Friday, September 28, 2012


Trumpet virtuoso Allen Vizzutti has enjoyed a prolific career as performer and educator in both the jazz and classical fields since his early days with Woody Herman's big band and his notable four-year tenure with Chick Corea. The release of Vizzutti's superb new CD Ritzville, on October 16, is an especially welcome event because the in-demand trumpeter/composer has recorded all too infrequently as a leader. Ritzville brings the focus back to his primary passion of "performing music I love with my jazz group."

Contributions from Vizzutti's marquee-name friends Stanley Clarke and Chick Corea are featured on the boppish "Ticklish" and the up-tempo ballad "Amara" respectively, while the rest of the band includes old friends (the guitarist Mike Miller) and new (Portland-based pianist Darrell Grant) performing an array of standout Vizzutti originals, most of them written specifically for the Ritzville session. Pianist Laura Vizzutti, the trumpeter's wife, is showcased on her namesake "Laura's Blues," one of four selections on which an 11-piece string section was added.

Recorded in Seattle, where Vizzutti has been based since 1990, Ritzville contains so many stylistic crossings, from groove-tight fusion updates to string orchestrations to acoustic ballads, the leader became concerned during the recording of it that the music was more varied than he had intended. Whether by serendipity or design, however, the songs fit together seamlessly, adding up to an invigorating statement by a multifaceted artist who is in command in all stylistic situations.

Author of the definitive trumpet method books that bear his name, Allen Vizzutti started on the horn with lessons from his father Lido, a self-taught trumpeter. As he was growing up in Missoula, Montana, young Allen played in school bands and, at 16, won a concerto competition that sent him to Interlochen, where he was awarded first chair in the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. He went on to study at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.

After a period of gaining bandstand experience ranging from Ice Follies shows to Bach chamber orchestras, Vizzutti had to choose between two tempting offers: lead trumpeter with Woody Herman and first chair trumpet with the San Antonio Symphony. He became a member of Herman's Thundering Herd.

"The big band experience, which so many young players now never get, is so valuable in so many ways, and not just musical," said Vizzutti. "We had people like Dizzy Gillespie and Tony Bennett and Marian McPartland joining us all the time. You got to see how great musicians handled themselves, handled rehearsals, bantered with the audience. You learned about timing, about stretching out musical moments to maximize their impact."

Vizzutti met Chick Corea during rehearsals for a piece the pianist wrote for Herman. Corea later invited Vizzutti to join him for a three-month tour with his 13-piece ensemble, featuring strings and horns. The trumpeter also played with Corea sextets featuring Joe Farrell, Dave Liebman, and Steve Kujala and is featured on three Corea albums: Secret Agent (1978), Tap Step (1980), and Touchstone (1982).

In 1978, Vizzutti moved to Los Angeles. He joined Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band, and played on more than 150 film and TV soundtracks as well as albums by Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and Prince. His own unique jazz-fusion band Red Metal made two recordings and performed regularly in L.A. and on tour over the next eight years. After his relocation to Seattle, he recorded several albums as a leader, including Trumpet Summit (1995) and Skyrocket (1996), both for Summit. It's to be hoped that Ritzville marks the beginning of a new period of recording activity for this charismatic and virtuosic artist.

"I'm very grateful for my musically rich life," says Vizzutti. "It's exciting and a lot of fun to continue to improve as a player and performer. Ritzville is a calling card for a fresh new musical chapter about to unfold."



Hammock House – Lower East Side is the result of four DJ/producers being allowed access to the original multitrack master tapes of some highly coveted vintage Fania tracks. The products are a Latin electronica rebirth of these classics in the form of “funky rhythms, cumbia grooves, sensuous electronic textures and remixed Héctor Lavoe vocal lines.” Toy Selectah, The Whiskey Barons, DJ Isa GT, and Twin Shadow have created memorable masterpieces from the timeless work of Fania greats Ray Barretto, Justo Betancourt, Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Rivera. Track listing: 1. Acid (Twin Shadow Remix); 2. Power (Whiskey Barons Heavy Funk Mix); 3. Catano (Whiskey Barons Cumbia Dub Mix); 4. Right On (Whiskey Barons Got Some Afro Mix); 5. Aguanile (Toy Selectah 2013 Cosmico Remix); and 6. Las Caras Lindas (Isa GT Remix). ~ Giant Step


Maestro takes us on a mighty hip trip here – running through a selection of rare grooves from Blue Note, and also throwing in a number of Capitol Records classics too! The vibe isn't just jazz – as the tunes include plenty of soul and funk too – and even a few of the cooler contemporary tracks from Blue Note in Europe – home to some wonderful recordings in recent years! As with others in this series, the 2-CD set is mixed – with a wonderful flow between the tracks – and the set's divided up into a "late nights" and "early mornings" session. Titles include "Goin Out Of My Head" by Nancy Wilson, "Woman Of The Ghetto (live)" by Marlena Shaw, "Kofi" by Donald Byrd, "Bambu" by Reuben Wilson, "Ces Petits Riens" by Stacey Kent, "Los Ojos Alegres" by Duke Pearson, "Apres Midi" by Fresu, "Tyra" by Booker Ervin, "Mission Impossible" by Billy May, "African Ascension part 1" by Horace Silver, "Thinking Of Baby" by Elmer Bernstein, and "Maybe It's Because I Love You Too Much" by Peggy Lee. ~ Dusty Groove

STEVE DAVIS - GETTIN' IT DONE   Steve Davis definitely gets it done with this sweet little set – just the kind of record that enforces all the love we've had for his talents over the years! Davis' sound on trombone is totally tops – tight, yet with a soulful flourish that really takes off on his solos – a sort of boldness that's more than enough to inspire the players in his group, as does his set of well-penned original compositions for the set! Davis never lets us down, and this album's the kind of soulful swinger that will have us checking him out for years to come – a set that features Josh Bruneau on trumpet, Mike DiRubbo on alto, Larry Willis on piano, Nat Reeves on bass, and Billy Williams on drums – and tunes that include "Getting It Done", "Steppin Easy", "Alike", "The Beacon", and "Wishes". ~ Dusty Groove

Thursday, September 27, 2012


An undisputed funk classic – even back in the days before anyone ever said the phrase "funk classic"! This album must have been deleted the day it came out – because even though it's attained legendary proportions with groovers worldwide, it's always been hard to find – even back in the 70s! But unlike so many other "rare-but-not great" funk albums, this one's a killer – with a hard funky wah wah sound that we'd rank up there with James Brown's best work on Polydor from the early 70s, and which should have made Joe a millionaire, not a lost legend of soul music.

The band is sharp as a knife – with hard drums, tight bass, and some simply amazing guitar riffing. But the best part is Joe – as his vocals are hard and emotional, with just the right touches of righteousness to carry off the album's political messages, but not too much as to spoil the party that the band's having in the background!

Every single track is a winner, and if we were ever to make a list of the top five funk albums to own, this one would be on it! Titles include "The Way They Do My Life", "I Got So Much Trouble On My Mind", "The Trouble With Trouble", "Give Me Back My Freedom", "Live Like Brothers", and "Find Yourself". CD features a HUGE amount of bonus tracks too – titles that include "Thanks Dad (parts 1 & 2)", "This Girl Of Mine", "I'm Gonna Get You", "No", "Get Down Baby (parts 1 & 2)", "I'm A Young Man", "How High", "Let Me Be What I Am", "You Know It's True", and a 1969 version of "So Much Trouble In My Mind".

:::: SOURCE: Dusty Groove ::::



Sublime 70s work from Darrow Fletcher – a singer we mostly know for his early soul singles in Chicago – but one who really hits his stride on these rare sessions from LA! The music was mostly recorded for Ray Charles' Crossover label – although a few singles also appeared on Atlantic too – and the work has Fletcher's wonderful sweet soul vocal approach coming into play with these warmly flowing grooves that are mighty nice – almost a west coast take on the style that Leroy Hutson was doing in Chicago on Curtom! In the setting, Fletcher's even more appealing than before – a mature singer with a hell of a balance between class and soul, poise and swing – more than enough to rival his hippest contemporaries. Production on most tracks was done by Joel Webster – who also recorded for Crossover – and titles include "The Rising Cost Of Love", "Honey Can I", "Try Something New", "Secret Weapon", "Let's Get Together", "It's No Mistake", "Election Day", "Improve", and "Wind Up Toys".


