Tuesday, August 15, 2017

NEW RELEASES: TONY WILLIAMIS LIFETIME FEATURING JOHN MCLAUGHLIN – LIVE IN NEW YORK 1969; GIL SCOTT-HERON / BRIAN JACKSON – MESSAGES; JONATHAN FRITZEN - BALLADS

TONY WILLIAMIS LIFETIME FEATURING JOHN MCLAUGHLIN – LIVE IN NEW YORK 1969

Stunning sounds from drummer Tony Williams – a rare live date from the end of the 60s, and one that's even more freewheeling than the performance on his classic Emergency album! The group here is the same as that one – the famous trio with John McLaughlin on guitar and Larry Young on organ – both players who could spiritual modes when they want, but who here are pretty darn noisy at most moments – effortlessly blending rock into jazz, and helping to create the sound of fusion in the process! Tracks are long, and completely unbridled – and titles include "A Famous Blues", "Something Spiritual", "Emergency", and "To Whom It May Concern".  ~ Dusty Groove

GIL SCOTT-HERON / BRIAN JACKSON – MESSAGES

Some of the best tracks ever from the pair of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson – some of most righteous, authoritative and thematically heavy soul music ever created – compiled in one incredible set! Messianic, emotive vocals from Gil and stunningly restrained, magical soul jazz arrangements from Brian – words can't express how dynamic these tunes are! Great stuff from classic LPs such as Winter In America, It's Your World, First Minute Of A New Day, Secrets and more! 15 tracks in all: "The Bottle", "It's Your World", "Johannesburg", "Winter In America", "The Liberation (Red, Black & Green)", "Home Is Where The Hatred Is (Live)", "We Almost Lost Detroit", "Angel Dust", "Show Bizness", "Madison Avenue", "Shut 'Em Down", "Alien (Hold On To Your Dreams)".  ~ Dusty Groove

JONATHAN FRITZEN - BALLADS

Over the past ten years, Smooth Jazz fans who like to get a groove on with infectious keyboard melodies have enjoyed being “Fritzenized," that is, having their hearts, souls and dancing shoes infused with the Billboard and SmoothJazz.com Chart-topping recording artist’s blend of lush ballads and all-out party jams. The multi-faceted, Swedish American composer and keyboardist’s sixth album BALLADS showcases the gentle, graceful side of his musical personality. On a mission to “bring calm, clarity and the rejuvenation of both mind and soul,” to a challenged world, he complements his gorgeous piano and keyboard melodies with artful touches of electric guitar, exotic percussion, sweeping synth textures and special guest violinist, Péter Ferencz (Peet Project). Fritzen’s original BALLADS will bring peace to your days and love to your nights! ~ smoothjazz. com


NEW RELEASES: JOAO GILBERT & OTHERS; BOB DOWNES OPEN MUSIC – LET YOUR MIND...SPACE OUT; JAMES TAYLOR QUARTET - BOOTLEG

JOAO GILBERT & OTHERS: JOAO GILBERTO AND THE STYLISTS OF BOSSA NOVA SING ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM

Seminal sounds from the earliest years of bossa nova – a big 59 track package that brings together important early recordings by Joao Gilberto, as well as some other key bossa interpreters of his generation too! The set begins with Joao's early recordings of compositions by Antonio Carlos Jobim – the artist/composer whose influence is a huge part of this package, too – as many of the songs here were penned by Jobim, and the set also features a few of his recordings, too – as well as both Brazilian and American interpretations of many bossa classics from the start of the 60s! The 2CD set is overflowing with interesting material – the kind of well-chosen cuts that always make the El Records selections so great – and titles include "O Nosso Amor" and "Este Seu Olhar" by Joao Gilberto, "Por Causa De Voce" by Lucio Alves, "As Praias Desertas" by Lenita Bruno, "Eurydice" by Luiz Bonfa, "Sucedeu Assim"b y Sylvia Telles, "Arpoador" by Radames Gnattali, "Samba De Uma Nota So" by Tamba Trio, "Estrada Do Sol" by Agostinho Dos Santos, "Eu Preciso De Voce" by Norma Benguell, "Desafinado" by Laurindo Almeida, "Chega De Saudade" by Elizeth Cardoso, "Amor Sem Adeus" by Dick Farney, "No More Blues" by Jon Hendricks, "Sem Voice" by Alaide Costa, "O Amor Em Paz" by Os Caroicas, "O Homem" by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius De Moraes, "Eu Nao Existo Sem Voce" by Lucio Alves and Sylvia Telles, and "Samba De Uma Nota So" by Leny Adrade.  ~ Dusty Groove

BOB DOWNES OPEN MUSIC – LET YOUR MIND...SPACE OUT

Reedman Bob Downes definitely got the title right here – as the music's got a very spacey sound at times – as Bob reworked a contrabass flute, in order to create these really weird, textural sort of tones! Downes has been making amazing sounds since the start of the 70s – and even all these decades later, he still hasn't stopped experimenting and creating – as you'll hear here on the album's surprisingly strong array of inventive instrumentals! Some songs are very meditative, but others have a more pointed vibe – and Downes even vocalizes a bit from time to time with his instrument – sometimes through it. Titles include "Supernatural Being", "Him Bin Go", "Going On A Journey", "On The Run", "Predator", "Let Your Mind Space Out", and "Magdalena Jetelova".  ~  Dusty Groove

JAMES TAYLOR QUARTET - BOOTLEG

Not the dodgy record you might expect from the title – but instead a special vinyl-only collection of the best cuts from the past few years of releases from the mighty James Taylor – one of the coolest keyboardists to come along in the past few decades! Taylor first emerged in the UK mod scene of the mid 80s, then soared to new heights with some of the first new Hammond and Fender Rhodes records to rival the sound of the 60s and 70s – and then continued to give us great music for many years to come! Taylor hit some bigger fame in the 90s, but he's actually sounded even better in more recent years, on his own Real Self label – from which most of this work is drawn – an excellent collection of keyboard funk, with plenty of jazz in the mix too – way better than most of the funky imitators who sprung up in James' wake. Titles include "Boot Up", "Closer To The Moon", "Spencer Takes A Trip", "Showdown", "Man From The Moon", "Blacksmith", "Picking Up Where We Left Off", "Rochester Raining", and "The Exorcism".  ~ Dusty Groove


Saxophonist Tim Armacost Announces The Release of Time Being

The origins of this debut Whirlwind release as a leader, from acclaimed saxophonist and composer, and founding member of The New York Standards Quartet (who's sixth album, Sleight Of Hand is out now on Whirlwind) Tim Armacost, tell a fascinating tale. A marquee player on the New York City and Japanese scenes for many years, with an extensive discography and countless live and recorded collaborations to his name in the US, Europe and Asia, the clear direction for Time Being arrived, remarkably, out of the blue.

