Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Australia’s hardest hitting Hammond Organ trio Cookin’ On 3 Burners return with their fifth full-length “Lab Experiments Vol. 2″

Australia’s hardest hitting Hammond Organ trio Cookin’ On 3 Burners return with their fifth full-length “Lab Experiments Vol. 2″, the sequel release to 2017s Lab Experiments Vol. 1: Mixin. Boasting eight brand new Burners cuts, this album will take you on an exciting musical adventure traversing soul, up-tempo boogaloo, cinematic journeys and straight up dirty dance floor funk.

The instrumental tracks on “Lab Experiment Vol. 2″ capture the fiery interplay from the bands cranking shows across Australia, Europe and the UK a trio in full flight scorched straight to analogue tape. Drum heavy “The Jump Off” bursts out of the speakers like a sling shot and is accompanied by a crowd sourced video of B-boys and B-girls from around the globe bringing their moves and representing their city (watch here). On a down tempo detour the gritty and cinematic “Howler” is a mysterious beast waiting in the dark, fuzzy guitar tones and swirling organ drenched in a sea of reverb.

With collaborations galore, the album includes the dance floor filler “Warning“ featuring rising neo-soul singer Kaiit , which anticipated the album as a 45 release, as well as feature vocals from The Meltdown’s resident heartbreaker and vocalist Simon Burke on on “The Garden Of Freedom”. The voice of hit single “This Girl” Miss Kylie Auldist features on “One Of The Ones” and Chicago born, Melbourne-based king of suits Fallon Williams lends his gritty vocals to the outfit’s latest single “Force of Nature”.

“Lab Experiments Vol. 2″s lead single Warning received immediate rotation on Australia’s national broadcaster Double J, was featured globally on Spotify’s coveted New Music Friday Playlists and Apple Music’s Best Of The Week, picked up the 3PBS Feature Record and 4ZZZ’s Best New Arrivals, as well as BBC6 airplay on The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show.

Since their inception in 1997, Cookin’ On 3 Burners have had substantial success worldwide building them an avid following of fans near and far. With live performances alongside such notable acts as Quantic, Alice Russell, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Fat Freddie’s Drop and more. In 2016 they collaborated with French dance producer Kungs with a remix of “This Girl” that became the European song of the summer for that year and the most Shazamed dance track in the world, hitting number #1 in 10 countries and the top #10 in over 35 countries.

“Lab Experiments vol.2 out on LP/CD/Digi on Oct 26th via Soul Messin’


Alfredo Rodríguez, the prominent Cuban pianist and Quincy Jones mentee stopped by NPR Music’s headquarters recently to perform a Tiny Desk Concert in support of his new album The Little Dream. Recently Alfredo’s TinyDesk Concert had its worldwide release, watch what NPR Music calls, “Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez gave our office audience a very quick lesson on why pianists from that island nation are so impressive: they treat the piano as the percussion instrument it is. Rodríguez immediately let fly with an intense flurry of notes that were as melodic as they were rhythmic.” Watch the full performance here.

Alfredo Rodríguez’s critically acclaimed album The Little Dream has seen continued support from NPR Music, with a First Listen, and hailed, “Alfredo Rodríguez is a figurehead of the new generation of Cuban jazz musicians who observe and honor their roots while constantly seeking new avenues for expression.”

In addition, the new album The Little Dream has garnered accolades from a series of esteemed publications like New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Billboard, Jazz Times, Downbeat, and many more.

The Little Dream is a powerful message for the Dreamers and youth affected by the controversial regulations surrounding the DACA program. Rodríguez understands how important “dreams” are, especially for today’s youth – and the immigrant children known as “DREAMers” – for shaping a more unified future. He expresses, “the title of my new album, The Little Dream, is my response to our current world climate. The title comes from my fascination with the dream world, which is a beautiful manifestation of our reality. My greatest dream is one where all humans live happily and in peace. Children are the hope and the answer to creating a world of love, peace, unity and understanding.”

As jazz music sees a resurgence in younger audiences, Rodríguez is leading the way for the new wave of Cuban musicians, including past collaborators Ibeyi and Pedrito Martinez. The rich musical history of Cuba is finally being exposed to a wider audience, which has always been a hope for many upcoming artists.

Rodríguez reflects on the title The Little Dream, “is about the child that is within us all, and how imagination and creativity are messages for hope. No one knows better than me that a little dream can become a big dream, and big dreams can become reality.”

“The virtuoso Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez, a Quincy Jones protégé, recorded many of the tunes on “The Little Dream” in a single take: His chops are that solid, and his trio is that tightly woven.” -- New York Times

2018 Tour dates:
Nov. 1 - Jazz Showcase @ Chicago, IL          
Nov. 2 - Jazz Showcase @ Chicago, IL         
Nov. 3 - Jazz Showcase @ Chicago, IL         
Nov. 4 - Jazz Showcase @ Chicago, IL         
Nov. 13 - Maison de la Culture @ Bourges, France 
Nov. 14 - La Petite Halle @ Paris, France    
Nov. 23 - London Jazz Festival @ London, UK       
Nov. 25 - Auditorium de Zaragoza @ Zaragoza, Spain       
Nov. 30 - April Jazz Club @ Espoo, Finland
Dec. 1 – Jazzclub @ Tübingen, Germany    
Dec. 3 - Jazz Cat Club @ Ascona, Switzerland         

