Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Peabo Bryson's highly-anticipated album "Stand For Love" will be released August 3, 2018

Legendary recording artist, Peabo Bryson, is pleased to announce his highly-anticipated twenty-first studio album, "Stand For Love," will be released August 3, 2018. The album, which is immediately available for pre-order includes instant downloads of Peabo’s recently released hit single “Love Like Yours And Mine” (which is the fastest rising single on the Urban AC charts at *13 after only 4 weeks) and the soon to be steppers anthem “All She Wants To Do Is Me” (which premiered on an episode of "The Chi," earlier this year).

“Music is my passion and when it feels right, like "Stand For Love" does, the whole world has an opportunity to experience the same energy,” said Bryson. “All of the right elements fell into place for this project and I challenged Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to make me current…while maintaining the integrity of what I have built as an important body of work. I have to say, it is nothing less than amazing!”

“Stand For Love” showcases Peabo’s broad vocal range and musical skill as he continues to delight fans eager to hear from him, while welcoming new fans who appreciate great music. Counted among the world’s most dynamic and gifted vocal talents, Peabo is a world-renowned balladeer with a career that includes two GRAMMYs®, two Oscars®, multiple gold albums, multiple #1 songs and chart-topping singles in R&B, Pop and Contemporary Jazz.

He brings that talent back home to the Capitol Music Group family after signing with Jam and Lewis’ Perspective Records, distributed by Caroline.

The album adds to the fabric of great R&B music and the soundtrack of our lives, by providing music that feels good and includes the one thing that we all need…love. “Stand For Love” reminds people of the fundamentals of life while engaging them in an emotional, yet experienced, vocal journey.

“STAND FOR LOVE” Tracklisting:

1. All She Wants To Do Is Me
2. Love Like Yours And Mine
3. Looking For Sade
4. Stand For Love
5. Goosebumps (Never Lie)
6. Exotic
7. Here For You
8. Smile
9. Peabo’s Classics Medley Live From Los Angeles (“Feel The Fire”, “I’m So Into You”, “Tonight I Celebrate My Love”)

“Peabo is just one of the greatest voices of our time,” said Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in a joint statement. “He exudes a class and sophistication that’s so needed in music today. I know R&B needs Peabo Bryson especially now. And his fans both old and new will fall in love with “Stand For Love.”

With the release of “Stand For Love,” Peabo is excited to share his timeless new music, along with his classic fan favorites, during the following performances (with more dates to be added):

8/1/18 – Detroit, MI @ Chene Park Amphitheater
8/3/18 – Willimantic, CT @ Jillson Square Park
9/2/18 – Atlanta, GA @ Mable House Barnes Amphitheater
9/14/18 – Dallas, TX @ Arena Theater
10/6/18 – Las Vegas, NV @ Orleans Hotel & Casino
10/10/18 – Perry, GA @ GA National Fairgrounds

Juno Nominee & Canadian Reggae Legend Jay Douglas Releases New Album Lovers Paradise (Best Of)

Toronto's own Juno nominated reggae master and soulful singer Jay Douglas has officially released his new album "Lovers Paradise" via Slammin Media. The album is a best of collection of Jay Douglas' classic tracks, as well as some unreleased material that fans have been clamoring for. The album has been performing well at Campus Radio in the United States and continues to gain traction with reggae lovers across North America.

In over 45 years of entertainment, Jay has developed a wide-ranging repertoire of American Blues, West Indian Rhythms, Jazz Standards combined with fancy footwork and incredible on-stage charisma. In the early '60s, Jay fronted the R&B group "The Cougars" who with their skill and verve lit up the city of Montreal as well as Toronto's Yonge Street nightclubs in the late '70s with Soul Funk and Reggae. Over the past 10 years, Jay has performed around the world, and at annual Toronto events such as the Beaches Jazz Festival, Jerk Fest, Canadian National Exhibition, Yonge and Dundas Square, and a Taste of Lawrence. Jay was proclaimed the winner of NOW Magazine's Toronto's "Best R&B Act" in 2006, and "Male Reggae Vocalist of the Year" at the Annual Toronto Reggae Awards in 2007. During this time Seattle, Washington-based promotions company, "Light in the Attic", made Jay their bandleader for the "From Jamaica to Toronto" concert launch at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto in July 2006. This successful show was successfully lead by Jay in both Vancouver and Montreal. Recently, Jay was nominated for "Reggae Recording of the Year" at the 2012 JUNO Awards and was the recipient of the "G98.7 FM Entertainment Award" at the Harry Jarome awards that same year. Jay worked with Councillor Josh Colle to establish Reggae Lane a roadway in Toronto Canada. The neighbourhood near Reggae Lane was recognized as a centre for the Reggae recording as early as the late 1960s. His recording of Reggae Lane is to honour that tradition.

Essential tracks here include Messengers, his recent collaboration with Chris Butcher (don't miss the Dubmatix throwback remix!), Leonard Cohen cover Hallelujah, Celebrate My Love, and the R&B flavored Turn Me On. Douglas has been busy in the studio lately, and just returned from a homecoming trip to Jamaica where he garnered rave reviews. Lovers Paradise (Best of) is available from Slammin Media and distributed World Wide by Believe Distribution.

The track list for Jay Douglas' "Lovers Paradise (Best Of) is as follows:
1 - Hallelujah
2 - I Don't Wanna Cry
3 - Lovers Paradise
4 - What Will My Mary Say
5 - Hallelujah (Acoustic Mix)
6 - Musical Healing
7 - Pledging My Love
8 - You Are My Lady
9 - Man to Man
10 - Celebrate My Love
11 - Messengers
12 - Messengers (Dubmatix Throwback Remix)
13 - Messengers (Instrumental)
14 - Magic
15 - I Need to Belong to Someone
16 - Reggae Lane
17 - Turn Me On

Watch Messengers on YouTube: https://youtu.be/n7EvKg764fo

Tour Dates:
Aug 22 - Toronto, ON @ CNE Bandshell w/ Freddie McGregor

Grammy-Nominated R&B Singer Kenny Lattimore Cracks Top 10 Billboard R&B Radio Chart with New Single 'Stay On Your Mind'

Grammy-nominated R&B mainstay, Kenny Lattimore has made a triumphant return to the Top 10 Billboard Adult R&B radio chart with his new single "Stay On Your Mind." The song is at #8 bullet, right on the heels of singles from Toni Braxton, Peabo Bryson, Keith Sweat, Ne-Yo, and Tamia. "Stay On Your Mind" features production by Dra-kkar Wesley (aka Madicin) and appears on Kenny Lattimore's new album "Vulnerable", released via Liger Enterprises and record executive guru Ron Spaulding. While the single is heating up the charts, the video boasts nearly 600,000 views.