As Armacost elaborates: "I pictured myself, like a scene from a movie, playing Ornette Coleman's 'Lonely Woman' in the studio with a trio - double bassist Robert Hurst and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts. Tain was, in terms of time signature, out on his own, and Bob and I were communicating with each other independently of what he was playing. But what Tain was doing was so incredibly attractive - so eerie and so beautiful - that we both really wanted to go over and be part of that; yet we already had this melody that we had to play together. That whole idea led to these explorations of creating tension by playing in parallel spaces, and then releasing the tension into a beautifully swinging groove by allowing the parallel spaces to merge. It was something I'd never tried before, and the concept was really exciting. We decided to record in Tain's studio, in an intimate live environment with no separation." "So for my compositions and arrangements, I needed to imagine the ideas happening in real time; and fortunately, with Tain and Bob on board - some of the most swinging musicians on the planet - there was a great willingness for exploration, to make it happen." Joining the trio on selected tracks is pianist David Kikoski, providing elegant, rippling color to numbers such as "The Next 20" and "One and Four." 

Through the dedication of these accomplished artists, this concept evolved into a project that is organic, exploratory and swinging. The three 'Sculptures' on the album are very much an expression of this structured experimentation. "Phase Shift" is modeled on an 'X' formation, as Armacost and Watts converge along the left tempo pathways with Hurst on the right until saxophonist and bassist change places - technical in construction, but an exhilarating listen. On "Tempus Funkit," Armacost independently visits the rhythms of Tain and Hurst; and the particle-like conflict of "All The Things You Could Become In The Large Hadron Collider" (based on "All The Things You Are") is also a playful reference to Charles Mingus', "All The Things You Could Be By Now If Sigmund Freud's Wife Was Your Mother".

"Lonely Woman" - the seed of this album that engendered so many possibilities, features a call-and-response between tenor and bass, initiating their own improvisations until the drums home in on the bassist. So the differing musical tensions are intentionally part of the unplanned dialogue present throughout this recording. On the title track, "Time Being," the trio divides when Armacost moves to a different tempo, with Hurst following, and Watts reaching them later - as Armacost enthuses: "When we all come back together, the pay-off is really delicious!" "53rd Street" is inspired by the blues melody of Thelonious Monk's "52nd Street"; there's a fine, percussively buoyant interpretation of Monk's "Teo"; and the feisty, original composition "Alawain" says so much about this trio's collective, impassioned spirit.

Tim Armacost describes the session as being playful, wild and serious: "It has been a real source of joy for me to see such open musicians willing to make an attempt at something we've never done before; and especially when things got kind of interesting, and we started smiling - that was a really special, even relaxed experience. I hope that, although this has a demanding concept at its roots, listeners can pick up on its lyrical, singing qualities. The audience is very much part of the conversation - we're doing this thing together, and we invite you in to have fun!"

 

Monday, August 14, 2017

NEW RELEASES: HERB ALPERT – MUSIC VOL. 1; THE B. CHRISTOPHER BAND – FOUR FROM THE SUN; ABRAHAM DAY – THE PURPOSE

HERB ALPERT – MUSIC VOL. 1

Sounding as fresh, hip, edgy and tuneful as ever at 82, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and nine time Grammy winner Herb Alpert takes his inimitable trumpet to many fascinating places on MUSIC VOL. 1. Teaming with Grammy winning producer Jochem van der Saag (Andrea Bocelli, Seal, Destiny’s Child), the legend mines some seriously deep cool and electronic soulfulness in re-imagining many blasts from the past popularized by The Beatles, John Lennon, Nat “King” Cole, Frank Sinatra and his legendary band The Tijuana Brass, as well as from modern pop crooner, Jason Mraz! Blissfully bridging past and present, MUSIC VOL. 1 shows that the master is still in top form! ~ smoothjazz.com

THE B. CHRISTOPHER BAND – FOUR FROM THE SUN

Following his well received debut HIGH TIDE, electric guitarist B. Christopher – leader of The B. Christopher Band - continues his emergence as a solo artist with FOUR FROM THE SUN, which features his fluid melodies and dazzling licks in an exciting variety of jazz, pop, R&B and blues settings. Besides return visits from Nathan East and Anton Fig, the album – whose single word titles all refer to multiple shades of red – includes all-star contributions by saxman Andy Snitzer, drummer Shawn Pelton and bassist Stu Hamm. FOUR FROM THE SUN is red hot! ~ smoothjazz.com


ABRAHAM DAY – THE PURPOSE

After touring with R&B bands and serving as an educator, radio announcer and youth counselor, saxophonist Abraham Day makes a bold declaration about his new creative mission on his debut album THE PURPOSE. As a producer and arranger, he gives his silky, light funk horn style a percolating bed of lightly percussive grooves and enhances his infectious melodies with dreamy atmospheres and trippy sonic textures. Smooth Jazz doesn’t get any more soulful and spiritual than THE PURPOSE! ~ smoothjazz.com


NEW RELEASES: BRENDAN ROTHWELL – TIME ON MY HANDS; TONY SAUNDERS – UPTOWN JAZZ; METHOD OF DEFIANCE "COLUMN 3" - BABYLON DECONSTRUCTION

BRENDAN ROTHWELL – TIME ON MY HANDS

Canadian composer, bassist and producer Brendan Rothwell cites Marcus Miller’s work on Miles Davis’ classic recording TUTU as the reason he chose his lead instrument. On his debut album TIME ON MY HANDS, he emphatically bucks the trend of the bass being in the background. Optimizing the tone, scale, feeling and musicality of the instrument, he showcases its ability to stir melodic excitement while creating deep, hypnotic rhythms. While his soulful, funky fluidity often brings to mind the coolness of the late Wayman Tisdale, there’s also an atmospheric, trippy and mystical exploratory vibe influenced by Miller’s slow simmering fusion style. Fans of Stanley Clarke and Brian Bromberg will be fully engaged as well. You’ll enjoy keeping time with TIME ON MY HANDS! ~ smoothjazz.com

TONY SAUNDERS – UPTOWN JAZZ

The son of legendary keyboardist and composer Merl Saunders, Tony Saunders was taught piano by Herbie Hancock and for his tenth birthday received an electric organ from Sly Stone. But the magic started happening once he shifted to bass, and the two time Emmy Award winner's s third album UPTOWN JAZZ on San Francisco Records is a full-blown celebration of the multiple ways he grooves. Joyfully eclectic throughout, he launched the album with the brassy, ultra-funky title track single that featured Gabriel Mark Hasselbach and Tower of Power's Mic Gillete on horns and Paul Hardcastle, Jr. on sax. Saunders' bass also bubbles beneath the emotional sax passion of Gerald Albright and later engages on an improvisation rich jazz-fusion journey also featuring saxophonists Tom Politzer (Tower Of Power) and Rock Hendricks and vocalist Sakai (Train)! UPTOWN JAZZ gonna give it to ya! ~ smoothjazz.com

METHOD OF DEFIANCE "COLUMN 3"  - BABYLON DECONSTRUCTION

The ever mutating and expanding collective founded by ikonoklast producer / bassist Bill Laswell. This latest release consisting of live and studio recordings transcends obvious genres and challenges all generic boundaries...dub, North African, drum'n bass, reggae vocals, noise, and much more. Column 3 features core members - Bill Laswell - bass, effects, Guy Licata - drums, and Dr. Israel - voice, electronics, beats, with Adam Rudolph - percussion (Jon Hassell, Philip Glass, Yusef Lateef, Pharaoh Sanders), Henry Kaiser - guitar (Richard Thompson, Fred Frith, Wadada Leo Smith), Steven Bernstein - trumpet (Lou Reed, Aretha Franklin, Sting, Sex Mob), Bachir Attar and Mustapha Attar of The Master Musicians of Jajouka, Morocco. 


