Spotify Playlists from Blue Canoe Records. Adding and updating frequently: https://open.spotify.com/user/bluecanoerecords
Blue Canoe Records latest release from Trey Wright is a ripping set of originals that moves from solid, classic jazz to sweet, sympathetic ballads with ease. The compositions on Songs From Oak Avenue deserve notice as does the playing of this group of veterans.
Songs from Oak Avenue is Mr. Wright’s second solo release on Blue Canoe Records and his follow-up to Thinking Out Loud (2009). This release is comprised of brilliant melodies and creative interaction with the sparse instrumentation. Each player, including Atlanta-based Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Mace Hibbard and expert rhythm section Marc Miller (bass) and Marlon Patton (drums/engineer), is given ample space to express ideas freely and dynamically…and all do so with mindful abandon. Mr. Wright is a jazz guitarist, composer and recording artist based in Roswell, GA. He is the co-founder of the Athens/Atlanta based jam band Squat. The group is a six-time winner of Best Jazz Band at the Flagpole Athens Music Awards and has been a featured artist at the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Bel Chere, The Twilight Athens Jazz Festival, The Cherry Blossom Festival, Harvest Midtown and Athfest. Several of Mr. Wright’s compositions with the group have received international airplay and have been featured on Sirius/XM radio and NPR’s All Things Considered.
Mr. Wright also performs freelance in the Athens and Atlanta area and has performed with Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets), John Patitucci, Joe Lovano, Corey Christiansen and Darmon Meader of the New York Voices. He has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz A Vienne and the World Sacred Music Festival in Bangalore, India. As a solo guitarist and with his trio, Mr. Wright has been a featured performer at the Athens Music and Arts Festival, The Lake Oconee Jazz Festival and the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Additionally, Mr. Wright is the guitar instructor at Kennesaw State University based in Kennesaw, GA.
Songs From Oak Avenue opens powerfully with “Boomerang”. Sam Skelton’s lush, industrious saxophone swings against Marc Miller’s walking bass pulse while Wright injects color in support of the melody. As the track unfolds, Mr. Skelton’s easily accessible melody expands to more challenging improvisational licks until finally giving way to a soaring electric solo from Trey Wright. The track ends in back and forth between the two that alternates between conversational style and a doubling of melody that ends the track as a warm invitation for the rest of Songs From Oak Avenue.
“Joni” is another distinguished track that highlights the talents of Trey Wright. “It is named and inspired by Joni Mitchell”, says Wright. “I have always been fascinated with her music…I was trying to emulate the floating feel and stream of consciousness approach of her music.” It opens with a subdued melody and tastefully chosen introduction to the inspirational talents of Grammy winner Mace Hibbard on the sax. The middle of this more contemporary tune this talented group is firing on all cylinders with all fully engaged and pushing each other forward against a rhythm section that delivers with forceful musicality.
Songs From Oak Avenue is a thoughtful, distinct offering put together by a group of veteran players that bring the right vibe at the right time. It is tastefully improvised and spacious while simultaneously thick and substantive. Trey Wright and his team are a group to be watched and Songs From Oak Avenue is an album to be heard…again and again.
Dynamite duo Dan Baraszu and David Ellington have teamed up for an explosive eponymous debut album. With live wire Marlon Patton on drums, this band is raising eyebrows in the Atlanta area.
Hammond B-3 superstar Dave Ellington moved to Atlanta, GA in 2005 after 22 years in New Orleans playing and recording with dozens of acts including Walter "Wolfman" Washington and the late gospel and blues great Marva Wright. While in New Orleans he studied with Ellis Marsalis and created Chevere, an afro-Cuban jazz project. Their release entitled, "Baila Mi Ritmo" was chosen by Times Picayune music critic Keith Spera as one of the 'Top 20 recordings' of 2001. Since Hurricane Katrina, Ellington has spent time in Atlanta gigging with numerous jazz, blues and soul outfits while working on the Organ Trio.
