Posts Tagged ‘ East Bay Soul ’

Greg Adams and East Bay Soul – Conversation

Trumpet legend Greg Adams was the bedrock of the formation Tower of Powers. As a founding member of the group he has recorded fourteen albums and composed many of their hits. Nowadays his focus is  on the band East Bay Soul.

The band currently consists of Greg Adams (trumpet, flugelhorn, and background vocals), Darryl Walker (lead vocals, tenor sax), Lee Thornburg (trumpet, flugelhorn, and background vocals), Johnnie Bamont (alto, tenor and baritone saxes, flute, and background vocals), Greg Vail (alto, tenor sax, flute and background vocals), Nick Milo (keys and background vocals), Kay-Ta Matsuno (guitar), Dwayne “Smitty” Smith (bass), Herman Matthews (drums, and background vocals), and Johnny Sandoval (Latin percussion and background vocals).

The formation started in 2009 with the same named debut album. Soon followed East Bay Soul 2.0 (2012), That’s Life (2015) and this year Conversation. The album takes an overwhelming start with Look Book. The track shines with a sophisticated horn arrangement where the listener can discover many details. Dwayne’s bass plays a dominant role however.

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Greg Adams and East Bay Soul – Conversation

It has been nearly a quarter century since the genre chameleon trumpeter and arranger became a leader in his own right with his ground breaking debut Hidden Agenda. With Greg Adams’ approach that music is a language… the Conversation continues. You will sense a direct connection with the live feel of the music, the open breath of each note and the collaboration of each player.

Adams felt he had something special happening even before the band went into the studio. “I was writing less notes with my writing partner Nick Milo and with the direction that the songs were taking us, we knew we had a different approach for writing for a ten-piece band”.

The sound of Greg Adams is one of the world’s best-known musical signatures. As a founding member of Tower of Power, legendary for his arrangements that made the TOP horn section a sought out entity all its own. With countless collaborations in the studio and live on stage, Adams has made his mark on a broad stretch of today’s musical landscape that includes jazz, pop, rock, R&B, soul, and funk.

Conversation marks the fourth studio album for East Bay Soul and takes a giant leap to cement their own style -a blend of Funk, Jazz, R&B and Soul. Their combined extraordinary talents bring incredible energy to the recording with heart and soul. The opening track “Look Book” transports you to the Runways of New York, Paris, Milan and Tokyo! Look Book in hand. Lights open – from a curtain and the show begins…Greg Adams trumpet portrays the model on the “cat walk”. Dwayne “Smitty” Smith’s bass conjures up the much-needed attitude to really sell it!

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Greg Adams/East Bay Soul – That’s Life

Jazz trumpeter Greg Adams, known by his work for Tower of Power, is now building a new monument with the formation East Bay Soul. Adams has recorded six solo albums, three releases with East Bay Soul and fourteen recordings as a founding member of Tower of Power. That’s Life is his fourth album with the new band.

Greg is joined by Kay-Ta Matsuno, guitar, Joey Navarro, keys, Dwayne “Smitty” Smith, bass, Herman Matthews, drums and Johnny Sandoval, percussion. The horn section consist of Lee Thornburg, trumpet, flugelhorn, French horn and trombone, Johnnie Bamont, alto, tenor and bari sax. Greg Vail, alto and tenor sax.

If one frequently plays with a band, then the recording of a new CD is a flash. Greg say’s꞉ “It’s like looking bliss in the eye. Before you know it, we’ve made a record. It is amazing how it happens.” The album starts powerfully with Little Black Dress. Darryl Walker gives this song his voice and makes it to his own. With Hush Hush Greg Adams presents his muted trumpet in perfect harmony with the horn section. A self-perpetuating piece.

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Greg Adams – East Bay Soul

eastbaysoulFormer Tower of Power mastermind Greg Adams has created a new project called East Bay Soul. Members of the band are Greg Adams (trumpet), Brian Allen (bass), Johnnie Bamont (sax and flute), Michael Paulo (sax), Joey Navarro (keyboards), Johnny Sandoval (percussion), Evan Stone (drums), Lee Thomburg (trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone) and James Wirrick (guitar). But don’t await an instrumental-only band. On the new album East Bay Soul are also a lot of vocals.

Nevertheless the band stands in the tradition of Tower of Power with a strong emphasis on the horns. East Bay Soul is entitled after the San Francisco East Bay Area. The group presents contemporary jazz with a big dose of R&B, just the right mixture to let you dance and groove.

The album starts with Survival Of The Hippest, a horn driven tune featuring Greg Adams on solo trumpet. Tom Bowes adds a short rap sequence which doesn’t change the brass laden character of the song.

Bop Drop is more or less a jazz interlude, a symbolic fig leaf for the jazz purists. Reading Lips features Tom Bowes, former lead singer of Tower of Power and today’s a member of the groups Funk Filharmonik. He puts his heart blood into melody and emotion.

Jump, Shout & Holler presents a further singer, Sean Holt. He recently appeared on Richard Smith’s L.A. Chillharmonic. His singing is very trenchant and unique. The cool is back on the mid-tempo What’s It Gonna Be?, Greg Adams and his muted trumpet.

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