Watch the video for "Stay On Your Mind" online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw64fH7IDiU.

Kenny Lattimore is best known for his Grammy Award-nominated power ballad "For You," but Lattimore's body of work spans over 20 years, and includes his first top 40 hit, "Never Too Busy," and his critically acclaimed sophomore album "From the Soul of a Man." Lattimore followed his sophomore effort with 2001's "Weekend" and two top-10 charting duet albums with singer Chanté Moore: "Things That Lovers Do" and the gospel/R&B double-CD "Uncovered/Covered." Lattimore released "Timeless" in 2008 and "Anatomy of a Love Song" in 2015. "A Kenny Lattimore Christmas," album followed in 2016. IT is an 11-song holiday project with multi-Grammy, Stellar & Dove Award-winning producer Aaron Lindsey that garnered a #3 position on the Billboard Gospel Albums Chart and a 2018 Stellar Award nomination for Special Event CD of the Year. The R&B crooner has a collection of Soul Train and Stellar Awards nominations as well as an NAACP Image Award for Best New Artist.

Tour Dates:
Aug 1st thru 9th - African Tour (South Africa)
AUG 11 - San Diego, CA @ Jazz at the Creek
Sept 2nd - Dallas (Riverside Jazz Festival)
Sept 4th thru 17th - African Tour (Botswana, South Africa & Zimbabwe)
Sept 21st & 22nd - Oakland (Yoshi's)

Singers Make Their Mark At Newport Jazz Festival: Gregory Porter, José James, Jazzmeia Horn, Charenée Wade, Andra Day, Alicia Olatuja

For the past six decades, the Newport Jazz Festival has been the premier showcase for jazz's most supremely loved vocalists, from Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, to Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. And, this year's edition of the festival continues in that hallowed tradition.

Whether he's channeling the message music of Gil Scott-Heron or Joe Williams' upsouth urbanity, the two-time, Grammy Award-winning Gregory Porter's emergence on the scene in the last decade confirms that he is one of the coolest and most compelling vocalists of his generation. In a Marvin Gaye minute, this California-born crooner can deliver a lyric that spans from the profound question "What's Goin' On" to the provocative proclamation "Let's Get it On." And, when Porter takes to the Fort Adams stage on Sunday, August 5, he'll give the audience more of that sweet sound heard on his 2017 Nat King Cole tribute CD, sonically shaped by Porter's silken, syncopated soul and vivid vocals.

Minneapolis-born José James has covered a lot of artistic ground since he hit the scene, first as a finalist in the 2004 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocalist Competition, and with his imaginative and eclectic recordings that ring with the hip jazz-folk influences of Gil Scott-Heron, Billie Holliday and Terry Callier as well as hip-hop swagger and neo-soul nuances. When James takes the Fort Adams stage on Saturday, August 4, (he also joins Pat Metheny on Friday, August 3, at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino) he will celebrate the music of soul icon Bill Withers, the plaintive and poetic singer-songwriter whose hits, including "Lean on Me," Ain't No Sunshine" and "Use Me," defined a generation. Withers turned 80 on July 4, and James' tribute will be both a born-day shout out, and an invigorated, ingenious and moving meditation to a major musical figure by an artist who is also a rising star in his own right.

St. Louis' Alicia Olatuja is another shining star with an endless horizon of talent. She sang at President Barack Obama's second Inauguration, and put her brilliant and buoyant stamp on the music of Chaka Khan and Michael Jackson, to name a select few. Trained in jazz, soul, gospel and classical genres, she earned a Masters Degree in Classical Voice/Opera from The Manhattan School of Music, and worked with Khan, BeBe Winans and organist Dr. Lonnie Smith. The Newport Jazz Festival's Artistic Director Christian McBride is a fan of her work, as evidenced by his appearance as a sideman on her 2014 debut solo CD, Timeless. So when Olatuja steps up to the mic at Fort Adams State Park on Friday, August 3, she will perform with a vocal aesthetic that combines a plethora of vocal genres into one profound and pleasing mezzo-soprano.

The Grammy nominated Andra Day performed at The White House, and is a new planet orbiting a sun emitting rays of R&B, soul, and jazz. Born in Spokane, Washington, and raised in San Diego, California, Day grew up jazz channeling Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday. After working a series of odd-jobs, she was discovered by Stevie Wonder's wife and when she appeared in a popular Christmas video with Wonder, a star was born. Building her brand with a series of YouTube video covers of artists including Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill, her first CD, Cheers to the Fall, released in 2015, contained her anthemic hit single, "Rise Up." She had an eager audience waiting for her at Newport Jazz last year, but had to cancel when she fell ill the day before. But, Day again fixes her gaze upon the audience at Fort Adams State Park on Saturday, August 4, and her earthly airs will communicate with passion, intelligence and integrity.

Integrity, along with ingenuity, is something the great singer Betty Carter brought to every bandstand and recording she performed on. She distilled her great knowledge to generations of young musicians in her bands and in her Jazz Ahead educational program. Brooklyn's Charenée Wade is a 21st Century diva who was a graduate of Carter's program. She also took part in Dianne Reeves' Artistic Workshop at Carnegie Hall, participated in JAS Academy Summer Sessions, directed by Christian McBride and is a Manhattan School of Music alumna. A finalist in two Thelonious Monk International Vocal competitions - once as a first runner-up in 2010 - Wade worked with a number of jazz stars including bassist Rufus Reid, saxophonist Tia Fuller and pianist Eric Reed. Her 2015 CD, Offerings: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson (which also features McBride), offers a powerful and poignant preview of the kind of social message music she'll bring to the Fort Adams Stage on Saturday, August 4.

With first-place wins at the 2015 Thelonious Monk and 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competitions, Texas-born, Jazzmeia Horn isa graduate of The New School and also a Betty Carter disciple with shades of Sarah Vaughan and Abbey Lincoln thrown into her complex cauldron of influences. She comes to the Fort Adams stage on Sunday, August 5, fresh from a sensational world tour in support of her Grammy-nominated debut CD, A Social Call. Horn's velvet voice combines Carter's bop-like fluency and phrasing, Vaughan's operatic airs and Lincoln's conscientious cries. Her vivacious vocal chops made her an in-demand sidewoman with everybody from Wynton and Ellis Marsalis and pianist Kirk Lightsey, to saxophonists Billy Harper and Frank Wess. With a name like Jazzmeia Horn, she indeed, was born to sing and swing!

The 2018 Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Investment Managers takes place August 3 - 5 at Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. Artists include Charles Lloyd's 80th Birthday Celebration with three different bands; Pat Metheny with Antonio Sanchez, Linda May Han Oh, & Gwilym Simcock; George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic; Jon Batiste; R+R=NOW; Michel Camilo; Grace Kelly; Laurie Anderson & Christian McBride Improvisations with special guest Rubin Kodheli; Roy Hargrove and many more.

