Tuesday, April 24, 2012

John Pizzarelli - "Double Exposure" - Release on Telarc 5/15/12 #jazz

For nearly 30 years, guitarist John Pizzarelli has explored various corners of the jazz landscape and merged a variety of styles into a single, distinctive signature sound. On any given recording – indeed, in any given song – one is likely to encounter an entertaining convergence of jazz, swing, the American songbook, pop, bossa nova and more.

Double Exposure, Pizzarelli’s latest recording on Telarc – a division of Concord Music Group – focuses on two distinct styles to make a single fine recording. Set for release on May 15, 2012, Double Exposure is a collection of tunes by some of the great pop songwriters of his own generation that are framed squarely within traditional jazz arrangements.

“I didn’t want to just cover these songs, but rather find a way to present them that was unusual and interesting’” says Pizzarelli. “I think growing up in a household that had two specific record collections became the inspiration – my father’s jazz records, my sisters’ record collection and records brought around by their friends.”

The result is a fascinating and engaging musical hybrid. Double Exposure draws from a diverse pool of some of the best pop songwriters of the past five decades: Lennon and McCartney, Neil Young, James Taylor, Leiber and Stoller, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell and others. Woven into these memorable compositions are threads of jazz borrowed from figures like Wes Montgomery, Billy Strayhorn, Thad Jones and John Coltrane.

Pizzarelli is backed by his touring and studio band, featuring keyboardist Larry Fuller, bassist (and brother) Martin Pizzarelli and drummer Tony Tedesco. In addition, organist Larry Goldings assists on a number of tracks. A four-piece horn section arranged by Don Sebesky includes Tony Kadleck (trumpet, flugelhorn), John Mosca (trombone, euphonium), Kenny Berger (baritone sax, bass clarinet) and Andy Fusco (alto and tenor saxophone, clarinet), providing accents and embellishments along the way.

The 13-song set opens with the upbeat and uptempo “I Feel Fine/Sidewinder,” a track which Pizzarelli describes as “Lennon and McCartney meet Lee Morgan.” Before the recording sessions got under way in the fall of 2011, he and his band initially road tested the song at a Birdland gig in New York City. “There were kids there who were saying, ‘Hey, we loved the way you played ‘Sidewinder’ inside a Beatles tune!’”

This jazz-flavored rendition of the Beatles classic is the latest chapter in the prolific Pizzarelli-McCartney association that has developed over the past few months. Pizzarelli appears on several tracks on McCartney’s new album, Kisses on the Bottom, a collection of standards (plus two McCartney originals) released in early February. Two days after the release, Pizzarelli performed with Sir Paul at an iTunes concert at Capitol Records Studios in Hollywood, California. The two also performed together at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on February 12, 2012.

Pizzarelli’s intriguing renditions of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” and Billy Joel’s “Rosalinda’s Eyes” are a nod to the guitarist’s high school and college years – a period during which he played in numerous pop and rock cover bands – while “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” is his perky take on the Allman Brothers’ instrumental, augmented by themes from Wes Montgomery’s “Four On Six.” The combination was “something that just came out of the blue,” says Pizzarelli. “I was sitting up in my cabin, thinking about an instrumental. I thought about all the instrumental tracks the Allman Brothers have recorded over the years, and ‘Elizabeth Reed’ immediately came to mind.”

In “Walk Between the Raindrops,” the Donald Fagen song from his 1982 solo recording, The Nightfly, includes arranger Don Sebeskey’s homage to trumpeter Thad Jones.

The slinky, sly-sounding “Take a Lot of Pictures” is the album’s sole original track, as penned by Pizzarelli and his wife, singer/actor Jessica Molaskey. The title comes from an old expression by Frank Sinatra, who was known to grow weary of backstage fans with overactive cameras. “Take a lot of pictures” was Sinatra’s way of implying that he wouldn’t be returning to the venue anytime soon. Likewise, the Pizzarelli/Molaskey song is a bitterly comic sendoff to a love gone sour.

The album closes with a whimsical reading of Seals and Crofts’ 1973 hit, “Diamond Girl,” which quotes directly from Miles Davis’ iconic “So What” and features an expressive trumpet solo by Tony Kadleck.

