Friday, March 30, 2012


Following on the heels of the first EP this takes the Afrolicious sound to another level of songwriting, production, and dance heavy beats. Focusing on more uptempo tracks like title track Pleasuretime, and Never Let No One each featuring vocalist Fresh is Life from Trinidad, the hybrid of Afro-Beat and Disco-House is emphasized on these tracks and reflect a hybrid that has been explored since the first days of the Afrolicious party. Revolution is a hard hitting breakbeat with Afro-Beat, Funk, and electronica all meeting on a sure fire dance floor banger. Written as a news broadcast set to a funk beat and reflecting the various global movements over the last year. Featuring Pleasuremaker on lead vocals, other strong vocals were cut by Rhonda, aka Red the Black Blond, Ziek McCarter, and Diamond all from the Afrolicious organization. Finally Yacouba Diarra makes a return appearance on Bade Malou, a more uptempo follow up to the ‘Dub For Mali’ title track on the debut Afrolicious release. The deep and meditative vibes meet a danceable beat and baseline, and psychedelic effects are juxtaposed against the Ngoni, an acoustic stringed instrument from Africa. Here we have West Africa meeting breakbeats, electronica, dub effects, and psychedelia.  Pleasuretime was produced by Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation, and co-produced by Pleasuremaker. The two bounce ideas off of each other betweeb their busy touring schedules and are also on track to finish the remainder of the full length album to be released later in the year! The connection of Rob Garza w- Afrolicious makes for some tasty productions that combine the best of organic and electronic elements, seamlessly brought together here in the mix by engineer Gianmaria Conti (Italy, Thievery Corporation live sound engineer).

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Big Round Records has announced the world premiere recording of Chick Corea's Marika Groove,  available on iTunes on April 3, 2012.

Marika Groove is a twelve-minute instrumental tour-de-force by Chick Corea written for virtuoso marimba soloist Mika Yoshida and Grammy®-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. Drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Eddie Gomez join Yoshida and Stoltzman to capture Corea's composition in a sprawling, ebullient track featuring finely-honed instrumental interplay, muscular rhythmic structures, and ceaselessly inventive melodies, which Yoshida delivers with her signature inspiration and aplomb. The track was recorded at Avatar Studios in New York NY, engineered by Jay Messina and produced by Gadd and Yoshika.

“Creating this composition for Mika Yoshida was a pure joy, " says composer Chick Corea. "Her only request to the composer was to have 'groove' be part of the composition. So groove we have – especially for the special premiere with the great Steve Gadd and virtuosic Eddie Gomez. And a special joy to also write for my old friend Richard Stoltzman – the rubato solo in the middle is written especially for him.”

“We are delighted to release and premiere such an outstanding and historic recording as this, ” says Big Round parent company PARMA Recordings CEO Bob Lord. “We have had a longstanding, fruitful musical relationship with Mika Yoshida and Richard Stoltzman, and this marks a new and significant chapter in our collaboration.”

Marika Groove will be available on iTunes on April 3rd, 2012, a day ahead of its April 4th premiere performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. This is the second release from Big Round Records featuring the Yoshida/Gadd/Gomez trio, following the highly acclaimed live DVD, Mika Marimba Madness.


I met my wife to Lionel Richie's "You Are," so he'll always hold a special place on my iPod. But his three decade post-Commodores solo career has also been, for me, the source of conflicting emotions. There's never been a question of his talent, only of his judgment. While Richie has provided an abundance of memorable tunes and moments of brilliance, he has too often taken a path of least resistance. Like a politician before a general election, Richie has always gravitated toward the middle, sanding down the edges of his music to find as broad an audience as possible at every moment. Consequently, while his early Commodores days were filled with a balance of soulful ballads and real funk, over time his sound smoothed out until it represented the mildest of popular music, with ersatz soul, ersatz funk and lots and lots of soft, harmless ballads.

So it was with much trepidation that I approached Richie's highly hyped new project, Tuskegee. It screamed "gimmick" in the worst sense of the word, with Richie remaking many of his biggest hits in duet formats with country music stars. But as with those cat and laughing baby videos on YouTube, despite my trepidation I felt compelled to check out Tuskegee, perhaps only to find out how much of a train wreck it would be. My surprising conclusion: Tuskegee is far better than it has any right to be and will likely be happily welcomed by Richie's sizeable international audience.

Tuskegee is "country" in the same way that Urkel is "cool" when he becomes Stefan Urkelle or the way my accountant uncle is a Hell's Angel when he rides a Harley. In other words, you simply add the trappings of that to which you aspire -- here, a steel pedal guitar and some close harmonies -- and declare victory. But despite the quintessential country touches, this album is as close to adult pop as anything Richie's done in his 40 year career. And, once you get past the pretense, that's nothing to apologize about. Lionel Richie has as keen a sense of melody as any popular composer of his generation and he is almost incapable of making music that is less than listenable, even if it is occasionally uninspired. And it is that upbeat sense of melody that makes Tuskegee generally a success.

Whenever an artist creates an album that remakes his prior hits, there is an unavoidable measuring stick that compares the new versions with popular original cuts, and that is where Tuskegee outperforms expectations. Modern production and instrumentation spices up much of the album, in some cases resulting in songs that actually surpass the originals: "Dancing On the Ceiling," Richie's jump-the-shark dance song of the mid-80s, gets a surprisingly enjoyable new life as an upbeat Southern rocker with the help of Rascal Flatts. Similarly, the mid-2000s cut "Just For You" is beefed up with the help of Billy Currington. And Richie's treacly breakout song from 1981, "Endless Love," is quite enjoyable with new duet partner Shania Twain and a more muscular arrangement. Richie apologists have been quick to point out that he had a several country-influenced songs in his discography, and a number of them are reprised here in relatively strong fashion, including "Stuck On You" (with Darius Rucker), "Deep River Woman" (with Little Big Town") and "Sail On" (with Tim McGraw) -- though only "Stuck On You" adds much to the original version.

As expected, some other songs on Tuskegee would have been better left alone. Richie's gentle "Hello" is the most obvious, with Richie and the overpowering Jennifer Nettles approaching the song so differently that they sound like they were on different planets when they recorded their parts (where's the blind sculpter girl when you need her?). Less perplexing but also less interesting are the remake of "Lady" with Kenny Rogers, the DOA "All Night Long" with Jimmy Buffett and a duet with Willie Nelson on "Easy" (complete with forlorn harmonica and mandolin) that can't seem to decide if it is a 70s pop number or the backing track from a Spaghetti Western.

Maybe its because I came in with low expectations, or maybe its because Lionel Richie is, in many ways, the ultimate audience-pleasing performer, but overall I found Tuskegee to be a pretty enjoyable listen. Richie is able to freshen a batch of long-cataloged songs with a 21st century sheen and an A-List of crossover country co-stars who are working hard and with no perceptable sense of irony. It still has a bit of a novelty feel, and I doubt we'll all be listening to a trifle like Tuskegee two years from now, but for today I'll settle for this batch of well produced, earnest performances of songs most of us grew up with. Recommended.

By Chris Rizik


The 25th anniversary of Graceland, Paul Simon's groundbreaking album that continues to influence and inspire generations, will be commemorated with musical and film celebrations stretching into the summer. Following its Sundance Film Festival premiere, the Joe Berlinger-directed documentary "Under African Skies," chronicling the creation and lasting influence of Graceland, will have its US television premiere on A&E this spring. The documentary has been garnering critical acclaim on the film festival circuit with screenings at SXSW 2012, where it received an Audience Award, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival. The film is slated for variety of screenings this spring and summer including showings at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Florida Film Festival and the RiverRun Film Festival. In May, "Under African Skies" will screen at the Seattle International Film Festival and Sundance UK as well as other festivals worldwide. The film will enjoy a limited theatrical engagement in New York and Los Angeles, beginning May 11th (check local listings for screening times).

To help commemorate the anniversary and celebrate the indelible musical legacy of Graceland, Legacy Recordings will be offering several 25th Anniversary versions of Paul Simon's Graceland available strarting on June 5th.

Special Graceland 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition Box Set – a 2 CD/2 DVD set which including the remastered original album, the "Under African Skies" documentary film extended interviews, the original 1987 "African Concert" from Zimbabwe, three original music videos and the iconic "Saturday Night Live" performance of "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes." The box set also features the audio narrative "The Story of Graceland as told by Paul Simon, replicas of an original Graceland poster and a handwritten lyrics pad, plus a deluxe 80-page book featuring new and archival photos and interviews with Paul Simon. The box set also includes a special short audio documentary of Simon discussing the making of the record.

The official Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD – an exclusive two disc set featuring the remastered original album with five bonus tracks and audio documentary, and "Under African Skies" film with bonus features, three original music videos and "Saturday Night Live" performance of "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes."

"Under African Skies" Blu-ray Disc – the feature documentary in state-of-the-art 5.1 sound with bonus extended interviews.

Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition Vinyl – This audiophile edition is remastered on 180-gram 12" vinyl and includes an art-quality collectible Graceland poster and a download card with the full album plus three bonus tracks. It will be available beginning Saturday, April 21 at independent retailers worldwide participating in Record Store Day.

