Wednesday, July 31, 2013

THREE CLASSIC RONNIE VON ALBUMS REISSUED - RONNIE VON, A MAQUINA VOADOR, A MISTERIOSA LUTA DO REINO DE PARASSEMPRE CONTRO O IMPERIO DE NUNCAMAIS

RONNIE VON - RONNIE VON

Some groovy psychedelic rock from Brazil – the self-titled effort from Ronnie Von – a Brazilian television personality and musician who stayed incredibly busy from late 60s through the 70s – but recorded few albums as sublime as this album from 1968! The set's really a near-perfect batch of sunshine rock – sung in Portuguese and featuring some of the similar freeform sounds of his Brazilian contemporaries of the time – with groovy western touches in the instrumentation. Ronnie's vocals are backed up by organ washes and piano, buzzing guitars and walloping drums – but the overall feel is quite melodic – wonderful blend of California sunshine and Brazilian rock grooves! Tracks include "Meu Novo Cantar", "Chega De Tudo", "Espelhos Quebrados", Anarquia", "Esperahca De Cantar", "Contudo, Todavia", "Anarquia", "Mil Novecentos E Alem", and "Canto De Despedida". ~ Dusty Groove

RONNIE VON - A MAQUINA VOADOR

A really standout set from Brazilian rocker Ronnie Von – easily one of his greatest records ever, and a set that shows some wonderful steps forward in production and arrangements!  Great credit should certainly go to arrangers Francisco De Moraes and Djama Mellin as Ronnie's still got a rock approach at his core, but he's often working here with fuller backings that include strings and large orchestrations – all blended with key psychedelic elements of the time, in ways that are a fair bit like some of the best productions from the Cadet Concept series – especially the work of Rotary Connection! Like that group, Ronnie's music here draws from the familiar, then pushes its boundaries – taking the music into unexpectedly majestic territory, but still making it groove in the end. Songs include "Enseada", "Imagem", "Seu Olhar No Meu", "Verao Nos Chama", "A Maquina Voadora", "Cidade", and "Voce De Azul".  ~ Dusty Groove

RONNIE VON - A MISTERIOSA LUTA DO REINO DE PARASSEMPRE CONTRO O IMPERIO DE NUNCAMAIS 

Great late 60s work from Ronnie Von – an under-appreciated Brazilian rocker, and one with a sound that sits nicely between the Jovem Guarda generation and some of the headier groups to come in the 70s! There's a nice array of psychedelic influences at play here – strong echoes of British work of the time, but used in much more sophisticated ways than any Jovem Guarda acts – never a simple copycat approach, but also never as arty as some of the Tropicalia recordings of the time either. Ronnie's voice has a depth that allows some nice changes in mood from track to track – lightly lyrical one moment, a bit darker and more tripped-out the next – bringing a sense of variety to the record that almost recalls Caetano Veloso during the time, but a bit more rockish overall. Titles include "Atlantica", "Dindi", "De Como Meu Heroi Flash Gordon", "Foi Bom", "Rose Ann", "Comeci Uma Brincadeira", and "Mares De Areia".  ~ Dusty Groove

NEW RELEASES - BETTYE CRUTCHER, GLORIA GAYNOR, THE COMPLETE MOTOWN SINGLES COLLECTION 1972

BETTYE CRUTCHER - LONG AS YOU LOVE ME (BONUS TRACKS)

Definately ann overlooked gem on Stax Records – one of the only records ever cut by Bettye Crutcher – also a songwriter with the label, but a hell of a singer on her own! Bettye's got a style here that's very unique – still in a Stax mode, but a bit more sophisticated too – with a subtle groove that almost feels like some of the best female soul singers coming out of the Chicago scene at the time! Sir Mack Rice co-wrote most of the tunes with Bettye – and they've got a vibe that's really great – and which has made the record a real standout from Stax over the years – really unified, and really deep – in a way that goes past any easy hit modes or cliches. Titles include "Passion", "A Little Bit More Won't Hurt", "Sunday Morning's Gonna Find Us In Love" – plus "Long As You Love Me", "Call Me When All Else Fails", and "Up For A Let Down". CD features lots of bonus tracks too – all previously unissued – including "So Glad To Have You", "Don't You Think It's About Time", "We've Got Love On Our Side", "Make A Joyful Noise", and demo versions of "Walk On To Your New Love" and "I Forgive You".  ~ Dusty Groove

GLORIA GAYNOR - PARK AVENUE SOUND (BONUS TRACKS)

Finally reissued with bonus tracks is an overlooked groover from Gloria Gaynor – warm, wonderful, and filled with some great Philly touches! Sure, the record's got a Park Avenue address, but it's also got some great arrangements from Norman Harris, Jack Faith, and Ron Kersey – all of whom bring in a bit more warmth than on other Gaynor records, and wrap up her vocals in a sweetly gliding sound! This approach is heard to classic effect on the sublime "This Love Affair" – worth the price of the record alone – but it also keeps on going nicely through a set list that includes "Part Time Love", "For The First Time In My Life", "You're All I Need To Get By", "After The Lovin", and "Kidnapped". 5 bonus tracks: 12" disco versions of "This Love Affair", "You're All I Need To Get By", "Everytime You Make Love To Me", "Part Time Love (Full Time Job)" and a single version of "This Love Affair".  ~ Dusty Groove

THE COMPLETE MOTOWN SINGLES COLLECTION 1972

The soul sounds of Motown, circa '72 – with all the amazing singles from January to July of that huge and historic year – collected here in the first of a 2 box set grand finale for the Complete Motown Singles series! Creatively, the first half of '72 was an incredible period. The label would soon make the move to the west coast, so it's truly the end of an era – therefore as apt of a point as possible for Hip-O Select to begin closing up their beautiful series. Vol 12A has 113 tracks on 5CDs – encased in a hardcover, 130-page full color book with essays and notes on each track. Veterans like Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and The Four Tops sound freshly inspired, Marvin Gaye is hitting his peak, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 are in full stride, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and The Supremes are still cutting gorgeous singles. In other words, there's still a whole lot of distinctively Motown magic happening! But '72 also finds the label branching out into funk, funk rock and both sunnier and grittier material by a variety artists – from Undisputed Truth and Sisters Love, to Frankie Valli and Rare Earth. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, David Ruffin, Jr. Walker & The All Stars, The Commodores, Syreeta, Edwin Starr, Thelma Houston, The Devastating Affair, Bobby Darin, Blinky, Posse, The Marvelettes, Blue Scepter, GC Cameron, The Originals, Eddie Kendricks, Gladys Knght & The Pips and more! Also includes a bonus 45 by The Blackberries – "Somebody Up There" backed by "But I Love You More" – with the Mowest logo on the inner label! Love this! Can't wait for Vol 12B! (Limited edition.) ~ Dusty Groove

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

NEW RELEASES - FLEETWOOD MAC, THE SHADOW MORTON STORY, KENDRA MORRIS

FLEETWOOD MAC - THEN PLAY ON

There were 2 different versions of this LP, each with slightly different tracks. The CD contains all tracks from both versions. Led by singer-guitarist Peter Green, the first version of Fleetwood Mac was one of England's premier bands and possibly the greatest white blues band ever to emerge from the '60s blues revival.1969's Then Play On is their best album and Green's pinnacle achievement. Musicians include:  Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwin (vocals, guitar); John McVie (bass); Mick Fleetwood (drums), and Christine Perfect (background vocals) Heavily influenced by Otis Rush, Green had an unusually lyrical style for a blues musician, able to draw on flamenco, folk, even classical guitar--all of which make an appearance in the ambitious instrumental coda to his major opus, "Oh Well." Despite the inclusion of superior modern blues songs like "Rattlesnake Shake" and "Show-Biz Blues," Fleetwood Mac's Then Play On is notable for its instrumentals. Standout tracks range from the dream-like voyages "My Dream" and "Underway" to virtuosic three-guitar jams like "Searching For Madge" and "Fighting For Madge," both of which feature Green's inspired guitar work. ~ CD Universe

SOPHISTICATED BOOM BOOM - THE SHADOW MORTON STORY (VARIOUS ARTISTS)

