Posts Tagged ‘ Latin Jazz ’

Roberto Vazquez – Matices

Spirited and passionate, Cuban-born musician and composer Roberto Vazquez’s soul has always communicated mainly through the language of music. Roberto has recently co-written the song ‘Sand Dancers’ on Marion Meadows’ release ‘Secrets’ which has received glowing reviews for the song itself as well as for Roberto’s spicy keyboard solo in publications such as Billboard Magazine, All About Jazz, Smooth Jazz Vibes and several more.

Roberto continues to compose and record and he performs for audiences of more than 4000 people every single week playing keyboards and horns in the longest-running tribute show, ‘Legends In Concert’ in Harrah’s Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas strip. Roberto’s versatile, masterful and passionate performances create beautiful and moving music that speaks for itself. In 2011 he released his amazing album Between Two Worlds.

Now he returns with his new album Matices. Get the album at CDBaby.

Miguel Zenon – Tipico

Saxophonist Miguel Zenon has brought in additional instruments to augment his band’s music. However, for Tipico (Miel Music, 2017), he decided to stay “closer to home.” The goal is to highlight his personal and professional life, as well as the uniqueness of his group.

Zenon plays alto saxophone. His companions are Luis Perdomo, piano; Hans Glawishnig, bass; and Henry Cole, drums.

“Academia,” inspired by Zenon’s teaching at the New England Conservatory, is mixed bag. The opening starts with a steady phrase repeated by the piano. Then the alto pitches in some high-speed rolls. A couple of shifts later, and we have something that more closely resembles a melody. With the others setting their own stamps, Zenon puts the sax through an intense, blistering jaunt. The horn wails at key points. Meanwhile, piano, bass and drums heat up. The energy continues to build until another shift. Things mellow considerably for Perdomo’s interlude. It begins softly, but soon kicks into overdrive. Zenon comes back in for a furious finish.

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Roberto Vally – Pure Lines

Brooklyn born, L.A. based, and world influenced bass player Roberto Vally calls as his influences Paul Jackson, Stanley Clarke, and Jaco Pastorius. He has played with Michael Franks, Bobby Caldwell, Paul Brown, Boney James, Boz Scaggs, Arturo Sandoval, Michael Lington, and Randy Crawford. Meanwhile you can add the rest of the smooth jazz cats to this list.

His first solo album was Boom Boom Boom (2013), described by Vally as an eclectic mix of chill, lounge, world, and smooth jazz. His sophomore album Pure Lines (2017) just hits the stores. The album is a collaboration of Roberto Vally and Jeff Carruthers, who performs keyboards, guitars and programming.

As additional musicians are mentioned in the liner notes Dave Karasony (drums), Enrique Martinez (accordion), Andrew Neu (sax), Marc Antoine (guitar, vocals), Michiyo Kitagawa (sax), Tom Schuman (keyboards, piano), Gregg Manning (keyboards), Ramses Araya (percussion), Paul Brown, Carlyle Barriteau, Federico Ramos (guitars), Nick Cedillo (trumpet, sax, trombone), Fabiana Passoni (vocals), and Christine Carruthers (background vocals).

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Lawson Rollins – 3 Minutes to Midnight

Lawson Rollins is one of the most prominent protagonists of Latin jazz. He gives a new meaning to acoustic guitar music. His solo albums Infinita (2008), Espirito (2010), Elevation (2011), Full Circle (2013) and Traveler (2015) are contemporary witnesses of a stunning career.

3 Minutes to Midnight is a new stellar release in the music history of this genre. Valuable companions on this recording are Dominic Camardella (piano, Rhodes and Hammond organ), Dave Bryant (drums, percussion), Randy Tico (bass), Charlie Bisharat (violin, viola), Stephen Duros (drum programming) and Forrest Marquisee (pedal steel).

The set opens with the title song, on which Lawson sounds similar to an evolution of Django Reinhardt. The uplifting Light the Way rises the mood with hand clapping, melodic drums and Lawson’s acoustic guitar elating in its transgression like a lark in springtime.

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Ray Obiedo – Latin Jazz Project Vol. 1

latin-jazz-project-vol-1Ray Obiedo‘s Latin Jazz Project Vol. 1 on Rhythmus Records, is the 8th release by the Bay Area guitarist and composer. This project is a collection of Latin Jazz standards, including three of Obiedo’s original compositions. Obiedo enlisted some of the music industries top musicians and longtime co-horts for the project. Percussionist Sheila E., Yellowjackets’ reed man Bob Mintzer, flutists Elena Pinderhughes and Roger Glenn, trumpeter Ray Vega, timbale master Orestes Vilató, percussionist Peter Michael Escovedo and vocalist Sandy Cressman all make significant appearances. Santana members David K. Mathews, Karl Perazzo and Jeff Cressman also contribute their expertise.

This Latin Jazz collection also features sax and flute player Norbert Stachell, steel pan player. Phil Hawkins, pianist Peter Horvath, and brothers Marc and Paul van Wageningen on bass and drums.

Ray has 5 previous releases on the Windham Hill jazz label. This is his second release on his Oakland-based Rhythmus Records label. The music on Ray’s Latin jazz project is a highly-energized and hypnotically rhythmic soundscape revealing all the passion, flavor, color and style of the San Francisco Bay Area which conceived, nourished and inspired Obiedo’s latest musical venture.

Get the album at Amazon.com.

Lawson Rollins – 3 Minutes to Midnight

3mThree minutes to midnight. Time is lapsing. What would you do with the final moments of your day? Award-winning world beat guitarist Lawson Rollins pondered that question as he entered the recording studio to craft his seventh album, 3 Minutes to Midnight, which will be released on January 20 via the Infinita Records label. Focusing on “the urgency of the moment, the exhilaration of the speed of sound, the poignancy of the remains of the day and the mystical power of the number three,” Rollins wrote a dozen multicultural compositions – all in the three minute range and illuminated by his prodigious fingerstyle guitar play. The recording is stripped down, punchy and concise, a radical departure for the Billboard chart-topping artist known for creating lavishly produced and elaborately-constructed tracks that are at least twice as long.

“I really made an effort to pare down my musical flights of fancy and focus on the essentials instead of diverging into various plots and subplots within the song structure. The songs have an urgent, succinct quality and are unencumbered by elaborate instrumentation. This is the first time I came up with the title and overall concept early on in the process. I don’t know if it’s a reaction to the times we live in, with our shrinking bandwidth for complexity and desire for clarity, or if I just wanted to be as impactful and expressive as I could across a range of emotions – from exciting, passionate and bursting with energy to sad, contemplative and meditative,” said Rollins, who will introduce the new material when the sultry first single, “Sway,” is serviced to radio programmers for airplay ahead of the album’s release date.

Like his previous discs, Rollins produced “3 Minutes to Midnight” with multi-platinum producer Dominic Camardella utilizing the same core group of musicians. Grammy-winning violinist Charlie Bisharat, bassist Randy Tico and drummer/percussionist Dave Bryant joined Rollins (guitar, keyboards, drum programming) and Camardella (piano, Rhodes piano, Hammond organ) along with newcomers to the fold Stephen Duros (drum programming) and Forrest Marquisse (pedal steel). Since fans have marveled at videos of his dazzling and dexterous classical guitar technique that have generated a whopping 8 million YouTube views, Rollins welcomed cameras into the Santa Barbara Sound Design studio to capture the recording of his guitar parts for three videos – including one lensed during the tracking of “Sway” – that are now posted on YouTube and Rollins’ website (www.LawsonRollins.com).

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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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