Posts Tagged ‘ Latin Jazz ’

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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Chuck Loeb – Unspoken

Guitarist Chuck Loeb earned merits as jazz guitarist in groups such as Metro, Steps Ahead or Stan Getz’s band. Really popular however became Chuck by his solo albums as prolific smooth jazz guitarist and as member of the supergroups Fourplay and Jazz Funk Soul.

His new album Unspoken (2016) is the reflection about his recent illness and the intensified and renewed enthusiasm for his first love, music. This passion is shared by bassists Ron Jenkins, Will Lee, Nathan East and Thomas Kennedy, drummers Gary Novak, Brian Dunne, and Joel Rosenblatt, keyboardists Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson, Pat Bianchi, and Mitchel Forman, guitarist Michael Thompson, saxophonists Eric Marienthal, Everette Harp, Andy Snitzer, David Mann who also did most of the horn arrangements, trumpet players Till Brönner and Tony Kadleck and Mike Davis on trombone. Carmen Cuesta sings a song written by Lizzy Loeb (Lizzy Cuesta) and Christina Loeb and Chuck co-wrote a song that she plays ukulele on.

The starting tune is dedicated to Chuck’s favorite jazz place to play, the Cotton Club in Tokyo. He composed the tune together with Jeff Lorber keeping it in the spirit of Weather Report’s Birdland. Don’t stay looking for something new, when the old is tried and tested offering a timeless radiant artistry.

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Bob Baldwin – The Brazilian-American Soundtrack

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Bob Baldwin assembled a Latin-American team of musicians to create the ultimate soundtrack for Olympic 2016 in Rio.

Team players are Café Da Silva, Armando Marcal and Rafael Pereira (percussion), Torcuato Mariano, Marlon McClain and Phil Hamilton (guitars), Gabriel Mark Hasselbach (trumpet), Marion Meadows and Freddy V (sax), Ragan Whiteside (flute), James “Crab” Robinson, Porter Carroll II, Gigi, Zoiea Ohizep (vocals). Baldwin is singing lead and background as well as playing piano, Rhodes, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, Moog bass, Melodica, strings and clave on the album.

The double album encompasses the recordings of two hemispheres, Movement I Rio-Ipanema and Movement II New York. Every CD is created in separate cultural circles with very own musicians.

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Damian Drăghici – The American Dream

The pan flute is usually allocated to the world or folk music. Gheorghe Zamfir is the best-known performer of this instrument. Pan flute and jazz? That is something new.

Damian Drăghici is such a seldom musician, who interprets with his instrument jazz, as we have never heard before. With his unique triple-tongue staccato technique he is the proven virtuoso on this instrument.

His new album is entitled American Dream (2016). Everyone associates with this term his own vision. “The American Dream has been a dream of mine for a while now,” Draghici recalls. “Here’s how the story started almost 30 years ago. When I was 17 years-old during the communist times in Bucharest, Romania, I saw and heard for the first time real American jazz musicians playing live.

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