Posts Tagged ‘ Fusion Jazz ’

Kirk Whalum – Humanité

Sax legend Kirk Whalum is as I already stated in another review a wanderer between the two worlds of smooth jazz and Gospel music. With his new album Humanité he breaks through this scheme.

Humanité is an album, whose music is formed in mosaic shape by the musicians and their involved personalities they have brought in to the recording process. Among many others the following musicians are participating: Japanese jazz pianist Keiko Matsui, the young bass phenomenon Barry Likumahuwa, gifted singer/songwriter Grace Sahertian and global pop star Indonesian singer/actor Afgansyah Reza, known to many as Afgan, vocalist/guitarist Zahara, one of South Africa’s biggest stars, Kasiva Mutwa of Nairobi, and the veteran UK jazz vocalist Liane Carroll.

Curtis Mayfield’s song Move On Up has lost none of its radiance since its inception in the ’70s. Especially in the last months you can meet his song in ever new variations. Kirk Whalum goes his own way with his interpretation which is settled near a jazzy attitude in a Weather Report way. Singer Brendan Reilly is sensationally excellent.

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Eugen Botos Finally – Final Definition

Slovakia based jazz funk trio Finally was founded by Eugen Botos (piano) – leader and composer of the band, Robert Vizvari (bass guitar), Martin Koleda (guitar). In 2008 the trio became the touring band of Eric Marienthal in Europe which gave them some contact with the American contemporary jazz scene. In 2010 they released their debut album My Space.

Final Definition is their sophomore album, which was released in Japan in 2016 and this year in the rest of the world. The album features an incredible variety of top musicians. Among them are famous singers like Brian McKnight, Maysa Leak, Dionne Warwick, Angela Johnson, Sheldon Reynolds, sax player Eric Marienthal, drummers Dave Weckl, Eric Valentine, Oscar Seaton and Ronald Brunner Jr., bass players Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten, keyboardist Jeff Lorber and many more.

Marcus Miller introduces into the theme of Love For Real with his sonorous sounding bass. Featured singer is Sheldon Reynolds, the former singer and guitarist of the groups Sun, The Commodores and Earth, Wind and Fire. The song also offers prominent solos by Marcus Miller and Jeff Lorber on Rhodes.

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Valeriy Stepanov – Album №1

No matter how far away his musical kernel might be considered by the geographical standpoint. Lastly, the internet of things represents a fusion of the physical and digital, the real and virtual worlds. If an historical constant is to be defined in the relationship between Russia and the West, then it is the central role that the West, in all its many musical forms, plays in Russian view. Moscow based multi-instrumentalist Valeriy Stepanov is going West.

After New Beginnings (2017) his sophomore project was Valeriy Stepanov (Live) with songs from his debut album in live atmosphere.  Now he returns with a jazz fusion album as Valeriy Stepanov Fusion Project aptly titled Album №1. Valeriy had the privilege to record his new tunes with such incredible musicians as Martin Miller, Sebastian Lanser, Steven Williams, Steve Tavaglione, Альберт Степанов, Alex Hutchings, Marcus Thomas, Jerohn Garnett, and Johannes Zetterberg.

Get the album on Amazon.com.

Branly, Ruiz, Haslip – Elemental

Top musicians have a certain resemblance to star chefs. Their outstanding position is based on talent and a lot of passion. When three musical greats come together, then we experience an event of a special kind, fusion jazz in the truest sense of the word. Otmaro Ruiz, Jimmy Branly, and Jimmy Haslip form Elemental.

On the new album Otmaro Ruiz performs piano, Fender Rhodes and synths, Jimmy Branly drums, and Jimmy Haslip electric bass. Ruiz has written all tracks with the exception of Boomtown, which is from the Yellowjackets album Mint Jam (2001).

The aptly titled introduction A Good Start presents three of the most talented contemporary jazz players on the scene in a breathtaking action. Otmar Ruiz keeps the music flowing on synth and keys while Branly and Haslip provide the right rhythmic frame for it.

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Otmaro Ruiz – Jimmy Branly – Jimmy Haslip – Elemental

Grammy-nominated Pianist/Composer Otmaro Ruiz, Drummer Jimmy Branly and Bassist Jimmy Haslip team up together to create an incredible jazz trio album titled, Elemental. All compositions by Otmaro Ruiz (Minina Music ASCAP), except “Boomtown” by Jimmy Haslip & Russell Ferrante (LaViera Music BMI, Teeth Music BMI). Considered one of the most important jazz pianists in the current scene, Venezuelan Otmaro Ruiz is known for his versatility and virtuosity. Regarded as one of the most sought-after keyboardists for recordings in today’s scene, Otmaro is still able to dedicate time to teaching, scoring of movie sound-tracks and to the production of his works as a leader with original compositional material, captured in the CDs “Otmaro Ruiz plays Ryuichi Sakamoto”, “Distant Friends”, “Nothing to Hide”, “Latino” and in his most recent album “Sojourn”.

Jimmy Branly was born in Havana, Cuba, and grew up in a rich musical environment of Cuban flavors. Jimmy moved to the United States in 1998, performing and recording with many groups and artists. Jimmy Haslip was born December 31st, 1951 in the Bronx, New York. He grew up in Huntington, Long Island. Jimmy was actively composing, arranging, producing and performing with Yellowjackets. He also worked and recorded with numerous other musicians among them Jeff Lorber.

“This is a beautiful album! Incredible compositions, playing, inter-play and production. This is a phenomenal album for fans of great music (jazz/fusion aficionados will especially love this). Everyone needs this album!” (Joseph Patrick Moore)

Elemental is scheduled for release 11-23-2018 in all online and offline shops. Listen to the album here.

Jeff Lorber Fusion – Impact

After Jeff Lorber has achieved nearly everything in his solo career, the win of a GRAMMY for his Jeff Lorber Fusion recording Prototype in the category of Best Contemporary Instrumental Album was the ultimate acknowledgement of his music.

At the same time this was an incentive to make the next album even better. Keyboard wizard Lorber called again his friends Jimmy Haslip (bass) and Andy Snitzer (sax) to create the new project Impact (2018).

Of course, Lorber also relies on well-known professional musicians from his close circle such as drummers Gary Novak and John Roberts, guitarists Paul Jackson Jr., Michael Thompson and Adam Hawley, and horn specialist David Mann. A concept that has also carried his previous releases.

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Pelle Fridell – Soul Go Jaz

Born in Stockholm, Sweden and since 1993 resident in Copenhagen, Denmark,  saxophonist Pelle Fridell can look back on an exquisite list of top musicians with whom he has already performed together. Among them are Toots Thielemans, Randy Brecker, Sir Charlie Watts, Tom Waits, Ivan Lins, Angelique Kidjo, Georgie Fame, Geir Lysne, Chris Potter, Michael Mantler and more.

Pelle has already released five solo albums. Soul Go Jaz (2018) is the latest release in the Go Jaz series with Go Jaz (2002) and More Go Jaz (2011). Pelle performs on his album sax, flutes, bass-clarinet, keys, programming. Additional artists are Tim Lutte, Niclas Campagnol (drums), Søren Reiff (guitar), Lars Danielsson ( bass), Mads Storm (Rhodes, piano), Jesper Christenson (Wurlitzer, piano), and Michael Mølhede (trumpet).

The starter of the album, For The Ladies, presents Fridell in the best light. He performs the sax with great passion and emotion. Marvin Gaye could be the inspiration for his saxual approach. On Johanna he hits the sweet spot with his graceful flute in combination with sax burning the notes in a fast run.

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