Wednesday, November 14, 2018

"RIPTIDE" (EP) by Rising Star Jazz Vocalist Lauren Henderson


Lauren Henderson - RiptideVocalist, composer, and arranger Lauren Henderson is having an exceptionally busy year. Besides a full touring schedule, which includes performances in several European countries, she’s releasing two CDs in 2018. Ármame, was released in March and received stellar reviews for both her vocal performance and her original compositions. Riptide, her second recording project of the year, is an EP comprising six of her original tunes that explore a complex and tumultuous relationship.  

She engaged some up-and-coming jazz stars from both New York and Miami to appear on this project. Riptide is Henderson’s fourth CD. Each of her projects stands as a chronicle of her growth as an artist. Her music is strongly inflected with jazz, Latin, soul, and fusion elements, and also reflects her multicultural background. Henderson’s voice is sultry and soulful. Whether she’s singing in English or Spanish, she has a sure sense of swing that doesn’t rely on melisma or pyrotechnics. Her music aims for your heart rather than your head. Lauren Henderson is a rising jazz star. She’s talented, smart, and driven to make interesting, multicultural, multi-textural music. She’s been growing her audiences in jazz clubs and up and down the East Coast and around Europe, and she’ll soon be breaking into the African music market with a tour in South Africa scheduled for early 2019.

featuring
LAUREN HENDERSON  vocals
CHRIS PATTISHALL   piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, synthesizer, Mellotron
ERIC ENGLAND  double bass, electric bass
JOE SAYLOR  drums, percussion

Music & Lyrics by Lauren Henderson

tracks
1. ÁMAME  3:21
2. RIPTIDE  3:01
3. SEPARATE  4:38
4. BAJITO  5:27
5. ENNUI  6:52
6. SLOW CONTROL  4:03



Jazz / Soul: Kenya + Grammy Nominated Gerald Albright "Favorite Things"


Nov 9th, Kenya released her holiday smooth jazz infused single, "Favorite Things" on streaming outlets everywhere. The single was produced by Stu Stapleton and features the jazz great, Gerald Albright. Kenya has opened up for greats like Lalah Hathaway, Alegbra, and Mint Condition. From her performances at the Essence Festival to teaching young musicians how to handle their business affairs, Kenya stays busy giving us this special surprise for the holiday season. Her sultry vocals accompany the sounds of Mr. Albright and is a crowd pleaser. The single will be found on her upcoming EP,  S.H.E. (2019 release).

One of my creative passions is rearranging music. I love to take familiar songs and add a new "twist" to bring a new perspective to the music. I teamed up with Nashville-based producer Stu Stapleton and together we were able to create a very contemporary version of the classic song.  Once we laid down all of the music and created a demo version, we agreed we really wanted to include a jazz saxophonist that would not only bring the song to another level, but someone whose sound compliments my style.  We agreed Gerald Albright would be a perfect fit!  - Kenya

Spotify Link


Keyboard Legend David Sancious Starts PledgeMusic Campaign For New Album “Eyes Wide Open”


Long regarded as one of the premier musicians in the world, David Sancious was an original member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, toured and recorded with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Seal, Eric Clapton, Jon Anderson and a long list of A-level musicians. He also created groundbreaking music with his band Tone.

David Sancious has begun a new PledgeMusic campaign for his forthcoming album “EyesWide Open”: www.pledgemusic.com/projects/davidsancious

After a long absence from recording, David has embarked on his 9th recording entitled “Eyes Wide Open,” an 8 song project featuring legendary names such as Vinnie Colaiuta (drums) and Prince alumni Michael Bland (drums) and Sonny T. (Thomson) (bass). A mix of instrumental and vocal music reminiscent of David's group Tone, “Eyes Wide Open” takes a contemporary stance by addressing today's issues head-on through David's signature sound.

All pledgers receive a digital download of the recording with their pledge (also available in high resolution 96K 24bit). The campaign will also be offering signed and unsigned audiophile 180-gram vinyl and CDs, remastered versions of landmark recordings “True Stories” and “Just as I Thought” (both remastered in 2000), rare photos and posters of David with Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel, as well as behind the scenes videos, T-shirts, interactive updates, gear used by David on tour, and much, much more, all of which will only be available through PledgeMusic!!

Contact for David Sancious:
John McCracken: john@headstrongmediagroup.com
www.headstrongmediagroup.com
Phone: 615.457.1597

Links:
You Tube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjJmrZu-lg0  (This is the Pledge Video just available on You Tube.)

 

Resilience Music Alliance Announces Signing of Organ/Piano Prodigy Matthew Whitaker – Label Debut Coming Spring 2019


Resilience Music Alliance is proud to announce the addition of acclaimed 17-year-old pianist and organist Matthew Whitaker to the label’s growing eclectic roster. Having already appeared on the Today Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show as well as receiving praise from Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, Whitaker is quite literally the inspiration that resilience can have on a person’s life. Born in 2001 at 23-weeks premature, Whitaker developed an eye condition during his 3 months in the hospital which caused his blindness due to the life saving oxygen that he required at birth.

Whitaker has created a truly remarkable album combining original compositions and covers of songs that have influenced him throughout his life. The album, titled Now Hear This…, is Whitaker’s label debut, produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Brian Bacchus. Whitaker is joined by keyboardist Marc Cary, bassist Yunior Terry, guitarist Dave Stryker, drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., and percussionist Sammy Figueroa.

