Tuesday, March 03, 2015

NEW RELEASES: BOZ SCAGGS [ORIGINAL 1969 VERSION + 1977 REMIXED VERSION]; DENNIS CHAMBERS - GROOVE AND MORE; COURTNEY PINE - SONG (THE BALLAD BOOK)

BOZ SCAGGS [ORIGINAL 1969 VERSION + 1977 REMIXED VERSION]

After making major contributions to the first two albums by the Steve Miller Band, Boz Scaggs left for a solo career. He signed to Atlantic Records and recorded this album at Muscle Shoals in 1969, with Duane Allman on stunning form on guitar, slide and dobro, plus the Muscle Shoals rhythm section and the Memphis Horns. Originally mixed by Stax Records' engineer Terry Manning, Boz Scaggs was well reviewed but sold slowly. The record was given a second chance in 1977, when it was remixed by Tom Perry and reissued in the wake of Scaggs' breakthrough success. This Edsel release brings together both mixes together for the first time in one package. The record remains a timeless snapshot of man finally in control of his destiny, and a wonderful testament to Scaggs' unique vocal style and R&B heritage.For this 2015 unique pairing, notewriter Paul Myers managed to secure an exclusive interview with the album’s producer (and founder of Rolling Stone magazine) Jann Wenner. The booklet also features the lyrics. ~ Amazon

DENNIS CHAMBERS - GROOVE AND MORE

Groove and More is an energetic & well-finished record, which features many prominent guests, including Scott Henderson & Jeff Berlin. Henderson s guitar gives the record vigorous solos & a unique sound, particularly leaving a mark on Virtual Life & Time to Time, whereas bassist Jeff Berlin s phrasing & blending with Patti Austin s vocals on Practice What You Preaching is also outstanding. Also noteworthy is the eclectic guitarist Stanley Jordan s solo on Past & Future & Dora Nicolosi s interpretation of We Don t Know. The Afro touch of Osibisa s Gregg Kofi Brown on Fall Out & the 70s energy of Brian Auger s Hammond organ on Aircraft & Running on Line are also notable. ~ Amazon

COURTNEY PINE - SONG (THE BALLAD BOOK)

'Song (The Ballad Book)' is Courtney Pine's sixteenth studio album to date and it sees him strip everything right back for the most intimate album of his long and celebrated career. He performs an album of ballads on bass clarinet, accompanied only by fellow Mercury nominee and MOBO Award winning pianist, Zoe Rahman. In the 1980's Courtney Pine was one of the first black British jazz artists to make a serious mark on the resurgent jazz scene, when his first album charted and some twenty plus years on (now with an OBE and CBE for services to music) he continues to break new ground with a string of highly acclaimed recordings and numerous, prestigious, Industry awards. In April 2014 he joined Herbie Hancock and a dazzling line- up of Jazz all-stars for UNESCO's globally televised concert in Osaka to celebrate International Jazz Day, and his name regularly appears on the list of Most Influential Black Britons.  Described in The Observer as "a remarkable pianist by any standard", Zoe Rahman has firmly established herself as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene. A vibrant and highly individual pianist/composer, her style is deeply rooted in jazz yet it reflects her classical background, her British/Bengali heritage and her very broad musical taste. Courtney explained the motivation behind the album, "I have always wanted to record a collection of my favourite ballads and there is nothing like performing in a duet for bringing out the intimacy of great songs". These songs includes a mixture of originals by Pine and compositions by Donny Hathaway and Edward Howard, Duke Ellington, Sam Rivers, Thad Jones and the Brian McKnight hit "One Last Cry". ~ Amazon


NEW RELEASES: TUXEDO (MAYER HAWTHORNE & JAKE ONE) – TUXEDO; QUINTONAL; REAL SIDE RECORDS PRESENTS SOUL ON THE REAL SIDE #3

TUXEDO (MAYER HAWTHORNE & JAKE ONE) – TUXEDO

A sweet modern take on post-disco funky soul from Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One, working together as Tuxedo! It's a pretty remarkable creative step for both parties, and classy enough to make the Tuxedo moniker fit. We've known for years to expect the unexpected from Mayer Hawthorne – we never would've predicted his step from Stones Throw upstart to credible retro soul singer – but Jake One's boogie soul-styled production here is a bit of a surprise, and a sweet one at that. Lots of soulful synths back the solid vocals here, along with some strings and other cool touches. Without solid songs, it'd be a mere stylistic exercise, and the songs are slickly soulful and a total delight! Includes "Lost Lover", "RU Ready", "Watch The Dance", "So Good", "Two Wrongs", "Tuxedo Groove", "I Got U", "The Right Time", "Roll Along", "Get U Home", "Do It", "Number One" and more.  ~ Dusty Groove

QUINTONAL – QUINTONAL

A sweet funky combo from the Montreal scene of the 70s – working here in a killer set of never-issued material! Quintonal have an approach that's tight and right on the money – electric, but never in a too-fusiony style – and instead kind of a step forward for 60s soul jazz or European modal grooves – served up by a quintet lineup that includes tenor, trumpet, and some mighty nice keyboards! The combo got their initial inspiration from Canadian jazz legend Nick Ayoub – who was their teacher – and you can definitely hear some of Ayoub's modern inspirations in the music at times, mixed with warmer, more soulful elements that also tie them to the hippest funky jazz in the US – particularly small groups working far from the major label scene. Most tracks are originals, and the material here was pulled from vault tapes for an album recorded by the band in the mid 70s, but never issued at the time – although one track was issued on a rare tour EP that came out in 1976. Titles include "Poster", "Sept Quatre", "Running Shoes", "Soul Love", "Time Compulsion", "Switch", "Antoine", "Ballade Pour Liane", and "Push Up".  ~ Dusty Groove


REAL SIDE RECORDS PRESENTS SOUL ON THE REAL SIDE #3

A set that's heavy on classic cuts from the 70s, but throws in a few contemporary numbers too – all in this wonderful blend of music that's got a wicked mellow groove all the way through! The style is a bit modern soul, but more in that smooth 70s mellow style we love so much – lots of midtempo rhythms, less disco inflections, and plenty of room for amazing lead vocals that really send the tunes home with a hell of a lot of warmth and soul! Familiar cuts mix with lesser-known gems we'd totally missed – and titles include "Getaway" by Walter Thomas, "All I Want Is You" by Convertion, "I Need You More Than Ever" by The Montclairs, "Keep On Pushing Love" by Al Green, "Work To Do" by The Main Ingredient, "Don't Walk Away" by General Johnson, "You Got It" by Roy G Hemmings, "The Walk" by Jesse Gomez & TCB, "If Loving You Is All I Have To Do" by Anna Brooks, "Corazon" by LTG Exchange, "Mercy Mercy Me/Inner City Blues/What's Going On" by The Shirelles, "Love Knocked You Down" by The Nights, and "Just To Be With You" by The O'Jays.  ~ Dusty Groove


BEN WILLIAMS NEW ALBUM "COMING OF AGE" INCLUDES VERSIONS OF NIRVANA’S “SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT” AND LIANNE LA HAVAS’ “LOST & FOUND”

Acclaimed bassist Ben Williams delivers his sophomore album titled Coming of Age, April 21, 2015, on CD and vinyl via Concord Jazz. Continuing to implore the common elements of jazz, hip-hop, rock and soul, the young bandleader embarks on a bolder journey in this album with more music by his own hand and a reflection of his new outlook as a seasoned musician. Coming of Age for the 30-year-old Williams means playing a lively role among his peers and a vital part in the music world at large. Winner of the 2009 Monk Institute Competition, Williams cites this as a turning point in his musical odyssey, “My career as a bandleader and composer started from the moment I won,” he says. “I had this opportunity to say something—and an obligation, too.” 

