Wednesday, July 11, 2018

New Releases: Chante Cann – Journey To Golden; Jay Phelps – Free As The Birds; Chicago – Chicago II Live At Soundstage

Chante Cann – Journey To Golden

Chante Cann really blew us away with her debut – and she seems to sound even better here – working with a new level of complexity in her music, while still coming across with all the soulful richness of the previous set! Acoustic piano features strongly in the sound – balancing out the lighter, raspier style of Cann's vocals with this deep-ringing tone that's really beautiful – almost an echoey vibe that unlocks all these great colors throughout the album's passage – a lyrical, poetic instrumental aspect that's definitely picked up by Chante with her lyrics. Snarky Puppy guest on two tracks, and pianist Jamie Portee sings on one number with Cann – on titles that include "Da Da'N Da", "Beauty Speaks", "Waterfall", "The Journey Continues", "iChange", "Free Your Dreams", and "For The Children". ~ Dusty Groove

Jay Phelps – Free As The Birds

Genius work from Jay Phelps – a jazz trumpeter, but also a soulful singer – yet working here in a mode that's a completely fresh fusion of both of his talents! There's a crispness to the record right from the very first note – like you've just stepped into a cool club from a back alley entrance, and chanced upon the next generation at work – while Phelps effortlessly shifts between his voice and his horn, in a musical setting that's equally effortless in its shift between acoustic and electric elements – which seem to include a fair bit of Fender Rhodes next to round acoustic basslines and percussion – peppered with guest work from a lineup that includes David Binney on alto sax, Stacy Dillard on tenor and soprano, and even some vocal contributions from Cecilia Stalin, Martina Dasilva, and Emilia Martensson. Titles include "Chaos Or Commerce", "LSG", "Amphitrite's Bounty", "Everyone's Ethnic", "Angel", "Flash", "Free As The Birds", and "Chomtalay Chill". ~  Dusty Groove

Chicago – Chicago II Live At Soundstage

Chicago went home to its namesake city last year to record a live version of the band’s multi-platinum second album, Chicago II, for the PBS Soundstage series. That energetic performance is now available as a single-CD and a CD/DVD set that includes video of the program and a 5.1 audio mix. Originally released in January 1970 as Chicago (and later dubbed Chicago II), the album was a major breakthrough for the band and features some of the group’s biggest hits, including the Top 10 singles: “25 Or 6 To 4,” “Make Me Smile” and “Colour My World.”

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