New Music From: Kandace Springs, Swing Out Sister and The Super Trio: Massimo Farao / Ron Carter / Jimmy Cobb

Kandace Springs - Indigo

If Kandace Springs' new album Indigo sounds like something new, that's because it is. Simple while funky. Classic but contemporary. Straightforward in the way it breaks down complex ideas and genres. And, at the end of the day, undeniably human. That said, it isn't quite a rebirth for the Nashville-born artist, who after stints living in New York and Los Angeles has returned back home to Music City. She's long had that lithe and smoky voice and an intensely expressive mastery over the piano. For those paying attention, Kandace's second album finds her unleashing what was there all along, all at once, for the first time. Includes Don't Need The Real Thing; Breakdown; Fix Me; Indigo Part 1; Piece Of Me; Six Eight; Indigo Part 2; People Make The World Go 'Round; Unsophisticated; Black Orchid; Love Sucks; The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face; and Simple Things.

Swing Out Sister – Almost Persuaded

Wonderful work from Swing Out Sister – a group who've matured wonderfully in their years away from the charts – even if most of their best records, like this one, are a special secret for a small and selective audience! Corinne Drewery's always had a wonderful voice, but the years just keep making it better and better – not just the warmly jazzy sound that popped up when the group first made waves in the late 80s, but this very personal, very soulful style that's unlike anyone else we can think of – and which really fits the spirit of the tunes on the set! Andy Connell is great, as always – handling all the musical details with lots of jazzy flourishes – including his own work on keyboards and vibes – augmented by just the right use of some larger arrangements. Titles include "Don't Give The Game Away", "Happier Than The Sunshine", "Be My Valentine", "Something Deep In Your Heart", "I Wish I Knew", "Until Tomorrow Forgets", "Almost Persuaded", and "All In A Heartbeat".  ~ Dusty Groove

The Super Trio: Massimo Farao / Ron Carter / Jimmy Cobb - Softly As In A Morning Sunrise

There's a great sense of warmth to this album from The Super Trio – one that really seems to come from the bass work of Ron Carter, which is so upfront and present in the recording, it's got us remembering all over again why we love his music so much! Massimo Farao is on piano, and balances out Ron's sound with a lighter, more lyrical touch – but one that swings nicely, too – thanks to the always-great drum contributions of Jimmy Cobb – still a master of the understated swing, even after decades of recording! Titles include the original "Marta", plus "Salina", "Autumn Leaves", "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise", "On A Clear day", and Ennio Morricone's "Once Upon A Time In America" – which sounds surprisingly nice as a jazz tune. ~ Dusty Groove

New Releases From: Houston Person & Ron Carter, Nicole Mitchell and Alex Conde

Houston Person & Ron Carter – Remember Love

Tenorist Houston Person and bassist Ron Carters started their 60s careers in very different parts of the jazz spectrum – but over the years, they've found a way to work together wonderfully – in a mode that's created some especially great duo albums like this! There's few folks who could get so much out of just the mix of bass and tenor saxophone – especially without going into any sort of avant or free jazz modes – and the pairing of Person and Carter hardly makes us miss piano, drums, or any other instrumentation – as their sense of rhythm and expression is fully formed throughout. As you might guess from the title, most tunes are ballads – and titles include "Without A Song", "Easy To Remember", "Love Is Here To Stay", "Day Dream", "Gentle Rain", "The Way You Look Tonight", and "Blues For DP".  ~ Dusty Groove

Nicole Mitchell – Maroon Cloud

Incredibly beautiful work from Nicole Mitchell – and a record that's maybe unlike anything we've ever heard from her before! The group's a quartet, and Mitchell plays flute in the lead – but the session also features Fay Victor on vocals, who has this magnificently dynamic style – moody one minute, very pointedly powerful the next – working with lyrics from Nicole that are a complete surprise to our ears! Victor's approach moves through a history of jazz vocal expression that recalls, at moments, the work of Honey Gordon with Charles Mingus, or some of Jeanne Lee's work with Ran Blake, and maybe even some of the more adventurous moments of Abbey Lincoln – given support alongside Mitchell's flute by the piano of Aruan Ortiz and cello of Tomeka Reid. Given Mitchell's already-strong legacy of recordings, this set is just another feather in her already-huge cap – on titles that include "Vodou Spacetime Kettle", "Warm Dark Realness", "No One Can Stop Us", "Endurance", "Hidden Choice", "A Sound", and "Constellation Symphony". ~ Dusty Groove

Alex Conde – Origins

Pianist Alex Conde always has a great way of blending jazz performance with Latin rhythms – and that approach really takes off here, as Conde's core combo gets fantastic frontline help from Brian Lynch on trumpet, Conrad Herwig on trombone, and Dayna Stephens on tenor and soprano sax! Both Lynch and Herwig are no strangers to sounds like this – and they really shine when called upon – soaring out to give the music this great sense of color and energy – which is really saying a lot, given Conde's already-strong work with the bass, drums, and cajon in the rhythms. A few moments feature guest vocals – from Alejandro Conde Sr and Ismael Fernandez – and titles include "The Great Priest", "Jungle Street", "Spring Break", "Upper West Side", "Bulerijazz", "Descarga Por Bulerias", and "El Emigrante". ~ Dusty Groove

"Getting Sentimental," Debut Recording by Chicago Jazz Vocalist Gayle Kolb

Gayle Kolb Getting Sentimental With the August 31 release of her debut recording Getting Sentimental, Chicago's Gayle Kolb makes a triumphant statement in song after a stretch of years away from music. Produced and arranged by acclaimed Chicago bassist Dennis Carroll for JeruJazz Records, the album reveals Kolb's metamorphosis from a former nightclub headliner in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and her hometown of Chicago into a compelling jazz artist in full command of her material and her gift.

Kolb will showcase the album on its release date during her Chicago Jazz Festival debut, performing with the same personnel heard on the recording: guitar great Bobby Broom, in whose trio Carroll has been a longtime member; Cleveland piano phenom Joey Skoch; ace trombonist Tom Garling of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and Chicago Yestet; bassist Dennis Carroll: and the always-in-demand drummer George Fludas.

With her low tones and coolly relaxed phrasing, Kolb never settles for easy emotion. "Gayle sells a song without having to do the big dramatic stuff," says Carroll. "She is a subtle conveyor of story [with] real authenticity."

Among the tunes Carroll had Kolb cover was Ray Brown's rarely heard "Gravy Waltz," recorded by the Oscar Peterson Trio in the early '60s and with lyrics by talk show host and jazz pianist Steve Allen. "I had her go toe to toe, back and forth, with [Broom]," says Carroll. "It was real old school."

