Friday, June 22, 2018

New Releases: Dave Sereny – Talk To Me; U-Nam – Is That So?; Kenee Maree – World Over

Dave Sereny – Talk To Me

Perhaps imagining winter in sunnier climes than his native Toronto, multiple Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards nominee Dave Sereny takes his seductive, melodic electric guitar to several exotic locales, including Bob Marley’s Jamaica, on his latest album TALK TO ME. Yet those buoyant excursions are just the open door to a high energy, freewheeling romp through many different Smooth Jazz related styles, including horn-fired, beat happy dance music, dreamy vocal pop, caffienated jazz/funk and exotic, atmospheric world beat. On hand to lend his always welcome sax intensity is saxman and fellow Torontonian, Warren Hill. ~

U-Nam – Is That So?

As cool as a mint julep and just as fresh, “Is That So?” from Billboard chart-topping artist and multi-platinum producer U-Nam is the perfect accompaniment to those long hot summer days to come.  It follows closely on the heels of his stunning “The Essential Collection” that in 2017, with nine (yes nine) Top 30 US Billboard hits amongst the fifteen standout tracks, occupied top spot on the album listings for six straight weeks and ranked #11 on the end of year chart. Written, produced, arranged and mixed by U-Nam, “Is That So?” is the first single from his latest project “A Change of Art” that is slated for release later this year and is just the sort of infectious cut that U-Nam, with his instantly recognizable guitar sound and undoubtedly at the top of his creative game, seems able to effortlessly deliver. In fact, right from the tight groove laid down by Denis Bennarosh on percussion and Michael White on drums, through the flashes of flute from long time collaborator Shannon Kennedy and on to the brassy veneer applied by Kennedy on sax and Christian Martinez on trumpet, U-Nam’s production touches are, not surprisingly, all over it.  Add in top notch Fender Rhodes from the always-splendid Bill Steinway and what we have is a track at the very heart of the best in smooth jazz.

Kenee Maree – World Over

Having engaged audiences from Montreal to Tokyo, Atlanta-based Smooth Jazz guitarist, songwriter, arranger and producer Kenee Maree offers a unique perspective on the need for global harmony on his spiritually infused EP, World Over. With only three songs, he gets us grooving and swaying immediately – but also inspires us to think of issues vital to the emotional and physical survival of humanity. While the atmospheric, flute-inflected instrumental “Mallorca” is a breezy showcase for Maree’s cool, soulful strumming, “World Over” uses percussive textures, Latin piano, rap and uplifting gospel choruses to convey the essence that we’re all in this together. The guitarist emphasizes that point on the passionate soul and blues tinged vocal ballad “We Are One.” ~

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