Friday, March 30, 2018

NEW RELEASES: DETROIT RISING – COSMIC FUNK JAZZ ADVENTURE; BETTYE LAVETTE – THINGS HAVE CHANGED; ESTHER PHILLIPS – AT ONKEL PO’S CARNEGIE HALL HAMBURG 1978


DETROIT RISING – COSMIC FUNK JAZZ ADVENTURE

A proudly Detroit-based, Parliament/P-Funk veteran-helmed cosmic soul, funk & jazz adventure that bridges past to future! What we appreciate most is how Detroit Rising uses the sprawling Parliament Funkadelic legacy – and the project players' experience in that universe – as a springboard for a timeless cosmic soul vibe rather than replicating old school sounds. It's really about celebrating the history while looking to the future, and they do that with a diverse batch of tunes worthy of the legacy! The set features both veteran and contemporary figures from the mothership including guitarist DeWayne "Blackbyrd" McKnight on guitar, Danny Bedrosian on keys, drummers Gabe Gonzalez and Benjamin "Benzel" Cowan, singers Tonysha Nelson (George Clinton's granddaughter) & Steve Boyd, Lige Curry on bass and Greg Thomas on sax – along with United Sound Studios players Duminie Deporres & Kern Brantley and guest singer Sue Ann Carwell. Includes "Lashing Out", "Litttle Bit", "My Heart Is Frozen", "Rocket Love", "What's That You Heard?". (On colored vinyl – includes album download with bonus tracks – and initial copies come with a free t-shirt! Quantities extremely limited!) ~ Dusty Groove

BETTYE LAVETTE – THINGS HAVE CHANGED

Bettye Lavette on Verve Records – a move that also signals a shift in her music too – in a way that we can really approve! Bettye's getting some richer care in the backings – more of a classic soul approach, in terms of warmth – never trying too hard to cast the singer in modes that might be a bit forced, and instead almost echoing a Muscle Shoals sort of vibe at times – which leaves Lavette to provide more than plenty of edge to the music with her vocals! All of the tunes here are Bob Dylan covers, but are wonderfully transformed – and even the presence of guest stars like Keith Richards or Trombone Shorty can't get in the way of the lady and her message. Titles include "Emotionally Yours", "Going Going Gone", "Seeing The Real You At Last", "Don't Fall Apart On Me Tonight", "Things Have Changed", and "Ain't Talkin". ~ Dusty Groove

ESTHER PHILLIPS – AT ONKEL PO’S CARNEGIE HALL HAMBURG 1978

Esther Phillips might be best known for her studio records in the 70s – that great line of classics she recorded for the Kudu Records label – but she's completely on fire here in a live setting, where she stretches out even more than usual – and really reminds us of her genius! Most tracks are nice and long – and some are very very long – and Esther's working with a hip small combo that includes Henry Cain on piano and keyboards, Wes Blackman on guitar, Phil Upchurch on bass, and James Levi on drums – players that can get funky when needed, then kick back at other moments to let Phillips take the lead – often expressing herself in ways that we never heard in the studio. Titles include "MS", "One Night Affair", "Native New Yorker", "The Blues", "Man Ain't Ready", "I've Never Found A Man", "Cherry Red", and "What A Difference A Day Makes". ~ Dusty Groove



NEW RELEASES: RYAN PORTER – THE OPTIMIST; ORQUESTA AKOKAN; ROXY COSS – THE FUTURE IS FEMALE


RYAN PORTER – THE OPTIMIST

Seriously stunning work from trombone player Ryan Porter and a young, but already amazing group of LA jazz funk players from the West Coast Get Down collective he co-founded – including Kamasi Washington, Cameron Graves, Miles Mosely and others – recorded at Kamasi's Inglewood, CA home studio! Recorded in 2008 in the confines of "The Shack" – the tight quarters garage studio at the Washington family's home – the sound is very much the resonantly soulful, spiritual jazz funk that sowed the seeds for work to come from the whole collective. Most tracks feature Kamasi on tenor sax, Mosely on upright bass, Graves on piano & Rhodes and a revolving cast of drummers including Tony Austin, Robert Miller and Aaron Haggerty. Titles include "The Psalmist", "Obamanomics", "Strugglesville", "The Instrumental Hip-Hoppa", "Deja Vu", "Night Court In Compton", "K-Wash", "Anaya", "Little Sunflower", "Impressions" and "Chocolate Nuisance". (Limited edition 3LP set! Includes download.)  ~ Dusty Groove

ORQUESTA AKOKAN - ORQUESTA AKOKAN

A record that may well single-handedly mark the huge shift in American/Cuban relations in years to come – as the set's a tremendous project between the New York forces of Daptone Records, and the overlooked genius of the younger scene in Havana! Make no mistake, this isn't your usual Daptone funk – but instead, the label has found a way to allow this group to really rise to the height of their powers – no overdone trappings, as they might get on a bigger label – and instead, a raw sound that's very classic – yet without sounding slavish to any ideals of Havana in the pre-Castro years either. There's such wonderful warmth and energy on the record – as both singer Jose Pepito Gomez and the musicians find this perfect balance – percussion that's nice and raw, horns that are tight but have modern inflections, and a production style that's warm and woody, but never slick at all. Includes "Mambo Rapidito", "La Corbata Barata", "Un Tabaco Pra Elegua", "Otro Nivel", "La Cosa","Yo Soy Para Ti", "A Gozar La Vida" and more. ~ Dusty Groove

ROXY COSS – THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

Roxy Coss's second album as a leader for the Posi-Tone label – and it's her strongest to date, both by design and in performance! Where her Chasing The Unicorn album set up a whimsical sensibility, this one obliviously sets up a tone of strength and determination – undercurrents of all her work we've heard thus far, but are front-and-center thematically here. The titles are strident and topical, while the sound is timeless, with some thematic touches – like the almost foreboding intro to "Mr. President" that leads into marching drums, or the slyly easygoing swing that starts "Feminist AF" leading to some of the most energetic soloing by Roxy on the whole set – but she never casts off the neo-classic jazz she's always had such a strong voice for. Recorded in a single day with her excellent band including Alex Wintz, Miki Yamanaka, Rick Rosato and Jimmy Macbride, titles include "Nevertheless, She Persisted", "Little Did She Know", "She Needed A Hero, So That's What She Became", "Females Are Strong As Hell", "#MeToo","Nasty Women Grab Back" and "Ode To A Generation". ~ Dusty Groove


Jazz Guitarist Dave Stryker Joins ArtistWorks' Extensive List of Online Teaching Artists


ArtistWorks, the leading provider of interactive online music education, has announced the latest addition to their extensive online music faculty: Jazz Guitar with Dave Stryker. After a number of exceptionally successful years offering Jazz Guitar lessons with the late Chuck Loeb, ArtistWorks is excited to announce its newest online Jazz Guitar lessons with Dave Stryker.
  