Kolb turns in a thoughtful version of "Two for the Road" featuring a smoldering trombone solo, and a bright but pensive reading of Marcos Valle's "If You Went Away," performed in a medium-tempo arrangement featuring Skoch on electric piano.

Another highlight is a beautifully restrained rendition of Jimmy Webb's masterpiece, "Wichita Lineman," recorded not long after the death of its beloved interpreter, Glen Campbell. Kolb had sung the song early in her career, when she mixed a lot of country and pop into her sets.

Gayle Kolb was born and raised in the southwestern Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn, where her father served as mayor for nearly three decades. She studied piano throughout her childhood, and later sang in the high school choir.

Relocating to Los Angeles in the early 1970s, she met the keyboardist and vocalist Mel Norfleet, who became her mentor and urged her to go hear Lorez Alexandria. Attending a show by the Chicago-born Alexandria, Kolb experienced a kind of epiphany. "Lorez was unbelievable," she says. "She spoke the lyrics, pronounced them, and you believed every word. I realized that that was what I wanted to learn and accomplish with my music."

Though Kolb did mostly commercial singing during engagements at the Hyatt and Bel-Air hotels, she discovered that when she inserted a jazz classic like "Midnight Sun" into her set, she drew the crowd in. (Kolb has been compared to such cool-school singers as Peggy Lee and June Christie, but says her primary influences were actually Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, and Joe Williams.)

After moving back to Chicago in 1974, Kolb was contracted to work five nights a week in a suburban showroom, a gig that lasted four years and gave her the opportunity to take her show to Las Vegas. Back in the Windy City, she was asked to fill in for Lainie Kazan, the theater and TV star.

Eventually Kolb became fed up with commercial singing and quit the music business to devote herself to her family. She also found satisfying work as an interior designer. But jazz beckoned in the early 2000s. Newly single, Kolb reached out to musician friends and sat in at jam sessions, getting her chops back and learning tunes again. Singing before audiences after all her time away proved "difficult and scary," she says.

Gayle Kolb Dennis Carroll 
Having seen the highly regarded Carroll (pictured above with Kolb) in performances in Chicago and admired his work with singers, Kolb called him out of the blue for advice on reentering the music world -- or not. "I knew he would tell me the truth about my singing," she says. "He would tell me if I should go home. I was ready for that."

During her afternoon "audition" at his house, Carroll had Kolb sing songs at extended lengths and also scat -- something she had done very little of. "I wanted to see how much jazz she had in her," Carroll says. She passed all tests with flying colors, and it didn't take him long to make a decision. "We can do a CD," he told her after seven minutes, by his estimation.

And thus began Gayle Kolb's exciting new chapter as a jazz artist on record -- singing, swinging, truth-telling.  

Web Site: gaylekolb.com

NYC-based pianist MICHIKA FUKUMORI’S “PIANO IMAGES,” a solo project produced by Steve Kuhn

PIANO IMAGES is pianist MICHIKA FUKUMORI’s third release and second for Summit Records. A native of Japan, she’s been living in New York City since 2000. She was drawn to the U.S to study jazz and become involved in the New York jazz scene. A soulful pianist, this CD is a solo project featuring Fukumori playing mostly stunning original compositions as well as several of her favorite jazz standards. PIANO IMAGES was produced by STEVE KUHN, the prolific pianist known for his lyrical and evocative playing. Fukumori has been studying privately with Kuhn since coming to the States. Kuhn also produced Fukumori’s other CDs, Quality Time, released in 2016, and Infinite Thoughts, released in 2008.

Fukumori composed eight of the 13 tunes on this disc. Her compositional style is like her style of playing, that is, sensitive and inventive with a subtle sense of swing. She performs compositions by Jobim, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and a piano duet with Kuhn on one of his compositions, on which Fukumori and Kuhn play a lush four-handed duet. At the heart of this project is “The Seasons,” a suite of four compositions in which Fukumori, drawing from her childhood memories, paints a picture of Iga, Japan, her hometown.

Fukumori is a superbly sensitive pianist who has fully embraced the jazz idiom but suffuses the music with her own personality and cultural heritage. PIANO IMAGES is a series of musical portraits by an artist with a refined sensibility and the skill to embrace you with her musical vision.

Michika Fukumori  piano; Steve Kuhn  piano duet on #11
Arranged by Michika Fukumori; Produced by Steve Kuhn

1. Colors Of Blues  (3:17)
2. Into the New World  (4:17)
The Seasons
3. The Answer Is … (Winter)  (3:52)
4. The Story I Want To Tell You (Spring)  (5:11)
5. The Days We Were Smiling (Summer)  (4:50)
6. Tomorrow Is Full Of Promises (Fall)  (2:21)
7. Where Or When  (2:59)
8. Palco (A Little Dancer)  (4:57)
9. Chovendo Na Roseira  (4:27)
10. My Muse  (3:55)
11. Oceans In The Sky  (5:46)
12. Luiza  (5:00)
13. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye  (2:47)
VIDEO: Watch “The Story I Want to Tell You” – Live at the Blue Note: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8

Legendary Pianist Bob James Returns to Trio Format After Decade-Long Studio Recording Hiatus as a Leader for Espresso

Long after establishing himself as one of America’s most accomplished composers, arrangers and instrumentalists, multiple-GRAMMY® Award-winner Bob James achieves his long-time ambition to return to the trio format he last utilized on 2004’s Take It From The Top, and embraced as an up-and-coming artist.

Scheduled to release August 31, 2018 on the evosound label (Evolution Music Group), Espresso is also James’s first studio recording as a leader since 2006’s Urban Flamingo. “Evolution Music Group presents high end and cutting-edge fidelity quality products, from packaging to audio,” says James. The album will be released on multiple formats including high quality 180 gram vinyl, MQA-CD, SACD, and hi-res audio download.

Though busy since 2006 with an array of projects, ranging from albums and appearances with the all-star contemporary jazz ensemble Fourplay to collaborations with David Sanborn, Keiko Matsui and other renowned artists, James hasn’t reclaimed his place in the spotlight as a solo performer — until now.

“I wanted to do this as part of a trio — piano, bass and drums,” James explains. “With Fourplay and in other larger settings, I loved that I could solo and then kind of disappear into the setting to accompany other soloists. To play in a trio requires a different level of commitment, with the piano being much more prominent. You need perhaps a greater degree of optimism and bravery. That was how I felt when I first got into music. Espresso is my attempt to recapture that.”

Inspiration for this project stems from a week-long engagement with sensational young bassist Michael Palazzolo and the respected veteran drummer Billy Kilson at the Blue Note in New York City last October. The musicians felt an immediate chemistry as they tackled standard repertoire as well as new James originals. Audiences sensed it too. “Soon everybody there was encouraging me to have the guts to jump in there and do this,” James recalls.

