Posts Tagged ‘ Soul Jazz ’

Michael Mayo – Bones

BonesBorn and raised in L.A., but a diehard New Yorker for the past five years (drawn by “the music, art and energy, its motivating factor”), 28-year-old Michael Mayo finished work on his debut solo album Bones, on the Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group, just before COVID hit. The tracks were cut live with his band — keyboardist Andrew Freedman, bassist Nick Campbell and drummer Robin Baytas, all of whom he’s played with since high school or college — at Figure8 Recordings in Brooklyn. Eli Wolf, a veteran Grammy®-winning producer of albums by Al Green, Norah Jones and The Roots, did the honors behind the board. “Being from L.A., I really know how to chill, but coming to New York has really kicked me into gear,” says Mayo.

The son of “first-call” session and touring musicians, Michael’s dad Scott Mayo was a saxophonist for Earth, Wind & Fire, among many others, and is currently the musical director for Sergio Mendes, while his mom Valerie Pinkston, now a back-up vocalist for Diana Ross, also sang with Beyoncé, Luther Vandross, Ray Charles, Whitney Houston and even alt icon Morrissey.

Bones is Mayo’s first full-length album under his own name after studying at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music and the Thelonious Monk Institute — now named after Herbie Hancock, who mentored Mayo, helping him discover the link between sound and technology through a looper pedal, and showcased him as a featured vocalist on a tour of South America in 2018. Continue reading

Stephanie Lottermoser – Hamburg

61Bf9HOaDOL._SL1200_The saxophonist and singer Stephanie Lottermoser, who comes from Munich and now lives in Hamburg, moves stylistically between jazz, soul, funk and pop. In the combination of playing the saxophone and singing, she has found her very own musical language. In 2013 Stephanie Lottermoser received a Bavarian Art Prize in the form of a scholarship for a six-month stay at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, where she wrote the music for her third album, Paris Songbook.

She completed her studies at the HMTM Munich, she was also a long member of the Bavarian State Youth Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Harald Rüschenbaum and is now herself a lecturer for the Ljjb in the Jazz Juniors course, which takes place four times a year in changing music academies in Bavaria. She has released five solo albums to date – Second Glance (2009), Good Soul (2013), Paris Songbook (2015/Downhill Records), This Time (2018/Motor Music) and this year Hamburg (Leopard Records/2021).

This album is available on Amazon.

Ricky Peterson And The Peterson Brothers – Under The Radar

4049774770791The Peterson Brothers – keyboardist Ricky Peterson, bassist Billy Peterson, drummer / guitarist Paul Peterson and their nephew, saxophonist Jason Peterson DeLaire – are musical high-profile institutions in Minneapolis, members and survivors of the musical revolution that brought the city of Minneapolis in the late 1970s and 80s learned. The brothers shaped and still shape the urban sound in the heart of Minnesota – and we all know that musical heartbeat. This is music that everyone can relate to, because it is characterized by a strong groove. Add to this the natural talent of these musicians and years of playing with the best of the best – from Prince to Bonnie Raitt, from Eddie Harris to Mose Allison, from Dave Sanborn to Boz Scaggs, from Fleetwood Mac to Bob Dylan, to name but a few .

On Under The Radar, the Peterson Brothers present new pieces based on the soul jazz of the 60s and 70s. It’s about groove! The fact that it took a couple of decades to get these world travelers together in the same room for a few days to record Under The Radar was worth it. On Under The Radar the Peterson Brothers present, for the first time together, new pieces based on the soul jazz of the 60s and 70s. A real groove highlight!

Buy the album on Amazon.

The Lewis Express – The Lewis Express

Primarily based in Leeds, The Lewis Express is comprised of many of the musicians that have graced previous ATA releases: George Cooper, Piano (Abstract Orchestra) Neil Innes, Bass (The Sorcerers, The Magnificent Tape Band, Tony Burkill), Sam Hobbs, Drums (Dread Supreme, Tony Burkill, Matthew Bourne) and Pete Williams, Percussion (The Sorcerers, The Magnificent Tape Band, Tony Burkill). Recorded over an intense two-day session by the band of the same name, “The Lewis Express” is a nod to the classic soul jazz recordings of The Young Holt Trio / Young Holt Unlimited and Ramsey Lewis, from who this group take their name. But, delivered with a distinctly European feel. As with many of the classic Ramsey Lewis cuts this album was recorded live, capturing the rich inter-relationship between the players and leaving in some of that chunky room noise, lending the album a sound that’s as thick as a steak and raw as a carrot.

