Thursday, May 31, 2012

AN EVENING WITH MAXWELL

There have been plenty of full-album tours and one-off shows in recent years, but never something quite like this: R&B star Maxwell will play not one, not two, but all four of his era defining albums across back-to-back nights with his eleven piece band at the Staples Center on July 20 and 21 in Los Angeles.

Mr. Rivera (his middle name is Maxwell) will first perform Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite (1996) and its 1998 follow-up Embrya on July 20, then the next night tackle Now (2001) and his Grammy-winning 2009 collection BLACKsummers’night.

The shows also will serve as a fund-raiser for President Obama, as custom Obama/Biden 2012 merchandise will be sold at Staples, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Obama for America. The campaign also will be on hand at the gigs to sign up volunteers to help register voters in battleground states.

Maxwell will perform the following albums:
7/20 - Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (1996) and Embrya (1998)
7/21 - Now (2001) and BLACKsummers'night (2009)

His fourth studio album and first in eight years, BLACKsummers'night is the sound of an artist taking the commitment to his craft and the conversation with his audience that much further. Needless to say, it is a conversation that's been overdue; but as the soft-spoken, multi-platinum artist sees it, in order to come back it was necessary to step away. "I wanted to return to ‘what was the promise?'" Maxwell offers. "What did my music and creativity speak of to people? For me, coming back to that promise was kind of where my heart was really gravitating towards. I didn't intentionally step away from all of it, but I just wanted to...live my life a little bit, and then be able to make music with that pure experience again."

~ giantstep.net
BOBBY WOMACK – THE BRAVEST MAN IN THE UNVERSE

The Bravest Man In The Universe is Bobby Womack's first album of original material in eighteen years. It was co-produced by Damon Albarn and XL Recordings' Richard Russell and recorded in three main sessions between October and December 2011; two were in Damon's Studio 13 in West London, and the other was in New York's Manhattan Center, which is situated above the legendary Hammerstein Ballroom, with a few extra sessions in London at the XL Studio and Richard's own home studio. All eleven tracks are co-written by the three plus Bobby's longtime songwriting partner Harold Payne, except for radically rearranged spirituals "Deep River" and "Jubilee (Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around)." There are striking vocal guest spots from Lana Del Rey on "Dayglo Refelection" and Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara on "Nothin' Can Save You." ~ gianstep.com

G'S WAY - SEVENLY SEVEN

G's Way is a french project created and leaded by Gérald "GG" Bonnegrace, composer and musician. In this first album, GG has explored all his musical influences like Ray Baretto, Eumir Deodato, Fela Kuti, Grover Washington Jr and many others, to create an explosive cocktail of jazz, funk, and afro-latin music. Served by a massive rythme section and powerful brass, GG also invited some very talented french and international guests to complete that musical trip. More than an album, Sevenly Seven is sprinkled with guest appearances from an international sampling of artists and is a beautiful tribute to the seventies music, and a real gift for the vintage sounds lovers.
ISAAC HAYES & DIONNE WARWICK – A MAN AND A WOMAN

A wonderful duet set from Ike Hayes and Dionne Warwick – one that draws on the classiest side of the Hayes spectrum, and uses his groove to help Dionne find some great new energy! Even in performance, the music has that great rich quality that Isaac always brought to his solo recordings in the 70s – with strings, backup singers, and some tight undercurrents that help keep things soulful throughout – really cutting through the schmaltz of Ike's shiny tux on the cover! Dionne really sparkles in his company – and the record features duo numbers, solo spots, and even some nice medley tracks. The band behind the pair are electric, mellow, and very soulful – and titles include "Can't Hide Love", "Chocolate Chip", "Then Came You", "Come Live With Me", "Unity", and "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" and "I Say A Little Prayer", done nicely in a medley together. ~ Dusty Groove

J BOOGIE'S DUBTRONIC SCIENCE - UNDERCOVER: EL RITMO - NO FREEDOM

San Francisco resident and world-renowned DJ/producer J Boogie continues to challenge the boundaries of the music world across genres, styles, languages and borders throughout his 20-year career. This truly unique artist speaks to his listeners through a diverse musical language he created integrating techniques and musical genres including downtempo, dub, hip–hop, soul, reggae, funk, African, Latin, bhangra, dancehall, disco, electro, bass, tropical, dubstep and house.

Constantly revolutionizing the game, creating new sounds, and always keeping fans on their feet, J-Boogie continues to lift music to its full potential through his distinct approach and one-of-a-kind style.

He’s delivered his masterful mix of culture, soul, rhythm and beats both at home in the Bay Area through his award-winning radio program “Beatsauce” on KUSF, and around the globe spinning DJ sets in countries like Colombia, India, Japan, and Spain. J-Boogie’s local success has earned him awards such as “SF’s Best Club DJ” by SF Weekly, “SF’s Best Radio & Club DJ” by citysearch.com and “Best Hip–Hop Radio Show” by SF Bay Guardian. His global success has earned him acclaim and opportunities worldwide, including spots on radio and television both here and abroad, sportswear sponsorships, and the opportunity to DJ the Tokyo Dome for an NFL football game.

Throughout the years, J-Boogie has also provided musical ecstasy for millions, blowing it up on the festival circuit at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Treasure Island Music Fest, Outside Lands, Lightning in a Bottle, Bumbershoot, SXSW, WMC, Harmony Fest, Earthdance, High Sierra, Sundance Film Fest, The Winter Olympics 2010, Power to the Peaceful and Burning Man. By popular demand, J-Boogie’s DJ skills have landed him bookings in world-class clubs such as Turntables on the Hudson, APT, Deep Space NYC, 18th Street Lounge, Halo, Temple Bar, Afro Funke, Root Down, Firecracker, The Do Over and Deep LA. He has also graced the stage on tour with Widespread Panic, Bassnectar and Spearhead, and has opened for legends like George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Mark Farina, Louie Vega, DJ Krush, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Breakestra, RJD2, Herbaliser, and Nickodemus.

J-Boogie’s widespread success and longevity in the music industry can be attributed to his exceptional style and ability to constantly revolutionize music. As one of the first DJs to incorporate musicians and vocalists into a live band / DJ fusion set, J-Boogie has truly redefined what it means to be a DJ. With this groundbreaking concept, J-Boogie has created a new realm of live performance and a new type of record. J-Boogie brings this exclusive style to life with his band “Dubtronic Science” in live sets as well as in their self-titled debut album that dropped in 2003, featuring artists like Goapele, Gina Rene, People Under the Stairs, Capitol A and Tony Moses.

For his last album, Soul Vibrations, J-Boogie put together a new “Dubtronic Science” band featuring a horn section, Latin percussionists and MCs. Like its predecessor, J-Boogie’s second album features an impressive line up of artists including The Rebirth, Rich Medina, Lyrics Born, Ohmega Watts, Zion I, Crown City Rockers, Jennifer Johns, Deuce Eclipse, Capitol A, The Mamaz, Jazz Mafia, Lunar Heights, Tony Moses and more. He has also created a full Soul Vibrations: Dub Remixes version, dubbing the album into outer space through his studio’s analog delays and space echoes.

J-Boogie has also contributed his genius sounds to a wide array of mix tapes, remixes, and albums. He has released remixes for artists such as Widespread Panic, Nickodemus, DJ Vadim, Alice Russell, Miguel Migs, Vieux Farka Toure, Karsh Kale, The Rebirth, Zeph & Azeem, Mark Farina, Zion I, Goapele and Soulstice, and has been featured on Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz 5 & 6, Om Lounge series, Ubiquity compilations and remix projects. His mix CD series Leftism, In the Mood, Electro Soul and Universal B Breaks have all become collectors’ items at music boutiques.

J-Boogie’s vast contributions to the music world and his ongoing commitment to his own projects as well as the projects of other artists have allowed him to make fans and friends out of some of the most respected artists in the industry. The game’s most esteemed DJs are already buzzing about J-Boogie’s newest creation, and always have nothing but the best to say about not only his work, but his character as well.
~ jboogie.com

His latest are two new remixes from the most recent Undercover album. The swinging horns of cumbia tinged “El Ritmo” are traded for a bouncy reggaeton remix by DJ Sabo, and the tropical afrobeat influenced “No Freedom” gets blasted into outerspace thanks to Kush Arora.

