Posts Tagged ‘ Pieces Of A Dream ’

Pieces Of A Dream – Just Funkin’ Around

More than twenty albums, over forty years creative work. Pieces Of A Dream are an institution in the smooth jazz genre beyond their early expectations. With Just Funkin’ Around they build the next pave stone to international stardom.

This project was recorded by Curtis Harmon (keyboards, drums and percussion), James Lloyd, George Granville lll (keyboards), David Dyson (bass and keyboards), Randy Bowland (guitar), and Tony Watson Jr. (saxophones and keyboards). Remarkably, the band waives the use of drum computer and programming.

The album kicks of with the funk infused Right Back Atcha inspired by Steve Wonder’s music. A performance with lots of pep. Just Funkin’ Around goes the extra mile, when it comes to funk. Wah-wah guitar, a ducky sax, Hammond B3, organic in sound with the awareness of rooting the execution moves to the next level.

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Pieces Of A Dream – Just Funkin’ Around

The story of Pieces Of A Dream is a tale of destiny and brotherhood. Picture three starry-eyed fanatical teen musicians who manage to get discovered by Mister Magic (Grover Washington, Jr.), become teen sensations and go on to join the pantheon of musical wonders from the “City Of Brotherly Love” that includes Gamble and Huff, Patti Labelle, McCoy Tyner, and The Roots. Dubbed “the Steely Dan of Smooth Jazz” by Allaboutjazz.com and heralded by the legendary Count Basie as “a tough act to follow” Pieces Of A Dream, remains one of the most satisfying, exhilarating and sought-after bands in Contemporary Jazz. They have toured the world, sold over one million albums, and scored both Smooth Jazz and R&B radio hits along the way. Crowned “Pioneers of Smooth Jazz” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pieces Of A Dream has long been revered for their signature fusion of Jazz, R&B, Funk, Pop and Blues.

Their sweet and soulful grooves, energized solos and organic compositions have made them a favorite on the touring circuit and on the airwaves.  Last year, founding members, keyboardist James Lloyd and drummer Curtis Harmon celebrated the milestone of their 40th anniversary and their feet are still on the accelerator as they power forward to the release of their new CD Just Funkin’ Around (May 26, 2017).  On their newest effort, the band continues to prove that they are still at the top of their game and as inspired as ever. Curtis Harmon says, “Lasting forty years in this business confirms the fact that we are truly blessed. When you have fans that support you for as many years as our fans have, you can’t help but want to give them the best you’ve got and that’s what we’ve tried to do.” James Lloyd adds, “There is no stopping us now! In addition to the responsibility we feel towards our fans, Curtis and I also feel a duty to help the younger and future generations of Jazz to reach and exceed their goals the way the late, great Grover Washington Jr. did for us.”

Just Funkin’ Around highlights ten tracks of new and original music that build upon the soulful and rich legacy of Pieces Of A Dream’s trademark sounds. “When our fans hear Just Funkin’ Around, I hope that it inspires them to do what makes them happy; dance, sing, hum, or even just smile,” shares Harmon. “These songs are our gift to be shared from one ear to another.”  Just Funkin’ Around ceremoniously opens with the album’s first single “Right Back Atcha’” an in-the-pocket ear-catching tune.  Lloyd’s crisp piano licks dance atop Harmon’s mean drum groove and together they convey the message  ‘we came to get down!” Lloyd shares, “Some of the best things happen in the strangest ways. Curt and I wrote this in an artist tent minutes before a Pieces show and sang it into his phone. I had almost forgotten about it when he suggested it for the album.” Continue reading

Pieces Of A Dream – Just Funkin’ Around

The legendary group Pieces Of A Dream is an original Philadelphian smooth jazz formation. Keyboardist James Lloyd, drummer Curtis Harmon and former bassist Cedric Napoleon, became popular under the patronage of Grover Washington Jr. Later Cedric left the group, what their success did not diminish. After Soul Intent, Pieces of a Dream’s latest effort on Heads Up, the group now sails under the flag of Shanachie Entertainment.

Just Funkin’ Around is a funky, joyful musical celebration, filled with melodic grooves that have made Pieces Of A Dream fan favorites. The ten brilliant originals that run the gamut from ‘in the pocket’ R&B to sensuous Smooth Jazz jams show Pieces Of A Dream are at the top of their game!! Lead producer and founding member James Lloyd, who has been a go-to hit maker and accompanist for such artists as Mary J. Blige, BB King, Najee, Wayman Tisdale and others, shines here with such highlights as the funky “Right Back Atcha’” and the romantic ballad “Sensuosity.” Additionally, co-founder Curtis Harmon’s composition, the hard grooving “Shaken, Not Stirred,” demonstrates why the ”Pieces” sound is a unique crowd pleaser!

