Thursday, July 25, 2019

Mike Holober & Gotham Jazz Orchestra's new double album "Hiding Out"

Composer and arranger Mike Holober's new double album Hiding Out with his all-star Gotham Jazz Orchestra is available August 9, 2019 via ZOHO Music.

The ensemble that breathes life into these stunning works spans the full history of the Gotham Jazz Orchestra, which made its recorded debut in 2004 with Thought Trains. Several of the instrumentalists on Hiding Out have been with the orchestra since that time, including woodwind players Dave Pietro, Jon Gordon, Charles Pillow and Steve Kenyon; trumpeters Tony Kadleck and Scott Wendholt; and trombonists Pete McGuinness, Bruce Eidem and Nathan Durham; while bassist John Hébert and drummer Mark Ferber are also longtime collaborators. This incarnation also features a number of more recent additions to the fold, among them names like reedists Ben Kono, Jason Rigby, Adam Kolker and Carl Maraghi; trumpeters Liesl Whitaker and James de LaGarza; trombonists Mark Patterson and Alan Ferber; guitarists Steve Cardenas and Jesse Lewis; drummer Jared Schonig; percussionist Rogerio Boccato; and trumpet master Marvin Stamm, the featured soloist on two tracks.

Hiding Out is the long-anticipated follow-up to the Gotham Jazz Orchestra’s acclaimed 2009 album Quake, which JazzTimes praised for “exquisite textures and evocative arrangements that recall Gil Evans, and an Ellingtonian balance between ensemble and individual excellence.” In the years since, Holober has found his talents in demand from a number of high-caliber ensembles: from 2007-2013 he served as Artistic Director for New York’s Westchester Jazz Orchestra; he spent five years as Associate Guest Conductor of the HR Big Band in Frankfurt, Germany; and has also written and conducted a number of projects for the WDR Big Band in Cologne among other orchestras. Throughout that time he worked with such notable guest artists as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Miguel Zenón, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Al Foster, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, and many others.

The albums unveil two sweeping new Holober suites, inspired by the grand vistas of the natural world but invigorated by the pulse of the urban jungle where the music thrives. 

“There’s a double meaning to the title Hiding Out,” Holober says. “One is that I’ve been hiding out as a composer, arranger and sideman for other people and as an educator. But it also comes from the places where I wrote or that inspired these pieces – beautiful settings in the mountains and along the banks of beautiful rivers.”

Rick Braun's Crossroads Features New Originals Plus Songs By Stevie Wonder & Bruno Mars & Special Guests Peter White, Philipe Saisse, Richard Elliot, Greg Phillinganes & Others

“As musicians and people in general, we are all a collection of the places we've been, things we've heard, seen and done, and people who we've loved and who have loved us,” shares chart-topping contemporary jazz pioneer Rick Braun. The trumpeter will release Crossroads on Shanachie Entertainment on August 16, 2019. The 10-track recording is a thrilling musical expedition giving us an intimate glimpse into Rick Braun’s inspirations. “At this point in life,” states Braun, “I'm grateful for the opportunity to make music. I think I'm just very comfortable with where I am in life right now.” Somewhat of a musical chameleon, Braun’s vision and virtuosity have allowed him to stand at the crossroads of the music world. He’s amassed over 20 #1 Smooth Jazz hits and collaborated with Sade, Tom Petty and REO Speedwagon, among others. Braun has produced No. 1 hits for David Benoit, Marc Antoine and Jeff Golub. He’s also achieved collaborative success on massive hits with Boney James as well as with the group RnR, with saxophonist Richard Elliot and BWB, a powerhouse trio completed by Grammy® winners Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. “When I think about the word ‘crossroads,’ says Braun, “I think about the possibilities for the future as well as the places I have been.” In keeping with this theme Braun enlists a cross-section of friends both old and new. He’s joined by dear friends, keyboardist Philippe Saisse, guitarist Peter White, bassist Nate Phillips, tenorman Richard Elliot, drummer Eric Valentine and percussionist Richie Garcia. He also welcomes some first time collaborators keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, guitarist Michael Thompson, and drummer Gregg Bissonette. Braun explains, “The common thread is the musicality that everyone brought to this project. I'm so thrilled with the playing on this record. Everyone stepped up and I think there are a lot of wonderful musical moments to be heard.”

Shanachie VP of A&R, Danny Weiss states, “Rick's tone, chops and phrasing link him to the jazz giants of the past. He can hold his own in any setting. Yet he communicates to a vast audience far beyond the jazz aficionado. His warmth, wit and musical spirit make him a great communicator - a hit maker!”

Crossroads, Rick Braun’s 18th recording as a leader, opens with the percussive and funky “Around The Corner.” The song, which was inspired by his daughter Emma, is the perfect intro as it illustrates Braun’s knack for crafting memorable grooves with fluid and soaring melodies that have a way of instantly drawing you in. “Since my daughter Emma was born every project of mine has included a song for her that she can go outside and just let loose and dance to,” says Braun. “These songs usually end up being some of the most well liked songs on the record!” Braun co-wrote the Latin-tinged and breezy composition “Brazz Street” with Chris “Big Dog” Davis, who he likes to refer to as the ‘Neil Simon of music production.’ “He is one of the most talented arrangers and producers I have ever met. If I reach out to him and I tell him what I need on a record, more often than not he delivers me a track that just gets the job done so beautifully within days of my request.” The album’s first single “Crossroads,” is a buttery-smooth swinger that showcases Braun’s joyous interplay with longtime collaborator, friend and co-writer Philippe Saisse on keys and vibes. “Philippe first brought it in and it had a very four on the floor disco eurobeat and after I listened to it with the help of my co-producer Bud Harner (who also plays drums on ‘Family’) Philippe and I went back to the drawing board and turned it into this wonderful song that ended up being the title cut for the record,” shares Braun. “Philippe is definitely one of the most talented people I've ever known in my life. He is one of those people that pushes me to the next level.”

The show-stopping “The Moment I Saw You” is a sensuous and gorgeous Burt Bacharach/Hal David tinged ballad that almost stops you in your tracks while Stevie Wonder’s 1976 hit, “I Wish,” from the seminal Songs In The Key Of Life, is one of two memorable covers on Crossroads. Tenor saxophonist Richard Elliot, guitarist Tony Pulizzi, keyboardist Greg Phillinganes and percussionist Richie Garcia cut loose creating an exhilarating version that will dare you to sit still. “On my Beat Street CD I recorded a song called ‘Coolsville’ featuring upright bass over top of a hip hop kind of a groove. That was the musical influence for my version of Stevie Wonder's’ ‘I Wish,’ shares Braun. He adds, “Kenny Wild played upright bass and really brings this song to life. As an interesting side note Greg Phillinganes plays keyboards on this song and worked with Stevie Wonder for many years as well as Michael Jackson. Greg definitely brought this to the next level.” Crossroads also features “Me And You,” an intoxicating composition featuring Peter White that swells with intense emotion and beauty. “Peter is one of my oldest and dearest friends,” confides Braun. “We have collaborated on so many projects throughout our careers. When Peter White puts his touch on anything it just sounds amazing.”

