Posts Tagged ‘ Smooth Jazz ’

GBody – Feeling Good

Garrett Body affectionately known as “G Body” is an amazing bassist from Chicago, IL. His musical journey began at the age of 9 where he began playing for a local church choir. Over time Garrett developed and perfected his craft and love for music. Garrett’s music has inspired many and has allowed him the honor of sharing the stage with many notable recording artists such as Heather Headley, Jennifer Hudson, Dwayne Woods, Euge Groove, Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Brian Simpson, Sax Pack, and the list goes on and on.

In 2009 Garrett released his debut album entitled, Body Way, which highlights a smooth and easy listening experience mixed with instrumentals that will amaze you. In July of 2013 Garrett followed up with his sophomore album entitled Who am I? featuring Bill the Buddha Dickens, Isaiah Sharkey, as well as many other great artist. In July of 2013 Garrett joined forces with Nick Colionne as his “right hand man.” Currently touring across the world and captivating audiences with high energy performances, Garrett’s humble spirit has allowed him to become one of the best in the business!

His new offer is Feeling Good (2018), a loosy collection of great melodies, captured from the test of time. Get the download on CDBaby.

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Ulysses Owens Jr. – Songs of Freedom

In the most trying of times, it can be reassuring to listen back to the voices who’ve carried us through similar struggles. On his stirring new album Songs of Freedom, GRAMMY® Award-nominated drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. explores the songbooks of three female icons of the turbulent 1960s: Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln, and Joni Mitchell. To convey the profound emotions of these powerful singer-songwriters, Owens has enlisted René Marie, Theo Bleckmann, and Alicia Olatuja, three of today’s most acclaimed jazz vocalists, along with rising star Joanna Majoko.

Songs of Freedom (available for streaming and physical pre-order now; album available March 15 via Resilience Music Alliance) was originally premiered in September 2016 as part of the Jazz at Lincoln Center celebration of “100 Years of Song.” The program culls inspiring songs from the three icons catalogues expressing the value of and struggle for freedom in America. The repertoire ranges from Mitchell’s soaring evocation of love’s complexity, “Both Sides Now,” to Simone’s acid takedown of the Civil Rights era South, “Mississippi Goddam,” to Lincoln’s rousing protest songs from Max Roach’s “Freedom Now Suite.”

Owens devised the idea for Songs of Freedom when he was approached by Jason Olaine, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s director of programming and touring, to take part in their century-spanning program, with the notion of taking on the period from the 1960s to the present day – a daunting proposition. “I realized that it would either end up a hodgepodge of random songs,” Owens says, “or I could find a defining moment that has influenced everything since.”

The core idea for Owens’ program came from the distressing headlines of the day. “At that time,” he recalls, “social media was blowing up every day with news of police brutality, videos of black men being killed by the cops. So, I thought back to the ‘60s, which seemed like a mirror image of today, and I asked, ‘Who were the figures that were on the front line then?’ I immediately thought about Nina and Abbey, and then I realized Joni would bring more of a love element to this fight.”

While Songs of Freedom looks back more than 50 years, Ulysses Owens Jr. is most concerned with how it touches audiences today. “Art has the ability to help you bide the time and get through,” he says. “Nina, Abbey and Joni were doing that while living in even crazier times. Art lets us say, ‘Ok, I can’t change anything, but here’s some people expressing exactly what I feel and the kind of agreement and resolve I hope our nation can come to, so it gives me some solace and comfort – which then gives me the ability to get through the tribulation. My ultimate goal with Songs of Freedom is to unite people.”

This album will be released on iTunes.

Brendan Rothwell – Sentiment

Brendan Rothwell is an accomplished bassist, composer, and producer. Originally from the UK, Brendan has been based in Calgary, AB, Canada since 2005. This Is the Love, from Brendan’s debut recording Time On My Hands (Independent, 2016), secured him placement on several of the global “Best of 2017” contemporary jazz charts, alongside winning “The People’s Choice” in Calgary’s 2017 YYC Music Awards.

Following the success of his debut recording, Brendan takes a step up with the release of Sentiment (Independent. Global release 02/14/2019). With 11 tracks of bass-focused contemporary jazz, this album displays a unique and genuine identity. On this entirely solo recording, Brendan once again optimizes the tone, scale, feeling and musicality of the bass, bringing it to the foreground as a lead instrument to develop meaning and depth.

Brendan describes the 1986 album from Miles Davis,“Tutu”, featuring the great Marcus Miller, as the trigger and driving force for his decision to play the bass. The art of business and leadership is inextricably linked in all of Brendan’s projects, and he firmly believes in applying a business mindset to the industry of music. Following the success of Time On My Hands, this much-anticipated 2nd album digs deeper in the roots of contemporary electric bass.

Sentiment is available on CDBaby.

Neamen – Moment Of Truth

Arizona native sax performer Neamen Lyles aka Neamen began his solo career striving to be a smooth jazz star. In this rare case, claim and reality coincide. Recordings and performances with the likes of Jeff Lorber, Rick Braun, Mel Brown, Mindi Abair and sharing events with Dave Koz, Jay Soto, Greg Karrukas and others speak a clear language.

He dispelled all doubts with his debut work So Free (2011), which was highly praised by critics. Now he continues his earlier success and has released his second album Moment Of Truth together with Jay Soto, with whom he also produced his debut album.

