Posts Tagged ‘ Eric Essix ’

Eric Essix – Moments (Anthology)

Recently I reviewed Eric Essix’s album More with a survey of his already released works. A  short time after this review he released his album Moments, an anthology of his previous albums spanning a period of three decades.

With Street Scene Eric shows his best side right away. A high infectious melody taken from the album Small Talk (2012). Greg Manning on piano adds a joyful groove and Melvin Butler on sax a mellow note. Steel is from Eric’s album Birmingham (2009), the ode to his hometown. Birmingham was a great iron and steel producer in the decades after the civil war.

On Drive Time from Somewhere In Alabama (2004) Eric shines with a sing along guitar playing in the style of George Benson. The Distance is from Eric’s self titled album (2012), which presents a special blues-rock attitude. Southbound is the title song of the album, which was released in 2000. Kelvin Wooten delivers a phenomenal accompaniment on piano and Hammond B3.

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Eric Essix – Moments

Last year during my Kickstarter campaign, I had a great time curating what I consider to be the most comprehensive collection from my recordings to date. Moments includes music from my first album in 1988 (“Sparrow” performed by Modern Man) to 2016’s This Train: The Gospel Sessions.

Moments is a limited edition anthology consisting of some of Eric Essix‘s favorite studio sessions over the course of his 30 year career.This one is unique, however, in that it reaches back into his catalog from the first album in 1988 with the song “Sparrow” and continues with his work in the early nineties all the way up to the most recent albums. The record also highlights some stellar collaborations with vocalists Ruben Studdard and Jason Eskridge (Zac Brown Band) and legendary jazz sax player, Kirk Whalum.

Get the album on CDBaby,

Eric Essix – More

Eric Essix‘s decision to live for music was influenced by a Weather Report concert, which Eric attended in 1977. In 1988 he debuted with his solo album First Impressions followed by Second Thoughts (1991), Third Degree Burn (1993), Eric Essix & Modern Man, LIVE!, Beautiful Music, Guitar, Just Like You (1995), The Modern Man Recordings (1993-1994), Small Talk (1998), Southbound (2000), Blue (2002), Somewhere In Alabama (2004), Abide With Me (2005), Retrospective: Volume One (2006), Birmingham (2009), My Gift To You (2010), Eric Essix (2012), Evolution (2013), The Isley Sessions (2014), Eric Essix’s Move > Trio (2015), This Train (2016).

His newest project, an anthology of songs from his recordings over the past three decades has not left the kickstarter level yet.

Instead Eric Essix is now promoting his second album, which he recorded this year, More. The album was written and arranged by Eric and produced by Kelvin Wooten, who also has written and arranged It’s About Time. Eric performs on this album guitars, Kelvin keyboards, organ, bass, sitar, and Glockenspiel. Further musicians are Marcus Finnie (drums), James “PJ” Spraggins (drums, percussion), Sean Michael Ray (bass), Kelley O’Neal (sax, flute), and Kaleah Wooten (vocals).

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Eric Essix – More

For Eric Essix, the year 2018 marks two inspiring milestones in his multi-faceted career. The Birmingham, Alabama based contemporary jazz guitarist is releasing his latest work entitled, More, which will be his 25th full length recording since launching his recording career in 1988 (30 years ago) with the debut record, First Impressions.

That album was the start of a creative journey that has made him a genre icon – not only for his keen ability to fashion a continuous flow of infectious melodies and funky grooves, but also because while delving into several sub-genres (pop, R&B and Gospel among them), he has artfully dismantled past ideas of what jazz is and reinvented them.

Buy More at CDBaby.

Eric Essix – Retrospective, Vol. 2: Ballads

BalladsBallads is the second offering into Essential Recordings exploration of the catalog of Guitarist Eric Essix. Following the initial Retrospective release, a CD Baby top seller, is this collection of recordings that examine the softer side of the artist going back more than a decade.

Retrospective, Vol. 2: Ballads is available at CDBaby.

Eric Essix – Eric Essix

Essential Recordings presents the new self titled release by Eric Essix, his first set of brand new music and arrangements following the success of 2009’s “Birmingham”!

It’s a new sound and a new direction for this southern styled guitarist whose soulful licks and phrasings are drenched in gospel and blues, but tinged with a generous portion of rock and neck bobbing funk. On this outing, those core characteristics of his sound remain, but compositionally he has broadened his horizons and embraced some country and folk music textures that happen to blend nicely with his southern sensibility and laid back approach. It is a natural progression for him as a writer after songs like Brother Bryan, Miles Away, Big Valley and his very “churchy” rendition of the civil rights anthem, We Shall Overcome from the Birmingham album. The record definitely seems to further define his identity for his listeners and even for himself.

“I have never personally considered myself to be a jazz artist in the truest sense of the word as it relates to the tradition of the music. But, I think because my music is predominately instrumental, I have been labeled a jazz guitarist; which is fine…I get it. However, I also understand that jazz requires a certain amount of study and discipline and, for guitarists, there is a very distinct vocabulary and sound that I have not put in the time to master like so many of my contemporaries like Russell Malone, Mark Whitfield and others. From my first album to this newest one, the voice that has been the most expressive for me on the guitar has always had an edgy, overdriven crunchiness which is the sound I love more than any other. I have not used that voice as much as I would have liked over the past several years in the studio and it’s exciting to explore it a bit more on this new project.”

Eric does not waste any time going there on the album’s opener, his cover of the Tom Petty hit, Free Fallin which ends with wailing Strat tones soaring over a bubbly organ pad and soaring background vocals. Except for the angular B-3 solo on the next song by the records producer and keyboardist Kelvin Wooten, on a funky Essix composition called Gravitate, the album contains nothing but extended guitar solos with Eric taking his time to make a clear statement on all of the albums ten tracks. “I got a lot of encouragement from Kelvin to ‘just play’ and even the songs we had originally planned to fade, ended up rolling out to the very end of the track with guitar solos.” A lot of listeners who have followed Eric since his debut recording in 1988 will probably say, “It’s about time!”

Eric’s album is available at CDBaby.

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