Revered by The Washington Post as “Successfully translating the musical pulse of his era into jazz,” Williams has secured a masterful selection of special guests featured on this project. They include renowned jazz trumpeter Christian Scott on the cover of Lianne La Havas’ melancholy “Lost & Found” that is draped by a string quartet, vibraphonist Stefon Harris on an original piece titled “The Color of My Dreams,” and emcee/poet W. Ellington Felton who leads the listener through “Toy Soldiers (reprise).” Williams also reconnects with American soul singer Goapele for a second collaboration with the pivotal anthem “Voice of Freedom (for Mandela).” Completing the vision is Williams band, Sound Effect, comprised of Marcus Strickland (tenor and soprano saxophone), Matthew Stevens (guitar), Christian Sands (piano and Fender Rhodes), Masayuki “Big Yuki” Hirano (synths and Fender Rhodes), John Davis (drums) and Etienne Charles (percussion).


The CD offers eleven tracks with nine original compositions by Williams and the rare vinyl addition offers eight pieces from the CD’s repertoire, including a free download of all eleven tracks. Showcasing his impeccable talent for acoustic and electric bass, this album creates an experience that demands to be heard by a wide breadth of generations. Tour dates to be announced.


Monday, March 02, 2015

Newport Festivals Foundation™ 5th Annual Gala Celebrates George Wein's 90th Birthday with Cassandra Wilson, Michel Camilo and Jon Batiste & Stay Human

The Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.™ returns to The Breakers on Saturday, August 1, at 7:30 pm for its Gala Benefit featuring performances by Cassandra Wilson, Michel Camilo, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, to celebrate the 90th birthday of festival impresario George Wein. Although his birthday is October 3, there's no telling who may show up to surprise him. Governor Gina Raimondo and Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse will serve as Honorary Gala co-chairs, which Wein says, "is a true indication of what the Newport Festivals Foundation means to the state of Rhode Island." 

"Cassandra Wilson has graciously agreed to perform. Without question, she is one of the finest of jazz singers performing today. To be able to see her in such an intimate setting is a privilege," added Wein. "Jon has appeared as a soloist at the Gala, but never with his full group. When he starts playing his melodica and strolls through the crowd, the fun he is having will instantly be communicated to you. Michel Camilo, who is one of my favorite pianists, will thrill you with his musicianship and the uniqueness of his style of solo performance."

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres begin at 7:30 pm, a four-course dinner with wine will be served at 8:30 pm and the evening's program will begin as the first course is served. Gala tickets are $600 for a single seat with recognition in the Gala program book. ($475 is tax deductible). In addition, patrons can choose to receive a Flex ticket to the Newport Jazz Festival, which can be used on Friday, Saturday or Sunday at Fort Adams. 

The Newport Festivals Foundation was founded by George Wein in 2010 to build and continue the legacies of the famed Newport Jazz Festival® and Newport Folk Festival®. Under the auspices of the Foundation, the Newport Jazz Festival presents performers who respect and honor jazz music traditions, and at the same time reflect the changes in today's musical trends. Through the establishment of partnerships with local high schools and colleges/universities, the Foundation will present programs to educate young people about jazz music as presented at the annual festivals. For more information, please visit www.newportfestivalsfoundation.org. The Newport Folk Festival® takes place at Fort Adams State Park July 24 - 26 and is continuing its rolling lineup announcement. Artists announced to date include J Mascis, Field Report, First Aid Kit, Leon Bridges, Sturgill Simpson, Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear, Courtney Barnett and Haunt the House.

The Newport Jazz Festival® presented by Natixis Global Asset Management includes Chris Botti and Jon Batiste & Stay Human at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino, and three days at Fort Adams State Park featuring Cassandra Wilson, Jamie Cullum, Snarky Puppy, Maria Schneider, Arturo Sandoval, Dr. John, Jack DeJohnette: Made in Chicago, Kenny Garrett, Billy Childs, Arturo O'Farrill, Fred Hersch, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Jon Batiste, Kneebody, Hiromi, Michel Camilo, Jon Faddis, James Carter, Christian McBride, Bill Frisell, Mike Stern/Bill Evans Band, Ambrose Akinmusire, Tom Harrell, Pat Martino, Matana Roberts, John Hollenbeck, Ms. Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton and many others. 


Mitchell Coleman Jr.'s Eclectic Set Features Session Greats Deron Johnson (Miles Davis, Alanis Morissette) and Kayta Matsuno (Natalie Cole, David Foster)

Throughout 2014, Meghan Trainor's Grammy nominated #1 mega-hit got the world up, dancing and thinking "All About That Bass," but Mitchell Coleman Jr. didn't need a high-energy pop smash to get him obsessed with the groove. It's been there since he was 12, when his neighbor Greg, the bass prodigy "monster on the block" in Bloomfield, Conn., taught him how to play Grover Washington, Jr. and Bill Withers' R&B classic "Just The Two Of Us."

Now a few decades later, after years of behind the scenes session work for numerous indie artists in his adopted hometown of L.A., Coleman breaks free for some serious and dynamic Soul Searching on his long awaited, debut full-length set on his own Soul Revelation label.

The new high-energy single "Flow," helmed by veteran Motown producer Michael B. Sutton, is off to a powerful start as well, hitting the SmoothJazz.com Radar Chart as the #2 Most Added track, and was recently the #1 Most Added track on the Groove Jazz Music Chart.

Coleman's delivers wildly rhythmic cool soul on up-tempo gems like "Overload," the jangling and punchy "Genesis," and the exotic, simmering "Ethiopia Love." There's also a dreamy, sensual cover of Earth, Wind & Fire's iconic ballad "That's The Way of the World."

With one of L.A.'s most renowned indie studio soundmen, Hollywood Dawkins, pulling triple duty on piano and vocals, their lineup includes keyboardist Deron Johnson, who played in Miles Davis' final band and has also worked with Alanis Morissette, Larry Carlton, Seal and Stanley Clarke; and Kayta Matsuno, whose resume includes Babyface, Natalie Cole, David Foster and Colby O'Donis. Also included are guitarist Sean Fabian and saxophonists Tim Anderson and Sal Avila. Adding some classic, old school soul flair on backing vocals are sisters Pam and Joyce Vincent (from Tony Orlando and Dawn) and Jim Gilstrap, most famous for his vocals on the gospel-flavored "Good Times" TV theme song.



