1888 Media - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://www.jazzreview.com Tue, 23 May 2017 18:17:44 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Take 6 One http://www.jazzreview.com/free-jazz-mp3-downloads/take-6-one.html http://www.jazzreview.com/free-jazz-mp3-downloads/take-6-one.html Take 6 One
Ten-time Grammy and ten-time Dove winners, TAKE 6, (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley) have a lot to be grateful for as they celebrate their 25th Anniversary with the release of their new album One. There is only ONE quintessential acapella group and it's Take 6!

With the popularity of televised vocal competitions like the explosive a cappella show The Sing Off and the mania over singing driven comedy dramas like Glee, Take 6 is the original torchbearer for the first instrument. The ten-time Grammy and ten-time Dove winners, Take 6, (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley) celebrate their 25th Anniversary this year and have a lot to be grateful for. The distinguished Gospel/Jazz vocal group, heralded by Quincy Jones as the "baddest vocal cats on the planet!' are the quintessential acapella group and model for what vocal genius is.

Through the years they have won praise from such luminaries as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston. Any singer who aspires for vocal excellence cannot overlook the contributions these men have made to music. The multi-platinum selling sextet says of their longevity, "The glue for Take 6 is that we consider this a Ministry. We are God's group! We are also family in the sense that we care deeply about each other, and that helps keep us together. We have times when it gets tough, but we pull together because of the love we have for one another."

One is Take 6's first project without Cedric Dent, who retired from the group last year. "Cedric had taken a position with MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN) which didn't allow him to go out on the road during the school year and kind of limited him only to the weekends and that's if it worked for the schedule," says Kibble. "So we decided it was best to find a person to step in and cover him when he couldn't be there. We actually had a pool of three people we used over the years. Khristian Dentley was one of those people called on to step in. He did it beautifully and had a lot of energy. In standing in for Cedric, we were able to learn his personality and he was able to learn the music. After seven years, Cedric decided to go full time into academia and when he did, Khristian was already primed to step in behind him."

Dentley brings a multitude of skills to the mix. He programmed, co-wrote or co-arranged some of the songs such as "One," the soulful, block-party styled title song.  "Khristian was the visionary behind the music video for that song," says McKnight. It was shot at a private home outside of Los Angeles with about 40 Take 6 friends and family members. Stevie Wonder; Claude McKnight's little brother, crooner Brian McKnight; Lalah Hathaway, Lil Fizz from B2K and former pro football player Greg Gunther all make appearances in the video. "The video was all about getting together at a family styled barbecue and hanging out and just having fun," says Claude McKnight. "We invited some of our friends, we had some cameos. It was just a lot of fun."

The group also had fun recording One and considers it a return to their spiritual heritage. "We're pretty excited because this album is one of our first completely gospel-influenced albums," says McKnight. "It kind of takes us back to when we first started out. The touring that we're planning on doing will include a lot of churches and gospel-flavored venues. Interestingly enough, we've always toured Internationally because were basically a jazz group and we still have those elements on this album but lyrically it's a lot more gospel based. We really wanted to go back to our roots and to be a part of that and uplift people from that standpoint."

While they have dabbled with straight jazz and even adult R&B rhythms over the last decade, Take 6 dusts off Korean War-era gospel songs and injects them with a modern flair while maintaining their traditional quartet style of singing. Handclaps and a little percussion enliven The Selah Singers' 1952 tune, "Down Here I've Done My Best".

The hymn "Glorious Day" and the Jackie Verdell & Brother Joe May's 1962 cut, "You're Gonna Need Him," both get Pentecostal workouts but with a sophisticated polish. The ballads "Alleluia" and "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" are given tender arrangements that show off the group's layered harmonies. On "Noah," their voices simulate instruments to create the signature Take 6 sound. The mid-tempo tracks "In My Heart" and "Farther Along" boast minimal instrumentation and a lot of funky swagger.

Rounding out the set is the wistful tune, "Can't Imagine Love Without You," that includes a harmonica solo and lead vocals by Stevie Wonder. Take 6 first performed the song with Wonder on a BET Honors television special in 2010. "We just liked the way the song flowed and we liked how it felt," says Kibble. "We needed one more song for the CD and somebody made the suggestion that we should sing that song."

Take 6 has come a long way from their days at Huntsville, Alabama's Oakwood College where McKnight formed the group as The Gentleman's Estates Quartet in 1980. The group eventually became known as Alliance but when they signed to Reprise Records in 1987 they found that there was another group with the same name, so they became Take 6. Their self-titled debut CD won over jazz and pop critics and they've never slowed down.

A part of what has allowed the group to stay together as what has allowed the group to stay together as One is the group's willingness to let members do side projects. "It adds to the brand," Joey Kibble says. "You have six individuals that are interested in six different combinations of activities." Kibble is a motivational speaker and Alvin Chea does Voiceover & Session-singing on dozens of TV and Feature films as well as commercials. Two of the members have solo projects in the works, others produce outside acts and McKnight is working on a documentary. "It adds even more credibility to the group as a whole," Kibble adds. "That based on each individual further developing what they were called to do, then when you look at those entities making up this entire unit which is Take 6, the group is stronger because the individuals continue with their contributions and development of their own gifts."

So, what's next for Take 6 as a unit? "The next project we're going to work on I believe is going to be an orchestral project," says McKnight. "We've performed with orchestras but we've never done a fully orchestrated album so that's what we're working on to try and get the logistics for that. One of the key things we're really looking at is almost reintroducing, in a way, Take 6 to our domestic audience. We've done so much International touring that I think there are core fans of ours who may, in fact, not know that we're still around so that will be kind of a cool thing to be like, 'Hey, we're here! Check us out.'"

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (1888 Media) Free Jazz MP3 Downloads Tue, 01 May 2012 17:44:06 -0500
Incognito Goodbye To Yesterday Radio Edit http://www.jazzreview.com/free-jazz-mp3-downloads/incognito-goodbye-to-yesterday-radio-edit.html http://www.jazzreview.com/free-jazz-mp3-downloads/incognito-goodbye-to-yesterday-radio-edit.html "Goodbye To Yesterday" is the debut single from Incognito's 15th album Surreal. Bandleader Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick recalls the genesis of the song, "Goodbye To Yesterday" featuring Mo Brandis, who also co-wrote and co-produced the track with me, was the by-product of two creative minds a generation apart, proves that great melodies and well crafted lyrics hold the key to creations that have a timeless quality to them. This song could have easily been sung by Steve Winwood in the 60's, Stevie Wonder in the 70's, Michael Jackson in the 80's, George Michael in the 90's. The catchy horn lines arranged…

A SURREAL INTRODUCTION
By Bluey of Incognito

Say the word surreal and various things come to mind - dreamlike, unreal, fantastic, odd, bizarre or even weird. For me the experiences leading to the final outcome of Incognito's fifteenth studio album have been an amalgamation of all these synonyms and expressions!

We have our own sound and we have a fan base worldwide, but this was not the time to sit on our laurels or cut corners to compete in a struggling market place, nor was it time to just do just enough to get by. For each one of us taking part in the making of Surreal this was our chance to make bold statements, hone in our skills, dig deep into our creative souls and produce a body of work that we would all be extremely proud of. Job done!

On the 19th of February 2012 the album was completed and it was an incredible sensation to ride with the band with the tracks blasting out of the car stereo system.  It's one thing to have lived with these songs for several months in the studio, but the true satisfaction comes from enjoying the songs without critically analyzing them.

Unlike the last album apart from the welcome appearance of my awesome musical muse Maysa and a few special guest musicians, this was a real band effort with most of the material performed by the current touring band.  My focus from day one was song writing. From 50 songs down to 30, and then to 25 solid recordings and finally to the chosen 14 that makes Surreal.