MARK GUILIANA JAZZ QUARTET FOLLOWS UP FAMILY FIRST WITH DEBUT FOR MOTEMA MUSIC, JERSEY

Mark Guiliana's newest album as a leader - Jersey, to be released in September 2017 on Motema Music - features his compelling Jazz Quartet, with saxophonist Jason Rigby, pianist Fabian Almazan and bassist Chris Morrissey. It's the much-anticipated second album from The Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet, following up 2015's Family First (and its companion release, Family First: The Alternate Takes).

Describing the Quartet's modus operandi on Jersey, Guiliana said: "Many of my releases as a leader have been driven by electronic-inspired beats and textures, but with Family First and now Jersey, it felt like the right time to present my music in an entirely acoustic environment. So the Jazz Quartet is my humble attempt to make a personal statement using the traditional palette of saxophone, piano, bass and drums. For the band, this lineup presents the challenge: How creative can we be inside this box - how much freedom and experimentation can we find? And I have to say that it's always so exciting to hear the guys play this music in ways I never could have imagined."

The title of Jersey references Guiliana's center of gravity and his geographical roots. Born in 1980 in Florham Park, New Jersey, and raised there, Guiliana first discovered jazz in high school through his first drum teacher Joe Bergamini, graduated from William Paterson University in Wayne, lived for years in Jersey City and Hoboken, and now resides in Madison with his wife, singer Gretchen Parlato, and their toddler son.

"The jazz quartet that played Sunday night at La Nouvelle Scène delighted the packed house with strictly acoustic music that throbbed with imagination and refined but rugged playing." - Peter Hum of The Ottawa Citizen (on the Quartet's performance at the Ottawa Jazz Festival)

Beautifully produced by Guiliana, Jersey brims with an energized cohesiveness. "We recorded the album right after a two-week tour of Europe - I really wanted to capture the momentum of the band," said Guiliana. "I'm beyond grateful that Chris, Jason and Fabian are onboard, since they're all such excellent leaders in their own right. As a drummer, I'm a big fan of bass players, and I'm lucky to have played with some great ones. Chris is one of my favorites. He always brings an exciting energy to the music, and because he's also a singer-songwriter, that storytelling sensibility comes out in the way he plays. With Jason, I love his sound and the way he delivers melodies. He's an effortless improviser with a deep connection to the music at every moment. Fabian is the quartet's wild card. He has a unique harmonic and rhythmic sophistication to his improvising that makes for really fun interaction. With these guys, we're always passing inspiration back and forth to each other. We take a lot of chances in the music, developing new ways to play together every night - and that takes trust, a musical and personal empathy. The importance of family was instilled in me naturally just the way I was raised - those sorts of values extend to my bands, and the guys are like extended family for me."

The urgent rhythms of Guiliana at a stripped-down kit launch Jersey via the stylish opener "inter-are," one of six compositions by the drummer, along with the lyrical "Jersey" title track, the atmospheric "September," swinger "Big Rig Jones" and solo drum piece "Rate," an acronymic, virtuosic tribute to drum heroes Roy (Haynes), Art (Blakey), Tony (Williams) and Elvin (Jones). Two more tracks, "Our Lady" and "The Mayor of Rotterdam," are characteristically tune-rich contributions penned by bassist Morrissey. "BP," one of the album's hook-laced highlights, is a piece by Rich Hinman, a guitarist friend of Guiliana. The lone cover is a moving interpretation of David Bowie's "Where Are We Now?" (from Bowie's second-to-last album, The Next Day). "It's a 'thank you' to David, for the incredible experience of working with him," the drummer explains. "This is my way of paying tribute to him, but in an entirely different sonic context from Blackstar."

"Rhythmic interplay and complex layers are key features of Guiliana's style, so these characteristics permeated the entire set. The music is full of surprises, in form and content; in spite of this, the transitions were fluid, even when moving between radically different sections. Sometimes you'd wonder how the music arrived at its current point, so suddenly yet with such ease. Add to this the fact that Guiliana and his bandmates have a gift for intentionally blurring form, and you have an utterly absorbing musical experience, with beautiful twists and turns." - Marlowe Heywood-Thornes in JazzWise Magazine (on The Mark Guiliana Quartet's performance at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club)

   

More on Mark Guiliana: The artist has become recognized as one of the world's leading drummers, admired and in demand across the spectrum from jazz to rock to electronic music for his rhythmic sophistication, creative impulse and individual sound. He has been in the vanguard of drummers creating a new vernacular on the instrument, blending virtuosity on acoustic drums with artfully deployed electronic beats and processing. Guiliana was chosen as Best Jazz Drummer in the Modern Drummer Readers Poll 2017, while DownBeat Magazine dubbed him a Rising Star in its Critics Poll. JazzTimes aptly proclaimed: "Guiliana, a technical master with a rare sense of musicality, has over the past decade become one of the most influential drummers of his generation." Along with leading his own groups - the acoustic Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet and electronica-minded Beat Music - the drummer has appeared on a string of acclaimed recordings with others. The verve and precision of Guiliana's drumming was a prime mover of Blackstar, David Bowie's multiple GRAMMY Award-winning swan song. Guiliana teamed with keyboardist Brad Mehldau as the duo Mehliana for the Nonesuch release Taming the Dragon, and he has also collaborated with such artists as saxophonist (and Motema label mate) Donny McCaslin, jazz legend John Scofield, Soundgarden/Pearl Jam drummer-songwriter Matt Cameron, neo-soul singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello, guitarist-vocalist Lionel Loueke, bassist Avishai Cohen, reggae/hip-hop artist Matisyahu and jazz singer Gretchen Parlato.
  
The Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet On Tour in Support of Jersey
(All dates with The Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet, unless otherwise noted)
September 1-Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago, IL (w/Donny McCaslin Group)
September 2 & 3-Detroit Jazz Festival, Detroit, MI
September 7-Jazz a la Villette, Paris, FR (w/ Donny McCaslin Group)
September 8-Festival Batojazz, Chanaz, FR (w/ Donny McCaslin Group)
October 6-7-Blue Whale, Los Angeles, CA
October 8-Kuumbwa Jazz, Santa Cruz, CA
October 10-Yoshi's, Oakland, CA
October 11-The Fremont Theater, Portland, OR
October 12-The Triple Door, Seattle, WA
October 13-Dazzle, Denver, CO
October 14-Live at the Back Room, Milwaukee, WI
October 15-Constellation, Chicago, IL
October 21-Le Fil, Saint-Eitienne, France
November 2-Cafe Berlin, Jazz Madrid Festival, Madrid, Spain
November 3-Teatro Central, Sevilla, Spain
November 4-Kleine Zaal, Eindhoven, Netherlands
November 6-Jazzclub Fashing, Stockholm, Sweden
November 8-G Livelab, Helsinki, Finland
November 10-Staatsoper Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany
November 11-Rockit Festival, Oosterport, Groningen, Netherlands
November 13-14-Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, London, England
November 15-Babylon Bomonti, Istanbul, Turkey
November 16-New Morning Club, Paris, France
November 17-Lantaren Venster, Rotterdam, Netherlands
November 18-Bimhuis, Amsterdam, Netherlands
December 2-Jefferson Center, Roanoke, VA

 


Friday, August 11, 2017

Featured This Week On The Jazz Network Worldwide: Vocalist, Lisa Lindsley's CD ‘Long After Midnight’ and a ‘sneek peek’ of upcoming release 'Wouldn't It Be Loverly'

Lisa Lindsley is a very unique talent indeed; it seems she is one that seeks out music, which she molds into a message of her own emotional centerpiece. There is a confidence that is sparked in her, creating a synergy with her musicians that elevates our looking and listening into life itself as well as our relationships, all with a natural flare, giving and taking from each song an approach of relaxed phrasing.

Lindsley doesn’t waste any time sharing the music she has gathered on her jazz journey. With its echoes of Thelonious Monk’s iconic ballad “Round Midnight,” James Wilson and Tricia Lee Sampson’s lovely “Long After Midnight” offers an alluring invitation to a seductive night-time world that pulses with the heartbeat of Chambers’ imposing bass. The title track of the quartet’s 2016 release, Long After Midnight, charted for three weeks on the U.S. FMQB Top 40, and remained in the Top 5 slot for seven weeks on the CMJ Jazz charts.

Jazz journalist Andrew Gilbert says of ‘Long After Midnight’, “It’s an album for blissful late-night listening that leaves you wondering what the next day has to offer.”

“A truly sultry singer who captures the evening mood with gusto, Lisa Lindsley casts a musical spell on ‘Long After Midnight’, voicing beautiful love songs from the city for lovers, for the lover in all of us.”  Edward Blanco – All About Jazz

“Lisa Lindsley has a unique style all her own and is not afraid to show it, her originality and phrasing leave the listener spell-bound as to the vocal destinations she takes you to. Her engaging smokey soprano voicings coupled with a tightly cohesive band, musically conversing, taking these international melodic jazz musings to a new height in the presentation of standards that become all her own”, says Jaijai Jackson of The Jazz Network Worldwide social network.

“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” is an intriguing tribute to film musicals, delivered with heady arrangements, swinging tempos and flawless musicianship. Working with a stellar coterie of Parisian players, she delivers an irresistible program featuring pianist Laurent Marode, drummer Mourad Benhammou, Esaie Cid on flute, clarinet and tenor saxophone, and Bay Area bass master Jeff Chambers (the Paris session’s only ringer).  Lindsley invites listeners to surrender to her smoky soprano, while her vocal command and deft timing assure they will be delighted they did. “Living and creating on two different continents, America and France, is not easy, but the magic that flies when we are together is just heaven. We created this CD in one 8 hour session, just like they use to in the old days. It was difficult to decide which songs, so we just went with our all time favorites and came up with a collection of beloved songs,” says Lisa.
 
La Belle Epoque will tour the U.S. and Europe, fall of 2017. They are scheduled to record their next album in October during their tour in France.

Lindsley’s goal is to reach jazz stages worldwide with her artistry and to exercise her philanthropic heart in fundraising efforts of ambassadorship to non-profit organizations that are meaningful to her life and the lives of children.

Catch Lisa Lindsley’s feature on http://thejazznetworkworldwide.com this week, as well as visit her official websites http://www.LisaLindsley.com.


Dianne Reeves radiates on Light up the Night — Live in Marciac, her first live album since her Grammy-winning 2000 release In the Moment

To catch Dianne Reeves singing on stage is to witness one of the most captivating vocalists on the international music scene today. Through her majestic alto, conversational phrasing and improvisational agility, she delves deep inside each song, unveiling its universal themes in a repartee with her own revelations.

The New York Times hailed Reeves as “the most admired jazz diva since the heyday of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday,” while the Chicago Tribune praised her as “one of the most creative and technically accomplished female vocalists today.”

For her Concord Records release Light up the Night – Live in Marciac, Reeves unleashes some of the lightning that has long ignited her live concerts. It marks her first live recording since 2000’s In the Moment, which earned Reeves her first Grammy for “Best Jazz Vocal Album.”

The now five-time Grammy-winning singer fronted her longtime band—pianist and musical director Peter Martin, bassist Reginald Veal, drummer Terreon Gully, guitarist Romero Lubambo with special guest  harmonica virtuoso Grégoire Maret—at the Jazz in Marciac Festival in August 2016 for what was an unforgettable engagement at one of her favorite jazz festivals.

Light up the Night, set for international release on September 8, 2017, documents Reeves on the final night of her triumphant 2016 European tour.  With Reeves and her band as fierce as ever, they explore road-tested repertoire with inventive spontaneity, resulting in an especially memorable set.

“It’s important to learn to trust your instincts,” Reeves explained. “I just try to find the magic of each night—which includes calibrating how the band and I are creating with one another that night, and how each audience is different. So our sets are not planned; tunes are called out in response to a feeling.  That keeps me on a creative edge…and that’s where I am at my best.”

Reeves begins the disc with her mesmerizing retooling of “Dreams,” the Stevie Nicks-penned hit from Fleetwood Mac’s classic 1977 LP, Rumours

“Dreams” is one of two songs on this disc which appear on Beautiful Life, which won the 2015 Grammy for “Best Jazz Vocal Album.” The other song is the bruising and sassy ballad “Cold,” an original she co-wrote with Martin and Gully. Reeves’ rueful sighs and regal soars bring a bristling conviction to ending an unhealthy relationship.   It’s a performance of sheer theater.

