Thursday, January 31, 2019


Tedeschi Trucks Band, the unstoppable GRAMMY-winning 12-piece musical juggernaut led by husband and wife Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, have announced their new album ‘Signs,’ out February 15th, 2019 on Fantasy Records.  Featuring 11 new original songs, the album expands on the group’s omnivorous musical appetites, while facing down troubled times with credence and conviction. The group’s world-class musicianship is on full display in the genre-defying collection that runs the gamut from uplifting soulful anthems to bittersweet ballads and driving rock and roll.
To accompany the announcement, Tedeschi Trucks Band have released a new song “Hard Case,” which showcases Derek’s peerless guitar work and Susan’s stunning, soulful vocals. NPR Music called the song, NPR Music called the song “an upbeat, shuffling instant classic,” saying, “honesty and authenticity...informs every second of ‘Signs.’” 

‘Signs’ was a true band effort, with each of the supremely talented twelve members playing a major role.  As with its predecessors, the album was recorded in Tedeschi and Trucks' backyard studio Swamp Raga, with additional contributions from trusted TTB brethren Warren Haynes, Oliver Wood, Doyle Bramhall II, and Marc Quiñones. Trucks shared production and engineering duties with Jim Scott (The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty) and Swamp Raga studio engineer Bobby Tis, and the band recorded live to two-inch analogue tape for the first time, using their original Neve console combined with a 70's Studer tape machine.

A sense of loss and frustration colors portions of ‘Signs.’  A number of tragedies hit home during the writing and recording of the album, as the group said goodbye to family members and friends including Derek’s uncle and Allman Brothers alumnus Butch Trucks, founding Brother Gregg Allman, and mentors Leon Russell and Col. Bruce Hampton.  Political polarization, intolerance, and threats to an environment they see as increasingly under siege are also dealt with openly and honestly on the album.

“This is the first record we’ve made where, when I listen to it, it puts me in a specific place,” explains Derek. “It puts me in a zone and hits some raw nerves.”

Still, ‘Signs’ also beckons with the optimism and hope that has become a signature part of TTB’s message in the studio and on stage.  “We are very lucky to do what we do, and we take responsibility for creating something positive to counter all the negativity,” asserts Susan. “We all have to deal with tragic circumstances at times.  As a musician, I feel it’s my job to go out there, kick ass the best I can and offer inspiration.”
Tedeschi Trucks Band will celebrate the album’s release with a performance at The Brooklyn Academy of Music on February 20th. The special one-night performance follows a string of multi-night residencies at the Chicago Theater, Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, the Saenger Theater in New Orleans and the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. – and marks the band’s first return to New York after their sold-out, six-night residency at the Beacon Theatre in October, which has become a highly-anticipated fall tradition for the band. Tedeschi Trucks Band will continue to tour through 2019, including a spring run of shows in Europe, a return to the west coast, and their 5th annual Wheels of Soul tour this summer featuring special guests Blackberry Smoke and Shovels and Rope. 

1.Signs (High Times)
2.I’m Gonna Be There
3.When Will I Begin
4.Walk Through This Life
5.Strengthen What Remains
6.Still Your Mind
7.Hard Case
9.All The World
10.They Don’t Shine

New Music Releases: Roy Ayers – Silver Vibrations; Brian Ellis – Deep Clues; Scone Cash Players - Blast Furnace!

Roy Ayers – Silver Vibrations

BBE Music continues its long and fertile partnership with vibraphone legend and godfather of neo-soul, Roy Ayers, with the first ever reissue of his 1983 album Silver Vibrations. Originally released in the UK only on Uno Melodic Records, ‘Silver Vibrations’ shares some of its musical DNA with ‘Lots Of Love’, Ayers’ US album from the same year. However, ‘Silver Vibrations’ contains four unique cuts all of its own, plus extended takes of three songs, including the definitive version of iconic song ‘Chicago’. The rarity of the original pressing has led to eye-watering second-hand prices for this truly brilliant LP. ‘Silver Vibrations’ was perhaps the last album to retain the sound of Ayers’ organic ‘classic’ period of the latter ’70s and manages to stand up well under its current re-evaluation. “Chicago”, the unedited version of which is exclusive to this L.P., received considerable airplay in its time and has barely faded from earshot ever since; its woozy, mysterious vibe and cosmic ruminations from Roy in the second half have certainly endured. The strutting, funky “Good, Good Music” echoes Ayers at his pre-’80s, up- tempo disco peak, sporting a grittier edge and an old-school party atmosphere. Title track “Silver Vibrations” was only ever released in the U.K., both on this album and as a single, backed with “Fast Money”. Both “Lots Of Love” and “Keep On Movin'” hark back to previous times and are a pleasant listen without being at all taxing. “Smiling With Our Eyes” is mid- tempo, lilting and jazzy, with a vocal vaguely reminiscent of Stevie Wonder in places. The wistful “D.C. City”, a close companion of Ubiquity’s original recording of “The Third Eye” is, in many ways, quintessentially Roy Ayers. Pressed on heavyweight vinyl with original artwork and new sleeve notes written by Sean P., BBE Music is delighted to share this special album with a new generation of fans.