Dave Stryker's success as a guitarist is unprecedented, with Village Voice hailing him "one of the most distinctive guitarists to come along in recent years." During his decades-long career, he's released 28 CDs with his own group, and played alongside music greats in the Stryker/Slagle band. One of his recent CDs reached #1 on the Jazz Charts and maintained that position for 20 weeks.

Stryker has had the opportunity to accompany Stanley Turrentine, Jack McDuff, Kevin Mahogany and other household names. He's been the well-deserved recipient of multiple Downbeat Magazine's readers' and critics' polls.

Dave Stryker boasts an extensive history teaching Jazz Guitar. He is currently on the music faculty at Indiana University and Montclair State University. He is also the author of Dave Stryker's Jazz Guitar Improvisation Method.

Powered by patented Video Exchange Learning®, members at ArtistWorks can submit practice videos playing Jazz Guitar through the website for Dave Stryker to review and provide feedback. Aside from the hundreds of lessons in the Jazz Guitar curriculum, members have access to a wide variety of study materials designed to enhance their learning experience. They can also view all previous Video Exchanges with Stryker and other members within the school.


Pianist Kait Dunton's trioKAIT Bring Their Collective Conscience to the Cosmos


Pianist and composer Kait Dunton has long kept her gaze fixed well beyond the obvious, but as the cover of trioKAIT 2 reveals she and her close-knit bandmates are now set on an even more cosmic vision. Where the trio's self-titled debut reimagined electronica-influenced jazz for an acoustic piano trio, trioKAIT 2 adds an array of vintage keyboards and effects to Dunton's already eclectic sound palette.

Due out May 11 on Real & Imagined Music, trioKAIT 2 further evolves the collective voice that Dunton and her triomates -- electric bassist Cooper Appelt and drummer Jake Reed -- have forged together through tireless gigging and a shared open-mindedness during the past few years. A former member of Snarky Puppy during the band's formative years in Texas, Dunton carries forward the same "family" approach into her own trio. Fittingly for three musicians based in the show biz capital of Los Angeles, where opportunities take a dizzying variety of forms, trioKAIT folds influences from pop, rock, film scoring and other styles into their unique twist on the piano trio.

The addition of classic keyboards like the Fender Rhodes and the Wurlitzer electric piano only makes the possibilities that much more endless. "There's such a wealth of sonic possibility in using synths and effects," Dunton says. "As a composer I've always strived to see how modern I could get the acoustic piano to sound. But at the end of the day it's still just an acoustic piano -- there are inevitably limitations. As soon as I started getting into the world of pedals, I realized how inspiring a sound can be."

Shockingly given the wide range of sounds she coaxes from her expanded toybox and the finesse with which she uses them, Dunton is still new to the world of keyboards and synthesizers. Six months prior to recording she was still an acoustic piano purist; the album displays a full spectrum of environments and sonic approaches that finds her venturing down a stunning variety of new creative paths.

Of course, a lifetime of study and experience went into Dunton's experiments, lending her the instincts to make something innately musical out of each situation, even -- sometimes especially -- when things didn't exactly work as expected. "It was so new I didn't have time to worry about whether I was doing it right or not," she says with a laugh.

In keeping with the album's celestial theme, the first track is "Re-Entry," and the feeling is one of burning across a threshold and being thrust into a sudden moment of weightlessness. But with Dunton on the acoustic piano, it's also an easing back into the sound-world of trioKAIT, exemplifying the group's knack for infectious melody, bracing groove and intensely locked-in but playful communication.

Things take a turn with the wah wah-tinged Rhodes of "OCD," a tense, urgent tune that wouldn't feel out of place scoring a car chase or on one of Herbie Hancock's soulful '70s offerings. "Using the wah pedal, I finally understood why Herbie's Rhodes sounds different," Dunton says. "You can't just turn on a Rhodes and have it sound like Herbie's. Herbie or Chick would use a wah pedal, and just turning it on adds this frequency in the upper range that makes it pop. On acoustic piano it's all about touch and tone but you're not really adjusting the sound like this."

Touch and tone are at the forefront on "Nude," which returns to the acoustic setting for a starkly emotional ballad that feels like a baring of the soul. "The Hunch" with its air of mystery and suspicion, gets at the intuitive feeling that something's not quite right, even if you can't put your finger on the specifics. It's followed by a pair of tunes that take the narrative idea into meta territory: "Thematic" is a pulsing synth piece where atmospheric production and, naturally, the dramatic theme take precedence over soloing, while the non-eponymous "Title Track" shimmers in its airy open-endedness, giving Appelt plenty of space in which to roam.

Dunton's Wurlitzer gives a breezy Yacht Rock feel to "J&J's," with Reed gently propelling the beat with a finger-snapping cool. The skewed funk of "Frontier" has a classic '80s R&B tune's ability to compel the listener out of their chair, and Dunton carries that momentum into her ferocious solo.

The only non-original composition on the album is the Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley tune "Pure Imagination" -- a perfect choice for a set fueled by inventive dreaming. In trioKAIT's hands the song becomes untethered from the bounds of gravity, free-floating and wispy as a scattering cloud. "Inner Space" turns the focus inward for a deliberately-paced anthem of self-reflection.

The album nears its close by getting looser and more exploratory. "Outlude" plays with layers of sound, while "Alkibo" cruises on a celebratory groove. "Thanks And Goodnight" is a final, slightly tongue-in-cheek send-off, dancing the trio offstage until the next time the curtain rises.

Kait Dunton is a Los Angeles based composer & pianist with an unconventional approach to composition and to the piano trio, best expressed by her genre-pushing band trioKAIT. Together with bassist Cooper Appelt (Kan Wakan, Station Breaks, Robert Davi) and drummer Jake Reed (Bill Holman, Bruce Forman, Mako), trioKAIT brings a modern, tight and groovy sound to the piano trio format, shuffling wide-ranging influences and Kait's innovative compositions into a refreshingly modern take on instrumental music that is as uncategorizable as it is infectious. Fused together via Kait's music, the trio melds into a laser-focused single entity that is captivating, playful and exciting. The trio's self-titled debut, trioKAIT, made the Huffington Post's list of "The Best Jazz for 2015" and was featured in Downbeat Magazine, while their follow-up collection of idiosyncratic covers, trioKAIT Casual, reached #5 on the Jazz Week radio charts. On her own albums Kait has worked with such jazz masters as Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, John Daversa and Darek Oles. Prior to this, she was a member of Snarky Puppy during their formative years in Texas, appearing on their sophomore record, The World is Getting Smaller.
  
