Friday, May 29, 2015

NEW RELEASES: ROB MAZUREK EXPLODING STAR ORCHESTRA - GALACTIC PARABLES VOL. 1; KENNY BARRON / MARK SHERMAN - INTERPLAY; PAQUITO D’RIVERA & QUINTETO CIMARRON – AIRES TROPICALES

ROB MAZUREK EXPLODING STAR ORCHESTRA - GALACTIC PARABLES VOL. 1

The most cosmically expansive and exciting work yet from composer/coronet player Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra – dedicated to Amiri Baraka, and infused with the righteous, poetic spirit of Baraka's work with Sun Ra! The Exploding Star players include some Chicago underground heroes and heroines of longstanding brilliance, including flautist Nicole Mitchell, guitarist Jeff Parker, drummers John Herndon and Chad Taylor, bassist Matthew Lux, and Damon Locks on electronics and with some subtly righteous spoken word – along with Mazurek's Sao Paolo Underground cohorts Mauricio Takara and Guilherme Grandando, and last but not least, pianist Angelica Sanchez – all of whom have ample space to shine. Galactic Parables Vol 1 is a 2 disc set, one featuring the compositions as performed in Sardinia, and a second CD of their performances at the Chicago Cultural Center, which is a smart approach, given the improvisational nature of the material. There's plenty of space for the players to explore, and the differing performances are no doubt colored and shaded in different ways by different environments. Amazing stuff! Titles include "Free Agents Of Sound", "Make Way To The City", "The Arc Of Slavery #72", "Helmets Of Our Poisonous Thoughts #16", "Collections Of Time" and "Awaken The World #41". ~ Dusty Groove

KENNY BARRON / MARK SHERMAN - INTERPLAY

A great meeting between jazz piano legend Kenny Barron and the younger, brillant vibes player Mark Sherman – Barron being a veteran of top notch duo settings, and Sherman newer to it – but Sherman succeeds here mightily! Interplay couldn't be a more fitting title, as the pair are perfectly simpatico – working together on a range of material and a lone Barron original, it's wonderful from track-to-track – feeling like one of the coziest, strongest latenight jazz club sessions you'd ever be lucky enough to see. Includes nice takes on the tried-and-true "Afternoon In Paris", "Dear Old Stockholm" and "Indian Summer", the Barron composed waltz "Venture Within", Dexter Gordon's "Cheese Cake", the Charles Mingus gem "Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk", "Polka Dots And Moonbeams", "Without A Song" and more.  ~ Dusty Groove

PAQUITO D’RIVERA & QUINTETO CIMARRON – AIRES TROPICALES

One of the most creatively adventurous efforts in years from Paquito D'Rivera – which is saying something, as he's never lacking in ambition – and it finds the style-straddling clarinetist joined by the Cimarron string quintet! Quinteto Cimarron is a Cuban combo that leans more towards contemporary small combo classical, with a pair of violins, viola, cello and contrabass – and Paquito's clarinet and occasional saxophone feels right at home in the mix. There's no additional accompaniment, nor is it needed, it works brilliantly as is, with arrangements by Eduardo Cana Flores, and titles that include "Alborada Y Son", "Wapango", "Habanera", "Afro", "Contradanza", "Martica", "Longina", "Notas De La Habana", "La Rity", "Dna Vainilla", "Zumolanida", "Isora Club", "La Rity" and more. 17 in all!  ~ Dusty Groove


New compilation showcasing some great early works by the outstanding Dutch jazz singer Greetje Kauffeld

This new compilation “Young Girl Sunday Jazz” makes Greetje Kauffeld’s lost jazz songs from the 1960s available on CD and vinyl LP. Mainly included are recordings from the private vaults of the singer or from musicians’ and collectors’ archives, with music performed between 1960 and 1969 at concerts, in the studio or at sessions for radio and tv. Greetje in top form, accompanied by some of the most excellent Dutch and German jazz musicians! Moreover, all four tracks of her first and only jazz EP from 1960, entitled “Makin’ Whoopee”, are reissued here for the first time.

The 16 remastered songs fill a major gap in her discography. Not even one jazz record by Greetje Kauffeld was released during the course of the 60s, although she regularly performed on stage as a truly gifted jazz singer. Her story of a recorded but never released Bossa Nova album, produced 1967 with Oscar Castro Neves in Los Angeles, and its corresponding master tape that somehow landed in the trash bin, fits well into the picture: Until today, she remains one of the great European jazz voices of the 1960s, but without accompanying releases from that period.

Already as a little girl Greetje sang while listening to jazz recordings on the radio or on records. She gained a broad knowledge of the song repertoire, by listening only and without the need to memorize the English lyrics. Greetje had music in her heart and knew exactly: “I want to be a singer”. In the school band “The Raindrops” she had her first practical experience. Then in 1957 the artist began to work in a professional environment. The German magazine “Jazz Podium” reported: “The 17-year-old Greetje Kauffeld is the new singer of the Dutch big band The Skymasters. Greetje made her debut in Cologne, where her predecessor Annie Plevier found a new home. Annie has left the Skymasters because she got married in Cologne”.

This is something of a leap in the dark for the young and self-confident lady from Rotterdam, who responded to a newspaper advertisement placed by the popular Radio Orchestra under the direction of Bep Rowold. Greetje made her first appearance as the new vocalist of the band at Guerzenich Cologne, also sang at the Tanzbrunnen and then went on a four-week tour with the musicians through the Ruhr area. A little later her first shellac record with the Skymasters was released on the Dutch Decca label, but “Kindje” appeared to be a naive pop song and a foolish idea by her record company. Her other Dutch pop records of the time largely flew under the radar and commercially failed.

However, in the same year the song “Who Knows Why”, with which the singer won the first prize at the Song Festival in Venice, incorporated an intense jazz feeling. Erwin Lehn sat in the audience and invited the young artist to work with his Big Band of the South German Radio. As late as 1960 a recording of the song was included in her first and only Dutch jazz EP, produced with the quartet of saxophonist Tony Vos. This Decca 7inch record contains three more songs and remains Greetje’s only jazz release from the 60s: “Almost Like Being In Love”, “Makin’ Whoopee” and “Orange Coloured Sky”.

A year later she moved to Stuttgart and topped the German charts with Schlager songs for Polydor and Columbia. Her record bosses were happy and helped to establish the pretty girl as a successful German pop singer. Nevertheless, in the background she continued to focus on her jazz career, clearly audible in these recordings with top-notch musicians, both from the Netherlands and Germany. But then, after the beginning of the 70s and a long stay in Los Angeles, Greetje finally left the entertainment industry and decided to devote herself entirely to her passion for jazz, especially to the songs from the Great American Songbook.