From the thunderous opening of the very funky bass driven "The Less You Know," co-produced and co-written by our bass player Francis Hylton. Maysa delivers like only she can with a sweetness that is not only contrasting to the heavy rhythm but with a tonal delivery that combines to create something totally fresh and unique. Maysa is also featured on "Capricorn Sun," a song which I had written on my guitar after reflecting on a friend's ongoing battles with his Capricorn partner. The song is given greater expression by Maysa's outstanding voice.

From the moment I played "Goodbye To Yesterday," to my band, my manager, my family and our various international record companies, I got the same response... "That's the first single" they all chimed!  Co-written and co-produced by the band's new wonder kid, Mo Brandis, this song has had an amazing effect on everybody involved in the Incognito machinery. If there is a young vocalist that can deliver on both sides as a modern R&B vocalist and a soulful old school crooner - it is Mo! This song and "Don't Wanna Know," came from one the most enjoyable co-writing sessions I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of.
The last of his three cuts "This Must Be Love" came from a band collaborative effort in early 2011. I had written the lyrics as and expression of gratitude for the presence of love in my life.

Song writing is such a personal thing and lyric writing, in particular,  is something that I have always felt uneasy with when collaborating. This was indeed not the case on this album, first with Mo and then with Natalie (Williams). I felt strength in sharing ideas and formulating stories and real joy in the structure of the melodies. "Above The Night" was the first of three songs featuring Natalie Williams and it still blows me away every time I hear it. I first became aware of Natalie when we played Ronnie Scott's and she was the lead vocalist of the house band. My first reaction was "She is amazing, what can we do to get this super busy bee (She is the most in demand vocalist in London) to join the band. With the help of our intrepid musical director Matt Cooper, who was also part of this writing partnership, we began a pressure group that she finally relented to.  "Restless As We are" and the sparse 70's rhythm box inspired Bossa Nova "The Stars From Here," are the other cuts featuring Natalie.

If there was ever one person that you need in your corner to deliver massive vocal performances throughout heavy touring schedules and time constricted studio sessions, it is Vanessa Haynes. "Ain't It Time," "Don't Break Me Down" and "To Be With You" are three fine examples of her incredible power and subtlety. Her naturally giving nature is reflected in each of her performances. There is a smile on my face whenever Vanessa is around and now listening to her cuts on this album, I realize that the smile will be there whenever I listen to these songs!

Surreal's penultimate track, "The Way You Love," is collaboration with my dear friend and Incognito contributor Richard Bull, and as can be expected, his drum grooves and his bass lines dominate the proceedings, creating a muscular platform for the unison vocals to dance on.

Jazz funk hardcore Incognito fans will be happy to hear that my passion for the music that shaped my musical career is on display in the form of two driving instrumentals "Rivers On The Sun," complete with solos and a superb horn arrangement, and "Thoughtful Fantasies," a nod to our beloved Brazilian Funk with all horns blazing, percussion break and everything!

To complete the package, I turned to West London's highly creative graphic designer, Mitchy Bwoy, which has resulted in the album's vibrant and distinctive look. The great surrealist painter Salvador Dali once said, "At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since."
With this album another part of my ambition has been realized... I'm a lucky fellow!

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (1888 Media) Free Jazz MP3 Downloads Thu, 05 Apr 2012 20:00:58 -0500
Modern Jug Band SANKOFA To Release The Uptown Strut On March 27th Via Kingswood Records http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/modern-jug-band-sankofa-to-release-the-uptown-strut-on-march-27th-via-kingswood-records.html http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/modern-jug-band-sankofa-to-release-the-uptown-strut-on-march-27th-via-kingswood-records.html Modern Jug Band SANKOFA To Release The Uptown Strut On March 27th Via Kingswood Records
15-Track Album Features Dom Flemons of Carolina Chocolate Drops, Canadian Singers Allison Russell & Ndidi Onukwulu, Blues Hall of Fame Inductee Professor Louie And John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful. The Uptown Strut Showcases The Original Composition "If Wishes Were Gold" and Includes Reinterpretations of Songs by Sly Stone, Ray Charles, Jimmy Cliff, Minnie Wallace, Charlie McCoy, Bessie Smith and Louis Jordan.

New York, NY: In February 2006, Sankofa Strings, a progressive collective comprised of percussionist Sule Greg Wilson along with multi-instrumentalist Dom Flemons and singer Rhiannon Giddens, from the Grammy-Award Winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, were taped in concert for inclusion in the award-winning jug band documentary Chasin' Gus' Ghost, a film which chronicles a worldwide quest to assemble a comprehensive lineage to Gus Cannon, a seminal figure in the history of American music.

In the 1920s, Gus helmed Cannon's Jug Stompers, one of America's premiere jug bands, whom regularly delighted rambunctious sold-out crowds from Alabama to New York with a showstopper called  "Minglewood Blues". Four decades later, the era-defining tune was re-christened as "New, New Minglewood Blues," appearing on the 1967 debut album by a Bay-area jug band called the Grateful Dead.

Duly impressed by Sankofa Strings and their refreshing melting pot of century-old traditional string band music, jazz, folk and blues coated in the context of modern arrangement, Chasin' Gus' Ghost Producer/director Todd Kwait offered the band an opportunity to record an album at Nevessa Production in Woodstock, NY, a studio that specializes in recording acoustic orchestras. Three years later, the group took Kwait up on his offer.

Along with original Sankofa Strings members Flemons and Wilson (Giddens had just given birth to her first child and could not make the sessions), The Uptown Strut took shape in the summer of 2009 with the esteemed vocal ambiance of Canadian singers, Ndidi Onukwulu and Allison Russell, whom gracefully take turns up front while also augmenting one another. Dom and Sule Greg are also interspersed throughout as lead vocal captivators.

Joining the groundbreaking ensemble for their historical exploration was John Sebastian, founder of the Lovin' Spoonful, a Rock 'N Roll Hall Fame Inductee immensely popular in the late '60s that drew inspiration from and paid tribute to jug band music, and pianist Professor Louie, a recent Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, whom fondly remembers the spirited sessions, "While working together in the studio, I realized that all the members of Sankofa have a very deep understanding of music and heritage. As the sessions went on, I felt we all had the same love and understanding of this music."

From Pandeiro and Bodhran drums to accordion and maracas to kazoo and tambourine to jugs, bones and washboard, The Uptown Strut deftly glides the gamut of instrumentation with Sebastian adding banjo to the Jimmy Cliff classic "Sitting In Limbo" and Baritone guitar and harmonica on the exquisite "If Wishes Were Gold" with a sultry lead vocal by Allison Russell.

Mining further precious metals, The Strut saddles up at a sonic hookah as Sebastian and Professor Louie hydroponically blend with Wilson and Flemons on "Weed Smoker's Dream," a sophisticated traipse of the Harlem Hamfats tune from 1936 that clocks out at exactly four minutes and 20 seconds after an extended exhale of Cab Calloway's "Minnie The Moocher".

Further 420-friendly cuts include a Gospel-infused re-working of Ray Charles' number one hit "Let's Go Get Stoned," with a soul-baring lead vocal by Ndidi Onukwulu, "What's The Use of Getting Sober," Louie Jordan's first number one hit in 1942, and the 1930s-era Dixieland roll of "Don't You Make Me High" set to sail by a sublime melody on clarinet.

Other storied sign posts in downtown Uptown are "The Old Folks Started It," a take on the 1929 Minnie Wallace tune which also references Shelton Brooks' 1917 hit "Darktown Strutter's Ball," "Sing Sing Prison Blues," a nod to Bessie Smith's 1924 recording and a, literally, bare-boned rendition of "Jump Jim Crow," an early American treasure originally "collected" by blackface minstrel Thomas "Daddy" Rice in 1828.

Gearing up for a March 27th release on Kwait's Kingswood Records, the group dropped "Strings" from its moniker to put focus on the aesthetic beauty and prescient meaning of "Sankofa," a word in the Akan language of Ghana that translates in English to "go back and get it" (san - to return; ko - to go; fa - to look, to seek and take). It is often associated with the proverb, "Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi," which translates "It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten".