Kait Dunton · trioKAIT 2
Real & Imagined Music · Release Date: May 11, 2018


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

WYNTON MARSALIS SEPTET - UNITED WE SWING: THE BEST OF THE JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER GALAS


Celebrating the red, white, and Blues Recorded between 2003 and 2007, United We Swing finds an unparalleled array of music talent that collectively boasts 94 Grammy Awards joining Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis (a nine-time Grammy Award winner himself) and some of the world's top jazz musicians to perform blues-inflected versions of iconic American repertoire.

Those one-night-only, live performances have never been released before. They include Lenny Kravitz performing Marsalis's hypnotizing, New Orleans-inflected arrangement of Kravitz's own song, 'Are You Gonna Go My Way'; Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks uniting for a stirring, infectious take on Civil Rights anthem 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free'; Bob Dylan adding harmonica licks to a deeply felt, in-the-pocket rendition of 'It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry'; and Ray Charles taking the stage for one of his final performances to play 'I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town.'

Together these artists raise their voices to highlight jazz s importance to America s cultural heritage and to remind us that, even in divided times, music can unite us all. All proceeds from the album will go toward Jazz at Lincoln Center s education programs, which introduce thousands of children to jazz each year.

Tracklisting
1. The Last Time (feat. Blind Boys Of Alabama)
2. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (feat. Bob Dylan)
3. I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town (feat. Ray Charles)
4. I'm Not Rough (feat. Eric Clapton)
5. Creole Love Call (feat. Audra McDonald)
6. Milk Cow Blues (feat. Willie Nelson)
7. I'm Gonna Find Another You (feat. John Mayer)
8. My Baby Don't Tolerate (feat. Lyle Lovett)
9. The Worst Thing (feat. Natalie Merchant)
10. Please Baby Don't (feat. John Legend)
11. Mean Old Man (feat. James Taylor)
12. Are You Gonna Go My Way (feat. Lenny Kravitz)
13. Fool's Paradise (feat. Jimmy Buffett)
14. Empty Bed Blues (feat. Carrie Smith)
15. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (feat. Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks)
16. What Have You Done


NEW RELEASES: HERBIE HANCOCK / WILLIE BOBO / MICHAEL BRECKER / ROY HARGROVE – INVENTIONS & DIMENSIONS; MARIO BIONDI & THE HIGH FIVE QUINTET – HANDFUL OF SOUL; BRIAN CHARETTE / GEORGE COLEMAN - GROOVIN' WITH BIG G

HERBIE HANCOCK / WILLIE BOBO / MICHAEL BRECKER / ROY HARGROVE – INVENTIONS & DIMENSIONS

Wax Love present a reissue of Herbie Hancock's Inventions & Dimensions, originally released in 1964. Inventions & Dimensions is the third album Herbie Hancock ever released as a leader and proof that he was not an artist who was willing to be pigeonholed. Featuring a quartet made up of a bassist and two Latin percussionists, Inventions & Dimensions explores the possibility of Latin percussion outside the context of a Latin jazz album. Comprised of post-bop and modal compositions all from the pen of Hancock, this is a beautiful album that shows the promise of a young and confident pianist and composer who would blossom into one of the most celebrated talents in jazz history.

MARIO BIONDI & THE HIGH FIVE QUINTET – HANDFUL OF SOUL (Special Edition w/Bonus CD)

An incredible full length debut from vocalist Mario Biondi – a jazz singer we'd rank right up there with the legendary Mark Murphy – supported here with great backings from the High Five Quintet! The grooves here are in a soaring, tightly-stepping style – very much the best club jazz mode of the contemporary European scene – with all-acoustic instrumentation, and rhythms that move along at a really great dancefloor pace! Mario's vocals are really unique too – with a little rasp that catches slightly, and really brings a timeless quality to his voice – mixing personal feeling into the lively numbers on the album, with an unexpected depth that really makes the album stand out from similar sessions of this type! There's echoes of hip vocal jazz work from years past by artists like The Peddlers, Bobby Cole, or Mark Murphy – and titles include "A Child Runs Free", "No Mercy For Me", "This Is What You Are", "I Can't Keep From Cryin Sometimes", "Rio De Janeiro Blue", "Handful Of Soul", "On A Clear Day", "Never Die", "No Trouble On The Mountain", "Slow Hot Wind", and "Gig". (Includes bonus CD of the full album!) ~ Dusty Groove

BRIAN CHARETTE / GEORGE COLEMAN - GROOVIN' WITH BIG G

The legendary tenor saxophonist George Coleman featured alongside the celebrated B-3 organist Brian Charette. George Coleman is the recipient of 2015 NEA (The National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Masters Awards, the highest honour USA gives to jazz musician. For the B-3's most adventurous and talented practitioner, Brian Charette, who has known the Coleman father and son (junior plays drums here) for more than a couple of decades, this recording is something of a musical homecoming. "Both B-3 stylist and student, serious jazz scholar and glitzy entertainer, Charette is a burning soloist who understands the tradition of the Hammond B-3 as well its future - just as certainly as he understands his place in that lineage." - Ken Micallef, Downbeat 


Bassist Lello Molinari Reimagines Classic Repertoire in Stunning Modern Jazz Settings - Lello's Italian Job, Volume 2


It's often been said that "you can't go home again" - but with his Italian Job project, Lello Molinari proves that old cliché wrong. The acclaimed bassist has not only returned to his Italian roots, but brought with him three decades of experience as a bandleader, an educator, and a virtuosic bassist with his fingers on the pulse of modern jazz. Now he views the unparalleled musical traditions of his homeland through the lens of a lifetime's worth of accumulated musical knowledge, creating something that's both Old World and New, deeply personal while reflecting a profound tradition.

Molinari left his native Naples, Italy in 1986 to study jazz at Boston's Berklee College of Music. In the intervening years he's gone on to become a revered educator at that same institution, perform as an in-demand bassist on both the jazz and classical music scenes in Boston, tour the U.S. and Europe with his own Quintet, and venture to the leading edges of jazz in partnership with saxophone great George Garzone.

In recent years, however, Molinari began to glance back over his shoulder at the wealth of musical riches to be found in the land of his birth. That adventure began as part of his 2000 album Multiple Personalities, which peppered three Italian tunes into an album that also veered from forward-leaning jazz to a Monk classic, and featured Garzone, guitarist Mick Goodrick, pianist Frank Carlberg and renowned Italian vocalist Chiara Civello. On the 2016 release Lello's Italian Job, Volume 1, he explored material from across the wide spectrum of Italian song - traditional folk music, classical arias, popular songs - and radically transformed them through his own singular jazz voice. Now, with Lello's Italian Job, Volume 2, he offers a second collection that marries timeless melodies to contemporary sounds.  The CD will be released on Friday, March 9, 2018 via Fata Morgana Music.

