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.
To Africa With Love (Remix). Featuring:
Rat Bastardz - remix artist/production
Buzz Amato - keys/production
DJ Kidd Star - loops/production
Rick Hinkle - keys, composer
Joseph Patrick Moore - keys, composer
Tyrone Jackson - keys, pads, strings
Wayne Viar - percussion
Brian Carl - guitar
Seth Condrey - vocals, composer
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
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.
"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.
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.
Bryan Lopes Trio's debut CD for Blue Canoe Records,"Bryan Lopes Trio Volume 1", is a high energy expedition crossing from jazz to R&B to funk and back again. This trio also displays the talent of award-winning drummer Jeff Sipe (Jonas Hellborg, Leftover Salmon, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, featured in Modern Drummer August 2008) and multi-instrumentalist Neil Fountain on bass (The Fiji Mariners, Jimmy Herring, Megaphone Man).
Atlanta first-call session man Bryan Lopes works with numerous incarnations of experimental jazz jam bands as well as some of the greats of jazz, pop, rock and R&B music including Chick Corea, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Stone Temple Pilots and Don Henley among others. "Bryan Lopes is one of the most stylistically aggressive saxophonists living in the Southeast", says Jazziz writer James Rozzi. Lopes and crew lead listeners on a prismatic journey from jazz to funk to turbulent improvisation on this offering.
"Bouncy Pants" opens the release displaying the complex interaction between Sipe and Fountain as Lopes use of complex harmony suggestive of Michael Brecker. By the third and fourth tracks, "Happy Evil" and "Landau" the crew show their bop-chops with swinging rhythmic interaction and fantastic improvisatory stretches for which Lopes is famous. The album concludes with a funk jam of generous interplay and constantly changing tempos in "Terrelism" and the sultry "Two Pavilion Way" that conjures images of the lonely sax-man on a foggy, deserted street at 3am.
The first Blue Canoe Records release of the Bryan Lopes Trio does not disappoint. "Bryan Lopes Trio Volume 1" offers an adventurous journey into the modern jazz exploits of three of the most promising modern music-men of today.
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.
Punk jazz improvisational trio Megaphone Man, pride themselves on a loose avant-garde approach in creating their unique blend of jazz music. Hailing from Athens Georgia USA, Megaphone Man consists of Neal Fountain on bass, Jeff Reilly on drums and Bryan Lopes on tenor saxophone. With carefully crafted thematic notes and rhythms, this young group of virtuosos demand as much from themselves as they do the overall group interplay of their contributing melodic ideas. Megaphone Man's debut CD recording "Live At The Tabernacle", is such an experience.
Recorded live at The Tabernacle Concert Hall in Atlanta, GA USA, Megaphone Man's performance captures their forty-five minute opening set with headliner and James Brown sideman, Maceo Parker. Instrumental songs such as "Razor Egg Hunt", "Reoccurring Nightmare", "Fat Gambling Liar", "Miles of Rust" and "Bubble Hat" not only demonstrate clever and witty song titles, they musically transform these titles into a work of art. Megaphone Man is not timid in taking chances with their improvisational skills, which should be evident by the fact their debut CD is a live recording and not a conceived studio recording.
"Megaphone Man has a style all their own," states Jazziz writer James Rozzi. "The manner in which these accomplished musicians approach a particular tune will drastically change from one performance to the next. In an effort to maintain their own interests, they create an abundance of spontaneous, razor-sharp musical maneuvers for their audience. One concert with these guys is like a lesson in improvisational wit and daring." With Megaphone Man's turn-on-a-dime approach, one particular song will metamorphose numerous times--harmonically and rhythmically--before coming to a close. The end result is an exciting foray with enough depth to please an audience of hard-core jazz fans--or the more laid back patrons of the jam band circuit.
Describing the music of Megaphone Man is difficult. Although all members shy away from calling themselves a jazz trio, their music contains full elements of jazz--and then some. "We all have wide varieties of music in our backgrounds," states Fountain, "so I think it best not to call ourselves a 'jazz band' per se." Whether it's hard-bop, funk, free-form, R&B, R&R, country…you name it and Megaphone Man has it in the mix somewhere. As Lopes (whose inspirations include Coltrane and Joe Lovano) is quick to inform, "Hey, if I want to quote Led Zeppelin, I'm going to quote Led Zeppelin!"
In 2001, Atlanta based culture rag and weekly newspaper 'The Creative Loafing', named Megaphone Man the "Best Jazz Band" in the Atlanta metro area. One only has to listen to "Live At The Tabernacle" to see why the Creative Loafing title holds true. The trio of bassist Neal Fountain, saxophonist Bryan Lopes, and drummer Jeff Reilly is genuinely articulate, highly artistic, intellectually stimulating, and perhaps best of all, full of surprises. If this debut CD recording is any indication into the future of Megaphone Man, many exciting performances and musical journeys await.
"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.
"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.