“There was a lot more to this record than just writing out chords to these songs and saying, ‘Let’s play this,’” Pizzarelli says of Double Exposure. “I really worked hard on the arrangements. I worked on what everybody would play. And I sat down with the guitar and worked everything out before I even sat down with the group.”

“It’s a different kind of record, but it’s also something that I’ve been wanting to do for several years, so I’m glad I finally got to do it. It was a matter of finding the jazz to go inside the pop song, and doing it in a way that would be entertaining and engaging.”

“In each one of these songs, there are two things happening at once – a pop dimension and a jazz dimension – but at the same time they blend together very well. This is what my career has been about, ever since I first became aware of music and ever since I first picked up the guitar. This record provides the listener with an exposure to both of these very significant dimensions.”

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Mike Stern - "All Over The Place" - Release on Heads Up 6/19/12 #jazz

All Over the Place features guest appearances by Randy Brecker, Richard Bona Kenny Garrett, Esperanza Spalding, Victor Wooten and many others

Since his days with Blood Sweat & Tears in the mid-1970s, followed by stints with Billy Cobham and Miles Davis’ band in the ‘80s, and a solo career that now spans more than 25 years, guitarist Mike Stern has used his jazz roots as a starting point for exploring a range of alternate territories that include R&B, rock, swing, funk, world music and numerous other regions along the musical topography. The recipient of Guitar Player magazine’s Certified Legend Award for 2012, he’s an artist who’s not afraid to bring numerous styles and ideas – however diverse – into the same place just to see what happens.

All Over the Place is Stern’s new recording on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group. Set for release on June 19, 2012, the 11-song set aligns the characteristically diverse and adventurous guitarist with a cadre of brilliant guests, including trumpeter Randy Brecker; saxophonist Kenny Garrett; and drummers Dave Weckl, Keith Carlock and Lionel Cordew. Also on hand is a delegation of high-caliber electric and acoustic bass players: Esperanza Spalding, Richard Bona, Victor Wooten, Anthony Jackson, Dave Holland, Tom Kennedy, Will Lee and Victor Bailey.

“I’ve been playing a lot of different kinds of great music with a lot of different musicians on some of my more recent records,” says Stern, whose Big Neighborhood – released on Heads Up in 2009 – followed a similarly eclectic vibe. “I love bebop, swing, rock, all the stuff that a lot of guitar players – especially jazz players – tend to include in their music. It’s the nature of the instrument, but very much a part of my nature as well. There’s a lot of music that really inspires me, and it usually covers quite a few territories.”

It’s all here, starting with the mysterious funk groove of the leadoff track, “AJ,” which Stern wrote specifically for contrabass guitarist Anthony Jackson. Other personnel on board for the opener are saxophonist Chris Potter, keyboardist Jim Beard, rhythm guitarist Leni Stern (Mike’s wife), drummer Keith Carlock and percussionist Tim Keiper.

Leni returns a couple tracks later on “Out of the Blue,” this time playing an exotic three-stringed Malian instrument called a n’goni. Her opening riffs segue into the high-powered free-for-all featuring Brecker, Beard, Kennedy, Keiper and drummer Kim Thompson.

A tempo changeup comes in the form of the much leaner and quieter “As Far As We Know,” featuring Spalding on bass and vocals. “I like drama,” says Stern. “I like a lot of dynamics. I like music that has a lot of heart, and I hope this priority comes through in my playing and in my writing, especially on this tune.”

Stern is joined by drummer Al Foster on three engaging songs that land squarely in the center of the album: the funky and swinging “Blues for Al,” the energetic and colorful “OCD,” a song loaded with solo work by Stern and Garrett; and the much more understated and reflective acoustic piece, “You Never Told Me.”

“Halfway Home” is a gritty blues piece that showcases Stern’s slide guitar chops and deftly juxtaposes them against Wooten’s funky bass work and Cordew’s relentless backbeat.

The mellow groove of “Flipside” throws the spotlight on saxophonist Bob Malach, who joins Stern in some solid solo work. Malach is back for the title track, which closes the set on a fiery note as Stern leads a groove that’s reminiscent of his high-energy collaborations with the Brecker Brothers in the early ‘90s.