NEW RELEASES - MELODY GARDOT, MATT GARRISON, KIM PATTERSON

MELODY GARDOT – THE ABSENCE

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. The extraordinary Melody Gardot returns with a stunning new album The Absence. The follow-up to her 2009 critically acclaimed international best-seller My One and Only Thrill, this new album is steeped in Melody's global travels and worldly influences. The Absence reflects time spent in the deserts of Morocco, the tango bars of Buenos Aires, the beaches of Brazil and the streets of Lisbon. The 12 original songs encompass the sound and feel of all these exotic places and more.



MATT GARRISON – BLOOD SONGS

A nice mix of sharp changes and free-flowing soul – a sweet set from saxophonist Matt Garrison – heard here on tenor, baritone, and soprano sax! The record has that great balance of modernism and swing that we love in some of the best work from the New York scene of late – tight, but never too polished – and very openly exploratory, yet never too outside to forget to swing! The mix is a bit like some of the best work on the Smalls Live series – and Garrison's working here with a group that features Greg Gisbert on trumpet, Michael Dease on trombone, Roy Assaf on piano, Dezron Douglas on bass, and Ulysses Owens on drums. Eric Alexander plays tenor on one track – and titles include "Force", "Parental Units", "Hospital Room Blues", "The Madness Within", "Mom's Song", and "Modern Man". ~ Dusty Groove

KIM PATTERSON - DUENDE

Spiritual sounds from New Zealand trumpeter Kim Paterson – a player best known for work in the Mike Nock group – stepping out here with a widely expansive vision as a leader! Paterson's got plenty of help here – a large, shifting lineup that really makes for a well-crafted batch of tracks – often handled in a mode that offers a core sense of soul with some freer, modern elements – a bit like some of our favorite work on the New York scene of late, with similar spiritual leanings at the root of the sound – even though the overall execution might be a bit more straight ahead. Paterson gets a lead trumpet solo on every track – and other instrumentation includes keyboard, soprano sax, tenor, guitar, piano, and even a bit of strings – on titles that include "Catharsis", "5th House", "Nick's Groove", "To You With Love", "Sheriar's Dream", "Daaman", and "Time". ~ Dusty Groove

NEW RELEASES - MART'NALIA, MARIO ADNET, YAMANDU COSTA, HAMILTON DE HOLANDA

MART’NALIA – NAO TENTE COMPREENDER

Quite possibly the best album we've ever heard from Mart'Nalia – a set that's got all the rootsy charm of her earlier work, but also a deeper sense of soul as well! Djavan's on board this time around – acting as the producer and music director – and you can definitely feel some of his great influence on the record – that blend of Brazilian modes and warmer soul than graced his classic albums of the late 70s – almost born again here in the voice of Mart'Nalia! Titles inlcude "Surpresa", "Reversos Da Vida", "Os Sinais", "Demorou", "Zero Muito", "Vai Saber", "Itinerario", and "Que Pena Que Pena". ~ Dusty Groove

MARIO ADNET - MORE JOBIM JAZZ

A great follow-up to the first Jobim Jazz set from guitarist Mario Adnet – and in many ways, an even better-conceived version of the project! The difference this time around is that Adnet's been working through the concept in a live setting for a few years – and has come up with wonderfully rich arrangements that really push beyond any simple bossa remake sort of vibe – and instead show up the rich, complicated qualities that we've always loved in the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim – especially in the 70s years of his career! Adnet mostly plays acoustic guitar, but other instrumentation is full with horns – usually flutes and saxes that are intertwined beautifully, with a dipping, soaring sort of energy – not unlike some of the best arrangements by Moacir Santos. Titles include "Takatanga", "Mojave", "Boto", "Bonita", "O Homem", "O Barbinha Branca", "Samba De Maria Luiza", and "Deus E O Diablo Na Terra Do Sol". ~ Dusty Groove

YAMANDU COSTA / HAMILTON DE HOLANDA - LIVE!

Twin-string magic from Hamilton De Holanda and Yamandu Costa – a live set, but one with a very intimate feel! Instrumentation comes only from Hamilton's 10 string mandolin and Yamandu's 7 string guitar – both unusual instruments that find a wonderful space with each other – carving out rich acoustic sounds in a mix of Brazilian styles and a touch of jazz! Titles include "Light Of Dawn", "Chamame", "Samba Do Veio", "Seasons", "Shaiwase", and "Sliding". ~ Dusty Groove

NEW RELEASES - BeBOSSA, ROBERTO MENESCAL, WANDA SA, CAETANEO VELOSO, JOAO CALLADO

BeBOSSA, ROBERTO MENESCAL & WANDA SA – A GALERIA DO MENESCAL

Sublime bossa harmonies – a wonderful new recording that features the BeBossa vocal group, the lovely Wanda Sa, and bossa legend Roberto Menescal! The style is great – and takes us back to the best 60s harmony modes of groups like Os Cariocas or Tamba Trio – but with the unique added aspect of Wanda's lead vocals, which really helps inflect a whole new element to the music – a sonic range that's really breathtaking – especially given the Singers Unlimited-like style of recording for the record! Most sounds just come from vocals – but Wanda and Roberto play acoustic guitar as well – and titles include "Vagamente", "Telefone", "Brasil Precisa Balancar", "Ninguem", "Voce", "Bye Bye Brasil", "Eu Canto Meu Blues", "Japa", "Balansamba", and "Agarradinhos". ~ Dusty Groove

CAETANO VELOSO - TRANSA

Some of the most beautiful work ever recorded by Caetano Veloso – an album that carries on the style of English language lyrics used on his session in exile in 1971, but which also introduces him back to the world of Brazilian popular music! The album's a great transition for Veloso – a set that's served up with some of the newly personal qualities his music developed in London, but which still has a good ear for experimentation and keeping things interesting. Titles include the wonderful "Nine Out Of Ten" – a haunting tune about his time in exile – plus "Neolithic Man", "Nostalgia", "Triste Bahia", "It's A Long Way", and "You Don't Know Me". (This version features new remastering – done at Abbey Road!) ~ Dusty Groove

JOAO CALLADO – NOVO DANCA

Cavaquinho with a great dose of jazz – all to make some really wonderful music that does a great job of bridging Brazilian music traditions! Joao Callado plays cavaquinho on the set – using the small stringed instrument with a great sense of grace, and working in a highly rhythmic mode too – one that's perfect for the album's mix of instrumentation that often includes trumpet and tenor, used with jazzy inflections – plus plenty of core percussion and guitar as well! A few cuts have vocals, but most are instrumental – and the album's arguably got even more life and spirit than Joao's previous set for the Biscoito Fino label. Titles include "Valsa Jongo", "Samba Em 3", "Explode O Salao", "2 Pra La 3 Pra CA", "3 Na Marcha", "Tecnovalsa", and "Brisa De Copacabana". ~ Dusty Groove

LARRY TOMKO / PETER MARSH - TOMKOMARSH

Larry Tomko and Peter Marsh have come together on TomkoMarsh, a new 11 song disc of mainstream adult rock and funky soul mixed with contemporary jazz. Both musicians sing and harmonize on all the tracks, with Tomko taking the sax and keyboard duties and Marsh on guitars.

With the single "Slow Dancer," an old-school R&B tune with a sweet hook, danceable rhythm, and overall sound that could top the play list of any adult contemporary radio station.

"My Secret Love" takes off in the same direction, reminding listeners of singer Chris Rea, soulful and smooth.

"Stand Back" mixes straight forward rock with Steely Dan-like harmonies. Both musicians sing and harmonize on all the tracks, with Tomko taking the sax and keyboard duties and Marsh on guitars.

Peter Marsh's music career extends back to the mid 1970s when he released albums under various band names for record companies like CBS/Epic and Polydor. His knack for songwriting led to writing music for big names of the time like Nick Lowe and soul legend Jimmy Ruffin, and session work with artists like Manfred Mann. Later he moved to London then France and built studios for recording his own music and others. He toured France with great success.

Larry Tomko came to France via San Francisco as a sax player, songwriter and backup singer. After contributing to acclaimed studio projects he formed his own band and toured as opening act for Ella Armstrong. He recorded two top-ten singles, “Keep on Groovin'” and “Everybody Celebrate,” and went on to form his own acts for studio projects and live performances around Europe and America.

The magic of their collaboration started brewing when Peter and Larry met at a “Marsh and Co.” concert in France. Afterward, Peter called Larry to ask if he would drop by his home studio and blow sax for a commercial project. Right away they knew they had a magical touch for making music together.

