Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - February 20, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Peter White - "Groovin' - (Heads Up/Concord)
2 - 1 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group"
3 - 3 - Marc Antoine - "Laguna Beach" - (Woodward Avenue)
4 - 6 - Steve Watson - "Playtime" - (WatsonWood)
5 - 4 - Adam Hawley - "Just The Beginning" - (Kalimba)
6 - 5 - Doc Powell - "This Is Soul" - (DPR Music)
7 - 7 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
8 - 8 - Brian Simpson - "Persuasion" - (Shanachie)
9 - 10 - Nick Colionne - "The Journey" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
10 - 42 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
11 - 11 - Ken Navarro - "Bonfire" - (Positive Music Records)
12 - 14 - Michael Lington "Second Nature" - (Copenhagen Music)
13 - 13 - Jazmin Ghent - "Chocolate Sunshine" - (jazminghent.com)
14 - 19 - Threestyle - "Road To Monterey" - (Welovemusic Records)
15 - 9 - Euge Groove - "Still Euge" - (Shanachie)
16 - 31 - John Novello - "Ivory Soul" - (529 Music)
17 - 15 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
18 - 12 - Paul Jackson Jr. - "Stories From Stompin' Willie - (Branch, Records Inc.)
19 - 20 - Lawson Rollins - "3 Minutes To Midnight" - (Infinita Records)
20 - 23 - Sharon Rae North - "Sincerely Yours" - (Sharon Rae North)


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Friday, February 17, 2017

Gerry Gibbs & Thrasher People "Weather or Not" 2/24/17 release #jazz

In the best case, an album has a story to tell, a hook, that will get a record attention and help to put the good word into the ears of all the right people. In the case of Gerry Gibbs’ new album, there are three great stories to tell. Following the successful reception of drummer, composer, bandleader, producer Gerry Gibbs' last three CDs, all reaching #1 for 15 weeks on the international Jazz charts, along with a Grammy nomination with his Thrasher Dream Trio (featuring jazz icons Ron Carter and Kenny Barron), Gerry went in search of new faces to start a fresh project. This time he incorporated a mix of genres with influences from all over the world, while also borrowing from different periods in music. The result is this extraordinary multi-instrumental trio.
Gerry Gibbs, during his 33-year career as a musician, has recorded 11 solo CDs as a leader. Gibbs' first CD, The Thrasher, featuring Ravi Coltrane was executive produced by Quincy Jones for his own Qwest label back in the late '90s. Gibbs has continually worked, recorded and toured with a who's who of the greatest icons, from many generations of music going back some 90 years. He has drawn from his experiences working with everyone from Bebop legends Clark Terry, Donald Byrd, James Moody to forward thinkers such as legends Alice Coltrane, Larry Coryell, Stanley Clarke, Ornette Coleman, Billy Childs and Parliament Funkadelic to some of today's newest artists currently on the scene, such as Flying Lotus and Kamasi Washington. Combine that with Gibbs’ penchant for no boundaries and you get this wonderful new CD featuring a band that makes 28 ambitious songs sound like 28 different bands.

Most prominently, Weather or Not, a double-disc set, is split down the middle. The first disc is a tribute to the music of fusion super group Weather Report. The second disc is subtitled “The Life Suite: 1981-2016” (selected songs that Gibbs chose from music he composed from his 11th grade year in high school to the present) and includes an eclectic array of Gibbs’ originals all played in trio format. More on these two story lines later. The last thing, and perhaps the biggest story here, is the Thrasher People, the new band Gibbs put together for this project and going forward.

Each member of this trio is a virtuoso on many instruments: Alex Collins, 30, is an extraordinary talent who plays acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes and organ, as well as adding unique vocals as a fourth instrument on select songs. Hans Glawischnig is the acoustic and electric bass wizard. At times he plays the electric bass like a guitar, using a pick and guitar amplifier. With Gibbs doing most of the “thrashing” as leader, composer, arranger and drummer, he is also a gifted multi-instrumentalist, supplying Mini Moog, vibes, marimba, percussion, electronic programming, kalimba and quica, while adding a choir of voices and beat-boxing. His Thrasher People join him hungrily, enthusiastically, with the excitement of a band discovering successful new sounds together. This is not just a recording of three guys in the studio reading through 28 compositions; it’s an actual working band. They rehearsed over 40 times before recording the music on this CD to develop and document their unique and individual combinations of sound, composition, orchestration, texture and rhythm.

