Posts Tagged ‘ Jazz Fusion ’

Jeff Lorber Fusion – Space-Time

space-timeKeyboard wizard Jeff Lorber has already pressed his idea of fusion jazz into the black grooves with his group Jeff Lorber Fusion in various lineups. With albums like the self-titled debut album (1977), followed by Soft Space (1978), Water Sign (1979), Wizard Island (1980), and Galaxian (1981) he has served the spirit of contemporary jazz for decades..

He continued this glorious period with albums such as Now Is The Time (2010), Galaxy (2011), Hacienda (2013), Step It Up (2015), the GRAMMY awarded Prototype (2017), and Impact (2018). On the new album Space-Time (2021) Jeff Lorber is joined by his longtime friends drummer Gary Novak and bassist Jimmy Haslip.

Further supporting musicians are flutist Hubert Laws, guitarists Paul Jackson, Jr., Michael Landau and Robben Ford, saxophonists Bob Mintzer, Dave Mann, Gary Meek and Gerald Albright (on bass). Bob Mintzer is thus back as on the previous albums, just not on all the tracks. The album opens with the title song, a sparkling up-tempo tune showcasing Lorber’s elegant keyboard play to the fullest. Lovers of Jeff’s Rhodes performance will be enchanted. Bob Mintzer on tenor sax takes over the melody line to a perfect finish.

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Jeff Lorber Fusion – Space-Time

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“I’m incredibly lucky to spend my time doing something that I love. When you are doing things that you enjoy, it is easy to spread those good vibes around,” shares Jeff Lorber. The down to earth and humble trailblazing Grammy-winning pianist, composer and producer has built an impressive four-decade career, transcending musical boundaries and honing his own uniquely identifiable sound.

A groundbreaking Fender Rhodes pioneer along with Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample and Bob James, Lorber is also one of the most in-demand producers in Contemporary Jazz. Maintaining a busy schedule during the pandemic this past year, Lorber worked on projects with Herb Alpert, Richard Elliot, Norman Brown and Alexander Zonjic, just to name a few.

“While working on all of these projects,” explains Jeff, “I was sending my manager Bud Harner stuff that I was writing and he was particularly enthusiastic when I sent him my now new single “Back Room” in demo form. His reaction really inspired me to want to focus on making my own record.” Continue reading

Steve Hunt – Connections

connectionsJazz pianist Steve Hunt has linked his musical agenda to jazz. Steve attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he is still an instructor. He studied with concert pianist Albert Hirsh, jazz pianist Sid Davis and Lyle Mays. He performed and toured with Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke, Angela Bofill, Tom Brown, and Allan Holdsworth.

He recorded with Allan Holdsworth, Stanley Clarke, Lucas Pickford, Gregg Bandian, Bruce Bartlett, Randy Roos and Pam Pryo. His debut solo album was From Your Heart and Soul (1997). Connections (2021) is his sophomore album. Musicians of distinction in the field of jazz have gathered on his album. More details can be found in the credits.

Starter of the album is Now’s The Time. The intense texture that percussionist Jorge Bezerra spreads out as the foundation of the piece is impressive. The structure and flow remind me strongly of the music of Joe Zawinul’s Weather Report. From the dense mesh that the musicians build together, the individual contributions are hardly to be equalized and that is obviously also intended.

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Patrick Bradley – Exhale

Patrick Bradley has always emphasized exquisite quality in his productions. This is easily recognizable by his albums Come Rain Or Shine (2006), Under The Sun (2011) and Can You Hear Me (2014). Already on his previous recordings were always big names among the studio musicians. This is no different with his new album Exhale (2021). If on his previous albums the main anchor and producer was Jeff Lorber, this time Darren Rahn is clearly at the center of the action.

Patrick understands his new project also as a way of switching off, forgetting the worries of everyday life and recognizing music as a source of comfort and inspiration. He explains: “This is a special project and I’m hoping people get that when they listen to it because it’s almost like there’s some of my DNA in there. We’ve all had a hard year – whether it’s COVID fatigue, political fatigue or whatever. I’m hoping people will listen to the album and it will give them some sort of release, a sense of hope, and that somehow it’s inspirational.”