“The guitar tends to keep you open-minded, because you hear it in so many places,” says Stern, listing many places he himself has ventured along the way – not just on All Over the Place, but in earlier work as well. “You hear it in rock, in country, in pop, in funk, in classical, you hear it in jazz, you hear it in so many kinds of music that you can immediately identify it on one level or another.”

Stern is ready at a moment’s notice to go to all of these places and more, and he’s ready and willing to bring anyone along for the ride. “Music, to me, is a language of the heart,” he says. “I hope people will get some emotional payoff from what I’ve done on this recording. That’s the vibe that I continue to go for with all of my music.”

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Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - April 23, 2012 #jazz


LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Paul Brown - "The Funky Joint" - (Woodward Ave.)
2 - 2 - Peter White - "Here We Go" - (Concord)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Electric Wonderland" - (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 4 - Darren Rahn - "Speechless" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
6 - 5 - Nick Colionne - "Feel The Heat" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 6 - Acoustic Alchemy - "Roseland" - (Onside/Heads Up)
5 - 7 - Najee - "Smooth Side Of Soul - (Shanachie)
11 - 8 - Richard Elliot - "In The Zone" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
8 - 9 - Michael Lington - "Pure" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
9 - 10 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Galaxy" - (Heads Up)
10 - 11 - Eric Marienthal - "It's Love" - (Peak/eOne)
16 - 12 - Cindy Bradley - "Unscripted" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
15 - 13 - Incognito - "Surreal" - (Shanachie)
14 - 14 - Rob Tardik - "Balance.Energy.Laughter.Love" - (Guitardik)
12 - 15 - Boney James - "Contact" - (Verve)
13 - 16 - Down To The Bone - "The Main Ingredients" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
17 - 17 - Paul Taylor - "Prime Time" - (Peak)
18 - 18 - Esperanza Spalding - "Radio Music Society" - (Heads Up)
19 - 19 - Euge Groove - "S7ven Large" - (Shanachie)
21 - 20 - Jessy J - "Hot Sauce" - (Heads Up)


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Friday, April 20, 2012

Playboy Jazz Festival Free Beverly Hills Concert May 6th #jazz

 PLAYBOY JAZZ FESTIVAL PRESENTS LATIN JAZZ ARTIST JOSE RIZO AND HIS NEW 9-PIECE BAND ‘MONGORAMA’ IN FREE BEVERLY HILLS CONCERT MAY 6TH

Beverly Hills will sizzle when acclaimed Latin Jazz artist Jose Rizo brings his new nine–piece Latin jazz ensemble, “Mongorama” to the city for a free community concert, Sunday, May 6th. Presented by the Playboy Jazz Festival as part of their free community event series, the concert will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Beverly Hills Civic Center Plaza, located at 450 North Rexford Drive, between Santa Monica Boulevard and Burton Way. The concert is the first of Playboy’s free community events held in conjunction with the upcoming Playboy Jazz Festival June 16th and 17th at the Hollywood Bowl.
    “Mongorama”, led by Rizo (the musical director for noted L.A. jazz station KKJZ, (88.1) and the bandleader for the popular Jazz On The Latin Side All Stars), will  celebrate the musical legacy of conga legend  Mongo Santamaria. by playing much of his early charanga-jazz material from the 1950’s and  60’s, featuring many of the original compositions he was famous for, including “Bacoso”, “QueMaravilloso”, “Las Guajiras” and  more. The group’s new, self-titled “Mongorama” CD received a Grammy nomination earlier this year. Driven by infectiously danceable rhythms and modern interpretations of charanga and straight-ahead jazz, the group’s sound results in swinging salsa music that is hard to resist. The concert will also feature an opening artist soon to be announced.
    “Our Beverly Hills concert has become a popular kick-off for the annual Playboy Jazz Festival season, and this year’s roster of talent promises a lively afternoon of upbeat jazz entertainment at the Civic Center’s attractive outdoor performing arts venue in celebration of our 34th Festival,” stated Richard Rosenzweig, President Emeritus of the Playboy Jazz Festival.
    Food and refreshments will be available for purchase to the public. Glass containers, alcoholic beverages and audio/video recorders are not permitted. Two free hours of parking are available at the Civic Center parking structure, adjacent to the Beverly Hills Public Library.
    For more information regarding the community concert series or the Playboy Jazz Festival, visit www.playboyjazzfestival.com.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Clark Terry Fundraising Event #jazz

As many of you know from reading Clark Terry's blog, in recent months, Clark has undergone many health challenges including amputation of both of his legs. The Jazz Foundation of America provides 'round the clock healthcare help and support.

