Posts Tagged ‘ Latin Jazz ’

Steve Sandberg Quartet – Alaya

Pianist Steve Sandberg taps into music history, spirituality and a slight touch of Brazil. The Steve Sandberg Quartet presents Alaya (2017).

Sandberg’s accompanists are Zach Brock, violin; Michael O’Brien, bass; and Mauricio Zottarelli, drums.

“Maurice” is a nod to classical composer Maurice Ravel’s “Prelude to Le Tombeau de Couperin.” It’s a tranquil, easygoing piece that largely features the violin out front, with the piano painting a haunting background scene.

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The Marc VW Allstars – Raise the Marc

On January 12th 2017, Tower of Power s bassist, Marc VanWageningen was struck by an Amtrak train while walking across the street on his way to their last performance at Yoshi’s Night Club in Jack London square. Miraculously, Marc survived. An outpouring of musicians came forward to support, contribute, and spread love through their gift of music as financial support was needed for Marc VW. One week after the accident, a benefit was held at Yoshi’s. The next morning, countless musicians filled the 25th St recording studio in Oakland CA, and in one day this CD was recorded.

Raise the Marc features Ray Obiedo, Peter Horvath, Marc Russo, Phil Hawkins, Larry Braggs and many more. The album is available at Amazon.com.

Marc Antoine and David Benoit – So Nice!

Guitarist Marc Antoine and pianist David Benoit are both intriguing personalities of the smooth jazz genre. Together they are the surprise packet of the year 2017. So Nice! is their fiery contagious portrait of Latin jazz.

David Benoit performs on this album piano and Rhodes, Marc Antoine acoustic and electric guitars, John “JR” Robinson drums, Ken Wild bass and Luis Conte percussion. Most of the tracks are composed by David Benoit or Marc Antoine, some by other composers.

Anyone who has visited a café in Paris, estimates the flair and the atmosphere of this environment, the view on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées with all its activities. French Café is in contrast to the title no tribute to this institution, but more a mirror of Antoine’s development and affinity for Spanish music. Inspired by the Bossa Nova rhythm Benoit and Antoine sink deeply into the magic of their interplay.

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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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