This is a truely amazing  batch of music that ranges from early rockers to glittery glam rock – from a legendary producer who worked with everyone from The Shangri-Las to The New York Dolls! George Shadow Morton was a key figure in changing the sound of the New York scene in the 60s and early 70s – and with roots in novelty rock and early studio tricks for rock music, he was very well poised to bring his own sort of special magic to later famous productions that make Morton as important a production force as Phil Spector, Kim Fowley, and Jack Nitzsche! Included with this collection is a special book that's so rich in detail, it warrants a different sort of package than other titles in this series – a perfect accompaniment to the range of sounds that includes "Only Seventeen" by The Beatle-ettes, "Sophisticated Boom Boom" by The Goodies, "Baby" by Ellie Greenwich, "Past Present & Future" by The Shangri-Las, "So Soft So Warm" by The Nu Luvs, "Stop The Clock" by The Shaggy Boys, "Too Old To Go Way Little Girl" by Janis Ian, "You Keep Me Hangin On" by Vanilla Fudge, "And When It's Over" by The Vagrants, "In A Gadda Da Vida" by Iron Butterfly, "Midnight Lady" by Mott The Hoople, and "Stranded In The Jungle" by New York Dolls.  ~ Dusty Groove

KENDRA MORRIS - MOCKINGBIRD

Kendra Morris is no mockingbird here – no copycat singer or too-retro diva – and instead finds a great space on this album that really has her coming into her own! The album definitely draws on older soul modes – as do the arrangements by Jeremy Page – but the overall presentation is contemporary, in a style that's not Neo Soul, yet not rockish either – a special space that kind of slides in between genres, and which may well help push Morris over the top! The set features a really wonderful choice of tunes – including some tracks that we never would have imagined in a soulful setting – like "Space Oddity", "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", "Black Hole Sun", and "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" – plus titles that include "Miss You", "Ride The Lightning", "Walk On The Wild Side", "Walk On By", and "As Long As I've Got You". ~ Dusty Groove

NEW RELEASES - BUDDY GUY, BAR-KAYS, JEFF GOLUB

BUDDY GUY - RHYTHM & BLUES

Rhythm & Blues is the latest release from the guitar man himself, and it' another Buddy Guy studio classic and it features contributions from Gary Clark Jr., Keith Urban, and Kid Rock just to name a few. Buddy blazes brightly on this double dose of Rhythm & Blues – one disc titled Rhythm and the other Blues – and both are prime late-career work from one of the world's foremost electric blues players! The stylistic differences aren't incredibly vast between the Rhythm half and the Blues halves. Buddy's playing is boisterous on both – borderline ferocious, actually – with rhythmic rockers more prominent on the Rhythm half, and bluesy structures and subject matter deeper on the Blues half. His voice and guitar playing are as strong as they've been in years – it seems like 70 is the new 40 for the amazing Mr. Guy! Titles include "Best In Town", "Justifyin'", "What's Up With That Woman", "What You Gonna Do About Me" with Beth Hart, "The Devil's Daughter", "Meet Me In Chicago", "Too Damn Bad", "Evil Twin" with 3/4s of Aerosmith, "Blues Don't Care" with Gary Clark Jr., "Poison Ivy", "Whiskey Ghost" and more.  ~ Dusty Groove

BAR-KAYS - DANGEROUS

Here's a reissue of a delightful album from the Bar-Kays, featuring a tighter sound than before from them – that lean approach to funky grooves that some of their contemporaries were hitting as the 80s moved on – yet still served up here by the full ensemble with a relatively fresh feel overall. Originally released on the Mercury label back in 1984, Dangerous eventually charted at number seven on the Billboard Soulc Charts. Amidst the beats and keyboards, there's still lots of nice funky inflections on bass and guitar – often handled in a skittish mode that energizes things nicely, especially alongside the more electro-styled vocals. The vibe of the record is definitely in keeping with the cover – but in the best way possible – and titles include "Dangerous", "Make Believe Lover", "Dirty Dancer", "Freakshow On The Dance Floor", and "Sexomatic".  ~ Dusty Groove. 

JEFF GOLUB WITH BRIAN AUGER - TRAIN KEEPS A ROLLING

Jeff Golub's got a new album out and it's definately one to check out. On Train Keeps A Rolling he's joined forces with Brian Auger for a terrific 11-song collection of soul, jazz, blues and rock which combines Golub's bluesy guitar sounds along with Auger Hammond B-3 organ - pure delight!  Also featured on the album are drummer Steve Ferrone, who was an original member of the acclaimed jazz-rock ensemble Brian Auger & The Oblivion Express, and bassist Derek Frank, who also had a history playing with Auger. Augmenting the tracks were percussionist Luis Conte and a lively horn section comprised of Mindi Abair (alto sax), Nick Lane (trombone), Dave Woodford (baritone sax, flute) and Steve Madaio (trumpet). Making guest appearances on the vocal selections were Christopher Cross, Ambrosia’s David Pack and Alex Ligertwood, who was also an original member of The Oblivion Express and also spent a years as a member of Santana.Golub’s Train Keeps A Rolling includes the standout tracks: Pusherman (Curtis Mayfield); Walking On The Moon (Sting); How Long (Ace); as well as Train Keeps A Rolling; Whenever your're Ready; and others. 

NEW RELEASES FROM MONDAY MICHIRU, CHANTE MOORE, EYDIE GORME

MONDAY MICHIRU - BRASILIFIED

Here's some really cool work from Monday Michiru – and a record that reminds us all over again why we love her music so much! The album's got Monday serving up all the Brazilian sounds you'd guess from the title – but always with that positive, upbeat style we've always dug in her music – a vibrant sort of energy that's very different than not only other singers of Brazilian music, but also from most of Michiru's contemporaries on the underground scene! The instrumentation is quite jazzy throughout – thanks to arrangements from Simone Giuliani and Alex Sipiagin – but there's also plenty of groove, too – a great mix of Brazilian roots and jazzier funk, of the sort you'd find on older projects from guys like Gilles Peterson or Patrick Forge. Monday's vocals sound better than ever in this setting – really reaching for the skies with a new sense of glory – and titles include "Sunrise", "Things I Say", "Zanzibar", "Bossamore", "Celebrate", "New Morning", "Beautiful People", and "Bedtime Story".  ~ Dusty Groove

CHANTE MOORE - MOORE IS MORE

Chante Moore is back with a vengeance and she is doing what she does best – keeping it smooth and special, and really letting her great vocals stretch out and flow! The album's got a mostly laidback vibe – tunes that are well-produced, but without any too-commercial modes too – that special sort of space between the mainstream and underground that Chante's always inhabited – and which comes off well here with studio help from Chris Big Dog Davis, Kawme, Midi Mafia, Derrick Kinsey, and others. The tunes include a few surprising choices, but most of the numbers are right on the money for the well-tooled Chante Moore aesthetic – titles that include "Baby Can I Touch Your Body", "Alone", "Talking In My Sleep",  "Don't Make Me Laugh", "Mrs Understood", and "On & On". ~ Dusty Groove

EYDIE GORME - BLAME IT ON THE BOSSA NOVA (INCLUDES BONUS TRACKS)

A classic has finally been reissued with additional bonus tracks! Easily the grooviest album that Eydie Gorme ever cut – a set that's well known for its classic title track, but which is filled with breezy bossa numbers throughout! Few other American singers ever got the light, lively spirit of bossa this right back in the 60s – and although Eydie could sometimes be an overly-expressive singer on other records, she's got a compact touch here that's perfect for the jazzy arrangements of Nick Perito and Billy May – which themselves often use a bit of Hammond organ from Dick Hyman to give the tracks lots of Walter Wanderley-ish sort of grooves! Other instrumentalists include Pacheco on flute and Mundell Lowe on guitar – and titles include the classic "Blame It On The Bossa Nova", plus "The Coffee Song", "The Message", "One Note Samba", "The Gift", "Almost Like Being In Love", "Moon River", "Desafinado", and "Dansero". CD features two bonus tracks – "Oba Oba" and "Sweet Talk" – both arranged by Deodato!  ~ Dusty Groove

Monday, July 29, 2013

HERBIE HANCOCK'S THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA ALBUM COLLECTION 1972-1988 TO FEATURE 31 ALBUMS

Herbie Hancock’s  The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 brings together, for the first time, Hancock’s complete Columbia Records and CBS/Sony Japan catalog.  This deluxe 34-CD box set will be released on November 12, 2013, just in time for the holiday season. 

Hancock's catalog on Columbia and CBS/Sony Japan is a microcosm of musical development in the 1970s and '80s, and an uncannily accurate forecast of many trends that would follow.  Those developments played out over the course of 31 albums, of which 8 have never been issued in the U.S. (or outside of Japan), 3 others have never been issued on CD in the U.S. (Sunlight, Magic Windows, Lite Me Up), and some that were issued on CD have been out of print for years. Most importantly, all of them have never been gathered in one box set collection before. 