To help defray these costs, some of Clark's musical friends will join in a "Fundraising Concert for Clark" which will include a special Skype appearance by Clark and Gwen Terry.

Monday, April 23, 2012 at 7pm
Saint Peter's Church
619 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Suggested donation is $25 at the door or, if you cannot be there, you can send a donation. Checks should be written to Jazz Foundation of America with "Clark Terry account" in the memo line and mailed to the JFA at 322 W. 48th Street, New York, NY 10036. Mr. Terry, who turned 91 in December, has been a great ambassador for the music, appeared on over 900 recordings, and mentored numerous young musicians. Let's do something for this great human being who has given so many music lovers so much good music to enjoy.

Musicians confirmed to appear include:
Clifford AdClark Terryams Jr., Carl Allen, Lisle Atkinson, Art Baron, Gene Bertoncini, Valerie Capers, Paquito D'Rivera, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Sylvia Cuenca, Dee Daniels, Bryan Davis, David Demsey, Lou Donaldson, Mark Elf, Essiet Essiet, Don Friedman, Greg Gisbert, Dave Glasser, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Winard Harper, Barry Harris, Louis Hayes, Jimmy Heath, Conrad Herwig, Jack Jeffers, Melba Joyce, Justin Kauflin, Stantawn Kendrick, Bob Kindred, Victor Lewis, Tony Lujan, Russell Malone, Sarah McLawler, Marcus McLaurine, Junior Mance, Mulgrew Miller, Shawnn Monteiro, Frank Owens, Jimmy Owens, Jeremy Pelt, Anne Phillips, Rufus Reid, Bill Saxton, Josh Shpak, Don Sickler, Norman Simmons, John Simon, Lew Soloff, Helen Sung and Frank Wess

For a complete biography on Clark Terry, visit his website at www.clarkterry.com
Clark Terry Fundraiser
April 23, 2012, 7pm
Saint Peter's Church
619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street
New York, NY
"E" train to Lexington Avenue or "6" to 51st Street
212 935 2200
www.saintpeters.org/events
Donations:
Jazz Foundation of America with "Clark Terry account" in the memo line.
322 W. 48th Street
New York, NY 10036

(212) 245-3999
www.jazzfoundation.org

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Chris Botti - "Impressions" - Released today on Columbia Records #jazz

Trumpeter Chris Botti, the world's largest selling jazz instrumentalist, released his latest album, Impressions, on Columbia Records today April 17, 2012.  A collection of songs and compositions  expressing his love for rich, evocative melodies, the album showcases Botti among a high profile group of featured guests, including pianist/composer Herbie Hancock, tenor Andrea Bocelli, country singer Vince Gill, rock star Mark Knopfler, composer/pianist David Foster and violinist Caroline Campbell.

The colorful array of music Botti has selected for Impressions reaches across stylistic areas and national boundaries with works by classical composer Frederic Chopin, American songwriters George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, R. Kelly, Randy Newman, Bob Thiele and David Weiss, Brazilian songwriter Ivan Lins, Argentine composer Astor Piazolla, Cuban composer Cesar Portillo de la Luz, as well as a pair of songs co-written by Botti. Many of the tracks are deeply enhanced by the superb orchestrations of William Ross, Vince Mendoza, Gil Goldstein and Jaques Morelenbaum.

Melody has always been at the heart of Botti's music.  Whether applying the lush sounds of his trumpet to the long, lyrical phrases of a familiar ballad or the arching, rhythmic lines of a jazz improvisation, his solos tell evocative stories, finding their way into the very heart of a song.
Impressions offers all that and more. Like Chris Botti in Boston, as well as other albums reaching back to 2004's When I Fall In Love, the music on Impressions fulfills Botti's desire to offer the sort of programming variety that provides a little something for many different tastes. Every track on Impressions is an individual highlight, filled with memorable moments:

- Botti's elegiac performance of the album-opening orchestral version of Chopin's Prelude No. 20 in C minor.

