Friday, July 20, 2018

Andrey Chmut Debut Album "Smoothability" featuring Bob James, U-Nam & Valeriy Stepanov


A delicious amalgam of mellow grooves and funky rhythms, the aptly titled “Smoothability” is the dynamite with which Ukrainian born, rising sax star Andrey Chmut is making what promises to be a truly explosive debut.

Typified by the upbeat title cut (and first radio single) which includes Wha Wha guitar from the unmistakable U-Nam, “Smoothability” is living proof that, in this joined up musical world, an effective social media presence can be the avenue to great success.  In fact it was Andrey’s work with Artem Lebedev that provided him with YouTube exposure, which he later built on through appearances with fellow Skytown label mate Valeriy Stepanov.

Andrey played sax on four of the tracks from Stepanov’s debut CD “New Beginnings” and now for “Smoothability” Stepanov has written three new songs to ensure the favor is well and truly reciprocated.   The first, the lusciously mellow “Those Sweet Nights”, proves to be right on the smooth jazz money and much the same can be said of “Don’t Loose the Faith” that remains sumptuously ‘in the pocket’ throughout.  Completing this glittering trio of original Stepanov compositions is “Night Ride” where Chmut’s playing is impeccable and although “Jazzed Up” delivers exactly what the title suggests it might it is with “K.S.U.” that Andrey confirms that here is a guy who really knows smooth jazz.

Chmut writes or co-writes six of the ten choice tunes yet in this oasis of new music the album’s only cover is Andrey’s fresh take on Kirk Franlin’s 2005 hit “Imagine Me”.  Elsewhere, a true standout in a collection full of them is “Moving Forward” which not only has a vibe that might well get in your head and not go away but also features the timeless Bob James on electric piano.  In fact on hearing of Andrey’s deal with Skytown Records to release “Smoothability” it was James who was first with a message of support.

"Congratulations on finding a new home for your music with Skytown Records. I hope it will lead to lots of success and it becomes a big #1 hit for you! "

More magic comes with another of Chmut’s own tunes, “Song for a Friend” for which U-Nam makes a welcome return on featured guitar while later the uplifting “I’ll Always Be There” benefits from carefully crafted vocal contributions from Artem Banar and Cleulia Daniel.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Smoothability 3:22
2. K.S.U 4:58
3. Jazzed Up 3:26
4. Those Sweet Nights feat. Valeriy Stepanov 4:45
5. Song for a Friend feat. U-Nam 3:48
6. Don’t Lose the Faith 4:27
7. I’ll always Be There 4:02
8. Moving Forward feat. Bob James 5:51
9. Night Ride 4:34
10. Imagine Me 4:55


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Trumpeter John Bailey steps into the spotlight with debut album as a leader "In Real Time"


The opening trumpet fanfare of John Bailey's debut album In Real Time heralds the arrival of a major, fully formed talent. Yet Bailey is no newcomer to jazz: this is his first album as a leader after more than 30 years as one of the busiest sidemen in the business.  The album will be released on June 8, 2018 via Summit Records.

Why at age 52 is he now making his debut as a leader? His answer is simple yet profound: "It was just time."

Known as one of the most eclectic trumpet players in New York City, Bailey is an in-demand musician and teaching artist on call for everything from traditional jazz, to R&B and pop, to classical. He became a member of The Buddy Rich Band while still in college, and his career has included long-running gigs with Ray Charles, master conguero and bandleader Ray Barretto, Max Weinberg and Frank Sinatra, Jr. His work with Latin Jazz innovator Arturo O'Farrill won two Grammy awards for the albums The Offense of the Drum and Cuba - The Conversation Continues. He has played on more than 70 albums and, as a jazz educator, has taught at the University of Miami and Florida International University.

That immersive career informed and shaped Bailey's creative approach to his first recording. For In Real Time, he dug deep and came up with a variety of riches as a composer.

"My natural inclination has always been to draw from as many different sources as possible," he explains. As a child of the 1960s, he learned from Dizzy, Miles and Bird, and was mentored by the legendary multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan who wrote the liner notes for this album. He was also influenced by artists as diverse as Jethro Tull, The Beach Boys, classical trumpeter Maurice Andre, and the Chicago Symphony brass section. "Duke Ellington said it best," says Bailey. "There are only two kinds of music: good music and the other kind."

Bailey acknowledges deliberately ignoring the boundaries between genres. "As a composer and improviser, I make no lines in the sand, though I try to keep the music coherent." For In Real Time, Bailey enlisted a group of fellow seekers and jazz veterans including saxophonist Stacey Dillard, guitarist John Hart, bassist Cameron Brown, and drummer Victor Lewis. Through seven originals and two Brazilian covers (by Milton Nascimento and Gilberto Gil), the album shows unusual range. From the straight-ahead and boppish, to elegiac ballads and cerebral post-bop flights, his goal is to make the music deep and wide-ranging. In each tune, regardless of where the music takes him, Bailey's ebullient personality shines through.

A trumpet prodigy, Bailey's spectacular gifts began to be noticed as a high school musician in 1984 when DownBeat Magazine cited him in its annual Student Music Awards for outstanding performances in both the classical and jazz trumpet categories, noting "Shades of Wynton!" The same year, he was a finalist in the National Foundation for Advancements in the Arts (NFAA) Arts Recognition and Talent Search, along with Donny McCaslin and Bill Charlap. He also won the National Association of Jazz Educators' Youth Talent Contest. Later, as a senior at the Eastman School of Music, he won DownBeat's Best Instrumental Soloist award.

Looking back, he says, "It all started for me when I discovered Clifford Brown. Clifford was the centerpiece of the golden era of jazz trumpet, and a great place to begin my lifelong study of the instrument. He was influenced by everyone before him, and became an influence on everyone after."

Bailey, who continues to teach privately, believes that educating the next generation of musicians is essential for any artist. "In American culture, where the arts are often ignored or deemphasized in both schools and the mainstream media, it is up to us, the artists, to inspire an appreciation for great art," he says. "By keeping performance standards as high as possible and sharing our devotion with others, especially children, we enrich countless lives."

With the success of his debut recording as a leader, John Bailey has indeed set the standard very high and enriched our lives.