A full length debut knockout for The Congregation – who have more-or-less been serving as the live soul house band on the north side of Chicago in the months leading up to Right Now Everything – and deservedly so! The group might take the most cues from classic raw soul and live show R&B – but they've clearly also soaked up plenty of garagey rhythms, uptempo blues and rave-up gospel – and most importantly, they're somehow delivering their raucous stage intensity in the studio. Vocalist Gina Bloom has the grit and the genuinely soulful spirit of singers who have been at it for decades – but this is a fairly young group – which is important, because we're hoping they'll continue to slay us for many years to come! The excellent band includes Chuck Sansone on keys and percussion, Charlie Wayne on guitar, Joe DeBord on bass, Dan Wendt on drums, Brian Crane on trumpet, Nick Nottoli on trombone and Erik Eiseman on sax. Includes the title track, "When There's Fighting", "Real Thing", "Darlin'", "High Class", "I Know You Will", "You'll Always Be Alright With Me", "I Will Forget You" and more.


Rockin soul from the start of the 60s – a great batch of upbeat numbers that definitely show the rougher side of the Northern groove! Lots of these tracks sit perfectly in a space between early soul music and R&B – and strut along with the heavier grooves of the latter, yet soar with the bold vocals of the former – making for a mix of modes that's mighty nice! There's loads of rare singles here we might not have heard otherwise – and titles include "Somebody Else's Sweetheart" by The Wanderers, "Puddentane" by Lula Reed, "I'm Hurting" by Billy Gales, "You Crack Me Up" by Charlie Baker, "This Little Love Of Mine" by Buddy Ace, "The Snake" by Maximillian, "Boys Will Be Boys" by Joe Tex, "Wait" by Sidney Barnes, "You're A Little Too Late" by Danny Owens, "That's A Good Idea" by Grover Mitchell, and "That's Why I Cry" by Varetta Dillard.

:::: SOURCE: Dusty Groove ::::


Rare soul from Minneapolis – a surprisingly great source for grooves in the years before Prince and Morris Day! Turns out, the Twin Cities were already funky, way before the Purple One came into being – as you'll hear in this wealth of rare singles from the late 60s on up through the 70s – all of them mighty darn soulful, and most of them pretty dang funky as well! The wealth of work is really surprisingly – with strong echoes of styles going on in the Chicago and Detroit scenes at the time, but maybe even more surprising, given that Minneapolis/St Paul didn't have nearly the same amount of resources.

The package is easily one of the best ever done by the Secret Stash label – a set that really ups the level of their reissues – with a motherlode of killer cuts that include "Love Me Leave Me" by The Valdons, "Sweet Smell Of Perfume" by Maurice McKinnies & The Champions, "Work Your Flapper (part 1)" by Jackie Harris & The Champions, "She's A Whole Lot's A Woman" by Mojo & His Chi 4, "I Ain't Gonna Cheat On You No More" by Willie Walker, "Save Me" by Wanda Davis, "Saxophone Disco" by Morris Wilson, "Honey From The Bee" by Willie & The Bumblebees, "The Max" by Prophets Of Peace, "Get Up" by The Lewis Connection, and "Rusty McDusty" by Morris Wilson. (Includes album download.)

:::: SOURCE: Dusty Groove ::::



German grooves galore – a host of classic tracks from vocalist Hildegard Knef – a remixed with a 21st Century flavor! Think of this one as a German answer to the Verve Remixed series – as Hildegard's older lyrics are layered amidst some heavy beats, keys, and electronics – hardly the instrumentation used in the original recordings, but at times a surprisingly great setting for her voice. Given the slightly cold quality of Knef's singing, the mix with electronics really works well – and titles include "Ich Schreib Dir En Buch", "Das Jahr 2000", "Meine Lieder Sind Anders", "So Oder So Ist Das Leben", "Heute Morgen War Termin", and "Du Bist Das Salz In Der Suppe".


A sweet set of funky trio tracks from Jazz Acoustic Machine – and a record that doesn't always live up to their name, but only because it's got so many great keyboards in the mix! Rhythms are tight, and handled in an old school mix of acoustic bass and snapping drums – and the keyboards soar out over the top wonderfully – sometimes with slow-stepping funky lines that recall the glory days of CTI and Kudu Records – other times with a more freewheeling vibe that almost brings back the jazzier side of cosmic London from a few years ago! The group's a great one – exactly what's going right with the Japanese jazz scene in recent years – and titles include "New Step", "Back From The Dark Side", "Sing Without You", "Jazz Acoustic Machine", "Liquid Street", and "He Knows" – which features guest work from Terumasa Hino on trumpet.


A sweet 60s session from the team of Shirley Scott and Clark Terry – musicians who never played together regularly, but who really work wonders on this unique record! Shirley's got that perfect tone on Hammond she hit during her Impulse Records years – a groove that's leaner and cleaner than Prestige sessions of a few years before – and Terry's got that cool mix of muted sounds and soulful undercurrents that really shown during his work with Bob Brookmeyer – a surprisingly great mix here for Scott's organ lines, especially when mixed with the great grooves of the rhythm section! The set features Mickey Roker on drums, and either Bob Cranshaw or George Duvivier on bass – and titles include "Heat Wave", "Taj Mahal", "Clark Bars", "Up A Hair", "Soul Duo", and "Joonji".

:::: SOURCE: Dusty Groove ::::


On October 16, Purple Pyramid (an imprint of Cleopatra Records) will release The Fusion Syndicate, a collection of original rock-jazz fusion explorations performed by an eclectic group of the finest musicians working today.

The Fusion Syndicate features performances by members of the biggest names in fusion including Billy Cobham, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yellowjackets, and Spyro Gyra plus rock/prog players from Yes, Dream Theater, King Crimson, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Hawkwind and more.

The seven-track record provides nearly an hour of intricate and expansive demonstrations from all the collaborators. “Stone Cold Infusion” combines Steve Stevens’ effortless fretwork and Mel Collins’ soulful horns with Billy Cobham’s solid and propelling drums, while “Atom Smashing” highlights some fast fingerplay from Tony Kaye.

Billy Sherwood composed all the music for, assembled and produced The Fusion Syndicate. A multi-talented musician, he has played in Yes (and several of its reconfigurations), Toto, and others while as a producer, mixer and engineer, he’s contributed to recordings by Yes, Motorhead, Paul Rodgers and all-star tribute albums to artists such as Queen, AC/DC, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Sherwood also spearheaded The Prog Collective for Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra, which assembled the best players in prog for a collection of original works.

Said Sherwood, “When I was asked to write and produce a fusion record I jumped at the chance. I've always had a deep love of Jazz and Fusion music having grown up listening to Weather Report, Return To Forever, Mahavishnu among many others in the genre. The record has become a musical dream team, including some of the world’s most renowned players in the field. The music reflects a time when virtuosity was the standard and incredible musicianship was the order of the day. Each artist sharing their talent and skill, blending it all into a bigger musical picture, creating an amazing expression of unity and purpose.”

The Fusion Syndicate Track List and Players:
1. Random Acts Of Science - Rick Wakeman (Yes) • Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra) • Nik Turner (Hawkwind) • Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets / Alan Holdsworth)

2. Stone Cold Infusion - Steve Stevens • Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater / Liquid Tension Experiment) • Mel Collins (King Crimson) • Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) • Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra)

3. Molecular Breakdown - Jay Beckenstein (Spyro Gyra) • Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai) • Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) • David Sancious (The E Street Band)

4. Particle Accelerations - Larry Coryell • Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater / Black Country Communion) • Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea Elektric Band) • Chester Thompson (Genesis / Brand X)

5. At The Edge Of The Middle - Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs) • Jim Beard (Mahavishnu Orchestra) • Randy Brecker (Blood, Sweat & Tears) • Percy Jones (Soft Machine / Brand X)

6. Atom Smashing - John Etheridge (Soft Machine) • Tony Kaye (Yes) • Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa)

7. In The Spirit Of… - Steve Hillage (Gong) • Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech) • Theo Travis (Steven Wilson Band) • Justin Chancellor (Tool) • Asaf Sirkis (The Orient House Ensemble)

STREAMING MP3: "Stone Cold Fusion"

:::: SOURCE: ::::

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Midian never believed her mother. It's just what mom's do, she thought: tell their daughter they have the voice of an angel. On occasion, as a girl growing up outside the nation's capital, Midian would escape to her room and let her voice run free; she'd imagine she was Michael Jackson one day, Aretha Franklin the next. But it was just for fun; after all, she had convinced herself she wasn't a singer. So imagine her reaction then, when as a teenager in a recording studio she upstaged a professionally-trained friend, laying down vocals so refined it left her peer speechless. "I was like 'Holy shit!' I can do this!" the now 24-year-old recalls of the epiphany upon hearing her voice piping through the studio speakers. As it turns out, Midian was in fact a singer; she'd always been one. Now, only a few years later, and thanks to the success of her breakout single, "Bitter", a breathtaking display of vocal prowess and emotional maturity, she finds herself one of the most promising new voices in the music industry.