- The magnificent voice of Andrea Bocelli singing the brand new song,"Per Te (For You)," composed for the album by Botti, David Foster and Tiziano Ferro.

- A floating, intimate duet between Botti and the subtle guitar of Leonardo Amuedo on R. Kelly's"You Are Not Alone," a hit for Michael Jackson in a very different version.

- Country singer Vince Gill's poignant version of Randy Newman's "Losing You."

- The irresistible rhythmic flow and improvisational flair of"Tango Suite," co-composed by Botti and Herbie Hancock.

- A quartet of songs reaching into the world of Latin music: Rodrigo's magnificent En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor, the trumpet and guitar lines of Brazilian songwriter Ivan Lins' lovely "Setembro," the swaying rhythms of Astor Piazolla's tango, "Oblivion," and the dark sensuality of a Cuban bolero, "Contigo En La Distancia."

- The cinematic intensity of the choral-textured, Middle Eastern timbres of  "Sevdah."

- Botti's convincing foray into the Great American Songbook via the familiar classics, "Summertime" and "Over the Rainbow."

- The lovely, closing coda of Mark Knopfler's warm and amiable take on "What A Wonderful World."
Chris Botti's Impressions, combining a full menu of his incomparable trumpet playing, an exciting program of music and an impressive line-up of featured artists, is filled with major hit potential, fully ready to join his growing line-up of hugely popular CDs selling more than 3 million copies worldwide.

Track Listing in Order
Chris Botti
Impressions
1. "Prelude" (Frederic Chopin)
2. "Per Te (For You)" (Chris Botti/David Foster/Tiziano Ferro)
3. "En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor" (Joaquin Rodrigo)
4. "You Are Not Alone" (R. Kelly)
5. "Losing You" (Randy Newman)
6. "Tango Suite" (Chris Botti/Herbie Hancock)
7. "Setembro" (Ivan Lins)
8. "Oblivion" (Astor Piazolla)
9. "Sevdah" (Gabriel Yared/Tanja Tzarovska)
10. "Summertime" (George and Ira Gershwin/DuBose Heyward)
11. "Contigo En La Distancia" (Cesar Portillo de la Luz)
12. "Over the Rainbow" (Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg)
13. "What A Wonderful World" (Bob Thiele/George David Weiss)

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David Benoit - "Conversation" - Release on Heads Up - 5/29/12 #jazz

Pianist and composer David Benoit has something to say. It’s clear from his multi-dimensional body of work across three-and-a-half decades, and his deep jazz roots that still allow room for forays into classical, Latin, pop, world music and a range of other sounds. The connections and associations he has made along the way have resulted in a fascinating and ongoing interplay between musics, musicians and musical philosophies. Simply put, Benoit is engaged in a conversation – a dynamic and ongoing act of communication that results in a sound that’s consistently engaging and entertaining.

Benoit takes the discussion to a new level of creative exchange on Conversation, his new album set for release on May 29, 2012, on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group.

“When I started making records, I never conformed to a specific format,” says Benoit, whose recording career began with the release of Heavier Than Yesterday in 1977. “Mostly my records were just me writing and playing my own music, directly from my heart. I’ve come back to that on this record, but using some orchestral colors this time. As a composer, I’ve stretched a bit, and this really represents where I am right now as a pianist, as a musician, as a composer. It’s a very good snapshot for people who have been following me for a while. This is where I am right now. I’m not pandering to radio. I’m just doing what I love to do, and that’s what’s been so much fun about it.”

Benoit gets assistance along the way from musicians representing a broad cross section of styles: electric guitarist Jeff Golub, acoustic guitarist Pat Kelley, guitarist David Pack, flutist Tim Weisberg, classical pianist Robert Theis and a cadre of young classical players who are fearless about taking their music to less traditional and more adventurous and exploratory places.

“As a writer, I really wanted to dig deep on this and try some things with people who weren’t afraid to try them with me. It’s actually one of the most fun and relaxed records I’ve made in at least a couple years. It was just nice to not have any kind of agenda. The title of the album really sums it up. There’s a lot of conversation going on with this record.”