“Matthew Whitaker is a rarity. A shining light powered by incredible artistry, boundless energy and curiosity and above everything else humanity,” says Resilience Music Alliance President and co-founder Steven Ruchefsky. “In this time, and at anytime, this beacon shouts for our attention. We are humbled to be but a part of the amazing team that will spread that light. Matthew is Resilience.”

The signing of Matthew Whitaker reinforces the mission of Resilience Music Alliance, a label that transcends genre and focuses on empowering artists exploring our collective elemental condition of resilience while conceptualizing projects that resonate with the human spirit. "I'm so excited about my new recording,” says Whitaker. “It's about a celebration of joy, inspiration and hope! Resilience Music Alliance is the perfect partner to help me share my music and to carry its message around the world."

 

Marlena Shaw's long-lost soul-jazz album The Spice of Life, widely out of print since 1977, is available on vinyl


Marlena Shaw's long-lost soul-jazz album The Spice of Life, widely out of print since 1977, is available on vinyl once again via Verve/UMe ahead of the album's 50th anniversary in 2019. The Richard Evans and Charles Stepney-produced LP, featuring her enduring hit of the Ashford & Simpson classic "California Soul," is pressed on 150-gram black vinyl with a tip-on jacket with a faithful reproduction of the original artwork. Order The Spice of Life now: https://UMe.lnk.to/SpiceOfLifePR

The innovative, heartfelt The Spice of Life, originally issued on the Chess subsidiary Cadet Records in 1969, established Shaw as a fully-fledged artist; drop the needle on any track, and you're liable to hear psych-blues guitar runs ("I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)"), firebrand sloganeering ("Liberation Conversation") and even traditional blues (her takes on "Stormy Monday" and Carole King and Gerry Goffin's "Go Away Little Boy"). With a supple alto register and a command of the American songbook, Shaw worked these various styles into an lively patchwork of messages and moods.
  
The Spice of Life is packed with memorable moments; the fuzz solos rattling around "Stormy Monday," the Northern Soul horns on "Looking Through The Eyes of Love," the kalimbas and windchimes sparkling through "Woman of the Ghetto." For all its innovations and explorations, however, The Spice of Life unfairly fell into obscurity for four decades. But it was only the beginning of an unlikely second life.

Her version of the Ashford & Simpson staple, "California Soul," was quickly seized upon by the rare-groove scene. It was prodigiously sampled in electronic music and hip-hop: DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist's "Brainfreeze (Side 2)," Gang Starr's "Check The Technique" and a remix from Diplo all used "California Soul" as a jumping-off point. It even made its way into the commercial sector; "Soul" has been used in commercials for Dockers, KFC and Dodge Ram Trucks, even finding a home on the soundtrack for Grand Theft Auto V.

Shaw's time on Chess Records would be short-lived. After she struggled to fit her eclectic approach into Chess' roster, she recorded for a myriad of labels, including Verve and Blue Note. She still performs in 2018, but her wildly eclectic second album still stands tall. Whether you're a lover of crate-digging classics or plain-and-simple soul power, The Spice of Life has something for everyone.

The Spice of Life Track Listing

Side A
Woman Of The Ghetto
Call It Stormy Monday
Where Can I Go
I'm Satisfied
I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)

Side B
Liberation Conversation
California Soul
Go Away Little Boy
Looking Thru The Eyes Of Love
Anyone Can Move A Mountain

 

Monday, November 05, 2018

New Releases: Lionel Loueke - The Journey; Georgia Anne Muldrow - Overload; Fabio Mignola - Encantado


Lionel Loueke - The Journey

Lionel Loueke, standing nicely on the borders of his styles – playing jazzily, to be sure – but also opening up with plenty of global elements too – in a lineup that includes the musician on a bit of percussion, alongside other percussion from Cyro Baptista and Christi Joza Orisha - plus some other surprise guests too! Loueke also vocalizes a bit – in this wordless style that reminds us of the coolest modes that Nana Vasconcelos would use many years back – echoes of Brazilian jazz, but a more individual style overall. Titles include "Bawo", "Molika", "Bouriyan", "Gbe", "Hope", "Vivi", "Dark Lightning", "Guira", and "The Healing".  ~ Dusty Groove

Georgia Anne Muldrow - Overload

No overload here from Georgia Anne Muldrow – as the singer feels fresher and more vibrant than ever – maybe in part to the Brainfeeder setting of the album! More than a decade back, it seemed like Muldrow was giving us greatness at nearly every turn through the record racks – then she faltered a bit, and maybe disappeared a bit too – but she's definitely back, and maybe sounding even better than ever! For years, Georgia was something of an underground secret – then maybe too relegated to that space when she could have burst big – and it definitely feels as if she might finally do that here, as she approaches the greatness of her music with the confidence of a 21st Century soul giant – maybe partly to reclaim territory that others have wrongfully taken from her. The se features guest appearances by Shana Jenson and Dudley Perkins – the last of whom also produced, along with Aloe Blacc and Flying Lotus – on titles that include "Play It Up", "Aerosol", "You Can Always Count On Me", "These Are The Things I Really Like About You", "Bobbie's Dittie", "Ciao", "Vital Transformation", "Blam", and "Overload". ~ Dusty Groove