Rick Braun is the ultimate family man on and off the bandstand. Not only did he pen “Around The Corner” with his daughter Emma in mind, but he welcomes 17 year-old son Kyle to join in a reinvention of Bruno Mars’ hit “Versace On The Floor.”

Greg Phillinganes was actually a keyboardist on the original Mars track. “Kyle’s passion is actually basketball,” states Braun. “However, when he comes home from practice or just wants to relax he always sits down at the piano and starts playing. I'm so happy that Kyle has kept music alive in his life. It always warms my heart to hear him play.” The track also features Braun’s longtime friend and saxman Richard Elliot. “I’ve produced so many of Richard’s records and he is as good as it gets. It's so wonderful to have someone like Richard Elliot to be able to call when I need to have a tenor solo that lifts the whole track to a whole other level.” The exquisite opus “Family” was inspired by Rick’s childhood memories of his maternal grandparents. His grandfather was a country fiddle player and his grandmother played piano and sang. “One of the few memories I have is of them playing one of my grandmother’s favorite songs from the 1800s ‘Silver Threads Among The Gold,” recalls Braun. He built upon that memory and further drew rhythmic inspiration from a Maroon 5 song that his daughter Emma was listening to one day in the car. “When it came time to play melody on it, the only melody that felt right was inspired by ‘Silver Threads Among the Gold.’ It has a real Americana feel. Bud (Harner) helped the song evolve and I have to credit Michael Thompson with his amazing guitar work and my friend Kenny Wild, who played the fretless bass on the song.” The seductive Bossa Nova groove of “Bahia” transports us to a place of tranquility and the R&B flow of “Come With Me” delights from beginning to end. Braun shares, “The song ‘Bahia’ was inspired by the work that Philippe did with Gato Barbieri. To this day Gato’s Que Paso record is one of my favorite ever and so when we sat down to do something for this project we use that as a point of departure.”

Rick Braun first picked up the trumpet at eight and felt an instant connection. “I loved the smell of the horn, the sound that it made and everything about it and I continue to love it. I am still inspired by many trumpet players,” declares Braun, who enjoys basketball with his son and playing tennis and golf when he can fit it in. "On a contemporary level I think Till Brönner continues to be a major influence. Looking back, the players who have influenced me most include Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, and of course Chet Baker.” There was a time when Braun was contemplating pursuing medical school but luckily for us music won. Coming of age in Allentown, PA (about an hour outside of Philadelphia), Braun was acutely aware of the volume of jazz musicians who developed in his area. “The Brecker Brothers were a huge influence. My dear friend Jeff Lorber is also from Philadelphia and Keith Jarrett is from Allentown. There is a rumor in my family that Jarrett is actually my third cousin!” Rick Braun has enjoyed a career longevity that is rare in this business. He has crafted his own distinctive sound and become a staple on contemporary jazz radio. Braun has hosted an annual New Year’s Eve event for almost a decade that benefits autism. His daughter is autistic and Braun has made it a mission to bring awareness to autism. “One of my passions is just trying to help people who are affected by autism. It is really important for me to just reach out and help wherever I can,” shares the inspiring musician.

Rick Braun concludes, “As my fans listen to Crossroads, I'm hoping they can hear the sincerity in the music. I think the fact that I'm still around making music after all of these years is a testimony to how much I enjoy doing it. It's funny because musicians never retire. There is no reason to because we love our job so much to retire would be to leave something that we love. Most musicians just cancel the gig because, let's face it, we left the planet. I am most likely going to be one of those guys!”

Vocalist Orice Jenkins Celebrates 100th Birthday of Nat “King” Cole on New Album Centennial Cole

Given the substantial impact he had on the music and culture of his time, it can be shocking to remember that Nat “King” Cole only lived to the age of 45. March 17, 2019 marked the 100th anniversary of Cole’s birth in Montgomery, Alabama; to celebrate, vocalist, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist Orice Jenkins will release Centennial Cole, a deeply personal tribute to the legendary pianist and singer that reinterprets songs immortalized by Cole with modern jazz and classical influences.

Due out September 20, 2019 via Truth Revolution Recording Collective, Centennial Cole features Jenkins’ soulful vocals, which share Cole’s gift for moving fluidly between a wide variety of genres, with the Hartford string quartet Cuatro Puntos and a gifted cast of musicians including pianist Zaccai Curtis, bassists Frank Brocklehurst and Matt Dwonszyk, guitarist Susan Mazer, drummers Chuck Peterson and Jocelyn Pleasant, and percussionist Alvin Carter, Jr.

“Nat ‘King’ Cole changed the trajectory of the music world multiple times during his short life,” Jenkins writes in the album’s liner notes. “As a singer, composer, arranger, and Black American, I am proud to do my part in preserving [his] legacy.”

If it were only for his musical output, Nat “King” Cole would still be considered an iconic artist today. But in addition to releasing a steady stream of still-beloved hits over the course of his 25-year career, Cole was a Civil Rights pioneer, leading the way by example for later generations of African-American artists. His revered trio became the measuring stick for small jazz ensembles that followed in its wake. He directly inspired legends such as Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, and his own daughter, Natalie Cole, along with countless other musicians.

“It shouldn’t be surprising to learn that I’m a huge Nat Cole fan, given that we both worked successfully as pianists before the world realized our true calling,” Jenkins says. “We are both baritones, which is unfortunately uncommon in the modern pop music world. Nat is one of the few singers that I could look at to hear and see myself... Nat’s perfect pitch, creative arrangements, flashy piano playing, and legendary collaborations greatly influenced my musical palate.”

Centennial Cole opens with Jenkins’ intimately swinging take on “Let There Be Love,” a song that he discovered after watching Cole’s 1963 BBC television special. Jenkins sings the tune a cappella, accompanied only by the snap of his fingers. Though it’s been recorded countless times, “Mona Lisa” is synonymous with Nat “King” Cole. Taking his cue from Cole’s own revolutionary use of strings on his recordings, Jenkins enlists Cuatro Puntos to radically reimagine the piece.

Jenkins sings directly from Cole’s perspective on “Birmingham,” the album’s sole original composition. The protest song recounts an incident that occurred in the titular Alabama city in 1956, when members of the North Alabama Citizens Council, a local faction of the Ku Klux Klan, assaulted and attempted to kidnap Cole on stage. “Nat passed away before the end of the Civil Rights Movement, but I imagined that he could’ve written a song like ‘Birmingham’ if he made it to the 70s,” Jenkins says.

The djembe playing of Alvin Carter, Jr. adds an African undercurrent to the “hippie anthem” of Eden Ahbez’s classic “Nature Boy,” inline with what Jenkins calls his determination to remain “unapologetically Black at all times.” Jenkins then sits down at the piano, for the first time on record since his 2014 debut Around the Piano, for a closing-time rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust.”

Jenkins takes the title of Oscar Levant and Edward Heyman’s “Blame It on My Youth” quite literally, returning to an arrangement originally penned for his high school orchestra, reduced for string quartet. A tribute to Jenkins’ mother, it’s the first of three family dedications: “The Very Thought of You” is an homage to his great-grandmother, while the tender “For All We Know” is dedicated to Cole’s mother, Perlina Adams Coles.