This incredible box set is a includes 28 single albums and three double-CD albums (for a total of 34 discs). Each album will be packaged in a mini-LP CD cardboard replica of the original jacket, with original artwork including gatefold jackets where applicable. 

Accompanying the discs will be a 200-page book, published exclu­sively for this collection.  In addition to dozens of rare photographs, the book will contain several sections, starting with a comprehensive 5,500-word historical essay written by Bob Belden.  Belden has won three Grammy Awards for his work with Columbia/Legacy on The Miles Davis Series, including album notes (twice) and compilation producer.  An accomplished jazz composer, arranger, bandleader, and recording artist in his own right, Belden has served as CD reissue producer at Legacy for the Hancock albums Head Hunters, Sextant, Thrust, The Piano, V.S.O.P.: Live Under the Sky, Future Shock, Sound-System, and Perfect Machine.

Also included in the book will be sidebars on Hancock as pianist, composer and synthesist, written by Belden.  Schlueter has written a sidebar on noted record producer David Rubinson, who produced all but six of the albums in the box set, and is also known for his productions of Santana, Taj Mahal, the Pointer Sisters and the Chambers Brothers.  A special sidebar is devoted to Hancock's late sister Jean Hancock, who contributed lyrics to many of his songs.  And another unique feature of the book is a glossary of the more than 60 different electronic instruments played by Hancock and the other musicians over the course of the recordings.

The book will also contain individual commentaries on all 31 albums by Hancock discographer/historian Max Schlueter. The third major element of the book is one of the most detailed discographies ever included in a Legacy box set, assembled by box producer Richard Seidel.  Included are full musician lineups and instrumentation, recording data (dates, producers, engineers, mixers, studios, etc.), exact original release dates in both the U.S. and Japan, cross references for additional appearances of various songs elsewhere in the box, Billboard chart information, R.I.A.A. certifications, and a short-form discography of Hancock's solo recording career before and after his Columbia years. 

In the stream of modern jazz during the last decades of the 20th century, the imprint left by pianist, keyboardist, synthesist, composer, arranger, producer, and bandleader Herbie Hancock on jazz, fusion, pop music, R&B, disco, hip-hop, electronica and more – including his beloved traditional post-bop – spans generations.  (His pioneering use of the Vocoder – precursor to T-Pain's use of Auto-tune – is just the tip of the iceberg.)  His 14 Grammy Awards and one Oscar are emblematic of the Buddhist principles of inclusion and collaboration that course through the ebb and flow of his career. 

At the heart of that career are his 16 productive years as a Columbia and CBS/Sony (Japan) recording artist from 1972 to 1988, by far his longest, most prolific association with any record label.  Those 16 years encompassed the evolution from the "Mwandishi" Sextet, to the Head Hunters to the Herbie Hancock Group.  The breakthrough of the V.S.O.P. recording and touring groups with Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams ignited the traditional jazz revival of the 1980s.  Along with the Herbie Hancock Trio and Quartet lineups, he is also heard on a landmark solo electric keyboard/acoustic piano project in 1974, a full album solo acoustic piano project in 1978, and the memorable duet concert project with Chick Corea (also 1978).  And along the way: Hancock's first digital and direct-disc records in Japan; his MTV-pioneering downtown New York "Rockit" breakthrough with Bill Laswell and Material; and the Death Wish and Oscar-winning Round Midnight original motion picture soundtracks.

Each of the eight CBS/Sony Japan albums was a unique addition to his disco­graphy: Dedication (solo, both acoustic and electric, live in the studio, without overdubs, 1974); Flood (the Head Hunters Band live, 1975); The Herbie Hancock Trio (with Carter and Williams, studio, 1977, one of only two piano-trio records Hancock has ever made, along with the 1981 set below); Tempest In The Colosseum (V.S.O.P. with Hubbard, Shorter, Carter, and Williams, live, 1977); Directstep (full band, studio, direct-to-disc, 1978);  Five Stars (same V.S.O.P. lineup, their only studio album, direct-to-disc, 1979); Butterfly (full electric band with singer Kimiko Kasai, studio, 1979); and Herbie Hancock Trio With Ron Carter + Tony Williams (studio, 1981).

Of special note in this collection are the eight albums that were released only in Japan, and are released now in the U.S. for the first time.  They are comprised of acoustic and electric, studio and live recordings, and several of them were notable for their deployment of advanced audio technologies in early development in Japan, such as digital recording and direct-to-disc. Aside from those eight albums, there were two albums recorded and released in Japan, which were subsequently issued in 2004 by Columbia/Legacy for the first time on CD in the U.S. (both with bonus tracks): The Piano (solo, acoustic piano, direct-to-disc, 1978, recorded one week after Directstep); and V.S.O.P. / Live Under The Sky (1979).

Because of its proliferation of live concert albums, The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 allows the perspective of hearing and contrasting many songs (originals as well as jazz standards) in multiple versions.  For example, "Watermelon Man" (Hancock's first "hit" record for Mongo Santamaria back in 1963), was re-grooved by the Head Hunters on their self-titled 1973 LP, the lineup that included Bennie Maupin (reeds), bassist Paul Jackson, drummer Harvey Mason, and percussionist Bill Summers.  Compare it to the live concert version on Flood (CBS/Sony Japan) two summers later in Tokyo, when guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight was on-board, and Mason had been replaced by Mike Clark.  Similarly, studio and live versions of "Chameleon" are also heard on both albums, respectively.

Throughout this collection, in addition to "Watermelon Man" and "Chameleon," there are multiple versions or re-imagined, updated versions to be discovered of "Maiden Voyage," "Canteloupe Island," "Dolphin Dance," "Eye Of The Hurricane," "Speak Like A Child," "Tell Me A Bedtime Story," "Butterfly," "Sunlight," "I Thought It Was You," "Hang Up Your Hang Ups," "Rockit," and others.

A unique personality in jazz history, Hancock has been as musically controversial as his mentor Miles Davis – with whom he played in the "second great quintet" from 1963 to '68 (with Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams).  Throughout that period, Hancock maintained a presence recording LPs under his own name as a leader on Blue Note Records.  He also lent his talent to Blue Note sessions led by Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Donald Byrd, Kenny Dorham, Grant Green, Bobby Hutcherson, Stanley Turrentine, Tony Williams, and Jackie McLean, to name a few. 

When Hancock left Miles in 1968, he carved out one of the most diverse careers ever encountered in jazz or pop.  He satisfied both the artistic and the commercial sides of his craft with acoustic and electric music made in the studio and on tour, music that often transcended categorization.  Recording 31 albums in 16 years averages two per year – but there were years when he released as many as four albums in one year's time (1977).  Fully half the albums in this box set collection made the Billboard Top 200 albums chart, most of those reaching the Top 100, a rare achievement for a jazz musician.

Along the way, countless names passed through the tidal wave of music Hancock created: Eddie Henderson, Buster Williams and Billy Hart in the "Mwandishi" era; Bennie Maupin from the  "Mwandishi" era through most of the 1970s; Hubbard and Shorter as perennial members of V.S.O.P. (with Carter and Williams); plus (to name a few) Wah Wah Watson, Ray Parker Jr. (of "Ghostbusters" fame), Jaco Pastorius, synthesist Patrick Gleeson, Carlos Santana, Alphonse Mouzon, Sheila E., the Brothers Johnson, Adrian Belew, Rod Temperton of Heatwave and "Thriller" renown, Narada Michael Walden, and, in the quartet in the summer of 1981, 19-year old Wynton Marsalis.  

In the "Rockit" period when Hancock worked with Bill Laswell and Material, collaborators included Michael Beinhorn, Bernard Fowler, turntablist Grand Mixer D.ST, Anton Fier, Nicky Skopelitis, Bootsy Collins, Leroy 'Sugarfoot' Bonner, and Ghanaian kora player Foday Musa Suso, with whom Hancock recorded an entire duet album later in 1984.  On the Round Midnight sound­track recorded in 1985, in addition to Carter, Williams and Shorter, players included Bobby McFerrin, Dexter Gordon, John McLaughlin, Chet Baker, Bobby Hutcherson, Lonette McKee, Cedar Walton, and Billy Higgins.

Herbie Hancock: The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 was produced for reissue by Grammy®-winning producer Richard Seidel.  Seidel's box set credits for Legacy include the four most recent Miles Davis box sets, all of which won several awards and polls around the world, among them the 70CD + DVD The Complete Miles Davis Columbia Album Collection (2009) and this year's Miles Davis Live In Europe 1969, The Bootleg Series Vol. 2.  Since 2011, Seidel has also produced for Legacy sixteen other Complete Album Collections including titles by Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Weather Report, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever, The Brecker Brothers, Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz, Paul Desmond, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, and Etta James, as well as the Grammy®-nominated To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story box set (2008).