From 1974 on, her husband Joop De Roo produced the vocal jazz albums “And Let The Music Play” (arranged by Jerry Van Rooyen and Rob Pronk), “He Was A King Uncrowned” and “Some Other Spring”. Most of the included songs were already re-released on Sonorama Records and have been sold in many countries. During those times, Greetje performed with the who’s who of the European jazz elite and with American stars such as Phil Woods, Stan Getz, Mark Murphy or Herb Geller. In the 1980s and 90s she also released outstanding jazz records as a freelance singer, including the marvelous album “The Real Thing” with Humphrey Campbell.

In addition, Greetje became a singing teacher, first at the conservatories in Hilversum and Zwolle. Later she also worked as a vocal coach for artists like Roger Cicero or Ulita Knaus. Her album “My Shining Hour”, released in 2005 and recorded with the Paul Kuhn Trio featuring Paulo Morello and Kim Barth, was highly praised by critics and audiences alike. These days, she perfoms up to 80 concerts a year, with small and large ensembles between Trio and big band – in small clubs and at major festivals in Germany and Holland, e.g. over twenty times at the famous “North Sea Jazz Festival”. Thank you for the music, Greetje. Your modesty is one of your greatest charms!
  
Tracklisting:

01. Almost Like Being In Love
02. Saturday Night
03. Fever
04. Handful Of Soul
05. Orange Coloured Sky
06. Love For Sale
07. Shiny Stockings
08. Deed I Do
09. My Kinda World
10. My Blue Heaven
11. Day In Day Out
12. Makin’ Whoopee
13. You And I (Você E Eu)
14. It’s Alright With Me
15. Who Knows Why

16. Almost Like Being In Love

~ grooveattack.com


Thursday, May 28, 2015

NEW RELEASES: JIMMY DALE – DEAR MR. BENSON; JACK PACK; VINICIUS CANTUARIA – VINICIUS CANTA ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM

JIMMY DALE – DEAR MR. BENSON

Jazz guitarist Jimmy Dale is turning heads with his new original single “Dear Mr. Benson”. This week Dale hits SmoothJazz.com’s Radar chart at #61. Right now his single is getting spins on numerous terrestrial and online radio stations such as CJazzChannel.com, KSHK 103.3 in Hawaii, Phase-Radio Show 90.5 FM, Smooth Jazz Florida, SmoothJazz.com, WFSS 91.9 in North Carolina, WOWE 98.9 in Michigan, and WTCC 90.7 in Massachusetts. His musical journey started at the age of 12 when he first learned how to play the guitar. When he first saw the movie A Hard Days Night from The Beatles, he claimed “I was lost in the life of music forever.” Jimmy also attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and UC Santa Cruz. He studied music with guitarists: Ted Greene, Carl Verheyen and Davis Ramey, trumpet/composition with Randy Masters and Tony Horowitz, mathematical composition with Joe Sekon, bass with Ray Drummond, and music arranging with Don Schamber.

JACK PACK

Jack Pack is a uniquely contemporary swing pop group is made up of four distinct vocalists Andrew Bourn, Alfie Palmer, Martin McCafferty and Sean Ryder Wolf, who channel an elegance reminiscent of the last days of true Hollywood glamour with a quintessentially British twist. After signing to Simon Cowell’s Syco Music roster following Britain’s Got Talent 2014, Jack Pack release their self-titled debut album. Jack Pack has been recorded with a 72-piece orchestra, hearing the group put a contemporary stamp on much-loved classics like “Light My Fire”, “I Put A Spell On You” and “My Way”. The album also features brand new original recordings including a previously un-released track penned by Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer/songwriter Randy Newman titled “Forever”. ~ Amazon

VINICIUS CANTUARIA – VINICIUS CANTA ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM

A truly beautiful tribute to the classic songcraft of Antonio Carlos Jobim – done with warmth, reverence and soul-stirring voice and guitar by Vinicius Cantuaria! The Tom Jobim songbook is timeless, of course, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that one of the finer Brazilian voices of a later generation could handle it, but this set is exceptionally strong! Some of the best numbers are on the spare side, with Cantuaria's voice up front in the mix, giving it an intimate quality that we love – but it also includes some wonderful musicians from both Rio and Tokyo – where the tracks were recorded – plus some nice guest guitar work by Bill Frisell on a couple tunes and a lovely duet with Joyce. Includes "Ligua", "Caminhos Cruzados" featuring Joyce, "Vivo Sonhando", "So Danco Samba", "Este Seu Ohlar", "Retrato Em Branco E Preto", "Felicade", "Insensatez", "Inutil Paisagem", "Voce Vai Ver", "Por Causa De Voce" and more. 13 in all. ~ Dusty Groove





"Padme" Marks the Recording Debut of Pianist/Composer Caili O'Doherty

Pianist and composer Caili O'Doherty steps into the top tier of promising young jazz artists with the release on July 7 of her sparkling debut album, Padme, on her ODO Records imprint. O'Doherty's prowess on acoustic and electric keys, her proclivity for writing airy, flowing melodies, and her clear vision as a leader are much in evidence on the new CD.

The album title means "lotus flower," which "begins growing at the bottom of a muddy pool, emerges and blooms on the surface of the water during daylight, and then closes and sinks below the surface each night, to bloom clean the next day," she says. "To me, it embodies the idea that each person, despite the conditions they start from, can hope to realize their dreams." 

For Caili (pronounced "KAY-lee"), jazz is an extension of the lotus flower, imbued with qualities that resonate in people living through difficult circumstances -- helping them to recognize and connect with their dreams. Nourished by her experiences in Africa, Central and South America, and Europe, as well as in New York, Washington, DC, and her hometown of Portland, Oregon, O'Doherty's interest in the unifying impact of music across different cultures finds a stirring voice in her beautifully varied compositions.

The recipient of two DownBeat awards and an ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award in 2009, Caili has an unusual approach to composing. She writes lyrics to her songs to imbue in them the stories of her journeys and discards the words when the pieces are completed. This gives her melodies a natural rhythm of language. 

All of the songs on Padme have an engagingly light quality, even when probing dark themes. Her lyrical touch on piano opens the way for fetching arrangements involving violin and trombone, wordless vocals, the guitar of guest artist Mike Bono on the title track, and the earthy drumming by the stellar Adam Cruz on the gorgeously harmonized "Prayer Song."

Padme captures a terrific group of young artists with whom O'Doherty enjoys strong ties. They include bassist Zach Brown, violinist Alex Hargreaves, and guitarist Mike Bono, who were all at Berklee with Caili; drummer Cory Cox and tenor saxophonist Ben Flocks, who were at the Stanford Jazz Workshop with her; and alto saxophonist Caroline Davis and trombonist Eric Miller, whom she met after moving to New York.

The 23-year-old O'Doherty started classical piano lessons at five and began playing jazz at 11, studying under celebrated educator Thara Memory. After being selected for the Berklee Summer Jazz Workshop band, led by drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, Caili was awarded a full scholarship to the Boston school. Since she had only completed her sophomore year of high school when she received the offer, she took extra courses and graduated a year early in order to attend Berklee. As a member of Berklee's Global Jazz Institute, directed by Danilo Perez, she got to perform with him and other greats including Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, and John Patitucci. 