 


Paul Simon To Release New Album - In The Blue Light - featuring jazz icons


Legendary songwriter, recording artist and performer Paul Simon will release his 14th studio album – In The Blue Light – on September 7.  Produced by Simon and Roy Halee, who have worked together since the 1960s, the album features a talented cast of musicians who have joined Simon to lend fresh perspectives on 10 of the artist's favorite (though perhaps less-familiar) songs, drawn from his unparalleled body of work.

Revisiting his repertoire, Simon has selected songs originally appearing on There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973),  Still Crazy After All These Years (1975), One-Trick Pony (1980), Hearts and Bones (1983), The Rhythm of The Saints (1990), You're The One (2000) and So Beautiful Or So What (2011), refreshing and transforming the compositions through new arrangements and collaborations.

Among the many musicians joining Simon on In The Blue Light are jazz icons trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, guitarist Bill Frisell, and drummers Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd.  Two of the compositions recorded with the New York-based chamber ensemble sextet yMusic, "Can't Run But" and "Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War," are being brought to the stage each night as show-stopping highlights on Simon's Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour.

Simon explains in the album's liner notes, "It's an unusual occurrence for an artist to have the opportunity to revisit earlier works and re-think them; to modify, even completely change parts of the originals.

"Happily, this opportunity also gave me the gift of playing with an extraordinary group of musicians, most of whom I hadn't recorded with before. I hope the listener will find these new versions of old songs refreshed, like a new coat of paint on the walls of an old family home."

The release of In The Blue Light on September 7 coincides with the final leg of Homeward Bound – Farewell Tour in September, including four performances in the New York City area and culminating with the Final Performance on September 22 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The credits for Paul Simon's In The Blue Light are as follows:

Words and Music by Paul Simon

01 One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor
Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion
Joel Wenhardt: Piano
Nate Smith: Drums
Jim Oblon: Guitar
John Patitucci: Bass
Edie Brickell: Finger Snaps
CJ Camerieri: Trumpet
Andy Snitzer: Saxophone

02 Love
Paul Simon: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Harmonium
Bill Frisell: Electric Guitar
Steve Gadd: Drums
Renaud Garcia-Fons: Bass

03 Can't Run But
Paul Simon: Vocal
With yMusic
Arrangement by Bryce Dessner based on the original arrangement from Rhythm of the Saints by Marco Antônio Guimarães

04 How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns
Paul Simon: Vocal
Sullivan Fortner: Piano
Nate Smith: Drums
John Patitucci: Bass
Wynton Marsalis: Trumpet

05 Pigs, Sheep and Wolves
Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion
Wynton Marsalis: Trumpet
Marcus Printup: Trumpet
Dan Block: Clarinet
Walter Blanding: Saxophone
Wycliffe Gordon: Tuba
Chris Crenshaw: Trombone
Marion Felder: Drums
Herlin Riley: Tambourine
Arrangement by Wynton Marsalis

06 René and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War
Paul Simon: Vocal, Electric Guitar
With yMusic
Arrangement by Robert Sirota

07 The Teacher
Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion
Odair Assad: Guitar
Sérgio Assad: Guitar
Renaud Garcia-Fons: Bass, Percussion
Walter Blanding: Saxophone
Jamey Haddad: Percussion

08 Darling Lorraine
Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion
Bill Frisell: Electric Guitar
Vincent Nguini: Electric Guitar
Mark Stewart: Acoustic Guitar
Steve Gadd: Drums
John Patitucci: Bass
With yMusic
Arrangement by Rob Moose

09 Some Folks' Lives Roll Easy
Paul Simon: Vocal
Sullivan Fortner: Piano, Celeste
Jack DeJohnette: Drums
John Patitucci: Bass
Joe Lovano: Saxophone

10 Questions For The Angels
Paul Simon: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Harmonica, Percussion
Bill Frisell: Electric Guitar
Sullivan Fortner: Harmonium, Chromelodeon
John Patitucci: Bass
Skip LaPlante: Percussion

yMusic is
CJ Camerieri: trumpet, piccolo trumpet
Alex Sopp: flute, alto flute
Hideaki Aomori: clarinet, bass clarinet
Rob Moose: violin
Nadia Sirota: viola
Gabriel Cabezas: cello

Having created a distinctive and beloved body of work that includes 14 studio albums, plus five studio albums as half of Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon is the recipient of 16 Grammy Awards, three of which—Bridge over Troubled Water, Still Crazy after All These Years, and Graceland—were Album of the Year honorees. In 2003, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Simon & Garfunkel, and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

During his unparalleled career, Simon has achieved 29 Top 40 singles in the U.S. alone, with 14 of those reaching the Top 10 or higher, including "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" (which reached #1), "Kodachrome," "Loves Me Like A Rock," "Mother and Child Reunion," "Late In The Evening," "You Can Call Me Al" and many others. With Simon & Garfunkel, he wrote and performed the #1 singles, "The Sound of Silence," "Mrs. Robinson," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," and numerous other timeless hits.

Paul Simon is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has been inducted into the
Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, both as a member of Simon & Garfunkel and as a solo artist. Simon was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2002 and was named one of Time magazine's "100 People Who Shape Our World" in 2006. In 2007, Simon was awarded the inaugural Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world's culture. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. And in 2012, he was named the recipient of the prestigious Polar Music Prize along with classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma.


Polish-Born, NY-Based Guitarist Rafal Sarnecki Faces and Embraces His Fears on New Album "Climbing Trees"


As a young child, Polish-born guitarist/composer Rafal Sarnecki suffered from an intense fear of heights and watched with envy as other kids climbed trees. Eventually he gathered the courage to face his fears, ascending branch by branch until he reached the top. That early triumph was the first of several fears that Sarnecki has faced down throughout his life, some of them directly impinging on his passion for music - stage fright, most pointedly, but also a more nebulous trepidation about pushing his music into ever more challenging territory. On his latest album, Climbing Trees, Sarnecki celebrates the ability to overcome one's most deep-seated anxieties and the exhilaration that can come from those confrontations.

"Once I challenged myself to climb to the top of one tree I felt an urge to climb a higher tree," Sarnecki recalls. "The satisfaction from fighting the fear was very strong and addictive. This memory from childhood resembles many situations in my adult life."

On Climbing Trees (due out July 27, 2018 via Outside In Music), Sarnecki takes his cue from that formative experience, crafting a set of risk-taking original compositions that dare him and his remarkable sextet to scale daunting heights. The stellar group - saxophonist Lucas Pino, vocalist Bogna Kicinska, pianist Glenn Zaleski, bassist Rick Rosato, and drummer Colin Stranhan - not only manages to deftly navigate the composition's knotty turns but finds exhilarating inspiration in its surprising branchings. The result is music that combines attentive focus on fine detail with the euphoria of an adrenaline rush.