Says Peter, "I had no idea what we were going to do or if Larry would even like the idea. We gave it a go and finished ten tracks in one day!"

About that special day, Larry adds, "I wasn't too sure about the whole idea. The tracks were very smooth jazz/funk oriented, with no vocals and some with no melodies. Peter just hit the record button and I blew sax for a few hours. We got along great in the studio."

Realizing they had a common base of reference and love of all things funk, they decided to collaborate for Funk My Dog, a smooth jazz CD praised by SmoothJazz.com.

Next they flew off in another direction and focused their energy on making a rock/pop album. The result is Tomko Marsh, an album that lets their musicianship and vocals shine.

This is a can’t miss album for music lovers.

http://www.tomkomarsh.com/

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

LEE PERRY & THE UPSETTERS - BLACKBOARD JUNGLE DUB

On Blackboard Jungle Dub, Lee Perry and the Upsetters produce another fine example of their subversive brand of dub with a unique blend of murky rhythm tracks, warbling guitar effects and distant-sounding horns. Although it does not quite match the quality of the classic Upsetters album Super Ape, Blackboard nevertheless impresses with both the brevity of "strictly" drum and bass cuts such as "Dreamland Dub" and "Kasha Macka Dub," and expansive touches like the animated DJ toasting on "Cloak A Dagger (Ver. 3)." Living up to the "Upsetter" moniker, Perry wreaks his inimitable brand of mayhem during "Fever Grass Dub" with a half-baked MC intro, lion roars and air raid siren imitations; effects which blend in well with other eccentric features like the spastic trombone solo on "BlackBoard ver. 2" and reverb-heavy percussion on "Cloak a Dagger." Just standard technique for Perry really, and part of the sound which made his productions instantly recognizable amongst many '70s and '80s dub releases. Blackboard Jungle contains classic dub taken to the outer limits and is one of the highlights of the Lee Perry catalog.

~ By Stephen Cook

Tracklisting:
Blackboard Jungle [Dub/Ver. 1] (4:35)
Rubba Rubba Words (3:52)
Cloak A Dagger (3:10)
Dub From Africa (3:16)
Dreamland [Dub] (2:34)
Pop Goes The Dread (Dub) (2:56)
Fever Grass [Dub] (3:55)
Sin Semilla Kaya [Dub] (3:07)
Moving Forward (2:48)
Blackboard Jungle [Dub/Ver. 2] (3:33)
Kasha Macka [Dub] (2:30)
Setta Iration [Dub] (2:22)

MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL ADDS NILE RODGERS, CERRONE, ALISON MOYET, ULTRA NATE, TAYLOR DAYNE, MARTHA WASH & OTHERS...

The Montreux Jazz Festival has announced a special night featuring Nile Rodgers and Cerrone. This special night will also include performance by other artists that live, breathe and pass on the spirit of dance music. ‘What made sense back in the day still does today. Artists and their music have evolved but the spirit in which we composed ‘Freak Out’ remains the same,” enthuses Rodgers. Also appearing will be Rodgers’ one-night collaborator Mark Ronson. On the bill are many of the hits from the last 30 years. These include Nile Rodgers and his group Chic, Cape Verdean group Tavares, the powerful voices of Martha Wash, Taylor Dayne and Ultra Nate, as well as the electro sounds of English group Groove Armada.


Montreux Jazz Festival - Auditorium Stravinski, Friday, July 13, 9 pm

FREAK OUT! MONTREUX
Dance Party co-produced by NILE RODGERS and MARK RONSON with special performances:
Chic featuring Nile Rodgers
Mark Ronson
Alison Moyet
Cerrone
Groove Armada
Tavares
Martha Wash
Ultra Nate
Taylor Dayne

And special unannounced guests artists and very special DJs…
DJ Scarlettetienne, DJ Ultra Nate and DL Felix da Housecat.

Cerrone

CERRONE

Drummer Marc Cerrone was one of the biggest names during the formative disco years. He is also a producer and a composer and his worldwide album have sold 30 million albums sold worldwide. He’s a master of the dancefloor and his music is still widely popular and has been sampled by countless musicians over the years.

Alison Moyet
ALISON MOYET

She was ½ of the British duo Yazoo and in 1983 she began her solo career. Her first album, ALF, was a major success in Britain and ranks among the biggest sellers of the year when it was released. Over time, Alison Moyet has released 7 albums and 3 compilations, all ofwhich hit the in the top 30 UK charts. Today, Alison Moyet still continuing his career, her latest album The Best of Alison Moyet: 25 years Revisited.


 
MARTHA WASH

Graced with a powerful and distinctive voice, Martha Wash is a disco icon. She made her debut singing backup for singer Sylvester along with with Izora Redman. The two women join forces a few years later to create the group "The Weather Girls". In 1982 they released their global hit "It's Raining Men."




Taylor Dayne
 TAYLOR DAYNE

With hits like "Tell It to My Heart" and "Love Will Lead You Back," Taylor Dayne had 18 singles on the charts. In 2006 she was chosen by Elton John to sing at the party We Are Family Foundation.





montreuxjazzfestival.com

VALERIE SIMPSON - DINOSAURS ARE COMING BACK AGAIN

Valerie Simpson, one half of the beloved and legendary songwriter/producers and performers Ashford & Simpson, has returned to the music scene with her new album Dinosaurs Are Coming Back Again scheduled for a late May release. “Dinosaurs” is Simpson’s first solo album in over four decades and follows the death last year of her husband and longtime musical partner, Nick Ashford. “My honey put his heart and soul and some powerful lyrics into this album for me. I think Nick would be very pleased and proud of how it came out,” commented Simpson. “Dinosaurs”, produced by Ashford & Simpson, includes guest appearances by Roberta Flack and Nina Simone. "Make It Up As We Go" is the last recorded vocal of the late great Nina Simone. She consented to do this haunting duet with Simpson in the South of France and it was an experience she says that she willl never forget. It also includes the Ashford & Simpson classic, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” in instrumental form.

Simpson is scheduled to perform at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland on June 2nd. Valerie is also continuing her commitment to nurture and help talent at New York’s Sugar Bar where she sings along with emerging and well-known artists most Thursdays for ‘open mic’ night as well as “Nothin’ But The Blues” nights on Tuesday evenings. Nick and Val opened the Sugar Bar as a famed restaurant and bar on the Upper West Side over ten years ago.

Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford have written some of the biggest hits of their generation including “Let’s Go Get Stoned”, “Your Precious Love”, “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”, “You’re All I Need To Get By”, “Reach Out and Touch”, “The Boss”, “I’m Every Woman” and scores of other tunes. They have written and produced for a who’s who of music legends including Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye and many others. As one of the most famous duos in music, Ashford & Simpson released several of their own albums for Warner Bros. Records and Capital Records where their huge hit “Solid” became their personal anthem.

An Ashford & Simpson’s performance in 2007 at NY’s Feinstein’s at the Regency was filmed and aired on PBS stations across the country and released on DVD simultaneously with the release of “Hits, Remixes and Rarities” – a two-disc set of choice material from their Warner Bros. years.

Ashford & Simpson tunes have remained a constant on the charts. Singer Ryan Shaw was nominated for a 2008 Grammy for his cover of the Motown era A&S penned “I am Your Man”. Method Man and Mary J. Blige’s Grammy-winning medley of “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By” (1995), 50 Cent sampled “Silly Wasn’t I” on his hit “Best Friend” (2006) and Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry On Their Own”, was built on the music from “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.

Last year, Valerie attended the 2011 Soul Train Awards in Atlanta where she inaugurated a songwriting award in Nick’s name. She also performed with Usher at The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! in a special tribute to the music of Ashford & Simpson.

She did her first real gig last December in Indiana, after attending the annual ASCAP Foundation Awards ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center and establishing the "Reach Out And Touch" Award in Nick’s honor, to provide promising songwriters with financial assistance for professional recordings of their original songs.

With the release of the highly anticipated “Dinosaurs Are Coming Back Again”, Valerie Simpson is still creating great music as she enters the next chapter of an extraordinary career.

