Monday, July 28, 2014

New Releases: Andrew Neu - Everything Happens For A Reason; Lebron - Shades; Nick Colionne - Influences


Saxophonist Andrew Neu follows up his successful NuGroove Records debut with his 4th contemporary jazz CD, Everything Happens for a Reason. Along with producers Brian Bromberg and Steve Oliver, Andrew has assembled an all-star band, featuring Rick Braun, Bobby Caldwell, Jeff Lorber, Tom Schuman and Alex Acuna. Embellished by a horn section and a full orchestra, this project takes you on a musical journey around the world. Andrew co-wrote a song with Bobby Caldwell and arranged a unique take on the jazz classic, "Take Five". Inspired by the soul jazz and Latin music of the 1960s, it's reminiscent of Quincy Jones and Sergio Mendes. ~


Throwing another needle into the growing haystack of smooth jazz saxophonists seems an exercise in futility where they are a dime a dozen, unrecognizable and hardly standout. Next wave sax man Lebron didn't merely want to jump into the stack and release a starter record with a couple of good radio tracks in an effort to attract attention and fans. Lebron eats the contemporary jazz elephant all at once with Shades, his major label CutMore Records debut, a revealing musical masterpiece that is sure to turn some industry heads. 8 out of the 10 sides could easily be huge radio hits and present a unique challenge for the record label picking singles with this much meat on the bone. Not content to just start a ripple, Lebron enlists the help of A list producer Darren Rahn to launch his young career with what is sure to become a tidal wave that will wet the appetite of those who appreciate fresh, vibrant and infectious concoctions. Nobody crafts melodies and hooks better than Rahn and the result is pure magic. Not content with one super producer on the project Paul Brown joins in and takes a ride with cameos on the lead radio single 'Groove City', an infectious number propelled by a driving bass line and sweet guitar licks in all the right places. So pocket that you ll find your change rumbling around with it. Shades should do well to move Lebron to the top of the stack, not to become just another needle, but to set fire to it. ~


Well into his third decade of making the strings sing with his very own sweet Chicago soul, guitarist Nick Colionne digs deep as he takes musical stock of the people and things that helped propel his career and fully establish his place as one of the real cats, a cat that finds connection with his audience in a way that not many can. Influences is a musical journey of self re-discovery, offering a palate of moods and flavors born of life experiences, challenges and the effect of the people past and present that have helped shape and mold his sound. Music can be the ultimate healer not only for the creator but also those of us who seek the escapism. Nick gets this and you immediately feel him from the opening strains as he provides lift with this feel good collection of new sides. His chops have never been more exacting, his melodies more exhilarating, his hooks more infectious.   Collaborating again with the great James Lloyd on 'Pieces Of A Dream' and inviting Maysa on the journey gives 'Influences' just the right amount of spice and pop, but in the end it is all about Nick as he bears his soul though this collection of musical chapters in this his latest book, one written with his strings and sings of the places he s been and the places he still has to go. The lead single Got To Keep It Moving is certain to fire up his legions of fans and find its rightful place atop the radio charts. Never one to take what he has for granted, Colionne knows he has been blessed with a great gift and he will continue to share it as he connects with his fans through live performance in 2014 and share Influences in a way that only he can. ~

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