What's clear from the chemistry and complexity displayed by the sextet is that this is a true working band, a relative rarity on the modern jazz landscape. In its present form the band has played together for nearly seven years, though many of the relationships stretch back even further. Pino and Zaleski have been a part of Sarnecki's band for the better part of a decade; Rosato and Stranahan joined the band in 2011. Since 2009 the guitarist and Zaleski have been members of Pino's acclaimed No Net Nonet, enjoying a monthly residency at Smalls Jazz Club for the past five years.

The sextet originally featured a trumpet as part of the frontline, until Sarnecki acceded to a Brooklyn club owner's request to add a singer to the band. Rather than hiring a standards-crooning chanteuse, Sarnecki enlisted Kicinska - a fellow native of Poland who uses her versatile voice and gift for improvisation like an instrumentalist. The addition gave the band's sound an ethereal but urgent quality, and the line-up fell into place.

"It took me a few years to learn how to take advantage of the potential of the musicians," Sarnecki says. "I have absolutely incredible players in my group that do things that are very unique, so as a composer I feel a responsibility to feature their individuality in my music. That can be a little risky, because sometimes I can push it a little too hard, but fortunately, we're a working band so I don't have to be afraid of that. This allows me to come up with ideas that sound really surprising, not the same as every other modern jazz song."

Zaleski's foreboding chords open the album on "Solar Eclipse," which contrasts Kicinska's airy vocal line with Sarnecki's gnarled lines. The leader's probing solo is a standout, exploring every hidden corner and skewed angle of the tune. The title comes not from the recent astronomical phenomenon but from the unusual way the piece was composed: it originated with a particularly tricky bass line, which eventually was dropped as the tune progressed, essentially eclipsing what was once the core idea of the piece. The growling lurch of "Dadaism" doesn't immediately suggest the subversive art movement that gives the piece its title, but it comes from a time when Sarnecki was studying Dada while working on his PhD in Music Composition at the Fryderyk Chopin Music University in Warsaw. Pino and Kicinska take a tandem soar into their upper registers, launching Zaleski into an intricately focused turn.

Sarnecki's shimmering arpeggios open the three-part "Little Dolphin" suite, which, like the elegant, Rachmaninoff-inspired "Zhongguo," reflects on the guitarist's travels to China. He first visited the country in 2013 at the prompting of saxophonist Nathaniel Gao, and has since returned annually to perform and teach. "I just fell in love with the culture," Sarnecki says. "Jazz was banned in China for about 30 years and in smaller towns people have no idea how to react to this music. But in bigger cities like Beijing or Shanghai there's a huge jazz audience and wherever you go, you feel more appreciated. In New York there's so much music that it's hard to impress people, so when you come to a place like China you feel like someone actually needs what you're doing." ("Little Dolphin" is the translation of "Xi_o h_itún" - the nickname given to Sarnecki by his Chinese fans.)

The heartfelt "Write a Letter to Yourself" was inspired by a friend's self-directed missive on Facebook, while "Disappointing Fresh Peach" takes its title from an anecdote in Kenny Werner's influential book Effortless Mastery. The dizzying "Hydrodynamics" is highlighted by a taut tug-of-war between Sarnecki and Stranahan, while closing track "Homo Sapiens" straddles the line between meditative jazz and chamber music, with Pino and Rosato steering through winding curves in perfect synchronicity.

Originally from Warsaw, Poland, Rafal Sarnecki is a jazz guitarist and composer currently living in New York. As a leader of his own projects Rafa_ has toured China, Malaysia, South Korea, Chile, Israel, the East and West Coasts of the U.S. and many European countries. He has shared the stage with top musicians from the U.S. jazz scene including Joel Frahm, Ben Wendel, Ron Blake, Ingrid Jensen, Alex Sipiagin, Willie Jones III and Gary Thomas, to name a few. Rafa_'s debut album, Song From a New Place (2008), was nominated for the 2009 Fryderyk Award, the Polish equivalent of a Grammy. Rafa_ 's second album, The Madman Rambles Again, was released in 2011 by Fresh Sound New Talent. Dave Sumner from All About Jazz selected the album as among the 12 most interesting jazz releases of 2011. In August 2014 Rafa_ 's third CD, Cat's Dream, was released by Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records. In 2015 a group of jazz musicians in Kyiv, Ukraine started a sextet project dedicated to his music, performing compositions from all of his albums. In addition to his career as a bandleader Sarnecki is performs in a variety of New York based groups and projects such as the Lucas Pino No-Net Nonet, Annie Chen Group and David Bertrand Quartet.


Cincinnati Solo Bass Artist, Nate White, Releases 3rd CD Titled "Up Close"

Phat Bass Entertainment, Inc. announces that Nate White (www.natewhitemusic.com), a Cincinnati based solo bass artist with decades of performing, writing, and playing for crowds and fans across the country, this week will be releasing his 3rd CD for worldwide listening: "Up Close."

Due for release this summer 2018, the new CD's single, titled "Migration" will be available for downloading on August 3, 2018; also listen out for Nate White "Migration" on Jazz Radio August 13, 2018. 

White wrote, recorded, arranged, mixed, and performed on all of the tracks, with other writers such as DJ and producer Nick Luscombe out of the UK, and producer Tony Heath A.K.A. Tony Heat, Atlanta, GA. Other musicians include Randy Villars, Paul "PC" Caver, Dave Stewart, Iva Durand, and Eliot Slaughter out of Cincinnati and Dayton, Oh.

"In order to promote the upcoming launch of 'Up Close,' we're going on a 30-city tour with GAB Productions Inc. throughout the fall of 2018 to bring our new, soul-filled and passionate music to willing listeners across the country," said White.

"My fans love my funky bass, and all of the social media support I receive every day encourages me to make even more heart-filled music for my listeners."

"I put my heart and soul into the creation of this CD, and I had my fans in mind the entire time I created it," said White.

White is also the legendary bass player for the 70's group "RAMP," which was produced by Roy Ayers. His music is described as R&B, Funk, and Jazz rolled into one.

