Tuesday, July 31, 2012

NEW RELEASES - DADO MORONI / MAX IONATA, MAIS QUE NADA: A&M POP BOSSA, TROPICALIA: OU PANIS ET CIRCENCIS

MAX IONATA / DADO MORONI – TWO FOR DUKE

Two For Duke brings together two of the big names on the Italian jazz scene, pianist Dado Moroni and tenor player Max Ionata, on a set of eleven tunes from the Ellington repertoire. There's a wonderfully intimate live in the studio feel to this, making the listener feel as he or she is sitting in on an exclusive session. This duet is a match made in heaven, with Moroni's warm piano playing laying down a rich harmonic tapestry onto which Ionata is free to weave in some rich detail. A tribute project to an all-time great is always fraught with risks, as there are high standards to live up to, but Ionata and Moroni are more than equal to the task and at times their mutual understanding is so spot on that it almost feels effortless. On Two For Duke, the pair delve into all era of the Ellington catalogue, with some well-known standards as well as some tunes that aren't revisited as often these days. The high points on the set include the Billy Strayhorn composition The Intimacy Of The Blues, the swinging Just Squeeze Me and the late night mood of In My Solitude. A superbly accomplished album, Two For Dukes is a refreshing new take on the Ellington songbook, and a great album to chill out to. Originally posted on Tokyo Jazz Notes HERE

MAIS QUE NADA: A&M POP BOSSA (VARIOUS ARTISTS)

A sublime selection of grooves from the legendary A&M Records – and a key document of the way the label helped shape the sound of Brazilian music in the 60s! Far more than any other American imprint, A&M had a key dedication to bringing Brazilian sounds to the US – not just through work by artists like Sergio Mendes, Edu Lobo, Bossa Rio, and others – but also through the way it introduced Brazilian songs, arrangements, and instrumentation to work by other singers too! This package brings together some of the best of those moments – great music mostly from the late 60s – showing not just the presence of Brazilian music on the label, but the strong influence of bossa nova as well. Titles include "Old Devil Moon" by Bossa Rio, "Dindi" by Claudine Longet, "Fool On The Hill" by Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66, "One Note Samba" by Chris Montez, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Roger Nichols, "Fly Me To The Moon" by Chris Montez, "Day By Day" by Bossa Rio, "Misty Roses" by The Sandpipers, "The Girl From Ipanema" by Chris Montez, "Up Up & Away" by Bossa Rio, "Mas Que Nada" by Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66, and "Our Day Will Come" by Roger Nichols Trio. ~ Dusty Groove

TROPICALIA: OU PANIS ET CIRCENCIS (VARIOUS ARTISTS)

This is it: the landmark record that brought together all the brilliant young talents of the radical Tropicalia movement – Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, Nara Leao, and Gal Costa. The groundbreaking album served as a "manifesto" for the Tropicalia movement, and it's still the best introduction to the fantastic sounds of the group. Gal and Caetano sing "Baby", Caetano and Gilberto sing "Tres Caravelas", and the whole group sings the tracks "Parque Industrial" and "Hino Do Senhor Do Bonfim". Also includes Gilberto Gil's great reading of "Bat Macumba", Nara Leao singing "Lindoneia", and Os Mutantes storming through "Panis Et Circenses" (bread and circuses). Beautiful cover, too, featuring the group all sitting together, looking super intellectual. Essential stuff! (On heavy vinyl – and with a bonus CD of the album!) ~ Dusty Groove

THE FARAH QUINTET

The first four releases from Timeless featured the acoustic trio RF, with hip covers of classic soul, jazz and hip-hop tunes of years gone by. Producer Farah has now assembled Farah Quintet, led by pianist Nao Suzuki for the label's latest project.

Again, this is a covers project, this time one with a distinctly Brazilian feel to it, reviving the jazz samba sound of the sixties. To recapture the mood of the era, the session was recorded on open-reel tape using a vintage mic, and then mastered for CD. The results are stunning, sounding like the band have been recorded playing live in a small club.

The nine-track set opens with a faithful rendition of the Dee Felice Trio classic, Nightingale, with the rhythm section slightly further forward in the mix than the original making it very club-friendly. From there its on to the fast-paced samba of Muito A Vontade, a Joao Donato tune and a blistering version of the Fritz Pauer composition Terra Samba, with something of a deep house arrangement.

There is a heavy percussion arrangement of Baden Powell's classic Berimbau that makes it ideal for the dancefloor at either jazz events or crossover nights. Its full of energy with an unrelenting rhythm, and the slight imperfections you get from one-take recordings add to the live feel of the piece. Also worth a mention are Zimbo Samba and Fiesta Espanola, the latter of which features Shoji Haruna on tenor sax.

There's no doubt that it's mission accomplished on The Farah Quintet, with the spirit of sixties jazz samba successfully revived and given a contemporary twist all the time keeping the authentic analogue sound. A great soundtrack for the summer.

~ Originally posted on Tokyo Jazz Notes HERE

BLUE NOTE RELEASES SIX JAZZ CLASSICS IN HIGH DEFINITION AUDIO

Albums by John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, and Larry Young Digitally Remastered from Original Analog Masters

Blue Note/EMI has announced today's high definition, master-quality audio release of six classics from the label's legendary catalog on HDtracks (http://www.hdtracks.com/). John Coltrane's Blue Train, Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch, Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage, Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil, Horace Silver's Song for My Father, and Larry Young's Unity have been digitally remastered for the first time in 96kHz/24bit and 192kHz/24bit from their original analog multi-track masters. All of the albums are accompanied by their original sleeve notes plus additional photos and newly-written package essays.

Blue Note president Don Was says, "In preparing these hi def remasters, we were very conscientious about maintaining the feel of the original releases while adding a previously unattainable transparency and depth. It now sounds like you've set up your chaise lounge right in the middle of Rudy Van Gelder's studio!"

Today's HDtracks debuts, remastered in hi-res by Alan Yoshida and Robin Lynn at Blanche DuBois, follow the recent HDtracks bows of several other EMI albums, including The Beach Boys' landmark 1966 album Pet Sounds, Norah Jones' new album, Little Broken Hearts, and Jones' earlier Blue Note albums: Not Too Late, Feels Like Home, and Come Away With Me.

HDtracks is a high-quality music download service offering a diverse catalog of music from around the world. HDtracks offers both AIFF and FLAC lossless files, and select titles are available in ultra-high resolution 96khz/24bit files, providing audiophiles who demand the highest quality recordings with an online experience not available anywhere else.

In 1957, while in the midst of finding his own voice on the tenor saxophone in bands led by jazz freedom riders Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane enlisted a band of peers and entered Rudy Van Gelder's Hackensack, N.J., studio. With a new spirit rising, Coltrane created Blue Train, a 40-minute-plus masterwork that stands as one of the greatest jazz records of all time. It was only Coltrane's second album as leader, and his sole recording under his own name for Blue Note Records.

Free-flying Eric Dolphy veered into the contrarian zone in his musical approach on his one and only Blue Note album, 1964's Out To Lunch. Breaking away from the clichés of post-bop jazz and speaking boldly on his array of instruments (flute and alto sax, as well as bass clarinet), Dolphy displayed the avant-garde modus operandi to expect the unexpected. The sometimes abstract and off-kilter yet often whimsical album turned heads and opened ears, and it has gone down in jazz history as one of the genre's masterpieces. A must-hear. A best bet. A revelation.

1965's Maiden Voyage sprang from the mind of one of the most adept and creative of the sound-sculpting facilitators, pianist and composer Herbie Hancock. By the time he recorded the album, Hancock had been in the Miles Davis Quintet for several years, an experience he, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams (the rhythm section here) all described as transformative. Arguably Hancock's peak solo statement from the 1960s, Maiden Voyage appropriates elements of the Davis group dynamic for a transfixingly understated meditation on the lure of the sea. The album is also a perfect case study in the art of group interplay; it offers an array of thoughtful answers to the question "How, exactly, does conversation happen in jazz?"