Midian's voice is massive -- the sort that swallows you whole upon impact. In it you can hear the soulful stylings of the late Etta James as well as Amy Winehouse and the outsize "wow factor" of contemporary artists like Christina Aguilera. It's a tool that's been refined. After discovering she had vocal chops, Midian pursued formal training. Soon however, the singer discovered the mechanistic approach of coaching was diminishing her vocal individuality. "I felt like I was going to lose the character of my voice," she says. "So I stopped taking voice lessons and I started recording." Over the next few years Midian became what she lovingly refers to as a "studio rat," recording hundreds of songs, all the while refining her style and technique. Soon she moved out to LA and began writing and recording her own numbers. But few knew of her palpable progress; it's how she wanted it. "I always kept this stuff to myself," she says of the recordings from this time period. Midian’s motives were simple: she’d seen far too many singers thrown into the mainstream machine at a young age, only to be tossed aside at a moment's notice. She had other plans. "I feel like I developed into a professional -- just not in the eye of the public," she explains. "Now I'm fully confident in my abilities to deliver the best."

Even as a fresh-faced 20-year-old, Midian was self-assured. When record labels came calling, their first instinct was to mold her not into the R&B-inspired, drop-everything-and-listen vocalist she'd always envisioned. But rather into the next mainstream pop star: Midian says she remembers being told she should "go more the Katy Perry direction" and that she'd be instantly signed if she'd "go more pop" and do a "Fergie type of thing. I always thought that's not who I am," she says. But now, with the buzz behind "Bitter" following its placement in VH1's Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, and the song's success on the iTunes R&B charts -- not to mention the massive triumph of similar-minded artists like Adele – the lane has been busted open for a no-holds-barred act like Midian. "I think music has evolved over the years; anything goes now,” she explains. “People just appreciate good music."

Still, Midian was humbled by the storm of positive reaction that accompanied "Bitter". "I didn't know how people would really respond to it," she admits. "We've had no label, no promo, no push whatsoever and we garnered over a quarter-of-a-million hits on YouTube in less than a month. To me that says more than any amount of money could buy. I'm so thankful that people appreciate good music still. Because I'm not Rihanna. And I'll never be Rihanna. And I've always been OK with that."

Front-and-center now for the singer is polishing up her live show -- something she's currently working on with a new band. She's also continuing to record tracks for what will become her debut full-length album. "I want to take my time with my work," she says. "That's something that's really important to me and something that I feel like we're lacking in 2012: the artist that really focuses on the integrity of the music and makes a cohesive project that makes sense."

For Midian, one thing is certain, though: she's a singer. And one whose future is just beginning to be written. "There's no denying who I am," she says. "It's totally encouraging."

Take a listen and enjoy here!


It’s a Good Day, A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee, featuring Stacy Sullivan announces a fall performance series at New York City’s iconic Metropolitan Room. Stacy Sullivan, winner of the Backstage Bistro Award and the MAC Award for Outstanding Female New York Debut, has appeared in venues across the country, from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York to the Ford Theatre in Hollywood. Ms. Sullivan notes, “We are thrilled to be appearing at the Metropolitan Room. Peggy Lee loved to perform late, so the Metropolitan Room’s 11:30pm showtime is perfect for us.”

The show dates are Oct. 17th 11:30 pm, Oct. 18th 11:30 pm, Nov. 10th 11:30 pm, Dec. 8th 11:30 pm, Jan. 28th 7:00 pm and Feb. 23rd, 7:00 pm.

It’s a Good Day, A Tribute to Peggy Lee is a journey of discovery…through the extraordinary musical legacy of Peggy Lee and the personal struggles of a woman whose voice captivated millions. The classic songs, intricate rhythms and exquisite arrangements that defined her career are elegantly portrayed in this loving homage. The show is accompanied by the seasoned jazz masters Jon Weber on piano and Steve Doyle on Bass.

Ms. Sullivan has recorded five albums for the LML Music label, including her latest, It’s a Good Day, featuring Jon Weber, Steve Doyle and Bucky Pizzarelli. Her new show, has been gaining critical acclaim as an interpretive exploration of the extraordinary music and personal struggles of a singer, composer, and actress whose remarkable career spanned over six decades, influencing jazz and popular-music culture worldwide.

For more information about the It’s A Good Day, A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee, visit or contact Emmett Murphy at: or call 212-365-4154 x 5. To book tickets, visit the Metropolitan Room website.


Grammy® Award and Tony Award-Winner Heather Headley releases her latest CD, Only One In The World. The CD, which bows today, features new songs penned by Headley, R&B hits, familiar favorites and a cut from the upcoming production of The Bodyguard: A New Musical in which Headley makes her London West End debut this fall in Whitney Houston's role, Rachel Marron. Only One In The World is released by in:ciite Media, distributed by EMI-CMG/EMI Distribution.

Here's what people are saying about Headley and Only One In The World:

"I met Heather Headley at an evening with David Foster, and the minute I heard her voice I fell in love with it! A rich, powerful voice, with an extended range and full of sentiment ...From that day we started working together, singing duets in several concerts. And I discovered in Heather, behind a great singer ... a great person! I hope this album touches everyone's heart. And, from the bottom of my heart, I wish her the best of luck!" - Andrea Bocelli

"My writing partner and I are honored that Heather chose the song to sing on her own CD, and she truly made it her own!! No easy task, but she did it with flying colors." - Allan Rich, writer of "Run To You"

Produced by Paul Mills and Keith Thomas, the 12-track CD includes Whitney Houston's famed song "Run To You" from The Bodyguard, featured in The Bodyguard: A New Musical, "River Deep, Mountain High" and "Superwoman." "Home," made famous in The Wiz, is a beautiful reflection of Headley's love for the Broadway stage. "A Little While," is inspired by Headley's admiration for her mother, and Headley's brother, Iric Headley Jr., co-wrote and produced the R&B track, "Hey Mama." "Because You Need Me" is performed and written with one of the stars of The Voice, Chris Mann.

Born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad and the daughter of a pastor, Headley started singing and playing piano in church at a young age. Since, her multi-faceted career has been a blessing. Headley won a Tony Award in 2000 for best actress in a musical for her role in Aida and originated the role of Nala in Broadway's The Lion King. In 2002, her debut album, This Is Who I Am, was nominated for two Grammy® Awards, and in 2010, she won a Grammy® in the best contemporary R&B Gospel album.

SOURCE in:ciite Media


'Downtown Rockers' Is The First New Material Released By Tom Tom Club In More Than 12 Years. Recorded After An Extensive US And European Tour, The 'Downtown Rockers' EP Also Features A Remix By Dance Floor Classic DJ Arthur Baker .

Downtown Rockers features Tom Tom Club's characteristic upbeat fusion of electro and funk. Chris Frantz explains, "We recorded the basic tracks soon after Tom Tom Club toured with the Psychedelic Furs in October of 2011 at our home studio. These tracks were built from improvised jam sessions with Bruce Martin on keyboards and Pablo Martin on guitar, Tina Weymouth on bass and Chris Frantz on drums. This is the same way we began "Remain In Light" with Talking Heads. This time our only instruction to the other players was to keep the parts simple with lots of space like Booker T. and the MGs would do."

This is the group's first collection of new material in more than a decade. Tom Tom Club are known for timeless hits such as "Wordy Rappinghood" and "Genius of Love," among many others, Tom Tom Club was formed by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, who were both founding members of the Talking Heads.

The new album, Downtown Rockers, features six new songs highlighting Tom Tom Club's energetic, effervescent, and upbeat fusion of, reggae, afrobeat, hip hop and funk on such tracks as "Downtown Rockers," "Won't Give You Up," "You Make Rock and Roll," "Kissin' Antonio" and "Sweets To The Sweet."

The lead single "Downtown Rockers" pays tribute to the many bands that created the downtown music scene in New York City in the 70's from The Velvet Underground to the Talking Heads. The song was mixed by Ed Stasium, who also recorded and mixed Talking Heads '77 and umpteen Ramones classics. Arthur Baker, who has worked with Tom Tom Club in the 80s, also produced a dance remix of "Downtown Rockers".

