Offiong Bassey – Offiong Bassey

Offiong-Bassey–Offiong-Bassey

Her first name means “God’s moon.” Nigerian-American singer Offiong Bassey scores with her self-titled debut, Offiong Bassey (Moonlight Media Group, 2013). The set blends Afro-Peruvian, Nigerian Ekombi, R&B, jazz, gospel, funk, soul and hip-hop.

Bassey performs lead and backing vocals on all tracks. Other players are Blethy Emmanuel Tiegnon: keyboards, Fender Rhodes, drum programming and auxiliary instruments throughout, plus bass guitar on four tracks, claps on two and backing vocals on “Conclusion”; Bassey’s brother, Eniang Bassey: percussion on “Owo Iba Me Ita”; Cornell Coley: percussion on several tracks; Victor Dogah: percussion on “Legitimate Child”; Remy Foussard: guitar on three songs; Derek Friesen: trumpet on two songs; Alexander Jerry: bass guitar on two tracks; Erik Kramer: bass guitar on two tracks; Hilary Noble: flute on three tracks, tenor sax on “Conclusion”; Robert John O’Block: guitar on two tracks; Dokun Oke: guitar on “Efik Praise Medley”; William Raymond: guitar on two songs; Nija Tiegnon: backing vocals on “Wild Oats”; and Vessel: rap on “Mistaking Chivalry for Chauvanism.”

“Legitimate Child” represents a strong African influence in the rhythm. Bassey sings, “You are a legitimate child,” as she tells the story of a young person in a harsh environment, unfairly judged by others. Her vocal power offers encouragement to the child characterized by others as murderous or otherwise unworthy of love and respect.

“Conclusion” shows the soulful side of Bassey. The horns and rhythm guitar give it a James Brown feel. The lyrics advise the listener not to jump to errant conclusions. Bassey easily moves from singing to rapping as she delivers this message.

On her own, without the muscle of a promotional or publicity campaign, Bassey released her debut album to critical acclaim. Offiong Bassey reached No. 2 on the CMJ New World Music chart and No. 4 on the SoulTracks album chart. She composed all music and lyrics for the project, which draws on her experiences with the people and the way humans respond to triumph, challenge and nuance. “I decided to self-title the album because it is such a pure and holistic representation of who I am as an individual and who I am as an artist,” Bassey says.

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Paul Taylor – Tenacity

Paul-Taylor–Tenacity

In the 19 years since Paul Taylor first got On The Horn with his hit debut album, he’s enjoyed an extraordinary journey in the contemporary urban jazz world. The key to the charismatic saxophonists success? Beyond those instantly identifiable sax tones, infectious melodies, cutting edge production, and dynamic live performances, it’s one thing, Tenacity the perfect title for his latest recording on Peak Records and 10th overall.

From the start of his recording career, Taylor has created his ever cool deeply soulful and rhythmic trip-hop influenced sound by working with some of urban jazz and R&B s top producers, including Rex Rideout, Barry J. Eastmond and The Heavyweights. But one of the most important architects of the saxmans core flow has been Dino Esposito, who helped Taylor establish his vibe with On The Horn and Pleasure Seeker 1997, and has played a powerful role in the saxophonist’s evolution by helming tracks on his subsequent recordings Undercover 2000, his Peak Records debut Hypnotic 2001, Nightlife 2005, and Prime Time 2011.

Tenacity marks the first time ever that Taylor has recorded an entire project with a single producer and his longtime friendship and incredible chemistry with Esposito made him the perfect choice for the varied rhythms and progressive sonics that the saxophonist wanted.

“I have always had this special bond with Dino and it was really exciting to focus on doing an entire project with my great friend, rather than just a few tracks here and there like in the past; says Taylor. He adds: I am always trying to grow as an artist, so there were ideas going all the time as we developed these tracks. I definitely have an established sound, so the key was having an open mind and being honest when we hit on a certain vibe, groove or lick I had done before and taking the tune in another direction.”

Tenacity is available at Amazon.

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David Longoria – baila!

David-Longoria–baila!