On the spectrum of jazz challenges, Wayne Shorter's 1965 album Speak No Evil appears to lean toward the easy side. It sits in a comfortable and utterly approachable medium swing. Its primary theme is a series of long tones outlining placid, open-vista harmony. Its bridge resembles something from the notebook of Thelonious Monk – a simple staccato motif that stair-steps up and down, each phrase defined by strategic accents. Yet, as often happens in the music of Wayne Shorter, things are not entirely what they seem. There are layers. The notes of the melody tell one story; the chords nudge the musicians someplace else, a realm where theory lessons are of limited value and instinct matters more than intellect.

Song for My Father stands as the milestone of Horace Silver's oeuvre, not only for its snappy songs (most originals, no songbook standards), but also for its top-tier ensemble interplay. Silver's pianism is unmistakable in its percussive bounce, with his light pounce on the keys fashioning chords that contribute to the hard bop rhythm. While he's not a flashy virtuoso of the instrument, he's a charismatic craftsman whose mesmerizing songs afford his band mates ample room to improvise with brio. The sessions were recorded a year apart, from October 1963 to October 1964, by two different ensembles (Silver's old band on two songs, and his then-new quintet on the other four).

If you happened to be a fan of the jazz organ sound in 1965, you knew exactly what to expect when you stepped into a club – greasy blues, ballads and jazz warhorses played at racecar tempos. Larry Young's Unity changed that. In one elegant stroke. All by itself. Embracing modal harmony and the freer, more open structures/language favored by the rising crew of post-bop musicians, Young expanded commonly held notions of what was possible on the instrument; his brisk, restless, masterfully syncopated performances on this album brought the organ into the modern post-bop conversation.

John Coltrane – Blue Train

1: Blue Train
2: Moment's Notice
3: Locomotion
4: I'm Old Fashioned
5: Lazy Bird

Wayne Shorter – Speak No Evil

1: Witch Hunt
2: Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum
3: Dance Cadaverous
4: Speak No Evil
5: Infant Eyes
6: Wild Flower

Eric Dolphy – Out To Lunch

1: Hat and Beard
2: Something Sweet, Something Tender
3: Gazzelloni
4: Out to Lunch
5: Straight Up and Down

Horace Silver – Song for My Father

1: Song for My Father
2: The Natives Are Restless Tonight
3: Calcutta Cutie
4: Que Pasa
5: The Kicker
6: Lonely Woman

Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage

1: Maiden Voyage
2: The Eye of the Hurricane
3: Little One
4: Survival of the Fittest
5: Dolphin Dance

Larry Young – Unity

1: Zoltan
2: Monk's Dream
3: If
4: The Moontrane
5: Softly As In a Morning Sunrise
6: Beyond All Limits

~ Blue Note/EMI

NEW RELEASES - JOHN AMBERCROMBIE QUARTET, DUDUKA DA FONSECA QUINTET, THELEMA

JOHN AMBERCROMBIE QUARTET – WITHIN A SONG

Tenorist Joe Lovano makes a wonderful appearance here – really bringing in a lot of soulful depth to an otherwise mellow set from guitarist Jon Abercrombie – providing a perfect foil to the lead player's sense of tone and timing! Abercrombie's guitar feels like it's swinging a bit more than usual – just a bit, but in all the right ways – and it's darn hard to ignore the presence of Lovano, whose well-chosen notes burst brightly in these great little lines throughout. The rest of the group features Drew Gress on bass and Joey Baron on drums – and titles include "Where Are You", "Easy Reader", "Sometime Ago", "Interplay", "Wise One", "Nick Of Time", and "Blues Connotation". ~ Dusty Groove

DUDUKA DA FONSECA QUINTET – SAMBA JAZZ – JAZZ SAMBA

Samba jazz, but lots more too – a set that's got plenty of dark edges amidst the warmer rhythms – which makes for one of the most compelling albums we've heard so far from drummer Duduka Da Fonseca! The group's a quintet, with some especially nice work on tenor from Anat Cohen – whose tone really helps flesh out the sound of the record, and bring in a strong sense of depth – amidst some lighter sounds from Guilherme Monteiro on guitar and Helio Alves on piano. Lenoardo Cioglia rounds out the combo on bass – and titles include "O Guarana", "The Peacocks", "Rancho Das Nuvens", "Sabor Carioca", "Depois Da Chuva", and "Melancia". ~ Dusty Groove

THELEMA – HEARING THE LIGHT

A cinematic cover, and some cinematic music to match – one of the moodiest projects we've heard from the contemporary underground of artists inspired by older film soundtracks! Keyboards are the dominant instrument here – often used in spare, snakey ways that recall older European cinema – but with a quality that's less scene-setting than just purely musical – sometimes groovy, sometimes a lot more stark and atmospheric. There's a few moments of spoken Icelandic dialogue – and titles include "Ljos", "Close Your Eyes & See", "Become A Hearer", "Grey Evening", and "Still Hearing The Light". (Includes a bonus CD of the entire album!) ~ Dusty Groove

NEW RELEASES - JOE MCPHEE & INGEBRIGT HAKEN-FLATEN, DEBO BAND, MALABIMBA

JOE MCPHEE & INGEBRIGT HAKEN-FLATEN – BROOKLYN DNA

Not just a great duo set between reedman Joe McPhee and bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten – but also a set that pays tribute to the rich legacy of Brooklyn jazz from the 40s onward – pulling together strands of influences from Sonny Rollins, Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, and others! McPhee always sparkles in a setting like this – and his alto and soprano sound sharper and more expressive than we've heard in years – a perfect fit for the well-chosen basslines from Flaten, who seems to have a new sort of soul that really makes the recording shine. Titles include "Spirit Cry", "Blue Coronet", "Putnam Central", "Crossing The Bridge", "Here & Now", and "214 Martense". ~ Dusty Groove

DEBO BAND

Great grooves from Debo Band – a contemporary combo, but one who's steeped in older Ethiopian modes – particularly the best 70s sounds inspired by artists like Mulatu, Mohammad Ahmed, and Tilahun Gessesse! The album may well be the funkiest set ever issued by Sub Pop – and has a hard-rolling power that rivals classic sounds you might hear on the Ethiopiques series – sent home especially well by the sax lines of Danny Mekonnen, and amazing vocals of Bruck Tesfaye – an artist who's really got his sound just right! Other instrumentation is right on the money, with some occasional touches of funkier elements – but usually just the right sort of classic Ethiopiano percussion, horns, and strings to make the music come out beautifully. Titles include "And Lay", "Asha Gedawo", "Habesha", "Abassel", "DC Flower", "Not Just A Song", "Ney Ney Weleba", and "Akale Wube". ~ Dusty Groove

MALABIMBA

A really great group with a strong influence from 70s Italian soundtracks – one that serves up some mighty spare instrumentation that just includes percussion and keyboards – the latter of which is heavy on organ and synthesizer! The music has a really sinister feel – like the kind of grooves, both funky and mellow, you'd find on some sort of spooky soundtrack from years back – almost like some of Goblin's best film scores of the 70s, but without as much jamming overall! The approach is really wonderful – lean, mean, and far from cliche – and titles include "Isolato", "Malabimba 1", "La Fortuna Alterna", "La Svolta", "Addormentato", "La Piaga Dell Umo", and "La Violenza". (Comes with a bonus CD of the album!) ~ Dusty Groove

Monday, July 30, 2012

NEW RELEASES - GLOBAL NOIZE, DOS CAFUNDOS, IG CULTURE

GLOBAL NOIZE - DREAMS

Dreams is a brand new recording from Global Noize - consisting of Jason Miles, DJ Logic, Indian Diva Falu, Amanda Ruzza and Jay Rodriguez.  Here they are joined by Mocean Worker, Nick Moroch and Emily Bindiger to create a new song that expresses where we and what we feel as a society - all wrapped around an amazing musical tapestry. As a bonus Global Noize is giving it away as a free download. The track is mixed by Goh Hotoda, and according to Jason Miles "the song, recording, performances, production, mix and mastering are of the highest quality." Here is the link: http://soundcloud.com/global-noize/dreams

DOS CAFUNDOS – CAPITAO CORACAO

Founded 2002. Rio de Janeiro. A dastardly loving concoction of Frank Zappa, John Zorn and Mr Bungle processed through a Burrows-esque descent into musical madness. A post neo funk, prog-jazz, samba punk hybrid known as Dos Cafundós. Often frenetic, ever evolving, morphing through time signatures, moods and intensity ‘Capitão Coração’, the band’s first full length release, represents a broadening of Far Out Recordings’ sonic offerings showcasing the musical craftsmanship and diversity of Rio. Definitely the way forward - I love this! - John Armstrong (BBC Radio 2); Sounds great, will play it on my show - Christoph Twickel (Byte.FM, Germany); Dig it! Will play it - Jeremy Sole (KCRW, L.A.)