Tuesday, September 25, 2012



“…two drummers, a laptopper, Joe Acheson on bass and an impressive array of samplers, dials, cables, knobs, and levers, plus a violinist and cellist both poised in front of their music stands as if this was the Usher Hall. The resulting music is a beguiling, psychedelic, lush, sweeping and groovy hybrid of trip-hop swagger, discerning drum’n’bass, epic soundscapes, funky electronica, cosmic zouk, melancholy space synth, Ozric Tentacles-esque danceability, and impeccable nu-classical. But above all, Joe Acheson’s music is delightfully cinematic and makes out of the post-rock ideals the very music that they should spawn.” Ali Maloney, Skinny Magazine

Hidden Orchestra's second studio album, Archipelago, is due out on the 1st October on Tru Thoughts (CD & digital) and Denovali (2xLP). On Monday 10th September Tru Thoughts are releasing a AA digital single featuring two tracks from the album. Vorka features our long-time guest cellist Su-a Lee playing the musical saw atop a hip-hop breakbeat, while Spoken represents a slightly new direction in their music, and features some acrobatics on the trumpet from Phil Cardwell, who you may have seen play with them at shows this year. ~

Classic songs from Ennio Morricone – reworked in a lush orchestral format – and accompanied by great vocals from Romina Arena! Romina's a younger singer, but has the range that made Morricone's music with Edda Dell'Orso so wonderful back in the day – and unlike other re-recordings of Morricone work, which often focuses on longer symphonic passages, this album has a much stronger focus on the vocalist – and leans nicely towards themes which fit that approach the best. Titles include "What Can I Do", "Ti Ho Amato", "Return To Me", "Le Vent Et Le Cri", "E Un Attimo", "Requiem Of Love", "Il Tempo Sa", "Gioco D'Amore", "Saying Goodbye", and "Ritornerai Dolce Amore". ~ Dusty Groove


A quartet of modern jazz giants – coming together here in the largely unrehearsed space of a live setting – yet managing to create some amazing sounds in the process! There's a very loose, open vibe to the set – not exactly outside, but with the more spontaneous energy of a free jazz set – as each musician finds the right space to find each other, then steps up to swing a bit more in the space of the longer tunes! Mighty nice stuff – with a sound that's better than the hokey look of the cover – with Konitz on alto, Frisell on guitar, Peacock on bass, and Joey Baron on drums – on tracks that include "What Is This Thing Called Love", "I'll Remember April", "I Remember You", "Stella By Starlight", and "I Can't Get Started". ~ Dusty Groove


On Unfinished Business, veteran guitarist Dean Brown, whose scintillating six-string work can be heard on over 200 recordings, steps out with his fourth dynamic outing as a leader. Joining him on this eclectic offering, which ranges from hard-hitting funk to lovely ballads, soothing samba flavored grooves, Latin-tinged jams, greasy organ-fueled blues and cool jazz, are longstanding colleagues Marvin “Smitty” Smith on drums and Gerry Etkins on keyboards. Their intuitive sense of simpatico blends nicely on this highly interactive session with bassists Hadrien Feraud, Jimmy Earl, Schuyler Deale and Rene Camacho, Hammond B-3 organist Bobby Sparks, percussionist Joey DeLeon, trumpeter Lee Thornburg, vibraphonist Bernard Maseli and tenor saxophonists Doug Webb and Kirk Whalum. Santana drummer Dennis Chambers, who played on Brown’s powerhouse trio recording from 2009, appears on one track.

Brown stretches with heroic abandon on this collection of old and new tunes from his catalog, showing the remarkable versatility, ingenuity and go-for-it intensity that has marked his 30-year career as a guitarist-composer-arranger and educator. An in-demand figure on the global fusion and contemporary jazz scene, Brown has toured and recorded with such luminaries as Marcus Miller, The Brecker Brothers, Billy Cobham, David Sanborn, Bob James, George Duke, Roberta Flack, Lenny White, Joe Zawinul and Steve Smith’s Vital Information, but takes the greatest pleasure in his own personal projects. The aptly-titled Unfinished Business, which includes some previously unrecorded tunes originally written by the guitarist during the mid ‘80s, follows his acclaimed solo outings Here (2001), Groove Warrior (2004) and DBIII: Live at the Cotton Club Tokyo (2009), the latter a stripped-down power trio outing with bassist Will Lee and drummer Dennis Chambers.

"The title of this album is multi-faceted for me,” says Brown. “There’s the idea of being a musician in general is kind of a work in progress and tends to involve ‘unfinished business’ in terms of always paying dues, always learning and hopefully always growing as an artist. There is also the idea that there are tunes laying around that don’t make the CDs, for whatever reason. I’ve written way more music than I have records for, so there’s always more tunes. Some of these tunes on Unfinished Business are ones that didn’t make it on previous albums, so I decided to record them now. I’ve been playing them live and people have been telling me, ‘Man, you should put that tune on a record.’ So I finally got around to doing it here.”

Brown is particularly pleased with the nature of the recording during these Unfinished Business sessions. “All these tunes were recorded live in the studio,” he says, “so there’s a lot of interaction and not a lot of overdubs. I’m trying to protect that kind of stuff. I just like the integrity of the idea that all the vertical stuff happens at once. I love that live feeling.” That kind of immediacy is felt on all nine tracks from Unfinished Business, which stands as Brown’s most ambitious release to date.



An incredible legacy in soul music – the first five solo albums by Roberta Flack – all packaged together in one hip little set! Roberta is one of the most unique artists of her time – a soul singer who burst on the scene at the start of the 70s with righteous roots in jazz, yet a way of reaching out to a much wider audience without ever losing her groove – a balance that's heard perfectly in the records First Take, Quiet Fire, and Killing Me Softly – all of which are essential records that should be in just about any music collection – soul or not! Feel Like Makin Love and Blue Lights In The Basement have Flack hitting some slightly smoother sounds, yet still sounding tremendous – picking up some influences from Eugene McDaniels, who helps out a bit on these records. Mainstream soul has never sounded more righteous – and the five records work perfectly together in this set – all served up in tiny LP-styled sleeves, too.


A stone classic from Bobby Lyle – and a record that really has him stepping out strongly, both as a keyboardist and a singer! Bobby's strength at this point is undeniable – and he's got a perfect sense of balance that rivals contemporaries like Roy Ayers or Webster Lewis – both of whom work in a similarly jazzy groove! Lyle plays some great Fender Rhodes on the set – plus other more way-out keyboards too – and production is by the At-Home team, who really know how to bring in a strong sense of focus to the grooves, while still letting the best jazzy elements flourish. Titles include "Space Place", "Stop Running Away From Love", "Getting Into Love", "Dream Lady", "Stop Running Away From Love", and "For Love".


Will Downing, the next chapter – quite possibly the greatest entry in his trilogy of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow albums – and filled with fresh grooves that really let Will take off strongly! The vocals are sublime (could we expect anything less from Downing?) – and the rhythms have a lean, crispy, 21st Century soul vibe that turns out to be a perfect fit for Will's singing – one that's handled by the mature singer without any sense of cliche, and great care to keep things from ever getting too commercial or heavy handed. A brilliant third act from the master – with cuts that include "Here I Go", "Side To Side", "Only One", and "Falling".

:::: SOURCE: Dusty Groove ::::



Tia Fuller's always a player who really grabs our ears – and an artist who always manages to work with a surprising degree of depth, despite the sometimes sexy look of her album covers! Take this set – which has kind of a "smooth jazz" look on the front, but burns with intensity right from the start – a soaring, righteous style that's right up there with the most soulful indie jazz around – served up by Fuller on alto, soprano sax, and flute – in a hip combo that features Shamie Royston on Fender Rhodes, Mimi Jones on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums. The set boasts a bit of guest work – Terry Lyne Carrington on three tracks, John Patitucci on six, and Dianne Reeves on one – but the real star here is definitely Fuller – a wonderfully soulful talent, especially on the alto – and a heck of a great leader too. Titles include "Ralphie's Groove", "Body & Soul", "Lil Les", "Angelic Warrior", "Tailor Made", "Core Of Me", and "Simpli-City".


Angie Stone's first for Saguaro Road – one that she's calling a more personal project than some of her recent work – and sure enough, it's a good one! We actually dug Angie's couple of albums for the rebooted Stax label in the late 00s – but you know what, if Angie's happier with this one, we are, too. It's filled with solid songs, from easygoing modern soul ballads, to some classic dancefloor soul inspired gems, and beyond – and it's all done with Angie's true soul vocals out front. It’s well produced, but done with an eclectic, indie soul spirit that's indeed a bit less pop than some of her later recordings. A win! Includes "Do What You Gotta Do", "Backup Plan", "Proud Of Me", "First Time", "Guilty", "Alright", "Livin' It Up", "Right In Front Of Me", "Rich Girl", "Push 'N'Pull", "U Lit My Fire", "Sisters" and more.