NEW RELEASES: ANDY GALORE – OUT AND ABOUT; JOEY ALEXANDER – MY FAVORITE THINGS; ROBERTA DONNAY & THE PROHIBITION MOB BAND – BATHTUB GIN

ANDY GALORE – OUT AND ABOUT

Featuring an all-star band: Mike Stern, Jim Beard, Oz Noy, Bob Franceschini, Richard Bona, Gregory Hutchinson & many more! One of the most respected and in-demand electric bass players on the New York scene, Andy Galore assembles a group of all-star talent on his debut album as a leader. Fusing jazz, blues, world, R&B and funk with bluesy New York grit, OUT AND ABOUT showcases Galore's solid and ever supportive bass playing throughout the set, adding modern flavors to classics  and mixing sounds and rhythms of retro and contemporary traditions.




JOEY ALEXANDER – MY FAVORITE THINGS

An extraordinary and uniquely gifted pianist from Bali, Joey Alexander marks his recording debut with the release of My Favorite Things. Joey brings a delicate, profound and soulful touch to his own interpretation of such classics as "My Favorite Things", "Giant Steps" and "Over the Rainbow" and showcases his talents as an arranger, composer and bandleader. Tracklisting: Giant Steps; Lush Life; My Favorite Things; It Might As Well Be Spring; Ma Blues; 'Round Midnight; I Mean You; Tour De Force; Over the Rainbow; Footprints (iTunes bonus track); and Green Dolphin Street (iTunes bonus track).

ROBERTA DONNAY & THE PROHIBITION MOB BAND – BATHTUB GIN

Musicians can take on the role of anthropologist, curious about what came before in music and how musicians reflected their world around them. Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Roberta Donnay is that rare species of musician who almost lives in another time, as she and her Prohibition Mob Band exist to revive the Jazz Age of America.  On the heels of their beloved A Little Sugar release comes their second Motéma Music release, Bathtub Gin (January 20) which, like A Little Sugar, mines 1920s gems but also takes the listener on a stroll into the 1930s. A seductive vocalist, Donnay and her band swing mightily with this authentic collection of vintage jazz, blues and swing that introduces listeners to the swing era with its jump-swing rhythmic horn sections and new dances. Donnay also includes four party-rousing shout-chorus originals that evoke and revive the open spirit that birthed jazz. ~ Motema

 



NEW RELEASES: LYN COLLINS - THINK (ABOUT IT); STEELY DAN - GOING MOBILE; B.B. KING / FREDDY KING / ALBERT KING - KINGS OF THE BLUES GUITAR

LYN COLLINS - THINK (ABOUT IT)

The funkiest album ever recorded by Lyn Collins – a stone solid set that really lives up to the legacy of her funky 45s! Like those gems, this one has Collins working with James Brown on production and the JBs in the background – creating a razor-sharp groove that's probably the closest any female singer ever came in the 70s to matching The Godfather's groove! The album's got Lyn shifting between heavy funk numbers and mellower soul cuts – really pushing things to the max with an incredibly deep take on a few older favorites, plus some killer new numbers – all produced to funky perfection, with just the right sort of balance between the rough and the tight. Titles include her great version of "Think", a funky sample cut that never gets old – plus the cuts "Things Got To Get Better", "Women's Lib", "Never Gonna Give You Up", "Just Won't Do Right", "Wheels Of Life", and the funkiest version ever of "Fly Me To The Moon". Special package includes a bonus 7" single – with "We Want To Parrty Parrty Parrty" and "You Can't Beat Two People In Love", a bonus poster, a special People Records sleeve, and a heavy tip-on jacket! ~ Dusty Groove

STEELY DAN - GOING MOBILE

Steely Dan has always been a vehicle for the immense songwriting talents of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The duo first met at college in New York in 1967, played together in local bands and, after graduation, moved to Brooklyn; there they tried to hawk their compositions in Manhattan's legendary Brill Building. The duo came to the attention of Gary Katz, who quickly realised however that the best option for Donald and Walter would be to perform their idiosyncratic songs themselves and he thus encouraged the pair to form their own group. The band's first album, 1972's 'Can't Buy A Thrill' was a stunning accomplishment and spawned two hit singles: Do It Again and Reelin' In The Years which reached numbers 6 and 11 respectively on the Billboard singles chart. Due in part to Fagen's reluctance to sing onstage and he and Becker's ingrained perfectionism, Steely Dan played relatively few live concerts during the early 1970's - in fact by 1975 they had given up touring entirely. This superb live broadcast recording is, therefore, something of a rarity; not only does it showcase the very best of the songs from Steely Dan's first three albums, it also features This All Too Mobile Home, a number that was never recorded in the studio. This concert was part of a tour in support of Steely Dan's third album, 'Pretzel Logic', which had been released a month earlier, in February 1974. In addition to the title track, also performed are Rikki Don't Lose That Number - which peaked at number 4 on Billboard and is the band's most successful single to date - and the infectious Any Major Dude Will Tell You. Following this tour, Fagen & Becker broke up the band, ceased touring and relied exclusively on hired musicians for their subsequent studio recordings. It would be another 20 years before Steely Dan hit the road again, thus this excellent radio broadcast preserves a rare instance of a great band performing at the very pinnacle of their career. ~Amazon

B.B. KING / FREDDY KING / ALBERT KING - KINGS OF THE BLUES GUITAR

CD 1: B.B. King 1. Everyday I Have The Blues 2. Sweet Little Angel 3. When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer 4. Three O'Clock Blues 5. Please Love Me 6. Hold That Train 7. Sweet Sixteen (Parts 1 & 2) 8. Driving Wheel 9. Walking Dr. Bill 10. Early In The Morning 11. Please Accept My Love 12. Mr. Pawnbroker 13. The Fool 14. Please Set The Date 15. Someday Baby 16. Sugar Mama 17. You've Been An Angel 18. My Own Fault, Baby 19. The Woman I Love 20. Treat Me Right . CD 2: Freddy King 1. See See Baby 2. Hide Away 3. Takin' Care Of Business 4. Butter Scotch 5. Have You Ever Loved A Woman 6. You Know That You Love Me 8. I'm Tore Down 9. Lonesome Whistle Blues 10. I Love The Woman 11. Side Tracked 12. Let Me Be (Stay Away From Me) 13. The Stumble 14. It's Too Bad Things Are Going So Tough 15. You've Got To Love Her With A Feeling 16. Swooshy 17. If You Believe (In What You Do) 18. Just Pickin' 19. Heads Up 20. You Mean, Mean Woman CD 3: Albert King 1. I Get Evil 2. Travelin' To California 3. Need You By My Side 4. Hand Me Down Blues 5. Dyna Flow 6. I've Made Nights By Myself 7. Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong 8. Got To Be Some Changes Made 9. Little Boy Blue 10. What Can I Do To Change Your Mind? 11. Walking From Door To Door 12. Why Are You So Mean To Me? 13. Be On Your Merry Way 14. Ooh-Ee Baby 15. Bad Luck Blues 16. Old Blue Ribbon 17. I'll Do Anything You Say 18. The Time Has Come 19. I Walked All Night Long 20. Blues At Sunrise ~ Amazon