Light up the Night also showcases Reeves’ deep appreciation for the American songbook. Included are sublime readings of Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes” and Miles Davis’ classic “All Blues.” On the former, Reeves deftly channels Shorter’s sense of search and splendor as Maret’s beguiling harmonica adds a level of celestial intrigue. On “All Blues”, Veal’s swaggering upright bass intro provides the perfect bedrock for Reeves’ magnificent scatting.

Reeves, a frequent performer at the White House, returned for the 5th International Jazz Day celebration hosted by President Obama and the First Lady. There she sang alongside the iconic guitarist Pat Metheny on his Brazilian-inflected gem, “Minuano.” On Light up the Night, she revisits this song, unraveling Metheny’s infectious melody at first in unison with Lubambo’s empathic guitar before embarking upon flights of fancy. “I’ve always loved this song because it’s so free and open,” Reeves says. “My performance with Pat at the White House was so memorable that it’s now part of my story that I enjoy revisiting whenever I can.”

Every great storyteller is able to draw upon his or her own personal history. Reeves has done this throughout her career by penning stunning originals, and at Jazz in Marciac, she delivered the fan favorite, “Nine,” where she engagingly reminiscences about the joys of childhood as she effortlessly glides across a samba in 7/4.

For an encore, Reeves delivers a divine, heartfelt rendition of Mali Music’s “Beautiful,” an uplifting song that encourages us to project the best of ourselves while appreciating the greatness of others.

Light up the Night can be viewed as a celebration—an artist in her prime doing what she does best.  The National Endowment for the Arts just tapped Reeves as one of next year’s NEA Jazz Masters—the greatest honor given to jazz musicians in the United States.  While Reeves is appreciative of the many accolades she has received, she is not one to rest on her laurels. “The story continues,” she says. “I look at this record as a moment in my life that sparkles, shines and speaks loudly to audiences while it whispers to me, ‘Good...now keep moving forward.’”

As all listeners will surely agree, on her new live recording, Reeves truly does light up the night.


Master Jazz Pianist Fred Hersch Offers His Most Revealing, Intimate Solo Recording To Date With Open Book, out September 8, 2017 on CD and LP

The uniquely personal, reflective album is a companion piece to Hersch's long-awaited memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly

Release also coincides with September 15 & 16 performances of Hersch's Leaves of Grass at Jazz at Lincoln Center, celebrating the poetry of Walt Whitman with acclaimed vocalists Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry and an octet

Fred Hersch has long been acclaimed as an exploratory artist, an outspoken activist, an influential educator and a uniquely revelatory and lyrical pianist. As one of the most expressive voices in modern jazz, Hersch has never been shy about letting listeners glimpse his most intimate thoughts and emotions. In September, however, Hersch's fans will be treated to even deeper, more revealing insights into the story of the renowned pianist when he publishes his much-anticipated memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz. As a companion piece, Hersch decided to present an equally direct and vulnerable glimpse into his private musical thoughts with his 11th solo release, Open Book.

The seven pieces on Open Book (out September 8 on Palmetto Records) offer some of the finest, most unguardedly emotional solo music that Hersch has created in a career unique for its profound poignancy and passion. Recorded in a South Korean concert hall on a superb Hamburg Steinway concert grand piano, the album captures the vital essence of the revelatory adventurousness and intense beauty that have made Hersch one of the most important solo artists in jazz. With more than 40 albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, Hersch remarkably continues to discover new areas of inspiration and depths of feeling.

"For the last two and a half decades I've been pretty open about who I am, what I like and what I'm dealing with at times," Hersch says. "But I've always got to dig deeper, and I thought this might be a chance to make an album that's a window into the kinds of things that I play at home or don't play in public all that much."

The album arrives during a momentous month for Hersch. On September 12, the esteemed publishers Crown Archetype (Penguin Random House) will release Good Things Happen Slowly, Hersch's bravely confessional memoir. The book covers the pianist's meteoric rise in jazz from his sideman days alongside masters like Art Farmer and Joe Henderson to his gradual recognition as one of the most individualistic and innovative artists of his generation, a ten-time Grammy Award nominee and winner of countless accolades including being named a 2016 Doris Duke Artist as well as the same year's Jazz Journalists Association Pianist of the Year. But it also frankly reveals his story as the first openly gay, HIV-positive jazz musician, tracing his path through hedonistic post-Stonewall New York City to the dramatic two-month medically induced coma in 2008 from which he emerged to make some of the most stunning and captivating music of his career.

Later that month Hersch will reprise his ambitious Leaves of Grass full-evening piece at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room, the first time the song cycle has been performed in New York City since 2005.
Vocalists Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry will reprise their roles from the original project, which sets the verse of American bard Walt Whitman. The legendary poet's timeless ode to the miracle of nature and openhearted love of all beings seems especially vital in our present socio-political moment.

The centerpiece of Open Book, and the spark that ignited the album, is the nearly 20-minute improvisation "Through the Forest." Unique in Hersch's extensive discography, the stream-of-consciousness gem is a miniature masterpiece of narrative development, a compelling journey through an abstract, glimmering landscape, revealing that in his early 60s Hersch continues to take creative risks and daunting inventive leaps.

The creation of "Through the Forest" was as unplanned and spontaneous as the music itself. In Seoul for a pair of solo concerts during a break in a tour of Asia with his esteemed trio, Hersch overslept during an after-breakfast nap and rushed to take the stage at JCC Art Center Concert Hall for his afternoon performance. The titular forest is, in part, a jetlag and coffee-fueled dreamscape through which Hersch wanders, applying his vivid powers of observation to unusual terrain. "I was a little groggy, my defenses were down, and rather than fight it I just gave in to it," Hersch recalls. "I'd never really done anything of that length in public where I had no agenda and was able to stay in that zone for such an extended period of time. I realized it was something special, something different that might be the core of an album."

"Through the Forest" became the leaping-off point for an album intended to be singularly divulgent and reflective. A few months later, Hersch returned to the same hall and recorded the remainder of Open Book alone in the empty venue (with the exception of Benny Golson's classic "Whisper Not," taken from a concert during that return engagement).

The album opens with the stark musings of "The Orb," taken from Hersch's autobiographical music-theater piece My Coma Dreams. A love letter to Hersch's longtime partner, AIDS activist Scott Morgan, "The Orb" is the final dream depicted in the show, and in this solo rendition becomes a nakedly heartfelt outpouring of raw but tender emotion. The mood then takes a turn for the playful and swinging on "Whisper Not," a longtime staple of Hersch's repertoire that here becomes a vibrant, virtuoso marathon of thematic exploration.

The piece also serves as an ideal mirror to the album's other composition from the pen of a jazz icon, Thelonious Monk's "Eronel." Hersch has long been recognized as one of the premier interpreters of the Monk songbook, but despite including one of the iconic composer's pieces in every one of his sets for most of his career, Hersch had never tackled this particular tune, co-written by pianist Sadik Hakim. Monk's original stride-inflected lines come in for a dizzying array of variations in Hersch's endlessly imaginative take.