An ultra-deluxe Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition Box Set package - The ultimate Graceland set includes the boxed set, the 180-gram 12" vinyl and a signed and numbered autographed commemorative poster--will be available direct-to-consumers during a limited time exclusive offer on the official Paul Simon website (

"Under African Skies" is the story of the making of Graceland, and the controversy created when Paul Simon went to South Africa to record with local artists, is told in "Under African Skies," the new full-length documentary from two-time Emmy, Peabody Award winner and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger.

Featuring interviews with key anti-apartheid activists of the time and such musical legends as Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney, David Byrne and Peter Gabriel, "Under African Skies" travels with Paul Simon back to South Africa, 25 years after his first visit, and recounts the making of the record, surveying from the vantage of history the turbulence and controversy surrounding the album's genesis. His artistic decision to collaborate with African musicians created a new world musical fusion, combining American and African musical idioms while igniting an intense political crossfire, with Paul Simon accused of breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.

The universal appeal of the music of Graceland proved more powerful and enduring than the political hotbed attending its creation. In 1986, the album sold 14 million copies worldwide, received universal praise from critics around the globe. Simon and the members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo performed on "Saturday Night Live" in what turned out to be a landmark moment in SNL history.

Graceland won "Album of the Year" at the Grammy Awards in 1987. Then, in an unprecedented carryover, the album garnered the Grammy for "Song of the Year" with its title track in 1988. The album generated three hit singles--including "You Can Call Me Al" and its iconic video with Chevy Chase--and kept Paul Simon and the Graceland tour on the road for five years. It continues to be a major force and a source of inspiration and joy for musicians and fans alike.


Emerging from her adopted hometown of San Francisco, Meklit erupted to national notice with the 2010 release of On a Day Like This…, combining “New York jazz with West Coast folk and African flourishes, all bound together by Hadero’s beguiling voice,” her full-length debut — which also garnered feature-stories on its maker from NPR, PBS, National Geographic and YouTube Music Pick in Sept. All have brought Meklit’s music to a whole new audience. A sheer joy to experience, this artist on the verge of worldwide stardom joins us tonight with her band featuring Darrell Green on drums, Darren Johnston on trumpet. A night of soulful world/folk/jazz and cocktails at lantern lit cabaret tables.

This singer/songwriter is not limited to what you hear on her first CD; Meklit Hadero is a TED Senior Fellow, and, as such, will be developing over the next 2 years an immense musical journey down several of the countries of the Nile Treaty in her Nile Project .

Constantly busy between touring, recording and planning the Nile Project, her gigs range from San Francisco’s classic rock club, The Independent, to a month-long artist residency at NYU while curating weekly shows at Lincoln Center's Atrium; she was a Bumberpick (along with Mavis Staples) at Bumbershoot in Sept. and in October she did a 5 day residency at the International Ringling Festival in Sarasota, FL (curated by Baryshnikov himself), and Misha liked her so much he insisted on presenting her at the Baryshnikov Performing Arts Center in NYC.

Meklit Hadero performs with special guest Quinn Deveaux, in Concert at the Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts at the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael on Thursday, May 3 @ 7:30pm.


Mississippi bred R&B/Pop singer-songwriter Aretha Henry-Jones has released "Captive", the first single from her upcoming sophomore album. The album is expected to be released in December.

Aretha Henry-Jones first arrived on the scene in 2008 when she began releasing singles from her debut album Beautiful which officially released in 2010. With the help of a wide spread and adoring fan base, she has built an enviable web presence as an unsigned artist.

Her latest single "Captive" further shows that Aretha Henry-Jones is the real deal. Fan reactions have all been positive:

"Beautiful voice…Lyrical and Dreamy."

"This is amazing…Love the smooth sound"

" Just amazing"

"So gorgeous…You have a special gift.."

Aretha describes on her blog what influenced "Captive" :
"At the beginning of this year, I was prepared to take a break from music since I've been hard at it since '08. I had said at the end of 2011 that I was gonna take some time for myself. Every part of my body said that I needed a break, and I was set to do just that.

It was the strangest thing, because all of a sudden, I got the biggest surge of energy, and all I wanted to do was make more music. So I asked myself, how do I slow down when I want to run?...Well, I did slow down (for about a week), but music was heavy on my mind. That's where "Captive" came from.

Music has always held me captive. No matter what, ups or downs... music has been a constant part of my life. Music is the only thing that I've never been able to run away from."

Listen to "Captive" and other music from Aretha Henry-Jones here:


On the heels of a standing room only album-release show held at Portland's premier jazz club Jimmy Mak's, Naomi LaViolette has released her self-titled debut album. The album finds an acoustic niche between the worlds of folk singer-songwriter and jazz soulstress with ten original songs and fresh arrangements of George Gershwin's "Our Love Is Here to Stay" and Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now".

Compared to Sarah McLachlan, LaViolette skillfully weaves her training in classical piano performance and jazz standards with a variety of folk, soul, pop and gospel creating a musical vibe that is both vintage and current. She tells stories of falling in love, and staying in love, while striking a distinctive balance between heartbreak, soul-searching and hope.

Produced and engineered by Dean Baskerville (Sheryl Crow, Everclear, Pink Martini), LaViolette fronts the album at the piano with lead and background vocals, synth creations and harmonica. Featured musicians include esteemed guitarist Tim Ellis (Craig Carothers, Aaron Meyer, Michael Allen Harrison), bassist Bill Athens (Nancy King, Mary Kadderly, Trio SubTonic) and drummer Jeramy Burchett (Dirt Poor Robins, 5 O'Clock People). Recording sessions were held at Kung Fu Bakery and Dead Aunt Thelma's recording studios.

In addition to releasing her debut album, LaViolette recently performed her inaugural gig (Feb 24) at Portland's 9th annual Jazz Festival. PDX Jazz Fest Managing Director Don Lucoff discovered LaViolette as she performed at Portland’s Heathman Hotel and an invitation immediately followed.

Pianist, singer-songwriter LaViolette is a Portland, Oregon native and earned a master's degree in classical piano performance from Portland State University. She studied with Portland jazz greats including Randy Porter and Darrel Grant. LaViolette also performs in the classical music scene, as the accompanist for the Oregon Repertory Singers since 2004 and as a chamber musician in Classical Revolution PDX and the Fleur-De-Lis Piano Trio.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Singer and songwriter Joan Osborne is no stranger to covering vintage soul, R&B, and blues. She did so on 2002's How Sweet It Is and 2007's Breakfast in Bed, and in the documentary film Standing in the Shadows of Motown. Osborne has also flexed her muscles as a producer for the Holmes Brothers, capturing their live vibe better than anyone else.

For Bring It On Home, Osborne once more digs into the soul, blues, and R&B wellspring. Co-producing with Jack Petruzzelli and using her road band, a horn section, and guests, she turns in the rawest, most kinetic moment in her recording career thus far. The choice of material is stellar, beginning with Ashford & Simpson's Ray Charles' vehicle "I Don't Need No Doctor."

She gets deeply into its grain, with drummer Aaron Comess just popping the groove, and the Holmes Brothers on backing vocals. Jimmy Vivino's horn chart is clean and forceful. The title track, defined by Sonny Boy Williamson, is given a sultry reading.

Osborne's restraint is airy but defined; the listener can feel the tension smoldering underneath. Barbecue Bob Pomeroy's harmonica is a brilliant counterpart, letting loose some steam from what's roiling underneath her vocal. The choice of the obscure "Roll Like a Big Wheel," by blues drummer and vocalist Olive Brown is a burning R&B shouter, with smokin' harmonica and horns; Osborne's voice rises above the fray and locks the groove in tight. Ike Turner's "Game of Love" -- written specifically for Tina -- is a grimy, funky, nasty, strutting feminist anthem in Osborne's version; its meaning (and irony) never more clear.

Her transformation of John Mayall's "Broken Wing" is nothing short of a revelation. Allen Toussaint's '70s-era funky reggae "Shoorah! Shoorah!" features him on piano and is a delightful curveball. Osborne's cover of Slim Harpo's "Shake Your Hips" comes from the blues more than the rock & roll of the Rolling Stones' version and it's righteous. She burns on Muddy Waters' "I Want to Be Loved," which is more demand than request. Her versions Bill Withers' "Same Love That Made Me Laugh" is raucous yet peels back the layers in its meaning. Her understated reading of Otis Redding's "Champagne and Wine" is gorgeous, with a distorted slide guitar bearing witness to the many subtle nuances in Osborne's vocal that make plain the desire in the lyric. Ultimately, there isn't a performance here that isn't drenched with passion and a true stylist's sense of invention.

This isn't a reverential recording; it's authoritative; she makes these songs her own. Bring It On Home carries Osborne's mature voice in way that's never been heard on her studio recordings, making it stand head and shoulders above them. Her abilities as a song stylist and interpretive singer prove she is an extension of these traditions, not merely a torch bearer for them.