"I had a desire to reconnect with my roots," Molinari says. "But I also wanted to incorporate these new things that I've learned over the years here in the States to old material and give it a fresh look and a fresh take."

As on the first volume, Molinari leads a quartet of stellar artists who share his Italian heritage - and are all members of the Berklee faculty. Drummer Marcello Pellitteri is a fellow immigrant, hailing originally from Sicily, while saxophonist Dino Govoni and guitarist Sal DiFusco are both Italian-American. Their repertoire for Volume 2 varies from a Respighi tone poem to popular Neapolitan songs that have been sung for generations, to original music penned for the project.

With centuries of musical history to delve into, Molinari found that the hardest part of the project has been whittling down his list to just enough repertoire to fill (so far) two volumes. "Rather than picking which songs to do, I really had to think about which ones not to do," he says. "If you think about Italian music, it's like saying

'Jazz' - there's so much and it's so diverse that it's impossible to put it into one place. Because I play with a number of orchestras, I've reconnected recently with classical music and opera. Then there are certain pieces of music that I just adore and that I wanted to do with my group in my way. Others were songs that I grew up with, folk songs that I've known since I was a kid. So it was a natural process."

The insistent tap of Pellitteri's percussion opens "'O Sarracino," a popular song by legendary Neapolitan performer Renato Carosone, given a jazz-funk feel by Govoni's keening soprano, Molinari's slinky electric bass line, and DiFusco's strummed groove. "Jazz Tarantella" takes the melody that is the bane of every Italian's existence - you know the one, it accompanies every Italian stereotype and cartoon that's ever appeared on screen - and reimagines it as an alluring straightahead jazz tune in the vein of Miles Davis' "Dear Old Stockholm." DiFusco's original "Sulla Strada di Damasco" follows, inspired by the story of the conversion of Saint Paul and incorporating a vaguely Middle Eastern feel.

"Intermezzo Sinfonico," from Pietro Mascagni's operatic masterpiece "Cavalleria Rusticana," is jolted into the present via Govoni's EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) and Lello's harmonies on Electric basses, while Pino Daniele's "'na Tazzulella 'e Café" makes the unlikely journey from Napoli espresso bar to Bourbon Street coffeehouse in Molinari's New Orleans-influenced arrangement. Ottorino Respighi's four-movement tone poem "Pini di Roma" becomes a lush, impressionistic ballad, followed by Luigi Canoro's famous mazurka "Tra Veglia e Sonno," which opens familiarly with a mandolin and percussion intro before Govoni's tenor shifts it firmly into the jazz realm.

"Lidio Napoletano" shows off the improvisational empathy of the trio, built on a short melody in the Lydian mode and created in homage to the treasured Boston band The Fringe, mainstays on the local scene for more than four decades. "Anema e Core," which has been sung in different languages by everyone from Perry Como to Andrea Boccelli, is a famous Neapolitan song written by Salve D'Esposito in 1950, rendered as a moving duet for bass and guitar. Another song that's traveled the globe, the famous "Torna a Surriento" has been recorded by everyone from Luciano Pavarotti to Dean Martin to Elvis Presley (as "Surrender"), its heartbreaking melody here pairing Govoni's EWI with cello played by Meena Murthy. The gorgeous melody of "Tu 'si 'na Cosa Grande" is set to a slow, swaying beguine, while Molinari and Pellitteri close the session with an improvised duet, evocatively titled "Neapolitan Snake."

"I guess as I get more mature," Molinari concludes, "I don't need to play 'punk jazz' anymore or do music that's so difficult to listen to. I can enjoy a simple structure, a simple melody - Lello's Italian Job lets me do both, reinterpreting this old material from a new, contemporary jazz point of view."

Born and raised in Naples, Italy, bassist, bandleader and educator Lello Molinari studied contrabass at the Scuola Civica in Sesto San Giovanni. In 1985 he joined the Italian Vocal Ensemble, performing on radio and television as well as at Italy's leading jazz festivals. The following year he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, earning his Bachelors Degree there and his Masters from the New England Conservatory. He's since joined the Berklee faculty, where he leads an ensemble dedicated to the music of his mentor, Dave Holland, and a new ensemble drawing on Italian repertoire. In the early '90s Molinari toured the US and Canada with the acclaimed Either/Orchestra and began a longstanding collaboration with sax great George Garzone. Since 1992 he's been the principal bassist for the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, with whom he's recorded several albums. He's also a member of the Cape Ann Symphony, Hillyer Festival Orchestra, and Salem Philharmonic. Molinari has played with such jazz legends as Kenny Wheeler, George Garzone, Mike Melillo, Jerry Bergonzi and Victor Lewis, leads his own Quintet and co-leads the trio 3Play. Lello's Italian Job, Volume 2 is his 5th release as a leader.


Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar set to release "Run To Me"


Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar’s latest recording, entitled “Run to Me”, is scheduled for release in April 2018. Produced by Darcy Yates (Bassist in Bahamas), the new album explores the full range of the vicissitudes of love: desire, betrayal and, at times, emotional and sexual satisfaction. The lyrics are incisive, the melodies are constantly arresting and the harmonies and arrangements call up the best of the soul sounds of Stax Records and such contemporary artists as Leon Bridges, Sharon Jones, and Lee Fields.

Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar’s debut release, 2015’s Send the Nightingale, was a stripped down affair consisting of Martin, her two co-singers Sherie and Stacie, and guitarist Mikey McCallum. For Run to Me, Martin elected to record her emotionally wrought material with an expanded band, augmenting the core of Delta Sugar’s gospel-infused harmonies with a full rhythm section, piano, organ and an ever-so-soulful horn section.

Send the Nightingale was a stunning achievement which garnered four Maple Blues nominations in 2016, was regularly featured on the CBC, topped the blues charts on Stingray radio and propelled the group onto the stages of all the major Canadian festivals and clubs coast to coast. Subsequent to the album’s release, Martin has been nominated three years in a row as Female Vocalist of the Year at the Maple Blues Awards. Continuing to build on the group’s steam rolling momentum, in the fall of 2017, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar were selected by a panel of blues experts to represent Toronto at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, a platform that has served to launch any number of careers in both Europe and the United States.