Rising jazz guitar dynamo Dan Baraszu had been burning up the Atlanta jazz scene since graduation from Berklee College of Music and The University of Miami. While versed in many styles, Baraszu found his love for jazz at a young age when he discovered Wes Montgomery. Since arriving in Atlanta, he has freelanced for the top jazz players in town and once Ellington arrived, they just seemed to find each other. ”B3 Organ and guitar have always been such a great combination. Something about the sustain of the organ and the percussiveness attack of the guitar are very complimentary. I have always wanted to play with a cat like Dave that knows the tradition but also strives to push the music forward into new realms”, says Baraszu. Since connecting, the dynamic duo have combined in numerous configurations but none felt as satisfying as the Organ Trio. “I love what happens when we play together (in the organ trio format); the sound, the vibe, the songs - everything!” informs Ellington.
Hailing from Atlanta, Marlon Patton has literally played drums his entire life. He studied music at The University of Georgia and has vast experience in genres as diverse as modern and straight ahead jazz, rock, hip hop, Latin, salsa and afro-Cuban. He records and performs year-round all over the world and boast performance credits with John Patitucci, Rufus Reid, Wycliffe Gordon, Mike Wofford and Sade.
The album opens with "Road Rage" and displays magical interplay between guitar and organ. The conversation is colorful and the guitar solo embraces Baraszu's inner George Benson. When Ellington fires up on his B-3, hints of Joey DeFrancesco and Jimmy Smith are exposed while New Orleans echoes throughout. When the funky Doodah Man rolls out, Marlon Patton's groove sets the tone for delightful interaction that is accessible and radio ready. The compilation closes with a smokin' interpretation of the 1962 Quincy Jones classic, Soul Bossa Nova. The intertwined guitar and B-3 forces a smile at the familiar melody while eliciting awe at the fresh delivery.
"Dan Baraszu & David Ellington Organ Trio" is a rollercoaster of jazz, funk and soul that will please a diverse listening audience and leave the listener anxious for more. This is a trio to watch in 2014 and beyond.
Jazz drumming legend and Blue Canoe recording artist Jimmy "Junebug" Jackson has died. He was 55.
Jackson's family announced that the musician died on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 in Washington, DC where he lived and performed until his death from congestive heart failure.
For over twenty years, Jackson toured the world with legendary organist Jimmy Smith. In his time with Smith, Jackson performed with jazz greats McCoy Tyner, George Benson, Christian McBride and many others. His latest recording featured arrangements inspired by a 1961 collaboration between Cannonball Adderly and Nancy Wilson. Included on this masterpiece is a previously unreleased track featuring the late Jimmy Smith. Jackson was known as an unshakable sideman and for his strong, distinctive shuffle beat.
Jimmy "Junebug" Jackson was an unmatched talent that will be missed in the world of jazz
Listen to Jimmy in his own words...This audio interview was conducted at an Atlanta Starbucks with the late great Jimmy Junebug Jackson. It was recorded on a laptop computer and the background noise can be rather distracting. However in spite of this, we've decided to release this audio interview. In this un-edited and raw interview, Jimmy discusses working with Jimmy Smith, his early beginnings, his CD, words of wisdom and much much more. Interviewed by Joseph Patrick Moore for Blue Canoe Records.
Live From Austin, the latest album from trombonist Ron Westray and trumpeter Thomas Heflin. The album features internationally known artists such as Neal Caine, regular bassist with Harry Connick Jr., Eric Revis, featured bass player with the Branford Marsalis quartet, and drummer Adonis Rose, who toured extensively with Nicholas Payton. The group also features three of the top jazz musicians in Austin Texas: Elias Haslanger, Peter Stoltzman and David Sierra.
Heflin and Westray recorded the album in 2009 while living in Austin, TX. At the time Heflin was completing his doctorate in music and Westray was serving as professor of jazz at the University of Texas. The recording project was conceived as a way to capture the energy of live jazz in Austin, a city known as the “live music capital of the world.” It felt appropriate to make the recording at the jazz club, The Elephant Room, which was selected as one of the top ten jazz venues in the United States by Wynton Marsalis in USA TODAY. The recording features all original compositions from the pens of Westray, Heflin and Austin jazz star Elias Haslanger.
