Posts Tagged ‘ Hip Hop ’

Marcus Miller – Laid Black

Bass icon Marcus Miller, one of the top five world bass players, enjoys high name recognition. He not only possesses a high reputation among critics but also among his professional colleagues. Ever since he took over the role of host at the smooth jazz cruises, he is well known far beyond the field of jazz.

His solo albums are not pure collections of songs but conceptually planned. On his previous album Afrodeezia he themed not only Africa, but sought a close alliance with numerous African musicians. Marcus comments: “With Laid Black, I decided to bring the music right up to the present – using elements from what’s happening in urban music today. So you’ll hear hip-hop, trap, soul, funk, R&B and jazz on this album”.

Marcus performs on the new album bass, keyboards, vocals, synths, Wurlitzer electric piano, clavinet, bass clarinet, drums, and rhythm programming. Further supporting musicians on selected tracks are Marquis Hill, Patches Stewart, Russell Gun (trumpet), Alex Han (alto sax), Brett Williams (keyboards, piano, Fender Rhodes), Alex Bailey (drums, percussion), Russell Gun with New Orleans horns, Selah Sue (vocals), Adam Agati (guitar), Trombone Shorty (trombone), Jonathan Butler (vocals, guitar), Louis Cato (drums), Kirk Whalum (flute, tenor sax), Caleb McCampell (vocoder), Cliff Barnes (piano), Julian Miller (vocals), Richie Cajate-Garcia (percussion), and Take 6 (vocals).

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Soil & “Pimp” Sessions – Black Track

Don’t let the name fool you. Soil & “Pimp” Sessions is a group of Japanese musicians whose brand of jazz is unconventional, yet noteworthy. Their new release, Black Track (Red River Entertainment, 2017) combines elements of what’s commonly known as “black music,” a mix of R&B, hip-hop and jazz.

“By Your Side” features special guests Bambu and Nia Andrews. It’s a soulful rap. Unlike conventional hip-hop where the rap and the beat are all that matters, this song is underscored by a hybrid of smooth jazz and R&B instrumentation. Bambu handles the rap skillfully, like some of the old-school artists of the genre. Andrews provides a change of mood, singing the melody in a soft, romantic style. As the song progresses, a lead vocal sings different lyrics while the title is sung in the background, following the phrase of “For Your Love,” an obscure album track from producer Peter Brown’s only release as a vocalist. The piano and soprano sax are prominent throughout.

“Black Milk” is a lively instrumental. The main theme features the soprano out front, joined by a trumpet on alternating phrases. Emphasis on bass line and percussion complementing the other instruments. The piano and soprano are frantic during their high-speed solos. And just when you think they’re about to revert to the main theme, the soprano enters a mind-blowing sequence, with the piano offering a Latin-style counter-solo.

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Kim Scott – Southern Heat

Birmingham, Alabama based flutist Kim Scott has already released the albums Crossing Over (2011) and Rite of Passage (2013). Her third album Southern Heat (2016) does not only show the flutist but increasingly more the vocalist.

Kim performs on the new album with James “PJ” Spraggins, Ron Otis (drums), Sean Michael Ray (bass), Eric Essix, Michael “Big Mike” Hart (guitar), Kelvin Wooten (rhythm guitar, keyboards, synth bass, programming), Lin Rountree (trumpet), Jim Lowe III (programming, horn arrangement), Darryl Tibbs (percussion) and more.

The starter Billie Jean is best known as one of the musical diamonds by the late king of Pop Michael Jackson. Kim Scott serves a pristine rendition of this popular song with a tasty flute. Fantastic Voyage surprises with heavy funk, a genre already adapted to smooth jazz namely by Brian Culbertson, Candy Dulfer and Wayman Tisdale.

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Jef Kearns – The Flute

Toronto based flautist Jef Kearns started his solo career with the album On the Level (2009), followed by Soulfisticated (2013) and this year The Flute.

Jef Kearns created this EP with several producers, who played all the other instruments. That explains the nature of his music, which is consistently detailed but also meticulously planned.