Kicking off the album is Love Can Turn A Man, a slow burner introducing you to the piano of George Cooper as he works over a rock solid backbeat from drummer Sam Hobbs. The addition of a rising brass line conjures up memories of love lost, or indeed love never found. If Love Can’t Turn A Man shows the band in their most introspective of moods then Cancao De Momento sees them at the other end of the spectrum, the swinging end. This is a latin-tinged stormer with a driving piano line and one of the toughest rhythm section workouts on the whole album. Add to this Pete Williams’ punctuating percussion and you are looking at a track squarely aimed at the dancefloor. Brother Move On is probably the most recognizable as being in the soul jazz vein, with nods to such classics as Ramsey Lewis’ The ‘In’ Crowd and Soulful Strut by Young Holt Unlimited, particularly the latter. Moving into Hawkshaw Philly (their nod to session music legend and leader of The Mohawks, Alan Hawkshaw) the band create what sounds like a rare library cut and something diggers would give their back teeth for. Pinned to the floor by Neil Innes’ heavy work on the double bass and Chris Dawkins’ guitar there is some fantastic slow stabbing piano. The overall feel is something funky but slightly sinister. ATA Records has a solid history of putting out releases with a cinematic feel and Theme From The Watcher is a nod to this, conjuring up the sort of imagery that coincides with the black and white spy thrillers of the 1960s. Last Man In The Chain Gang has a very strong Ramsey Lewis feel and offers some of the most powerful piano playing of the whole album. The final track, Straight Seven Strut, is the only vocal track of the album. The staccato swing and French words lend it some of the qualities of 60s yé-yé music but with a far jazzier backbone, spiced with percussive handclaps.

Get this album at bandcamp.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – Close But No Cigar

81rP6CHVlGL._SL1200_Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio was founded in 2015 and originally consisted of keyboardist Delvon Lamarr Dumas on Hammond B-3, guitarist Colin Higgins and drummer David McGraw. Soon after guitarist Jimmy James replaced Higgins. All members had been active instrumentalists in the Seattle music scene. With the help of Lamarr’s wife, Amy Novo, acting as manager and booking agent, the group was solidified. Originally a drummer and trumpet player, Lamarr switched to organ at age twenty-two. He said he picked up the instrument naturally by observing organist/keyboardist Joe Doria. James and McGraw had previously co-founded ‘The True Loves’, a Seattle-based 9-piece soul band.

The trio’s debut album Close But No Cigar was originally released in 2016 (on CD), and was re-released in March 2018 (on both LP and CD) by Colemine Records. The album reached number one on the U.S. Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and number three on the U.S. Jazz Albums chart.

The debut album is still available on bandcamp.

Greg Foat – Symphonie Pacifique

Strut is proud to announce the new album by UK jazz pianist, Greg Foat, ‘Symphonie Pacifique’, released on 3rd July 2020. Foat has become a versatile mainstay in UK jazz through an acclaimed series of albums on Jazzman and Athens Of The North, moving from soul-jazz workouts to library music to cinematic, haunting compositions and pastoral acid folk. ‘Symphonie Pacifique’ goes expansive and widescreen, building a lush soundscape using choral textures, harp and tubular bells. “It has been a hallmark of my previous albums to use choral voices and tubular bells to sound more like chordal instruments,” explains Foat. “I used pedal steel for the first time on these tracks.” All are showcased on the atmospheric ‘After The Storm’. “This piece was completely improvised during our last day of studio time,” continues Foat. “The assistant engineer had set up an arpeggio on the synthesizer as a metronome; the harp and guitar created an ostinato, myself and others soloed over it and we later added choir and strings. Eventually, we took the arpeggio off to leave a calm, serene piece of music.”

Upping the tempo, Foat brings in sensual groove-based tracks like the undulating ‘Anticipation’, the album title track and Groove Merchant-channelling ‘Nikinakinu’. “This was one for my stepson Nicky,” explains Foat. “I worked up this idea with him and my Zimbabwean drummer friend Sam Chagumachinyi so it has a slightly African feel to it and uses pentatonic scales.” Other tracks include the languid, simmering ‘Island Life’ and a moving tribute to KPM library legend Duncan Lamont on the reflective ‘Lament For Lamont’. “Duncan was one of the unsung heroes of British jazz. He played with Sinatra, composed some incredible library music and his 1970 album ‘Best Of The Bossa Novas’ was one of the biggest selling UK jazz albums of all time. I recorded with him for my album ‘The Mage’ a few years ago and he was genuinely the nicest guy I have ever played with. He was looking forward to working on this album but sadly passed away a couple of months before the sessions, so we really wanted to record this tribute to him.”

