The Brandon Fields Trio | One People – [Blue Star Records, 2009]Born in Indiana and raised by music loving parents in Santa Ana, California, Brandon started playing the piano at age five, violin at eight and was enamored with the alto saxophone by ten. He began working as a freelance musician while still a teenager, and moved to the Los Angeles area in 1982 to embrace the inspiring local club and studio scene. Brandon’s debut recording The Other Side Of The Story came out in 1986 demonstrating what would become the common thread connecting his original recordings, a multifaceted take on songwriting and a high level of interaction with his talented bandmates. Three additional concept albums followed, including A Coffehouse Christmas, Higher Ground (the music of Stevie Wonder), and most recently Fields and Strings, a beautiful collection of standards released in late 1999 on Paras Records.
A good wireless numberpad from Logitech cost around $40, but if you have an iPhone you can spend only $2 and convert your iPhone into a wireless numpad. NumberKey is a small app that can convert your iPhone into a wireless touch number keypad.
It can connect via both WiFi and direct wireless connection(ad-hoc) with Windows and Mac. You will need to install the NumberKey Connect app on the system. Once installed, it will automatically detect your iPhone and show the status. Hit Connect to establish a connection, make sure the app is running on iPhone at the same time.
The remnants stitched to the fabric of the old school versa the rebirth of the new skool are intoxicating, seductive, and mind jolting rhythms yielding only to our sometimes dysfunctional imagination. The elements interwoven in this project clings to the outer-edges of these glorious original masterpieces on Blue Note Revisited is probably one of the hippest recordings that derived from the intergalactic playground of the “DJ Re-mixes.” Well at least, from my perspective I dig this mix very, very much …. ~ The Urban Flux
Various Artists | Blue Note Revisited – [Blue Note Records, 2004]Blue Note represents a goldmine of raw brain matter in the continuing mind-meld between dance-world spinners and the jazzmen of old. Like kids jumping into a pile of leaves, 13 DJs delve into the label’s vaults to connect Donald Byrd fusion and Wayne Shorter hard-bop with a hodgepodge of tricky needlework. The newcomers keep up with the old hats, combining respect for the originals with a jolt of modern momentum. Some take a soft approach; Kyoto Jazz Massive deconstructs and rebuilds Eddie Henderson’s “Kudu” with kicked-up rhythms and reverence for the song’s marvelous Patrice Rushen keyboard solo. Meanwhile, DJ Cam brings some nice flow via Erik Truffaz, who provides extra flava on Byrd’s funk-jazz workout “The Emperor.” Going all the way out, Matthew Herbert’s skittery, left-field style totally transforms Michel Petrucciani’s noodling “Caravan.” A challenging piece of jazz-dance, Blue Note Revisited artfully avoids down-tempo clichés, doing justice to the explorative nature of these artists and the wax they’ve left behind. — Matthew Cooke
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Baptiste Trotignon | Share – [Sunnyside Records, 2009]
Music is about sharing: an artist sharing his music with his/her band mates, and an artist and/or group sharing the music with the listener. The great musicians like French pianist Baptiste Trotignon an inventive and inspiring artist who has performed with the Moutin Reunion Quartet, Stefano Di Battista and Aldo Romano, (and Grand Prize winner of the 2002 Martial Solal Piano Competition), understands that simple, yet complex truth. And the proof can be heard on his incredible Sunnyside debut, Share, featuring an international cast of sidemen including New Zealand/New York bassist Matt Penman, and American drummers Eric Harland and Otis Brown III, with special guests Tom Harrell on flugelhorn and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner.
One could easily conclude this all-star lineup would sound exactly like an all-star date: with lots of flashy playing but no interaction. But Trotignon s compositional genius, as evidenced in the CD s eleven tracks, reveals his gift for writing musical structures that fully explore the capabilities and talents of his bandmates.
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Greg Lyons | Smoke Signals – [Overtone, 2009]Greg Lyons was born in Newcastle in the north-east of England to rather nomadic parents who arranged that he started roaming the planet at a very early age. By the time he left school he had lived in 4 separate locations in England, in India and finally in central Scotland where he developed his fascination with music and started his career playing bass in bands of various styles in the late 70s.
A collection of Lyons originals and one Beatles re-working recorded in July 2009 in London. The material is very groove-orientated and explores some odd meters in a very refreshing way.
Recorded in July 2009 in London with a great band featuring Pierre De Bethmann on piano and Rhodes, Dudley Phillips on bass, Nic France on drums and John Parricelli on guitar.
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Stanley Turrentine’s warm and expressive timbre is one of the most recognizable voices on saxophone from back in the day. His debut “Sugar,” is accompanied by a stellar cast of A-lists players brings absolute smoke to this dynamic and soul stirring recording! The highly acclaimed “Sugar,” still ranks as one of the best from his incredible catalog of recordings! ~ The Urban Flux
Stanley Turrentine | Sugar – [CTI, 1971] – The Weekend SpinI don’t understand why this CD received anything but great reviews. Stanley Turrentine has always been one of the most accessible, yet exciting sax players since he knows that jazz and blues are often the same. I’d rather listen to Turrentine than a lot of players who play in a more intellectual way, since he understands the feel and dynamics of the supporting personnel. And what great personnel…if you know anything about jazz; Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham plus lesser knowns like Butch Cornell, Lonnie Smith, and Hubert Laws make for some very dynamic and expressive music. The live bonus title track is excellent and definitely has a more live, spaced out feel. Sunshine Alley is excellent soul jazz with a funky backbeat. And the Impressions is an excellent rendition of the Coltrane classic since it has the similar structure to the original but shows obvious Turrentine touches.
