Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Soulful Pop Songstress Haley Reinhart Announces New Album "What's That Sound?" #jazz


September 22 Debut for Concord Records
Updates Iconic 60s Anthems for a New Era
 
“Jazz, soul, rock, pop, steampunk — when she steps up to the mic, anything is possible.” – Popdose
 
On September 22, 2017, singer/songwriter Haley Reinhart will release What’s That Sound?, her debut release for Concord Records, where she recently signed as a recording artist. The album finds Reinhart digging into her rich musical heritage and reimagining some of rock-and-roll’s most legendary songs.
 
Hailing from the Chicago area, Reinhart has previously shown her rare gift as a song interpreter with her certified-gold remake of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (a 2015 release whose video has amassed over 20 million YouTube views). The L.A.-based 26-year-old has also emerged as the leading artist on Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, with her jazzed-up versions of tracks like Radiohead’s “Creep” earning more than 112 million views to date.
 
What’s That Sound? features 11 renditions of classic songs from the 1960s, as well as three original tracks from Reinhart. A captivating vocalist who started singing in her parents’ rock band when she was just seven, Reinhart purposely honed in on songs originally released between 1966 and 1969.
 
"There is an undeniable connection between the late ’60s and now,” says Reinhart. “They're both turbulent, yet hopeful times. As I thought of what songs I'd like to reinterpret, I wanted to bring these similarities to the forefront. I also feel the urge to spread the revolutionary idea of people coming together through love and music.”
 
In co-producing What’s That Sound? with GRAMMY Award-winner John Burk, Reinhart stayed remarkably authentic to the sonic landscape of the ’60s. Made at the historic Sunset Sound, the album was recorded to tape in order to achieve a warm, vibrant feel true to the era. According to Reinhart, the thrill and challenge of analog recording brought a potent energy to the production of What’s That Sound?.
 
"We recorded each song live as a band and there’s something special that happens when everyone’s all grooving together like that,” says Reinhart. “There’s no way to replicate the feeling—so even though I thought I’d go back and re-cut the vocals later on, I ended up keeping most of the raw takes. I think it really fits this record and reflects my roots.”
 
Mixed by Bill Schnee (a GRAMMY winner known for his work with Marvin Gaye, Rod Stewart, and Steely Dan), What’s That Sound? was also recorded using solely vintage instruments. Much of that gear was personally supplied by Reinhart’s lineup of veteran musicians, a cadre that includes her father (Harry Reinhart) on guitar and her mother (Patti Miller-Reinhart) on backup vocals.
 
Also joining Reinhart on What’s That Sound? is her Postmodern Jukebox collaborator Scott Bradlee, who plays piano on her masterful covers of The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling,” The Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon,” and The Mamas & The Papas’ “Words of Love.” In addition, Reinhart’s longtime musical cohort Casey Abrams appears as a vocalist and bassist on her glorious update of The Zombies’ “Time of the Season,” Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” and her anthemic original “Bring the Love Back Home.”
 
Right from its first featured cover, What’s That Sound? shows the full force of Reinhart’s formidable vocal work. A longtime staple of her live set, “Baby It’s You” proves her knack for powerful belting. Although the song was originally recorded by The Shirelles, Reinhart’s horn-backed and sweetly gritty version draws inspiration from a rendition by blues/psych-rock band Smith—a track that, in a serendipitous twist, was mixed by Bill Schnee back in 1969.
 
Another song spotlighting Reinhart’s stunning vocal range, her fiery cover of The Box Tops’ “The Letter” finds her brilliantly matching Alex Chilton’s moody growl. “He has such a guttural, raspy tone to his voice, and I wanted to try to create the girl version of that,” says Reinhart. “It ended up coming way more naturally to me than I even thought it would.”
 
The era-defining track that gave What’s That Sound? its title, “For What It’s Worth” opens with a quietly haunting intro before unfolding into a full-fledged anthem. With its stirring string accompaniment (courtesy of esteemed composer Tom Scott), the song reveals Reinhart’s supreme vocal command as she lends new weight to Buffalo Springfield’s ever-poignant lyrics.
 
In each of the original tracks featured on What’s That Sound?, Reinhart’s timeless sensibilities are found to closely inform her own songcraft. Those gracefully arranged pieces include the album-opening “Let’s Start,” which gives a breezy nod to Brazilian music with its bright harmonies and tropicalia-inspired rhythms.
 
From her sorrowful howl on “Oh! Darling” to the steely intonation of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” What’s That Sound? exudes a vocal confidence that Reinhart’s honed through a lifetime of singing. Thanks to her parents’ long-running band Midnight, she grew up on rock-and-roll, jazz, funk, and blues and began mastering each genre in early childhood. Along with joining Midnight onstage throughout her youth, Reinhart studied jazz in college and played in jazz festivals across Europe while still a teenager. After finishing in third place on season 10 of American Idol at age 20, she released her acclaimed 2012 debut Listen Up! via Interscope Records. Arriving in 2016, Reinhart sophomore album Better featured “Can’t Help Falling in Love”—a spirited remake that’s garnered over 56 million streams on Spotify.
 
In addition to collaborating and touring with Postmodern Jukebox since 2015, Reinhart recently ventured into voice-acting by starring alongside Bill Burr, Laura Dern and Justin Long in F Is for Family (a Netflix original animated series whose second season premieres May 30). Also known for her impassioned live performance, she had her first solo headlining tour of the U.S. last summer and recently completed her first solo headlining European tour.
 
For Reinhart, creating What’s That Sound? ultimately deepened her connection to the music that’s long colored her world. "The beauty in the simplicity of these songs hit me more than ever while recording,” she says. “Most of the original versions aren’t even three minutes long, but there’s so much power in their words and melodies — they leave you wanting more.”
 