Driven by Frank Brocklehurst’s electric bass groove, Jenkins’ funky arrangement of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” (a song whose lyric version was premiered by Cole) effectively closes out the set, before the epilogue of “Inseparable,” the title track from Natalie Cole’s 1975 debut album. The song is a soulful send-off to lost loved ones and musical heroes, as well as the family of musicians who helped Jenkins realize the album.

It’s been well over 50 years since Nat “King” Cole’s passing, yet his influence remains strong as generations pass. With Centennial Cole, Orice Jenkins helps ensure that Cole’s indelible genius will live on into the next century.


Orice Jenkins · Centennial Cole
Release Date: September 20, 2019


Lyn Stanley has had a remarkable career in music. With the late legendary jazz pianist Paul T. Smith as her mentor, she began her career out of nowhere in 2010. Her debut recording Lost In Romance ranked in the top 100 albums played by American radio stations and, virtually by herself, she has built up a large worldwide following (particularly among audiophiles) and released such popular albums as Potions {from the 50s}, Interludes, The Moonlight Sessions Volumes One and Two, and London Calling-A Toast To Julie London, all of which have been big sellers. She was awarded Female Jazz Vocalist of the Year for 2018 by Saul Levine, programmer for KKJZ-FM,Los Angeles' top jazz radio station. Her secret, beyond her unique sultry voice and her impeccable taste in picking out gems from the Great American Songbook, has been her planning and attention to details. Whether it is the packaging, the sound quality, the material, the arrangements, the always-danceable tempos, the top-notch musicians or the producer, Lyn always goes first class.

Following up on the success of her London Calling-A Toast To Julie London, Lyn Stanley decided to take a chance and record London With A Twist-Live At Bernie's as a direct-to-disc album. Direct-to-disc recording is a process that bypasses the use of magnetic tape, recording audio directly onto an analog disc. The sound quality is impeccable but it can be a very difficult process requiring nerves of steel. There is no opportunity to "fix" mistakes later on, to change the balance, use overdubbing, or to do any editing. The music is recorded live, one song after another. If a mistake is made, either the entire process stops or the musicians continue playing. While all recordings prior to the Lp's debut in 1949 were direct-to-disc, since 78s contained around three minutes of music, stopping and doing a second take was easy. When Lps, which held 15-20 minutes of music, took over, most recordings were made utilizing magnetic tape and engineers could repair any mishaps. In the 1970s and ‘80s a handful of direct-to-disc albums were made for the audiophile market who wanted much better sound quality. While some of those projects were successful, because the musicians had to play nonstop until a side of an Lp was filled, much of the time they played it safe to avoid last-minute mistakes. On London With A Twist, the exact opposite occurs. Utilizing her Jazz Mavericks, an all- star group consisting of guitarist John Chiodini, either Otmaro Ruiz or Mike Lang on piano, bassist Chuck Berghofer, drummer Aaron Serfaty, and percussionist Luis Conte, Lyn Stanley sounds relaxed and swinging in this collection of her favorites takes from two during the live recording sessions. The singer has found that the most rewarding performances occur when she and her musicians create music spontaneously, using only chord charts. That way all of the players own the music and the results are creative, looser and joyful, sounding like a late-night set performed purely for the fun of it. And with this release, Lyn Stanley has become one of only five singers who have created a direct-to-disc vocal album containing at least three songs and 12 minutes of music; London With A Twist has over 43 minutes and was recorded at Bernie Grundman's Mastering Studio using his famous customized lathe. Recording/instant mixing by engineer Allen Sides.

Among the dozen selections on London With A Twist are such standards as "Route 66," "Blue Moon," ‘Goody Goody," ‘Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Body And Soul." Adding variety are two offbeat choices, Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell" and Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac," that one could imagine Julie London interpreting in a similar fashion. Lyn Stanley's interpretations of these classic songs do justice to the melodies and the lyrics. She and her Jazz Mavericks create fearless performances during a swinging set that audiophiles and lovers of high-quality music will treasure.

The sultry swing singer Lyn Stanley releases her most adventurous project, a Direct To Disc Live to Metal Lacquer Recording with superb recording quality that was performed live with instantaneous mixing and no editing.

Lyn Stanley, vocals, Otmaro Ruiz, piano
Mike Lang, piano, Chuck Berghofer, bass
Aaron Serfaty, drums, John Chiodini, guitar
Luis Conte, percussion

Akiko Tsuruga, Graham Dechter, and Jeff Hamilton's Equal Time

Equal Time unites three virtuosos-two rising stars, the organist Akiko Tsuruga and the guitarist Graham Dechter-and the acclaimed veteran drummer Jeff Hamilton to form a musical alliance based on a shared passion for swinging and the timeless joys of the classic organ trio. Although these cohorts have worked together before in other ensembles, Equal Time fully captures the camaraderie and musical telepathy that they have developed as a team. Building on the organ-drums-guitar configuration that has been the backbone of the organ trio tradition ever since Jimmy Smith hit the jazz scene in 1956, the Akiko-Hamilton-Dechter unit dedicates itself to the proposition that a compact band can-make that, must-produce a mighty sound.

The trio breaks out of the starting gate with "Mag's Groove," a Tsuruga blues that firmly establishes the band's winning combination of intensity, invention and effervescent swing. We immediately hear what is made clear from the album's start to its finish: this is a bona fide band, not just a meeting of three extravagantly gifted players coming together to stretch out and jam. The arrangements throughout are as focused as the sleek improvisations are intended for maximum impact. Tsuruga, Hamilton and Dechter are each there to support, not to outshine each other; musically, each has the other's back.
Dechter's "Orange Coals" further reveals the technical mastery of both the guitarist and the accomplished organist as they trade choruses. Hamilton's just right solo displays the striking attributes he's come to be honored for in the course of his five-decade career: formal perfection balanced by high spirited finesse. "Osaka Samba," a delightful Tsuruga original, has a happy Walter Wanderley-ish vibe to it, enlivened further by Hamilton's vaunted brush work. Dechter's fleet solo positions him as a stylist worth keeping tabs on. You can detect his influences-Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis and Peter Bernstein, among them-but you can also hear how seamlessly he's incorporated each into his own signature sound. The same goes for Akiko. While Dr. Lonnie Smith is her main influence, ultimately her style bears her own fingerprints. Hank Mobley's "A Baptist Beat," originally heard on the iconic saxophonist's Roll Call album of 1960, is given an appropriately soulful rendition with the guitar and organ providing call-and-response phrases for each other.

Everyone gets to bear down and exhibit serious chops on John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice," an obstacle course of a number from his now-legendary Blue Trainalbum. Unsurprisingly, each instrumentalist passes the test with high grades. The mood changes with "Lion's Gate," a gentle ballad from the pen of Tsuruga, who gets to lay into some beautiful old school Hammond playing, tipping her hat to the masters who furnished the path for her. Tsuruga's impressive pedal work then keeps the groove moving in a spirited take on the standard "I Remember You." The album concludes with Steve Allen's "This Could Be the Start of Something Big," which becomes a brisk tour de force for the extravagant talents of each trio member. The song's title also provides a hint of, hopefully, things to come. Already sounding as comfortable with each other as a longstanding ensemble, the Akiko-Hamilton-Dechter trio indeed deserves to be a going concern.