In 2010, O'Doherty was one of five pianists invited to participate in the inaugural season of the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Emerging Artists Workshop at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. After graduating from Berklee with a degree in jazz piano performance, she moved to New York. 

As witness her voluntary teaching and performing, as well as her efforts at WeBop, an early-childhood jazz education program at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, where she has been a member of the faculty since 2012, Caili retains her commitment to music education and outreach even as she devotes herself to performing jazz. 

"When you're very clear what you're doing it all for, it gives everything a bigger purpose," she said. "I've seen how music can be a vehicle for social change and healing. I strive to incorporate those ideas in my daily life." 

Caili O'Doherty on Tour:
  • 6/25 Christo's Pizzeria & Lounge, Salem, OR 
  • 6/26 The Royal Room, Seattle 
  • 6/27 Arrivederci Wine Bar, Portland 
  • 7/1 Jimmy Mak's, Portland 
  • 7/2 The Jazz Station, Eugene, OR 
  • 7/3 POPS Performing Arts & Cultural Center, Dunsmuir, CA 
  • 7/4 Fillmore Jazz Festival, California Street Stage, San Francisco 
  • 7/4 Jupiter Brewhouse, Berkeley 
  • 7/5 Café Stritch, San Jose
  • 7/6 SOhO Restaurant & Music Club, Santa Barbara 
  • 7/8 The Blue Whale, Los Angeles 
  • 7/9 Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz 
  • 7/10 San Jose Jazz Presents Music at the Market, San Jose
  • 7/11-7/25 Teaching at Stanford Jazz Workshop
  • 7/21 Stanford Jazz Festival, Palo Alto, CA 


Multi-Platinum Artist and Keyboardist for the Moody Blues, Alan Hewitt, Forms Jazz/Rock Fusion Super Group: Alan Hewitt & One Nation, Releases New CD "Evolution"

Alan Hewitt, platinum keyboardist/producer to the stars, releases a jazz CD with his new super band Alan Hewitt & One Nation entitled "Evolution”. The album is now available on iTunes, Amazon and other electronic retail outlets. Full album streaming on Rdio here.

What happens when you put world class musicians together, stir in some jazz, rock, prog and a whole lot of inspiration? You get Alan Hewitt & One Nation… a fusion of great songs combined with great musicians and great performances influenced by their predecessors, Return to Forever, Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Alan Hewitt, multi platinum composer/writer/producer and keyboardist for the Moody Blues created the jazz super group Alan Hewitt and One Nation; he is featured on piano and keyboards.  The band is made up of JV Collier, Bass (Bruce Hornsby Noisemakers, The Temptations, Earl Klugh, Freda Payne, Ron Banks and the Dramatics, Enchantment and the Floaters); Sonny Emory, Grammy winning drummer (EWF, Steely Dan, Bruce Hornsby Noisemakers, Stanley Clarke); Jamie Glaser, Guitarist (Anderson/Ponty Band, Chick Corea’s Electric Band, Manhattan Transfer) and Duffy King, Guitarist and six time Detroit music award winner.  Special Guests on Album include Orianthi, the Guitarist best known from Michael Jackson's "This is It" and vocalist Alex Boye, the #1 YouTube Artist of the Year.

“This music has no boundaries nor relies on the current norm. It’s inspired, energetic, artful, melodic and edgy! I wanted to return to the music that I listened to and loved so much when I was growing up, which was fusion- and put my own stamp on it! ” says Hewitt.

Hewitt just finished up a U.S. and will be embarking on the European leg of the tour in June, with The Moody Blues performing at legendary venues such as the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, the majestic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver and The Apollo in London. Hewitt is also being showcased on “Justin Hayward’s Spirits…Live at Buckhead” DVD airing nationwide on PBS which has already charted at #2 on the Billboard Charts. You can view Alan’s press coverage here.

Alan Hewitt has made his living painting musical tapestries about the lives of others.  Hewitt began his career performing in the club scene but quickly graduated to the production room, where he had the honor of working as Co-Producer alongside Maurice White of Earth Wind and Fire (EWF) for over half a decade with EWF's Greatest Hits album going platinum in 2000. However, it was co-writing and piano/B-3 contributions on the platinum record Cherry Pie with Warrant that would solidify Hewitt as a monster musical talent capable of crossing genres.


Hewitt's list of record production credits as both a Producer and recording artist spans across various major labels and genres with over 12 million records sold. A first call composer for a long list of major film and television productions, Hewitt's film & television credits include National Lampoon's Van Wilder, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Survivor, MTV, Access Hollywood, Tom Holland's Twisted Tales and is a favored composer for the Oprah Winfrey Show (including Oprah's Big Give). The list of accolades from the industry includes a "The Golden Planet Award", “Best Score at New York International Film Fest” and the "ESPY Award for Excellence".


The 5th Dimension: Up Up & Away / Magic Garden / Stoned Soul Picnic / Age Of Aquarius (with bonus tracks)

An amazing little package of classic late 60s 5th Dimenion – with the complete Up, Up And Away, Magic Garden, Stoned Soul Picnic and Age Of Aquarius LP, back-to-back on 2CDs – and bonus tracks, too! Up Up & Away is the fab first album – and as groovy a batch of pop soul harmonies as you'll ever hope to find! Jimmy Webb is already at the helm on this one – arranging and conducting the group with his heavenly 60s pop approach – all produced to perfection by the amazing Bones Howe! 

The record soars to the top with the hit "Up Up & Away", and features many other great numbers –lesser-known, but really wonderful gems like "California My Way", "Another Day Another Heartache", "Pattern People", "Rosecrans Blvd", "Learn How To Fly", and the group's great cover of Tim Hardin's "Misty Roses"! 

Magic Garden is also brilliant work – arguably their best! The reason for this is partly Jimmy Webb – who arranged and conducted the album, which is comprised entirely of his own work. Titles include the sublime "The Girls Song", a track that out-Bacharachs Burt himself – plus "Requiem 820 Latham", "The Worst That Could Happen", "Paper Cup", and "Carpet Man". CD also features 3 bonus tracks – "I'll Be Loving You Forever", "Train Keep On Movin", and "Too Poor To Die" – all by Willie Hutch! 

Stoned Soul Picnic is a great leap forward for the 5th Dimension – with a strongly soulful quality that moves past just pop, and which hits even deeper territory than before! Titles include the group's hit version of "Stoned Soul Picnic" – plus "California Soul", "Bobbie's Blues", "It's A Great Life", "Sweet Blindness", "Broken Wing Bird", "Good News", and "The Eleventh Song (What A Groovy Day)". 