Herbie Hancock: The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 was mastered to 24/96 at Battery Studios by Mark Wilder (who has won multiple Grammy Awards for Best Historical Album box sets on Columbia/Legacy by Miles Davis & Gil Evans, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday) and Maria Triana.

"Taken in its entirety," writes Belden, "The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 gives the listener and reader a glimpse into the internal philosophy of life of Herbie Hancock contained in these CDs.  Rarely does a collection of sound contain so much of a human being's revelatory process.  Within these CDs you can listen to a musician reinvent himself time and time again, all at his terms."

Herbie Hancock: The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 
01. Sextant (1973)
02. Head Hunters (1973)
03. Dedication (1974)
04. Thrust  (1974)
05. Death Wish original soundtrack (1974) 
06. Flood (1975)
07. Man-Child (1975)
08. Secrets (1976)09        
09. V.S.O.P. ((1976)
10. The Herbie Hancock Trio (1977)
11. V.S.O.P. / The Quintet (1977)
12. V.S.O.P. The Quintet: Tempest In The Colosseum (1977)
13. An Evening With Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea In Concert (1978)
14. Sunlight (1978)
15. Feets Don't Fail Me Now (1979)
16. Directstep (1979)
17. The Piano (1979)
18. V.S.O.P. The Quintet: Live Under The Sky (1979)
19. V.S.O.P. The Quintet:  Five Stars (1979)
20. Kimiko Kasai w/ Herbie Hancock: Butterfly (1979)
21. Monster (1980)
22. Mr. Hands (1980)
23. Magic Windows (1981)
24. Herbie Hancock Trio With Ron Carter + Tony Williams (1981)
25. Lite Me Up (1982)
26. Quartet (1983)
27. Future Shock (1983)
28. Sound-System (1984)
29. Herbie Hancock And Foday Musa Suso: Village Life (1985)
30. Round Midnight Original Soundtrack (1986)
31. Perfect Machine (1988)

NEW RELEASES FROM BRAZIL - MARCOS VALLE & STACEY KENT, BEBEL GILBERTO, RITA LEE

MARCOS VALLE & STACEY KENT - AO VIVO

Here's a brand new release from Marcos Valle and Stacey Kent and this one's a really wonderful collaboration – totally unexpected, and a fresh chapter in the career of both artists too! The set was done in celebration of Marcos Valle's 50 years in music and it features no other than Valle himself on acoustic piano and a bit of vocals, Stacey Kent on lead vocals, and some guest tenor sax from Jim Tomlinson. Overall the setting is lean, mostly small group backing, but full of feeling thanks partly to Stacey's expressive vocal performance, but also to Valle's still-great sense of timing and tone which makes the arrangements very different than Kent's usual bag. Stacey really takes the vocal lead on most of the record – and the bossa setting is a great one for her style – and arrangements are by Valle and Jesse Sadoc, who leads the combo on trumpet. Songs include "Gente", "She Told Me She Told Me", "If You Went Away", "The White Puma", "Look Who's Mine", "The Face I Love", "Passa Por Mim", "Pigmalio 70", and "The Crickets"~ Dusty Groove.

BEBEL GILBERTO - BEBEL GILBERTO IN RIO

Bebel Gilberto's new album's got a depth that goes beyond some of the simple bossa-rework of Gilberto's earliest record.  It's got a maturity that even goes past recent work, a factor that may come partially from the musical backings. Bebel Gilberto in Rio was co-produced by Kassin and Liminha, who take traditional elements and make them crackle a bit more, but without any too-contemporary tricks or bossa-remix clunkiness. Set in a beautifil setting with Bebel Gilberto sounding even more warmer and more soulful than ever before, some of the tunes are in English, most are in Portuguese, but nevertheless Bebel manages to bring together some older classics with lots of her own great work as well. Titles include a great remake of "Bananeira" "Simplesmente", "Momento", "Sun Is Shining", "August Day Song", "Rio", "Tanto Tempo", "Samba E Amor", and "Close Your Eyes". ~ Dusty Groove

RITA LEE - BUILD UP / HOJO E O PRIMEIRO DIA DO RESTODA SUA VIDA / ATRA DE PORTO TEM UMA CIDADE

Os Mutantes singer Rita Lee's first three solo album released all on on CD! On Build Up you'll hear Lee stepping out as a sophisticated pop singer, almost in the way that Nico did on the Chelsea Girl album, after leaving the Velvet Underground. Arrangements have a weird twisted edge – as Rita makes her way through a set of originals and a few covers, in an almost deadpan, ice-blond mode that reminds us of some of Jane Birkin's early work. Arrangements are by the great Rogerio Duprat, and titles include "Sucesso, Aqui Vou Eu", "Prisioneira Do Amor", "Hulla Hulla", "Tempo Nublado", "Precisamos De Irmaos", and "Calma" – plus a nice cover of "And I Love Him". Next up is Hoje E Primeiro, where Lee is clearly the star of the show – singing all lyrics with a much fiercer vocal approach than on her earlier solo album – pushing things hard to keep up with the jamming keyboards of Arnaldo Baptista and guitar of Sergio Dias – both of whom are working with the energy that would show up in the Mutantes styles in the years after Lee departed. One of the most compelling aspects of the record is the structure of the tunes – less conventionally rockish overall than the direction Os Mutantes were moving towards – and still with that strong dramatic flair that Lee always provided when in the group. Titles include "Vamos Tratar Da Saude", "Amor Branco E Preto", "Superficie Do Planeta", "Teimoisia", "Tapupukitipa", "Beija Me Amor", and "Frique Como". On Atras Do Porto, Lee hits a sort of space rock sound, with a weird set of materials that sort of mixes an early 70's space rock guitar sound with Wings-like production for a more pop feel. Our Portuguese is terrible, so we can't read the lyrics and get hip to the concept, but the inside cover has the band looking kind of like refugees from Spinal Tap or something. With the cuts "Tem Uma Cidade", "Menino Bonito", "Mame Natureza", and "Eclipse Do Cometa".  ~ Dusty Groove

Friday, July 26, 2013

IMER SANTIAGO - HIDDEN JOURNEY

Imer Santiago's musical journey, which began in his native Ohio with stops in New Orleans and Austin, took an important turn in 2007 when he relocated to Nashville. There the accomplished young trumpeter forged a close bond with saxophonist Rahsaan Barber, one of the local jazz scene's key players as well as the owner of Jazz Music City Records. On August 27, Jazz Music City will release Hidden Journey, Imer Santiago's impressive debut as a leader.

"You may not associate Nashville with jazz or Latin jazz," says Santiago, now 36, "but Rahsaan has an open mind to what the future can be. And he's an entrepreneur. He's one of my best friends and truly a brother. All those things led me to ask him to produce this record."

Santiago contributed most of the album's compositions and, with Barber, all of the album's arrangements. The core quintet heard on Hidden Journey, in addition to Santiago and Rahsaan Barber, is rounded out by pianist Bruce Dudley, whose The Solo Sessions was released by Jazz Music City last year; bassist Jon Estes, who also mixed and mastered the new CD and shot the striking cover photographs; and drummer Josh Hunt, currently touring with bluegrass great Alison Krauss, among other artists.

Guest musicians include percussionist Giovanni Rodriguez, who co-leads the Latin-jazz fusion band El Movimiento with Santiago and Barber; El Movimiento guitarist James DaSilva; Imer's younger brother Ivan Santiago on electric bass; trombonist Roland Barber, Rahsaan's twin; and Jazz Music City artist Stephanie Adlington, who's featured vocally on "The Very Thought of You."

Santiago plays "What a Wonderful World" as a lyrical homage to Louis Armstrong, taking the tune in waltz time instead of the usual 4/4. Armstrong had been one of Santiago's earliest favorites. While he was working on his master's degree at the University of New Orleans, Santiago's admiration grew even deeper when he discovered the profound respect New Orleans trumpet players had for the late jazz giant.

Edwin Imer Santiago was born on October 26, 1976, in Lorain, Ohio, to parents originally from Puerto Rico. He took up trumpet while in the fifth grade, and grew up listening to church hymns and to African-American gospel songs that had been translated into Spanish. Remaining active in church music, he toured from 2004 to 2007 as a member of the prominent Austin-based Christian rock band Salvador, with whom he still plays occasional dates.