DORIS DAY - WITH A SMILE AND A SONG

In conjunction with Turner Classic Movies (TCM), With a Smile and a Song presents 30 examples of Doris Day during her popular peak, which is the dozen-year period from the early '50s to the mid-'60s, when she was lighting up the silver screen as well as the charts. Compared to earlier double-length collections (including the one to beat, Golden Girl: Columbia Recordings 1944-1966, this one focuses less on her big-band beginnings and commercial hits, with more time spent on songs from the great American composers and the songs she sang in movies. (Day helped out with the compilation of With a Smile and a Song, which can explain many of the differences.) Of course, there's a spot for her best-loved hit, "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)," as well as "Pillow Talk" and "Secret Love" and "By the Light of the Silv'ry Moon." Unlike previous sets, though, this one values her work on the great vocal standards: "You Go to My Head," "My Romance," "Fools Rush In," "But Beautiful," "Our Love Is Here to Stay," "Love Me or Leave Me," and "It Had to Be You." Although it's always valuable to hear how well Doris Day sang during the '40s, with Les Brown and others, this collection offers as much as any other to show how Day became one of the best and best-loved vocalists of the 20th century.
~ John Bush

Tracks:
CD1
1. On Moonlight Bay (with The Norman Luboff Choir, Paul Weston & His Orchestra) (2:29)
2. Till We Meet Again (2:38)
3. It Had to Be You (with Paul Weston & His Orchestra) (2:41)
4. I’ll See You in My Dreams (with The Norman Luboff Choir) (3:16)
5. It’s Magic [78rpm Version] (with Percy Faith & His Orchestra) (3:27)
6. By the Light of the Silv’ry Moon (with Paul Weston & His Orchestra, The Norman Luboff Choir)
7. Secret Love (3:39)
8. I Speak to the Stars [from "Lucky Me"] (Leith Stevens & His Orchestra) (3:03)
9. Love Me or Leave Me [Album Version] (2:19)
10. At Sundown [Album Version] (1:33)
11. Shaking the Blues Away [Album Version] (3:32)
12. Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) [Single Version] (with Frank DeVol & His Orchestra)
13. Pillow Talk [Album Version] (Orchestra conducted by Jack Marshall) (2:11)
14. My Romance [Album Version] (2:32)
15. Little Girl Blue (4:48)

CD2
1. Easy to Love [Album Version] (with Frank De Vol & His Orchestra) (2:44)
2. Imagination [78rpm Version] (3:17)
3. You Go to My Head [78rpm Version] (2:52)
4. Don’t Take Your Love from Me [Album Version] (with Paul Weston & His Music from Hollywood)
5. But Beautiful [Album Version] (with Paul Weston & His Music from Hollywood) (3:23)
6. The Song Is You [Album Version] (with Paul Weston & His Music from Hollywood) (3:17)
7. Our Love Is Here to Stay [Album Version] (with Frank De Vol & His Orchestra) (3:48)
8. Oh, But I Do (2:49)
9. Here We Go Again (with Jim Harbert & His Orchestra) (2:35)
10. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread) (with Andre´ Previn and The Andre Previn Trio) (3:52)
11. In Love in Vain (with Andre´ Previn and The Andre´ Previn Trio) (2:56)
12. With a Smile and a Song [Album Version] (with Jimmy Joyce & His Children’s Chorus, Arranged and Conducted by Allyn Ferguson) (3:37)
13. Desafinado (Slightly Out of Tune) (2:51)
14. Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Quizas, Quizas, Quizas) (2:33)
15. There They Are (3:05)

NEW RELEASES - BILLY PAUL, IVETE SANGALO, GILBERTO GIL, CAETANO VELOSO, JAMES BROWN

BILLY PAUL - EBONY WOMAN

An amazing early album from Billy Paul – the start of a rich career of sophisticated soul, and a record that really put Paul on the map right away – making him one of the most soulful interpreters of song in the 70s! There's a mix of modes going on here that's a bit similar to the early solo work of Isaac Hayes – a way of mixing mature styles from jazz, soul, and pop – into a blend that's all very much Billy's own, and which completely grabs you right from the start! The first track, "Ebony Woman", perfectly sums up Billy's style – one of those haunting tunes that never lets us down – and the album follows with a brilliant mix of tunes that includes nice groovers like "Everyday People" and "Psychedelic Sally" – plus the tracks "The Windmills Of Your Mind", "Windy", and "Let's Fall In Love All Over Again", all given a great soulful vibe and a very different twist! ~ Dusty Groove

IVETE SANGALO / GILBERTO GIL / CAETANO VELOSO - ESPECIAL IVETE, GIL. CAETANO (DVD)

A really lovely trio of talents – appearing here on a special done for Brazilian TV! The set does a good job of balancing things out between these three powers in MPB – so that Caetano sings a bit, on tunes with his own sort of flavor; Ivete steps out warmly, sometimes on more contemporary rhythms; and Gilberto Gil works his own sort of charm on numbers that show his recent ear for more complicated rhythms. The format is great – really showing the warmth of each artist individually, yet using them together in proximity too – so that you can see the good feelings they inspire in each other as the set moves on. Titles include "A Novidade", "Toda Menina Baiana", "O Meu Amor", "Voce E Linda", "Tigresa", "A Luz De Tieta", "A Linha E O Linho", and "Super Homem". DVD also features two bonus songs – and subtitles in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. (DVD is NTSC, All region.) ~ Dusty Groove .

JAMES BROWN - GRAVITY (W/BONUS TRACKS)

A bit of a comeback for James Brown – a mid 80s outing recorded with Dan Hartman, who gives the record a "contemporary" sound that's definitely a great way to slide James in with the younger crowd at the time! The style's still funky, but has more street soul elements too – and the record sports guest appearances by Alison Moyet, Steve Winwood, and Stevie Ray Vaughan – and although the production is a bit stiff at points, there's some undeniable quality in James that still makes some nice moments shine through! Titles include "Gravity", "Let's Get Personal", "How Do You Stop", "Living In America", "Goliath", "Repeat The Beat", and "Return To Me". Lots of bonus tracks too – including "Living In America (12" R&B dance)", "Living In America (inst)", "Living In America (soundtrack version)", "Gravity (12" ext)", "Goliath (12" message house mix)", "Gravity (single)", and "How Do You Stop (12" ext)". ~ Dusty Groove

DENNIS ANGEL - RIO ON MY MIND


New York horn player extraordinaire Dennis Angel has definitely caught our attention with his first single release… the title track… from his upcoming Rio On My Mind album. Enlisting the World-class top drawer talents of veteran producer and keyboardist Jason Miles (Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross), master guitarist Romero Lubambo (Dizzy Gillespie, Diana Krall), acoustic bassist Amanda Ruzza (Arturo O’Farrill, Kevin Mahogany) and drummer Brian Dunne (Hall & Oates, AWB), Mr. Angel has crafted a captivating and spirited original Brazilian contemporary jazz tune that’s an enticingly perfect introduction to what promises to be an outstanding collection of new music from this master of the trumpet and flugelhorn. This is the kind of song that will definitely take you on a sun-splashed musical journey to tropical locations like Sugarloaf Mountain and Copacabana Beach, and certainly makes one eager to hear what else Dennis Angel’s thinking musically, with Rio on his mind!

~ Scott O'Brien
http://www.smoothjazz.com/

The Dennis Angel Band consists of Dennis Angel on trumpet, Gottfried Stoger on sax and flute, David Shaich on bass, Joel Mofsenson on piano, Mike Campenni on drums, and DeForest Raphael on vocals. Grammy nominated guitarist Gil Parris and Dennis’ sixteen year old daughter Rebecca can be heard on many of their recent recordings. The group’s first song that attained national recognition was “The Wall Street Recession Time Blues” which was played on many blues and folk radio stations at the height of The Wall Street meltdown. It was also the subject of a feature article in the “Boston Herald” on Labor Day 2009. The group has had a string of successes on Smooth Jazz stations and charts beginning in the summer of 2010 with songs such as “From Bebop to Hip Hop” and later “I Need Smooth Jazz”, “Dizzy Izzy” and “My Favorite Time of the Year”. The band has played at various venues including Iridium and The Triad in Manhattan, and The Watercolor Café, ZaZa’s and The Manor Club in Westchester.

~ dennisangelband.com

BOB MINTZER BIG BAND - FOR THE MOMENT

The Grammy Award-winning Bob Mintzer Big Band has explored diverse styles of music in its illustrious 25-year recording history -- from New York and Afro-Cuban to Count Basie and John Coltrane. On the band's new MCG Jazz CD, For the Moment, which is scheduled for release June 19, saxophonist, composer, arranger, and bandleader Mintzer puts the spotlight on Brazilian music.