Age Of Aquarius is one of their biggest albums ever, built around the group's hit version of "Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In", and featuring some other psychedelic pop soul gems like "Sunshine Of Your Love", "Blowing Away", "The Hideaway", "The Winds of Heaven", and "Working On A Grooving Thing". Also includes the excellent "Wedding Bell Blues" – one of the greatest songs of all time! CD features 2 bonus tracks – "Chissa Se Tornera" and "East Of Java"!  ~ Dusty Groove


Soulful house trio TORTURED SOUL from Brooklyn release their third album‏, HOT FOR YOUR LOVE TONIGHT

Led by drummer and vocalist Christian Urich, US Soulful House trio Tortured Soul deliver four-on-the-floor beats topped by a Maxwell-like falsetto and poppy hooks. Influenced by such classic artists as Prince, Heatwave and Kool & The Gang, the band now release their third cool, groove-centred album, "Hot For Your Love Tonight", dedicated to the memory of keyboard player and founding member Ethan White, who passed away suddenly in March at the age of 39.

"Hot For Your Love Tonight" is ripe with the awesomely soulful Tortured Soul signature style that their fans globally have come to adore. Opening with the heartfelt "I’ll Be There For You", with other highlights including the Deep House flavoured "Don’t Lead Me On" and the seductively catchy album title cut, sandwiched among some Tortured Soul recent stunners including the hot under the collar "Dirty" and the beautiful Disco groove "Can't Keep Rhythm From A Dancer". 

Tortured Soul have astounded audiences around the world with their performances, including playing to a 15,000-plus crowds at the Montreal Jazz Festival, headlining Southport Weekender and performing at the Big Chill festival, while their recorded oeuvres push the genre boundaries of soul, dance, and pop. Tortured Soul is both an echo of the past and a challenge to the future, combining elements of old soul and funk with a modern dancefloor sensibility. They have been dubbed the undisputed worldwide leaders in live soulful house music and their productions have received remix treatment from such luminaries as Osunlade, DJ Spinna, Alix Alvarez, Quentin Harris and Dimitri from Paris among others.



DAVID SMITH - IMPETUS, featuring DAN PRATT, NATE RADLEY, GARY WANG & ANTHONY PINCIOTTI

Impetus is the third album from the David Smith Quintet, featuring Smith's working band for the past several years, Dan Pratt on saxophones, Nate Radley on guitar, Gary Wang on bass and Anthony Pinciotti on drums.  On Impetus Smith offers six original compositions that explore subtle tensions that drive the music forward.  

The trumpeter/composer explains, "in several tunes I was looking for a tempo that was laid back enough that it created a subtle tension to move forward, like a spring that is pulled just a bit causing it to pull back." While Smith considers his compositions the foundation of his records, he is intent on finding the point of balance whereby the tune communicates a musical idea but remains open enough to allow creative space for the band to explore.

The first three tunes of Impetus make a continuous "suite". "Moments" is an understated, lyrical melody that sets the tone for the album. "Bond" was built upon the last two chords of "Moments" with the intention of them being continuous. Smith elaborates, "as a pair of tunes they sort of needed a foil to balance them out and segueing into "The Toaster" was working on gigs so I kept it. "The Toaster" was written in tribute to a tragically unfortunate mouse." "Seven" borrows its harmony from the Allegretto second movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, resulting in something very different. "Starr St" is about a rough and tumble part of Bushwick, Brooklyn. "Intersection" was another attempt to capture the energy Smith was describing earlier, with the tempo sitting back and the "F" that exists throughout the entire tune creating a subtle but building tension until the last four measures of the recording when it is finally released. 

Impetus was recorded live in a one-room studio to two-track analog tape, and also mastered directly from the tape; the mixing was completed before the band started playing. Smith wanted to capture the organic nature of the tunes and band dynamic and felt this was the best way to accomplish that. 

At times Impetus betrays a rock influence, both musically and emotionally. Smith explains, "I feel this is acknowledging a part of where I came from musically, earlier in life. It wasn't a conscious decision, but rather what came out when I tried to write honest music." From the twenty-four minute suite that opens the recording, to the resolution in the last four measures, this is an album in the truest sense. 


DAVID COOK releases SCENIC DESIGN, a compelling set of original music

Pianist and composer David Cook possesses the ability to compose music that allows his massive talent to shine through unimpeded, creating a bond with the listener with every note.  On May 26, Cook follows up his debut recording, Pathway (produced by Bruce Barth and released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records) with the release of Scenic Design, a compelling set of original music, and a brilliant duo version of Taylor Swift's "Safe and Sound" (with trumpeter David Smith), produced by Ben Wendel, and featuring his quintet of David Smith - trumpet, Ben Wendel - sax, Matt Clohesy - bass, Kendrick Scott - drums, and special guest Shayna Steele on vocals (on "I Know You Know").  In addition to leading his own bands, Cook is a first-call artist in multiple genres, working as the long time music director/pianist for seven-time Grammy Award winner, Taylor Swift, and with such notable musicians as Lizz Wright, Donny McCaslin, the late Lew Soloff, John Ellis, Nir Felder, Sunny Jain (of Red Baraat), Alan Ferber, Michael Blanco, Greg Howe, and pop artists N-Sync (during the heyday of their career), Justin Timberlake, Natasha Bedingfield, and many more. 

"I'm really fortunate to have been able to record Scenic Design with Ben, Dave, Matt and Kendrick. These are 4 of my favorite musicians, all total pros that have strong and clear voices on their respective instruments . . . really all I had to do was write the music and get out of the way. The goal was for a true collective sound, and I hope this album has achieved it," said Cook. 

The idea of doing a quintet recording was both daunting and exciting for Cook. He explains, "I knew that I wanted to spread the melodies out past the piano on this record, but in which direction? Is it possible to say something unique and true to the history of this music at the same time? As a starting point, I picked three of my favorite quintets - Woody Shaw with Dexter Gordon, Fred Hersch and Kneebody - and tried to write music that might exist in the middle of a triangular plain with those three points." Producer/saxophonist Ben Wendel (Kneebody) was instrumental in making this happen, as he "had so many great arrangement and orchestrational ideas; the tunes really came together once he put his ears on them," said Cook.

Highlights on Scenic Design include, "Flower + Hope", written for a dear friend of Cook's who is facing an uphill battle with his health. "He told me what he was up against (with his typical Viking strength and wit) while standing on a street corner in Los Angeles, and looking in both directions was Flower Street and Hope Street. The juxtaposition of fighting for life in this world but spiritually being fine with any outcome was a powerful moment," explained Cook. "80s TV theme song": "I wanted to write a Keith Jarrett tune circa, 'Somewhere Before' or 'Life Between the Exit Signs', and what came out sounded more like an 80s TV theme song, so there you go," said Cook. "I Know You Know" is for Cook's daughter Caia, written by the pianist and his wife, vocalist Shayna Steele. Cook describes the inspiration behind this beautiful composition, "every parent out there knows the feeling of stepping back, taking a look at your child and being overcome with emotion that you're responsible for someone this beautiful and precious. We wanted to put music and lyrics to that moment." "'Scenic Design' is my favorite tune on the record, mostly because it allows everyone to 'paint' however they'd like. Kendrick Scott ate this one up, although that goes for every tune on the session."