2019 Tour Dates:
Feb. 2 - Manchester Craftsmen's Guild @ Pittsburgh, Pa
(with Pedrito Martinez, Edmar Castaneda And Grégoire Maret)
Feb. 7 -  Kimball Ballroom @ Columbia, MO
Feb. 8 - Walton Arts Center @ Fayetteville, AR
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 15 - Jefferson Center @ Roanoke, VA
(With Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 16 -  Kc Jazz Club, Kennedy Center @ Washington, DC
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 17 - Flynnspace @ Burlington, VT
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 22 - North Carolina State University @ Raleigh, NC
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 23 - North Carolina State University @ Raleigh, NC
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Feb. 24 - Weisiger Theatre, Norton Center For The Arts @ Danville, KY
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Mar. 8 -  Symphony Center @ Chicago, IL
(with Pedrito Martinez And Paquito D'rivera)
Mar. 9 -  Lakewood Cultural Center @ Lakewood, CO
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Mar. 10 - Argyros Performing Arts Center @ Ketchum, ID
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Mar. 13 - The Loft, Uc San Diego @ La Jolla, CA
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Mar. 15 -  Virginia G. Piper Theater, Scottsdale Center For The Performing Arts @ Scottsdale, AZ
(with Pedrito Martinez)
Mar. 16 - Jo Long Theatre @ San Antonio, TX
(with Pedrito Martinez)
May 10 -  Sanders Theatre @ Cambridge, MA
 (with Pedrito Martinez)
May 11 - Stratus Vineyards @ Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON, Canada
(with Pedrito Martinez)
May 18 - Vermont Jazz Center @ Brattleboro, VT
(with Pedrito Martinez)


Virtuosic Artists Collide in Elegant Conversation of Latin + Blues on StringShot

Trio’s debut album and U.S. tour set to capture the hearts of roots, rock, world, and jazz fans

There’s a bedrock of sound that unites the music of the Americas, despite the remarkable variety of musical expression on the surface. And then there’s the unique, near-magical energy that comes alive when devoted musicians let their skill and artistry converse.

StringShot, the new trio collaboration between legendary blues slide guitarist & producer Roy Rogers, Brazilian guitar virtuoso and songwriter Badi Assad, and South American stringed harp master and violinist Carlos Reyes, harnesses both, bringing blues and Latin music into close dialog while demonstrating how well friendship translates into flawless performances and songwriting. Their beautifully produced debut album, StringShot, leaves ample room for the musical kindred spirits to strut their stuff and move with effortless tenderness. 

“I’m always trying to push the envelope, ” laughs Rogers. “It’s conducive to great music. The Latin and blues conversation has always appealed to me, and I love the rhythms and the challenge of a different genre.This is the first time I’ve gotten to explore it outside of a strictly blues context, and it’s been wonderful.”

“Though our styles are totally different, we use them as a way to communicate our hearts out,” explains Assad. “In the lyrics process, we could feel that we take in life in similar way, with day-by-day discoveries, with a lot of simplicity coming from the soul, and a love for music with a lot of freedom. Roy has a very big heart and he embraced me as a sister, with that same kind of care and support. You can hear it in the music, our very special friendship.”

American audiences will get to hear the collaboration live for the first time, as StringShot embarks on its debut tour on the West Coast this autumn.

Rogers, Assad, and Reyes all share a passionate devotion to their music and instruments, reflected in wildly creative and successful careers that cross boundaries and defy borders.

Rogers apprenticed playing with the greats, in particular John Lee Hooker, and later forged a name for himself as a peerless slide player and talented producer and songwriter. (He’s been nominated for 8 GRAMMYs for both.) Assad, daughter of a world renowned and deeply skilled musical family, took her classical training and put it through the filter of Brazil’s Afro-Latin heritage, evolving into an effortlessly graceful singer-songwriter. Reyes, a virtuoso on the Paraguyan stringed harp as well as the violin, has often taken his instruments into new territory, both as a player and fearless collaborator.

There is another, deeper layer connecting these musicians, a mutual fascination with each others’ styles. Rogers, for example, has toured Brazil and was ‘taken’ by the country’s cultural wonders, an experience that sparked “Blues for Brazil,” a song he originally recorded with legendary harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite but revisited and reimagined with StringShot.

Rogers’ son Sam, a beatboxer and vocal percussionist, visited Brazil and held a workshop a few years back. Assad showed up to take his class and that connection eventually led to Assad becoming friends with the entire Rogers family with Gaynell Rogers taking on Assad’s management.

Through this chance connection,Assad and Rogers decided to also collaborate together.  “When I first went to Roy’s house to rehearse, I was very nervous because I didn’t know him very well and I had no idea what Iwould play on the guitar. Roy is a genius and I became shy. But he and his wife welcomed me with so much love and simplicity that my heart melted. It was ground zero of our friendship.”

That friendship-launching rehearsal led to a full-fledged project that brought in another key element, Reyes’s harp and violin; Reyes previously had been featured as a special guest with Roy and his band The Delta Rhythm Kings for the past few years. All of the instruments share strings, but occupy radically different spaces and contribute different voices to songs that range from pensive ballads (“God Prayed It” ”) to Afro-Cuban-inspired frolics (“Back to Havana”). The main thing, Rogers says, is to stay true to your sound, even as you embrace and dance with others’: “The whole criteria as a player is to be who you are. You may admire Brazilian or Cuban players, but you can’t just imitate. It’s a confluence of factors here, and these influences are coming together because we’re creating a sound together.”
The connections and differences enrich the music. “Carlos is South American as I am and in that sense we share some similar approaches to the rhythmic background,” explains Assad. “Yes, our countries have different styles of music but the heat behind the chords and the passion behind the rhythms are the same. So we understand each other in a silent and ancestral way. With Roy it is different. We share similarities because we play the same instrument and sing as well.” They also wrote the lyrics to several of the album’s songs together, sending ideas back and forth between California and Brazil. (“Wounds of Sight” and “Back Along the Way”)
Drawing on shared sensibilities and distinct contrasts, channeling them through their individual artistic approached, StringShot really came into its own in the studio, as Rogers began to hone the sound. “The sound happened in the studio. I had an idea of how the sound could come together. You know when you’re recording if it is going to work good or not,” Rogers notes. “There were more than a few moments in the studio where I went ‘wow’ this is the sound. We’ve got it.”