Sweet 80s soul from Dionne Warwick – an album that features a fair bit of production work from Barry Gibb – and a sometime sound that definitely shows his presence! The style here is smoother than Dionne in earlier years – with a nice undercurrent of jazz in the instrumentation, one that helps keep things hipper than you might expect – and which avoids a lot of the cliches of early 80s pop soul that might muck things up. Gibb's touch helps things glide nicely at times – a bit of that soulful Bee Gees flourish – and tracks include "Heartbreaker", "It Makes No Difference", "Take The Short Way Home", "Just One More Night", "You Are My Love", and "Our Day Will Come".

:::: SOURCE: Dusty Groove ::::



Righteous jazz, with plenty of soul – a killer collection of the mid 70s work of Lonnie Liston Smith – all based around his legendary recordings for the Flying Dutchman label! Lonnie got his start on the hippest side of the jazz spectrum – including work with Pharoah Sanders on Impulse – but by the time of these tracks, he'd found a way to beautifully mix the righteous energy of his roots with some sweet mid 70s jazz funk touches – all served up in a sublime blend of electric keyboards and acoustic piano, and often expanded with lyrics that helped Smith cross over into a soul audience too! Few artists ever handled the balance as well as Lonnie – although this work certainly inspired dozens of others to try – and the set's a beautiful testament to his lasting power, with 15 great tracks that include "Visions Of A New World", "Cosmic Funk", "Get Down Everybody", "In Search Of Truth", "Expansions", "Beautiful Woman", "Golden Dreams", "Astral Traveling", "Meditations", "Devika", "Shadows", and "Sunbeams".


A key moment for the Philly soul scene of the 70s – and the first album to feature the MFSB backing group as a solo act on their own! The ensemble were responsible for key sounds on countless soul singles of the time – yet also find a way to soar beautifully on their own – in a sweet instrumental groove that matches the strength of Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra, and which was definitely a key inspiration for the sound of the Salsoul Orchestra! There's definitely a bit of early disco in the mix, but the style's more uptempo east coast overall – that pre-disco groove that was going down in the clubs – with larger strings added to a core group of funky rhythm players. Gamble & Huff production make the whole thing sparkle, and arrangements are by Vince Montana, Bobby Martin, and Jack Faith – on titles that include "Love Is The Message", "Cheaper To Keep Her", "TSOP", "Zack's Fanfare", "Touch Me In The Morning", and "My One & Only Love". CD features bonus tracks – "Love Is The Message (single version – with Three Degrees)", "TSOP (with Three Degrees)", and "Love Is The Message (Tom Moulton mix)".


Bettye Lavette's best record yet for Anti- – a modern classic from a bonafide legendary southern soul singer – and she sounds as wonderful as she has in years! If her voice has picked up some grit over the years, it's no less beautiful – and the experience only enhances the material. The song choices are terrific – kicking off with the somewhat overlooked Dylan treasure "Everything Is Broken" – and several others eclectic, classic-level songs that span a number of genres – adapted masterfully into a timeless sound that's distinctly southern, but it eschews he retro revival style, for a unique vibe of it's own. Producer Craig Street and the tight group of musicians assembled for the record deserve a lot of credit, but none more than the inspiring Bettye Lavette! Includes "I'm Not The One", "Dirty Old Town" (plus a great closing slow version), "Yesterday Is Here", "Thankful N' Thoughtful", "Time Will Do The Talking", "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" and more. (Vinyl comes with the full album on CD.)

:::: SOURCE: Dusty Groove ::::


Concord Records is pleased to announce the release of Hayley Sings, the debut album from American Dad! star Rachael MacFarlane. MacFarlane voices the beloved animated character of Hayley Smith on the Emmy nominated television show, American Dad!, currently in its seventh season. Hayley will be introduced as a vocalist in the series’ eighth season premiere, scheduled to air on September 30th at 9:30 PM ET/PT. “In that episode,” MacFarlane explains, “Hayley becomes a singer in Roger’s bar, and the producers came up with the idea that she’s a lover of standards, which I am as well.” To round out the 14-track playlist, she and manager Allen Sviridoff “thought about what kind of music Hayley would listen to. She’s a hippie, a child of the ’60s and ’70s. When I was growing up, my dad introduced me to groups like Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles and Crosby, Stills and Nash. So we decided to run with the idea of re-imagining music from my childhood, which would be appropriate for Hayley to sing.”

Two of the album’s fourteen songs will be included on that season-opening episode of American Dad!. First is “Someone to Watch Over Me,” which introduces Hayley’s vocal skills. “It’s a song I’ve been singing since high school,” says MacFarlane, “We wanted to strip it down and create a quiet, introspective version with the small group.” Second is “Makin’ Whoopee,” the album opener. The show’s producers, says MacFarlane, “were going for a Fabulous Baker Boys feel, which was perfect for the storyline. ”Out of This World,” is also on the album. The classic Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer song is a tongue-in-cheek nod to the fact that Hayley is becoming romantically involved with an alien, and would be a great addition to a future episode’s soundtrack.

A few additional standards found their way onto the album. “I’m Glad There Is You” is, says MacFarlane, “my father’s favorite. It is really stripped down—just me with George Doering on guitar—and it’s a love letter to all the musicians, and everyone else, who made [the album] possible.”

The remaining tracks are all drawn from the 1960s and ’70s. Paul Simon’s “Feelin’ Groovy” is, MacFarlane thinks, “a great marriage of Hayley and me. I grew up singing it, my parents loved it, and yet it seems to fit so perfectly with the character. When Allen and I were discussing it, we decided to slow it way down.” Equally slowed down is MacFarlane’s rendition, arranged by Tedd Firth, of the Chiffons’ 1963 hit, “One Fine Day,” written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. “I wasn’t sold on it for a while,” she says, “because for the longest time I had the boppy version in my head; but when we really started working on it with the band, I fell in love with it.” A second Goffin-King composition, “Up On the Roof,” also made the cut. “If I have a favorite track, this is it,” says MacFarlane. “This is truly Hayley’s voice coming through. It really taps into that 18-year-old angst we’ve all had.”

To close the album, MacFarlane chose Lennon and McCartney’s “All My Loving,” arranged and conducted by Matt Catingub with just Doering’s guitar and a bank of strings. “It really is such a beautiful love song when it is slowed down,” she says. “We thought that it sounded like someone singing who is going off to war and saying goodbye to their lover, and when I played it for my husband, that’s exactlywhat he said.”

As for the likelihood of future recordings, she gleefully insists, “without a doubt! I love doing cartoon voiceover but this is what I’ve always wanted to do. I would be blissfully happy if I could do another ten records.” And she’d be equally delighted to shape those recordings at Concord. “I’ve been blown away by them,” she enthuses. “Everyone has been so welcoming and embracive.”

MacFarlane will tour in support of the album on September 28th at Catalina’s Jazz Club in Los Angeles, on October 11th at Regattabar in Boston and on October 15th at the Highline Ballroom in New York.

Rachael MacFarlane is best known as the voice of teenaged rebel Hayley Smith on the animated primetime hit American Dad, created by Seth MacFarlane. She and Seth grew-up in a music-filled household with parents who appreciated everything from Sinatra to Steely Dan. However, Rachel had shelved her long-ago dreams of singing professionally: “I’d resigned myself to thinking it wasn’t in the cards for me; that I’d have a nice career in animation and singing would be something I did just for fun.”

Then fate, in the form of an unexpected encounter, stepped in. Seth MacFarlane, a lifelong fan of the Great American Songbook, had begun work on his own debut album in early 2011. Rachael attended many of the recording sessions inside Capitol’s fabled Studio A for what would become his Grammy-nominatedMusic Is Better Than Words. During one of those recording sessions, MacFarlane was introduced to [legendary producer] Allen Sviridoff. During their conversation, MacFarlane mentioned her love of music and her all-time favorite singer, Rosemary Clooney. Ironically, Sviridoff managed Rosemary for decades. MacFarlane sent Sviridoff her demo and one year later, she found herself back in Studio A, this time behind the microphone.MacFarlane lives in Los Angeles with her husband and child.


Monday, September 24, 2012


"Jazz buffs say the late baritone saxophonist is under-appreciated; the Joy Road digital box set gives him his due." - Jerry Shriver, USA Today

"Nice hop to the music, a classic jazz vocals album sound. Tasteful accompaniment, and easy to like. Very happy with the inclusion of Alexander and LaBarbera... this is music they can sink their teeth into." - J. Edward Keyes, eMusic

"The Joy Road project is obviously a labor of the love for Pepper Adams by Gary Carner. It deserves consideration for a Grammy award for the best jazz box set." - Audiophile Audition

How do you bring attention to the compositional genius of a jazz artist, who, though internationally beloved by colleagues as one of the greatest baritone saxophonists to ever live, has been marginalized by history books and ignored as a composer? That, in sum, presents the quixotic challenge taken on by Gary Carner with his digital box set, JOY ROAD: The Complete Works of Pepper Adams (Volumes 1-5), coming September 11 from Motéma Music, and his exhaustively researched book, Pepper Adams' Joy Road: An Annotated Discography, out simultaneously from Scarecrow Press.

