Thursday, August 22, 2013



Following its triumphant partnership with pianist Kenny Werner (Institute of Higher Learning), the award-winning Brussels Jazz Orchestra turns its attention to Joe Lovano, long heralded a towering soloist among tenor saxophonists. Wild Beauty illuminates the composer side of Lovano's musicianship, featuring a palette of earthy tunes previously recorded with small groups, but now re-imagined for the 17-piece BJO. Gil Goldstein wrote the evocative arrangements. The album is a summational work, filled with autobiographical abstractions. It draws its inspiration from Lovano's generational bloodlines in Italy. "I've dedicated this project to my mom, Josephine Verzi Lovano," he says. " She was born and lived her life in Cleveland, but her heart and soul were with her Sicilian roots and her family. All these tunes are reflections of my life and experiences." Wild Beauty smolders with a warm glow, as if sculpted from the fiery ash at the base of Mt Etna (Europe's largest active volcano and the source of the album's penultimate track, "Miss Etna"). Lovano's influences can be heard throughout - from Ben Webster to John Coltrane to Enrico Caruso


In Between Times is the new album from the Worldwide dub specialist and it’s a great listen from start to finish. It includes 12 engaging tracks with a satisfying balance between vocal tracks and instrumentals that are brought artfully together to form a sonic journey greater than the sum of its parts. The new album features a noteworthy collection of artists, many of them pioneers in their respective musical genres and all of them highly respected in their own right. Opening track Put your guns down features vocals by Black Uhuru frontman Michael Rose. Life, features rising reggae star Jahmai and the atmospheric and ethereal electro-dub adventures of Tamino and the temple of dub, feature one of the godfathers of psychedelic trance music Raja Ram (from electronic duo Shpongle) on flute. One of the album's stand-out tracks, I start to pray is a truly distinguished collaboration between legendary dub producer and vocalist Lee Scratch Perry and UK electronic pioneers The Orb, with the inimitable Dennis Dubmaster Bovell adding his characteristically uncompromising bass to the mix - it's a high risk strategy to put so many virtuoso artists in one song but one that pays off handsomely in the realization of this deep, elegant and very dubby track! Other collaborators on the new record include, Hedflux (one of the UK s hottest breaks producers), dub maestro Twilight Circus, Moroccan artist Tahar (from the band Momo) & Gaudi s on-stage partner in rhyme, vocalist and prodigiously talented beatboxer, Danny Ladwa. In Between Times more than justifies Gaudi's reputation as a musical frontiersman and fearless music producer (Billboard magazine) in it s complete disregard for musical boundaries and stylistic separation... It is Gaudi style - the fusion of many genres into one distinct and characteristic sound. ~


Venturing across the pond once again with this fourth and latest installment in his series of solo records is fan fave, keyboardist/producer Oli Silk with 'Razor Sharp Brit' a freewheeling engaging assemblage of sides full of spunk , vigor and sophistication presented with his own unique European flair. While Silk's music is always easy on the ear, it is the fact that he keeps things fresh, progressive and is not afraid to dance around the edges that gives his music wide appeal and keeps it from blending into the contemporary jazz landscape. 'Brit' stays with that formula as the young man with the memorable name, dishes up a menu of memorable tunes that will beckon you to not just merely nibble but to feast upon. Having established himself as a first call player /producer in his motherland of England, sharing the stage with virtually all of the smooth jazz luminaries and hopping the pond over the last 5 yrs bringing his talents and sharp wit to the American audience has serve Silk well in helping him establish an active and rabid fan base. Razor Sharp Brit is sure to keep the movement afloat and momentum building as he again serves up a feast of fresh and vibrant new flavors. Some of Silk's closest CJ contemporaries join the fray, with bassist and label mate Julian Vaughn featured on the lead radio single 'At Your Service' , spins musical webs with guitarists Paul Brown and Chuck Loeb and brings up and coming sax man Elan Trotman along for the ride. ~

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