While some of the tunes are directly from the Brazilian songbook -- "Corcovado" by Antonio Carlos Jobim, "Berimbau" by Baden Powell, and two newer tunes by Chico Pinheiro -- others "merely make reference to rhythmical grooves from various regions of the country," says Mintzer. "This becomes the springboard for what I most love to do: write for big band in a way that establishes a focus and then breaks free of stylization." The leader's own finely crafted originals include "Aha," a tune originally conceived for the Yellowjackets that's set to a surging Pernambucan baião, and paeans to Ouro Preto, the colonial town in Minas Gerais, and the northeastern city of Recife, where he has visited.

Produced by MCG's Marty Ashby and arranged by Mintzer, For the Moment features guest artist Chico Pinheiro, the rising star guitarist/composer from São Paulo who's been collaborating with Mintzer for the last several years. "Chico is a fantastic instrumentalist," says Mintzer, "and his writing is subtle and intricate, all-encompassing and fresh-sounding, with Brazilian lyricism and the complexity of jazz."

Other special guests are pianist Russell Ferrante, Mintzer's longtime colleague in the Yellowjackets; percussionist Alex Acuña; and drummer Peter Erskine ("He has had so much experience playing with large jazz ensembles, and he knows better than anyone how to shape the music").

After a long relationship with the DMP label that produced 13 albums, Mintzer connected with Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in 2004. The Big Band debuted with Live at MCG and followed up with Old School, New Lessons (2006) and Swing Out (2008), all of which featured Kurt Elling.

The lifelong New Yorker, who's considered one of the tenor saxophonists to come out of the school of New York players in the 1970s (also including Michael Brecker, Bob Berg, Dave Liebman, and Steve Grossman), and whose big band dates to 1983, when the Brecker brothers asked him to put together an ensemble for their club Seventh Avenue South, has been based in Los Angeles since 2008. He lives in the former house of composer Arnold Schoenberg (his first L.A. residence, 1934-1936), and is the recipient of the Buzz McCoy-endowed chair of jazz studies at the University of Southern California.

Mintzer continues to tour with the Yellowjackets (which he joined in 1990), does workshops all over the world, performs with his New York big band, and serves as a guest conductor/soloist with college and pro bands. But he has found time to assemble an L.A. big band that plays regularly at Vitello's in Studio City.

"The challenge is always to get the most out of whatever situation," he notes. "You can make three players sound huge, and with the right players who are tuned to subtlety and color, all things are possible. The writers who thought that way, Ogerman, Brookmeyer, George Russell, Maria Schneider, Gil Evans, that's the music that resonates with me the most."

The Bob Mintzer Big Band appears at Vitello's in Studio City 6/14-15, and at the Blue Note in Tokyo (with guests Chico Pinheiro and Kurt Elling) 6/20-23. Mintzer will also be touring with the Yellowjackets this summer, appearing at Birdland, NYC, 6/26-30; Freihofer's Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY, 7/1; several European festivals in July; and Scullers in Boston 8/3-4.

http://www.bobmintzer.com/

SEAN O'BRYAN SMITH - REFLECTION

A beatific album of hymns and inspired originals shepherded by bassist Sean O’Bryan Smith and anointed by an accomplished minion of 23 musicians, Reflection will be released July 17th on Groove Therapy Records. Smith produced and arranged the offering of soul, contemporary jazz and gospel selections that comprise the second solo album from the in-demand bass player. Previewing the 12-song disc, the rousing rocker “Blessed Be Your Name” featuring guitarist Chuck Loeb, saxophonist Tommy Ogle and pianist-songwriter Jeff Franzel (Taylor Swift, *NSYNC, Clay Aiken) goes for radio adds June 11th.

Three years in the making, Reflection was conceived as Smith listened to hymnals and spirituals at church while on break from touring. After creating fresh arrangements for classics such as opener “How Great Thou Art,” “Blessed Assurance,” “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “Battle Hymn Of The Republic” and celestial covers “Blessed Be Your Name,” “Give Me Jesus,” “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” and “Yes You Have,” he composed two originals. “Called” is an infectious soul-jazz groove graced by Gerald Albright’s soaring sax while the record’s title track is a thought-provoking spoken word sermon delivered faithfully by Malcolm Jamal-Warner. Franzel contributed a third original, “Me Without You,” an aching torch song blessed with Lisa Hearns’ yearning voice. Throughout Reflection, Smith coaxes robust rhythms and divine melodies from his four- and five-string basses, six-string fretless bass, upright bass and piccolo bass. Other prominent soloists on the album are Randy Brecker’s prayerful trumpet on “Give Me Jesus” and Frank Catalano’s saxophone on the New Orleans-flavored march “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and the soul-stirring “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.”

Reflection is a tribute not only to great hymns and worship tunes, but also a nod to where I've come from as a musician and where I'm heading as an artist. All of the music that inspires me is present on this project along with a few surprises. My greatest hope is for people to enjoy the music and hopefully feel some of the inspiration that I feel,” said Smith, who recorded in his Nashville studio with co-producer Rich Krainak. “As the basis of Reflection, I wanted to return to my roots in soul music and sought an underlying feel reminiscent of an old STAX album. We purposely went for a lot of older tones and we mixed everything through an old Trident analog console to give it just the right touch. The end result is an album that hopefully people will enjoy while venturing on a nostalgic trip through gospel and contemporary jazz.”

Days after Reflection streets, Smith will perform at a July 21st album release gig at the Snow Basin Ski Resort in Snow Basin, Utah that will be filmed for a concert DVD.

Diversity is an integral part of Smith’s three-decade career. His bass mastery makes him a first-call musician on tour and for recording sessions with marquee artists including Esperanza Spalding, Lady Antebellum, Anna Wilson, Keith Urban, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Rogers, Wynonna, The Oak Ridge Boys, Larry Carlton, Brian Bromberg, Victor Wooten, Rick Braun and some of the “American Idol” and “Canadian Idol” contestants. Smith released his internationally acclaimed solo debut, “Tapestry,” in 2008. In addition to being devoted to supporting Reflection, he is a member of two new jazz groups: Thunder-Smith-Taylor boasts legendary drummer Tony “Thunder” Smith (Mahavishnu, Santana) and Grammy nominated guitarist Joe Taylor, and Polcat, a jazz fusion outfit made up of Grammy winning saxman Catalano, guitarist Chris Poland (Megadeth, OHM) and drummer Jim Gifford. Additional information about Smith is available at http://www.seanobryansmith.com/.

The songs on Smith’s Reflection are:
“How Great Thou Art”
“Blessed Assurance”
“Mighty To Save”
“Blessed Be Your Name”
“Me Without You”
“Called”
“Will The Circle Be Unbroken”
“Give Me Jesus”
“The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power”
“Yes You Have”
“Battle Hymn Of The Republic”
“Reflection”

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

TOM JONES - SPIRIT IN THE ROOM

Tom Jones announces the follow up to 2010’s acclaimed collection of songs that was Praise and Blame with the release of Spirit In The Room on 21st May 2012 through Island Records.

Universally graced with critical and commercial success – reaching No 2 in the UK, Praise and Blame saw Tom mark a return to his roots and emerge with a powerful body of work drawn from the American spiritual repertoire. Now moving forward with Spirit In The Room, Tom draws on an evocative range of compositions executed with an unprocessed passion that make them his own. There is a raging interpretation of Tom Wait’s ‘Bad As Me’, a wonderful rendition of Odetta’s ‘Hit Or Miss’, the front porch blues of Vera Hall Ward’s ‘Travelling Shoes’ and a stunning reading of the other-worldly ‘Charlie Darwin’ by Low Anthem— all revealing Tom as he continues to explore his artistic landscape..

Spirit In The Room once again brings together Ethan Johns (Brit Award Producer of the Year 2011) and Tom for intimate performances with a very considered and select group of musicians— multi instrumentalist Johns, Richard Causon on vintage keyboards, piano, guitars (Ryan Adams, Kings Of Leon and Rufus Wainwright), Warpaint’s Stella Wazgawa on drums, and Ian Jennings and Sam Dixon on bass.

Recorded at Bath’s Real World studios, Spirit In The Room, like it’s predecessor, allows an unvarnished Tom Jones to bring a voice to songs as only he can. Accompanied by Ethan Johns throughout, the album includes gems from a diverse choice of writers - Linda & Richard Thompson, Leonard Cohen and Paul McCartney amongst others. Simple, raw and soulful, welcome to Spirit In The Room.