NEW RELEASES: HENRY MANCINI – THREE SIDES OF HENRY MANCINI; DORIS DREW – RARITIES; PERRY COMO – LIVE ON TOUR

HENRY MANCINI – THREE SIDES OF HENRY MANCINI

A legendary figure in the world of film scoring Henry is perhaps best known for his work on Breakfast At Tiffany s and Moon River yet there are many shades to Mancini. He can shift from the lullaby of Slow And Easy, to the cookin Moanin and the noir infused beats of Peter Gunn, perfect for what ever mood you re in. CD1 The Lighter Side 1. Moon River Cha Cha 2. Walkin The Rock 3. The Soft Touch 4. Slow And Easy 5. Goofin At The Coffee House 6. The Little Man Theme 7. Tipsy 8. Breakfast At Tiffany's 9. Misty 10. Robbin s Nest 11. Moon River 12. Lujon 13. Baby ElephantWalk 14. Dream Of You 15. Mr. Lucky 16. A Profound Gass 17. Orson Around 18. The Big Drag CD2 The Jazzy Side 1. Moanin 2. Castle Rock 3. Everybody Blow 4. Big Band Bwana 5. Crocodile Go Home 6. Sorta Blue 7. Session At Pete s Pad 8. The Floater 9. Brief And Breezy 10. Walkin Bass 11. My Manne Shelley 12. That s It And That s All 13. Sing, Sing, Sing 14. The Brothers Go To Mother s 15. Odd Ball 16. Blue Steel 17. Chime Time 18. The Beat CD3 The Darker Side 1. Touch Of Evil (Main Theme) 2. Background For Murder 3. Peter Gunn 4. Fallout! 5. Spook! 6. Floating Pad 7. Big Noise FromWinnetka 8. Tooty Twist 9. Experiment In Terror 10. Nancy 11. Experiment In Terror Twist 12. Teen-Age Hostage 13. Final Out At Candlestick Park 14. The Sounds Of Hatari 15. Blue Flame 16. New Blood 17. The Blues 18. Borderline Montuna. ~ Amazon


DORIS DREW – RARITIES

A range of rare recordings from singer Doris Drew – a vocalist we only know from one full album, but who also made some of these appearances as a guest on other instrumental dates! Doris has a great approach – one that's slightly warmer than the ice blondes of the west coast scene of the 50s, yet which often carries some of the same modern elements too – supported here by work from players who include John Williams on piano, Don Fagerquist on trumpet, and Herb Geller on alto – plus arrangements from Williams, Jack Fascinato, David Caroll, and Lew Raymonde. Titles include "He's My Guy", "Tea For Two", "I Cried For You", "Pennies From Heaven", "Put The Blame On Mame", "You're The Cream In My Coffee", and "Be My Lovin Baby".  ~ Dusty Groove

PERRY COMO – LIVE ON TOUR

With 21 charting albums, 53 chart hits, and countless appearances on television and radio to his name, Perry Como has been awarded with virtually every accolade the music industry has to offer. But there remains one facet of his career that remains underappreciated: his skill as a live performer. That’s because, from 1948 through the early ‘70s, Perry almost never toured, spending every waking and working moment out of the recording studio preparing his beloved television specials. As a result, only a small percentage of his fans ever got the chance to see him work his magic on stage. Luckily for the rest of us, though, Perry left behind this marvelous live album, which was recorded in Chicago in 1980. Clocking in at a remarkable hour for a single-LP release, Perry Como Live on Tour captures Mr. C not only performing huge hits like “Temptation,” “It’s Impossible” and a medley of “Till the End of Time”/”Catch a Falling Star”/”Round and Round”/”Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes,” but also displays all the warmth and charm that made him such a commanding presence on the small screen, with some extended (and very funny) bits of crowd interaction. Como’s long-time musical director Nick Perito provides the accompaniment, and the great arranger Ray Charles—who first started working with Perry in 1948—directs the choir. This Real Gone CD debut reissue of this classic live album features liner notes by Matthew Long and photos from the Sony archive featuring images taken on this very tour, while the remastering by Sean Brennan at Battery Studios in New York ensures that this release actually sounds better than the vinyl version ever did. An essential look at a forgotten side of a superstar! ~ Real Gone


NEW RELEASES: KYLE EASTWOOD – TIME PIECES; THE ELECTRIC PEANUT BUTTER COMPANY - TRANS-ATLANTIC PSYCH CLASSICS VOL. 1; LILY FROST – TOO HOT FOR WORDS

KYLE EASTWOOD – TIME PIECES

Time Pieces, the new album by double-bass player Kyle Eastwood, is a musical self-portrait. Organized around the quintet's often collective compositions, Eastwood offers a couple of covers (Herbie Hancock and Horace Silver) that show his passion for lyrical hard bop, and a fresh interpretation of one of his compositions for the cinema - one of the main focal points of Eastwood's career. Full of melodic elegance and a sustained sense of groove, Time Pieces puts us right at the heart of a modern, contemporary jazz songbook. Eastwood is joined by Brandon Allen on sax, Quentin Collins on trumpet and flugelhorn, Andre McCormack on piano and drummer Ernesto Simpson. ~ Amazon

THE ELECTRIC PEANUT BUTTER COMPANY - TRANS-ATLANTIC PSYCH CLASSICS VOL. 1

Sweet and salty psych-soul-rock-funk from Adrian Quesada and Shawn Lee, working together as The Electric Peanut Butter Company! They're a company of just 2, handling every aspect themselves, but if you if ever heard anything by either party, you know this is going to have a huge sound. Lots of fuzzed out psych funk touches on this one – a mix of heady instrumentals and some fun vocal numbers. Shawn handles the singing, and the duo are both multi-instrumentalists and leftfield funk geniuses – managing to work with myriad influences without sounding exactly like anyone but themselves. The drums, guitars and keyboards are masterful here, but there's a lot of cool instrumental and production touches throughout. Vol 1 is actually the duo's second album – the first was Vol 2 (naturally!) – and it delivers on the diverse debut, and then some! Includes "Flexi Funk", "Beer Good", "Spread The Jam", "Stealio", "Tennis Elbow", "Mister Pink", "Austin City Limiter", "Go Go Go", "Damn Skippy", "Jenn Wu", "Fat Budda" and more.  ~ Dusty Groove

LILY FROST – TOO HOT FOR WORDS

Following upon the success of Lily Swings, Lily Frost continues her exploration of the American songbook, especially the great songs associated with Billie Holiday. Infectious and charming are the best words to describe this album. Lily Frost brings new and fresh interpretations to these classic songs. Backed by a great band and arrangements that recall the heyday of swing - with just a hint of western swing, Lily blends a period feel with a contemporary sensibility. This recording appeals to both veteran jazz fans and a young contemporary audience. Lily will be featured on Michael Feinstein s Song Travels on National Public Radio the week of March 24 (check local listings for day/time). In this one hour program, Michael Feinstein, often called the Ambassador of the Great American Song Book, and Lily feature tracks from both Too Hot For Words, and Lily Swings. ~ Amazon



NEW RELEASES: RUBY ANDREWS – BLACK RUBY; MODERNISTS – A DECADE OF RHYTHM & SOUL DEDICATION; LOS ANGELES SOUL: KENT-MODERN'S BLACK MUSIC LEGACY

