Posts Tagged ‘ Craig Sharmat ’

Craig Sharmat – Bleu Horizons

Should the guitarist Craig Sharmat be unknown to the reader, he was the composer of trailers for movies like King Kong, Ghost Rider, Eragon, Anchorman, wrote songs for the TV series like CSI Miami, Without A Trace and many more. He also arranged songs for Rick Braun, Peter White, and Mindy Abair.

He gave his debut with the album So Cal Drivin, which was released in 2009. His sophomore album Outside In followed in 2010. With his new album Bleu Horizons Craig ensures continuity. On his new project he is supported by a variety of professional musicians. I discover in the liner notes Craig Manning (keyboards), Rayford Griffin (drums), Hussain Jiffry (bass), Peter White (accordion), Rick Braun (trumpet, flugelhorn), Luis Conte (percussion) and several more.

With sound collages like First Stop NYC and Manhattan Morning Craig lures listeners into the magic of his new work. On A Day In Paris he captures with intense sounds the appeal of the French capital. The bring into play of Peter White on accordion is simply ingenious. In his guitar playing, he emphasizes the picturesque interpretation and not technical sophistication. This French life sense of savoir vivre also transmits Craig Sharmat on his next song La Seine Strut. Rick Braun on trumpet and Benedict Breyden on the violin are exponents of this way of life.

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Craig Sharmat – Bleu Horizons

Bleu HorizonsI started this album with the song “A Day in Paris”. I had not heard a “groove jazz” single use a traditional Gypsy Jazz combo and thought while being a novel idea it might fit the “Contemporary Jazz” format. As I watched the song race up the charts (#5 on billboard), I was working on the concept for the full album. In the day of the downloadable single I decided on going against the flow and went forward creating a concept album. In doing so I chose to have an international travelogue with a contemporary jazz flair. I wanted this to be a vehicle for my guitar playing, composing and arranging skills. It is also meant to sound fun and loose, I did not wish to be bound by traditional approaches.

Guitarist Craig Sharmat takes you on a trip around the world with his smooth grooves, contemporary jazz and world flavors. CDBaby presents Bleu Horizons.

Craig Sharmat – Outside In

Although known for his cooperation with jazz saxophonist Ronnie Laws, singer Randy Crawford and trumpet player Rick Braun Craig Sharmat earned his merits mainly as composer of trailers for movies like King Kong, Ghost Rider, Eragon, Anchorman, and songs for the TV series like CSI Miami, Without A Trace and many more.

Last year he started his solo career as a guitarist with his album So Cal Drivin receiving rave reviews of many Internet critics. The single of this album was in the Billboard charts for seventeen weeks. With his new album Outside In Craig offers proof for the persistence of his innovative career.

Craig assembled on his new project prominent musicians like Rick Braun, Rayford Griffin, Gregg Karukas, Phillipe Saisse, Luis Conte, Greg Matheison, Dan Lutz, Nate Najar, Mark Hollingsworth and many more.

With the orchestral introduction of Bossa Newva Craig showcases his heritage as film composer, but his affinity for seductive melodies is stronger, just for this time. While the jazz guitar follows the melody line, the song is brilliant with a fine arrangement of horns and strings.

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Craig Sharmat – Outside In

Craig Sharmat may be new to many as a solo jazz artist but his career as a guitarist/composer is accomplished. His debut album So Cal Drivin had the single of the same name place in the Billboard top 30 for seventeen weeks. An Impressive start out of the gate. His 2nd album Outside In will be his first on Innervision Records.

Early in Craig’s journey he found inspiration from Guitarist’s like Larry Carlton, Pat Metheny and George Benson. Assimilating some of these styles and adding his own touch Craig soon found himself touring with jazz legends Randy Crawford and Ronnie Laws. After a few years on the road it became evident to Craig that if he wanted a stable home life he needed to actually be home and pursued being a composer as his main profession. This was something he considered early on in his studies as a probability.