The pinnacle of the production approach resounds on the moving, “God Prayed It,” a song Rogers originally wrote with Metallica bassist Jason Newsted for another project, but one Assad transforms with profound emotion. “I thought this song and several of the other tracks deserved a full production treatment. That’s why it’s lush; that was by design,” Rogers says. “You’ll hear a few sparsely produced songs in there for balance, but at moments, we decided we would make it about as full as you can get, with added string arrangements and more.”

“When you explore a new combination, it’s exciting, especially when it comes together for all the right reasons,” muses Reyes. “It’s the interaction.”

“That connection really contributes to the sound,” agrees Rogers. “I want it to be known as the StringShot sound. This kind of musical collaboration works when artists are open to explore.”

UNIFONY: The Audiophile Spontaneity of Kindred Spirits Turns Fleeting Moments into Sweeping Cinematic Tracks

Is autoerotic-audiophilia a thing? Subdued, yet meticulously composed and engineered to inspire lush cinematic soundscapes on the backsides of closed eyelids, that's how I'm tempted to describe the sensory experience that is UNIFONY to you.

The collaborators would walk into the studio and coax a moment, a sound from the instruments. No through-composed scores, no plans, just the interaction of kindred spirits and vibrating metal and wood, wire and skin.

This is the basic premise of UNIFONY. Improv-based, timbre-inspired, the collaborative project harnesses European indie songwriter and film composer Minco Eggersman and audiophile engineer and musical ingenue Theodoor Borger’s unique chemistry to conjure a soundscape for good, wildly talented music friends. The first album of the project UNIFONY (to be released Oct. 12, 2018) features the sometimes breathy, sometimes crystalline trumpet of ECM artist Mathias Eick, and the stellar mixing and mastering skills of Phil Brown (Led Zeppelin, Bowie, Talk Talk) and Bob Ludwig (Hendrix, McCartney, Queen, Daft Punk).

The results are lush, enigmatic, touching the imagination and emotions without ever revealing the full story. They are ambient and cinematic, yet ultimately simple at their hearts, drawing inspiration from everything from post-rock like Talk Talk and contemporary classical compositions. Though the tracks are grounded in small moments of inspiration, they achieve well-developed form and bright sheen, thanks to friendship and technical prowess of the project’s contributors.

Percussionist Jim Roberts release "The Tao Of Time"

In 2006, percussionist, producer, and North Carolina professor Jim Roberts took the words of activists who've inspired him to social action over the year as a challenge to make a meaningful contribution to public discourse. He devoted years to doing something, crafting The Tao of Time (release: October 26, 2018), a concept album as diverse and unexpected as his wide-ranging musical influences. Inspired by peace activists and other agents of change--the wonderful Peace Pilgrim’s words, for example, create a pivot in the album--The Tao of Time explores the nature of time, history, human experience, and how the past can but does not have to determine the future.

“As a drummer, people often expect you to just do drum pieces, not the kind of things I’m doing here. When I began working on this record, I had a bigger vision,” says Roberts. “But I knew that I couldn’t leave the drums out. Drums, time and language are synonymous. It’s all part of the process.”

Roberts’s bigger vision unfolds over the course of interlocking vignettes guided by raucous  time-traveling seafarers, Captain Time and his Craic crew; clever covers (Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues,” Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger,” along with set of variations on its themes); and original pieces tackling war and peace, past and future, life and death, and the nature of the universe. Though Roberts urges listeners to engage with the darker side of existence on pieces like “Soul Power ” and “When Will Peace Come,” the destination is ultimately hopeful and forward looking, as the words and sounds ask us to be “All That We Can Be.”

trio WoRK, featuring SUSAN KREBS (voc), TOM RIZZO (gtr.) and KEN WILD (bass)

Bassist Ken Wild is a founding member of the fine band Seawind. Since 1976, Ken has been an active studio musician, working in TV and film, and on many recordings, including Clare Fischer Big Band, Harvey Mason and Tierney Sutton. Live performances with Dianne Reeves, Terence Blanchard, James Moody, Herb Ellis, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Natalie Cole's touring band and Dave Weckl to name a few, as well as numerous Musical Theater productions.

One of LA’s most versatile guitarists, Tom Rizzo has played with Blood, Sweat and Tears, Maynard Ferguson, Brian Wilson and Natalie Cole among many others. He was the guitarist for the Tonight Show Band for 10 years, and played for Don Severinsen’s jazz group Xebron.  A longtime composer,  Tom has written for commercials, radio, film and TV - including for “In Living Color”, where he and Ken Wild first worked together.

An actor and theater improviser for many years (Film: 28 Days; TV: Mad Men; Improv: War Babies), Susan Krebs’ passion has always been for the music, performing as a vocalist at venues such as Vitellos, LACMA, Blue Whale -- as well as in theaters and living rooms with her jazz salon, ThemeScene, where her most recent recording project, “SPRING ~ Light Out of Darkness”, with the Susan Krebs Chamber Band was born and raised.



Confunktion Records label founder and German funk/breaks producer Mr. Confuse returns with his fifth full-length and third original studio album “Only A Man”, a very personal record that explores the man behind the music. From well-known soul topics of love and hate to social issues of modern life – this full-length is all about an odyssey through time, rhythm and music.

The way Mr. Confuse produces his music is inspired by growing up with the 90s hip hop production technique of creating something new by referencing unheard funk and soul. For this album the process involved sampling and resampling the recordings of up to 16 international musicians to create an organic, powerful, authentic and danceable funk sound, which can be heard in each and every second of this record.