In connection with these two grand undertakings, Motéma will also release two physical CDs: a stand-alone version of Volume 5, I Carry Your Heart: Alexis Cole Sings Pepper Adams, singled out because it documents the first-ever versions of Adams' music to be paired with lyrics; and the JOY ROAD SAMPLER, a CD of highlights from the digital box set that shall be made available for sale in stores and online.

Via Carner's new literary and musical JOY ROAD offerings, the world will get a fresh and unbridled take on this musical giant. Pepper Adams (1930-1986) "was loved by everyone in the industry," says Carner, a noted jazz historian, as well as the owner of the gourmet wine brokerage, Sommelier Direct, LLC. "The fact that he allowed me into his confidence back in the 1980's," says Carner, "opened my entire life, my entire world into the jazz community." After meeting in 1984, the two became close friends, with Carner doing extensive interviews to help Adams write his autobiography. Sadly, in 1986, Adams was cut down in his prime by cancer. In the wake of his loss, Carner's literary intentions were forced to take a turn, resulting in the annotated discography eventually released by Scarecrow this August, as well as a full-length biography that is still in the works.

"Days before Adams died," Carner explains, "pianist Tommy Flanagan, Pepper's closest friend, was by his bedside. He later told me that Pepper weakly motioned toward my unfinished manuscript on the nightstand, as if to say 'please make sure my legacy gets out there.' When I heard that story," Carner continues, "I knew I had to finish this work. The guy was an absolute genius as a musician, as a stylist, and as a composer... incredible! I needed to let the world know about those three things, especially the compositions."

Now, 28 years after meeting Adams, Carner's labor of love is complete. But what about the amazing Pepper compositions that Carner discovered along the way, mostly on out-of-print discs? The only way to introduce the world to all 43 tunes as a collection would be to produce contemporary recordings of the Adams songbook -- a passionate undertaking, to say the least.

Carner chose to highlight the versatility of Adams' compositions by placing the music in different settings. He engaged Chicago pianist Jeremy Kahn to record Volume 1 in a trio format. Next, Carner tapped the fine Atlanta-based pianist Kevin Bales to assemble a quartet for Volume 2 with guitarist Barry Greene featured. New York based baritone sax man, Frank Basile, presides over a sextet for Volume 3; and for Volume 4, Carner brought Kahn back with his trio and special guest, Gary Smulyan, who is Adams' chief acolyte and was just voted Baritone Saxophonist of the Year for 2012 by the Jazz Journalists Association.

With Volumes 1-4, the 43-composition oeuvre was complete, but Carner had one more mission to fulfill. He had heard of Pepper's unfulfilled wish to have lyrics set to his seven ballads. So, for the vital fifth volume, Carner engaged poet Barry Wallenstein (one of his literary mentors) to pen original lyrics. Award-winning vocalist and one of five finalists in this year's Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition, Alexis Cole (also a Motéma artist), performs on this session, arranged and led by Jeremy Kahn, with both Eric Alexander and Pat LaBarbera featured on tenor saxes.

The fifth volume completes Carner's massive tribute on a highly original note. Resetting Adams' seven ballads in different tempos and styles, and pairing them with Wallenstein's richly literary lyrics, serves as an especially fitting tribute to the creative, witty, well-read jazz legend who had named many of his compositions after famous literary works, such as "Lovers of Their Time". The songs also add seven luscious new additions to the vocal jazz canon.

Carner's historically detailed liner notes provide important career facts about the bari giant, who played with virtually every major jazz legend. There are also amusing anecdotes about the genesis of each song in the collection. The JOY ROAD SAMPLER includes an abridged version of the notes from the Complete Works set.

To launch his new book and music offerings, Carner has collaborated with Motéma to co-opt his regularly scheduled Sommelier Direct fall wine sales route, and turn it into a 30-city JOY ROAD release tour, in which he will preside over book and CD signings; emcee live music performances of Pepper's music; do radio publicity stops; and give college lectures... with wine tastings all along the way!

Live music highlights on the tour include: Jeremy Kahn performing Pepper Adams at The Chicago Jazz Festival (Sept. 2); the star-studded PEPPER ADAMS JOY ROAD CELEBRATION NYC (September 24 -30); an Adams' birthday celebration led by Pat LaBarbera in Toronto (10/6), and a Pepper Adams week in Los Angeles featuring Gary Smulyan, Dale Fielder, and Eric Reed.

The New York City week is the most lavish. It kicks off with special big-band charts which will honor Pepper Adams, performed by the Grammy® winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (in which Adams once held the baritone chair); there is an Alexis Cole CD release at Smoke (9/26); a spectacular performance dubbed "The Three Baris" at Ginny's Supper Club in Harlem (Sept 29) - The Three Baris are: Frank Basile, Ronnie Cuber, and Gary Smulyan. They will be backed by famed Pepper Adams' collaborators, George Mraz (bass), Don Friedman (piano) and Kenny Washington (drums). And, to top off the Pepper feast, Birdland Jazz Club will present new Bevan Manson string quartet arrangements of Adams' ballads; a tribute to Pepper by world renowned composer David Amram; and on that double-billed evening, a special feature with Arturo O'Farrill and Lew Tabackin.

As for the jazz musicians participating around the country, Carner is thrilled at their enthusiasm: "They have all been flipping out for the chance to participate; there's so much love for Adams. That's really what it's about; it all gets back to the heart. People are coming out of the woodwork."

One more key aspect to the JOY ROAD tour is that the JOY ROAD SAMPLER has been selected as the inaugural release from Motéma's new Jazz For Wine Lovers series. Two of Carner's Sommelier Direct boutique vineyard clients, Standing Stone Vineyards, Stangeland Vineyards, and Hannah Nicole Vineyards have come on board as co-sponsors for the JOY ROAD release. A free song download of the title track, "JOY ROAD", will be given to each person who joins the email list at this fall.

"It's about passion," Carner adds. "Motéma's passion for the art form, the passion of the winemakers (who are all jazz fans), and my love for Pepper. Love and passion move the world."

Pepper Adams JOY ROAD Celebration in New York City, September 24-30
* A Pepper Passport is available that provides for entrance to all NYC shows at one reduced price + complimentary wine. There is also a lower priced Wine Passport available that grants free gourmet wine at five of the venues. For sale exclusively at

Monday, September 24 @ Village Vanguard
178 Seventh Avenue South, New York, NY
The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra Honors Pepper Adams: Special Charts and Special Guests and Special Tributes to the late Baritone Saxophonist / Two Sets: 9PM and 11PM

Tuesday, September 25th @ Smoke Jazz and Supper Club
2751 Broadway, New York, NY
Mike Ledonne's "The Hammond B3 Meets Pepper Adams" featuring Mike LeDonne (Hammond B3), Gary Smulyan (baritone sax), Peter Bernstein (guitar), and Joe Farnsworth (drums) / Three Sets: 7PM, 9PM, and 10:30PM

Wednesday, September 26th @ Smoke Jazz and Supper Club
2751 Broadway, New York, NY
Alexis Cole CD Release Event - I Carry Your Heart: Alexis Cole Sings Pepper Adams featuring Alexis Cole (vocals), Adam Birnbaum (piano), Bob Mover (tenor sax), Jim Cammack (bass), Clarence Penn (drums) / Three Sets: 7PM, 9PM, and 10:30pm

Friday, September 28th @ Smalls Jazz Club
183 West 10th Street, New York, NY
The Frank Basile Sextet Plays Pepper Adams featuring Frank Basile (baritone sax), John Mosca (trombone), Joe Magnarelli (trumpet), Adam Birnbaum (piano), David Wong (bass), and Tim Horner (drums) / Two Sets: 7:30PM and 8:45PM

Friday, September 28 @ The Blue Note
131 W. 3rd St., New York, NY
Rising Funk/Jazz Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin & Soul Squad include a funked out Pepper Adams tune in her late night groove set featuring special guest Akie Bermiss / One Set: 12:30AM

Saturday, September 29th @ Ginny's Supper Club at The Red Rooster in Harlem
310 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY
The Three Baris Play Pepper: featuring Frank Basile, Ronnie Cuber, and Gary Smulyan with Don Friedman (piano), George Mraz (bass), and Kenny Washington (drums). There is a wine tasting 30 minutes before each set. Two Sets: 9:00PM and 10:30PM

Sunday, September 30th @ Birdland Jazz Club
315 West 44th Street, New York, NY
Double Bill: Urban Dreams and String Quartets: The Arturo O'Farrill Trio plus special guest, Lew Tabackin (sax and flute), Perform Works of Pepper Adams plus The World Premiere of new arrangements of Pepper Adams compositions for String Quartet by Bevan Manson, and a new String Quartet composition by David Amram, dedicated to Pepper Adams, featuring: Gary Smulyan (bari sax) and George Mraz (bass). Two shows: 9PM and 11PM.

