Skip Martin – Formal Dining

Skip Martin, lead vocalist and trumpeter (Dazz Band and Kool & the Gang) delivers a true master piece with Formal Dining. This 11 track CD features Skip’s soulful vocals on jazz tracks such as ‘Since I Fell For You’ and ‘Feel The Fire’ and soaring trumpet solos on ‘Around Midnight’ and ‘Send One Your Love’

What else would you expect with a production team made up of 11-time GRAMMY nominated artist Tom Schuman of Sypro Gyra and GRAMMY award winner Skip Martin (Dazz Band and Kool & the Gang). This new production team JTS Productions (Just Tom & Skip Productions) truly released at CDBaby.

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Dan Reynolds – River Maiden

Dan Reynolds started his career performing regularly with DC-based jazz greats such as Marshall Keys, Ron Holloway, Keter Betts, Scott Ambush, Vinny Valentino, & Keith Killgo of the Blackbyrds. He also worked with Eddie Harris, Larry Coryell, Najee, Maysa, Ken Navarro and many more.

His first solo project Never Alone (1993) was followed by Lifeline (1994), To Be Sure (2000) and now River Maiden. Greg and Gary Grainger, Marshall Keys, Al Williams, & Scott Ambush are among the artists of this album. To classify his album just as smooth doesn’t do justice to his musical art. His work deserves a closer observation.

Last Chance is the starting point of all good. Dan’s piano and Rob Holmes’ sax introduce into the melody expanding to awesome solo performances of Dan and guitarist Dan Leonhard which bridge the fragments of the melody line. The song is closed by Rob’s final subtle sax solo.

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Melvin Pierce – Something To Remember

Melvin Pierce was born in Brooklyn, NY, but was raised in Marrero, LA, a city right outside of New Orleans. With Jazz flowing through the heart of the city, the music bee stung him at an early age. He is a self-taught trumpet player. In 2005, he debuted his first cd, The Journey, smooth jazz groove with soft lyrics that left his new fans wanting more.

His sophomore cd, Something To Remember, picks up where The Journey left off. Upbeat and flowing jazz sounds will take your musical soul on a journey that you’ll want to remember. Melvin’s new album is available at CDBaby.

George Anderson – Positivity

The bass player in Shakatak George Anderson has released his new solo project entitled Positivity. The album is available via iTunes or via George’s website. “Lay Ur Hands On Me” already playlisted on Jazz FM. The new album continues George’s love for Soul and Funk music with influences like Louis Johnson, Larry Graham, Chuck Rainey, Chris Squire and Andy Fraser.

Ronald Jackson called the album a genuine blend of smooth charisma, dirty funk, top-shelf vocals by one Debby Bracknell (a name to remember!), and instrumental mastery. Sample the album here.

Various Artists – Wavemusic Volume 14

Set to a luscious canvass of lavender skies and the dripping light of the evening sun, with the sweet smell of a hot summer’s day still lingering in the air. The Colombe d’Or hotel near the Côte d’Azur is a place to savor the beauty of the moment, enveloping its guests in an aura of clear, cloudless serenity. The result is a unique atmosphere that once provided inspiration for Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and many other pioneering painters.

This magical location provides the perfect backdrop for Wavemusic Volume 14. Artists such as Norah Jones, Maysa Leak, Rick Braun, Mark Antoine, Joyce Cooling and Peter Getz deliver a musical journey for dreamers and romantics alike. To order Wavemusic Volume 14 visit Wavemusic.de.

Chris Mann interviews Peter White

CM – Peter, I want to start by congratulating you on the release of ‘Good Day’, which I’ve been playing hard in the two days that I’ve had a copy.

I read that some of the songs on the new CD, which I know features original material, were written some time ago – what brought them back to your attention?

PW – As musicians we like to keep every idea – we’re like misers. I read that somewhere and it’s true. If you have an idea, what you think is a good idea, you may not use it at that time but you keep it around in case one day you don’t have any ideas.

I wrote a lot of these songs 10 or 15 years ago – there’s a song called ‘Ramon’s Revenge’. There never seemed a place for it on any of my albums, but last year I said ‘I’m going to record this song – I don’t care whether or not it gets played on the radio’. I don’t record songs to get played on the radio. I record them because I like them and because I’ve got fans out there who want to hear my stuff.

People kept saying to me ‘you’ve recorded enough cover songs – we want to hear your own songs’. So I thought ‘well, I’ve got a lot of those’.

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Craig Sharmat – So Cal Drivin

The encounter with Craig Sharmat reveals a personality of a special kind. Influenced by artists like Larry Carlton, Pat Metheny and George Benson he soon had the lucky opportunity to share the stage with platinum selling jazz saxophonist Ronnie Laws and the not little-known jazz singer Randy Crawford. Although he arranged and programmed for chart topping trumpet player Rick Braun’s album Yours Truly and arranged strings on Peter White, Mindy Abair and Rick Braun’s 2007 Christmas Album he wasn’t caught by my smooth jazz radar screen.

The reason is simply explainable. Mainly he is fostering merits as a brilliant film composer. So he composed trailers for movies like King Kong, Ghost Rider, Eragon, Anchorman, wrote songs for the TV series like CSI Miami, Without A Trace and many more. His credits are overwhelming. Certainly enough to review his debut album So Cal Drivin, which was just released October, 2009.

The album presents his band Comfort Zone (John Balbuena, keys, Chris Mostert, sax, David Chamberlin, bass, Rich Diamond, drums) furthermore guest artists including Rick Braun, Greg Matheison, Mike White, Philippe Saisse, Dino Soldo, Billy Hulting, Steve Billman, Andy Suzuki and more. We should not forget Craig, who plays on all tracks electric guitar and in addition on some tracks keys, percussion and programming.

Blinded by such a great list of illuminates I approach Craig’s album with a certain respect. So Cal Drivin, a song about Drivin’ along the coast of Southern California, transmits the spirit of relaxed freedom, we all want to internalize, when we stuck in the middle lane of a So Cal freeway flailing our arms in frustration about the dense traffic. Turn your radio on and let Craig’s guitar music flow.

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