Jimmy Haslip – Red Heat

Bassist Jimmy Haslip is commonly known as founding member of the jazz fusion group the Yellowjackets. He mainly spreads his wings in the jazz fusion genre where he is involved as a sideman in numerous collaborative projects. He is also very popular as a bassist in the field of smooth jazz.

Compared to his frequent collaborations, his solo releases are somewhat sparse. His debut album Arc was released in 1993. His sophomore album Red Heat was released in 2000 on Unitone Recordings followed by Nightfall in 2010 on VIE Records. The latter two albums are now newly released on Blue Canoe Recordings.

Even though it is a solo album, Red Heat is a joint project of Haslip and Joe Vannelli. Jimmy performs on his album electric bass, acoustic bass guitar, synth bass, fretless bass, additional keyboards, drum and additional percussion programming, background vocals, horn arrangements. Joe Vannelli plays keyboards, synth bass, drum programming, additional percussion programming, horn and string arrangements.

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Jimmy Haslip feat. Joe Vannelli – Red Heat and Nightfall

Bass phenom and multi-grammy winning artist Jimmy Haslip, re-releases his albums titled, “Red Heat (feat. Joe Vannelli)” and “Nightfall (feat. Joe Vannelli)”. Jimmy and Joe’s collaboration is a remarkable partnership in masterful artistry, both in performance and production. Fans of Jimmy and Joe will be moved by the memorable compositions, incredible playing, and masterful interplay displayed on both albums “Red Heat” and “Nightfall“.

Fans of Jimmy and Joe will be moved by the memorable compositions, incredible playing, and masterful interplay displayed on “Red Heat”, dedicated to Jimmy Haslip’s father James J. F. Haslip and by the love and dedication on full display documented in this beautiful masterpiece titled, “Nightfall”, dedicated to Jimmy Haslip’s daughter Gabriela.

Available in all online stores.

H Allan – BAM!

H Allan is a guitar player who likes to shred yet his career has always been closely tied to the saxophone thus it’s natural that the title track to his EP that drops Friday, “BAM!” was written by and for a sax player. Allan’s rocking rendition of the pumped up, horn-powered original penned by Horace-Alexander Young, who appears on Allan’s version, began collecting playlist adds on Monday. Allan produced the EP and four of the five tracks were mixed and mastered by Robert Martin (Frank Zappa).

Allan’s first job after college was as the artist rep for LA Sax Company and he often traveled with saxophonists to various music education conferences. He brought his guitar with him and after being on the floor all day, he and the artists would head to a local nightclub to sit in with local musicians. During one impromptu jam session in San Antonio with Allan, Young wrote “BAM!” and it was recorded and released on an LA Sax Company compilation CD in 1995 that was distributed to music stores as an instrument demo and was sent to radio stations.

“We had a great time at these spontaneous jam sessions. One night at a river walk bar, we played with a group and Horace wrote this song. I’ve loved the song and since it was originally done on sax, I thought it should be done on guitar with an all-star cast of the best players,” said Allan, who was joined on the track by Young, drummer Eric Valentine, keyboardist Ron Reinhardt, Keith Vivens (bass and vocal line) and trumpeter-trombonist Steve Jankowski (Nile Rodgers and Chic). Continue reading

Greg Foat – Symphonie Pacifique

Strut is proud to announce the new album by UK jazz pianist, Greg Foat, ‘Symphonie Pacifique’, released on 3rd July 2020. Foat has become a versatile mainstay in UK jazz through an acclaimed series of albums on Jazzman and Athens Of The North, moving from soul-jazz workouts to library music to cinematic, haunting compositions and pastoral acid folk. ‘Symphonie Pacifique’ goes expansive and widescreen, building a lush soundscape using choral textures, harp and tubular bells. “It has been a hallmark of my previous albums to use choral voices and tubular bells to sound more like chordal instruments,” explains Foat. “I used pedal steel for the first time on these tracks.” All are showcased on the atmospheric ‘After The Storm’. “This piece was completely improvised during our last day of studio time,” continues Foat. “The assistant engineer had set up an arpeggio on the synthesizer as a metronome; the harp and guitar created an ostinato, myself and others soloed over it and we later added choir and strings. Eventually, we took the arpeggio off to leave a calm, serene piece of music.”

Upping the tempo, Foat brings in sensual groove-based tracks like the undulating ‘Anticipation’, the album title track and Groove Merchant-channelling ‘Nikinakinu’. “This was one for my stepson Nicky,” explains Foat. “I worked up this idea with him and my Zimbabwean drummer friend Sam Chagumachinyi so it has a slightly African feel to it and uses pentatonic scales.” Other tracks include the languid, simmering ‘Island Life’ and a moving tribute to KPM library legend Duncan Lamont on the reflective ‘Lament For Lamont’. “Duncan was one of the unsung heroes of British jazz. He played with Sinatra, composed some incredible library music and his 1970 album ‘Best Of The Bossa Novas’ was one of the biggest selling UK jazz albums of all time. I recorded with him for my album ‘The Mage’ a few years ago and he was genuinely the nicest guy I have ever played with. He was looking forward to working on this album but sadly passed away a couple of months before the sessions, so we really wanted to record this tribute to him.”

The album is a truly international collaboration, recorded analogue and produced by Greg Foat at London’s Fish Factory studios with strings recorded in Edinburgh and choir in Gothenburg. The album was mixed by Mattias Glava at Kungsten Studios in Gothenburg. Cover artwork is based on a painting by early 20th Century Algerian / Parisian artist Henry Valensi. ‘Symphonie Pacifique’ marks another major step forward in Foat’s evolution as one of the UK’s leading jazz pianists and composers and is released on CD, 2LP and digital / streaming.

The album is available on bandcamp.