In addition to his original compositions, Cook and Wendel also arranged Cook's favorite Taylor Swift song, "Safe & Sound," Cook has been working with Taylor for the last five years and has witnessed up close how serious she is about writing, recording and performing music, while simultaneously living her life in the public eye. Scenic Design closes with the contemplative tunes, "Midwestern" and "Still", one looking back and another dealing with the present and future. "'Midwestern' is a tribute to the beauty of the part of the country where I grew up, trying to carry some of that vibe with me wherever I go," David Cook. 



R&B Guitarist Shuggie Otis Hits The Road For An Extended Summer Tour

After the recent release of his first-ever live album, Live In Williamsburg (available on CD, vinyl and DVD), R&B legend Shuggie Otis is once again bringing his talents to the stage for a 20+ date, coast-to-coast tour starting July 5th. Nobody brings as much soul, style, and swagger to a live performance as Shug with his signature red Gibson SG, and fans who have followed this multi-talented performer’s tumultuous career know that a Shuggie Otis concert is not an event to be missed. Whether it be the fabulous grooves of “Inspiration Information” or the funkdafied rhythm of the all-time classic “Strawberry Letter 23,” Shuggie’s songs have a magical sway over audiences, both young and old, guaranteed to get them on their feet and dancing in the aisles!

The son of renowned bandleader and musician Johnny Otis, Shuggie Otis began his incredible career at the tender age of 15, playing as a session guitarist alongside Al Kooper before releasing his first solo album Here Comes Shuggie Otis in 1970. Already being hailed as a uniquely skillful guitarist, Shuggie proved his mettle as a songwriter the following year with the hit single “Strawberry Letter 23” from his second solo album. Now one of the most sampled songs in all of modern music, “Strawberry Letter 23” became an even bigger smash when The Brothers Johnson recorded their version in 1977 (produced by Quincy Jones). After the release of his third album Inspiration Information failed to meet outsized expectations, Shuggie seemed to retire permanently from music. But, thankfully, he reemerged in 2013 with a deluxe reissue of Inspiration Information that included a new album of previously unreleased recordings called Wings Of Love. Since then, Shuggie has returned to the stage and been re-embraced by an adoring public who have waited a long time and never lost faith!

07/05/15 Napa, CA City Winery
07/10/15 Houston, TX Continental Club
07/11/15 Austin, TX Continental Club
07/12/15 Dallas, TX DADA Club
07/15/15 Little Rock, AR Rev Room
07/16/15 Nashville, TN City Winery
07/17/15 Chicago, IL City Winery
07/19/15 Ottawa Ottawa Bluesfest
07/20/15 Toronto, ONT Lee's Palace
07/22/15 Boston, MA The Sinclair
07/23/15 North Hampton, MA Iron Horse
07/24/15 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Bowl
07/25/15 New York, NY B.B. King Blues Club
07/26/15 Albany, NY The Egg
07/30/15 Lancaster, PA Ardmore Music Hall
07/31/15 Washington, DC Howard Theater
08/01/15 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre
08/03/15 Atlanta Georgia Terminal West
08/06/15 Pensacola, FL Vinyl


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

THE BEST OF DON MCCASLIN"S WARMTH

++$1000 AND MORE++ULTRA RARE++SOUGHT AFTER! The reason why labels work so hard to track down musicians to re-issue their privately released music is normally because the original records are very hard to find and very expensive. Demand within the 'collectors scene' is crucial. So what do we have here?

None of the adjectives mentioned above apply for the albums of Don McCaslin's Warmth. Born in Tacoma Washington in 1926, Don moved to the San Jose area during the first year of life. He took a few piano lessons as a child, but it was boogie woogie music that really inspired him. While attending San Jose State he formed a band which had piano, guitar, vibes, bass and drums. Following his graduation from college, Don played music on the weekends and worked as a high school English teacher for fifteen years. Then in 1970 he quit his teaching job and moved to Santa Cruz, making music his main pursuit. In 1971 he was invited to bring a jazz combo to play at a political rally. The event took place in the patio of the 19th century courthouse building, now called the Cooper House. The owner told Don that he was putting a sidewalk cafe there and invited him to play on opening day. Don ended up playing there until the 1989 earthquake ruined the beautiful old building.

Don and his fellow musicians were forced to move to the Warf House, a restaurant situated at the tip of the Capitola pier, and played there for 20 years. Today you can find Don's band The Amazing Jazz Geezers play at Severino's Lounge in Aptos, California. The Geezers are not necessarily "amazing" because of their musicianship. To become an "Amazing Jazz Geezer" one must merely be over 75 years of age, know over 1000 tunes written between 1935 and 1950, and still be able to play a full gig.


Regardless of rarity and demand, for Don McCaslin the time has come for representation and appreciation. Neither of Warmth original albums are considered to be sought after nor they sell for big money. Until now.


NEW RELEASES: STEVIE HOLLAND – LIFE GOES ON; MARCOS VALLE – 1985; POLAR BEAR – SAME AS YOU

STEVIE HOLLAND – LIFE GOES ON

The journey continues! Stevie Holland's swinging jazz phrasing, sense of humor, and sheer vocal beauty shine brighter than ever on her fifth release Life Goes On. With Randy Ingram on piano, Peter Brendler on bass, Jeff Davis on drums, Nicholas Payton on trumpet, and a String Quartet on some select tracks, Life Goes On, is a stunning collection of powerful songs from writers including Johnny Mercer, James Taylor, Stephen Sondheim, as well as originals by Stevie Holland and award-winning composer Gary William Friedman, who also did the arrangements. Review: "Effortless swing and a radiant wit...a self-possessed tour de force" --Gary Giddins // "Holland straddles pop and jazz with effortless elegance and warmth" --USA Today // "I hear Stevie Holland and I get goosebumps. Need I say more?" --Smoothjazz.com. ~ Amazon

MARCOS VALLE – 1985 (THEO PARRISH SS TRANSLATION) / PREFIXO (DAZ I KUE BLOODFIRE REMIX)

Theo Parrish takes on Marcos Valle – and the results are even more wonderful than we might expect! Valle's "1985" is really expanded by Theo – and pushed into territory that makes the extended cut feel more like Parrish's own cosmic territory than Marcos' usual mode – although there's this sweet Fender Rhodes line and spacious way of handling the cut that's definitely respectful of the original! "Prefixo" gets more of an upbeat approach from Daz I Kue – with a pulsating bassline that sets the groove strongly underneath the fluttering woodwind melody of the original!  ~ Dusty Groove

