Posts Tagged ‘ Jazz ’

BT ALC Big Band – The Search For Peace

Reaching back to the past in order to move a musical artform forward, the BT ALC Big Band turns loose the might and muscle of a 13-piece horn section to huff and puff and blow down any previously held conceptions of what a big band could be. The mission of the 19-piece Boston big band’s forthcoming album, “The Search For Peace,” is part passion, part music education and anything but peaceful. The bombardment of funk and jazz, written by trombonist Brian Thomas and trumpeter Alex Lee-Clark and produced by Alan Evans (Soulive), drops May 17 on Ropeadope.

After researching big band recordings of the 1960s and 70s, Evans decided on an old-school approach to capture the high-volt energy of BT ALC Big Band’s live performance. He propped up one omnidirectional microphone in front of each of the three horn sections – five saxophonists, four trumpeters and four trombonists – in the same studio as the rhythm and melody players, letting them rip through the seven compositions that comprise “The Search For Peace.” The result is an organic sound that jukes and jives, harnessing the vim and vigor of the powerful posse. The album encapsulates the group’s vintage brand of rhythms and grooves they call “big band funk,” an explosive mashup of Duke Ellington and Count Basie meets James Brown and Parliament Funkadelic. Listen closely and you’ll detect some African funk and reggae inflections on this set as well.

“In recent years, the music that most big bands play, either professional or student, falls into two categories: tributes to the music of the past or new art music meant for the concert hall. We want to play music that’s new, accessible and culturally relevant; music that reflects the music we put on in the car when we’re zooming around in our day-to-day lives. We want to take the great art form of the big band and breathe new life into it,” said Thomas.
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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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Larry Carlton – The Jazz King: The Musical Compositions Of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is world renowned and has a distinction of being the youngest and first Asian to be named an Honorary Member of The Vienna Academy for Music And Performing Arts. The King was lauded for the quality of his musical compositions and especially for having helped build a bridge of music tradition between east and west. I was honored to create East and West as well as to create my interpretation of this most influential music.

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the most wonderful King, has shown to the world that leadership is based on example. Most men follow the path of others, but the King took his machete and cut a path for others to follow him I am most honored and grateful to have been granted such an opportunity to be a small part of this historic event. Thanks to all of the STAR musicians and engineers that joined me in this endeavor. I so appreciate what each of you gave in spirit and in the music. I am honored to do this Unique, Once in a Lifetime Project. I felt a great responsibility to interpret these wonderful and diverse melodies in my own way. May all who listen Be Pleased. (Larry Carlton)

This album featuring Nathan East, Harvey Mason, Greg Mathieson, Abraham Laboriel Sr, Earl Klugh, Tom Scott and many more great musicians is available on Amazon.com.

Sheldon Zandboer – Tipping Velvet

A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, a student at the University of Calgary and at the Humber College of the Applied Arts in Toronto Sheldon Zandboer became a respected music director, staff arranger and keyboardist at numerous musicals and shows.

He was member of the bands the Soul Providers and YoMoZo. In 1999 he became jazz piano/arranging/ensemble instructor on the faculty of jazz at Mount Royal University. He also worked as audio designer for some famous clients. He is currently working as a vocal coach/music director at Central Memorial High School of Arts.

Tipping Velvet (2018) is Sheldon’s first solo project. The album was recorded live off the floor at OCL Studios, Calgary, AB. Keyboardist Sheldon Zandboer is joined by George Koller on acoustic bass, Bob Tildesley on trumpet/flugelhorn, Andy Ericson on drums and singer Johanna Sillanpaa featured on I Will Wait. Sheldon has composed all tunes.

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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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Marcus Miller – Laid Black

LaidBlackBass great Marcus Miller brings the influence of modern urban music to his trademark sound on his highly-anticipated, genre-defying new album Laid Black, which will be released June 1 on Blue Note Records. The album pre-order is already launched along with the lead single “Untamed” which is available to stream or download now.

It’s been three years since Miller’s last album, Afrodeezia, which The New York Times called “vibrant and expressive… music that frames his playing beautifully.” Miller says: “Afrodeezia was like a musical voyage through my history. I followed the journey of my ancestors by collaborating with musicians along the African Slave route – musicians from West Africa, North Africa, South America and the Caribbean. 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. The music is calm but also powerful and funky, drawing on the black musical experience. Laid Black.”

Miller recorded most of the nine tracks on Laid Black with his band in a New York studio and also recruited guest artists Trombone Shorty, Kirk Whalum, Take Six, Jonathan Butler, and Belgian singer Selah Sue. Of his band, Miller says: “My guys are incredibly talented. They play everything from bebop to hip-hop. All of the special guests I called have the same vision about jazz, which made it possible to create this mix of music. Oh and if you like bass, there’s plenty of serious bass work on this album too! Continue reading

Gabriel Mark Hasselbach – MidCentury Modern Vol. 1

Denver Colorado born trumpeter Gabriel Mark Hasselbach was last time in our focus with his album Open Invitation (2014). His new album MidCentury Modern Volume 1 (2018) is of a special peculiarity. Although a guarantor of smooth jazz Gabriel now delivers a jazz album.

Gabriel comments: “This is an exciting project for me because I was finally able to assemble my dream team. Besides the recognizable and prolific talents of saxophonists Ernie Watts and Cory Weeds, I was able to gather my longtime friends and world-class musicians Miles Black (piano), Laurence Mollerup (bass), and Joel Fountain (drums). Adding to the proceedings are Mike Taylor (vocals) and Olaf deShield (guitar) on a couple of tunes.”

The album starts with Mississippi Jump presenting Hasselbach in best form on trumpet, apparently fluent in style. Miles Black adds on piano a perfect accompaniment and a shining solo work. Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard released the track Gibraltar as part of his album Born To Be Blue in 1981. Hasselbach delivers a compact version without missing important elements of the original.

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