David Longoria is one of the most important and many-sided trumpet-players in contemporary Smooth-Jazz. He also is a brilliant singer. He worked with Sting, Foreigner, Buddy Rich, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, B.B.King, Boyz II Men and many more. He also has worked as a producer for many other musicians. On February 7, 2014 David Longoria was awarded the Best Jazz Artist award for 2014.

Being classically trained, he has a great range of repertoire, from Classical music to Pop and Jazz, from Flamenco to Salsa and even Disco and House-Music.

On his new album BAILA!, he shows the whole spectrum of his talents.

BAILA ! means the invitation to dance and already the very first track GO FOR IT underlines the invitation. A trumpet melody, which is easy to remember, accompanied by a brisk horn section and some groovy Latin rhythms, which takes the listener into the world of a Cuban night club, followed by the more smooth ALL SHE DOES IS DANCE, in which David Longoria changes the trumpet to a muted one.

BÉSAME MUCHO (originally composed by Mexican composer Consuelo Velázquez) is one of the best-known Love-Songs of the twentieth century and has been interpreted by numerous artists.David Longoria presents the song as a stylish tango with bandoneon/accordeon, Spanish guitars and a string section, followed by the quiet UN BAILE LENTO with some flowery vocals.

CADENZA, originally is a term, taken from classical music. It is that part of a solo concert, in which the soloist ist playing a short improvised passage all alone until the orchestra comes back, playing the rest of the set together with the soloist. David Longoria does the same: He plays a short trumpet solo, in which he shows his brilliant technique on his instrument. It is like an introduction to the following up-beat LOVING LIFE, featuring Chris Standring on Guitar; another example of Longoria’s keen sense for catchy melodies.

In ZOON BALOOMBA, REFLECTION and DEEPER LOVE, Longoria also integrates some elements of ‘house-’ and contemporary pop-music like sequenced Synthesizer-Sounds.
This guy masters every style! DEEPER LOVE also features Cece Peniston as vocalist.

With NO TURNING BACK Longoria returns to the more Latin flavor of the beginning of the album. He is supported by the famous Latin-Jazz musician Poncho Sanchez,
who is also playing a solo on the percussion.

HUMAN NATURE is a reminiscence of the great Michael Jackson, who made this song famous in the eighties of the last century, before MUY CALIENTE takes us back to the unique sound of Havana.

LA PUESTA DEL SOL (featuring Marc Antoine on Guitar) is a classical Smooth-Jazz-Track and invites the people just to dance, while DREAM is good to chill out a little bitand
to regain strength for the following LOST IN YOUR LOVE (featuring Therése Neaimé on vocals), a song which certainly rocks the house.

THE GREEN HORNET is an adaption of the famous “Flight of the Bumblebee”, a composition by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Again David Longoria shows here his stunning abilityon his instrument.

With A CASTLE IN SPAIN (featuring German Flamenco-Guitarist Ottmar Liebert), we turn back to the more exotic world of Latin-Music. This song won them a 2008 Hollywood Music Awards nomination and award for Best instrumental Song and Performance.

This album is a varied and sophisticated mix of David Longoria’s musical work and invites the listener to dance!

So, Ladies and Gentlemen – it’s time to ‘baila!’

David Longoria - baila!
Release day: 2014
Label: Del Oro Music, Studio City, Ca.
Produced by David Longoria

Tracklist

01. Go for it! (Dalé) 
02. All she does is Dance (Baila)
03. Bésame Mucho
04. Un Baile Lento
05. Cadenza
06. Loving Life (featuring Chris Standring)
07. Zoon Baloomba
08. Reflection
09. Deeper Love (featuring Cece Peniston)
10. No Turning Back (featuring Poncho Sanchez)
11.So Cool!
12. Human Nature
13. Muy Caliente
14, La Puesta Del Sol (featuring Marc Antoine)
15. Dream
16. Lost In Your Love (featuring Theres Neaime)
17.The Green Hornet
18. A Castle In Spain (featuring Ottmar Liebert)
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Citrus Sun – People Of Tomorrow

Citrus-Sun–People-of-Tomorrow

Citrus Sun is a side project of Incognito founder Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick.  Member of this project are Bluey (guitar and vocals), Jim Mullen (guitar), Valerie Etienne (vocals), together with Incognito members Matt Cooper (keyboards), Francis Hylton (bass), Francesco Mendolia (drums), Joao Caetano (percussion) and Dominic Glover (trumpet).

