Monday, November 24, 2014



The intent behind Jamie Cullum's seventh album, Interlude -- released in the U.K. in 2014, with a U.S. release in 2015 -- is to strongly reconnect the singer/pianist with his jazz roots. Gone are the flirtations with electronics, along with original material: Cullum is playing live with a jazz orchestra, singing standards that are familiar but not shopworn. He expands the songbook so there's room for Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues" and the Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," but his playbook is straight out of Ray Charles. He's growling and crooning as he alternately pounds and tinkles his piano, giving plenty of space for the orchestra to surge but not allowing a lot of room for improvisation. Most of the songs here clock in somewhere between three and four minutes, which is a strong indication that this album lies toward the pop end of the jazz spectrum. This is by no means a bad thing. By devoting himself to a strong book of standards and recording with a live big band, Cullum seems reinvigorated. He's enjoying tearing into these old tunes and that excitement isn't merely palpable, it's contagious. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). With his second album as a leader, 1959's TOMORROW IS THE QUESTION!, Ornette Coleman had not quite made all the necessary adjustments that would introduce his classic period. However, enough changes had been made to make it clear that the alto saxophonist -- contrary to his detractors' sneers--had a specific sound he was aiming toward, and a clear idea of how to get there. The biggest change between this album and Coleman's 1958 debut is the lack of a pianist, which puts the melodic emphasis solely on Coleman's sax and Don Cherry's trumpet. Coleman and Cherry are in remarkable sync throughout; indeed, "Rejoicing" features several passages of the pair playing in unison, and two of the album's most harmonically fearless and rhythmically loose solos are Cherry's spotlights in "Giggin'" and "Endless." Only the somewhat ordinary post-bop rhythm section of bassist Percy Heath (spelled by Red Mitchell on the last three tracks) and drummer Shelly Manne keeps TOMORROW IS THE QUESTION! from reaching the ecstatic free-jazz heights of Coleman's classic Atlantic albums. Recorded at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, California on January 16, February 23 and March 9 & 10, 1959. Originally released on Contemporary (7569). Includes original liner notes by Nat Hentoff. Personnel: Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone); Don Cherry (trumpet); Percy Heath, Red Mitchell (bass); Shelly Manne (drums).  ~ CD Universe


Chart Topping/Award Winning Smooth Jazz recording artist Funkee Boy follows up his award winning/#1 selling CD "Philosoulphy" with his 3rd CD "Soul Purpose". This stellar CD blends Funkee Boy's signature keyboard playing/songwriting/music production w/ A-List artists Warren Hill, Najee, Bob Baldwin, Cindy Bradley, Nick Colionne, LEILA, Surface, Lamone, Timmy Maia, Tevin Michael and more!!! "Soul Purpose" wins the prestigious SESAC 2014 Smooth Jazz Award for top 5 Billboard and radio play. These stellar artists come together on my new CD that features 9 original songs along with hot smooth jazz coverversions of Bruno Mars smash hits "Treasure" & "Just The Way You Are". Funkee Boy also grooves to R.Kelly's"Step In The Name Of Love", and then slow it down with the Eagles classic ballad "I Can't Tell You Why". Soul Purpose takes the listener on a journey starting off with the Uptempo tracks "Bonafide" & "Let It Flow". Then it embraces your smooth & soulful side with tracks "Deja Vu", "Karma", & "Keystroke. There are also brilliantly written lyrics on the RnB vibes "Bring Back The Days" and "Satisfied". Funkee Boy then plays with your senses and invokes a certain type of mood by drawing on the 50 Shades Of Grey inspiration with the solo piano piece "Escala". The 1st single "Let It Flow" featuring Warren Hill achieved Top 10 on all 4 Major (non pay for play) Charts - #4 Billboard, #8 Groove Jazz, #9 American Music/USA TODAY, #10 Smooth Jazz Network. The CD also achieved the #1 best selling worldwide CD in Soul Jazz! Once again, Funkee Boy stays true to his "philosoulphy" of blending his roots Jazz + Funk + RnB = SOUL. If you like Smooth Jazz, RnB, Soul, Piano, Saxophone, Tasteful Vocals with meaningful lyrics then this CD is for you!! ~ CD Universe

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