Kathy Sanborn – Small Galaxy

Singer-songwriter Kathy Sanborn’s musical goal was to create the feel-good album of 2010, and many contemporary music fans believe she’s succeeded with her new release, Small Galaxy. The cheerful tunes of  Small Galaxy are infectious and fresh. From tap-your-feet tracks like the title song,  Small Galaxy to the inspirational Himalaya, the new album shines with positive vibes. Be Coolin’ is a tropical laid-back pleasure, while Catalunya Breeze captures romance on the Mediterranean Sea. Catch the Wave is a funky, feel-good ride, featuring trumpeter extraordinaire Wayne Ricci.

So how does the songstress feel about producing the “feel-good album of 2010“? Says Sanborn, “I’m glad that Small Galaxy inspires people and makes them happy. Music is a powerful force for change, and I’m excited when people say my songs have made a positive difference in their lives. Believe me, it makes it all worthwhile.”

Source: Pacific Coast Jazz

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Pamela Williams – Chameleon

Pamela Williams released her first album on her independent label. She comments: ” This CD is my jewel. It is my 9th CD and my first truly independent project. It took a grueling 2 years to complete and I am proud and relieved at the same time…but mostly overjoyed to see it finally manifest. When an artist pours their heart and soul and vision into a CD which truly reflects who they are musically and artistically, it shows. I chose to call this CD Chameleon not only because I’ve recorded a cover of a famous Herbie Hancock song, but mostly because I feel that it describes me as an Artist.

I’ve always been an Artist of many colors, always changing styles to reflect my creative personality and my admiration for different genres of music. . This also applies to the visual Artist in me as well that most of my fans probably don’t know about me, which is how I came up with the concept for the CD cover, portraying myself half woman/half chameleon….(not an easy feat to have achieved!).

It was wonderful to have total creative control on this CD, musically and visually. This Cd is filled with Contemporary Jazz, (which I call Neo Jazz), Old School Funk, Vocals, R&B, and even some Latin grooves. I hope that my old fans will like it as much as my previous CDs and I hope that I acquire some new fans along the way. Please help support Indie Artists who have not always been able to reap the benefits they have always deserved while being signed to major record labels. As a female saxophonist, it has not always been easy to break the barriers of a field dominated by male saxophonists, but I would like to thank all of my fans for their continued loyal support to help me stay in the game. If you like smooth instrumental grooves, edgy funk, sultry ballads, danceable tracks and just plain old “make you feel good music while you’re cruising down the highway or just kicking back at home”, this cd is one to add to your collection!”

Pamela Williams released her ninth CD featuring a blend of edgy old school funk, neo-jazz, R&B, sultry vocals, sexy grooves, with a little Latin flavor on this spectacular 14 track CD! Available at CDBaby.

Ken Navarro – Dreaming of Trains

Contemporary jazz guitarist Ken Navarro has finished the 19th solo CD of his career, Dreaming of Trains, and will release it on his own Positive Music record label. The nine-song CD runs 51 minutes and has titles such as “Dream So Real,” “True Stories” and “Everything Being Is Dancing.” Navarro closes the CD with an interpretation of French composer Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie No. 1.”

Ken Navarro’s brand new CD Dreaming of Trains will not be available in stores until March 16, but you can order your copy at his website right now. Your order will ship the same day you place it. Ken will personally autograph your copy and you will also receive an autographed photo. Navarro says, shipping of orders will begin on January 13. Dreaming of Trains will not be released at retail outlets until March 16.

This is Ken Navarro’s 19th CD release and is the follow up to his breakthrough release of 2008, “The Grace of Summer Light” which was named the #1 Contemporary Jazz CD of 2008 by Jazz Times magazine. Navarro says the upcoming CD is his best so far. “I am so grateful to you all for following my music, some of you since the very beginning with The River Flows back in 1990. The musical journey continues for me and I hope for you too, and I can’t express the joy of sharing my brand new music with you and my heartfelt thanks for your support …”

Featured musicians include Jay Rowe from Special EFX and the Marion Meadows band, Tom Kennedy from the Al Dimeola band and the Mike Stern band and Joel Rosenblatt from Spyro Gyra. These 9 new recordings are built around strong melodic themes which flow perfectly within each composition. The reason a group of songs with this level of complexity can be so accessible is because they are beautiful, diverse, and there isn’t the dissonance that is often the hallmark of progressive and fusion projects. Complex solos, arrangements and rhythms? Yes. Self serving edginess? No.

Mathias Claus, Bob Albanese, Ayako Shirasaki – Best of 1st International Jazz Solo Piano Festival 2009

Jan Matthies Records releases a live recording from the 1st International Jazz Solo Piano Festival at Konzerthaus Berlin, Germany. The event took place on 28th March 2009 on a Steinway & Sons Concert Grand – Model D.