Akiko Tsuruga
Relocating from Osaka, Japan to the U.S. at the urging of the celebrated drummer Grady Tate, organist Tsuruga has gone on to release numerous, critically acclaimed albums as a leader. Her live recording "So Cute, So Bad" features both Jeff Hamilton and Graham Dechter.

Jeff Hamilton
One of the giants of mainstream jazz drumming, Jeff Hamilton has been heard with the big bands of Woody Herman and Count Basie, and as a member of the popular L.A. 4, as well as with such icons as Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Brown, Monty Alexander and Oscar Peterson. In addition to his work with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Hamilton has appeared with Diana Krall both in performance and on recordings.  He is features on numerous recordings with the Jeff Hamilton trio.

Graham Dechter
A member of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra since he was nineteen, the California-born guitarist has also worked with a host of musical luminaries including Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Nancy Wilson, Kurt Elling, Eliane Elias and Michael Buble. His Capri recordings include Right on Time (2009) and Takin' It There(2012).

"Saint-Etienne" | A New Smooth Jazz Gem By French Amrican Artist Aneessa

After the success of her single "Back To Life", Aneessa's returns with "SAINT-ETIENNE, an another smooth jazz gem produced by Michael B. Sutton. Unlike anything anyone has heard before, the singer creates a meaningful connection with her music, occasionally aligning her smooth subtle tone with a satisfying frequency.But Aneessa pens a deep heartfelt tune, enough to make your soul bleed but soothing enough to forget the pain. She finds herself letting go of a place that’s filled with sad memories and sets herself free.

Aneessa embraces every emotion, creating tension by working against a slow-paced rhythm, and giving the audience pieces of her story in a way that no one else can. And the first thing she does is be totally honest with herself and deciding where she wants to be and what she wants to do.

With a heavy heart ready to burst, Aneessa makes herself vulnerable on “Saint-Etienne”, a song that overflows with transcendence, harmony, and grief. She lays bare her emotions for everyone to see, letting herself free from her burden and embracing a new beginning.
"Saint-Etienne" is  a record that’s much about the soul as it is about the skilled 

orchestration. You are taken across uncharted territory in jazz composition, drawing from multiple cultures and diverse instruments. A set of recurring melodic shapes ebb and flow from beginning to end, with everything ambitiously proportioned to fit into the narrative with ease.

Compelling and emotionally gripping, Aneessa employs music that is alternately challenging, somber, austerely abstracted, classically beautiful, and wracked with tension to guide our imaginations through the momentous chain of a heart-wrenching story.

New Music: Souljazz Orchestra – Chaos Theories; Faith Mussa - Ali Dere; Ben Eunson – Ace Of Hearts

Souljazz Orchestra – Chaos Theories

The Souljazz Orchestra return with a brand new studio album for our troubled times, ‘Chaos Theories’, released on Strut on 13th September. Always known for their uncompromising social and political messages, the Canadian collective hit harder than ever on 9 new tracks, outing the hypocrisy of modern day politics, police brutality and the everyday struggle of the working man. Led by chief songwriter and arranger Pierre Chrètien, the band continue to evolve their sound, drawing on a broad palette from their trademark Latin, Afro and Caribbean styles to some of the UK’s political sounds of the early ‘80s, the era of The Clash, The Police, 2-Tone and frontline reggae. ‘Chaos Theories’ is their 9th album, is released on LP, CD, cassette and digital / streaming and is mastered by The Carvery. LP format comes as a special dark blue vinyl edition.

Faith Mussa - Ali Dere

Ali Dere marks an introduction to Malawi’s Faith Mussa – a unique and multi-faceted talent. This one-man-band sings and plays a huge range of instruments simultaneously, including traditional ones such as badza, manjerenjeza and the mbalule. His unique balance of skill, wisdom & fun are on full display in this opening track. Ali Dere, (meaning he/she is like this..) says to not speak of him if you don’t know him. Or else try to know him better first, you may miss the angel inside his heart. “Ali dere nkulinga utayenda naye” means; ’only a person who has stayed and lived with you can confidently say who you really are. The rest can be pretence.’ Faith’s universal messages are sung in both English and Chichewa – enabling them to reach everyone, drawing connections and understanding around the world.

Ben Eunson – Ace Of Hearts

NYC-based and Australia-born guitarist Ben Eunson has released his new video, "Ace of Hearts” from his debut, instrumental solo album, ACE, due out August 16, 2019 on Ocean Road Sounds.  "'Ace Of Hearts' is a splendid fusion of prog, jazz and some blues that features Ben’s deft and brilliant guitar playing." (Pancakes and Whiskey.) In tune with the album, the track combines influences of jazz, blues, R&B, and prog into Eunson’s own complex flavor of rock music.After an illustrious career as a guitarist performing and recording  with acclaimed artists, including John Legend (NBC’s Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center), Lalah Hathaway (Lalah Hathaway Live release show), Queen Latifah, Dave Chappelle (“Controlled Danger” Concert in NYC), and more,  Ben Eunson is fully equipped to take his own spotlight with his distinct guitar stylings.

Newport Jazz Festival Continues 65-year Tradition of Presenting Leading Vocalists

From Ella Fitzgerald’s rapid fire scats, Sarah Vaughan’s divine voice, Billie Holiday’s fine and mellow artistry and Betty Carter’s bebop, the Newport Jazz Festival has been Ground Zero for jazz vocalists for six decades. And, this year’s 65th edition is no exception.

The multi-Grammy winning, NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater has been captivating audiences for five decades. She made records with her then husband, trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater, Norman Connors and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. She has sung the music of Michael Franks and paid tribute to Horace Silver and Billie Holiday. And if that is not enough, she won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress as “Glinda” in the musical, The Wiz; was awarded France's Commandeur dans l’Ordes des Artes et des Lettres; and was the Host of NPR’S Jazz Setradio show. An ebullient and effusive performer, Bridgewater will light up the Newport stage on Saturday, August 3, when she makes her Fort Adams debut to perform with The Memphis Soulphony. The ensemble from her birthplace, recorded with her on the 2017 CD, Memphis … Yes I’m Ready, which features covers of blues and R&B classics by B.B. King, Al Green, Otis Redding and many others. She proves that you can come home again … swinging!

The Colorado-born, Dianne Reeves (a cousin of jazz keyboard legend George Duke) is at home swinging in anyidiom. Since she debuted on the Latin jazz-fusion band Caldera’s 1977 LP, Sky Islands, Reeves’ musical modus operandi has been to infuse her cool and controlled contralto comfortably on every song she sings. From her riveting rendition of Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro-Blue,” her loving album tribute to Sarah Vaughan, The Calling,and her Quiet Storm classic original composition, “Better Days,” AKA “The Grandma Song,” Reeves’ 15-plus recordings as a leader are a template on how the vocal jazz influence can soar in all facets of modern music. She comes to Newport on Saturday, August 3, with her quicksilver quartet – pianist Peter Martin, guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Terreon Gully. Reeves and company will stamp your musical passport for a wonderful trip of word and sound.