Anyone familiar with the music of the group Incognito, will immediately recognize the parallels, especially as many pieces come from the spring of Bluey. Bleuy was motivated by the desire to play together with the English guitarist Jim Mullen. After Another Time Another Space (2000) People of Tomorrow is their second joint project.

With Mais Uma Vez (One More Time) greet us Citrus Sun with Spanish sounds. Jim Mullen flatters with the gentle resonance of his guitar the audience. The Latin American vibration continues on Tonight We Dance. Mullen thrills with his guitar staccato. After a short rhythm solo Glover presents his skills on trumpet.

Marvin Gayes’ What’s Going On is presented at a high level. You cannot go wrong with this eternal melody. The vocal part is performed by singer Valerie Etienne. However, her true voiced qualities unfold on Terry Callier’s What Color Is Love. Finally on Cooking With Walter one immediately recognize the typical Incognito sound and their powerful horn arrangement. You’re So Far Away exposes anew Jim Mullen‘ divine guitar performance incorporated in a haunting melody. Yesterday Detroit captures the vibrant life of motor city. Who has not come yet in the mood for dancing, is packed with People Of Tomorrow. Santana, Earth, Wind and Fire, Incognito and The Brand New Heavies united in one song. The instrumental As Night Falls will enthuse especially the keyboard fans. Micia dismisses the album with a variation of keyboard and piano. There is nothing to shake, Bluey has again delivered a masterpiece. Anyone who has a soft spot for Incognito, should not miss People of Tomorrow.

Album Information

Title: People Of Tomorrow
Artist: Citrus Sun
Year: 2014
Length: 0:46:50
Genre: General Jazz
Label: Dome Records Ltd.

Tracks:

01 Mais Uma Vez (One More Time) [4:04]
02 Tonight We Dance [4:51]
03 What’s Going On [5:09]
04 What Color Is Love [4:22]
05 Cooking With Walter [4:02]
06 You’re So Far Away [5:10]
07 Yesterday Detroit [5:57]
08 People Of Tomorrow [5:22]
09 As Night Falls [4:48]
10 Micia [3:04]

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Barry Danielian – Metaphorically Speaking

Barry-Danielian–Metaphorically-Speaking

With an experience as part of the world’s “most famous” horn band, Tower of Power, Barry Danielian has a long, distinguished track record as a session player and soloist. As a leader, he releases Metaphorically Speaking (Tariqah Records, 2013), an eclectic mix of jazz, world music and funk.

A trumpeter, producer and arranger, Danielian has toured and performed with some big names, including Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel and James Taylor. He also spent several years with the trio known as the No Sweat Horns, which appeared on several recordings by Spyro Gyra in the 1990s.

“Turning Inside Out” is an adventurous piece that begins with a bit of jungle funk. Danielian blends with Pillow for the lead much of the way. Each layers multiple instruments. Pillow plays flute, alto flute and bass clarinet. Danielian provides trumpet, Rhodes, Clavinet and elegant string synths. The composition is like a soundtrack to an adventure sequence in a movie, enhanced by the percussion of Bashiri Johnson and the funky bass line of Hubert Eaves IV.

“In the Land of the Blind” is a bit of a socio-political statement. Danielian makes good use of technology, blending programming and an assortment of sounds with conventional instruments for a piece that’s part funk, part symphonic. Lawrence Feldman contributes flute, alto flute and bass flute. Mike Ciro’s guitar riffs add a nice touch. Ralph Rolle’s drum play is supplemented by Danielian’s programming. The leader’s solo injects some Randy Brecker-like commentary.

The title song is an easygoing groove that enlists David Mann on flute, alto and tenor saxophones. Sherrod Barnes sits in on guitar, with Buddy Williams taking the drum duties. The band impresses with some stop-time phrases during the flugelhorn solo. It’s one of the more enjoyable selections on an album loaded with enjoyment.