Tray White – A New Day

 Philly-born multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, Tray White has released his new EP A New Day. You can listen to this EP here. Tray’s new project is advertised by smoothjazz.com.

You can inbox Tray on Facebook for a copy.

Dee Lucas – The Time Is Now

National recording artist and saxophonist Dee Lucas has been steadily growing his brand and fan base beginning with Remembrance in 2004. Thereafter, it has been a steady showcase of unique stylings with Something to Ride 2 (2007), Standing Room Only (2010), Rebirth of the Smooth (2012), The Smooth Factor (2014), Going Deeper (2016), The Sweet Spot (2017) & Going Left (2018).

Lucas got his start as a musician playing as a sideman in a local band, Between 9&7. The band recorded a CD, which was a moderate regional hit. Although he got performances, both rhythm and solos, Lucas felt it was time to develop his own by ensemble to demand more challenges within himself as both a musician and entrepreneur. So, on New Year’s Eve of 1999, Lucas formed his own contemporary jazz trio, Xpressions. They produced and recorded a CD titled Footprints, which gained notoriety in regional markets. The record contained the classic hit People Make the World Go Round.

His newest album The Time Is Now will be released in September, 2020. The album is produced by the following: Darryl Williams, George Freeman, Adam Omar Hawley, Lew Laing Jr, Gino Luigino, A. Rosaria, & David P Stevens. Additional musicians & artists include Donnell Spencer Jr, Blake Aaron, Eric Valentine, Mel Brown, Joseph Pizzolato, Dee Cole, Andrew Freeman, Darrell Crooks, & Rymand Entezari.

The album is already available on Dee’s website.

Dante Fire – Night Bass

Dante Fire has played bass and drums since the age of 12. He has also produced over 20 albums. Since his chance meeting with Arsenio Hall at the Comedy Store, in Hollywood, and his work on the infamous Carlos Martinez Show, Dante has led the jazz fusion group Cross-Effect through some very good times. One of his career highlights is holding down the bass chair in the band of legendary “Funk Master” Rick James. Dante’s earlier work included hip hop work with Word$ Of Mouth featuring Thump/Universal rap artist Bossolo. Production and direction of music videos like ‘Insane’ that aired on MTV’s YO MTV Raps program in the 90’s. Or, “Love Exorcist“ from his 2013 Dark Angel album.

He obtained his Bachelor’s from the University of Redlands and his MBA from the University of Phoenix. Dante has taught drums privately and lectures at the college level on music business at The Art Institute of San Diego. Dante has also guest lectured on the history of African Drumming at The Los Angeles Academy of Arts, The Orange County School District, Loma Linda Academy, and La Sierra Academy. Additionally, Dante worked under Judy Valsi at EMI Records along with Monte Lipman, current CEO of Universal Republic before starting Music Mattress, Inc./Blue Note Digital LLC.

Listen to his new album Night Bass on Spotify.

Yuga Koguchi – Stay Home Recordings

Yuga Koguchi was born February 27, 1988 in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. He started his professional career as a teenager, attracting attention for his outstanding performances and songs. He made a major debut in TRI-Offensive in 2008. He joined the group TRIX in 2011 and released 6 albums to date. In 2014 he released his first solo album Picture. In the supervised instructional book the innovative idea has shocked the guitar world. He is a guitarist who has earned a lot of trust by recording and performing with many artists regardless of genre.

His newest project is Stay Home Recordings. You can buy it on all major distribution branches.

Ricardo Bacelar – Nothing Will Be As It Was

Brazil is leading the world per capita in coronavirus cases making it unlikely that people will be cramming into a concert venue anytime soon to hear live music. Then there is the recent unrest that erupted in response to civil injustices in the US that bodes to spark meaningful change around the world. These are the events that inspired contemporary jazz pianist Ricardo Bacelar to release a new version of the Milton Nascimento classic “Nothing Will Be As It Was (Nada Sera Como Antes)” as a single ahead of the release of his “Live in Rio (Ao Vivo No Rio)” album, which drops August 21 from Bacelar Productions.

“‘Nothing Will Be As It Was’ summarizes the existential questions raised globally by the coronavirus pandemic. Add to it the civil injustice and unrest that has surfaced over the last couple of weeks with Black Lives Matter, which is an especially important movement. We’re talking about the subject here in Brazil, too. We have a lot of problems with racism here, but our people have not yet taken the streets to protest and have social demonstrations. The world is watching the United States and people are talking about these issues everywhere,” said Bacelar who produced the 11-song “Live in Rio” collection.

Bacelar’s 2018 album, “Sebastiana,” contains a very different version of “Nothing Will Be As It Was,” which was sung in English by American singer Maye Osorio and accompanied by an animated video that suited the pop-electronic rendition of the song. The new live version has a different arrangement and features Bacelar dueting with Brazilian vocalist-pianist Delia Fischer in Portuguese backed by a jazz band. Continue reading

Tracey Eileen – It’s Time

Chicago born R&B/jazz singer Tracey Eileen is since eleven years in the music business and developed from a local player to an internationally known soul/R&B artist. Starting with her debut album Love’s Journey in 2012 she arrived to her second album Why Did I Say Yes (2018). Her third project is the EP It’s Time, which appears delayed by the pandemic in June 12, 2020.

Opener of the album is the single Somehow Someway, which like most of her songs deals with interpersonal relationships and also contains biographical elements. The song was produced by Kendall Duffie (Cloud 9), who also performs synthesizer, drum programming and synth bass on it.

Now That We’re Here is also a commitment to togetherness. Donald Hayes underlines the tenderness in Tracey’s voice on saxophone. Sweeter With Time is a love ballad which focuses on the growth of love in a community. The special feature of Tracey’s performance is not only her voice but also the ingenious use of her vocals in the arrangement, for which she constantly finds new approaches.

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