The flute is considered as the shyest instrument. Although it takes the most amount of air under the instruments next to tuba, the tone is overall warm, heartfelt and lovely. Its expressiveness is celebrated in the hands of masters like Nestor Torres, Alexander Zonjic, Ragan Whiteside, Dwayne Kerr or Najee.

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Nate Harasim – #Shades Of Nate

When Nate Harasim began his solo career with the album Next In Line (2007), he was literally showered with praise. Shortly after the release of his debut album, David Chackler (NuGroove Music) heard the record and signed Nate for Love’s Taken Over (2008), Nate’s first album on the anew founded label.

This big talent returned with Rush on Trippin’ N Rhythm Records in 2011. Now the eagle is landed with his album #Shadesofnate (2015) on Woodward Avenue Records. We all wish him not only a safe landing but a cool stay.

Nate comments꞉ “I’m experiencing complete creative freedom for the first time with Mark Nordman and Woodward Avenue. He encouraged me on #ShadesofNate to do whatever I wanted, to be myself – and for me, that meant putting all those genres on the album in a way that made sense.″

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Beka & Logic Project – Chillin’ in Batumi

Hip-hop meets jazz when pianist Beka Gochiashvili teams up with Jason Kibler, also known as DJ Logic. The Beka & Logic Project presents Chillin’ in Batumi (Exitus Entertainment, 2014).

Gochiashvili plays acoustic and electric pianos and synth. Kibler handles turntables and soundscapes. Also performing are former America’s Got Talent finalist Butterscotch, rap, spoken word, beat-box and sound effects; James Hurt, synthesizer and vocoder; Jaleel Shaw, alto saxophone; Lamont McCain, electric bass; and Justin Tyson, drums.

Beka plays the electric piano coolly underneath the vocal for the title song. The style is reminiscent of late 1970s fusion, the type you might expect from George Duke. Tyson’s drum play and timely crash cymbals help underscore the leads. During the middle break, Beka switches to acoustic piano. Though he has the lead, Tyson goes full throttle on the kit. Butterscotch comes back in with a haunting chant before the song shifts to full, hip-hop mode, with Kibler stepping up.

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Jef Kearns – Soulfisticated

SoulfisticatedFollowing up his 2009 release, On the Level, and his recent single, Play On, (which hit #7 on Amazon Japan’s R&B/Soul download chart) Jef Kearns presents his sophomore album, Soulfisticated. An album in the true sense of the word, it has continuity and songs long enough to take you on journey.

With songs that borrow from contemporary R&B and the classic quiet storm sound Jef still maintains a sound all his own. An unmistakable voice coming from an unmistakable talent. Soulfisticated is to find under the categories Urban/R&B: Contemporary urban and Soul Jazz at CDBaby.

Ken Ford – Right Now

Ken Ford received training from various members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He moved on to join the African American Philharmonic Orchestra where he was soon promoted to Concert Master. While with the AAPO, Ken was chosen to perform with the late Barry White & The Love Unlimited Orchestra.

Added to Ken Ford’s impressive list of significant accomplishments is the successful debut of Ford’s chart-topping debut CD, Burnt Toast. The sweet, soulful and funky sounds spread on Ford’s Burnt Toast clearly capture his undying passion for playing the electric jazz violin. Furthermore, his ability to incorporate his smooth and sensual moves, which are often displayed during his live performances emanates from every track on his debut CD. Prior to Ford’s release of Burnt Toast he continued to develop a very strong and loyal following who awaited the release of his debut CD. Nevertheless, Ford’s desire to keep the Toast in the oven a little longer than most had hoped was the best decision he could have made. As a result, the final product was served to mere perfection and ready to satisfy the musical appetite of those hungering for a taste of Burnt Toast.

