Frederick McLean – Just Play

Frederick McLean began playing guitar at a young age. His musical gift can be attributed to his father’s influence, who sang professionally in gospel music. He traveled with his father , various choirs, and played at church on Sundays. He also developed his love for jazz, when he joined the jazz band in High School. After High School, Frederick continued to pursue music as his passion, by forming his own production and recording studio. He worked with local R&B and Hip Hop talent, and performed in concerts featuring great artists, such as the late Notorious BIG and 702. In addition, he toured with several gospel plays.

Frederick has worked with Grammy and Stellar award winner, Cedric Thompson, on various projects and live performances. He has recorded with the anointed and gifted, Lejuene Thompson, and Rodney Posey. He has performed in live concerts with phenomenal Christian artists such as Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell, and Tremain Hawkins. Frederick had the pleasure of recording with anointed pianist, Bryan Popin, who has written songs for Faith Hill, N’Sync, Chaka Khan, and Tim McGraw. Frederick had the opportunity to record on Big Kuntry King’s album ‘My Turn to Eat’, on the song called ‘Soul of a Man’ featuring Ricco Barrino. He also recorded on the song called ‘Waiting For My Child To Come Home’ featuring Mavis Staples, Patti Griffin, and Tri-City Singers, which was apart of an all star gospel album called ‘Oh Happy Day’. The gospel album won a Grammy for Best Traditional Gospel Album.

Frederick was the music director for K-Ci and JoJo’s band for several years, traveling around the globe to exotic places such as Malaysia, Blue Note Jazz Club in Japan, and various cities in the U.K. He also toured with Jodeci in London and Amsterdam. Frederick played for Anthony Hamilton for several years and had the pleasure of playing on the Carlos Santana tour with Anthony Hamilton. Due to this exposure, Frederick was given an endorsement deal with Mesa Boogie, Anderson Guitars, and Warrior Guitars. Frederick is excited to release his first Urban Jazz project in February called Just Play, as he continues to work with various musical artists.

Just Play it at CDBaby.

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Curtis Macdonald – With Every Intimate Breath

Set the flowers, light the candles, puff up the pillows and set the mood with Curtis Macdonald’s newest collection of alluring and sensual smooth jazz. With Every Intimate Breath is a non-stop array of smoky and soulful piano/Rhodes melodies wrapped around contemporary radio-ready grooves. Atmospheric guitars, ambient electronica and an overall “chill” tempo, these instrumentals are not a “slam-bam” but for a “slow hand” type of romantic moment that should continue long after the music stops.

Known for his array of instrumental pop, new age, and jazz, Curtis has ventured into a realm of music that has long been a personal favorite. His signature style is present in this 8 song collection, popular song form, memorable melodies and lyrical solos with spacious electronica inspired arrangements.

A self taught artist that became a graduate composer from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, Curtis continues to create image inspiring music. As well as an artist with his own “brand” of music, he has been a contributor to the entertainment industry for over 23 years as a composer for film, television, and new media.

With Every Intimate Breath is your gift at CDBaby.

Velez Brothers – European Seduction

The Velez Brothers Band is the joined effort of Joan Velez (Sax), Cristian Velez (bass, percussion) and veteran guitarist and producer Charlie Gaspadarek. They are becoming one of the best acts in the smooth Jazz world with fresh music and fantastics performances.

Hailing from Puerto Rico, Joan started playing drums at the age of 11, but he took to the tenor sax about a year later. While a student at La Escuela Libre de Música. Early on, he was influenced by the musicians like David Sanborn, Kirk Whalum, Nelson Rangell, Michael Brecker, Ed Calle, Sade, Grover Washington and the rhythms of his homeland. In 1996, Joan enrolled at Universidad de Interamericana with a major in jazz performance while in the year 2000 he was awarded an “Outstanding Musicianship” Certificate by Berklee College. For his part, Christian started on percussion while also dabbling in guitar, trumpet and bass – by 16 he was playing professionally. Now Illinois based, the brothers Velez released their debut Everything I Love early in 2008,  followed by Feel The Rain in 2009 and European Seduction in 2010.

During 2009 the veteran guitarist & producer Charlie Gaspadarek joined forces with the Velez Brothers and become a very crucial element in the sound and permanent member of the band. European Seduction is now on sale at CDBaby.

Christophe de Villa – Jazz and Soulful

Paris born Christophe de Villa started his musical career in a Rock band and performed later in Parisian funky bands. Addicted by the funky style of British guitarist Ronny Jordan (The Antidote) he soon played with his friends acid jazz and smooth jazz standards. But he is also a fan of the soulful house (deep house, garage, funky house).