Nate has shared the stage with artist such as:
Michael Henderson, the Jazz Quartet "Gratitude," George Johnson of the "Brothers Johnson," Reggie Calloway former leader of "Midnight Star," Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp, Euge Groove, Phil Perry, Aubrey Logan, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Gerald Albright, and the nine GRAMMY®-nominated, platinum-selling artist, Dave Koz.

As the opening act for Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns Tour Louisville, KY, Iroquois Amphitheater, Saturday, July 14, 2018, Nate debuted the single titled "Migration," which will be available worldwide for digital downloading on August 3, 2018.


PIANIST, COMPOSER & PRODUCER BRIAN SIMPSON IS THE MASTER OF MELODY & GROOVE ON NEW CD "SOMETHING ABOUT YOU"


"Over the years I continue to appreciate how music can inspire people through good and bad times, and I never take for granted the opportunity I have to play a small part in someone's life," confides chart-topping keyboardist, composer, prolific studio musician and producer Brian Simpson. A master at crafting unforgettable melodies and timeless anthems, Simpson's soulful approach to the music has made him first call for many musicians across numerous genres. Brian Simpson's Midas touch has been called upon by everyone from Janet Jackson, Teena Marie and George Duke, to Stanley Clarke, Boney James and Dave Koz. Simpson's newest masterpiece and eighth recording as a leader, Something About You, is the perfect amalgamation of influences that are close to the pianist's heart: Jazz, R&B, Funk, Soul. His eloquent touch, sophisticated harmonic sensibility and bluesy overtones bless each of the album's ten originals. The pianist enlists help from a seasoned group of musicians including programmer and co-producer Steve Oliver and keyboardist Oliver Wendell, who also helped to co-produced the CD. The trio was joined by bassists Alex Al and Andre Berry, guitarists Darrell Crooks and Yarone Levy, percussionist Ramon Yslas and trumpeter Ron King. Brian Simpson's eighth recording as a leader find the consummate pianist churning out in the pocket grooves and dancing melodies that he has long been revered for but also pushing his sonic limits to new heights.

There are many qualities that make Brian Simpson's music distinctive but one of the most powerful elements is his ability to compose unbelievably beautiful and striking melodies. This gift has landed him on top of the charts numerous times. "I have figured out that there is no simple way to write a good song,"  he explains "You have to take time crafting every element. I will often write one melody for a song then try to come up with something completely different, then let a day go by before listening again in order to get an objective opinion on which one to use. I often make changes at the last minute, so it's a process of refinement that isn't over until it's over!"

Something About You opens with the jubilant and funky title track which shines a spotlight on Simpson's effervescent and soaring piano lines juxtaposed to the bouncy and bottom heavy bass lines of Alex Al and rhythmic fancy of  Ramon Yslas. The sweet and dreamy "Morning Samba," the album's first single and the mystical "Blue Horizon," both possess an intoxicating EDM vibe. "I wanted this project to sound modern, which I hoped to accomplish through electronic music elements," says Simpson. "This should catch your ear upon first listen. What I hoped would be unique is combining those elements with the organically funky bass and guitar that has become a distinction of my music." The pervasive feeling on Something About You is one of joy and upliftment. Simpson and company fuel the good times with the percussive "Mojave," featuring the intense and beautiful interplay between Simpson's piano and Yarone Levy's guitar. The seductive and R&B laced "Chemistry," featuring trumpeter Ron King, is a high point on the CD. "I'm following in the footsteps of those that laid the foundation of contemporary jazz music," says Simpson. "Fusing jazz and R&B is just what contemporary jazz is all about." The pop infused songs "At First Sight" and "Irresistible" show the melodic brilliance of Simpson who is unparalled in his ability to compose breathtakingly beautiful melodies that almost sing their way into your subconscious mind and soul. Something About You also features "Gotta Get To You," a sensuous ballad with a relentless rock-steady groove and the emotive "Speechless," which will tug on your heartstrings with its wistful melodic lines and Simpson's longing and tender piano touch. It is fitting that the CD closes with the gorgeous composition "The Rainbow." And just like the qualities of a rainbow, Simpson creates an an illusion all of his own - an auditory illusion spurred by his majestic touch and ability to conjure deep emotion. He shares, "My hope is always the same, that somehow the melodies, harmonies, and grooves make a connection with people."

Hailing from Gurnee, Illinois, Brian always knew music would play center stage in his life. "Our house was filled with music. My older brother and sister both played instruments, and my brother's rock band rehearsed in our living room every weekend," shares the keyboardist. "My dad listened to jazz with such a keen ear. I learned to enjoy the beauty of a great jazz solo and how to discern the musicians with great phrasing from listening to music with him."

Simpson's breakthrough as a solo artist began in 2005 with the #1 radio hit "It's All Good." The title track of It's All Good proved instantly and joyfully prophetic, as it hit #1 on the Radio & Records Smooth Jazz Airplay chart and remained in the Top 5 for four months.  His follow-up single, "Saturday Cool," went Top 15. In 2007 Simpson released Above the Clouds, which delivered the memorable radio hits "What Cha Gonna Do?" (Top 10) and "Juicy" (Top 15).  After graduating from Northern Illinois University, Simpson relocated to Los Angeles where he quickly immersed himself in the local jazz scene.  Late night jazz sessions found him playing alongside everyone from saxophonists Everette Harp and Boney James to guitarist Norman Brown.  The free-spirited musician soon found himself taking a temporary leave of absence from the jazz scene, touring the world with pop divas Teena Marie, Sheena Easton and Janet Jackson.  His foray into the pop world didn't end there; in January, 1991 he co-wrote the #1 Pop hit "The First Time" by Surface, which conquered both the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts.   Placing his success in pop aside, Brian Simpson has always been a working jazz musician.  He has toured with some of the greats of recent jazz history, including George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Larry Carlton, George Howard, Billy Cobham, and Gerald Albright.  Brian has been the musical director for jazz saxophonist Dave Koz for close to 20 years, and for close to a decade the Musical Director of the ambitious and highly popular  "The Smooth Jazz Cruise." In 2010 Simpson released South Beach whose title track snagged a #1 slot on the charts. Just What You Need followed in 2013 featuring the Antônio Carlos Jobim/ Vinicius de Moraes classic "The Girl From Ipanema" which hit #1 on the charts and "Emerald City," a top 3 hit. 2015's Out Of A Dream featured the Top Ten single "Skywatcher." 2016 saw the release of Persuasion which featured the top 10 single "Wonderland."