In introducing each song to a new generation, Reinhart hopes that power will have a lasting impact on listeners. “I’d love for people to hear this album and think about how it relates to our modern world,” she says of What’s That Sound?. “Even though we’re all faced with challenges, it’s also a chance for us to become more aware and more in tune with each other. Hopefully these songs will move people in a positive way and help them realize that good things will happen when we stick together.”
 
What’s That Sound? tracklist
                   
1. Let’s Start (Original)
2. Baby It’s You (Smith)
3. For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield)
4. The Letter (The Box Tops)
5. Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith)
6. White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane)
7. Somewhere In Between (Original)
8. Oh! Darling ft. Scott Bradlee (The Beatles)
9. Sunny Afternoon ft. Scott Bradlee (The Kinks)
10. You Showed Me (The Turtles)
11. Words of Love ft. Scott Bradlee (The Mamas & The Papas)
12. Bring the Love Back Home ft. Casey Abrams (Original)
13. Time of the Season ft. Casey Abrams (The Zombies)
14. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (Nancy Sinatra)
 
Haley Reinhart on the web:
YouTube: http://smarturl.it/HaleyReinhartYT
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - June 19, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
3 - 4 - Norman Brown - "Let It Go" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
4 - 3 - Maysa - "Love Is A Battlefield" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
5 - 9 - Lawson Rollins - "3 Minutes To Midnight" - (Infinita Records)
6 - 5 - Lindsey Webster - "Back To Your Heart" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
7 - 7 - Peter White - "Groovin'" - (Heads Up/Concord)
8 - 6 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
9 - 10 - Brendan Rothwell - "Time On My Hands" - (Brendan Rothwell)
10 - 8 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Prototype" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
11 - 12 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
12 - 11 - Althea Rene - "Gypsy Soul" - (Independent)
13 - 13 - Keiko Matsui - "Journey To The Heart" - (Shanachie Records)
14 - 15 - Nick Colionne - "The Journey" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm")
15 - 21 - Peet Project - "Rosy Cheeks" - (Beagle Beat Records)
16 - 18 - Blake Aaron - "Color And Passion" - (Innervision)
17 - 17 - Eric Darius - "Breakin' Thru" - (SagiDarius Music)
18 - 24 - Chris Standring - "Ten" - (Ultimate Vibe Recordings)
19 - 16 - Urbanity - "Urban Soul" - (Alfi Records)
20 - 20 - Brian Culbertson - "Funk!" - (BCM Entertainment)


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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Award-winning jazz guitarist Frank Piombo follows his dream to “Keep It Movin’” #jazz

Passion and optimism permeate the songs he wrote for his fourth album, coming August 4.
 
It’s been a steady upward trajectory for jazz guitarist Frank Piombo ever since he issued his debut album, “Smooth Reminiscence,” independently in 2010. The New Jersey-based musician sold enough units to be ReverbNation’s No. 1 jazz artist in the Garden State for three straight years while cultivating a growing fan base in the New York Metropolitan area via his live performances. This past April, he hit the red carpet in Hollywood and went home with three statues from the Indie Music Channel Awards for three tracks from his upcoming fourth album, “Keep It Movin’,” providing the perfect launch pad for the new set. Piombo wrote six songs for the disc arriving August 4, and produced and arranged the record with Joe Arminio and Tom Jacobsen.

Perhaps it’s inherent in the culture from which he was spawned, but the Rome, Italy-reared Piombo imbues a sense of quixotic romance and passion into his spirited melodies and sultry grooves on “Keep It Movin’.”  The title track, which won him the Best Male Jazz Artist title at the IMC Awards, is as optimistic and chirpy as they come. Illuminated by Michael Mahadeen’s whimsical flute and sax flourishes, the record opens with the instrumental version garnering international airplay and closes with a vocal rendition featuring empowering lyrics sung by Arminio. The placid “Al Dente (Tino’s Theme)” earned Piombo the Best Easy Listening Song award, a cut on which his cool electric jazz guitar humbly yields the fore to snappy flute, sax and keyboard solos. Piombo & Company ratchet up the tension on “Sunset Beach,” a steamy nocturnal number. That theme continues on “Middle Of The Night,” a track bolstered by Sam Hankins’ heated trumpet explorations that scored the Best Easy Listening Artist victory from the IMC Awards. Nominated for Best Jazz Recording, saxophonist Tony Exum Jr. trades soulful jabs with Piombo on “Rush Hour Funk.” Rich authentic Italian sensibilities mesh with improvisational jazz riffing and a robust R&B beat on the charming “Sogno D’Amore.” Piombo’s crisp guitar etchings thrive in the straight-ahead jazz setting of “Easin’ Up.”      

             
“The music I wrote for ‘Keep It Movin’” represents an appreciation for the journey of life – the distant past and present as well as everything in between and the unknown possibilities ahead. The powerful message is remain focused, do what makes your heart smile and inspire others to follow their dream,” said the positive-minded Piombo, who was born in Tripoli, Libya.

Piombo hopes the pre-release accolades earned by his first album since 2013’s “The Night Speaks” will help expose his music to a larger audience. To further his mission, he has a pair of New Jersey concert dates booked in August in support of the album release. Two days prior to “Keep It Movin’’s” arrival, he will take the outdoor stage as part of the Essex County Summer Music Concert Series in Verona on August 2. A couple weeks after the album streets, Piombo will play Trumpets Jazz Club in nearby Montclair on August 19. An outdoor show in Viterbo, Italy is in the planning stages for October. For more information, please visit www.FrankPiombo.com.