Pepper Adams · JOY ROAD Projects
Motéma Music · Release Date: September 11, 2012

:::: SOURCE: DL Media ::::


"This was a prime example of jazz musicians stretching beyond the usual acoustic limitations of their instruments to create a disturbing yet compelling new sound world." - Mike Flynn, JazzWise

"Transparent Heart is one of the most captivating recordings I have heard in years. The ability to transform human emotions on such highly charged topics through the primary use of instrumentation alone is a monumental feat." - Brent Black, Critical Jazz

Stream Tracks From Transparent Heart

Following on the heels of Animation's 2010 RareNoiseRecords debut, Asiento, and 2011's Agemo, saxophonist-composer-bandleader Bob Belden tells his own story on Transparent Heart. With his new Animation lineup consisting of young musicians hired from his alma mater, the University of North Texas (23-year-old keyboardist Roberto Verastegui, 24-year-old bassist Jacob Smith, 29-year-old trumpeter Pete Clagett and 20-year-old drummer Matt Young), Belden unveils a dark narrative as heard through the musical diary he has composed over 29 years of living in Manhattan.

 imposing electronic noir masterwork, Transparent Heart travels from Belden's initial awestruck impressions of New York City ("Terra Incognito") to his feelings of foreboding ("Urbanoia") and hope ("Cry in the Wind") as a city dweller on Manhattan's Upper West Side, to the pervasive angst of post-9/11 Manhattan ("Seven Towers," "Provocatism"). He also addresses the mass exodus of artists from the city ("Vanishment") and concludes his musical memoir with the clash of the social classes manifested in the Occupy Wall Street movement ("Occupy!"). Belden has concocted a powerful, provocative suite of music that is charged by the intensely driving, highly intuitive playing of his young energetic Animation band mates.

"This record is not a jazz record, it's about my life in Manhattan," says the Grammy® Award-winning composer-arranger-producer. "In essence, the music on Transparent Heart is a reflection of the lingering tension since 9/11. It's an honest look at Manhattan through music."

The concept for Transparent Heart has been in the making for more than 30 years. "I first visited Manhattan in 1979 when I was with Woody Herman's band. I'll never forget seeing the dark shadows, steam rising from the streets, crowds of strange people lingering in Times Square well past midnight, all the tall buildings and how they created a post-gothic canyon effect. That's 'Terra Incognito,' a term used by local residents to describe Central Park above 96th street. Darwinistic Urban Gentrification. The uncertain outcome of riding the subway late at night. Alphabet City. Bonfire of the Vanities. AIDS. Subway Gunman. Guardian Angels. Central Park jogger. Preppie murder. Sparks Steakhouse. That's 'Urbanoia.'"

"Cry in the Wind," with Clagett's muted trumpet carrying the melancholy theme reflects another Manhattan experience, "One night from inside my ground-floor studio apartment I heard the voice of a woman crying for help faintly mixed with the sound of the wind and rustling tree leaves. Bringing my phone outside, I saw this woman who had just been stabbed, and called 911. She reached up, grabbed my hand, and didn't let go until the ambulance got there. I helped this woman live because I cared. This tune is about hearing the cries in the wind of extreme loneliness and helplessness that are heard all the time throughout the city."

The darkly propulsive title track echoes the hard-hitting production that Bill Laswell brought to Herbie Hancock's 1983 hit single "Rock It." To listen to Transparent Heart is to think about Manhattan's self-reflective nature exemplified by extreme conflicts between physical/corporatist and social/humanist structures and the perpetual sense of energy that is created and dissipated illogically in light and shadow.
"Seven Towers" is Belden's reaction to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. As Belden reflects, "9/11 is a reaction to the power and influence that capital, centered in Manhattan and symbolically the World Trade Center, has on parts of the world, in the form of abject terrorism. I watched it happen from Chambers street in Lower Manhattan. This tune recreates my own autobiographical timeline of 9/11. It starts with the NORAD radio broadcast finding out a plane hit the North Tower; followed by the NYPD and NYFD responding. It's very haunting. I believe that this moment has defined the course of history for Manhattan as well as the world at large. This album is offered in deep respect to those who lost their lives that morning of September 11, 2001 and to the families that have to live with this loss forever."

"Provocatism" reflects the immediate aftermath of 9/11. "People fled the city as companies anticipated an economic downturn, laying off thousands upon thousands of workers. For years there were constant alerts, color-coded like a crayon book. Many small business, dependent on the World Trade Center complex, died after 9/11-replaced by the ubiquitous chain store, coffee shop, and branch-bank. The intense build up of the New York Police Department to the point of having one of the largest standing armies in the world, placing citizens under surveillance on the streets and in the subways-'stop and frisk' developed from this Quasi-military policing initiative."

""Vanishment" refers to the exodus of artists and musicians who couldn't afford to live in Manhattan anymore to a point where the localized creative culture is now gone. Musicians work here in the clubs, but don't live here. And you have this influx of college student musicians who have no real attachment to the city-it becomes a line on a resume. Thus, Manhattan post-9/11 is very different from the Manhattan that existed when I moved here in 1983."

The final track, "Occupy!" is the most intense and harrowing of Belden's musical memoir. His turbulent ode to the Occupy Wall Street movement is imbued with the sounds of screams and violence in the streets during clashes between protesters and police. "The Occupy movement is based on a psychological philosophy rather than political or industrial. These people are angry and frustrated with nowhere else to address their grievances, so they take to the streets-essentially declaring a philosophical war on Manhattan."

The musicians on Transparent Heart are the most talented of their generation, performing complex operatic improvisations, sounds, and textures. They are serious musicians deep into the subtle and not-so-subtle nature of this music. That they are virtually unknown to the jazz public is a blessing, as you will hear them tabula rasa, with no conditions on what to expect. From this point on you will expect greatness from each one of them.

For Belden, Transparent Heart is a musical tool to get people to think about social issues. "Music must be returned to its place as a social engineer; provoking thought amongst society. This record is not about tunes, solos, and arrangements, it's a way of telling a story that has something to do with my life, OUR lives, and for anyone who has ever landed with excitement, wonder, fear, and hope on this tiny island off of the coast of the United States. It's not being a musician, but rather a citizen."

Transparent Heart Track/Personnel Listing:
Produced by Bob Belden
All compositions by Bob Belden
1. Terra Incognito - 3:18
2. Urbanoia - 14:29
3. Cry In The Wind - 2:43
4. Transparent Heart - 7:27
5. Seven Towers - 16:32
6. Provocatism - 12:45
7. Vanishment - 3:52
8. Occupy! - 15:48

Bob Belden: soprano saxophone and alto flute
Pete Clagett: trumpet and effects
Jacob Smith: bass
Roberto Verastegui: keyboards and samplers
Matt Young: drums

:::: SOURCE: DL Media ::::


For centuries music has been utilized throughout the globe for its therapeutic and cathartic properties. Chart-topping multi-instrumentalist, Euge Groove, one of the most sought after instrumentalists on the scene, taps into the power of music’s innate abilities on his third Shanachie Entertainment recording, House Of Groove. Euge Groove shares, “In all that is going on in everyone's lives, my own included, I hope people can remove themselves and connect with the emotions of where I was coming from when writing this album. It's far too easy to get caught up on the dark side of things going on all around us. I hope that the music’s positive vibe reaches people.” A quadruple threat, the saxophonist, composer, producer and DJ, Euge Groove, has built an impressive career as a free spirit who remains true to his own artistic vision. It is no wonder the charismatic saxophonist has been able to record a string of #1 hits and garner a devoted following. His wide ranging musical tastes, impeccable musicianship and keen showmanship have planted him on world tours with such icons as Rock `N' Roll Hall of Famer Tina Turner, Joe Cocker. Eros Ramazotti, Richard Marx, Tower of Power, and Huey Lewis and the News

House Of Groove, Euge Groove’s eighth recording as a leader, is a revealing glimpse into the creative forces that influence the dynamic musician and the physical space where his creative ideas flourish - The Groove House, where he lives and records in Southern California. “It was a friend that pointed out that he thought the album was written in my happy place,” shares Euge. “I am very happy right now. That's not to say I don't have stress and anxiety. But at almost 50 years young, I think I've better learned how to separate worrying about things I can change and not worrying about those I can't. I'm not apathetic but I just try to keep it in perspective.” The down to earth musician’s Zen perspective is humorously reflected in his email signature that reads, “I will no longer be accepting bad news on Fridays. If you must deliver bad news, please do so on the following Monday. Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.”

