Monday, June 16, 2014



Grammy nominated pianist and arranger Christian Jacob presents his first solo piano recording, Beautiful Jazz: a private concert, aptly titled as this intimate solo recording is a dedication to the music that drew him away from the classical world and introduced him to the beautiful world of jazz. The release will be available on CD as well as a limited edition vinyl LP in true analog. Recorded in Los Angeles at the Zipper Concert Hall on a Hamburg Steinway Model D Grand, Beautiful Jazz captures the power and beauty of a true private concert. “There’s just something about the atmosphere of performing in a concert hall that makes everything easier to play and more fulfilling,” Christian explains. “It’s the real deal, and I wanted my solo recording to capture that.” “I thought it would be interesting to work on some of the music that initially drew me to jazz. ‘Tea for Two’ because it was the first song I learned to improvise on: ‘My Romance,’ ‘I’m Old Fashioned’ and ‘One Note Samba’ because they take me back to when I was first studying jazz at the Berklee College of Music. Then, there are a few iconic ballads like ‘Body and Soul,’ and ‘How Long Has This Been Going On.’ I didn’t plan to record ‘Giant Steps,’ but I’m happy I did. It’s that weird and beautiful tune that everyone tries to wrap their brain around. I also wanted to share an Etude by Stravinsky. Although I wanted to become a jazz musician, I always loved classical music, that’s why I had to include this little gem by Stravinsky.” Although Christian had always envisioned his first solo release to be on CD only, the creative momentum of the project inspired him to make a change of plans. As Christian recalls, “An extra surprise with this recording is that I got to release a vinyl LP. And out of respect for all the analog purists out there, we kept it 100% analog. It all started when I saw the painting for the CD cover and just knew it was meant to go on an LP jacket. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into (laughs) but we’re really excited and proud of how both the CD and vinyl turned out.” ~


The Next Chapter presents Braxton at his best from up-tempo grooves to reflective ballads. When listening to the record, it's easy to feel the love, joy, and positive energy. Tom is showcased on soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, as well as flute and keyboards. Braxton served as producer, writer and arranger on most of the material. However, he did have production assistance from the ""drummer to the stars,"" the late Ricky Lawson. The Next Chapter combines lyrical melodies with invigorating rhythms from a variety of genres including dance music, sambas, soul and contemporary jazz. The title track, written by Braxton and pianist Jay Rowe, kicks off the CD with a ""hooky melody"" and a ""killer glide to the groove."" Lawson's energy is evident on ""New Horizons"" which features a fresh ""house beat"" that accentuates Braxton's exciting tenor. Tom and Bob James take it ""south of the border"" and have some fun on ""Nuevo,"" a bossa ­tinged party for piano and tenor. Peter White joins Braxton for a beautiful rendition of Bread's classic, ""Make It With You."" White's guitar and Tom's soprano are a match made in heaven! Braxton's lively tenor is featured on the Spinners favorite, ""I'll Be Around"" which showcases background vocals from Grammy winner Arthur Dyer. Braxton has been on the road with Grammy winner Earl Klugh, and they are mesmerizing in the sophisticated but simplistic ""Contemplation."" ""Sunrise in Malawi"" inspired by a trip to Africa with Klugh, is an energizing song that will get your juices flowing. The legendary guitarist adds his signature sound to this early morning dance. The light and airy ""Tuesday Morning"" will have you singing all the way to work. Ricky Lawson interjected some old school into the project with the O'Jay's hit ""I Love Music"" Lawson and Sean Dancy got the ball rolling and Braxton added his signature sax and horn arrangement to help get you up on your feet! Finally, Braxton displays his arranging skills with the classic hymn, ""It Is Well. ~


Steve Khan's Subtext, subtitled Subtexto en Azul, stands out among the prolific jazz guitarist's much lauded body of work, and is highlighted with lyrical guitar phrases that weave in and out of a set of carefully chosen, superbly arranged and performed compositions. On the album, Steve continues his explorations of the grand traditions of Latin music, and this time, the core group features: Rubén Rodríguez(El. Bass & Baby Bass), Bobby Allende(Conga), Marc Quiñones (Timbal), and Dennis Chambers(Drums). At varying moments, they are joined by some great musicians as guest artists, including: Rob Mounsey(Keys & Orchestrations); Randy Brecker(Flügelhorn); Gil Goldstein (Accordion); and Mariana Ingold (Vocals). Japan's JAZZ LIFE magazine has already written that the recording is: An ambitious work, hot music filled with Khan's artistry.  ~

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