The 12-page booklet contains Liner Notes by Howard Mandel, President of The Jazz Journalists Association and senior contributor Downbeat Magazine:

“Best of 1st International Jazz Solo Piano Festival 2009 institutes a high standard for international solo jazz piano”

“Mathias Claus, Bob Albanese and Ayako Shirasaki are devoted, virtuosic, daring and expressive pianists, who together assured that personal, spontaneous interpretation of classic repertoire was the focus of the 1st International Jazz Solo Piano Festival. …”

Enjoy 3 swinging takes from each of the participating pianists:

1. “Hymn for the lost Souls” – Mathias Claus

2. “Old Folks” – Mathias Claus

3. “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise” – Mathias Claus

4. “Manhattan” – Bob Albanese

5. “Time remembered” – Bob Albanese

6. “Morning Nocturne” – Bob Albanese

7. “Con Alma” – Ayako Shirasaki

8. “Someday my Prince will come” – Ayako Shirasaki

9. “Lennies Pennies” – Ayako Shirasaki

Listen to audio samples available now on iTunes, CD Universe, amazon, cdbaby etc. Radio add date: 11. January 2010.

More info on the festival website jazzsolopianofestival.com.

Source: Jan Matthies Music Management

Michael Lington – Collector’s Pack

Born in Denmark Michael Lington realized at an early age musical life is better in the U.S., where he soon hooked up with Mark Schulman. Mark produced Michael’s self-titled debut album (1997). His next albums were Vivid (2002), Everything Must Change (2002), Stay With Me (2004) and A Song For You (2006). In March 2008 he became a US citizen and released his album Heat on NuGroove Records.

Lington will be featured in two shows next month on the Gentlemen of the Night tour also starring fellow saxophonists Marion Meadows and Paul Taylor.

For those, who are not familiar with this artist and for his die-hard fans,  here are good news. NuGroove Records will release on February 2, 2010 Michael Lington – Collector’s Pack, a collection of three CDs containing his albums Heat, Michael Lington and Vivid. The songs will also be offered as mp3. The collection will be available for a reasonable prize.

Kim Waters – Love Stories

Sax player Kim Waters continues his collaboration with Shanachie Entertainement with his new album Love Stories. The album features crooner Kenny Lattimore and is scheduled for release on January 26, 2010.

Waters launched his solo career with a series of R&B recordings on the Warlock label (beginning with 1989’s Sweet and Saxy), and has sold over a million units of both his original material and thematic projects like his sax tribute to The Platters. He  relocated to Sacramento, California from his longtime home in Aberdeen, Maryland but continues his affinity for recording in the home studio setting.

“The coolest part of recording was doing most of it in my new studio and being able to do so much of it myself. Even if it’s got some old school qualities, to me it sounds really fresh…and that’s what making music is all about, whether I’m doing my latest CD or performing live at my own shows or these past few years with The Sax Pack. The most rewarding thing is to be able to contribute something of value to the world which affects people positively and makes them happy. Music has that ability like nothing else in the world.”

Jimmy Haslip – Blues for Tony

When drummer Tony Williams died of a heart attack on February 23, 1997, at the relatively young age of 51, it was a tremendous loss for straight-ahead post-bop and hard bop as well as for fusion. Williams had numerous acoustic jazz credentials, and his band Lifetime was one of the most important fusion outfits of the `70s.

The late drummer’s fusion side is what electric guitarist Allan Holdsworth, electric bassist Jimmy Haslip (of Yellowjackets fame), keyboardist Alan Pasqua and drummer Chad Wackerman pay tribute to on Blues for Tony, an excellent two-CD set that was recorded live in 2007. Forming a quartet, the improvisers remember Williams not by trying to sound like a carbon copy of Lifetime, but rather, by celebrating the overall spirit of Williams’ fusion output.

Holdsworth, in fact, worked with Williams when he replaced John McLaughlin as Lifetime’s guitarist in 1975; it was a brief association (Holdsworth left Lifetime the following year), although certainly a noteworthy one. And like Lifetime, this quartet (which performs mostly material by Holdsworth and Pasqua) demonstrates that being influenced by rock and funk and making extensive use of electric instruments doesn’t mean that a group cannot maintain a jazz mentality.

In fact, Blues for Tony thrives on a jazz mentality. Improvisation and spontaneity prevail, and even though Blues for Tony is by no means straight-ahead acoustic jazz, the quartet’s amplified performances can easily be described as “the sound of surprise” (to borrow a term coined by the late jazz critic Whitney Balliett). These performances underscore the fact that–contrary to what myopic jazz purists and bop snobs would have us believe–fusion is not pseudo-jazz. Fusion is authentic jazz, but it’s authentic jazz for people who also appreciate rock and funk. Blues for Tony is an album that fusion lovers shouldn’t miss –  Alex Henderson.

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