Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Boys Are Back! Gerry Gibbs reunites Thrasher Dream Trio With Ron Carter, Kenny Barron, and a few very special guests #jazz

Sometimes good ideas just materialize. Sometimes they come simply out of urgency. Gerry Gibbs had just recorded and released Thrasher Dream Trio—with Kenny Barron and Ron Carter—for Whaling City Sound. That record was so successful so quickly that all parties involved wanted to hop back in the studio faster than a teenager driving his first car. But with what material? What kind of record?

Gibbs had been working with Neal Weiss, label head of WCS, for four of his eight solo recordings. They worked together well. Gibbs’ mind is a massive scratchpad of possible ideas: recordings, songs, harmonies, hooks, collaborators … “Neal never tells me what to do,” explains Gibbs, “but he threw out an idea for a concept record.”

Gibbs has a lot of concepts up his sleeve, but chose a handful of classic R&B and soul tunes from the 60s and 70s to see how the band would handle them. “I thought I will not try and re-harmonize any of the original chord changes because these songs are already so beautiful,” says Gibbs. “We’lI only change the rhythms to make them swing.”

They all agreed: a cool idea indeed. Gibbs cleared it with his bandmates, and while that sounds manageable, it took months to find a recording date in which all parties were available. “Kenny and Ron loved the idea,” says Gibbs. “With these guys, I can go in 50 different directions, so it’s frustrating to choose just one.” Not to mention that they are so in demand, it’s tough to find the time.

And so they set out to record. The songs are ambitious; the choices are predictable, but also great canvasses for the band. Choices include material by the greats: Stevie Wonder (“Too High,” “My Cherie Amour”), Marvin Gaye (“What’s Going On?”), Earth, Wind and Fire (“Reasons,” “Fantasy,” “Runnin’”), Nascimento (“Brazilian Rhyme”), and many others.

The performances are spontaneous, fiery and inventive. They take warmly familiar tunes and turn them into sizzling, classic jazz standards that stretch the skills of these consummate musicians and draw the listener into an epic jazz adventure. “I thought,” says Gibbs, “these are all recognizable melodies that people love, so I will treat them like old jazz standards  to sing to and only make up the forms for the solos.”

The recording also features playing from red hot, world-class guests Warren Wolf (vibraphone), Larry Goldings (B-3), and Steve Wilson (woodwinds). Says Gibbs: “Ron and Kenny use Steve a lot, too, so the camaraderie was a blast with the four of us.” Goldings, besides being one of everybody’s favorite piano players, is also one of the music world’s most accomplished organists. “I can brag a lot about Larry,” says Gibbs, “but when Kenny expressed his love for Larry’s playing and told me after listening to the tracks how great he thought Larry sounded, well, that’s about as great of a compliment as one can get coming from one of the masters of the piano!”

Recorded by Alex Venguer at MSR Studios in New York, mixed and mastered by Mike Marciano at Systems 2 Studios, produced by Gibbs, and overseen by Weiss at WCS, the stage was set for a handful of truly grand performances. Combine that collective effort with a great concept for a recording, and you’ve got “We’re Back,” the Thrasher Dream Trio’s inspired new project.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Keyboardist Dan Siegel returns with a lush collection of astute jazz etched in melodically rich “Indigo” #jazz

Having recorded a catalogue of Top 10 albums in a vivid spectrum of jazz hues with topflight musicians for 35 years, Dan Siegel only emerges when he has something engaging to say with his poetic piano and crafty keyboards. Back with his first new statement in five years, Siegel’s DSM record label will release “Indigo” on October 14, a set comprised of ten new compositions that he wrote, arranged and shared production chores with Grammy-nominated bassist Brian Bromberg.    
 
On his 20th album, Siegel creates right up the spine of the jazz dichotomy allowing the melodies, improvisational soloing and grooves to unfold and flourish unencumbered by restrictive genre borders and polarizing labels. His cerebral compositions traverse the expansive jazz terrain, but do so with heart rendering them instantly accessible. The keyboardist has a gift for writing inviting, emotionally-evocative material that connects soulfully.    
 
"My tendency is it to overwrite, which can make it challenging for the listener.  I believe the emotional 
allure of the music on this album (“Indigo”) transcends its compositional complexity," said the Irvine, 
California-based artist who was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Eugene, Oregon.
 
The beating heart and soul heard on “Indigo” in part comes from the live production tracked in the cozy confines of Bromberg’s home studio in the valley just over the hill from Los Angeles. Siegel and Bromberg have an easy rapport and level of trust that dates back several decades from playing and recording together. Bromberg’s 300-year-old acoustic bass provides the rhythmic bottom end on tracks anchored by the deft drum beats from Yellowjackets veteran Will Kennedy. Bob Sheppard plays a prominent role using a variety of saxophones and impassioned play to echo Siegel’s piano and keyboards leads as well as emote his own scholarly theses. Allen Hinds and Mike Miller are afforded ample room to dispense thoughtful guitar riffs and do so with finesse. Lenny Castro’s percussion and Craig Fundyga’s vibraphone embellishments add texture, color and shadow in all the right places while two different horn sections appear on a total of six tracks providing power and depth. The cumulative result of such masterful players animating Siegel’s poignant piano pieces is a warm and plush album that will be serviced for airplay at straight-ahead jazz (full album) and contemporary/smooth jazz outlets (title cut).       
 