IG CULTURE PRESENTS SOULFUL SHANGHAI
One of the crunchiest efforts we've heard from IG Culture in awhile – a record that's filled with the cosmic beats we've always loved in his music, yet firmly grounded on earth overall! The set mixes heavy rhythms with lots of vocals and rhymes – efforts from ID 4 Windz, Mr Mensah, Julie Dexter, K Banger, Bilal Salaam, and John Robinson – all wrapped and layered together in ways that are quite different from conventional hip hop, and which really resonate with the kind of collective, collaborative spirit we love in IG's music! There's an even darker feel here than usual – which we really appreciate – and titles include "Catalog Pieces", "Futures Back", "Black Renaissance", "Core Exit", "Truth", "Tangile Dream", "Outsider", "What's Happening", "The Sankofaz Peace Ark-Extra", and "Do The Math". ~ Dusty Groove

PHAROAH SANDERS - IN THE BEGINNING 1963 - 1964

An amazing look at the earliest years of one of our favorite jazz musicians ever – a massive 4CD set that goes way beyond Pharoah Sanders' famous first album for ESP! The box is filled with great music, but is also an historical document too – as it offers up some interview snippets, alongside material that has Sanders working in the Don Cherry Quintet, the Sun Ra Arkestra, the Paul Bley Quartet, and his own group as well!

CD 1 features material from January 1, 1963 – recorded with a Don Cherry group that features Sanders on tenor, Joe Scianni on piano, David Izenzon on bass, and JC Moses on drums – plus a May, 1964 date with a Paul Bley group that features Sanders, Izenzon, and Paul Motian on drums!

CD 2 features a famous group led by Sanders – with Jane Getz on piano, Stan Foster on trumpet, William Bennett on bass, and Marvin Patillo on drums – on the titles "Bethera" and "Seven By Seven".

CDs 3 and 4 feature material from December 30 and 31st, 1964 – a famous performance with Sun Ra and Black Harold – one that seems to be expanded from the previous release, presented with both mono and stereo tracks. Titles include "The Second Stop Is Jupiter", "We Travel The Spaceways", "Dawn Over Israel", "Gods On Safari", "Space Mates", and "The Voice Of Pan". And yes, some of this stuff's been on the market before – but the package also features interviews with Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, and Don Cherry – plus a nice booklet too! ~ Dusty Groove

DONNY McCASLIN - CASTING FOR GRAVITY

"With his expansive feeling and unadulterated love of music-making, McCaslin is in some ways the Sonny Rollins of his generation." - Ottawa Citizen

"I'm hard pressed to think of other horn players who can routinely deliver performances as astonishing and Herculean as McCaslin's-and even better, he always uses his prodigious energy in the service of a greater musical purpose." - Chicago Reader

"It was radical. With fire-breathing fists, (McCaslin) deployed his ordinance to the ground..." - Boston Globe
Acclaimed saxophonist Donny McCaslin takes a bold leap forward with his tenth album as a leader, Casting for Gravity. McCaslin's gargantuan tenor sound finds an ideal setting to rampage through in the ferocious grooves and electronic textures of keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre, and drummer Mark Guiliana. Couching his trademark gift for brawny melodies in lurching dub rhythms, swirling electronica-inspired atmospheres, and arena-rock power, McCaslin has crafted a game-changer of an album, fusing a wealth of forward-looking influences into one wholly new modern jazz sound.

Casting for Gravity follows on the heels of 2011's highly acclaimed Perpetual Motion, which found McCaslin experimenting for the first time with merging his hard-charging acoustic sound with more funk-inflected electrified elements. But where that album was a blistering electro-acoustic hybrid, Casting for Gravity soars past fusion into alchemy, forging a visionary voice from eclectic influences.

"I wanted to make a bigger record with more sonic layers," McCaslin explains. "I wanted to go a lot deeper into the electronic realm and push myself harder."

McCaslin's initial forays into plugged-in territory were a reflection of his upbringing in Santa Cruz, California, where he was weaned on the deep, deep grooves of Tower of Power and Headhunters bassist Paul Jackson. Those influences remain in the percolating rhythms of "Bend" or the enormous musculature of "Stadium Jazz," inevitable how deeply ingrained they are into McCaslin's approach. But he wasted little time casting back into the past for inspiration on this outing, looking instead to ground-breaking contemporary artists.

Chief among them is Aphex Twin, the pseudonym of highly influential British electronica musician Richard D. James. "Aphex Twin really affected the way I wrote for this album," McCaslin says. "I was attracted to the way he uses really simple melodic ideas with all the activity happening in the drum programming. He's got a palette of ambient sound, there's a textural backdrop, the melodic elements are sparse and the beat is really intense. I wanted to try to write some stuff coming from that feeling."

The album's completely through-composed title track bears out that influence strongly. McCaslin plays the tune's yearning, serpentine melody through its permutations, but the rhythm section constantly evolves and expands throughout the piece, with Lindner enveloping them in evocative sonic textures. "Love Song for an Echo" expands further on the concept, maintaining the notion of spare melodic material coupled with vigorous rhythmic activity, but embellishes that idea with rich harmonies and improvisational invention.

Another prime influence for McCaslin was the Scottish electronica duo Boards of Canada, whose song "Alpha and Omega" is here transformed into a mesmerizing excursion into lush sax echoes and ricocheting dub rhythms. "I love their ambient textures," McCaslin says of the duo. "The thing that frustrates me sometimes about electronica music is the lack of melodic and harmonic development. For me, the song has to be strong in and of itself, whether it's electronica or swing or whatever. So the challenge for me was to take that ambient vibe and rhythmic element, try to not overwrite, but to have the melodic and harmonic content provide enough meat to make it a strong tune."

The results are evident throughout Casting for Gravity, as the quartet swells into luxurious electronic environments, but navigates within that sonic sphere with lithe, incisive blowing. The cohesiveness of the band's sound is the result of an extensive touring schedule prior to recording, a rarity in the modern jazz landscape.

Both Lefebvre and Guiliana played on Perpetual Motion and continued to development that music live with McCaslin in the ensuing months. It was during those gigs that LeFebvre's strong dub influences emerged, a direction that resonated with McCaslin and that he strove to encourage through his writing for the band. "Santa Cruz, where I grew up, was a hotspot in terms of reggae," McCaslin says. "When I was a kid I got to see Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Mighty Diamonds, Black Uhuru - that music was popular in the culture there. So when Tim started pulling out the dub thing it reminded me of my love for that music."

That sound emerges in tunes like "Says Who," where McCaslin left the composition open enough that the dub elements emerge organically within a piece that also bears traces of American folk, elastic Weather Report-style fusion, and a crushing finale that suggests the experimental Swedish metal band Meshuggah. It also accents the slinky, Meshell Ndegecello-esque groove of "Losing Track of Daytime," which eventually opens up into an aspirational melody reminiscent of Aaron Copland.

Lindner and Guiliana are bandmates in the electro-groove trio Now vs. Now, which led McCaslin to the keyboardist/bandleader for a gig at the European Jazz Baltica festival. "Jason is an amazing writer and orchestrator and improviser," McCaslin raves, "but sonically he's so organic. I've loved Jason's writing for a long time, so I thought this was my opportunity to play with him more."

The wide-ranging palette that Lindner offer is one key to the album's sound, from the pounding piano rock of "Stadium Jazz" (named for a Guiliana joke aptly referring to the quartet's robust noise) to the glitchy stabs of "Tension," penned in a successful attempt to represent jagged emotion through music. It's a feeling that McCaslin is all too intimate with considering he now has two young children at home, though the more idyllic nature of family life is depicted in the album's joyous closer, "Henry," written for his infant son.

