mayfield (keyboards), Jeremy Thomas (keyboards, organ), Elan Trotman, Marcus Anderson, LeBron Dennis and Steve Cole (sax), Lin Rountree (trumpet), Lester Estelle and Marcus Finnie (drums), Anthony Saunders and Isaac Cates (vocals).

Julian Vaughn has written most of the tracks with the exception of three songs. The album takes a fulminate start with the title song featuring Steve Cole on sax and Mel Brown on bass. Steve Cole has compiled a full program with overdub and a polished arrangement, while Mel performs the bass in a Wayman Tisdale mode similar to Julian’s treatment of the bass.

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Macy Blackman and the Mighty Fines – Shoorah Shoorah: The Songs of Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint

The project began with a conversation between Macy Blackman and Allen Toussaint shortly before the latter’s death in 2015. In tribute to Toussaint and his longtime partner, Irma Thomas, Macy Blackman and the Mighty Fines present Shoorah Shoorah: The Songs of Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint.

The players are Blackman, piano, cornet, guitar and vocals; Nancy Wright, tenor saxophone and vocals; Ken “Snakebite” Jacobs, baritone saxophone; Bing Nathan, upright bass and background vocals; Larry Vann, drums and tambourine; and Kit Robberson, viola da gamba on “With You in Mind.”

The band delivers a playful, sassy take on “Working in the Coal Mine.” The piece is accented by the drum shuffle, the saxophones and Nathan’s bass line. Blackman sings lead.

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Peet Project – The Bad Boys of Budapest

TheBadBoysOfBudapestNew Peet Project album The Bad Boys of Budapest to be released on July 28, 2017. The new release follows in the footsteps of the band’s springtime hit Rosy Cheeks (featuring Dave Koz and remixed by Paul Brown) that spent 14 weeks in the Billboard Smooth Jazz Top 30, peaking at #18. In addition to Dave Koz and Paul Brown on Rosy Cheeks, featured artists on the new release include master keyboarder Jonathan Fritzén, vocalist extraordinaire James Copley (from the French funk-jazz sensation Electro Deluxe) and Hungarian singer/bassist ace Gáspár Laci.

The album includes a host of brand new tracks that showcase the band’s trademark jazz-infused pop sound in its hippest form, along with all singles released since the previous album.
The album title is the nickname the boys got from fellow musicians at the 2016 Dave Koz Cruise – The Bad Boys of Budapest.

Jamhunters – Nightclub

After their self titled debut album (2006), and follow-ups Music Speaks Louder Than Words (2008), Driftin’ (2011) and Colortones (2015) Danish group Jamhunters are back with Nightclub (2017).

Supportive members of the new project are the musicians Christina Boelskifte (vocals), Klaus Menzer (drums), and Peter Hansen (bass). All tunes are composed, arranged and produced by the creative duo Lars Fabiansen (guitars) and Peter Michael (grand piano).

Jamhunters introduce into the album with Welcome to the Nightclub, an atmospheric prologue. The Palm Tree – Part II ties up to Under The Palmtree from the album Driftin’ with a contemplative jazz excursion. A more eclectic approach compared to the mainstream of the original.

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Soil & “Pimp” Sessions – Black Track

Don’t let the name fool you. Soil & “Pimp” Sessions is a group of Japanese musicians whose brand of jazz is unconventional, yet noteworthy. Their new release, Black Track (Red River Entertainment, 2017) combines elements of what’s commonly known as “black music,” a mix of R&B, hip-hop and jazz.

“By Your Side” features special guests Bambu and Nia Andrews. It’s a soulful rap. Unlike conventional hip-hop where the rap and the beat are all that matters, this song is underscored by a hybrid of smooth jazz and R&B instrumentation. Bambu handles the rap skillfully, like some of the old-school artists of the genre. Andrews provides a change of mood, singing the melody in a soft, romantic style. As the song progresses, a lead vocal sings different lyrics while the title is sung in the background, following the phrase of “For Your Love,” an obscure album track from producer Peter Brown’s only release as a vocalist. The piano and soprano sax are prominent throughout.

“Black Milk” is a lively instrumental. The main theme features the soprano out front, joined by a trumpet on alternating phrases. Emphasis on bass line and percussion complementing the other instruments. The piano and soprano are frantic during their high-speed solos. And just when you think they’re about to revert to the main theme, the soprano enters a mind-blowing sequence, with the piano offering a Latin-style counter-solo.

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