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.
Jazz guitarist Dan Baraszu's smooth jazz group - Planet Zu features the smooth jazz sounds from this organic quartet.
Dan Baraszu (guitar)
Joseph Patrick Moore (bass)
David Ellington (organ)
Marlon Patton (drums).
Available today at iTunes
"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.
"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.
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.
"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".