After high school, where he played in the orchestra, marching band, and jazz band and discovered the music of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, Santiago spent five years at The Ohio State University, where trumpet-playing professor Pharez Whitted was a huge influence on his musical development. After earning bachelor's degrees in jazz studies and atmospheric sciences from Ohio State, Santiago received a master's of music degree in jazz studies in 2000 from the University of New Orleans, where his instructors included Ellis Marsalis, Wendell Brunious, Harold Battiste, and Clyde Kerr Jr.

Initially drawn to Nashville because Salvador's management and record label were located there, Santiago began teaching middle school in 2007 and in August 2012 also began working part-time as an adjunct trumpet instructor at Tennessee State University. He will begin working in the fall of 2013 as the director of the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools' ambitious new district-wide mariachi music program for students in grades 6 through 12.

Besides playing with and co-leading El Movimiento, which grew out of a weekly jam session that he, Barber, and Rodriguez launched in 2008, Santiago does sessions in Nashville studios on an average of twice a month. One of his most interesting studio dates was a recent collaboration with musicians in Mumbai, India, on a dance tune titled "Battameez Dil." Santiago recorded his trumpet, along with a horn section in Nashville, while the producers in India communicated with them over Skype. "They could see and hear us," he says of the Mumbai musicians. A lively Bollywood-style video of the song can be viewed on YouTube.

With the release of Hidden Journey, Imer Santiago steps out of the shadows as a trumpet stylist and composer to be reckoned with in the jazz world at large, and provides additional evidence of the exciting new jazz movement that's emerging in the country music capital.

Santiago will be performing a CD release show at the Nashville Jazz Workshop on Saturday 8/24 with additional dates to be announced in several cities.

www.imersantiago.com
www.jazzmusiccity.com

NEW RELEASES - IVAN BOOGALOO JOE JONES, CRASH OF THUNDER, TRAVIS BIGGS

IVAN BOOGLOO JOE JONES - SWEETBACK

A monster set of work by one of the funkiest guitar players ever! Ivan Boogaloo Joe Jones recorded a number of sides for Prestige Records during the early 70s – but this rare gem came out after all those, in 1975, on the tiny Joka label, and never really got into proper circulation at the time – making it one of THE indie jazz funk classics of the 70s! The album's actually one of Boogaloo's best – and has a rougher edge than his Prestige albums – heard to great effect on the two standout funky cuts, "Sweetback" and "Confusion" – both of which are stunners that feature Jones really ripping away on the guitar! The whole set's nice, though – and other tracks include "You've Got It Bad Girl", "Trouble In Mind", and "Jamaica Farewell". (Limited reissue pressing with the original cover!) ~ Dusty Groove

CRASH OF THUNDER - BOSS SOUL, FUNK AND R&B SIDES FROM THE KING, FEDERAL AND DELUXE LABELS (VARIOUS ARTISTS)

A mighty dip into the legendary vaults of King Records – and one that manages to come up with a motherlode of funky grooves, even though none of them feature James Brown! The package is an essential look at the hinterland of King – artists who mostly just cut singles for the label in the 60s and early 70s, but who managed to match the groove of some of the bigger talents who charted more successfully for the company. There's plenty of gritty, funky cuts on the set – some done as soul numbers with a funky undercurrent on the bottom – others done as heavy funk cuts with a few nice soul touches on the vocals! The set was hand-picked by Mr Finewine – well known for his genius on the Vital Organs collection – and tracks include "Peter Rabbit" and "Which Way" by The Presidents, "Soul Jerk It Baby" by Jeb Stuart, "How Do You Feel" by Peggy & Artie, "Book Of Love" by Clarence Murray, "I Got It Made" by James Duncan, "Football" by The Swinging Seven, "Jo Ann" by Robert Moore, "You've Got To Be Strong" by James Duncan, "Fat Gal" by Mickey Murray, "Your Key Don't Fit Anymore" by Marie Queenie Lyons, "Let Me Be A Steppin Soul" by Charles Spurling, "Thunder" by Lord Thunder, and "Chopper 70" by Wayne Cochran. ~ Dusty Groove

TRAVIS BIGGS - CHALLENGE

Soul Jazz Records are re-issuing this lost classic album. Travis Biggs' 'Challenge' is a boogie/jazz-funk/jazz lp originally recorded in Detroit in 1975. This one off-album by Travis Biggs initially came out on his own tiny T & C label with a pressing of 500 copies and was used by Travis as a demo. As well as the track 'Tibetan Serenity' (as featured on 'New Thing' album), the album also includes super-rare versions of Stevie Wonder's 'I Wish' and a cover of the Loft/Paradise Garage classic track, Steve Miller's 'Fly Like An Eagle'. 2005. ~ CD Universe

TROMBONE SHORTY - SAY THAT TO THIS

Trombone Shorty's new album, Say That To Say This, is set for release on September 10 via Verve.  Trombone Shorty (Troy Andrews) co-produced the 10-track CD with Grammy-nominated R&B virtuoso, Raphael Saadiq. The album also features Trombone Shorty performing with funk legends, the original Meters with Cyril Neville on "Be My Lady", marking The Meters' first studio recording together since 1977. "It's really funky, like James Brown funk mixed with New Orleans Meters and Neville Brothers mixed with what I do on top… And we have a bit of R&B from Raphael's side," said Andrews about the new record. Saadiq added, "If you're a producer or musician, you want to work with other great musicians because it only betters you… I was just honored to be a part of the project."

Say That To Say This follows Trombone Shorty's Grammy-nominated For True which spent twelve weeks at #1 on Billboard's contemporary jazz chart and garnered rave reviews from major news outlets including Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Billboard, USA TODAY, and NPR. Since For True's release, Andrews has performed at The White House and played on recent releases by everyone from Zac Brown to Rod Stewart to Eric Clapton and Cee Lo Green. He's appeared on the covers of Downbeat and Jazziz Magazines, as well as performed on Conan, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In May 2013, he took on the highly prestigious slot closing the entire New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (previously held for over two decades by The Neville Brothers). Andrews has also taken steps to help young students in his own community by creating and fostering a mentoring program at Tulane University via his Trombone Shorty Foundation.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue have confirmed a relentless tour schedule in support of the new album, including performances at the Newport Folk Festival, Outside Lands in San Francisco and New York's Central Park Summerstage, as well as dates with The Avett Brothers, Zac Brown Band and Grace Potter.

~ Verve Music Group

Thursday, July 25, 2013

NEW RELEASES - THE ROLLING STONES, SANTANA & MCLAUGHLIN, ALLEN TOUSSAINT

THE ROLLING STONES - HYDE PARK LIVE

The Rolling Stones have announced the release of The Rolling Stones – Live In Hyde Park from their two successful sold out concerts in London’s Hyde Park on 6th and 13th July. The two Hyde Park concerts saw Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood do what they do best: performing foot-stomping, crowd-pleasing sets packed full with hit singles and anthems including ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll’, ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’, ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ and ‘Paint It Black’, all of which feature on the limited edition iTunes release. The Rolling Stones ‘Live in Hyde Park’ tracklisting: Start Me Up; It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll; Tumbling Dice; Emotional Rescue; Street Fighting Man; Ruby Tuesday; Doom And Gloom; Paint It Black; Honky Tonk Women; You Got The Silver; Before They Make Me Run; Miss You; Midnight Rambler; Gimme Shelter; Jumpin’ Jack Flash; Sympathy For The Devil; Brown Sugar; You Can’t Always Get What You Want; and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.