With the anticipated release of Something About You, Brian Simpson further asserts himself as one of the most thrilling and innovative pioneers on the contemporary jazz scene.  He concludes, "I have what I consider the greatest job in the world. I feel like I have much more music to make and I can hardly wait to make it."


Thursday, July 12, 2018

New Releases: Lalomie Washburn - My Music Is Hot; Vito Lalinga (Vi Mode Inc. Project) - Afrodisiac Part II; MelBreeze - Animazonia


Lalomie Washburn - My Music Is Hot (with bonus tracks)

The freaky hair on the cover might be a tipoff to the sound of the set – but the great Lalomie Washburn also has a depth to her music that you might not expect! The album is Washburn's only full set as a lead act – but one that comes after a good stretch of the 60s and 70s working in other groups, and contributing some key songs to Chaka Khan & Rufus – a legacy that has Lalomie emerging here as a fully-formed soul singer who should have been huge! Washburn's look on the cover recalls another funky female talent – the great Maxayn, who was a friend and supporter of Lalomie – and in some way, the groove here is a bit like that on Maxayn's albums from the decade – although with a warmer, tighter, more soul-focused sound – thanks to great instrumental backings from maestro Gene Page! Things are still plenty funky throughout, although sometimes in a clubbier way too – and titles include the badass "Man Power", plus "Freaky Strangeness", "Give Me Love With The Music", "What's Love", and "My Love Is Hot (Caliente)". Bonus tracks include "Two Sides (stereo)", "My Love Is Hot (7" version 1)", "My Love Is Hot (7" version 2)", "Man Power (ext 12" version)", "Double Funkin (7" mix)", "Give Me Loev With The Music (7" version)", and "Man Power (rough mix)". ~ Dusty Groove

Vito Lalinga (Vi Mode Inc. Project) - Afrodisiac Part II

Italian producer Vito Lalinga (VI Mode inc Project) is back with his second edition of Afrodisiac Part II. The release style is all about afro funk vibes combined with modern broken breaks & four on the floor beats. In this second volume we have four new tracks in a variety from mid tempo to uptempo grooves, full percussive, melodic and organic with afrofunk style guitars, heavy brass section, afro voices samples and warm melodic keys. All tracks were carefully chosen and added in this second volume as a sequel of the first volume that took great attention from this new project. Audiophile Analog Mastering: Angelos Timewarp Stoumpos at Timewarp Mastering. Vito Lalinga (Vi Mode Inc. Project) - Afrodisiac Part II will be available on July 13 for sale in special edition CDR and digital downloads.

MelBreeze - Animazonia

Turkish vocalist and visionary MelBreeze’s album titled “Animazonia” is a collection of Brazilian flavored jazz composition’s produced by Jimmy Haslip (YellowJackets) and Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech/Joe Zawinul). MelBreeze delivers a breath of fresh air to the Brazilian songbook with her unique vocal stylings. Featuring: Melbreeze (vocals), Jimmy Haslip, Hadrien Feraud, Selcuk Karaman (bass), Scott Kinsey (keys), Cyril Atef, Gergö Borlai, Gary Novak (drums), Larry Koonse, Jeff Richman (guitar), Brad Dutz (percussion), Bob Reynolds (sax), Uday Kumar Nari (Tabla), Knand Kumar (sitar), Selim Bolukbasi (Tulum), Artyom Manukyan (cello) and Scott Kinsey (mix/master).



Urban-jazz saxophonist Sam Rucker releases “Redemption”


One of the first songs that urban-jazz saxophonist Sam Rucker recorded for his third album, “Redemption,” was the soothing “Overcomer,” on which he emotes intimately on soprano sax during an uplifting exchange with a guitar duo comprised of his nephew, Justin Taylor, and John Calisto. Tragically, both guitarists passed away unexpectedly three days apart and the tune Rucker wrote to comfort and inspire others became his own healing grace. It is a focal point of the rousing eleven-track set penned and produced by Rucker that drops August 24 from Favor Productions. 

Rucker’s life and his musical journey have evolved in recent years, growing from a gritty hip hop producer into a soul-baring R&B-contemporary jazz instrumentalist, yet his faith has never wavered. He is on a mission as an empowering evangelic emissary, using his tenor, alto and soprano sax on “Redemption” to deliver heartening orations that commiserate and console as much as persevere and conquer. His writing, production and sax play reflect a more refined, mature and sophisticated auteur who retained just enough of the raw urban grit from his edgy past to ensure that his recordings are genuine. Despite enduring pain, struggle and suffering, Rucker never loses sight of the Divine hand orchestrating it all – the victories and the losses – purposely placing his focus on the abundance of blessings and the love that cushions his every fall. 

“‘Redemption’ is a feel-good album designed to touch the inner soul, to encourage and inspire the listener. It is about perseverance, keeping the faith, overcoming some of the worst that life has to offer and coming out better on the other side. Redemption of everything that was lost: the naysayers and doubters, the narrowly missed opportunities, the emotional scars and the sore spiritual muscles from years of exercised faith. Staying steadfast and seeing the gracious hand of God redeem all and make our former days greater than the latter. It's also about making someone nod their head to the beat when they feel like hanging it during a tough time,” said Rucker.

Listeners will soon be nodding their head to the first radio single, “True Love,” when it goes for playlist adds on July 16. Rucker’s fat tenor sax packs a powerful punch on the sensually steamy mid-tempo groove graced by Calisto’s sultry nylon guitar and a celestial, gospel chorus-like affirmation that embodies the album’s message: “Take one look, and you will see, what true love has done for me, take one look and you will see, what true love has done in me.”
  
“First and foremost, the song is about the fact that despite all the mistakes I've made and how undeserving I am, God still loves me enough to redeem me and bless me with as much as he has. For the listener, ‘True Love’ could be about life with a special someone. For me, it is really about the love of God, the only true love that holds no records of wrongs and never fails. If you look at your life, you'll see evidence of His love in what He has done for you. But, when you really get it and realize that it’s Him and really receive His love, then there is a change in you that people will see. Hence the song’s lyrics.”

The Williamsburg, Virginia native debuted in 2011 with “Heat from the Heavens,” introducing his formula of hip hop beats, improv jazz and stirring inspirational messages. Three years later, “Tell You Something,” upped the ante by offering collaborations with urban stalwarts Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Tom Browne and Alyson Williams, boosting Rucker’s appeal at radio. His eyes averted the camera on the first album cover and were hidden behind dark glasses on the second. “Redemption” depicts a happier, lighter Rucker looking directly into the camera, eager to face and embrace what lays ahead of him with gratitude.     
  
