"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.
"Defining Moment" is a reflective, soulful EP that features the smooth melodies of John Carrozza. Mr. Carrazzo's pop sensibilities shine brilliantly throughout this collection on the keyboards, guitar and from the producer's chair.
The opening track, "Defining Moment" is a smart pop-jazz melody that is the perfect lead-in to this thought provoking record. The bouncy bassline is the perfect counter-point to Mr. Carrozza's piano lead.
The next track, "Prodigal's Return", tells a beautiful story. The changing tempos and the sensitive soothing piano leads the listener through a soul searching journey. John Carrozza is an instrumental story teller.
"Something I Said" is a sweet rendition of a Peter Erskine tune. The introspective feel of this version is a perfect continuation of the mood of the rest of the album.
"Defining Moment" is a smooth jazz gem that emanates emotion and tells beautifully melodic stories. John Carrozza lays down the same piano genius that he did for two singles on Earl Klugh's Grammy nominated album "The Spice of Life". The exquisite musicianship and stellar production is destined to be a hit for smooth jazz radio.
"That's Wassup" is the debut release from Charles Langford. This imaginative creator displays his knowledge of musical history on his latest release, "That's Wassup". Mr. Langford seems to move effortlessly from straight ahead swing to funk to crooning, romantic ballads...there is literally something for every taste on this album. "Chucky's Funk" lays down some classic Stanley Clark jazz bass funk and the horn work is reminiscent of the great George Coleman. "Someone To Love" fills the senses with a romantic David Sanborn melody that you are left humming for hours.
Mr. Langford has studied under Archie Shepp, Yusef Latef, Donald Byrd and Barry Harris, among others. He has done sessions or toured with artists as diverse as The Toni Lynn Washington Blues Band to The Temptations and Mighty Sam McClain.
Charles Langford is an artist with a lot to say and he gets his point across with many different voices on his debut, "That's Wassup". With such dynamic musicianship, we will certainly be hearing his name for years to come.
"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.
One of the most highly regarded trombonist of his generation, Ron Westray continues to expand upon the legacy set before him with his CD release, "Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City".
Ron's work as an instructor, mentor, recording artist and leader, has earned him world-wide recognition. Ron is perhaps best known for his work as lead trombonist in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra conducted by Wynton Marsalis, as well as his collaborative effort with Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Roberts and the Charles Mingus Big Band. Now Ron Westray brings his compositional vision and improvisational skills to his latest CD effort, "Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City". Featuring Ryan Kisor on trumpet, Walter Blanding Jr. on tenor saxophone, Eric Revis on Double Bass, Montez Coleman on drums and Tony Suggs on keyboards.
While "Medical Cures..." is a groove based recording, its steeped in a rich traditional jazz history, yet with a modern contemporary appeal. "The idea behind the recording" states Ron, "was to compose a jazz/hip hop score and live iteration of the evolution of hip hop and jazz. I became a jazz musician, but I searched on the concept of why jazz couldn't be as popular as funk. Medical Cures is that answer" sites Ron. Song's like "Fuzzy Dice", "The Jiggy" and "Bumpsie's Got it" will have the listener dancing to the vibe while enjoying lush, rich harmonies from this stellar ensemble of players. Mr. Westray's compositional achievements allow him a notable position among jazz composers, additionally his accomplishments on the trombone showcase him as a virtuoso instrumentalist.
Ron has recorded as a sideman on labels such as Columbia, Sony Classical, and RCA Novus and his accomplishments in the field have gained him exposure in publications such as Ebony, Essence, Downbeat, JazzTimes, Life Magazine and The New Yorker. Fan's of Ron Westray's earlier works and collaborations won't leave the listener disappointed. If "Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City" is any indication into Ron's vision, courage and longevity; Mr. Westray has a bright future indeed.
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.