Posts Tagged ‘ Elan Trotman ’

Elan Trotman – Dear Marvin

Sax salutes sexy soul on Elan Trotman’s “Dear Marvin,” a collection of ten of Marvin Gaye’s best-loved songs that drops on April 2, the late legendary R&B singer’s 80th birthday. Preceding the set’s arrival is the single “Got To Give It Up,” a vibrant reboot of one of Gaye’s funky dance tracks that is the No. 1 most-added single on the Billboard chart this week as an instrumental from the Woodward Avenue Records album produced by Charles Haynes (Marcus Miller, Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah) and Trotman.

“It’s amazing how this project came about. ‘Got To Give It Up’ has been a huge part of my live show for the past two years and has always been a crowd favorite. That is just one of the many factors that inspired me to record the song and to dig deeper into Marvin’s catalogue and life story. I had no idea that his 80th birthday would be coming up around our time of completing the album, but once I found out, I knew we had to release it on April 2 to mark the occasion,” said Trotman, an award-winning saxophonist who has topped the Billboard singles chart more than ten times.

In reimagining Gaye’s catalogue in instrumental form, Trotman shares the spotlight on “Dear Marvin,” with premier soloists, including Grammy-winning keyboardist Jeff Lorber, seminal urban-jazz flautist Najee, esteemed trumpeter Patches Stewart, soul-jazz-hip hop-funk trombonist Jeff Bradshaw and veteran guitarist Sherrod Barnes. Trotman strategically deploys vocals to illumine a few key tracks. Ray Greene (Santana, Tower of Power) begs on “Mercy Mercy Me”; rapper Obadele Thompson plies his come-on skills to “I Want You”; and Tim “Smithsoneon” Smith provides the cure through “Sexual Healing.” Members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra enhance a pair of tracks with strings. Including Haynes, Trotman’s core collaborators are his former colleagues from Berklee College of Music: keyboardist Mitch Henry (Marsha Ambrosius), bassists Kyle Miles and Keithen Foster (H.E.R.), and percussionist Atticus Cole. Continue reading

Elan Trotman – Incomparable

Boston resident saxophonist Elan Trotman brings the sunshine into smooth jazz with his albums Memories – The Debut (2001), Let’s Have A Good Old Time (2005), A Reggae Christmas (2007), This Time Around (2009), Love and Sax (2011) and Tropicality (2013). His newest album Incomparable is released June 22, 2018 on Island Muzik Productions, Elan’s own company.

I Am Africa is Elan’s confession to his origin. Originally hailing from the Caribbean island Barbados Elan’s heart still beats for his mother continent. The African reflection is more in the beat than in the saxophone interpretation. This irresistible Hip Hop beat Elan excellently upgrades to Incomparable.

Carnival Fever is the first single of the new album heavily rotating on smooth jazz radio stations and already promoted by Elan’s video on YouTube. Canon In C has the Caribbean flavor that runs like a thread through the entire album. Elan treats the sax with great verve and humor. The term Canon is not to understand in a classic way, this is simply fascinating.

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Elan Trotman – Electro Sax

Saxophonist Elan Trotman is unwavering in his committed to wave the flag high for Caribbean music, but after releasing six soul-jazz albums and more than ten chart-topping singles that made him a permanent fixture on radio playlists, the Barbados native is “shaking it up” by going electronic on Electro Sax, his seventh outing which was released last Friday (April 21) by Island Muzik Productions.

Seeking a “hip radio sound that will reach beyond the masses,” Trotman assembled a creative team of up-and-coming producers – Spardakis, P-Nut, Dr. O and Da Troof – who he met at Boston’s esteemed Berklee College of Music and tasked them with putting a fresh, modern twist on the eleven new tracks that he wrote for the collection. With electronic elements evident in the production of Trotman’s tenor and soprano sax and the adventurous EDM sonicscapes, the result is an energizing, dance-happy mix of impromptu jazz sax licks, kinetic dance beats and festive Caribbean rhythms. Adding nuances to the audacious alchemy are guitarists Wayne Jones, Freddie Fox and JJ Sansaverino, and steel pan player Kareem Thompson. The first single set to seduce radio is the reggae-infused “Island Gal’,” which spotlights Trotman on soprano sax on the cut he describes as having “a sexy vibe to it.” Prince fans will appreciate the balladic tribute “Purple Emotion” that closes the set. The session’s lone cover is a tropical, dance hall take of Walk The Moon’s infectious pop smash “Shut Up and Dance.”

“’Electro Sax’ is a true representation of where I am at in my career. It’s modern sounding with prominent hints of the island. It’s also about branching out, reaching out by making good music for the masses. It’ll definitely ruffle feathers, but that is part of being an artist – pushing boundaries and perhaps establishing new ones,” said Trotman. “The ‘tropicality’ elements are part of who I am and I’m sticking with it. It’ll always be part of my sound and I believe in it. It is part of my brand and it’s authentic to my (Barbadian) roots.” Continue reading

Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2016 (A Retrospective)

The wintery Augsburg was dressed in a robe of hoarfrost, when we reached our destination on Friday after a long journey. It was for the first time that we attended the Smooth Jazz Festival in Augsburg during the New Year period. We had expected adverse weather conditions and were pleasantly surprised by the snow-free weather. Traditionally the festival took place in the Kurhaus Göggingen in Augsburg. A venue of timeless beauty build in the years of rapid industrial expansion in Germany. It is the work of famous architect Jean Keller, who constructed the building in 1886.