Brian Ellis – Deep Clues

A soulful solo set from Brian Ellis – a keyboardist we know from more jazz-based projects in recent years, but who really soars out here in a warmly sunny mode! Brian handles everything on the album himself – working like some LA maestro from the 70s in a multi-track studio – and while his keyboards are still at the core of the album, there's also lots of vocals – sung in a style that's soul-based, but also with this unusual sort of lightness – so that Brian's words glow nicely alongside his keys! A few of these cuts almost feel like lost 70s demos for the soulful side of the AOR scene – and titles include "Night Drive", "My Favorite Song", "Brand New Love", "Here I Am", "Bulletproof", "Deep Clues", and "Never Had Nothin". ~ Dusty Groove

Scone Cash Players - Blast Furnace!

Smoldering Hammond funk from Scone City Players – led by organ player Adam Scone and featuring members of The Dap-Kings, Menahan Street Band and an all-around Daptone Records and Dunham Sound Studio all star roster – bringing a combination a grit and soulful grooves! Scone is a native of Youngstown, Ohio and the album and song titles are references to steel town grit, struggle and resilience. The gritty soul of his timeless jazz funk instrumentals suits it! The Hammond drives the sound all the way, backed by veteran funk players whose skills are finely-honed to say the least, including Homer Steinweiss and Eric Kalb on drums, Thomas Brenneck on guitar, Kevin Bujo Jones on percussion, Ian Hendrickson-Smith on sax & flute and Freddie Hendrix & Marcus Parsley on trumpets. Includes "1% Crown", "Bliss Machine", "The Slitter", "Heavy Gauge", "Necking", "Blast Furnace", Jet Cool", "Grinding Wheel". Call & Receive No Call Back" and "Structural Failure". ~ Dusty Groove

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Right Stuff Band New CD Release “Orlando Fandango”

Featured recently The Jazz Network Worldwide:  The Right Stuff Band New CD Release “Orlando Fandango” and launches new website.

The Right Stuff plays a wide variety of classic and modern jazz along with upbeat blues, latin, funk, pop and originals on their new CD “Orlando Fandango” complimented by a brand new website.

Leader, Ron Cangro is a seasoned professional drummer/percussionist who has formed and led multiple groups, recorded several original albums, performed studio work for many independent producers and artists. Ron performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Hampton Bays Jazz Festival, Charlotte Jazz Festival, New Smyrna Jazz Festival and the Winter Park Art Festival. He also played for 6 years at Walt Disney World as a drummer in numerous groups, which included backing up President George H.W. Bush, Sandi Patty and Nell Carter.  This new endeavor of formulating The Right Stuff Band and recording its debut CD “Orlando Fandango” has been a labor of love.  His Orlando-based bandmates all have had an illustrious career of there own before becoming a mainstay in The Right Stuff Band.

"The release of this album is a dream come true. I am so very excited and proud of what we have been able to accomplish and thrilled to have done it with some of the most talented musicians I’ve ever been able to work with, they are truly my friends and family as well” says leader Ron Cangro.

Other musicians include bassist, Gerald Stockton who was introduced to the world of music at a very young age. His production skills include an extensive use of “live” orchestration as well including brass, woodwinds and strings. He recently released “My Gentle Breeze” featuring many of America’s finest Jazz artists including Dan Jordan, Pat Coil and Dan Haerle. Gerald participated in a series of Jazz lectures at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa accompanied by such academic luminaries as Dan Haerle, Scott Wilson, Corey Christiansen, Thomas Taylor and Bob Sinicrope. Today the Gerald lives in Orlando and plays with the house band at Disney’s Grand Floridian.

Suzy Park comes from a musical family, her father John Park played saxophone with Stan Kenton and was a well known jazz educator/clinician. She performed with the Voices of Liberty at Epcot and later performed with The Girlfriends (a girls trio) for 9 years. This lead her down a path to recording with Yanni, Gloria Gaynor and salsa artist Tito Nieves. She has been a featured singer with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and shared the stage with Michael McDonald and opened for David Sanborn at the Hampton Jazz Festival.

Doug Spoonamore performs at the Main Street Saxophone Quartet at Walt Disney World. He also moonlights doing high-end corporate engagements. Credits include recording albums along side Stanley Clarke and Larry Carlton and the opportunity to play with The Temptations, The O’Jays and other groups from the Motown era bringing a special flavor to The Right Stuff Band.

Jarvis Brown on piano, who had the opportunity share the stage with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Count Basie Orchestra, Marcus Roberts and other jazz greats. Having performed on worldwide festival states such as the Montreux Jazz Festival and North Sea Jazz festival both in Switzerland and has settled in Orlando, FL to concentrate on producing and film scoring.

“As a former Orlando resident, I’m very familiar with the high level of musical talent that town has to offer. Thus it was no surprise that this record grooved me, moved me, and made me smile! Anchored by the rock-solid groove of the mighty Ron Cangro, (someone I’m blessed enough to not only be friends with, but worked with regularly during my O-town years) these cats bring the groove hot sauce, and if you like David Sanborn, Spyro-Gyra, Scott Henderson & Tribal Tech, and the Yellowjackets, you will LOVE this record!! ~Tim Akers, Nashville, TN

“The moment I heard The Right Stuff Band I knew they needed to join our NOT JUST JAZZ Movement.  Their vibe is very contemporary, embroidered with other flavors of genres and yet staying true to their musical cores...Jazz”, says Jaijai Jackson of The Jazz Network Worldwide Social Network.

The band is currently doing radio promotion and available for worldwide bookings from all professional areas of presentation ie. festivals, corporate events, private events, fundraisers, community branding, and various Orlando-area venues.