House Of Groove showcases ten sublime originals that underscore why Euge Groove is a master of conjuring rich emotion and melody. The self-professed techie loves to stay abreast of the emerging studio gear and believes that you have to wholly commit yourself to the recording process to allow its musical direction to evolve organically. “With each album I can more comfortably lock myself in my studio and put everything I have into the process,” confides Euge. “I love getting new recording tools as they come out. I think being one with the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is essential these days. The creativity is instant. It's not filtered through someone else. You don't have to compromise anything. It's liberating.” Euge Groove’s approach to the recording process is one of patience and intuition. “I’ve learned over the years you can't force anything. When the music starts to take on its own direction, you have to be willing to just ride with,” shares the consummate artist who moonlights as a DJ on He can be heard weekly on Thursdays from 4PM to 6PM PST online and on the Iphone app

Euge Groove programs all the tracks on House Of Groove and is featured on the tenor and soprano saxophones, flute and Hammond B3. He is united by a solid cast of musicians including pianist and keyboardist Tracy Carter, bassist Cornelius Mims, guitarists Paul Brown and John “Jubu” Smith, drummers Trevor Lawrence and Dan Needham, percussionist Lenny Castro and trumpeter Lee Thornberg.

House Of Groove was recorded over an eighth month period. “While I was making this recording, I spent most of the time by myself immersed in the music. This album will be a success to me if the intimacy I felt making this album translates to my fans who listen to and experience this music.” shares Euge.

The saxophonist’s new album opens with the jubilant and lyrical “Knock! Knock! Who’s There?,” which sets the tone for a thrilling musical foray. The inspiration for the opener might not be so obvious as it draws upon the influence of a famous English poet and playwright. “I have a habit of naming my opening songs after something from Shakespeare. It goes back to my very first album in Y2K. I had written the first track on that album a few years earlier while I was on tour in Italy,” explains Euge Groove. “I had a few days off in Verona, which was the home of Romeo and Juliet. I visited the balcony and rubbed the bronze breast of Juliet for good luck. The whole experience left an impression on me. So when I got back to my hotel room, I wrote the song Romeo and Juliet. This latest one is ‘Knock Knock who's there?’ Which is from ‘Macbeth.’ Which is what started all the knock knock jokes oddly enough!” The album’s title track and new single is a soulful number highlighting Euge’s big burly tenor caressing a funky swing groove. The song pays homage to Euge’s home base and recording studio that fuels his creative energy. “I really feel the songs on this album capture the spirit and energy that friends and family bring to the Groove House.” The feel good vibe permeates House Of Groove with songs like “Fellowship Hall” featuring Euge’s ethereal soprano and “Lampin’ It,” which opens with the buttery Fender Rhodes of Tracy Carter and then unfolds into Euge’s sensuous serenading tenor. Also included is “ (Old School)” which beautifully summons an old school 70s ‘get on the dance floor’ kind of feel. “I've never done a song with that old school four on the floor beat, so that's what I went for on this. I slapped a huge Euge layered sax section on it and it just felt great!” exclaims the reedman.

A special highlight on House Of Groove is an unforgettable duet with celebrated R&B crooner Jeffrey Osborne called “Never Met a Woman Like You,” which Osborne co-wrote. The dynamic duo delivers a riveting performance. Euge shares, “I wanted to give Jeffrey a track reminiscent of his LTD days. He just nails the vibe on this one. It's a fun song. It's always important for me that when there is a vocal song on an instrumental album, that the sax isn't an afterthought. I think writing it from the ground up with that in mind makes for a better collaboration.” Euge invites two additional singers to collaborate on House Of Groove, young New York based singer/songwriter Chioma who co-wrote the ballad “It’s Only Rain” and Kate Miner Moebel, who is featured on the moving gospel tinged and country inflected ballad “God Bless You.” When Euge wrote the lyrics to “God Bless You,” Kate’s voice immediately came to mind. “I got in touch with Kate who used to lead the worship music at a church I went to years ago. I always remembered her voice. She sounds like an angel on it.” A master at creating timeless ballads, Euge’s dreamy “Indian Summer” is another standout. House Of Groove also features the heart-warming and tender gospel number “Faithful Central.” “After I finished cutting this song, the guys were doing this dance and I asked them what they were doing, and they said they were doing the choir dance from Faithful Central,” recalls Euge. “Faithful is a big church out here where pianist Tracy Carter is one of the music directors. He just put his church vibe into the song, and I had to honor where it came from. It just feels very honest.”

Born Steven Eugene Grove in Hagerstown, Maryland, Euge Groove grew up in a musical home. His mother played piano and taught the Cherub choir at Christ Lutheran Church and he began his own musical pursuits at the age of seven, piano and adding the saxophone at nine. But for Euge it was in elementary school where he discovered that music was his calling. “In fifth grade I thought I'd be in school band the rest of my life.” He later discovered two saxophonists who had a profound affect on his approach to playing.

“One was French classical player Marcel Mule, who really defined what the sax was supposed to sound like for me and the the other was David Sanborn. He took that sound and brought it into the mainstream world,” reminisces the worldly saxophonist. Through the years, Euge’s love of jazz, R&B, gospel and blues have all come together to inform his personalized sound.

He explains “I've listened to everyone from Grover (Washington Jr.) and (David) Sanborn to (Charlie) Parker and (John) Coltrane as well as (Michael) Brecker, (Stan) Getz, King Curtis, Junior Walker, Richard Elliott and Kirk Whalum. The thing is, the more mature we become the more those influences fuse into something new. I always listened to a lot of R&B growing up, fused that with pop music, then with the gospel music. Hopefully all of these influences come through in my music and I am able to create my own unique expression.”

A graduate of the University of Miami's School of Music, Euge launched his professional career in Miami in the mid 80s, playing in salsa bands, top 40 club bands and doing the occasional high profile session date like Expose's “Seasons Change,” a #1 Billboard AC hit. Not long after he moved to L.A. in 1987, he wrote a track for Richard Elliot's The Power Of Suggestion album, and Elliot recommended Euge to take over his spot in Tower of Power. Euge toured with TOP for four years, including a year backing Huey Lewis & The News. His resume grew from there to include recording, touring or performing stints with Joe Cocker, The Eurythmics, The Gap Band, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville and Richard Marx. Marx included Euge's horn on “Keep Coming Back,” a #1 AC hit duet he recorded with Luther Vandross.

In 1999, coming off the road after two years of touring with popular Italian singer Eros Ramazotti and Joe Cocker, the saxophonist paved the way for his eventual solo stardom by recording some tracks of his own. Without a record label to distribute the music, Euge put his songs on the now-defunct website, dubbing himself “Euge Groove” and downloading started almost immediately, and Euge was soon topping jazz chart. He signed soon thereafter with Warner Bros. “Vinyl,” his first single from his self-titled Warner Bros. debut, set a record by spending 27 weeks on the R&R charts, eventually ranking at #24 for the year. Play Date kept the trend going with two more #1 radio hits, “Slam Dunk” and “Rewind.” In 2004, Euge Groove's Narada debut, Livin' Large, spent 68 weeks on the Billboard charts, debuted at #4 and came in at #25 overall for 2004. "Livin' Large," the single, was the #5 most played song for 2004 on the R&R singles chart. "XXL" spent 36 weeks on the radio chart. Just Feels Right followed in 2005 and it's first single "Get Em Goin'," was #1 for two months. Born To Groove followed in 2007 and featured several chart-topping singles. Euge Groove's Shanachie debut was in 2009 and included the #1 smash hit title track and the top five single “All For You.” 2011 saw the release of S7ven Large whose title track scored yet a #1 hit.

Euge Groove concludes, “I've had a crazy blessed life and career. In a way, I feel like the hardest thing is just trying to keep it all going. There is a lot of intensity in this business with things coming at you from all directions. I just like to take it all one step at a time and enjoy the moment. To paraphrase Bill Withers, while your on your way to greatness, tale a minute to look around and enjoy where you are. Because that spot might be pretty OK.”

:::: SOURCE: ::::


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