In Parabbean Tales Iwan combines the rhythms and melodies of Caribbean music and contemporary jazz with a strong groove to weave a narrative of his childhood and express the love for his native music. Iwan’s career as a trumpet and keyboard player, composer, arranger and producer spans over twenty-five years of touring, performing and recording as a solo artist and with some of the greatest names in the industry including Candy Dulfer and Sister Sledge.
Trumpet: Iwan VanHetten
Piano, Keys: Russell Ferrante
Bass: Melvin Lee Davis, Jimmy Haslip (tracks #5,#7)
Drums: Will Kennedy
Percussion: Lenny Castro
Steel Pans: Andy Narell (tracks #7, #8)
Sax: Bob Mintzer (track #6)
Recorded at Castle Oaks Recording Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Recording Engineer: Rich Breen
Mixing: Iwan VanHetten (at VanHetten Productions, UK)
Mastered: Peter Beckmann (Technology Works, London, UK)
Photography - Anael Miantsoukina (Paris, France)
Art Design - Aaron Paddock
Keyboardist Scott Kinsey is known for many things — being a close friend and protege of the late Joe Zawinul, an integral member of the iconic fusion band Tribal Tech and pushing subsequent boundaries with his adventurous groups Human Element, the Zawinul Legacy Band and ARC Trio. In a continually evolving career, Scott’s operational motif is embodied by the word “exploratory.”
Enter vocalist, songwriter and electric bassist Mer Sal (Meridith Salimbeni), a Coloradan with a fresh presence on the LA scene who spent years honing her songwriting, vocal and performance craft while fronting bands around the West to rave reviews. Through a series of recent (and fortuitous) introductions to top players and producers, Mer was invited to participate in The Native Dancer Series: A Tribute to Wayne Shorter and Karl Sterling’s Dream: Parkinson's Global Project. Both of these projects saw her performing along with many other top-shelf musicians, including Jimmy Haslip, Peter Erskine, Nir Felder, Gary Novak and Jeff Richman.
Mer and Scott first crossed paths on one of these sessions and there was something of an instant connection between the two. After their initial meeting they kept in touch, exchanging lyrical and musical ideas. Mer continues, “I sent Scott the beginnings of a song, which he arranged and reharmonized. When I returned to LA to live, he played it for me. It blew my mind, it was so incredible — and incredibly thoughtful.” It’s that uncommon connection and synergy that fires the collaborative and creative union between the two, the fruits of which come through on Adjustments.
Part of the mojo transmitted on the album owes to the individual musical path each has taken and the different processes they have developed to achieve their respective musical ends. They also seem equally taken by the other’s abilities. “It’s interesting,” Kinsey says, “because she writes all this poetry — pages upon pages of text. I look at it and say, ‘There’s no song there.’ But when I ask what she has in mind, she starts singing and I can’t believe it, it’s totally there... a melody, a direction, a concept... everything.”
Sal concurs: “I’m a poet, but I’m equally a singer, so the melody comes out hand in hand with the lyrics. I usually hear some sort of harmonic background to the melodies while I’m writing but now that I know what Scott does with them, I try to come up with melodies that lend themselves to Scott’s process. I love hearing him ‘Scottify’ them.”
Kinsey adds, “She has a full song there — melody, lyrics and chords — but I actually don’t want to hear the chords; I don’t want them to influence what I might do. I want to keep my freshness, with the melody and the lyric and that’s it. This gives us individual roles to play. She comes up with the lyrics and the melody, then I can put my thing to it.”
One might think that Kinsey, with a background steeped in instrumental, soloing-oriented music, would have altered his approach for the album’s song-based collaborations. “To me it’s not really that different.” Kinsey explains. “I still say, what is the melody, what is the story — just as I would with a saxophone player or guitarist — and write around that.” But Scott readily admits that having Sal in the mix sparks different inspirations. “It’s because of her voice. I love orchestrating around that and end up writing more harmony. With busier instrumental records, the music is already dense. But with Mer’s voice I can hear all this lush stuff going on around it.”
The fact that Adjustments displays some of Kinsey’s most innovative writing, playing and arranging to date may indeed owe to having Sal as talented muse, but it’s also the singer’s authenticity that effectively grounds Kinsey’s work like never before. Her original songs, such as the opening “Tiny Circles,” display a certain valiant fearlessness for a songwriter whose emotions run so palpably close to the surface. “I recorded that in my studio in Colorado and it was the first one I sent to Scott. I felt that in my life, I was walking in tiny circles instead of the bigger ones where I wanted to be. It’s kind of admitting my shame — so I could get through it.”
But even when the pen presses hard lyrically, it’s not only taken aloft by Sal’s engaging vocals but by Kinsey’s (sometimes counterintuitive) treatments: “I had a general concept that if it’s a very, very dark lyric, I won’t enhance it with more darkness. I don’t want it to sink deeper into that pit but keep it afloat by lightening it up. Just like I might put slightly darker things around a really happy lyric or melody — enhance it by pulling it the other way a bit.”
This symbiosis also carries over into the duo’s wonderfully creative takes on some classic (if not surprising) cover material on the album. Steely Dan, The Beach Boys, even Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” — (Kinsey’s an unapologetic Blondie fan) — all are freshly reimagined by the pair. Perhaps none of these are more emblematic of the Kinsey/Sal union than the wonderful joining of Joni Mitchell’s “Down to You” with Weather Report’s “Jungle Book” — something of a talisman and surely among the album's high points.
