Atlanta, GA (April 29th, 2016) - Blue Canoe Records has released “Marbles From A Drawer”, from versatile keyboard player David Ellington. “Marbles From A Drawer”, produced by Coy Bowles of Zac Brown Band, features many acclaimed guests and focuses on smoky, keyboard-based blues that is contemporary while still maintaining an old school presence.
David Ellington grew up in Connecticut learning in as many musical situations as possible. From garage bands to church and school bands, he viewed all of these musical experiences as ways to learn. After high school, Mr. Ellington continued his education in Boston at Berklee College of Music. He moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1983 where he played and recorded with many local legends including Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Troi Bechet among others. Mr. Ellington also created afro- cuban jazz group Chevere during his time in New Orleans. Cheer recording “Baila Mi Ritmo” was chosen by Times Picayune music critic Keith Spera as one of the Top 20 recordings of 2001. During this time, he continued learning as he studied under Ellis Marsalis.
“Marbles From A Drawer” begins in sultry fashion with “Goin’ To Church”. Mr. Ellington captures the listener’s ear with an expanding groove that gets deeper and funkier as the track breathes. It fills senses while remaining simple at heart. As the keyboard foundation gives way to a sizzling guitar solo, the interplay between players gets bigger while maintaining its simplicity and catchy feel. At the end, the audience is left wanting more while their feet are still tapping.
On “98 Bottles”, Mr. Ellington features Clay Cook on vocals. Mr. Cook is famous for co- writing hits with John Mayer including “No Such Thing” which won the 2003 ASCAP award for Most Performed Song. “98 Bottles” is a melancholy song about waiting remorsefully for a lost love. The haunting keyboard textures add to the wistful regret as the vocals build and fade. Ellington and Cook combine to move the listener as the track ends in a dream-like fade.
“Fool” is another notable track that features Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers) on vocals. Mr. Ellington leads on a journey of honesty and regret that can be tasted in Wood’s voice. In admitting shortcomings and questioning self-worth, David Ellington exposes our human existence with these universal themes while Olive Wood brings those emotions to heart.
“Marbles From A Drawer” is a masterful compilation that brings together brilliant songwriting with traditional blues, modern Americana and classic could all while exploring common themes of our human experience. David Ellington does all of this and packages it in a very accessible way that demands use of the replay button. “Marbles From A Drawer” is a stirring and impassioned release that will have the listener looking to hear more from David Ellington.
“Touch Of Blue”, the fifth album from epic guitar man Bill Hart. This bold, current effort fuses rock and bits of blues and jam-band to form a unique blend of Satriani-like soul.
Bill Hart was born and raised in Ontario, Canada and began playing guitar at the young age of nine years old. Influenced by the diverse guitar style of Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, and Jimmy Page, he came up playing non-traditional places like theaters where he performed “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Little Shop of Horrors”. Mr Hart has studied under master guitarists such as Mike Stern, Wayne Krantz and Scott Henderson and has been the head of the guitar department at the Atlanta Institute of Music & Media for over 25 years. He has opened for jazz greats Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller, Lou Rawls, Yellow Jackets, Acoustic Alchemy, Joey Defrancesco, Norman Brown, Rippingtons and Mike Stern among others. Touring all over Latin America, Mr. Hart was awarded a letter from the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela for his contribution to the students in South America.
“Touch Of Blue” opens with a haunting guitar melody that is answered by Pat Strawser’s chiming piano calls. Soon, Mr. Hart and Enrico Galetta’s singing bass are engaged in a back and forth conversation and “Deep Skies” is off to the races. Set on the frame of Jaungui Aguayo’s driving rock back-beat, “Deep Skies” is a five minute onslaught of non-stop energy.
“That’s Purdy” is a sassy number melting the established rock beat with pure funk overtones. Jazzy piano interjections, a funky rhythmic feel and Mr. Hart’s patented rock guitar are the perfect follow up to “Deep Skies”. The middle of the song opens up and the keyboard takes a solo that matches Hart’s intensity and the melody soars as piano and guitar trade reflective musings.
“Touch of Blue” is an intelligent, no nonsense adventure that cuts to the quick and gives a modern perspective on rock fusion. Bill Hart releases the hounds and the listener is guaranteed a wild ride through a kaleidoscope of sound, texture and pulse. Take a ride with Bill Hart’s “Touch Of Blue” today...this one is not to be missed.
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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.
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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.