POLAR BEAR – SAME AS YOU

2015 release by the indie band, the follow-up to 2014's Mercury Prize shortlisted In Each And Every One. Given it's short gestation, it is striking how far removed the new album is from it's immediate predecessor. There is a startling freshness in the songs, both thematically and sonically. After the dark complexity of recent output, Same As You is presented in sharp focus, as inclusive and accessible as the title suggests, while still maintaining the playful experimentation on which the band has made it's name. Driven by a renewed vitality, bandleader Sebastian Rochford has made several bold artistic moves with this new music. Originally conceived as a single long-form piece, Same As You employs a constant tempo on top of which the band builds swells of raw, joyous, often life-enhancing energy. The vocal performances and the heartfelt, spiritual lyrics of Same As You are an inspired addition to the rich instrumental line-up. A highlight of Polar Bear's second album, 2005's critically acclaimed Held On The Tips Of Fingers was 'Life That Ends Too Soon,' an intense, heartfelt lament. Same As You stands as something of an optimistic rejoinder to that song-a celebration and embrace of love as a great guiding force within a setting of mature musical invention. ~ Amazon




Bob Baldwin - Mellowonder / Songs in the Key of Stevie

Four-time SESAC Award-winning and Grammy nominee Pianist/Arranger Bob Baldwin continues his flow of music, and follows up with his tributes to Michael Jackson and Songwriter extraordinaire Thom Bell with his MelloWonder/Songs In the Key of Stevie CD. MelloWonder… takes some of his favorite songs from the catalog of Stevie Wonder, and particularly a huge chunk between 1969-1974, when Baldwin believes this was the beginning of an era where Wonder turned the keyboard into a “one-man orchestra.” The project is a dream project, which took two years to complete.

“As a young budding musician and keyboardist, the key albums that impacted me the most were ‘Innervisions’, ‘Fulfillingness First Finale’, ‘Music of My Mind’, and ‘Talking Book,’” says the New York native. “These projects featured this behemoth analog keyboard they called ‘T.O.N.T.O.’ and Stevie’s Producers at the time (Bob Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil) were the most forward programmers of that instrument, and the producers of those projects. While they are flipping knobs and pushing buttons on T.O.N.T.O. machine, Stevie was getting busy on the creativity with the funky bass-lines, clavinets, Wurlitzer and Rhodes Keyboards. Those projects had a warmth that was unexplainable, and as a result, those four projects are very unique to his entire catalog, so I wanted to create my own vibe that spoke to his use of the keyboard as an arranging tool, which of course, is miles ahead these days due to the application of digital technology.”

“When I do a cover project, I want to make sure I’m not covering music that has not been overdone in the market. Stevie’s music has been covered thousands of time over the years but rarely by a keyboardist. Hugo Montenegro did a moog-based project back in the 1970’s, George Duke produced a record for Najee years ago “Songs in the Key of Life”, so we wanted to stay away from that period, but by-and-large, a keyboard-focused disc covering Stevie Wonder has not been done in 40 years. I pulled out the old vintage pieces; the Moog, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, but also added some new keyboard pieces to keep things current.”

Add to the fact that Stevie Wonder’s birthday is 65 (5/13), and his recently intense tour schedule, the timing of this project is pretty special in its’ own way. “In observing the vehicle that this living legend is driving today as he approaches his 65th birthday and his tour theme, the title “MelloWonder/Songs in the Key of Stevie” just felt right.

His 21st disc contains 14 songs total, of which 2 are original Baldwin tracks. He added some flava to a few of Stevie’s originals, such as “Rocket Love / Down to Earth”, “Love’s Light in Flight / Love Trippin’”, and “The Real Thing / Keepin’ it Real”. The disc features Marion Meadows, U-Nam, Chieli Minucci, Toni Redd, Ragan Whiteside, and Stevie sideman Ryan Kilgore, who was on his most recent 2014-2015 “Songs in the Key of Life” tour.


Bob Baldwin has been obliterating the lines between Urban, Jazz, and Gospel for years since his earlier works in 1988. This project is no different - a must-have for your BB collection. ~ bobbaldwin.com


NEW RELEASES: LUCAS ARRUDA – SOLAR; THE POLYVERSAL SOULS – YELLE BE BOBRE; FABIO FRIZZI – REWIND: THE STUDIO ALBUM

LUCAS ARRUDA – SOLAR

Stunning work from Lucas Arruda – a record we love even more than his first – and we totally loved that one to death! The sound here is prime Brazilian 70s at its best – that magical moment when jazz, fusion, and older bossa-schooled styles all came together in a really unique blend – and also helped Brazil find its own unique sense of soul, too – a quality that really came forth in the best work from Azymuth and Marcos Valle at the end of the decade! No surprise, Lucas has Azymuth bassist Alex Malheiros and Valle collaborator Leon Ware both on board to help out with the record – but the strength of the set is clearly all Arruda's own – as his vocals are wonderful, with a soulful expression that's vaguely in the Ed Motta side of the spectrum – mixed with his own warm lines on Fender Rhodes, which totally warm things up! Production is perfect, and equally vintage – and the album's a treasure we'll be loving for years. Titles include "Uma Onda", "Melt The Night", "Vento Sul", "Kalunga", "Solar", "O Mar O Samba E O Sol", "Beyond The Sea", and "Agua".  ~ Dusty Groove

THE POLYVERSAL SOULS – YELLE BE BOBRE

Yelle Be Bobre is the first single to be taken from Invisible Joy, the debut album from Max Weissenfeldt's (Poets of Rhythm / Whitefield Brothers / Dr. John / Bombino) new band The Polyversal Souls. With this album, the band has successfully create a globalised style of soul music with; raw funk grooves, enchanting melodies from a faraway world, polyrhythmic hip-hop coming together to take you on a musical trip around the world. Guy One's unique voice and energic Kologo play features here - as also heard on last year's 7" on Philophon Records (Suro Yuama / A Me Bayela Do Me). The Frafra poet from north Ghana teams up again with his German music brothers and fills the Trans-Saharian distance with his haunting voice and his proto-banjo, which - you won't believe it - has just two strings. The Polyversal Souls' debut album, Invisible Joy, will be available on Philophon Records in July 2015.

FABIO FRIZZI – REWIND: THE STUDIO ALBUM

A really surprising studio project from Italian soundtrack legend Fabio Frizzi – a set that has Frizzi himself on guitar and a bit of vocals, working with a small string group, and a bit of tenor sax! The music is mostly pulled from older film scores – penned by Frizzi and contemporaries like Piero Piccioni and Carlo Rustichelli – but there's also a few vocal tunes by Paul McCartney and Noel Gallagher – sung by Frizzi in this earthy voice to offset the mostly-instrumental modes of the record. The soundtrack numbers are our favorites – and are taken in these cool, intimate ways that are really nice – like a composer going back on his generation, and delivering things with a more personal vibe overall. Titles include "Fantozzi", "Bla Bla Bla", "Butta La Lunda", "La Marcia Di Esulapio", "Sette Note In Nero", "Baby Sequenza 2", "Junk", "If I Had A Gun", and "Ibo Lele". ~ Dusty Groove



