George Anderson – Positivity

George Anderson is widely known as the bass player of Shakatak. Influenced like many other bass players by legendary Jaco Pastorius his further idols are Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, and Jeff Berlin who raised the bar regarding technique. George prefers to play on basses made by John Diggins and Soundtrade basses.

Positivity is George Anderson’s first solo project. Somehow a best kept secret George released the album on Secret Records. Anyway the album deserves some limelight. Unlike other albums of bass players is the main emphasis of Positivity not the bass but vocals.

Beside George (basses, additional keys, drum programming and audio manipulations) the liner notes of the CD list as musicians Alan Wormald (guitars), Paul Williams (guitars), Carmine Membrino (keyboards), Mike Paice (sax), GA (virtual sax/flute), Debby Bracknell (vocals), Fil Straughan (lead vocs on Lay Ur Hands On Me). The album was produced, arranged, composed, recorded, mixed and mastered by George. All under control for the maximum of quality.

The starting song Lay Ur Hands On Me sets an enlightening signal of positivity. Fil Straughan fills the song with his warm voice, ranging from Marvin Gay to Luther Vandross. Debby Bracknell is the featured songstress of the easy going What I Gotta Do. Debbie is also guest singer on Shakatak’s Afterglow and touring partner on Shakatak’s live gigs.

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A Conversation with Dave McMurray

Bob James toured with his quartet in October in Germany. The line-up was Bob James (piano and keyboards), Damon Warmack (bass), Ken Scott (drums), and Dave McMurray (Sax and flute). I had the opportunity to talk with Dave McMurray after the rehearsal.

HBH: Hello David!

DM: How you doing?

HBH: Fine. We’ve seen each other a long time ago in London.

DM: Oh yeah! (Laugh)

HBH: What did you do after this?

DM: Well, the last few years I’ve been playing a lot. I’m kind of juggling between three projects. I’ve been playing with Bob and I also with R & B artist KEM. I’ve been musical director for him for a few years. For the last two years I’ve been playing in a totally different situation with Kid Rock! (laugh) So, it pretty much started out as one show and then it went into two weeks, and then it turned into two years. I’m just finishing up, while he’s recording a new CD.

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Jim Horn – A Beatles Tribute

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jim Horn was fortunate to be involved in the thriving Los Angeles session scene. Over the next several years Jim found himself in the studio with such stellar names as The Mamas And Papas, Leon Russell and Joe Cocker.

His versatility and unique style on a number of his instruments earned him a sterling string of credits that include, Ringo Star, The Beach Boys, Lionel Ritchie, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Barbra Streisand and Linda Ronstadt. Jim was part of the infamous Mad Dogs And Englishman band, which backed Joe Cocker.

After that, George Harrison recruited Jim for both his 1972 Concert For Bangladesh and subsequent Dark Horse tour. Fans of instrumental music and pop music are very familiar with Jim’s playing, although they may not realize it. It’s Jim’s flute solo on Canned Heat’s “Goin’ Up The Country”.The horn parts on The Fifth Dimension’s “Up Up And Away” and “The Age Of Aquarius”. Also Frank Sinatra’s hit “Strangers In The Night”, Elton John’s “Little Jeannie”, Leon Russell’s “Lady Blue”, Smoky Robinson’s “Tears Of A Clown”, and the beautiful intro oboe solo on The Carpenter’s hit “For All We Know”. Jim has also recorded with Steely Dan, The Rolling Stones, Diana Ross, Roy Orbison, Stevie Wonder, John Denver and Tina Turner.

Jim was part of the massive Garth Brooks in Central Park HBO special, during which he was featured on a solo on “New York State Of Mind” with Billy Joel. Jim Horn is still an “in demand” session artist in Los Angeles, London, Memphis, Nasville and New York. We believe Jim has played on more pop hit records than any other sax player in history.

Now he presents his solo project A Beatles Tribute. The album is just released at CDBaby.

Justin Young – Nothin’ But Love

Featuring Justin Young on Saxophone and an unbelievable cast of musicians which includes drummer Ricky Lawson (Michael Jackson, Anita Baker), bassist Alex Al (Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson), vocalist/guitarist Sheldon Reynolds (Earth, Wind and Fire), guitarist Darrell Crooks (MD for Wayne Brady), bassist Hussain Jiffry (Herb Alpert) and many others! This is a must have album.

It also features cover songs from Michael Jackson (Heal The World), Robin Thicke (Lost Without You), Billy Joel (Just the Way You Are), Teddy Pendergrass (When Somebody Loves You Back) and a remix version of Robin Thicke’s Lost Without You. Purchase Justin Young’s Nothin’ But Love Album today at CDBaby.

Brian Bromberg – It Is What It Is

When it comes to list the leading jazz bass players of the world one certainly has to mention Brian Bromberg. Brian is one of those musicians who prefer the bass as lead instrument. Depending on the situation, Brian plays a variety of acoustic, electric and electronic (MIDI) basses including fretted, fretless, piccolo, upright and synth.

He doesn’t let up in pointing out that there are no guitar melodies or solos on his recordings. All melodies and solos that sound like guitar are played by Brian on piccolo basses.

On his new album It Is What It Is Brian is joined by George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Jeff Lorber, Dave Weckl, Dan Siegel, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Richard Elliot, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun and more! Brian is one of those rare musicians who offer a combination of jazz and smooth jazz on the same album.

Brian admits: “I was very closed- minded with tunnel-vision. But I grew up and realized I didn’t have the right to judge anyone for the music they want to play. I came to understand that musical validity is totally subjective. That’s when I began to stretch my own music into contemporary jazz and began playing on movie soundtracks and with pop, rock and world music artists”.

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Monika Herzig – Peace on Earth

In 1987, the pedagogical institute in Weingarten, Germany awarded a scholarship for a one-year exchange program at the University of Alabama to one of their students, jazz pianist Monika Herzig. Together with her partner and guitarist Peter Kienle, she arrived in the States on a one-way ticket, with one suitcase of belongings and one guitar in August 1988.

Since then she has completed her Doctorate in Music Education and Jazz Studies at Indiana University, where she is now a faculty member. As a touring jazz artist, she has performed at many prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, such as the Indy Jazz Fest, Cleveland’s Nighttown, Louisville’s Jazz Factory, the W.C.Handy Festival, Jazz in July in Bloomington and Cincinnati, Columbus’ Jazz & Rib Fest, to name just a few. Groups under her leadership have toured Germany, opened for acts such as Tower of Power, Sting, the Dixie Dregs, Yes, and more.

Her Christmas celebration CD is the latest in a series of highly regarded recordings she has made under her own name.

A rock-blues shuffle version of ‘Go Tell It On The Mountain’ opens this seasonal set and fortunately it gives Monika some space to stretch out on the piano. This will wake you up – I guarantee. ‘Let There Be Peace On Earth’ is more what I was hoping for, and it’s a jazz trio piece that I suspect is closer to what Monika is all about.

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Joe Troup – Sunrise

Sunrise is a collection of catchy and inspirational songs played with a passionate approach that’s evident throughout the album. The record is dedicated to Joe’s father who passed away in late 2007. After hand picking some of Tucson’s most talented musicians he recorded Sunrise at Allusion Studios along with the help of the engineering guru Jim Pavett.

Joe Troup is an acoustic guitarist based in Tucson AZ. He originally hails from the Southwestern Michigan town of Kalamazoo. With his prized Les Paul Custom at his side Joe has played in numerous rock bands over the years. For a creative change of pace he switched gears in 2007 to play an Ovation acoustic guitar. You can listen this change to smooth jazz on his new album at CDBaby.

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