On the heels of Ford’s incredibly successful release of Burnt Toast came the opportunity for Ford to share the stage with Hidden Beach recording artist and saxophonist Mike Phillips as his special guest performer during the opening of Jill Scott’s Words & Sounds 2001 Summer Concert at Atlanta’s Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

Ken Ford’s desire to consistently produce and deliver quality music to the masses remains apparent. In August 2003 Ford released his sophomore CD entitled Chevelle Lane. This work of musical art captures the essence of Ken Ford’s musical genius as an accomplished Electronic Jazz Violinist. This CD was truly a labor of love for Ford as he poured his mind, body and soul into Chevelle Lane. He not only proudly claims performing artist credits on his latest CD, but he also displays his talent as an executive producer.

Despite Ford’s undeniable success, he remains “TRUE” to himself and understands that his talent is a mere blessing and because of that he continues to be thankful and knows there is still room to grow in his craft as Ken Ford, Electric Jazz Violinist.

Infected by the Hidden Beach Recordings’ style Ken Ford makes the impossible possible. Electrifying, exciting and live energy all bundled into one CD! Jazz, Hip Hop, and R&B Violin with a touch of Class!! Not your traditional violinist by all means! A Must Listen!

Check it out at CDBaby.

Mike Phillips – MP3

Mount Vernon native Mike Phillips is since several years an integral part of the label Hidden Beach Recordings. Phillips’ debut album, You Have Reached Mike Phillips, was released by Hidden Beach in May 2002. In 2005 followed his sophomore album Uncommon Denominator. You can also listen to his signature sax on Hidden Beach’s serial Unwrapped Vol. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7.

But Mike is far more creative. He performed on Experience: Jill Scott 826+ (2001), Stevie Wonder’s A Time To Love (2005), or Tom Braxton’s Bounce (2005), to name a few. His newest project is MP3, which is scheduled for release July 27th, 2010. All pre-ordered CDs will be signed by the saxophonist himself as way of saying thank you. So visit Hidden Beach’s online store.

Mike Phillips plays the lead on sax joined by Freddy Colon and Munyungo Jackson (percussion), Joel Whitney and Stanley Cooper (guitar), and Nate Jones (bass). The album is produced by J.R. Hutson, Jamie Hawkins, JaMal, Keith Crouch, Q Coleman and Eric Wesley, who also performed on major parts of the project. Outstanding guest-musicians are Stevie Wonder, Marcus Miller, Natalie Stewart, Lauren Evans, and Norman Brown.

Mike had the idea for the title of his new album in 2002, when the format MP3 and MP3.com came into full flower. While on stage with Prince and Stevie Wonder, Mike built on his imagination of his third project, a collection of contemporary jazz and R&B.

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Unwrapped Vol. 6 – Give The Drummer Some!

Hidden Beach Recordings has a golden hand in combining jazz with hip hop, rap and R&B. Their Unwrapped series has gained a solid place in the heart of many fans. Unwrapped Volume 6 – Give The Drummer Some! features drummer extraordinaire Tony Royster Jr., who is currently touring with Jay Z and has played with prestigious artists such as P. Diddy, T.I., Jay Holiday, and en Vogue. The album was produced by Tony and Brody Brown.

Tony Royster Jr. performed drums and drum programming, while Brody played keys and bass. Additional musicians are Kay-ta Matsuno (guitar), Jeff Lorber (keys), Dante Jackson (keys & programming), Cat Daddy (bass & bass programming), Johnny Britt (trumpet, flugelhorn), Tracy Carter (keys & programming) and Tommy Organ (guitar).

Unwrapped Vol. 6 covers 10 groundbreaking hits of the hip hop, rap and R&B scene with a smashing new approach. The album already received high acclaims at Amazon after the launch in November 2009. Unlike Vol. 1-4 Unwrapped Volume 6 and its predecessor Volume 5 don’t stretch out to contemporary jazz. Keep in mind that most of the songs have nothing in common with jazz but offer unusual instrumental renditions on a very high level.

Blame It, taken from Jamie Foxx’s third album Intuition (2009), finds a new grandiose installment on this album. The vocal part originally by singer T-Pain is replaced by a gorgeous distortion guitar. The bass is darker and Tony Royster Jr. bursts out with a superior drum beat.

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