Daniel Domenge – Patchwork

Some critics define smooth jazz as universal language around the world, which is absolutely true. But we shouldn’t underestimate the French influence. Take for example the brilliant keyboard player Philippe Saisse, or the guitarist Emmanuel Abiteboul, better known as U-NAM, furthermore guitarist Marc Antoine, who turned out to be a real globetrotter.

But let’s concentrate on guitarist Daniel Domengue, who calls the French city Languedoc-Roussillon his home and musical center. During the years 2007/2008 he recorded his debut album Patchwork. Daniel was supported by his friends Emmanuel Beer (Hammond B3 & Rhodes electric piano), Bruno Monard (drums), Thierry Gautier (organ solo on Influences) and Reynald Evrard (additional drums & percussion programming), who also recorded, mixed and mastered the album.

The album begins with Smoothjames, a delicate guitar piece presenting Daniel’s elegant loops. I admit, since my first George Benson albums I love the sound of this guitar. But hey, Daniel Domenge is on top of the game and provides some nice acoustic surprises. That can mainly be put down to the very intelligent keyboards accompany.

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Tim Barker – David to Saul

Tim Barker, a master of tenor sax, offers his all original, unique sound. The album is entitled David to Saul and worth a listen. Tim created this album to make you feel refreshed. My personal favorites are the songs Still Believe and Without You.

Recorded in 2008 the album is now available at CDBaby.

Urban Funk – Heroes And Legends

Urban Funk presents Heroes And Legends, a compilation of legendary compositions performed by an heroic cadre of east coast musicians. Look, what they have to tell about this project:

“The story of this Epic is certainly a Saga. What began as a plan to record some of our favorite artists has developed into a vision of a life’s journey, adventure and chronicle that we want to share with you. The Legends of our youth were icons. Their music shaped our development and continues to influence our world. The Hero’s who perform on this project were carefully chosen, and they did so at a high level. These artist all, took valuable time from their daily endeavors to contribute to this grateful project and we are forever indebted.

Influenced at an impressionable age, we were seized by the icons of our time as they took root as some of the most influential artist of all time. Their ability to synthesize the elements that went before them and transpose it into yet newer genre’s of music is what sets them apart and made them part of one of the most dynamic periods of musical history we may ever know.

Sacrifice, diligence, perseverance, challenge, triumph, tragedy and success are the hallmarks of many literary representations, the events leading to the culmination of the publishing of this compilation included all.

This project was formulated through a single-track recording process. The number of tracks created, edited, deleted, modified, automated, mixed, and mastered have become a blur over the period of several years, and are certainly in the hundreds. Our intent to select the musicians, instrumentation and arrangement was to pay homage and elaborate on the creativity of our teachers, guru’s and masters of an art form we love. The original material is a culmination of the experiences performing, recording and representing the pulse of the era’s in which we participated. The talent of the artist, engineers and technicians who assisted us was a team effort which while not unique in this type of exercise was certainly significant and beyond the scope of what we originally requested and made this production what it is. The stories shared by our partners were from the history books of musical legend. The road trips, performances and studio contributions with the leaders of our industry were truly a marvel and created a sense of awe as we toiled through session after session and kept us going. When we thought we were there, we were not and many times tracks created far in the past would shine like diamonds in the sun to become the final detail that exceeded our greatest expectation. Have I said enough, not likely, I know there is more…..”

Heroes And Legends is now available at CDBaby.

Mark Barrios – West Tampa Style

Mark Barrios is a professional musician from Tampa Florida. He has been honing his craft playing lead and rhythm guitar in working bands for over 25 years. His unique guitar style fills a niche in the current music scene. Some of his influences are Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton and Larry Carlton. Music styles include Funk, Blues, Soul and Contemporary Christian.

He thrives on a live band setting and enjoys playing with other energetic and inspiring musicians. He enjoys playing rhythm guitar as much as lead. For the last few years the guitarist has had the pleasure to be one of the founding members of the hottest band in the Tampa-bay area, “Off the Cuff”, which has been performing at the “Fox”, a local New York style Jazz club, where the band had it’s genesis. Mark has just completed his solo CD project with smooth jazz recording artist Allon Sams who has performed and recorded with artist such as Paul Brown, Boney James, Peter White and David Sanborn to name a few.