To learn more and to purchase go to their new website at  For booking information, contact Eric Cohen of EC Music Agency at


Singer, songwriter, and actress JUSTINE SKYE shares a brand new single entitled “Build” featuring buzzing R&B newcomer Arin Ray

Singer, songwriter, and actress JUSTINE SKYE shares a brand new single entitled “Build” featuring buzzing R&B newcomer Arin Ray.The track represents a direct, dynamic, and definitive evolution for the songstress. Its minimalist approach highlights the attitude, spirit, and power of her voice. Tapping into throwback R&B grit punctuated by sparse guitar and a simmering groove, the song exudes confidence and self-assurance. “Build” is very close to Justine’s heart. “How many times have you sat there and wished you could build a person who is ideal for you—or what you think is ideal in your head,” asks Justine Skye. “At the conclusion of the song, I realize you can’t build the perfect person, because there is no perfect person. What you have to do is make sure you’re perfect for yourself. Since I can’t build a man, I’m going to work on who I am. That’s the moral of every relationship. I need to focus on what’s going on with Justine Skye before I can help someone else change whatever demons are going on with them. I have to fix me.”

Since her arrival in 2014, Justine Skye dropped a pair of EPs—Emotionally Unavailable [2015] and 8 Ounces [2016]—followed by her 2018 full-length debut, ULTRAVIOLET. Powered by fan favorites a la “U Don’t Know” and “Back For More,” she garnered widespread praise from Vogue, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and Complex, to name a few. A sought-after presence, she led high-profile campaigns for Puma and Samsung, landed on the prestigious “30 under 30” list by Forbes, and starred in the acclaimed Green Dolphin. In addition to attracting the adoration of fans everywhere from Europe and Africa to the Caribbean, she also delivered a show-stopping tribute to Janet Jackson at the 2018 BMI Awards.

DAYNA STEPHENS Proudly Announces His Debut At The Village Vanguard as a Leader, February 19-24

Saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Dayna Stephens proudly announces his debut as a leader at the legendary Village Vanguard, this February 19-24. Stephens will be appearing with the amazing quartet of Aaron Parks, Ben Street and Gregory Hutchinson. 

The band will we be playing tunes that span a wide range of time, from Stephens' first recording The Timeless Now, music from Gratitude, to new compositions that have yet to be recorded, especially for this week at The Village Vanguard. 

This wonderful, much-coveted engagement at The Vanguard comes on the heels of Stephens' eighth album as a leader, Gratitude (released on April 7, 2017), a gift from Stephens to the world, and to himself; simply an album of beautiful music played by a group of master musicians, led by one of the scene's leading artists, that can be enjoyed by the connoisseur or the casual listener. And, on a deeper level, an expression of gratitude from the saxophonist, for the warmth, love, peace and strong connections he has shared with friends, family and fellow musicians, as he climbed his way back to health after fighting FSG, a rare kidney disease.

The Village Vanguard  as a Leader, February 19-24
Sets @ 8:30 & 10:30 PM

Dayna Stephens (saxophones, EWI)
Aaron Parks (piano)
Ben Street (bass)
Gregory Hutchinson (drums)

2019 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival Produced in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center Announces Stellar Lineup

The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival and Jazz at Lincoln Center today launches their first joint festival. The 2019 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival Produced in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center will see the renowned premier jazz festival in the Caribbean feature the finest names in modern jazz.

The week-long festival from May 5-12 2019 will include world renowned artists who have performed through Jazz at Lincoln Center as well as throughout Saint Lucia Jazz Festival's 27-year history.

Jazz at Lincoln Center has programmed a stellar lineup. Christian McBride, Ledisi, Etienne Charles, Russell Hall, and Patrick Bartley will serve as artists-in-residence in Saint Lucia during the week-long festival. Artists Gregory Porter, Dianne Reeves, Catherine Russell, Somi, The Baylor Project, Veronica Swift, members of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and a host of musicians and collaborators from the Caribbean will perform throughout the week.

In addition to world-class performances, the 2019 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival will feature "Artists In Education" initiatives including master classes, professional development, and live performance collaborations with Saint Lucia School of Music students and local jazz artists.

"This collaboration between Saint Lucia and renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center reflects Saint Lucia's exceptional reputation for consistently producing a world-class festival. The 2019 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival Produced in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center marks another monumental chapter in our small island's history. We are excited to begin this partnership which will bring together some of the world's best jazz artists in the world's most beautiful destination," remarked Minister for Tourism, Hon. Dominic Fedee.

"We are proud to support the re-establishment of the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival as the premier jazz festival in the Caribbean," said Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center. "This collaboration reflects our shared commitment to presenting music at the highest level of artistic integrity and quality, while also offering festival-goers a profoundly good time. Jazz has a unique power to bring people of all ages together and lift up communities."

