Friendship, Hope, Joy, Inspiration, Desire, Peace and Strength are just some of the words that can describe the latest Blue Canoe Records release from Grammy Award winner Yonrico Scott. Mr. Scott takes the listener on a funk rock journey through the blues and delivers them with the feel of a gospel revival. On "Be In My World", Scott plays the role of percussionist, vocalist and co-producer while getting some help from old friends.
Yonrico Scott is an American Grammy Award-winning drummer and percussionist. He was a longtime member of The Derek Trucks Band and is currently the drummer for recent sensation Royal Southern Brotherhood featuring Devon Allman, and Cyril Neville. In 2010, Scott accepted the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for The Derek Trucks Band for their 2009 album, "Already Free". Mr. Scott has played with industry big-names such as Stevie Wonder, Warren Haynes, Whitney Houston, Peabo Bryson, John Denver, and The Allman Brothers to name a few. With the Derek Trucks Band, he served as percussionist and contributing songwriter for 17 years.
On "Be In My World", Yonrico hits the listener right between the eyes with opener and instant funk rock classic "Confused". As on many of the tracks, Scott gets an assist from keyboard/flute sensation Kofi Burbridge and producer Oliver W. Wells. With an instantly memorable groove, the listener begins a journey into the blues led by foundation members of the jamband circuit. "Confused" is the perfect way to begin this journey.
Derek Trucks makes an appearance on power ballad "Hear Me Now" featuring the bluesy interplay between Trucks and Mace Hibbard on tenor sax. This soulful arrangement brings out classic Trucks and the Southern blues rock that made him famous.
Mr. Scott brings the listener full circle on the final, title track "Be In My World". The invitation to "Be In My World" is an irresistible and sultry way to wrap up this dynamic effort. Featuring over 30 musician's, Yonrico Scott's world is a familiar yet fresh place and is destined to be a celebrated place to stay.
It's "gonna be alright" is the underlying theme of Chinua Hawk's dynamite new release "A Beautifully Complicated Life", produced by Joseph Patrick Moore. In his fourth full length compilation, Mr. Hawk sings of heartbreak and finding his way back to life. A songwriting partnership with Wyclef Jean and studio support work with Kanye West has led Chinua Hawk to "A Beautifully Complicated Life". Listeners will be captivated by Mr. Hawk's unique blend of pop, gospel, R&B and classic soul.
Chinua Hawk is a modern, award winning vocalist and a prolific songwriter. His work has been featured in television shows such as CBS "Joan of Arcadia" and movies such as "First Sunday" and Dave Chapelle's "Block Party". In one of the most affirming illustrations of Mr. Hawk's talent, he has won Billboard Magazine/Disc Makers Independent Music World Series where he beat over 1,000 bands with just a guitar player to accompany him. Mr. Hawk was also named the APCA Multi-Cultural Artist of the year for 2005 and 2006, APCA Best Cultural Fine Arts Artist in 2008, APCA Performer of the Year in 2008 and APCA Best Male Performer in 2009.
"A Beautifully Complicated Life" starts with "Back To Life" and the Grammy Award winning drumming of Yonrico Scott's riveting backbeat. The soul-drenched pop effort features Hawk's anthematic vocals perfectly while tackling the global matters of pain, faith and impending comeback.
The third track, "Nickel To Spare", has a deep funk groove and challenges the listener to keep his feet still. The sensational artist and recording engineer John Carrozza lays down irrepressible keyboard support for Mr. Hawk's airy vocals and the result is a dreamy chill that bobs heads.
The fifth track and George Michael hit, "Careless Whisper" is an amazing arrangement/spin-off of this classic chart topper. It features the incredible backing vocal work from Chantae Cann (Indie Arie) and Grammy Award Winning Jarrett Johnson (Quincy Jones) intertwined with the sultry Mr. Hawk.
In the final song, Chinua Hawk pays tribute to one of his heroes, the great Al Green. Chris Blackwell's guitar work on "Let's Stay Together" is perfect for this reinvented classic and helps lay the groundwork for Mr. Hawk's extraordinary vocals and dynamic range.
"A Beautifully Complicated Life" is an impassioned experience that displays masterfully the talent of Chinua Hawk. Mr. Hawk manages to stay current in a talented field of Adult Contemporary Pop and R&B followers. "A Beautifully Complicated Life" is a must-have for anyone wanting a new collection of great music.
Blue Canoe Records have released "XYZ Factor" from bassman, Joseph Patrick Moore. This bold, uber-current effort fuses elements of contemporary jazz, for which Mr. Moore is famous, with electronica and the delivery is a fresh and relevant EP that will appeal to his current fans and fans of electronica alike. In the same vein as artists BT , Owl City and Moby, Mr. Moore hits the listener with a smooth, irrepressible experience that encourages listeners to use the repeat function.
