Category Archives: Album Reviews
Individually, they are three titans of contemporary music: Rick Braun, the gifted trumpeter/flugelhornist with the golden voice; GRAMMY® Award-winning tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum, the Memphis-born wunderkind who mixes Beale Street, gospel, the blues and bop; and Norman Brown, the GRAMMY®-winning guitarist who brings a Louisiana lilt to his Wes Montgomery/George Benson influenced six-string soulful strut. They came together eleven years ago as the supergroup known as BWB and their historic album Groovin’, made them one of the most sought-after groups at that time.
This terrific triad reassembles with the June 18, 2013 release of Human Nature on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group (international release dates may vary). This long-awaited sequel to their debut project spotlights BWB’s stupendous reimaging of eleven selections made famous by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
2013 is a banner year for Smooth Jazz keyboardist Brian Simpson. Highlights from Just What You Need include a percolating “D’Groove” featuring sax icon Gerald Albright, the romantic “In the Rain” featuring Marc Antoine, a brilliant guest performance from Dave Koz on the Jobim classic “Girl From Ipanema”, and much, much more.
Both as a solo performer and the featured keyboardist and music director of the Dave Koz Band, Brian performs in front of an incredibly large number of smooth jazz fans on a non-stop basis. And as winner of the American Smooth Jazz Keyboardist of the Year Award, frequent guest on nationally syndicated radio shows and music director of the Smooth Jazz Cruise, his visibility is tremendous.
Just What You Need is on sale at Amazon.com.
After four years of touring and developing “An Unforgettable Tribute to Nat King Cole,” the legendary George Benson makes his most inspired album: My Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole. The recording is one of the most meaningful of Benson’s career and is a testament to the spirit of Cole’s timeless body of work. Benson’s heartfelt renditions of some of Cole’s greatest songs with Nelson Riddle arrangements and the 42-piece Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra are complemented by duets with Tony Award winner Idina Menzel and rising star Judith Hill, along with a special collaboration with multi-GRAMMY and Pulitzer Prize-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.
My Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole album by George Benson is scheduled to be released Jun 04, 2013 on the Concord label. My Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole CD music contains a single disc with 13 songs. You can order this album at CDUniverse.
Having traversed the world in search of intriguing sounds from virtually every corner of the globe with his beloved Spanish guitar en tow, Lawson Rollins has come full circle on his aptly titled fourth solo album, “Full Circle,” which will be released July 16th by his Infinita Records.
Adopting a “less can be more” philosophy on the twelve new songs that he composed allows the focus to be on Rollins’ captivating melodies and dexterous fretwork that unfold over worldbeat rhythms and multicultural instrumentation. Radio listeners will be introduced to the collection Rollins produced with multi-platinum producer Dominic Camardella (Ottmar Liebert, Flora Purim, 3rd Force) when the first single, “Momentum,” is shipped to stations in June.
Just as he has on his previous releases, Rollins entered the recording studio with Camardella (keyboards, piano) and a gifted ensemble comprised of Grammy-winning violinist Charlie Bisharat, bassist Randy Tico, percussionist Dave Bryant and saxophonist/flutist Richard Hardy. Rollins plays classical, flamenco and electric guitars on “Full Circle” along with keyboards and drum programming. The multilingual etchings of the erudite guitarist fluctuate in tone and speed.
Saxophonist Andy Snitzer returns with his new album, The Rhythm, a new groove-oriented instrumental release steeped in richly textured worldbeat elements and dynamic urban grooves. The album, Andy’s first all-new studio recording in two years, was produced in between Andy’s travels with the legendary Paul Simon.
Co-produced and co-written by saxophonist David Mann, the album includes performances by Mann, guitarist Chuck Loeb and trumpeter Till Bronner, backed by a renouned rhythm section that includes keyboardist Alain Mallet, bassists James Genus and Tim Levebfre, and drummer Shawn Pelton. Featured cuts on the album include the first single “Candy,” “Velvet,” and “No Exit.”
The Rhythm is available at Amazon.com.
Smooth Jazz Guitarist and Bassist Christian Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Christian did not pick up a guitar until the age of 42. Drawing considerable influence from artists such as Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Grover Washington Jr, and many others. At the outset of his career, Christian regularly shifted between jazz, Hip-Hop, Funk and R&B. His musical style ranges from a hybrid of Jazz, Blues, Funk and R&B. later on in his life Christian grew to love Gospel music and combined his love for Jazz to fuse a unique sound of Rhythm and Blues, Funk, Jazz and a hint of Hip-Hop. Although influenced by many styles of music, Christian grew up on Jazz, Funk, R&B and soul. later in his life he began a love for rap/hip-hop and began combining the various musical styles playing the keyboard as a young demo producer.