Category Archives: Album Reviews

Down To The Bone – Dig It

Down-To-The-Bone–Dig-It

Down To The Bone, one of the UK’s finest jazz groove bands and one of the country’s most successful jazz exports to the US, celebrate their 10th album release with Dig It. Since the mid-Nineties producer-writer Stuart Wade and his band have been injecting fresh and funky grooves into the UK and US jazz groove scene.

The new album features guest vocals from Katie Leone on three tracks, and the line-up also includes former Incognito bass player Julian Crampton, Davide Giovannini on drums (Snowboy, Lisa Stansfield) and Mark Jaimes, currently working with Rod Temperton, on guitar. Keyboard players Alex Bennett and Neil Angilley and Simon Allen (sax) complete the line-up.

Their past triumphs have included: a No 2 Billboard Jazz Album (From Manhattan to Staten) and the best-selling Independent Jazz artist of 1999 in the US. The new album is one of their strongest to date, including the exceedingly funky “Meteorite” and title track “Dig It”. Other highlights include “Happiness Is A Healer” featuring the vocals of Katie Leone. Live dates in the UK and Europe are currently being finalized.

Source: dôme records

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Nathan East – Nathan East

Nathan-East–Nathan-East

Nathan East, America’s preeminent bassist, is readying his eponymous solo debut and will be sharing music from the album on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Tavis Smiley. The album features appearances by many of Nathan’s friends and past collaborators including Sara Bareilles, Eric Clapton, Michael McDonald, and Stevie Wonder. The album epitomizes Nathan’s time as a go-to player in the funk, soul and jazz world. ‘Nathan East’ is available March 25 on Yamaha Entertainment Group.

“Daft Funk,” Nathan’s ode to the Grammy-winning album he helped record with Daft Punk, is the album’s first single and has reached #3 on the Billboard smooth jazz charts. The song features legendary session guitarist Ray Parker Jr., and uses a talk box to channel the French funk auteurs. Bass Musician Magazine called the song a “groove-heavy Daft Punk-meets-Michael Jackson ‘Off the Wall’ original.”

President of Yamaha Entertainment Group Chris Gero, who co-produced the album with Nathan and co-wrote the song “Madiba” said: “It’s been a privilege to work with Nathan on this album. We at Yamaha Entertainment Group are all honored to be able to work with Nathan on this labor of love, the release of his debut solo album.”

Following the release, Nathan East will kick off a national Guitar Center tour, offering bass clinics and meet and greet opportunities in select cities. The album is available at Amazon.com.

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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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