After performing 130 high energy “soul revue” style shows in the US and Canada in 2017, and buzz-worthy showcases at both Americana (Sept. 2017) and at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis (Jan. 2018) – Samantha is now building her European fan base with two full length European tours scheduled before February 2019. The live show is a torrid force of nature, taking audiences to emotional peaks while leaving them stunned with pin-you-against-the-wall power.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

NEW RELEASES: DARREN RAHN - HYMNS FROM THE HEART; GOD.DAMN.CHAN - SLUSH; JESSE DULMAN QUARTER – LIVE AT DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY


DARREN RAHN - HYMNS FROM THE HEART

New from Saxophonist Darren Rahn is the Easter release of Darren's brand new inspirational album "Hymns From The Heart," featuring" 10 of Darren's favorite inspirational hymns performed on saxophone with piano accompaniment. Songs include How Great Thou Art, Blessed Assurance, I Surrender All, Jesus Loves Me, Softly And Tenderly, Amazing Grace Interlude, There's Just Something About That Name, It Is Well With My Soul, The Old Rugged Cross, and Jesus Paid It All. With over 25 #1 radio singles and multiple Grammy nominations over the past 11 years as an artist, producer and mixing engineer, Darren Rahn has become urban jazz’s premiere sonic architect, the “go-to” guy for established genre greats and up and comers looking for their next sure-fire hit.

GOD.DAMN.CHAN - SLUSH

Busted beats with a very bassy bottom – the kind of record that can really give your speakers a workout, while also delivering a surprisingly lyrical sort of vibe overall! God Damn Chen is very much a 21st Century talent – drawing on a range of earlier funky influences, but making something completely new and very much his own – as messed-up as it is mindful – crackling with a strong sense of urgency, but always sounding a bit personal as well! The blend is wonderful, and makes this instrumental set so different and so much more rewarding than the too-easy downtempo of the generation before – on titles that include "To My Friends", "Groovybby", "Smoke Break", "Supa Ugly", "Syrup Bath", and "Whatitdo". ~ Dusty Groove

JESSE DULMAN QUARTER – LIVE AT DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY

There's just a handful of musicians who've been able to make amazing music on the tuba over the years – maybe Joe Daley, or the great Ray Draper, who recorded early with John Coltrane. And to that list, we might add Jesse Dulman – a musician who's labored in greater obscurity, in the farther reaches of the New York scene – territory that he uses for a great comeback scene, recorded in the basement of the Downtown Music Gallery on the lower east side! Dulman's got fantastic collaborators here – Ras Moshe on tenor and Dave Sewelson on baritone and sopranino sax – both reed musicians whose sense of texture really resonates with Jesse at the best moment – as Dulman uses his instrument to move between basslines and more outside melodic passages. Leonid Galaganov plays drums and percussion – and titles include "Thanks To William Parker", "Confusion", "Making Amends To Chelsea The Neighborhood", and "Homage To Charles McGee, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, & Will Connell". (Limited to 250 copies.)  ~ Dusty Groove


Guitarist Adam Hawley’s second album, “Double Vision” features Dave Koz, Jeff Lorber, Marcus Anderson and more


When your debut album scores three Billboard No. 1 singles, including the longest running No. 1 single of the year, and helps you win two Debut Artist of the Year titles, your priority becomes avoiding a sophomore slump. That was guitarist Adam Hawley’s mindset as he entered the recording studio to construct “Double Vision,” his Kalimba Records disc that was just release. 

“My number one goal was to have my second album not only live up to the first, but hopefully surpass it. I was overwhelmed with the support and feedback I received and definitely wanted to repay the listeners with a fitting second offering rich with strong grooves,” said Hawley, about the new ten-track set he wrote and produced highlighted by collaborations with Grammy winner Jeff Lorber and contemporary jazz chart-toppers Dave Koz, Darren Rahn, Marcus Anderson, Julian Vaughan and Greg Manning.
  
“Double Vision” arrives nearly two years to the day “Just The Beginning” dropped in 2016. Topping the Billboard chart with “35th Street” (featuring Eric Darius), “Joy Ride” and “I Don’t Mind,” (featuring Euge Groove) with the first title camping out in the peak position longer than any other single did that year, lead to Hawley being named Debut Artist of the Year by JazzTrax and Smooth Jazz News. The first-call sideman and session player leapt nimbly into the solo spotlight and instantly became an in-demand performer at jazz festivals, clubs and music cruises.     
  
Hawley’s upward trajectory continued earlier this month when “Double Vision’s” first single, “Can You Feel It?,” became his highest debuting Billboard single to date and this week charged into the Top 10. The midtempo urban adult joint registers maximum impact via Hawley’s expressive guitar riffs and Anderson’s plush sax accoutrements. The song is one of nine instrumentals Hawley penned for the collection that pours equal measures of sparkling pop, smooth R&B grooves and cosmopolitan jazz, stirred neatly by slick fretwork. 

“For ‘Double Vision,’ I very much had groove on the mind. One of my main focuses in the writing process is making sure the music feels good. And for most of this record, the combination of the incredible rhythm section created by Nate Kearney on bass and Eric Valentine on drums helps achieve just that. I am constantly writing, putting ideas in my voice memo app and composing in the studio to the point where I had 30 possible songs for this record. The tracks I selected for ‘Double Vision’ represent putting my best foot forward,” said Los Angeles-area based Hawley, who will celebrate the album release with a concert Friday night at SoCal jazz hotspot Spaghettini.   
  
The album’s lone cover is a reimagined take on Adele’s “Hello,” which Hawley ingenuously transforms into a sultry acoustic number with exotic Latin samba rhythms. His wife, Kat Hawley, delivers inviting vocals with warmth and aplomb.   
  
The guitar ace originally from Portland, Oregon has toured and/or recorded with a wide variety of hit-makers and headliners such as Koz, Jennifer Lopez, The Backstreet Boys, Brian Culbertson, Joss Stone, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright and many others. Hawley also operates a studio that provides production, tracking, mixing, copy and transcription services for clients such as Summer Horns (Koz, Albright, Rick Braun and Richard Elliot), Lorber, Euge Groove, Jonathan Fritzen, Lin Rountree and Phil Denny. He earned a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Southern California and shares his knowledge by teaching at the Musician’s Institute, Chaffey College and Saddleback College.  
  
“Double Vision” contains the following songs:
“Just Dance” featuring Dave Koz
“Party People” featuring Jeff Lorber
“Can You Feel It?” featuring Marcus Anderson
“Traveling Mood” featuring Julian Vaughan
“Detroit”
“Hello” featuring Kat Hawley
“Shuffle” featuring Darren Rahn
“Just A Friend Of Mine”
“Shake”
“1AM”








For more information, please visit www.AdamHawley.com.