Thom Jurek (

Joan Osborne - Bring It On Home tracklisting:
1. I Don't Need No Doctor - 3:20
2. Bring It On Home - 4:07
3. Roll Like A Big Wheel - 2:50
4. Game Of Love - 3:16
5. Broken Wings - 4:38
6. Shoorah! Shoorah! - 2:52
7. I Want To Be Loved - 3:35
8. The Same Love That Made Me Laugh - 4:25
9. Shake Your Hips - 3:28
10. I'm Qualified - 3:15
11. Champagne And Wine - 3:41
12. Rhymes - 4:43
13. One Of Us - 2:34

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Ron Tyson has been a staple in R&B for more than 40 years, both as a vocalist and songwriter. Ron first came on the scene with Love Committee (formerly the Ethics) and later with as the lead tenor/falsetto for the iconic Temptations, making his first appearance with the group on the Motown 25th Anniversary television show in 1983. Since he began his stint with the Temps, Ron has enjoyed the third longest tenure of any member in the group, behind founding members Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin.

Ron takes a bit of that Temptations experience and flavor and adds it to the mix with his new album, Recipe 4 Love. The Philadelphia-born, Monroe, North Carolina-raised Tyson has created an adult contemporary album that’s infused with elements of 90’s Hip Hop-influenced R&B to give it a youthful adult appeal. Recipe 4 Love also brings in a strong 80’s retro vibe . The album is ripe with great lyrics from Ron and various writers, and in all honesty, the man can still blow.

Tyson has written for a number of great artists such as the O’Jays, Archie Bell & the Drells, Eddie Kendricks, the Dells, the Four Tops and Gloria Gaynor. With Recipe 4 Love, Ron Tyson brings back a time when men expressed both their machismo and vulnerability in their music, and he uses the romance element sorely missing in today’s R&B that will make past great music lover men proud. But the real treasure of Recipe 4 Love is the storytelling, which is fast becoming a lost art in today’s music world.

Musically, the production of Recipe 4 Love relied a bit heavily on electronic keyboards, with an unfortunate shortage of standout live instrumentation . But the producers were able to capture the essence, vibe and mood of what Tyson was looking to convey with the album, and it comes thru with each song, whether dance, mid-tempo, or slow ballad. Tyson gives you all three speeds, including a beautiful, tell-it-like it is duet with soul legend Freda Payne on “Before the Hurting Starts”.

Recipe 4 Love is a steady blend of old soul/R&B with New Jack sensibilities, and it works. The top-notch writing appeals to the experiences of the adult contemporary listener, and the vocals reel you into Ron Tyson’s web of the ups and downs of love and romance. That’s all you can ask for from an artist of Tyson’s measure, and somehow, I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll be hearing some of the dance tracks at a grown folks’ party in the near future. Highly Recommended.

By Gabriel Rich


Before Heatwave hit it big in the United States with their debut album Too Hot to Handle, they had a large following in Europe. The band was especially popular in Germany. By the mid 1970s, Heatwave was following a well-worn path to Germany that had been blazed by acts such as The Beatles. So it’s clear that German music lovers have an ear and affinity for soul, rock and other musical styles made in America. German artists have also spent considerable amount of time listening, watching and woodshedding, as is evidenced by the latest release by Jeff Cascaro, who has just released his third soul album, The Other Man.

Cascaro’s musical history should not be too surprising considering the absolute love that many Europeans have for soul, blues and jazz music. Cascaro is a trumpeter who has played with the top German bands and with American legends such as Joe Sample. He developed a love for the blues when he was 14-years old. That Cascaro is currently 43 underscores the fact that he was digging the blues at a time when his American counterparts were actively rejecting the music. From the blues and jazz Cascaro made the transition to soul and R&B music.

Vocally, Cascaro is especially suited to sing soul music. He sports a smooth but muscular tenor that effortlessly soars into falsetto range, as displayed on the ballad “You.” That tune is reminiscent of the work that Leon Ware did on his 2008 release Moon Ride. Tracks such as “Swing Thing” and “Beale Street” honor the important role that blues and jazz take in Cascaro’s life. Cascaro displays a musicologist’s command of jazz history, as he calls out some of the greats in jazz history on “Swing Thing.” The number also reveals that while Cascaro does a lot of singing, he retains his instrumentalist sensibilities. “Swing Thing” showcases Cascaro’s horn playing, and also provides ample room for his sidemen to improvise.

It’s clear that Cascaro finds being so far removed from soul music’s epicenter somewhat liberating. He neither faces the prospect of being forced to update his sound in order to be heard among the din of singers screeching to gain the attention of the youth orientated artists, Nor does he have to wander through the wilderness – a musical prophet without honor – because he adheres to the ideal of pure soul music. That’s often the fate of American soul singers, which is why so many of them seek and find critical and commercial success in Europe. Nope, Cascaro has the freedom to put his entire heart and soul into singing southern soul numbers such as the title track and “Going Home,” or he can drop a hot buttered soul track such as the flute infused “Give it To Me,” or even include jazzy numbers such as the pensive “The Girl Who Got Away.” These diverse cuts all add up to a cohesive whole on The Other Man, and Cascaro’s American listeners will not have to be worry about anything being lost in translation. Highly Recommended

By Howard Dukes


Carlos Santana’s latest album, Shape Shifter, has just been announced and is set for release on May 15th! Santana is also gearing up to open at the House of Blues May 2nd, and coming soon is a Special Summer East Coast Tour announcement.

Shape Shifter is Carlos Santana's 36th album and is a 13-song instrumental, tour de force, featuring tracks spanning from the late 1990’s to the present and comprises mostly original compositions that have been stashed away for such an instrumental project.

With each track selected and sequenced by Carlos, Shape Shifter is a journey through soaring Santana leads, driving beats and beautifully crafted melodies that have made Santana a household name. Consistent throughout the project is the world-class musicianship of the Santana Band members, who bring vitality and heart to every note. Band members include Benny Rietveld, Dennis Chambers, Raul Rekow, Karl Perazzo, Tony Lindsay, Andy Vargas along with Chester Thompson and special guest Salvador Santana.

Carlos dedicated the album to Native American Indians. He says, “I encourage any and all countries (that have not as yet done so) to acknowledge the first people of their land, and make this a collective global effort.”

Beginning May 2nd, Carlos is returning to Las Vegas for a two-year run of a unique residency at the House of Blues Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. An Intimate Evening with Santana offers you the ability to see Santana and his Greatest Hits Live show in the intimate 1300 seat environment of the House of Blues Mandalay Bay.

May 2,4,5 & 6
May 9,11, 12 & 13
May 23, 25, 26 & 27
May 30, June 1, 2, & 3
Sept 12, 13 & 15
Sept 21, 22 & 23
Oct 31, Nov 2, 3 & 4
Nov 7, 9, 10 & 11

Santana Shape Shifter tracklisting:
1. Shape Shifter
2. Dom
3. Nomad
4. Metatron
5. Angelica Faith
6. Never The Same Again
7. In The Light Of A New Day
8. Spark Of The Divine
8. Macumba in Budapest
10. Mr. Szabo
11. Eres La Luz
12. Canela
13. Ah, Sweet Dancer


Macy Gray, newly signed with 429 Records, is ready for the release of her stunning new album Covered - a collection of all new recordings of handpicked songs she's chosen to reinterpret in her own inimitable fashion. With a buzz kicked off by an announcement in Billboard and Rolling Stone, Macy is already confirmed to appear on prime media outlets including Howard Stern, Conan, Late Show with David Letterman, Tavis Smiley and more. Produced by Hal Willner (Lou Reed, Metallica), Zoux and Macy Gray Covered tackles material largely drawn from indie rock songs from the last decade - interpretations her fans will be familiar with as she's been performing them live over the years.

The album contains biting, dark signature tracks such as Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" or My Chemical Romance's "Teenagers" which Gray subversively overhauls into something wholly her own. Also included are short skits featuring J.B. Smoove, Nicole Scherzinger and a guest appearance by Idris Elba. The first single "Sail" was #1 Most Added at AC radio for the 3rd week in a row with 5 more add. Covered will be released worldwide on 429 Records Today with a special iTunes edition available which contains exclusive remixes of "Sail" and "Here Comes The Rain Again." In addition, Macy is on the verge of announcing a worldwide tour and has just completed the first video from the project. Helmed by famed director Robert DeVico (Pink, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott), the wildly colorful, party-inspired video for "Smoke Two Joints" premiered on both Perez and Aol in the first week.

Says Colbie Caillat: "I am honored Macy Gray is covering my song "Bubbly." I have always loved her voice and her music. Listening to her beautiful version makes me smile."

Since her dazzling debut introduced this singular talent to the masses, Macy has forged an uncompromising musical path beholden to her own vision and garnering accolades at every juncture. With Covered Macy has turned the cover album concept on its ear choosing edgy contemporary choices and approaching them in an innovative and uncompromising way. Not surprising considering she's spent her career defying expectations and stretching musical boundaries.