Saxophonist/composer David Binney contributed the blissful "Praia Grande," named for the Portuguese beach where it was composed. A longtime friend and collaborator, Binney has produced most of McCaslin's records and was more integral than ever before in this effort. "David was deeply involved in the whole record and had a huge impact on it," McCaslin says. "He pushed me to really go for it, to make a really landmark album."

The effort paid off, with an album that truly breaks new ground not just for McCaslin but for integrating modern musical genres seamlessly into envelope-pushing jazz. The saxophonist has long been one of the music's most striking voices, leading to long-running collaborations with innovators like Dave Douglas and Maria Schneider. His own solo work has been marked by a restless exploration that is only accelerated with this latest release.

Upcoming Donny McCaslin Appearances:
All dates to feature the Donny McCaslin Group unless otherwise noted.
Personnel for each date varies.
** Indicates performance(s) w/Maria Schneider Orchestra
** August 5 / Newport Jazz Festival / Newport, RI
August 6 / Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola / New York, NY w/Marshall Gilkes Group
August 12 / Litchfield Jazz Festival / Goshen, CT
August 17 / An Die Musik / Baltimore, MD w/Alan Blackman Group
September 1 / 2012 Fox Jazz Festival / Menasha, WI
September 2 & 3 / Detroit Jazz Fest / Detroit, MI
September 22 / Monterey Jazz Festival / Monterey, CA w/Antonio Sanchez
October 10 / Scullers Jazz Club / Boston, MA
October 12 & 13 / Upstairs Jazz Club / Montreal, Quebec, Saxophone Quartet w/Dave Liebman, David Binney & Samuel Blais
October 15-17 / (Venues TBA) / Quebec, Saxophone Quartet w/Dave Liebman, David Binney & Samuel Blais
October 18 & 19 / University of Alabama / Tuscaloosa, AL
October 23 / Jazz Standard / New York, NY w/Freddie Bryant Group
October 24 / Atlas / Washington, D.C. w/Alan Blackman Group
** October 30 & 31 / Dakota Bar and Grill / Minneapolis, MN
** November 1 & 2 / University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point / Stevens Point, WI
** November 3 / Lawrence University / Appleton, WI
November 15 / Garde Arts Center / New London, CT
November 16 / Firehouse 12 / New Haven, CT
** November 20-25 / Jazz Standard / New York, NY
December 1 / An die Musik / Baltimore, MD
December 4 & 5 / Jazz Standard / New York, NY
December 8 & 9 / Dazzle / Denver, CO
February 6 & 7, 2013 / Indiana University / Bloomington, IN
February 8 & 9, 2013 / The Green Mill / Chicago, IL
February 15 & 16, 2013 / Tallcorn Jazz Fest / Cedar Falls, IA
February 22 & 23, 2013 / Holland Performing Arts Center / Omaha, NE
March 2, 2013 / San Joaquin Valley Jazz Fest / Fresno, CA
March 4, 2013 / Kuumbwa Jazz Center / Santa Cruz, CA
** April 1-4, 2013 / University of North Florida / Jacksonville, FL

donnymccaslin.com

HOME - GIFT OF MUSIC

"Call me romantic, but I believe in the power of music and its ability to heal and uplift," proclaims Rio Sakairi, Director of Programming at The Jazz Gallery, an internationally recognized breeding ground for young musical talent in New York City. It is this sentiment that inspired her into action, when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011. Marking one of the worst natural disasters on record, the earthquake spawned devastating tsunamis and a subsequent nuclear crisis. The insurmountable destruction claimed tens of thousands of lives, and the world watched in horror. For Sakairi, it was more than an unfathomable tragedy; it literally hit home.

Born and raised in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki - just two hundred miles from the severely ravaged Sendai area - Sakairi was inspired immediately into action. She called upon an esteemed roster of friends and colleagues within the thriving jazz scene, and they came together to create a gift to those who suffered such incredible loss. HOME - Gift of Music is an eight-song manifesto of hope from some of today's most innovative musicians in jazz and beyond, including Gretchen Parlato, Doug Wamble, Becca Stevens, Alan Hampton, John Ellis and Claudia Acuña. Scheduled for release on September 11, 2012 on Sunnyside Records, the singer-songwriter leaning repertoire captures the huge emotive capacity of the artists, with an intimacy as personal as a love letter. The fullness of their hearts is evidenced by the immediacy with which they were able to unlock their overflowing expression of compassion, empathy and, ultimately, optimism.

Sakairi's reputation as a concert producer has placed her among the most influential figures in the jazz field. Her creative ideas, understanding of new trends, track record of discovering and nurturing new talent, and impeccable artistic standards have captured the attention of such seasoned experts as George Wein. Now stepping out as a record producer, Sakairi demonstrates her musical sensibilities and convictions as a philanthropist.

The musical and social camaraderie that Sakairi has so uniquely fostered over the last twelve years at The Jazz Gallery undoubtedly came into play during the recording. The artists donated their time and talents, penning personal songs specifically for this project. All proceeds from HOME - Gift of Music will go to Habitat for Humanity Japan, where volunteers are working tirelessly to rebuild homes for those affected. Studio time, engineering, artwork, graphic design, distribution, marketing and PR services were also generously donated.

"All of the songs were written with very short notice and there was no rehearsal," says Sakairi. "It's pretty magical the way everything came together. It was all done in just one or two takes."

Sakairi's mentoring skills proved instrumental, pushing artists not only beyond the jazz realm, but for some, out of their comfort zones; most notably with the contribution of the multi-reedist John Ellis, who makes his debut as a vocalist on the pensively assuring title track. "I just knew he could do it," says Sakairi, who has commissioned Ellis three times for The Jazz Gallery's notable commissioning program. "Every time I push him, he rises to the challenge, delivering results above and beyond my expectations. It turned out to be great, exactly as I thought it would."

Becca Stevens laces this track and others throughout the album with mesmerizing vocals, and also contributes two standout songs. Her Tillery bandmate Gretchen Parlato offers backing vocals on several tracks as well, and also sings two gorgeous duets with bassist/guitarist Alan Hampton and trumpeter Leron Thomas. Both Hampton and Thomas also shine as vocalists away from their respective instruments. Guitarist Doug Wamble's soulful, hymn-like anthem, "Fear Not the Fall" anchors the overall emotionalism of the album, while singer Sachal Vasandani's album closer, "Doves" stirs up hope for what is to come. The album also boasts a stellar band, including the pianist Taylor Eigsti, the saxophonist Dayna Stephens, the guitarist Adam Rogers, the bassist Ben Williams, and the drummer Johnathan Blake, among others.

Vocalist Claudia Acuña contributes the album's only cover, a rousing rendition of "The Music Is The Magic", written by the incomparable singer/songwriter Abbey Lincoln. The song's lyrics, which embody Sakairi's notions about the power of music, are a perfect fit.

"The music flowed," says Sakairi. "Everything was easy. It felt good to be in the studio, and we were all happy to be there. There was lots of excitement and laughter and good will. Everyone brought their A game and it was so amazing to work with them. I don't know how they do it."

In the age of the five-minute attention span, and in a world with no shortage of catastrophes, Sakairi is working hard to remind everyone that, although the tragedy in Japan may not make the front page today, people are still hurting and the road to recovery is long and difficult. HOME - Gift of Music is a testament to the enduring spirit of the people of her native homeland, and to the ability of music to leave an ineradicable impact. "Action is how we show that we love and we care," says Sakairi. "Action is the only way to combat helplessness. I took on this task because this is my home."

