Posts Tagged ‘ Jazz Fusion ’

Karl Sterling – Dream

This album serves a good cause. Ninety % of album proceeds are going to fund the much needed Parkinson’s education and research. Karl Sterling is a neuro rehabilitation specialist based in Syracuse, New York, and is the creator of the Parkinson’s Regeneration Training® education program.

Originally working as drummer he gathered a large number of musicians around him to finance his charitable project with this album. On Dream (2020) are playing Jimmy Haslip (bass and producer), Scott Kinsey (keyboards and producer), Jeff Richman (guitar and producer) Peter Erskine, Gary Novak, Karl Sterling, Archibald Ligonierre, Gergo Borlai (drums), Mer Sal Coomes, Jimmy Keegan, Carolyn Samuelson (vocals), Brandon Fields (alto sax), Bob Reynolds (tenor sax), Naina Kundu (bass and vocals) and Nir Felder (guitar).

The band has carefully chosen popular songs, which have passed the test of time. The album is opened with Here to Love You, originally a song from the album Minute by Minute (1978) by the American Rock band The Doobie Brothers. With the vocalist Mer Sal Coomes the band ignites a firework of creativity.

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Eddie Bullen – Kaleidoscope

Caribbean-born jazz pianist, composer, arranger and producer Eddie Bullen has always been able to incorporate the Caribbean influences of his home island Grenada into smooth jazz. He started his musical solo career with the debut album Nocturnal Affair (1996), followed by Make It Real (2000), Desert Rain (2004), Spice Island (2015) and Havana Nights, a collaborative album with Cuban/Canadian percussionist Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo (2009). Kaleidoscope (2020) is his newest project.

Eddie performs on the new album piano. He is joined by Larnell Lewis, Otis Williams (drums), Rob Christian (alto saxophone/flute), Etric Lyons, Sam Williams, Andrew Stewart (bass guitar), Elmer Ferrrer, Jeremy Hector, Lucian Gray, Quincy Bullen (electric guitar), and Michelle White (vocals).

The album opens with Sunset Marquee. A fresh supreme sounding piano play exquisitely decorated by Rob Christian’s flute. Esplanado flatters with South American flair. Couldn’t it be a piano in an elegant hotel on Copacabana beach? With Avant-Garde Eddie firmly enters the jazz fusion ground and leaves his acoustic scent behind.

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Peter Dircks – Quattro

Peter’s third album, “Third Time’s A Charm” is a very popular album where he took it up a notch again! This third release is a double album offering 20 songs and 80 minutes of Peter’s popular stylizing of piano, guitar and percussion instrumentation. Peter’s second album, “2nd Chance”, was released in 2008 and received excellent critical reviews and worldwide radio airplay. “2nd Chance” features 14 modern jazz tunes featuring rock, jazz, funk and reggae grooves. This upbeat mix of smooth jazz is perfect for entertaining and relaxing. Peter’s first album, “The Beginning”, was released in 2004 with encouragement and assistance from Daryl Stuermer, jazz guitarist as well as lead guitarist for rock group Genesis and Phil Collins. “The Beginning” has enjoyed world-wide sales in the USA, Europe and Australia and features 12 songs. This eclectic mix of jazz/fusion tunes makes this CD a wonderful addition to your jazz fusion collection.

Peter’s fourth and newest album “Quattro” was released in 2019, with a fusion of blues, rock and jazz tunes. Featuring Peter’s piano and keyboards highlighted with explosive percussion and nuanced guitars, the music keeps getting better and better. Combined with latest mastering technology, it’s an audiophile dream.

Quattro is now available on CDBaby.

 

Mike Stern & Jeff Lorber Fusion – Eleven

GRAMMY Award-winning keyboardist/composer/producer Jeff Lorber recalls seeing guitarist Mike Stern during his much-ballyhooed tenure with Miles Davis in the early ‘80s. “I’ve been a fan of his for a long time,” said the keyboardist, who was touring hard in support of his hit records Wizard Island and It’s a Fact in those analog days. “Jeff Lorber Fusion and Miles Davis were playing some of the same festivals back then, so I got to hear him play.” For his part, Stern offered, “To be honest, I was aware of him, and had heard a bunch of good things, but I had never really checked him out. We were just in different orbits, me and Jeff.”

In subsequent years, each staked out his respective musical territory — Lorber, the electric maestro from Los Angeles, pioneering the post-fusion sound of contemporary jazz with his radio-friendly, groove-oriented instrumental music; Stern, the esteemed six-stringer from New York, lending his considerable chops to bands led by Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker and Joe Henderson as well as groups like Steps Ahead, Vital Information and the Brecker Brothers while also leading his own band and cutting 18 recordings under his own name.

Credit bassist-producer Jimmy Haslip, a charter member of Yellowjackets, with bringing these two seemingly disparate musical forces from opposite sides of the country together. And rather than being a musical Odd Couple, it turns out that Lorber and Stern fit hand-in-glove on the ten scintillating tracks that comprise Eleven, set for release on September 27, 2019 via Concord Jazz. (The title is a joking reference toThis Is Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel, who proudly demonstrates in the 1984 movie how his amplifier has a volume knob that goes to eleven… “for when you need that extra push over the cliff.”) Continue reading

fo/mo/deep – Syzygy

Already the spelling of the formation reveals the elitist claim. fo/mo/deep is a band of the extraordinary. The core of the group consists of Ron “FatKat” Holmes, basses (fretted/fretless), André Scott, drums, percussion and Robert Mason, grand & electric piano, organ.

The discography includes the albums Eclecticism (2010), A Beautiful Bang (2012) and The Groovy Goodness (2014). This year Syzygy is joining them. In astronomy, a syzygy is a straight-line configuration of three or more celestial bodies in a gravitational system. Probably the title refers to the three members of the band who are in constant musical interaction.

Since the elitist is always in danger of self-isolation, the group has decided to open their album with a popular song. Curtis Mayfield was not only a highly talented songwriter but also the musical flagship of the African-American movement for equal rights in society and a precise observer of everyday problems. With Move On Up (1970) he spoke from the soul to the underprivileged and encouraged them not to give up. The group takes up this call because these problems still exist. If anyone is able to translate the dynamics of the piece into a piano run, it is Robert Mason.

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Oytun Ersan – Fusiolicious

Nicosia based Turkish-Cypriot Oytun Ersan has made a name as internationally acclaimed bassist, composer, recording artist and a member of the Recording Academy.

Ersan is also since more than 20 years member of the International Nicosia Municipality Orchestra first as saxophonist and later as bassist. He started his solo career with the album East Meets West (2015). Fusiolicious (2018) is his sophomore album in the jazz fusion genre.

Oytun Ersan assembled a great team of professional musicians to create a high-class jazz fusion album of international standing. Beside Oytun Ersan (composer, bass) are performing Dave Weckl (drums), Eric Marienthal (saxophone), Gary Husband and Gerry Etkins (keys), Dean Brown, Mike Miller, Brett Garsed and Okan Ersan (guitars), Karen Briggs (violin), Gökay Gökşen (trombone), Utku Akyol (trumpet), Aytunç Akdoğu and Simge Akdoğu (vocals).

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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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