Posts Tagged ‘ Contemporary Jazz ’

Rick Howard – Lil’ Noir

Rick Howard‘s fifty plus years of guitar playing and vocalizing have put him into every situation and every musical genre. By nineteen he was getting his Jazz legs playing nightclubs while teaching guitar in a Brooklyn music school. Rick attended college in his twenties. The local 802 program for professional musicians at Kingsborough College gave him a chance to hone his arranging, composing and orchestration skills. The late seventies saw Rick form a group called “Whapp.” This Zappa influenced ensemble mixed intricate music with a humorous theatrical approach.

In the Eighties, Rick applied his talents to doing session work, playing guitar on movie scores and jingles. He contributed to recordings by King Sunny Ade, Betty Wright, Bob Marley, and Shania Twain to name a few.

Rick toured extensively with many artists and he has shared the stage with Keith Emerson, Birelli Legrene, Chico Hamilton, John Entwhistle and others. Rick was heavily involved in the jazz and blues scene in New York City. Rick recorded two albums with his Latin Jazz group IGUAZU…the first self titled “Iguazu” in 1998, and the second, “All You Need” in 2003. “All You Need” featured guests Paquito D’Rivera, Slide Hampton and Antonio Hart. Iguazu played at many Jazz festivals sharing the bill with Acoustic Alchemy, Alex Bugnon and David Valentin, to name a few. Rick now resides in Southwest Florida. He considers his new album “Lil’ Noir” to be the culmination of his long musical career and looks forward to many years of creating great music.

For jazz aficionados and the more tending to smooth jazz give this album a listen on CDBaby.

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Philippe Saisse Trio – The Body And Soul Sessions (Remastered)

Philippe Saisse took Steely Dan’s invitation Do It Again at his word when he had remastered the album The Body And Soul Sessions by Colin Leonard. The album was originally released in 2006, but thirteen years later Saisse is re-releasing it under his own label, because good things should be brought back to light.

The Philippe Saisse Trio consists of Philippe Saisse (piano, keyboards, vibraphone, marimba), Skoota Warner (drums), and David Finck (acoustic bass).

Do It Again was Steely Dan’s breakthrough hit presenting a phenomenal contrast between sinister lyrics and high melodic popular in the true sense music. Perfect to the core, this song became an instant classic. As a master of the keys Philippe uses the main melody to give this song a noble finish.

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Jéssica Pina – Essência

Portuguese trumpet player Jéssica Pina has studied her profession on the University of Évora and now performs as a freelancer. Her sphere of activity extends to countries such as Portugal, Spain, Norway, Latvia, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Morocco, Tanzania, Kenya, and Timor.

Her debut album Essência was released January, 2019. With the thoughtful Intro Jéssica Pina shows her range of expressive sensitivity on muted trumpet, which is accentuated by fine keyboard sounds.

1º Esquerdo shines with different trumpets alternating in conflict and harmony. The Moog sound delivers some acid jazz flavor. Made In CV refers to Jéssica’s African origin from the Cap Verde Islands. As expected, here and there she lets native styles flow into her music.

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Soul Brass Band – Levels

Drummer Derrick Freeman leads the Soul Brass Band, founded in 2015. Initiated by a video project of contemporary rhythm and blues artist CeeLo Green the idea was to assemble some friends of the music scene. So drummer Freeman, bass player Aron Lambert, trumpeter Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown, trombonists Michael Watson and Terrance Taplin, saxophonist James Martin, guitarist Danny Abel and tuba player Steve Glenn found together. Though the Soul Brass Band is well-versed in traditional music its stage shows are more eclectic, as it turns not only to material from fellow brass bands like the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth but also funks it up. Listen for tunes that range from old-school artists like Sly and the Family Stone and the Jackson 5 to hip-hop stars Snoop Dogg and Juvenile.

“The versatility is there to do that,” Freeman proclaims. “We’ll do some traditional songs in the set and just mix it up and mess with people’s heads a little—reel people in and shock ‘em. Expect to be wowed.” Levels is their new album which spreads the legend of New Orleans Jazz in the style of Trombone Shorty.

Get it at CDBaby.

Luca Di Luzio – Globetrotter

Jazz guitarist Luca Di Luzio has concentrated his musical activities so far on his native Italy. This changes fundamentally with his new project Globetrotter (2019).

The title is program and the list of musicians involved is more than illustrious. Beside Jimmy Haslip, as producer and bass player, are performing Dave Weckl on drums, George Whitty on keyboards and Max Ionata on tenor saxophone.

The album contains six originals and two traditional standards. The album has biographical traits, as all six pieces written by Luca refer to periods of his life that have left their mark on him.

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The Allen Carman Project – Carmanology

South Jersey born bassist Allen Carman started his professional music life with the band Renegade, but then put music on hold to become a lawyer. After more than twenty years law practice he returned to his musical roots.

With his new founded band The Allen Carman Project featuring Phillippe Saisse on keyboards, Gumbi Ortiz on percussion, Andy Snitzer on sax and Luis Alicea on drums he is ready to storm the charts.

The debut album is entitled Carmanology, and includes eight original songs and one cover. The group comes up with an incredible star cast of guest musicians as there are guitarists Nile Rogers, Marc Antoine, trumpet players Rick Braun, Don Harris, saxophonists Andy Snitzer, Bill Harris, trombonist Michael Davis and violinist Evan Garr.

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Phil Madeira – Crickets

A Nashville mainstay, Phil Madeira was Americana before it was a thing. His venerable pedigree as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger is assured, backed by Grammy-winning credits and a lengthy discography boasting collaborations with Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris, The Civil Wars, Elvis Costello, Alison Krauss, Toby Keith, Amy Grant, Mavis Staples, Keb Mo’, Bruce Hornsby and Vanessa Williams. Yet when this musician’s musician sits at the piano backstage or at home, it’s jazz-blues riffs that he noodles. On April 26, Mercyland Records will release Madeira’s first instrumental album, “Crickets,” comprised of ten new songs that he wrote and produced for a jazz quintet.

The straight-ahead jazz rhythms and bluesy harmonies Madeira scripted for “Crickets” harken back to another jazz era.

“It’s slightly sophisticated blues, right out of the 50s and 60s playbook. I can hear bits and pieces of what turned me on as a kid – Ramsey Lewis and Herbie Hancock, and of course, Monk, whom I later discovered. I composed the music that became ‘Crickets’ thinking I would pitch it to a music licensing company for use in film. But then I realized that I had created something far more personal,” said Madeira, who recorded all ten songs in one day accompanied by Aaron Smith (drums), James Hollihan (guitar), Rahsaan Barber (saxophone) and Chris Donohue (bass). Continue reading

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