Joseph Patrick Moore is a prolific jazz, pop and rock musician as well as producer, session musician, film composer and author. He has worked with artists such as Stewart Copeland (The Police), Earl Klugh, Chris Duarte and Bob James to name a few. "XYZ Factor" is fresh on the release of "To Africa With Love" where Mr. Moore coupled its release with a mission trip to Africa where he got involved on the front line of support for The Kingdom of Swaziland.
The three song EP "XYZ Factor" starts with "Yield", an ambient electronic beat backed by Mr. Moore's signature bass tone. The haunting melody sticks with the listener long after the song resolves and is supported by a bubbling beat that forces feet to move.
"Xanadu", the second track, begins with a mysterious, synthesized mood that moves from left to right. The beat gently settles in and the echo of a dreamy voice calls from above. By the time the melody falls in, the addictive beat is ingratiated into your subconscious. From classical strings to ambient keys to contemporary jazz melody, this electronic hallucination is not to be missed.
"XYZ Factor" rounds off with the full-tilt "Zig Zag Zoom". Mr. Moore infuses pop melody lines over the Owl City like beat to create a dance party right from "Play".
"XYZ Factor" is co-produced by Buzz Amato (Curtis Mayfield, Ben E. King) as player, producer, composer and arranger coupled with Mr. Moore's bass stylings and production. This EP is a cerebral experience that punches to the core of today's electronic scene. Joseph Patrick Moore manages to stay ahead of trends in his pursuit of bringing worlds together through music. "XYZ Factor" is a must-listen for fans that love jazz, electronica and all points in between.
Composer, producer and performer Joseph Patrick Moore weaves tribal rhythms into funk, pop and jazz melodies on his eighth solo release, "To Africa With Love". Mr. Moore connects with some old friends and new ones in this dedication to the Land of the Sahara. The work itself contains 13 songs that range in genre from Contemporary Jazz to Funk to Rock to Contemporary.
Moore and company utilize funky blues man Charlie Wood to spark a contemporary version of the Meters classic "Fire on the Bayou" that requires the listener to get out of their seat and move. The opening track wastes no time showing off Mr. Moore's unmatched talent on the bass as the opening bass riff socks the listener between the eyes. It's off to the races as the blistering take on the Meters' standard blends rock and urban rhythms while never losing touch with that classic southern funky feel.
The title track, "To Africa With Love" is a touching, current love song to a continent that has experienced so much injustice and tragedy. Featuring Dove award winner Seth Condrey on vocals, this touching remembrance is equally at home in Adult Contemporary or Contemporary Christian radio. When queried about the motivation for the song, Mr. Moore says, "...Music has the power to uplift, connect, heal and create universal harmony for the human race. As God's vessel, each of us are on a spiritual journey to develop and embrace the gifts He has given to us...and share them for and with our fellow man".
"Stained Glass Aura" is another standout adventure. Bold contemporary jazz bass and forceful urban rock rhythms weave in and out of the sweetest of pop melodies. Moore's masterful production and arrangement on this piece really showcase his wizardry on both the fretless and fretted bass in ways that awe and inspire the imagination.
"To Africa With Love" is an inspirational devotional to the people of Africa. It is a vibrant explorations into the genres and textures that inform contemporary composer, producer and performer Joseph Patrick Moore. Catch Moore's inspiring work in the upcoming tour with Earl Klugh and Bob James or at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival in Chicago with Earl Klugh.
"This Is Why", the latest release from guitar guru Bill Hart, is a fusion freight train transferring payloads full of blues, funk, rock and jazz. It is precisely this jambalaya of genres that makes Mr. Hart's music so accessible. "This is Why" features five-time Grammy® nominee award winner Mike Stern (guitar) along with Enrico Galetta (bass), Gary Wilkins (bass), Charles Marvray (drums), Tom Knight (drums), Jef Ven Veen (drums) and Ahsa Ahla (percussion). The result is deep groove, thick interplay and high voltage.
This masterpiece opens with "Anna Banana", dedicated to his daughter. The sweet, strong melody "...reflects her out-going personality...", according to Mr. Hart. This leads right into "On My Way Home", a melodic meditative journey featuring the most unique fretless guitar solo. It leaves the listener with the feeling that all is well with the universe.
The album concludes with a spiritual collaboration with Mike Stern. Mr. Hart's solo is a moving, one-take announcement and the perfect way to sum up this smart, listenable collection. "This Is Why" exemplifies Mr. Hart's new directions and influences in his music and establishes his place among the top jazz/fusion guitarists of our time.
