Friday, October 28, 2016



Kurt Elling performs these songs with such ease and competence and proves once more why he is one of today's most famous jazz singers. The lead track from the album, "Sing A Christmas Carol", begins with a swing and kicks off the feel of the album - melding bright jazz with the sound of a classic Christmas tune. Elling takes well-known holiday favourites, "We Three Kings" and "Same Old Lang Syne" and transforms them into tracks all his own. "Beautiful Day" is the perfect ending to the album, leaving every listener with a big warm smile. Kurt Elling is considered one of the world’s leading jazz vocalists. He won the DownBeat Critics Poll for fourteen consecutive years and was named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association on eight occasions. An international jazz award winner, he has also been GRAMMY-nominated a dozen times. Elling is a world famous artist of vocalese—the writing and performing of words over recorded improvised jazz solos. He has toured vigorously throughout his career, thrilling audiences throughout the world. In that time he has led his own ensemble and has collaborated with many of the world’s finest orchestras. His latest release was the collaboration with the Branford Marsalis Quartet, Upward Spiral, which received amazing reviews all over the world.


Mick Fleetwood, the iconic co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, is celebrating his blues heritage with The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, featuring Rick Vito. As well as their own material, the band pays tribute to the original Fleetwood Mac, the blues band that started it all in 1967. Live at The Belly Up, features 17 tracks and over two hours of music including “Oh Tell,” “Albatross,” and “Black Magic Woman.” Features: Looking For Somebody; Fleetwood Boogie; Oh Well; Red Hot Gal; Rollin’ Man Meets The Voodoo Woman; Love That Burns; Eyesight To The Blind; Black Magic Woman; Black Crow Blues; Lucky Devil; Passage East – World Turning; Rattlesnake Shake; You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover; Shake Your Moneymaker; Stop Messin’ Around; Carol; and Albatross.


The Soul Clap duo have a huge amount of help on this full length set – a range of guests that runs from Nona Hendryx, through Ebony Houston, Nick Monaco, Hazmat Talkbox, Dayonne Rollins, Billy Bass Nelson, and others – all of whom help shape the sound nicely over the electro funk elements at the core! These guys are big on 80s-styled bass pedal bits and keyboard lines, but also work their music past any sort of simple retro mode – expanding the sound with some more thoughtful spacey moments, and finding fresh ways to come up with a soulful hook, instead of a cliche. Titles include "Numb", "Synthesizer Girlfriend", "Shine", "Future 4 Love", "Dirty Leslie", and "Timespent".~ Dusty Groove

Thursday, October 27, 2016



With the Grammy-winning composer/pianist Patrice Rushen on hand with guest reedman Gary Bartz and Wallace Roney's sidemen of choice, Ben Solomon, tenor sax, Buster Williams, bass and Lenny White, drums, the musicians on 'A Place in Time' deliver a blisteringly accomplished and creative session. Wallace Roney's music is a tough, taut and intransigent continuation of the arcane forms and structured freedoms of Miles Davis' 1960s quintet. Listeners often associate Roney with Davis, thanks to Roney's work with the jazz legend early in Roney's career. But at this point, Davis' impact on Roney can be considered mostly historic, with Roney's playing larger in scope, firmer in tone and sharper in attack than Davis'. Today, Wallace's set lists feature easy-on-the-ear themes that mask harmonic complexities, while solos are fuelled by strong moods and sustained rhythmic drive informed by the spectre of Davis but far from imitating him. Whether he performs up-tempo original compositions or mainstream ballads, Roney is always compelling in his idiosyncratic ways. His tendency to produce smeared tones, bent pitches and jabbing rhythmic figures in the stratospheric range of the instrument distinguishes his playing, as does the volatile spirit and ever-changing direction of his phrases.

The seventh studio album from electro-jazz group Nighthawks. For music heads Dal Martino and Reiner Winterschladen, the Boeing 707 is a pertinent childhood memory. When the first Boeing 707 took off into the skies in 1958, the boys tracked the jet engine's vapour trail. Just six years later, the plane transported the Beatles to America. A mere 1 ½ decades after this, the first rock stars sauntered down the gangway of a 707. An echo of the spirit of the time was definitely present in the studio. Time and again, libertine Reiner Winterschladen, an avid proponent of improvised music, had to restrict his trumpet playing to comply with Dal Martino's focus on reduction. These conflicting poles gave birth to an abundance of sound sketches which, craning over the studio desk, Dal Martino considerably condensed during countless night sessions. The resulting album consists of seven songs as well as the 707 Suite in four movements - a journey lasting just under an hour.


On 'Unlimited 1' Kenny Burrell is captured live at the West-Coast jazz mecca, Catalina's, with a well-oiled big band, The Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited, which is made up of some of the West Coast's greatest jazz men and studio players. Burrell leads the group, solos and sings through a set list of original tunes, standards and, of course, what would a Kenny Burrell record be without some some Duke Ellington? Kenny Burrell has appeared on so many essential jazz recordings that jazz history and his biography seem irretrievably intertwined. He has recorded 97 albums under his own name and several hundred with other artists including Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Tony Bennett, Billy Holiday, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Smith, Art Blakey, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong.



Brian Simpson is a proven hit maker with over 20 Smooth Jazz radio hits in his amazing career. His previous Shanachie release garnered 2 Top 10 singles, and now "Soul City," the first single from this album, is one of the fastest rising songs on the Smooth Jazz Airplay charts and a lock to be Top 5 on the charts at the time of the album’s release. Both as a solo performer and as the featured keyboardist and music director of the Dave Koz Band, Brian performs in front of an incredibly large number of Smooth Jazz fans on a non-stop basis. Winner of the American Smooth Jazz Keyboardist of the Year Award, frequent guest on nationally syndicated radio shows and music director of The Smooth Jazz cruise, his visibility is tremendous. Highlights include the hit single "Soul City,” the sensuous ballad "Just One Wish" featuring Peter White, a brilliant performance by Boney James on the title track Persuasion” and much more!!!