“Keep It Movin’” contains the following songs:
“Keep It Movin’” featuring Michael Mahadeen
“Al Dente (Tino’s Theme)” featuring Rod Williams and Michael Mahadeen
“Sunset Beach” featuring Rod Williams
“Middle Of The Night” featuring Sam Hankins
“Rush Hour Funk” featuring Tony Exum Jr.
“Sogno D’Amore” featuring Joe Arminio
“Easin’ Up (Remix)”
“Keep It Movin’ (Vocal)” featuring Joe Arminio

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Thursday, June 08, 2017

Jackiem Joyner "Main Street Beat" - Release June 30 on Artistry Music


The spirited first single from the “Main Street Beat” album is named for his daughter, Trinity.

Delivering on his promise to “Evolve,” the title of Jackiem Joyner’s last soul-jazz album, the saxophonist became a father since his 2014 release, an elation-inducing experience that informs the music he wrote and produced for his new Artistry Music set, “Main Street Beat,” due June 30. The first single from the funky, dance inspiring, Motown-influenced session that will be shipped to radio this month is the exultant “Trinity,” named for Joyner’s first child whose presence on the track is voiced by Steve Oliver’s incandescent acoustic guitar.
Joyner approached crafting “Main Street Beat” with a three-pronged purpose. “I wanted to create something upbeat, fun to listen to and something to dance to. ‘Main Street Beat’ originally started off as a straight funk record that eventually became some of that, but a whole lot more as I allowed the creative process to have its way with me,” said Joyner, a Billboard chart-topper who plays tenor, alto, soprano and baritone saxophone on the date, often enriching the tracks by laying layer upon layer of horns to form a powerhouse sax section.

The exuberant album opener, “Main Street,” exemplifies the mighty wall-of-horns approach with Joyner playing lead harmonies on alto reinforced by his sax section. Instead of tracking individually, Joyner brought the band – drummer Raymond Johnson, bassist Darryl Williams, electric guitarist Kyle Bolden and piano player Carnell Harrell – into the studio to record six tracks old-school style, including “Back To Motown.” Nick Colionne guests on “When You Smile” to flash his cool electric jazz guitar on the infectious mid-tempo R&B cut. Taking his alto sax chops out for a strut, Joyner cranks up the band for a fiery funk romp down “Southside Boulevard,” one of three tunes that adds Nikolai Egorov’s trombone muscle to the horn section. On a pair of urban joints – “That Good Thing” and “Don’t Make Her Wait” – Joyner plays soprano sax. He takes full command on the stormy “Addicted,” playing every instrument heard on the moody number. “Think James Brown on tenor sax” is how Joyner describes the super funky “Get Down Street.” A pair of high-energy pop-R&B covers – Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” and Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” – complete the outing, songs Joyner elected to record based upon their buoyant, positive nature, which he says mirrors his young offspring’s personality.

“My little girl played a huge role in inspiring this album. Having Trinity around during the writing process sparked an enormous font of creativity and really kicked my writing into high gear. The first single, named after her, really captures the excitement and joy of being a dad as well as the exciting little girl that she is. Trinity was right there in the studio during a lot of the writing process. Her jumpy and bouncy upbeat little self is really reflected on this album,” said Joyner, who will launch the record with June concerts in Cincinnati (June 9 at A Celebration of Black Music), Birmingham (June 11 at Jazz in the Park), San Diego (June 25 at Mediterranean’s Jazz and Supper Club) and Philadelphia (June 29 at South).

The release of “Main Street Beat,” Joyner’s sixth album, coincides with his tenth anniversary as a recording artist. His 2007 debut “Babysoul” earned Debut Artist of the Year honors from Smooth Jazz News. Two years later, his sophomore set, “Lil Man Soul,” spawned two No. 1 singles on the Billboard chart and won the Song of the Year trophy for “I’m Waiting For You” from the American Smooth Jazz Awards. His self-titled 2010 album solidified his position as a consistent hit-maker. Revisiting his non-secular roots, Joyner issued the gospel-jazz “Church Boy” in 2012. “Evolve” placed his infectious melodies amidst futuristic electronic sonicscapes. Joyner’s music isn’t his only creative effort that ventured into extraterrestrial territory. Last year, the Norfolk, Virginia native who resides near Los Angeles authored his first book, the science fiction novel “Zarya: Cydnus Final Hope (Book 1). For more information, please visit www.JackiemJoyner.com.

“Main Street Beat” contains the following songs:
“Main Street”
“Back To Motown”
“Can’t Stop The Feeling”
“Trinity”
“When You Smile”
“Southside Boulevard”
“That Good Thing”
“Treasure”
“Addicted”
“Don’t Make Her Wait”
“Get Down Street”

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - May 29, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 3 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
3 - 8 - Lindsey Webster - "Back To Your Heart" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
4 - 2 - Norman Brown - "Let It Go" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
5 - 4 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
6 - 6 - Peter White - "Groovin'" - (Heads Up/Concord)
7 - 5 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
8 - 9 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Prototype" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
9 - 20 - Maysa - "Love Is A Battlefield" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
10 - 7 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
11 - 11 - John Novello - "Ivory Soul" - (529 Music)
12 - 13 - Brendan Rothwell - "Time On My Hands" - (Brendan Rothwell)
13 - 12 - Brian Culbertson - "Funk!" - (BCM Entertainment)
14 - 14 - Althea Rene - "Gypsy Soul" - (Independent)
15 - 21 - Lawson Rollins - "3 Minutes To Midnight" - (Infinita Records)
16 - 10 - Marc Antoine - "Laguna Beach" - (Woodward Avenue)
17 - 15 - Michael Lington - "Second Nature" - (Copenhagen Music)
18 - 22 - Blake Aaron - "Color And Passion" - (Innervision)
19 - 19 - Bob Baldwin - "The Brazilian-American Soundtrack" - (City Sketches Inc)
20 - 35 - Keiko Matsui - "Journey To The Heart" - (Shanachie Records)

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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Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Memorial Day Worth Remembering



Andy Rooney On How Memorial Day Should Be Celebrated

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney.