SANTANA & MCLAUGHLIN - LIVE AT MONTREUX 2011: INVITATION TO ILLUMINATION

On July 1st, 2011, Montreux hosted the reunion of two master guitarists, Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin, with their Invitation To Illumination concert. Both musicians have been regulars at Montreux across the years but this was the first time they headlined their own concert together. The show features most of the tracks from their classic 1973 album Love Devotion Surrender mixed in with a wealth of other material. The evening was a showcase of supreme musical virtuosity and spirituality and typified the approach of these two great artists. It is certainly a performance not to be missed. Line-Up:
Carlos Santana (Lead Guitar & Vocals); John McLaughlin (Lead Guitar & Vocals); Cindy Blackman Santana (Drums); Dennis Chambers (Drums); David K. Mathews (Keyboards); Tommy Anthony (Guitar & Vocals); Raul Rekow (Congas, Percussion & Vocals); Etienne M'Bappé (Bass); Benny Rietveld (Bass); Tony Lindsay (Vocals); Andy Vargas (Vocals). Track Listing: 1) Echoes Of Angels / Introduction 2) The Life Divine 3) Duende 4) Peace On Earth / Dear Lord 5) A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall 6) Stairway To Heaven 7) Lord's Prayer 8) Free America / The 8th Of January 9) La Marseillaise 10) Right Off 11) Guitar Interlude 12) Right Off 13) Vuelta Abajo 14) Vashkar 15) The Creator Has A Master Plan 16) Guitar Interlude 17) Naima 18) Lotus Land Op.47 No.1 19) Downstairs Blues 20) Venus / Upper Egypt 21) Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord 22) Black Satin 23) Smooth Criminal 24) Land Of 1000 Dances 25) Cindy Blackman Santana Drum Solo 26) A Love Supreme 27) Montreux Boogie (inc. La Grange) 28) A Love Supreme 29) Shake It Up And Go. ~ amazon.com

ALLEN TOUSSAINT - SONGBOOK

Allen Toussaint is among the great songwriters and producers of our time. His songs have been covered by Elvis Costello, Glen Campbell, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Band, Paul McCartney, Aaron Neville, Dr. John, Jerry Garcia, Phish, Alison Krauss & Robert Plant and hundreds of others. His productions in the 1960s and 1970s--which include hits such as Lee Dorsey's Workin' in a Coal Mine, LaBelle's Lady Marmalade and Irma Thomas's It's Raining--defined the New Orleans R&B sound of the era. He is also one of the great New Orleans piano players, keeper of a legacy that embraces Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair and James Booker. Songbook presents Allen Toussaint in a solo setting, and it is a joy to hear the nuance that he brings to his own songs. Toussaint standards such as It's Raining, Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?, Holy Cow, Southern Nights and Freedom for the Stallion are joined by several new songs. In each of these performances, you can hear the smile in Allen Toussaint's voice, and his piano playing, if always heard as a key element on the records he produced, is a revelation in its orchestral conception and virtuosity. ~ amazon.com

BRIAN CULBERTON'S NAPA VALLEY JAZZ GETAWAY RAISES FUNDS TO BENEFIT THE GRAMMY FOUNDATION®

Enthusiastic bidders and generous event sponsors packed the Lincoln Theater in Napa, Calif. on June 8th during Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway to raise an impressive $66,000.00 at a fundraising auction and wine reception to benefit The GRAMMY Foundation® more than doubling last year’s take. With over 3,000 jazz and wine enthusiasts gathered from across the nation for the 5-day festival, Brian Culbertson auctioned off the Mason & Hamlin 7-foot model BB grand piano that he used to record many of his chart-topping contemporary jazz albums, including “It’s On Tonight,” “Bringing Back The Funk,” “A Soulful Christmas,” and “XII.” The highly-esteemed piano that was also featured in a number of Culbertson’s videos was donated by festival sponsor Mason & Hamlin.

Tom Lagomarsino, Executive Vice President of Mason & Hamlin Piano and PianoDisc, was thrilled that one of their exclusive handmade pianos, which are still built in the United States, was the coveted centerpiece of the auction. “We are honored to partner with Brian (Culbertson) and the wine and jazz communities to sponsor this great fundraiser to benefit The GRAMMY Foundation. We all recognize the essential need for music education programs in schools as well as the value of preserving our cultural heritage in both music and art. Together, we can truly make a difference."

Mason & Hamlin pianos are acclaimed for their even touch, consistent action, and well-balanced tone, and are Culbertson’s exclusive piano choice. He describes them as having “the purest and richest tone on the market - period. To make great music, it always starts with an amazing instrument. That’s why I’m excited about exclusively playing Mason & Hamlin,” said Culbertson, the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway’s Founder and Artistic Director, a passionate music education advocate.

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture — from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the still unimagined musical breakthroughs of future generations of music professionals. The foundation works to bring national attention and support to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education. Kristen Madsen, The GRAMMY Foundation’s Senior Vice President, expressed her sincere appreciation for the tremendous support. “The value of this generous donation from Mason & Hamlin and Brian (Culbertson) can certainly be calculated in the number of grants to schools and students it will facilitate. But equally important is the vision it reflects of a promising future, where music takes a central position in the vibrancy of our communities. We are delighted to have such remarkable support."

The Napa Valley Jazz Getaway is a not-to-be-missed interactive lifestyle experience at which fans share their passion for wine and jazz with the star studded lineup of concert performers while dining, during wine receptions and tastings, autograph sessions, a golf tournament and at casual post-concert hangs. The third annual festival will be held June 11-15, 2014 and will again include an auction to benefit The GRAMMY Foundation. Additional information is available at www.NapaValleyJazzGetaway.me.

ERIC CLAPTON'S CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL 2013 COMES TO CINEMAS

Bringing the ultimate guitar concert featuring the most legendary guitarists in the world to select U.S. movie theaters, NCM Fathom Events and Crossroad Concerts LLC present “Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013” on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 7:30 p.m. (local time). This special, one-night event will feature the best performances and backstage access from Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival pre-recorded over two nights at Madison Square Garden this past April. Tickets for the live concert sold out within minutes of going on sale, but fans can experience one of the hottest events of the year from their local theater as Clapton gathers his most respected colleagues in the music industry for a jam session. The live concert and portions from the cinema event benefit the Crossroads Centre, a treatment and education facility for chemically dependent people, based in Antigua and founded by Clapton.

“NCM Fathom Events is thrilled to bring audiences the concert event of the summer as Eric Clapton and the world’s best guitarists combine for an unforgettable night in cinemas across the country”.“Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013” will be presented in nearly 500 select movie theaters around the country through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. Tickets are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Musicians featured in the cinema event include the Allman Brothers Band, Blake Mills, Booker T., Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall II, Eric Clapton, Gary Clark Jr., Gregg Allman, Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Keith Richards, Keith Urban, Los Lobos, Robert Cray, Sonny Landreth, Vince Gill and Warren Haynes.

Since 2004, the Crossroads Guitar Festival has taken place every three years and the 2013 edition is the fourth in the series. A mix of sultry blues, classic rock and country jams, the festival offers a wide sampling of legendary guitarists and their greatest hits, where anything can unfold onstage at any time. Since its inception, Clapton’s vision for the Crossroads Guitar Festival has been to create an event where his friends and contemporaries can have fun and perform together for the benefit of a good cause.

“NCM Fathom Events is thrilled to bring audiences the concert event of the summer as Eric Clapton and the world’s best guitarists combine for an unforgettable night in cinemas across the country,” said Dan Diamond, senior vice president of Business Development of NCM Fathom. “The Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival has long been one of the premiere events in music, and communities of fans nationwide will enjoy the ultimate concert experience on the big screen with amazing sound and front row seats.”

NEW RELEASES - AL DI MEOLA BEATLES TRIBUTE, MARY J. BLIGE, DHAFER YOUSSEF

AL DI MEOLA - ALL YOUR LIFE (BEATLES TRIBUTE)

Celebrated guitarist and composer, Al Di Meola’s latest release, “All Your Life” is an acoustic tour de force that has him revisiting the music of the Beatles. A virtual one-man show of virtuosity, it features the guitar great interpreting 14 familiar Beatles tunes in the stripped-down setting of strictly acoustic guitar. “I’ve come full circle with this Beatles project. I started out my life loving the Beatles, and I never stopped, just like a lot of so many other guitarists from my generation. In the middle, we all went into whatever music we pursued in our careers – fusion, jazz, whatever it might be. We all wanted to further our craft. But when you come back to the Beatles’ music, it’s like, ‘Man, this stuff is still happening!’ All of it!” -Al Di Meola.  ~ www.aldimeola.com


MARY J. BLIGE - A MARY CHRISTMAS

Iconic Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, actress and philanthropist Mary J. Blige will release her first-ever holiday album in October of 2013. The album is titled "A Mary Christmas," and features her soulful interpretation of classic holiday tunes. This is Blige's 11th studio album since her 1992 debut What's the 411? In two decades, Blige's work has earned her numerous awards and she has sold over 50 million records. Among her many accolades, Blige can claim eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy® Awards (she has been nominated for a staggering 29) and four American Music Awards. "A Mary Christmas" is the first collaboration between legendary producer and hit-maker David Foster and Blige for Matriarch Records/Verve Records/Interscope Records. Sixteen-time Grammy winner and Chairman of The Verve Music Group, Foster is the producer of multi-platinum Christmas albums by Michael Bublé, Rod Stewart, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and Celine Dion. ~ Interscope Records

DHAFER YOUSSEF - INCANTATION (BIRD'S REQUIEM)

Another release not to miss is Dhafer Youssef’s new album “Incantation (Birds Requiem)”. It will be available this October. This is his most personal album so far – a collection of songs of amazing beauty. The power and clarity of his voice is simply overwhelming. The Tunisian singer and oud player will be on tour with his new release in November, December and throughout 2014. Yousseff has a voice. Tracks include: Birds Canticum Birds Requiem Suite; Hymn to the Absent Sweet Blasphemy; Blending Souls & Shades; Ascetic Mood; Fuga Hirundinum Birds Requiem Suite; Khira Indicium Divinum; 39th Gülay - Aytac Dogan; Archaic Feathers Birds Requiem Suite; Sevdah; Ascetic Journey - Aytac Dogan; and Whirling Birds Ceremony Birds Requiem Suite.