The discussion starts with the sweeping and cinematic “Napa Crossroads Overture,” a track co-authored a couple years ago by Benoit and David Pack, GRAMMY Award winning co-founder, guitarist and main vocalist for the band Ambrosia, who appears on this version. “I knew it would fit perfectly on this record,” says Benoit. “It’s reminiscent of the lush, orchestrated sound of some of my earlier recordings, and it was a lot of fun to revisit that sound.”

Further in, Benoit has some fun with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” the rollicking, Vince Guaraldi-esque theme music composed by Theodore Shapiro for the 2010 movie of the same name. Benoit gets assistance on this track from his 11-year-old daughter June, a up-and-coming (but by no means wimpy) violin student. “Our engineer brought his rig to my house, and we recorded it right in my living room so June could play on the last verse,” he says. “I made sure Jeff Golub put in a crunchy guitar solo to add another layer of fun to it.”

The quieter and much more melodic “Sunrise on Mansion Row” is one of Benoit’s favorites in the entire set, “and one of the few that I wrote just sitting at the Steinway,” he says. “I wanted to get a little bit of that French sound into it, as a nod to influences like Debussy and Ravel. We brought in a string quartet, with a cello player who plays a really nice line. The song represents where I am as a composer right now. I’m writing some pretty stuff, but trying to make it interesting and evocative, too.”

The swaggering “Let’s Get Ready” features a compelling sax solo from David Sills in the 12-bar blues section. “The title helps define the track,” says Benoit. “It’s a prelude to something else. It’s more of a traditional jazz piece, designed to flow right into the more adventuresome closing track.”

And that closer is the title track, “Conversation,” which is actually the third and last movement in a suite that Benoit wrote several years ago called Music for Two Trios. “I hired Robert Theis, who won the International Prokofiev Piano Competition in 1995, to play on it,” says Benoit. “It’s the first time I didn’t play all the piano parts on my own record. It’s a conversation between classical and jazz, between a melodic pianist like Robert and a blazing guitarist like Jeff Golub. That’s really what this song and the entire record are about – conversations between musicians coming from different realms and finding common ground.”

The discussion may be intense and filled with many voices, but the overriding message remains simple. “My primary goal on this recording – just as it is on nearly all of my recordings – is for people to come away from it feeling good,” says Benoit. “Or maybe it will take them to a place they’ve never been. Maybe they’ll feel something a little bit deeper than they might feel with other CDs, or maybe they’ll want to put it on and have a cocktail and dance the bossa nova. In the end, I want them to take away whatever they want to take away. The main thing is that they enjoy it, and they experience a little bit of what I experienced making it.”

Listen to David Benoit’s Conversation and hear what this innovative and enduring artist has to say.


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Monday, April 16, 2012

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - April 16, 2012 #jazz


LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Paul Brown - "The Funky Joint" - (Woodward Ave.)
2 - 2 - Peter White - "Here We Go" - (Concord)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Electric Wonderland" - (Ultimate Vibe)
8 - 4 - Darren Rahn - "Speechless" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
4 - 5 - Najee - "Smooth Side Of Soul - (Shanachie)
6 - 6 - Nick Colionne - "Feel The Heat" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 7 - Acoustic Alchemy - "Roseland" - (Onside/Heads Up)
5 - 8 - Michael Lington - "Pure" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 9 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Galaxy" - (Heads Up)
11 - 10 - Eric Marienthal - "It's Love" - (Peak/eOne)
10 - 11 - Richard Elliot - "In The Zone" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
9 - 12 - Boney James - "Contact" - (Verve)
14 - 13 - Down To The Bone - "The Main Ingredients" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
16 - 14 - Rob Tardik - "Balance.Energy.Laughter.Love" - (Guitardik)
21 - 15 - Incognito - "Surreal" - (Shanachie)
17 - 16 - Cindy Bradley - "Unscripted" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
15 - 17 - Paul Taylor - "Prime Time" - (Peak)
13 - 18 - Esperanza Spalding - "Radio Music Society" - (Heads Up)
20 - 19 - Euge Groove - "S7ven Large" - (Shanachie)
23 - 20 - Ken Navarro - "The Test Of Time" - (Positive Music)


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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Brian Bromberg - "Compared To That" - Artistry Music Release 6/5/12 #jazz