Covered Track Listing:
1. Here Comes The Rain Again (Eurythmics)
2. Creep (Radiohead)
3. You Want Them Nervous (skit featuring J.B. Smoove)
4. Smoke 2 Joints (The Toyes)
5. La La La (Teaching The Kids) (featuring Layann Al Saud, Avery Albert, Happy Hinds & Siena Stelber)
6. Teenagers (My Chemical Romance)
7. The Power of Love (featuring Hugh Salk)
8. Nothing Else Matters (Metallica)
9. Sail (AWOL Nation)
10. I Try Is Cool And All But…(skit featuring Nicole Scherzinger)
11. Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
12. Love Lockdown/Buck (Kanye West/Nina Simone)
13. Mel Rap (featuring Mel Hinds)
14. Bubbly (featuring Idris Elba) (Colbie Caillat)
15. Wake Up (Arcade Fire)
16. Really? (skit featuring MC Lyte)


A powerful new album from the UK’s favourite soul/funk/jazz band, with the addition of outstanding new male vocalist Mo Brandis and established UK jazz singer Natalie Williams, who join Maysa and Vanessa Haynes. A fresh sounding Incognito reflecting the energy of their live shows. Surreal is full of beautiful songs delivered over a bed of fluid bass lines and irresistible drum grooves - Incognito at their creative best, with the addition of two vocal newcomers - soulful 26-year-old Mo Brandis and an established favourite on the UK jazz scene Natalie Williams. Mo Brandis makes a big impact with the lead single, the hooky “Goodbye To Yesterday” and “ Don’t Wanna Know”, while Natalie is outstanding on the sultry “Above The Night”. And long-time band favourite Maysa kicks the album off with “The Less You Know”, under-pinned by a driving bass groove. The album has only one cover song, vocalled by Vanessa Haynes in Loleatta Holloway-esque style - a little-known 1976 disco tune “Ain’t It Time”. The Incognito faithful will be happy with the familiar trademark instrumentals, and another stunning Maysa performance on the mid-tempo “Capricorn Sun”. The band will be playing extensive live dates around the UK and Europe in support of the album, with a London date set for May 25.
1. The Less You Know 
2. Goodbye To Yesterday
3. Above The Night
4. Ain't It Time
5. Capricorn Sun
6. Don't Wanna Know
7. Restless As We Are
8. Rivers On The Sun
9. Don't Break Me Down
10. The Stars From Here
11. To Be With You
12. This Must Be Love
13. The Way You Love
14. Thoughtful Fantasies

Simply Soul

Monday, March 26, 2012


Trinidadian jazz guitarist Clifford Charles was influenced by the best guitarists in the business, such as George Benson, Norman Brown, Ronald "Boo" Hinkson, Lee Ritenour and Earl Klugh. After celebrating two decades as a performer, Charles is excited about his new CD Songs From Deep Within released early 2012. At the age of fourteen he was privileged to be tutored by Ken Archer and Orasio Lewis and moved onto studying with Keith Christmas, Jeffery Smith and classical guitar with Anthony Williams at the Music College .

For Clifford, jazz is the musical expression that brings the greatest satisfaction to both artist and audience when he commands a stage. His musical journey on the circuit sharpened Clifford’s fiery, yet free-flowing style on the guitar. Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian and Trinidad’s Fitzroy Coleman are also among his influences, he credits Jim Phillips (pannist), for introducing him to the soulful grooves of George Benson.

"The whole creative process for this CD came from a great feeling that I had within myself based on all the positives that surrounded me" says Clifford. "The goal of this new project is that it brings wider acceptance among the international jazz community which includes jazz radio, jazz festivals in the USA and Europe, jazz fans, jazz promoters, distribution and a possible record deal".

Clifford has shared the stage with vocalist Randy Crawford, pianist Joe Sample and the classic group 'The Drifters' as well as performed on flagship music festivals such as 'Jazz Artist On The Greens', 'We Beat Jazz', 'Jazz Point', 'Tobago Jazz Festival'.

Charles's new CD entitled Songs From Deep Within is a self-produced product. Clifford says "the creative process for this CD came from a good feeling that I had from within based on all the positives that surrounded me". So what can Caribbean and international music audiences expect from Clifford Charles? Nothing less than a tapestry of smooth jazz expression, created from the very soul of the artiste! Whenever you ask what's his passion, Charles declares: "it's music or nothing." This definitely shows as scores of fans of his home-grown brand of silky smooth jazz music set to take on the world.


Smooth Jazz blowing gently in the coastal breezes is just one unique feature at one of the nation’s fastest growing “destination music festivals” on the Gulf Coast. Panama City Beach and the coastal Florida communities will come alive April 18th-22nd for the 14th annual 2012 Seabreeze Jazz Festival® . The weekend has become an annual celebration for jazz-minded adults where the allure of great beaches, exciting shopping, world-class restaurants, even a plethora of activities like golf and fishing all combine for a true vacation getaway. The event has attracted attendees from 48 of the 50 U.S. states and over six countries, plus was named “Top 10 Jazz Festival in the USA” by JazzIZ Magazine.

Smooth Jazz fans have a unique and intimate connection to the festival’s music and core artists base –very much different that other festivals around the nation. The “smooth jazz lifestyle” is the secret to the success of The Seabreeze Jazz Festival – where the R & B based smooth contemporary jazz literally creates a synergy for the whole weekend. The licks of the funky bass lines and pop-friendly musical hooks keep the crowds moving to the beat….almost like the swaying of the palm trees around the beautiful Pier Park Amphitheater on the west end of Panama City Beach. Smooth jazz is the epitome of “The Good Life” – laid back yet upscale at the same time, relaxing and familiar as a pair of your most comfortable beach sandals. It’s this uniqueness that appeals to a truly upscale college-educated professional adult demographic, primarily 30-55 year old adults with high amounts of discretionary income.

The event hosts close to 25,000 for the weekend, with a large percentage of fans traveling hundreds if not thousands of miles away to attend. 70% of the festival’s tickets are sold outside the State of Florida, making it a true destination festival. The impact to the Panama City Beach community in 2011 was close to $14.2 million. The alluring appeal of Pier Park and the new resort-style architecture along with west end of Panama City Beach beckons even the most cosmopolitan city-dweller to join in on the fun.

The successful melding appeal of Pier Park with the Seabreeze Jazz Festival on site is all about “ complimenting distractions”. Pier Park (a Simon Mall property) sports over 150 retail stores, a 16-screen stadium-seating cinema, numerous eateries, nightclubs, even a small amusement park to pacify all of the family’s pastimes, while the parents enjoy the live smooth jazz entertainment from the nation’s top jazz artists. The newly completed City Pier across the street from the festival stage and miles of white-sand beaches and emerald-green waters also provides a nearby escape from the live entertainment. That is if you muster up enough to pull away from the star-studded contemporary jazz lineup

Artist to perform include Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson, Fourplay, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Down To The Bone, Phil Perry, Nick Colionne, Mindi Abair, Four 80 East, Maysa, Jeff Golub, Cindy Bradley, Jeff Lorber, David Pack, Eric Darius Alexander Zonjic, Brian Simpson, Althea Rene', Shilts, Urban Jazz Coalition, Karen Briggs, Matt Marshak, Gail Jhonson, Mariea Antoinette, Vincent Ingala, Chris Geith, and Street Corner Renaissance.

Saxophonist Dave Koz – Grammy-nominated and one of the format’s top hit-making performers, makes his second appearance at the Sebareeze Jazz Festival, his first back in 2008. Known for his commercial success and as a pioneer in the smooth jazz format, Dave Koz has been one of the top selling and top charting artists in the contemporary jazz genre since the format began in the 1980’s.

In a career that spans twenty years and a dozen albums, saxophonist Dave Koz has established himself as one of the most prominent figures in contemporary music. His current CD Hello Tomorrow, debuted at No. 1 on both Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and iTunes’ Jazz Album chart and was named the “Best Smooth Jazz Album of 2010” by iTunes. Hailed as “an event record” by The New York Times, it has already yielded two No. 1 singles: “Put The Top Down,” which spent 18 weeks at No. 1 on the Mediabase Smooth A/C chart (the longest stint at No. 1 of any of Koz’s chart-topping hits) and “Anything’s Possible.”

Produced by Grammy winners John Burk and Marcus Miller (who also appears on most tracks), the album features a diverse army of high-profile guests: Herb Alpert, Jonathan Butler, Brian Culbertson, Sheila E., Boney James, Jeff Lorber, Keb’ Mo’, Ray Parker, Jr., Lee Ritenour, Christian Scott and others. Each of the thirteen tracks – most of them written by Koz and his collaborators, others penned by friends and legends – focuses on being open to new beginnings, and trusting that the future is unfolding in all the right ways for all the right reasons.

More than most instrumental music, The Seabreeze Jazz Festival® lineup reflects the diversity of vocal acts with high energy instrumental performances. Included for 2012 is R & B/smooth jazz favorites Brian Culbertson, Fourplay, U.K. based-band Down to the Bone, Phil Perry and Maysa, along with singer/songwriter David Pack known for his Top 40/Pop hits with the band Ambrosia. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue make their first appearance at the event, though a well-known top act headlining the New Orleans Heritage and Jazz Fest. And more women than ever are represented on the festival stage in 2012 with the addition of "Jazz In Pink" -- an all-ladies jazz ensemble featuring trumpeter Cindy Bradley, flutist Althea Rene', jazz violinist Karen Briggs, keyboardist Gail Jhonson, and even a jazz harpist (Maria Antoniette).


