Posts Tagged ‘ Contemporary Jazz ’

Uncle Los Music – Black Bottom Cupcake

San Francisco/Bay Area composer, arranger and multi instrumentalist Carlos Sanders aka Uncle Los, has assembled a group of prolific musicians to create the finest smooth jazz you can imagine.

Among them are Ced Dennis (guitar), Joel Griffin and Jay Lane (drums), Vic Little and Ari Cap (bass), and Michael Spiro (percussion). The  horn section encompasses Clifford Brown III (trumpet) and Tony Peebles (sax). Together they are Uncle Los Music.

The formation started with Say Something (2013) and now returns with the delicious desert Black Bottom Cupcake (2018). The term Muse comes from Greek mythology and commonly describes a female person of divine origin, who inspires the artist to creative action. The music style of Uncle Los Music is based on an urban mix of R & B, funk and jazz rock.

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David Garfield – Jazz Outside the Box

Well known as musical director of George Benson keyboardist David Garfield pursues his own dream as a solo artist. His debut album was a homage to the late drummer Jeff Pocaro Tribute to Jeff (1997).

Next albums were I Am The Cat…Man (1997), Music From Riding Bean (2001), Giving Back (2003), Seasons Of Change, The State of Things, Tribute To Jeff Revisited (2005). His newest project is Jazz Outside The Box (2018).

Garfield performs on the new album piano, Fender Rhodes and synthesizers. Further players are trumpeter Wallace Roney, percussionist Poncho Sanchez and drummer Steve Jordan. Guest musicians are Randy Brecker, Michael McDonald, Tom Scott, Eric Marienthal, Pete Christlieb, Bennie Maupin, Brian Auger, Will Lee, Airto Moreira, the Charlie Bisharat String Quartet, an orchestra conducted by John Clayton, the late guitarists Chuck Loeb and Larry Coryell, and John Densmore, who plays drums and orates on a spoken word segment.

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Tony Craddock Jr. & Cold Front – H2O

Washington, DC-based saxophonist Tony Craddock Jr. has founded his label Cold Front Music, LLC in 2011. The first album was Christmas in the Air (2011), followed by Convection (2013). His third album H20 offers uplifting contemporary jazz on the soprano and alto saxophones, with a few vocal songs too. The album features guitarist Ken Navarro, saxophonist Kirk Whalum and vocalist Ashli Rice on selected tracks.

H20, the chemical formula for water, is recommended by Ronald Jackson (Smooth Jazz Ride), who discovered “definitely an element of sophistication”.

Check it out on CDBaby.

Andreas Varady – The Quest

Resonance Records is proud to announce the release of The Quest, the third recording from twenty-year old guitar virtuoso, Andreas Varady. With the release of Questions (2010) and his eponymous CD in 2014, the native of Slovakia, and resident of Ireland, emerged from thin air and put the guitar playing world on notice that there was a new force on the instrument to be reckoned with. On The Quest, Varady’s artistry has reached new heights, and it’s staggering to behold. His unadulterated command of the guitar, his highly-developed skills as a composer, his rhythmic facility (which speaks volumes about his roots in Gypsy music), and his ability to craft an astonishing flow of single-note lines while traversing chord changes, all by ear, has attracted the attention of many legends of this music, not the least of which is Varady’s mentor, manager, producer and friend, the esteemed Quincy Jones. The Quest, available on April 6, 2018, features Varady in the company of his father Ondrej Bandi on bass, younger brother Adrian on drums, fellow Slovak Radovan Tariska on alto saxophone, and Venezuelan native (and current New York City resident) Benito Gonzalez on piano.

At just twenty, Varady has already performed at major festivals and venues around the world. The next exciting new chapter in the journey of this uber-talented musician begins with the release of The Quest. Varady has expressed that this album, comprised of all original music, feels very much like his first fully realized artistic statement, and indeed it showcases Varady’s evolution from child prodigy to consummate artist, one with an abundance of fresh, bold energy. “I feel like I’m giving you a piece of me on this album,” said Varady. The album title, which also reads like a mission statement is, “about this whole quest that I’m on in music seeking cool things, playing cool music in cool places, enjoying it all and having fun and doing what you wanna do,” said Varady. The album is also his debut release on the boutique non-profit jazz label, Resonance Records, which signals a departure from his self-titled major label debut on Verve in 2014. Two other Quincy Jones protégés, Justin Kauflin and Alfredo Rodriguez, will also be releasing new albums in 2018.

Resonance EVP/GM (and executive producer on The Quest) Zev Feldman said about first hearing Varady, “Upon first listen, I was struck by his talent and artistry. Then getting a chance to meet him in Ireland, and spending some time talking with him, he just fits the mold of what Resonance is all about in terms of promoting younger artists and sharing their music. We’re very happy to have him on the label. It’s also a great honor to work with Quincy Jones and his team, and partnering with them to get Andreas’ music out there is something we’re very proud of. Resonance believes strongly in living artists also, not just those from a bygone era, and it’s going to be very exciting to continue to watch him develop and we’re thrilled to be able to add a chapter to his legacy on our label.”
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Drew Simpson – Come Home

Drew Simpson embarks on his second release entitled Come Home featuring an array of talented musicians and original compositions. This album incorporates many of Simpson’s early jazz/orchestral influences with the introduction of rich, live string arrangements and horn/woodwind sections (saxophone, trombone, flute, etc…). Each of the eleven songs was recorded live within four days and will showcase Simpson’s ability to blend strong melodies with complex musical arrangements.

Come Home is a collection of original contemporary and progressive jazz compositions. Your alternative on CDBaby.

Unit 3 Deep – Groove Theory

Unit 3 Deep are pianist and keyboardist Patrick Cooper, bass guitarist David Dyson and drummer Duane Thomas. The formation was founded in 2015. As professional sidemen they have played and still perform for a myriad of musicians such as Walter Beasley, Pieces of a Dream, Spur of the Moment, New Kids on the Block, Rahsaan Patterson, Marion Meadows and many more.

They currently perform at famous venues like Rams Head Tavern, The Birchmere, South, Blues Alley or the Southern Maryland Funk Festival. Groove Theory is their debut album, released on March 1, 2018. As special guests they invited vocalist Lori Williams, guitarist Alvin White, saxophonists Walter Beasley, Phillip “Doc” Martin, Craig Alston, trumpet player
Dreandre “Dre King” Schaifer and percussionist Alfredo Mojica. Most of the songs are written by the band with the exception of two songs.

Already after the first chords of Fridays, one realizes that this formation has an ambitious impetus. The bass is not subordinate but dominant, the arrangement more contemporary than smooth jazz. While bass and drums are fast to the stop, guitar and keys give melody a chance. Tension arises from the opposing tempos. On top Schaifer presents an exuberant trumpet solo.

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Under The Lake – Jazz, Groove & Attitude

The formation Under The Lake consist of Jayson Tipp (keyboards), David Evans (tenor sax), John Moak (trombone) Brian Foxworth (drums), Evan Mustard (guitar), and Kenny Franklin (bass), furthermore Nat Caranto (alto sax), and Joe Powers (harmonica) as special guests.

Their debut album was Dive In (1993), followed by Up For Air (1995), People Together (2007) and Jazz, Groove & Attitude (2018). All songs were written by Jayson Tipp with the exception of George Is His Name, which he co-wrote with sax player Quintin Gerad W. The Portland, Oregon-based group will release their fourth album on February 23.

The album takes off with Breaking Through, a solid horn enhanced tune with a fine arrangement. Undoubtedly, the strength of the group lies in their live qualities, in which all band members contribute equally to the success of the piece as in the contemporary jazz tune Good Things.

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