The music of Brazil has also been a constant in Hersch's career, in particular the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, the subject of one of the pianist's earlier solo efforts, 2009's Fred Hersch Plays Jobim. "Picture in Black and White" is a new addition to that repertoire, majestically transformed from a bossa nova feel to a crystalline hybrid with Chopin's last nocturne. On the other side of "Through the Forest" in the album's symmetrical structure comes Hersch's own classical-flavored "Plainsong," a spare, lyrical piece composed in the bucolic setting of the MacDowell Colony, the inspirational artists' retreat in rural New Hampshire.

Open Book ends on a meaningful ellipsis, Billy Joel's moving "And So It Goes." In title alone it's an apt conclusion, suggesting an embrace of life as lived and hinting at its open-ended continuation. The full lyrics, which Hersch has performed in duo settings with singers including frequent collaborator Kate McGarry, remain unspoken here but obviously deeply felt in every note. "I connect with the sentiment of the words," Hersch says, "and it felt like a good benediction to the whole album."





Pianist Yelena Eckemoff Sonically Recreates Memories of Her Past With Stellar Ensemble

A self-described 'old fashioned romantic,' Moscow-born pianist-composer Yelena Eckemoff once again demonstrates uncommon lyricism and a gift for melody on In the Shadow of a Cloud, her 11th recording since transitioning from the classical world to jazz back in 2010 with the release of Cold Sun on her own L&H Production label. With a pristine touch and refined sense of form, Eckemoff organically blends classical elements with jazz improvisation in her evocative pieces that strike a delicate balance between being through-composed and full of open-ended exploration. She is joined on this compelling double album by a stellar crew of New Yorkers in Chris Potter on multiple reeds and flute, Adam Rogers on guitar, Drew Gress on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums, all playing together for the first time.
          
Eckemoff pushes the envelope a bit further with her stellar crew on In the Shadow of a Cloud, her most upbeat and accomplished recording to date. Once again, Eckemoff wears many hats on this project by not only composing and arranging all the music, recruiting the band and producing the music for her own independent label, but also providing the evocative painting that graces the cover and the series of poems that accompany each track in the 28-page booklet.
          
Beyond the luxurious packaging, the highly affecting music on In the Shadow of a Cloud is imbued with remarkable band interplay and daring improvisations from the jazz heavyweights who serve as her sidemen on this ambitious double album set. And they each had high praise for Yelena in working with her on this tightly-knit project.

"The session went extremely well. Yelena has some very idiosyncratic music, very evocative, and it was a real pleasure to play it, especially with her and these other fine musicians," states Cleaver. Potter reflects, "The music itself awakens a feeling, and that seems to be the center of where she is approaching music from, which I like a lot."
          
Like her last two concept albums--2016's Leaving Everything Behind (about emigrating from her native Russia in 1991) and 2017's Blooming Tall Phlox (about how certain smells from her childhood in Russia still trigger magical memories)--In the Shadow of a Cloud is another personal statement from the prolific composer.
          
Whether it's her memories of the sound of grasshoppers in a country field, the massive iron railroad bridge with wooden walkways near her home, her grandpa's motorboat, the sensation of swinging in a hammock with her mother or the fragrance of wild lilies mixed with the smells of warm asphalt and potatoes and onions frying on kerosene burners, Eckemoff's In the Shadow of a Cloud stands as an evocative soundtrack for the life she left behind in Russia when she and her husband emigrated to North Carolina in 1991. "All of those places and people are lost for me," she says. "So I write about them, even in this short way. I want a longer life for them than just in my memory."

While some of her past works, like Leaving Everything Behind and Blooming Tall Phlox are largely nostalgic, the story of In the Shadow of a Cloud ends with an optimistic outlook at the present and future. As Eckemoff explains, "In the last piece, 'Tambov Streets on a Summer Night,' I turn down the opportunity to re-live my past as a shadow, invisible to all, and instead choose the present: Even though my heart aches with love/For the people and places of past days/I don't belong in those times anymore./My time is in the present/Where I have many tasks unfinished, where my life's work awaits me./No matter that the road before me grows shorter, I am eager to see what the future holds in store for me


Thursday, August 10, 2017

The New Recording From Violinist SAM BARDFELD - THE GREAT ENTHUSIASMS Featuring Kris Davis & Michael Sarin

Violinist and composer Sam Bardfeld is fearlessly unique and expressive. He is the product of an NYC upbringing in the 70s and early 80s, which was, he says, "both a dysfunctional and fantastic place to grow up, specific in time and place but also typical of the violence and regeneration inherent to America and some of the strange beauty it produces. Music was everywhere for a curious kid (Central Park rumba circles, 3 A.M. recording at CBGBs, Don Cherry at Soundscape when the cops raided, Zorn squealing mouthpieces at the Kitchen, high as a kite for Ravi Shankar at Carnegie Hall.) The decrepit splendor left an inescapable imprint on my young self."

Bardfeld has been influenced by many high-profile musical associations and experiences, including being a member of The Jazz Passengers and a frequent collaborator of Bruce Springsteen (a veteran of three recordings and two tours). Bardfeld's playing is featured in Roy Nathanson's Sotto Voce and Joel Harrison's String Choir, and he has toured or recorded with jazz groups like Michael Attias' Sextet, Butler/Bernstein and the Hot 9, Steven Bernstein's MTO, Anthony Braxton's Trillium Orchestra, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, the String Trio of NY, and Royal Hartigan's Blood Drum Spirit.  Outside the jazz world he has toured or recorded with Calexico, John Cale, Debbie Harry, The Red Clay Ramblers, and Johnny Pacheco, etc. He has also worked with Elvis Costello, John Zorn, Kris Davis, Willie Colon and Hank Roberts among many others. Bardfeld is also the author of the book Latin Violin (Hal Leonard, 2002) on the Afro-Cuban violin tradition. 

Bardfeld's previous recordings, Taxidermy (CIMP, 1999) and Periodic Trespasses (FreshSounds, 2006) have both earned acclaim, including a four-star rating in DownBeat Magazine, raves in JazzTimes, Jazziz and four stars in All Music Guide for both recordings. Bardfeld has taken his groups to festivals and clubs throughout Europe including Banlieues Bleues Jazz Festival (Paris), Sud-Tirol Jazz Festival (Italy) and Porgy and Bess (Vienna). After a long hiatus of twelve years since his last release, Bardfeld and Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records proudly announce the release of his new recording, The Great Enthusiasms (BJUR 064), featuring pianist Kris Davis and drummer Michael Sarin. Available September 29, 2017.