“When I released the last album (“Tell You Something”), it was a difficult time for me personally,” admitted Rucker. “In the last five years, my life has done a complete 180. With the release of ‘Redemption,’ I feel spiritually, physically, emotionally and materially redeemed. On this album, there are no covers, no guest producers and no big-time superstar performers. Just pure, raw and real me and those closest to me.” 
  
“Redemption” contains the following songs:
“Down on the Inside” (intro)
“Down on the Inside”
“True Love”
“Overcomer”
“Nothing’s Too Hard”
“Redemption”
“Forever Forgiven”
“Follow Me”
“I Am with You”
“Throwback”
“Please Child”


DRUMMER YUSSEF DAYES RELEASES COLLABORATIVE NEW SINGLE “LOVE IS THE MESSAGE”


Stepping out into his own as a solo artist, London-based drummer Yussef Dayes (formerly of celebrated jazz-funk duo Yussef Kamaal) begins a new chapter at this stage in his musical journey with two new releases, “Love Is The Message” and “Blacked Out.” Both of which are in collaboration with Alfa Mist. They represent not only a new beginning but what comes out of being able to live your own vision as a musician.

“Love Is The Message,” the first out of the two releases, was the product of a jam session with producer and composer Alfa Mist. After being made in one take, Yussef quickly saw how Alfa’s approach to composing worked in unison. The drums combined with Alfa’s strings and synths connects the pathway of a sound that began in West Africa but found its way to Brazil and London. “Being in Brazil with the colours, people and life then coming back to London in the winter, I was just trying to keep that energy going,” he says. The song also sees some scorching riffs from rising guitarist Mansur Brown. Mansur’s guitar work can be heard in the closing minutes of song adding some needed firepower to an already transcendent tune. 

Drawing heavy inspirations from a recent trip to São Paulo and Salvador in Brazil, Yussef Dayes’ solo releases are a timely and welcome addition to the mix of jazz coming out of London. “It was inspiring to be out in Brazil, sitting in treehouses and playing drums. Music and spirituality are linked and have a strong bond, it has a healing power,” Yussef says of his trip. Seeing his own music as a channel for expressive talking, even when it’s just through drums, Yussef has always sought to channel that same energy.

One of the UK’s most accomplished young drummers, Yussef Dayes first came to notoriety alongside his brothers Ahmad & Kareem in the Afrobeat-influenced jazz group United Vibrations. As one half of Yussef Kamaal, Yussef’s rhythmic work was put on full display and the Black Focus album ended up becoming one of the most heralded jazz records to emerge from the new London scene. While the band in its original form might be changing, the electric presence of Yussef Dayes remains. Yussef’s work with YK and United Vibrations has elevated the drums for a younger generation of jazz fans, showing their true potential and power. “Love Is The Message” is the first of more powerful new work from the London drummer and cements him as a solo artist to keep an eye on over the coming months.



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Soft Machine Announce New Album Hidden Details & World Tour Dates, with First North American Dates Since 1974


In support of their forthcoming new album, British music legends Soft Machine will embark on their first North American tour since 1974 in October 2018, followed by the second North-American leg of the tour in January and February 2019. In concert, their set list will include material from all parts of the band's repertoire from 1970 onwards, but this is emphatically not a nostalgia act resting on its laurels. Last weekend Soft Machine played their first two shows in North America since 1974 (it was in 1974 they toured USA and Canada during the Bundles/Allan Holdsworth era). Both shows, at the Montreal Jazz Festival and Quebec City, were exceptionally well received by the enthusiastic audience and local press.

Hidden Details is a new studio album of Soft Machine, recorded at the late great Jon Hiseman's Temple Studio in Surrey, England, last December 2017, and it will be released in September 2018 on MoonJune Records (North America; on CD and HD Download), on John Etheridge's Dyan Records (UK/Europe on CD, and iTunes), and on Vivid Records (Japan), exactly 50 years since the release of the band's 1968 debut album The Soft Machine. Limited and highly collectible vinyl edition of only 200 coloured vinyl (orange, blue and tour edition orange & blue marbled) will be released on the Dutch label Tonefloat, on September 8, 2018.

“'Hidden Details' is very much the product of an active, contemporary sounding outfit striking out with its own agenda. Though informed by the past, the music here is neither weighed down nor beholden to it. Animated with the same ineffable and inquisitive spirit that has always made this group throughout its fifty years such a compelling experience, it’' good to have a new Soft Machine with us in 2018. The yearning tenderness of 'Heart Off Guard' and the come-down reveries of 'Broken Hill' and 'Drifting White' showcase the more intimate aspects of Soft Machine's personality while in contrast, 'One Glove' gives the more pugilistic side of John Etheridge's playing an outing. The terse angularities of the title track and 'Life on Bridges' highlight a fearless disposition, as does the buzzsaw interplay heard during 'Ground Lift' and 'Flight of the Jett,' both featuring Roy Babbington's decisive interventions. The surging lyricism of 'Fourteen Hour Dream' flirts with an almost popish sensibility, underscoring the sense that this is a quartet that is fundamentally at ease with itself. The return of what some older fans of the band have called 'cosmic tinkles’'– the appearance of layers of cyclical electric piano motifs – is especially welcome. Their brief manifestation on 'The Man Who Waved at Trains' and Third-era, 'Out-Bloody-Rageous,' both stone-cold Mike Ratledge-composed classics, adds an extra spacey dimension to the overall sound. Travis' use of looping technology with his flutes creates its own beguiling world and can be heard to powerful effect on the beautiful and enigmatic 'Breathe,' where his hovering notes are underpinned by Marshall's oblique yet atmospheric percussion.” - Sid Smith

Soft Machine:
JOHN ETHERIDGE - guitar
THEO TRAVIS - sax, flute, Fender Rhodes
ROY BABBINGTON - bass guitar
JOHN MARSHALL - drums
with special guest GARY HUSBAND drums on selected dates

