Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Singer-songwriter Priscilla Ahn has returned with her follow-up to her debut A Good Day, which featured the sleeper hit "Dream." Her new album When You Grow Up was produced by Ethan Johns (Ray LaMontagne, Laura Marling) and features songwriting collaborations with Sia Furler, Inara George, Eleni Mandell, Jake Blanton and Charlie Wadhams, as well as a cover of Benji Hughes' frolicsome love call "Vibe So Hot." Growth emerges as the central theme, with the songs threading a loose storyline through life's ups and downs with Ahn's angelic voice narrating experiences beginning with childhood, progressing through cycles of romance and heartbreak, and concluding with the wise, reflective "Torch Song."

Melba Moore is an amazing and versatile singer who has been a success on record, on stage and just about everywhere else.  Last year she recorded an album of duets with Phil Perry. And she is getting ready to release a new solo album that has her fans talking.  Her new single to look out for is entitled “Lovs Is.”

After winning a Grammy Award in 2011 and backing the Tony Award winning broadway show “Fela!” with their respective bands Grupo Fantasma and Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Adrian Quesada and Martin Perna return to their sun-soaked Latin-psychedelia project Ocote Soul Sounds with their fourth studio album, Taurus. Like its bullish namesake, their latest album smashes through sonic barriers with a heavy and dynamic mix of pan-Latin flavor, conscious political attitude, afrobeat and hip-hop rhythms.  Taurus was produced by Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation at the Washington DC based ESL Music Studios and features vocal collaborations with fellow ESL Music regulars Natalia Clavier, Sitali, Verny Varela and Chico Mann. With soaring vocal anthems like “Primavera,” bass-bin rattling groovers like “En El Temblor,” red-hot Latin jams like “Contigo Jamas,” and even pensive Italian folk excursions like “Nessuno”, Taurus is Ocote Soul Sounds’ most expansive and complete album to date!

ESL Music has announced the release of the debut album from DC's own, The Funk Ark. Recorded at ESL Music Studios in Washington DC by Thievery Corporation’s sound engineer Christopher “Stone” Garrett, From the Rooftops is the funk-tastic debut album from ESL Music’s newest artist signing The Funk Ark!  Fronted by keyboard savant and long-time ESL Music session player Will Rast, the album delivers a healthy dose of vintage afrobeat, Latin, and funk stylings.  Recalling the best of Afrika 70, the JB’s and the Fania Allstars all at once, rooftops!   

Bob Baldwin fans will rejoice at the arrival of this his finest work to date and the early buzz on the streets indicates that this NewUrbanJazz.com 2/ Re-Vibe will re-invigorate not only his massive following but continue to build upon it. Over more than two decades and 16 records, Bob Baldwin has carved out and more than solidified his place as one of the chief progenitors of true urban jazz. When you listen to Baldwin’s cuts, more than just hearing, you feel them as he has long had a way of digging deep into your soul and touching that inner sweet spot. New Urban Jazz.com 2/ Re-Vibe showcases Baldwin in the thick of his element fusing funky contemporary jazz with gospel, hip-hop and Brazilian all with a strong dose of heavy urban flavoring. 2 carries the torch where the first edition left off, featuring Baldwin’s urban jazz influences, where strains of Stevie Wonder co-exist nicely with rich lush full bodied vibes reminiscent of a Quincy Jones.

Nick Colionne’s Feel The Heat is his latest offering and first for Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records that contains all of the elements that have come to make Nick's stage performances so dynamic and in demand - funky R&B infused jazz, blues, smooth vocals and his sense of humor. No “One Size Fits All” here as Feel The Heat reflects the multiplicity of different styles and flavors that have come to define this feel good artist with a natural flair and charisma that has endeared him to multitudes worldwide.

Chuck Loeb’s new CD Plain 'n' Simple will be released on July 26th is a mix of soulful swing, funky grooves, and Brazilian beats. It’s his first release on Tweety Records and the CD features his Fourplay band-mate Harvey Mason on drums, and rising star Pat Bianchi on organ. The guests include some familiar friends and new faces: Eric Marienthal on sax, Till Brönner and Nathan Eklund on trumpet, David Charles and Mauricio Zottarelli on percussion.