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

NEW RELEASES: JASON MILES / INGRID JENSEN - KIND OF NEW; BOBBY HUTCHERSON - COMPONENTS; BOBBY BYRD - GOT SOUL: THE BEST OF BOBBY BYRD

JASON MILES / INGRID JENSEN - KIND OF NEW

Keyboardist and composer Jason Miles has teamed up with trumpeter Ingrid Jenson on the new CD – Kind Of New. Inspired by Miles Davis' Cellar Door sessions, ""Kind Of New"" creates a new vibe mixing electric and acoustic, percussion with electric grooves, and drums with electronic percussion. Six new studio tracks and four live tracks see Miles and Jensen joined by such eminent players as Jay Rodriguez, James Genus, Jeff Coffin, Adam Dorn, Amanda Ruzza, Steve Wolf, Jon Wikan, Nir Felder, Cyro Baptista, Mike Clark and Jerry Brooks. Ingrid Jensen has been hailed as one of the most gifted trumpeters of her generation. She has released three highly acclaimed CDs for the ENJA record label, soon becoming one of the most in-demand players on the global jazz scene. Miles is a Grammy-recognized producer and keyboardist, whose credits also include work with Luther Vandross, Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan and Sting, among many others.  Tracks include: The Faction of Cool, Super City, Shirley, Film Noir Interlude, Ferrari, Seeing Through the Rain, Close to the Action, Kat’s Eye, Street Vibe, Twilight Interlude, Sanctuary, and Jean Pierre.

BOBBY HUTCHERSON - COMPONENTS

An essential Blue Note album by the great vibist Bobby Hutcherson, and a record that's split into 2 different sides, each of which display different aspects of Hutcherson's talents. The first four tracks are mellow and lyrical, with the kind of lovely melodic writing that is best illustrated by the cut "Little B's Poem" – included here, and still one of Hutcherson's most enduring works. The next four tracks show Hutcherson more as the accomplished modernist, working with edgey talents like James Spaulding on alto and flute, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and the great Joe Chambers on drums – who also wrote all 4 of the tracks in this segment. The work is a key example of Hutcherson's devotion to the Blue Note "new thing" sound, and titles include "Air", "Juba Dance", and "Pastoral". ~ Dusty Groove

BOBBY BYRD - GOT SOUL: THE BEST OF BOBBY BYRD

Essential material by this funky soul legend – even if you've got his one and only album! This is an excellent compilation of the very hard to find work of this James Brown partner and singer, with a track list of 22 cuts that includes lots of cool rare funky 45 tracks, and a number of previously unreleased tracks! Bobby is excellent throughout, and the set's filled with loads of rare James Brown-produced grooves that includes "I'm Just A Nobody", "Keep On Doin What You're Doin", "We're In Love", "No One Like My Baby", I'm Not To Blame", "I Know You Got Soul", "Funky Soul (parts 1 & 2)", "Baby Baby Baby", "I Need Help", "Never Get Enough", "Hang Ups We Don't Need", "Sayin It And Doin' It Are Two Different Things" – and lots lots more, including a rare PSA urging the listener to "Fight Drug Abuse". ~ Dusty Groove





The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983), a monumental 23-disc box set, to be released on Friday, August 21, 2015

An essential library collection chronicling the sonic evolution and abiding achievements of the unprecedented R&B ensemble, The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983) follows The Isley Brothers through their transformation from a 1950's doo-wop/gospel vocal group into the world's preeminent R&B rock 'n' soul powerhouse party band. As evidenced in this quarter century of recordings, The Isley Brothers absorbed the music and culture surrounding them to continually create contemporary sounds spanning the decades.

The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983) showcases tracks written (excepting "covers"), arranged, performed and produced by The Isley Brothers.  This definitive new Isley Brothers anthology was compiled and produced by Grammy Award®-winner Leo Sacks, co-produced by Jeffrey James and Jeremy Holiday, and mastered from the original analog tapes by Grammy Award®-winner Mark Wilder at Battery Studios.

The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983) features  newly remastered versions of The Isley Brothers' 21 albums released for both labels, nearly all of which are expanded with rare mixes and tracks making their CD and digital debuts.  The new collection includes 84 rare and previously unreleased bonus tracks.

This set also includes, released here for the first time in its entirety, the "Great Lost Isley Brothers Album": Wild In Woodstock: The Isley Brothers Live At Bearsville Sound Studio 1980.  First conceived as a "live" double album (with overdubbed crowd noise), this newly restored performance offers an immersive look at a crucial chapter in The Isley Brothers' history, a pivotal moment in the fusion of rock and funk music in an era fueled by the sound of the Isleys.

By the 1990s, The Isley Brothers' dominant influence over hip-hop music and culture could be felt at every turn. "Footsteps In The Dark" from 1977's Go For Your Guns was sampled in Ice Cube's "It Was A Good Day," while The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Big Poppa" interpolated the title track of 1983's Between The Sheets. The Isleys' flashy fashion sense directly inspired the "bling" aesthetic embraced by rappers everywhere. R. Kelly proclaimed the group his biggest influence, collaborating with them on his Top 5 hit "Down Low (Nobody Has To Know)" in 1995 (featuring Ronald Isley in a career-redefining role as Mr. Biggs in the accompanying video). Kelly's writing and production for the group continued through the 1990s and 2000s, peaking with Body Kiss which hit No. 1 the Billboard 200 in 2003, a full 44 years since their first hit with "Shout."

The Isley Brothers' classic works continue to reach new fans through consistent radio airplay, film and television licenses and samples: in 2015, Kendrick Lamar won two Grammy Awards® for the track "I," built upon the groove of "That Lady" (from 1973's 3+3), while singer/rapper Frank Ocean covered "At Your Best (You Are Love)" from Harvest For The World (previously covered by Aaliyah in 1994, who made it a Top 10 hit).

The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983) offers new music fans an opportunity to revisit the seminal R&B sounds that continue to reverberate through contemporary soul, rock, hip-hop and pop records.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, The Isley Brothers--O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley, Ronald Isley and a fourth brother, Vernon Isley (who died a couple of years after their first incarnation)--began performing as a gospel-based vocal group in 1954.  Moving to the New York City area in the late 1950s, The Isley Brothers scored some modest regional chart successes before their fourth single (and first for RCA Victor), "Shout"--written by O'Kelly, Rudolph and Ronald--catapulted them into the pantheon of pop immortality in 1959.  One of the most immediately identifiable and infectious party anthems ever written or recorded, The Isley Brothers "Shout"--with its irresistible call-and-response structure--combined gospel heat and doo-wop soul with a high-powered rock 'n' roll energy.  The much-covered "Shout" was inducted into the Grammy® Hall of Fame in 1999 and placed No. 118 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The Isleys followed up "Shout" with a variety of tracks (including their Top 20 single, "Twist & Shout," a song later famously covered by The Beatles).

Perhaps the most musically adventurous vocal ensemble in American pop history, The Isley Brothers were adding rock, funk, R&B, soul and ballad elements into the gospel and doo-wop music at the foundation of their sound.