2018 North American Tour Dates:
October 6 - Orion Studios - Baltimore, MD, USA [John Marshall on drums]
October 7 - Theater Of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 9 - Roxy's & Duke - Dunellen, NJ, USA
October 10 - Darryl's House - Pawling, NY, USA
October 12 - The Iridium - NYC, NY, USA
October 13 - The Iridium - NYC, NY, USA
October 14 - The Iridium - NYC, NY, USA
October 16 - Mod's Club - Toronto, ON, Canada [Gary Husband on drums]
October 17 - The Tralf - Buffalo, NY, USA [Gary Husband on drums]
October 18 - Beachland Music Hall - Cleveland, OH, USA [Gary Husband on drums]
October 19 - The Irving Theater - Indianapolis, IN, USA  [Gary Husband on drums]
October 21 - Progtober Festival - Reggie's - Chicago, IL, USA [Gary Husband on drums]
October 22 - Shank Hall - Milwaukee, WI, USA [Gary Husband on drums]

2019 North American Tour Dates:
January 24 - Freight & Salvage - Berkeley, CA, USA
January 25 - Flynn's - Santa Cruz, CA, USA
January 27 - Alberta Rose Theater - Portland, OR, USA
January 28 - Triple Door - Seattle, WA, USA
January 29 - Triple Door - Seattle, WA, USA
January 31 - The Baked Potato (2 shows) - Los Angeles, CA, USA
February 1 - The Baked Potato (2 shows) - Los Angeles, CA, USA
February 2 - Scottsdale Performing Arts Center - Scottsdale, AZ, USA
February 4-9 - Cruise To The Edge - Key West, FL / Cozumel, Mexico

2018 confirmed shows in Japan & Europe:
July 7 - Montreal Jazz Festival - Monument National - Ludger Duvernay - Montreal, Quebec, Canada
July 8 - Salle Jean-Paul Tardif - Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
July 28 - Billboard Live Tokyo - Tokyo, Japan (2 shows) [special guest Gary Husband, keyboards]
July 29 - Billboard Live Tokyo - Tokyo, Japan (2 shows) [special guest Gary Husband, keyboards]
July 30 - Billboard Live Osaka - Osaka, Japan (2 shows) [special guest Gary Husband, keyboards]
September 6 - Cosmopolite - Oslo, Norway
September 8 - De Boerderij - Zoetemeer, The Netherlands
September 9 - Musikbunker - Aachen, Germany
September 10 - Franzis - Wetzlar, Germany
September 12 - Muhle Hunziken - Rubigen, Switzerland
September 13 - La Casa Di Alex - Milano, Italy
September 14 - Club Il Giardino - Verona, Italy
September 16 - Porgy & Bess - Vienna, Austria
September 17 - Museum - Bratislava, Slovakia
September 18 - Akropolis - Prague, Czech Republic
September 19 - Kulturbanhof - Jena, Germany
November 3 - Marlow Theater - Canterbury, UK
November 6 - Sage - Gateshead, UK
November 8 - Green Hotel - Kinross, Scotland, UK
November 9 - Hebden Bridge Townhall - Hebden, UK
November 10 - The Trade's Club - Howden, UK
November 16 - Borderline - London, UK
November 17 - West End Center - Aldershot, UK
November 18 - Lews Con Club - Lewes, UK
November 20 - Epic Studios - Norwich, UK
November 22 - Trading Boundaries - Fletching, UK
November 25 - Talking Heads - Southampton, UK
December 15 - Peppel - Zeist, The Netherlands
December 16 - Harmonie - Bonn, Germany

Soft Machine is a legend and an institution of British music, a band who included Robert Wyatt, Daevid Allen, Mike Ratledge, Kevin Ayers, Andy Summers (later of The Police), Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean, Roy Babbington, John Marshall, Karl Jenkins, Allan Holdsworth, John Etheridge, Percy Jones, Rick Sanders, Dave McRae and Jack Bruce among others (Jimi Hendrix briefly jammed with the band in 1968!). Since its creation in 1966, this band pioneered Psychedelic and Progressive Rock, led the 'Canterbury' trend, pioneered jazz-rock, and then guitar-led fusion (launching the guitar god Allan Holdsworth in 1974), influenced generations of musicians. Disbanded in 1978, recreated in few occasions in 1981 and 1984, the band resurfaces in 1999 under the name of Soft Ware. Much was said about this band with a very complex intriguing history of constant personal changes during the 1966-1978 period. The band resurrected in 1999 under the name of Soft Ware, then as Soft Works 2002-2004 and Soft Machine Legacy 2004-2015. In December 2015, it was confirmed that the band had dropped the “Legacy” tag from their name, as the band featured three of the group's 1970s era members –  guitarist John Etheridge, drummer John Marshall and bassist Roy Babbington (from the seminal 1976's album Softs), in addition to flute and sax player Theo Travis – returning to the original name from 2015, and performing numerous concerts all around Europe, South America and Japan.


Cookin' On 3 Burners Organist Jake Mason Debuts New Trio With Soulful Sounds of the '60s on The Stranger in the Mirror

The Stranger in the Mirror (available now via Soul Messin' Records) is the debut album from the Jake Mason Trio. Stepping out from the drivers seat of Cookin’ On 3 Burners, Mason dives firmly into the '60s organ trio sound making a record that is both delicate and fiery.

Featuring guitarist James Sherlock and drummer Danny Fischer, the trio weave their way through bluesy soul-jazz, blazing vigour and soundtrack-esque territory. “I love the place where jazz and soul meet” says Mason. “It has a simplicity that is so warm and welcoming combined with a complexity that is exciting and makes you move”

Recorded on the east side of Melbourne, the trio captured the moment in the tradition of the classic jazz recordings on labels such as Prestige Records and Blue Note Records playing live in the room, using vintage recording techniques and adding a pinch of modern inspiration. The result is a dynamic sound that has space and transparency but with just the right amount of grit and crunch. While this is the first official recording of the trio, Mason, Sherlock and Fischer are no strangers, having played together for over 20 years in many guises; Melbourne -- a melting pot for great music and culture.

Best known for his work with Cookin’ On 3 Burners, Mason is a multi-instrumentalist and prolific songwriter who has released twelve albums, gained multi-platinum sales worldwide and established his own label and production house. The Stranger in the Mirror boasts ten elegantly crafted original compositions including co-writes with Eric McCusker (Mondo Rock) and Ben Grayson. Mason is a stylistic chameleon who has been nominated for multiple APRA Awards and the coveted ARIA Music Award for Song of the Year. He co-wrote and co-produced Kungs vs Cookin’ On 3 Burners chart topper "This Girl," hitting the #1 spot in 10 countries and reaching the Top 10 in 37 territories. "This Girl" was also the #1 Shazammed dance song of 2016 worldwide.


