Posts Tagged ‘ Brian Simpson ’

Brian Simpson – Just What You Need

Keyboardist Brian Simpson is the smiling sideman of Janet Jackson, George Duke, Stanley Clarke and Dave Koz. Hailing from Gurnee, Illinois, he started his solo career with Closer Still (1995), followed by It’s All Good (2005), Above The Clouds (2006), South Beach (2010), and this year Just What You Need.

Brian Simpson performs on this album piano and keyboards. He is joined on different tracks by Jonathan Butler, lead guitar; Nicholas Cole, keyboards and programming; Darrell Crooks, guitar; Alex Al, bass; Brian Kilgore, percussion; Elan Trotman, tenor sax; Ron King, trumpet; Michael Broening, keyboards and programming; Yarone Levy, guitar, acoustic guitar; Nate Harasim, keyboards and programming; Dave Koz, tenor sax; Michael White, drums; Gerey Johnson, guitar; Marc Antoine, acoustic guitar; Oliver Wendell, keyboards; Jeff Robinson, vocals; Ray Fuller, guitar; Larry Kimpel, bass; Ronnie Gutierrez, percussion.

As a longtime musical director for Dave Koz and the Smooth Jazz Cruise Brian has dedicated himself to smooth jazz. Often, the first impression is the most important. Brian heeded this principle and leads us with Wherever You Go into his music. What we get offered by Jonathan Butler, Nicholas Cole and Brian, is at its best.

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Brian Simpson – Just What You Need

Just What You Need2013 is a banner year for Smooth Jazz keyboardist Brian Simpson. Highlights from Just What You Need include a percolating “D’Groove” featuring sax icon Gerald Albright, the romantic “In the Rain” featuring Marc Antoine, a brilliant guest performance from Dave Koz on the Jobim classic “Girl From Ipanema”, and much, much more.

Both as a solo performer and the featured keyboardist and music director of the Dave Koz Band, Brian performs in front of an incredibly large number of smooth jazz fans on a non-stop basis. And as winner of the American Smooth Jazz Keyboardist of the Year Award, frequent guest on nationally syndicated radio shows and music director of the Smooth Jazz Cruise, his visibility is tremendous.

Just What You Need is on sale at Amazon.com.

Brian Simpson – South Beach

Keyboard players are often the musical center of a group. Many keyboardists are musical directors of touring stars. Brian Simpson is best known as musical director of Janet Jackson and Dave Koz. He also performed with other musicians like Michael White, Everette Harp, Michael Paulo, Freddie Fox, Teena Marie, Warren Hill, Sheena Easton, Jonathan Butler, Rick Braun, Norman Brown, and Allan Sams.

His solo albums are Closer Still (1995), It’s All Good (2005) and Above The Clouds (2007). His newest album is entitled South Beach and is scheduled for release August 31, 2010. Brian allured some of the finest contemporary jazz artists for his new project. George Duke, Peter White and Euge Groove are the featured guest-musicians. A lot more musicians participate in Brian’s recording such as Tony Moore, Michael White, Oscar Seaton (drums), Alex Al, Smitty Smith, Larry Kimpel, Ian Martin (bass), Agape Jerry, Darrell Crooks, Yarone Levy (guitars), Brian Kilgore, Lenny Castro (percussion), Ron King (flugelhorn), Steve Alaniz (sax) and Brenda Kay Pierce (vocals).

Expensive in the makings, valuable in the final result the album is a labor of love. Brian comments: “While working on South Beach in my studio I often stepped back to a corner of the room and closed my eyes, as if listening for the first time, to see if the music compelled an emotion. I truly hope the listener can feel the love and care that all of the musicians contributed to the recording.”

The first song of an album is often the most important, because many listeners decide after the first track, if they listen further or not. Keeping that in mind the starting South Beach is the strongest and most catchy track on this album. Brian takes his fans with this uplifting, easygoing tune by storm.

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Brian Simpson – South Beach

“Brian is the consummate musician – he can do it all. But it’s his incredibly memorable and infectious melodies that truly set him apart. He just has a knack for writing these songs that take you on a journey and truly tell a story – and then he’s able to deliver them musically with his trademark style. I am a huge fan!” – Dave Koz

“What I love about Brian’s playing is his understanding that melody and groove are important – the meat and potatoes of music. Brian has found a unique way of being musically creative while making his music accessible. My hats off to you B.”– George Duke

Celebrated keyboardist, composer and studio musician, Brian Simpson has been the ‘go-to’ man for everyone from Janet Jackson and Teena Marie to George Duke, Stanley Clarke and Dave Koz, for whom he has had the distinction of being musical director for the past 15 years. The chart-topping musical chameleon who wrote the #1 R&B hit “The First Time” for Surface in the 1990s confesses, “Ultimately, my listeners inspire me to make my music.” Simpson’s love for what he does is evident in every note on South Beach, his inaugural album for Shanachie Entertainment, due out August 31, 2010. Simpson surrounds himself with an A-list lineup that includes jazz icons George Duke, Peter White and Euge Groove.

Known for his ability to sculpt timeless love songs, soulful party anthems and melodies that stay on your mind, Brian Simpson is truly a master at his craft. South Beach delivers on every front. The album’s title track, with a jubilant vibe reminiscent of the Ramsey Lewis smash hit “The In Crowd,” is already top 30 on multiple jazz charts, two months prior to album release. ”I’m very happy we chose ‘South Beach’ as the first single,” confides Simpson, “because it’s probably the song that’s most indicative of my style. My travels take me to some pretty nice places, but my favorites are always the ones with beaches. In the last year I’ve been to Hawaii, Bali, Indonesia, and several beaches in Florida. I would walk along beaches listening to the rough ideas for this CD on my ipod. The wind, sea, and sand really inspired the melodies you’ll hear on South Beach.”

South Beach features a mix of breezy free-flowing numbers, funky blues-tinged romps and romantic ballads which draw you in from the first note. Songs like the George Benson-eque “Our Love,” “Can’t Tell You Why” and “All I Want Is You” show off Simpson’s knack for cooking up singable melodies and hip-swaying grooves. Brian delivers a bossa nova vibe on the sweetly romantic “Paradise Island” and the hauntingly beautiful “Summer’s End.”

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