Patti LaBelle
CENTRIC Television (a part of BET Networks, a division of Viacom) joins the incredible array of R&B superstars scheduled to set sail on the first-ever Soul Train Cruise as the network is named an official media partner. Home to the Soul Train Awards and the legendary weekly Soul Train series, CENTRIC will helps steer the iconic show in new and exciting destinations including extensive cruise promotions on the network, onboard events and co-branding opportunities. The love, peace and Soul Train travels from the tracks of your memories to the sea your soul on its maiden voyage from Ft. Lauderdale, FL on February 17th, 2013 with intimate concerts and round-the-clock activities featuring Patti LaBelle, The O'Jays, Kool & the Gang, Jeffrey Osborne, WAR, The Spinners, Jody Watley, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes, Russell Thompkins, Jr. & The New Stylistics, Cuba Gooding, Sr. and the Main Ingredient, Gerald Alston of The Manhattans, George Duke, comedian Alonzo Bodden and many more will be onboard. Special early reservation rates are now available through April 30th, 2012.

"CENTRIC is the current home for both Soul Train's past and present and there is no more perfect partner to help us carry the legacy of this amazing brand forward with the new cruise," said Michael Mitchell, Vice President of Strategic Marketing, Partnerships, Cruises and Live Entertainment for Time Life. "Both companies have worked with Don Cornelius over the years and share a deep sense of loss and tremendous gratitude for all he has done," he added. "Soul Train was – and continues to be – a weekly party bringing the best in music and entertainment to American homes," stated Paxton Baker, CENTRIC's General Manager and Executive Vice President. "We are honored to be a part of this new venture. It is with heavy hearts that we will make this journey without Don Cornelius, but will uphold his legacy through CENTRIC's programming and continued support of the Soul Train brand." Plans are currently underway for a very special event during the voyage to honor Don Cornelius. Further details will be released in the coming weeks.

The O'Jays
 "Don Cornelius was simply a genius and the contributions he made to music and our culture are second to none," said Soul Train Cruise performer Patti LaBelle, who was a frequent guest on the television show. "I can think of no better way to honor the memory of Don Cornelius and show the impact of the legacy he leaves behind," added Eddie Levert, who will be performing with The O'Jays, "and we're going to do him proud."

After departing Ft. Lauderdale on February 17th, 2013, the ship will travel to Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay before returning on February 24th. Throughout the journey, guests will be treated to concerts, meet and greets with the performers, parties, special events and games as well as world class dining all on the Holland America's MS Westerdam, an internationally recognized luxury cruise ship with more than two-thirds of the cabins featuring verandas with breathtaking views.

Reservations for cabins on this cruise may be made now by visiting (toll free) (855) SOUL TRAIN (855-768-5872). Early Reservation cabin rates start at $1,800 per person and include all meals, concerts, entertainment and onboard activities.

The largest private music charter company in the world, St. Louis, Missouri-based Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC (Jazz Cruises) owns, produces and promotes The Smooth Jazz Cruise: The Greatest Party At Sea ( and The Jazz Cruise (, and is proud to work with Direct Holdings -Americas, Inc. for The Malt Shop Memories Cruise ( and The Soul Train Cruise ( Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC prides itself on providing first-class musical vacation experiences featuring marquee stars from their respective genres for loyal passengers, many of whom make the cruises an annual affair. With its current slate of excursions, Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC (Jazz Cruises) will have produced 35 full-ship charter cruises. Additional information is available at

CENTRIC is a 24-hour music and entertainment channel that reflects the lifestyle and sophistication of today's African-American and multicultural adult viewer. With a finger on the pulse of an ever-changing beat, its compelling music content fuses Soul, R&B, Neo-Soul, Hip Hop, Reggae, Gospel, Jazz, Old School, New School and everything in between with today's hottest artists. It is a unique of mix of music, culture and lifestyle programming that embodies the lives, tastes and aspirations of the CENTRIC viewer: All you. All day. All night.


Hailed as "the best concert of the year" by the Baltimore Sun, Sade will release their live DVD/CD and Blu-ray for, Bring Me Home – Live 2011 on May 22nd. In 2011, after a 10 year hiatus, Sade returned to the U.S. for a 54-date tour in support of the platinum selling album Soldier Of Love (Epic Records), which became one of last year's top 10 grossing tours. The tour, directed by the renowned Sophie Muller, will now be available on DVD/CD, featuring 22 of Sade's biggest hits performed live on the visually stunning stage which was nominated by Pollstar for "Most Creative Stage Production" and "2011 Major Tour of the Year Award." Sade also grants fans a rare, all access look behind-the-scenes with a 20-minute documentary film shot by Sophie Muller, as well as a technical documentary by Stuart Matthewman, and outtakes from the crew. Fans and critics alike have hailed the show for its intimate vibe, eye-catching production, and dazzling imagery, making this DVD/CD a 'must-have' for the ultimate Sade fan.

"For two hours, Sade led the near-capacity crowd through a show that was life-affirming."
- The Washington Post

"Just like Adu's singing style, the two-hour performance was a model of economy and grace."
– The Boston Globe

"Sade immediately captivated – and for two hours she never let the audience out of her seductive grip."
- Atlanta Journal Constitution

"If a decade is required to conceive and craft a concert as smart and stylish as Sade's, so be it."
– The Times-Picayune

"Very few bands have the luxury of popping their heads above ground after such a lengthy hiatus to find they're still burning just as bright. Sade seem to be the exception."
– The Vancouver Sun

"It was Sade Adu who ruled the day turning a stadium of 90,000 into an intimate little nightclub in broad daylight, bring the crowd to an absolute hush with 'Is It A Crime.'"
– The Arizona Republic

Live DVD Tracklisting:
1. Soldier Of Love
2. Your Love Is King
3. Skin
4. Kiss Of Life
5. Love Is Found
6. In Another Time
7. Smooth Operator
8. Jezebel
9. Bring Me Home
10. Is It A Crime
11. Love Is Stronger Than Pride
12. Al About Our Love
13. Paradise
14. Nothing Can Come Between Us
15. Morning Bird
16. King Of Sorrow
17. The Sweetest Taboo
18. The Moon And The Sky
19. Pearls
20. No Ordinary Love
21. By Your Side
22. Cherish The Day

Live CD Tracklisting:
1. Soldier Of Love
2. Skin
3. Kiss Of Life
4. Love Is Found
5. In Another Time
6. Jezebel
7. Al About Our Love
8. Paradise/Nothing Can Come Between Us
9. Morning Bird
10. The Moon And The Sky
11. No Ordinary Love
12. By You Side
13. Cherish the Day

Throughout their twenty-eight year career, Sade have enjoyed phenomenal success both internationally and stateside. Since the release of their debut album, Diamond Life in 1984, the band have seen all six of their studio albums land in the Top 10 on Billboard's Top 200 Album Chart, selling more than 55 million albums worldwide to date. They've been nominated for American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards won a Brit Award for Best Album for Diamond Life, and four Grammy Awards – first in 1986 for Best New Artist, then in 1994 for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group for "No Ordinary Love", Best Pop Vocal Album with Lovers Rock in 2002, and again for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group in 2010 for "Soldier of Love".

Source: Epic Records

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Using a samba rhythm and her velvety voice, internationally renowned Brazilian star Fabiana Passoni puts a unique flair on her remake of Minnie Riperton's Billboard Hot 100 #1 1975 hit, "Lovin' You." Marking her first single in English (released through Wilbur Music), "Lovin' You" is being heard on jazz and adult contemporary radio stations across the U.S. in top DMAs and everywhere in between, as well as across the globe. Release of her single coincides with her recognition as Best Brazilian female singer living outside Brazil in the U.S. by the 2012 Brazilian International Press Awards being held in Ft. Lauderdale, marking her official comeback to the music scene following a three-year battle with breast cancer and the birth of triplets.

Fabiana's strong desire to add more songs in English to her performances, coupled with multiple requests by her American fans led Kleber Jorge, her legendary guitarist, to suggest "Lovin' You" as her first English-language single. Working closely with her band members, the song evolved into a light samba with an infusion of percussion, Fabiana's trademark musical style. Initially slated as a precursor to her next CD project, Fabiana decided to release "Lovin' You" as a single and plans to complete a full album in late 2012/early 2013.

Fabiana shares a kindred spirit with Riperton who experienced a similar battle with breast cancer but sadly succumbed to the illness at the young age of 31. The song was chosen as a cover long before Fabiana learned of Riperton's affliction of the same disease. That heartfelt bond greatly influenced Fabiana's interpretation of this classic hit. Riperton, mother of actress Maya Rudolph, used the song while she battled breast cancer as a way to comfort her daughter. Fittingly, Fabiana also comforts her triplets with her own version of "Lovin' You" much to their delight.