On his new album “Back To You”, sax player Arno Haas delivers a generous dose of thrilling fusion jazz. Produced in Los Angeles and Stuttgart by world-class producer Tom Saviano, Arno and his renowned musical partners run the full gamut of current fusion jazz styles on a top-notch level of musicianship.Exciting melodies, popular grooves, sophisticated originals, crisp hooks, and the cut “Lucky Chance”, with vocals by 7-times Grammy winner Al Jarreau, will leave everyone enthused - and may even win over those rare folks who usually don‘t listen to jazz. As a second guest vocalist, charismatic singer Evelyn Kallansee from the Dutch band Tristan features in the track “When Love Is Real“. It grooves, and it will inject your days with some colour, splendour and soul. Black-Forest-born Arno Haas is a musician of international standing and reputation, and is on stage up to 250 times a year with various formations. He has contributed to countless CDs. After his successful first album “Magic Hands”, he now presents his sophomore effort: “Back To You”.


A stunning unreleased Chet Baker session from 1983 recorded with a great UK trio. Remastered and released with permisison from the Chet Baker Estate. For six evenings, from 28th March to 2nd April 1983, the John Horler Trio rhythm section supported the legendary trumpet player Chet Baker at The Canteen in London. For those who were fortunate enough to be there, these were magical shows. The rhythm section was tight and Chet was at the top of his game. The best of the six hours of music is presented here on 'Live in London' and has been restored and remastered to the highest quality. Jim Richardson, Chet's bassist, asked him if he could record the shows for his personal enjoyment. Chet was only too happy to agree, and Jim managed to capture most of the performances on a SONY TCS 300 audiocassette recorder. Over the years, Jim selectively shared this astonishing music, and those who heard it encouraged him to find a way to release it to the public. However, a combination of factors precluded this from happening for 33 years, until Martin Hummel met Jim late one evening at Ronnie Scott's. Jim's story about the music and his unwavering desire to share this with the world caught Hummel's attention. Together, they persevered and ultimately The Chet Baker Estate granted permission to release the material on the Ubuntu Music label. These are exceptional performances of Baker at his best, with music that touches the head, the heart and the soul.



The Musical MD takes another quick break from caring for his patients, to release a brand new smooth jazz album titled 'Stepping up'. This is a 10-song collection of original tracks written, produced and performed by the artist. It features smooth, melodic tenor and soprano sax phrasing, sprinkled with subtle keyboard and vocal syncopation on a background of punchy, laid-back grooves. Osaru describes the new album as 'smooth jazz with attitude.' Once again, Osaru combines his skills on the keyboards, saxophone and wind controller with his song writing and production skills. The end product is a high energy, positively charged,  groove swathed Album. From the mid-tempo funk of 'The Music Train' to the slow dance of 'Remember', you will find yourself tapping your foot and bobbing your head as each groove unfolds. By the time 'What A Great Day!' comes on, you can truly feel the optimism in the album. The album closes on a high note with the aptly titled song, 'Let's Go', which is an all out jam with tenor sax, soprano sax, electric guitar and piano all accounted for in this splendid conclusion to the album.  You can't help but wonder...What's next?


One of the most beautiful albums we've ever heard from guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel – a set that opens up in so many tones and colors, thanks to help from a great group that features Ambrose Akimusire on trumpet and Brad Mehldau on piano! Both of these musicians really help underscore the more human side of Muthspiel's music – which is still very much in the soundshaping mode of some of his other releases, but has a very organic flow and sense of warmth that we really appreciate. The group also features Larry Grenadier on bass and Brian Blade on drums – and overall, the sound is still very ECM-ish, but quite warm and personal. ~ Dusty Groove


A fantastic jazz group from the contemporary South African scene – one who've got a very righteous vibe, and a sound that's maybe even more far-reaching than any jazz we've heard from that scene back in the 60s or 70s! The group's led by Shabaka Hutchings on tenor, but is a very collaborative ensemble – with these tremendous upfront vocals from Siyabonga Mthembu, a singer with a very unique approach, and a spiritual current that we'd rank right up there with work by Leon Thomas, Dwight Trible, or Joe Lee Wilson, even though Mthembu's very much his own man. The group's also got two other great horn players – Mthunzi Mvubu on alto and Mandla Mlangeni on trumpet – plus Fender Rhodes and piano from Nduduzo Makhathini, and a wonderfully early array of bass, percussion, and drums – which lay down a fantastic groundwork for each tune. The music starts somewhere in the spiritual territory of the post-Coltrane scene – but really takes off immediately with its own individual spirit – ala Kamasai Washington – and the performance is live and unadorned, without some of the studio efforts that show up on other Brownswood label releases. Beautiful work throughout – an instant classic that we'd rank right up there with the best material by folks like Nat Birchall or Matthew Hallsall, but very different too. Titles include "Nguni", "Mzwandile", "Joyous", "The Sea", "The Observer", and "Give Thanks".  ~ Dusty Groove

Yonrico Scott releases his fourth album as leader titled, “Life Of A Dreamer”

Yonrico is best known for his drumming with Derek Trucks Band (16 years) and his current group Royal Southern Brotherhood.

By age seven, Yonrico Scott was playing professionally with several gospel groups in Detroit, Michigan – primarily, as a direct result of the unwavering encouragement and support of his late mother, a talented gospel vocalist and performer.

By age fourteen, Yonrico began private study with Motown drummer, George Hamilton. His musical accomplishments continued throughout college, and during his freshman year at Kentucky State University, he was voted, 'Drummer of the Year.' He later transferred to the University of Kentucky to study with Dave Davenport, Professor of Percussion and Principal Timpanist of the Lexington Philharmonic, where he received a B.A. in Performance Percussion in 1978.