Fabio Mignola - Encantado 

A rich blend of smooth jazz with Brazilian flavours and rhythms is what we are presented with on this new album performed by soulful virtuoso guitarist Fabio Mignola. In 1999, Mignola released Chitarra ticinese, featuring solo guitar arrangements of folk songs.  Swiss Ticinonline praised, "Chitarra ticinese is one of those CDs that everybody should hold in his own recordings library . . . the musical essentialism given by the presence of a solo guitar raises the fourteen melodies to touching small musical jewels." Winning the praise of critics for his "virtuosistic arpeggio", Mignola release Flor de luna in 2000, a collection of solo recordings that celebrated the beauty of evergreens. The collaborations with famed Swiss songstress Nella Martinetti (CD Così il tempo va) and with the ukrainian singer Elena Martynova (album Turn to Your Soul / Povernys' Do Dushi) would further endear Mignola as a beloved international guitarist, arranger and producer. However, it was the 2003 contemporary jazz release of Flyin' Away that would tantalize American airwaves.  Smooth Jazz and More declared, "Mignola gives the listener a style much like Peter White and Acoustic Alchemy. It's very cheerful and at the same time, very relaxing." Entranced by Brazilian jazz, Mignola often performs as solo guitarist in a light mix of sambas and bossa nova stylings.  Celebrating the rich cultural heritage of his homeland with Neapolitan jazz, Mignola released Luna rossa in 2005 with tenor Mauro Bonomi.



Thursday, November 01, 2018

New Christmas Music: CeCe Winans – Something’s Happening!; Nils – Christmas Everyday; Engelbert Humperdinck - Warmest Christmas Wishes


CeCe Winans – Something’s Happening!

Once again, CeCe Winans teams up with son Alvin Love III to present Something’s Happening! A Christmas Album. The mother-son team walked away with two Grammy awards for their 2017 collaboration on Let Them Fall In Love. Love is known for seamlessly meshing Motown, pop, and doo-wop to create a fresh retro musical experience and CeCe's pristine vocals are surrounded by lush orchestral arrangements on the five original and five standard songs. When asked what she would like the message of this project to be, CeCe says, “My desire is that when the world hears this project that they are reminded of the true reason and spirit of Christmas."


Nils – Christmas Everyday

Nils has gift wrapped 12 Christmas tunes that are sure to get you into the holiday spirit. Christmas Everyday features six original and six classic interpretations of seasonal hits ranging in musical styles from R&B, Pop and Jazz. The all-star lineup of musicians and featured vocalists that Nils has assembled for this holiday album is a who’s who of talent. Including Johnny Britt, Ken Stacey, Erin Stevenson, Harold Payne, Eddie Brown, Jeff Ryan, Clydene Jackson, Diana Tash, Daryl Williams, Kathryn Bostic, Tony Moore. Gordon Campbell and Dov.





Engelbert Humperdinck - Warmest Christmas Wishes

Iconic pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck is launching the next chapter of his illustrious career by surprising his fans with a brand-new Christmas album – his first in almost forty years. Coming hot on the heels of his first album of original material in over a decade, the acclaimed The Man I Want To Be, Engelbert is excited to bring yuletide gladness to families everywhere. Much like its predecessor, Warmest Christmas Wishes is a combination of classic, new and unexpected songs – including two brand new originals written for this album. Warmest Christmas Wishes truly has something for everyone this holiday season.


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Australia’s hardest hitting Hammond Organ trio Cookin’ On 3 Burners return with their fifth full-length “Lab Experiments Vol. 2″


Australia’s hardest hitting Hammond Organ trio Cookin’ On 3 Burners return with their fifth full-length “Lab Experiments Vol. 2″, the sequel release to 2017s Lab Experiments Vol. 1: Mixin. Boasting eight brand new Burners cuts, this album will take you on an exciting musical adventure traversing soul, up-tempo boogaloo, cinematic journeys and straight up dirty dance floor funk.

The instrumental tracks on “Lab Experiment Vol. 2″ capture the fiery interplay from the bands cranking shows across Australia, Europe and the UK a trio in full flight scorched straight to analogue tape. Drum heavy “The Jump Off” bursts out of the speakers like a sling shot and is accompanied by a crowd sourced video of B-boys and B-girls from around the globe bringing their moves and representing their city (watch here). On a down tempo detour the gritty and cinematic “Howler” is a mysterious beast waiting in the dark, fuzzy guitar tones and swirling organ drenched in a sea of reverb.

With collaborations galore, the album includes the dance floor filler “Warning“ featuring rising neo-soul singer Kaiit , which anticipated the album as a 45 release, as well as feature vocals from The Meltdown’s resident heartbreaker and vocalist Simon Burke on on “The Garden Of Freedom”. The voice of hit single “This Girl” Miss Kylie Auldist features on “One Of The Ones” and Chicago born, Melbourne-based king of suits Fallon Williams lends his gritty vocals to the outfit’s latest single “Force of Nature”.

“Lab Experiments Vol. 2″s lead single Warning received immediate rotation on Australia’s national broadcaster Double J, was featured globally on Spotify’s coveted New Music Friday Playlists and Apple Music’s Best Of The Week, picked up the 3PBS Feature Record and 4ZZZ’s Best New Arrivals, as well as BBC6 airplay on The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show.

Since their inception in 1997, Cookin’ On 3 Burners have had substantial success worldwide building them an avid following of fans near and far. With live performances alongside such notable acts as Quantic, Alice Russell, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Fat Freddie’s Drop and more. In 2016 they collaborated with French dance producer Kungs with a remix of “This Girl” that became the European song of the summer for that year and the most Shazamed dance track in the world, hitting number #1 in 10 countries and the top #10 in over 35 countries.