The trio's music falls somewhere in the overlapping vectors of inside ('harmony-based'),outside ('free') and downtown jazz. Bardfeld has created his own jazz violin language that lies in between the straight-ahead violinists and the free-jazzers. The Penguin Guide To Jazz (5th ed.) states, "Bardfeld has devised a language which takes in classical models, jazz harmony and pure sound". His playing swings hard and integrates abstraction and expressiveness. One can hear references to a wide range of musicians that stretch from Stuff Smith, Lee Konitz, and Eric Dolphy, to 'post-jazz' contemporaries like Mary Halvorson. Kris Davis is a perfect foil and it's a little bit of a revelation to hear her brilliance and creativity in all the varied contexts Bardfeld creates. Michael Sarin (Dave Douglas, Thomas Chapin, etc) brings his tremendous gifts for orchestration, musical wit, sympathetic dialogue and overall intelligence. The unusual instrumentation, with no bass, creates extra harmonic and textural space and adds intimacy to Bardfeld's unique compositions.

Much of Bardfeld's favorite American music is eccentric and forward while grounded in the vernacular. "Maybe it's not a total accident that my three most important employer-mentors are all great musician-poets of weird America and all with significant local roots: Bruce Springsteen, Roy Nathanson (Jazz Passengers), and Anthony Braxton. Bruce is (among other things) a poet of the noir side of the city - the ne'er-do-wells and hookers and guys looking for a piece of the action. Roy's stories, musical and literate, are infused both by Dolphy and a New York urbanity that is universal in its eccentricity and vulnerability. The time I spent performing and recording (soloing on an 'avant hoedown') in Braxton's 'Trillium J' Opera was also a profound education in the lengths to which a complex, idiosyncratic personal language can be developed and yet represent a uniquely American story," explains Bardfeld in the album's liner notes.

More on the music on The Great Enthusiasms: The song titles of Bardfeld's compositions are all derived from Richard Nixon quotes -- principally from his resignation speech, in which Nixon quotes Teddy Roosevelt. "Fails While Daring Greatly" is a bluesy chamber-jazz piece from outer space. Bardfeld's solo is a whimsical post-bop jaunt and Davis' a muscular free jazz statement. Sarin adds his characteristic humor, sympathy and coloristic genius to the whole endeavor. "Resignation Rag" combines a modified second-line groove with a futuristic violin melody that, with its swoops, pops and wide intervals, evokes Stuff Smith and Dolphy. Bardfeld's and Davis' interplay sounds telekinetic. Davis' solo statement and duet with Sarin evoke a freewheeling Monk. "Winner Image" starts out with a slow building and virtuosic violin solo by Bardfeld weaving in and out of harmony. Davis creeps in with an off-kilter ostinato leading to a head with Tim Berne-like tension. The rendition of the classic Springsteen/Patti Smith tune, "Because the Night," skews the intervals of the original piano vamp, making it a weirder sort of night. The cohesion of the verse turns into a free chant-like chorus summoning nocturnal passions. "The Great Enthusiasms" is an Andrew Hill-like post-bop swing tune with a touch of folksiness. Davis' solo brings out the bi-tonality of the writing while Bardfeld moves from harmony into a short free duet with the pianist. The Band's "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)," is a playful re-imagining, with Davis covering the proto-synth bass part in her lowest range and splotchy chords in her highest. Bardfeld solos mightily over the verse changes and Davis ends the song with an eloquent solo statement that re-connects with the song's subject matter, the hardships of a depression-era sharecropper. "The 37th Time I Have Spoken" starts with Bardfeld strumming ethereal chords on the violin as Davis and Sarin engage in quiet dialogue. A mix of meditation and mayhem ensues and the piece closes as it started with ethereal dialogue and strumming. 

The Great Enthusiasms is Bardfeld's 'weird America' record. A reflection on American music in all of its glorious eccentricities, and simultaneously an affirmation that artists must rise up and create and perform, especially in the face of abject political dissoluteness in the Trump era. Bardfeld elaborated, "Nixon's resignation speech was my first memory of being part of a collective political body...Though Dick was a paranoid, hateful crook, there's intelligence and complexity in him that one cannot imagine existing inside our current president. During this current dark stain in our country's history, let's continue to make weird, joyous art."


NEW RELEASES: JOSI DAVIS - CALLING; BEHN GILLECE – WALK OF FIRE; GORO ITO ENSEMBLE – ARCHITECT JOBIM

JOSI DAVIS - CALLING 

Josi Davis is an inventive musician whose approach to songwriting defies expectations. Josi composes each new expression of lyric and sound by crafting a memorable narrative and shaping its setting in a musical style that best supports the story.  “We embrace each composition as it comes to us, understanding and honoring that we will create a special world for that song. When “Calling” took form, we thought to craft it in the beautiful, soulful pop style of 1970’s Northern Soul. That was our intuition and I’m glad we did because, man, this grooves! This is a roll-the-top-down-and-cruise kind of record!”  “Calling” is the second single to come from Davis’ collaboration with legendary producer, Louis Anthony deLise. deLise’s credits include a Billboard Number One with Patti LaBelle, and hits with William DeVaughn and cult dance club favorite, John Gibbs. Josi’s rich dramatic alto voice serves her well as she delivers each original musical micro-drama with a respect and espressivo that is uncommon in today’s landscape of musical predictability.  “Josi Davis' voice can exhibit Joni Mitchell’s smoky fragility, Phoebe Snow’s full bodied barroom belt, and Ann Wilson’s rock-and-roll wail. Occasionally, they come out all at once...” – Mary Jane Fine, Grace Magazine /  “…a powerful and distinctive vocalist and a songwriter whose appreciation for all manners of musical styles is evident in her work. Some call Davis a practitioner of “nouveau cabaret,” and that certainly provides a sonic indicator.” – Rick Koster, The Day

BEHN GILLECE – WALK OF FIRE

A date that's not only a great showcase for the mighty vibes talents of Behn Gillece, but which also has the musician working alongside some of his best labelmats as well! We love Gillece in any setting – as his work on vibes is some of the freshest of the past decade or so, and Behn's one of the few artists to really bring a strong new voice to the instrument! And he's also a vibist who seems to take off even more in the company of a horn player – unlike some vibes musicians, who really only ever record with a piano – which means that here, he's getting some great strengths from the talents of Michael Dease on trombone, Walt Weiskopf on tenor, and Bruce Harris on trumpet – in a group that also includes Adam Birnbaum on piano, Clovis Nicolas on bass, and Jason Tiemann on drums. All tracks are originals – Behn's a hell of a writer, too – and titles include "Fantasia Brasileira", "Walk Of Fire", "Bag's Mood", "Break Tune", "Celestial Tidings", and "Reflective Current".  ~ Dusty Groove