Visually represented by an Adinkra symbol of a bird with its head turned backwards taking an egg off its back, Sankofa symbolizes one taking from the past what is good and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress through the benevolent use of knowledge.

Emboldened by a confident uptown strut, the majestic bird of Sankofa faces forward toward the enlightened to boldly fly high into the musical future.


Sankofa

The Uptown Strut
1. The Old Folks Started It (ft. Dom Flemons & John Sebastian)
2. Ha-Ha Blues (ft. Ndidi Onukwulu)
3. Weed Smoker's Dream (ft. Sule Greg Wilson & John Sebastian)
4. If Wishes Were Gold (ft. Allison Russell & John Sebastian)
5. It's A Good Thing (ft. Dom Flemons & John Sebastian)
6. Can't Stain My Brain (ft. Ndidi Onukwulu)
7. I Can Tell The World About This (ft. Allison Russell)
8. Brown Skin Girl (ft. Sule Greg Wilson)
9. What's The Use of Getting Sober? (ft. Sule Greg Wilson)
10. Jump Jim Crow (ft. Sule Greg Wilson)
11. Sing Sing Prison Blues (ft. Allison Russell)
12. Sitting In Limbo (ft. Sule Greg Wilson, Ndidi Onukwulu & John Sebastian)
13. Don't You Make Me High (ft. Allison Russell)
14. You Got Me Rollin' (ft. Dom Flemons & John Sebastian)
15. Let's Go Get Stoned (ft. Ndidi Onukwulu)

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (1888 Media) Press Releases Fri, 23 Mar 2012 00:36:54 -0500
On October 25, Kim Waters, The Chart-Topping King Of Smooth Urban Jazz, Returns With New CD This Heart Of Mine http://www.jazzreview.com/new-jazz-releases/on-october-25-kim-waters-the-chart-topping-king-of-smooth-urban-jazz-returns-with-new-cd-this-heart-of-mine.html http://www.jazzreview.com/new-jazz-releases/on-october-25-kim-waters-the-chart-topping-king-of-smooth-urban-jazz-returns-with-new-cd-this-heart-of-mine.html A One Man Band, Kim Waters Plays Virtually Every Instrument On New CD Creating A Powerful New Duet With Calvin Richardson, Timeless Originals & Reinventing Hits By R. Kelly, Alicia Keys and Jay-Z

 

Kim Waters has been heralded as “simply one of the planet’s best saxophonists” by Jazz Times Magazine and touted as a “romantic pied piper” by The Washington Post. Waters has built an impressive and enviable career giving his fans what they want, along the way garnering praise from critics and fans alike and becoming one of the top five best-selling instrumentalists in jazz. His winning combination of sensitivity and brawn, intellect and emotion, coupled with his technique and soulfulness have helped him to score over thirteen #1 hits and over 20 Top 10 hits.

Everyone from Al Green and Isaac Hayes to Phyllis Hyman, Kenny Lattimore and Teddy Riley and Guy have tapped his creative genius. In the Summer of 2011, Waters also had a song featured in the movie Larry Crowne starring Oscar winning actors Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks.

Never one to rest on his laurels, the prolific saxophonist is constantly creating. “When I am in the studio there’s got to be a perfect mixture of romance, groove, melody and catchy hooks that are both memorable and singable. If the music is right it can appeal to both a two year old and a 90 year old!” confesses Waters. For the debonair, laid back and talented multi-instrumentalist, music is simply a way of life. “It is always my hope that my music will be a vehicle to touch and inspire people in some kind of way.”

A trendsetter, Kim Waters was one of the first instrumentalists to break on the Quiet Storm radio scene garnering airplay around the country. He has long been admired for his unparalleled ability to combine the finer elements of Jazz, R&B and Hip Hop. “The industry has changed drastically since I came on the scene in the 80's. There were no ‘Smooth Jazz’ radio stations when I first started out and so my music was embraced on Urban and Urban AC stations,” explains Kim. “For me the fusion of jazz with R&B is natural because I have listened to, loved and studied both all of my life.”

On October 25, 2011, Kim Waters will release his 17th album as a leader and tenth for Shanachie Entertainment, This Heart Of Mine, which artfully showcases why he has long held the throne as the King of Smooth Urban Jazz. This Heart Of Mine finds the saxophonist doing what he does best -- creating dreamy melodies, sultry ballads, reinventing timeless R&B hits and playing funky dance-inspired and hot stepper originals. Waters brings to life a tapestry of love songs that explores the full range of emotions that love sparks.

Like Prince, Marvin Gaye and D’Angelo, Kim Waters is a wizard in the studio and musically blessed with the ability to play multiple instruments. Kim is a one man band and plays virtually every instrument heard on This Heart Of Mine, from the saxophones to keyboards, guitar, drums, bass and vocals. The CD opens with the soulful and inviting “Heart Seeker,” which shines light on Waters’ undeniable knack for crafting unforgettable melodies and songs that take you on a journey.

The album’s first single “Free Fall,” reunites Waters with celebrated producer Davy D. The dynamic duo joined forces for the #1 hit song “Water Fall” from Kim’s 2002 recording Someone to Love You. “Working with Davy D comes very easy because he has this amazing ability to create incredible tracks,” says Kim. “Once he creates the beats I then add my own jazz vibe and the result always turns into something amazing! Davy D is great at everything he does.”

A highlight on This Heart Of Mine is the sublime Kim Waters ballad “Am I A Fool,” featuring several-time Grammy nominated Soul Prince, Calvin Richardson. The duo also has a stunning new video that takes the song to new heights. “‘Am I a Fool’ is a song that I wrote about a man who is so in  love with his woman that he let's her run all over him and take advantage of his kindness,” explains Kim. “I have witnessed this with several friends and was inspired to write this song.”

“Am I A Fool” has all the ingredients for a hit at urban radio. In recent years Waters has garnered a new fan base recording such diverse projects as The Sax Pack (with fellow saxophonists Jeff Kashiwa and Steve Cole) and his own Streetwize and Tha’ Hot Club CDs that are known for their clever re-workings of the hottest hip hop, R&B and reggae hits on the radio. On This Heart Of Mine, Waters does a hot buttery soul rendition of the R. Kelly ballad “Love Letter” as well as takes on the Alicia Keys and Jay-Z smash hit “Empire State of Mind.” The latter features Kim Waters’ wife and vocalist Dana Pope, who is also featured on the Streetwize recordings. “I decided to record ‘Love Letter’ and ‘Empire State of Mind’ because I am a fan of both R. Kelly and Alicia Keys. Both of these songs have true messages. ‘Love Letter’ is an open expression of love that I can relate to while ‘Empire State of Mind’ offers an inspirational message of hope and the fulfillment of dreams.”

No Kim Waters CD would be complete without his trademark - get your groove on - dance floor anthems. Songs like the uplifting and in-the-pocket “The Groove’s Alright,” “Running To Love” and Waters’ ode to dedicated Steppers around the country, “Step to This,” demonstrate the saxophonist’s delicate balance of jazzy grooves with R&B flavor. Waters once again hits the mark with his seductive ballads “I Love My Girl” and “Stay With Me Tonight.” He penned “Double Two Love” for his musically gifted twin daughters, Kimberly and Kayla. “Being a Dad is the most important job and my family is my main inspiration,” confides Kim. “Kimberly and Kayla are the key to my heart and they inspire me to continue to create my music and keep it fresh. They are truly angels. Even though they are 21 years old this year, they will always be my little girls. ‘Double Two Love’ is my way to express my love for them through music and gives them something to share with their friends and family forever!”

Through the years Kim Waters has proven that he knows a thing or two about love. Just take a look at the titles of his hit Shanachie albums over the last decade and you can see love is a recurring theme: Love’s Melody (1998), One Special Moment (1999), From The Heart (2001), Someone to Love You (2002), In the Name of Love (2004), All For Love (2005), You Are My Lady (2007), I Want You: Love in the Spirit of Marvin (2008) and Love Stories (2010).

