Posts Tagged ‘ Contemporary Jazz ’

Spiritual Emergence – Rob Scotts Birds

Rob Scott founded this group in 2012. This is their second effort, expanding on the ideas in the first record. Relatable, innovative Jazz , with accessible melodies that push the boundaries just a little bit. The group comprises Godwin Louis on Sax , Jason Palmer on trumpet, Lee fish on drums, Justin Purtill on Bass, and Rob Scott on piano. Rob has written all the tunes, except for a fantastic composition by Jason Palmer. Jason also helped Rob arrange many of these songs onsite at the recording. They are a super-group of rising stars , and they hope you enjoy their effort. They are all from different places musically and geographically , but came together in Boston. I guess this is the Boston Jazz sound for 2019!

Rob Scotts Birds is America’s Romantic Music. 21st Century Jazz, part of the tradition, expanding the tradition. Innovative, yet relatable.

This CD is available on CDBaby.

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DeShannon Higa – Words Cannot Express

Honolulu based trumpet player DeShannon Higa is a first call session player. He performed with many big names such as Burt Bacharach, Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Joe Williams, Wayne Newton, and Tower of Power, to name just a few. He is connected with many local bands like The Royal Hawaiian Band, gr00ve.imProV.arTiSts, Bop Tribal, Subtonic Orchestra and Quadpod.

While Honolulu is his hometown, he spend a lot of time in New York playing Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Radio City Music Hall, and Lincoln Center. He regards himself as an ambassador of other music styles on his home island. He performs a wide range of genres. “I’ve gone through my bebop and hard bop phase, cool and minimal phase, Latin and funk, ECM and abstract, acid jazz and hip-hop phase. Where I am currently is more cinematic and orchestrated, I would say.”

His debut album Words Cannot Express (2018) is a crowd funding project. “I am a soul with a story to tell, but words cannot express. Therefore, I use music to say what only the heart can speak.” The album is now available on CDBaby. Stylistically the album is a little adventure, nobody knows exactly in which direction the journey goes. Twenty local musicians were involved in the production, listing them all would go beyond the scope of this review.

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Jazz Funk Soul – Life and Times

Contemporary jazz supergroup Jazz Funk Soul was originally founded by keyboardist Jeff Lorber, guitarist Chuck Loeb and sax player Everette Harp. Their same titled debut album unites their skills to create something that is greater than the sum of its participants. Making some impact on fellow musicians and audience is all the group want to do. Life and Times is the much anticipated sequel to More Serious Business (2016) – which included two # 1 Smooth Jazz radio hit singles! With three of today’s top hit makers: Jeff Lorber, Everett Harp, and Paul Jackson, Jr. – artists and producers responsible for selling millions of albums and achieving nearly 50 # 1 jazz radio hits!

Grammy winner Jeff Lorber is famed for launching the career of Kenny G and his productions and collaborations with the greats Dave Koz, Janet Jackson, Lalah Hathaway and Miles Davis. He is one of the most sought after producers and musicians in jazz! The Grammy nominated Paul Jackson, Jr. Is one of the most sought after guitarists in Michael Jackson’s Thriller, several Whitney Houston hits, and many more. Everette Harp has shared the stage with music giants Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Billy Joel and Patti LaBelle. A real hit maker, Jazziz magazine praises his “incredible virtuosity”, the Jazz Times calls him “a rare talent”.

Highlights of the album include “Ready Freddi”, the super funky “Where You’re At” and the spirited “Exotic”. Scheduled for release January 25, 2019 on Shanachie Entertainment Group.

Deshannon Higa – Words Cannot Express

This album is supremely unique in Hawaii. You will find the melodies on this album infectious and catchy, and find yourself humming them long after you’ve listened to it. Featuring an unparalleled assembly of local and legendary talent (20 artists) with a collective 500 plus years in the business, this record is sure to please the most discriminating of music enthusiasts. It’ll make you dance, sing, cry, ponder, and imagine. The improvisational prowess and acuity of skill demonstrated here is on par with anything coming out of New York. Prepare your ears, and listen with your soul. Let this album speak to you with “words that cannot express.”

Words Cannot Express is a masterpiece of original songs with catchy melodies and a reinvention of two beloved covers, one a classic hymn and the other a sacred Hawaiian theme. It features an unparalleled array of musical talent with mad skills.

This album is available on CDBaby.

Patrick Lamb – Soul Ties

Patrick Lamb is the saxophonist of the stars. He performs with Gino Vannelli, Bobby Caldwell, Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Lorber Fusion, Tommy Thayer, Diane Schuur, Bobby Kimball, Alice Cooper, and Smokey Robinson. However, his limited time still allows him to successfully pursue his solo career.

This we tie to his albums, as there are The Closer I Get (2000), Sunshine Alley (2002), With A Christmas Heart (2003), Soul Of A Free Man (2007), Don’t Get No Better (2007) as duo with Patsy Meyer, It’s All Right Now (2011), Pick Up The Pieces (2013), and this year Soul Ties.

Patrick plays sax on all tracks and is supported by Alex Al (bass), Tony Maiden (guitar), Jeff Lorber (keyboards), Lil John Roberts (drums). Cameron Morgan plays the second guitar on Liner Cross. Patrick has written all tracks with the exception of two covers. Listening to the introducing track Tailgate, makes it immediately audible that Patrick approaches his themes with raw energy and an irrepressible presence.

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Branly, Ruiz, Haslip – Elemental

Top musicians have a certain resemblance to star chefs. Their outstanding position is based on talent and a lot of passion. When three musical greats come together, then we experience an event of a special kind, fusion jazz in the truest sense of the word. Otmaro Ruiz, Jimmy Branly, and Jimmy Haslip form Elemental.

On the new album Otmaro Ruiz performs piano, Fender Rhodes and synths, Jimmy Branly drums, and Jimmy Haslip electric bass. Ruiz has written all tracks with the exception of Boomtown, which is from the Yellowjackets album Mint Jam (2001).

The aptly titled introduction A Good Start presents three of the most talented contemporary jazz players on the scene in a breathtaking action. Otmar Ruiz keeps the music flowing on synth and keys while Branly and Haslip provide the right rhythmic frame for it.

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The David Ullmann Group – Sometime

Each step that guitarist and composer David Ullmann has taken along his musical path has been an unpredictable one. Reinvention has been the key to each new release; his music thrives on surprising combinations of electric and acoustic sounds as well as left-field additions like tabla and sitar. Such inventive thinking has led the New York Times to call Ullmann “a thoughtful guitarist and composer,” while All About Jazz has praised his ability to provide listeners with “a satisfying sense of taking a journey.”

On his 2005 debut, Hidden, the New York City native kept listeners off balance with an eclectic mix of influences from modern jazz and jam band rock to funk, soul and country balladry. His follow-up, Falling (2011), further pulled the rug out with a guitar/vibes/sax frontline that aimed for a free-fall feeling with dreamy atmospherics and gentle but off-kilter angularity. Ullmann’s next release, Corduroy (2014), expanded the band to an octet and drew inspiration from a wholly unexpected source: the brassy, memorable theme songs from Ullmann’s ‘70s childhood. The result was simultaneously fresh and nostalgic, with exhilarating playing as the ensemble navigated the music’s narrative twists and turns.

On his new album Sometime, Ullmann takes the concept of reinvention and applies it to his own catalogue. Using an unreleased organ trio date as a leaping-off point, Ullmann fleshed out the music with a larger ensemble of collaborators, taking what was a lively soul-jazz outing into strange and exciting new territory with the addition of synths, sitar, mandolin, vibes, horns and percussion.

Get the album on CDBaby.

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