Chosen by the Brazilian International Press Awards' 2012 Colégio Eleitoral composed of U.S. based Brazilian groups and community organizations as best Brazilian Female Singer living in the U.S. confirms Fabiana's ability to connect her fans to her music. Her battle with breast cancer put her on a journey not only of survival but also to a deeper discovery of her own personal musical style. Fabiana's dreams never faltered and her joyful spirit propelled her rebounding success. In 2011 she released the acclaimed Naturalmente Brasil featuring 12 original tracks. Her interpretations are passionate, sensual and exciting. Her live performances are a celebration of Brazilian soul and culture -- rich in percussion and expression with a relentless zeal for life.

Friday, March 23, 2012


The group Deep Jazz recorded its second album in a new exciting nonet formation. Leader and bassplayer Jerker Kluge wrote nine completely new compositions for the group, chose two classics of the genre for a new interpretation and arranged the material for the new exceptional and very special line-up.

Very special indeed are the two voice vocals, performed by singer Julia Fehenberger and pianist/vocalist Andrea Hermenau, the horn section (flute/alto, tenor and bass-clarinet) as well as the concert harp, an instrument seldom used in jazz, that adds a really special flavour to the recording. Together with the rhythm section and additional percussion the band features a unique line-up.

The musical core is the spiritual and modal jazz from the golden era of jazz in the 1960s, but of course Kluge´s own musical ideas and influences are added, creating a very special musical cosmos, that is additionally spiced by the individual talents of the involved musicians.

"I´m really excited to be featured on the Jazz Network Worldwide and I hope that my music can find a way to music lovers worldwide! I appreciate your listening and your feedback!" states Jerker Kluge.

The group offers the highly praised track 'Little Sunflower' (written by Freddie Hubbard / Leon Thomas) as a free download on their website

The first album Heaven & Earth (Perfect Toy 2009) was played in radio stations around the world and celebrated by jazz fans and critics everywhere: "These guys really blew us away with their debut, and we're loving them even more this time around and can honestly say that they're one of the few contemporary combos to ever get our favorite sounds of the 70's just right, that magical music that came out on labels like Strata East and other small indies of the time, that post Coltrane generation when musicians really stretched their skills to the heavens in search of new sounds!" says a review from

Jerker Kluge is well known in the international jazz scene for a long time with his other distinct projects as 'The Hi-Fly Orchestra', 'Hipnosis' or 'Bad Jazz Troupe'.

He is one of the few bass players in the tradition of Charles Mingus, who see their own role not only as a supporting player but as a composer and innovator with a strong, unique voice.

He is influenced by artists like John and Alice Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Roland Kirk, Grachan Moncur, Sam Rivers, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Pharoah Sanders, Eric Dolphy and McCoy Tyner.

The Meeting is the amazing second album from Deep Jazz – and every bit as spiritual and soulful as the first. The arrangements, production, and execution are wonderful!"
Smooth and Jazz Radio

The CD is featured on The Jazz Network Worldwide March 19-25, 2012. Be sure to stop by and enjoy the music of Deep Jazz at

To contact and to learn more about Deep Jazz go to


Not since the days of Miles Davis have we seen a more daring and musically innovative jazz musician. With a prominent gospel background and strong roots in hip hop and R&B, the vast amount of edgy and experimental flavor found in Kevin Hayden’s music should come to no surprise.

Kevin Hayden, nationally recognized jazz drummer, producer, arranger and composer, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has been a major force behind the Milwaukee jazz scene since his move to the city in 2002. Having accompanied some of Milwaukee’s most notable music acts to include Street Life, the Evan Christian Quartet, Christopher’s Project, and the Static Chicken, Kevin has emerged as one of the most exciting and skillful drummers to witness in performance.

Five music projects released under his own name are proof that he doesn’t just work in the background as a drummer. His latest iTunes release, Paris, the trio’s sophomore project, is a true testament of his skills beyond drumming, as he is also the executive producer.

The first half of the album is an undoubted highlight that features tenor sax player Eric Schoor paying homage to the great Miles Davis in the ever-so-soulful and funky version of “So What”. Then comes the hard groove based “New Mason Street” featuring guitarist Darrien Williams who comps and solos fearlessly while the kick, snare and bass hit hard in the pocket. Later, the listener is captivated by the opening bass line in an up-tempo version of the famous jazz standard, “How High the Moon” where vocalist Camille Hunt is sweet and passionate in her delivery. The title track, “Paris”, an original piece is the very definition of musical bliss, producing plenty of heartwarming piano and vocal melodies over an inviting bass line.

The second half of the album introduces you to the roar of thunder on “Everything and Nothing (drum reprise)”, where Kevin lets his creative juices flow into a time tricky and syncopated drum solo over a dark and moody motif. The album then prepares to wind down with the smooth and easy approach of “Poetry” in which complex dark chords and progressions take precedence over a simple but thoughtful alto sax line. Finally, the album closes with “Journey”, a soft and emotional ballad that lures you in with sincere cultural based narration by Harrison D. Kern.

The trio consists of Terry Harris Jr. on piano along with younger brother, Alan Harris on bass. They are both active players on Milwaukee and Chicago’s music scene. Terry has been onboard the trio since it started in October 2011 and Alan was recently invited the same year in December.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


A Roy Budd double-header – with two excellent soundtracks in a single package! The Stone Killer is one of the darkest Budd scores ever – designed to accompany a brutal police film starring Charles Bronson! The main theme has a nice electronic sound that's kind of like the "Mystery Movie" theme from the 70s – then the score moves into some nicely moody regions that feature spare Fender Rhodes riffs underpinned by dark orchestral scoring! Occasional beats and jazzy rhythms move into the picture from time to time, and the album has one nice groovy vocal track – the sweet "Black Is Beautiful", which features Roy on electric keys, and some nice female vocals, very much in the tradition of one of the vocal numbers from Get Carter. Titles include "Jazz Source", "Cool Bossa Source", "Too Late", "Main Titles", and "M3 (sk 1)". Nice stuff, and one of Budd's best moments from the 70s!

Diamonds is next – a great 70s heist film, of the sort that usually provided excellent soundtrack material! Roy Budd rises to the groovy occasion and scores some excellent moments that match a light orchestral sound with a throbbing electric bass and percussion underground – in a style that's like Lalo Schifrin's best work from the time – tight and funky in the right places, and more laidback in others. The LP's overflowing with tracks, including a few bonus mixes, and there's even three vocal numbers that feature The Three Degrees. Titles include "The Thief", "Beauty & The Bass", "Diamonds", "Party Piece", "Thief On the Prowl", and more!

Source: Dusty Groove


UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock are pleased to announce International Jazz Day to be held April 30th of every year. In partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the initiative– Hancock’s first major program introduced as a Goodwill Ambassador–will encourage and highlight intercultural dialogue and understanding through America’s greatest contribution to the world of music. International Jazz Day will foster and stimulate the teaching of jazz education with a particular emphasis placed on children from disadvantaged communities in classrooms around the world and will be offered to all 195 member states of UNESCO. 

Said UNESCO Director-General Bokova, “The designation of International Jazz Day is intended to bring together communities, schools and other groups the world over to celebrate and learn more about the art of jazz, its roots and its impact, and to highlight its important role as a means of communication that transcends differences”.

In an address to UNESCO officials, Herbie Hancock said, “Please take a moment and envision one day every year where jazz is celebrated, studied, and performed around the world for 24 hours straight. A collaboration among jazz icons, scholars, composers, musicians, dancers, writers, and thinkers who embrace the beauty, spirit, and principles of jazz, all of them freely sharing experiences and performances in our big cities and in our small towns, all across our seven continents.” He went on to say, “Music has always served as a bridge between different cultures; and no musical art form is more effective as a diplomatic tool than jazz.”

In anticipation of April 30thInternational Jazz Day, the celebration will kick-off on April 27th at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris with a daylong series of jazz education programs and performances. An evening concert will feature Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Marcus Miller, Hugh Masekela, Lionel Loueke, Tania Maria, Barbara Hendricks, Gerald Clayton, Terri Lyne Carrington, John Beasley, China Moses, Ben Williams, and Antonio Hart, and others to be announced. The daytime events will include master classes, roundtable discussions, improvisational workshops, and various other activities.

International Jazz Day will be celebrated by millions worldwide on Monday, April 30th and will begin with a sunrise concert in New Orleans’Congo Square, the birthplace of jazz. The event will feature a number of jazz luminaries along with Hancock including Dianne Reeves, New Orleans natives Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, Treme Brass Band, Dr. Michael White, Kermit Ruffins, Bill Summers, and others.

The world-wide programs and events will conclude in New York City at the United Nations General Assembly Hall with an historic sunset concert certain to be one of the most heralded jazz celebrations of all time, with confirmed artists including Richard Bona (Cameroon), Dee Dee Bridgewater, Danilo Perez, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, Zakir Hussain (India), Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Lang Lang (China), Romero Lubambo (Brazil), Shankar Mahadevan (India), Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela (South Africa), Christian McBride, Dianne Reeves, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Hiromi Uehara (Japan) and others to be announced. George Duke will serve as Musical Director. Confirmed Co-Hosts include Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Quincy Jones.