Inspired by such jazz luminaries as Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, George Duke, George Benson, Cannonball and Grover Washington, saxophonist Kim Waters was born into a musical family. The Maryland native picked up his first instrument, the violin, at the age of eight. "That didn't go over well with the fellas," says Waters, who later found his calling on the alto and soprano saxophones at 13. Shortly afterwards he began playing in a band with his brothers, James (who he still performs with) and Eric, and his old friend, pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Over the years, Kim Waters has been called on to perform with or open shows for the best including Al Green, Isaac Hayes, Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Riley and Guy, and Gerald Albright to name a few. Waters recently relocated to Sacramento, California from his longtime home in Aberdeen, Maryland.

This Heart Of Mine is sure to further endear old Kim Waters fans and bring new ones to the forefront. It is confirmation that Kim Waters has rightfully been crowned the King of Smooth Urban Jazz and that he is here to stay! Waters concludes, “I enjoy helping others and it is my hope that my music in some way brings positivity to the world. I believe that the world cannot live without new music. I know I can’t!”

Press Quotes:
He is the pied piper of smooth jazz.” Upscale Magazine
"Waters is simply one of the planet’s best saxophonists." Jazz Times
“The man can play….he continues to add a sense of sensibility to the smooth-jazz airwaves.” Jazziz
“Kim Waters has a flair for composing seductive melodies. He is like a romantic pied piper out on a long evening stroll.” The Washington Post

Kim Waters
This Heart Of Mine

  1. Heart Seeker
  2. Free Fall
  3. Am I A Fool (ft. Calvin Richardson)
  4. Empire State Of Mind (Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys cover)
  5. The Groove’s Alright
  6. Step To This
  7. I Love My Girl
  8. Love Letter (R. Kelly cover)
  9. Stay With Me Tonight
  10. Running To Love
  11. Double Two Love


Musicians:
Kim Waters – All instruments, saxophones and background vocals
Dana Pope – All female lead and background vocals
Allen Hinds – Guitars
Tim Maia – Background vocals on Love Letter
Calvin Richardson – Lead vocals on Am I A Fool

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (1888 Media) New Jazz Releases Thu, 20 Oct 2011 15:02:50 -0500
Wynton Marsalis And Eric Clapton Play The Blues - Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center http://www.jazzreview.com/new-jazz-releases/wynton-marsalis-and-eric-clapton-play-the-blues-live-from-jazz-at-lincoln-center.html http://www.jazzreview.com/new-jazz-releases/wynton-marsalis-and-eric-clapton-play-the-blues-live-from-jazz-at-lincoln-center.html Wynton Marsalis And Eric Clapton Play The Blues
Reprise Records Presents Highlights From The Duo's Unprecedented, Sold-Out Jazz at Lincoln Center Performances; Also Features Special Guest Appearance By Taj Mahal

LOS ANGELES – New York City's premier jazz venue got the blues last April when Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton performed together in Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center for two sold-out shows dedicated to vintage blues. The extraordinary collaboration, billed as Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues, paired these musical virtuosos with members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as they brought to life a repertoire of songs selected by Clapton and arranged by Marsalis.

Reprise Records captures the magic of these unprecedented shows from earlier this year on CD and as a CD/DVD combo that both feature selections taken from the two public concerts (April 8-9), as well a special performance for Jazz at Lincoln Center's annual gala (April 7). Wynton Marsalis And Eric Clapton - Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center will be available September 13 at physical and digital retail outlets for suggested list prices of $18.98 (CD), $24.98 (CD/DVD) and $9.99 (digital; audio only). The DVD will also feature a bonus performance of the classic "Stagger Lee" from legendary bluesman Taj Mahal's opening solo set for these special shows.

Marsalis, Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and nine-time Grammy® Award winner, writes about his collaboration with Clapton, a 19-time Grammy recipient, in the album's liner notes: "...we wanted these concerts to sound like people playing music they know and love, not like a project."

To help them achieve that level of devotion, Marsalis and Clapton were joined on stage by Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass), Ali Jackson (drums), Marcus Printup (trumpet), Victor Goines (clarinet), Chris Crenshaw (trombone, vocals), Don Vappie (banjo) and Clapton's longtime keyboardist/sideman Chris Stainton. Marsalis says the group combined the sound of an early blues jump-band with the sound of New Orleans jazz to accommodate the integration of guitar/trumpet lead, a combination that gave the musicians the latitude to play different grooves, from the Delta to the Caribbean and beyond.

The band nimbly navigated a diverse set list that touched on different styles, from the four-on-the-floor swing of Louis Armstrong's "Ice Cream" and the southern slow-drag of W.C. Handy's "Joe Turner's Blues" to the traveling blues of "Joliet Bound" and the boogie-woogie jump of "Kidman Blues." After opening the shows with his solo set, Mahal returned to join the band on "Corrine, Corrina" and the New Orleans funeral standard "Just A Closer Walk With Thee."

The one song not selected by Clapton for the show was his own "Layla," which was requested by bassist Henriquez and arranged as a Crescent City dirge to tremendous results. On his review of the performance, David Fricke of Rolling Stone wrote: "In the [song's] instrumental break, Clapton hit a series of stabbing licks lightly crusted with distortion, followed by Marsalis' slow parade of clean hurting peals – a moving dialogue in lovesickness and blues routes."

Wynton Marsalis And Eric Clapton Play The Blues

Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center

CD and DVD Track Listing

1. "Ice Cream" (Louis Armstrong)

2. "Forty-Four" (Howlin' Wolf)

3. "Joe Turner's Blues" (W.C. Handy)

4. "The Last Time" (Louis Armstrong)

5. "Careless Love" (Bessie Smith)

6. "Kidman Blues" ("Big Maceo" Merriweather)

7. "Layla" (Eric Clapton)

8. "Joliet Bound" ("Kansas Joe" McCoy/"Memphis Minnie" McCoy)

9. "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" (ft. Taj Mahal) [Traditional]

10. "Corrine, Corrina" (ft. Taj Mahal) [Bo Chatmon/Mitchell Parish]

Bonus Track on DVD-only: "Stagger Lee" by Taj Mahal

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (1888 Media) New Jazz Releases Tue, 06 Sep 2011 15:38:27 -0500
Iconic Singer-Songwriter Michael Franks Releases Video For The Title Track From His New Album Time Together http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/iconic-singer-songwriter-michael-franks-releases-video-for-the-title-track-from-his-new-album-time-together.html http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/iconic-singer-songwriter-michael-franks-releases-video-for-the-title-track-from-his-new-album-time-together.html “Time Together” Is A Tribute To His Beloved Dog Flora. Franks Is Donating Royalties From The Song To Hearts United For Animals

Michael Franks With Flora


Michael Franks, the ever-artful singer-songwriter and harvester of the most delectable musical passion fruit known to distingué lovers, recently released his 18th offering, Time Together, his first for Shanachie, and first since 2006's Rendezvous in Rio

Following the success of the album’s lead single/video “Now That The Summer’s Here” (feat. Eric Marienthal), Franks chose to highlight the album’s sublime title track, a touching tribute to his beloved dog Flora, as a follow-up. “Time Together” features Gil Goldstein on piano, Romero Lubambo on guitar, Greg Cohen on bass and Rogerio Boccato on percussion and is dedicated to anyone who has lost a much loved companion. Royalties from the song will be donated to the national animal welfare organization Hearts United For Animals in Flora's memory. Michael, recently, spent some “time together” with NPR Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon recalling memories about Flora while also sharing stories about the other cuts on the new album. Soon thereafter the airing, the album shot to #1 on both the iTunes and Amazon jazz charts.