"There is more bravery at war than in peace, and it seems wrong that we have so often saved this virtue to use for our least noble activity - war. The goal of war is to cause death to other people."



Tomorrow is Memorial Day, the day we have set aside to honor by remembering all the Americans who have died fighting for the thing we like the most about our America: the freedom we have to live as we please.

No official day to remember is adequate for something like that. It's too formal. It gets to be just another day on the calendar. No one would know from Memorial Day that Richie M., who was shot through the forehead coming onto Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, wore different color socks on each foot because he thought it brought him good luck.

No one would remember on Memorial Day that Eddie G. had promised to marry Julie W. the day after he got home from the war, but didn’t marry Julie because he never came home from the war. Eddie was shot dead on an un-American desert island, Iwo Jima.

For too many Americans, Memorial Day has become just another day off. There's only so much time any of us can spend remembering those we loved who have died, but the men, boys really, who died in our wars deserve at least a few moments of reflection during which we consider what they did for us.

They died.

We use the phrase "gave their lives," but they didn’t give their lives. Their lives were taken from them.

There is more bravery at war than in peace, and it seems wrong that we have so often saved this virtue to use for our least noble activity - war. The goal of war is to cause death to other people.

Because I was in the Army during World War II, I have more to remember on Memorial Day than most of you. I had good friends who were killed.

Charley Wood wrote poetry in high school. He was killed when his Piper Cub was shot down while he was flying as a spotter for the artillery.

Bob O'Connor went down in flames in his B17.

Obie Slingerland and I were best friends and co-captains of our high school football team. Obie was killed on the deck of the Saratoga when a bomb that hadn’t dropped exploded as he landed.

I won’t think of them anymore tomorrow, Memorial Day, than I think of them any other day of my life.

Remembering doesn’t do the remembered any good, of course. It's for ourselves, the living. I wish we could dedicate Memorial Day, not to the memory of those who have died at war, but to the idea of saving the lives of the young people who are going to die in the future if we don’t find some new way - some new religion maybe - that takes war out of our lives.

That would be a Memorial Day worth celebrating.

Written By Andy Rooney © MMV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This segment was originally broadcast on May 29, 2005.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Selena Evangeline Feat. Bill King "Left Alone" on Slaight Music - #jazz

This is the third in the Slaight Music/7 Arts Entertainment signature series of duets with pianist Bill King and Canada’s top vocalists. The Nylons Gavin Hope recorded the inaugural release, For All We Know – a collection of jazz standards, some rhythm & soul and pop classics.

Evangeline charts her own direction focusing on rhythm & blues, soul and jazz songs remembered through the women who made them classics. Gladys Knight, Dinah Washington, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughan, Patti Labelle, Diana Ross, Billie Holiday, Whitney Houston and others. It’s a grand letter of thanks and testament to the versatility and skill of newcomer Evangeline’s abilities. Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds "Exhale (Shoop, Shoop) has garnered nearly 150,000 Soundcloud cover plays.

Left Alone is a joint effort between Slaight Music and 7Arts Entertainment. Evangeline now lives and works in London, England!



Produced and Arranged by Bill King
All Vocals Selena Evangeline
Acoustic grand piano/ Hammond B3 Organ Bill King
Recorded at Canterbury Music with engineer Jeremy Darby


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Monday, May 22, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - May 22, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Norman Brown - "Let It Go" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
3 - 3 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
4 - 5 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
5 - 4 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
6 - 8 - Peter White - "Groovin'" - (Heads Up/Concord)
7 - 10 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
8 - 7 - Lindsey Webster - "Back To Your Heart" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
9 - 9 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Prototype" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
10 - 6 - Marc Antoine - "Laguna Beach" - (Woodward Avenue)
11 - 12 - John Novello - "Ivory Soul" - (529 Music)
12 - 11 - Brian Culbertson - "Funk!" - (BCM Entertainment)
13 - 17 - Brendan Rothwell - "Time On My Hands" - (Brendan Rothwell)
14 - 16 - Althea Rene - "Gypsy Soul" - (Independent)
15 - 15 - Michael Lington - "Second Nature" - (Copenhagen Music)
16 - 13 - Peet Project - "Rosy Cheeks" - (Beagle Beat Records)
17 - 18 - Greg Manning - "Sugar & Spice" - (Kalimba)
18 - 45 - Nick Colionne - "The Journey" - (Trippin' 'N' Rhythm)
19 - 23 - Bob Baldwin - "The Brazilian-American Soundtrack" - (City Sketches Inc)
20 - 41 - Maysa - "Love Is A Battlefield" - (Shanachie Entertainment)


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Monday, May 15, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - May 15, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 3 - Norman Brown - "Let It Go" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
3 - 2 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
4 - 4 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
5 - 5 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
6 - 6 - Marc Antoine - "Laguna Beach" - (Woodward Avenue)
7 - 7 - Lindsey Webster - "Back To Your Heart" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
8 - 9 - Peter White - "Groovin'" - (Heads Up/Concord)
9 - 10 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Prototype" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
10 - 8 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
11 - 11 - Brian Culbertson - "Funk!" - (BCM Entertainment)
12 - 12 - John Novello - "Ivory Soul" - (529 Music)
13 - 13 - Peet Project - "Rosy Cheeks" - (Beagle Beat Records)
14 - 15 - Lawson Rollins - "3 Minutes To Midnight" - (Infinita Records)
15 - 14 - Michael Lington - "Second Nature" - (Copenhagen Music)
16 - 25 - Althea Rene - "Gypsy Soul" - (Independent)
17 - 21 - Brendan Rothwell - "Time On My Hands" - (Brendan Rothwell)
18 - 17 - Greg Manning - "Sugar & Spice" - (Kalimba)
19 - 16 - Cindy Bradley - "Natural" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
20 - 23 - Chris Standring - "Ten" - (Ultimate Vibe Recordings)