"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.
J-Mood Jazz Band takes these holiday classics for a fresh spin through the winter snow. These superstar musicians have a warm, inviting vibe that is irresistible. The interplay between the piano sax and vocals is remarkable. Note the opening track, "Jingle Bells". This standard melody jumps to life as the conversation between Mr. John Carrozza's piano and Mrs. Jen Carrozza's vocals commences. The listener is eventually carried away when guest saxophonist Sam Skelton chimes in with his smooth, rich solo response.
"Let It Snow" is the perfect follow-up to the up tempo rendition of "Jingle Bells". One can feel the warm fire crackle as the mellow piano rolls in response to the call of the traditional melody.
"Welcome to Our World" warms the listener to the true meaning of Christmas. "...perfect son of God, welcome to our world...", sings Mrs. Carrozza with her lullaby-sweet voice. This is a truly touching version of this modern gospel testimony.
J-Mood takes us for a few more spins around the snow-laden sleigh track with "Sleigh Ride" and "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm". You would never that J-Mood hails from the Southern USA with their enthrallment over cold winters. Fortunately for the listener, these magnificent musicians have given us a glimpse into their chilly world...and have managed to heat things up in the process.
"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.
This exclusive Emusic.com two CD set, recorded live at the prestigious Berlin Jazz Festival showcases the true depth and artistry of Punk Jazz Trio Megaphone Man.
"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.
"RayJam" is the solo release by Tunisian born lute/guitarist and visionary, Nabil Khemir. It's a luminous recording that embodies the enchanting sounds and spirits of North African Egyptian music, while remaining firmly entrenched in contemporary jazz fusion.
Nabil Khemir's fascination with jazz music, coupled with his cultural heritage is a profound experience in and of itself. While growing up beside the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea and in the heart of a Tunis metropolis firmly enriched his worldly perspective, Nabil was inspired by Western and European artists such as George Benson; Django Reinhardt; John McLaughlin and Pat Methany. This intermarriage of fused cultural worlds is no more evident, than on his debut musical CD recording for Blue Canoe Records. Featured song's like "Parfum D' Orient Et D' Occident", "Nadam" and "Hanin" demonstrate Nabil's clever way of injecting his delightful character into the music, while communicating with his gifted musician's in an uplifting, unspoken and artistic way.
"RayJam" features five original compositions and arrangements inspired by the 2004 musical hybrid invention that Nabil himself created. This unique one of a kind, hollowbody double neck instrument, allows Nabil to explore his musical playfulness by having an electric lute and electric guitar within grasp at a moments notice. Nabil aptly named his new creation, "RayJam". "Ray, I choose because the instrument gives off colors like a ray from the sun. Jam, I choose because the lute and guitar are vibrating and jamming together, an energy I feel while playing it," says Khemir.
Not to go unnoticed for his artistic achievments, Nabil Khemir was recognized and decorated with honors by the President of the Republic of Tunisia (Zen El-Abidin Ben Ali) for his cultural contribution to the country and its cultural heritage in June of 2007. If this is an early indication of the bright talents of young Nabil Khemir, this deserved modern day jazz gypsy will continue to garner new fans in Tunisia and around the world, with his live performances and his infectious electromagnetic sounds of "RayJam".
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.
"Decade", the newest release by Joseph Patrick Moore on Blue Canoe Records, contains material compiled from his recording efforts spanning the years 1996-2005. Unlike other compilation or "best of" recordings, Decade is not a testimonial of past achievements but a preface, or glimpse, into the artist's future.
JPM is a master bassist, equally proficient with upright and electric instruments; his technical virtuosity and artistic curiosity has taken him in pursuit of many musical styles. It is apparent that Moore's works are inspired by mainstream jazz and contemporary jazz as well as r&b, gospel and pop. The result of this exploratory approach to composition is fresh, imaginative, and adds an air of excitement and serves as a foil to the all too often boring and overworked state of academic classroom jazz.
A great sense of adventure thrives in this compelling 80 minute, 19 song CD. Moore pays tribute to mentors Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis with original compositions "Herbie" and "Pause 1". His solo bass version of The Police tune "Masoko Tanga" and the full-band vocal rendition of Men at Work's "Down Under" (in the spirit of Hancock's "Possibilities" and Davis "Tutu") are evidence that pop music is an excellent source of inspiration of jazz arrangements. JPM's abilities come full circle on the title track: he composed and played all the instruments on this soon to be smooth jazz anthem.
If you are searching for music with rich textures and groove oriented arrangements, look no further than Joseph Patrick Moore's Decade on Blue Canoe Records. Aptly titled, it is a remarkable odyssey through the world of contemporary jazz.