Grammy nominated bass maestro Brian Bromberg continues to blaze his own audacious path through the jazz kingdom on "Compared To That, " which will be released June 5th by Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Records. For his 20th solo collection of kinetic and combustible jazz of various forms, Bromberg produced, composed eight new songs, and herded a ten-piece horn section, a full orchestra string section and a prodigious collective of prominent musicians. The first track to go to radio is his swinging take on the snappy Chicago hit, "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"

It's been a while since Bromberg recorded an album that swings so he primarily maintains a fast cadence on "Compared To That." Although the record leans towards straight ahead acoustic jazz, Bromberg refuses to color between the lines. His visionary, multihued jazz palette swirls hard-charging swing, contemporary sheen, deep-fried funk, and touchingly beautiful balladry. Throughout the album, Bromberg's basswork is like a master's class with the astute musician playing acoustic, electric and piccolo (both acoustic and steel string) basses. With his piccolo basses tuned to sound like guitar, all of the lead melodies and solos throughout the collection that sound like guitar are actually piccolo bass. An accomplished cadre lent their talents to the two days of live tracking including Alex Acuna, Gannin Arnold, Charlie Bisharat, Randy Brecker, Vinnie Colaiuta, George Duke, Bela Fleck, Mitch Forman, Larry Goldings, Jeff Lorber, Gary Meek and Tom Zink. Bromberg's tongue-in-cheek humor was deftly deployed when it came to titling his original compositions - "Rory Lowery, Private Eye, " "If Ray Brown Was A Cowboy?, " "A Little New Old School" and "I'm Just Sayin'" are a few examples - and his flair for choosing unexpected songs to cover shines brightly on an imaginative, toe-tapping rendition of the Rick James signature hit "Give It To Me Baby."

"One thing I feel that makes 'Compared To That' a unique project is that it is a live jazz recording that also has a ten-piece horn section on many tracks, a full orchestra string section on two cuts, and the production of a much bigger project. Essentially, it really was a two-day live jazz recording session along with 3-1/2 months of the kind of production used on big pop records. I truly blended the best of both worlds: live acoustic jazz with the audiophile of a major production, " explained Bromberg, who previewed the album at a Sunday brunch performance at the Berks Jazz Fest in Reading, Pennsylvania this past weekend (March 25). "I went more to my jazz roots on this CD with a lot of swing and walking bass. All in all, I think it is a fun listen for a true jazz CD and I am very proud of it."

On July 3rd, Bromberg will release a couple more inspired recording projects: "Bromberg Plays Hendrix, " a tribute to iconic guitarist Jimi Hendrix previously released in Japan that was made without any guitars, again playing the piccolo bass to the tune of a guitar, and "In The Spirit of Jobim, " which pays homage to Antonio Carlos Jobim on a collection of tunes made famous by the fabled Brazilian and original songs penned by the bassist emulating Jobim's style.

A native of Tucson, Arizona who recorded and mixed "Compared To That" while comfortably ensconced in his suburban Los Angeles home studio, Bromberg is respected as a musician with integrity who is gifted with a unique ability to make music at a scholarly level accessible and digestible to the mainstream masses. He landed his breakthrough professional gig at age 18 when tapped to tour for nearly a year playing in legendary jazz saxophonist Stan Getz's band. Bromberg released his solo debut, "A New Day, " in 1986. To date, he has scored handfuls of top 10 hits and a pair of #1 singles as a soloist and as a writer and producer for other artists. Recognized as an innovator, he has played acoustic and electric bass on recordings and performances with a luminous encyclopedic list of musicians that spans the spectrum of jazz and popular music ranging from Dizzy Gillespie , Sarah Vaughn, Herbie Hancock, Dave Grusin and Nancy Wilson to Sting, Elvis Costello, and Steven Tyler, and from Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Dianna Krall, Andrea Bocelli and David Foster to George Benson, Bob James, Lee Ritenour, Kenny G, Chris Botti, Boney James and Dave Koz. He also played on many major motion picture soundtracks such as "The Fabulous Baker Boys, " "The Preacher's Wife, " "Fat Albert" and "Hope Floats." Additional information is available at www.brianbromberg.net.

