Posts Tagged ‘ Saxophone ’

Kim Waters – That Special Touch

71j+VdFkYLL._SX522_In a world where we are all multi-tasking, overbooked and moving at maximum speed, the intimate quiet moments and thoughtful gestures from the ones we love, are what makes life worth living. The hit-making and chart-topping saxophonist Kim Waters, dubbed “Simply one of the planet’s best saxophonists” by JazzTimes Magazine, offers the perfect oasis from life’s frenetic pace on his 25th recording That Special Touch. Known for crafting irresistible melodies, insatiable grooves and undeniable hooks, Waters’ signature sound combines the best elements of Jazz, R&B, Blues and Pop. The saxophonist has made it a trademark to harness the spirit of love in all of his recordings. “I think that everybody needs love. It’s something for certain that in today’s world, we need more of and if we had more of it, the world would be a better place,” explains Waters. “A lot of artists that I have admired have made their careers off of love like Babyface, Barry White and Marvin Gaye. You can’t go wrong with love.”

That Special Touch opens with the album’s first single, the elegant and jubilant “Joy Dance.” Waters’ agile and emotive horn seduces with his flawless tone and smooth melodic flow. The winning number calls to mind Lionel Richie’s timeless “Love Will Find A Way.” The funky and trippy club vibe of “House Call” hypnotizes with its pulsating groove and bluesy edge. Although the album features mostly originals, Waters reimagines two well-known songs. He delivers his own stunning take on Adele’s #1 anthem “Easy On Me.” “This Adele song is such a great tune and when I first heard it, I immediately thought to myself that it is the perfect song for the saxophone. It’s simple but yet it catches you right off the top.” Waters also reinvents R&B singer Joe’s “If I Were Your Man,” featuring singer Raynard Gibson. “I have met Joe and I have been a fan of his forever,” confesses Waters. “I wanted to put my spin one of his songs and this one was perfect.”

“Making this album was a bit different this time around,” shares Waters. I recorded at my home in Alpharetta, GA and instead of going straight into the studio, I did all of the writing at the piano downstairs in my piano lounge. Once I had composed all the songs, I went upstairs to my real studio to record.” The album’s title track is a special in more ways than one. Not only is it a standout on the album but it also joins Waters with one of his greatest loves, one of his twin daughters, pianist Kayla Waters. “I never persuaded Kayla to go into music. She took on the piano when she was 11 months old and by the time she was five or six, I was like ‘Wait a minute, she’s got something here!,” reflects Kim. “It is absolutely amazing to have the opportunity to perform with my daughter in concerts and then have the chance to play a duet with her on this record. It was incredible to watch her do the piano parts. She is so critical about everything she does which I appreciate. It’s a great attribute that will be useful throughout her career and give her longevity.” That Special Touch also features “Get Your Groove On.” As the title suggests, it is a straight-up dance number reminiscent of the New Jack Swing Era a la “Groove Me’ and “Don’t Be Cruel.” The original “Listen To Your Heart,” is a gorgeous danceable uplifting number while the scintillating “Morning Sunrise” is a shimmering meditative beauty. “The Flamenco-tinged “Breathless” shines a light on Waters inviting soprano while “Pathway to Love” is the perfect closer for Kim Waters’ loving offering to his devoted fans.
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Matt Lee – Never Too Late

nevertoolateSaxophonist Matt Lee was inspired for the music in his youth by his grandmother who bought him a saxophone in 1997. As self taught musician he is active in the music business since the early 2000’s. He is influenced by artists such as Grover Washington Jr., Kenny G or James Brown. He will release his first album entitled Never Too Late in April 2022.

The EP consists of four tracks, the songs One More Kiss and First Glance are produced by Jeffrey Carruthers and mixed and mastered by Euge Groove. Artists on these tracks are Eric Valentine (drums), Darryl Williams (bass), Jeffrey Carruthers (keys, guitar) and Matt Lee on sax. The tracks Spanish Skies and Let’s Chill Tonight are produced, arranged, mixed, and mastered by Matt Lee.

The album opens with Spanish Skies that can easily be passed off as a showpiece. Multi-instrumentalist Lee presents a coherent arrangement, with balanced instrumentation and an engaging melody. Above all, his tenor saxophone dominates, developing rich sound structures.

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Francesco Polito – Trip

Born in Rom Francesco Polito decided at the age of 11 to play his favorite instrument, the saxophone. After his move to Naples he received a master in jazz music and improvisation at the Music Conservatory “San Pietro a Majella”.

He was involved in CD projects of Don Backy, Carmelo Zappulla and Enzo Polito. Inspired by saxophonists like Boney James, Dave Koz, Euge Groove, Richard Elliot, his decision to create his own smooth jazz album was rather easy.

His debut album Trip was released May 29, 2020 on AlfaMusic. Unlike his label mate Gianni Vancini Francesco Polito is accompanied by Italian musicians especially from the family environment.  Details about the accompanying musicians can be found in the credits.

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Randy Scott – Elevation

Detroit based saxophonist and composer Randy Scott is an old hand, when it comes to create hits and stay at the forefront of music business. His extensive solo career includes the albums Randy Scott (1994), Future (1999), Words Unspoken (2002), Breathe (2007), 90 Degrees at Midnight (2011), and Serenity (2015).

His newest project Elevation (2020) is his seventh album and his third on the label Trippin’ N Rhythm. As is his custom, he once again invited a large number of musicians to design his album. The comprehensive list is shown below in the credits.

The album starts with Joyride which is a well thought out piece with a swing that evokes associations of Kool and the Gang’s Ladies Night. With Ignite Randy presents a brilliant idea. In this fast paced piece he lets some flamenco flow in like a skillful pinch of pepper.