Ron Westray is already one of the most highly regarded trombonists of his generation. In addition to serving as lead trombonist with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, he is known for his collaborative album with Wycliffe Gordon on the Atlantic label entitled Bone Structure. In past years, he also toured as a member of the Marcus Roberts Quintet and the Mingus Big Band, as well as performed with a roster of jazz notables too long to list. In 2008, Westray released Medical Cures for the Chromatic Commands of the Inner City. Ron is currently an Associate Professor at York University (Toronto, CA) and also serves as the Oscar Peterson Chair in Jazz Performance.
Rising star Thomas Heflin has already gained a fan base internationally with his style and command of the trumpet. In 2005, he placed second in the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition in Seattle, Washington. Two years later, he released his debut album, Symmetry. Marco Maimeri's of Italy’s “Jazz Magazine,” described the CD as "… the extension of a charismatic leader with an innovative style, who has the heritage of Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan, but who does not forget the lessons of Freddie Hubbard…" In 2009, Heflin released his follow-up recording with the jazz collective “The New Five.” “Live from Austin” marks his third release on Blue Canoe Records. He currently lives in New York City where he works as the Program Manager of the Precollege Division at the Manhattan School of Music.
"Introducing The New 5" is a fresh post-bop debut with a classic quintet vibe. This compilation is the perfect fusion of classic and contemporary jazz. "Listening to this music is pure pleasure. I highly recommend it" - JoAnne Brackeen
The New 5 was born out of the doctoral music program at the University of Texas @ Austin. Thomas Heflin (trumpet) has played with Grammy-winner Stephon Harris, Donald Brown, James Williams, Lou Rawls and Ron Westray. In 2005, Mr. Heflin won second place in the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition in Seattle.
Michael Arthurs (tenor sax) has studied with Joe Lovano and George Coleman among others and was named the Outstanding Soloist at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival. Peter Stoltzman (piano) is the son of two-time Grammy-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and has performed in prestigious places such as Carnegie Hall and The Hollywood Bowl. Mr. Stoltzman has been described as a "monster jazz piano player" by the late Jack Elliot (music director of the Mancini Institute and the Grammy Awards). David Colvin (drums) has performed on the David Letterman Show and Austin City Limits as a member of the rock outfit Heartless Bastards. Chris Budhan (bass) is a festival producer in Eastern Canada and presents more than 1,000 performances each summer as part of the City Stages and Always On Stage Festivals.
The New 5 is a premium example of the whole being greater than the sum of it's parts. They dynamic interplay between these rising stars is the reason jazz lovers push "repeat".
"Thinking Out Loud" is the latest introspective from guitar-stunner Trey Wright. Mr. Wright assembles a trio for this rendering of eight originals and two bold covers of current rock artists.
"Thinking Out Loud" captures the magical interplay that drummer Marlon Patton (Universal Music Group's Heavy Mojo) and bass-ace Marc Miller have developed live. The strong melodic bass lines braid through modern jazz/rock drum rhythms and provide a unique, fresh foundation for Mr. Wright's contemplative voice. Recorded mostly live and with minimal overdubbing, there is a dynamic interplay captured by Mr. Wright and producer/drummer Marlon Patton. The raw energy and often dark mood of the songs from "Thinking Out Loud" make it one of the more compelling releases this year.
"Rat Race" starts off the album and sets the tone perfectly. It's mood is a reflective and utilizes multiple time signatures while the melody that Mr. Wright floats deftly on top cuts perfectly against the counter melody of the bass. Mr. Wright also chose to include Soundgarden's "Blow Up The Outside World". This adventurous cover contrasts a somber with romantic melody. This creates a captivating tension between that which is familiar and something that is shadowy and hidden. It is quite a unique take on a traditional rock song.
Trey Wright and his trio have created an intriguing contrast of sorts with "Thinking Out Loud". It is both dark and hopefully melodic while modern with traditional instrumentation. "Thinking Out Loud" keeps the listener on edge and at the edge of their seat until the end...anticipating more from this rising star.
