Saturday, August 10, 2019

New Music Releases: Matthew Whitaker; Billy Ocean; Houston Person

Matthew Whitaker - Now Hear This 

Having already appeared on the Today Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show as well as receiving praise from Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, Whitaker is quite literally the inspiration that resilience can have on a persons life. Born in 2001 at 23-weeks premature, Whitaker lost his eyesight during the first 3 months of his life, due to the life-saving treatment he required at birth. Whitaker has created a truly remarkable album combining original compositions and covers of songs that have influence him throughout his life - supplementing his virtuoso piano skills with soulful Hammond organ and coloristic synthesizers. Now Hear This teams Whitaker with a stellar all-star band featuring guitarist Dave Stryker, bassist Yunior Terry, drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., and percussionist Sammy Figueroa. Keyboard great Marc Cary and flutist Gabrielle Garo also make special guest appearances. The album was overseen by GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Brian Bacchus, who has worked closely with the likes of Gregory Porter, Norah Jones, Randy Weston and Sullivan Fortner, among others. 

Billy Ocean - Remixes & Rarities

A double-length collection of work from Billy Ocean – a soul singer who came of age during the era of the 12" single – which means that his catalog is filled with remixes, extended versions, and all the great b-side material that used to make up that great vinyl format! This package is a great addition to the single CD issues of Billy's material over the years – and the package brings together 23 long numbers that start in his early years on Columbia/CBS, then run through his huge 80s fame on Jive/BMG – mostly work that was originally only issued on vinyl, collected here in a 2CD set! Titles include "European Queen (special mix)", "City Limit (alt version)", "When The Going Gets Tough (ext version)", "Love Really Hurts Without You (1986 dance mix)", "Loverboy (dub mix)", "Mystery Lady (club mix)", "Get Outta My Dreams Get Into My Car (ext version)", "Are You Ready (12" version)", "License To Chill (ext version)", "Pressure (UK 12" ext mix)", "When The Going Gets Tough (inst)", "Love Zone (ext version)", "Loverboy (ext club)", "Bittersweet (ext version)", "Dance Floor (ext version)", "African Queen (new ext mix)", "American Hearts (12" ext)", "When The Going Gets Tough (club version)", "I Sleep Much Better (ext version)", "Love Really Hurts Without You (dub)", "Pick Up The Pieces (Reese club riot mix)", and "When The Going Gets Tough (7th heaven club mix)". ~ Dusty Groove

Houston Person - I'm Just A Lucky So And So

Houston Person may be one of the few still-active players in the long history of blues-drenched "boss tenors" that stretches back to Gene Ammons, Arnett Cobb, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Bullmoose Jackson and others. Person has long exhibited a keen ear for simpatico musicians, ranging from his classic partnership with Etta Jones, to his series of superb duo encounters with bass master Ron Carter the man chooses his company skilfully. This date is no exception, as he negotiates his tenor in the company of first-class players. It's clear that his band mates took his studio-made admonition of "Right note or wrong note it's got to swing!" to heart for each one stands in complete harmony with Houston Person's noble intentions for this date. Personnel: Houston Person (tenor saxophone), Eddie Allen (trumpet), Lafayette Harris (piano), Rodney Jones (guitar), Matthew Parrish (bass), Kenny Washington (drums.)

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