“Lab Experiments vol.2 out on LP/CD/Digi on Oct 26th via Soul Messin’


WATCH ALFREDO RODRÍGUEZ’S MESMERIZING NPR MUSIC TINY DESK CONCERT


Alfredo Rodríguez, the prominent Cuban pianist and Quincy Jones mentee stopped by NPR Music’s headquarters recently to perform a Tiny Desk Concert in support of his new album The Little Dream. Recently Alfredo’s TinyDesk Concert had its worldwide release, watch what NPR Music calls, “Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez gave our office audience a very quick lesson on why pianists from that island nation are so impressive: they treat the piano as the percussion instrument it is. Rodríguez immediately let fly with an intense flurry of notes that were as melodic as they were rhythmic.” Watch the full performance here.

Alfredo Rodríguez’s critically acclaimed album The Little Dream has seen continued support from NPR Music, with a First Listen, and hailed, “Alfredo Rodríguez is a figurehead of the new generation of Cuban jazz musicians who observe and honor their roots while constantly seeking new avenues for expression.”

In addition, the new album The Little Dream has garnered accolades from a series of esteemed publications like New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Billboard, Jazz Times, Downbeat, and many more.

The Little Dream is a powerful message for the Dreamers and youth affected by the controversial regulations surrounding the DACA program. Rodríguez understands how important “dreams” are, especially for today’s youth – and the immigrant children known as “DREAMers” – for shaping a more unified future. He expresses, “the title of my new album, The Little Dream, is my response to our current world climate. The title comes from my fascination with the dream world, which is a beautiful manifestation of our reality. My greatest dream is one where all humans live happily and in peace. Children are the hope and the answer to creating a world of love, peace, unity and understanding.”

As jazz music sees a resurgence in younger audiences, Rodríguez is leading the way for the new wave of Cuban musicians, including past collaborators Ibeyi and Pedrito Martinez. The rich musical history of Cuba is finally being exposed to a wider audience, which has always been a hope for many upcoming artists.

Rodríguez reflects on the title The Little Dream, “is about the child that is within us all, and how imagination and creativity are messages for hope. No one knows better than me that a little dream can become a big dream, and big dreams can become reality.”

“The virtuoso Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez, a Quincy Jones protégé, recorded many of the tunes on “The Little Dream” in a single take: His chops are that solid, and his trio is that tightly woven.” -- New York Times

2018 Tour dates:
Nov. 1 - Jazz Showcase @ Chicago, IL          
Nov. 2 - Jazz Showcase @ Chicago, IL         
Nov. 3 - Jazz Showcase @ Chicago, IL         
Nov. 4 - Jazz Showcase @ Chicago, IL         
Nov. 13 - Maison de la Culture @ Bourges, France 
Nov. 14 - La Petite Halle @ Paris, France    
Nov. 23 - London Jazz Festival @ London, UK       
Nov. 25 - Auditorium de Zaragoza @ Zaragoza, Spain       
Nov. 30 - April Jazz Club @ Espoo, Finland
Dec. 1 – Jazzclub @ Tübingen, Germany    
Dec. 3 - Jazz Cat Club @ Ascona, Switzerland         

2019 Tour Dates:
Feb. 2 - Manchester Craftsmen's Guild @ Pittsburgh, Pa
(with Pedrito Martinez, Edmar Castaneda And Grégoire Maret)
Feb. 7 -  Kimball Ballroom @ Columbia, MO
Feb. 8 - Walton Arts Center @ Fayetteville, AR
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 15 - Jefferson Center @ Roanoke, VA
(With Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 16 -  Kc Jazz Club, Kennedy Center @ Washington, DC
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 17 - Flynnspace @ Burlington, VT
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 22 - North Carolina State University @ Raleigh, NC
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 23 - North Carolina State University @ Raleigh, NC
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 24 - Weisiger Theatre, Norton Center For The Arts @ Danville, KY
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Mar. 8 -  Symphony Center @ Chicago, IL
(with Pedrito Martinez And Paquito D'rivera)
Mar. 9 -  Lakewood Cultural Center @ Lakewood, CO
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Mar. 10 - Argyros Performing Arts Center @ Ketchum, ID
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Mar. 13 - The Loft, Uc San Diego @ La Jolla, CA
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Mar. 15 -  Virginia G. Piper Theater, Scottsdale Center For The Performing Arts @ Scottsdale, AZ
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Mar. 16 - Jo Long Theatre @ San Antonio, TX
(with Pedrito Martinez)
May 10 -  Sanders Theatre @ Cambridge, MA
 (with Pedrito Martinez)
May 11 - Stratus Vineyards @ Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON, Canada
(with Pedrito Martinez)
May 18 - Vermont Jazz Center @ Brattleboro, VT
(with Pedrito Martinez)

 

Virtuosic Artists Collide in Elegant Conversation of Latin + Blues on StringShot


Trio’s debut album and U.S. tour set to capture the hearts of roots, rock, world, and jazz fans

There’s a bedrock of sound that unites the music of the Americas, despite the remarkable variety of musical expression on the surface. And then there’s the unique, near-magical energy that comes alive when devoted musicians let their skill and artistry converse.

StringShot, the new trio collaboration between legendary blues slide guitarist & producer Roy Rogers, Brazilian guitar virtuoso and songwriter Badi Assad, and South American stringed harp master and violinist Carlos Reyes, harnesses both, bringing blues and Latin music into close dialog while demonstrating how well friendship translates into flawless performances and songwriting. Their beautifully produced debut album, StringShot, leaves ample room for the musical kindred spirits to strut their stuff and move with effortless tenderness. 

“I’m always trying to push the envelope, ” laughs Rogers. “It’s conducive to great music. The Latin and blues conversation has always appealed to me, and I love the rhythms and the challenge of a different genre.This is the first time I’ve gotten to explore it outside of a strictly blues context, and it’s been wonderful.”