In 1979, Yonrico accepted an Artist in Residency assignment in Atlanta, GA, with The Neighborhood Arts Center’s Department of Cultural Affairs. It wasn’t long afterwards that Yonrico became one of Atlanta's most sought-after studio drummers. Since 1995, Yonrico has been touring the world as a member of the Derek Trucks Band (DTB) (The dTb is a Sony Music Entertainment artist with recent television appearances on the CBS Early Show, the Conan O’Brien Show, & A&E’s Breakfast in the Arts, among others). Their self-titled debut CD was released on Landslide Records in October 1997. Since then, the band has released six additional recordings: Out of the Madness, Joyful Noise, Soul Serenade, Live at the Georgia Theatre, Songlines, and most recently, Already Free which received a Grammy.
Yonrico Scott of the Derek Trucks Band and Royal Southern Brotherhood

Throughout his musical career, Yonrico has recorded and/or performed with a Who’s Who list of well-known artists including: Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Peabo Bryson, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., Chuck Berry, George Howard, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Joshua Redman, George Benson, Anita Baker, Tinsley Ellis, The Allman Brothers Band, Susan Tedeschi, Kansas, John Scofield, Bruce Hampton, Cecil Bridgewater, Alvin Batiste, Gary Burton, Fiji Mariners, Andrew White, Gregg Allman, John Denver, Ben E. King, The 3 Degrees, The Supremes, Widespread Panic, Phil Lesh, The Lexington Philharmonic, and The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, among others. Yonrico's Broadway tour performances include The Wiz, 5 Guys Named Moe, and Dream Girls.

Helen Welch's Newest Album "Spellbound" Takes On An Exclusive Twist Of Soulful Pop And Dusty Jazz

Critically-acclaimed vocalist Helen Welch is known for her live stage performances which explore a diverse range of musical compositions, starting with the 1930s up through present-day. Whether she's singing Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Sarah Vaughan, or Elton John, Sting and Randy Newman, Helen's sophisticated vocals and humor leave audiences breezily enchanted. On her new studio album Spellbound, she presents an inspired collection of music including fresh arrangements of songs by Lennon and McCartney, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Michel LeGrand, Dolly Parton, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and Chick Corea. Featuring soulful-pop fused with some jazz elements, "this CD needs to be heard!" quoted on CD Baby. El Cerrito Records agrees that "this is a great compilation of songs that are beautifully arranged and produced."

Welch's mix of warm alto tones and gentle soul vibrations combine well on reworking's of Lennon and McCartney's "For No One," and Dolly Parton's "Jolene," each beautifully arranged in a way that transports the listener back in time. Helen Welch (vocals, producer) is joined by a range of other talented musicians that she collaborated with on this album, including Joe Leaman (piano, keyboards), Bryan Thomas (bass guitar), Anthony Taddeo (drums, percussion), and Joe Parker (guitar).

A native of England, Welch is well-known throughout the United Kingdom for her musical theatre roles and unique performances. She has landed starring roles in popular Broadway musicals including Hello Dolly!, Barnum, 42nd Street, Oliver Twist, Calamity Jane, Show Boat, and Carousel; she debuted in the traditional English Christmas show, Robin Hood, as 'Maid Marion,' starring renowned English actor and a former "Dr. Who," Colin Baker, who played Welch's wicked uncle. On a whim, Welch tried out for a singing competition and beat out 800 opponents to land a role in the smash-hit Lieber and Stoller musical Smokey Joe's Café on Broadway. Her experience, from a brief rehearsal in London to jetting off to New York to join the Broadway production, was captured on film by a camera crew and made into a television documentary for the BCC.

From performing in intimate spaces for small groups to outdoor amphitheatres in front of thousands, Welch has not only impressed audiences with her raw talent but appeared in some of the world's most celebrated venues, from solo shows at Cleveland's Playhouse Square Center and Blossom Music Center to London's The Savoy, The Ritz and The Grosvenor House Great Room as vocalist for some of the UK's finest big bands including Opus One, Glen Miller Europe and the BBC Big Band. She can also be spotted guest-starring or headlining with world-class musical organizations such as The Cleveland Orchestra, The Columbus Jazz Orchestra, The Cleveland Pops Orchestra and The Florida Symphony and also became a regular in London's major recording studios. Her voice can be heard in many commercial jingles, films and television productions, and also the background on recordings of well-known international artists.

In addition to being a consummate stage performer, Welch is also president of Big Wow Productions. The company has developed a diverse selection of shows from the hugely popular 'First Ladies of Song' celebrating the music of the world's best female vocalists to 'Beatles a Little Brit Different' in which Helen has taken many great Beatles songs and made them her own. She performs with her quartet through a 16 piece big band and full symphony orchestra.

Welch's unique talents for choosing songs that stand the test of time and making them her own, coupled with her ability to intimately engage her audience, has quickly earned her a large and devoted following. The "Helen Welch experience" is perhaps best described by a fan who wrote on her Amazon page, "If you have a chance to see Helen perform, do it! You are in for a special treat."

Track Listing for Spellbound:
1.     Spellbound
2.     For No One
3.     Jolene
4.     No More Blues
5.     The Windmills of Your Mind
6.     When It Mattered Most
7.     I Put a Spell on You
8.     And So It Goes
9.     Spain
10.   Both Sides Now

Pianist Frank Kimbrough's Solstice

Frank Kimbrough counts among a handful of New York-based pianists who have been refining and expanding the language of ensemble playing over the last few decades (this November he marks 35 years in New York and his sixtieth birthday). Declared a "a near-visionary whose piano-improvising, composing, and band-leading skills seek out the dark corners of untrod jazz terrain" by The New Yorker, Kimbrough is noted for his exquisite ensemble, trio and solo recordings as well as his duo work with Lee Konitz, Scott Robinson, Joe Locke and Paul Bley, his work as a sideman in Dewey Redman's quartet, and his long-term involvement with the Jazz Composers Collective and the Maria Schneider Orchestra. On Solstice, acclaimed players and longtime musical companions, bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Jeff Hirshfield join Frank to explore the music of some of the jazz masters who have left a personal imprint on his life.