Ever busy, Tom has also graced a recent single on Jack White’s Third Man label . Featuring Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘Evil’ in his own inimitable style and produced and played by White and some of his Raconteurs, the single comes backed with a reworked version of Frankie Lane’s classic ‘Jezebel’ and has already picked up widespread praise .

Spirit In The Room is:
1. Tower Of Song (L. Cohen)
2. (I Want To) Come Home (P.McCartney)
3. Hit Or Miss (Odetta)
4. Love And Blessings (P. Simon)
5. Soul Of A Man (Blind Willie Johnson)
6. Bad As Me (T.Waits)
7. Dimming Of The Day(R. & L. Thompson)
8. Travelling Shoes (V. Hall Ward)
9. All Blues Hail Mary (J. Henry)
10. Charlie Darwin (Low Anthem)

TOM JONES own words about the album
Spirit In The Room - April 2012

Sir Tom Jones is on a roll. At 71 years of age he’s all set to deliver Spirit In The Room, his most eagerly anticipated album in a long time. With its predecessor, 2010s Praise and Blame, the peerless British singer has achieved only the latest of many gravity-defying turnarounds in a career that is now into its sixth decade.

On that remarkable record, Sir Tom deployed all his passion and versatility across a smoldering, gritty collection of vintage blues and gospel songs, which included compositions by the likes of John Lee Hooker, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Bob Dylan.

“I never expected Praise and Blame to be as accepted as it was, ” the pop icon muses, with his familiar humility. “I just thought, ‘This is a real album, I’m baring my soul here, so hopefully a few people will like it and buy it’. And they did. Such was the power in his performances, that Praise and Blame scaled to No. 2 in the UK charts – higher than you’d ever normally find a “roots” album, and higher than Jones himself had been this century. Indeed, only Dylan has outsold it with a new album at this stage in life and career.

With every justification, Sir Tom felt that he was back on the right path again, getting stuck into the music he grew up with in Treforest, South Wales – the music that inspired him to sing in the first place. The album’s unforeseen mass popularity became even clearer as he and his band toured the songs around Europe’s festivals to a rapturous reception.

So, once the dust had settled on that campaign, he called up Ethan Johns, his producer on Praise and Blame, who had subsequently been awarded a Brit for his work with Jones and Laura Marling, and talked about working together again. Rather than merely knocking out a sequel, they set about taking things further, going deeper-and-down into the essence of popular song. The result is Spirit In The Room, another landmark development in Sir Tom’s recorded legacy.

Spirit In The Room has a different kind of magic about it. Here, recorded in the intimate ‘wood room’ at Real World Studios in Bath, and often with the most minimal accompaniment, Jones’s commitment and ability as a singer is tested to the max. Much as each of Johnny Cash’s ‘American Recordings’ albums with Rick Rubin has its own feel and character, so this partnership is starting to shape up as equally exploratory, feeling its way from one session to the next.

“The reason I like working with Ethan is, it’s a new day for him,” Jones reasons. “He doesn’t want anything like the stuff I’ve done before. So we were trying to find songs that dug deep, to get something out of me that I hadn’t had the chance to express yet. “This time, we really got down to the nitty-gritty.”

Ethan, whose father Glyn worked as an engineer/producer for all the big names in ’60s/’70s rock (The Who, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Eagles) worked with Tom in sifting through hours of music, and together they whittled it down to a few dozen songs to try out.

The idea of reconvening again in the studio at Real World, where they'd made Praise and Blame, was initially scuppered because Peter Gabriel’s staff were doing some work on the studio. They were working a few things out at another facility near London, but were struggling for the right vibe, when Real World called to say they could use their room after all. “It’s just a room,” says Tom, “just old brick, and old beams. There’s no sound booth—it’s just playing in a room, all facing each other. Once we got back in, everybody felt something happening—there was definitely a spirit in the room.”
The band was as minimal as could be for a live-in-the-studio recording. Johns took up the guitars for every tune as well as a range of other eclectic instruments. They were joined by Richard Causon on piano and vintage keyboards, Ian Jennings and Sam Dixon on bass, and on drums, Stella Mozgawa from Californian all-girl combo Warpaint, who was drafted in after the last album’s stickman Jeremy Stacey, then touring with Noel Gallagher, spotted her on ‘Later With Jools Holland’.

“The actual recording took two weeks,” Tom recalls, “and nine times out of ten the takes were between noon and seven in the evening. A lot of producers like to have everything in the track prepared, then have me just turn up and sing. With Ethan, everything happens on the day we actually record. We work out everything together on the spot, then record it live – each time from beginning to end, so the performances you hear are real performances.

But in that process, sometime things don’t happen easily or just don’t happen at all, so you just move on. We’d play them through together, often a few different ways but it all had to sound absolutely right. Ethan would say,‘Let me try that again, I can do, better than that’. Then he’d try it, and it was like, ‘No, that wasn’t better!’. Sometimes there’s a simplicity in the first time you try it. You just get ahold of a song, and you do it the way you feel it. Ethan listens. He’ll say,’I’m telling you, that first take, or the second one – you’re more real than you’ll ever be again. Don’t try and clean it up, because you lose the essence’. I’ll say—a little skeptically— ‘Oh well, if you really think so...You need somebody you can trust, that’s why I like Ethan.”

Through these spontaneous methods, Johns indeed elicited some remarkable performances from Jones, revealing depths which perhaps have remained hidden during his tenure as a titan of British pop – until Praise and Blame.

As on that album, there are stomping gospel/blues tunes like Vera Hall Ward’s ‘Travelling Shoes’, where his tenor stretches and resounds with all the force of a freight train thundering down the tracks. His reading of Odetta’s ‘Hit Or Miss’ has a wonderfully breezy, down-home country vibe. Yet, there are also startlingly unusual moments like the opening reading of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Tower Of Song’, where the performance is all about restraint and nuance, reinforcing the subtlety in the lyric.

Amongst the songwriters showcased this time are Paul Simon, Richard Thompson, and Tom Waits, whose ‘Bad As Me’ from last year’s album of the same name, Jones tackles with a maniacal cackle which makes even its author seem straight-laced. “I’ve always been a lyrics man,” Tom confesses, adding with a chuckle: “Melody’s always handy, a good thing to see it through, but songs I relate to are always lyrically strong. These songs here now, they can relate to a lot of people, you don’t have to be in a certain profession or live a certain lifestyle in order for them to mean something to you. It’s some great stuff!”

For Jones himself, the songs are laden with meaning. Where in ‘Tower Of Song’ Cohen originally sang about being “born with the gift of a golden voice”, he was having a wry joke at his own expense. In Jones’s hands, those words obviously have a more direct resonance, and later he alters the songwriter’s original image of being “tied… to the table” to “…the stage” – more pertinent for one of the most successful and in-demand live performers of the post-War era.

The second track, meanwhile, finally solders a writer/singer partnership that almost became established way back in the late-’60s. As The Beatles approached their final manic days, Paul McCartney had been in a hurry to find a top singer to record ‘The Long & Winding Road’ and get it in the charts pronto. Tom was his first port of call, but Jones already a single of his own recorded, which would’ve had to delay McCartney’s plans by a few weeks. The song of course, ended up on ‘Abbey Road’ instead. All these years later, Johns found him a recent Macca composition, ‘ (I Want To) Go Home’, with which the singer feels a huge empathy at this point along his own long and winding road.

“The message of it is,” he says, “I’ve done this, I’ve done that, it was great at the time. I was out there, tried to do it on my own – done this, had success with that, but now I wanna come home. So it can mean home literally, or home, to myself, rather than being out there trying to prove something.” He pauses, and concludes: “They’re all very meaningful songs to me.”

In his time between takes at Real World, Sir Tom Jones would wander the streets of the surrounding village, Box, in rural Wiltshire, which, he notes with a smile, “only has one main street with two pubs on it”. By coincidence, this village was where his paternal grandmother had originally come from before she married and moved to Wales. “My nana always spoke with a West Country accent,” he remembers. “I used to say to my Granddad, ‘Why does she speak funny?’ And he’d say, ‘Because she’s from Box’. To me, it seemed like it must be a little town in the middle of nowhere.”
Wandering the village’s hilly little streets decades later, Tom couldn’t help but be reflective about his life. “Getting older, you think more spiritually,” he reflects. “I think children think these things too, but we lose all that once we get into our working lives.” ‘Spirit In The Room’ is essentially his reconnection with that part of himself—the wondering, questing spirit, which routinely gets brushed aside in a life lived to the full.