New Releases: Chante Cann – Journey To Golden; Jay Phelps – Free As The Birds; Chicago – Chicago II Live At Soundstage


Chante Cann – Journey To Golden

Chante Cann really blew us away with her debut – and she seems to sound even better here – working with a new level of complexity in her music, while still coming across with all the soulful richness of the previous set! Acoustic piano features strongly in the sound – balancing out the lighter, raspier style of Cann's vocals with this deep-ringing tone that's really beautiful – almost an echoey vibe that unlocks all these great colors throughout the album's passage – a lyrical, poetic instrumental aspect that's definitely picked up by Chante with her lyrics. Snarky Puppy guest on two tracks, and pianist Jamie Portee sings on one number with Cann – on titles that include "Da Da'N Da", "Beauty Speaks", "Waterfall", "The Journey Continues", "iChange", "Free Your Dreams", and "For The Children". ~ Dusty Groove

Jay Phelps – Free As The Birds

Genius work from Jay Phelps – a jazz trumpeter, but also a soulful singer – yet working here in a mode that's a completely fresh fusion of both of his talents! There's a crispness to the record right from the very first note – like you've just stepped into a cool club from a back alley entrance, and chanced upon the next generation at work – while Phelps effortlessly shifts between his voice and his horn, in a musical setting that's equally effortless in its shift between acoustic and electric elements – which seem to include a fair bit of Fender Rhodes next to round acoustic basslines and percussion – peppered with guest work from a lineup that includes David Binney on alto sax, Stacy Dillard on tenor and soprano, and even some vocal contributions from Cecilia Stalin, Martina Dasilva, and Emilia Martensson. Titles include "Chaos Or Commerce", "LSG", "Amphitrite's Bounty", "Everyone's Ethnic", "Angel", "Flash", "Free As The Birds", and "Chomtalay Chill". ~  Dusty Groove

Chicago – Chicago II Live At Soundstage

Chicago went home to its namesake city last year to record a live version of the band’s multi-platinum second album, Chicago II, for the PBS Soundstage series. That energetic performance is now available as a single-CD and a CD/DVD set that includes video of the program and a 5.1 audio mix. Originally released in January 1970 as Chicago (and later dubbed Chicago II), the album was a major breakthrough for the band and features some of the group’s biggest hits, including the Top 10 singles: “25 Or 6 To 4,” “Make Me Smile” and “Colour My World.”

The Braxton Brothers return with “Higher” set for release on Aug 24


There is a reason why the bass and saxophone melodies Nelson and Wayne Braxton aka The Braxton Brothers write are so lyrical. They compose by writing lyrics first, a unique twist for an R&B-jazz instrumental twosome that uses vocals on only two of the twelve new songs they wrote and produced for their sixth album, “Higher,” which drops August 24 from Braxton Productions.  
  
“Yes, it is a different way of writing for instrumentalists, but for us, first and foremost, we never want to be background music. The purpose of our music is bigger. We feel that we have a higher responsibility. New music and new melodies move through us, giving people a reason to feel joy, have a good time, free them from stress, anxiety and problems; and show the listener love,” said Nelson Braxton, who worked on the album during his global travels while taking in views of the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, The English Channel, The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Focused on their penchant for crafting irresistible melodies, The Braxton Brothers’ message is a higher love. Preceding the album release is the high-energy, feel-good first single, “The Only Woman In The World,” which ships to radio and goes for radio playlist adds in late July. Nelson, a bassist, wrote the exuberant song around 3am on a guitar during a Minnesota blizzard while on a tour bus passing the hours before he could call his wife back home. Such stories are typical of The Braxton Brothers’ inspirations. They describe their recordings as “photos that document our lives.” Nelson’s supple basslines and Wayne’s gregarious tenor and alto sax share euphonic, evocative tales of elated reunion (“Back In My Arms”); inner beauty vs. outer facades (“Beauty”); pursuing goals with faith (“Where I Wanna Be”); finding satisfaction in being loved (“Just To Be Loved”); the encouragement to look up when you’re down in a dark place (“What Would I Do”); and the comforting reassurance of having a loved one close and present (“I’ll Be Here”).    

The Braxton Brothers hitch their rich, indelible harmonies to funky R&B grooves, dynamic pop-rock rhythms, sensually soulful urban beats and breezy reggae vibes. Nelson, a longtime touring member of Michael Bolton’s band, flexes his dexterous multi-instrumental prowess on “Higher” via bass (rhythm and lead), keyboards, percussion, drum programming, electric and acoustic guitar. Wayne, who has a history of working with Sheila E., handles saxophones, drum programming and background vocals. Chris Camozzi, Errol Cooney, Kay-Ta Matsuno, Ryan Parrino and Andy Quinn spike the tracks with electric and acoustic guitar.
  
“Higher” is a return to the smooth and contemporary jazz sandbox The Braxton Brothers are best known for playing in. Their last such outing was 2004’s “Rollin’,” which cemented their presence as genre staples on radio playlists, national charts and concert stages. The duo that debuted with 1996’s “Steppin’ Out” explored a decidedly different path on their last offering, the jazzy acoustic R&B set “True Love” (2013). They are currently planning an album release concert celebration around their September birthday in San Diego where they are based. Along with designing a show they describe as “new level,” they’re lensing videos for selections from the new album.      

“Shooting videos allows us to share more about ourselves and allows people to connect with the music more deeply,” said Wayne Braxton. “After growing, maturing and preparing, we reconnect with our roots on ‘Higher.’ Our songs are about the melody, not just a vibe, and this album is full of fun, memorable melodies. A vital aspect of our music has always been about the ability to move and impact people, to touch them…touch their hearts. We are conduits for the music. It’s not for us to figure out the meaning of it. That’s up to each listener.  ‘Higher’ is about love on a higher level. Can we love on a higher level?”
  
The Braxton Brothers’ “Higher” contains the following songs:
“The Only Woman In The World”
“You Care About Me”
"Back In My Arms”
“Higher”
“Something In My Heart”
“Because Of You”
“A Stronger Love”
“Beauty”
“Where I Wanna Be”
“Just To Be Loved”
“What Would I Do”
“I’ll Be Here”

 





For more information, please visit https://www.thebraxtonbrothers.com.



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