RUBY ANDREWS – BLACK RUBY

A hell of a great record from Ruby Andrews – a Chicago soul singer who started out sweet, but comes on hard and heavy on this righteous classic from the start of the 70s! The record's got a badass vibe you never would have expected from Andrews a few years before – with tremendous vocals, and these arrangements that are right on the money – and which pack a solid funky punch into nearly every tune! Cleveland Eaton, Mike Terry, and Burgess Gardner provide the great backings – but Ruby's the clear star of the show, and works here in a deep soul style that blows us away every time we hear the record – and we've been listening to this one for more than a few decades. Wonderful all the way through – and with titles that include the funky classic "You Made A Believer Out Of Me", plus "Good N Plenty", "My Love Is Comin Down", "You Ole Boo Boo You", and "Overdose Of Love". CD features 6 more bonus tracks – including "Away From The Crowd", "You Got To Do The Same Thing", "Wonderful Nite", "All The Way", "Where Have You Gone", and "I Let Him Take Me In His Arms".  ~ Dusty Groove

MODERNISTS – A DECADE OF RHYTHM & SOUL DEDICATION (VARIOUS ARTISTS)

Not "modernists" as in the kind you'd find in the art world – but instead "mods", of the sort that were the biggest proponents of soul music in mid 60s London! The package is a stellar array of rare soul tracks that all fit right in the best mod vibe that bubbled big for a few key years in the UK – a blend of romping soul, heavy R&B, and groovy jazz numbers that flow together with nonstop energy and a righteous sort of power that was extremely liberating at the time – and which still stuns us all these many years later! And unlike a lot of mod soul sets, this one isn't filled with overdone hits, and instead tries to find more obscure cuts that really fit the mod spirit of the glory days – all rare 60s numbers, but some of which never even circulated much back in the day. Wonderful stuff throughout – a great soul music counterpart to the Mod Jazz series on Kent – with titles that include "After Hours" by Paul & Rick, "She's Got Soul" by Bill Locke, "Charles' Shing A Ling" by Charles Hodges, "Crow Baby Crow" by Leroy Harris, "Bugaloo Pete" by Lester Young & The California Playboys, "Boston Monkey" by The Hustlers, "Good Humor Man" by Clifford Curry, "Soul Jerk It Baby" by Jeb Stuart, "Dong Ain't A Man's Best Friend" by Lewis Clark, and "I Got Loaded" by Little Bob. ~ Dusty Groove


LOS ANGELES SOUL: KENT-MODERN'S BLACK MUSIC LEGACY (VARIOUS ARTISTS)

Loads of rare tracks from one of the greatest indies on the west coast – the legendary Kent/Modern label, a company that started during the indie heyday of R&B in California, but continued to put out some really strong soul records in the 60s and 70s! This side of the label's output isn't nearly as well known, but there's some real killers here – tracks that never broke big, especially outside of California, but which are filled with sharp funky edges, and some really wonderful vocals! The collection brings together a few of our favorite singles from Kent that we've never seen reissued, plus lots of other gems, and even a few unreleased tracks from the same stretch – and the whole thing's a real treasure trove of discovery, augmented by the usual really well-done Ace Records approach to notes. Titles include "I Need A Love" by Wally Cox, "Take A Look In Your Mind" by Robert Ramsey, "Cherry Pie" by Lord Charles & The Prophets, "I Want Action" by Jeanette Jones, "No In Between" by Johnny Adams, "My Love She's Gone" by The Intentions, "I Don't Know" by Earl Wright, "Tear My Love Down" by Wayne Boykin, "Push On Jesse Jackson" by The Pace-Setters, "Gone On Home" by Tommy Youngblood, "You're My Girl" by Larry Sanders, "It's Been A Long Time Baby" by The Other Brothers, "Move A Little Closer" by Millie Foster, and "All That Shines Is Not Gold" by The Windjammers. ~ Dusty Groove


Friday, February 27, 2015

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band Debuts @ #3 On Billboard Blues Chart With “So Delicious"!

So Delicious, the seventh studio album from renowned Blues/Rock outfit Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band blew out of the gate and already is making its mark on the blues world, debuting this week at a lofty #3 spot on the Billboard blues chart.  With strong support from independent retail—including release week in-stores at legendary locations like Landlocked, Indy CD & Vinyl, Culture Clash, Shake It, Grimey’s and Vintage Vinyl—So Delicious continues a string of critically and commercially acclaimed releases from The Rev and his unique musical crew.  Now in the midst of a flurry of tour dates which span both the U.S. and around the globe, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band are setting themselves up for an even greater level of success and notoriety as a group that is truly keeping the blues alive and well. 


The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is something of a phenomenon in today’s music scene.  Amidst a bevy of so-called “roots” artists, the Rev. and crew truly embody the roots of American music.  Citing legends like Charlie Patton and Muddy Waters as influences, the Big Damn Band’s music exhibits a more genuine homage to the early blues greats than almost anything produced today, all delivered with a ferocious energy.  In light of the authenticity of their sound and vibe, legendary Shanachie Blues imprint Yazoo Records is the perfect match for The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.


VOCALIST KENYA SET TO RELEASE ECLECTIC SOULFUL ALBUM "MY OWN SKIN"

Kenya (whose full name is Kenya McGuire Johnson) has been singing since the age of 8. Raised in Denver, CO she was active in citywide choirs, jazz bands, show choirs, musical theater, jazz ensembles and gospel choirs. While in college at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Kenya performed in the renowned Howard Gospel Choir and opened for artists such as Yolanda Adams and Bebe & Cece Winans. Upon graduating from Howard University with a degree in physical therapy, Kenya became a clinician, educator, clinical instructor and administrator in higher education.  After years of being away from music, she took a massive leap of faith and made the decision to leave her academic career and follow her passion!             

Kenya has performed at a variety of leading venues across the nation and has opened for such recording artists as Grammy Award winning recording artist Lalah Hathaway, Rachelle Ferrell, and Stokley Williams of the acclaimed R&B group Mint Condition.  She has shared venue bills with neo-soul artist Algebra Blessett and recording jazz artist Raul Midon.  Venues include a sold out audience at Washington, D.C.’s legendary Blues Alley, Chicago’s House of Blues, Billie's Black in Harlem, The Biltmore and Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles, Dazzle Jazz Club in Denver, CO, Cullen's Live in Houston, TX and The Tralf Music Hall in Buffalo, NY.  Kenya has headlined at the Soul Mountain Music Festival in Beaver Creek, CO, the infamous Pine Grill Jazz Festival in Buffalo, NY and The Africana Music Festival in Virginia Beach, VA.


Kenya’s first release from her forthcoming debut LP/album My Own Skin titled “Be Here” featuring the soulful recording duo Kloud 9 peaked at #28 on the US R&B Billboards and #2 on the UK Soul Chart.  Her second release from the same album “Wednesday Girl” is a stirring neo-soul/jazz groove that also peaked at #2 on the UK Soul Chart.  My Own Skin is an eclectic soulful album that will be released in Europe by Expansion Records March 2015.  Early reviews of the album describe it as being filled with “scorchers” and being “very sophisticated and diverse.”  ~ kenyamjmusic.com


Vocalist Paul Jost Releases BREAKING THROUGH; First Solo CD of Jazz Standards

“Breaking Through” is the first solo CD of the multi-talented musician and vocalist and arranger, Paul Jost. With this release, Paul breaks through traditional boundaries and conventions by producing a unique and innovative recording. While the majority of songs are jazz standards, there is nothing standard about them.

