HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE - BOOK OF SOUND
Beautiful sounds from Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – a group who've matured tremendously in the time that they've been giving us music – and who almost seem ready here to take on the legacy of their musical father – the late Kelan Phil Cohran! There's a complexity to the horn work here that's even deeper than before – amazing tones and textures from trumpets, trombones, euphonium, and sousaphone – all balanced with these sonic currents on guitar, bass, and electronics – instruments used in subtle ways, but to strongly shape the brass elements with maybe more spiritual overtones than in previous years – almost as if the group is growing, and getting even more serious about their message – with echoes that stretch back to the work of Cohran, and maybe Sun Ra's Arkestra, the world of Strata East, and even the tonal colors of Oliver Nelson at his best. Titles include "Heaven & Earth", "Midnight", "Now", "Morning Prayer", "Purple Afternoon", "Lead The Way", "Synapsis", "Royalty", "Solstice", and "Sri Neroti". ~ Dusty Groove
S-TONE INC – ONDA
A beautifully collaborative project from S-Tone – aka Stefano Tirone – done in a way that makes his already warm grooves sound even better than usual! The album's got a blend of modern production and older Brazilian music references – not the more mainstream bossa remix style, but instead a very careful consideration and re-fusion of just the right sort of rhythms and instrumentation – which are then warmed up by vocals from a shifting range of singers who really help bring a great sense of spirit to the album. All tracks are original – and the modes run from samba soul to funky Brazilian jazz, to maybe even a bit of more straightforward MPB – yet almost always mixed with a nicely soulful spirit too. Labelmate Toco is on a number of tracks here – and titles include "Superbacana", "Zona Norte", "Zuzu", "Estrada Real", "Luz Da Joaca", "Vale Do Misterio", "I Can't Keep Up With Your Love", and "Vontade De Viver". ~ Dusty Groove.
SYLVIA BENNETT – BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE FEATURING PAUL BROWN
It may be getting colder outside, but it's definitely getting warmer on the radio as we enter the season to be jolly! Our favorite jazz singer teams with double Grammy winner Paul Brown and critically-acclaimed Miami producer Hal S. Batt for a tour de force, musical holiday surprise, a sophisticated, charismatic cover of "Baby, It’s Cold Outside," featuring PB on vocals, guitar and drums… A sweet blending of soulful and rugged with Sylvia's flawless, velvety delivery! With a smile, smirk and classic sex appeal Bennett thwarts Brown's characterization of the tune's relentless and compelling argument for staying snuggly indoors! A fun, festive arrangement featuring bouncy horns a plenty, and the duos irresistible, albeit confounding chemistry, makes it impossible to listen once... the video is even more addictive! Don’t hold out, check out this year’s favorite holiday hit! ~ smoothjazz.com