So, just two months later, the group reconvened at Stagg Street Studios in Van Nuys, California. With their inspired energy and musical bond the trio laid down the varied tracks that comprise Espresso. Two covers were on the list: an ear-opening reconfiguration of Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and an equally fresh perspective on “Mr. Magic” (which James had arranged and conducted on the 1975 Grover Washington session). The rest of the album comprises a stream of original material.

The funk strut of “Submarine” is a direct follow up to 1974’s “Nautilus” – one of the most heavily sampled songs in hip-hop. The classic sound perfectly blends in the fresh, complex, and rich textures from Espresso, which finds James sampling himself and recording over it. “Nautilus” samples range tracks from Jay Z, Tupac, Freddie Gibbs, 9th Wonder, and A Tribe Called Quest to Ghostface Killah, Slick Rick, Danny Brown, Wu Tang Clan, Mary J Blige, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and many others.

The rest of the tunes, penned by James, reflect the same inventiveness and musical fluency that persuaded Quincy Jones to become his mentor and champion in 1963, after which he went on to work with Sarah Vaughan from 1965-1968, prior to his ground-breaking work as a producer and arranger for CTI. His expressiveness through both writing and performance permeates the rocking minor-key blues of “Bulgogi,” the definitive cool jazz of “Topside,” the whispered beauty of “Promenade,” the turbulent, more complex yet supremely listenable “Mojito Ride,” and every other moment on Espresso.

Whether creating and recording the unforgettable theme of TV’s Taxi or ascending to unlikely notoriety as a source of samples for hip-hop legends, James has already left an indelible imprint on American music and culture. Espresso makes it clear that his contributions will continue, and that his impact will only grow in years to come.

Bob James · Espresso
evosound · Release Date: August 31, 2018

At the helm of his Swing City septet, Ernie Krivda - Cleveland's tenor saxophone titan - creates A Bright and Shining Moment

A local hero who has gone on to become a national treasure, Cleveland's Ernie Krivda is one of the great tenor saxophonists of present day jazz. Listeners familiar with his many recordings and who've been lucky to witness his instrumental magic live can attest to Krivda's creativity and outsized virtuosity. His new recording A Bright and Shining Moment, available June 15 via Capri Records, allows us a satisfying glimpse of Krivda's wider range of musical talents. In addition to his superb saxophone stylings we have a chance to appreciate Krivda's skills as an inventive composer and arranger and an inspired bandleader of a mid-sized ensemble. For those who know the Cleveland polymath mainly as a charging improviser, A Bright and Shining Moment will be a revelation.

As Krivda explains in the album's detailed liner notes, the original septet's mission was to reflect a broad swath of jazz styles, touching on milestone eras of the music. "The band would be called Swing City," Krivda relates. "The name would identify the rhythmic groove that the band's musical stories would ride on, and our respect for its place in the pantheon of jazz. We valued freedom of spirit with a commitment to feel and melodic clarity as sources of beauty and a way to connect with each other and the audience. With a fresh perspective, we heard a jazz culture that would use skill, craft, and individuality to create a people's music." A Bright and Shining Moment captures recordings from the ensemble's prime period shortly before it disbanded in 2002.

Swing City's very reason for being was to produce driving, lusty and accessible jazz. Whether digging into durable Eliingtonia including "Mood Indigo," "Caravan" and "The Mooche"; such standards as "Summertime" and "The Man I Love"; a gathering of Hoagy Carmichael gems; or Krivda's own memorable tunes including the beautiful Strayhorn-influenced ballad "Easter Blue," Swing City fully lived up to its name.

As always with Krivda's projects, there's plenty of meaty saxophone playing, but one can't miss the resourcefulness and ingenuity of his arrangements. Brilliantly building on a song's structure, Krivda spins his own captivating melodic tales, masterfully blending swing era, bebop and other delightful hints of sundry jazz styles. (The drummer John Bacon takes credit for the fine charts on "The Mooche and "Dream of Life.") Krivda's scores make sure to feature other talented members of the septet including pianist Joe Hunter, trombonist Chris Anderson, bassist Marion Hayden and trumpeter Steve Enos. (The late local legend Marshall Baxter Beckley is the featured vocalist on a rousing version of "Summertime.")

Swing City may no long exist as a working unit, but A Bright and Shining Moment ensures that this energized ensemble will not soon be forgotten.

A 2009 recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize award for lifetime achievement in music, the saxophonist, bandleader educator and recording artist Ernie Krivda has been a driving force in jazz since the 1960s. After establishing himself as one of Cleveland's foremost musicians, Krivda performed with such major jazz artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy DeFranco and David Sanborn. At the helm of his own quartet as well as the Fat Tuesday Big Band, Krivda has firmed up a national reputation as a leading improviser and bandleader. Krivda has also won the Jazz Legends award from the Tri-C Jazz Festival and a Community Partnership of Arts and Culture Fellowship.

Saxophonist Dave Anderson Releases New CD by His World-Jazz Band Melting Pot

Dave Anderson Melting Pot Melting Pot, the new CD by saxophonist Dave Anderson's like-named world-jazz ensemble, provides a joyous musical antidote to the wave of xenophobia washing over the West today. Formed in 2017, the multicultural band reflects the vitality and diversity of New York City's international creative music community. Melting Pot will be released on September 14 by LABEL 1 Records.

"American culture has started to resist something that's always been one of its strengths: bringing in people and their influences, seeing what they have to say, and blending these voices and ideas with our own," says Anderson, a veteran of Gary Morgan's PanAmericana big band and Memo Acevedo's Manhattan Bridges Orchestra. "I wanted to make a project reflecting people and music I've been exposed to."

In addition to Anderson, who plays alto and soprano saxophones on the album, Melting Pot includes Colombian-American drummer Memo Acevedo; Venezuelan-American percussionist Roberto Quintero; tabla artist Ehren Hanson; sitarist and vocalist Neel Murgai; Austrian-American bassist Hans Glawischnig; Canadian pianist David Restivo; British trumpeter Bryan Davis; and Israeli flutist Itai Kriss. The unit revels in the creative opportunities to find common ground through musical expression made possible by bringing together musicians who would not ordinarily collaborate.

"I wanted to celebrate specific musical styles brought from abroad to the U.S. by showcasing these styles in a new small jazz ensemble, while demonstrating jazz's unique ability to fuse musical influences into a new and vital whole," Anderson explains.

The new CD's five originals, which intermix straight-ahead and Afro-Latin jazz with Indian ragas and traditional Jewish and Mongolian influences, demonstrate how musicians from different lands can weave disparate styles and experiences into a rich and seamless sonic tapestry.