Just Funkin’ Around is available for pre-order at Amazon.com.

Pieces of a Dream – All In

All In is Pieces Of A Dream‘s sophomore album on Shanachie Entertainment. The group consists of keyboardist James Lloyd and drummer Curtis Harmon. Their overall 21st album features their longtime live crew, guitarist Rhon Lawrence and bassist David Dyson.

The recording is joined in addition by keyboardists Chris “Big Dog” Davis, Herman Jackson, Robert Pickard, guitarist Rob Bacon, drummer Teddy Cambell, saxophonists Tony Watson Jr., James Cunningham and bassist Byron Miller.

The album has an overall uplifting start with Turn It Up. And that’s to be taken literally. James Lloyd expands his talent on the keys enjoying with a sparkle of tones.

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Pieces Of A Dream – All In

AllInOnce upon a time, a trio of teenage jazz prodigies began turning heads in Philadelphia. Hailing from the ‘City of Brotherly Love,’ the all-star unit Pieces Of A Dream stands alongside an impressive lineage of musical wonders who have made Philly proud including Gamble and Huff, Patti Labelle, Grover Washington Jr. Jill Scott and The Roots.

Proclaimed a “tough act to follow” by the iconic Count Basie, Pieces Of A Dream was discovered while in High School and was mentored by Mr. Magic, pioneering saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. 2016 marks a milestone for Pieces Of A Dream as they will celebrate their 40th Anniversary. The all-star band has built an impressive legacy of their own with their melting pot of influences that have catapulted them to the top of the charts more than a few times. November 6, 2015 Shanachie Entertainment will release their 21st recording, All In, which beautifully illustrates why the band has stood the test of time.

Danny Weiss, VP of Jazz A&R for Shanachie states, “What really amazes me about Pieces Of A Dream is how fresh they are. They’ve been an iconic group for decades, yet this album has them at the very top of their game!” Founding members, keyboardist and producer James Lloyd (whose produced #1 hits for the likes of Walter Beasley, Najee and Eric Darius) and drummer Curtis Harmon (Ronny Jordan, Alex Bugnon, Sherry Winston), both use words like “thankful,” “blessed” and “grateful” to describe how they feel about their work and their fans, who have continued to make it all possible. Harmon shares, “We are grateful to our fans who give so much meaning to do what we are blessed to do.” Continue reading

Pieces Of A Dream – In The Moment

The legendary group Pieces Of A Dream is an original Philadelphian smooth jazz formation. Keyboardist James Lloyd, drummer Curtis Harmon and former bassist Cedric Napoleon, became popular under the patronage of Grover Washington Jr. Later Cedric left the group, what their success did not diminish. After Soul Intent, Pieces of a Dream’s latest effort on Heads Up, the group now sails under the flag of Shanachie Entertainment.

Their 20th album In The Moment is just released and is so fresh that POAD hasn’t even updated their new website. The album features superstar guitarist Rhon Lawrence, up and coming saxophonist Tony Watson, Jr. and bassist David Dyson. Shanachie label stalwart Chris “Big Dog” Davis joins these longtime friends.

In The Moment is a instantaneous inventory of where the band currently stands. The group shows itself in the formation, in which they also frequently occurs as a live act. It is also the style that represents the group. Tony Watson Jr. leaves it all on the stage and also on this recording. No overdub but pure sax. Tony is no unknown, he also performed on CDs of Walter Beasley, Najee and previous albums of POAD.

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Pieces Of A Dream – In The Moment

InTheMomentPieces Of A Dream are set to release their 20th album entitled In The Moment on August 27, 2013 via Shanachie Records. The Philadelphia based band got its start in 1976 as founding members keyboardist James Lloyd, drummer Curtis Harmon and former bassist Cedric Napoleon formed the group while they were still in high school. The band caught the attention of saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. who signed them to his label and nurtured their career.

Pieces Of A Dream have gone on to work with a variety of artists over the years including Mary J. Blige, B.B. King and Wayman Tisdale, among others. In The Moment features superstar guitarist Rhon Lawrence and up and coming saxophonist Tony Watson, Jr. Look for the band on tour this month with stops in Cincinnati, OH, Philadelphia, PA and Springfield, MA.

This title will be released on August 27, 2013. Pre-order now at Amazon.com.