Gibbs, on the hunt for new band mates for over a year, first met Collins at a New York jam session and the two hit it off. Upon hearing Gibbs' concept for a Weather Report tribute recording, Alex came up with his own unique take on Zawinul, Pastorius and Shorter, et al. Glawischnig, a decade and a half older than Collins, had a firm foundation in the WR repertoire, as well as a keen interest in joining the project. Together, the band performs a wide spectrum of material across both discs.

On the Weather Report CD, few stones are left unturned as the trio tackles the classics and many more. The “Birdlands,” “Teen Towns” and “Palladiums” are all here, but these and other tunes represented here cast Weather Report in an entirely different light. Good thing, too, as it would be a fool's errand to try to take on the band at their own game; a point expressed enthusiastically by Weather Report's founding member Wayne Shorter. Classic WR tunes are re-imagined; the rhythms are different while the organic nature of the compositions and it's sound are fleshed out and turned way up. The sparks fly thanks to Collins’ prodigious multi-keyboard talent. Glawischnig’s unerring bass lines smartly steer clear of any of the great Jaco Pastorius’ unmistakable, signature approach to the electric/fretless bass. Gibbs’ drumming is masterful throughout. His fills, sexy brushwork, and rapid-fire drum stylings masterfully reflect a deep-layered knowledge of the repertoire at hand, while allowing his own approach to sit comfortably when reflecting on Weather Reports’ formidable drum chairs, occupied by Alphonse Mouzon, Peter Erskine, Alex Acuna, among others.

On the disc of originals, Gibbs and his Thrasher People dig deeply into Gibbs' own compositions. The story for the second CD reflects the concept of 16 songs sounding like 16 different bands. This was necessary and fitting, as they were penned over a time spanning 35 years. The songs veer from Bebop ("Paul and Sid's Blues"), to Brazilian (“Just Glad to Be Anywhere”) to R&B instrumental (“Patrice Rushen"), to ’70s TV soundtrack music ("Kojak”) and even Gibbs combining beat boxing with an African kalimba ("St. Marteen"). There’s also flamenco, gospel, funk, soul, and jazz/rock flavors-all filtered through a deep jazz funnel.

The creative juices are flowing and genuine from top to bottom, as Gibbs proves he is, and has seemingly always been, an ever-flowing river of solid & creative source material. Truly a wealth of originality and musical excitement on this outstanding new double-disc set, with more diversity than can just be put into one category.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - February 13, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group"
2 - 2 - Peter White - "Groovin' - (Heads Up/Concord)
3 - 3 - Marc Antoine - "Laguna Beach" - (Woodward Avenue)
4 - 8 - Adam Hawley - "Just The Beginning" - (Kalimba)
5 - 5 - Doc Powell - "This Is Soul" - (DPR Music)
6 - 6 - Steve Watson - "Playtime" - (WatsonWood)
7 - 11 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
8 - 4 - Brian Simpson - "Persuasion" - (Shanachie)
9 - 7 - Euge Groove - "Still Euge" - (Shanachie)
10 - 13 - Nick Colionne - "The Journey" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
11 - 12 - Ken Navarro - "Bonfire" - (Positive Music Records)
12 - 9 - Paul Jackson Jr. - "Stories From Stompin' Willie - (Branch, Records Inc.)
13 - 16 - Jazmin Ghent - "Chocolate Sunshine" - (jazminghent.com)
14 - 15 - Michael Lington "Second Nature" - (Copenhagen Music)
15 - 10 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
16 - 19 - Paul Taylor - "Countdown" - (Pike/eOne)
17 - 14 - BWB - "BWB" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
18 - 21 - Chuck Loeb - "Unspoken" - (Shanachie Records)
19 - 17 - Threestyle - "Road To Monterey" - (Welovemusic Records)
20 - 20 - Lawson Rollins - "3 Minutes To Midnight" - (Infinita Records)


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Carmen Lundy to Release New CD "Code Noir" on Feb 17 #jazz

CODE NOIR, the stunning new CD from critically-lauded vocalist Carmen Lundy, is slated for release February 17th via Afrasia Productions with distribution through City Hall Records. Never one to limit her creative journeys, Lundy explores the realms of Jazz, Blues, Brazilian Samba and Pop with a multitude of messages that reflect not only the complexities of her own mindset, but the disparity of the world at large. Poignant, heartfelt, joyous, shocked, saddened and impassioned are just a few of the emotions conveyed by this wonderfully evocative singer on CODE NOIR in a highly personal musical voyage.