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Thursday, May 11, 2017

An Excursion to paradise with a purpose - Barbados Jazz Excursion - #Jazz

Soul-jazz saxman Elan Trotman will host his fourth annual Barbados Jazz Excursion with a festival lineup featuring Will Downing, Norman Brown, Alison Hinds, Marion Meadows, Brian Simpson, Jeanette Harris and Julian Vaughn

Bigger but simpler. That’s the mandate soul-jazz saxophonist Elan Trotman adopted for his flourishing music festival and benefit golf tournament in his native Barbados. Festivalgoers that flock to the fourth annual Barbados Jazz Excursion this Columbus Day Weekend (October 6-8, 2017) will be treated to the biggest and best lineup of contemporary jazz and R&B artists yet assembled at the fest along with a simplified schedule that allows more time to discover the alluring tropical beauty of the Caribbean island. For the second year, Trotman’s Charity Golf Outing will benefit the Never Lose Your Drive Foundation and the Headstart Music Program in Barbados.  

Top-lining the Barbados Jazz Excursion’s opening night marquee is Grammy-winning guitarist Norman Brown, who will share the bill with urban-jazz saxplayer Jeanette Harris and rising star bassist Julian Vaughn. Trotman & Friends, including Barbadian Alison Hinds - known as the Queen of Soca - will be presented in an outdoor setting on the afternoon of day two, concluding pre-sundown to give excursioners the entire evening to discover Barbados’ many dining and nightlife options. Sunday morning, the golfers will hit the wondrous and challenging greens of the Apes Hill Club. The Sunday evening bill will feature Grammy-nominated soul vocalist Will Downing, R&B-jazz saxophonist Marion Meadows and contemporary jazz keyboardist Brian Simpson. The weekend shall conclude with a late night all-star jam session.     
    
“Each year that we have produced the Barbados Jazz Excursion has been a learning experience. We want to ensure that our guests’ experience is better and better by presenting a topnotch lineup, amazing entertainment and first-class luxury accommodations. What gives the weekend more meaning and significance is that we have a nonprofit golf tournament attached thus the events are not just an opportunity to share my country, my culture and my story, but also an opportunity to introduce people to the charity I support that provides music education for elementary school students in Barbados,” said Trotman, who recently released his seventh album, “Electro Sax,” a collection that continues his commitment to incorporate authentic Caribbean sounds into a mix of contemporary jazz and R&B grooves.  

Introducing guests to Barbados has always been at the fore of Trotman’s festival weekend. With that in mind, this fall’s schedule and menu of excursions has been simplified to allow festivalgoers the flexibility to build their own itinerary along with the option to spend more time enjoying the array of amenities and plush accommodations at one of the three host resorts: The Crane, Hilton Barbados Resort and O2: Ocean Two. New for this year is that the Island Adventure Tour visiting scenic and historic locales is now included with the purchase of any festival package. Other exciting excursions on offer are the award-winning Atlantis Submarines Undersea Adventure; the Jolly Roger Lunch Party Cruise that serves up a sumptuous feast and world-famous Jolly Roger Rum Punch while observing sea creatures and sailing past sunken ships; exploring the natural wonders of Harrison’s Cave; and a chance to literally taste Barbados history at the Mount Gay Rum Distillery.
          
The beneficiary of the golf tournament that is expected to include several music and sports celebrity participants, Trotman’s Never Lose Your Drive Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that generates funds to support the Headstart Music Program in Barbados, which provides lessons and instruments to students at the beginner’s level.  
For more information or to purchase a Barbados Jazz Excursion package, please visit http://barbadosjazzexcursion.com/.    

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Monday, May 08, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - May 8, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
3 - 2 - Norman Brown - "Let It Go" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
4 - 4 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
5 - 6 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
6 - 5 - Marc Antoine - "Laguna Beach" - (Woodward Avenue)
7 - 8 - Lindsey Webster - "Back To Your Heart" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
8 - 9 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
9 - 10 - Peter White - "Groovin'" - (Heads Up/Concord)
10 - 7 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Prototype" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
11 - 11 - Brian Culbertson - "Funk!" - (BCM Entertainment)
12 - 14 - John Novello - "Ivory Soul" - (529 Music)
13 - 15 - Peet Project - "Rosy Cheeks" - (Beagle Beat Records)
14 - 12 - Michael Lington - "Second Nature" - (Copenhagen Music)
15 - 16 - Lawson Rollins - "3 Minutes To Midnight" - (Infinita Records)
16 - 18 - Cindy Bradley - "Natural" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
17 - 19 - Greg Manning - "Sugar & Spice" - (Kalimba)
18 - 13 - Steve Watson - "Playtime" - (WatsonWood)
19 - 23 - Doc Powell - "This Is Soul" - (DRP Music)
20 - 22 - Darren Rahn - "Sonic Boom" - (Woodward Avenue Records)


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Fatherhood has put saxophonist Jackiem Joyner in a funky mood #jazz

The spirited first single from the “Main Street Beat” album is named for his daughter, Trinity.
 
Delivering on his promise to “Evolve,” the title of Jackiem Joyner’s last soul-jazz album, the saxophonist became a father since his 2014 release, an elation-inducing experience that informs the music he wrote and produced for his new Artistry Music set, “Main Street Beat,” due June 30. The first single from the funky, dance inspiring, Motown-influenced session that will be shipped to radio this month is the exultant “Trinity,” named for Joyner’s first child whose presence on the track is voiced by Steve Oliver’s incandescent acoustic guitar. 
 