Kimbrough has had an uncanny ability of meeting the right person at the right time. Shortly after his move to Washington, DC in 1980 Frank met the exceptional singer/ pianist Shirley Horn, who became his friend and mentor. The next year he migrated to New York where he came under the tutelage of one of his heroes, pianist Paul Bley. Around the same period Kimbrough met the ground-breaking pianist Andrew Hill whose music "...literally changed my life. Andrew was an enigma, an inspiration, a mentor, and a dear friend." With the Big Apple as his base, the next years were ripe with tours and recordings. In 1992, Kimbrough helped found the Jazz Composers Collective, an entity that lasted for 13 years, resulting in a concert series, a score of recordings and frequent tours by many of its groups.

In1993 the acclaimed American composer Maria Schneider invited Kimbrough to join her orchestra. This ongoing musical relationship has resulted in Frank's participation in a slew of Grammy award-winning projects as well as in Maria's collaborations with soprano Dawn Upshaw and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and with David Bowie. Schneider marvels, "He wraps himself around each soloist and takes care to go in the direction they're going. I hear things he plays and think Oh God if only I could write that." Add to these impressive credentials his resume of residencies and workshops on 5 continents, an ongoing nine-year stint teaching at the Juilliard School, and some 20 critically acclaimed albums under his own name.

For Solstice, Kimbrough chose two musicians "whose judgment I trust completely." Bassist Jay Anderson has more than 400 recordings under his belt; he has played and recorded with an incredible diversity of musicians, including Michael Brecker, John Scofield, Frank Zappa, and Celine Dion (1997 Record of the Year Grammy). He and Kimbrough have been playing together for some 20 years in Maria's band, the Gil Evans Project and various other groups, as well as on two of Frank's previous albums. Drummer Jeff Hirshfield and Frank also go back 20 years, including several tours together in trio. Hirshfield's and Anderson's musical connection began in the early 80's, and over the years they have often worked and recorded together in a variety of contexts, including Paul Bley's highly regarded album Notes On Ornette. It all intertwines into an enticing spiral of connections between the three.

Kimbrough says that, "I selected compositions that speak to me in ways that are unique and personal. Jay and Jeff didn't know what we were going to play and didn't see the music until we arrived at the date. There was almost no discussion    and no rehearsal - we simply began to play."  Most of the pieces are first takes.

About the tunes, Frank says:

"The simplicity of Seven by Carla Bley shows her genius. I've loved her tunes since first hearing them as a teenager.

Shirley Horn was a magical pianist and vocalist who really knew how to cast a spell. Her recording from a concert in Paris inspired me to play Gershwin's Here Come the Honey Man.

Solstice was composed by Maryanne de Prophetis, the composer/poet/lyricist and vocalist who is my life partner and constant inspiration.

The Sunflower was composed by Paul Motian, a singular drummer/composer, and one of the most unique person- alities in jazz. I enjoyed every moment we spent together both on and off the bandstand.

Annette Peacock's Albert's Love Theme was written for Albert Ayler. Annette's pieces are very personal and spe- cific, yet open, like a landscape.

The only original on the disk is Question's the Answer, as in "the question IS the answer". It has a strong connection to the blues and the bassist has many "root" options.

From California with Love was composed by Andrew Hill in the '70's. I love the mysterious beauty and humanity of his compositions-so modern and free, yet rooted in the tradition.

El Cordobes was written by Annette Peacock for the flamboyant Spanish bullfighter Manuel Benítez Pérez. Like Albert's Love Theme and Seven, I first heard it played by Paul Bley's mid-60's trio.

Walking by Flashlight is from Maria Schneider's song cycle Winter Morning Walks. Maria is a national treasure, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of her musical world."

On their first CD together the trio's philosophy was simply to listen, trust, and respond to one another; in so doing, they have created a gradated musical atmosphere that envelops the enigmatic and the translucent, the mysterious and the artlessly elegant.

Frank Kimbrough Upcoming Performances

Oct. 27 - Frank Kimbrough Trio w/ Jay Anderson and Jeff Hirshfield - Small's, NYC
Oct. 28 - w/Jay Clayton group - Kitano, NYC
Oct. 29 - Frank Kimbrough/ Kirk Knuffke Duo - Spectrum, NYC 
Nov. 4 - w/Maria Schneider Orchestra - Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
Nov. 10 - w/Marty Ehrlich Sextet playing music of Andrew Hill - The Stone, NYC
Nov. 18 - w/Maryanne de Prophetis, Ron Horton, Satoshi Takeishi - Michiko Studio, NYC
Nov. 20 - Frank Kimbrough solo piano - the Owl Music Parlor - Brooklyn, NY
Nov. 22, 23, 25 - 27 - with Maria Schneider Orchestra - Jazz Standard, NYC
Dec. 8 - Frank Kimbrough Trio w/ Jay Anderson and Jeff Hirshfield - Kitano, NYC 

Jan. 17 - Frank Kimbrough - Solo piano concert - Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Jan. 18 - Frank Kimbrough - master class - Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Feb. 10/11 - Frank Kimbrough Trio w/ Jay Anderson and Jeff Hirshfield - "official" CD release weekend - Kitano, NYC   
Feb. 16 - w/Maria Schneider Orchestra - St. Paul, Minnesota
Feb. 17 - w/Maria Schneider Orchestra - Portland Jazz Festival
Feb. 18 - w/Maria Schneider Orchestra - Humboldt St. University, Arcata, CA
Feb. 19 - w/Maria Schneider Orchestra - UC Berkeley
Feb. 20 - w/Maria Schneider Orchestra - Lobero Theater, Santa Barbara, CA
Feb. 21 -w/Maria Schneider Orchestra - SOKA PAC, Aliso Viejo, CA
Feb. 22 - w/Maria Schneider Orchestra - Valley PAC, Northridge, CA
Mar. - w/Maria Schneider Orchestra  - Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
Mar. 10 - w/Maria Schneider Orchestra - Babson College, Wellesley, MA
Mar. 11 - w/Maria Schneider Orchestra - Yale, New Haven, CT
May 25 - 28 w/Gil Evans Project - Jazz Standard

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Carlos Santana, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, And Narada Michael Walden Join Jennifer Saran in an Inspiring World Peace Anthem "Wake Up"

Narada Michael Walden and Carlos Santana in the studio collaborating on Jennifer Saran's new single "Wake Up" - an inspiring new world peace anthem
Alt-pop/adult contemporary singer-songwriter Jennifer Saran has teamed up with South African Grammy-winning male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Grammy and Emmy-winning producer, drummer, singer and songwriter Narada Michael Walden (Producer/Co-writer), known for his work with Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Mariah Carey, to create her newest single, "Wake Up." Making a special guest appearance on the track is Grammy-winner and legend Carlos Santana (Featured Guitarist), whose guitar licks generate inspiring vibes. The stunning collaboration is a heartfelt appeal to the world to recognize and address inequality and impoverishment, a cause incredibly personal and important to all the amazing artists involved. "Wake Up" will be featured on Saran's third album, produced and co-written by Narada Michael Walden, which will be released in early 2017.

