Wednesday, January 14, 2015



Hailed by Down Beat magazine for his quick-witted harmonic reflexes, fluid command of line and cut-to-the-chase sense of narrative logic, Aaron Goldberg has made his name as one of jazz s most compelling pianists, both as a bandleader and frequent collaborator with Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Guillermo Klein and many more. On his new release The Now, Goldberg reunites with bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, the virtuoso rhythm team going all the way back to his 1998 debut Turning Point. On their fifth outing together, the trio foregrounds a central truth about the art of playing jazz: that no two performances will be the same because the music is created, in Goldberg s words, in the dynamic plane of the present.  A jazz record is literally one moment in time, Goldberg explains. Each song captures those five minutes, and not more. This is especially counterintuitive when you think about iconic jazz recordings like Kind of Blue, where we can all sing every solo. That record would sound totally different, we d all be singing different solos, if it d been recorded five minutes later or even five seconds later. That aspect of jazz is what makes it magical for me. I think every time you make an album you contribute to this illusion that jazz operates like other forms of music, where you figure out the song, you practice it, you play it a million times, then you record the definitive version. Jazz doesn t work like that, and I felt it was time to explicitly wrestle with this in some thematic way.  In every idiomatic zone from Brazilian ballads to roaring bebop, Goldberg and the trio have a way of spontaneously sculpting every bar as it flows by, like a wave on a river. That Rogers and Harland have also spent the last few years working with master saxophonist Charles Lloyd has deepened their communication and subtlety beyond measure. With Goldberg, they revel in the lesser-explored corners of jazz repertoire, bringing wit, explosive chops and also keen understatement to bear on the music at hand. ~ Amazon


Smooth Jazz Superstar Marion Meadows is without question one of the most popular and unique talents on the Jazz scene today. Blessed with movie star looks and the smoothest saxophone tone on the planet, Marion has sold close to one million albums in his brilliant career. His constant string of radio hits and relentless touring have garnered legions of fans, and his appearances with such varied artists as the Temptations, Michael Bolton and Will Downing are a testament to his broad audience appeal.  Soul Traveler, Marion s most intimate and heartfelt album to date, takes the listener on a sensuous journey through a soundscape of brilliant original compositions and masterful improvisations. The album is co-produced by Marion s long-time collaborator Carlo Panisi, who produced Marion s previous Shanachie album, Whisper , which debuted at #1 on the Smooth Jazz charts, and garnered 3 Top 10 Smooth Jazz Radio singles. Highlights include the spirited Latin-tinged Celebration Road featuring the great Najee on flute, the deeply sensuous ballad Dark Beauty , Real Time featuring up and coming Smooth Jazz superstar Vincent Ingala and much more. ~ Amazon


The 7th release by Bay Area guitarist and composer Ray Obiedo "There Goes That" on Rhythmus Records is a another collection of original compositions fused with Latin Jazz, Funk and Brasilian styled rhythms. His eclectic groove oriented compositions never stray far from his love of R&B. The melodies are simply stated and gracefully glide over jazz influenced chord structures. Obiedo enlisted some of the music industries top musicians and longtime cohorts for the project. Percussionist Sheila E, drummer Peter Michael Escovedo, steel pan master Andy Narell, trumpeter Michael "Patches" Stewart and Tower of Power drummer David Garibaldi, all make brief appearances. Santana members David K. Mathews, Karl Perazzo, Jeff Cressman and Bill Ortiz contribute their expertise. Playing soprano sax on two tracks, "Werewolf" and "Four Square", is Miles Davis alumni Kenny Garrett. "There Goes That" also features Norbert Stachel, Elena Ayodele Pinderhughes, Marc & Paul van Wageningen, Roger Glenn, Michael Spiro, Peter Horvath, Stefen Kuehn and Sandy Cressman. Ray has 5 previous releases on the Windham Hill jazz label; this is his first on his own Oakland based Rhythmus Records label. The music on "There Goes That" is a highly energized and hypnotically rhythmic soundscape revealing all the passion, flavor, color and style of the San Francisco Bay Area which conceived, nourished and inspired Obiedo's latest musical venture. ~ Amazon


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