“Though our styles are totally different, we use them as a way to communicate our hearts out,” explains Assad. “In the lyrics process, we could feel that we take in life in similar way, with day-by-day discoveries, with a lot of simplicity coming from the soul, and a love for music with a lot of freedom. Roy has a very big heart and he embraced me as a sister, with that same kind of care and support. You can hear it in the music, our very special friendship.”

American audiences will get to hear the collaboration live for the first time, as StringShot embarks on its debut tour on the West Coast this autumn.

Rogers, Assad, and Reyes all share a passionate devotion to their music and instruments, reflected in wildly creative and successful careers that cross boundaries and defy borders.

Rogers apprenticed playing with the greats, in particular John Lee Hooker, and later forged a name for himself as a peerless slide player and talented producer and songwriter. (He’s been nominated for 8 GRAMMYs for both.) Assad, daughter of a world renowned and deeply skilled musical family, took her classical training and put it through the filter of Brazil’s Afro-Latin heritage, evolving into an effortlessly graceful singer-songwriter. Reyes, a virtuoso on the Paraguyan stringed harp as well as the violin, has often taken his instruments into new territory, both as a player and fearless collaborator.

There is another, deeper layer connecting these musicians, a mutual fascination with each others’ styles. Rogers, for example, has toured Brazil and was ‘taken’ by the country’s cultural wonders, an experience that sparked “Blues for Brazil,” a song he originally recorded with legendary harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite but revisited and reimagined with StringShot.

Rogers’ son Sam, a beatboxer and vocal percussionist, visited Brazil and held a workshop a few years back. Assad showed up to take his class and that connection eventually led to Assad becoming friends with the entire Rogers family with Gaynell Rogers taking on Assad’s management.

Through this chance connection,Assad and Rogers decided to also collaborate together.  “When I first went to Roy’s house to rehearse, I was very nervous because I didn’t know him very well and I had no idea what Iwould play on the guitar. Roy is a genius and I became shy. But he and his wife welcomed me with so much love and simplicity that my heart melted. It was ground zero of our friendship.”

That friendship-launching rehearsal led to a full-fledged project that brought in another key element, Reyes’s harp and violin; Reyes previously had been featured as a special guest with Roy and his band The Delta Rhythm Kings for the past few years. All of the instruments share strings, but occupy radically different spaces and contribute different voices to songs that range from pensive ballads (“God Prayed It” ”) to Afro-Cuban-inspired frolics (“Back to Havana”). The main thing, Rogers says, is to stay true to your sound, even as you embrace and dance with others’: “The whole criteria as a player is to be who you are. You may admire Brazilian or Cuban players, but you can’t just imitate. It’s a confluence of factors here, and these influences are coming together because we’re creating a sound together.”
  
The connections and differences enrich the music. “Carlos is South American as I am and in that sense we share some similar approaches to the rhythmic background,” explains Assad. “Yes, our countries have different styles of music but the heat behind the chords and the passion behind the rhythms are the same. So we understand each other in a silent and ancestral way. With Roy it is different. We share similarities because we play the same instrument and sing as well.” They also wrote the lyrics to several of the album’s songs together, sending ideas back and forth between California and Brazil. (“Wounds of Sight” and “Back Along the Way”)
   
Drawing on shared sensibilities and distinct contrasts, channeling them through their individual artistic approached, StringShot really came into its own in the studio, as Rogers began to hone the sound. “The sound happened in the studio. I had an idea of how the sound could come together. You know when you’re recording if it is going to work good or not,” Rogers notes. “There were more than a few moments in the studio where I went ‘wow’ this is the sound. We’ve got it.”

The pinnacle of the production approach resounds on the moving, “God Prayed It,” a song Rogers originally wrote with Metallica bassist Jason Newsted for another project, but one Assad transforms with profound emotion. “I thought this song and several of the other tracks deserved a full production treatment. That’s why it’s lush; that was by design,” Rogers says. “You’ll hear a few sparsely produced songs in there for balance, but at moments, we decided we would make it about as full as you can get, with added string arrangements and more.”

“When you explore a new combination, it’s exciting, especially when it comes together for all the right reasons,” muses Reyes. “It’s the interaction.”

“That connection really contributes to the sound,” agrees Rogers. “I want it to be known as the StringShot sound. This kind of musical collaboration works when artists are open to explore.”



UNIFONY: The Audiophile Spontaneity of Kindred Spirits Turns Fleeting Moments into Sweeping Cinematic Tracks


Is autoerotic-audiophilia a thing? Subdued, yet meticulously composed and engineered to inspire lush cinematic soundscapes on the backsides of closed eyelids, that's how I'm tempted to describe the sensory experience that is UNIFONY to you.

The collaborators would walk into the studio and coax a moment, a sound from the instruments. No through-composed scores, no plans, just the interaction of kindred spirits and vibrating metal and wood, wire and skin.

This is the basic premise of UNIFONY. Improv-based, timbre-inspired, the collaborative project harnesses European indie songwriter and film composer Minco Eggersman and audiophile engineer and musical ingenue Theodoor Borger’s unique chemistry to conjure a soundscape for good, wildly talented music friends. The first album of the project UNIFONY (to be released Oct. 12, 2018) features the sometimes breathy, sometimes crystalline trumpet of ECM artist Mathias Eick, and the stellar mixing and mastering skills of Phil Brown (Led Zeppelin, Bowie, Talk Talk) and Bob Ludwig (Hendrix, McCartney, Queen, Daft Punk).