Add the beyond-category African Flamenco singer Buika, who will be performing on Saturday, August 3, to the mix and it is evident that the Newport tradition of featuring great vocalists carries on. Her husky voice marries The Motherland (Equatorial Guinea) with the Moorish sound of Southern Spain, Afrobeat, jazz, reggae and pop. She has performed with Seal, Nelly Furtado, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Meshell Ndegeocello, Chucho ValdésJason Mraz, Charles Aznavour, Javier Limón and Carlos Santana, to names a few.  Simply put, you will hear one of the greatest voices of the world at historic Fort Adams overlooking the beautiful Narragansett Bay.

The Leeds, England vocalist Corrine Bailey Rae’s 2006 hits “Put Your Records On,” and “Like a Star,” catapulted her onto the world stage, buoyed by her laid-back, youthful vocals. She proved that she had some solid chops, as evidenced by her work on Herbie Hancock’s Grammy-winning 2007 Joni Mitchell tribute, River: The Joni Letters.  Her next CDs, The Sea, Is This Loveand The Heart Speaks in  Whispers(the last two earned her Grammy awards in 2016 and 2018), also received rave reviews. Rae has collaborated with a number of stars, including Questlove, Mary J. Blige and Stevie Wonder. She comes to Newport on Friday, August 2, with her guitar-drums-keyboard trio – John McCallum, Myke Wilson and Steve Brown – to perform a set that will be as bouncy and breezy as the Rhode Island air. Festival founder George Wein has tried to book Rae since her first CD, but her scheduled never permitted until this year, so you know what stage The Wein Machine will be parked come Friday afternoon.

If you missed the Grammy-winning Cecile McLorin-Salvant’s last appearance at the Festival, you’ll see why her return on Sunday, August 4, backed by pianist Aaron Diehl, bassist Paul Sikivie and drummer Kyle Poole, feels like a victory lap, thanks to her impressive win at DownBeatmagazine’s 67th International Critic’s Poll as Jazz Artist of the Year and Jazz Female Vocalist of the Year. Her last two releases, The Ogresse, her chamber orchestra-backed date, and The Window, her 17-track duo recording with New Orleans pianist Sullivan Fortner, feature a wide range of blues songs, chansons, standards and originals.  From Leonard Berstein’s “Somewhere”  to Marie-Louise Damien’s 1920’s French song, “J'ai Le Cafard,” her work showcases the extremely broad artistry of this Miami native of Franco-Haitian descent, who’s been blowing our ears, hearts and minds ever since she won the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition.

Newport is also a great place to see the next generation of vocalists. The talented, Tennessee-born singer-pianist-songwriter Kandace Springs burst on the scene with her eponymously titled 2014 EP, followed by her 2016 major label debut CD, SoulEyes,and Indigoreleased two years later. Blessed with the kind of hushed vocal tones that made Roberta Flack and Jeanne Lee famous, and with a pleasing pianism Shirley Horn would have loved, Springs breathes new life into the music of Mal Waldron, The Stylistics, and Jhené Aiko. When she appears at Newport for the first time on Friday, August 2 – with a supportive combo that includes the young flutist Elena Pinderhughes, bassist Chris Gaskell and drummer Conor Park – you will wait with baited breath for this artist’s next release.

Cleveland-born Laurin Talese made a name for herself, winning the 2018 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition, held annually at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. When she steps on the Newport Stage for the first time on Saturday August 3, with her trio – pianist Shedrick Mitchell, bassist Jonathan Michel and drummer Anwar Marshall – you’ll hear why she took first place. She possesses a voice that rings with an ancestral ache that conjures up the best tones and timbres of jazz, gospel and R&B, along with a refreshing talent for telling compelling musical stories. She has worked with Robert Glasper, Patti LaBelle and Gregory Porter. In 2016, she released her debut CD, Gorgeous Chaos, with Christian McBride, Christian Sands and Ulysses Owens, Jr. Talese is the perfect example of an artist who can express herself regardless of category.

Additional artists for the 2019 Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Investment Managers, which takes place August 2-4 at Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino, include Herbie Hancock, Jon Batiste, Common, Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, The Bad Plus, Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective, The Ron Carter Trio, Tank and the Bangas, PJ Morton, Sons of Kemet, Ralph Peterson and the Messenger Legacy, and many more.

Herb Alpert To Release New Album "Over The Rainbow"

On September 20, 2019, legendary and Grammy winning musician, producer, creator and artist Herb Alpert will release his newest album Over The Rainbow, a 12 song collection that includes one original track and a cadre of classic and well known interpreted tunes performed in a way that only Alpert can deliver. 

The pre-order for the album begins today (July 24th) and the first single, “Skinny Dip,” is available as an instant download when you pre-order (on iTunes and Amazon). The second single, “Fantasy,” will be available on August 23rd.  

As one of the worlds most renowned and celebrated trumpet players, Alpert has once again broken the mold with a collection of songs that spans decades. “This project started like all of the other albums that I have recorded throughout the years, including the Tijuana Brass projects.  I am always looking for good melodies to play and if it is a familiar song that I am working on, I’ll try to do it in a way that it’s never been heard before,” says Alpert. “When choosing songs, I look for something that makes you feel good, I have learned to become an audience to my own music and listen to what creates feelings that stop and call you.”

Recorded at both Alpert’s studio and at famed Grammy winning and multi-nominated engineer, arranger and mixer Jochem van der Saag’s studio, Over The Rainbow was recorded in eight months and boasts a roster of pop, classic and international hits that are familiar to all ages. The first song on the album is  “Skinny Dip,” an original co-written and produced by Alpert, followed by 11 others including  “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “All Love,” “Fantasy,” “Over The Rainbow,” “Copacabana,” “With You I’m Born Again,” “You Are So Beautiful” “Nature Boy,” “Always On My Mind,” “South Of The Border,” and “What A Wonderful World.”

Reflecting on the choice of songs for the new release, Alpert says, “Original songs must have a melody that is fun for me to play, like ‘Skinny Dip,’ a little quirky, but fun. It’s always a bit dangerous to tackle a song like ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow,’ that has the iconic Judy Garland recording (and many other great recordings,) but I like this version and the way that it starts with Michael Shapiro singing part of the opening refrain and the beautiful orchestration by Eduardo del Barrio.”

“The song  ‘Nature Boy’ arranged by Jochem Van der Saag, is also close to my heart, having personally known and spent some interesting times with the composer, Eden Abez, who lived his life as the real nature boy. ‘All Love,’ was written by Babik Reinhart, a beautiful tribute to his incredibly talented father, Django Reinhardt, who had his own, unique, Gypsy guitar style. ‘You Are So Beautiful,’ is how I feel about my wife and ‘angel,’ Lani.

‘Always on my Mind,’ was taking a chance on a familiar country song that just feels good to me in its new setting as an instrumental and ‘Fantasy,’ is a song that I’ve always liked that was written by Maurice White and Eduardo Del Barrio and also arranged by Eduardo. ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ is that iconic recording by Bill Withers and I tried to put the Herb Alpert spin on it, with Hussain Jiffry singing along with my wife, Lani Hall.

