Posts Tagged ‘ R&B ’

Canelita Sabrosa – Canelita Sabrosa

SabrosaCanelita Sabrosa means in Spanish “Tasty Cinnamon” and indicates the multi-cultural direction in which the Atlanta-based band moves. Members of the formation are Chris Nettuno (congas, vocals and acoustic guitar), guitarist Julio Miranda, drummer Chunky Sounds and some other musicians, who play in changing line-ups.

The group sees itself as a live band with a wide repertoire that includes styles such as Latin, jazz, R&B, pop, funk and rock. Their self-titled debut album can be interpreted as a calling card, with a certain Latin orientation being unmistakable. The album is packed with a total of 16 tracks, though the last four tracks are vocal variants of previous ones.

The band gets us in the mood with the percussive Señorita, which reminds you of the sound of Carlos Santana. The leitmotif is interpreted by various instruments such as flute, saxophone and trumpet before the guitars take the lead again. Pleasing and melodious.

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Chicago Soul Jazz Collective – On the Way to Be Free

ChicagoSoulJazzCollective_OnTheWaytoBeFreecoverThe name of this band tells you what you need to know about its purpose and history. Chicago, where Louis Armstrong moved to make his first records, is also the birthplace of gospel music, which gave rise to its secular cousin, soul; and few cities grooved harder to the post-bop soul-jazz revolution of the 1950s and ‘60s than Chicago. Decades later, here comes the Chicago Soul Jazz Collective, co-led by saxophonist John Fournier and trumpeter Marques Carroll, doubling down on this storied jazz idiom and hitting pay dirt for a new century.

For their CSJC’s third album, On the Way to Be Free, the group raises the ante by inviting Dee Alexander to join in. Chicago’s grand dame of jazz vocals (as well as a syndicated broadcaster), the internationally acclaimed Alexander elevates every project she undertakes. She’s a shape-shifter who ranges far and wide, from her groundbreaking work with Chicago’s famed AACM, to her own strikingly original compositions, to her celebrations of the music’s great divas, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, and Billie Holiday (as on Alexander’s guest appearance with the Metropolitan Jazz Octet on its 2019 album, It’s Too Hot for Words). And as she proves here, she can sass and strut with the best. Just listen as she levitates the bandstand on the fiery protest “The Man Is Coming Back,” and then she settles into the soulful ballad “So Alive” and drapes it in all the plummy finery it deserves.

The CSJC repertoire effortlessly captures the early funk of such pioneers as Horace Silver and Cannonball Adderley, but also encompasses rhythm-and-blues, classic ‘60s soul, and even neo soul, which Alexander also handles with experiential aplomb. All but one of the new album’s nine tracks were written by Fournier, whose songwriting has evolved to include evocative lyrics and memorable narratives – without abandoning the irresistible swagger that characterized the soul jazz heyday, neatly encompassed in “Behind the Crusaders.” (The title nods to one of the idiom’s most popular bands). Continue reading

Threestyle – Better Days

277805841_5351966804827953_6186758290255677640_nAlthough at home in Munich Threestyle has meanwhile the status of an International formation. Formed by saxophonist Magdalena Chovancova and guitarist Robert Fertl this musical diamond is worth listening to in any case.

For the new project both could win the following musicians: James L. Manning (bass), Lew Laing (keyboards), Gabriela Konrad (drums, percussion), Damon Dae (vocals), Tim Owens (vocals), Latonya Black Gilliard (vocals), DW3 (vocals), Ashley Sankey (vocals),  Elvis Stanic (guitar) and Robert Vally (bass). From the lineup, it’s easy to see that this album has its focus in the vocal realm.

The team has made a point of working out the pieces with the musicians involved. The album opens with Living In This House presenting singer Damon Dae. Dae is the featured vocalist on a total of six tracks, so it’s fair to think of him as the main performer on this album. His smoky tenor voice is distinct and puts the album’s emphasis on soul and R&B.