Throughout the album, there is a sense of Tom coming full circle. On songs like ‘Love & Blessings’ and ‘Travelling Shoes’, you can hear the rattle-and-thrum of the late-’50s rock ‘n’ roll which electrified his childhood, layered with the specter of gospel and R&B which re-entered his narrative on Praise & Blame. The album will doubtless return Sir Tom to the upper echelons of the charts where his recording career began.
Newly revitalised, this indefatigable force of nature has found time to record a 45rpm single with Jack White in Nashville. White, who operates in much the same momentary vein as Ethan, called Tom into his Third Man studios, and the two tracks, including a take on Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘Evil’ segued with elements from The Doors’ ‘Wild Child’, were cut in one afternoon. “He likes to work live, with everyone there in the room, which certainly fits with what I’m doing. We were done in three hours!”

Seemingly at the opposite extreme, Sir Tom has also been a huge hit on primetime UK TV, as a coach on BBC1’s ‘The Voice’. “When we did the album, and then they asked me if I would consider doing this show, I thought, ‘Well I hope the one doesn’t clash with the other. But I really think there is a connection, because when I listen to singers I’m listening for individual voices – pure voices, that are not copying someone else, that inject something that’s real – something that comes from the soul.” Sir Tom smiles. “It’s not that far removed from what I’m doing.”

It’s ultimately a mark of the man himself that he can span these seemingly conflicting worlds, while in each being totally himself. That he has also managed, at this exciting juncture, to deliver one of his finest and most profound albums is little short of miraculous. We, the listeners, can only marvel at the spirit in the room.

Spirit In the Room is released 21st May through Island Records

http://www.tomjones.dk/newcd/main.htm

REBECCA FERGUSON - HEAVEN

Syco/Columbia Records have announced that they will be releasing the first album from British "X-Factor" sensation Rebecca Ferguson, Heaven, on May 29. That same week, Ferguson will perform cuts from Heaven on The Today Show, The View and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Critics at home and abroad have already hailed Ferguson as being "in the same league with Aretha Franklin" (The Daily Telegraph) whose "voice is the main attraction" (examiner.com) during her live shows because she doesn't need "flashy choreography or outrageous costumes" to make herself stand out. The New York Daily News, in a 4 **** review, raves, "rich and resonant, tawny and thick, the voice of Rebecca Ferguson has a timbre like no other and a character that speaks of a full life." Heaven is a "seamless blend of old soul, dusty blues, and even a bit of country and rock" (Uptown Magazine). According to Glamour magazine online, the album, written by Ferguson and produced by an impressive roster of music legends, is "soulful, emotive and incredibly accomplished."

Ferguson's first U.S. TV performance will be on The Today Show on May 29, followed the next day by an appearance on The View. She'll make a second appearance on Today on June 1 and will head to Los Angeles for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on June 26. Ferguson became an overnight sensation after her first appearance in the selection rounds for the 2010 edition of the British "X Factor." Though she eventually came in a close second, she became such a fan favorite that when she first performed her single on the show last November, pre-orders for the album on Amazon.com saw more than a 700% jump, nearly twice that of Rihanna, who sang a song from her new album on the same program.

And she has developed a large group of celebrity fans, including British music icon Adele. "She's been such a support and said such lovely things about me," Rebecca says of the singer. "She even admitted she voted for me 80 times when I was on the show. She means every word she sings, which I love."

TOMMY BOLIN - GREAT GYPSY SOUL

In the annals of rock history, Tommy Bolin occupied a brief, but shining stint as a brilliant guitarist who wowed those in the know with his mastery of many genres—rock, fusion, funk, reggae and heavy metal among others. Along with a much lauded solo career that pushed the boundaries of rock/jazz fusion, Bolin played with The James Gang and Deep Purple which set him up for major solo guitar stardom which was cut short by his untimely death in 1976.

Not to be overlooked, there's been much written about the guitar wunderkind and now a top notch roster of players have signed on to pay tribute to Bolin on Great Gypsy Soul. Produced by Greg Hampton and Warren Haynes, it's a remarkable project that brings together major players who actually perform alongside Tommy Bolin's playing and vocals from the recording outtakes to his solo debut album "Teaser." Peter Frampton, Warren Haynes (a key supporter of the project), Nels Cline, Steve Lukather, Steve Morse, Brad Whitford, Joe Bonamassa, John Scofield, Derek Trucks, Glenn Hughes and Myles Kennedy all contribute to this amazing project.

Great Gypsy Soul was released on 429 Records on March 27 in a single CD format and digitally. The deluxe version was available as an Amazon exclusive and hit #1 on their rock chart. The deluxe double CD with bonus tracks will now be available physically and digitally everywhere on May 29th.

Tommy Bolin was the quintessential guitar prodigy who focused his talents within the burgeoning rock/metal scenes of the early 70's as well as mastered a highly lauded jazz fusion technique catching the attention of rock tastemakers and guitar legend peers. It was just a matter of time before Bolin was making a name for himself playing on projects as diverse as Billy Cobham's Spectrum project (considered one of the great jazz fusion recordings of all time), replacing Joe Walsh in the James Gang, playing session work on seminal fusion projects by Moxy and Alphonse Mouzon, to replacing Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple. With the release of his second solo album Private Eyes, what should have been a red letter moment for Bolin, opening up for Jeff Beck in Miami, sadly turned tragic as Bolin was found dead of an overdose shortly after the gig.

Says Warren Haynes: "Many of the guests added after the fact have a close personal connection to Tommy—all share in acknowledging his place in rock history. Watching (and hearing) it all come to fruition some 35 years later was a journey of its own—well worth the travel."

Track Listing:
Disc 1
1) The Grind w/ Peter Frampton
2) Teaser w/ Warren Haynes
3) Dreamer w/ Myles Kennedy and Nels Cline
4) Savannah Woman w/ John Scofield
5) Smooth Fandango w/ Derek Trucks
6) People People w/ Big Sugar and Gordie Johnson
7) Wild Dogs w/ Brad Whitford
8) Homeward Strut w/ Steve Lukather
9) Sugar Shack w/ Glenn Hughes and Sonny Landreth
10) Crazed Fandango w/ Steve Morse
11) Lotus w/ Joe Bonamassa, Glenn Hughes and Nels Cline

Disc 2 Bonus CD
1) Flying Fingers w/ Oz Noy and Nels Cline
2) Marching Bag -- Movement One w/ Nels Cline, Bolin, Greg Hampton, John Scofield, Sonny Landreth
3) Marching Bag -- Movement Two w/ Nels Cline, Bolin, Steve Lukather, Derek Trucks, Peter Frampton
4) Marching Bag -- Movement Three w/ Gordie Johnson, Bolin, Nels Cline, Oz Noy, Steve Lukather, Steve Morse, Joe Bonamassa
5) Marching Bag -- Movement Four w/ Nels Cline, Bolin, Warren Haynes, Joe Bonamassa, Oz Noy, Brad Whitford, Peter Frampton

http://www.429records.com/

THE SHAOLIN AFRONAUTS - QUEST UNDER CAPRICORN

London's Freestyle Records bring us a new 12-inch from South Australian afrobeat/jazz band, The Shaolin Afronauts. The 12-inch (Brooklyn), which will also be available as a digital download, contains the lead-track from their upcoming album, Quest Under Capricorn, on the a-side, and a live recording of a track from their previous album on the b-side.

2011's debut album from The Shaolin Afronauts, Flight Of The Ancients, was a critical and commercial success story. Lauded as a truly original blend of the sounds of 1970's West Africa, Ethiopia and the pioneering and progressive avant-garde jazz artists of the same period, Flight Of The Ancients went onto be nominated for several music awards, including the 25th Aria Fine Arts Awards.

This new single, Brooklyn, displays the band's musical progression. Whilst the multi layered afro rhythms remain, as well as the hypnotic horns and melodic interplay, the soulful, jazz inspired harmony has been taken up several levels to quite a stunning effect.