The concert from the United Nations will be streamed live worldwide via the United Nations and UNESCO websites, and will also be post-broadcast on United Nations Radio.

Tom Carter, President of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, said, “The Institute is pleased to be a partner with UNESCO in presenting educational programs and performances as a part of International Jazz Day. For more than a century, jazz has helped soothe and uplift the souls of millions of people in all corners of the globe. It stands for freedom and democracy, particularly for the disenfranchised and brings people of different cultures, religions, and nationalities together.”

The objectives of International Jazz Day are to:
• Encourage exchange and understanding between cultures and employ these means to enhance tolerance;
• Offer effective tools at international, regional, sub-regional and national levels to foster intercultural dialogue;
• Raise public awareness about the role jazz music plays to help spread the universal values of UNESCO’s mandate;
• Promote intercultural dialogue towards the eradication of racial tensions and gender inequality and to reinforce the role of youth for social change;
• Recognize jazz music as a universal language of freedom;
• Promote social progress with a special focus on developing countries utilizing new technologies and communications tools such as social networks;
• Contribute to UNESCO’s initiatives to promote mutual understanding among cultures, with a focus on education of young people in marginalized communities.

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz will work with UNESCO and its 195 various field offices, national commissions, UNESCO networks, UNESCO Associated Schools, universities and institutes, public radio and public television, as well as NGOs. Additionally, libraries, schools, performing arts centers, artists and arts organizations of all disciplines throughout the world will be encouraged to celebrate the day through presentations, concerts, and other jazz-focused activities. UNESCO will be sending recommendations for events, programs and support materials to its member countries and efforts are underway to raise funds for activities in developing countries where resources are limited. For example, in Brazil the Ministry of Culture will organize a nationwide program celebrating the history of jazz and its contribution to peace in all of its cultural centers; it is hoped that this will eventually be integrated into Brazil’s national educational curriculum. In Algeria, free jazz concerts will take place featuring groups from all over the country as well as conferences promoting “intercultural exchanges between jazz music and Maghreb music”; Russia will host various activities including concerts, photo exhibitions, lectures, virtual magazines and radio programs, while in Belgium the Conservatory of Jazz and Pop will organize outdoor daytime flash mobs/ concerts with Jazz students in bookstores, the Academy of Fine Arts and more. These are just some of the many local events that will be taking place around the world.

For more information about International Jazz Day, please visit the website at:


For this 10-CD box set, compilation producer Ralph Tee has created a non-chronological cross-section of the label’s releases between 1971 and 1995 placing emphasis on both hits and rarities. Here he's pulled together under one package over 13-1/2 hours of music from familiar names like Lou Rawls, The O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, The Three Degrees and The Jacksons, as well as cuts from Dick Jensen, Bobby Bennett, Robert Upchurch, Derek & Cyndi, Elliot Hoffman and other names not nearly as recognizable. Also included within the package will be a 60-page full-size booklet containing sleeve notes and track details from Tee, the author of Who’s Who In Soul Music) while David Grimes offers the first-ever comprehensive discography of all U.S. releases from Philadelphia International and its related labels like Gamble and Golden Fleece. Harmless is promising a year-long campaign devoted to the label, including a potentially exciting set exploring Gamble and Huff’s work in the late 1960s before they started their seminal label. Kenny Gamble has even been consulting with Harmless on these projects. The 40th Anniversary Box Set below. It’s due for U.K. release on April 9!

Various Artists, Philadelphia International Records 40th Anniversary Box (Harmless, 2012)

CD 1
1. Zach’s Fanfare – M.F.S.B. (Original Album Version 1.00)
2. K-Jee – M.F.S.B. (Original Album Version 4.09)
3. T.S.O.P. (The Sound Of Philadelphia) – M.F.S.B. feat The Three Degrees (Original Single Version 3:35)
4. Message In The Music – The O’Jays (Original Single Version 3.22)
5. Sexy – M.F.S.B. (Original Single Version 3:17)
6. Let’s Groove – Archie Bell & The Drells (Original Single Version 3.06)
7. Backstabbers – The O’Jays (Original Single Version 2:59)
8. The Love I Lost – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Original Single Version 3.35)
9. When Will I See You Again – The Three Degrees (Original Single Version 2:54)
10. I Love Music – The O’Jays (Original Album Version 6:43)
11. I’ll Always Love My Mama – The Intruders (Original Single Version 3.14)
12. Year Of Decision – The Three Degrees (Original Single Version 2:34)
13. The Soul City Walk – Archie Bell & The Drells (Original Single Version 3.13)
14. Bad Luck – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Original Album Version 6.29)
15. Do It Any Way You Wanna – People’s Choice (Original Single Version 3:11)
16. Philly Jump – Instant Funk (Original Album Version 5.01)
17. Take Good Care Of Yourself – The Three Degrees (Original Single Version 3.17)
18. Love Is The Message – M.F.S.B. (Original Album Version 6.22)
19. Show You The Way To Go – The Jacksons (Original Single Version 3.22)
20. Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby – The O’Jays (Original Album Version 4:17)

CD 2
1. Win Place or Show (She’s A Winner) – The Intruders (Original Single Version 2.20)
2. 992 Arguments – The O’Jays (Original Single Version 2.20)
3. Dirty Ol’ Man – The Three Degrees (Original Single Version 3.10)
4. Satisfaction Guaranteed Or Take Your Love Back – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Original Single version 3.20)
5. Love Train – The O’Jays (Original Album Version 6.04)
6. Get Down With The Philly Sound – M.F.S.B. (Original Album Version 4.31)
7. Jam Jam Jam (All Night Long) – People’s Choice (Original Album Version 3.32)
8. A Nice Girl Like You – The Intruders (Original Album Version 3.30)
9. If You Don’t Know Me By Now – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Original Single Version 3:17)
10. Me & Mrs Jones – Billy Paul (Original Single Version 4.37)
11. Wake Up Everybody – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Original Single Version 3.39)
12. For The Love Of Money – The O’Jays (Original Single Version 3:45)
13. Don’t Leave Me This Way – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Original Album Version 6.08)
14. Livin’ For The Weekend – The O’Jays (Original Single Version 2.50)
15. You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine – Lou Rawls (Original Album Version 4:28)

CD 3
1. You’re The Reason Why – The Ebonys (Original Single Version 3.04)
2. Days Go By – Bobby Bennett (Original Single Version 2.32)
3. New York City’s A Lonely Town – Dick Jensen (Original Album Version 3.11)
4. Stop And Think – The Trammps (Original Single Version 3.02)
5. One Day Of Peace – Love Committee (Original Single Version 2.49)
6. The Devil Made Me Do It – Robert Upchurch (Original Single Version 3.23)
7. Who In The World – The Ethics (Original Single Version 4.02)
8. Love Don’t Rub Off – Johnny Williams (Original Single Version 3:13)
9. Don’t Be So Mean – Talk Of The Town (Feat John & Gene) (Original Single Version 2:49)
10. Just Got To Be More Careful – Carolyn Crawford (Original Single Version 3:23)
11. Do You Like The Way I Love You – The Ebonys (Original Single Version 3:06)
12. Never Let You Get Away From Me – Anthony White Extended Single Version 4.36)
13. I’m A Changed Person – Kaleidoscope (Original Single Version 3.13)
14. If You Move, You Lose – Carolyn Crawford (Original Single Version 2.51)
15. We’re Not Getting Any Younger – Kaleidoscope (Original Single Version 3.00)
16. On The Ladder Up To Love – Derek & Cyndi (Original Single Version 3.48)
17. Good & Plenty – Carolyn Crawford (Original Album Version 2:35)
18. You Bring Out The Best In Me – Derek & Cyndi (Original Single Version 4:35)
19. Another World – Elliot Hoffman (Original Single Version 3:09)
20. It’s Forever – The Ebonys (Original Single Version 4:27)
21. To Be Happy Is The Real Thing – The Intruders (Original Album Version 3:28)
22. What It Takes – The Soul Survivors (Original Album Version 3:28)
23. Love Is Real – City Limits (Original Album Version 3:28)

CD 4
1. Where Are All My Friends – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Original Single Version 3:15)
2. Free Love – Jean Carn (Original Album Version 4:11)
3. Let Life Flow – The O’Jays (Original Album Version 4:31)
4. It’s Hard Not To Like You – Archie Bell & The Drells (Original Album Version 4:02)
5. Everyone’s A Star – The Intruders (Original Album Version 5:33)
6. Summertime And I’m Feeling Mellow – M.F.S.B. (Original Album Version 4.00)
7. Hey Baby 2:48 – Anthony White (Original Single Version)
8. Your Love Is Good – Bunny Sigler (Original Album Version 2:53)
9. The Whole Town’s Talking – Billy Paul (Original Album Version 4:48)
10. So Glad I’m The One – Instant Funk (Original Album Version 3:19)
11. If You Wanna Go Back – Jean Carn (Original Album Version 3:24)
12. People Power – Billy Paul (Original Album Version 4:19)
13. Keep On Lovin’ You – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Original Album Version 3:42)
14. Yes You Need Love – Anthony White (Original Album Version 3:36)
15. Nobody Could Take Your Place – Dee Dee Sharp Gamble (Original Album Version 5:01)
16. Party Time Man – The Futures (Original Album Version 5:13)
17. Keep Smilin’ – Bunny Sigler (Original Album Version 5:56)
18. It Ain’t Reggae (But It’s Funky) – Instant Funk (Original Album Version 3:38)