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Aaron Brown – Resurgence

MrJonesInspired by his mother’s death and his mentor’s massive stroke, R&B/jazz guitarist-bassist Aaron Brown felt a sense of urgency to create new music. As he works on his fourth album that he anticipates releasing in the fall, his BBP Records label will offer a preview when the single, “Mr. Jones,” goes for radio adds on March 21.

Brown wrote, produced and arranged the single named after his longtime friend and mentor, Gordon “G-man” Jones. Brown’s sinewy bass leaps to the fore over drummer Gene Faffley’s beats on the cut that features a prominent saxophone lead by guest star Pete Belasco, who admirably carries the melody with impassioned horn play. Dennis Johnson adds keyboard harmonies, embellishing Brown’s nuanced electric guitar.

Brown’s mother was an amazing 101-years-old when she passed away. Thankfully, his mentor survived the stroke and subsequent brain surgery. Jones always encouraged Brown to go from gigging studio session player and on-stage sideman to band leader. With the two real-life incidents serving as reminders of life’s fragility, Brown got hungry and began to compose new music with fervor. The album will aptly be titled “Resurgence,” which will be issued under the moniker Aaron Brown’s FuBop Collective. Continue reading

California Funk Machine – Volume 1

b4f5b459-03bc-d19b-c7da-b750345bab8cParis born guitar virtuoso Emmanuel “U-Nam” Abiteboul always had a great affinity for funk. This passion runs through his entire life’s work and reaches its peak with the California Funk MachineVolume I is a collection of selected pieces of funk history that brought it the greatest success and had a decisive impact on it.

Ain’t No Stopping Us Now is a song by American R&B duo McFadden & Whitehead and keyboardist Jerry Cohen from 1979. This super smash hit was already covered by the late Wayman Tisdale, Bobby Wells, Peter White and many more. U-Nam does his interpretation in a big way with multiple instrumentations and with the great singer Marva King who is known to us as the vocal accompanist of Phil Collins, Tupac Shakur, Prince, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Cliff, Chaka Khan, and Lionel Richie.

EWF had with September their ultimate top hit in 1978 with more than 2 million digital copies. U-Nam creates a cover which is close to the original and yet has the twist that makes it worth listening to as a novelty. The Brothers Johnson had a huge hit with Stomp! in 1980, perfectly recovered by Quincey Jones on Q’s Jook Joint in 1995. Now comes U-Nam with his version bringing the song to explosion.

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Jéssica Pina – Vento Novo

VentoNovoPortuguese trumpet player Jéssica Pina has studied her profession on the University of Évora and now performs as a freelancer. Her sphere of activity extends to countries such as Portugal, Spain, Norway, Latvia, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Morocco, Tanzania, Kenya, and Timor.

Her debut album Essência was released January, 2019. The path traveled so far, with a jazz background, led her to be invited by Madonna to join the international star’s MADAME X world tour. After the world experience, Jéssica Pina decides to return to Portugal and invest in her latest EP “Vento Novo”, and in this way the Portuguese composer, instrumentalist and singer has conquered with performances in cities such as Chaves, Vila Real, Ourém, São João da Madeira, Alcacer do Sal, Lisbon, Santarém and even in Madrid.

The new work consists of 4 tracks, where the artist takes a risk in the composition and in the texts sung by herself. From the EP are known the videos “Vento Novo”, “Romeu” and “Drama Queen”, all signed by João Pedro Moreira, responsible for videos by artists such as Dino D`Santiago, Branko, Rita Vian, Teresinha Landeiro, among others.

The EP is available on all major digital platforms.

Tom Browne – Brother, Brother: The GRP/Arista Anthology

TOM-BROWNESoulMusic Records is very proud to present “Brother, Brother: The GRP/Arista Anthology,” a musically superb anthology by renowned trumpeter, musician and songwriter Tom Browne, covering his five-year tenure (1979-1984), firstly with GRP Records then with Arista Records.