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Peace, love, hope & joy,

Drummer Reggie Quinerly Reveals a New Aspect of His Musicianship With the April 20 Release of "Words to Love"


Reggie Quinerly Words to Love Hailed by DownBeat as the embodiment of "style, substance, soul, and swagger," Reggie Quinerly is just the kind of drummer to take on a first-time challenge -- like writing an album's worth of songs featuring vocalists. "As a drummer, I'm always trying to write things you wouldn't expect," says Quinerly. On Words to Love, his third album as a leader which is set for April 20 release by Redefinition Music, Quinerly composed music and lyrics for eight songs exploring the many facets of love.

Previously the drummer had written words and music for the title track of his acclaimed 2012 debut album, Music Inspired by Freedmantown, and collaborated on another song on that disc. Now, his muse told him to build on the experience.

"I decided to write about love in all its varieties," the 37-year-old Houston native explains.
"This gave me another chance to reveal something new about myself as an artist, and I really immersed myself in the process."
  
Inspired by singers Lou Rawls, Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Carter, and others, Quinerly drafted a pair of proven young artists to sing his songs: Chicago native Milton Suggs, a soulful conduit to the Rawls legacy, and Melanie Charles, a multifaceted Brooklynite who also plays the flute and is actively in touch with her Haitian roots.

Quinerly had wanted to work with Suggs since meeting him about five years ago. "I love Milton's articulation, his attention to melody," he says. "He's all business when he sings. Every word is meaningful, thoughtful, impactful. There's a regal quality to what he does."

Though he had only played one gig with Charles, she made a strong impression on him. "Melanie's an expressive singer with a very personal approach," he says. "I like the light texture of her voice and the fact that she sings in a lot of different styles. She brought a distinctive pop sensibility to the songs."

Having teamed with Gerald Clayton, Tim Warfield, and Mike Moreno on his first album and rising stars Warren Wolf and Christian Sands on his second effort, Invictus (2015), Quinerly put together another killer band for Words to Love: pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Ben Wolfe, and, on selected tracks, alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw.

Reggie Quinerly With its overarching concept and alternating male and female vocals, Words to Love is an ambitious step forward for Quinerly. "I'm always looking to take a back seat, to play in support of the people around me," he says. "Everybody on this album understood that the music, the songs, came first."

Words to Love explores all varieties of love. The opening piece "Until I Met You" addresses "the full beauty" of what falling in love entails, while the bluesy "You Bring Out My Best" is about the kind of deep and lasting love Quinerly found with his wife Toni, to whom the album is dedicated (and who appears with him on the cover). The tender "Times We've Yet to See" was written with their baby daughter, Harper Joy, in mind.

One of the least discussed aspects of jazz may be the work of great drummers on ballads. "There is a tendency to focus on things that are more rhythmically challenging," says Quinerly, who might be referring to the groove-tight but open-feeling "Hope Is My Home," on which Shaw meshes beautifully with Suggs and Evans dances elegantly around Wolfe's walking notes. "But ballads make their own special demands. It's really important to be in control of your dynamics, to maintain an even sound, and to be supportive. Some drummers are much better at accompanying singers than others."

Reggie Quinerly was born on November 16, 1980 in Houston, into a scene that nourished such strong and singular artists as Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, and Mike Moreno. Like them, Quinerly attended the High School of the Performing and Visual Arts, where his mentors included Lester Grant, a top session drummer in the 1950s. Reggie went on to attend the Mannes School of Music at New School University in New York where he got to study with three great drummers: Jimmy Cobb, Lewis Nash, and Kenny Washington.

From the start, Quinerly was less interested in becoming the next traps phenomenon than developing into a complete artist whose skills as a composer and arranger were fully integrated into his prowess at the traps. He went on to earn his Master's in Jazz Studies at Juilliard, after which this "conscientious jazz drummer with a nimble and approachable style" (New York Times) played with such leading artists as Wynton and Branford Marsalis. With saxophonist Marcus Strickland, he played and lectured as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz in the Schools program. In the fall of 2017 he returned to Juilliard as an adjunct professor.

The Reggie Quinerly Quartet will celebrate the release of Words to Love at Smoke, New York, on Thursday 5/31.

 

Baby I’ve Got It – More Motown Girls : more rare treats from Motown’s female roster, including 14 previously unissued 1960s gems


Many moons have passed since the last “Motown Girls” project was released – but these things take time and a great deal of patience. We’re confident followers of the series will find this new volume very well worth the long wait.

The collection opens with ‘In My Heart I Know It’s Right’ by Gladys Knight & the Pips and closes with ‘So Long’ by the great Kim Weston in torch singer mode (a series tradition). ‘In My Heart I Know It’s Right’ was the first track Gladys and her guys recorded for Motown. The group had been introduced to the company by Larry Maxwell, who’d folded his Maxx label – where they had enjoyed modest chart success – in 1965 to join Motown. Gladys was opposed to the move, fearing they would just end up on the company’s assembly line, but she was outvoted by the Pips: “We decided we didn’t have that much to lose”, William Guest recalled. How right he was. ‘So Long’ was the closing theme of 1940s radio favourites the Russ Morgan Orchestra. Kim’s version was cut at a session that included ‘It’s Too Soon To Know’, which premiered on our “Finders Keepers: Motown Girls” collection.

In between you’ll find some of the company’s biggest stars – the Marvelettes, Brenda Holloway, Mary Wells, Martha & the Vandellas – alongside lesser-known collector’s favourites such as Liz Lands, the Lewis Sisters and LaBrenda Ben. Liz Landsrecorded over 100 songs for Motown between June 1963 and January 1964, only a few of which have been released. Nearly all were standards or spirituals, a notable exception being ‘It’s Crazy Baby’. During 1964 Berry Gordy opened a new West Coast office, helmed by songwriter/producers Hal Davis and Marc Gordon, and Liz was sent out there for her final Motown assignment. House writer Frank Wilson came up with this modern-sounding song.

Of the 24 tracks here on “Baby I’ve Got It! More Motown Girls”, 16 are previously unissued and the rest were first made available as “Motown Unreleased” downloads between 2014 and 2017. The selections were recorded between 1961 and 1969, and – while predominantly uptempo, which should gladden most fans – represent several variations of the Motown sound.