The songs contained on Bromberg's "Compared To That" are:

"Compared To That"
"Rory Lowery, Private Eye"
"If Ray Brown Was A Cowboy?"
"Hayride"
"A Little New Old School"
"Forgiveness"
"Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"
"I'm Just Sayin'"
"The Eclipse"
"Give It To Me Baby"

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - April 9, 2012 #jazz


LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
2 - 1 - Paul Brown - "The Funky Joint" - (Woodward Ave.)
6 - 2 - Peter White - "Here We Go" - (Concord)
1 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Electric Wonderland" - (Ultimate Vibe)
3 - 4 - Najee - "Smooth Side Of Soul - (Shanachie)
4 - 5 - Michael Lington - "Pure" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
5 - 6 - Nick Colionne - "Feel The Heat" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
10 - 7 - Acoustic Alchemy - "Roseland" - (Onside/Heads Up)
11 - 8 - Darren Rahn - "Speechless" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 9 - Boney James - "Contact" - (Verve)
9 - 10 - Richard Elliot - "In The Zone" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
8 - 11 - Eric Marienthal - "It's Love" - (Peak/eOne)
13 - 12 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Galaxy" - (Heads Up)
14 - 13 - Esperanza Spalding - "Radio Music Society" - (Heads Up)
15 - 14 - Down To The Bone - "The Main Ingredients" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 15 - Paul Taylor - "Prime Time" - (Peak)
16 - 16 - Rob Tardik - "Balance.Energy.Laughter.Love" - (Guitardik)
22 - 17 - Cindy Bradley - "Unscripted" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
17 - 18 - George Benson - "Guitar Man" - (Concord)
18 - 19 - Lloyd Gregory - "Gentle Warrior" - (Roxboro)
19 - 20 - Euge Groove - "S7ven Large" - (Shanachie)


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Friday, April 06, 2012

Bob Baldwin - "Betcha By Golly Wow-The Songs Of Thom Bell" - Peak 4/10 #jazz

Grammy nominee and a bona fide hero of New Urban Jazz, keyboardist and arranger Bob Baldwin makes his debut on Peak/eOne with an all-killer, no-filler collection of classic tunes penned by Philadelphia soul immortal Thom Bell. This set hits the sweet spot from the first track and doesn t miss for a single minute of the entire program.

An all-star cast puts the project over the top, a real who's who of contemporary jazz and smooth R&B. It includes:

Will Downing, Vivian Green, Gerald Albright, Marion Meadows, Paul Taylor, Russ Freeman (of The Rippingtons), Paul Brown.

To top it all off, the legend himself, Thom Bell, has written a brand new song especially for this tribute, Gonna Be Much Sweeter. And Bob Baldwin proves one more time that it doesn t get any sweeter than his brand of soul and jazz.

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Monday, April 02, 2012

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - April 2nd, 2012 #jazz


LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Chris Standring - "Electric Wonderland" - (Ultimate Vibe)
2 - 2 - Paul Brown - "The Funky Joint" - (Woodward Ave.)
5 - 3 - Najee - "Smooth Side Of Soul - (Shanachie)
4 - 4 - Michael Lington - "Pure" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
3 - 5 - Nick Colionne - "Feel The Heat" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
6 - 6 - Peter White - "Here We Go" - (Concord)
7 - 7 - Boney James - "Contact" - (Verve)
8 - 8 - Eric Marienthal - "It's Love" - (Peak/eOne)
15 - 9 - Richard Elliot - "In The Zone" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
10 - 10 - Acoustic Alchemy - "Roseland" - (Onside/Heads Up)
9 - 11 - Darren Rahn - "Speechless" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 12 - Paul Taylor - "Prime Time" - (Peak)
11 - 13 - Jeff Lorber - "Galaxy" - (Heads Up)
22 - 14 - Esperanza Spalding - "Radio Music Society" - (Heads Up)
16 - 15 - Down To The Bone - "The Main Ingredients" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
13 - 16 - Rob Tardik - "Balance.Energy.Laughter.Love" - (Guitardik)
14 - 17 - George Benson - "Guitar Man" - (Concord)
25 - 18 - Lloyd Gregory - "Gentle Warrior" - (Roxboro)
17 - 19 - Euge Groove - "S7ven Large" - (Shanachie)
21 - 20 - Funkee Boy - "Philosoulphy" - (Funkee Boy/Power of One)


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.
Best selling smooth jazz at amazon.com
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