The results are lush, enigmatic, touching the imagination and emotions without ever revealing the full story. They are ambient and cinematic, yet ultimately simple at their hearts, drawing inspiration from everything from post-rock like Talk Talk and contemporary classical compositions. Though the tracks are grounded in small moments of inspiration, they achieve well-developed form and bright sheen, thanks to friendship and technical prowess of the project’s contributors.


Percussionist Jim Roberts release "The Tao Of Time"


In 2006, percussionist, producer, and North Carolina professor Jim Roberts took the words of activists who've inspired him to social action over the year as a challenge to make a meaningful contribution to public discourse. He devoted years to doing something, crafting The Tao of Time (release: October 26, 2018), a concept album as diverse and unexpected as his wide-ranging musical influences. Inspired by peace activists and other agents of change--the wonderful Peace Pilgrim’s words, for example, create a pivot in the album--The Tao of Time explores the nature of time, history, human experience, and how the past can but does not have to determine the future.

“As a drummer, people often expect you to just do drum pieces, not the kind of things I’m doing here. When I began working on this record, I had a bigger vision,” says Roberts. “But I knew that I couldn’t leave the drums out. Drums, time and language are synonymous. It’s all part of the process.”

Roberts’s bigger vision unfolds over the course of interlocking vignettes guided by raucous  time-traveling seafarers, Captain Time and his Craic crew; clever covers (Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues,” Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger,” along with set of variations on its themes); and original pieces tackling war and peace, past and future, life and death, and the nature of the universe. Though Roberts urges listeners to engage with the darker side of existence on pieces like “Soul Power ” and “When Will Peace Come,” the destination is ultimately hopeful and forward looking, as the words and sounds ask us to be “All That We Can Be.”


trio WoRK, featuring SUSAN KREBS (voc), TOM RIZZO (gtr.) and KEN WILD (bass)


Bassist Ken Wild is a founding member of the fine band Seawind. Since 1976, Ken has been an active studio musician, working in TV and film, and on many recordings, including Clare Fischer Big Band, Harvey Mason and Tierney Sutton. Live performances with Dianne Reeves, Terence Blanchard, James Moody, Herb Ellis, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Natalie Cole's touring band and Dave Weckl to name a few, as well as numerous Musical Theater productions.

One of LA’s most versatile guitarists, Tom Rizzo has played with Blood, Sweat and Tears, Maynard Ferguson, Brian Wilson and Natalie Cole among many others. He was the guitarist for the Tonight Show Band for 10 years, and played for Don Severinsen’s jazz group Xebron.  A longtime composer,  Tom has written for commercials, radio, film and TV - including for “In Living Color”, where he and Ken Wild first worked together.

An actor and theater improviser for many years (Film: 28 Days; TV: Mad Men; Improv: War Babies), Susan Krebs’ passion has always been for the music, performing as a vocalist at venues such as Vitellos, LACMA, Blue Whale -- as well as in theaters and living rooms with her jazz salon, ThemeScene, where her most recent recording project, “SPRING ~ Light Out of Darkness”, with the Susan Krebs Chamber Band was born and raised.

 


GERMAN FUNK/BREAKS PRODUCER MR. CONFUSE RELEASES ‘ONLY A MAN’


Confunktion Records label founder and German funk/breaks producer Mr. Confuse returns with his fifth full-length and third original studio album “Only A Man”, a very personal record that explores the man behind the music. From well-known soul topics of love and hate to social issues of modern life – this full-length is all about an odyssey through time, rhythm and music.

The way Mr. Confuse produces his music is inspired by growing up with the 90s hip hop production technique of creating something new by referencing unheard funk and soul. For this album the process involved sampling and resampling the recordings of up to 16 international musicians to create an organic, powerful, authentic and danceable funk sound, which can be heard in each and every second of this record.

Opening titletrack “Only A Man” sees long-time Mr. Confuse collaborator Dan Salem take the mic to lament the difficulty of day to day living over a guitar-led uptempo funk workout. Dan also appears on jazzy soul number “Only Rainbows” and “The Modern Way”. While “Same Old Game feat. Leo Will” is a sister soul stormer for lovers of deep funk and northern soul alike, with blazing organ and standout vocals.

Twisting electro funk from the 80s into heavy 60s and 70s-sounding funk that could have been the blueprint for the original version has long been a defining characteristic of Mr. Confuse‘s sound. On this album he re-funks well-known freestyle electro classic “Let The Music Play” by Shannon, with Manoo contributing vocals.

“Can’t Be No Crime feat. Rick” dips into latin-funk territory and “Cranberry Dream feat. Elaine Thomas” closes the album with some sweet, sweet soul. But Mr. Confuse proves he can equally hold up a track on his own, with surefire b-boy favorites to be found in instrumentals “Gain Station”, “Fast Lane” and “Against All Odds”. And the infectious future jazz grooves of “Rush Zone” make this tune another album highlight.

It may be ‘only a man’ behind composing, producing, arranging, mixing, recording, organizing, promoting and performing abroad, but when that man is Mr. Confuse, it takes “Only A Man” to get the job done well.

 

Melbourne’s heaviest funk rhythm section The Putbacks return with "The Ways"


Melbourne’s heaviest funk rhythm section The Putbacks bring you a twisted and electric collaboration with the legendary Bilal on their new single “The Ways”. This dark, dirty, post-soul, post-jazz, mystery-cinema freakout dominated by screaming electric guitar and Bilal’s husky stream of consciousness lyrics is accompanied by an equally murky video and anticipates The Putbacks‘ self-titled debut album out in November. “The Ways” is produced by Paul Bender (Hiatus Kaiyote) and is a hard-hitting, abstract journey into an alternate reality where The Meters specialized in Sci-Fi soundtrack art and Dick Dale played guitar on Madlib records.