The centerpiece of Melting Pot, Anderson's fourth album as a leader, is the three-part "Immigrant Suite," with each section inspired by a real-life person embodying an aspect of the North American immigrant experience. It opens with "Juror Number 1," written for a Cuban immigrant Anderson met during that most multicultural of New York City experiences: jury duty. "Querida," with its samba rhythm first played on pandeiro, is Brazilian Portuguese for "Sweetheart." Its inspiration was a Brazilian immigrant Anderson knew who referred to her closest friends in America using this term.

The suite's finale, "A Candle for Isaac," pays tribute to a man Anderson never met -- his girlfriend's father, who passed away in 2013. "He was an Indian Jew who came from Bombay and settled in Montreal," Anderson explains. "Talk about a melting pot!"

Dave Anderson Born (in 1966) and raised in Cloquet, Minnesota, Dave Anderson started playing saxophone in his school band at age 11 and eventually won awards as an outstanding high school soloist at area jazz festivals. While attending the University of Minnesota, where he earned a psychology degree, he spent much of his time in the music department and played in the university's jazz bands and symphonic wind ensemble. Anderson won a full scholarship to the Aspen Music Festival, performing in a student ensemble that also included Clarence Penn, Ryan Kisor, Scott Whitfield, and Laurence Hobgood.

After a brief stay in Toronto, Anderson moved to New York, working as a jack-of-all-trades for Creed Taylor at CTI Records. In 2005, he relocated to Seattle and was active on the music scene there. He released his debut album, the quartet session Clarity, in 2010, and Trio Real in 2011. That same year he moved back to New York to reestablish himself and initiate new projects. His 2016 release Blue Innuendo, an organ-jazz session featuring Pat Bianchi, guitarist Tom Guarna, and drummer Matt Wilson earned a rare 4½-star review from Down Beat from Bill Milkowski, who praised its "great chemistry, great playing and good vibes."

Anderson's work with Morgan and Acevedo has influenced his decision to explore world music more deeply, something reinforced by living in a true melting pot. "Here in New York I ride the subway every day; I see the Statue of Liberty from the Q train," Anderson says. "I think about my ancestors coming to this place from Finland and Scandinavia. I see the great mix of cultures. I wanted to celebrate these different styles, collaborate with these different people I met, and say 'Hey, let's take what we've all got, bring it together, and maybe we'll even create something new. But we know we'll create something musical and something we can share for people to enjoy.'"

Dave Anderson & Melting Pot will perform a CD release show at the Zinc Bar, 82 W. 3rd Street, NYC, on Thursday, 9/6 at 7pm; $20 cover. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Willie Nelson Pays Homage to Fellow Icon Frank Sinatra on New Studio Album, My Way

Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release My Way--Willie Nelson's new studio album (and 12th for the label)--on Friday, September 14. My Way will be available on CD, vinyl LP and digital formats as well as part of exclusive merch bundles on Willie's web store. 

In addition, the first single from the album, Willie's take on the classic "Summer Wind" was also released and a music video for the song can be viewed at http://www.vevo.com/watch/willie-nelson/Summer-Wind-(Official-Music-Video)/USSM21800782.

My Way is Willie's second new studio album this year, following the release of his critically-acclaimed Last Man Standing in April.

An album of standards and classics made famous by Frank Sinatra, My Way finds Willie (who's written a few standards himself) swinging his way through some of the most beloved songs in the Great American Songbook. The album--which features lush string and horn arrangements--was produced by Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings.

Two iconic avatars on the American pop culture landscape, Frank Sinatra and Willie Nelson express the range of romantic emotion--from the intoxicating thrill of falling in love to the crushing hangover of heartbreak--in songs that speak directly to the listener. Recorded in the spirit of Willie's legendary 1978 Stardust album (one of the first contemporary artists to "cover" the Great American Songbook) and 2016's Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin (a Best Traditional Vocal Album Grammy Award winner), My Way pays homage to one of his heroes.

Willie and Frank were close friends, musical colleagues and mutual admirers of each other's work throughout Sinatra's lifetime. In the 1980s, Sinatra opened for Willie at Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and the two of them appeared together in a public service announcement for NASA's Space Foundation.

"I learned a lot about phrasing listening to Frank," Willie said recently in an interview for AARP magazine (June/July 2018). "He didn't worry about behind the beat or in front of the beat, or whatever—he could sing it either way, and that's the feel you have to have."

That's the attitude Willie brings to My Way with abiding classics like "Summer Wind," "It Was A Very Good Year," "I'll Be Around," "Fly Me To The Moon," "What Is This Thing Called Love" (a duet with 9 time Grammy winner Norah Jones) and the anthemic title track, Frank done Willie's way, one master vocalist channeling another.

Willie Nelson - My Way
01. Fly Me To The Moon
02. Summer Wind
03. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
04. A Foggy Day
05. It Was A Very Good Year
06. Blue Moon
07. I'll Be Around
08. Night And Day
09. What Is This Thing Called Love (with Norah Jones)
10. Young At Heart
11. My Way
Produced by Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings

Bassist & Songwriter Kaveh Rastegar Melds Influences From R&B, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Rock and Folk for his Eclectic Solo Debut

Those who have been paying close attention have realized by now that Kaveh Rastegar has been the secret weapon behind some of the most thrilling music of the last 20 years, across a wide spectrum of styles.

As a bassist, Rastegar is best known as a founding member of the genre-blurring, GRAMMY® Award-nominated quintet Kneebody, though he’s also toured the world with superstars like John Legend (and also appeared as his fictional counterpart in the beloved musical La La Land), recorded with Shania Twain and Beck, served as musical director for singer/hitmaker Sia, and worked with R&B sensation Sabrina Claudio as both songwriter and co-producer. As a songwriter, he’s penned songs with and for heavy-hitters like Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green, Meshell Ndegeocello, De La Soul and Ciara, among many others.

Now, with the release of Light of Love, Rastegar is intent on being a secret no more. On his debut album as a leader, the bassist and songwriter strides boldly into the spotlight with a set of songs that draw on every aspect of his wildly diverse résumé to create a wholly individual sound. Like its striking cover art, Light of Love is a collage – of influences, experiences, and collaborations – that merge to form a mosaic portrait of Rastegar’s talents and interests. Featuring an all-star line-up of gifted singers and musicians, the album (due out August 10 via Ropeadope) features songs as compelling as they are uncategorizable, fueled by entrancing grooves, unexpected twists and captivating storytelling.