The festival is due to the promoter Christian Bössner, who, like every year, is passionate about the smooth running, the high-profile artists and the constancy of the festival. To him my highest appreciation and many thanks for this wonderful event.

The backing band consisted, as always, of professional studio musicians, who had been operating their music business for many years. The formation was led by musical director and gifted keyboardist Lutz Deterra, who, with his musical expertise, mastery on his instrument and tireless élan, kept the event in motion.

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Smooth Jazz Festival Mallorca 2014

The smooth jazz community is international. One likes to travel to faraway places to meet with like-minded people. So you can enjoy not only the concerts of popular artists but exchanges views among themselves. Many have formed friendships with each other and are also linked via Facebook or other platforms. This multiplies the impressions gained for all the senses, especially when one meets in such illustrious climes as the 5-star Protur Biomar Hotel in Sa Coma.

Concert promoter Christian Bößner had invited for the third time and they came to this outstanding event from many countries. We were particularly pleased to see so many American friends who had after all to cope with a wide approach path. And there were very prominent among them such as Melody Warren, who is very active with her JAZZ IN M.E.E. magazine. She equipped many artists with her t-shirts which maps the logo of her magazine. We could also welcome Sandy Shore known by her website and radio station SmoothJazz.com.

Regulars at this festival include Jaume Nebot from Spain, the competent general manager for the Protur Hotels, Peter Boehi from Suisse, who has already written his personal impressions on his website Smooth Vibes, Sascha Brezina from Austria, who always comes closest to the artists with his camera, Michel Mathieu from France, Len Seward and his wife from London, UK, Hilde Jervsjø and husband from Norway, Andreas Büchel, Germany, who is responsible for all prints of this festival, and the list goes on and on.

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Elan Trotman – Tropicality

Hailing from Barbados now living in Boston saxophonist Elan Trotman is an integral part of the smooth jazz scene today. His work consisting of Memories – The Debut (2001), influenced by Caribbean music, Let’s Have A Good Old Time (2005), a gospel jazz album, A Reggae Christmas (2007), popular Christmas carols in a jammin’ reggae style, This Time Around (2009) and Love and Sax (2011 ) is multifaceted.

His third album Tropicality (2013) is like the both predecessors a confession to smooth jazz. With a balanced mix of covers and self written compositions Elan shows his qualification as team worker. He is joined by bassist/producer Nicholas Brancker, guitarists Peter White, U-Nam, Nick Colionne, Fabiano Da Silva, Serghio Jansen, percussionists Luis Conte, Lenny Castro, keyboardist/producer Jeff Lorber, guitarist/producer Paul Brown, drummers Terri Lyne Carrington, Ricky Lawson and Tony Moore, trumpeter Lin Rountree, and bassist Alex Al .

Trotman has chosen as starting tune Stevie Wonder’s monster hit Master Blaster. The energetic original is recalculated in Elan’s version to the melody sequence enriched with a horn arrangement.

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Elan Trotman – Tropicality

ElanTrotman_TropicalityRihanna may be the most famous Barbadian making worldwide headlines, but saxophonist/flautist Elan Trotman is another gifted islander who is bringing the Caribbean island’s culture to the masses via music.  Tropicality, which will be released February 19th on Woodward Avenue Records, chronicles Trotman’s journey from Barbados to Boston and celebrates the multihued beauty of the tropical paradise.  Trotman and guitar star Peter White produced the 12-track set that was recorded in Barbados, Boston and Los Angeles and includes performances by a stellar array of musicians from around the world.

The inherent difficulty for instrumentalists is to “speak” without words, hence Trotman’s challenge to speak volumes through melodic riffs, rhythms and grooves that tell his personal story and share his ardor for his homeland.  He wrote or co-wrote seven of the collection’s nine originals and selected a few fitting covers, including the first single prefacing the album at radio, a rollicking rendition of Stevie Wonder’s reggae-inflected “Master Blaster.”

Recording in three widely diverse cities afforded Trotman the opportunity to draw upon an international talent pool that boasts compatriot Barbados-born bassist/producer Nicholas Brancker, British guitarist White, French guitarist U-Nam, Brazilian guitar marvel Fabiano Da Silva, Aruban guitarist Serghio Jansen, Cuban percussionist Luis Conte, and an accomplished American contingent consisting of keyboardist/producer Jeff Lorber, guitarist/producer Paul Brown, guitarist Nick Colionne, drummers Terri Lyne Carrington, Ricky Lawson and Tony Moore, trumpeter Lin Rountree, bassist Alex Al and percussionist Lenny Castro. Continue reading