Saint Lucia has been hosting a vibrant jazz festival annually since 1992. For more than 27 years, the festival has attracted visitors from around the world for events and concerts celebrating multiple forms of international, Saint Lucian and Caribbean jazz music. For more information, go to

With a rich history of annual music events for 27 years, the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival offers jazz events that attract visitors from across the globe. With week-long events at indoor and outdoor venues, the event celebrates international, Saint Lucian and Caribbean jazz. One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies' Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia is nestled halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago. Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains - a UNESCO World Heritage. Learn more at

The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for Jazz through performance, education and advocacy. With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and guest artists spanning genres and generations, Jazz at Lincoln Center produces thousands of performance, education, and broadcast events each season in its home in New York City (Frederick P. Rose Hall, "The House of Swing") and around the world, for people of all ages. Jazz at Lincoln Center is led by Chairman Robert J. Appel, Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, and Executive Director Greg Scholl. Please visit us at; follow us on Twitter @jazzdotorg and Facebook; watch our free, global webcasts at; and enjoy concerts, education programs, behind-the-scenes footage, programs and more at

Betty Carter's The Music Never Stops - Never Before Released Live Recording of Betty Carter Performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 1992

Blue Engine Records announces the release of some of the earliest material ever recorded by Jazz at Lincoln Center–jazz trailblazer and vocalist Betty Carter’s The Music Never Stops. This live performance at New York’s Aaron Davis Hall was recorded in 1992, six years before Carter’s untimely passing and during the early days of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The Music Never Stops marks Carter’s first posthumous album as well as the artist’s first release composed entirely of previously unheard material in 22 years (the last being “I’m Yours, You’re Mine” in 1997). The first single from The Music Never Stops, “Tight! / Mr. Gentleman,” is available for streaming and download on all mass-market digital platforms on Friday, February 1. Betty Carter’s The Music Never Stops will be released, 27 years to the date of the historic performance, on March 29, 2019 and is available for preorder on Amazon today.

The long-running debate over what defines a jazz singer simply dissolves when Betty Carter’s name comes up. She transcended the entire category and took her place in the music pantheon as one of jazz’s most profound and game-changing innovators. Her impact was pervasive: not only did she influence a wide range of artists with her music, but the “University of Betty Carter” stands alongside Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers as one of the jazz world’s elite finishing schools, training many of today’s most acclaimed jazz artists.

Carter challenged herself throughout her entire career, but the concert captured on The Music Never Stops represents perhaps the pinnacle of her musical ambitions. Harnessing a full jazz orchestra, a string section, and three distinct piano trios, Carter delivered a stunning tour-de-force performance that until now only lived in the memories of the enthralled and highly responsive audience members who were fortunate enough to have been there.

The orchestra Carter enlisted include such stalwarts as Robin Eubanks, Art Baron, Jerry Dodgion, Alex Foster, and Lew Soloff. Pianists John Hicks, Geri Allen, and Cyrus Chestnut; bassists Lisle Atkinson and Ariel Roland; and drummers Kenny Washington, Greg Hutchinson, and Clarence Penn filled out the three swinging rhythm sections. Many of the participants were Carter’s former students, and all of the rhythm section players were members of her various trios.

Betty Carter’s magnificent performance was a massive and ambitious undertaking. The Music Never Stops proved to be an apt title, as over the course of two hours it never did. She darted back and forth between the different ensembles, transitioning seamlessly and effortlessly between burning bebop and deeply felt ballads, wearing out the musicians with her stamina. The album highlights the legendary Carter’s many talents: mesmerizing balladry, exhilarating swing, impeccable lyricism, stunning improvisation, and her unparalleled ability to build both a narrative and a mood by spontaneously weaving jazz standards and her own genius material together. For example, a 16-minute medley of what Carter calls “question songs”—“Why Him?,” “Where or When,” and “What’s New?”—takes three seemingly disparate standards and crafts a seamless, epic narrative of love found, lost, and (maybe) found again. Carter’s originals like “30 Years” and “Make Him Believe” offer up inventive and unsparing treatments of modern love, challenging gender norms and constructing narrative tapestries in a way that’s still visionary today.

1. “Ms. B.C.”
Written by Pamela Watson
Arranged by Bobby Watson
Personnel: The Big Band*
Soloists: Alex Foster (tenor saxophone), Kamau Adilifu (trumpet)

2. “Make It Last”
Written by Dick Haymes
Arranged by Melba Liston
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), The Big Band*, The Strings**

3. “30 Years”
Written by Betty Carter
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Greg Hutchinson (drums)

4. “Why Him? / Where or When / What’s New?"
"Why Him?"
Written by Burton Lane & Alan Jay Lerner
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Greg Hutchinson (drums)

“Where or When”
Written by Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Greg Hutchinson (drums)

“What’s New?”
Written by Bob Haggart & Johnny Burke
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Greg Hutchinson (drums)

5. “Tight! / Mr. Gentleman”
Written by Betty Carter
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Greg Hutchinson (drums)

6. “Social Call”
Written by Qusim Basheer & Jon Hendricks
Arranged by Gigi Gryce
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), The Big Band*
Soloists: Lou Marini (tenor saxophone)

7. “Moonlight in Vermont”
Written by John M Blackburn & Karl Suessdorf
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), The Big Band*

8. “The Good Life”
Written by Sacha Distel, Jean Broussolle & Jack Reardon
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Clarence Penn (drums)

9. “Bridges”
Written by Betty Carter
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Clarence Penn (drums)

10. “If I Should Lose You”
Written by Leo Robin & Ralph Rainger
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Geri Allen (piano)

11. “Most Gentlemen Don’t Like Love”
Written by Cole Porter
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Clarence Penn (drums)

Includes interpolation of:
“Everything I Have Is Yours”
Written by Harold Adamson & Burton Lane
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Clarence Penn (drums)

12. “Make Him Believe”
Written by Betty Carter
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), The Strings**, Geri Allen (conductor)

13. “Frenesi”
Written by Alberto Dominguez & Leonard Whitcup
Arranged by Gigi Gryce
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), The Big Band*