Rastegar refers to Light of Love as a “family album,” bringing together a cast of longtime friends and collaborators to craft songs that unite jazz-club virtuosity with pop-chart soul. The roll call of singer-songwriters includes Amy Kuney (aka AMES), Becca Stevens, Gaby Moreno, Dawn Richard, David Garza, Mike Viola, and Rastegar himself, riding the waves of sound created by drummers Chris Dave (D’Angelo, Robert Glasper) and Scott Seiver (Tenacious D, Aimee Mann), trumpet great Nicholas Payton, keyboardists Brandon Coleman (Stevie Wonder, Kamasi Washington) and Jeff Babko (James Taylor, Martin Short), and guitarists Chris Bruce (Seal, Bettye Lavette) and Josh Lopez (Macy Gray, Black Eyed Peas).

“This album is a long time coming,” says Rastegar. “I wanted to make something that bridges the gaps between all the different musical worlds that I find myself in -- music that feels really good and also uses all of these voices.”

Stream Tracks from Light of Love
The results range from the smoldering cosmic love song “Accidents Waiting to Happen” to the swampy blues-rock lurch of “As Long As You Love Me;” the stripped-down soul of “A Little Too Late” to the intimate but anthemic “Cuento Ilogico;” the sensual groove of “Lavender” to the Velvet Underground inspired drone-pop of “Bad Ideas.” The title track basks in its finger-snapping groove while “Roll Call” lays back into a late-‘70s SoCal vibe reminiscent of the Doobie Brothers. “Long March” surges with a bracing stop-start funk, the perfect foil for Nicholas Payton’s acid-tongued trumpet.

If the songs’ memorable melodies wrap around some unfamiliar contours, that’s most likely due to the unique circumstances of the album’s songwriting. Rastegar entered the studio on separate occasions with Dave and Seiver, engaging the inventive drummers in loose, freewheeling jam sessions. Rastegar took those recordings, isolated some of the more inspired moments, and built songs around these improvised rhythm tracks. He collaborated with the singers in different ways; some were sent tracks and composed their own lyrics, while others got together with Rastegar in the studio to hash out the songs together.

“What I’ve learned as a songwriter is that there’s a thousand different ways to write a song,” Rastegar says. “I’ve always been a big fan of all kinds of music, but when I was younger I never really thought about why they were made. I just assumed that they sprouted up like flowers. But as I’ve stepped out as a songwriter and a producer, I’ve found that each song makes its own statement. The way this music came together, with a lot of freedom in the initial recording, there ended up being a lot of surprises that you wouldn't normally have if you’d written the chords and the melody first.”

Several of Rastegar’s improvisations with Dave ended up as compelling miniatures in their own right, elaborated to become instrumentals like the futuristic funk of “Tom Tom” and the shimmering synth-pop of “Cat Woman.” album ends with a solo bass arrangement of Caetano Veloso’s “Luz Do Sol” that shows off the tender beauty of Rastegar’s playing.

“Bad Ideas,” Rastegar’s debut as a vocalist, presages a forthcoming singer-songwriter project that will feature him as sole front-man. With his debut, however, Rastegar wanted to display his panoramic talents through a wider lens. Light of Love does just that, offering infectious tunes and scintillating virtuosity, eclectic approaches with a singular vision.

Track Listing:

01. "Bad Ideas"
02. "Cuento Ilogico" feat. Gaby Moreno
03. "Cat Woman" feat. Chris Dave
04. "Roll Call" feat. Mike Viola
05. "Tom Tom" feat. Chris Dave
06. "Light of Love" feat. David Garza
07. "As Long As You Love Me" feat. Who's Wednesday
08. "Accidents Waiting to Happen" feat. Ames
09. "Long March" feat. Nicholas Payton
10. "Lavender" feat. Dawn Richard
11. "A Little Too Late" feat. Becca Stevens
12. "Luz Do Sol"

Kaveh Rastegar · Light of Love
Ropeadope · Release Date: August 10, 2018

Concord Records is releasing The Big Bad Blues, ZZ Top legend Billy F Gibbons’ second-ever solo release

The Big Bad Blues features BFG originals and classic blues covers

Concord Records is releasing The Big Bad Blues, ZZ Top legend Billy F Gibbons’ second-ever solo release, on September 21, 2018. This is the follow-up to his acclaimed 2015 Afro-Cuban-flavored solo album Perfectamundo.

The Big Bad Blues, as the title suggests, focuses on Gibbons’ lifelong love of the blues and rock & roll, showcasing the blues-influenced vocals and guitar licks that have together served as the foundation for his numerous hits over the past five decades. The album features 11 tracks balancing some classic covers like “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” and “Standing Around Crying,” along with some of Billy’s signature new blues originals.

“We successfully made our way through those uncharted waters with the Cubano flavor of Perfectamundo and completed the journey,” says Gibbons in distinguishing The Big Bad Blues from its predecessor. “The shift back to the blues is a natural. It’s something which our followers can enjoy with the satisfaction of experiencing the roots tradition and, at the same time, feeling the richness of stretching the art form.”

Gibbons, of course, has long been one of the most important and influential artists to emerge from the blues traditions, carrying it forward in a career honored by his 2004 induction, with ZZ Top, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As he notes, he was blues-influenced “right from the beginning—and it’s never let up.”

“There’s something very primordial within the art form,” he says. “Nobody gets away from the infectious allure of those straight-ahead licks!”

He notes it would take many hours just to scratch the surface surrounding this enduring love affair: “I suspect Jimmy Reed did me in early on. The inventiveness of that high and lonesome sound remains solid and stridently strong to this day. We could go on to mention the lineup of usual suspects, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy, all three Kings [B.B., Albert and Freddie]. The lengthy list of champions are forever carved in stone.”

After the success of Perfectamundo, Concord Records president John Burk expressed his intent on following up with another artistic offering with a more familiar, bluesy kind of content. “Billy has an incredibly deep knowledge of the great blues tradition and has carried that tradition forward in his music throughout his incredible career. Therefore, it seemed natural to do a project that centered on his musical roots, and the music that so inspired him from the very beginning.”

Gibbons remarked, “We were delighted to follow suit: It’s steeped in the tradition of ‘BFG meets blues giants’ with an adventurous expression to keep it fresh.”

BFG and Burk met in an underground parking garage of a favorite Hollywood bistro from the comforts of JB’s top-down ride, playing some tracks, LOUD, with the music bouncing off the walls beneath a couple floors of raw concrete.”… Gibbons got the nod.  He and his “greasy” gang of unbridled players were delivering the goods.

“From deep in the heart of Texas, our Hammond organ specialist, Mr. Mike Flanigin, stepped forward and accepted the invitation to step from the B3 bench to take on the task of pounding the ivory 88’s,” says Gibbons, adding, “Great piano stuff from Mike ‘The Drifter’ Flanigin.

“Master of the Fender Bass-guitar, Joe Hardy lent his low-down sound with his fearless funkiness, SO fine!

“Also, in the mash-up mix, the man-with-the-backbeat-plan, Greg Morrow. G keeps the skins alive and kickin’. And while we’re on that backbeat thang…

“Matt Sorum steps forward with his super-syncopation, thrashing the skins like no buddies business.