"Wake Up" is a rousing and uplifting anthem for the world at large. Saran takes meaningful action through her lyrics to encourage change - "It's time to Wake Up!" This worldly, heartfelt, and thought-provoking singer has been dazzling listeners with her message of positivity and encouraging them to stand up to the world's struggles and incite change, first on her debut album Walk With Me (2016), and now on this new song. 

Each of the legendary guest artists joining her on the song believe strongly in her cause. Carlos Santana, whose searing guitar work is featured on the track, says Saran's song is "a beautiful mission of sound and healing." Saran adds, "'Wake Up' is the second inspirational song that Narada and I have written. Eighteen months ago we were inspired to write 'Rise Up Time,' which came from an inspired jam session. We had put aside time to experiment with a new idea in the wake of so much hate and violence in America and what came from that time together was this song."

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who won a Grammy for "Best World Music" in 2015 for their album Live: Singing For Peace Around The World, was brought in through Walden, whose goal was "to make a new sound for the world and inspire a new consciousness in the world - that of waking up."  It was Walden's responsibility to create a space between these artists - passionate about the same worldly concerns - with the intention of inspiring a global movement of like-minded people with a single goal in mind: peace.

Proceeds from sales of the song, which is available now on iTunes, will go directly to the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. As an outspoken defender of human rights and campaigner for the oppressed, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is one of the world's most revered peacemakers. The mission of his US-based nonprofit is to support and promote the creation of a culture of peace throughout the world.

Saran created an accompanying web-based video that was released on the Archbishop's 85th birthday.  Watch it here:
More info can be found:

For more information about The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation please visit:


Valerie June’s highly anticipated second album, The Order of Time, is set for release on January 27th, 2017 via Concord Records. On this enthralling and illuminating leap forward, the Tennessee-bred, Brooklyn based songwriter weaves electric blues, African rhythms, cosmic atmospherics and delicate soul into an inventive and wholly original rumination on love, family, struggle and the passing of time. Produced by Matt Marinelli (Beck, Bad Brains), The Order of Time features twelve original songs all written by June.

Musically, June has refined and expanded her sound on the new album finding space from her previous work in its artful, self-assured restraint and overall cohesion. The collection’s finely sketched character studies brim with richness and detail while June’s ethereal, wide-open soundscapes provide a sterling backdrop for her remarkable Southern gospel and honey voice.  Lyrical touch points such as ‘dancing shadows,’ ‘hot suppers,’ ‘curious neighbors,’ and ‘holy water’ draw the listener in and root these songs with density and weight.

The “inevitability of change” and “time as the ruler of Earth’s rhythm,” is the album’s foundation, explains June.  “And the knowledge that with resilience and faith things can work out.”

“Long Lonely Road” is a reflective and somber lament as June’s voice reverberates over ringing guitar and unhurried drums, whereas the entrancing blues of “If And” internalizes regret in the face of time’s relentless churn. On the spiritual “Astral Plane,” June’s mystical vocal takes an otherworldly turn, whereas the sumptuous string arrangement on “With You,” is reminiscent of Nico’s most affecting work.  Norah Jones adds her distinctive vocals to three tracks and “Shake Down” sparkles with background vocal contributions from her father and brothers.

The Order of Time follows June’s 2013 breakout LP, Pushin' Against a Stone that established her as one of America’s “most intriguing, fully formed new talents” according to the New York Times. She garnered praise from NPR, “a singular performer” and New York Magazine, “a powerful singer and a blunt, bruising songwriter.” June also made memorable appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, CBS Saturday Morning, Rachael Ray, and Austin City Limits. She has toured with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and Sturgill Simpson, and performed at Newport Folk Festival, Carnegie Hall, and much more.

Look for June, currently on tour with Norah Jones, to announce 2017 headlining dates shortly.  (The European release of The Order of Time will be detailed soon.)
The Order of Time Track List:
1.Long Lonely Road
2.Love You Once Made
3.Shake Down
4.If And
5.Man Done Wrong
6.The Front Door
7.Astral Plane
8.Just In Time
9.With You
10.Slip Slide On By
11.Two Hearts
12.Got Soul



A fantastic collection of songs originally penned by soundtrack genius Ennio Morricone – served up here in a host of vocal versions that really show how many different artists and styles he influenced over the years! Some of the cuts here are expected Italian pop singles – vocal variations of Morricone themes in Italian – but as the set moves on, there's a really groovy range of different sounds from all over the world – some with a relation to the soundtrack/sound library scene, but lots more by a variety of artists inspired by the genius of the maestro. As with other sets like this on Ace Records, the package features detailed notes – helping put all the music in context – and the 21 track set list is full of surprises, mostly with songs from the golden late 60s/early 70s era, mixed with some stunning gems from later years. Titles include "Questi Vent'Anni Miei" by Catherine Spaak, "Una Stanza Vuota" by Lisa Gastoni, "Hurry To Me" by Amii Stewart, "La Ballata Di Hank McCain" by Jackie Lynton, "Ballad Of Sacco & Vanzetti" by Scott Walker, "Ricordare" by Gerard Depardieu, "It Couldn't Happen Here" by Pet Shop Boys, "Il Tempo Sa" by Romina Arena, "Amalia Por Amor" by Hayley Westenra, "A Brisa Do Coracao" by Dulces POntes, and "Canzione Basilica" by Fausto Cigliano. ~ Dusty Groove