"These songs encompass the musical and artistic influences from the African diaspora and its influence on jazz and other musical genres – the bossa nova, the blues, swing, funk, the exploration into the avant-garde," says Carmen. "Yet they also encompass the many emotions that are prevalent in this country right now. We are going through tough times with a country that is sorely divided and many of these tracks reflect the feelings that we as human beings are going through on an individual level. CODE NOIR actually refers to the first law ever written by a person in power of a sovereign nation/empire - the King of France Louis XIV - the first law to disallow and make illegal the integration of the African race into white European society."

Having written or co-written all twelve tracks on the album, Carmen envelops her listeners from the start with the questioning opening song, "Another Chance" - a thought-provoking title truly pertinent in the world today. "Live Out Loud" encourages us to do just that while "Black And Blues" is about our present affairs, "the legacy of the black experience in America,” says Carmen. “The unplanned fallout and result of legislating and legalizing systemic racism." She adds, "The electric guitar in the song illustrates its contribution to all things defining American culture through song.”

On another heartfelt level the glories of love at first - and second - sight are explored on "Second Sight" while "The Island, The Sea and You," a song Carmen wrote while on a trip to Hawaii, is an ode to the love of Lundy's life. The infectious "Have A Little Faith" explores the rhythms born of the African experience and originating from the African continent which the singer has always loved - and as an African American, has always identified with - while the lyrics of "Whatever It Takes" implore us to be strong in the face of this imperfect world.

The tracks "I Got Your Number," "I Keep Falling" and "You Came Into My Life" are keen observations on the state of the modern-day romantic relationship in all its various stages. The CD closes with the inspired "Kumbaya," originally spoken as ‘Come By Here’ in the south, "perhaps in the Gullah language of slaves from Angola brought to the Carolinas, to my understanding,” says Carmen. “It’s a song to my family. A plea to humanity."

Masterfully accompanying Carmen on the new album is Patrice Rushen on piano who once again joins Carmen on this outing, Ben Williams on acoustic and electric bass, Jeff Parker on electric guitar, Kendrick Scott on drums and percussion and Elisabeth Oei on background vocals. In addition to vocals, Lundy also plays keyboards and guitar and arranged all the songs.

The release of CODE NOIR will be accompanied by tour dates both here in the US and abroad. For additional information please visit www.CarmenLundy.com.


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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Al Jarreau, dead at the age of 76 #jazz


LEGENDARY SINGER AL JARREAU DIES AT76
  Al Jarreau, one of the world’s great singers and a song stylist who defied categorization for decades, died today in Los Angeles at the age of 76.
 
The seven-time GRAMMY winner had recently announced his retirement from the entertainment business after being hospitalized for exhaustion. Jarreau had fought through respiratory and cardiac issues in recent years.
 
“We feel very fortunate to have worked with Al, one of the most distinctive and extraordinary vocalists in the music,” says Concord Records President John Burk. “He was truly a force of nature and a beautiful human being that will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by us all.”
 
Jarreau had little interest in boundaries or preconceived limitations. Since the mid-1970s, he applied his distinctive and instantly recognizable vocal style – a unique combination of lyrical swing and captivating vocalese – to a broad spectrum of musical genres. With this eclectic approach, he earned much success along the way – enough to position him as the only vocalist in history to claim GRAMMY Awards in the three distinct genres of jazz, pop and R&B.
 
Jarreau’s final recording, My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke, was released August 5, 2014 on Concord Records, a division of Concord Music Group. The album, which re-interpreted some of Duke’s renowned catalog of post-bop, jazz-fusion, R&B and Brazilian jazz, spent two weeks at #1 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Albums and Current Jazz charts.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

CONCORD MUSIC GROUP SCORES 18 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS


Concord Music Group, one of the largest independent recorded music and publishing companies in the world collected a total of 18 GRAMMY Award nominations, as announced today by the Recording Academy in anticipation of the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards set for Sunday, February 12th, 2017.
 