Joyner approached crafting “Main Street Beat” with a three-pronged purpose. “I wanted to create something upbeat, fun to listen to and something to dance to. ‘Main Street Beat’ originally started off as a straight funk record that eventually became some of that, but a whole lot more as I allowed the creative process to have its way with me,” said Joyner, a Billboard chart-topper who plays tenor, alto, soprano and baritone saxophone on the date, often enriching the tracks by laying layer upon layer of horns to form a powerhouse sax section.     
 
The exuberant album opener, “Main Street,” exemplifies the mighty wall-of-horns approach with Joyner playing lead harmonies on alto reinforced by his sax section. Instead of tracking individually, Joyner brought the band – drummer Raymond Johnson, bassist Darryl Williams, electric guitarist Kyle Bolden and piano player Carnell Harrell - into the studio to record six tracks old-school style, including “Back To Motown.” Nick Colionne guests on “When You Smile” to flash his cool electric jazz guitar on the infectious mid-tempo R&B cut. Taking his alto sax chops out for a strut, Joyner cranks up the band for a fiery funk romp down “Southside Boulevard,” one of three tunes that adds Nikolai Egorov’s trombone muscle to the horn section. On a pair of urban joints – “That Good Thing” and “Don’t Make Her Wait” – Joyner plays soprano sax. He takes full command on the stormy “Addicted,” playing every instrument heard on the moody number. “Think James Brown on tenor sax” is how Joyner describes the super funky “Get Down Street.” A pair of high-energy pop-R&B covers – Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” and Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” – complete the outing, songs Joyner elected to record based upon their buoyant, positive nature, which he says mirrors his young  offspring’s personality.    

“My little girl played a huge role in inspiring this album. Having Trinity around during the writing process sparked an enormous font of creativity and really kicked my writing into high gear. The first single, named after her, really captures the excitement and joy of being a dad as well as the exciting little girl that she is. Trinity was right there in the studio during a lot of the writing process. Her jumpy and bouncy upbeat little self is really reflected on this album,” said Joyner, who will launch the record with June concerts in Cincinnati (June 9 at A Celebration of Black Music), Birmingham (June 11 at Jazz in the Park), San Diego (June 25 at Mediterranean’s Jazz and Supper Club) and Philadelphia (June 29 at South).  
 
The release of “Main Street Beat,” Joyner’s sixth album, coincides with his tenth anniversary as a recording artist. His 2007 debut “Babysoul” earned Debut Artist of the Year honors from Smooth Jazz News. Two years later, his sophomore set, “Lil Man Soul,” spawned two No. 1 singles on the Billboard chart and won the Song of the Year trophy for “I’m Waiting For You” from the American Smooth Jazz Awards. His self-titled 2010 album solidified his position as a consistent hit-maker. Revisiting his non-secular roots, Joyner issued the gospel-jazz “Church Boy” in 2012. “Evolve” placed his infectious melodies amidst futuristic electronic sonicscapes. Joyner’s music isn’t his only creative effort that ventured into extraterrestrial territory. Last year, the Norfolk, Virginia native who resides near Los Angeles authored his first book, the science fiction novel “Zarya: Cydnus Final Hope (Book 1). For more information, please visit www.JackiemJoyner.com.
 
“Main Street Beat” contains the following songs:
 
“Main Street”
“Back To Motown”
“Can’t Stop The Feeling”
“Trinity”
“When You Smile”
“Southside Boulevard”
“That Good Thing”
“Treasure”
“Addicted”
“Don’t Make Her Wait”
“Get Down Street”

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Monday, May 01, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - May 1, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 3 - Norman Brown - "Let It Go" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
3 - 2 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
4 - 5 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
5 - 4 - Marc Antoine - "Laguna Beach" - (Woodward Avenue)
6 - 6 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
7 - 9 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Prototype" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
8 - 8 - Lindsey Webster - "Back To Your Heart" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
9 - 7 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
10 - 27 - Peter White - "Groovin'" - (Heads Up/Concord)
11 - 10 - Brian Culbertson - "Funk!" - (BCM Entertainment)
12 - 14 - Michael Lington - "Second Nature" - (Copenhagen Music)
13 - 11 - Steve Watson - "Playtime" - (WatsonWood)
14 - 12 - John Novello - "Ivory Soul" - (529 Music)
15 - 13 - Peet Project - "Rosy Cheeks" - (Beagle Beat Records)
16 - 15 - Lawson Rollins - "3 Minutes To Midnight" - (Infinita Records)
17 - 16 - Kayla Waters - "Apogee" - (Independent)
18 - 18 - Cindy Bradley - "Natural" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
19 - 21 - Greg Manning - "Sugar & Spice" - (Kalimba)
20 - 17 - Threestyle - "Road To Monterey" - (Welovemusic Records)


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Friday, April 28, 2017

Introducing Stokley set for June 23, 2017 release on Concord Records #jazz

After over two decades as the lead vocalist for the incomparable hit-making R&B band Mint Condition, singer and two-time GRAMMY Award nominee Stokley charters a new course with his breathtaking debut solo album Introducing Stokley, set for release on June 23, 2017 via Concord Records. Featuring guest appearances by the likes of GRAMMY-winning jazz pianist Robert Glasper and Estelle as well as some production from multi-platinum duo Carvin Haggins & Ivan Barias, Introducing Stokley is a refreshing artistic statement rooted in the soul music tradition from one of R&B’s most remarkable voices.
 