TRACK LISTING/PERSONNEL:
1. Gambare Nippon (0:24)
2. If It Was (2:50) By Alan Hampton
3. Coming Home (2:16) By Becca Stevens
4. Home (3:15) By John Ellis
5. The Music Is The Magic (4:02) By Abbey Lincoln
6. Tillery (5:34) By Becca Stevens
7. Fear Not The Fall (6:23) By Doug Wamble
8. Leave Rebirth (4:44) By Leron Thomas
9. Doves (7:38) By Sachal Vasandani

Claudia Acuña - vocals (track 5)
John Ellis - vocals (track 4)
Alan Hampton - vocals & guitar (track 2)
Gretchen Parlato - vocals & percussion (tracks 2, 6, 8, 9)
Becca Stevens - vocals & guitars (tracks 3, 4, 6, 9)
Leron Thomas - vocals (track 8)
Sachal Vasandani - vocals (track 9)
Doug Wamble - vocals & guitar (track 7)
Dayna Stephens - tenor saxophone (track 2)
Taylor Eigsti - piano (tracks 2, 8, 9)
Adam Rogers - guitars (tracks 5, 8, 9)
Ryan Scott - guitars (track 4)
Danton Boller - bass (track 4)
Chris Tordini - bass & vocals (track 6)
Ben Williams - bass (tracks 5, 8, 9)
Johnathan Blake - drums (tracks 5, 8, 9)
Bill Campbell - drums (track 4)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

MELODY GARDOT ANNOUNCES U.S. TOUR DATES

Acclaimed singer Melody Gardot will start a US concert tour this Fall beginning September 20th in San Francisco, it was confirmed today by her label, Verve Records and Beaver Productions, her national tour promoter. Her newly released third album The Absence debuted at No. 3 in France, No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz Charts as well as No. 1 on iTunes Jazz Charts around the globe. The album also reached Top 10 in several countries including Germany and Japan. The Grammy nominated Philadelphia native will also perform at the famed Monterey Jazz Festival and appear in concert in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, NYC and Philadelphia. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale on August 3rd.

Gardot who has just completed a highly successful European tour also performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival to rave reviews including the Montreal Gazette which described her show as "a spellbinding festival set for a bonafide star...From the moment she walked on stage...Gardot absolutely radiated in front of the rapturous crowd...She seemed to have every single listener under her spell... She sounded every bit the star." Jazz Times concurred by stating, "Gardot and band guided an adoring crowd on a haunting musical journey through swamp and samba, part funk and fado, with stops at blues and bossa nova."

"The Absence" has been receiving glowing reviews as well: "Gardot's melodies recall the golden age of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald." – People Magazine. 

"Spellbinding."...'The Absence' is an album of seductive, mysterious atmospheres conjured by a pop-jazz singer whose audacity, raw talent and intense feeling recall the young Rickie Lee Jones, even though the two have little in common beyond a fierce individuality." – Stephen Holden, New York Times.

"On tunes that traverse styles from samba to bluesy pop, Gardot wields her power with a light, sure hand... She could teach other singers volumes about restraint." ***1/2 stars – Elysa Gardner, USA Today.

The Absence was inspired by the culture that the singer-songwriter soaked up during travels to Portugal, Morocco, Argentina and Brazil. The songs remind her listeners that while often compared to such musical icons as Nina Simone, Judy Garland, Miles Davis, Edith Piaf, Astrud Gilberto, Stan Getz and others, Melody Gardot is a unique talent, a beautiful voice and a well earned reputation as one of the great live performers touring today.

Melody Gardot US Tour Dates:
Sept 20San Francisco, CA – Herbst TheatreSept 21Monterey, CA – Monterey Jazz FestivalSept 22Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum TheatreSept 25Chicago, ILPark WestSept 27Boston, MA – Berklee Performance CentreSept 28New York, NY – Town HallSept 29Philadelphia, PA – Merriam Theatre
For more information, please contact:
Liz Rosenberg / Karen MossLiz Rosenberg Media

~ Verve Records

NEW RELEASES - SNOWBOY PRESENTS NEW VINTAGE, PRIVATE WAX, LOS TRANSATLANTICOS



SNOWBOY PRESENTS NEW VINTAGE (VARIOUS ARTISTS)

Snowboy is not only a Latin Percussionist, Band Leader, Recording Artist and a DJ of different permutations and era's of Jazz, Latin, Funk and Soul, but also a curator at the 'Vintage' festival in England. As all the bands on here are current, you may be surprised to see Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers 'Teddy Boy Rock And Roll' are also included. They've recently celebrated 40 years together and Snowboy wanted to acknowledge that achievement. They're still out there doing it too, and that makes them current.  Whether you're keen on the term 'Vintage' or not (and some of the artists here are not comfortable with that term), a definition in the Collins Dictionary is “Representative of the best and most typical”. There you have it. You're in for a treat. ~ BBEMusic

PRIVATE WAX (VARIOUS ARTISTS)

Zafsmusic.com continues to bring you the rarest disco & boogie bangers with his new compilation titled Private Wars. 16 scintillating excursions into the deep disco & boogie world of privately pressed & produced gems. Zaf Zafsmusic is a disco weasel of the highest order. He has, by his own admission, got it bad--losing sleep and suffering physical maladies from the want of certain must-have pieces of stamped vinyl. Fortunately, he also has excellent taste and a lengthy history of wheeling and dealing with other similarly afflicted individuals, a history that has allowed him to sift the wheat from the crap, err, chaff, as it were. Taken as a whole, this compilation is perfect party material, filled with feel-good tunes that take things back to that simple love of music that enticed us all in the first place. Zaf deserves our thanks for making his private wax public. ~ BBEMusic

LOS TRANSATLANTICOS - FIRST TRIP

Fusing Latin American sounds with European electronic beats can often produce a bland and rudderless dross destined for derivative lounge compilations and deliriously dull playlists at pretentious after work cocktail bars. Not so with the aptly named First Trip, the superb sophomore effort from the equally aptly named “Los Transatlanticos”. The story of Los Transatlanticos begins in 1996 when the Croatian Born and Berlin Resident Dean Bagar aka Tricky D went on a trip to Bogotá, Colombia, where he met Pablo Gaviria and immediately bonded over a common love for Caribbean music. Before long the synergy between both became such that they decided to form “Los Transatlanticos”, named in reference to both their musical approach and their forced l! ong distance artistic relationship, and formed of mainly Colombian musicians and vocalists. The outcome of the first meeting of Los Transatlanticos is 1st Trip, a musical fusion of the Caribbean and the European which owes more to Manu Chao’s rebel nonconformist spirit than Thievery Corporation’s slick aesthetical perfectionism - to the benefit of the listener and live audience both - made its live debut at the Berlin Worldtronic Festival in December 2011 to rapturous reception, and will surely herald in a very eventful year ahead for these Transatlantic music friends. It’s time to jam. ~ BBEMusic

MELBA MOORE REISSUES...

MELBA MOORE - MELBA

Soaring soul from Melba Moore – a singer who really came into her own with this sweet 70s album! Melba always had a great voice, right from the start – but here, she's working with arrangements and production by Van McCoy – updating her sound with a bit of a clubby groove, in a way that helps Moore reach even greater heights than usual – and cross over to a big audience with ears for the growing disco sounds of the time! McCoy really knows how to pitch things right – and overall, the album's got a much deeper feel than some of his own disco work of the time – thanks, no doubt, to Melba's rich vocal approach. Titles include "So Many Mountains", "Good Love Makes Everything Alright", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "The Greatest Feeling", "Mighty Clouds Of Joy", and "Ain't No Love Lost". ~ Dusty Groove

MELBA MOORE - A PORTRAIT OF MELBA

The vocals of Melba Moore, and some great Philly soul rhythms – put together with tight arrangements from McFadden & Whitehead, who give Moore a similar approach to some of the best Philadelphia International records of the time! There's a really nice sense of balance to the record – some mellower moments mixed in with the groovers, and a few stepping midtempo numbers that are especially nice – and which seem to unlock a depth and maturity in Melba's vocals we can really appreciate. Titles include "Living Freee", "You Are My River". "Standing Right Here", "Just Another Link", "Is This The End", "Promised Land" and "I Don't Know No One Else To Turn To". CD features 2 bonus tracks – extended single versions of "Promised Land" and "Standing Right Here".
~ Dusty Groove

MELBA MOORE - DANCIN' WITH MELBA

An album of club tracks, as you might guess from the title, but every bit as strong as Melba More's other work from the late 70s! The album's got some top-shelf club help throughout – including production from Van McCoy and McFadden & Whitehead, the latter of whom also contributed a few key tracks – and the whole thing's also mixed by Richie Rivera with a soaring, spacious sound, and one that's never too cloyingly commercial. Melba's strong vocals are right at home in the setting, and even the longer tracks don't seem to dampen her enthusiasm at all. Titles include "Standing Right Here", "Free", "Play Boy Scout", "Promised Land", and "Make Me Believe In You". CD features a bonus 12" version of "This Is It". ~ Dusty Groove