NEW RELEASES: ERIC DARIUS – BREAKIN’ THRU; BRIAN COURTNEY WILSON - A GREAT WORK; ROBB SCOTT - SIREN


ERIC DARIUS – BREAKIN’ THRU

One of the most exciting recording artists and live performers that has ever crossed the threshold of Smooth Jazz, saxophonist Eric Darius breaks new ground by starting his own label (SagiDarius Music) for the release of his upcoming album Breakin' Thru. The recently released first single, the Top 10, title track, “Breakin’ Thru,” featured his trademark high energy funk from start to finish, whereas his new single, “Dare 2 Dream” is more of an anthem that builds steadily using contemporary production influences that will motivate you to be your best self. Simmering and soaring sax are held down with hypnotic beats, and a killer melody and groove. The song promises to capture your imagination like dreams often do – taking hold and not letting go. Turn it up, and “Dare 2 Dream”! ~ smoothjazz.com

BRIAN COURTNEY WILSON - A GREAT WORK

GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Brian Courtney Wilson presents his most vulnerable, yet confident album to date ‘A Great Work.’ The compelling 10-track album makes a timely statement, responding to personal pain, community challenges and national tensions with the hopefulness that God is still doing a great work. Written almost entirely by Wilson, with additional songs from world-class contributors including Marvin Winans, V. Michael McKay, and Eric Dawkins, ‘A Great Work’ features production by GRAMMY-winning producers Aaron Lindsey, Luther ‘Mano’ Hanes, Shaun Martin, and Warryn Campbell. Highlights on the album include the lead single and title track, ‘A Great Work,’ the rousing ‘Increase My Faith,’ the heartfelt ‘Our Father Is Kind,’ and ‘Won’t Let Go,’ a retro-themed declaration of faith.

ROBB SCOTT - SIREN

Robb Scott is a musician, singer, songwriter, composer and producer. Born in Fulham, London and with a music career that spans over three decades. He has recorded and released music both as a solo artist, in various bands and as a composer for film, promos and commercials. He has composed music scores for films; Lapse, The Old Man and the Hairdresser, and various promos for Afterglow, The London School of Fashion and Zaggora. His solo projects have included work with Ellen McIlwaine, Jill Jones, Roy Ayers Band and Sandra St. Victor. Robb was inspired by the Californian Soul music that had been so prevalent in his childhood and adolescence. Music by artists like Earth Wind and Fire, Patrice Rushen, Roy Ayers, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Donald Byrd and Doug Carn. Subconsciously, he was trying to capture a sound that conjured up imagery of vast landscapes, oceans, sunsets and horizons. The album has a lot of Jazz, Soul and Latin influences, time signature and tempo changes that segue into other things, lush horn and string arrangements and an entirely live rhythm section played by some incredible musicians. Gone are the drum programs and the broken beats, and here we give rise to live drums, upright basses, live strings and percussion in a much looser, much more organic, soulful excursion. Featured artists included in this project are: Sandra St Victor, Julia and Maxine Waters, Marlo Henderson, Donald Nicks, Elisabeth Troy, Juliet Roberts, Sylvia Mason James, Gina Foster, and Austin Howard.


NEW RELEASES: LTD – SOMETHING TO LOVE / TOGETHERNESS / DEVOTION / SHINE ON; GIZELLE SMITH – RUTHLESS DAY; MATTHEW SHIPP – SONIC FICTION


LTD – SOMETHING TO LOVE / TOGETHERNESS / DEVOTION / SHINE ON

4 classic records from LTD on 2CDs! Something To Love is a great little groover with arrangements by Philly Soul maestro Bobby Martin – who mixes together funk, club grooves, and smooth soul. Jeffrey Osborne's vocals really shine on this one, too! Osborne's emerging strongly in the mellow soul mode on Togetherness, too – especially on the album's two great ballad cuts, "Concentrate On You" and "We Both Deserve Each Other". Devotion is one of LTD's biggest from the 70s – a sweet mix of mellow soul and boogie. Shine On features more solid boogie sounds – with the group still grooving beautifully in their best late 70s mode at the cusp of the next decade! 37 tracks on a 2CD set that compiles their last few years of the 70s! "Back In Love Again", "Stay With Me", "We Party Hearty", "Material Things", "Age Of The Showdown", "Stranger", "Share My Love", "Say That You'll Be Mine", "One On One", and "Dance N Sing N", "You Gave Me Love", "Lovers Everywhere", "Holding On", "Jam", "Don't Stop Loving Me Now", and "Let's All Live & Give Together", "Don'tcha Know", "Shine On", "Where Did We Go Wrong", "Getaway", "Lady Love" and more. ~ Dusty Groove

GIZELLE SMITH – RUTHLESS DAY

Gizelle Smith got caught in the rain on the cover – but you'd hardly know that, given the sunny, upbeat vibe of the album! Smith's a singer who's been bubbling under for years, and this sweet little set may be the one that breaks her out to the big time – as the album has her going past the role of just being a female singer with a funk group – into territory that feels much more able to take on the world of mainstream soul! Not that the album's not funky – because it is – but there's a cohesion here between Smith's self-penned lyrics and the contributions of the musicians that's really wonderful – almost at the level of an old school soul production, but at that refreshed level that the London scene gave us many years back. As with some of the greats from those years – like N'Dea Davenport or Carleen Anderson – Smith seems ready to take the world on with her pride and power – on titles that include "Hero", "Scared Of Something", "Love Song", "Ruthless Day", "Twelve", "Hey Romeo", and "Dust". ~ Dusty Groove

MATTHEW SHIPP – SONIC FICTION

Really beautiful sounds from pianist Matthew Shipp and a very well-chosen quartet – a group that features Michael Bisio on bass, Whit Dickey on drums, and Mat Walerian on alto, bass clarinet, and soprano clarinet! The music is often moody and slow-building – almost (although we hate to use this term) a noir take on avant jazz, with this current of melancholy that shows us just how much Shipp has grown emotionally as a musician in recent years. There's a beautiful balance between freedom and structure in the performance – qualities that all the musicians are very well-suited to express – and the whole thing is surprisingly powerful, at a level that we really didn't expect. Titles include "First Step", "Easy Flow", "The Problem Of Jazz", "Cell In The Brain", "Sonic Fiction", "The Station", "Blues Addition", and "Lines Of Energy". ~ Dusty Groove



Friday, March 23, 2018

NEW RELEASES: DELVON LAMARR ORGAN TRIO - CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR; ARUAN ORTIZ TRIO - ZURICH; BRAZZMATAZZ - TURBOLENCE


DELVON LAMARR ORGAN TRIO - CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR

An organ trio, and one with plenty of soul – romping drums, riffing guitar, and some mighty sweet work on the Hammond by Delvon Lamarr! This is the first we've ever heard of the group, but they're rock solid and right on the money – working with a lean, hard style that's completely classic, but also a bit contemporary too – maybe swinging in the best sort of space between the Jack McDuff Quartet of the 60s and the Sugarman Three group of Desco Records fame! David McGraw handles the drums with a clear love of funk, and Jimmy James is wonderfully wicked on guitar – never trying to dominate too much, as there's no need – given how much he brings to the overall groove. Delvon's a hell of an organist too – the kind that knows that a little can often go much farther than a lot when handling the electric keys – which he does to set up some sweet solos on cuts that include "Ain't It Funky", "Al Greenery", "Can I Change My Mind", "Walk On By", "Between The Mustard & The Mayo", "Raymond Brings The Greens", and "Little Booker T". (Black vinyl pressing.) ~ Dusty Groove

ARUAN ORTIZ TRIO - ZURICH

Pianist Aruan Ortiz really blows us away here – working on three long tracks that show a completely unique approach to the piano, but one that's as melodically pleasing as it is experimental! The trio features the great Chad Taylor on drums, and also on a bit of mbira – and Ortiz really seems to have resonance with him, as he plays these piano notes that as rhythmic as they are tuneful – balanced out by some occasional freer elements from bassist Brad Jones, whose mostly a player who has the same sense of deep soul that we love in Taylor's approach. All three musicians are a real revelation, and the long performance also features a bass solo from Jones, and inventive arrangements of slices of Chopin and Ornette Coleman. Wonderful throughout – and the kind of illuminating record that will make us dig for new jazz records until we leave this planet! ~ Dusty Groove

BRAZZMATAZZ - TURBOLENCE

Brazzmatazz is a band from Ghent (Belgium) with 18 musicians. The woods, brass and percussion combine to give a music full of energy that will make you dance irresistibly. There are the influences of New Orleans Jazz, music from Eastern Europe, Jamaica, Funk, Ska, Reggae, Drum'n'bass mix in a musical party in perpetual change as the Zopje title proves from their well received first EP: HUA!. Brazzmatazz now releases its debut album. “Turbolence” grew into a twelve-sided brassband beast that gnarls, barks and bites, but manages to build tensions back up at the right time. With this album the band wants to show their versatility while retaining their signature sound, urging the orchestra to more unconventional noises. In a tongue-in-cheek way, they mash up traditions with more modern influences, electronic and other.



Basia Returns With Sublime New Album Butterflies May 18th


Like unique genre-blending artists Sade and Michael Franks, mutli-million selling world-jazz-pop singer Basia has won a devoted following due to her distinctive style and inviting persona. Basia's music sounds like no other artist and like both Sade and Franks, she often lets several years go by between album releases, making every album a true event for her passionate and devoted fan base. On May 18, 2018, Shanachie Entertainment will release Butterflies, which delivers the effervescent and beguiling Basia sound. Co-produced and co-written by Basia and her long-time musical partner Danny White, who also contributes sparkling piano playing throughout, Butterflies sounds timeless yet as contemporary as any of Basia's landmark recordings. It is quintessential Basia.

"Butterflies is about love - for life, for music and for people. This album is full of passion and courage but also pure fun; purists will struggle to categorize it because we happily mix jazz, Latin, soul and pop," shares Basia. "Our songs were created with a lot of freedom and for the simple pleasure of writing and recording them; that is why it is probably the most diverse of our records. Danny and I finally grew up (!) and our experiences in music and in life make this album hopefully richer and more honest."

Butterflies spans the spectrum of breezy Brazilian excursions to passionate pop balladry and up-tempo jazz.  "Matteo," the first single, exhibits the irresistible Brazilian feeling of Basia's classic work with Spanish guitar and flowing percussion. "Liang and Zhu," on the other hand is a deeply felt, simply gorgeous ballad, which refers to the Chinese folk-legend of the two lovers named in the title. In some ways, Butterflies is Basia's jazziest album to date, as evidenced by the ebullient swing-jazz of "B.Pop," led by Basia's effortlessly virtuosic vocal.  The CD features a crack band that showcases Danny White on piano, Peter White and Giorgio Serci on guitars, drummer Marc Parnell, bassist Andres Lafone, saxophonist Paul Booth and trumpeter Kevin Robinson. The ensemble is simply scintillating throughout. Vocalist Mark Reilly, who was a founding member of hit-making group Matt Bianco, reunites with his fellow Matt Bianco members Danny White and Basia for a mini-Matt Bianco reunion on "Showtime."

"We've been recording Butterflies for a few years, without any hurry, making sure that we were always true to ourselves," says Basia. "Although we are aware of what is successful in the music scene at the moment - we avoid copying and we try not to be influenced by it. It's obvious that what we are doing musically differs from the current fashionable style but we believe that there are listeners who will find something interesting in our productions; maybe exactly because they are different. We've been very lucky so far to find a receptive and loyal audience who still seem to wait for more from us and we very much appreciate their patience."

Basia was born Basia Trzetrzelewska in Poland where she began her musical career as part of the popular female vocal group Alibabki and then the rock band Perfect. Relocating to London in 1981, she met Mark Reilly and his collaborator Danny White (brother of jazz guitarist Peter White). Forming a jazz-pop group called Bronze, they soon changed their name to Matt Bianco and released their debut album, Whose Side Are You On in 1984. The album became a huge European hit, selling 1.5 million units and  spawning hit singles "Get Out of Your Lazy Bed" and "Half A Minute." In 1985, Basia  and Danny left Matt Bianco in order to launch Basia's solo career, with her debut solo album, Time And Tide, selling more than two million copies worldwide in 1987; the "Time and Tide" single from the album hit the Top Thirty of the Billboard Hot 100, with further hits "Prime Time TV" and "New Day For You" following. Her second album, London Warsaw New York, sold equally well, yielding another Top Thirty Hit with "Cruising For a Bruising" and "Baby Your Mine." Both albums hit #1on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. Basia was hugely popular in Europe and Asia so it was no surprise that her third album, The Sweetest Illusion, sold more than a million copies worldwide in 1994, going gold in the U.S. and hitting #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart with the single "Drunk On Love." A successful live album, Basia on Broadway, followed in 1995 and then she went on an extended hiatus from 1998 to 2004, devoting herself to family and other projects in Poland. In 2004, Danny White and Mark Reilly persuaded Basia to join them in a reunited Matt Bianco, resulting in the critically-acclaimed Matt's Mood album and extensive touring. That reunion stimulated work on Basia's fourth solo album, It's That Girl Again, which hit the Top 10 of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart in 2009. Her only other release since then was a second live album, From Newport To London: Greatest Hits Live,in 2011. Now, nine years in the making, Butterflies will be only the fifth solo album in Basia's 34 year solo career. Like its all-too-rare predecessors, it is pure musical bliss.

 






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