Opening titletrack “Only A Man” sees long-time Mr. Confuse collaborator Dan Salem take the mic to lament the difficulty of day to day living over a guitar-led uptempo funk workout. Dan also appears on jazzy soul number “Only Rainbows” and “The Modern Way”. While “Same Old Game feat. Leo Will” is a sister soul stormer for lovers of deep funk and northern soul alike, with blazing organ and standout vocals.

Twisting electro funk from the 80s into heavy 60s and 70s-sounding funk that could have been the blueprint for the original version has long been a defining characteristic of Mr. Confuse‘s sound. On this album he re-funks well-known freestyle electro classic “Let The Music Play” by Shannon, with Manoo contributing vocals.

“Can’t Be No Crime feat. Rick” dips into latin-funk territory and “Cranberry Dream feat. Elaine Thomas” closes the album with some sweet, sweet soul. But Mr. Confuse proves he can equally hold up a track on his own, with surefire b-boy favorites to be found in instrumentals “Gain Station”, “Fast Lane” and “Against All Odds”. And the infectious future jazz grooves of “Rush Zone” make this tune another album highlight.

It may be ‘only a man’ behind composing, producing, arranging, mixing, recording, organizing, promoting and performing abroad, but when that man is Mr. Confuse, it takes “Only A Man” to get the job done well.


Melbourne’s heaviest funk rhythm section The Putbacks return with "The Ways"

Melbourne’s heaviest funk rhythm section The Putbacks bring you a twisted and electric collaboration with the legendary Bilal on their new single “The Ways”. This dark, dirty, post-soul, post-jazz, mystery-cinema freakout dominated by screaming electric guitar and Bilal’s husky stream of consciousness lyrics is accompanied by an equally murky video and anticipates The Putbacks‘ self-titled debut album out in November. “The Ways” is produced by Paul Bender (Hiatus Kaiyote) and is a hard-hitting, abstract journey into an alternate reality where The Meters specialized in Sci-Fi soundtrack art and Dick Dale played guitar on Madlib records.

Bilal has been a household name amongst soul aficionados since he was an integral member of the Soulquarians collective – a movement that launched his career alongside those of Questlove, Erykah Badu and D’Angelo and whose influence is still strongly felt. Bilal is a mercurial and diverse artist, noted for his wide vocal range, his resistance to being typecast and his working across multiple genres, “The Ways” being a prime example. Bilal’s discography is studded with stellar collaborations including Kendrick Lamar, Common, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Guru, J Dilla, Robert Glasper and The Roots, amongst many others.

The Putbacks are a rhythm section. Drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and percussion. Stone cold pros, grizzled veterans of all the tours and all the studios. They take their cues from the great house bands of the 60s and 70s soul studios as film composers from David Axelrod and Lalo Schifrin to Adrian Younge and contemporary instrumental groups like BADBADNOTGOOD, Khruangbin and El Michels Affair. Known for their instrumental 7inch funk cuts and their collaboration with Emma Donovan, the forthcoming LP marks their first album as a quintet.

New Releases: Charlie Haden & Brad Mehldau - Long Ago & Far Away; Diane Hoffman – Do I Love You; Tasha - Alone At Last

Charlie Haden & Brad Mehldau - Long Ago & Far Away

A really great meeting of jazz giants – both very familiar names, with very familiar styles – but somehow also quite fresh and surprising in this setting! Haden's the especially strong charmer – because with just the piano of Brad Mehldau alongside him, there's lots of room to hear his more subtle touches on the bass – especially as the album features all long tracks, most past the 10 minute mark – which really lets both players open up! Mehldau is pretty great, too – past his successful sound, with some surprisingly modern touches as he makes his way over extended performances of "Au Privave", "My Old Flame", "Long Ago & Far Away", "My Love & I", and "What'll I Do". ~ Dusty Groove

Diane Hoffman – Do I Love You

An established painter, vocalist Diane Hoffman has had a storied musical career which traces back to the legendary Sonny's Place in Seaford, Long Island. For years she has performed all over New York's Tri-state area, and she has released two other albums as a leader, My Little French Dancer and Someone In Love. Her new release, Do I Love You, was produced by drummer and percussionist Ulysses Owens, Jr., and features a swinging 9-piece ensemble with some of New York's leading players. Songs covered on the recording include "Do I Love You," "Small Day Tomorrow," and "Crazy In The Heart," among others.

Tasha - Alone At Last

A fantastic debut from a Chicago talent we guarantee you'll be hearing from in years to come – a songwriter with a style that's both personal and political – schooled in years of underground work in the city, now springing forth as a crucial voice for a new generation! Tasha's younger than most working in this field, but she's already got this presence that speaks volumes – whether singing in a spare, intimate setting – or flowing with some slightly larger backings – always with this quality that seems to link individual experience with a greater agenda, but in a wonderfully careful way. Titles include "New Place", "Alright", "Kind Of Love", "Lullaby", "Winter Song IV", "Take Care", and "Something About This Girl". ~ Dusty Groove

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Vinyl Hampdin new CD “Red” sparks a new website and submissions in the 61st Grammy® Awards

Vinyl Hampdin’s new CD “Red” is on its way to new heights as it launches its new project and website coupled with submissions in multiple categories in the 61st Grammy® Awards.

This super-group has a collection of stellar musicians that defies genre and can only be described as rocked-out seriously funky jaw-dropping ear candy with killer horns, world-class rhythm section, and a stunning vocalist.  They are a force of nature with one goal in mind and that is to create modern deep pocket sticky fun music at the highest possible level.

Group founder and composer Steve Wiest puts it this way “What would Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears and Tower of Power sound like if they started out now?” That is the mission of this jam-packed all-star assemblage of world-renown musicians: to take the modern landscape of textures, hybrid styles and timely songwriting of the 21st Century and pour it all into the venerable tradition of the rocked out horn bands of yore.