Calibro 35 have always had a soundtrack style to their music – but here, they seem to hit an even trippier, spacier version of the mode – playing an all-live, all-instrumental set that's bubbling over with loads of wonderful elements! Some tracks are still as funky as before, but others really show the group finding their own sort of bigger picture sound – writing and playing with complexity that allows for some nicely dark corners, while still keeping the overall sound nice and lively! The music's not in that retro-horror mode that some groups are using these days – and instead is more funk at the core, but with lots of cool electric inflections from keyboards that include an Eko Tiger, clavinet, and Korg microsynth – alongside more familiar guitar, sax, flute, trumpet, and trombone. Titles include "Across The 111th Sun", "Ungwana Bay Launch Complex", "An Asteroid Called Death", "Serenade For A Satellite", "A Fistful Of Lead", "Notte In Bovisa", "La Mala Ordina", and "Eurocrime". ~ Dusty Groove


Smoove & Turrell might have kind of a hokey look on the cover, but they get right down to business on this funky little record – hitting a tight groove that's heavy on influence from both soul and AOR styles from the 70s and early 80s! The music's mostly upbeat and filled with riffing guitar lines and percussion bits – produced with a tightness to match the groove, but a sound that's never too overdone, either – and with plenty of individual elements that show that these guys aren't just slavishly copying their influences, but instead building something great and new of their own. Titles include "50 Days Of Winter", "Crown Posada", "Glass", "Slave To The Blues", "New Jerusalem", "Fight On", "Glue Bag Flags", "No Point In Trying", and "You Could Have Been A Lady". ~ Dusty Groove

Erykah Badu's Game-Changing Debut "Baduizm" And Smash Sophomore Album "Mama's Gun" Released On Vinyl Via Motown/UMe

Erykah Badu's game-changing debut, Baduizm, and her smash sophomore album, Mama's Gun, are now available back on vinyl as part of Motown/UMe's Respect The Classics initiative. Previously released on vinyl as a shortened nine-track single LP, this release marks the first time Baduizm has been released on vinyl in its entirety with 14-tracks across two standard-weight LPs. The vinyl reissue of Mama's Gun is also as a double LP.

Baduizm introduced Badu's unique artistic vision to the world when released in 1997 and established her as one of the emerging neo-soul genre's leading artists. Produced by Madukwu Chinwah and The Roots, the Grammy Award-winning album peaked at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and went to #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Universally hailed by critics, it topped many year-end lists and earned rave reviews with Entertainment Weekly enthusing, "Badu's nouvelle-soul debut hits the target, blows it up, reinvents it," Q calling it a "warm thoroughly idiosyncratic record which mixes jazz, soul and a slice or two of hip hop into a rich, smoky musical brew," and Rolling Stone remarking, "Baduizm showcases the heart and soul of a bohemian B-girl who happens to have an effortless jazz swing." Baduizm was honored with a bevy of honors including the Grammy Awards for Best R&B Album and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for breakout single "On & On." Other accolades included eight American Music Awards, three Soul Train Music Awards and two NAACP Image Awards, taking home trophies for Outstanding New Artist and Outstanding Female Artist. The album is certified triple platinum in the U.S. with sales of more than three million and is gold in both the UK and Canada.

Mama's Gun was Badu's highly-successful follow-up to Baduizm, selling a million copies just two months after its release in November 2000. Hailed by Rolling Stone as her "zenith," Mama's Gun cemented Badu's place in the world of R&B with many praising her growth as a songwriter, composer and lyricist; she was lauded for her more direct and confessional approach to her lyrics. Recorded at Jimi Hendrix's famed Electric Lady Studios, the album was co-produced by Badu along with producers James Poyser and Jay Dee (aka J Dilla). It features a host of all-star musicians including drummer Questlove, jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, veteran vibes player Roy Ayers and Stephen Marley who duets on the reggae-tinged "In Love With You." Lead single "Bag Lady" became a Top 10 hit and was nominated for two Grammys: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song, an honor her song "Didn't Cha Know?" also received. Mama's Gun continues to grow in stature 16 years after its release as it finds new fans year after year and is revisited by critics. In the BBC's 2012 reexamination they hailed it as "a fabulous, ever-evolving work by one of the most dazzling artists of the past two decades." More recently, Pitchfork reviewed the album in their esteemed Sunday Reviews section awarding it a 9.4 and declaring, "More than a decade before Queen Yoncé, Erykah Badu laid down the blueprint for a black feminist album that went well beyond documenting tales of heartbreak to address issues greater than the sum of any one relationship. She made a record that wore its awareness of the larger traumas and challenges that complicate human intimacy on its sleeves. It was music for the revolution that wasn't televised."


Side A
1. Rimshot (Intro)
2. On & On
3. Appletree
4. Otherside of the Game

Side B
1. Sometimes (Mix #9)
2. Next Lifetime
3. Afro (Freestyle Skit)
4. Certainly

Side C
1. 4 Leaf Clover
2. No Love
3. Drama

Side D
1. Sometimes...
2. Certainly (Flipped It)
3. Rimshot (Outro)


Side A
1. Penitentiary Philosophy
2. Didn't Cha Know
3. My Life
4. ...& On

Side B
1. Cleva
2. Hey Sugah
3. Booty
4. Kiss Me on My Neck (Hesi)
5. A.D. 2000

Side C
1. Orange Moon
2. In Love With You
3. Bag Lady

Side D
1. Time's a Wastin
2. Green Eyes

Monday, October 24, 2016

Drummer Jerome Jennings Debuts as a Leader with "The Beast"

Jerome Jennings The Beast Since moving to New York from his native Cleveland 12 years ago, Jerome Jennings has become one of the most in-demand jazz drummers on the scene. Currently a member of the Christian McBride Trio, Craig Handy's 2nd Line Smith, and the groups of vocalist Paula West and singer/trumpeter Bria Skonberg, Jennings boasts an impressive resume that speaks to his versatility and rhythmic mastery.