Paul has been heard on countless recordings over the years but on “Breaking Through”, this multi-faceted artist, who plays drums, guitar, harmonica and piano, merges his experiences into another musical dimension – his voice. Music critic Buster Maxwell said, “Paul nearly single-handedly reclaims the male voice as a valid and critically important jazz instrument, and it’s simply thrilling to hear him.”

One of the highlights of this recording is Paul’s original song, “Book Faded Brown.” This tender and compelling composition has been recorded by such legends as The Band, Rick Danko and Carl Perkins. Slightly altered, he presents it here very much in keeping with how these great artists first heard the tune. Jost said, “It’s such an honor to have had these incredible artists perform my music.” The late Rick Danko said, “’Book Faded Brown’ is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard or done.”

Whether scatting, incorporating body percussion or arranging the song in a unique way, “Breaking Through” demonstrates Paul’s eclectic talent. The first song, “Singing in the Rain,” begins with an atmosphere so tangible the listener feels transported and part of the journey. In “The Days of Wine and Roses” (with flutist Mark Adler), the backdrop is set against the ambience of a city park teeming with life and as a chance meeting place for two musicians who share a common language. Paul consistently presents the music so that each song contains surprising, intriguing elements.

Most recently, Paul has collaborated with outstanding musicians on several projects. Serving as vocalist and arranger in The Jost Project, Paul joined forces with vibraphonist Tony Miceli, bassist Kevin MacConnell and drummer Charlie Patierno to produce “Can’t Find My Way Home” on Dot Time Records. This recording interprets classic rock in a jazz format with the goal of reaching new fans of jazz, and they have cultivated fans around the world. When the recording was reviewed in Jazz in Europe, Johan van Deeg wrote, “I just love this CD. The Jost Project is without a doubt one of the most creative bands I have heard in years and vocalist Paul Jost one of the best male jazz vocalists that I have heard since Mark Murphy.” Among Paul’s other music collaborations, he sings with the Diane Monroe Quintet, performs duos with pianist Frank Strauss, with flutist Mark Adler and with bassist Tim Lekan. He and Lekan are also members of Antfarm Quartet with pianist Jim Ridl and drummer Bob Shomo.

Commercially, Paul’s voice can be heard on national jingles for Johnson & Johnson, Sears, Timberland, Anheuser Busch and others. As a prolific composer, Paul has written over 40 CD’s for major music libraries that are heard daily in over 750 markets throughout the United States and is a four-category, blue ribbon Billboard Song Contest winner. He has composed for both Canon Pictures and for N.B.C. including their Emmy Award Winning series, “Special Treat”.


NEW RELEASES: STONE ALLIANCE – STONE ALLIANCE; STONE ALLIANCE – HEADS UP; ELVIN JONES IS ON THE MOUNTAIN

STONE ALLIANCE – STONE ALLIANCE

An amazing little group – and one of the real standouts in indie jazz during the 70s! Stone Alliance are a killer power trio made up of players who'd previously worked for Elvin Jones – and all three of them have inherited a frenzied sense of rhythm from Jones – and that great sharp edge he brought to his initial early recordings in the post-Coltrane years! But there's also a deeper sound going on here, too – a bit of funk, and definitely a bit of Latin in the percussion and basslines – which makes for these grooves that are as complicated as they are infectious – often given some sweet spiritual tones from the reeds on top! The lineup features Steve Grossman on tenor and soprano sax, Gene Perla on bass, and Don Alias on drums and percussion – all working together with tremendous energy, but a great focus too – always soulful, and never too jamming at all. Titles include the insane break track "Sweetie Pie", plus Stevie Wonder's "Creepin", "Duet", "King Tut", "Samba De Negro" and "Vaya Mulatto". ~ Dusty Groove

STONE ALLIANCE – HEADS UP

Stone Alliance plays with an expanded lineup on this LP, perhaps to account for the missing Steve Grossman, who's no longer with the group at this point. Don Alias and Gene Perla are joined by Dave Liebman, Alex Acuna, Michael Brecker, and Kenny Kirkland, and the track list includes "Trampoline", "Aunt Remus", "Tribute To Afreeka", and "Uncle Jemima". Perhaps not as full on funky as the group's first few powerhouse albums, but still a great little record with a hard jazzy edge!  ~ Dusty Groove





ELVIN JONES - ELVIN JONES IS ON THE MOUNTAIN WITH JAN HAMMER & GENE PERLA

An overlooked gem from Elvin's mid 70s years – and a sweet fusion jammer that has the best kick of the classics on the PM label! Elvin may be the leader of the set, but the real strength of the album belongs to the record's tight bass work by the great Gene Perla – strong-voiced and soulful, and doing a good job here of keeping both Elvin and Jan focused on the groove of the tunes – as Hammer's keyboards spin out with lots of sweet cosmic touches! Titles include "Namuh", "On The Mountain", "Smoke In The Sun", "Destiny", and "London Air".  ~ Dusty Groove

 




NEW RELEASES: CHARLES EARLAND – BACK TALK!; MACEO PARKER – US; THE OHIO PLAYERS – OBSERVATIONS IN TIME

CHARLES EARLAND – BACK TALK!

A pivotal album in the development of the use of the Hammond organ in jazz – and Charles Earland's first exposure to a large audience! During the 60s, Charles was bumping around the Philly scene quite a bit – and recorded some small group indie sides that first gave a glimpse of his unique sound on the organ. But with this record, Earland really broke out wide – and hit a huge audience that made him one of the most in-demand players of the early 70s! The Earland touch is summed up perfectly here – a really fluid approach to the keys that shakes loose the clunkier styles of older Hammond players, and goes for a tightened-up groove that puts equal emphasis on rhythm and melodic improvisation – in a way that's always made Charles' records some of the best jazz dancers to come out of Prestige. Earland has an amazing way of completely transforming a tune – taking a familiar melody, but riffing on it extensively – slowly expanding it through almost modal progressions – until the tune opens up into a long extended jazzy groove! Proof of this is the album's sublime 11 minute version of "More Today Than Yesterday" – a solid stepper that never gets old – and other tunes include "Black Talk", "The Mighty Burner", "Here Comes Charlie", and "Aquarius". Oh, and players include Virgil Jones, Houston Person, Melvin Sparks, and Idris Muhammed – an all-star lineup, but tightly guided by Charles as if they were his own working group!  ~ Dusty Groove

MACEO PARKER – US

A killer-diller bit of essential funk – the only full album cut by Maceo with James Brown production! The set's got Maceo coming back strongly into the JB fold, with a fierce array of funky cuts that kick it every bit as hard as the best JBs work of the time. No surprise, the JBs are working with Maceo on the arrangements and backing – letting his funky horn take the lead, but coming up on their own with the impeccably tight rhythms that have forever made them the blueprint for funk forever! Features the great tracks "Soul Power 74" and "Parrty", which you may have on compilations, but also the great album tracks "I Can Play For (Just You and Me)" and "Soul of a Black Man", a 10 minute long, slow soul groove, with vocals by James Brown.  ~ Dusty Groove

THE OHIO PLAYERS – OBSERVATIONS IN TIME

Wild! This early Ohio Players album is a masterpiece of 60s soul, and has a great group sound unlike any of their Westbound albums. The band is tight and funky, but in a sort of deep soul 60s way, with arrangements and playing that have a hard edge, and with nice guitar rhythm tracks. There's a lot of originals, like "Bad Bargain", "Lonely Street", and "Street Party", plus very cool covers of cuts like "Summertime" and "Mother In Law". Great trippy cover, too. Also includes 'Here Today & Gone Tomorrow", "Stop Lying To Yourself", "Over The Rainbow", "Find Someone To Love","Cold Cold World" and "The Man That I Am".  ~ Dusty Groove


NEW RELEASES: THE MIGHTY SCEPTRES! – ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY SCEPTRES!; BABA COMMANDANT & THE MANDINGO BAND - JUGUYA; THE RONGETZ FOUNDATION - KISS KISS DOUBLE JAB

THE MIGHTY SCEPTRES! – ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY SCEPTRES!