GERI ALLEN - GRAND RIVER CROSSINGS: MOTOWN & MOTOR CITY INSPIRATTIONS

Motéma Music has announced the release celebrated pianist-composer-bandleader Geri Allen's new album, Grand River Crossings: Motown and Motor City Inspirations. The recording marks Allen's fourth for the label and third in a trilogy of solo recordings beginning with the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship project, Flying Toward the Sound, followed by her spiritual Christmas exploration, A Child is Born in 2011, and culminating this year with Grand River Crossings.

Named for the major thoroughfare near her childhood home in Detroit, Grand River Crossings is a highly personal reflection on an influential time and place in America - a cultural crossroads - with Motown at the center of it all.

Allen's first recollection of exposure to the Motown sound was at age seven when she heard Marvin Gaye's and Gladys Knight's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," and other hits on WCHB and WJLB Soul Radio the music clearly had a profound effect on the young girl. Allen states: "The music and the poetry still blows my mind each time I hear it. Marvin Gaye was a brilliant improviser. You can see and hear his sensibility, open fearlessness and soulful beauty on songs like 'What's Going On', the iconic Civil Rights Anthem. The music continues to connect to our lives today as though it were just recorded yesterday." Sighting many critical and historical flashpoints in the history of African American culture, Allen notes that Berry Gordy's Motown Records produced an anthology of hits and, more importantly, a soundtrack for a generation. That soundtrack includes the work of those who are now known as some of the most influential artists of the 20th Century-Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, the Contours, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Junior Walker & The All-Stars, among others.

On this recording, Allen carefully crafts a collection of songs into something truly personal. Compositions by NEA Jazz Master Gerald Wilson, Detroit drum legend Roy Brooks and Allen's mentor Marcus Belgrave, the great trumpeter Jazz Master Laureate of Detroit, who is the last living original member of the Ray Charles Band, along with Allen's own compositions, sit comfortably next to known anthems and pop hits. Allen's musical performance ties together the choices of repertoire she lovingly culled from the classic Motown & Motor City Songbook and in doing so, she further stakes her claim as one of a long lineage of Motor City artists whom have contributed to the fabric of music history. This list includes iconic composer, bandleader, trumpeter and Cass Tech alumnus Gerald Wilson, who is represented on the album's closing track titled, "Nancy Jo." On Grand River Crossings, Allen deftly merges and integrates genres- from classic to the modern, from spirituals to the blues and beyond creating a one-of-a kind listening experience.

Fellow Detroit Cass Tech High School classmate, Greg Phillinganes, the celebrated producer and musical director, writes in the liner notes for Grand River Crossings: "through a body of work spanning many albums, Geri has become a force of nature with this, her latest offering." He continues by saying, "Welcome to the 'New Classical' music..."

Grand River Crossings: Motown and Motor City Inspirations - Track Listing
1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (Michael Jackson)
2. Tears of a Clown (Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Henry Cosby)
3. That Girl (Stevie Wonder)
4. Grand River Crossings I (Geri Allen)
5. The Smart Set (Roy Brooks)
6. Let it Be (Paul McCartney)
7. Space Odyssey (Marcus Belgrave)
8. In Appreciation (Geri Allen)
9. Baby I Need Your Lovin' (Holland-Dozier-Holland)
10. Itching In My Heart (Holland-Dozier-Holland)
11. Stoned Love (Frank Wilson)
12. Grand River Crossings II (Geri Allen)
13. Inner City Blues (Marvin Gaye)
14. Save the Children (Marvin Gaye)
15. Nancy Joe (Gerald Wilson)

Upcoming Geri Allen Appearances:
** = ACS Trio: Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding
** July 23 / Jardins Palais Longchamp / Marseille, France
** July 24 / Arena Del Mare / Genova, Italy
** July 25 / Palazzo del Congressi Della Fiera di / Cagliari, Italy
** July 27 / Marciac Jazz Festival / Marciac, France
** August 28 / Hollywood Bowl / Los Angeles, CA
** August 29 / Red Butte Garden Theatre / Salt Lake City, UT
September 1 / Detroit Jazz Festival - Duo w. Danilo Perez / Detroit, MI
September 2 / Detroit Jazz Festival - w. Detroit Homecoming Band / Detroit, MI, feat. George Bohannon, JD Allen, Bob Hurst, Karriem Riggins, Shelia Jordan
September 27 - 29 / Newark New Jersey Symphony - w. Afro Blue / Newark, NJ
** October 5 / Quick Center / Fairfield, CT
** October 11 / Kennedy Center / Washington, DC
** October 17 / Paramount Theatre / Austin, TX
** October 19 / Cullen Theatre / Houston, TX
** October 20 / Hiland Theater / Albuquerque, NM
** October 22 / Ikeda Theater / Mesa, AZ
** October 25 & 26 / Samueli Theatre / Costa Mesa, CA
** October 27 / The Broad Stage / Santa Monica, CA
October 31- November 2 / The University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar 2013:  Celebrating Nathan Davis, / Pittsburgh, PA, feat. All-Stars Jeff Watts, Randy Brecker, Ravi Coltrane, Carmen Lundy, Russell Malone, Kenny Davis and other surprise guests
** November 7 / Helsinki Music Center / Finland, Helsinki
** November 8 / Stockholm Konserthuset / Sweden, Stockholm
** November 9 / National Jazzscene / Oslo, Norway
** November 11 / Gothenburg Konserthus / Gothenburg, Sweden
** November 12 / Master Class (Women in Jazz) / Gothenburg, Sweden
** November 13 / Stadtcasino / Basel, Switzerland
** November 14 / Paulu de la Musica / Barcelona, Spain
** November 15 / Sala Mutiusos / Zaragoza, Spain
** November 17 / Barbican Centre / London, England
** November 22 / Massey Hall / Toronto, Canada
** November 24 / Boston Symphony Hall / Boston, MA
December 17 - 22 / The Village Vanguard - w. Quartet / New York, New York, feat. Ravi Coltrane, Jeff Watts, James Genus

BADLANDS - TRAMPLED UNDER FOOT

Given their upbringing, it’s no wonder Trampled Under Foot have quickly become one of the hottest up-and-coming blues bands on the circuit today. Siblings Danielle Schnebelen (lead vocals and bass), Nick Schnebelen (guitars and vocals) and Kris Schnebelen, (drums) have a lifelong connection with the blues. Growing up in Kansas City, MO, the hard-charging trio soaked up the music of their parents, who were active in the thriving blues scene.

“Our dad was in bar bands but he was also recognized as a great blues guitar player,” says Nick, describing the influence his father had on his music. “He’d take us to blues jams where we’d meet some real old school artists and hear a huge cross section of roots music.” His father’s love of poetry also made an impact. “It led to a more intellectual style of writing and tipped us off to some techniques that made our music more dynamic.”

After years of playing in separate bands, Danielle, Kris and Nick decided to keep things in the family and formed Trampled Under Foot (TUF). “The bonds are stronger with family,” Kris says. “You’re more familiar with each other, that’s for sure.”

“We just decided to go for it,” adds Nick. “In our younger years, we were still developing, so it was good to take on this group in our early- to mid-twenties after we already had some experience under our belts.”

A pivotal moment came in 2008 when Trampled Under Foot headed to Memphis for the Blues Foundation’s 24th International Blues Challenge and walked away with first place, proving to the world that they’re a band to be reckoned with. Nick also took home the prestigious Albert King Award for best guitarist. “When we won, I couldn’t believe it,” says Danielle. “It opened up a lot of doors for us, and we got some really great gigs out of it.”

After several acclaimed self-released albums, Trampled Under Foot debuts Badlands July 9, 2013 on Telarc, a division of Concord Music Group. Toughened by years of nonstop roadwork, Badlands reveals a musical sophistication well beyond the band’s years.