On his new album Jazz and Soulful (2010) you will find all these musical elements combined in a mesmerizing mélange. 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.”

When you want to learn anything about a musician, you have to listen to his music. Christophe’s album is an open book, because he puts all his influences into this nutshell. Foremost Christoph performs guitars, bass and synths on his project.

No wonder, that he launches the album with Wes Montgomery’s tune Jingles. Ask three guitarists, who is their idol and they will certainly answer “Wes”. Wes recorded this tune for his debut album The Wes Montgomery Trio – A Dynamic New Sound (1959). Somehow Wes build with his style for future genres like acid and smooth jazz. This raw and edgy organ sound in combination with Christophe’s elegant guitar riffs is a great flashback. Gabriel Midon shines on piano with expressive runs. And Christophe’s bass is the icing on the cake.

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Jackson Garrett – Speechless

Jackson Garrett has performed and recorded in Montreal, New York City, Dallas, Palm Springs and Los Angeles. Influenced early on in his career by The Beatles, Steely Dan, Santana, Michael Franks, Stevie Wonder and many 70’s era artists, Jackson Garrett gravitated toward a jazzy sound as his music mellowed. In Palm Springs, CA he met Pat Rizzo, Andy Fraga, and Earl Brown, locals on the jazz scene with storied pasts, and his act soon became a fixture in the music scene.

His newest album is entitled Speechless (2010) and is featuring Pat Rizzo (formerly of Sly And The Family Stone, War, Frank Sinatra), Steve Madaio (session player on such hits as “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder and “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire, and countless other hit pop tunes), and introducing trombonist Kenny Meier. With the rock-solid rhythm section, these horn players shine on this instrumental interpretation of Jackson Garrett’s earlier vocal CD Cool And Easy. Speechless is now arrived at CDBaby.

Lisa McClowry – Time Signatures

In collaboration with mentor/producer Jim Peterik (Grammy award winner, Oscar nominee for “Eye Of The Tiger,” writer of “The Search Is Over,” “Hold On Loosely,” “Vehicle” and many more), vocalist Lisa McClowry will release Time Signatures in June 2010 under the NuGroove/Worldstage Int’l label and is distributed by Red/Sony.

The expert craftsmanship of Peterik lends itself throughout the album to include the blistering “Born Twice,” the smoldering heat of “Waiting for You” and the joyous self-empowerment anthem of “Powerful Day.”

“Writing with Jim has brought the best out in my lyrics and melodies. The songs reflect the way I look at life, positive messages with an edge. My vocal approach is to communicate the emotion of the song simple as that,” said McClowry.

How the listeners interpret the music is equally important to this songbird. “My hope is that people will see themselves in my music…see that there’s more out there…uncover the truth in their soul,” she said.

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Mark Harper – The Mark Harper Project

A native from Flint, Michigan, Mark Harper is a seasoned guitarist, performer, and multi-platinum award winner, who is introducing yet another side of his creative abilities to the world. Mark began his professional career at the young age of 12. He continued to practice and develop his style while playing with various bands in the Flint area. During this time, Mark had to balance his love for music with his ever-increasing athletic abilities. In the end, when push came to shove, he “leaned” toward the notes. Now the notes have scripted a musical journey that is reflective of his heart and soul.

The early musical influences in his life were as varied and as accomplished as Mark himself is proving to be. Those influences include people such as: George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Al McKay, Phil Upchurch, Kenny Burrell, Lee Ritenour, and Larry Carlton. Through the years Mark was able to gather influences from different genres of music as well. His style is reflective of those influences and can be heard in the music he has contributed to; i.e., Kirk Franklin’s, “The Nu Nation Project”, Tom Braxton’s “Bounce”, and Tower of Power’s “Great American Soul Book”. In addition to these projects, Mark can be heard on many others. Mark has also had a broad live stage presence, having performed with: Kirk Whalum, Toby Keith, Charlie Pride, Ronnie Laws, Yolanda Adams, BeBe Winans, and Phyllis Hyman. As Mark begin to transition his career he spent 6 years as a member of the Wayman Tisdale band. He then went on to be the lead guitarist for the famed funk sensation, Tower of Power. Now Mark is launching his sound with his own band.

The unique sound of Mark can be heard and experienced on his new release, The Mark Harper Project. This project captures Mark’s creative, technical, writing, and production abilities. The release offers 11 new songs and fresh arrangements of two classic songs: One Less Bell and Sailing.
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