A brilliant take on vintage sounds by Cornwall combo The Mighty Sceptres – seamlessly mixing vintage funky group soul styles! As much as we dug their earlier 7-inch on Ubiquity, we're pretty much floored by how much deeper this excellent full length cuts! Singer Angeline Morrison has a way of bringing in a soulful warmth with laidback charm – and the band brings a lot of different styles into play, without going too far out of the old school comfort zone. Drums, Rhodes and horns are prominent, but there's some more orchestral string touches, glockenspiel, harmonica and other elements that really take it to another level. All Hail, indeed! Includes "Siren Call", "I Found The Letter", "Just Didn't Mean It", "Sting Like A Bee", "Nothing Seems To Work Right", "Land Of Green Ginger", "We Got A Problem", "Gentle Refrain", "Nothing But A Pack Of Cards", "Krazy Kat" with guest vocals by Ian Dunlop, "That Ol' Feelin'" and more. 13 tracks in all.  ~ Dusty Groove

BABA COMMANDANT & THE MANDINGO BAND - JUGUYA

One of the most solid albums we've ever heard on the Sublime Frequencies label – a studio recording by a group with a really great approach to their music – a style that mixes classic Afro Funk elements with rootsier elements on the instrumentation! The grooves are tight, but the sound has some nice earthy qualities at times – especially in Baba Commandant's use of ngoni, which rings out in a way that's both melodic and rhythmic at the same time – echoing an older mandingo tradition, but coming across with a lot of punch! Other instrumentation includes lots of percussion, fuzzy guitars, and balafon too – and most of the vocals have a call/response style, in which other singers call out alongside Baba's lead. Really great stuff – with titles that include "Tile", "Folon", "Wasso", "Juguya", "Siguisso", and "Ntijiguimorola".  ~ Dusty Groove

THE RONGETZ FOUNDATION - KISS KISS DOUBLE JAB

An even hipper album than the first Rongetz Foundation outing – which we totally loved – thanks to work from classic musicians who include Gary Bartz on alto, Steve Turre on trombone, and Monnette Sudler on guitar! The music is a great blend of bass-heavy rhythms (acoustic bass, that is), jazzy flourishes, and these excellent vocals from Lilli Cooper – an artist we don't know at all, but who brings a real underground soul vibe to the whole thing – with an old school approach that really lives up to the instrumentation! The album already won us over by including one of our favorite Charles Earland tunes ever – the sublime "Murilley", a lost gem from his late 70s years, given a great vocal reading for the set – and other titles are all original, and include "Cab Samba", "Kiss Kiss Double Jab", "Marshmallow Throne", "Such A Morning Person", and "Sonia Poem", which features a recitation from Sonia Sanchez.  ~ Dusty Groove


GRAMMY® Award winning vocalist and producer Steve Tyrell celebrates the chart success of his new album, THAT LOVIN' FEELING, which entered the Billboard Jazz Chart at #5

"I am thrilled to learn I have another Top 5 record! These sessions took me back to a lot of special moments in my life," said Tyrell. 

Tyrell invited his legendary songwriter and artist friends to a heartfelt celebration of THAT LOVIN' FEELING. The renowned singer's ode to what he calls "The Great American Songbook 2" features classics by Carole King, Leiber and Stoller, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Burt Bacharach and Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich – and guest appearances by Dave Koz, Neil Sedaka, B.J. Thomas, Bill Medley, Judith Hill, and Chuck Leavell.

Though the singer has ventured beyond the classic Sinatra era at times to bring his charismatic gravelly charm to projects celebrating the music of Disney and Burt Bacharach, THAT LOVIN' FEELING is a unique, highly personal project. The generous 15-track set is an intimate, decidedly jazzy, window into Tyrell's storied roots in the music business, dating back to the 60's when the Houston native, still in his late teens, moved to New York and began working in multiple capacities (A&R, promotions man, artist producer) at Florence Greenberg's Scepter Records.

During that era, Tyrell worked with and/or became close friends with the already established hit-making team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, as well as upstarts cramped in tight Brill Building spaces whose songs came to define a generation: Carole King/Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich and Neil Sedaka. Putting his own natural, charismatic flair on some of their best loved works, Tyrell – who produced the collection with Jon Allen, with stunning arrangements by co-producer Bob Mann - pays homage to all of them in fresh ways, including, on certain tracks, asking them to participate in the recording itself.

THAT LOVIN' FEELING Track Listing:

1.Jazzman [feat. Dave Koz]   
2.Up On The Roof
3.You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' [feat. Bill Medley]
4.There Goes My Baby          
5.Be My Baby
6.Good Good Lovin' [feat. Judith Hill]
7.Laughter In The Rain [feat. Neil Sedaka]   
8.Groovy Kind Of Love          
9.Rock And Roll Lullaby [feat. B.J. Thomas]              
10.Chapel Of Love [feat. Lauryn Tyrell]        
11.Just A Little Lovin' (Early In The Morning)
12.On Broadway [feat. Barry Mann] 
13.Any Day Now        
14.Stand By Me         
15.Hound Dog [feat. Chuck Leavell]

Tyrell has enjoyed a multi-faceted five decade career that has included producing everyone from B.J. Thomas, Rod Stewart, Diana Ross and Bonnie Raitt to Linda Ronstadt, Aaron Neville, James Ingram, Dolly Parton, Chris Botti, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles; working as a music supervisor for films by Steven Spielberg, Steven Soderbergh, Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer; penning the #1 pop hit "How Do You Talk To An Angel"; and performing with symphony orchestras all across America. This year also marked the 10th anniversary to his taking over the Holiday Season at the Cafe Carlyle in New York City for the late legend Bobby Short.  


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Saxophonist Kyle Nasser Releases Debut Album "Restive Soul" On March 24, 2015

Saxophonist Kyle Nasser was a student of Economics and Political Philosophy at Harvard University when his life was changed by an encounter with Hank Jones. The legendary pianist, then in his late 80s, visited Cambridge to teach and play a concert with the Harvard Jazz Band, making a profound impact on the young saxophonist. "Seeing him in peak form and expressing joy through music at such an advanced age was really deep," Nasser recalls. "We took him out to dinner, ended up playing a three-hour session, and then he asked us to take him home so that he could get in some practicing before bed. That left a huge impression and reinforced that I should do this. I didn't have any old investment banker friends that seemed very happy."

