Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Blake Aaron - "Soul Stories" - Released today - #jazz

Like a collection of short stories, guitarist Blake Aaron’s (http://www.blakeaaron.com/) “Soul Stories” is a diverse set of colorfully compelling compositions. Themes, moods and rhythms vary just as the instrumental “voice” Aaron uses to tell the ten tales – eight of which were authored or co-penned by the artist - differs yet a common thread emerges from the blend of improvisational jazz, soul-infused R&B, exotic Latin nuances and shimmering pop sensibilities. Aaron produced the disc, his fifth solo effort, which will be released today.   
Early reviews have been terrific and Aaron was recently interviewed for a feature in Vintage Guitar magazine. Fervent radio support has been abundant as Aaron has already gone Top 5 on the Billboard singles chart with the retro disco pop energizer “Groove-O-Matic,” which is animated by cool electric jazz guitar soloing. The current single pays homage to seminal guitarist Wes Montgomery, the aptly titled “Wes Side Story,” a brisk-paced straight-ahead jazz foray. Aaron’s nylon string guitar lilts while illuminating the festive Latin dancer “Sol Amor.” Clocking in at over seven minutes, the sprawling “Europa” provides Aaron the platform to use his electric guitar to serenade, scream and seduce simultaneously. Spiked by Aaron’s searing electric guitar riffs, jazz crooner Spencer Day guests on the head-bobbing hipster “You’re the One for Me.” Up and down in tempo, impassioned electric guitar makes “Story of the Blues” a rousing anthem. Aaron slows the Hall & Oates gem “Sara Smile” a tad, adding sultriness to the soulful song that erupts into an incendiary electric guitar overture. The wistful seduction continues on the stunning “Story of My Life,” an elegant Brazilian jazz outing courted by Aaron’s gentle nylon sting instrument and graced by Rob Mullins’ plaintively longing piano. R&B vocalist Derek Bordeaux teams with Aaron to celebrate on the charming romancer “You’re My Miracle.” Another Billboard singles charter, “Encantadora” closes the album with a percussive Latin flair sparked by Aaron’s electric guitar and Najee’s soaring flute flourishes.                     
Aaron’s own story to get to this point in his accomplished career mirrors the ethos of “Soul Stories.” Chapters include a wide array of television and film soundtrack and score work that boasts a 14-year stint as the guitarist and co-theme song writer on FOX’s “MadTV”; a lengthy list of studio and concert sideman credits as a first-call session player; tour dates with his own band at nightclubs and festivals across the nation; and creating and hosting a nationally syndicated radio show, “Blake Aaron Live with Tina Anderson,” which has been airing weekly since 2008 providing Aaron the opportunity to interview and jam on the program with contemporary jazz, adult contemporary and rock stars. 

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