Bilal has been a household name amongst soul aficionados since he was an integral member of the Soulquarians collective – a movement that launched his career alongside those of Questlove, Erykah Badu and D’Angelo and whose influence is still strongly felt. Bilal is a mercurial and diverse artist, noted for his wide vocal range, his resistance to being typecast and his working across multiple genres, “The Ways” being a prime example. Bilal’s discography is studded with stellar collaborations including Kendrick Lamar, Common, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Guru, J Dilla, Robert Glasper and The Roots, amongst many others.

The Putbacks are a rhythm section. Drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and percussion. Stone cold pros, grizzled veterans of all the tours and all the studios. They take their cues from the great house bands of the 60s and 70s soul studios as film composers from David Axelrod and Lalo Schifrin to Adrian Younge and contemporary instrumental groups like BADBADNOTGOOD, Khruangbin and El Michels Affair. Known for their instrumental 7inch funk cuts and their collaboration with Emma Donovan, the forthcoming LP marks their first album as a quintet.



New Releases: Charlie Haden & Brad Mehldau - Long Ago & Far Away; Diane Hoffman – Do I Love You; Tasha - Alone At Last


Charlie Haden & Brad Mehldau - Long Ago & Far Away

A really great meeting of jazz giants – both very familiar names, with very familiar styles – but somehow also quite fresh and surprising in this setting! Haden's the especially strong charmer – because with just the piano of Brad Mehldau alongside him, there's lots of room to hear his more subtle touches on the bass – especially as the album features all long tracks, most past the 10 minute mark – which really lets both players open up! Mehldau is pretty great, too – past his successful sound, with some surprisingly modern touches as he makes his way over extended performances of "Au Privave", "My Old Flame", "Long Ago & Far Away", "My Love & I", and "What'll I Do". ~ Dusty Groove

Diane Hoffman – Do I Love You

An established painter, vocalist Diane Hoffman has had a storied musical career which traces back to the legendary Sonny's Place in Seaford, Long Island. For years she has performed all over New York's Tri-state area, and she has released two other albums as a leader, My Little French Dancer and Someone In Love. Her new release, Do I Love You, was produced by drummer and percussionist Ulysses Owens, Jr., and features a swinging 9-piece ensemble with some of New York's leading players. Songs covered on the recording include "Do I Love You," "Small Day Tomorrow," and "Crazy In The Heart," among others.



Tasha - Alone At Last

A fantastic debut from a Chicago talent we guarantee you'll be hearing from in years to come – a songwriter with a style that's both personal and political – schooled in years of underground work in the city, now springing forth as a crucial voice for a new generation! Tasha's younger than most working in this field, but she's already got this presence that speaks volumes – whether singing in a spare, intimate setting – or flowing with some slightly larger backings – always with this quality that seems to link individual experience with a greater agenda, but in a wonderfully careful way. Titles include "New Place", "Alright", "Kind Of Love", "Lullaby", "Winter Song IV", "Take Care", and "Something About This Girl". ~ Dusty Groove


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Vinyl Hampdin new CD “Red” sparks a new website and submissions in the 61st Grammy® Awards


Vinyl Hampdin’s new CD “Red” is on its way to new heights as it launches its new project and website coupled with submissions in multiple categories in the 61st Grammy® Awards.

This super-group has a collection of stellar musicians that defies genre and can only be described as rocked-out seriously funky jaw-dropping ear candy with killer horns, world-class rhythm section, and a stunning vocalist.  They are a force of nature with one goal in mind and that is to create modern deep pocket sticky fun music at the highest possible level.

Group founder and composer Steve Wiest puts it this way “What would Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears and Tower of Power sound like if they started out now?” That is the mission of this jam-packed all-star assemblage of world-renown musicians: to take the modern landscape of textures, hybrid styles and timely songwriting of the 21st Century and pour it all into the venerable tradition of the rocked out horn bands of yore.

The band consists of lead singer Lisa Dodd who is a multiple Juno-winning vocalist and bassist from Alberta, Canada. With a stellar voice described by Jonathan Widran as “sandpaper and honey”.  Dodd’s astounding vocal range is the perfect icing to the powerhouse horn section and the state-of-the-art rhythm section that gives Vinyl Hampdin its unique signature sound.

The all-star horn section is made up of Grammy-winning lead trumpet phenom Frank David Greene of Paul Shaffer-David Letterman and Christian McBride fame, tenor saxophonist Ray Herrmann from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame super-group Chicago, multiple Grammy nominee and acclaimed composer-trombonist Steve Wiest, renown woodwind artist Art Bouton on the bari sax and Sly5th Ave from Prince and The New Power Generation on tenor.

To fuel, propel and power such a mixture of stellar virtuosos the rhythm section is anchored by the former Musical Director for Maynard Ferguson and drumset artist with Doc Severinsen Stockton Helbing, including multiple Juno-winning Canadian guitarist Ryan Davidson, Eric Gunnison–former pianist with Carman McRae and The Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, with prolific producer/composer Gerald Stockton on bass.

At the center is Wiest’s compositions and originals. Wiest and Dodd team up in the lyric writing department while Wiest composes the music in a manner true to the group’s heritage. Each arrangement of well-known songs is reimagined, twisted and super-charged by the pen of Wiest.

