Davd Sanborn – Only Everything

Davd Sanborn is one of the most respected sax players worldwide. To be the most known or the most influential sax player, is not the role David rely on. Quite the reverse, with his new album Only Everything he pays tribute to the great singer Ray Charles.

“If anyone would ask me what Ray—or Ray’s musicians—meant to me, my answer might be, only everything,” says David. “As a concept, Only Everything, is about gratitude. I’m grateful not only for the musical life I’ve been able to live, but the original sources of inspiration that continue to inform and excite me fifty years after encountering them.” Ray Charles was David’s inspiration and muse as he comments in his further statement.

Only Everything is scheduled for release on Decca, on January 26, 2010. Joey Defrancesco on Hammond B3 organ is the keystone on David album. “For my money, Joey is the ruling monarch of the Hammond B3. His mastery of the instrument is complete. But more than a technically remarkable player, Joey has a feeling that’s unparalleled. No one grooves harder, yet no one relaxes deeper,” David states.

Third player on board is drummer legend Steve Gadd. “A remarkable drummer who plays in service of the music. He colors his drum tones with subtlety, pushing us forward even as he lays back,” David enthuses. Guest vocalists are Joss Stone (Let the Good Times Roll) and James Taylor (Hallelujah I Love Her So).

Provided with this information we start the album review with The Peeper, David’s homage to Hank Crawford, who composed this song for his album From The Heart (1962). In the style of Duke Ellington’s swing David takes the torch from Hank with great respect for the original version. The difference makes Joey Defrancesco, who shines on his classic Hammond B3 and conjures the retro aspect of the ’60’s.

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Maysa – A Woman In Love

Historically jazz singers have always sung repertoire that transcended musical genres. Ray Charles recorded country songs, Dinah Washington fused blues, rock and pop hits of the day and Ella Fitzgerald took nursery rhymes and swung them into unforgettable hits. Often the true mark of a great singer is the ability to take a song and transform it into something unique and undeniably believable. Singer Maysa does just that every time she steps to the microphone. Maysa is a true original. Blessed with a remarkably beautiful and instantly recognizable voice, the vocalist possesses the ability to know just where to take a song and what to do to unearth the heart of it and drive it home.

Maysa is a singer who is at home in any musical context whether it be jazz, soul, funk or R&B. She is also a first rate composer. It is no wonder why Jazziz Magazine calls her “One of the most identifiable and consistently enjoyable singers on the scene today!” and why The Baltimore Sun calls Maysa “one of the best singers in underground soul.” The songbird, who was a member of Stevie Wonder’s Wonderlove and who was the lead vocalist for the celebrated British jazz/funk group Incognito, has just nabbed a Soul Train Award for “Soul Approved Underground Singer.” For Maysa, singing is truly a labor of love. “I love singing for people and I love helping people get through life’s hard times and celebrations,” confesses the powerhouse vocalist. “I simply love loving people and I do this through my music.”

On Maysa’s new and fourth Shanachie Entertainment recording, A Woman In Love, the refreshingly honest singer explores the many sides of love with a sublime set of eleven tracks that range from classic jazz repertoire to Maysa originals and the more bluesy side of jazz and R&B. “This CD is special tome because I have always wanted to go back to my roots and training as a jazz singer,” says the Baltimore native. “I was trained to sing everything, so I always will. I came up with the concept of mixing the old with the new because I love jazz, soul and R&B so much that it’s all one thing to me.”

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Michael J Thomas – City Beat

Growing up in Cecilia, Kentucky, a small town outside of Elizabethtown, Michael J Thomas was surrounded by country music, which easily could have become his muse. Instead his parents reared him on a steady diet of Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire and Prince. Thus the saxophonist-songwriter learned how to write potent pop hooks set amidst funky and soulful R&B grooves. Thomas wrote or co-wrote all but one song for City Beat, his debut album, which will be released March 2nd on Harbor Breeze Records. Shannon Wallace produced the record with Thomas. Celebrating the vibrant energy and excitement of the city, the title track will preface the album release at radio, which was serviced the single in pursuit of advance airplay.

City Beat is an instrumental R&B-pop collection that chronicles Thomas’ joyful discovery, eager exploration and adventurous wanderings in sprawling metropolises such as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Bangkok, Thailand. Sophisticatedly cool and cosmopolitan, Midtown Manhattan opens the album on which Thomas wields a tenor, alto and soprano sax. A gorgeous melody laid over the pitter-patter of a gentle brushed drum beat, Wedding Song (Forever Always) poignantly pledges eternal love.

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Fremont John – Guitar Songs

Fremont John is going to get you! His soulful melodies and poignant lyrics will seep into your soul. As a performer and guitarist, singer/songwriter, Fremont John’s seamless musical delivery captures audiences every time they hear him sing and play the guitar.