The b-side of this limited edition 12-inch single is a very special live version of Kilimanjaro, which was recorded in January 2012 at the Adelaide Festival Centre, Space Theatre with an expanded 18-piece line up as The Shaolin Afronauts Ensemble. This track is not included on the forthcoming new album and is a totally exclusive to this single.

This is the very first release in the new Freestyle 300 series - strictly limited edition, hand-numbered vinyl singles.

Tracklisting:
A. Brooklyn
B. Kilimanjaro (Live)

http://www.freestylerecords.co.uk/
http://shaolinafronauts.com/

LEO GANDELMAN - VIP VOP

Saxophonist Leo Gandelman is a celebrated Brazilian musician in both MPB and classical music. Gandelman returns with his unique take on jazz music with a new studio album full of remarkable Brazilian samba-jazz compositions. This deluxe package features the full high-definition CD album and a bonus DVD featuring the record played live in its entirety plus a documentary shot during the making of Vip Vop. This is a high-quality sax-led jazz record full of invention and intrigue.

Reviews
"When I think about Brazilian saxophone, I think about Leo Gandelman. During all the years of his carreer, this musician, arranger, composer and producer, positioned his parabolic to different musical directions and Jazz elements, but never left our cultural and artistic roots behind, constructing note by note, scale by scale, record by record, a brazilian vocabulary for the Saxophone and our music. His trademark is his signature !"

Charles Gavin (producer, composer and author of '300 important albums of Brazilian music')

Tracklisting
CD Album (FARO165CD)
1. Leo Gandelman - Sinal Vermelho (Red Sign)
2. Leo Gandelman - Nego Tá Sabendo (They Know)
3. Leo Gandelman - Vip Vop (Very Important People / Very Ordinary People)
4. Leo Gandelman - Luz Azul (Blue Light)
5. Leo Gandelman - Lançamento (Release)
6. Leo Gandelman - Numa Boa (Feeling Good)
7. Leo Gandelman - Neshama (To My Father)
8. Leo Gandelman - Camisa 7 (Jersey #7)
9. Leo Gandelman - Reza (Pray)
10. Leo Gandelman - Alma Cubana (Cuban Soul)

http://farout.greedbag.com/

Monday, May 28, 2012

BOBBY MATOS AFRO LATIN JAZZ ENSEMBLE - ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

A veteran percussionist and pioneer of the Latin jazz genre since the early sixties, Bobby Matos has created an excellent fusion of Latin and Afro-jazz music on Acknowledgement. Matos records ten original hot and heavy, hip-moving compositions with his Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble and pays tribute to the legendary John Coltrane with Afro-Latin arrangements of three Coltrane standards. They include the four-note classic "A Love Supreme Acknowledgement," supported by some masterful playing from bassist John B. Williams, and "Tunji" and "Equinox," featuring fine tenor work by Frank Fontaine, Jr. and several solos by Danny Weinstein on viola and trombone.

Matos opens up the session with one of his own uptempo charts on "Manhattan Mozambique," which is followed by another upbeat piece dedicated to his musician son, "Song for Jud." Jud Matos, also a member of the band, plays the clave throughout but really shines on the guiro, bell and chekere on "Chango's Jazz." Not to be outdone, Bobby Matos comes through on congas and timbales in expressive style, marking this disc as an exciting percussion project. While the majority of the tracks here are instrumentals,"Songoro" and "Soy Lucumi" are two charanga-based tunes with vocals provided by Ismael "East" Carlo.

Two of the best scores on the album have to be the brief but sweet little number "Motivos de Jazz," highlighting Weinstein's performance on violin, and the melodically engaging "Evelyn," with pronounced play by Matos (timbales), Fontaine, Jr. (flute) and Theo Saunders (piano). This album contains an obvious Afro-Cuban accent that this Cuban-American reviewer can appreciate. Acknowledgement combines Latin jazz swing with a heavy Afro percussive backdrop, delivering a truly vibrant performance.


~ Edward Blanco
   http://www.lifeforcejazz.com/

Sunday, May 27, 2012

BLOWOUT - THE SUPPORTING THEORY

Blowout is a musical collective concentrating on composition, improvisation, and communication in a jazz setting.

PRESS & REVIEWS:

“Blowout plays a rousing, raucous brand of post-Bop music, combining the arranging sensibilities and layered tempos of vintage Mingus with a quirky structuralist sensibility that recalls Phillip Johnston, and some occasional rock. I love the horn polyphony! Many of the tunes feature a kind of continual weave between Ewing's excellently portly trombone (check him out on "Solid Brass Numchuk") and the sinewy saxophones (listen to Bennett punish his bari on "Duplicity"), with Moran the comper/mischief-maker sprinting ahead of Germain and Lewis. Make no mistake, this is Jazz, not Jazz-Rock. Moran is an extremely tasteful electric player, who simply knows how to use the textures (and the history) of his instrument (including that extra low string for some serious rumble). He also displays a nimble swinging technique on his own "Ring around the Collar". But for all the tightly woven charts and nimble swing, the group sure does have range: check out the eeire atmospherics on "Tin Foil Is Not Soft", the heavy funking on "Nothing But Trouble", the sludgy menace of "Deuguelasse", or the noir-ish "Baby Be Mine". All in all, this is a nice surprising disc: a band with real personality, playing music with warmth and heart and - what's so rare these days- humor!” — Cadence Magazine

“All of the musicians… distinguish themselves not so much for what they contribute as what they leave out, restraining from making the pointless squeal or pseudo-virtuosic wail that characterizes so many first offerings in the modern-jazz world. …If this young band keeps going, the blowing is only going to get more ‘out’ — in the most complimentary sense of the word.” — SF Weekly

“Some music is so hip, you know, upon first hearing, there is no way it will ever find a large drawing. Like fine wine made in small reserves, it is to be savored when experienced. This is as candid a statement as can be made regarding the excellent compositional abilities found within the six-member band Blowout. The compositions are all clever and sharp, witty and urbane, but most especially fun. All of the compositions emphasize a true collective sound with no one instrumental texture predominating. The music on The Supporting Theory isn't what you might expect, and that's due to the way Moran handles his instrument. For the most part he plays single note lines which allow the music to have an airy space and freedom lacking in most jazz - think Kenny Wheeler's Angel Song ensemble.” — Jazz Review.com

“Their music is very much a modern day jazz fusion which has taken influences from World, Contemporary, Middle Eastern and Avant Guard to offer a blend of excitement and expression which is what jazz is all about. This is music to wake up and listen to, and an album full of energy, musicianship and composition and an album which has superb arrangements and will appeal to the jazz fan who wants a menu of steak and chips as opposed to a watered down consumme soup.” — EuroClubDeJazz.com

~ lifeforcejazz.com

MICHAEL CARVIN - LOST AND FOUND PROJECT 2065

Michael Carvin is a drummer of extraordinary talent, inventiveness and technique. His mastery affords him the ability to handle any musical situation and to skillfully pass on his knowledge of the instrument to an ever increasing number of students internationally. Born in Houston, Texas, Carvin’s musical training began at an early age with his father, one of the top drummers in Houston.

With that training, by the age of twelve, Carvin began playing professionally and won what would be the first of five consecutive Texas rudimental championships. Mr.Carvin’s diversified career has included a two-year tour with Earl Grant throughout Europe, Japan and the U.S., another two years as a staff drummer with Motown Records and extensive studio and television work on the west coast.

Joining Freddie Hubbard’s band in 1973, Mr.Carvin moved to New York where he quickly gained a reputation as a formidable jazz drummer. In addition to leading his own bands, Carvin’s vast playing and recording experience includes work with Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Jackie McLean, Hank Jones, McCoy Tyner, Illinois Jacquet, Pharoah Sanders, Bobby Hutcherson, James Moody, Hampton Hawes, Ruth Brown, Abbey Lincoln, Jimmy Smith, Hugh Masekela, Alice Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Charles Brown, Terumasa Hino, Bobby Watson, Billy Bang, and many others.

Michael Carvin has established himself as one of the world’s most respected drum teachers and clinicians. Students from Europe, Japan and South America come to New York to study at the Michael Carvin School of Drumming. His book, “Something For All Drummers”, written with beginning, intermediate and advanced students in mind, provides information of improving sight reading and soloing abilities. Mr. Carvin has recorded over 150 albums. He endorses Pearl Drums, Istanbul Cymbals, Remo Drum Heads and the Michael Carvin Signature Drum stick which he designed.

~ lifeforcejazz.com

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...