Posts Tagged ‘ Soul ’

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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Pete Belasco – Strong and Able

Jazz/Pop artist Pete Belasco began playing piano at a young age, later turning his concentration to saxophone. Both of his parents played piano as well. In high school, Belasco played in rock bands, but he soon became primarily interested in jazz and studied sax at Rutgers University and the Hartt Conservatory. He was also preparing a demo at the time, but was involved in a severe boating accident that broke both of his hands. For several months, he was unable to play, but in the interim he turned to composing and singing. In retrospect, Belasco has referred to the accident as a watershed experience because it forced him to develop his songwriting and singing skills.

Belasco’s demo made its way to Verve Records, and A&R Executive, Guy Eckstine, who signed him. Upon healing, Belasco moved to New York to record his debut, Get It Together, which was released on Verve Forecast in the fall of 1997. The album was a concoction of influences such as, Marvin Gaye, the Beatles, and Curtis Mayfield, along with jazzy pop and lounge music cool. As Pete Belasco created the songs that would become his second album, Deeper, he kept returning to a common theme-intimacy. The grooves were sensual, relaxed, erotic. The lyrics were passionate, tender, generous. In a time of confusion and strife, Belasco wanted to sing about love, about faith, and about supporting one another.

Elsewhere, Belasco plays fastidiously schooled sax instrumentals like a pop-soul fan imagining Sonny Rollins. In both cases, Belasco’s songwriting places a high premium on melody not applied to hit-mongering, diva-making, or campfire singing. Many enterprising neo-soul renovators push slick new collections for contemporary interiors. Only, Belasco steals in, fires the contractors, and whispers to the homeowners: “You need this.” His new album Strong and Able is more smoothness on your ears.

Get this album on Amazon.com.

Four80East – Four On The Floor

The Toronto-based electro-jazz duo Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace have bundled their creative activities in the formation Four80East. They started with The Album in 1997, followed by Nocturnal (2001), Round Three (2002), En Route (2007), Roll On (2009), Off Duty (2012), Biblotheca (2013), and Positraction (2015). In 2014 they released the album Four80East LIVE and in 2016 a limited vinyl collection Cherry Picked.

Their new EP Four On The Floor is a musical business card inspired by their early days as House producers. The duo is joined on two tracks by vocalists CeCe Peniston and Wade O. Brown.

The title track is a highly danceable rhythm enhanced groovy tune with a savory horn background. The rhythm guitar is inspired by Nile Rodgers (Chic) and together with the steady hook line Four80East presents an ultimate dance floor hit.

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Darryl Anders Agapesoul – Conversations

This is soul music for grownups. Great grooves, strong melodies and relatable stories about life, love and survival. Featuring guest performances by Tommy Sims, Geoffrey Williams, Eric Gales, Paul Jackson Jr. and members of Snarky Puppy.

“The group strikes a great balance here with its eclectic feel and the way in which it integrates the chief genres presented here. The album stands on very firm ground and is definitely one worthy of your ear time. It has all of the ingredients you’d expect to be in that special soul/jazz “stew.” (Ronald Jackson, The Smooth Jazz Ride).  A sizzling, eclectic mix of funk anthems, seductive old school ballads and jamming fusion with a rockin’ edge (SmoothJazz.com Global).

Get this album on CDBaby.

David Garfield – Jammin’ – Outside The Box

Every musician strives for immortal fame. This can hardly be achieved with public appearances, as the moments are too short. An album is more suitable as a building block. But keyboard player David Garfield thinks ahead. He has already recorded music for four albums for his Outside The Box Project and they will all be released.

We are currently in a phase of transition to the tetralogy of his creative urge. After the release of his first album Jazz – Outside The Box, David Garfield’s vision of straight-ahead jazz, now follows Jammin’ – Outside The Box, a collection of popular songs performed by an army of noteworthy soloists including George Benson, Ray Parker Jr., Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Marcus Miller, Paul Jackson Jr., Eric Marienthal, Tom Scott, Vinnie Colaiuta, Greg Phillinganes, Smokey Robinson, Greg Adams, David Sanborn, Bill Champlin, Phil Perry, Oleta Adams, John Klemmer, Michael McDonald, Kenya Hathaway, Steve Jordan, Freddie Washington, Will Lee, Tony Maiden, Rickey Minor and Lenny Castro. Everyone will know one or the other, but rarely do you experience such a number of exceptional artists on a single album.

The horn powered Go Home, a cover of Stevie Wonder’s hit single from his album Square Circle (1985), is dedicated to late drummer Ricky Lawson. Nick Lane has created the superb horn arrangement staring featured soloist Kirk Whalum on tenor sax. Chasing Pavements is a single by Adele from her debut album Hometown Glory. The vocal part of the cover is substituted by Rick Braun on flugelhorn and John Klemmer on sax.