‘Wonderful World,’ is a tribute to the great, Louis Armstrong. My intention was not to cover his record, but to show how it had an international impact and to highlight the power of music as a tool to help us understand each other and bring more light into the world, so that peace will have a much better chance to survive.”

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass propelled his sound into the pop music limelight at one point outselling the Beatles two to one. In 1966, they achieved the since-unmatched feat of simultaneously having four albums in the Top 10– and five in the Top 20. Herb Alpert also has the distinction of being the only artist in history who has scored a #1 instrumental and a #1 vocal single on the charts.

Some of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’ fourteen Top 40 singles include; “The Lonely Bull,” “Mexican Shuffle,” “Spanish Flea,” GRAMMY®-winners “A Taste Of Honey” and “What Now My Love,” and the #1 hits “This Guy’s In Love With You” and “Rise.”  In 2016 the Herb Alpert Presents record label released 30 deluxe re-masters of the entire TJB catalogue plus all of Herb’s solo albums from the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s.  In all, Alpert has recorded over forty albums and produced for many other artists, including Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, Stan Getz, Michel Colombier, Gato Barbieri and Alpert’s wife, GRAMMY winning vocalist Lani Hall, to name a few.

As an industry leader, Alpert’s commitment to artists with personal vision guided A&M Records (with partner Jerry Moss) from a Hollywood garage operation into one of the most successful independent record labels in music history that started in 1962 with Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Stars including Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, Stan Getz, Cat Stevens, Supertramp, The Carpenters, Carole King, Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, The Police and scores of others that are evidence of the consistent quality and diversity of the A&M Records family.

In 2006, Alpert and Moss were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in recognition of their accomplishments and are a part of the Grammy Museum’s ”Icons of the Music Industry” series. In 2013 Herb Alpert was awarded The National Medal of Arts Award by President Barack Obama for his musical, philanthropic and artistic contributions.

Over The Rainbow will available on all digital outlets on September 20, 2019.

Joe Armon-Jones New Album "Turn To CLear View" Out In Sept.

Between his highly acclaimed solo career and his work with the influential Ezra Collective, Joe Armon-Jones is at the epicentre of the London underground scene. Now building on a rush of acclaim – winning Session of the Year at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards and being nominated for UK Act of the Year at the Jazz FM Awards – Armon-Jones is set to release his eagerly anticipated second album ‘Turn To Clear View’ on September 20th via Brownswood Recordings.

‘Turn To Clear View’ finds Armon-Jones pushing the boundaries of his sound into exciting new territory. It’s a set which blurs the lines between bass-heavy dub, contemporary club culture and his background as a pioneering force in the modern jazz scene. That singular vision is heightened with flourishes of R&B, hip-hop and p-funk. It’s music of substance – relevant to the here and now, but sure to be heralded as an influence in the years that follow.

Inspired by fresh influences and experiences that have arisen over the course of the past year, the album is the result of Armon-Jones’s studious creative process. He writes continuously and organically – initial ideas coming quickly and swiftly recorded as voice notes before they’re evolved and tweaked, often over the course of several months.

After writing the charts, Armon-Jones and co-producer Maxwell Owin called upon a close-knit team of collaborators and their virtuoso talents saw them record the entire album in two days. The duo then painstakingly perfected every touch, with Armon-Jones also ever-present throughout the mixing and mastering processes. Throughout, the pair focused on how best to bring their ideas to life. Most of the keys, for example, were recorded on a budget Casio that was borrowed from their friend Wu-Lu.

The album itself is all the better for Armon-Jones’ focus. Its lead single ‘Yellow Dandelion’ is a case in point. Soaring vocals from the neo-soul visionary Georgia Anne Muldrow are its most immediately enticing calling card, but Armon-Jones’s flair for intricacies and dynamics provides its substance. From powerful crescendos to his irresistible keyboard solos, ‘Yellow Dandelion’ pushes the fundamentals of funk firmly into 2019.

That love of the unconventional shines through on ‘The Leo & Aquarius’ as Armon-Jones’s spacious instrumental allowing Jehst’s character-fuelled raps to take centre-stage. Rising talent Obongjayar (a collaborator with Richard Russell) provides a similarly adventurous spirit, infusing the exploratory, progressive jam ‘Self: Love’ with some highlife flavour. Opening track ‘Try Walk With Me’ immediately sets the tone – with Asheber helping to stir a cocktail of hazy Latin American and Afrikan influences with acid jazz.

‘Turn To Clear View’ also features his regular bandmates Oscar Jerome, Moses Boyd (a resident DJ at 1Xtra) and Nubya Garcia (signed to Domino as part of Nérija), whose uncompromising yet accessible sax on ‘You Didn’t Care’ stands out as a highlight.

Armon-Jones first previewed the album with ‘Icy Roads (Stacked)’ which received support at 6 Music, 1Xtra and Radio 1 from DJs including Mary Anne Hobbs, Gilles Peterson, Benji B, Jamz Supernova, Tom Ravenscroft and Huey Morgan.

‘Turn To Clear View’ will be released on digital, vinyl and CD formats, and is available to pre-order from

‘Turn To Clear View’ tracklisting:

1. ‘Try Walk With Me’ (featuring Asheber)
2. ‘Yellow Dandelion’ (featuring Georgia Anne Muldrow)
3. ‘Gnawa Sweet’
4. ‘Icy Roads (Stacked)’
5. ‘(To Know) Where You’re Coming From’
6. ‘The Leo & Aquarius’ (featuring Jehst)
7. ‘You Didn’t Care’ (featuring Nubya Garcia)
8. ‘Self: Love’ (featuring Obongjayar)

Joe Armon-Jones has previously played Glastonbury, SXSW, Boiler Room and a sold-out headline show at London’s Village Underground, and has toured with the likes of Ata Kak and Pharoahe Monch. He’s now set to play the following UK shows:


7th – 11th – Boomtown Fair
15th – We Out Here

September - Headling EU tour
11th - Red Bull Music Festival Round Robin 2019
19th - Cafe Central, Madrid
25th - AB Club, Brussels
26th - BIRD, Rotterdam
27th - Paradiso, Amsterdam
28th - Moods, Zurich
29th - Knust, Hamburg
30th - Gretchen, Berlin

October - Headline UK Tour
6th – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
7th – Newcastle, The Cluny
8th – Glasgow, The Classic Grand
9th – Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall
10th – Birmingham, Hare & Hound
11th – Manchester, Band on the Wall
12th – Bristol, Fiddlers Club

Friday, July 19, 2019

Funk and Fellini: Electronic jazz innovator Paolo Rustichelli goes retro on “Hypnofunk”

When asking electronic jazz recording artist Paolo Rustichelli about his new single, “Hypnofunk,” which goes for playlist adds on Monday, the eclectic artist’s hodgepodge response careens from celebrating 70s funk and early 80s sounds to UFOs to his pioneering use of keyboard technology and computer plug-ins that enable him to be a “genuine solo artist” and concludes with a story about dining with legendary Italian film director Federico Fellini. 