The band consists of lead singer Lisa Dodd who is a multiple Juno-winning vocalist and bassist from Alberta, Canada. With a stellar voice described by Jonathan Widran as “sandpaper and honey”.  Dodd’s astounding vocal range is the perfect icing to the powerhouse horn section and the state-of-the-art rhythm section that gives Vinyl Hampdin its unique signature sound.

The all-star horn section is made up of Grammy-winning lead trumpet phenom Frank David Greene of Paul Shaffer-David Letterman and Christian McBride fame, tenor saxophonist Ray Herrmann from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame super-group Chicago, multiple Grammy nominee and acclaimed composer-trombonist Steve Wiest, renown woodwind artist Art Bouton on the bari sax and Sly5th Ave from Prince and The New Power Generation on tenor.

To fuel, propel and power such a mixture of stellar virtuosos the rhythm section is anchored by the former Musical Director for Maynard Ferguson and drumset artist with Doc Severinsen Stockton Helbing, including multiple Juno-winning Canadian guitarist Ryan Davidson, Eric Gunnison–former pianist with Carman McRae and The Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, with prolific producer/composer Gerald Stockton on bass.

At the center is Wiest’s compositions and originals. Wiest and Dodd team up in the lyric writing department while Wiest composes the music in a manner true to the group’s heritage. Each arrangement of well-known songs is reimagined, twisted and super-charged by the pen of Wiest.

These prolific all-stars create a unit that produces an incomparable groove that lives up to the band’s motto of “Rocked out incredibly funky jaw dropping ear candy.”

With the release of their critically-acclaimed debut project “RED” and the accompanying eleven videos directed by Grammy®-winning cinematographer Andy LaViolette, Vinyl Hampdin has hit the ground running and is beginning to spread the good word of the modern jazz-informed rock horn band.  To hear and see all of their submissions via these videos go to

Hugo Award-winning author and frequent David Crosby collaborator Spider Robinson says“...if Blood Sweat & Tears or Chicago or Tower of Power or Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath had spent every second of the last 40 or 50 years in constant improvement and musical and spiritual growth, they might sound this good by now. And maybe not.” This should explain why Vinyl Hampdin seeks the support of NARAS members this year in the following categories: Best Alternative Music Album (Vinyl Hampdin ”RED”) Best Rock Performance (Pay For It”), Best Arrangement With Vocal (“Use Me”), Best Improvised Jazz Solo Ray Herrmann “(Pay For It”),and Best Engineered Album (non-classical). 

“I was fascinated by the music of Vinyl Hampdin, not only did I giggle when I found out the play on the bands name ie. Lionel Hampton, I was astounded by the caliber of artistry and musicality of the blended genres.  This band should be on every jazz festival there is for the audience will go crazy with their musical interpretations for they are the perfect example that represents our NOT JUST JAZZ Movement” says Jaijai Jackson of the Jazz Network Worldwide.

Vinyl Hampdin has signed with Eric Cohen of the EC Music Agency and will be looking for touring opportunities that will give their band a chance to share its unique retro-minded, never stuck on nostalgia, classic cherished style and making it a socially and sonicly relevant and necessary part of the world today.



earMUSIC has announced the worldwide signing of Robben Ford – the blues, jazz and rock virtuoso, who is one of the most innovative and influential contemporary premier electric guitarists, vocalist and songwriter with a celebrated career that has spanned almost five decades.

The five-time Grammy nominee achieved worldwide fame for both, being a solo artist and for his collaborations with a diverse musical Who’s Who that includes Miles Davis, George Harrison, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Dizzy Gillespie, Georgie Fame, Kiss and many more. 

With both parents being passionate musicians themselves, Robben early found his love for music and especially for playing guitar – and it was a love that should last forever. Today his commitment to teaching and passing on what he’s learned over the years to current and future musicians is an essential component of his career. 

Purple House, his brand new studio album, co-produced by Casey Wasner, features nine powerhouse tracks and the album’s genesis, according to Ford, was simple and uncomplicated. “My concept for the record was to do something with a lot more emphasis on the production than I’ve had in the past”, says Robben. “I’m always pushing myself with each record. I haven’t made one record that sounded like the one before it and this was going to be no different. ‘Purple House’ was a great opportunity to try something really different.” 

And he adds: “I used to deliberately write blues and rhythm and blues. The Blue Line, that band really focused on blues and rhythm and blues. Traditional. But over the years I’ve really tried to expand that and this new record, more than anything I’ve ever done, is a real departure from tradition in terms of the songwriting.” 

On Purple House we hear special guests appearances such as blues powerhouse vocalist Shemekia Copeland; she sings a duet with Ford on “Break In The Chain.” Travis McCready, the lead singer of the Natchez, Mississippi band Bishop Gunn, contributes the lead vocals on “Somebody’s Fool.”  And we hear a fantastic guitar solo of Bishop Gunn’s guitarist Drew Smithers on the album’s closing track “Willing To Wait”. 

Track listing
1. Tangle With Ya
2. What I Haven’t Done
3. Empty Handed
4. Bound For Glory
5. Break In The Chain
6. Wild Honey
7. Cotton Candy
8. Somebody’s Fool
9. Willing to Wait

Conya Doss' CLEAR is a 13-song compilation of smoothness, soul, rhythym, and melody

Ohioan Conya Doss voice reflects the sounds of the past, present, as well as what is yet to come. Ms. Doss makes it no secret that her musical taste is a mix of genres classical, soul, blues etc., in which she describes good music as being Like Gumbo, it taste better with time, the next day and the next. This is apparent in her most recent project CLEAR. With undeviating smoothness, soul, rhythm, and melody, the poised songstress has composed a 10 song compilation of perfectly placed instrumentation intertwined with her smooth vocals, with a hint of rasp, provides a journey into the world of accountability, vulnerability, capability, as well as accepting life s offerings. 