NEW RELEASES - RODRIGUEZ, ORRIS EVANS, HIDEO SHIRAKI

RODRIGUEZ - SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

Amazing sounds from the legendary Rodriguez – the brilliant 70s singer who had a groove that was equal parts soul, funk, rock, and folk – and an overall approach that was pretty darn unique! Most numbers here have some acoustic guitar over slightly funky rhythms – perfectly scored to work with Rodriguez's raspy soul vocals, which have an undeniably heartfelt style – somewhere in a space between Terry Callier and early Jose Feliciano, but very much its own mode too! This CD features great gems from Rodriguez's years at Sussex Records – including three tracks not on the albums – "Can't Get Away", "Street Boy", and "I'll Slip Away" – plus other titles that include "Sugar Man", "Cause", "I Wonder", "Like Janis", "Jane S Piddy", "I Think Of You", "Inner City Blues", and "Sandrevan Lullaby Lifestyles". ~ Dusty Groove


ORRIN EVANS - FLIP THE SCRIPT

Exactly the kind of bold, powerful album that pianist Orrin Evans does so well – stretching out strongly, yet never going too far to swing – driving his trio here with a great deal of force, and definitely reminding us that the pianist is in the lead! Evans' touch on the keys is amazing – ringing out with clarity of vision right from the start – and although he gets very able support from Ben Wolfe on bass and Donald Edwards on drums, it's almost as of Orrin's ringing out all on his own, and drawing the rhythms along in the process! Titles include "When", "Big Small", "Clean House", "Flip The Script", and "Question". ~ Dusty Groove


HIDEO SHIRAKI - HIDEO SHIRAKI PLAYS BOSSA NOVA

Bossa jazz from 60s Japan – a set recorded right around the same time that Verve first started hitting bossa grooves in the US! The sound here is sharper than a Verve bossa album, though – with some of the same hardbop inflections you'd hear on other Hideo Shiraki albums from the time – thanks to flute and tenor from Sleepy Matsumoto, and trumpet from Hisaya Omata. The tenor and trumpet come together with almost a Blue Note-styled sort of sound – but the bossa vibe is still nicely maintained in some of the looser percussion touches in the rhythms – a great blend that makes the album a real standout in the Japanese jazz scene of the 60s! Titles include "Sayonara Blues", "Gypsy Blue", "Deux Step", "Groovy Samba", "Orfeo Negro", and "Tico Tico". ~ Dusty Groove

NEW RELEASES - HOT SAUCE FT. RHONDA WASHINGTON, PUCHO AND HIS LATIN SOUL BROTHERS, MANHATTAN SOUL

HOT SAUCE FEATURING RHONDA WASHINGTON - GOOD WOMAN TURNING BAD: THE COMPLETE VOLT RECORDINGS

A lost album from the legendary Stax Records – a full set of tracks from the deep soul group Hot Sauce – planned as a record of its own in the final years of the label, but never issued at the time! Hot Sauce were one of the funkiest groups on Stax in the early 70s – a wickedly badass group who sported great lead vocals from Rhonda Washington – a singer who really knew how to stay on the groove and send the whole thing home! The work on this set is a great evolution of the Stax groove – and shows where the label might have gone in terms of 70s funk, had they stayed the course – and although the album's long overdue to get released, we're plenty happy to finally have it out after all these years. Many tracks were issued over the years as singles, and the set also features a few tracks not intended for the album too – titles that include "Stop Dogging Me", "Funny", "Mama's Baby", "I'll Kill A Brick", "Good Woman Turning Bad", "I Can't Let You Go", "Echoes From The Past", and "I Can't Win For Losing". ~ Dusty Groove
  
PUCHO AND HIS LATIN SOUL BROTHERS - BIG STICK / DATELINE

Two rare gems from this legendary Latin group – both on CD for the first time ever! Big Stick is quite possibly the rarest album from Pucho & The Latin Soul brothers – and also one of the greatest, too – thanks to a wonderfully soulful vibe overall, and some wicked vocals from the great Jackie Soul! Arrangements are a bit bigger than some of their previous dates, but nicely offbeat too – put together by Bill Fisher, and featuring loads of great keyboards and organ from Neal Creque! The sound's got less horns than beofre, but the heavy percussion, keyboards, and vocals more than offset that loss – and make for one of the most unique Pucho albums ever! Titles include "Swamp People", "Left In the Cold", "Big Stick", "Cold Shoulder", and a very groovy version of "Sunny"! Dateline is a rare gem from Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers – and an album that has them really hitting strong on all instrumental fronts! The group sports wonderful piano and organ lines from Neal Creque – a player who helps Pucho hit a more expansive, jazzy vibe – mixed with horns from the always-great Pazant brothers – Eddie on saxes and Al on trumpet – plus some trombone from Barry Rogers too! These players all really help add some great jazzy inflections to the whole set – important, too, because the album's all instrumental – with no vocals to get in the way of the solos. Willie Bivens also plays vibes on the record – and titles include "Listen to Louie", "Dateline", "Yambo", "Bim", and "Ain't Nothin Can Happen". ~ Dusty Groove

MANHATTAN SOUL VOLUME 2 (VARIOUS ARTISTS)

Classy soul and killer grooves – a great helping of rare New York sides from the late 60s – all of which show a great evolution of the Uptown style from a few years before! Things are polished, but never too smooth or commercial at all – and instead, the music's got this quality of coming right from the heart of the music scene of the time – the cream of the crop, right from the top – and that includes singers, songwriters, and session help too! Vocals are mighty deep throughout – and the tracks all have a strong indie pedigree, as they're pulled from the labels Wand, Scepter, and Musicor – all imprints we always check out when digging for rare singles. As usual, Kent's gone way beyond expectations – not just with the track selection, but with full notes too – for a total of 24 tracks that include "Runaway Slave" by Joe Perkins, "That Girl" by Porgy & The Monarchs, "Kiss & Make Up" by The Inspirations, "I Don't Want Nobody To Lead Me On" by The Masqueraders, "Horsin Around" by Benny Gordon & The Soul Brothers, "Lonely Weatherman" by The Premiers, "A Man A Woman" by Chris Bartley, "I Just Gotta Have You" by Nella Dodds, "Knick Knack Patty Wack" by Lou Lawton, "No Jealous Lover" by Lois Lane, and "I'm Gonna Have A Party" by Ed Bruce. ~ Dusty Groove

JEANNE & THE DARLINGS / THE CHARMELS - WE'RE THE SOUL GIRLS: THE COMPLETE VOLT RECORDINGS

Two overlooked female soul groups from the legendary Stax Records – both brought to light on this excellent CD! Neither act ever issued a full album at the time – and instead, each cut a handful of singles, and some unreleased gems – which are all brought together here, in a package that's like finding a lost album from each group! Jeanne & The Darlings have a massively heavy sound – that great Memphis soul bottom that really makes the tunes hit hard – way harder than most other girl soul from up north, with that burning southern sound that made Stax/Volt legendary in the late 60s – a perfect fit for Jeanne's great lead vocals, which are plenty deep soul themselves. The package features their classic "Soul Girl", the unissued "I'm In Love With You" and "Changes" – and other single cuts that include "How Can You Mistreat The One You Love", "That Man Of Mine", "Hang Me Now", "I Like What You're Doing To Me", and "It's Unbelievable".

The Charmells are a group with a sweet sound up top, yet a way of turning over a tune that often makes for an undercurrent of funk – a quality that's had the group sampled more than a few times over the years! This mix of sweet and deep is incredibly captivating – and a quality that makes them one of the best Stax acts of the 60s – finally brought to full light here with tracks that include "Please Uncle Same", "Something Sweet About My Baby", "Loving Material", "As Long As I've Got You", "Sea Shell", and "Baby Come & Get It" – plus unreleased gems that include "Peace Maker", "Someone Made You For Me", "Baby Hurry", "Let's Exchange Hearts", and "I've Done It Again".
~ Dusty Groove

TRACEY WHITNEY - I AM SINGING...SONGS I LOVE

Featured This Week On The Jazz Network Worldwide Former Ray Charles “Raelette” Tracey Whitney With Her New CD, I Am Singing... Songs I Love.