Suitably inspired and languorous, the 11-song Time Together unfolds like a grown folks summer vacation - worldly word travels from New York to Paris and Egypt via Samba Air…without leaving your Adirondack lounge chair. Production/Arranging duties were split between past collaborators Charles Blenzig (Franks' Musical Director and keyboardist on the road), Gil Goldstein, Chuck Loeb, and Scott Petito, plus one from fretless bassist Mark Egan. With a choice cast of players that includes: guitarist David Spinozza, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, brass men Till Bronner (from Germany) and Alex Sipiagin (from Russia), drummer Billy Kilson, guitarist Romero Lubambo (from Brazil), and his faithful singer from the road Veronica Nunn (who recorded an entire album of his work last year titled The Art of Michael Franks), the soulfully singular jazz artisan shares another thoughtful collection of penetrating poetry and groove guaranteed to arouse and soothe.

Thematically, Time Together is part travelogue and part autobiography with a taste of socio-political observation. “Summer In New York,” is a musical travel brochure, setting up a hip east coast swing itinerary to the modern pulse of a lounge club mix tape, while “Samba Blue,” is a sexy-sax-and-guitar-kissed reminiscence of a “foreign affair” (with his wife, Claudia) in Paris. 

Similarly, “I'd Rather Be Happy Than Right,” is sage advice set to a soundtrack like Wes Montgomery meets Tom Jobim, while “My Heart Said Wow” is a short but sweet shing-a-ling swing lover’s treat. The dreamy summer's end meditation “If I Could Make September Stay,” with adoring bows to ornithology and a piano-shadowing-guitar intro that brings to mind early Joni Mitchell, will keep enchanted fans mooning in front of their picture windows for several rounds on repeat. And those are just the lighter tunes.

Charlie Chan in Egypt,” marks the first time since 1987's “The Camera Never Lies,” that Franks has wrestled a live-wire socio-political topic, this one sorting out his unease with America's foreign policies and presence in other countries. Michael muses, “Our policy has been so destructive of everything we consider to be part of our national identity. These wars… these terrible misadventures that we are involved in …have been ruinous in terms of screwing up young people who don't have the means to rebound, even if they do come home in one piece…and for what? I'm a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut (author of the classic Slaughterhouse 5), especially his posthumous Man Without A Country. He'd seen some really heavy stuff in World War II, like the bombing of Dresden, which he actually lived through as a POW. Having been a veteran, his point of view was that all wars are ill advised and they’re morality questionable. The fact that we are now engaged in unprovoked aggression… it seems like such a strange thing for us to be doing. I know that there have been times in our history when we have done things that fall into that category, but you'd hope that, over time, we would have learned something… The analogy of ‘Charlie Chan in Egypt’ - which I watched on Turner Classic Movies - is that Charlie would be ‘out of it’ in New York or London...but when he goes to Cairo to solve a crime, his confusion is exponentially magnified. I really related to that image.”

Equally revealing is “A Day in St. Tropez” in which Michael recounts an early `60s sojourn to hitchhike through Europe during his college years. “In my sophomore year at UCLA, I took the whole spring semester off to do this, which freaked my parents out! I outfitted myself with a backpack and a lightweight Martin parlor guitar, and spent 6 months there - the greatest experience. The little money I had went so far. I stayed in youth hostels and hitchhiked. Americans were actually liked in those years. You would go to places and in a shop window see a picture of JFK. In the song I talk about how I got picked up by these people going to a party in (bombshell actress) Brigitte Bardot's villa. It was so great to have that guitar. I spoke decent French then, but even if I couldn't speak the other languages, I could tell they just wanted me to pull out my guitar. I knew so few things back then but I'd play ‘Satin Doll,’ a couple of Jobim things and other songs I learned from my parents' jazz records. I hadn't begun writing my own songs yet. Fast forward, my band went to Europe last summer. We had a date in Paris and a date in Monaco with three days in between…which was ideal for me. When we got to Nice, I was Skyping with my mother and stepfather back in Florida, and started thinking back to my 60's hitchhiking experience and that's when the song came.”

Like James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon, Michael Franks possesses a unique gift for dreaming up eloquent literary imagery and combining it with the right musical accents to create timeless masterpieces. With his signature laidback vocalizing and sexy/witty/cool songwriting, Michael Franks is a musician’s musician whose music has been covered by everyone from Ringo Starr, Patti LaBelle, and Carmen McCrae to Natalie Cole and Diana Krall.

In addition to composing music and writing poetry, Franks supports his local Humane Society and continues to perform selectively around the globe with shows scheduled for the remainder of the year.

Tour Dates:
Sep 30 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley (7:30 & 9:30)
Oct 01 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley (7:30 & 9:30)
Oct 02 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley (7:30)
Nov 10 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere
Nov 11 - Annapolis, MD - The Rams Head
 
Touring personnel:
     Charles Blenzig - Piano
     Jay Anderson - Bass
     Mark Egan / Sean Conly - Bass
     David Mann - Sax & Flute
     Willard Dyson - Drums
     Veronica Nunn - Vocals

Michael Franks Time Together














Michael Franks
Time Together
1. Now That The Summer's Here (ft. Eric Marienthal)
2. One Day In St. Tropez
3. Summer in New York
4. Mice (ft. Beth Nielsen Chapman)
5. Charlie Chan In Egypt
6. I'd Rather Be Happy Than Right
7. Time Together (ft. Gil Goldstein)
8. Samba Blue (ft. Eric Marienthal)
9. My Heart Said Wow (ft. Veronica Nunn)
10. If I Could Make September Stay
11. Feathers From An Angel's Wing

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (1888 Media) Press Releases Tue, 16 Aug 2011 17:51:00 -0500
Japanese Instrumentalist Keiko Matsui Debuts Music Video For The Title Track From Her Album The Road... http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/japanese-instrumentalist-keiko-matsui-debuts-music-video-for-the-title-track-from-her-album-the-road.html http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/japanese-instrumentalist-keiko-matsui-debuts-music-video-for-the-title-track-from-her-album-the-road.html Visionary Japanese Instrumentalist Keiko Matsui Debuts Music Video For The Title Track From Her Album The Road... Second Leg Of U.S. Tour Runs August Through October With A Special Guest Performance Aboard The Dave Koz Alaskan Cruise With over a million and a half albums sold and sold out concerts around the globe, keyboardist Keiko Matsui is a citizen of the world and one of the brightest stars in instrumental music. Earlier this year, Shanachie Entertainment released Keiko Matsui’s The Road…, her 22nd album and a follow-up to her acclaimed 2007 South African inspired Moyo.

With over a million and a half albums sold and sold out concerts around the globe, keyboardist Keiko Matsui is a citizen of the world and one of the brightest stars in instrumental music.

Earlier this year, Shanachie Entertainment released Keiko Matsui’s The Road…, her 22nd album and a follow-up to her acclaimed 2007 South African inspired Moyo. Building on the success of the album’s first single “Affirmation,” featuring Kirk Whalum on saxophone, Ms. Matsui recently filmed a sublime music video for the majestic title track which features another preeminent sax player, Jackiem Joyner. Directed by Phil Lee, the video showcases breathtaking aerial views of Keiko playing a white grand piano in the Mojave desert along the outskirts of Palmdale, CA.

The lush impressionistic choreography in the video for The Road... echoes Keiko’s visionary musical ability throughout the album of the same name as she exhibits a natural affinity for melody while effortlessly transcending boundaries; borrowing from such diverse idioms as jazz, classical, rock, blues, traditional music of the world and beyond. From the elegant opener “Secret Pond” to the evocative free-form flight of “Falcon’s Wing,” which shines light on the pianist’s classical influences, to the lilting cool of “Embrace & Surrender,” featuring veteran drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, to her co-writing collaborations with revered Cameroonian bassist/guitarist/vocalist/producer Richard Bona (Pat Metheny, Bobby McFerrin, Zawinul Syndicate) on both the spirited dance-inducing “Nguea Wonja” (which means to ‘take pride in the road you are traveling on your journey’) and the divine ballad “Touching Peace,” this self-produced opus stands tall as another exquisite achievement in Keiko’s masterful career.