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Shannon Kennedy – Back Again

Southern California based Shannon Kennedy is an ambitious linguist but a passionate singer and saxophonist. Her wide-ranging talent has been reflected in numerous projects. As singer she has released the albums Only One (2011) and Behind Your Eyes (2012). With guitarist U-Nam she furthermore collaborated on the projects K.A.S.E. 87, Nivo Deux and Groove Ltd.

As saxophonist she released Angel Eyes (2005), Steppin Up and Never My Love (2007). Her new album is Back Again (2019). She invited guest musicians Peter White, Kat Dyson, Chieli Minucci (guitar), Jordan West, Kurt Hamernick (drums), and Jeff Carlson (bass).

Something by the group Girl’s Day is the introduction to Shannon’s new album. Girl’s Day was a popular South Korean girl band founded in 2010. The appealing melody is realized by Shannon polyphonic and in modern style. Peter White with his acoustic guitar is responsible for the Spanish coloring.

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Phillip “Doc” Martin – Colors

Phillip “Doc” Martin has always divided his life between music and his profession as a dentist. He is successful in both areas, which gives him inner satisfaction and happiness. Saxappeal in 2003, Pride and Joy (2007), Realization (2009), Good Day at Work (2013), and Pocket Love (2016) are milestones of his solo career.

Colors is his newest project produced by Marvin “Tony” Hemmings. Beside saxophonist Martin are performing on selected tracks Aaron Bucky Buckingham (drums), Jamaal Andrews (bass), Daniel Kelley Howard and Kenny Kohlhaus (guitars).

Don’t expect any medical miracles when Phillip starts his album with Colors. Short and compact, he sums up his message in a nutshell to a catchy tune. Make You Feel presents his sax underlined with Julian Vaughn’s voluminous bass.

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Greg Chambers – A New Day

Saxophonist Greg Chambers has five trumps in his hand. City Lights (2006), Greg Chambers (2011), After Hours (2013), Can’t Help Myself (2014) and A New Day (2018).

The new album will be released June 21, 2018. For the purpose of quality assurance, Greg has brought in the best producers and musicians the smooth jazz market has to offer. The liner notes mention Matt Godina (keyboards, bass, & drum programming), Nate Harasim (guitar, keyboards, drum programming, synths), Paul Brown (guitars), Lew Laing (keyboards, bass & drum programming), who also have written the tracks in cooperation with Greg.

The project is also joined by David P. Stevens (lead & rhythm guitars), Roberto Vally (bass), Kenji Matsui and Adam Hawley (guitars), Rodney Franklin (keyboards), Preston Smith, Lin Rountree (flugelhorn) and Nils (guitar).

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Phil Denny – Align

Saxophonist Phil Denny has already released four albums in a short time: Crossover (2012), The Messenger (2013), Upswing (2015) and this year Align. Performances on many festivals will not rest him on his laurels. With his 2nd annual Armory Smooth Jazz Fête he is among the exclusive circle of promoters.

His fourth album Align was written by Phil in parts with the support of participating musicians. Phil performs on this album tenor, alto and soprano sax, EWI. Further joining musicians are Matt Godina (keys, guitar, programming), Nathaniel Kearney Jr., Mel Brown (bass), Eric Valentine (drums), David P. Stevens (guitar), Lew Laing (keys, bass, programming), Adam Hawley (various instruments), Big Mike Hart (guitar, acoustic guitar), programming), Andrew Freeman (rhythm guitar), Buddy Bangs (keys, programming), Joe Archie (keys, guitar, synth bass, programming, strings) and Stacey Lamont Sydnor (percussion).

First track of the album is Switch Up which already climbs the charts as a single release. The forceful rhythmically-charged song encapsulates Phil Denny as a prolific artist quickly appearing on your screen. Feel Alright featuring David P. Stevens is spreading good mood going with confidence through the roof.

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Marion Meadows – Soul City

Marion Meadows understands it perfectly to put himself in the limelight. So that the light does not blind him, you can see him on many of his covers with sunglasses. This underlines the aura of mystery, created and wisely cultivated by him. Musician friends and fans know him however as a sociable person who likes to have a small talk.

Keeping soul in mind his new album is titled Soul City (2018). Marion performs on this album mostly soprano sax, on several tracks tenor sax. He reached out to two familiar producers and keyboardists, who designed the album with him. We talk about Chris Big Dog Davis and Rahni Song.

Marion also invited prolific guest musicians such as Will Gaines, Julio Hernandez (bass), Norman Brown, Peter White, Rohn Lawrence, Wayne Gerard, Kaimi Hananoeau (guitar), Joey Sommerville (trumpet), Maysa, Peabo Bryson, Kim Fleming, Will Downing, Dana Lauren (vocals), Maria Meadows, The Super Choir of Atlanta, Timmy Maia (bg. vocals), Roberto Vazquez (piano), Orlando Hernandez (drums, percussion), Jeff Bradshaw (trombone), Jorel “Jfly” Flynn (drums), Justin Gilbert (keyboards), Nicole Neely String Chicks Music LLC (strings), Bob Baldwin (string edits), Niger Troutman (Timpani).

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Gary Palmer – Coast 2 Coast

Coast 2 Coast is the newest music project by Gary Palmer who teamed up with veteran jazz artists such as two-time Grammy winner Paul Brown and jazz pianist Bob Baldwin, guitarist David P Stevens, guitarist Kay-Ta Matsuno, pianist Tim Watson, vocalist Kevin Foster and guitarist Nils.

The new album is available on CDBaby.