Singer, songwriter, arranger, producer Tracey Whitney shares her stunning sophomore album I Am Singing...Songs I Love paying joyful homage to a diverse mix of musicians who have inspired her own singing and songwriting throughout her career.

I Am Singing... Songs I Love, features the Los Angeles, Albuquerque-based singer Tracey Whitney’s stirring renditions of classic yet lesser-covered songs by artists like Stevie Wonder, Michael Franks, and Antonio Carlos Jobim and is rounded out by three original tracks. A beautifully moving follow-up to 2007’s much-acclaimed Love...A Fable in 9 Acts that served up more of the silky Jazz-Soul fusion that became the trademark for this former child-singing sensation and backup vocalist for the legendary Ray Charles.

"I was introduced to Tracey by a mutual friend, renowned songwriter Tony Haynes who invited Tracey to join The Jazz Network Worldwide to share her special style of musical heart with all of us, I'm so glad she did! Her new CD is full of all the songs we love to sing along with and rock to, its most enjoyable" says Jaijai Jackson, creator of The Jazz Network Worldwide.

Hailing from Los Angeles, Tracey Whitney’s musical history stretches all the way back to age 11, where as part of The Whitney Family (a singing ensemble that included her mother and seven brothers and sisters) she debuted at the famed Coconut Grove. While Whitney’s extraordinary career has played a key role in shaping the smooth sound heard throughout I Am Singing... Songs I Love, her pop instincts, soulful sensibility, and irresistibly natural ease behind the microphone are all essential to the album.

Whether re-imagining Garth Brooks’ Beatles-esque country pastiche "Wrapped Up In You" as a soaring, scat-laced celebration of love or giving a sweet nod to the Jackson 5 by joining her brother (and fellow former Whitney Family singer) Glynn Whitney on an update of Michael Jackson’s jazzy "I Can’t Help It", Tracey pairs her dynamic vocals with refined arrangements to a glorious effect. On her original numbers, Whitney introduces innovative elements that let her own singular style shine through: "Heartbreak 2011", for instance, combines a quietly powerful beat and aching lyrics (“I lost my chance at heaven”) with a heart rending spoken-word intro and outro.

No matter if she’s delivering an original song or a cover, Tracey infuses her songs with a slick sophistication that’s uncommon in today’s musical landscape. “It’s lovely if younger people enjoy my music, but I’m really singing for adults, and telling real stories about real situations,” says Whitney. “What I hope is for people to hear my songs and connect with them on a very emotional level—and ultimately get a sense of calm and joy from that.”

“Tracey!!!! Played 'Where Is The Love' last night.....the response was incredible!!!! Get your Grammy speech ready!!!!” - Ywain Fields, WVON 1690 AM The Talk of Chicago

“What A Voice, What A Lady!” ~ Solar Radio, Soul Discovery with Mick O’Donnell, United Kingdom

Released on the BabyDoll Entertainment label, "I Am Singing... Songs I Love" was co-produced by Captain February Productions’ multi-instrumentalist Herman “Hollywood” Dawkins, and also features sister Cozette Whitney on vocals, and Tim Anderson on saxophone.

For more information go to: The Official Webstie of Tracey Whitney.
Visit THE JAZZ NETWORK WORLDWIDE "A GREAT PLACE TO HANG" at: http://www.thejazznetworkworldwide.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

HELP SUPPORT URBAN-JAZZ VIOLINIST DANIEL D'S NEW ALBUM PROJECT!

Talent is a gift, and Daniel D. discovered his early in life. Since he first drew a bow across the strings of a violin at 12 years old. In 2010 he produced his second studio Album Serenade following his first release, Play For Me in 2009. An Apollo Theater Winner, Charlotte Music Award Recipient, and a highlighted performer on B.E.T. 106 & Park, he was an opening Artist for the 2008 President Barack Obama's Presidential Campaign, the Essence Magazine Susan Taylor’s Celebration - hosted by Oprah Winfrey, and at Jesse Jackson’s Birthday Event in the presence of notables such as, T.V. host Larry King, and the late Michael Jackson. Raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Davis graduated from that city’s esteemed School of the Arts in 2007, immediately setting off on a nationwide tour with T-Bone Ministries. Davis’ faith lies at the core of his music. A seasoned entertainer at just 23 years old, Davis is equally comfortable performing for an audience of 50,000 at the University of South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium as he is playing at his family’s church on Sunday. He was awarded a Summer Scholarship at the New York’s Juilliard School of Music, won the U.S. Air Force’s Wide Talent Search competition, and his fiddle-laden remix of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech has contributed to regular invitations to perform throughout the country at special events.

At home in Charleston, He’s been a featured artist at the MOJA Arts and Spoleto festivals. He teaches students weekly and periodically receive requests for string projects. Despite his successes, Davis remains a humble young man. This trait he hopes to pass on to his violin students. Daniel is the first to tell you that the pure joy of playing music far surpasses prestige or recognition. “Every opportunity to play offers new enlightenment and a chance to learn,” says Davis. “I love performing and I love playing — period.

Daniel D. is currently working on a new album that he is planning to release this fall. With your help, he can. The project is going to be a blend of Urban Jazz, R&B, and inspirational with original music as well as some well known covers that will honor great musicians like Stevie Wonder, Grover Washington and the late Michael Jackson. The funds will also be used to have a producer recreate and to license cover songs. Most of the project will be completed in the upcoming weeks, but getting it to you the listeners is where he needs your help. He's seeking radio airplay for the album and forming a tour to meet his followers and fans face to face! He also want to be able to perform at elementary and middle schools (most of which do not have big budgets).

Instrumental music (jazz, classical, etc) is a shrinking genre, but Daniel D. thinks it takes the right individuals to give a new face to the music and show the next generation that playing the violin or any other instrument is just as amazing as singing or rapping. His goal is to continue spreading this form of talent to the masses. How can you help? Go to kickstarter.com and find out.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/danield/urban-jazz-violinist-daniel-ds-new-album-project

Kick starter is a site that allows you to donate to different ideas and projects and in Daniel D.'s case you can contribute to the final processes of his album, its promotion, and tour. Depending upon how much you donate or pledge you get a gift in return.

Websites

BOBBY MARIN PRESENTS NEW YORK SALSA

The Mambo Music label was created with the intention of releasing classic Mambo/Salsa recordings from the past. Many of these recordings have never been released. Some are from little known labels. Some are from 'live' performances. In any case, if you love Afro-Cuban music you are sure to enjoy these treasured tracks.

Mambo Music is run by Mr. Bobby Marin, who has, since the mid-sixties, been an active part of the Mambo/Salsa scene. Originally, along with Louie Ramirez, they were pioneers during the Latin Boogaloo era. They composed and arranged music for some of the big names in Latin music. Eventually Bobby sang some of his compositions as well. Along with his vocal group, The Latin Chords, he is featured in albums by Ali Baba, Louie Ramirez, Kako, Sonny Bravo, The Latin Blues Band, Willie Rosario, Tito Puente and others. He created his own record labels in the process including, Salsa Records, El Sonido, Mambo City, Latin Cool and other smaller labels. He worked as label manager for United Artists Latino, Orfeon, Ethnic Tapes (Tico Records), TR Records (Tito Rodriguez).

He has produced independently for Fania Records, Musicor Records, CBS/Columbia, among others. Along with brother, producer Richard Marin, they recorded albums for Mercury Records, RCA, and Decca Records. He has co-produced with Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Alegre All-Stars with Al Santiago and Joe Cuba. He produced Ismael Quintana, Jimmy Sabater, Orq. Revolucion ’70, Joe Bataan, Chucho Avellanet, Nelson Ned, Los Hispanos, Rosita Rodriguez, Charanga America, Willie Torres, Charlie Palmieri, Mike Guagenti, Chuito, Milton Zapata, Ralphie & The Latin Lovers, Dominica y su Conjunto, Azuquita, Hector Rivera, Ricardo Marrero and many, many other recording artists.