An Italy-based composer, pianist, keyboardist, singer and producer, Rustichelli’s latest music offering is a spacy, melody rich and funky trip, an unconventional flight of keyboard harmonies that jet in, out and in between techy hip hop beats and imaginative synth passages. Accompanying the single is the vivid video he crafted (  

“The song ‘Hypnofunk’ is meant to be a celebration of the psychedelic era of the late 70s and the funk years of the 80s. In fact, there are typical synths sounds of that time along with a modern hip-hop rhythmic drum base. The colorful minimalist video salutes late 70s elements, ranging from psychedelia, Graeco-Roman symbols and includes some UFO images. UFOs are being seen more and more in our friendly skies lately,” said Rustichelli.         
“Hypnofunk” offers a preview of Rustichelli’s forthcoming album, “Tempus Fugit,” that is slated to drop in March 2020.

“The album title, ‘Tempus Fugit,’ comes from the ancient Latin term meaning time is running away from us. Time is running and we humans are inside this mechanism that we cannot escape, but music is capable of being eternal,” Rustichelli explained.

Rustichelli has created music alone ever since he began his career in the late 1970s as a 16-year-old prodigy playing progressive rock and writing film scores like his three-time Oscar-nominated father, Carlo Rustichelli. His approach comes from the belief that a solo artist expresses oneself individually, that a record made using other musicians, writers and producers is interpreted by others therefore making it a collaboration, not the true work of a solo artist.

“I create a song from A to Z - from composition to production - all by myself, playing every instrument represented by a plug-in, which mimics the sound of real instruments or creates new sounds. I believe it is extremely important to give the public a genuine and sincere product that reflects the artist and their vision. Accordingly, my recordings can be considered genuine because I do everything myself without outside input. There are superstar ‘solo artists’ who are making ‘solo records’ with creative input from literally a hundred or more people. I cannot consider these works as genuine solo albums.”
Rustichelli has always been on the forefront of innovation, pioneering the use of synths, Moog synthesizers, samplers and organs such as the ARP 2600, Mellotron, Fairlight CMI and Hammond C-3.  He was among the first to score a film entirely with synths. His 1995 debut album, “Mystic Jazz,” was seminal in the “chill” movement while two years later, the follow up, “Mystic Man,” was influential in progressive smooth jazz. The latter collection was a collaborative album featuring legends Miles Davis, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Andy Summers and Jill Jones. “Mystic Man” spawned the Billboard No. 1 single “Paisa.” In 2002, Rustichelli produced a song, “Kyrie,” for Placido Domingo’s “Sacred Songs” album, a feat that required him to command a 250-piece orchestra. His first disc made entirely using plug-ins was 2006’s “Neopagan,” which found success with the single, “My Geisha.” Since then, Rustichelli has issued a series of singles and videos, including the top 10 “Soul Italiano” (2011) and “Med Groove,” which had lengthy runs atop the and Amazon Top Sellers charts in 2014.     

That brings us to dinner with Fellini.

“When I was a kid, I went with my father and his friend, director Federico Fellini, to several of the best, lesser-known restaurants in Italy. They really liked the food because it was authentic, genuine and traditional. This impacted my entire life and how I approach my art. Genuine music cannot be manipulated like most music is today. To be real and  genuine musically, in my opinion, the artist needs to compose and play the music themselves. Like a good restaurant that has a few signature dishes and would become something entirely different if it took on a mass production mentality, the artist needs to express their music and vision singularly,” said Rustichelli. “I also clearly remember that the dinner ended with a discussion about UFOs. Fellini, who was a good illustrator, drew bizarre and funky alien faces on the restaurant’s paper napkins. They were hypnotic faces…or should I say ‘Hypnofunk’ faces.

Tenor Saxophone Legend George Coleman Finally Leads Longstanding Group into the Studio on New Album, The Quartet

NEA Jazz Master George Coleman has been involved with notable bands throughout his remarkable career. As a leader, he’s worked with such estimable players as Ray Drummond, Billy Higgins, Mike LeDonne, Bob Cranshaw, Hilton Ruiz and Sam Jones. As a sideman, Coleman has wielded his powerful tenor alongside such legendary artists as Miles Davis, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock, Charles Mingus, Cedar Walton, and B.B. King, among many others.

So when the saxophone giant christens an album The Quartet, those two simple words speak volumes about the esteem in which he holds the musicians that make up his band. Coleman’s latest album, due for release September 27 on Smoke Sessions Records, more than backs up that typically understated compliment with a captivating session of bristling swing, lively interplay and deep communication.

That fact isn’t particularly surprising considering the musicians involved. On this all-too-rare excursion into the studio, Coleman is joined by pianist Harold Mabern, with whom the 84-year old master shares an almost lifelong relationship, bassist John Webber, and drummer Joe Farnsworth. This quartet has been sharing the bandstand for the better part of two decades, though this release marks their debut recording as a unit. That fact alone lends considerable heft to that seemingly straightforward title.

Coleman and Mabern share roots in the fertile musical soil of Memphis, Tennessee, and have known each other since their days in high school studying under swing-era saxophonist Jimmie Lunceford. The two have been recording together sporadically for more than 50 years, ever since Mabern’s 1968 debut A Few Miles From Memphis.

“We’ve kept that connection through the years,” Coleman says. “We’re still alive and halfway healthy, and there’s a certain amount of maturity that we’ve developed through the years. He and I share a lot of experience and knowledge.”

The rhythm section’s profound chemistry can hardly be overstated; in addition to their work with Coleman, the three have logged countless hours on stage under Mabern’s leadership and as a quartet with saxophonist Eric Alexander. “I’ve had some great people in my quartets over the years,” Coleman says. “These guys are all great musicians. I don't have to rehearse with them; we just get on the stand and play, and they keep their ears open.”

That relaxed approach is evident throughout The Quartet, which manages to feel warm and effortless while never for a moment losing the scintillating surprise of in-the-moment discovery. Coleman’s impassioned strains, sounding over Mabern’s emphatic chords, immediately grab the listener’s tension on opener “Paul’s Call,” a new piece dedicated to Smoke Jazz Club owner Paul Stache. The title stems from the deep mutual respect and longstanding friendship held between the saxophonist and the club. Coleman’s quartet opened Smoke in 1999 and has remained a favorite on its stage ever since.

“Recording George Coleman and his quartet is the reason we have a label,” Stache says. “They represent a certain musical ideal that we hope to promote.”

Coleman’s supple fluidity with melody is evident in his breezy take on the standard “I Wish You Love,” highlighted by his solo, its fluttering figures tracing curves through the air like the path of a butterfly alighting and lifting off again. Mabern responds with a playful, toying turn. The quartet’s heartrending sensitivity comes to the fore on the Ellington classic “Prelude to a Kiss,” with Farnsworth’s whispering brushwork and a winking quote of “Take the A Train” during Mabern’s solo.

“Lollipops and Roses,” best known for singer Jack Jones’ Grammy-winning 1962 rendition, is an unexpected choice but yields a lilting romp that builds in intensity before erupting into Farnsworth’s compelling solo, a spotlight-stealing tour de force. The whole band gets a chance to stretch out on the 12-minute “East 9th Street Blues, an example of in-the-moment composition of the sort only a band with this kind of longevity and virtuosity can pull off.

