Posts Tagged ‘ Smile ’

Peter White – Smile

A glance at the track list and running times for Peter White’s Smile (Heads Up, 2014), one might go, “Oh, no. Cookie-cutter music.” The songs are short, hovering around that magical four-minute mark that makes all tracks acceptable for radio programmers who have the attention span of a gnat. However, it’s what White does in those four minutes that keeps this from being a typical, ho-hum, smooth jazz release.

White plays nylon-string, acoustic guitar and is joined throughout by co-producer DC. Together, they handle all instruments not specified by any of the nine guest artists who appear here and there.

One can’t help but smile with the title song. It opens the set with a delightful groove. Mindi Abair and Stevo Theard join with lead vocals. Rick Braun steps in with funky horn and flugelhorn solo. The lyrics are simple: “I just like the way you do it / smile / I love the way you do it / smile.” But it’s the overall vibe of the song that makes it work.

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Peter White – Smile

When distinct modesty couples with excellent artistry, this applies absolutely to the guitarist Peter White. The uncrowned leader of the smooth jazz genre has already released his fourteenth studio album, his third for the label Heads Up International.

White is joined by vocalists Mindi Abair and Stevo Theard, trumpeter Rick Braun, saxophonist Euge Groove, keyboardist Philippe Saisse, bassist Nate Phillips, percussionist Ramon Yslas and his daughter Charlotte White on violin.

Stylistically White remains faithful to himself. Also on this album the acoustic guitar is his favorite instrument. All tracks are written by Peter White and DC with the exception of Don Quixote’s Final Quest, which Peter composed with Freddie Ravel.

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Peter White – Smile

SmileIn the era ruled by the electric guitar, British-born, LA-based Peter White reigns supreme as one the world’s greatest masters of the nylon-string acoustic guitar. From the time he burst on the scene with rock legend Al Stewart in the seventies and singer Basia in the eighties to his session work with Richard Elliot, Jeff Golub, Lee Ritenour, Kirk Whalum and Boney James, White’s fabulous fingers continue to showcase the timeless tones and timbres that come from wood, skin and an expansive musical imagination.

Smile, set for release October 7, 2014 on Heads Up, a division of Concord Music Group, is White’s fourteenth recording as a leader, and his scintillating, contemporary jazz sound is buttressed by his equally-impressive command of several instruments and augmented by an impressive array of special guests, including vocalist Mindi Abair, trumpeter Rick Braun, soprano saxophonist Euge Groove, keyboardist Philippe Saisse, bassist Nate Phillips, violinist (and daughter) Charlotte White, Ramon Yslas on bongos and vocalist Stevo Theard. (International release dates may vary)

“This CD is my third recording for Concord of all original songs,” White says. “It started with Good Day (2009) and continued with Here We Go (2012). What I try to do on every single album is produce a story that has adventures; that has different styles that take you to different places.” Continue reading

Carol Duboc – Smile

For a change of pace, hear Carol Duboc’s Smile (Gold Note Music, 2013). Most vocal jazz albums revisit the American Songbook, classic songs that originated upwards of 50 years ago and have been covered dozens of times. Duboc is one who opts for a more contemporary sound, pairing original music and lyrics with a modern vibe.

It doesn’t hurt that her writing partner and band member is Jeff Lorber. The pair composed nine of the 10 tracks. Duboc teams with pianist Tim Carmon on “Behind a Kiss,” the only track on which Carmon plays.

Accompanying Duboc are Jeff Lorber, keyboards, Moog, guitar on “Telepathy”; Tim Carmon, piano on “Behind a Kiss”; Vinnie Colaiuta, drums; Michael Thompson, guitars; Brian Bromberg, upright bass; Jimmy Haslip, electric bass; Hubert Laws, flute; and Luis Conte, percussion.

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Carol Duboc – Smile

Carol Duboc is performing in the smooth jazz scene since 2001. That year marked the release of her debut album With All That I Am. Already a year later she released her self-titled sophomore album Duboc followed by All Of You (2005), Songs for Lovers (2008) and The Burt Bacharach Songbook (2009).

This year Carol returns with her new album Smile. The remarkable thing about this album is the star cast of accompanying musicians. Jeff Lorber (keyboards, Moog & guitar), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Brian Bromberg (acoustic bass), Jimmy Haslip (electric bass), Hubert Laws (flute), Michael Thompson (guitars), Luis Conte (percussion) and Tim Carmon (piano).

The album is a collaboration between Carol and Jeff Lorber, who co-wrote and co-produced the complete album with her. The album starts with the quite attractive piece Elephant. With instrumental accompaniment at the highest level Duboc likes in a jazzy attitude.

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Carol Duboc – Smile

SmileThinking that everything had fallen apart, the tears streamed down Carol Duboc’s face as she wrote the lyrics to “Smile,” the title track to the soulful jazz vocalist’s stunning sixth album that was released Tuesday (May 21) by Gold Note Music. She gazed at her young daughter’s smile and found hope. Hope infuses the painfully honest and courageously candid collection Duboc penned and produced with fusion pioneer Jeff Lorber about coming to terms with the end of her marriage. The shuffling beats of the funky first single, “Elephant,” one of Billboard BDSradio’s most added tracks this week, elusively dances around the realization that she and her husband faced: the amassed problems in the marriage were the elephant that could no longer be ignored.

Duboc and Lorber have a history of writing songs together that spans more than a decade yet became more frequent a few years ago when the chanteuse with the candied voice moved into a Los Angeles, Calif. neighborhood near Lorber’s home studio. They complement each other’s strengths as songwriters organically with Duboc coming up with catchy melodies and compelling storytelling lyrics for Lorber’s jazz-funk rhythms and grooves. Naturally turning to her own life for lyrical themes, Duboc delved into the flood of feelings that she was experiencing at the time in the troubled relationship. She intimately chronicled utilizing the process as a form of therapy allowing her to work through the morass. Despite the difficult subject matter, the songs are not bitter as Duboc instills a sense of hope into her melodies – perhaps because of her daughter’s presence. She remains poised throughout her cathartic emotional exploration.

“Smile” was recorded in the studio live with Duboc accompanied by a stellar ensemble consisting of Lorber (keyboards, Moog & guitar), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Grammy-nominee Brian Bromberg (acoustic bass), Jimmy Haslip (electric bass), 3-time Grammy nominee Hubert Laws (flute), Michael Thompson (guitars), Luis Conte (percussion) and Tim Carmon (piano). Her graceful, caressing and expressive voice nestles into the plush contemporary jazz rhythm beds, rides the R&B grooves, and adds depth to the urbane pop confections. Continue reading