With the opener Completely Yours Patrick and Darren address the romantic highlights of a love relationship. The song is inspired by Mort Garson’s Our Day will ComeReinvention is a collection of pure harmony. Jeff Lorber inserts his familiar bubbling synth bass, while Michael Thompson adds glittering points of guitar riffs with his distorted electric guitar.

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DiCosimo / Pagán – Con Moto

When bassist Jimmy Haslip produces an album, you know what’s going to come out: a jazz fusion album. The initiators of the same are organist Bill DiCosimo and bassist Edgar Pagán, who have been working together for more than twenty years. The album, which will be released in January 2021, is called Con Moto, which means “with movement”.

Contributors to the album are, who would be surprised, Jeff Lorber, Gary Novak, Jeff Richman, Jose Varona, Paulie Cerra and more. People know each other. For example, Edgar has already worked on Jeff Lorber’s joint album Eleven with Mike Stern or Jeff and Jimmy have played on Edgar’s album What A Feeling.

The album starts with the aptly titled So It Begins. A piece that flows along with a continuous rhythm like mercury. The piece is structured comparable a mathematical challenge and bass, rhythm guitar and keyboard complement each other seamlessly like a laying puzzle.

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ABC – Begin Again

The Italian trio ABC (Alchemy Brotherhood Cheerfulness) consists of Sebastiano Marino (piano and keyboards), Jacopo Ferrazza (electric bass) and Luca Fareri (drums). Begin Again is their debut album and was released in 2018 on AlfaMusic.

Sebastian lives in Rome as artist, piano player, composer, teacher, music lover. His newest project is the Sebastian Marino Trio with the different drummer Valerio Vantaggio, who replaced Luca.

Jacopo was born in 1989 in Frascati, a city near Rome. Jacopo is an acoustic and electric bass player and pianist as well. He’s graduated in classical bass and classical piano from the Italian conservatory of Frosinone “Licinio Refice”. Jacopo has recorded two albums as a leader for the CAM jazz label. He has also collected various experiences as composer and teacher.

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Jimmy Haslip – Nightfall

Bassist Jimmy Haslip has released in his solo career only three albums. His debut album Arc came out in 1993. His sophomore album Red Heat was released in 2000 on Unitone Recordings followed by Nightfall in 2010 on VIE Records. The latter two albums are now newly released on Blue Canoe Recordings.

Like its predecessor, Nightfall is a collaboration between Haslip and Joe Vannelli. Jimmy performs on his album electric and fretless bass, additional synths,  baritone guitar. Joe Vannelli plays keys, programming, Rhodes, piano, organ, orchestration.

They are supported on selected tracks by Bob Mintzer (tenor sax), Katisse Buckingham (flute), Wayne Bergeron (trumpet), Steve Tavaglione (alto and soprano sax), Judd Miller (EVI), Jason Hann (percussion, congas), Jimmy Branly (timbales, bongo), Roger Burn (vibraphones), Ross Vannelli (acoustic guitar), Stella Castellucci (harp), Lori Perry (vocals), and The Perry Sisters (background vocals).

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Naomi Adriaansz – Soulstice

Hailing from Breda, Netherlands saxophonist Naomi Adriaansz has as her great role model the Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer, with whom she could already get in contact at a young age.

With harmonica player Tim ‘Harmony’ Welvaars she founded the duo Team Harmony. Both released Two Souls One Breath (2015). She continued the collaboration with the new formation Amsterdam Connection. Their second project was entitled Isn’t She Lovely (2017). A Stevie Wonder cover album, which received high accolades by critics and fans.

In 2019 Naomi started her solo career and released the singles Soul Smile and Bye For Now. Meanwhile she has tied up her songs to her first EP Soulstice, which is available since May 1, 2020.

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Vibes Alive – Vibrasonic

Vibes Alive is a collaboration of vibist Dirk Richter and guitarist Randall Crissman. The name of the duo is taken from the title of their debut album Vibes Alive (1997). In 2008 followed their second album After HoursVibrasonic (2020) is their third project.

With the new album the duo celebrates a reunion with the well-known musicians Jeff Lorber (Rhodes, Minimoog, synthesizers, piano), Jimmy Johnson (bass), Luis Conte (percussion), and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums).

The album opens with Sweet Vibes, a homogeneous and dynamic musical event, which shows Jeff Lorber, Dirk Richter and Randall Crissman in an inimitable vibrant unity.

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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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