Posts Tagged ‘ Contemporary Jazz ’

Reggie Young – Young Street

New York has always been the platform of bass player Reggie Young. He is at home in clubs, theaters, and churches. He debuted in 1997 with his album Among Friends, followed in 2002 by a self-titled album with John Patitucci and Steppin’ Up in 2011 featuring saxophonist Darren Rahn.

His new album Young Street was released in July 2017. Reggie attaches importance to the statement that it is not smooth jazz. Beyond the meaning of genres, a classification in contemporary jazz describes his music with the typical uncertainty, which the listener has to accept.

On the new project are performing beside Reggie (bass), Garnett Walters (b3 organ), Paul John Jr., Daiquan Davis, James Rouse (drums), Darwin Noguera, Yeisson Villamar (piano, keyboards), Pablo Batista, Miguel Ayala (percussion), Bill Holloman (horns), Marissa Licata (strings), Andrew Swift (guitar), Onree Gill (Rhodes), James Cage (trumpet), James Hall (vocals), and John Peters (keyboards).

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Harold Little – Akoben

DC area trumpet player, songwriter, and producer Harold Little debuted in 2009 with the EP Daddy’s Groove. Harold incorporates on this album Funk undertones with a hint of Go-Go Swing. His sophomore album Akoben (2017) is a testimony of his African roots in a multicultural diversity.

Akoben is the title of an African war horn, a symbol of vigilance and wariness. Harold performs on this album trumpet and flugelhorn. He is joined by Bruce Williams (alto saxophone), Jamal Brown, Y. C. Laws (flute), vocalists Heidi Martin, Karen Linette, the choir: Keena Chew, Brittney Ford, Brandon Ford, Angela Ford, Kristin Johnson, keyboardists Keith Exum, Vince Evans, Leroy “Scooter” Taylor, guitarist Tony Cothran, bassists Adrian “Egg” Norton, Kris Funn, Rodney “LRod” Lewis, drummers Arvell “Cloudy” McLeod, Dwayne “KIGGO” Wellman, Mark Steward and percussion players Milton “GoGo Mickey” Freeman, Leroy “Boogie” Greer, Danar “Nicky Barnes” Gorham.

With the exception of two covers, Harold Little has written, arranged and produced all songs. East Of The River starts with a heavy bass handing over to Harold on muted trumpet who’s finding a funky outlet for his inner voice. You Don’t Know What Love Is is a jazz standard written by Don Raye and Gene de Paul for the Abbott and Costello picture Keep ‘Em Flying (1941). This song was covered by all great jazz artists, the world knows, from George Benson to Ella Fitzgerald. Featured vocalist on this interpretation is Heidi Martin, who embraces the song with great empathy.

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Brian Hudson – Next Level

Atlanta, Georgia based drummer and studio musician Brian Hudson is active in various groups. To mention are The Dave Mathews Cover Band, Tonohoney, Memory Dean, Soulhound, Madoca and Momentum.

Next Level is his debut album and was released in August 2017. The album is a collaboration between Hudson and jazz/fusion musician, composer and producer Randy Hoexter (keyboard, piano). Both are joined by Adam Nitti, Joe Reda (bass), Sam Skelton (sax), Melvin Jones (trumpet), and Trey Wright (guitar). Next Level is also the name of Hudson’s new formation.

On Nyc Hudson captures the pulsating life of New York in a dynamic contemporary jazz piece. Spacious phases alternate with quieter moments with a focus on saxophone and trumpet. Seventy Eight usually defines an old-fashioned record that is played by being turned around 78 times every minute. The jazz fusion tune picks up the musical themes at a fast pace.

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Ron Otis – Stay In Your Lane

A common denominator of Earl Klugh, Bob James or Al Turner is drummer Ron Otis. You find him in addition to on recordings of Kim Scott, Lin Rountree, Brian O’Neal, Justin Young, Dave McMurray, Alexander Zonjic, Al McKenzie, Charles Greene, Randy Scott and more.

After his debut album Upfront (2009), Stay In Your Lane (2017) is his sophomore album. The album comprises nine musical works, shaped by alternating teams of musicians, in which drummer Ron Otis is the common factor and style-forming element.

