Posts Tagged ‘ Fusion Jazz ’

Jeff Lorber Fusion – Prototype

Trailblazing pianist, composer, producer and bandleader Jeff Lorber is a consummate artist who continues to push himself to new plateaus. A groundbreaking Fender Rhodes pioneer along with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample and Bob James, Lorber has triumphed as one of the most innovative musical minds in contemporary jazz. The multi Grammy-nominated pianist’s newest CD is a sterling example of his expansive musical roots, masterfully crafted harmonic and melodic sophistication, irresistible finger-poppin’ grooves and intricate rhythmic sense. “I came up with the name Prototype because we are always trying to up our game and come up with new exciting music that could be a prototype or innovative harbinger for the future of our musical style,” says the LA based pianist. Lorber, a Berklee College of Music alum who formerly majored in Chemistry at Boston College goes full throttle on Prototype, orchestrating like an alchemist in the lab concocting a majestic elixir of jazz, soul, funk, pop, R&B and gospel.

Prototype features longtime collaborators – bassist Jimmy Haslip (founding member of The Yellowjackets) and drummer Gary Novak. “From a production standpoint Jimmy adds a ‘big picture’ element. He contributes a lot with his warm bass sound and on the road he is without a doubt one of the finest soloists out there on his instrument.” Lorber adds, “Gary’s very versatile, imaginative, super solid and gets a great sound. He really shines playing over the funky polyrhythmic grooves we record.” The newest member to the all-star unit is saxophonist Andy Snitzer, who like Lorber (and the Brecker Brothers) hails from Cheltenham, PA. Lorber states, “Andy’s got a perfect approach. It’s soulful and melodic and he is not afraid of taking the music outside a bit.” Prototype also features special guests bassist Nathan East, guitarists Chuck Loeb, Larry Koonse and Paul Jackson, Jr. and saxophonist Dave Mann, among others.

“Writing is something that I really enjoy and I’m always coming up with ideas to work on,” states Jeff Lorber, who penned nine of the tracks on Prototype and co-wrote one with Jimmy Haslip. “We put a lot of work, love and care into this record. I hope that everyone who hears it enjoys listening to it as much as we enjoyed writing and recording it. I think it’s the kind of record that will reap dividends by repeated listening because there’s a lot of great playing that you can only appreciate by really getting into it and checking out all the details.” Prototype opens with the spunky and electrifying “Hyperdrive” hinting to the euphoric musical excursion that lies ahead. The track features guitarist and Jazz Funk Soul collaborator Chuck Loeb who calls Jeff “an amazing guy and talent.” Lorber says of bassist Nathan East, who also appears on the track, “Nathan played on ‘Hyperdrive’ because I originally wrote that for his project. He played great on it so we kept it. I have to thank him for not using the track because it’s one of my favorites and the first single!” The album’s title track is a spirited and pulsating mid-tempo blues. Lorber explains, “Blues is a huge part of our music and I think Andy really brings it home with his approach to the melodies and his solos.” Saxophonist Dave Mann offers a vibrant, smoothly executed and feel-good horn arrangement on this track as well as six others. “The shout chorus on ‘Prototype’ is great,” comments Lorber. “I’m glad to also feature guitarist Michael Thompson who plays a stellar solo on the end of the song.” Continue reading

Paul Victor Project – Girl from Barcelona

paulvictorproject2The name Paul Victor is synonymous with musical virtuosity. Paul has described his style as a mix of fusion, soul, rock and blues music, utilizing a loaded amount of sweeping and legato in his playing. His main influences are Al DiMeola, Jimi Hendrix, Tony MacAlpine, JJ Cale, Yngwie Malmsteen and Paul Gilbert. Paul was born on the Island of St Lucia. Paul completed and released his solo CD, Time Machine in 2010, a CD from the heart where Paul shows his varied influences from the Scott Henderson-esque single, “Musetta,” to the blues derived, “Dance Angel.” Paul also shows the depth of his writing with the instrumental, “Farewell Don’t Cry”. His latest CD Girl from Barcelona promises to be amazing and again eclectic, with instrumentals from smooth jazz to fusion.

Paul comments: “This CD has been a pleasure to write and record. Writing this music over the last two years has been an epic journey. It is my desire that you can feel some of the emotional journey in the tracks as the energy resonates with you. Tracked over two continents, there have been a lot of people who have had a hand in influencing the music on this project, I thank you all for the impact you have had on my journey. My daughter will be happy that this project is actually completed thank you Cate. The track I’ll fly away was written by Albert E Brumley back in 1929, it was a song my grandmother would sing often, I am happy I get to pay tribute to her with the instrumental version of this widely used song”.

Girl from Barcelona is available for download only at CDBaby.