Nasser graduated from Harvard and switched paths, leading him to another revered institution: Berklee College of Music. He's now reaching another landmark along that path with his striking debut, Restive Soul, out March 24, 2015.  A trace of the saxophonist's former pursuit remains in the title, which was drawn from a quote by French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville ascribing his pursuit of politics to his own "restive and insatiable soul." The album displays the keen intellect that landed Nasser at one of America's most hallowed schools, along with the passion that steered him away from a potentially lucrative career in business to pursue his lifelong love of music.

The compositions that comprise Restive Soul combine fervent jazz playing by Nasser's quintet - Jeff Miles (guitar), Dov Manski (piano), Chris Van Voorst (bass), and Devin Drobka (drums) - with elements from Nasser's intensive study of western classical music. But this is no Third Stream hybrid, wearing its "classical" inspirations on its sleeve; instead, Nasser seamlessly assimilates counterpoint and long-form harmonic development into electrifying modern jazz pieces. Those concepts were then workshopped on the bandstand over the course of several years during the band's regular Tuesday-night gigs at Brooklyn bar The Fifth Estate.

"I became obsessed with counterpoint at Berklee," Nasser says. "You have to take traditional counterpoint courses, and it hit me that this is what I had been looking for and missing in a lot of the jazz that I'd been listening to and playing. I got the impression that a lot of people were writing tunes because they wanted to blow over them as opposed to having a conscious compositional direction to the piece. I wanted to make a quintet sound like an orchestra."

The album opens with "For Rick B.," a theme-and-variations tribute to Nasser's most important teacher, New Bedford-area saxophonist and pianist Rick Britto, who passed away while Nasser was in the midst of writing the piece. No mournful elegy, the piece instead builds from a piquant sax-and-guitar melody over a surging rhythm. It's followed by the floating, dream-like "Angelique," a shimmering showcase for the rhythm section.

The title track illustrates that restlessness of spirit that drives an artist like Nasser with its persistent rock groove, driven by Miles' serrated guitar. The dark-tinged cinematic feeling of "Shadow Army" is captured in its evocative title, while "Gyorgi Goose" refers to both avant-garde classical composer György Ligeti and a stuffed animal that Nasser received from his mother - twin inspirations evoked by the tune's simultaneous dissonance and playfulness. The melody of "Radiator Lady" hints at the song hauntingly crooned by one of the memorable oddities in David Lynch's Eraserhead,

"Trip To Lester's" is an homage to Harvard professor emeritus and marijuana activist Lester Grinspoon, who would hold court for graduates at his home. Nasser's piece conjures the atmosphere of those sessions and their crisscrossing, disjointed but stimulating conversations. "Whitestone" and "Ecstatic Repose" are impressionistic pieces, the former an attempt to capture the sunset vista of New York City as seen from the Whitestone Bridge, the latter a depiction of how the mind can be frenetic while the body is at rest. The album draws to a hopeful close with the folk-like melody of "Rise."

While it wasn't until the end of his tenure at Harvard that Nasser determined to pursue jazz as a career, his love for it began at the age of six. Kyle's parents frequented a local restaurant in his native New Bedford, Massachusetts, that featured a live jazz band. He was immediately enthralled by the saxophone player,  who ended up becoming his first teacher. Too small at the time to hold the saxophone, he started out on the clarinet, leading initially to a more classical education before he joined his junior high jazz band.
After graduating from Harvard and Berklee, Nasser moved to New York City in 2010. He has shared the stage with jazz luminaries such as Jim Hall, Hank Jones, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas and Ben Monder, among others. He's also toured the U.S. and South America with his own music and with the collective quartet Beekman, which recently released its own debut album.




    

NEW RELEASES: BOB CREWE - THE COMPLETE ELEKTRA RECORDINGS; JACKY TERRASSON - TAKE THIS; JAKOB BRO - GEFION

BOB CREWE - THE COMPLETE ELEKTRA RECORDINGS

What do “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Jenny, Take a Ride” and “Lady Marmalade” all have in common?  Each one of those songs came from the pen from Bob Crewe.  A songwriter, producer, singer, entrepreneur, artist and candidate for the title of “Fifth Season,” Crewe was one of music’s true renaissance men.  With Bob Gaudio, he co-wrote and produced most of the Four Seasons’ greatest hits, and he also guided the careers of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Oliver, and many others.  Yet one period of his extraordinary career has been long overlooked…until now.  During 1976 and 1977, Crewe was signed to Elektra Records, where he released two remarkably diverse albums.  1976’s Street Talk resurrected The Bob Crewe Generation, best-known for the swinging bachelor pad classic “Music to Watch Girls By,” for the disco age.  As a “disco-rock ballet” concept album aimed at Broadway, Street Talk reflected the exuberant, uninhibited and provocative spirit of the era with its lush, orchestral disco style.  The following year, Crewe emerged as a singer-songwriter with the solo Motivation.  Helmed by legendary rock producer Jerry Wexler and famed Muscle Shoals musician Barry Beckett, Motivation was inspired by Carole King’s Tapestry and remains a passionate, spiritual and raw pop statement from an artist who had plenty to say.  Real Gone Music’s Bob Crewe – The Complete Elektra Recordings, the inaugural release from the label’s new Second Disc Records imprint, brings these two, long-unavailable hidden gems to CD in the United States for the very first time.  And that’s not all.  A host of never-on-CD bonus tracks have been added to each title including rare singles and remixes!  The Second Disc’s Joe Marchese provides the new liner notes for this newly-remastered collection.  Take one listen, and you’ll agree: Crewe’s pulse-pounding, emotionally-charged Elektra recordings deserve a place alongside his undisputed classics…and offer a timely tribute to this late, great pop music giant. ~ Real Gone

JACKY TERRASSON - TAKE THIS

Pianist/composer Jacky Terrasson makes his Impulse! label debut with Take This, a sparkling new disc that captures the quintessence of his multifaceted musical makeup, which often draws upon modern post-bop, pop, hip-hop, European classical, and African and Afro-Caribbean rhythms and melodies. On Take This, Terrasson convenes a truly international band featuring American bassist Burniss Travis, Cuban-born drummer Lukmil Perez, Malian percussionist Adama Diarra, and Afro-French vocalist and human beatbox virtuoso Sly Johnson, forming a hip cosmopolitan combo that represents jazz s expansive global mindedness while still affirming its African-American roots. ~ Amazon


JAKOB BRO - GEFION

Gefion is Danish guitarist Jakob Bro's first ECM album as leader, following recordings for the label as sideman with Paul Motian and Tomasz Stanko. Like the work of those masters Bro s balladeering distils a sense of jazz history in its specific and highly personal atmospheres. The open forms of Bro s compositions leave plenty of space for his companions drum legend Jon Christensen and creative bassist-of-the-moment Thomas Morgan - to make their statements, interactively and in parallel. And there is space too for the listener s imagination to follow the flow and the delicate melodic tracery of Bro s electric guitar in this thoughtful and poetic album. Gefion was recorded in Oslo s Rainbow Studio in November 2013 and produced by Manfred Eicher. ~ Amazon


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