The Trios
Cyrus Chestnut – piano
Ariel Roland – bass
Clarence Penn – drums

John Hicks – piano
Lisle Atkinson – bass
Kenny Washington – drums

Geri Allen – piano
Greg Hutchinson – drums

The Big Band *
Jerry Dodgion – alto saxophone
Rick Wald – alto saxophone
Alex Foster – tenor saxophone
Lou Marini – tenor saxophone
Joe Temperley – baritone saxophone
Art Baron – trombone
Robin Eubanks – trombone
Joe Randazzo – trombone
Lew Soloff – trumpet
Earl Gardner – trumpet
Ron Tooley – trumpet
Kamau Adilifu – trumpet
John Hicks – piano
Lisle Atkinson – bass
Kenny Washington – drums

The Strings **
Jeanne LeBlanc – cello
Akua Dixon – cello
Julie Green – cello
Bruce Wang – cello
John Beal – bass
Dave Finck – bass

A "Yellow Submarine" dive into an urban-jazz Beatles world as imaged by Bob Baldwin

Through a pair of kaleidoscope eyes with an urban-jazz filter that Lucy in the Sky never imagined, keyboardist Bob Baldwin ( puts a unique spin on ten of the Fab Four’s hits on “Bob Baldwin presents Abbey Road and The Beatles.” Instead of guitars as the primary instrumental voice, Baldwin’s piano and keyboards lead the explorations, adding jazz and soul inflections along with some original passages that Baldwin wrote for his 25th album, released in conjunction with his 30th anniversary as a recording artist. He also pays a heartfelt tribute to the legendary band with a new composition, “Abbey Road,” that he penned as a vocal duet with R&B singer Lori Williams. 

Coming together on the Baldwin-produced set are some noteworthy soloists. Saxophone heavyweight Euge Groove illuminates the first radio single, “Imagine (Living As One),” a re-conception of John Lennon’s masterpiece that is given a deep soul groove highlighted by Groove’s soprano horn. Dance music hitmaker CeCe Peniston surprises in an unexpected setting, joining Baldwin’s elegant piano passages on the comforting “(Don’t Wanna Be) The Fool on The Hill.” “Michelle (My Girl)” enchants in an entirely fresh way, romancing with a fragrant bouquet of Ragan Whiteside’s chart-topping flute fragrance. Williams’ rich voice shines brightly on Paul & Linda McCartney’s classy overture, “My Love.” The inventive rhythmic grooves Baldwin conceived for “Yesterday” and “Eleanor Rigby” exemplify his fully-realized artistic and creative vision for this project.

In addition to repeatedly hitting the Billboard Top 20, Baldwin’s diverse catalogue that spans jazz of virtually every shade, R&B and gospel includes collections celebrating the music of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Thom Bell. A nationally syndicated radio show host and producer (“The New UrbanJazz Lounge”), serial entrepreneur, author and designer, “Abbey Road and The Beatles” caps an exceptionally prolific run for the Atlanta-based native New Yorker who dropped seven albums in a twelve-month span. 

New Music Releases: Jim Berry – Smooth Sailin’; Luxury Soul 2019 (3CD set) – Various Artists; Duane Eubanks Quintet - Live At Smalls

Jim Berry – Smooth Sailin’

Jim is a smooth jazz singer with a soulful touch. He excels at singing standards, but loves doing them in his own contemporary style. He's also an accomplished lyricist who has written many original tunes. Born in Chicago, this long-time Miami resident is an avid dancer who brought Chicago-Style Steppin' urban ballroom South Florida. His latest project SMOOTH SAILIN' has a couple of tracks which fit that genre of dance, but it also reflects his appreciation of classic tunes from Jazz and R & B. Jim is used to using his voice. He is a long-time broadcast journalist at WFOR-TV in Miami.

Luxury Soul 2019 (3CD set) – Various Artists

A fantastic assortment of contemporary soul – put together by one of the labels who kept the underground soul groove going, long before the generation of Neo Soul! Expansion Records is a London-based imprint who started out recording American soul artists from the 70s who were still going strong, but who were ignored by US labels in the 80s – then, as the years progressed, the label continued to find newer artists to work with too – at a level that made them one of the first companies to really push the idea of contemporary soul at a level that was far from the charts – which resulted in the kind of legacy that makes this 3CD set such a treasure. Most of the cuts here are from recent Expansion projects, and the set also includes gems from other sources too – and some classic cuts from their older catalog – all wrapped together in a great package for the price. Titles include "Falling Back Into Love" by Marc Evans, "Pressure" by Maysa, "Hopping Skipping So In Love" by Victor Haynes, "I Want Your Love" by One Way, "My Baby" by Ronnie McNeir, "I Want You Back" by Boogie Back with Cheri Maree, "I'll Always Love You" by Rockie Robbins, "Stay Away From You" by Chris Ballin, "Drifting" by Kim Tibbs, "So Nobody Else Can Hear" by Jimmy Cobb, "Are You Using Me" by Inner Shade, "Much Love" by Euge Groove with Rahsaan Patterson, "Stronger" by Nickee B, "Don't Judge Me (mellow mix)" by Phillip Leo, "Special Day" by Natasha Watts, "No Explanation" by Christ Standring with Mica Paris, "Secret Lover" by Saskia, "I Want Your Lovin" by Zed Soul with Rose Vincent, "Last Song" by Darien Dean with Tiffany T'Zelle, "Free To Be Me" by Lindsey Weber with Norman Brown, "Dangerous Romance" by Steve Nichol with Ellene Masre, and "Standing Ovation" by Blu Mitchell. 35 tracks on 3CDs!  ~ Dusty Groove