Hailing from the Minnesota twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Stokley was reared in a family that fostered a deep devotion to musical and cultural expression. Showing an affinity for the drums early on, he began seeking out opportunities in the fertile musical landscape of his environment. Coming of age at the peak of Minneapolis’ intense affair with the pop and R&B charts, the city was a virtual hotbed of talent in which Stokley would be groomed for imminent, monumental success. Surrounded by acts like the Time, the Jets and the omnipresent Prince and the Revolution, he began earning his stripes as a drummer and vocalist.
 
In the mid-1980s, Stokley became a founding member of what was the genesis of Mint Condition. After several years of gigs and paid dues, a stroke of serendipity saw the band cross paths with that of lauded multiplatinum producers and hometown heroes Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Fresh off the success of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, the two former members of the Time had just inked a deal with A&M Records to distribute their own label, Perspective Records. Jam & Lewis recruited Mint Condition to their label’s roster and released their debut album Meant to Be Mint in 1991.
 
The group soon found success in their now-classic single “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes).” The song broke through on the pop and R&B charts, reaching #6 on the Billboard 100 and #3 on the Billboard R&B chart and was eventually certified gold. In 1993, the band released its sophomore effort From the Mint Factory. The lead single “U Send Me Swingin’” hit #2 on the Billboard R&B chart and was a testament to the group’s intrinsic ability to craft sublime songs that crystalized contemporary R&B sensibilities with a live band aesthetic.
 
Continuing their winning streak, Mint Condition released Definition of a Band three years later. The album contained the Billboard Top 40 hit “What Kind of Man Would I Be,” which was also certified gold. Definition of a Band would also become the group’s first gold-certified album. Mint Condition signed with Elektra Records and released their fourth effort, Life’s Aquarium. The album produced yet another Billboard Top 40 hit for the group in the form of “If You Love Me.”
 
Following Life’s Aquarium, Mint Condition made the collective decision to continue on their journey by taking the reins of their career and young legacy by independently releasing subsequent efforts, the first of which being Livin’ the Luxury Brown, unveiled in 2005. As the group’s first self-released foray, the album reached #54 on the Billboard 200, #11 on the Billboard R&B chart, was #1 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart and was nominated for a Soul Train Music Award. Building on their newfound independent success, the group followed up with E-Life (2008), 7 (2011) and Music at the Speed of Life (2012). In 2017, Healing Season (2016) was GRAMMY-nominated for Best R&B Album.
 
Apart from his band dynamic, Stokley has been an in-demand session drummer and vocalist in the industry for quite some time, performing on recordings by artists such as Elton John, New Edition, Usher and the late Prince. Over the years, Stokley also began to expand his repertoire as a producer and featured vocalist. In 2011, Stokley co-produced and dueted with R&B recording artist Kelly Price on the hit “Not My Daddy.” The song reached #22 on the Billboard R&B chart and received two GRAMMY nominations in the categories of Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song. The following year, Stokley lent his vocals to a cover of the 2008 Mint Condition song “Why Do We Try” featured on Robert Glasper Experiment’s GRAMMY-winning Black Radio album.
 
Stokley also built bridges within the hip-hop community, appearing on projects by the likes of A Tribe Called Quest founding member Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Tech N9ne and Brother Ali. Fortifying his relationship with that community, he also co-produced several tracks on Maybach Music Group recording artist Wale’s critically acclaimed 2013 album The Gifted as well as his 2015 album The Album About Nothing—both of which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Stokley also fortified his ties to the jazz community with guest features on albums such as Brian Culbertson’s 2012 Verve Records release Dreams and the Billboard #1 best-selling Contemporary Jazz Record of 2015 by saxophonist Boney James entitled futuresoul.
 
And while Stokley was content with his band of brothers in Mint Condition as well as his outside collaborative endeavors, he realized that the time had come for him to embark on a musical voyage in a vessel meant for him to steer alone. Introducing Stokley finds the singer stepping into the spotlight, a vibrant portrait of an artist on a quest to cultivate a creative statement as an individual. The album offers listeners a fresh perspective of a dynamic voice that has resonated with core fans around the world for over two decades. “I’ve been gearing up for a minute,” he says. “My thirst has been building. And I’ve been moving at a great pace with Mint Condition. But I just want to take some time to move differently right now. I think one should experience everything life has to offer. And if you have a gift, and most of all the ambition, you should do it.”
 
Though he’d amassed several albums worth of material over the years, he knew his debut had to be special and was steadfast in pursuit of the goal to ensure the project was founded on a clean slate. “I got tired of just hearing my own voice,” says Stokley. “I didn’t want to feel too isolated. I wanted different textures. So I invited people to come in.” To that effect, he enlisted the efforts of Carvin Haggins & Ivan Barias. Responsible for the success and hits behind such multi-platinum acts as Musiq, Jill Scott, Ledesi and Faith Evans, the Philadelphia-based duo contribute to the fabric of Introducing Stokley in a way that superbly compliments Stokley’s mellifluous vocal style. “They’re like a young, East Coast Jimmy & Terry,” says Stokley. “They know the industry pretty well and also have kept their finger on the pulse of what’s happening musically over the years.”
 
Introducing Stokley also includes co-writing contributions from Sam Dew and Los Angeles-based songwriting group the A Team. “Putting all these different energies,” he reflects. “Collaboration is a great thing. It’s how you make the world work. I’m a musician at heart, so I wanted to pick people that are just incredible.”
 
The album’s groove-laden lead single “Level” finds Stokley wielding his mighty pen as a songwriter, weaving lyrics of affirmation over a propulsive rhythm guitar-driven track produced by Stokley. “We all seek to find someone or something that fits just right for us,” he says. “Everybody wants something that fits with them comfortably. Something on their level.”
 
The Haggins & Barias-produced “Organic” is a take on the human compulsion for acceptance and how individuality can be compromised in the pursuit. “I hear a lot of women particularly speaking about the concept of fitting in, with regard to styles, personalities,” he muses. “A lot of women think that’s what makes them more appealing, when it was actually better when they were just being themselves.” The singer notes that the title “Organic” is also a nod to his newly vegan lifestyle.
 