Sound of Fusion – Black Tie Event

black-tie-eventSound of Fusion is a collaboration of the writing and playing of producer Jordan Biel alongside some of his friends, Jeff Sweigard, Jim Donadio, Mikel Lagaras, Ryan Robb & George Miller. Produced by Jordan Biel at The Cellar Studio A. All Songs written by Jordan Biel with the exception of Every Good and Perfect Gift, written by Jordan Biel & Mikel Lagaras.

Sound of Fusion is an album meant for your late nights; it’s date night music at it’s best. Get it at CDBaby.

Christoph Spendel – Jazzmatics Vol. 1 New York Sessions

Jazzmatics Vol. 1 New York Sessions is the first album in the Jazzmatics series by jazz genius Christoph Spendel. The addition New York Sessions is explained by the fact that Christoph Spendel recorded these pieces during his stay in the USA in the 90’s.

Christoph was supported by top notch musicians, with whom he performed on many events in the years 1993 – 1994. The album starts with the powerful City Life, described by Spendel with mighty keystrokes. Near the epicenter of fusion jazz he is also toying with other formats.

Backed on a precise and snappy percussion rhythm Christoph exercises on Strong People the noble art of piano driven jazz. From the Past allures with elevated pristine synth sounds in opposition to a stroke of piano genius.

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Christoph Spendel – Jazzmatics Vol. 2 New York Sessions

The Jazzmatics series is for Christoph Spendel a resume of the last 40 years. It started 1971, when Christoph watched on TV Miles Davis and his band during the Berliner Jazztage. The Miles Davis cast made it clear how interesting it is to combine different styles and cultures.

Christoph is a child of the 70’s, when fusion jazz and rock jazz were developed, later copied to a high level. The mixture between America, Africa and Europe is a huge musical treasure trove for him. He always surrounded himself with musicians, who also shared his philosophy. So with his bands in Germany and in USA as a member of Special EFX.

He had the opportunity to perform with Chuck Loeb, Dave Samuels, Dave Valentin, Lee Ritenour, Marion Meadows, Chieli Minucci, and more. His love for Weather Report and his longtime friendship with Joe Zawinul have also shaped him. His passion for Latin music was fueled by his numerous Cuba visits.

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Journeys – New Destinations

Suisse based fusion jazz formation Journeys consists of saxophonist Philippe Mall, guitarist Ueli Gasser, percussionist Willy Kotoun, drummer and percussionist Robert Mark, keyboardist and pianist Angelo Signore and bassist Luciano Maranta. All work with different bands and projects. New Destinations (2016) is their common denominator. Their debut album is Different Places, which was released in 2004.

With the new album the band celebrates their 10th anniversary. Cool Breeze is the result of Angelo Signore’s stay in Italy on the Mediterranean sea. The piece starts under-cooled before it accelerates in expansive piano cadences. Guitarist Dennis Roshard composed Joy in thankfulness to his friends Geraldine and Nicholas, who share their personal happiness with him. An energetic bundle of positive sounds.

Not Yet by Philippe Mall is the musical realization of profound wisdom offering a variety of styles from melodious jazz to fusion. Don Roberto is a Latin tinged tune with Mediterranean elements and an ecstatic percussion beyond the mental sphere. Dave Is Back is influenced by the contemporary west coast style of Dave Grusin during the heyday of the label GRP.

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Alvin Mills Project – Looking Past Forward

Bassist Alvin Mills looks back on a moving life. Born in Fort Knox/Kentucky he came quickly in contact with music. During the first Gulf War in Iraq playing his acoustic guitar was the only reliable resting pole. Although performing with many International musicians like Ronan Keating, Mary J. Blige, Roy Hargrove, Ricky Lawson, Nile Rodgers & CHIC and many more, he decided to go to Germany, where he already spent two years of his army time.

He started his solo career with the album Keep Your Head To The Sky (2010). His second album Looking Past Forward will be released November 23, 2016 on mochermusic. Alvin performs on this album basses, drums, percussion, Rhodes, and synths. Further members of his project are saxophonist Arno Haas, Rainer Scheithauer (Rhodes, synths, piano, moog, organ) and Stephan Schuchardt (drums). Guest musicians on various tracks are Uwe Metzler (acoustic guitar), Sevan Gökoglu (piano, organ) and Charles Simmons, Alisia Harris and Ellliot (lead and background vocals).

Run And Tell That is the first message of the album. The syncopated approach of the tune reminds of Jeff Lorber’s Fusion. Lakewood delivers a textural balance of harmonic synergy between the two lead instruments on the borderline of saxy smooth jazz and funky bass. The bass line of Come With It conjures some Brothers Johnson feeling. Alvin lets the beast of the chain.

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