Blue Canoe Records has released “Look Beyond The Rain” from veteran piano man Bob Thompson and The Bob Thompson Band. Mr. Thompson brings the optimism in a funky way with the help of legendary producer and long-time friend, Buzz Amato (Curtis Mayfield, Ben E. King, Kriss Kross). Referring to the theme of the album, Thompson asserts, “It is going to rain sometime on your life but you have to look beyond that. This music spreads love and makes people feel good.”
Bob Thompson is a performer, band leader, and educator and is a staple in the music of West Virginia. A native of New York, Mr. Thompson came to West Virginia to study trumpet at West Virginia State University. In 1991, Bob joined the West Virginia Public Broadcasting's ground breaking "Mountain Stage", as house pianist and featured artist. He is also co-producer of Joy To The World, a Holiday Jazz Show broadcast on public radio nationwide (since 1992), heard internationally on Voice Of America and was just inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in 2015. He has played all over the world with diverse artists including Bunky Green, Larry Coryell and recorded with Omar Hakim, Gerald Veasley and Kevin Eubanks.
“Look Beyond The Rain” opens with “Time 2 B One” and reveals Bob Thompson dancing along an exhilarating melody. After a few bars John Inghram (bass) and Tim Courts (drums) lay down a solid funk groove cued by the piano’s opening. The opening track unfolds into a floating solo by Doug Payne (sax), a driving solo from Ryan Kennedy (guitar) and again from Mr. Thompson with a supporting solo that brings them all together. The exchange between them resolves by the end in a dreamy fade that leaves the listener wanting more.
Possibly the most notable on the compilation is “The Swamp Stomp”. This time the listener is guided through the groove by a joyous and melodic theme on the saxophone. Again the rhythm section throws down a solid, funky groove and the listener is treated to delightful lick-swapping by some of the most talented musicians that the Eastern United States has to offer. The juxtaposition of the funk groove, wafting sax, beautifully linear fender rhodes and driving rock guitar really exposes the influences of this diverse group of individuals and melds into a solid singular voice.
“Look Beyond The Rain” is a joyful experience, no doubt about it. These incredibly talented musicians have a way of delivering accessible melody, touching the heart of the listener and not overcomplicating things. Like any great artists, they make it look easy. “Look Beyond The Rain” is a must-listen for fans of jazz, rock, blues and funk. These songs will stir emotion and leave the listener...optimistic.
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“No Small Thing” opens with the classic in the pop rock world, Aqualung’s Brighter Then Sunshine. “…suddenly you’re mine”, sings Jennifer Carrozza as the listener is drawn into the dynamic odyssey. With the use of lush instrumentation, Mr. Carrozza sets up the voyage perfectly. The Carrozza’s fall effortlessly into the McCartney standard Blackbird. The Carrozza connection of piano and vocals is haunting and memorable…adding a novel take on the classic. From there, J-Mood travels effortlessly from Sting to Neil Young to winning melodies of their own. Of note, John Carrozza’s own Hope Restored composition is an emotional contemporary jazz number with energizing give-and-take between Sam Skelton’s genius sax and John Carrozza’s expressive piano stylings.
No Small Thing is a smart, diverse must-have that falls right into the spiritual hip pocket of the audience’s subconscious. Classic and contemporary at the same time, The Carrozza team leave an important impression while using all the colors in the palette. It is, indeed, No Small Thing.
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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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
Review by: Pete Pardo
Bassist Joseph Patrick Moore’s latest album Live in 05 is a fun and spirited jazz-fusion collection of songs recorded at This House Rocks in Atlanta, Georgia on April 2nd, 2005. Moore has been busy over the last few years, putting out a few albums of his own as well as appearing on various other artist’s recordings. Here, he and his crack band of Al Smith on keyboards, drummer Jon Chalden, EWI player Al Mcspadden, and percussionist Emrah Kotan really give a five performance on eleven tracks of smokin’ and funky fusion, melodic cool jazz, and progressive tinged improvisations.
Moore himself is a very smooth player with some serious chops, whether he is laying down deep grooves or lean melodic solos on electric, fretless, or double bass. Fans of Victor Bailey, Gary Willis, John Pattitucci, Stanley Clarke, and Marcus Miller, will instantly dig Moore’s energetic style. Although there are plenty of great bass solos on the album, the live setting affords his bandmates to also get in on the action, especially keyboard player Smith, who launches into a wild synth frenzy on the funky “Gypsy Moon Father Sun”. He also provides a nice melodic foundation in which Moore can dig into some serious popping bass lines on the light jazz piece “Fall”. Drummers will love the percussion/drum spotlight “Drum Dance”, which allows Chalden and Kotan some room to show off before the song segues into the fine “Datz It (version 2005)”, a song with plenty of funk bass melodies and 70′s styled electric piano.
Ultimately it comes down to compositions, and Moore is no slouch in that department. These are all memorable tunes with catchy melodies, which go along just fine with the solid chops of the band. So if you in the mood for some well played and melodic modern jazzfusion, you can’t go wrong with Live in 05.
3. Prayer of Solitude
4. Chief Dagga
5. Gypsy Moon Father Sun
6. Bless You
8. Bebop Charlie
10. Drum Dance
11. Datz It (version 2005)