Duane Eubanks Quintet - Live At Smalls

A wonderfully soulful set – not just because of the trumpet of Duane Eubanks, but also thanks to the trombone of Robin Eubanks – a perfect accompaniment for the leader's horn, as the pair balance together and push the record forth in waves of richly creative sound! Both musicians get plenty of space to solo – in that perfect Live At Smalls way – open, but never loose or unstructured – with superb recording quality that captures all the beautiful nuances in all the performances. The group also features piano by either Anthony Wonsey or James Hurt – depending on the track – plus Gerald Cannon on bass and Chris Beck on drums. Titles include "The Grewming", "Victory", "Brainfreeze", "After You've Gone", "Little G's Walk", and a great take on "Silver's Serenade". ~ Dusty Groove

Friday, January 25, 2019

Theo Croker Debuts “Subconscious Flirtations and Titillations” Lead Single Off Forthcoming Album Star People Nation

Trumpeter, producer, arranger, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist THEO CROKER today releases “Subconscious Flirtations and Titillations,” the lead offering from his upcoming album Star People Nation (Masterworks). Available everywhere now, “Subconscious Flirtations and Titillations” is a simmering track that ebbs and flows with sonic seduction. 

“’Subconscious Flirtations & Titillations’ is a sensual composition detailing the sapiosexual interplay between two lovers,” says Theo Croker. “The track has a particularly lush soundscape, with its smooth, soaring horn lines, ethereal drum and percussion grooves, euphoric synth pads and sumptuous piano fills, all of which are complimented by a warm, sensual solo trumpet that weaves in and out to mimic the flirtatious game of slap and tickle.”

With its syncopated drum beat, passionate piano and emotionally-pulsating trumpet, “Subconscious Flirtations and Titillations” illuminates the newly-broadened scope of sound explored throughout the entirety of Croker’s forthcoming Star People Nation. The new album finds Croker at the helm of production, songwriting and performance for the first time in his career, resulting in an intimate exploration of what he describes as, “the everyday rituals of blackness.” A translation of his personal, spiritual and creative experience, Star People Nation is a self-reflective collection of provocative, powerfully-passionate and boundary-busting compositions that speak to our greater, shared human existence.


Fri, Jan 18 | Ludwigshafen, Germany | w/ China Moses &
Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen
Sat, Jan 19 | Ludwigshafen, Germany | w/ China Moses &
Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen
Tue, March 5 | Clermont-Ferrand, France | La Cooperative de Mai
Fri, March 8 | Faches-Thumesnil, France | Centre Musical Les Arcades
Sat, March 9 | Minden, Germany | Jazz Club Minden
Mon, March 11 | Berlin, Germany | Gretchen
Wed, March 13 | Vienna, Austria | Porgy & Bess
Thu, March 14 | Clermont-Ferrand, France | La Cooperative de Mai
Fri, March 15 | Friedrichshafen, Germany | Kulturufer Friedrichshafen
Sat, March 16 | Brno, Czech Republic | Jazz Fest Brno
Wed, March 20 | Paris, France | New Morning
Fri, March 22 | Caen, France | Théâtre
Sun, March 24 | St. Moritz, Switzerland | Festival De Jazz St. Moritz (Pre-Show)
Thu, May 9 | Norfolk, VA | Virginia Arts Festival
Fri, May 10 | Germantown, MD | BlackRock Center for the Arts
Sat, May 11 | Washington, D.C. | The Arc
Thu, June 13 | New York, NY | Jazz Standard
Fri, June 14 | New York, NY | Jazz Standard
Sat, June 15 | New York, NY | Jazz Standard

As the grandson of the late venerable trumpeter Doc Cheatham, and former student of legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd, trumpeter, composer, bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Theo Croker naturally follows an internal need to compose. Learning to play the trumpet at age 11 after hearing Cheatham play in New York City, by his teens Croker was studying music formally at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville followed by the Music Conservatory at Oberlin College. Launching his career with seven years spent in Shanghai, Croker first introduced his singular style in 2014 on the Dee Dee Bridgewater-assisted AfroPhysicist. His 2016 follow-up, Escape Velocity, marked a watershed moment for the artist, with the Wall Street Journal extolling the album as “timeless and of-the-moment.” Croker has also lent his talents to the world of hip hop, with rap superstar J. Cole’s platinum-certified No. 1 opus 4 Your Eyez Only, with Croker acting as trumpet arranger and performer on multiple tracks. GRAMMY® Award-winning rapper Common also sought out Croker for his critically-acclaimed album Black America Again.


Austin TX based musician Frederico7 is proud to announce his debut solo album Exótico Americano, set for release on February 23, 2019. The album is an amalgamation of Frederico’s diverse background and experiences living in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina before setting his roots in the "Live Music Capital of the World." Exotico Americano fuses Afro-Brazilian rhythms with American Funk, Soul, Dub and Psychedelia, coming together to form Frederico7’s cohesive 21st century vision of Pan-American Soul.

Exótico Americano is an apt title for Frederico7’s debut album and the title track. Frederico explains, “The inspiration is the American Continent and its people. The revelation in the record is that we are ALL ‘Exótico Americanos’ regardless of race, national background, etc.  I wrote the lyrics of the title track ‘Exótico Americano’ specifically to highlight that universality. It’s important to honor the indigenous keepers of the land and paying respect to the suffering source of the blues music. Also understanding that the riches we now enjoy were built upon the backs of millions and understanding we all have more in common than not.”

