Wednesday, July 09, 2014

New Releases: Christopher Von Mammen - In Focus; Vel Lewis - Colors Of Soul; Sasha Elliot - Stank


This album is neither a conventional jazz recording already heard a thousand times before, nor is it inspired by "old school" jazz standards and long-winded solos. Also no swing should be heard on this present recording. Instead, a vibrant mix of a pulsating rhythm section, intricate piano ostinatos, rich unisons of saxophone and guitar, smoothly played rhodes and distinctive organ sounds. The album's 48 minutes pass almost like on a flight, all the musicians have their storytelling and meaningful solos, boredom is definitely excluded. Loaded with energy, honesty and originality - this recording brings fresh music, catchy melodies and unobtrusive virtuosity to the listener's ears and heart. Enjoy! Christopher V.Mammen - tenor sax, Filip Wisniewski - guitar, Peter Adamietz - keys and organ, Hendrik Gosmann - double bass, Andreas Gandela - drums. ~ CD Universe

Keyboardist, composer and organist Vel Lewis, continues to create Classic, Cool, Jazz & Soul compositions. Following the release of his Smooth Jazz Adult Contemporary single "Maybe So", the first release from his current 2014 EP "Colors of Soul", the single continues to chart. "Colors of Soul" is a highly charged Jazz and Soul EP that is superbly produced by Vel Lewis, combined with the Midas touch of chart-topping producer, Greg Manning who added his brand of magic to the mixes. Kevin Chokan on guitars, keeping it in the pocket and soulful. Master percussionist Lenny Castro brings his signature sound to the project. "Colors of Soul" is a mixture of rhythmic songs for the Groove Jazz listener. Each song on the EP captures the keyboards and organ stylings of composer Vel Lewis. "Lovin' You So" is a tastefully classic R&B textured track. "Chuva" is a wonderful romantic, Smooth Jazz ballad. "Song For My Love" blends Swing and Hip-hop into a jazzy groove. The title track "Colors Of Soul" is an engaging Arp-styled synthesizer number that provides a melodic lead element reminiscent of the keyboard style of the late, great George Duke. Vel continues to deliver the kind of sultry, groove-laced music that catches the ears of his audience and soothes their hearts. From the moment the first note is heard and you feel the pulse of the rhythm, the ride begins - this is the perfect combination for the true music lover. For those around the world who have been requesting more Vel Lewis Music, this is for you! "Colors Of Soul"! ear candy for the heart! ~ CD Universe


Inspired by post-bop of the late '50s and early '60s, Stank features original compositions in a sextet setting as well as a rare performance of Bobby Timmon's "Moanin'" with vocals. All tracks recorded live using analog and digital. Featured performers: Alex Norris-Trumpet; Kevin Collar-Alto Sax; Wade Beach-Piano; Zack Pride-Bass; Sasha Elliot-Drums; Speedy White-Guitar; Tye Lovell-Vocals. Recorded at Cue Recording Studios, Falls Church, VA. Tracklisting: Stank, Next Time You're With Me, Queen Of The Neighborhood,     Moanin', and Go- Go- Blues. ~ CD Universe

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