With the release on November 18 of his debut CD, The Beast, on his new Iola Records imprint, Jennings is now stepping out as a poised, swinging, and strong-minded leader in his own right. He has drawn together some of his favorite players from coast to coast -- five-time Grammy-award-winning bassist Christian McBride, poll-winning fellow Ohioan Sean Jones on trumpet and flugelhorn, McBride trio pianist Christian Sands, longtime Harry Connick Jr. trombonist Dion Tucker, and the explosive Oakland tenor saxophonist Howard Wiley, a member of Jennings's current band -- for a set of compositions by Freddie Hubbard, Ben Webster, and bassist Jon Burr; adaptations of an ice-cream-truck jingle and a chart-topping R&B hit (New Edition's "Cool It Now"); and three originals by the leader. Jazzmeia Horn, winner of the 2012 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal and the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocal competition, joins the sextet for an arrangement by Jennings and Curtis Fuller of the standard "You Don't Know What Love Is."

The title track is based on an incident in which a Princeton, New Jersey, police officer pulled Jennings over while he was driving home from a gig at 2 a.m. for allegedly having a tiny Cleveland Browns football helmet hanging from his rearview mirror. He was held for 50 harrowing minutes before being released without having even been issued a ticket.

The hard-swinging number begins with a press roll on the snare drum that slows to a stop, indicating the process of pulling off the road. Tension between the horn and rhythm sections during the head and solos reflects the way Jennings was repeatedly interrupted while trying to answer the officer's questions.

"I call it 'The Beast' because that's another way of saying 'police' or 'system,'" the drummer explains. "Everything I do in that tune is significant."
Jerome Jennings was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 28, 1980. His early interest in drums turned into a passion after his mother brought home an Art Blakey album. He played in various ensembles in high school before receiving a full scholarship to Ohio State University, where he studied with trumpeter Pharez Whitted. He went on to receive a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance from Rutgers University and a Master of Music Degree in Jazz Studies, Performance, and Drums from Juilliard.

In 2001, Jennings set out to meet and play with as many former members of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers as possible. They included Charles Fambrough, Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, David Schnitter, Ronnie Mathews, Javon Jackson, Curtis Lundy, Wynton Marsalis, Lonnie Plaxico, Valery Ponomarev, Bobby Watson, Frank Lacy, and, the drummer adds, "even Mr. [Sonny] Rollins. He played a bit with Blakey. I worked with Sonny for three years. That was almost an out-of-body experience.

Jerome Jennings "I felt that if I could play with guys who played with great drummers, particularly Art Blakey, and they could tell me I'm swinging, then I'm swinging," he explains. "I learned so much from them in terms of the spirit of the music. It's not necessarily a technical thing. It's how you're carrying yourself and how you carry the music and move it forward by addressing where it came from."

Jennings's knowledge of and passion for the music has led to him teaching in a variety of jazz education programs over the years. He's presently giving classes for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz for Young People program, Jazz for Teens at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and is a featured lecturer for Jazz At Lincoln Center's Swing University.

When he's not playing drums or teaching, Jennings pursues an acting career as time permits. He played a minor role as Chuck Berry's drummer in the motion picture Cadillac Records, spent four months off-Broadway at The Little Shubert Theatre playing drums and acting in Lady Day starring his friend/mentor Dee Dee Bridgewater, and recently starred in Laurence Holder's one-man play The Gospel According to Max Roach at the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City, among other credits. He's had to miss out on some important auditions because of his musical commitments, "which is always tough. But music is the priority for me."

Jennings has planned CD release shows for 11/22 at Dizzy's in New York City, and 11/26-27 at Night Town in his hometown of Cleveland. Personnel will include Dion Tucker, trombone; Kenyatta Beasley, trumpet; Howard Wiley, tenor saxophone; Christian Sands, piano; and Elias Bailey, bass. Jazzmeia Horn will be featured with the sextet at Dizzy's.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Brazilian vocalist Paula Santoro and guitar virtuoso Ian Faquini release Metal na Madeira (Metal on Wood)

Once you've heard the luminous voice of Paula Santoro and the enthralling guitar virtuosity of Ian Faquini, their sound will become permanently etched into your heart. Metal na Madeira (Metal on Wood), their new collaborative album, takes inspiration from Xylography, a traditional art form from Northeastern Brazil in which the artist develops an image by engraving wood with a metal object. Likewise, Faquini and Santoro create their intoxicating music from the way in which the metallic harmonics of her voice affect and enrich the woody tones of his guitar.

The image that ultimately emerges from Metal na Madeira is more than a portrait of two artists creating together. It also conjures the timeless landscape of the Brazilian Northeast, from which both artists originally hail. Into that space, Faquini and Santoro invite an all-star cast of collaborators, including Brazilian saxophone great Spok, leader of Recife's Spok Frevo Orquestra; Bay Area multi-reedist Harvey Wainapel; trombonist Jeff Cressman; keyboardist and accordion player Vitor Gonçalves; bassist Scott Thompson; drummer/percussionist Rafael Barata; and pandeiro player Sergio Krakowski.

The album consists of nine original compositions by Faquini and presents a fresh take on traditional Northeastern rhythms such as Maracatu, Frevo, Baião, Xote, and Toada. Faquini's music keeps one foot firmly planted in the past while stepping briskly towards the future with modern harmonic and melodic structures. The songs' lyrics describe the exuberance and poverty of that region of Brazil -the joy, colors and natural beauty, but also sadness, drought and longing of a people who are accustomed to living with extremes. Their stories are movingly and compellingly expressed through Santoro's gift for storytelling and painting with words.

Ian Faquini was born in Brasília and has lived in Berkeley, California since he the age of eight. He graduated from the California Jazz Conservatory and was immediately invited to join the faculty, teaching guitar and Brazilian music. Influences include Guinga and Marcus Tardelli, with whom Ian studied for six years.