Mark comments:  “Recording this album has been a dream come true for me. It’s been something I wanted to do for a long time. Working with Allon Sams and all the other great musicians has been a real honor. I like to listen to and play many different styles of music, so it was hard to decide on what kind of CD I wanted to make. Allon is at the forfront of the Smooth Jazz sound so it was an easy dicision to go in that direction. I’m glad we did because I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

There’s a nice blend of different influences. From Latin Rock to funk. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed playing it.”

West Tampa Style is a good choice at CDBaby.

Freeze Frame – Colors Of Summer

Ray Bach better known under his project-name Freeze Frame started his career with the legendary debut album The Book of Moviescores (1989), which was released on IC Digit in 1991. He stayed connected with this label in the following years with The Crossover (1992), Loving Life (1994), Feelin’ So Good (1996), and A Balanced World (1999).

After a long hiatus he returned in 2006 with his album Transition now followed by the album Colors Of Summer (2009). Ray Bach has written and performed all tracks. Further supporting musicians are Stephan Gade (guitars), Lars Slowak (bass) and Niels Karsten (trumpet). Ray Back’s style belongs to the fields of smooth jazz, new electronic and Pop. He is a representative of the European smooth jazz with a slight but significant difference to the American Urban influenced approach.

The starting tune Silver Sunrise enjoys with a full sounding well arranged theme revealing Ray’s signature sound and equipment. Ray’s affinity to synthesizers, keyboards and piano shows his great perspective and skills.

Continue reading Freeze Frame – Colors Of Summer

Eddie Bullen & Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo – Havana Nights

Smooth Jazz with a Latin vibe. This collaborative album highlights the best of artists, smooth jazz pianist, Eddie Bullen and Cuban/Canadian percussionist, Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo. The pair have created an evocative, smooth collection of music that brings the listener all the way to Cuba and the Caribbean leaving the listener mesmerized.

This smooth collection of tunes creates a vibe of “romance mixed with sunsets and harmonies on the rocks”. Destined to become a smooth jazz classic both in Canada and internationally, this collection is a must have for all smooth jazz fans. A real offer for you at CDBaby.

Alex Bugnon – Going Home

Alex Bugnon turns his head to jazz. His long-awaited, funky new release  this time in a traditional Jazz Sextet format of piano, bass, drums and three horns, featuring Poogie Bell, Victor Bailey, Vincent Henry, Greg Boyer and Barry Danielian is entitled Going Home.

Alex Bugnon comments his new album: “I really liked that idea of doing a a ‘60s inspired record, with a Les McCann/Eddie Harris or Jazz Crusaders vibe , but I wanted to include a little more jazz than that, more towards a Herbie Hancock/Blue Note era Quintet or Sextet kind of vibe. You know, with two horns or three horns. That’s what I was going for.

At first, I really wasn’t sure what to write. The first three months of 2009 found me home practicing every day, anywhere from 4 to 6 hours a day, which is something that I haven’t done since I was at Berklee. The rest of the time I was listening to Ahmad Jamal, especially the album The Awakening, one of my favorites. I was listening to Herbie’s whole Blue Note catalog, Les McCann, Miles piano players like Horace Silver, Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans and Miles Davis himself, Dave Brubeck – I realized that in the sixties, this music was the popular, commercial music of the time.

Back then, this sound was really hip and underground…and very commercial, especially the music of Miles and certain tunes of Herbie. You don’t need synthesizers, drum machines and nursery rhymes. You don’t need all that to be marketable. Watermelon Man and Cantaloupe Island were huge hits. Guys were really playing on those records. So, you can see the concept for Going Home came from a lot of listening and practicing.

At a certain time in April, I started to come up with new material. Something unlocked in me, because of all that listening and practicing that I did. the writing for the new record came from that. It was totally natural. I didn’t have to sit down and scratch my head for hours. The tunes just came in minutes. That’s how this record came about.”

Going Home is released at CDBaby.