RONNY SMITH – SHAKE IT UP
Guitarist Ronny Smith is back with Shake It Up. As writer, producer, arranger and programmer, with ten well-chosen original tracks, this is a superb example of the tight melodic style that categorizes Ronny's playing. Mellow tones, subtle creativity, and his ability to groove over catchy rhythms leaves you breathless. Touches of each of his influences, Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Pat Martino, just to name a few. He grooves, caresses and works his way through a song with maturity. Take for instance the grooving, mellifluous Coast To Coast, featuring Scott Martin on sax, Tone Whitfield on bass and Will Allen on drums, that he uses to get the album started or the wonderfully easy grooving Chasing Your Love featuring Eddy Botts on keyboards. Both are fine examples of Ronny at his very best and much the same can be said of the foot tapping title cut, Shake It Up. Later, when Quincy Jones' horn players, the Martin Brothers, joins the line-up he adds some spice to the decidedly funky Bettin It All On Black and although Back It Up starts out in tranquil fashion it quickly develops into a tune with attitude. Chasing Your Love is one of several cuts where Reggie Wilson on bass and Will Allen on drums lay a rock solid foundation from which Smith's playing really shines and despite Feel For You being another number that re-enforces the mid-tempo groove that permeates much of the collection, the Latin driven intensity of When The Sun Goes Down, featuring Jeff Knoettner on piano, proves to be a powerful way in which to bring the CD to a close. We know you'll love Shake It Up!
RICHARD STOLTZ MAN / RIKA STOLTZMAN – DUO CANTANDO
Grammy Award-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman teams up with his wife, marimbist Mika Stoltzman, on an all new contemporary classical album titled "Duo Cantando" which will be released today via Savoy Jazz. Transcending the boundaries of classical and jazz, the renowned duo's new album showcases compositions by Bill Douglas, Chick Corea, Toru Takemitsu, John Zorn and more. "Duo Cantando" was produced by multi Grammy Award-winner Steven Epstein (Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman) and features guest performers Chick Corea on piano and Gil Rose conducting the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Richard has had a long and distinguished career defying easy categorization. He's performed contemporary classical, chamber music and broken down barriers between classical and popular music most notably melding classical traditions with jazz and popular music. The highly lauded musician has won two Grammys and has been championed by composers from Olivier Messiaen and Toru Takemitsu to Mel Torme and Judy Collins. Sony just released a 40 CD box set compiling recordings on RCA, BMG and Sony. The husband and wife team have been performing extensively as a duo since 2014. Marimbist Mika also transcends boundaries performing in both the classical, jazz and new music realms. She's performed pieces by Steve Reich, John Zorn, Chick Corea and many more.
DELROY WILSON – GO AWAY DREAM
A fantastic record from the great Delroy Wilson – a set that's dubby at the core, but also has a righteous sense of soul too – almost a Jamaican extension of the hippest styles of early 70s American soul! Delroy's vocals are wonderful – very powerful, even without trying too much – and set up amidst some great production from Bunny Lee that really makes the whole thing shine like a slow-burning dark star – a perfect vibe that's laidback, but never lazy – and a great change from some of the more polished early 80s Jamaican soul. Titles include a great remake of the Chi-Lites "Go Away Dream" – plus "No More Heartaches", "Spit In The Sky", "When She Was My Girl", "I Can't Take You Back", "I Can't Fight It Anymore", "Won't You Come Home", and "Silhouette Silhouette". ~ Dusty Groove