Over the course of three decades, her free spirit and creative genius have afforded her the luxury to share the stage with everyone from Stevie Wonder and Miles Davis to Hugh Masakela and Bob James. Keiko will soon be gracing stages once again, beginning with a four-day stint at the world-famous Yoshi’s in San Francisco, CA on August 3rd. From there, she will commence on the second leg of her U.S. tour with shows at clubs, theaters and wineries throughout California before embarking on a seven-day cruise as a performing artist aboard the Dave Koz and Friends At Sea excursion from August 26 – September 2nd. More info about the Dave Koz Alaskan Cruise is available at http://www.davekozcruise.com/alaska. Matsui’s Road... continues again in mid-October with gigs on both coasts.

Aside from performing worldwide, Keiko (pronounced Kay-Koe means ‘happy celebratory child’ in Japanese) is an activist by nature, using her music to speak to the world while also lending her voice to causes championed by organizations like The United Nations World Food Programme, Be The Match Marrow Registry and The National Donor Program and Marrow Foundation.

“Simply breathtaking.” Jazz Review

“Keiko is a brilliant performer, arranger and composer.” Bob James

Keiko Matsui
Tour Dates
Aug 03 - San Francisco, CA, Yoshi’s
Aug 04 - San Francisco, CA, Yoshi’s
Aug 05 - San Francisco, CA, Yoshi’s
Aug 06 - San Francisco, CA, Yoshi’s
Aug 07 - Temecula, CA, Thornton Winery
Aug 10 - Livermore, CA, Bankhead Theatre
Aug 11 - Santa Cruz, CA, Kuumbwa Jazz Club
Aug 12 - Cerritos, CA, Cerritos Center for the Arts
Aug 13 - Modesto, CA, State Theater
Aug 26 - Dave Koz and Friends At Sea (7-day Alaskan Cruise)
Oct 14 – La Quinta, CA, La Quinta Spa and Resort
Oct 16 – Annapolis, MD, Ram’s Head Tavern
Oct 17 – Alexandria, VA, Birchmere
Oct 20 – Scottsdale, AZ, The Compound
Oct 21 – San Diego, CA, Anthology
Oct 22 – Catalina Island, CA, Jazztrax Festival

Keiko Matsui
The Road...
1) Secret Pond (ft. Vinnie Colaiuta)
2) Falcon’s Wing (ft. Richard Bona)
3) Nguea Wonja (ft. Richard Bona)
4) Bohemian Concerto (ft. MB Gordy)
5) Embrace & Surrender (ft. Vinnie Colaiuta)
6) Awakening (ft. Kirk Whalum)
7) Touching Peace (ft. Richard Bona)
8) Affirmation (ft. Kirk Whalum & Vinnie Colaiuta)
9) The Road... (ft. Jackiem Joyner)

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (1888 Media) Press Releases Mon, 25 Jul 2011 18:07:20 -0500
Is This The Way Love Goes? by Kim Burrell http://www.jazzreview.com/free-jazz-mp3-downloads/is-this-the-way-love-goes-by-kim-burrell.html http://www.jazzreview.com/free-jazz-mp3-downloads/is-this-the-way-love-goes-by-kim-burrell.html Kim Burrell The Love Album
The dynamic, instantly recognizable and captivating voice of Kim Burrell is undeniably one of the most powerful voices in music today. Her unrivaled instrument, impeccable musicianship and ability to tap into the human experience and emotion has made her a favorite across genre and within the musician community. Kim is one of the few artists to be revered in both the spiritual and secular worlds. The Grammy-Award nominated and Stellar Award winning singer has collaborated with artists as diverse as Harry Connick Jr. and funk master George Clinton. In the middle, there's R. Kelly, Stevie Wonder and Gospel's First Lady,…

The dynamic, instantly recognizable and captivating voice of Kim Burrell is undeniably one of the most powerful voices in music today. Her unrivaled instrument, impeccable musicianship and ability to tap into the human experience and emotion has made her a favorite across genre and within the musician community. Kim is one of the few artists to be revered in both the spiritual and secular worlds.

The Grammy-Award nominated and Stellar Award winning singer has collaborated with artists as diverse as Harry Connick Jr. and funk master George Clinton. In the middle, there's R. Kelly, Stevie Wonder and Gospel's First Lady, Shirley Caesar. Her soulful vocal runs have influenced a generation of mainstream recording artists ranging from Jazmine Sullivan to Justin Timberlake. Her burgeoning A-List Hollywood fan club includes Beyoncé Knowles, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Omarion, Jessica Simpson and Chaka Khan. It is no wonder why Ms. Burrell was invited by BET to return to another season of Sunday Best.

Ms. Burrell's fans will rejoice with the release of her third Shanachie Entertainment recording THE LOVE ALBUM (released May 17, 2011), which celebrates God's love for each of us and His love that we share for one another.

For THE LOVE ALBUM Kim Burrell joins forces with a trio of producers, Executive Producer Krishnar Lewis, Asaph Ward and Cory Henry. Producer Asaph Ward, who produced Ms. Burrell's 1998 Tommy Boy recording EVERLASTING LIFE, reunites with the singer. "It's always fun and enlightening to work with Asaph Ward," shares Burrell. "

THE LOVE ALBUM is a special event for Kim Burrell fans as it showcases an eclectic mix of repertoire in a way that only Kim Burrell could pull off. Highlights on the CD include a sensational version of the Earth, Wind & Fire classic "Love's Holiday," as well as a strikingly gorgeous rendition of the Clark Sisters staple "Jesus Is A Love Song." The Grammy nominated songstress also does a mind-blowing arrangement of El DeBarge's "Love Me In a Special Way."

The album's first single, "Sweeter," is a joyous composition written by Kim Burrell's sister, Kathy Burrell. "Kathy's heart is filled with such great messages about God that makes me want to sing," shares Burrell. "'Sweeter' is about how being in relationship with God causes each day to become better." THE LOVE ALBUM also showcases Kim Burrell's deft skills as a composer as she offers four originals on the album including the sublime and meditative "Pray for Love" and the upbeat "A Lil' More Time." On the uplifting "Let's Make It To Love," the sweeping arrangement and catchy lyrics have the surprising feel of a Burt Bacharach/Hal David number. Showing off her depth as a composer, Ms. Burrell also wrote the ballad "Is This The Way Love Goes" which beautifully illustrates her range as a vocalist. Accompanied by pianist Eddie Brown, Burrell takes melodic and harmonic turns that few singers on the scene would dare to try.

"I've always been aware of my gift because I grew up having to use it alongside my sister and brothers in our family singing group as well as supporting my parents in ministry," confides Kim Burrell. The Houston native hails from a musical family where they listened to a variety of music styles. "My biggest influences were my mom, who sings like a songbird, and my dad, who plays like a genius," she once said. She eventually bankrolled her first CD TRY ME AGAIN and sold 50,000 copies.

Fans of Kim Burrell have probably taken notice of her fabulous and fit new look. At the top of her game vocally, Kim Burrell has also brought her 'A' game to her health and fitness agenda. After battling issues with her weight and heart, she was forced to reevaluate her health priorities. The slimmer and radiant singer, who recently became the Pastor of Love & Liberty Fellowship Church which she founded, shares the following message for her fans. "Where would I be without you? You have made me see myself through so many of your eyes and hear myself through so many of your hearts. Don't ever stop reminding me of Philippians 1:6. You're the best!"

QUOTES

"There's nobody greater." Donnie McClurkin

"One of the greatest voices of our time." Whitney Houston

"I heard Kim Burrell's new single 'Sweeter' and I was blown away." Richard Smallwood

"Ms. Burrell is beginning to break down those walls of the church and the romantic." Kirk Franklin

"If she's not the greatest musical mind I have ever been around, she's certainly at the top of the list." Harry Connick Jr.