Thievery Corporation returns with their sixth original studio album Culture of Fear! Following up their incendiary and bombastic call to arms Radio Retaliation from 2008, this time around Eric Hilton and Rob Garza craft a simmering and hazy collection of atmospheric gems that recalls their early production work but reflects a thoroughly contemporary zeitgeist of socio-political angst and unease. Utilizing a team of skilled session players from their acclaimed live show and beyond, Culture of Fear finds the duo easing into expansive multipart space-jams like “Tower Seven” and jazzy instrumental b-boy breaks like “Light Flares.” Not only are usual suspects like multilingual chanteuse Lou Lou and dancehall toaster Sleepy Wonder back to lend their haunting vocals, but several new contributors also join the Corporation.

Carmen Cuesta’s latest CD Mi Bossa Nova has been out f#or several months and has been receiving some glowing reviews and wonderful response from her fans. Several weeks ago she was interviewed on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition" by Scott Simon - and just a few hours after it was aired her CD jumped right up to the #1 spot on the iTunes and Amazon.com's Jazz Chart, and moved right up to the top 50 overall on Amazon. After several weeks the CD is still hanging tough at #6 on Amazon.com's Jazz chart.

After a great deal of time, Jazz master Paul Hardcastle has finally gained the approval for his latest release which is gaining lots of airplay round the globe. Just released is the 6th project from the critically acclaimed jazz artist and his endeavor "The Jazzmasters" appropriately titled, VI. And on this new deal comes a special track for the ages: a mix entitled, "Rainforest/What's Going On" featuring soul music legend Marvin Gaye. You must check this one out.

MRI Records has released Live In Stockholm DVD featuring Rickie Lee Jones.

Omnivore Recordings have penciled in Live In Japan featuring Leon Russell, scheduled on CD for August 9.

Mobile Fidelity have the 1994 debut Keb’ Mo’ album originally released by Epic Records, on tap for re-emergence as an SACD, planned for August 16.

Warner Brothers will re-release MoodSwing (1994) by the Joshua Redman Quartet on August 16.

Nonesuch Records will re-release Still Life (Talking), a 1987 Pat Metheny Group album on August 16. Several other low-cost Nonesuch re-releases include Blue Dreams (2001) by Bill Frisell, Largo (2002) from Brad Mehldau, and Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (1989) featuring Dawn Upshaw, and the collected effort Music From the Films of Francois Truffaut featuring Georges Delerue.  All share the same August 16 CD release date.

I’m Back! Family & Friends is an interesting set of re-recorded classics from Sly Stone set for release on August 16.  The album revisits treasured tracks with guests.  Here’s a look at the track-listing:
1. Dance to the Music featuring Ray Manzarek
2. Everyday People featuring Ann Wilson
3. Family Affair
4. Stand! featuring Carmine Appice and Ernie Watts
5. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) featuring Johnny Winter
6. (I Want To Take You) Higher featuring Jeff Beck
7. Hot Fun In The Summertime featuring Bootsy Collins
8. Dance To The Music
8. Plain Jane
10. His Eye Is On The Sparrow
11. Get Away
Bonus CD Only includes
12. Dance To The Music (Club Mix)
13. Family Affair (Dubstep Mix)
14. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (Electro Club Mix)

Eagle Rock will release Live At Montreux featuring Average White Band on August 23.

Heads Up Records will release Hot Sauce, the new album from Jessy J scheduled for September 6.

Fantasy Records plan the re-release of Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get (1972) by The Dramatics on September 13.

Amherst Records plan to release the latest Spyro Gyra album on September 13.  The new album will be called A Foreign Affair.

Verve Records have Movin’: The Complete Verve Studio Recordings featuring the albums of Wes Montgomery, planned for September 27 in both CD and DD configurations.

Concord Records have Essential Albums CD packages scheduled for October 4 of John Coltrane titles that include Lush Life/Soultrane/Stardust/Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane, and Miles Davis titles that include Cookin’/Relaxin’/Workin’/Steamin’.

Concord Records will release an Essential Albums package for Isaac Hayes on October 4 that will gather Hot Buttered Soul / Black Moses / Shaft.

Future releases to look out for: Joss Stone - LP 1 (July 28); Rick Braun - Sings with Strings (August 2); Steve Cropper - Dedicated (August 9); and Joe - The Good, the Bad and the Sexy (August 23).

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