Siegel inked his first record deal in 1979 with Inner City Records, which issued his debut disc, “Nite Ride,” featuring guitar great Lee Ritenour. Siegel’s sophomore session, “The Hot Shot,” went No. 1 on the Radio & Records chart and spent ten weeks in the Top 10 on the Billboard jazz chart. A couple years later, Siegel moved to Los Angeles to focus on composing film and television scores. Subsequently, he signed with Epic Records and altered his sound from fusion to collections that spanned contemporary jazz, electronic, worldbeat and R&B. Over the years, he has played and recorded with Herbie Hancock, Boney James, Larry Carlton, Joe Sample, Ernie Watts, John Patitucci, Bela Fleck and Ottmar Liebert in instrumental settings; Glenn Frey, Chaka Khan, Berlin and Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire) in the pop world; and amassed an array of television and film credits that boasts Oscar-winner “The Usual Suspects.” For more information, please visit www.DanSiegelMusic.com.
 
The songs contained on “Indigo” are:
 
“To Be Continued”
“By Chance”
“Indigo”
“Beyond”
“Far and Away”
“If Ever”
“Spur of the Moment”
“First Light”
“Consider This”
“Endless”


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Monday, September 15, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 15, 2013 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 1 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
3 - 3 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' - (Shanachie)
4 - 9 - Al Jarreau - "My OldFriend: Celebrating George Duke" - (Concord Music Group)
5 - 5 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
6 - 4 - Gerald Albright - "Slam Dunk" - (Heads Up)
7 - 6 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
8 - 8 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
9 - 17 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
10 - 12 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
11 - 10 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
12 - 15 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
13 - 7 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
14 - 14 - Kim Waters - "Silver Soul" - (Red River Entertainment)
15 - 16 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
16 - 11 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
17 - 13 - Steve Cole - "Pulse" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
18 - 19 - Greg Manning - "Dance With You" - (Kalimba)
19 - 24 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord Music Group)
20 - 18 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Monday, September 08, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 8, 2013 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
2 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
3 - 6 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' - (Shanachie)
4 - 5 - Gerald Albright - "Slam Dunk" - (Heads Up)
5 - 4 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
6 - 10 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
7 - 7 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
8 - 3 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
9 - 12 - Al Jarreau - "My OldFriend: Celebrating George Duke" - (Concord Music Group)
10 - 9 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
11 - 13 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
12 - 11 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
13 - 16 - Steve Cole - "Pulse" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
14 - 26 - Kim Waters - "Silver Soul" - (Red River Entertainment)
15 - 14 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
16 - 18 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
17 - 17 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
18 - 22 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
19 - 19 - Greg Manning - "Dance With You" - (Kalimba)
20 - 21 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Culbertson to capture the moment in concert #jazz

The energetic keyboardist will record his first live album, releases the meditative “Breathe”
 
Contemporary jazz luminary Brian Culbertson continues to commemorate his 20th anniversary as a recording artist in a prolific way with two vastly different projects: his first live album, which will be recorded during a four-night stand (September 11-14) at Yoshi’s Oakland, and the release of a 31-minute solo piano piece entitled “Breathe,” created as therapeutic accompaniment for relaxation, massage, yoga and meditation.
 
Last February, Culbertson kicked off the celebration with the release of “Another Long Night Out,” an outing on which the hitmaker was joined by an all-star ensemble on a revamped version of his 20 year-old debut disc, “Long Night Out.” The first release on his new BCM Entertainment label became his sixth session to debut at No.1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and spawned “Fullerton Ave.,” his 27th No. 1 single as an artist, producer and songwriter. Backed by his six-piece band, he then launched the “Brian Culbertson Live: 20th Anniversary Tour,” which will be preserved for posterity when all eight shows at Yoshi’s are recorded with the best moments culled for the live collection. The set list will be comprised of fan favorites from Culbertson’s chart-topping catalogue consisting of 14 studio albums plus one new track that he wrote with long-time writing partner guitarist Sheldon Reynolds.
 
“I really wanted to capture this moment in time because it is such a milestone,” said Culbertson about the live album slated for release on his next birthday, January 12, 2015. Tickets for the Yoshi’s engagement are expected to sell out and anyone who preorders the album at the show will have their name included in the album’s liner notes.
 
A lifestyle curator who founded and serves as artistic director of the annual wine and jazz festival the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, Culbertson explores an entirely new dimension of his creative muse on “Breathe,” his first foray into music for healing, contemplation and the spa & massage market. Recorded at 60 beats per minute – the tempo that stimulates relaxation and lulls the mind into the alpha state - he simply sat down at the piano and started to play.
 
“Believe it or not, I didn’t write anything in advance. It was completely improvised with nothing preconceived. If you listen closely, you’ll hear certain phrases that keep coming back, but that happened organically and there is no melody. It is floating themes and meandering motifs. That was on purpose, too. If it’s too ‘interesting’ then it provokes thought. This music is to calm thought waves to induce relaxation and healing,” explained Culbertson about “Breathe,” which is now available on iTunes and through www.BrianCulbertson.com.      
 
To purchase tickets to “Brian Culbertson Live: 20th Anniversary Tour” at Yoshi’s Oakland, please visit http://www.brianculbertson.com/tour/2014/9/11/oakland-ca-yoshis-oakland although both shows on Saturday, September 13 are already sold-out. 

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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 1, 2013 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
3 - 4 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
4 - 3 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
5 - 10 - Gerald Albright - "Slam Dunk" - (Heads Up)
6 - 7 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' - (Shanachie)
7 - 6 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
8 - 5 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
9 - 11 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
10 - 9 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
11 - 13 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
12 - 8 - Al Jarreau - "My OldFriend: Celebrating George Duke" - (Concord Music Group)
13 - 12 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
14 - 15 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
15 - 14 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
16 - 18 - Steve Cole - "Pulse" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
17 - 22 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
18 - 19 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
19 - 21 - Greg Manning - "Dance With You" - (Kalimba)
20 - 16 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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