The album is a truly international collaboration, recorded analogue and produced by Greg Foat at London’s Fish Factory studios with strings recorded in Edinburgh and choir in Gothenburg. The album was mixed by Mattias Glava at Kungsten Studios in Gothenburg. Cover artwork is based on a painting by early 20th Century Algerian / Parisian artist Henry Valensi. ‘Symphonie Pacifique’ marks another major step forward in Foat’s evolution as one of the UK’s leading jazz pianists and composers and is released on CD, 2LP and digital / streaming.

The album is available on bandcamp.

Juewett Bostick – Shades Of Blu

We started with the purity of soulful music, added the rhythm and blues of life, true expressions from our soul to arrive at Shades Of Blu. SOB is a natural evolution of multiple converging forces. The times we’re in, the technology at our disposal and a life long associations with dedicated musicians, passionate signers and great artists. It’s an innovative new direction in Jazz!  The projects genesis is Soul Jazz. This is the time when Jazz musicians were dipping into R&B, but firmly attached to Be Bop.

Some artist who made this happen, Art Blakely and The Jazz Messengers, Jimmy Smith, Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Grant Green, Bobby Timmons and Stanley Turrentine. Bostick’s objective was to cleanly integrate the music and the spirit from this era into today’s creative mix. So, compositions from Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley and Thelonious Monk have been reimagined for the consumer with an appetite for music with depth, passion and creative substance.

Let’s dip deeper into this. On Guitar, through guitar, with guitar you will have to play the blues. On Shades Of Blu Bostick has done the blues with integrity, with class, keeping its sprit intact.  It’s funny, its funky, and its sexy. One featured tracks is a brilliant reimagining of an obscure piece from the pen of James Marshall Hendrix. My Friend, the original, is an entertaining, lyrical frolic done in the setting of a bar.  It’s reincarnation, for Shades Of Blu, is true to that spirit but creatively twisted and tweaked to pay respect to its writer, Jimi Hendrix.
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Lori Williams – Out Of The Box

American vocalist Lori Williams has a strong connection to jazz. Here website is Lorijazz.com indicating that jazz is her profession and passion. However, limiting her vocal abilities to one genre would not do justice to her distinctive personality.

Lori Williams made her vocal solo debut with the self produced album Healing Within (2010), with which she received considerable merits as a jazz singer. This impression was intensified with her second album Eclipse Of The Soul (2012). She does not leave this musical homeland with her third album Behind The Smiles (2016), which, like its predecessors, was released on the Pacific Coast Jazz label. Nevertheless, in some songs she enjoys to seamlessly lend R&B colors to her voice across genres.

Her new album Out Of The Box (2018) appears like a reorientation of the established jazz singer. “When you reach the milestone of 50, many things begin to cross your mind,” Lori declares. “Out of the Box is a deliberate breakaway from me being stereotyped as ‘Lori only does this’ – this being straight ahead jazz. For me to be recognized and respected within that music has been quite an accomplishment but there is more to me. Out of the Box is a Neo-Soul Jazz project”.

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Cedric A. Napoleon – Yesterday Today

Yesterday Today is Cedric A. Napoleon‘s first solo album and represents a new beginning for the renowned jazz bassist, an opportunity to interpret the songs that have inspired him throughout his long musical journey.

“This is a long time coming,” says Napoleon. “I’ve been thinking about arrangements on these songs for quite a while. Now I’ve finally got the chance to put them down on wax and hopefully have others feel the same way about these songs as I do.” For more than five decades, Cedric Napoleon has dedicated his life to engaging in a conversation with the music.

As a founding member of the influential jazz ensemble Pieces of A Dream, Cedric has performed at major venues all over the world. Once the principal bassist for Grover Washington, Jr., Cedric has recorded for Elektra, Manhattan and Blue Note Records, and over the course of his career has collaborated with music legends including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder and Teddy Pendergrass. Continue reading

Jeff Golub And Brian Auger – Train Keeps A Rolling

Born in Copley Ohio, guitarist Jeff Golub was influenced by guitar legends like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimi Hendrix. He worked as a sideman for Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Vanessa Williams, and Gato Barbieri.

His solo career started Jeff with the group Avenue Blue later as solo artist. His new album Train Keeps a Rolling was released on August 13, 2013 through Entertainment One Music. This is his 12th record as solo guitarist.

On the new album Jeff performs with British organist Brian Auger and Steve Ferrone (drums), Derek Frank (bass), Luis Conte (percussion), Mindi Abair (alto sax), Nick Lane (trombone), Dave Woodford (bari sax and flute), and Steve Madaio (trumpet). As vocalists also appear Christopher Cross, David Pack and Alex Ligertwood.

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