Phenomenal Guitarist Dan Baraszu and multi-talented bassist/producer Joseph Patrick Moore offer fresh inspiration to twelve Christmas classics on the latest Blue Canoe Records release "Christmas Time is Here". The duo strikes a touching balance between the complex reharmonization of these standards and the simplistic, stripped down interplay between guitar and bass. This musical conversation is especially notable in the sweet, lullaby-infused melodic bass part of "Silent Night". The trading of melody between Mr. Baraszu and Mr. Moore strikes images of a mother gently singing the little ones to sleep as the snow gently falls outside.
The pair jump in with "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", an up-tempo number featuring a jumping, rhythmic groove and haunting guitar melody. "Jingle Bells", offers up a unique coloring of another holiday classic. Again, Mr. Moore's creative groove and use of open space provides the perfect backdrop for a truly fresh version of such a seasonally routine melody.
Baraszu and Moore conclude their holiday creation with the traditional, "Angels We Have Heard on High". The bouncing bass line and almost reggae-like rhythmic feel is a sublime counter to Mr. Baraszu's contemporary version of this timeless melody.
"Christmas Time is Here" is an inspirational rendition of Christmas standards that offer a rare perspective unheard during this season. The interaction between these two notable artists is emotive and relevant long after the season is over. Mr. Baraszu and Mr. Moore converse in a beautifully woven and unique accord that's rare in a holiday release.
"Look What the Cats Drug In" opens with ripping guitar work from Dan Baraszu on "Neutron Star", a song inspired by Stevie Wonder's "Too High". There is no slowing down with the complex harmonies by Eugene Maslov on "Last Ray". Blue Canoe's stable of talented artists is further exposed in "Symmetry 1" with the fluid, highly polished lines of virtuoso trumpeter Thomas Heflin. The album continues with unimaginable horn players Bryan Lopes and Ron Westray as well as the stellar compositional and orchestral arranging of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra. The compilation brings it home rhythmically with percussionists Philip Smith and Jimmy "Junebug" Jackson. Listen for the famous Jimmy Smith on the B3 on the final tune by Junebug, "Save Your Love For Me (live)".
"Look What the Cats Drug In" is a vibrant exploration of the post-bop gems in Blue Canoe Records' vast and ever-growing catalog. Quite literally, "Look What the Cats Drug In" displays the finest musicianship of modern jazz.
The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s debut cd for Blue Canoe Records, “Blues Man from Memphis”, is a most adventurous big band effort featuring the work of Donald Brown. The recording also highlights the prodigious talents of three other world renowned artists: bassist John Clayton, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, and saxophonist Greg Tardy.
Pianist Donald Brown (who also produced the cd) is considered to be one of the most innovative composers in the field of jazz today. Among the many accolades Brown has received, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis says: “Donald Brown is a genius.” Bassist Ron Carter adds: “For those who look around and ask, ‘Where is the next great jazz composer? Who is going to lead the music into the twenty-first century?’ Look no further. Donald Brown is here.” Brown’s compositions have been recorded by many artists. Wynton Marsalis’ recording of “Insane Asylum” on “J-Mood” was nominated for a Grammy, as was Donald Byrd’s recording of “Theme for Malcolm”.
As a testimonial to Donald Brown’s expertise as a piano player, the late Art Blakey professed: “Donald Brown is one of my favorite accompanists with The Jazz Messengers since Cedar Walton and Walter Bishop, Jr.”
The KJO is a supercharged, motivated ensemble formed in 1999 by trumpet player/arranger Vance Thompson. Although a large group (17+ members), they perform regularly and have played prestigious venues such as The Montreaux Jazz Festival. The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra has a wide fan base, largely due to the enthusiasm incurred by compelling and exciting arrangements and famous guest artists.
All of the compositions on this cd are by Donald Brown. The arrangements and orchestrations are by Vance Thompson and Bill Mobley, respectively.
“Blues Man from Memphis” is an ingenious, inspired work for the contemporary jazz big band. Twenty-first century jazz is alive and thriving.
"Symmetry", the debut of jazz trumpeter Thomas Heflin, explores the vast possibilities of contemporary post bop jazz through a carefully balanced program of original compositions and thoughtfully selected cover tunes. The self produced cd admirably showcases Heflin's brilliant, highly praised improvisational skills as well as the formidable talents of his band, including four tracks featuring the late world renowned pianist James Williams.