GORO ITO ENSEMBLE – ARCHITECT JOBIM

A fantastic reworking of the aesthetic and compositions of Antonio Carlos Jobim – served up here in a style that mixes guitar and piano with a bit of light strings – with a haunting sense of sparness that really brings new meaning to the songs! The style almost seems to link the spirit of Jobim with the sound of Eric Satie – as the tunes have a very careful, open vibe – with the guitar of Goro Ito echoing some slight earlier elements, next to the piano of Eiichi Sawada, bass of Keisuke Torigoe, and work by a string quartet! The approach is completely enchanting – really wonderful, and a completely fresh way of presenting the genius of Jobim – on titles that include "Chanson Pour Michelle", "Jardim Abandonado", "Chovendo Na Roseira", "Two Kites", "Estrada Do Sol", "Luiza", and "Arqueetura De Morar".  ~ Dusty Groove


Bunny Sigler To Release New Single and Lyric Video “Angel Eyes” Aug 18

Renowned, Philly-based R&B singer and songwriter Walter "Bunny" Sigler is excited to announce the lyric video for his latest single titled “Angel Eyes” will be released on August 17. The single will be available Friday, August 18 on iTunes and all major digital outlets. “Angel Eyes” is the second single from Sigler’s upcoming album ‘Young at Heart’ – an album that bridges the gap between Sigler’s classic R&B sound and the world of jazz.

“Angel Eyes” features Sigler’s smooth voice on the Ella Fitgerald- and Frank Sinatra-performed standard, and reveals how diverse of a singer Sigler really is. The classic piano, drums, double bass, and string arrangement lays a lush, but simple foundation for a new, refreshing, yet nostalgic crooning sound from Sigler. Living up to his nickname “Mr. Emotion,” Sigler delivers a heartfelt performance, full of heartache and longing. “Angel Eyes” will be available to purchase digitally on August 18 from iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play, and will also available for streaming on Spotify that day.

The song’s video accompaniment is a glance into the past – showcasing the glory days of jazz, the American songbook, and the Rat Pack while featuring Sigler’s silhouette in various scenes throughout. The black-and-white look of the video compliments the song’s melancholic tone and draws viewers in with its vintage style.

Philadelphia R&B legend Bunny Sigler continues to share songs that prove his passion for music goes well beyond his beloved soul songs. Bunny’s songwriting for tracks like Instant Funk's "I Got My Mind Made Up", Patti Labelle's "Somebody Loves You Baby", The Whispers' "Bingo", Jackie Moore's "Sweet Charlie Babe" and The O'Jays "Sunshine" are what put him on the musical map. Not only is Bunny skilled with the pen, but he is also a world-renowned singer.

This Philadelphia native began his singing career in churches all over the metropolitan area with songs like "O Lord My God" and "The Lord's Prayer". The industry gave him the nickname “Mr. Emotion” after his heartfelt performances on stage. Creating numerous hits over the span of his career (many of which are still being sampled in today's generation), Bunny continues to write, produce and record new material. He is the co-writer of the song “The Ruler's Back” which was an opening song for Jay Z's album, "Blueprint". Even at over 70 years old, "there ain't no stopping us now" claims Sigler, as he gets continues to write, record, and release new music on a regular basis.

Philadelphia R&B legend Bunny Sigler continues to share songs that prove his passion for music goes well beyond his beloved soul songs. Bunny’s songwriting for tracks like Instant Funk's "I Got My Mind Made Up", Patti Labelle's "Somebody Loves You Baby", The Whispers' "Bingo", Jackie Moore's "Sweet Charlie Babe" and The O'Jays "Sunshine" are what put him on the musical map. Not only is Bunny skilled with the pen, but he is also a world-renowned singer. This Philadelphia native began his singing career in churches all over the metropolitan area with songs like "O Lord My God" and "The Lord's Prayer". The industry gave him the nickname “Mr. Emotion” after his heartfelt performances on stage. Creating numerous hits over the span of his career (many of which are still being sampled in today's generation), Bunny continues to write, produce and record new material. He is the co-writer of the song “The Ruler's Back” which was an opening song for Jay Z's album, "Blueprint". Even at over 70 years old, "there ain't no stopping us now" claims Sigler, as he gets continues to write, record, and release new music on a regular basis.

See the music video for latest single "Angel Eyes":


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

NEW MUSIC: LEDISI – LET LOVE RULE; PETER JANSON - PLACES IN TIME; CHAMPIAN FULTON / SCOTT HAMILTON THINGS WE DID LAST SUMMER

LEDISI – LET LOVE RULE

Ledisi announced her new project Let Love Rule, out September 22 . The nine-time Grammy nominated vocalist, is excited to share her new body of work with the world as she delivers brand new vibes with classic vocals. Packed with raw, unequivocal emotion, the 15-track album showcases her evolution as an artist; executive produced by Ledisi and longtime collaborator Rex Rideout, the album also includes contributions from John Legend, DJ Camper, BJ The Chicago Kid and Kirk Franklin. “I feel like Let Love Rule made me accept my position as a great singer fully. All of my projects are pieces of me. This piece is the singer and the songwriter part of me. I’ve come back to what I love about R&B and also what I love about today’s music. I love my art in the middle of era’s and mixing those worlds together." – Ledisi

PETER JANSON - PLACES IN TIME

Peter Janson is an award-winning contemporary fingerstyle acoustic guitarist and composer. Places In Time is his seventh domestic solo recording, and features original compositions as well as original arrangements of songs composed by some of the worlds greatest composers (Ralph Towner, Francis Bebey, Pat Metheny, Ennio Morricone, John Dowland, and Antonio Lauro) resulting in nine solo guitar works showcasing him returning to his nylon-string guitar for an album of amazing beauty with his trademark fusion of jazz, classical, and world-folk styles played with passion, artistry, and technical mastery. All songs arranged and improvised by Peter Janson. The non-original songs are licensed and/or used by permission except the "Three English Folk Songs" which are public domain works. This audiophile quality recording was recorded at Southern Ground Nashville, and mastered at Independent Mastering Nashville at the highest possible digital resolution

CHAMPIAN FULTON / SCOTT HAMILTON THINGS WE DID LAST SUMMER 

Champian Fulton's in a great setting here – working alongside tenorist Scott Hamilton, whose presence only seems to deepen the sound of the record! Make no mistake, Champian's great on her own – a hell of a pianist, and one with a very strong voice that seems to instantly wrap up generations of piano jazz expression, but find a way to make it come across fresh and new – which is very much what Hamilton could do so well in his younger years, which makes him a great match for Fulton. Champian also sings on the record, too – although it's clear that the presentation gives most of the focus on the instrumentation, which is rock-solid throughout. Ignasi Gonzalez is on bass, and Esteve Pi is on drums – and titles include "Black Velvet", "I Cried For You", "The Things We Did Last Summer", "Runnin Wild", "My Future Just Passed", and "When Your Lover Has Gone".  ~ Dusty Groove


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