Danielian attended the Berklee College of Music from 1980 until 1982, when he graduated with the Faculty Performance Award. He earned a bachelor of arts in jazz performance from William Paterson University. In 1984, he was honored with the University of Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Competition’s Outstanding Jazz Soloist Award. And in 2000 and 2001, he became the only unsigned artist nominated for the Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards.
Danielian composed all 12 tracks of Metaphorically Speaking.

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Les Sabler – Jobim Tribute

Les-Sabler–Jobim-Tribute

Before Les Sabler began recording “Jobim Tribute,” which will be released April 8 on New Vista Records, the jazz guitarist-vocalist walked a mile in the shoes of the iconic Brazilian composer known for writing exquisitely poetic romantic standards that popularized bossa nova. An inspired Sabler trekked to Brazil, visited the places Jobim frequented and absorbed the native culture and sounds. He voraciously studied recordings and read stacks of books about Jobim’s life. Sagely he knew that fostering authenticity on a collection of twelve Jobim songs involved more than just playing the right notes on his nylon string guitar or mastering the pronunciation of the Portuguese lyrics. Sabler, who produced the album, recognized that the most important ingredient was to capture the soulful passion inherent in the author’s touching melodies and sensually exotic rhythms.

The timing of Sabler’s record correlates to two milestones: the 50th anniversary of the classic “Getz/Gilberto” that spawned Jobim’s No. 1 hit “The Girl from Ipanema,” which helped weave bossa nova permanently into the fabric of American music; and the 20th anniversary of Jobim’s passing. When selecting material for “Jobim Tribute,” which is comprised of seven vocal tunes and five instrumentals, Sabler challenged himself by recording some of Jobim’s lesser known gems (“Esquecendo Voce” and “Janelas Abertas”) as well as popular favorites such as “Corcovado,” “Bonita” and “Fotografia.” The first single that was just shipped to radio stations for airplay is Sabler’s rendition of “A Felicidade,” a sweeping wave of joyous melody, nifty guitar fingerplay and an ethereal vocal chorus.

Produced, arranged and performed in acoustic jazz settings, Sabler was accompanied by keyboardist Clay Perry (Julio Iglesias), acoustic bassist Byron House (Robert Plant’s Band of Joy), Brazilian drummer-percussionist Celso Alberti (Flora Purim, Stevie Winwood) and the late percussionist Joe Lala (CSNY, Bee Gees). Allon Sams scripted string arrangements as did Grammy-nominated arranger Tom Zink, who orchestrated a 4-piece string section that added emotional depth on three selections.

 

Sabler explained that “My first trip to Brazil guided me to a deeper understanding of Jobim’s music from the places I visited followed by an immersion of his music, videos and books. During my trip, I was able to learn a lot more about the history of Brazilian music. I explored some of the places where Jobim used to hangout, including the restaurant where Heloisa Pinhiro walked by, who was the inspiration for ‘The Girl from Ipanema.’ I am passionate about this music and made it a goal to master and record it. After working on this project for several years, I am pleased to finally share it.”

“Jobim Tribute” is Sabler’s seventh album. The Montreal native who studied music at Canada’s Concordia University and at the University of Miami, has created a catalogue of finely-crafted contemporary jazz recordings that summited sales and airplay charts in the U.S. and Canada while garnering award nominations, No. 1 most-played Canadian artist airplay honors and international acclaim. Most often playing electric guitar on earlier works, “Jobim Tribute” is his second consecutive record on which he exclusively plays nylon string acoustic guitar following 2010’s “Crescent Shores.”

Earlier this week, the Tampa, Florida-based sports fan performed the American and Canadian National Anthems with Marshall Gillon on Opening Day for the Tampa Bay Rays followed the next night by performing the anthems prior to the Tampa Bay Lightning game. With the eyes of the world turning to Brazil for this year’s FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Sabler’s elegant “Jobim Tribute” is a perfectly timed soundtrack. For more information, please visit www.LesSabler.com.

 

Sabler’s “Jobim Tribute” contains the following songs:

 

“A Felicidade”

“Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)”

“Esquecendo Voce”

“Bonita”

“Brigas Niunca Mais/Discussao”

“Ligia”

“Fotografia”

“Se Todos Fossem Iguais A Voce”

“Por Causa De Voce”

“Triste”

“Janelas Abertas”

“Chega De Saudade”

Source: Great Scott Productions

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