Low Beat is a creation by pianist Charles Scales, who together with Ron and bassist Al Turner forms a punchy trio. The ground patterns are layered by Charles with a signature clavinet part on which he expands his spacious piano excursion. The theme accelerates in a staccato tempo, a great basis for Ron, to elaborate a filigree structure on the various percussion ensembles.

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Mitchell Coleman Jr. – Gravity

Fans of slammin’ yet radio-ready, Jazz-Funk Fusion, will rejoice upon the discovery of bassist/composer Mitchell Coleman Jr.! Coleman, a disciple of the Stanley Clarke, Larry Graham, Louis Johnson and Marcus Miller schools of The Throwdown, is still in awe of the success of the 2016 release of his debut CD, Perception. Perception is described as Mitchell’s second musical journey of self-exploration – which fulfilled Mitchell’s lifelong dream of expressing the music that’s been in his heart since he began thumpin’ basses at the tender age of 10.

The new CD Gravity was independently released in August 2017 on Mitchell’s own Soul Revelations Records label. Once again partnering with veteran Motown producer Michael B. Sutton and the first lady of Smooth Jazz Gail Jhonson, Gravity displays Mitchell’s musical growth at a whole new level. His experimental sound genre-hops from Jazz to Hip Hop to R&B proving his versatility as an artist. The new album brings the listener closer into every unfolding genius mindset of Mitchell Coleman Jr. as displayed in the infectious track “Transcendence” and the ethereal title Track “Gravity”. “One of the hidden gems on the CD is the Michael Jackson track “I Can’t Help It” penned by the legendary Stevie Wonder and featuring Ralph Tresvant ( New Editon).

The new album is featured under the topic contemporary jazz/jazz fusion at CDBaby.

Phaze II – Backtalk

Since 1997, Phaze II has been providing Smooth and Funky Jazz sounds on the local music scene in the Washington, DC area, by honing its craft of delivering quality music to their listeners. Phaze II has embarked on a journey to show the world the many talents that this jazz band has to offer. Determined to broaden their vision, Phaze II entered the 13th Annual Capital Jazz Festival 2005 Capital Jazz Challenge Competition. This competition was sponsored by Washington DC’s Smooth Jazz 105.9 and Baltimore, Maryland’s Smooth Jazz 104.3. The final competition consisted of 6 bands chosen from 600 competition entries. Phaze II was chosen the winners of the competition received a monetary contribution and had the opportunity to open the next day on the Capital Jazz Festival’s main stage.

This jazz ensemble has also been fortunate to back up various national artists such as; Regina Belle, El DeBarge, MeL’isa Morgan, Frank McComb, Paul Taylor, Jackiem Joyner, Marcus Anderson, Ken Navarro, Lori Jenaire, Althea Renee, BK Jackson, Cindy Bradley, Bob Baldwin, Shelby Brown, Gail Jhonson, Tony Exum Jr, Lynn Fiddmont, Dee Lucas, Kevin Whalum and Lin Roundtree just to name a few. Phaze II has become a very sought after band for national artist when they come to perform in the Washington, DC area. Their newest album is entitled Backtalk (2016).

All albums are available at CDBaby.

Angela Puxi – Badapapapaa

Saxophonist Angela Puxi, grew up in the Ruhr area, her origin is however Sardinia. Inspired by her aspiration for perfection and her own musical creativity, she began her studies for jazz saxophone at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Arnhem (NL), where she graduated with the Bachelor of Music (Jazz and Pop).

In summer 2012 her first EP Senza Parole was released, a rather rocky-hymnal oeuvre. Authenticity, her captivating nature and her Sardinian temperament make Puxi to a distinctive sympathizer. With Volker Dorsch as keyboarder and co-producer, she found a congenial partner for developing new songs at the beginning of 2013, and finally both released in 2015 Angela’s debut album Badapapapaa.

With Ulf Stricker on drums, Thorsten Praest on guitar, bass player Goran Vujic, a very tight and stable group joined. Further musicians on selected tracks are Dennis Legree (vocals), Sebastian Studnitzky and Hans-Peter Salentin (trumpet).

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