Neamen performs on the new album tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, Jay Soto guitars and keyboards. Jay also made mixing and engineering. Additional musicians are Austin Carthell, Rachelle Youngberg, Eric Loveres,  Erika Schiff, Steve Lane and Crystal Stark (lead vocals), Jodi Light (background vocals), Tom Gioia, Marlon McClain (guitars), Mikey B (B3), Mel Brown, Mario Mendivil (bass), Tony Mora, Yon Yokobian (drums and percussion), Rick Peron, Carlos Chavez (trumpet), Bobby Hastings, Bradon Larson (tenor sax) and Hiram Perez (baritone sax).

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Phillip Doc Martin – Colors

Quite rightly Philipp Martin is nicknamed Doc. He works in his day job as dentist in the Washington DC area. His second passion is music and as saxophonist he has already released several solo albums.

All started with his album Saxappeal in 2003. 2007 followed Pride and Joy, then Realization (2009), and  Good Day at Work (2013). Pocket Love (2016) was his fifth album and was released on the label Innervision Records. Now he is back with Colors (2019). Phillip comments: “I must say, it has been so wonderful to make albums over the past 20 years. What has also been amazing is that I have been able to do this while pursuing a dental career. The only adjective to sum it up to me is Colorful. This is why this album is named as such. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it!”

Colors just arrived at CDBaby.

Norman Brown – The Highest Act of Love

“I see life as a spiritual experience and life expressed through music adds a dynamic quality,” says Grammy winning guitarist, singer and producer Norman Brown. With an enviable career that has spanned close to three decades, the consummate hit-maker has masterfully created the soundtrack for many of our lives with his irresistible mélange of Jazz, R&B, Pop, Blues and beyond. Brown’s philosophy is simple when it comes to categorizing music. He explains, “There are only two types; good and bad.” JazzTimes Magazine touts that the guitarist is “a culmination of Jimi Hendrix and George Benson with some of Wes Montgomery thrown in,” while AllMusic raves that Brown is one of “contemporary jazz’s brightest lights…as master player and improviser.” Norman Brown’s charisma and versatility has afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with a cross-section of Jazz and R&B stars including Brian McKnight, Kirk Whalum, Miki Howard, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Everette Harp and Chanté Moore, to name a few. On February 22, 2019, Shanachie Entertainment will release Brown’s eleventh recording as a leader, The Highest Act Of Love. The Atlanta based musicians’s most inspired CD yet, features special guest R&B legend Deniece Williams, as well as fellow guitarist Paul Brown. When it comes to personal aspirations, the multi-platinum selling guitarist shares, “This is my gift and offering to my fans and my bid is that the music will be impactful, joyous and entertaining, and bring a sense of peace and understanding.”

The Highest Act of Love features eleven soul-stirring and thought provoking tracks of mostly originals that celebrate the spiritual and personal journey within each of us. Norman explains that there is a theme that unites all of the tracks. “Everything I choose has content and elements that reveal a message of love,” states the guitarist. At the core of Brown’s work is his grounding in his faith and the principals of Maat, the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, harmony, morality and justice. These tenants of wisdom and knowledge inform Brown’s own life and music. With the release of Brown’s new CD he is fulfilling a mission as the title The Highest Act Of Love suggests. He explains the ancient Egyptian wisdom taught to him by his Sage, Ra Un Nefer Amen, the high Priest and Founder of the Ausar/Auset Society.

“My body is the vessel of God on earth. Fulfilling God’s need is the highest act of love,” notes Brown. “The process of loving God first, then yourself allows you to then love everyone else.” It is only fitting that the serenity and beauty of “Inside The Garden Of Peace and Love” open The Highest Act of Love.” The tender ballad unites Brown with fellow guitarist Paul Brown. “Paul started the magic,” shares Brown. “We composed this song together and our chemistry was firing on all cylinders and the groove was smooth.” The ebullient “The King Is Here” is a song that dates back to 2002 that Norman finally brings to life on The Highest Act Of Love. Brown’s original “Words Of Wisdom” reminds us all to listen to your intuition from inside as your guide and to be open to receiving messages as revelations for “divine wisdom” to resolve setbacks/conflicts/problems in order to bring peace and balance in your life.” The song takes on another special meaning for Norman as it features the vocals of a dear friend, Baby Lee. “She never had the opportunity to be featured on a major recording. Shortly after recording her feature performance, she became ill and passed away. Thankfully, her husband was able to play her the song while she was in the hospital. She passed away two days later.” Continue reading

Keiko Matsui – Echo

Keiko Matsui personifies an enchanting mixture of Asian charm with distinct virtuosity. Her outward appearance harmonizes ideally with her spiritual music full of emotional power. With more than 35 solo albums she is an integral part of contemporary jazz with a melodious character.

Her new album Echo will be released on Shanachie Entertainment on February 22, 2019. This masterpiece belongs to the most rare albums with an unbelievable star cast of illustrious musicians.

The credits list Jimmy Johnson, Marcus Miller, Rico Belled (bass), Vinnie Colaiuta, Jimmy Branly (drums), Paul Jackson Jr., Tim Pierce, Robben Ford (guitar), Louis Conte (percussion), Randy Waldman (keyboards, programming), Brandon Fields, Kirk Whalum (sax), Nick Lane (trombone), Walt Fowler, Wayne Bergeron (trumpet), Ramon Stagnaro, JP Murao (acoustic guitar), Bud Harner (vocals), and Kyle Eastwood (acoustic bass).

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