What is unique to Fremont John is the way that he shows respect for his audience by sculpting songs with intelligent lyrics that find a way to everyone’s emotions. “He sings like a man on a mission of purpose!” states one reviewer. His melodic, hook-laden acoustic guitar leads soar like a wonderful and unusual acoustic blend of Santana and David Gilmour. His abilities, sound quality and his emotion cross the generation lines giving his fan-base a wide age demographic.

His new album Guitar Songs is made by popular demand. Varying styles of guitar evoke images of Santana, Acoustic Alchemy or Craig Chaquico. Great writing, exciting music now available at CDBaby.

Nestor Torres – Nouveau Latino

How can I catch the sunshine in notes? Nestor Torres found the answer with Nouveau Latino. Nestor is back to the roots and to the Latin style of his previous albums This Side Of Paradise (2001) and Mi Alma Latina – My Latin Soul (2002). This album is a reverence to the music from the 60s through the 80s including Latin jazz standards. With respect for the originals and a fresh contemporary approach Nestor anew reveals his own class of a flutist.

Consistently Nestor Torres had been nominated for a 2009 Latin Grammy for his album Nouveau Latino in the Latin Jazz category. Nestor Torres is supported by Milton Salcedo (piano, keyboards), Richard Bravo (percussion), Tommy Ruiz (trombones, vocals), Jerry Bravo (bass), Siman Char (piano), Manolo Rodriguez (timbales, güiro), Gerardo Rojas (alto sax), Felipe Fournier (vibes), Alexander Ayala (bass), Savier Diaz (congas), Reynaldo Burgos (piano), Jerry Medina (trumpet), Francisco Arocho (trombone), Ruben Benitez (cowbell), Juan Manuel Leguizamon (vocals), Alexandra Alban (vocals, quinto, percussion), Muriel Reinoso (violins), and Diego Camacho (timbales, bongos).

Rhythm is a great factor of this album embracing Latin styles like Cuban dance music, Puerto Rican bomba and plena, the Brazilian samba, merengue from the Dominican Republic, Colombia cumbia and the rhythms of Panama. All styles come together in the boiling pandemonium of New York’s salsa and jazz scene, Nestor’s second home. But he didn’t forget his origins. Hailing from Puerto Rico. Torres recorded half of his album with talented musicians in Puerto Rico. “To record live, and to do so in Puerto Rico, is a real homecoming for me,” he comments. “It was like it used to be, when everybody recorded at the same time, before ProTools. But, we also kept the production state of the art, using the latest technology to create music that moves forward, pointing the way to a future where that which is universal transcends today’s tendency to taste the ‘flavor of the minute’.”

The first song on this album entitled Quimbara, is a Cuban Rumba originally performed by Celia Cruz with Johnny Pacheco in 1974 on the legendary festival in Zaire and later released on numerous albums of that Cuban salsa singer. Nestor Torres’ rendition transfers the vocal lead to the flute in a more than brilliant way.

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Austin Paul, Jr. – Soul Enhancer

Austin Paul, Jr. is a fourteen year old native of Pensacola, FL, where he attends school. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Austin Paul Conner Sr., Austin Paul Jr. began his career in music with the third grade band. His first performance was at New Dimensions Christian Center. This experience stimulated his interest for music. Austin Paul Jr. listened to the music of other saxophonists who have excelled in all areas. He went on to perform for local churches, fraternal organizations, and public services agencies. Austin Paul’s interest in music has not only inspired his own development, it has motivated his younger twin brothers and older sister to get involved in music.

With the support of his parents and family members, Austin Paul has been able to demonstrate his musical talent and his love for the saxophone. His inspirational music soothes the heart and touches the soul. It makes the listener want to sit back, relax, and let it seep deep with in. Austin Paul Jr. is looking forward to the opportunity to share his musical talent with the world and be a 100% Soul Enhancer. His debut album is now on sale at CDBaby.

Fabio Mignola – Take Me Higher

Born in Locarno, Switzerland, an eclectic cultural environment with a strong Italian heritage, Fabio Mignola was fascinated by the intricate harmonies and rhythms of the various forms of folk and classical music that surrounded him. The simplistic beauty of the acoustic guitar quickly became the voice of this passionate musician.

After studying for several years with professor Dante Brenna, he graduated from Conservatory Donizetti in Bergamo in 1991. Mignola immersed himself in guitar studies and master classes with virtuosos like Alberto Ponce, Alexandre Rodrigues and Ralph Towner. Later on he was inspired by the spontaneity of jazz and the visual complexities of impressionism.This pursuit of music without boundaries led to solo recordings and many productive partnerships.

As a highly respected freelance musician, Mignola has also worked extensively on radio, television, soundtracks. With Take Me Higher Fabio offers mediterranean guitar  smooth jazz with Brazilian, Caribbean and funky influences. The album is available at CDBaby.