“Alabama–come-California soulster Austin Hanks, roughs up the riffs with his left-handed six-string electric.  Have mercy!”

Gibbons himself shares the harmonica chops with James Harman who has appeared over the years doin’ that Mississippi-sounding thing. “James is the fastidiously fierce follower of the real deal when it comes to blowing’ the harp.

“As for the album content, check it out… Hey now!

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” he says. “It’s no secret there are several favorites from the way-back starting with not one, but two, from the Bo Diddley catalog [‘Bring It to Jerome’ and ‘Crackin’ Up’]. We dusted off an old Gretsch Duo-Jet guitar which put it squarely with that infamous Bo Diddley sound.  Once covered, we made way into another side—a much earlier number from Muddy Waters, ‘Standing Around Crying.’  The ragged edges with the meanness of James’ bad self on harp seemed to fit the bill to enter the lineup.”

As for favorites, Gibbons notes, “‘Missin’ Yo’ Kissin’ is a gift from Miz Gibbons. She knows what girls want and laid it out cold.  And ‘Second Line’ is a definite throwback to many good days and nights down New Orleans way.

“Other tracks on The Big Bad Blues are easy pickin’, sayin’ it all.  It’s a street affair.”


The September 14, 2018 release brings together legendary artists from across jazz and pop to join and celebrate the iconic Count Basie Orchestra.

A gathering of legendary artists have come together to join the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Scotty Barnhart for this historic release celebrating the iconic band from its earliest years, throughout the decades with Sinatra and Ella, and through to today’s contemporary artists.

All About that Basie is set for a September 14, 2018 release via Concord Jazz. The album was produced by eight-time Grammy award winning producer and former Basie drummer Gregg Field. Field notes that common throughout the entire album is that great Basie sound. “Basie’s band throughout the years was able to successfully cover hits of the era with their sound and as part of the new album we have continued that tradition including hits from legends like Stevie Wonder and Leonard Cohen as well artists as contemporary as Adele,” Field said.

To help accomplish that mission, Barnhart and Field put together an amazing array of guest talent that includes multi-Grammy winning jazz vocal group Take 6, jazz singer Kurt Elling, organist Joey DeFrancesco, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, trumpeter Jon Faddis, Basie band alumni vocalists Carmen Bradford and Jamie Davis and Stevie Wonder.

All About That Basie opens with a foot stomping, swinging version of the Joe Williams classic, “Everyday I Have the Blues,” featuring multi-Grammy winning vocal group Take 6 adding their contemporary vocal arrangement on top of the classic Basie hit.

Second up is the album’s first “new” entry into the Basie songbook, Earth, Wind and Fire’s hit “Can’t Hide Love.” The swinging track features the virtuoso plunger trombonist Wycliffe Gordon soloing and leading the trombone section with guest pianist Eric Reed underscoring the orchestra with soulful piano accompaniment. “Can’t Hide Love” is re-imagined with a sophisticated harmonic sheen and a swinging pulse all delivered in classic Basie style.

When incorporating new material into the Basie repertoire, Barnhart says: “I look for tunes with singable melodies and interesting harmonies. Rhythmically, the orchestra is going to take care of the rest…”

The album continues with Stevie Wonder’s classic “My Cherie Amour” masterfully arranged in the style of the Basie / Neal Hefti classic, “ Lil’ Darlin’ ” and features Stevie Wonder on harmonica. “My Cherie Amour” (ala Basie) is a perfect example of All About That Basie “pop” repertoire re-imagined in timeless Basie style.

To help celebrate the era of the famous Basie and Sinatra recordings, Grammy award winning singer Kurt Elling reprises the classic Sinatra track “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” from the album “Sinatra at the Sands” featuring Count Basie.

Elling’s love for Sinatra is on full display with the Basie band all the while making this new recording uniquely his own. The track also features producer Gregg Field in his roll as former Basie and Sinatra drummer. A place he knows very well.

Next up the band revisits its 1950’s & 60’s ventures into “Latin” music with the classic hit “Tequila.”  The track features trumpet virtuoso Jon Faddis, weaving Dizzy’s love of “Latin Jazz” into his stratospheric solo as well as solos by the band’s own Will Matthews on guitar and Bobby Floyd on piano. “Tequila” also features the legendary Chick Corea percussionist/ conguero Luisito Quintero.

The next re-imagining of a classic and adding to the “new” Basie repertoire is the Leonard Cohen signature song “Hallelujah.” Arranged by the band’s own Kris Johnson, this soulful and understated version perfectly reflects the original spirit of the song with Leonard Cohen’s message soulfully interpreted by Mark William’s plunger muted, trombone solo.

Organist Wild Bill Davis arranged Basie’s first big hit after the big band reconstituted in the early 1950’s, establishing a new and more expansive direction for the band moving beyond its original Kansas City “Blues” roots.

To celebrate “April in Paris” and Basie’s often overlooked organ recordings, Hammond B-3 virtuoso Joey DeFrancesco joins for his second time recording with the band following his debut on the Concord classic “Ray Sings / Basie Swings.”

The long-associated pairing of Ella & Basie is celebrated on the next track with the Basie band’s own vocalist Carmen Bradford, debuting a never before recorded arrangement of “Honeysuckle Rose” written for Ella by long time collaborator Benny Carter. Bradford is a master of the art of singing with 18 men swinging and she delivers a playful love letter to Ella.   

The last “new” addition to the Basie orchestra book is the Adele hit “Hello,” demonstrating once again that the Basie sound remains as unique and relevant as ever.

“Hello” features a trumpet solo by arranger Kris Johnson as well as a highly stylized piano solo from the band’s own Bobby Floyd delivering Basie’s signature “splank” at the end to remind us that once again it’s all about that Basie.

Going all the way back to the band’s Kansas City roots, and to celebrate the great Basie band vocalists, Basie alum, big baritone Jamie Davis continues the tradition with a reprise of Jimmy Rushing’s hit “Sent For You Yesterday,” this time with the small band featuring leader Barnhart, Field, Eric Reed, saxophonist Rickey Woodard, and bassist Trevor Ware.

Davis shouts: “Well, you came home to Joe. You came home to Jimmy. Now it’s time you come home to me…” The Basie vocalist succession continues in great hands.

All About That Basie concludes with the great composer Thad Jones’ message “From One to Another,” which is a perfect metaphor to close the album.

The metaphor being that the Basie Orchestra is passing along the art that Basie created along with all of his musicians, the arrangers and artists who continue to collaborate with this timeless American musical treasure that is now known simply by the all encompassing “Basie.”

All About That Basie is exactly that. It celebrates the past, the present and assures a swinging musical future for all…


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