Doss first single I’m Trying , Conya croons over a groovy, funky bass, mid-tempo flow, which a host of highly respected musical gurus have coined Another Doss Classic, demonstrating that the songbird s consistent quality music stands with the best of them. I’m Trying is dear to me because it speaks volumes as where my state of mind is right now. Forever a student of life, trying to learn more, trying to live better, and trying to do better. Just trying to be… Another standout tune is Get Off Of Your…. Doss that gives a 70ish disco groove that is guaranteed to make you wanna dance. and Hello provides creative songwriting letting us know that it s never too late to find true love. Given You My Love is another banger consists of a smooth jazzy tune compelling love one not to close other out that they don t have to weather storms alone!! Myron Davis and Rodney Jones serve as the main producers on CLEAR in addition to producer Aaron Hardin. All of Doss album titles are authentically steeped in the spirit of growth and change Clear does just that. It focuses on being transparent and clearing thoughts to music in order to be better aligned with ones spiritual self.

Joey Negro – Remixed With Love Vol 3 features his own inimitable spin on more than a dozen seminal records

Soaring sounds from Joey Negro – a man who's given us plenty of great club tracks on his own, and who here works some real magic with a host of gems from the glory days of disco! The tunes are all expanded wonderfully – given a prime edit sort of treatment – as Joey focuses on key elements that really make the tunes special, then expands them out in a wonderful way – a catchy vocal here, slamming piano there, and so on – all at a level that makes most of these cuts even stronger stormers than in their original versions! 

Titles include "Do The Bus Stop (Joey Negro London bus stop mix)" by Fatback Band, "It's Alright With Me (Joey Negro ext dub)" by Patti LaBelle, "I'm In Love (Joey Negro tribute to Kashif mix)" by Evelyn Champagne King, "Party Lites (Joey Negro boogiefied mix)" by Slave, "Bourgie Bourgie (Joey Negro super bourgeoise rmx)" by Gladys Knight & The Pips, "You Fooled Around (Joey Negro fooled around mix)" by Sister Sledge, "Going Back To My Roots (Joey Negro disco re-blend) by Odyssey, "Found A Cure (Joey Negro found a dub mix)" by Ashford & Simpson, "Looking Up To You (Joey Negro super sweet mix)" by Michael Wycoff, "Can't Let Go (Joey Negro elevated mix)" by Earth Wind & Fire, "Don't Stop Your Love (Joey Negro paradise mix)" by Booker T, "Love To The World (Joey Negro Mizell magic mix)" by LTD, "So You Wanna Be A Star (Joey Negro disco re-blend)" by Mtume, "Way Back When (Joey Negro ext disco mix)" by Brenda Russell, "Going Up In Smoke (Joey Negro big smoke mix)" by Eddie Kendricks, "I Am Somebody (Joey Negro finessed rmx)" by Glenn Jones, "Never Gonna Give You Up (Joey Negro re-grooved mix)" by Patrice Rushen, "You (Joey Negro zoomed in mix)" by Samuel Jonathan Johnson, "Free (Joey Negro re-grooved mix)" by Deniece Williams, "Shining (Joey Negro tribute to Leroy Burgess mix)" by Venus Dodson, "Doin It (Joey Negro soulful reprise)" by Gwen McCrae, and "Shante (Joey Negro cosmic funk mix)" by Mass Production. ~ Dusty Groove

New Releases: George Freeman - Man & Woman; Neneh Cherry - Broken Politics; Jacques Lesure - For The Love Of You

George Freeman - Man & Woman

One of the more laidback albums from George Freeman's early 70s run – but still a great little set that shows the mellower side of his talents! Despite the sexy style of the cover, the sound here is relatively straight soul jazz – small combo work with Harold Mabern on acoustic piano, Kenny Barron on electric piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Buddy Williams on drums – all in support of Freeman's snakey guitar lines over the gentle rhythms and slinky grooves. George's sound is slightly less tripped-out than on other records, but still has that undeniable Freeman tone – a raspy edge that's quite different than most of his contemporaries! Titles include "I Ain't Got Nobody", "You've Changed", "Groovy Lady", "Squeeze Me", and "Till There Was You". (Part of the Groove Merchant Mo' Groovy Collection!) ~ Dusty Groove

Neneh Cherry - Broken Politics

One of the greatest things about Neneh Cherry in recent years is the way she's developed a strong sense of creative collaboration – which she definitely continues here, on a record done with great help from Keiran Hebden! Hebden produced, mixed, and co-wrote much of the set – and most of the music feels as if he's making contributions as well, although at a level that's quite different than most of his own music – almost as if the strong vocals and lyrics from Neneh helped unlock this really great corner of his talents, which get refocused on the record to also help bring a strong sense of vibrancy to Cherry's music as well – and almost have us rediscovering her all over again. Cherry and Hebden have worked together in the past, but there's really something different – and more soulful – going on here. Titles include "Shot Gun Shack", "Deep Vein Thrombosis", "Fallen Leaves"," Kong", "Faster Than The Truth", "Black Monday", and "Natural Skin Deep".  © 1996-2018, Dusty Groove, Inc.