The icing on the cake for Adjustments is undoubtedly how the proceedings are further raised by having so many of the sought-after, A-list musicians of Kinsey’s world (e.g., Scott Henderson, Oz Noy, Tim Lefebvre, Hadrien Feraud, Gergö Borlai and others) uncommonly colliding with Sal’s. This propels the music beyond today’s retrograde “jazz vocalist” albums that seek to rekindle nostalgia for the singer-fronted jazz band. Nor is it another in the recent stream of barely distinguishable, vocal-forward, jazz/neo-soul hybrids that proliferate in the modern soundscape.
In their own way, what Scott Kinsey and Mer Sal exhibit on Adjustments speaks to an intersection as uniquely compelling as when Jaco met Joni. A modern entity, to be heard on its own terms. Says Mer, “We want to change what’s considered the norm a little.” And in light of the music that she and Scott have brought forth here, listeners will happily make their own “adjustments.”
Biography written by Mike Jacobs
Contemporary and Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Charles Langford releases his Sophomore album titled, "Powerless". Featuring guest appearances from Jimmy Haslip (bass), Russell Ferrante (keys), Jimmy Branly (drums), Avery Sharpe (bass), Poogie Bell (drums), and many other notable musicians. With "Powerless", Charles and his talented group take the listener on a smooth musical journey by way of deep grooves, soulful horns, and passionate textures that blend seamlessly with their superior musicianship and production.
Gergo Borlai is a monster drummer, and composer from Budapest, Hungary. His latest album titled, "The Missing Song" is an original tribute album dedicated to influential drummers that have inspired Gergo. All the song titles are named after nine chosen famous drummers. All songs composed and arranged by Gergo Borlai except “Terry” composed and arranged by Alex Machacek. "The Missing Song" will surely inspire many drummers and musicians just as Gergo'sinfluences have inspired him.
Gergo Borlai has appeared on more than a 500 albums, received two lifetime achievement awards and two "gold record awards," as well as the Golden Drumstick Prize and the Artisjus Lifetime Achievement Award. Besides being a band member and session/studio musician of world renown productions and with Grammy awarded musicians, Gergo also became a clinician/educator all over the globe.
Some of the names Gergo has performed and recorded all over the planet: Gary Willis (USA), Jimmy Haslip (USA), Scott Kinsey (USA), Jeff Lorber (USA), Scott Henderson (USA), Nathan East (USA), Dean Brown (USA), Vinnie Moore(USA), Jeff Beal (USA), Matthew Garrison (USA), Tom Scott (USA), Bob Mintzer (USA), Hiram Bullock (USA), L. Shankar (India), Tony McAlpine (USA), Vernon Reid (USA), Terry Bozzio (US), Al DiMeola (USA), Hadrien Feraud (F), Yolanda Charles (GB).
Stream | Download | Buy - The Missing Song
It is with a heavy heart that we share the news on the passing of Blue Canoe Recording Artist Yonrico Scott. Mr. Scott was a drummer, percussionist, vocalist, visual artist, educator, and a true friend and champion of our label. Yonrico released four albums for Blue Canoe and worked with many in the industry such as Derek Trucks, Earl Klugh, Whitney Houston, Peabo Bryson, Col. Bruce Hampton, Royal Southern Brotherhood and so many more. The people he touched with his gifts is unmeasurable. His spirit will live on and we ask that you pray for his family during this difficult time.
"A man in harmony with life and spirit, always in search for the new positive energy ..." - Yonrico Scott
A statement from Grammy.com
Joseph Patrick Moore updates the catalog with his 12th solo release, "Nevada Sun". Two years in the making, Mr. Moore has teamed up with...well, himself...to produce just right album at exactly the right time. He produced the album and plays every instrument himself while, per his usual modus operandi, spanning genres from smooth jazz to Persian groove...from pop to funk and even a reggae-tinged number.
For nearly two decades Joseph Patrick Moore has been touring, recording, and establishing himself as an artist with a unique voice and a diversity of talents. His skills as bassist, composer, arranger, producer, author, educator and founding partner of Blue Canoe Records and Blue Canoe Digital. Moore's music and creative vision echo the spirits of Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis to name a few. Over the years, Mr. Moore has played with some of the great musicians of our time including Earl Klugh, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Bob James, John Popper, Derek Trucks, Michael Tolcher (A&M/J Records), Colonel Bruce Hampton, Bo Bice (American Idol) and many others. The record label he created in 2003, Blue Canoe Records, recently put out two releases of trios that included 22-time Grammy Nominee and 3-time winner Jimmy Haslip (former Yellowjackets bassist and founding member). In his "spare time", Mr. Moore is an on call artist for the Cirque du Soleil show, “KA” at the MGM in Las Vegas...he keeps talented company.
"Nevada Sun" opens with the title track, a funky pop number that reaches out and grabs listeners attention straight out of the gate. Mr. Moore lays down a solid foundation with the drums keeping steady time against soaring guitar injections. Meanwhile, bouncy keyboard textures give way to a melody that grips the heart immediately until finally a solitary voice leads listeners gently to “Movement of Light”. Smooth jazz radio is tailor made for Nevada Sun's second track. Piano and a strong rhythmic figure point the listener to the genius of JPM's signature bass melodies. The journey of “Movement of Light” really highlights Mr. Moore's multi-instrumental talent and melodic sensibilities.
Further into "Nevada Sun", "Fearless" is like an infusion of cotton candy. It opens with an elastic piano hook on the upbeat...reggae style. Aside from the attention it garners, the steady island vibe and the sparse instrumentation in places really allow for the delivery to breathe in a resoundingly hopeful and playful way. "Fearless" is bound to be a go-to track on "Nevada Sun".
Once again Joseph Patrick Moore delivers the goods. The fusion of styles along with the constant pop and jazz sensibilities will make "Nevada Sun" rise to the top of your playlists. Be on the lookout for multi-media renditions of tracks from the album produced and filmed by, you guessed it, Joseph Patrick Moore!