Konstantin – Let’s Get It On

Naturally gifted with outstanding melodic approach, Konstantin can express his abilities in easy to remember tunes. Not without reason his albums Downtown ( 2004), Led By You (2006), Smoothing (2009) are called the treasure of Contemporary Jazz and the “feeling good music”.  Catchy melodies, clean performance, and bright energy – those are the main features of Konstantin’s music.  Read more about the artist here.

Living up to the title track, the urbane artist created a dreamy, easily funky world of in-the-pocket gems – nothing too innovative, or edgy, but infectious, joyful, and likable nonetheless. While Konstantin’s playing is solid and his melodies pretty irresistible, his gift for horn texturing and love of ambient touches on all tracks. That all is making Let’s Get It On an intriguing listening experience beyond the seduction promised by the album’s title.

The 4th Konstantin’s solo release contains as always fresh, tasty, and good-felling-music. This quality CD is without exaggeration one of the best of the Smooth Jazz format and now available at CDBaby.

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KJ – Life Line

Kevin’s passion for music began while he was growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. He grew up in a house always filled with music, and by the age of three, Kevin was learning to play a snare drum, his uncle Walker teaching him to keep time with the Blues and Jazz records playing on the stereo. His love for playing the drums continued to grow, and in Junior High, he performed in competitions and earned the “Best Jazz Drummer” trophy. Challenging himself to learn more instruments, Kevin played the trombone in the marching band as well.

In High School, he picked up the bass guitar and keyboards, and then discovered that it was possible to write and record his own music, playing all of the instruments himself. With limited technology at that time, it wasn’t easy to tape, engineer and mix tracks, but by 1993, Kevin was comfortable using sequencing software. With that skill mastered, Kevin found that practicing and developing his own unique style came easily.

In 2000, Kevin added the sax to his repertoire. “I love the sound of the Soprano sax, its beautiful vibrato with long tones. It suits my style I guess”. Six string bass remains Kevin’s primary instrument for improvisation, and sometimes, depending on his mood, he will gravitate toward keyboards as well. Currently, Kevin has completed his second project, Life Line. As he did on his debut project A Place of Solitude, Kevin plays all the instruments.

Kevin says:  “Life Line represents turning an emotional corner in life. It’s that point where you take inventory of everything that has happened-good and bad. Some people write books, internalize, buy a sports car or take a class. I was blessed to be able to pour mine into music. It’s a mid-life revaluation set to music”.

Kevin’s music offers a glimpse into the mind of this truly remarkable artist, and each note represents a step forward on his musical journey. You can be a part of his journey at CDBaby.

Fabio Mignola – Take Me Higher

A Swiss guitarist with Italian heritage that sounds promising. Fabio Mignola studied his instrument with professor Dante Brenna and with further virtuosos like Alberto Ponce, Alexander Rodrigues and Ralph Towner.

His solo albums mirror his diverse styles and influences. In 1999 he released Chitarra Ticinese, solo guitar arrangements of folk songs, followed by Flor de Luna (2000), a collection of auxiliary solo recordings. His first step into the contemporary jazz genre was the album Flyin’ Away (2003), which was compared with the music of Peter White and Acoustic Alchemy.

Neapolitan jazz is to hear on his album Luna Rossa (2005). His newest album Take Me Higher (2008) received high acclaims by many Internet critics of the smooth jazz realm. Fabio Mignola has written, engineered, and produced the album supported by special guest on flute Ezio Della Torre.

Take Me Higher is the title of the first track and program of this uplifting album. Brightening your mood is Fabio’s impetus and task. Appealing guitar riffs with injected horns reflect the sunshine of spring.

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Christophe De Villa – Jazz and Soulful

Christophe De Villa presents to you his latest full length album entitled Jazz and Soulful. De Villa hits his mark with a perfect shot with this 10 track long player of everything from Jazz, Funk, Drum N Bass and Soulful House. This project has taken over 2 years to complete and has been recorded with an array of Jazz musicians fused together with electronic rhythms.