Jacques Lesure - For The Love Of You

Guitarist Jacques Lesure has a nice round tone – a strong single-note line that reminds us a bit of Bobby Broom at times, but which is also set up here with superb accompaniment from Eric Reed on piano, Tony Dumas on bass, and Willie Jones III on drums! Lesure's no-nonsense right from the start – with often more of a sharp focus than Reed's piano, which makes for a nice mix of modes – and really emphasizes the clarity of his tone when his solos take off! Tunes include a long take on the Cedar Walton classic "Holy Land", a sweet version of the Marvin Gaye classic "I Want You", and versions of "The Lamp Is Low", "For the Love Of You", and "That's The Way Of The World".  ~ Dusty Groove

New Releases: Butcher Brown - Camden Session; Chicago – Greatest Hits Live; Kaidi Tatham - In My Life EP

Butcher Brown - Camden Session

Really fantastic sounds from Butcher Brown – a group who just seem to leap forward more and more with each new release – and who've really hit their groove with this well-recorded performance! The album was recorded live to disc in London – with a superb sound that only further emphasizes the sharp instrumentation that make these guys way more than just another funky combo – the fluid blend of heavy drums, warm keyboards, rich bass, and great interplay between guitar, trumpet, and occasional tenor – handled with the dexterity of a 70s jazz funk supergroup, but with all the lean energy of a funky 45! The tunes are all originals, all nice and long, and wonderfully soulful – and titles include "918", "Camden Square", "Street Pharmacy", and "Fiat". ~ Dusty Groove

Chicago – Greatest Hits Live

Chicago went back to their namesake hometown’s acclaimed WTTW-TV studios to record a new collection of their greatest hits. Greatest Hits Live features a career-spanning collection of Chicago favorites, including “Beginnings,” “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day,” “I’m A Man,” and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is,” as well as the chart topping “If You Leave Me Now,” “Hard Habit To Break,” and “You’re The Inspiration.” Greatest Hits Live is a companion piece to the Chicago II: Live On Soundstage release. It’s available in a CD and CD/DVD format.

Kaidi Tatham - In My Life EP

Blinding sounds from Kaidi Tatham – an artist who's really continued the best spirit of the 4Hero sound with records like this! The set's only got four tracks, but you'll hardly miss anything at all – as Tatham packs so much into such a small space – changing up the rhythms in this amazing way, while also creating explosively soulful keyboard moments amidst the moodier basslines! Nadine Charles sings a bit on the record, but the instrumental spaces speak volumes themselves – and titles include "Freddie Can't Run Away", "But You Bring It Up", "Is Crimbo Really Here", and "In My Life". ~ Dusty Groove

The New York Standards Quartet To Release Heaven Steps To Seven

By the numbers the New York Standards Quartet (NYSQ) is downright impressive, touring and recording together for thirteen years, with six critically acclaimed recordings in its oeuvre. The band's seventh album, their first to be available on vinyl, and featuring bassist Ugonna Okegwo (a regular member for many of the band's U.S. tours), Heaven Steps To Seven, builds on the great success of their catalog (most recently, Sleight of Hand, The New Straight Ahead and Power of 10). Saxophonist Tim Armacost, pianist David Berkman, drummer Gene Jackson & double bassist Ugonna Okegwo once again offer the listener reimagined standards from the vast canon of jazz and the Great American Songbook that reflect the band's spontaneous, transformational approach. The band is a rarity; one that honors the tradition of this music, representing it authentically, but also creating environments which feel and sound new.

The NYSQ have come a long way in their thirteen years. Tim Armacost warmly acknowledges the closeness of the collaboration: "We all contribute suggestions for classic songs to reinterpret, and the music we conceive taps into the important values of the band - our longevity, our deep friendship. Sometimes we bring pretty much completed arrangements, others just evolve on the bandstand as we play."
Such a musical affinity, reaped from the vastness of their respective experiences in many different projects as leaders and sidemen, is distilled into a recording of remarkable finesse, once again refracting kaleidoscopic colors across old favorites and less familiar treasures from the jazz heritage. Having played together for so long, Armacost highlights two key facets: "One is to discover a beautiful standard you haven't heard before; the other is finding something well known, then portraying it differently. So we honor the tradition of this music, representing it authentically, but also creating environments which feel new."

Heaven Steps To Seven opens with the warm, inviting intro to "Tonight" (Leonard Bernstein, from "West Side Story"), before the band launches into the main theme at a medium-up tempo that drips of propulsion while being right in the pocket. "Cheryl" (by Charlie Parker, 1947) is given a magnificent facelift, almost disguising its blues form, as it becomes a vessel for group expeditions. Horace Silver's "Peace" (originally released on Silver's recording "Blowing The Blues Away" from 1959) is up next. This type of meditative ballad was an anomaly for the legendary pianist/composer/bandleader, and it is a fitting tribute to Silver that the NYSQ selected this gem from his repertoire, and rendered it with such love and care. It was "Charlie Parker With Strings" that brought "If I Should Lose You" (from the 1935 film "Rose of the Rancho") to the awareness of the jazz world (later recorded by Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Roy Haynes Mulgrew Miller, Hank Mobley and many others). In the hands of the NYSQ it becomes reborn as a tour-de-force, featuring Armacost's brilliant sound on soprano sax on top of the rhythm section that has the afterburners on. Following Armacost's solo, the band brings it down to earth for Berkman's harmonically sophisticated trip through the changes.

Side two of the album opens with Cole Porter's "Every Time We Say Goodbye" which debuted in 1944 in Porter's "Seven Lively Arts," so it's a nice choice for the NYSQ's seventh album. The band eschews the song's typical bouncy feel, instead opting to play it with a straight eighth note feel, instantly bringing the frequently recorded tune into the 21st century, and into the band's repertoire. Indeed, as they do with many tunes, this sounds as if they composed it. The guys stay on the Cole Porter track with "I Love You" (a hit song for Bing Crosby in 1944), featuring an attention-grabbing intro from bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and completely modernized by the band, in part because they play the "A" sections in nine! For the second ballad on Heaven Steps To Seven the band chose the lovely, "I'll Keep Loving You." It is played with such crystalline virtuosity that NYSQ's rendition stands tall when compared to versions by such legends as Bud Powell, Chick Corea and Tommy Flanagan. Heaven Steps To Seven closes with "Eye Of The Hurricane" which originally appeared on Herbie Hancock's fifth album, "Maiden Voyage" (recorded in 1965 for Blue Note Records). Drummer Gene Jackson toured with Hancock for many years beginning in the Fall of 1991, so is it any wonder that he "owns" this tune, as does the rest of the band in turn?           