In the 1960s, while The Isley Brothers bounced between various labels (including Atlantic, United Artists and Motown), they briefly employed a then-unknown Jimi Hendrix (aka Jimmy James) as their lead guitarist, buying him a white Fender Stratocaster guitar and moving him into the Isley home.   Though Jimi's stint with the Isley Brothers was brief, his musical sensibilities remained in the group, with younger brother Ernie Isley carrying the fiery experimental rock 'n' soul guitar sound they shared into the Isley Brothers future.

Tired of labels that didn't fully understand or support their R&B/rock fusion musical vision, The Isley Brothers launched their independent T-Neck imprint with distribution through Buddah Records. At T-Neck, the Isleys finally enjoyed the freedom to make music the way they wanted, recording and producing their own material as well as assisting in the distribution and promotion process. The T-Neck label's lead single, the irresistible Grammy Award®-winning funk hit "It's Your Thing," instantly established the band and label as a commercial powerhouse, its lyric a mantra for the trail The Isley Brothers would blaze in the next decade.

The Isleys' ever-expanding musical repertoire in the 1970s included funky covers of pop/rock favorites ("Love The One You're With," "Lay, Lady, Lay") that helped spread these songs through urban markets. The group would hit a new peak with the album 3+3 and single "That Lady" in 1973.

They added younger brothers Ernie Isley (lead guitar, drums) and Marvin Isley (bass guitar) and Rudolph's brother-in-law Chris Jasper (keyboards, synthesizers) into the mix, turning The Isley Brothers vocal trio into a self-contained pop/rock/R&B/funk ensemble, writing, producing, performing, arranging, distributing their own works on T-Neck Records throughout the 1970s into the early 1980s.

With Ernie, Chris and Marvin leading the way creatively, the group pushed the barriers of soul music, bringing funk and laid-back quiet storm into the mainstream and earning the band three gold and seven platinum or multi-platinum albums--including 3+3 (1973), the #1 chart-topping The Heat Is On (1975) and 1983's Between The Sheets--and 14 Top 10 R&B albums (seven of which hit No. 1). In the world of R&B, only Parliament-Funkadelic and Earth, Wind & Fire have achieved success rivaling the Isley Brothers.

The Isley Brothers have had 19 Top 10 singles (7 of those at #1) in the US Billboard R&B chart, with 16 Isley albums hitting the Top 40.  13 of their albums have achieved RIAA gold, platinum or multi-platinum status.  The Isley Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.  They got their star on the Hollywood Rockwalk in 1997 and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.

The Isley Brothers, through an unprecedented seven decades, have remained one of the most consistently successful groups of all time. The Isleys were present at the birth of rock and roll, their biggest hits have influenced R&B, rock and roll and funk music from the 1950s onward while their deep grooves helped form the rhythmic backbone of hip-hop, a sound the Isleys would embrace in the 1990s and 2000s.

Still active as a duo of Ronald and Ernie Isley, The Isley Brothers earned a Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.  The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983) brings all of their works for the Sony Music family into one impressive package.

The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983) (* includes bonus tracks): 
  • Shout! (RCA Victor, 1959)*
  • It's Our Thing (T-Neck, 1969)*
  • The Brothers: Isley (T-Neck, 1969)*
  • The Isley Brothers Live At Yankee Stadium (T-Neck, 1969)
  • Get Into Something (T-Neck, 1970)*
  • In The Beginning...The Isley Brothers & Jimi Hendrix (T-Neck, recorded 1964-1965; remixed/released 1971)*
  • Givin' It Back (T-Neck, 1971)*
  • Brother, Brother, Brother (T-Neck, 1972)*
  • The Isleys Live (T-Neck, 1973)
  • 3+3 (T-Neck, 1973)*
  • Live It Up (T-Neck, 1974)*
  • The Heat Is On (T-Neck, 1975)*
  • Harvest For The World (T-Neck, 1976)*
  • Go For Your Guns (T-Neck, 1977)*
  • Showdown (T-Neck, 1978)*
  • Winner Takes All (T-Neck, 1979—2 CDs)*
  • Go All The Way (T-Neck, 1980)*
  • Wild In Woodstock: The Isley Brothers Live At Bearsville Studios 1980 (previously unreleased)*
  • Grand Slam (T-Neck, 1981)*
  • Inside You (T-Neck, 1981)*
  • The Real Deal (T-Neck, 1982)*
  • Between The Sheets (T-Neck, 1983)*

 



NEW RELEASES: MARILYN CRISPELL / GERRY HEMINGWAY – TABLE OF CHANGES; MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING - HANNOVER; HOWARD RILEY – 10.11.12

MARILYN CRISPELL / GERRY HEMINGWAY – TABLE OF CHANGES

A great partnership between pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Gerry Hemmingway – both musicians who've worked together often over the years, and find a way here to really summarize their best qualities! On some tracks, Crispell's piano has all those sharp, angular lines we love so much – and Hemmingway often matches her energy with these compact bursts on his drums – although other numbers have the pair exploring more spacious styles together, almost hanging in air with a new sense of balance that's a really nice surprise. Hemmingway plays vibes on most of these tracks, which comes in with a different tonal range than the piano – and titles include "Waterwisp", "Assembly", "Windy City", "Table Of Changes", "Roofless", and "Spirings".  ~ Dusty Groove

MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING - HANNOVER

We love these guys to death – even if we always get out of breath saying their name in a hurry – and they really shine strongly here, on a long live album that perfectly captures their non-stop sense of imagination and restless creativity! Unlike some of their other recent projects, which were thematic in nature, this concert performance has the group moving through so many different modes at once – often in the short space of a longer song – with that strong sense of jazz history that's always made them so unique – especially in the way that they find to set a whole new fire to sounds we thought we already knew so well! Moppa Elliott drives the group on some beautiful bass – and the rest of the lineup includes Peter Evans on trumpet and piccolo trumpet, Jon Irabagon on tenor and sopranino sax, and Kevin Shea on drums and electronic – on titles tha tinclude "Pen Argyl/Ulysses At Troy/Andover/Blue Ball/Effort Patience Dilligence", "My Delightful Muse/Hideaway/A Night In Tunisia", and "Is Granny Spry/Dunkelbergers/Baden/Little Hope".  ~ Dusty Groove

HOWARD RILEY – 10.11.12

Brilliant work from pianist Howard Riley – the British modernist who's been making amazing music for decades, but often through very obscure records like this! Riley's got this sense of balance, tone, and timing that sits justly in a legacy that starts with Herbie Nichols and runs up through Alexander Von Schlippenbach – and in a solo setting like this, hets one of the few that could hold our attention as rapt as those other two – playing at once in a mode that's very free, but still always surprisingly tuneful, and with a sense of cohesion. The album's a perfect document of everything that makes Riley so great – and titles include "Identification", "From Somewhere", "Dwelling One", and "Understanding".  ~ Dusty Groove



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