Craig landed his first major scoring gig which lasted 3 years as the composer for Disney’s “Kids Incorporated”. While doing this he continued doing some local session work and gigs in L.A. on guitar but his career path was now set. For the next twenty years his resume looks like a who’s who of television series with some movies sprinkled in. Some highlights include the opening for The MTV Movie Awards,14 years as composer for America’s Most Wanted (still active), Theme and background music to “The Real housewives of New Jersey”, numerous animation, many trailers include for example “Ghost Rider,King Kong, Live Free Die Hard, ads for Disney, Universal, ABC,etc etc. A full list can be found at http://www.scoredog.tv. Being an accomplished guitarist Craig took advantage of that talent, and his guitar work can he heard on thousands of TV, Movies and Ad cues on his own work and for the many other composers who recognized he not only can play well but posses a composers sensibility when recording.

Over the last few years Craig has had a renewed interest in following his original career path, that of being a pop jazz guitarist. As an arranger Craig had already placed arrangements for Rick Braun and Peter White’s Christmas album with Rick and Mindy Abair, but now it was finally time to strike out on his own. After the success of his first album Craig is anxious to share what he feels is his best cumulative work to date Outside In.

Craig’s sophomore album is now on sale at CDBaby.

Craig Sharmat – So Cal Drivin

The encounter with Craig Sharmat reveals a personality of a special kind. Influenced by artists like Larry Carlton, Pat Metheny and George Benson he soon had the lucky opportunity to share the stage with platinum selling jazz saxophonist Ronnie Laws and the not little-known jazz singer Randy Crawford. Although he arranged and programmed for chart topping trumpet player Rick Braun’s album Yours Truly and arranged strings on Peter White, Mindy Abair and Rick Braun’s 2007 Christmas Album he wasn’t caught by my smooth jazz radar screen.

The reason is simply explainable. Mainly he is fostering merits as a brilliant film composer. So he composed trailers for movies like King Kong, Ghost Rider, Eragon, Anchorman, wrote songs for the TV series like CSI Miami, Without A Trace and many more. His credits are overwhelming. Certainly enough to review his debut album So Cal Drivin, which was just released October, 2009.

The album presents his band Comfort Zone (John Balbuena, keys, Chris Mostert, sax, David Chamberlin, bass, Rich Diamond, drums) furthermore guest artists including Rick Braun, Greg Matheison, Mike White, Philippe Saisse, Dino Soldo, Billy Hulting, Steve Billman, Andy Suzuki and more. We should not forget Craig, who plays on all tracks electric guitar and in addition on some tracks keys, percussion and programming.

Blinded by such a great list of illuminates I approach Craig’s album with a certain respect. So Cal Drivin, a song about Drivin’ along the coast of Southern California, transmits the spirit of relaxed freedom, we all want to internalize, when we stuck in the middle lane of a So Cal freeway flailing our arms in frustration about the dense traffic. Turn your radio on and let Craig’s guitar music flow.

Continue reading Craig Sharmat  – So Cal Drivin

Craig Sharmat – So Cal Drivin

Craig Sharmat leaves his love of composing and session work to release this initial offering. The album features a number of special guests including Rick Braun who helped oversee the final project. There are some tracks with his performing groove jazz band Comfort Zone and a host of special guests including Greg Matheison, Mike White, Philippe Saisse, Dino Soldo, Billy Hulting, Steve Billman, Andy Suzuki etc, etc.

Sharmat includes infectious grooves on tunes like So Cal Drivin (nationally charted), Spud Nutts (a homage to his composing mentor Lyle Murphy) Fish Fry and The Badger. Craig also includes the tune Brisa showing his love for Brazilian music and also includes two lush orchestral arrangements Dad and Midnight Jass featuring a specialty, orchestral arranging. The included Song for Colleen is a beautiful ballad with a catchy melody. Craig rounds out the collection with the uplifting Perfect Life and Smooth Sailing where he departs from his clean electric guitar playing on the latter tune in favor of a more rock guitar playing approach.

Sharmat has toured with Randy Crawford and Ronnie Laws. He has worked on Rick Braun’s Yours Truly album and Peter White’s Christmas album featuring Rick Braun and Mindi Abair. He has played/composed/ on thousands of TV, move and jingle cues. So Cal Drivin is arrived at CDBaby.

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