A rising star in the jazz world, Heflin made waves on the international jazz scene in 2005 when he placed second in the prestigious Carmine Caruso International Trumpet Solo Competition in Seattle. One reviewer described his playing as "a very fluid approach... generating lines in a seamless, highly polished manner that is really a joy to experience."
Among the original compositions are "Symmetry", the title track which opens and closes the album; "Salutation", a piece based on Kalidasa's poem "Salutation to the Dawn", and the ballad "Eastern Star", dedicated to James Williams. Heflin also covers material ranging from Louis Armstrong's anthem "When It's Sleepy Time Down South" to Cole Porter's "Night and Day" to Stevie Wonder's "Ma Cherie Amour".
"Symmetry" is aptly titled: Thomas Heflin has achieved a fine sense of proportion through his original pieces and covers. And though it is one of the last recordings James Williams made before he passed away, perhaps a new jazz legend, Thomas Heflin, is emerging in his own right.
Jazz Pianist Eugene Maslov's CD, "Where the Light Comes From" (Blue Canoe Records) is an imaginative endeavor which not only shows off Maslov's extraordinary talent as pianist but demonstrates his remarkable abilities as composer, arranger and producer as well.
Eugene Maslov has been an active touring and recording musician over the past decade: he has recorded and performed with Shirley Horn; Toots Thielmans; Gary Burton; Eddie Gomez; Omar Hakim; Pearl Bailey as well as many others. Maslov now brings his prolific experience and encyclopedic knowledge of jazz form and improvisation to a format with a balanced concept, astutely and poetically rendered within the tight chemistry of his backup musicians which include guest appearances by Hubert Laws (flute) and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums).
The strength and entertainment value of this effort lie in Maslov's unique musical ideas, deeply rooted in contemporary post-bop jazz: "The irony of 'Where the Light Comes from'," says Maslov, "is that in my arrangements and compositions I am actually trying to touch upon the different shadows of the listener's feelings."
"Where the Light Comes From", by Eugene Maslov displays a sense of timelessness with an eye bent towards the future. Eugene's original composition's as well as his arrangement of the Miles Davis classic "Nardis", demonstrate the true beauty and originality of this extraordinary jazz artist.
On My Way Home is the long awaited solo release by drummer/vocalist Jimmy "Junebug" Jackson. It is a swinging tour de force of a cd echoing the spirits of the hard bop era while remaining firmly entrenched in contemporary jazz.
Jimmy Jackson's association with jazz is a profound experience in itself. For over 20 years Jackson toured the world with legendary organist Jimmy Smith, and during the course of this prestigious tenure he also performed with other such masters as McCoy Tyner; George Benson; Carlos Santana, and Christian McBride (who refers to Jimmy as "swinging Jimmy Jackson"). Having shared the stage for so many years with these and other giants of jazz - and the list is extensive - makes Jackson a icon in his own right.
On My Way Home features arrangements inspired by a 1961 collaboration between Cannonball Adderley and Nancy Wilson. There are several original tunes as well that keep the musical dialogue between past and present alive and intact. There is also a previously unreleased track recorded live in Tokyo featuring the late Jimmy Smith.
Whereas many musicians who have spent their careers as sidemen have difficulty shifting their status to center stage, Jackson's soulful vocals and commanding personality allow him the opportunity to front his talented quintet as well as maintaining his status as a world class drummer. "The collaboration between Cannonball Adderley and Nancy Wilson, was a record that really set me on fire about playing jazz when I was young," says Junebug, now 49: "On My Way Home is my way of paying tribute to them and all the other great artists who've inspired and guided me over the years."
A well meaning journalist once asked a famous trumpet player to define jazz. The response was "Man, if you don't know by now, you ain't never gonna know!" A definition of jazz is indeed elusive, but On My Way Home, by Jimmy "Junebug" Jackson, is jazz. Period. It displays a sense of timelessness and universality, a link between past and present, and that is what great art is all about.
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