Paula Santoro was born in Minas Gerais, where she began her career as part of the local vocal group Nós & Voz and toured the country as lead singer of the progressive rock band Sagrado Coração da Terra. Her enticing blend of jazz and Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) has since become well known through her recordings and frequent TV appearances. She won the Troféu Faísca Award, the Visa Award and was nominated for the Rival Petrobrás Music Award, all as best vocalist.  Santoro has performed with a range of luminaries including Edu Lobo, Yamandú Costa, Mário Adnet, Monica Salmaso, Renato Braz and the Muiza Adnet releasing the álbum Mario Adnet - a look on Villa-Lobos nominated for Best Classical Album in the Latin Grammy Awards.  She has earned wide critical acclaim in Brazil and Europe, and released numerous albums including Mar do meu Mundo on the Borandá label with special guests including UAKTI, and Paula Santoro, released by Biscoito Fino label, featuring special guests Chico Buarque, Toninho Horta and Jaques Morelenbaum.

Paula and Ian were introduced in 2007 by the influential Brazilian composer Guinga in Rio when Paula was collaborating with Guinga on a recording and tour. Ian had met Guinga at the age of 16, an encounter that changed his life and music. Hearing and falling in love with Guinga's music led Ian to devote himself to exploring his own Brazilian roots through music. Paula and Ian came together musically in 2014 when both were part of the faculty at California Brazil Camp, a performing arts camp focused on Brazilian music and dance. Their mutual admiration sparked a desire to work together, resulting in Metal na Madeira, recorded at the famous Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA in September of 2015.

Eraldo Bernocchi Joins Hindustani Lap Steel Guitarist Prakash Sontakke On Sublimely Beautiful New Release - Invisible Strings

On his latest RareNoise release, the one-time Italian punk guitarist and current experimental musician-producer-sound designer Eraldo Bernocchi joins Indian slide guitar master Prakash Sontakke for a rare encounter on the sublimely beautiful Invisible Strings. A melding of East and West, Bernocchi plays sparse guitar lines behind the Hindustani lap steel virtuoso on this evocative collaboration between the two. From "The Last Emperor Walked Alone" to "Sublime Skies," "Bangalor Electric" and "The Unsaid," Bernocchi and Sontakke strike an uncommon accord on this meeting of the spirits.
"The first time I heard about Prakash was in a project with Eivind Aarset where he played guitar. His name popped out again from a journalist who suggested I should do something with him because we could really get along. He actually was right. Prakash is such a sensitive person, able to adapt to any style or sound environment. And he has an amazing way of mixing Hindustani classical music with new technologies as well lap steel guitar."
In shaping a sonic environment for Prakash to play in, Bernocchi was mindful of letting things flow in the studio as the music took shape. "It's difficult for me to start with a sound concept," he says, "as sound lives by itself and blooms according to what's surrounding it. I was intrigued by the idea of working with another guitar player, especially one coming from a different tradition who was confronting himself with a more western instrument. I have loved Indian and Asian music since I was a teenager and for me to work with someone so skilled, so amazingly dynamic has been a kind of dream fulfilled."
Bernocchi acknowledges that Brian Eno's 1983 ambient music project Apollo (which utilized lap steel guitar) was a seed for his own work on the Invisible Strings project. "I own Apollo on vinyl, CD and tape, "he says. "It is one of my favourite records of all time. It's very likely that in a silent way, when I had the chance to play with someone who eventually reminded me of those moments, my brain reacted to it with a big smile."
Add the fact that Prakash is Indian and Bernocchi professes a special love for that place and its music, and you have the makings of magical outing. Bernocchi, who co-founded RareNoise Records in 2008 with Giacomo Bruzzo, has recorded with the bands Obake, Metallic Taste of Blood and Owls and also collaborated with minimalist pianist-composer Harold Budd for the London-based label. For Invisible Strings, he saw his role as a guitarist from a couple of different points of view.
"The first approach was creating atmospheres around Prakash's guitar magic. I used a lot of pedals and I completely reshaped the sound of the guitar as we know it," he explains. "On the record there are a lot of sounds that are made with guitar but they sound like from other instruments. I've always been interested in using the guitar as a tool, as something that could create sounds out of space or nowhere. There are pads, drones, keys that are coming from my guitars. I mainly used baritone guitars, especially a custom- made aluminum one built for me by Nude Guitars from Italy. They're amazing instruments with such a sustain that sometimes you think there's compression applied but it's just the aluminum neck dialoguing with the wood body.The second phase was duetting with Prakash, creating something that could be a sort of dialogue. This was much more risky as he is such a skilled player and so sensitive that I was worried to spoil the magic of his melodies. But I think in the end it worked well and everything was natural."
Bernocchi explains the process of carving out the evocative soundscapes heard behind Sontakke throughout Invisible Strings. "Every track starts with a melody, a harmony, a loop of something I had in mind that I was sending to Prakash to record on. He was then sending me back his guitar parts or his ideas for melodies and harmonies, and from that point I was starting to build tracks. So every groove, beat, bass line or my guitar parts are always dialoguing with what he was sending me. Sometimes we reversed the process with me sending over themes, like on 'The Unsaid' for example. It's a time-consuming process, especially because I'm a studio maniac and I'm never satisfied. So ultimately it took one and a half years of sessions to complete this project.
"It is a very emotional album," Bernocchi continues, "as during the process of composing and recording it, we exchanged a lot of personal stories, impressions, memories. A lot of small stories surfaced during the making of Invisible Strings -- some happy, some melancholic, some really sad. Prakash is one of those persons with whom I could fully open my heart to emotions. I can't wait to play live with him."
Invisible Strings, Bernocchi's most genuinely heartfelt and strikingly evocative recording to date, will be released on RareNoise Records in November.

1.    The Last Emperor Walked Alone
2.    Will You Stay
3.    From Star To Star
4.    The Invisible Ferry
5.    Sublime Skies
6.    Bangalor Electric
7.    Purple Yellow
8.    Walking Backwards Again
9.    The Unsaid


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