Posts Tagged ‘ Blake Aaron ’

Blake Aaron – Color and Passion

Guitarist Blake Aaron has been featured multiple times on SiriusXM over the past week as part of Jazz Appreciation Month just as his vibrant new single, “Vivid,” is preparing to bloom brightly. The third single issued in advance of his upcoming Color and Passion album, Aaron wrote and produced the multihued bouquet of invigorating instrumental dance music, power pop horns and glossy R&B grooves that surround fragrant stems of fresh electric jazz guitar flourishes. On the way to radio stations now with an April 24 playlist add date, the perfectly-timed spring fling should happily satiate listeners until Blake’s sixth album streets this fall on Innervision Records.

Last Thursday, the national satellite radio broadcaster’s Watercolors aired a live concert performance by Aaron recorded at the SiriusXM studios in Washington, DC. On Sunday, the guitarist who hosted his own nationally syndicated radio show for seven years hung out on the “Dave Koz Lounge” with the affable sax sensation. This week, Aaron served as guest DJ on Tuesday and although he took command of the air waves, he didn’t sneak in the new single before the official add date.

“No, not yet,” he chuckled. “’Vivid’ is my feel good track of the spring/summer. With real Earth, Wind & Fire-style horns and tons of energetic, bright melodic hooks, I am proud to say that this is one of my most infectious grooves and most intense productions I’ve done to date. Vivid is how I try to live my life and it is how I try to teach my kids to live their lives. Be uniquely you – boldly and with passion. Be you – vividly.” Continue reading

Blake Aaron – Soul Stories

Guitarist Blake Aaron is an universalist, both in Radio and TV shows at home as well as on the side of big stars like Carlos Santana, The Gap Band or Bobby Womack. Also in the smooth jazz genre, he is known all over town. His solo career as guitarist started with Every Touch (2001), followed by Bringin’ It Back (2003), Desire (2007), Romantic Christmas (2011) and this year Soul Stories.

Blake is supported by vocalist Derek Bordeaux, keyboardists Tom Zink, Rob Mullins and Lew Laing; bassists Hussain Jiffry and Melvin Davis; strings arranger and keyboardist Mike Whittaker; strings arranger and label mate Craig Sharmat; percussionist Ronnie Gutierrez, and drummers Ricky Lawson and Winston Butts.

The album starts with the uplifting guitar tune Groove-O-Matic, which one can listen on his website. Stomping beats, bustling guitar licks and precise horn injects mark this dance piece. Like on his previous album Blake gives a tribute to late guitar hero Wes Montgomery with Wes’ Side Story. Slinky guitar chords meets Latin Bossa Nova.

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Blake Aaron – Soul Stories

SoulStoriesGuitarist Blake Aaron utilized an unconventional approach when constructing his fifth album, Soul Stories, which will be released May 5 by Innervision Records. To maintain his presence on radio and in the marketplace while juggling a busy schedule as a first-call session player, featured sideman and in-demand producer, he issued a variety of singles with three cuts – the retro funk-disco energizer “Groove-O-Matic,” the urbane romantic duet with jazz crooner Spencer Day entitled “You’re the One for Me” and the salsa-singed “Encantadora” featuring Najee on flute – entering the Billboard Top 10. The ten-track “Soul Stories,” Aaron’s first collection that is entirely self-produced, contains eight original tunes authored by the artist.

Saluting one of his hallmark influences, Aaron embodies seminal jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery on the aptly-titled “Wes Side Story,” an evocative selection that will be serviced to radio stations for playlist adds beginning April 6.

Weaving engaging narratives told through a triad of guitar voices, Aaron’s Soul Stories unfolds amidst a varied backdrop of contemporary jazz, R&B, Latin and funk settings. He approaches his compositions as a storyteller and elects to feature a different guitar – cool jazz electric, gentle acoustic or emotional nylon string – as the protagonist of each musical vignette. Often Aaron provides a counterpoint by waging an expressive discourse using interpretive play between multiple guitars on the same song. Whether emoting on brisk radio-friendly jaunts or taking his time to elaborate on expansive improvised jams, Aaron’s inspired fret work is crisp, clear, lyrical and skillfully performed with passion and precision. Continue reading

Various Artists – Jazz Responds: An All-Star Compilation To Benefit Victims Of Human Trafficking

It is estimated that there are 27 million slaves in the world today, which is more than at any other time in history. This shocking statistic is even more compelling when you consider that approximately 1 million of these slaves are children. Many of these children, some as young as five years old, are forced to work as prostitutes in brothels to fuel the Global Sex Trade. Shockingly, this is not an issue relegated to Third World countries – it happens on nearly every continent, including right here in the United States.

So, what can we do about it?

The solution is complex because laws in every country need to be considered, the safety and anonymity of the victims must be considered, and the fact that human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry means there are enemies to those who would try and stop it.

However, there are solutions and you can take part in them. For example, making sure the products you buy are “Slave-Free” helps to curb the demand for slave labor. Being vigilant and knowing what signs to look for when you see young children or foreign workers in seemingly unfamiliar situations is important. Helping to fund groups that are working to rescue and restore victims and punish the perpetrators is crucial to eradicating the issue.

At FACT Alliance, our primary mission is the building of aftercare homes for both international and domestic victims. Studies have shown that, without proper aftercare, rescued victims often end up back in their slave life. There are known victims who could be rescued at this very moment, but they aren’t because there are not enough aftercare facilities to house and care for them. It is our hope to help raise money and partner with other existing organizations to fulfill this great need. By building new homes and supporting existing ones, we can begin to see more victims rescued and restored.

To learn more about the issue and how you can get involved (or to donate more!), please visit us at www.letsrespond.com.

All profits will go towards the rescue and restoration of victims of human trafficking and the child sex trade.
1. RICHARD SMITH – “D’BLUZE”
2. DAN SIEGEL – “SOMETIME TOMORROW”
3. MINDI ABAIR – “GIRLS NIGHT OUT”
4. BRIAN BROMBERG – “ISN’T IT BEAUTIFUL”
5. TONY GUERRERO – “GABRIELLA”
6. GRANT GEISSMAN – “SAY THAT!” (FACT Version)
7. GREG ADAMS – “FIVE TO ELEVEN”
8. PETER WHITE – “BOULEVARD”
9. BILL CANTOS – “LOVE WINS”
10. BLAKE AARON – “BUMPIN’ ON THE WEST SIDE”
11. GREG VAIL – “GOT IT GOIN’”
12. DAVID PACK– “UNTIL THE TIME” (Exclusive Track)

Support this mission and buy the album at CDBaby.