Posts Tagged ‘ Jazz ’

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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Dave Koz and Friends – Summer Horns II From A To Z

Overcoming massive scheduling problems, saxophonist and entertainer Dave Koz has again managed to win some of the best musicians for his Summer Horns project. His new dream team consists of trumpet player Rick Braun, saxophonists Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot as well as trombonist and singer Aubrey Logan, a featured artist for Postmodern Jukebox.

Greg Adams, Tom Scott and Gordon Goodwin, who also arranged the previous album, are on this recordings again. Featured artists are singer Kenny Lattimore and Sheléa Frazier, Jonathan Butler and Gloria Estefan. The press release also mentions a rhythm arrangement by Chris “Big Dog” Davis.

Summer Horns II From A To Z is based on the same principle as the previous album. Selected songs that have passed the test of time and yet remain in lasting memory. The common denominator of all songs is a horn arrangement that qualified the piece for inclusion on the album. Cross-genre, dynamic and with a certain pep.

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Gabriel Mark Hasselbach – Mid Century Modern, Vol. 1

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, jazz trumpet player Gabriel Hasselbach lives and works out of Vancouver, Phoenix, and New Orleans. His musical style is comparable with Rick Braun and Chris Botti.

Even though his fame still has room for improvement, he has played with a large number of smooth jazz musicians and in particular with the famous singer Michael Bublé. Although with several solo albums on his belt, his hunger for more is far from satisfied.

His new album Mid Century Modern, Vol. 1 is just released in April 2018. You can buy the album at Amazon.com.

Dave McMurray – Music Is Life

Dave McMurray’s Blue Note Records debut, Music Is Life (out May 18), is a reunion of sorts, given the long history the saxophonist shares with the label’s president, and fellow Detroit native, Don Was. McMurray was a member of Was’ genre-defying unit Was (Not Was), first working together on the band’s self-titled 1981 debut. He’s played on all of the band’s albums and many other Was produced projects in the years since. Hear the lead track “Naked Walk” on the Jazz Now! playlist.

When Was signed McMurray to Blue Note, the saxophonist says that he gave him no imperatives as to which artistic paths to take. “It was one of those situations in which he just said, ‘Do it,’” McMurray explains.

“I know Dave’s playing really well. He doesn’t bullshit,” Was praises. “He’s never playing licks for the sake of playing licks. He’s not trying to impress people with what all he knows about music or about his dexterity over the instrument. It’s all about honest expressions.” Continue reading

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