Partially inspired by current sociopolitical events and the deliberateness and critical commentary of Marvin Gaye’s landmark 1971 hit “What’s Going On,” “We/Me” finds Stokley reverberating with the times in an earnest yet piercing take on various sociopolitical state of affairs buoyed by undertones of the Motown sound. “It’s a social statement that takes a look at what’s going on around the world,” he says of the song. “I didn’t want to be preachy, but I knew I had to say something. When you’re taking in all this energy, you have to let it out somehow.”
 
“Art in Motion” (featuring Robert Glasper) is a wondrous, sonic hybrid of eras and production techniques. “I came up during a time when it was just about analog,” he says. “But I also love digital. I love new technology and new sounds. So here, I’m bridging a gap between these two worlds. The song has electronic elements as well as analog.”
 
Shifting gears, the dancehall-flavored, Stokley-produced “Wheels Up” exudes maximum island vibes and features Jamaican singer Omi (of the 2011 triple-platinum hit “Cheerleader”). “I grew up playing steel pan drums in a lot of reggae bands,” Stokley mentions. “So this is my ode to West Indian culture.” Apart from its festive flare, the song also extols the virtues of holding fast to one’s passion in life. “It’s about going for it,” he says. “Your dreams; your goals. We’ve only got one life. So do whatever it is that you were put here to do.”
 
It has been said that good things come to those who wait. Fans have been patiently biding their time in hopes of a solo project from the lead vocalist of one of the most important R&B bands of the past several decades. With the bowing of Introducing Stokley it’s safe to say the wait is over. “Artistically, I wanted to say something different and take it a few degrees away from what I’ve done in the past,” contemplates Stokley. “Obviously some of it is going to be familiar, because of my voice. I’ve just expanded my sensibilities a bit more. Introducing Stokley is a look at the past and the future. The fresh and the familiar.”

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Plugged In: Saxophonist Elan Trotman adds EDM beats to his Caribbean-jazz fusion #jazz

The “Electro Sax” album is released as the tropical “Island Gal’” prepares to charm radio.
Saxophonist Elan Trotman is unwavering in his committed to wave the flag high for Caribbean music, but after releasing six soul-jazz albums and more than ten chart-topping singles that made him a permanent fixture on radio playlists, the Barbados native is “shaking it up” by going electronic on “Electro Sax,” his seventh outing which was released last Friday (April 21) by Island Muzik Productions.
Seeking a “hip radio sound that will reach beyond the masses,” Trotman assembled a creative team of up-and-coming producers – Spardakis, P-Nut, Dr. O and Da Troof - who he met at Boston’s esteemed Berklee College of Music and tasked them with putting a fresh, modern twist on the eleven new tracks that he wrote for the collection. With electronic elements evident in the production of Trotman’s tenor and soprano sax and the adventurous EDM sonicscapes, the result is an energizing, dance-happy mix of impromptu jazz sax licks, kinetic dance beats and festive Caribbean rhythms. Adding nuances to the audacious alchemy are guitarists Wayne Jones, Freddie Fox and JJ Sansavarino, and steel pan player Kareem Thompson. The first single set to seduce radio is the reggae-infused “Island Gal’,” which spotlights Trotman on soprano sax on the cut he describes as having “a sexy vibe to it.” Prince fans will appreciate the balladic tribute “Purple Emotion” that closes the set. The session’s lone cover is a tropical, dance hall take of Walk The Moon’s infectious pop smash “Shut Up and Dance.”  
“’Electro Sax’ is a true representation of where I am at in my career. It’s modern sounding with prominent hints of the island. It’s also about branching out, reaching out by making good music for the masses. It’ll definitely ruffle feathers, but that is part of being an artist - pushing boundaries and perhaps establishing new ones,” said Trotman. “The ‘tropicality’ elements are part of who I am and I’m sticking with it. It’ll always be part of my sound and I believe in it. It is part of my brand and it’s authentic to my (Barbadian) roots.”
Trotman showcases and shares the culture of his homeland at his annual Barbados Jazz Excursion, slated to take place on the Caribbean island for the fourth time in October over Columbus Day Weekend (October 6-9, 2017). The saxman performs and hosts the music festival and golf tournament that benefits his nonprofit Never Lose Your Drive Foundation and the Head Start Music Program in Barbados. Slated to perform this year are R&B and contemporary jazz mainstays Will Downing, Norman Brown, Marion Meadows, Brian Simpson, Jeanette Harris and Julian Vaughn as well as the Queen of Soca, Alison Hinds.
   
Earning a full scholarship at Berklee College of Music from the government of Barbados, Trotman has lived in Boston ever since. Named the Jazz Artist of the Year on multiple occasions by the New England Urban Music Awards and the Barbados Music Awards, he debuted as a solo artist in 2009 with “This Time Around.” Subsequent albums featured collaborations with Grammy winners Kirk Whalum, Terri Lyne Carrington and Paul Brown as well as Downing, Peter White, Jeff Lorber, Cindy Bradley, Tony Terry and Simpson. Trotman has also guested on Billboard No. 1 hits by Meadows, Simpson, Vaughn, Greg Manning and Cal Harris. He’s a popular draw on the festival and club circuit. For more information, please visit www.ElanTrotman.com.
The songs on “Electro Sax” are:
“Happy Place”
“Electro Sax”
“Barbados Breeze”
“Island Gal’”
“Chill Cat”
“Shut Up and Dance”
“Up In The Clouds”
“orutrA”
“No Need For Trippin’”
“120 BPM”
“Move!”
“Purple Emotion”

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