Frederico’s path began growing up in Brazil in a multi-cultural family during an economic crisis and the struggle to ‘fit into’ a socio-economic norm. From there, at the formative age of 16, his family moved to Mexico for a better economy. In Mexico, Frederico dove right in  to the ancient mysteries, cultural riches and the creative and psychedelic adventures with a rich tradition. He learned Spanish and English and met Alex Marrero (Brown Sabbath/Brownout) and Pablo Larios and started a Latin Fusion band called Ghandaia that hit success with performances at Austin City Limits Festival (2006) and the San Jose Jazz Festival. At their peak, life gave Frederico a beautiful surprise; that he was going to become a father, and left the band and put music on hold to focus on family life, knowing that he would return.

And return he did. In 2010, he settled back in Austin, TX and collaborated with world class musicians in three standout bands including Os Alquimistas with percussionist Michael Longoria, with the World Funk Psychedelic band Suns of Orpheus, and the Brazilian 70s funk orchestra Macaxiera Funk. In 2015, Frederico recorded five demos during his travels to Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia, which were originally intended for an Os Alquimistas EP, but after the project dismantled, Frederico kept recording new music, which would evolve into his debut album with the help of co-producer Greg Jones. The album came to fruition over the next few years starting in Frederico’s home studio Lion’s Lair and then in acclaimed ATX studios including Adrian Quesada’s (Black Pumas, Brownout) Electric Deluxe Studios, Beto Martinez’s (Grupo Fantasma, Brownout, Money Chicha) Lechehouse Music, and the Texas Recording Conservatory Academy with Greg Jones.

Although it took Frederico three years to finish, a great feat for a father of two and full-time educator, the results are well worth the wait. Across the diverse set of ten tracks (and one remix), Frederico sings in three languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese) and brings all his influences from previous projects and personal experiences into the mix. For example, the title track (“Exótico Americano”) is a journey through the American continent fusing its cultures and stories with Frederico’s personal stories sung in both English and Spanish. The song is an anthemic blues rock track oozing with LatinX soul. With “La Miranda del Halcon” Frederico moves into a dreamy psychedelic ballad produced by Adrian Quesada, and on “Nature of Love” Frederico dedicates an upbeat dance tune drenched in soulful horns and sung in English to his wife. “Vibran los Ancestros” is a cumbia reggae tune with a Brazilian backbeat perfect for those hazy relaxing days, and the album closes with a bonus remix from Adrian Quesada of “Perola Negra” aimed at the dancefloor with its psychedelic disco soul.

Exótico Americano is an album that speaks to the times. The project is Frederico’s personal story of resilience, of being an immigrant, and of an artist who has been learning and growing across many cultures in the American Continent. It’s about being “the other” and not quite fitting in here nor there, but embracing all of the differences to unify rather than divide. Frederico concludes, “Everyday I’m reminded that my story is really that of many. In my heart we are all Exotic Americans that bring unique flavors and journeys to this melting pot that is AMERICA and THAT’s what makes this CONTINENT great.”


Carlos Santana's New EP "In Search of Mona Lisa" Released by Concord Records

Legendary musician Carlos Santana will release a dramatic new EP, In Search of Mona Lisa, on January 25 via Concord Records. On three spellbinding and transportive new songs, the multiple GRAMMY-winning guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee takes listeners inside a magical and deeply personal experience he had when he visited the Louvre Museum for the first time and set his eyes on Leonardo da Vinci's beguiling masterpiece.

In all of the years that the guitar icon had visited Paris, he had never been to the Louvre, but on a recent day off while on tour, he decided to go to the museum with his wife, drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, and his family. All it took was one look into the implacable eyes of the Mona Lisa for Santana to feel as though something strange and powerful was taking place.
As he recalls, "I heard her say to me, 'Hi.' It was stunning, and I didn't know what to say back, so I just said, 'Hi.' And then she said, 'Do you remember me? When we were lovers in another time?' It was the most incredible occurrence, and in a way, it was kind of perfect that I had never been to the Louvre before, because this might not have happened at another time. I had to be who I am now, knowing that God is everywhere and that He was saying, 'I love you,' by sending me this message of inspiration and visualization."

The experience came flooding back to Santana months later, when he awoke from a dream with the lyrics to what would become the songs "In Search of Mona Lisa" and "Do You Remember Me" fully formed in his mind. "It was the first time that I ever woke up and lyrics were there in a tangible way," he reveals. "I could just grab them and write the songs."

Much in the same way that the Mona Lisa asked, "Do you remember me?" Santana begins the song of the same name with a striking guitar figure, an invitation to dance. Once the band kicks in with a graceful Afro-Cuban groove (courtesy of Cindy on drums, with Karl Perazzo on congas, timbales and percussion), Santana opens up on a full five minutes of some of his most gorgeous soloing yet – his lead lines are stinging, teasing, crying and sensuous – before singers Andy Vargas and Ray Greene take over.

Remarkably, the song was captured in a single take in which Santana and his band recorded with Rick Rubin at the renowned producer's Shangri-la Studio in Malibu. "Miles Davis and Bob Dylan always said that the first take is the best, and I have to agree," Santana says. "You can hear the innocence in the music. That's a nutrient that's missing on this planet right now."