"Nobody stretches a melody like gospel singer Burrell." USA TODAY

"Her improvisational style, studied by vocalists of various genres, is filled with jazz phrasing and limber riffs...subtle pleasures from a woman who has nothing to prove." San Francisco Chronicle

KIM BURRELL - THE LOVE ALBUM

  1. Let's Make It To Love
  2. Sweeter
  3. Love So Pure
  4. Love's Holiday (Earth Wind & Fire)
  5. Open Up The Door
  6. Is This The Way Love Goes?
  7. A Lil' More Time
  8. Jesus Is A Love Song (Clark Sisters)
  9. Love Me In A Special Way (El DeBarge)
  10. Pray For Love

 

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (1888 Media) Free Jazz MP3 Downloads Mon, 25 Jul 2011 17:45:08 -0500
Press Release: Iconic Singer-Songwriter Michael Franks Returns With New Album On June 14 http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/press-release-iconic-singer-songwriter-michael-franks-returns-with-new-album-on-june-14.html http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/press-release-iconic-singer-songwriter-michael-franks-returns-with-new-album-on-june-14.html Michael Franks Time Together
Time Together, Franks' First New CD in Five Years, Unites Him With An All-Star Cast of Friends Including Gil Goldstein, Chuck Loeb, Till Bronner, Mike Mainieri, Eric Marienthal, Veronica Nunn & Others
Michael Franks, the ever-artful singer-songwriter and harvester of the most delectable musical passion fruit known to distingué lovers, has returned with his 18th offering, Time Together, his first for Shanachie, to be released June 14, 2011, and his first since 2006's Rendezvous in Rio.

Like James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon, Michael Franks possesses a unique gift for dreaming up eloquent literary imagery and combining it with the right musical accents to create timeless masterpieces. With his signature laidback vocalizing and sexy/witty/cool songwriting, Michael Franks is a musician's musician whose music has been covered by everyone from Ringo Starr, Patti LaBelle, and Carmen McCrae to Natalie Cole and Diana Krall.

Suitably inspired and languorous, the 11-song Time Togetherunfolds like a grown folks summer vacation - worldly word travels from New York to Paris and Egypt via Samba Air...without leaving your Adirondack lounge chair. Production/Arranging duties were split between past collaborators Charles Blenzig (Franks' Musical Director and keyboardist on the road), Gil Goldstein, Chuck Loeb, and Scott Petito, plus one from fretless bassist Mark Egan. With a choice cast of players that includes: guitarist David Spinozza, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, saxophonist Eric Marienthal(whom adds a mellifluous solo to the first single "Now That The Summer's Here"), brass men Till Bronner (from Germany) and Alex Sipiagin (from Russia), drummer Billy Kilson, guitarist Romero Lubambo (from Brazil), and his faithful singer from the road Veronica Nunn (who recorded an entire album of his work last year titled The Art of Michael Franks), the soulfully singular jazz artisan shares another thoughtful collection of penetrating poetry and groove guaranteed to arouse and soothe.

Thematically, Time Togetheris part travelogue and part autobiography with a taste of socio-political observation. "Summer In New York," is a musical travel brochure, setting up a hip east coast swing itinerary to the modern pulse of a lounge club mix tape, while "Samba Blue," is a sexy-sax-and-guitar-kissed reminiscence of a "foreign affair" (with his wife, Claudia) in Paris.

Similarly, "I'd Rather Be Happy Than Right," is sage advice set to a soundtrack like Wes Montgomery meets Tom Jobim, while "My Heart Said Wow" (featuring Veronica Nunn) is a short but sweet shing-a-ling swing lover's treat. The dreamy summer's end meditation "If I Could Make September Stay," with adoring bows to ornithology and a piano-shadowing-guitar intro that brings to mind early Joni Mitchell, will keep enchanted fans mooning in front of their picture windows for several rounds on repeat. And those are just the lighter tunes.

"Charlie Chan in Egypt," marks the first time since 1987's "The Camera Never Lies," that Franks has wrestled a live-wire socio-political topic, this one sorting out his unease with America's foreign policies and presence in other countries. Michael muses, "Our policy has been so destructive of everything we consider to be part of our national identity. These wars... these terrible misadventures that we are involved in ...have been ruinous in terms of screwing up young people who don't have the means to rebound, even if they do come home in one piece...and for what? I'm a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut (author of the classic Slaughterhouse 5), especially his posthumous Man Without A Country. He'd seen some really heavy stuff in World War II, like the bombing of Dresden, which he actually lived through as a POW. Having been a veteran, his point of view was that all wars are ill advised and they're morality questionable. The fact that we are now engaged in unprovoked aggression... it seems like such a strange thing for us to be doing. I know that there have been times in our history when we have done things that fall into that category, but you'd hope that, over time, we would have learned something... The analogy of 'Charlie Chan in Egypt' - which I watched on Turner Classic Movies - is that Charlie would be 'out of it' in New York or London...but when he goes to Cairo to solve a crime, his confusion is exponentially magnified. I really related to that image."

Equally revealing is "A Day in St. Tropez" in which Michael recounts an early '60s sojourn to hitchhike through Europe during his college years. "In my sophomore year at UCLA, I took the whole spring semester off to do this, which freaked my parents out! I outfitted myself with a backpack and a lightweight Martin parlor guitar, and spent 6 months there - the greatest experience. The little money I had went so far. I stayed in youth hostels and hitchhiked. Americans were actually liked in those years. You would go to places and in a shop window see a picture of JFK. In the song I talk about how I got picked up by these people going to a party in (bombshell actress) Brigitte Bardot's villa. It was so great to have that guitar. I spoke decent French then, but even if I couldn't speak the other languages, I could tell they just wanted me to pull out my guitar. I knew so few things back then but I'd play 'Satin Doll,' a couple of Jobim things and other songs I learned from my parents' jazz records. I hadn't begun writing my own songs yet. Fast forward, my band went to Europe last summer. We had a date in Paris and a date in Monaco with three days in between...which was ideal for me. When we got to Nice, I was Skyping with my mother and stepfather back in Florida, and started thinking back to my 60's hitchhiking experience and that's when the song came."

The album's title song, "Time Together," is a poignant reflection on a familial man-woman-canine trinity and a moving dedication to his faithful dachshund that passed during the recording of the new album. Simultaneously, the title refers to the art of making music communally with friends; all in the same room as well as the communal aspect of sharing the songs live with fans, all in the same room. It is time together well spent.

In addition to composing music and writing poetry, Franks supports his local Humane Society and is an advocate of the national animal welfare organization Hearts United For Animals. He continues to perform selectively around the globe with shows scheduled for the remainder of the year.

Tour Dates:
Jun 24 - Charlotte, NC - The Fillmore
July 8-10 Oakland, CA - Yoshi's
Aug 12 - Las Vegas, NV - Aliante Casino
Aug 13 - Long Beach, CA - Long Beach Jazz Festival
Sep 30 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley (7:30 & 9:30)
Oct 01 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley (7:30 & 9:30)
Oct 02 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley (7:30)
Nov 10 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere
Nov 11 - Annapolis, MD - The Rams Head

Touring personnel:
Charles Blenzig - Piano
Jay Anderson - Bass
Mark Egan / Sean Conly - Bass
David Mann - Sax & Flute
Willard Dyson - Drums
Veronica Nunn - Vocals

Michael Franks
Time Together
1. Now That The Summer's Here (ft. Eric Marienthal)
2. One Day In St. Tropez
3. Summer in New York
4. Mice
5. Charlie Chan In Egypt
6. I'd Rather Be Happy Than Right
7. Time Together
8. Samba Blue (ft. Eric Marienthal)
9. My Heart Said Wow (ft Veronica Nunn)
10. If I Could Make September Stay
11. Feathers From An Angel's Wing

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (1888 Media) Press Releases Thu, 09 Jun 2011 15:08:06 -0500
Grammy-Winning Vocalist Extraordinaire Patti Austin Delivers Messages Of Inspiration And Empowerment http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/grammy-winning-vocalist-extraordinaire-patti-austin-delivers-messages-of-inspiration-and-empowerment.html http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/grammy-winning-vocalist-extraordinaire-patti-austin-delivers-messages-of-inspiration-and-empowerment.html From the stirring, gospel-flavored intro of her inspiring reading of Des’ree’s 1994 hit “You Gotta Be” to the final bars of a highly distinctive, ethereal and moody remake of the Depeche Mode staple, “Enjoy The Silence,” Patti Austin has created what is destined to be another musical gem in a catalog that, at last count, consists of seventeen albums and dozens of guest appearances. Sound Advice , Austin’s eighteenth album releasing May 17 via Shanachie Entertainment, showcases this GRAMMY®-winning, internationally-popular entertainer doing what she does best, using her innate ability as a superb lyrical interpreter to touch, m...
From the stirring, gospel-flavored intro of her inspiring reading of Des’ree’s 1994 hit “You Gotta Be” to the final bars of a highly distinctive, ethereal and moody remake of the Depeche Mode staple, “Enjoy The Silence,” Patti Austin has created what is destined to be another musical gem in a catalog that, at last count, consists of seventeen albums and dozens of guest appearances.