CD 5
1. The Whole Town’s Laughing At Me – Teddy Pendergrass (Original Album Version 4:18)
2. Let’s Make A Baby – Billy Paul (Original Album Version 3:39)
3. Now That We Found Love – The O’Jays (Original Album Version 4:30)
4. Blues Away – The Jacksons (Original Album Version 3:13)
5. I Believe In Love – Dee Dee Sharp Gamble (Original Album Version 4.00)
6. Easy, Easy, Got To Take It Easy – Teddy Pendergrass (Original Album Version 4.56)
7. I’m In Love Once Again – Jean Carn (Original Album Version 5.54)
8. Use Ta Be My Girl – The O’Jays (Original Single Version 3.55)
9. Strength Of One Man – The Jacksons (Original Album Version 3:57)
10. See You When I Git There – Lou Rawls (Original Album Version 4.29)
11. I Bet She Won’t Love You Like I Do – Jean Carn (Original Album Version 3:18)
12. Come On And Dance Dance Dance – Bunny Sigler (Original Album Version 5.23)
13. This Feeling Is Killing Me – The Jones Girls (Extended Single Version)
14. Let ‘Em In – Billy Paul (Original Single Version 3.25)
15. Picture Us – Bunny Sigler (Original Album Version 2.34)
16. Life Goes On – The Jones Girls (Original Album Version 4:31)
17. Lady Love – Lou Rawls (Original Album Version 4:03)
18. Where Will You Go When The Party’s Over? – Archie Bell & The Drells (Original Album Version 4:07)

CD 6
1. The More I Get, The More I Want – Teddy Pendergrass (Original Album Version 4.28)
2. Stop And Think It Over – Anthony White (Original Album Version 4.24)
3. Living Together – The Jacksons (Original Album Version 4.27)
4. (No, No) You Can’t Come Back Now – Jean Carn (Original Album Version 2.29)
5. You Can’t Hide From Yourself – Teddy Pendergrass (Original Album Version 4.08)
6. (I’m Just Thinking About) Cooling Out – Jerry Butler (Original Single Version 3.35)
7. Only The Strong Survive – Billy Paul (Original Single Version 3:29)
8. Use Ta Be My Guy – M.F.S.B. (Original Album Version 3.32)
9. I Don’t Love You Anymore – Teddy Pendergrass (Original Album Version 4.00)
10. To Prove I Love You – The O’Jays (Original Album Version 4.12)
11. Things Are Gonna Get Better – Bunny Sigler (Original Album Version 2.58)
12. Not The Staying Kind – Lou Rawls (Original Album Version 3.54)
13. Holdin’ On – Dexter Wansel (Original Album Version 4.54)
14. Don’t Let Love Get You Down – Archie Bell & The Drells (Original Album Version 4.21)
15. Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto – The Philadelphia All Stars (Original Album Version 4.46)
16. You’re Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else – The Jones Girls (Original Album Version 4.34)
17. What’s The Matter With The World? – Lou Rawls (Original Album Version 5.58)
18. When Somebody Loves You Back – Teddy Pendergrass (Original Album Version 4.59)

CD 7
1. Life On Mars – Dexter Wansel (Original Album Version 5.53)
2. SoncerĂ© (The Infinite Hour Glass) – Michael Pedicin Jr. (Original Album Version 6.26)
3. Tight Money – Leon Huff (Original Album Version 4.38)
4. Compared To What – Billy Paul (Original Album Version 5.21)
5. For The Love of Money – Thad Jones & Mel Lewis (Original Album Version 4.09)
6. Something For Nothing – M.F.S.B. (Original Album Version 3.00)
7. Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) – Patti LaBelle (Original Album Version 4.09)
8. Manhattan Skyline – M.F.S.B. (Original Album Version 4.49)
9. In Good Faith – Norman Harris (Original Album Version 5.15)
10. Reality – Monk Montgomery (Original Album Version 5.32)
11. Forever With You – Phyllis Hyman (Original Album Version 4.20)
12. My Favourite Person – The O’Jays (Original Album Version 4.17)
13. I Ain’t Jivin’, I’m Jammin’ – Leon Huff (Original Album Version 5.57)
14. Intro-Love Don’t Come Easy – Jean Carn (Original Album Version 5.09)
15. Mysteries of the World – M.F.S.B. (Original Album Version 5.31)
16. Theme from The Planets – Dexter Wansel (Original Album Version 4.53)
17. Malorie – Billy Paul (Original Album Version 3.40)
18. Set A Little Trap – Phyllis Hyman (Original Album Version 4.20)

CD 8
1. Come Go With Me – Teddy Pendergrass (Original Album Version 5.51)
2. Don’t Let It Go To Your Head – Jean Carn (Original Album Version 4.53)
3. Mine All Mine – The Stylistics (Original Album Version 4.53)
4. I’m In Love Again – Patti LaBelle (Original Album Version 5.41)
5. Brandy – The O’Jays (Original Album Version 4.06)
6. The Sweetest Pain – Dexter Wansel (Original Album Version 5.45)
7. Ain’t No Time Fa Nothing – The Futures (Original Album Version 5.31)
8. When I’m Gone – The Jones Girls (Original Album Version 4.53)
9. Turn Off The Lights – Teddy Pendergrass (Original Album Version 5.58)
10. I Can’t Stop (Turning You On) – Silk (Original Album Version 4.00)
11. Sooner Or Later – Billy Paul (Original Album Version 5.36)
12. I’ve Been Pushed Aside – McFadden & Whitehead (Original Album Version 5.14)
13. We Got Some Catchin’ Up To Do – Jean Carn (Original Album Version 5.04)
14. Maybe It’s Love This Time – The Stylistics (Original Album Version 4.11
15. Who Can I Run To (Ext Mix) – The Jones Girls (Original 12” Extended Mix 4.56)
16. Close The Door – Teddy Pendergrass (Original Album Version 3.37)
17. Children Of The Night – The Jones Girls (Original Album Version 5.13)
18. (You’re The One) Someone Special – The Futures (Original Album Version 4.17)

CD 9
1. Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now – McFadden & Whitehead (Original Album Version 6.07)
2. Was That All It Was – Jean Carn (Original 12” Mix 6.29)
3. Bring The Family Back – Billy Paul (Original Album Version 5:02)
4. Nights Over Egypt – The Jones Girls (Original Album Version 4.43)
5. Only You – Teddy Pendergrass (Original Album Version 3:35)
6. Put Our Heads Together – The O’Jays (Original Album Version 5:43)
7. Keep It Comin’ – The Jones Girls (Original Album Version 4:52)
8. I Heard It In A Love Song – McFadden & Whitehead (Original Album Version 5:15)
9. The Spirit’s In It – Patti LaBelle (Original Album Version 5:52)
10. Strut Your Funky Stuff – Frantique (Original Single Version 3:00)
11. What’s Your Name – The Stylistics (Original Album Version 4:55)
12. Dance Turned Into Romance – The Jones Girls (Original Album Version 4:31)
13. Strategy – Archie Bell & The Drells (Original Album Version 6:58)
14. I Love You Anyway – Dee Dee Sharp Gamble (Original Album Version 4:32)
15. Love T.K.O. – Teddy Pendergrass (Original Album Version 4:59)
16. Bet Your Lucky Star – Jean Carn (Original Album Version 4:53)
17. Let Me Be Good To You – Lou Rawls (Original Album Version 5:29)

CD 10
1. Love You Direct – The O’Jays (Original Album Version 3:57)
2. Ain’t You Had Enough Love – Phyllis Hyman (Original Album Version 4:17)
3. Somebody’s Gotta Move – The Dells (Original Album Version 5:09)
4. Do You Get Enough Love – Shirley Jones (Original Album Version 4:39)
5. First Time Together – Phyllis Hyman (Original Album Version 4:07)
6. I Can’t Forget You – Patti LaBelle (Original Album Version 4:33)
7. Hurry Up This Way Again – The Stylistics (Original Album Version 5:56)
8. Easy Money – Dee Dee Sharp Gamble (Original Album Version 4:06)
9. Summer Fling – The O’Jays (Original Album Version 4:53)
10. This Too Shall Pass – Phyllis Hyman (Original Album Version 5:29)
11. Baby Don’t Go Away Mad – The Dells (Original Album Version 4:41)
12. She Knew About Me – Shirley Jones (Original Album Version 4:35)
13. If Only You Knew – Patti LaBelle (Original Album Version 4:44)
14. Extraordinary Girl – The O’Jays (Original Single Version 3:36)
15. Heaven Only Knows – Teddy Pendergrass – (Original Album Version 4:13)
16. Baby Don’t Go, Yet – The Jones Girls – (Original Single Version 5:23)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...