From Jamaica, Queens, NY, Tom grew up in a creatively-fertile environment among other budding musicians including drummer Omar Hakim, bassist Marcus Miller, keyboardist Bernard Wright, drummer Lenny White and songwriter/musician Lesette Wilson. After being courted by several labels, Tom opted to sign with the then-fledgling GRP label, created by top jazz production team of Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen.

Following the critically-acclaimed “Browne Sugar” LP, Tom experienced his biggest commercial breakthrough with 1980’s “Love Approach” which included the massive global hit, the now-timeless funk groove, ‘Funkin’ For Jamaica (N.Y.)’, a No. 1 R&B US hit. This 29-track, 2-CD set also includes two 1991 remixes of the classic cut by the UK’s Driza Bone. Continue reading

Jeff Bradshaw – Stronger

Mr. Magic Slide Jeff Bradshaw is one of the rare musicians who has chosen the trombone as lead instrument. Born in Philadelphia Jeff performed as professional musician with Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Floetry, Darius Ricker, Michael Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire, The Roots, Musiq Soulchild and more. However his debut album Bone Deep was first released in 2003 on the label Hidden Beach Recordings. With Bone Appétit, a double album, he set a powerful signal on the same label in 2012.

In 2014 followed his live album Home on Shanachie Entertainment. Now Jeff is back with Stronger (2020) which is equivalent to a double album in size. Jeff can boast an illustrious collection of guest musicians. Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Lin Rountree, Marqueal Jordan, Paula Champion, Mike Burton, Raheem Devaughn, Robert Glasper, Christian McBride, James Poyser, Micki Miller, Conya Doss, Glen Lewis, Frank McComb, Marsha Ambrosius, Amber Navran, Jeff Murrell, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Wadud Ahmad are to discover on the album.

The album opens with the martial title War & Thunder in which Jeff delivers a musical battle with Trombone Shorty. Sonorous sounding African drums underscore the thoroughly time-related background.

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Wade C. Long – Nostalgia

It is amazing how many great singers come out of the quiet city of Cleveland, Ohio. The town on the North Coast has been the home of many memorable vocalists. Add to that list singer-keyboardist Wade C. Long, who grew up in Believeland and is now based in L.A. The former church musician has made a career as a producer for several artists and groups over the years, and in 2014 years ago he released is debut EP, Love Is. After releasing the soulful Rise in 2018, Wade had the pleasure of co-writing and co-producing the new single “When I Think of You” for his cousin and Grammy Award winner Joe Little III, of The Rude Boys.

Wade is now coming back in early 2020 with 3 brand new singles of his own. “Bulljivin'” is a throwback to early 80s Funk and Soul, reminiscent of bands like Cameo and Con Funk Shun. “Norm’s Place” is a sensational Smooth Jazz track, perfectly fit for your Sunday afternoon drive. The lone new vocal piece is “Since I’ve Found You”, a ballad that celebrates falling and staying in love. Now he tops the whole with his new album Nostalgia (2020).

Buy the new album (mp3) on

Tracey Eileen – It’s Time

Chicago born R&B/jazz singer Tracey Eileen is since eleven years in the music business and developed from a local player to an internationally known soul/R&B artist. Starting with her debut album Love’s Journey in 2012 she arrived to her second album Why Did I Say Yes (2018). Her third project is the EP It’s Time, which appears delayed by the pandemic in June 12, 2020.

Opener of the album is the single Somehow Someway, which like most of her songs deals with interpersonal relationships and also contains biographical elements. The song was produced by Kendall Duffie (Cloud 9), who also performs synthesizer, drum programming and synth bass on it.

Now That We’re Here is also a commitment to togetherness. Donald Hayes underlines the tenderness in Tracey’s voice on saxophone. Sweeter With Time is a love ballad which focuses on the growth of love in a community. The special feature of Tracey’s performance is not only her voice but also the ingenious use of her vocals in the arrangement, for which she constantly finds new approaches.

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