Sound Advice , Austin’s eighteenth album releasing May 17 via Shanachie Entertainment, showcases this GRAMMY®-winning, internationally-popular entertainer doing what she does best, using her innate ability as a superb lyrical interpreter to touch, move, inspire and connect with music lovers globally. Whether it’s breathing new life into such classics as Frank Sinatra’s evergreen “My Way” (delivered in an intimate, almost understated and tender manner with piano accompaniment from the renowned Shelly Berg) and Bill Withers’ classic “Lean On Me” (with its rousing climatic build) or shining a new musical light on Brenda Russell’s “A Little Bit Of Love” and The Jacksons’ “Give It Up” (from the 1980 LP, Triumph which she notes is “my homage to my brother Michael Jackson), Patti Austin is at her brilliant vocal best.

Speaking of her thematic approach to Sound Advice much of which she produced with longtime musical pal, musician extraordinaire Greg Phillinganes (known for his stellar work with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and dozens of others) – the ever-genial native New Yorker says, “All the tunes are giving some sort of advice, whether introspectively or directly and I figure I’m old enough where I should be able to give advice of some sort!”

Sound Advice is, meant per Patti, particularly for the segment of her wide-ranging audience who first became aware of her in the ‘80s through songs like “Baby Come To Me,” her chart-topping duet with James Ingram. “For the last five years, I’ve been in the ‘classical’ jazz world,” she explains, referencing For Ella, her acclaimed 2002 tribute to the legendary Fitzgerald and her 2007 CD, Avant Gershwin, which garnered Patti a long-deserved first Grammy win for Best Jazz Vocal Album . “The GRAMMY®-Award did raise my profile and gave me a notch in my gun. I was on the road doing gigs with symphony orchestras and the Duke Ellington and Count Basie bands, and essentially began performing in an area that my biggest audience is not familiar with. I decided to do this record because of the pull and tug from the fans who know me from the ‘80s…it’s my ‘going back to my roots’ album!”

Intentionally designed to “keep the production and arrangements as simple as the material would allow,” Patti notes that a couple of the songs – notably Don McLean’s “Vincent” (his 1971 ode to painter Van Gogh), given a stark and poignant reading and “My Way” – had their genesis in a proposed piano/vocal album, which, she says, “I will ultimately do,” adding what she terms her “weird sideways choice!” of the McLean classic was motivated by her own musical journey: “If you are going to be an artist, you cannot expect to be understood…so be who you are and let the chips fall where they may.”

Exemplifying her approach, the goddaughter of Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington imbues Bob Dylan’s “You Gotta Serve Somebody” with some soul-plus while giving The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” a whole new vibe. “I didn’t remember “Serve Somebody” as a Dylan tune,” Patti notes. “But wow, he got everyone on the list in that song! As for the Stones’ song, I wanted to rock something out. I had never really understood what Mick Jagger was saying so I created my own interpretation. My generation grew up with this ‘you can have it all’ idea and it’s a crock and we were wishing out loud. The truth is, something has to be sacrificed and you always get what you need…even if it’s not always what you like...”

Never one to shy away from social and global issues – her own composition “By The Grace Of God” has been adopted as a musical theme by The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence while Patti sang “Lean On Me” on television’s Larry King Live to draw attention to the plight of people in Haiti affected by the devastating 2009 earthquake there – she chose Paul McCartney’s “Let ‘Em In” partly because “it represents an issue here in the US, the issue of immigration, which is the basis of our country and is what has made the country as great as it is so it’s time to stop the nonsense, the isolationist mentality and embrace everybody…”

A dedicated humanitarian who has devoted considerable time to performing for AIDS-related organizations over the years, her “Blue Movement” is Patti’s personal crusade to bring awareness and new insights into the domestic violence crisis in the USA and around the world. It was a domestic violence-related segment of “Oprah” that inspired “By The Grace Of God,” one of the key cuts on Sound Advice. Patti was one of the producers as well as one of the feature artists on the 2010 single, “We Are The World: 25 For Haiti” and she has also co-created an organization dedicated to mentoring, the Over My Shoulder Foundation .

Patti’s lifelong commitment to inspiring others both personally and musically is evidenced by the material on Sound Advice, which includes a second Austin composition, the upbeat “Round And Round,” which began as a musical groove with Phillinganes when the two were with musical mentor Quincy Jones in Sardinia after the passing of Michael Jackson in 2008: “When we got in the studio to work on the album, we finished the melody and I wrote the lyrics that night and we cut it the next day. There are people who don’t know me as a songwriter and may be surprised,” says Austin, whose 1976 LP debut (End Of The Rainbow) consisted almost entirely of original compositions.

Expressing her appreciation and gratitude for working with Phillinganes – another graduate of what she calls “QU, Quincy’s University!” – Gregg Field and Shelly Berg as producers along with the level of musicianship with players like Trevor Lawrence (Eminem, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Alicia Keys), Ian Martin (Barry Manilow, David Foster) and Paul Jackson Jr. (Luther Vandross, Lionel Richie, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston), Patti concludes, “I wanted to accomplish a lot with Sound Advice – including original material, covers and focusing on vocal performances for certain tunes. I’m very happy with the record: I went through a lot of ups and downs about how it was going to flow, about the material, if it would be cohesive and if it was going to have any point of view musically, lyrically, thematically. Now I’m having a lot of fun performing the material live: I am really enjoying this record,” a sentiment that will no doubt be echoed by Patti Austin’s audience the world over.

Patti Austin Tour Dates May 13 Birmingham, ENG, w/ BBC Big Band May 14 Trondheim, Norway May 16 Essen, Germany May 19 Bern, Switzerland May 20 Milan, Italy May 25 Morocco, N. Africa (w/ Quincy Jones Global Gumbo All Stars) May 26 Slovenia June 02 New York, NY, B.B. Kings June 04 Seneca NY (Niagara Falls) June 05 Columbia MD (Capital Jazz Festival) June 19 Rijswijk, Netherlands, The Hague Jazz Festival June 24 Harstad, Norway June 30 Los Angeles, CA (Benefit w/ Glendale Pops Orchestra)

Patti Austin Sound Advice 1. You Gotta Be (Des’ree) 2. By The Grace Of God (Patti Austin) 3. Round And Round (Patti Austin) 4. You Cant Always Get What You Want (The Rolling Stones) 5. Let 'Em In (Paul McCartney & Wings) 6. Gotta Serve Somebody (Bob Dylan) 7. Vincent (Don McLean) 8. A Little Bit Of Love (Brenda Russell) 9. Lean On Me (Bill Withers) 10. Give It Up (The Jacksons) 11. My Way (Frank Sinatra) 12. Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode)'

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (1888 Media) Press Releases Wed, 27 Apr 2011 19:00:00 -0500