Everything on this album has so much soul. This is typical of classic “soul jazz” since it combines the relaxed blues feeling and directness with jazz type rhythms; accessibility but interesting and changing improvisation. This is not the cold, cerebral type of jazz that turns off people unfamiliar to jazz music, but makes people increase their appreciation for improvisatory music. —Edward M. Green [CO]
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Karen Briggs is one the baddest and most entertaining violinist on the music scene! Her latest project “Soulchestral Groove,” embodies the near perfect ingredients that brings on the heat! ~ The Urban Flux
Karen Briggs | Soulchestral Groove – [Karen Briggs, 2009]This is her first, long awaited independent release since the grand exposure exposure of PBS Special, “Yanni: Live At The Acropolis“! Sum up the equation of soul plus orchestral plus groove and this CD exudes it all!
The opening Title Track, “Soulchestral Groove” delivers an obvious orchestral connection with a ‘sure-to-make-your head-bop’ groove. Arranged by neo-soul crooner/keyboardist extraordinaire, Frank McComb, this track is sure to grab the listener. Acropolis fans will not be disappointed as “Triumph” and “Scheherazade’s Groove” (Tracks 8 & 9) reminisce the fire-driven violin ‘soul-o’s’ that the violinist is most recognized for. “Little Sunflower” (Track 2) pays homage to late-great artists Freddie Hubbard and Curtis Mayfield, by elegantly joining the late trumpeter‘s “Little Sunflower” melody with the groove of Curtis Mayfield’s “I’m Your Pusherman”. Minnie Riperton’s popular classic, “Loving You” (Track 5) sounds like a natural vehicle for violin. ‘The Lady in Red’ has recorded extensively as featured soloist with a host of notable artists, including Ledisi (Lost & Found), Stanley Clarke (Vertu/Sony 550, Night School DVD), Hidden Beach’s Unwrapped Volumes 1-5, Wu Tang Clan (Reunited), Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin & Donnie McClurkin (Hopeville DVD).
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Jimi Tunnell | Trilateral Commission – [ Art of Life Records, 2005]Jimi Tunnell, Bendik Hofseth and Rachel Z were all members of Mike Mainieri’s Steps in the 90’s and shared stage together while Jeff Andrews was playing bass on the Yin-Yang album from 1992. So this is not surprising that the guitarist hired those musicians for his own projects and no less surprising that the music shares common aspects with Steps; Trilateral Commission is melodic fusion in the best context of the word; it is very close at times to the Joe Zawinul’s Syndicate (Zalimo in its title alone could be a link but no doubt’s left when you hear the rhythm section flowing away!), it has the obligatory ballads (where Bendik Hofseth especially shines), the classic throat yodling of Turkish percussionist Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Rachel’s always impressive keyboard flights, tight and cooking drumming by Omar Hakim and more yet.
Last and not least, it reveals the guitar playing of the leader, unfortunately too unknown, somewhere between Mike Stern and Wayne Krantz and deserving to be more known and heard; all in all a very inspiring album that should get more than one spin on your CD player! —Pierre Tassone (Denmark)
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SADE | SOLDIER OF LOVE – [February 8, 2010]
Apparently, due to lack of research on my part, I humbly apologize for posting that “Love Supreme” by pop vocal diva Sade was coming soon! According to Billboard.com I wasn’t the only one who got hoodwinked by the official looking Sade2009.com. Try, this Sade’s official web site!NEW YORK, Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ — The wait is now over. Epic Records is pleased to announce the release of SOLDIER OF LOVE, the highly anticipated new body of work from SADE. SOLDIER OF LOVE– which will be released WORLDWIDE on February 8, 2010 — is Sade’s first official studio album since the multi-platinum release of Lovers Rock in 2000.
Known for their one of a kind timeless sound, Sade has enjoyed phenomenal success both internationally and stateside throughout the span of their twenty-five year career. Since the release of their debut album, Diamond Life in 1984, the band has seen all five of their studio albums land in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart selling a total of more than50 million albums worldwide to date. They’ve been nominated for American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and have won three Grammy Awards — first in 1986 for Best New Artist, then in 1994 for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group for “No Ordinary Love”, and again in 2002 for Best Pop Vocal Album with Lovers Rock.
SOLIDER OF LOVE was recorded in England and produced by the band and their longtime collaborator Mike Pela.
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Greeting’s my fellow jazz and art enthusiasts, it’s a blessing once again to be beneath the wings of another Thanksgiving. During this holiday season may we unleash one of the most powerful gifts given to us “LOVE,” lets express ourselves by loving and giving to those in need. May all of you have a safe, loving, and prosperous Thanksgiving! ~ The Urban Flux [Rob]
Cynthia Felton | Afro Blue ~ “The Music of Oscar Brown Jr.” – [Felton Entertainment, 2008]Dr. Cynthia J. Felton serves as Artistic Director of The Ethnomusicology Library of American Heritage, a library of encyclopedias that traces contributions of music created in America.
Her singing style embodies jazz, rhythm & blues, and gospel music — a perfect fit for the broad stylistic range of compositions she chose for her debut recording.
Cynthia’s new release, Afro Blue, pays tribute to the legendary Oscar Brown Jr. whose work she greatly admires. The cd features twelve songs either written by Oscar or for which he wrote lyrics. In addition to Mongo Santamaria’s Afro Blue, the cd features other jazz classics such as Miles Davis’ All Blues, and Bobby Timmons’ Dat Dere. Continue reading