Thursday, June 28, 2018

New Releases: The Stanley Clarke Band – The Message; Girl Named Nino – Moonlight Daughter; Leata Galloway - Tenderly

The Stanley Clarke Band – The Message

Bassist Stanley Clarke is right on message here – serving up the kind of cosmic sounds and soulful styles that he first brought to his music many years back! This time around, Clarke's got some great help onboard – keyboardist Cameron Graves, who we've really loved from his own recent work – really soaring alongside Stanley's always-deft work on electric bass – more dynamic here than we might have expected, and also given some strong direction from drummer Mike Mitchell. Beka Gochiashvili plays acoustic piano in the core quartet – and the album also features contributions from Skyeler Kole, Steve Blum, and Trevor Wesley on vocals – and Doug E Fresh on a bit of beatbox too! There's lots of surprises along the way, and titles include "The Rugged Truth", "Lost In A World", "Enzo's Theme", "To Be Alive", "And Ya Know We're Missing You", "Combat Continuum", and "After The Cosmic Rain/Dance Of The Planetary Prince". ~ Dusty Groove

Girl Named Nino – Moonlight Daughter

Captivating, genre-defying indie soul from Girl Named Nino – a girl originally from Tbilisi, Georgia who has long called the Chicago area home, has a sound as far reaching as her travels, but it still feels intimate and personal! Her voice is front-and-center throughout Moonlight Daughter, in both the vocals and in the distinctive songcraft, and it's strong on both fronts. As a singer, she has a way of balancing classic jazz vocal influences with more modern soul, global/multi-lingual pop and even a bit of hip hop. Likewise with the songs and the production. Nino and partner Pablo Gordy – who together handle all of the writing, arranging, production and instrumentation – have this knack for layering styles and sounds, but with such strong songwriting core, they can no doubt play even the most lushly-produced songs here in a stripped down setting without losing the heart and soul of it. Titles include "Moonlight Daughter (Flowers To The Moon)", "Whiskey & Cigarettes (Chaser)", "Little Lady (Keep Your Lights On)", "Four Letter Words (Siren)", "The Revolution (Lost At The Bazaaar)", "Jukebox Joint (Heard You, Watched You)", "As We Love (Asa Nisi Masa", "Valentine" and "Deda (Mother)". ~ Dusty Groove

Leata Galloway - Tenderly

Leata Galloway is a name you might recognize from a classic soul album in the 80s – but here, the singer's moved into quite strong jazz vocal territory – working with small combo backings on most numbers, and working through a set of classic tracks that all have a very nice vibe! The shift is quite a surprise from Leata's earlier work – and it's great to hear that raspy, crackling style in a mode that's much more unadorned – with plenty of warm basslines from Larry Ball, who co-produced and arranged the set with Galloway – and musicians who include Phil Upchurch on guitar, Frank Zatoli on piano, and Ron Brown on tenor. Titles include "All Blues", "Moondance/Fever", "Desafinado", "I Want To Be Loved", "Yeah Yeah", "Tenderly", "Stella By Starlight", and an excellent version of Ahmad Jamal's "Ahmad's Blues". ~ Dusty Groove

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