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Tower of Power – Soul Side of Town

Tower of Power – the most dynamic and distinctive band among Soul survivors music – is experiencing its unprecedented 50th anniversary with a dynamic album consisting of new material. A passionate endeavor, definitely soul side of town. A package of 14 guaranteed filler-free songs. As always, the songs were mainly from the founding members Emilio Castillo and Stephen “Doc” Kupka who also composed the world famous 5-man Keep Tower of Power Horns at bay.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Tower of Power, Leader Emilio Castillo brought together both mastering engineer Bernie Grundman and Joe Vannelli as co-producers. In addition to the legendary rhythm section Drums and Bass Lock by David Garibaldi and Francis Rocco Prestia TOP consists of guitarist Jerry Cortez, Hammond B3 Organizer / keyboardist Roger Smith, the 1st tenor saxophonist Tom Politzer and the trumpeters Adolfo Acosta and Sal Cracchiolo.

Soul Side of Town is also blessed with two lead singers: outgoing Ray Greene and the new Marcus Scott (bravely featured on several pieces, including ‘Hangin’ With My Baby “). The 10-headed band Tower of Power is ready to go on a solemn tour (fall). Sweet-spots around the globe will involve losing the ground under your feet. This album was released in April, 2018 on Mack Avenue, available in all stores.

Soul Basement – Oneness

Soul Basement are Italian multi-instrumentalist and producer Fabio Puglisi (keys, bass, drums) and Texan soul singer Jay Nemor (vocals, sax).  In 2016 they released  the album What We Leave Behind, now followed by the sophomore album Oneness (2018).

Originally founded by Puglisi in 1997 as a four piece ensemble the formation has been undergoing some major changes. Hopefully the band stabilizes itself by the expected success. The concept of the new album is identical to his predecessor with eight new songs of the above mentioned musicians.

Blessed by nature with a voice like Gil Scott-Heron singer Jay Nemor sets anew the dominant accent with his characteristic vocals. Confident looking to the future, the group starts with Better Days. A song that revolves around an everyday relationship story. More important is the beautiful voice and the exquisite professionally placed accompanying music.

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The Jamal Thomas Band – Funk Don’t Move

Jamal Thomas is an excellent drummer with more than 30 years performance experience. He played with Maceo Parker, the SOS Band and the producer duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.

His solo debut was Family, a vocal album. His newest project is the Jamal Thomas Band, a loose formation with changing members. This band was founded in 2009. The first album was Future in 2013. Funk Don’t Move (2017) is the sophomore album.

The band consists of Jamal Thomas (drums & lead vocals), Maya Lisa (lead & backing vocals), Alex Bernath (drums & rap), Daniel Lottersberger (bass), Coen Molenaar (keys & synth bass), Frank Deruytter ( sax & backing vocals) and Guy Nikkels (guitar). Guest musicians on selected tracks are Chuck Leavell ( piano, Hammond) and Rodney “Skeet” Curtis (bass).

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Uncle Los Music – Black Bottom Cupcake

San Francisco/Bay Area composer, arranger and multi instrumentalist Carlos Sanders aka Uncle Los, has assembled a group of prolific musicians to create the finest smooth jazz you can imagine.

Among them are Ced Dennis (guitar), Joel Griffin and Jay Lane (drums), Vic Little and Ari Cap (bass), and Michael Spiro (percussion). The  horn section encompasses Clifford Brown III (trumpet) and Tony Peebles (sax). Together they are Uncle Los Music.

The formation started with Say Something (2013) and now returns with the delicious desert Black Bottom Cupcake (2018). The term Muse comes from Greek mythology and commonly describes a female person of divine origin, who inspires the artist to creative action. The music style of Uncle Los Music is based on an urban mix of R & B, funk and jazz rock.

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D Rolark – Soulidify

Multi-Instrumentalist D Rolark releases his most soulful album to date, Soulidify. A sophisticated blend of Smooth Jazz, Soul, R&B, Funk, and Inspirational, Soulidify encompasses D Rolark on keys, Piccolo Bass, 5-String Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Drums, and his debut on vocals, also featuring smooth & soulful inspirational vocalist Tamirah Leigh Terry. Soulidify presents the opening Minneapolis funk/Marcus Miller-inspired track, “Get On Up”, the smooth/soulful dance title track, the socially conscious anthem “Let Love Arise” which features D Rolark’s debut on vocals along with Tamirah Leigh Terry, the impressing track “Giving My All 2 U”, the Isley Brothers/Wayman Tisdale-inspired “Peace of Mind”, the Gregg Karukas-influenced “Lake View”, and the smoothness of “Positive Perspective”. Be prepared to be soulidified from a smooth soulful spiritual perspective.

This album is available on CDBaby.