NYSQ - Heaven Steps To Seven:
1 - Tonight (L. Bernstein)
2 - Cheryl (C. Parker)
3 - Peace (H. Silver)
4 - If I Should Lose You (R. Rainger/L. Robin)
5 - Every Time We Say Goodbye (C. Porter)
6 - I love You (C. Porter)
7 - I'll Keep Loving You (B. Powell)

Louise Cappi honors New Orleans’ Tri-centennial

Louise Cappi, the American & internationally acclaimed Jazz/Blues, Soul singer-songwriter, has a soulful dedication to her city of New Orleans entitled “Bella Nola.” This compelling song captured the true essence of the Crescent City and what it signifies.

The Adult-Contemporary piece is Louise’s ode to everything that New Orleans means to her, as well as millions of others. As a result of all the positive feedback received when performing the song live; Louise Cappi Prod has asked her fans to support a petition that was created. The petition (which can be found at,, requested Louise’s fans to champion the song, “Bella Nola” to be a part of the City’s Tri-centennial Celebrations. 300 signatures were desired to correlate 300 years, to which that mark was proudly surpassed.

Louise has performed with Jazz Royalty,  Delfeoyo Marsalis, the Prince of Treme, Glen David Andrews, & The Great Blues Man, to name a few. Louise fronts her own high energy band, LOUISE CAPPI & SOUL XPO. Her collective is a high energy Soul band with elements of Jazz, Blues & cabaret.

With ease Louise transitions from one genre to another. She’s a skilled Jazz improvisation artist, a butt- kickin Blues woman & a Soul stirring R&B songstress.

Her current performance venues include Mahogany Jazz Hall, 30/90, Snug Harbor, Vaso, and Sambuca Café of Houston, TX

Listen to Bella NOLA, honoring New Orleans’ Tri-centennial HERE

The Temptations' 'Cloud Nine' Album Reissued By Motown/UMe In Limited Color Vinyl Edition

Released by Gordy/Motown in February 1969, Cloud Nine put The Temptations at the forefront of "psychedelic soul." Featuring the debut of lead singer Dennis Edwards and produced by Norman Whitfield, the album is highlighted by the GRAMMY®-winning No. 2 Billboard R&B / No. 6 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Cloud Nine;" the full-length version of the No.1 R&B / No. 6 Billboard Hot 100 smash "Run Away Child, Running Wild;" and other Tempts classics. Today, Cloud Nine is reissued by Motown/UMe in a limited vinyl LP edition on psychedelic, spaced-out color swirl vinyl matching the album's vivid original cover art.

The Temptations' ninth studio album, Cloud Nine topped Billboard's R&B Albums chart at No. 1 for 13 weeks and it peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200. The GRAMMY Award won for the album's title track (Best Rhythm & Blues Performance by a Duo or Group, Vocal or Instrumental) was the group's first, as well as the first for Motown Records.

The album's "Run Away Child, Running Wild" is a sprawling, nine-minute and 21-second piece that moves from its first half with vocals (the part extracted for the album's second single) into an instrumental jam session, featuring Motown's Funk Brothers band with Earl Van Dyke on swirling organ, and Dennis Coffey and "Wah Wah" Watson on guitars.

Influenced by Sly & the Family Stone's provocative fusion of rock 'n' roll, R&B, and funk, and set against the social and political turbulence of late 1960s America, Cloud Nine introduced a notable new direction for The Temptations' style, while also helping to pave the way to 1970s funk/soul.

"You can't expect to last if you don't make some changes with the times," Temptations leader and founding member Otis Williams said of the album. "What really grabbed me was Sly & the Family Stone's first hits."

"'Cloud Nine' and 'Run Away Child, Running Wild' not only work as pop protest but bear witness to how funky these smoothies have become." – Robert Christgau

The album is not all psychedelic soul, however, with "Hey Girl" and "Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me" strongly showcasing The Temptations' classic harmonies, aural depth, and unvarnished feeling. "Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me" had been previously recorded by Jimmy Ruffin, while "Hey Girl" was originally a Top 10 ballad in 1963 for Freddie Scott.

The Temptations' first new album in eight years, All The Time, was released May 4, 2018 by UMe. Praised by the Associated Press for its "musical magic," the album features the legendary group's inspired renditions of songs by Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, John Mayer, Maxwell, Ed Sheeran, Michael Jackson, and The Weeknd, and three new, original Temptations songs.

Following this year's acclaimed, sold-out engagements in Washington, Los Angeles, and Toronto, the electrifying Temptations musical, Ain't Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations, will open on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on March 21, 2019, following previews that begin February 28. Presented by the most recent recipient of the MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant," playwright Dominique Morisseau, Olivier Award-winning choreographer Sergio Trujillo, and two-time Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff, Ain't Too Proud explores the group's extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to Motown fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Temptations: Cloud Nine

1. Cloud Nine
2. I Heard It Through The Grapevine
3. Run Away Child, Running Wild

1. Love Is A Hurtin' Thing
2. Hey Girl
3. Why Did She Have To Leave Me (Why Did She Have To Go)
4. I Need Your Lovin'
5. Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me
6. I Gotta Find A Way (To Get You Back)
7. Gonna Keep On Tryin' Till I Win Your Love



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