These prolific all-stars create a unit that produces an incomparable groove that lives up to the band’s motto of “Rocked out incredibly funky jaw dropping ear candy.”

With the release of their critically-acclaimed debut project “RED” and the accompanying eleven videos directed by Grammy®-winning cinematographer Andy LaViolette, Vinyl Hampdin has hit the ground running and is beginning to spread the good word of the modern jazz-informed rock horn band.  To hear and see all of their submissions via these videos go to http://www.vinylhampdin.com/grammy_consideration/

Hugo Award-winning author and frequent David Crosby collaborator Spider Robinson says“...if Blood Sweat & Tears or Chicago or Tower of Power or Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath had spent every second of the last 40 or 50 years in constant improvement and musical and spiritual growth, they might sound this good by now. And maybe not.” This should explain why Vinyl Hampdin seeks the support of NARAS members this year in the following categories: Best Alternative Music Album (Vinyl Hampdin ”RED”) Best Rock Performance (Pay For It”), Best Arrangement With Vocal (“Use Me”), Best Improvised Jazz Solo Ray Herrmann “(Pay For It”),and Best Engineered Album (non-classical). 

“I was fascinated by the music of Vinyl Hampdin, not only did I giggle when I found out the play on the bands name ie. Lionel Hampton, I was astounded by the caliber of artistry and musicality of the blended genres.  This band should be on every jazz festival there is for the audience will go crazy with their musical interpretations for they are the perfect example that represents our NOT JUST JAZZ Movement” says Jaijai Jackson of the Jazz Network Worldwide.

Vinyl Hampdin has signed with Eric Cohen of the EC Music Agency and will be looking for touring opportunities that will give their band a chance to share its unique retro-minded, never stuck on nostalgia, classic cherished style and making it a socially and sonicly relevant and necessary part of the world today.


 

ROBBEN FORD RELEASES BRAND NEW STUDIO ALBUM “PURPLE HOUSE”


earMUSIC has announced the worldwide signing of Robben Ford – the blues, jazz and rock virtuoso, who is one of the most innovative and influential contemporary premier electric guitarists, vocalist and songwriter with a celebrated career that has spanned almost five decades.

The five-time Grammy nominee achieved worldwide fame for both, being a solo artist and for his collaborations with a diverse musical Who’s Who that includes Miles Davis, George Harrison, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Dizzy Gillespie, Georgie Fame, Kiss and many more. 

With both parents being passionate musicians themselves, Robben early found his love for music and especially for playing guitar – and it was a love that should last forever. Today his commitment to teaching and passing on what he’s learned over the years to current and future musicians is an essential component of his career. 

Purple House, his brand new studio album, co-produced by Casey Wasner, features nine powerhouse tracks and the album’s genesis, according to Ford, was simple and uncomplicated. “My concept for the record was to do something with a lot more emphasis on the production than I’ve had in the past”, says Robben. “I’m always pushing myself with each record. I haven’t made one record that sounded like the one before it and this was going to be no different. ‘Purple House’ was a great opportunity to try something really different.” 

And he adds: “I used to deliberately write blues and rhythm and blues. The Blue Line, that band really focused on blues and rhythm and blues. Traditional. But over the years I’ve really tried to expand that and this new record, more than anything I’ve ever done, is a real departure from tradition in terms of the songwriting.” 

On Purple House we hear special guests appearances such as blues powerhouse vocalist Shemekia Copeland; she sings a duet with Ford on “Break In The Chain.” Travis McCready, the lead singer of the Natchez, Mississippi band Bishop Gunn, contributes the lead vocals on “Somebody’s Fool.”  And we hear a fantastic guitar solo of Bishop Gunn’s guitarist Drew Smithers on the album’s closing track “Willing To Wait”. 

Track listing
1. Tangle With Ya
2. What I Haven’t Done
3. Empty Handed
4. Bound For Glory
5. Break In The Chain
6. Wild Honey
7. Cotton Candy
8. Somebody’s Fool
9. Willing to Wait


Conya Doss' CLEAR is a 13-song compilation of smoothness, soul, rhythym, and melody


Ohioan Conya Doss voice reflects the sounds of the past, present, as well as what is yet to come. Ms. Doss makes it no secret that her musical taste is a mix of genres classical, soul, blues etc., in which she describes good music as being Like Gumbo, it taste better with time, the next day and the next. This is apparent in her most recent project CLEAR. With undeviating smoothness, soul, rhythm, and melody, the poised songstress has composed a 10 song compilation of perfectly placed instrumentation intertwined with her smooth vocals, with a hint of rasp, provides a journey into the world of accountability, vulnerability, capability, as well as accepting life s offerings. 

Doss first single I’m Trying , Conya croons over a groovy, funky bass, mid-tempo flow, which a host of highly respected musical gurus have coined Another Doss Classic, demonstrating that the songbird s consistent quality music stands with the best of them. I’m Trying is dear to me because it speaks volumes as where my state of mind is right now. Forever a student of life, trying to learn more, trying to live better, and trying to do better. Just trying to be… Another standout tune is Get Off Of Your…. Doss that gives a 70ish disco groove that is guaranteed to make you wanna dance. and Hello provides creative songwriting letting us know that it s never too late to find true love. Given You My Love is another banger consists of a smooth jazzy tune compelling love one not to close other out that they don t have to weather storms alone!! Myron Davis and Rodney Jones serve as the main producers on CLEAR in addition to producer Aaron Hardin. All of Doss album titles are authentically steeped in the spirit of growth and change Clear does just that. It focuses on being transparent and clearing thoughts to music in order to be better aligned with ones spiritual self.


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