Over nearly as long a take, “When I Fall in Love” takes a turn from ballad (with some of Coleman’s most exquisite playing) to jaunty swing. Benny Golson’s immortal “Along Came Betty” showcases the rhythm section’s steely vigor, contrasted by the airy elegance of “You’ve Changed.” Jobim’s “Triste” closes the album, beginning in an intimate duo dance between the leader and Webber; the bassist takes the melody out for a fleet, nimble spin, engaged by Mabern’s witty comping.

The Quartet is Coleman’s second release for Smoke Sessions, following 2016’s acclaimed quintet outing A Master Speaks. That title could apply to any number of releases throughout the tenor great’s breathtaking career; a man of few words, he’s stunningly eloquent when he lifts his horn to his lips.

That’s evident when one considers the landmark albums on which Coleman has been a key player over the last 60 years: Miles Davis’ Seven Steps to Heaven, Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage, Booker Little and Friend, Charles Mingus’ Three of Four Shades of Blues, Lee Morgan’s City Lights, and Cedar Walton’s masterpiece Eastern Rebellion, along with great album’s by a who’s who of jazz masters: Max Roach, Chet Baker, Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Elvin Jones, Ahmad Jamal, Johnny Hartman, Slide Hampton, and on and on.

The Quartet adds a new chapter to that considerable discography, one that reflects the wealth of experiences and encounters that George Coleman has enjoyed over the decades. Most importantly it captures a stellar band at the height of its powers, a tantalizing glimpse of an extraordinary quartet only previously enjoyed by those who’ve been awestruck by seeing them in person.

"The Quartet" was produced by Paul Stache and Damon Smith and
recorded live in New York at Sear Sound's Studio C on a Sear-Avalon custom console
at 96KHz/24bit and mixed to ½" analog tape using a Studer mastering deck.
Available in audiophile HD format.

Locos Por Juana Announces New Album Crazy for Jane Available Now

Miami’s own GRAMMY® and Latin GRAMMY® nominated reggae fusion band Locos Por Juana is proud to announce Crazy for Jane their 6th studio album due out July 12th via Rock the Moon. The new release includes the critically acclaimed hit singles, “Crazy for Jane” ft. Common Kings, “Don’t Tell Me No” ft. Freddie McGuire, and “Children of the Light.” Crazy for Jane will be available everywhere.

Taking Locos Por Juana back to their reggae and cumbia roots, the new album embracing their bi-lingual heritage and is stack with stellar songs. The title of the new album Crazy for Jane is also the first track, the band wrote, lead single, and features the amazing reggae group Common Kings. It has a special message for the fans as Mark Kondrat, Guitarist, explains, “Locos por Juana translates directly to Crazy for Jane from Spanish to English. It’s always a question we get from new fans and old fans, what does Locos por Juana mean and why did you name the band locos por Juana? I think for our English speaking fans it gives them a chance to feel more part of the music and also gives an explanation or at least a translation for the band’s name.”

The band is comprised of Itawe Correa, the charismatic lead vocalist, Mark Kondrat, talented guitarist, Javier Delgado, innovative drummer, and David Pransky, electrifying bass player. For the new album, Crazy for Jane, they found inspiration from everyday life.  Mark mentions, “We make music because music heals us and we use every day and the experiences from those moments when we write.” He adds, “Life, our family, Situations we find ourselves in, our life goals and mission as well as our destiny is all the inspiration we needed for the new album, Crazy for Jane.”

They recorded the majority of Crazy for Jane at the famous and vibey Studio 26, in Miami, as well at guitarist/producer Mark Kondrat’s studio, Blue Room Studios. The ten track album is stacked with collaborations including Freddie McGregor, the Jamaican reggae legend, Common Kings, ¡MAYDAY!, and Producer/Artist Maffio, (Akon, Farruko, Kymani Marley). And it hits deep with outstanding songs featuring Locos Por Juana island swing. Standouts include the lead single “Crazy for Jane” which Billboard hailed, “an amalgam of Caribbean sounds with Common’s South Pacific and West Coast vibration connecting effortlessly, the collaboration extols the virtues of reggae.” “Don’t Tell Me No” Ft. Freddie McGregor first appeared on KCRW’s PanCliente called it, “a 'lover’s rock', bilingual jam that combines McGregor’s vocals on some sweet verses, with LPJ’s reggae groove.”

Creating the track for Freddie McGregor was an amazing experience for the band. Mark reflects, “I knew I wanted to write in a Lovers Rock style, which is essentially a reggae love song. I spent 3-4 days writing an instrumental that just wasn’t coming to life so I decided to put that aside and started writing something fresh and wrote the entire instrumental in one session. The next day I presented the track to Itawe and he wrote the chorus almost as soon as he heard the music.” He continues, “This song was inspired by love and perseverance. The best things in life don’t come easy, and when something feels right the only answer is yes!”

Additional hits include “Children of the Light” was a collaboration with Locos Por Juana and Tony Gonzalez, founder of the tastemaker imprint Rock the Moon. Tony recalls, “One day Itawe and I were sitting at his house and I played Simply Red’s “Holding Back the Years” and shared the new lyrics with Itawe – and it just worked – then Mark reggae’d the track up with his musical talents. We presented the track to Simply Red and he immediately jumped on board and gave us his blessing to release the song.”

Signed to the Rock the Moon, Locos Por Juana has always written and produced their own music and, in a music industry that has continuously been focused on urban genres, they represent an alternative genre of Latin and Reggae Music that cannot be boxed in by labels. With their signature, high-energy style, the band has amassed a cult following, Locos has been touring non-stop throughout the United States, and is gearing up to release their new reggae album, Crazy for Jane, dropping on July 12th.

Reflecting back, Locos Por Juana comments, “We want to take a second to thank our familia and God for all the opportunities to make music every day and to do what we love. We are happy with the collection of tracks we are presenting to the world and can’t wait to share them.”
“Locos Por Juana has always impressed with how they have absorbed the disparate influences of South Florida into a sound that could almost be a regional soundtrack.”  – NPR Music

Follow Locos Por Juana:

Locos Por Juana is a GRAMMY® and Latin GRAMMY® nominated bilingual band, most notably recognized for their high energy live performances and unique fusion of reggae, funk, cumbia, salsa, and rock. The band, featuring Itawe Correa as its charismatic lead vocalist, talented guitarist Mark Kondrat, innovative drummer Javier Delgado, and electrifying bass player David Pransky, write and produce all of their own music. Voted Best Latin Band in 2017 by Miami New Times, LPJ’s sound is a hybrid that incorporates the sounds of their heritage and upbringing. Correa and Delgado were born in Colombia, Miami native, Kondrat, is of Colombian descent and Pransky hails from Vermont. Colombian sounds such as Cumbia and Champeta, along with the Afro-Colombian rhythms, Mapale and Chande are integral to their sound, as are musical influences from Miami and the Caribbean islands including Reggae, Raggamufin, Dub, Hip-Hop, Rock and Funk; all of these influences have led to a fusion that Kondrat has coined as “that island swing.”


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...