With Jazz and Soul we see a perfect scan of Christophe’s musical imagination. Included in the LP is the collaboration track ‘You Are My Girl’ with the Enois Scroggins (ex-background singer for the Gap Band and Cameo) as well as a unique funk rendition of Hip – Hop artist 50 Cent’s ‘Window Shopper’.

Christophe comments: “I decided in two minutes that “Jazz and Soulful” had to be the name of this album. It was an evidence because it means exactly what is inside this CD. Jazz, Acid-Jazz, Funky-Jazz, Soul, Smooth-Jazz and House Music.”

The new CD will be out in April 2010 and is already available at Christophe’s website.

Andy McKee – Joyland

Although he’s only 30 years-old, fingerstyle guitarist Andy McKee fondly recalls the freedom of carefree youthful exuberance on Joyland, his sixth album and debut for the Razor & Tie label that will be released April 6th. McKee produced the ten-song collection of newly recorded material in his recently assembled Topeka, Kansas home studio.

While the recordings are primarily solo acoustic guitar tracks, this is the first record on which he incorporated additional instrumentation to a few cuts. In addition to the CD, the package includes a 75-minute DVD consisting of a McKee documentary, interview and performance footage, and instructional segments for the songs “Joyland” and “Never Grow Old.”

McKee composed eight songs for Joyland and recorded new versions of the Tears For Fears hit, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and the late acoustic guitar innovator Michael Hedges’ “Layover,” the later of whom remains McKee’s biggest influence. The title track, on which the guitarist also plays the glockenspiel, opens the collection with a cascading quixotic melody that establishes a wide-eyed sense of wonder. McKee taps and slaps rhythmically amidst a gently flowing melody on “Blue Liquid.”

His hand-built 12-string harp guitar leads the spiraling “Away,” a cut to which McKee added depth and emotion with a cello performance. McKee played guitar and bass, and drummer Shawn Pelton added the rollicking pitter-patter to “Never Grow Old,” another piece inspired by McKee’s desire to “remain the same ridiculous guy I’ve always been.” You can almost feel the ascension while listening to “Upward Mobility.” On “Hunter’s Moon,” potent melodic swatches intertwine with complex poly-rhythmic beats and ambient tones. “My Life As A CPA (Parallel Universe #43)” is a contemplative rumination of how different life would have been if the author hadn’t picked up the guitar as a teenager. A beautiful ballad, “For Now” closes the album with poetic eloquence.
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Jerry Peterson – Kissin’ the Wave

Jerry Peterson offers on his debut album Kissin’ the Wave a funky stew of sensuous saxophone, embracing Rhythm & Blues, hip and jazz grooves,  some of his seasoned blend of musical experience: soul, blues, rock and jazz, together with soulful saxophone, playing to give you an earful of musical enjoyment.

His debut solo album, Kissin’ the Wave is his artistic statement, after spending the last thirty years as a sideman supporting some of the best artists in the music industry.   When asked why he entitled his album, “Kissin’ the Wave” Jerry’s response was, ” My daughter listens to ‘Kiss FM’ when we ride around in the car, and I want to listen to and hear my music on the ‘Wave’.” These radio stations are two of the most popular radio stations in the Los Angeles area and are at opposite ends of the musical gambit.

Now you can to listen to this album at CDBaby.

Tia Fuller – Decisive Steps

When I saw the cover of Decisive Steps first time, I assumed to have a smooth jazz album in my hand with some urban elements. Far from it!

Although Tia Fuller is a member of the all-female band touring with R&B star, Beyoncé and a featured soloist on the Beyoncé Experience DVD (Me, Myself and I) and also appeared on number of major television shows, such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today Show, Good Morning America, BET Awards, American Music Awards and Total Request Live, her own music is deeply rooted in jazz.

Tia Fuller’s album party is joined by drummer Kim Thompson; bassist Miriam Sullivan; Tia’s sister, Shamie Royston on piano and Fender Rhodes; with special guests, trumpeter Sean Jones and bassist Christian McBride (both Mack Avenue label mates); vibraphonist Warren Wolf; and tap dancer Maurice Chestnut.

Starter of the album is Decisive Steps, a straight ahead jazz tune, presenting Tia’s sax performance with great verve and elegance. She clarifies her own style, grounded right between Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane.

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