It’s a new dawn for veteran contemporary jazz saxophonist ShaShaty, who will release his sixth album entitled “Brighter Day,” on March 3 on the newly formed A.H.I. Records. His first collection comprised entirely of original songs in more than a decade, the set showcases the artist who had a hand in writing seven of the disc’s eleven songs that were produced by guitarist-vocalist Steve Oliver, writer or co-writer of ten songs for the record.
The energizing excursion “Dream Ride” bodes to illuminate radio playlists ahead of the album’s street date when the single is serviced to stations for airplay early next month. The video for the single will premiere at Universal CityWalk in Universal City, California where ShaShaty has been a featured performer over the past decade.
Instead of limiting himself to a singular sax voice, ShaShaty’s dynamic multihued approach places him front and center on the melody-rich jazz, pop and R&B outing playing tenor, alto and soprano sax. Fellow sax player Will Donato bolsters the horn section parts on “Dream Ride” and Spyro Gyra drummer Bonny B dispenses deft beats on four cuts. Taiwanese vocalist Usay Chu makes her U.S. recording debut by gracing a pair of tunes – “Song Of Hope” and “A Million Miles” – with her ethereal wordless vocalizations. Making “Brighter Day” a standout session is the chemistry between ShaShaty and Oliver.
The hornman’s impassioned and emotive play flourishes in the company of the guitarist who has a masterful command of buoyant harmony. Tracks have a robustly full sound from which potent hooks connect and enveloping melodies leave a lasting impression. The power-packed pop gems that comprise “Brighter Day” also have depth and provide a varied listening experience that audaciously ventures into funky trip hop territory (“Let’s Go!”), explores an off-kilter staccato rhythm (“Late On 91”), mines an Indian motif (“Mumbai”), serves a sublime sax and guitar call-and-response chorus (“August”), romances on amorous overtures (“My Heart Yours” and “I’m Always Near”), takes off on a whimsical flight of fancy (“Brighter Days”) and closes with a blissful meditation (“Float Away”).
“I haven’t recorded an original project in quite some time. My previous two projects consisted of classics from the past few decades. Those interpretations were part of a period of growth and self- discovery for me musically, especially when reimagining so many beloved works. I found myself in a new, fresh space and realized it was time to reach deep inside to see what would emerge creatively. Steve Oliver and his amazing production work provided the skilled hand to help me realize ‘Brighter Day.’ I’d love for this instrumental pop project to be the vehicle that opens new horizons for many new listeners - even from other genres and cultures - that may not have necessarily been contemporary jazz followers before, but now call themselves fans,” said ShaShaty, who will perform material from “Brighter Day” on Valentine’s Day at Rideau Vineyard in Solvang, California.
A Miami, Florida native who is a long-time Los Angeles resident, ShaShaty has vast stage experience performing on concert dates and festival bills with the likes of Carlos Santana, The Mavericks, The Bee Gees, Gloria Estefan, Michael McDonald, Peter Cetera, George Benson, Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum, Brian Culbertson and Boney James. In addition to garnering radio spins throughout the U.S., ShaShaty has played on national television on “Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda” and on a PBS special alongside GRAMMY® winner Al Jarreau. ShaShaty, who released his self-titled debut album in 1993, serves as host of “Vineyard Jazz,” a wine and music lifestyle program being developed by A.H.I. Records for syndication.
“Brighter Day” contains the following songs:
“Song Of Hope”
“Late On 91”
“My Heart Yours”
“A Million Miles”
“I’m Always Near”