On Badlands, the band worked again with producer Tony Braunagel at his Ultratone Studios in California. The drummer in the Phantom Blues Band, Braunagel plays some percussion on the album and recruited veteran keyboardist Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Bonnie Raitt, Etta James) to play keys. Johnny Lee Schell, who also recorded the album, adds acoustic guitar to one track and even mother Lisa Swedelund provides some additional backing vocals. John Porter mixed the final results at Independent Street Studios in New Orleans.

“Tony Braunagel is awesome,” Nick says. “He’s the guru guy. He has a blues crew. They’ve all been playing together for 20 plus years. We came on their team. I was excited about the star quality of the guys on the album, but their musical ability let us really dig in. Mike Finnigan plays more piano and organ and Rhodes than he did on the last record. That makes the record shine so much more.”

The album shows off the band’s maturity right from the opening notes of the first track, the break-up ballad “Bad Bad Feeling.” Danielle sounds particularly vulnerable (and hurt) as she adopts the persona of a woman scorned and sings, “You say I’m crazy/I’m making it up” and recounts seeing “the other woman” at a party. While the songs on the album aren’t all dark, they do have a sharper edge to them than the tunes on the band’s previous studio efforts.

“Everyone’s writing ability came up,” says Nick. “And there’s grittier guitar on this record that I’m excited about. We don’t pick one style of rock blues. There’s gospel and full-on dirty blues. There’s also a danceable quality.”

Propelled by a funky keyboard riff, “Dark of the Night” offers a bit of inspiration despite addressing “broken dreams.” A mid-song guitar solo shows off Nick’s terrific chops. He holds his own on the mic, too, as he sings lead on the roadhouse rocker “Don’t Want No Woman” and the soulful title track. The disc comes to a close with a spirited rendition of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.”

“That song has always been propelled by such a large band, and they have a huge horn section with strings on it too,” says Nick. “I think it’s awesome. Midwestern guys don’t get a lot of funk influence, but we got that going on. I was a huge James Brown fan. I decided to make it stark and bare and Danielle shines over the top. For this song, it’s about her vocals. That’s Danielle in her essence.”

Kris agrees the song provides a showcase for Danielle’s powerhouse vocals. “It’s a legendary tune and I just lay back on it,” he says. “I just try to support it and let her put it all out there. She’s such a talented performer.”

Danielle also demonstrates her range on “You Never Really Loved Me,” as she nails the upper register notes and then simmers down into a lower register for the song’s finale. And she’s in terrific form on the soulful ballad “I Didn’t Try” and the mid-tempo number “Home to You.”

Now, only a few years after hitting the radar, Badlands represents a rite of passage for a band that is knocking on the door of greatness. “All I really want to do is inspire goodness in people. I’m really passionate about the blues and about music,” Danielle says. “My lyrics are really personal to me; I’m like an open book. I’m always honest about the music, and I hope I can inspire people. I want the listener to get something out of it. I want the audience to have a good time dancing and laughing with me while I take them on a journey.”

One thing is certain, Trampled Under Foot are in it for the long haul. Look for them to flex their blues-rock muscles this summer when they go on tour, performing live throughout the United States and Europe in support of Badlands.

THE GREEN MAN - SOUND POWER

The Green Man’s Sound Power is “Bass Music” with a lot of soul. Its 30 tracks are a sound journey from melancholy to euphoria, covering both speedy and half-time beats, coolness and emotion. It features mainly drum & bass, but also dubstep, ambient, jazz, soul, techno, trap and trip hop. It switches between lush arrangements and minimal simplicity, between wide spaces in sound and the intimacy of a drummer’s booth – with a big final at the end, featuring three of Green Man’s former biggest hits at the end of CD2. “Sound Power” is a sound adventure – which is supposed to be experienced from the beginning to the end.

“Sound Power” is “Bass Music” with a touch of Air or Massive Attack. Singers like Peter Boucner (I’m a Junglist, UK Top 10 with Shut Up & dance’s I’m Ravin I’m Ravin), Demolition Man, MC Navigator, Mystic Dan and Ras Abraham are performing on Green Man’s sound, resulting in tracks with soul like “Face the Father”, “Word Sound Power” (both on Basswerk 38 limited edition vinyl), “Junglist Soldier”, “Keep Trying” or “Playing In The Dark”. Shut Up & Dance’s “The Green Man” once was the spark initiating “The Green Man”‘s artist career delivered the artist name, so having Peter Bouncer to sing the opening track matches not only soundwise. It’s the positive energy of his singinig – in Jamaica they call it “Word, Sound, Power” – which became a hook for the whole album, which is about “Sound” that lets you smile, gives power or also makes you wonder. Besides the groovy material tracks like “Chainsmoker”, “Apokalypse” or “We Destroy The World” show Green Man’s “dark” side.

TGM’s first album “You Decide” on Duesseldorf’s electronic crossover label Combination (who also released SEBA and Kabuki albums) back then convinced the fans not only with the music (“Infinity” entered the MTV Dance Charts and was #1 in the German DCC club charts), but also with its accompanying little written essay in the artwork. “You Decide” was loved by drum & bass nerds and Elle magazine at the same time. It is a coincidence that Heiner Kruse a.k.a The Green Man (or in short “TGM”) has his birthday on the same day with Matthew Herbert. Nevertheless it is no surprise one can find allusions or political statements in track names, colours and pictures plus another little essay also in “Sound Power”, they are not so much hidden though and feel quite personal. The Green Man does not only enjoy details when it comes to sound design but also when it comes to writing down his “TGM” moniker as a logo on the album the same way he does it with an Edding waterproof pen on self-burnt dubplate CD’s, developping a fonts out of it and doing the whole artwork.

While currently “Bass Music” is the new word for drum & bass and dubstep, the borders between genres seem to “blur”. TGM and Basswerk are known for running one of Germany’s most famous drum & bass events called “Basswerk Sessions”, being an absolute term in the scene featuring a wide musical variety of drum & bass since 1995, featuring artists such as Intalex, D-Bridge, State Of Mind, BSE, Doc Scott, Spectrasoul, Enei, Calibre or Dub Phizix recently. With over 40 Vinyl and CD releases including regular musical contributions by The Green Man’s own Basswerk label, founded 1997, soon developed to become one of Germany’s most famous drum & bass labels receiving various Future Music Awards for the best label, which were the German equivalent to the UK’s D&B Arena votings.

As an artist TGM is known to enjoy surprises, be it within his dj sets, productionwise with “crossover” tracks like “Easy” or “Infinity”, or with his dark “Chainsmoker”, released on Big Bud’s UK’s Soundtrax label played by DJ’s like Rockwell, Phace, Naibu or Intalex – or long ago producing a coop with Klute called “Chicks” in his Cologne studio. He covers a variety of electronic music and drum & bass. No wonder his music was used for various films and performances like CSI Miami, BBC Blue Peter, Sky, Arte, CreativeReview.co.uk, Current TV, Holiday On Ice and more, including his works as a composer for the “Lichtfaktor” lightwriting artist collective and its movies.

The Green Man has been performing dj and live sets internationally including overseas gigs and in 2008 also contributed a DJ Mix on behalf of Groove Attack for Knowledge Magazine’s CD. In 2011 UK Mixmag has chosen his Basswerk dc2 digital compilation including a TGM dj mix to be compilation of the month. He also does music videos and artist tutorials on www.youtube.com/basswerkrec. He is also known as an author of various books on music production in German language and teaches music production and beatdesign lessons in an engineering school once a week in Cologne.

www.basswerk.de

Tracklisting:
CD1
01. Word Sound Power (feat. Peter Bouncer)
02. Keep On Movin
03. Face The Father (feat. Demolitian Man)
04. Reasonjazz
05. Can We Change
06. Shy Conversations (with Sam KDC)
07. The Black & White Walkways
08. Keep Trying (feat. MC Navigator)
09. Automation
10. Somehow You Know When It’s Right
11. Stay Tune
12. Junglist Soldier (TGM Remix)
13. Love,Change Or Leave It
14. A Deeper Love
15. A Song for Chloe

CD2
01. Playing In The Dark (feat. Mystic Dan)
02. I Go (Subz Heatwave RMX) (feat. Ufo! & Sage)
03. Mindless
04. Polaroid
05. I’ve Got It in My Head (feat. Mystic Dan)
06. Electronic Supersymphonic
07. Passage To India
08. A Greater Hood (My Lady Dub Vocal)
09. Poona
10. Apocalypse
11. We Destroy The World
12. Information
13. Chainsmoker
14. Euphoria (with Dizplay)
15. Easy (Video Version) (feat. MC Dragoon & Chevy)

~ groove attack

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