 The diverse set of nominations epitomizes Concord’s deep commitment to artistry across an array of categories including rock, alternative, blues, folk, R&B, Bluegrass, Americana and jazz.  The company’s celebrated family of labels includes Bicycle, Concord, Concord Jazz, Fantasy, Fearless, Kidz Bop, Loma Vista, Razor & Tie, Rounder, Stax, Sugar Hill and Vanguard.

Below is the complete list of nominations for the Concord Music Group:

Best Alternative Music Album
Post Pop Depression
Iggy Pop
Label: Loma Vista Recordings

Best Contemporary Blues Album
Give It Back To You
The Record Company
Label: Concord Records

Best Folk Album
Undercurrent
Sarah Jarosz
Label: Sugar Hill Records

Best American Roots Performance
House Of Mercy
Sarah Jarosz
Track from: Undercurrent
Label: Sugar Hill Records

Best Traditional R&B Performance
The Three Of Me
William Bell
Track from: This Is Where I Live
Label: Stax Records

Best Americana Album
This Is Where I Live
William Bell
Label: Stax

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Are You Serious
Tchad Blake & David Boucher, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Andrew Bird)
Label: Loma Vista Recordings

Best Traditional Blues Album
Porcupine Meat
Bobby Rush
Label: Rounder Records

Best American Roots Song
Kid Sister
Vince Gill, songwriter (The Time Jumpers)
Track from: Kid Sister
Label: Rounder Records

Best Bluegrass Album
Original Traditional
Blue Highway
Label: Rounder Records

Best Bluegrass Album
Coming Home
O'Connor Band With Mark O'Connor
Label: Rounder Records

Best Folk Album
Weighted Mind
Sierra Hull
Label: Rounder Records

Best Americana Album
Kid Sister
The Time Jumpers
Label: Rounder Records

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
Good "Swing" Wenceslas
Sammy Nestico, arranger (The Count Basie Orchestra)
Track from: A Very Swingin' Basie Christmas!
Label: Concord Jazz

Best Arrangement, Instrument and Vocals
I'm A Fool To Want You
Alan Broadbent, arranger (Kristin Chenoweth)
Track from: The Art Of Elegance
Label: Concord Records

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Undercurrent
Shani Gandhi & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer (Sarah Jarosz)
Label: Sugar Hill Records

Best Remixed Recording
Only (Kaskade x Lipless Remix)
Ryan Raddon, remixer (Ry X)
Label: Loma Vista Recordings

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
Tug Of War (Deluxe Edition)
Simon Earith & James Musgrave, art directors (Paul McCartney)
Label: Concord Records

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It's "3 Minutes to Midnight" and Lawson Rollins is right on time #jazz

The No. 1 single on SiriusXM Watercolors, a cover feature in the “Frets” section in the March issue of Guitar Player magazine, a Top 10 world music album debut at Amazon and a Top 20 world music album debut at iTunes confirm that guitarist Lawson Rollins’ (www.LawsonRollins.com) decision to put aside his complex, meandering compositions to adopt a more direct and concise “urgency now” approach to songwriting on his newly released “3 Minutes to Midnight” was the right decision. The award-winning chart-topper’s seventh multicultural album is wasting no time connecting with listeners, record buyers, radio programmers and reviewers.

Rollins’ mesmerizing and virtuoso fingerstyle guitar work that generated over 10 million YouTube hits is on display on “3 Minutes to Midnight.” Guitar Player says, “He incorporates new pluck­ing techniques to play aptly timed flourishes at supersonic speeds that will make your head spin.” The new outing also showcases Rollins’ deft touch for crafting exquisite, impassioned Latin-singed melodies over energetic global beats and exotic rhythms as well as probing meditations, moody introspective vibes and soul-stirring atmospherics.

All twelve multi-genre compositions Rollins authored for “3 Minutes to Midnight,” produced by multi-platinum producer and frequent Rollins collaborator Dominic Camardella, clock in in the three-minute range, compressed communications compared to his typically sprawling recordings on previous discs that averaged at least twice the length. As the album’s seductive waltz, “Island Time,” sits poised to enter Billboard’s Top 30, Rollins is back in the studio working on another entirely new challenge: scoring his first film. Instead of using his trademark nylon guitar on world music and gypsy jazz aural adventures, the soundtrack for “Golden” will feature the classically-trained, San Francisco-based artist on electric, slide, acoustic and Spanish guitars ruminating amidst haunting Americana and bluesy soundscapes.       

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