 In addition to running Mambo Music Records in Miami, Bobby is a consultant for Fania/Codigo Records. ~ cdbaby.com

Monday, July 23, 2012

NEW RELEASES - BENNY SPELLMAN, JOEY GILMORE, OTIS CLAY

BENNY SPELLMAN - FORTUNE TELLER: A SINGLES COLLECTION 1960 - 1967

Massive sounds from Benny Spellman – one of the greatest singers on the New Orleans scene of the 60s – and one of the most unique, too! Benny's often got a groove that's different than some of the more R&B-inflected sounds of his contemporaries – sometimes sophisticated enough to almost suggest a jazz approach, sometimes this sinister snakey style that comes across with a moody edge we really love! And although Benny's work has been been brought together over the years, this may well be the best compilation we've ever seen of his music from the 60s – a set of 30 great tracks pulled from his singles for the Minit and Alon labels, with a few unreleased numbers too – often with some key studio help from Allen Toussaint. Titles include "10 4 Calling All Cars", "Life Is Too Short", "I Didn't Know", "Fortune Teller", "Lipstick Traces", "Sinner Girl", "If You Love Her", "Stickin Whicha Baby", "Talk About Love", "You Got To Get It", "No Don't Stop", "The Word Game", "Every Now & Then", and "I'm In Love". ~ Dusty Groove

JOEY GILMORE - JOEY GILMORE

An overlooked gem from the glory days of the TK soul empire – a mix of sweet soul steppers and more upbeat groovers – all set to tight arrangements from Snoopy Dean! There's a great Miami groove to most numbers – especially that modern soul style that started coming in during the Lew Kirton generation – almost more of a Philly sense of sophistication at times, which comes through especially well on the midtempo numbers! Joey's vocals have a nice sort of rasp to them – a bit less polished than the arrangements, which makes for a nice sense of balance – and titles incude "Let's Boogie On Down", "Get All You Want", "Give Me Your Love", "Rhythm In My Bone", "It's Here", and "Funny Feeling". ~ Dusty Groove

OTIS CLAY - I CAN'T TAKE IT

A great mix of modes – and a set that represents a real turning point in the career of Otis Clay! The rougher edges of Clay's Chicago soul are warmed up here substantially by producer Willie Mitchell – bubbling up some Memphis soul for Otis, in a style that's similar to some of his backings for other singers on the Hi Records label – in a style that makes for a great step forward from Clay's singles of the 60s! The shift is a big one – the sort that helped make Otis one of the standout singers of his generation – really knocking it out of the park on tracks that include "House Ain't A Home", "Slow & Easy", "Born To Be With You", "Home Is Where The Heart Is", "Pussy Footing Around", and "Too Much Mystery". ~ Dusty Groove

NEW RELEASES - JOEY NEGRO & THE SUNBURST BAND, GETATCHEW MEKURIA & THE EX, AKIRA SAKATA & CHIKAMOCHIRA

JOEY NEGRO & THE SUNBURST BAND - SECRET LIFE OF US

Nothing secret about The Sunburst Band – they're a group we've loved for years – and one that we love to rave about on these pages! This album's a tremendous effort – one that proves that our faith in the group has never let us down – and that they're one of the few acts that keep on burning with a serious fire and never-ending sense of soul! Joey Negro keeps things in a classic dancefloor mode throughout – lots of warm 70s club elements and funky soul undercurrents – all handled with just the right sort of vintage instrumentation and jazzy inflections that make these guys equally-trusted contemporaries of Incognito – yet even more disco-oriented too. And this time around, there's some great vocalists on board to really help keep the proceedings at a partyful level – Angela Johnson, Noelle Scaggs, Diane Charlemagne, Pete Simpson, Donna Gardier, and others – all singers who help spice things up between instrumental grooves. Titles include "My Way", "In The Thick Of It", "Jazz The DMX", "Caught In The Moment", "Educated Funk", "Trust Me", "Love One Another", "Easy Come Easy Go", "The Secret Life Of Us", and "Why Wait For Tomorrow".~ Dusty Groove

GETATCHEW MEKURIA & THE EX - Y'ANBESSAW  TEZETA 

A brilliant meeting of talents – legendary Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria, and the ever-amazing Ex – paired together in a set of work that's even better than their previous collaboration! This time around, it The Ex feel even more like an Ethio-inspired group – often serving up spare but complicated rhythm patterns that are a perfect fit for Mekuria's tenor – letting him really stretch out in the lead, and direct most of the energy of the music with a tone and sense of timing that are soulful in ways that go beyond expectations! Titles include "Aha Gedawo", "Ambassel", "Tezeta", "Bati", "Ene Eskemot Derese", and "Zerafewa/Eregedawo" – and package also features a full bonus CD, with live material by The Ex with Mekuria and the ICP Orchestra! ~ Dusty Groove

AKIRA SAKATA & CHIKAMOCHIRA - CHIKAMOCHIRA SORA WO TOBU

Bold sounds from reedman Akira Sakata – easily one of the most powerful saxophonists on the planet at the moment! The set features Akira stretching out in a series of long improvisations – with a shifting lineup that includes Jim O'Rourke on guitar, Yosuke Yamashita on piano, Darin Gray on bass, and Chris Corsano on drums – used in different combinations on the album's five extended tracks! Titles include "Five Elephants In A Beetle", "After 40 Years", "Flying Chikamorachi", "Kaguya Hime Standing On Her Head", and "Arekore Shitsaki". ~ Dusty Groove

NEW RELEASES - HOZAN YAMAMOTO, BAMALOVESOUL PRESENTS ON DECK, WILL DOWNING

HOZAN YAMAMOTO - STANDARD BOSSA: ORIENTAL BOSSA SOUNDS - A UNION OF KOTO, SHAKUHACHI & BIG BAND

Incredible work from the Japanese scene of the end of the 60s – a record that mixes together traditional instrumentation, bossa rhythms, and groovier jazz touches – all in a sublime blend that would have been a feather in the cap of A&M or Verve Records at the time! The work here is really unique – bits of koto and shakuhachi amidst the fuller, soaring backings of the New Herd of Toshiyuki Miyama – who themselves are supported by some extra Latin percussion! The mix of modes is wonderful – a strong bossa undercurrent that keeps the whole thing gliding along nicely – thanks in part also to a great array of tunes from Brazil, Europe, and the US. Titles include "Constant Rain", "Mas Que Nada", "Sunny", "Il Bacio", "Un Homme Et Une Femme", "Vivre Pour Vivre", and "Agua De Beber". ~ Dusty Groove

BAMALOVESOUL PRESENTS ON DECK (VARIOUS ARTISTS) 

A wonderful compilation put together by BamaLoveSoul – who are among the greatest champions of the best, deepest soul in the contemporary landscape! This diverse set is 10 strong with excellent underground soul, laidback instrumentals and otherwise solid sounds – all of which we're hearing for the first time – and we'd like to thank our friends down in 'Bama for that! On Deck has a global reach and a great ear for timeless, genuinely soulful music – whether it's done with subtle electronics, acoustic instrumentation or a bit of both. It's all good – which seems to be real impetus for inclusion here – that, and everyone on it deserves to bust out to a wider audience. Let's help make that happen! Includes "Lost In Memory" by Soia, "Fourteen" by Ta-Ku, "Underestimated" by Diggs Duke and ProbCause, "When The Time Is Right" by Byron The Aquarius, "Get On Through" by Mr Bird feat Greg Blackman, "Better" by Nicholas Ryan Gant, "BrookLon (BK Meets UK)" by Ahmed Sirour, "Be Felt" by Xolisa, "Run The Fantastic Race" by Tall Black Guy and "End Of The Universe" by Freddie Joachim. ~ Dusty Groove

WILL DOWNING - TODAY

The warm soul sound of today – courtesy of the legendary Will Downing! The set's the second in Downing's trilogy of soulful expression EPs, and it's got a wicked sound that's even better than the Yesterday volume – all original tunes by Will, co-written with Chris "Big Dog" Davis, who provides some great production on the set – the kind of lush but tight groove that always works perfectly with Will's vocals – mellow, but never too much so – and always with this gentle rhythm that glides along wonderfully with the vocals! Downing's never sounded better, and our hat's off to him for putting out such great music on his own label. Titles include "One Step Closer", "Sexy", "Like Last Night", and "The Blessing". (Tracks on CD pressed out of sequence.) ~ Dusty Groove

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