The EP's title track sets an entirely different mood. Santana had shown his lyrics for "In Search of Mona Lisa" to multiple GRAMMY and Emmy-winning producer Narada Michael Walden (whose reputation as a powerhouse drummer began with a stint in the Mahavishu Orchestra), who suggested a Bo Diddley-esque rhythm. "I wasn't expecting that, but I immediately liked the idea," Santana says. With Walden rocking a rave-up drumbeat (he also overdubbed bass and keyboards), Santana lets loose with biting, wah-drenched call-and-response phrases with singer Cornell "CC" Carter before he takes flight on an impassioned extended guitar solo.

While "In Search of Mona Lisa" was being recorded, Cindy suggested doing something more symphonic and bringing in bass master Ron Carter. "That's all I needed to hear," Santana enthuses. "I was like, 'Oh, my God. Of course!" The resulting track, "Lovers From Another Time," unfolds much like the painting that inspired the music itself, with the dual drumming of Cindy and Walden mixing with Carter's elegant basslines to create a living and breathing canvas on which Santana splashes vibrant six-string colors and textures.

"You really can't go wrong when you have Ron Carter playing with you," the guitarist observes. "He's played with Herbie Hancock, Wes Montgomery and, of course, Miles. He should be in the Guinness World Records for excellence."

Of collaborating with Walden, Santana is no less effusive: "Working with Narada is always a pleasure. He's gentle and exciting at the same time, a truly brilliant genius. He's worked with Whitney Houston, Aretha, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, so he knows how to create great material. His musical knowledge is vast, and I appreciate all that he has to offer."

Producer and co-composer Narada Michael Walden said, "It was a great honor and delight to work on these new songs. The tracks were composed with Carlos under his direction of the experience he had while gazing at the beautiful Mona Lisa painting. I listened to Carlos' stories implicitly and ran with his inspiration and lyrics to make a new sound and a new frequency of music for his love story. I'm thrilled about the release and this new music for the world to dance to and be deeply moved by."

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Carlos Santana's groundbreaking album Supernatural and the 50th anniversary of his legendary performance at Woodstock. Santana will celebrate these milestones with an energy-infused tour highlighting hits from Supernatural as well as many others from his long list of greatest hits.

For more than 50 years, Santana has sold over 100 million records and has performed for three generations of concert fans worldwide. To date, Santana has won 10 GRAMMY Awards and three Latin GRAMMYs. He won a record-tying nine GRAMMYs for a single project for 1999's Supernatural (including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for "Smooth") as well as three Latin GRAMMYs. He has also received the Billboard Century Award (1996), was ushered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1998), received the Billboard Latin Music Awards' Lifetime Achievement honor (2009), and was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors Award (2013). Among many other honors, Carlos Santana has been cited by Rolling Stone as #15 on their list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."

In the fall of 2014, Carlos Santana released his memoir The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light. In 2018, Carlos Santana released his first MasterClass. In it he teaches the art, heart and soul of guitar, reaching deep into the spirituality and tonality of his playing to help students become more authentic and expressive artists. Santana is currently headlining a multi-year residency at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Carlos Santana on the web:
Official Site:

Alfredo Rodriguez & Pedrito Martinez Announce North American Tour Supporting Upcoming Duo Album, Duologue

Grammy® Award-nominated artists Alfredo Rodríguez and Pedrito Martinez first worked together on Alfredo’s 2012 release The Invasion Parade. Since that initial recording session, they have had the rare occasion to perform together as a duo, leaving audiences completely mesmerized by their fearless and virtuosic playing.

Each artist brings a different approach to the collaboration. A protégé of Quincy Jones, who took him under his wing when he defected to the US in 2009, Rodriguez was schooled in the rigorous classical conservatories of Havana. His riveting artistry is informed as much by Bach and Stravinsky as it is by his Afro Cuban and jazz roots. Martinez’ musical training came directly from the streets of the Cayo Hueso neighborhood of Old Havana in which he was raised and he has subsequently performed with artists such as Sting, Paul Simon, and Wynton Marsalis. Together, these two master musicians take listeners on a unique and exciting journey on Duologue.

Alfredo Rodriguez + Pedrito Martinez Tour Dates:

Feb. 2 / MCG Jazz / Pittsburgh, PA
Feb. 7 / LRW Hall (Kimball Ballroom) / Columbia, MO
Feb. 8 / Walton Arts Center / Fayetteville, AR
Feb. 15 / Jefferson Center / Roanoke, VA
Feb. 16 / KC Jazz Club (Kennedy Center) / Washington, DC
Feb. 17 / FlynnSpace / Burlington, VT
Feb. 22 - 23 / North Carolina State University / Raleigh, NC
Feb. 24 / Weisiger Theatre (Norton Center) / Danville, KY
Feb. 28 - March 3 / Jazz Standard / New York, NY
March 8 / Symphony Center / Chicago, IL
March 9 / Lakewood Cultural Center / Lakewood, CO
March 10 / Argyros Performing Arts Center / Ketchum, ID
March 13 / The Loft (UC San Diego) / La Jolla, CA
March 14 / Kuumbwa Jazz Center / Santa Cruz, CA
March 15 / Virginia G. Piper Theater (Scottsdale Center) / Scottsdale, AZ
March 16 / Jo Long Theatre / San Antonio, TX
May 4 / New Orleans Jazz Festival / New Orleans, LA
May 10 / Sanders Theatre / Cambridge, MA
May 11 / Stratus Vineyards / Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
May 18 / Vermont Jazz Center / Brattleboro, VT



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