Smooth Africa II, a follow-up to the internationally recognized Smooth Africa album in 2000. This project brings together some of Southern Africa's finest instrumentalists and vocalists in diverse settings.
Jaco Pastorius Big Band - High-profile bassists gather in tribute to the late great Jaco Pastorius in a big band setting with previously unrecorded arrangements written by Pastorius.
(HUCD 3078 enhanced, HUSA 9078 SACD 5.1)
Since galvanizing the instrumental music world more than two decades ago with its unique East-meets-West approach, Hiroshima has always kept its eye on a distinctive world-meets-jazz philosophy. The result is a seamless blend of Asian and North American sensibilities to reflect both cultural and spiritual connections. With over three million albums sold worldwide, the signing of Hiroshima to the Heads Up roster is consistent with the recent signing of such premier acts as Spyro Gyra, Pieces of a Dream and Yellowjackets.
(HUCD 3076 enhanced, HUSA 9076 SACD 5.1, June 2003)
Yellowjackets' first studio album in five years features pianist/keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip and saxophonist Bob Mintzer, with new member drummer Marcus Baylor. One of the world's most creative instrumental bands, Yellowjackets have been recording, performing and building a fan base for over two decades. With fifteen albums, a dozen Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards to date, Yellowjackets continue to blaze a trail into the 21st century with an energy and a signature sound that few will fail to recognize and most have come to love.
(HUCD 3075 enhanced, HUSA 9075 SACD 5.1, May 2003)
Drawing inspiration from the grooves of his early days in Philadelphia, six-string bassist Gerald Veasley is a natural to move into the neo-soul movement. Herb Middleton, best known for his work with Ann Nesby, Brownstone, Kenny Lattimore, SWV and Will Smith, co-produces the project with Veasley. Among the many highlights is an original Veasley track featuring vocalist N'Dea Davenport.
(HUCD 3072 enhanced, HUSA 9072 SACD 5.1, April 2003)
Guitarist/composer/producer and Grammy nominee Doc Powell is best known for his work with pop icon Luther Vandross, recording on eight of his platinum records, as well as playing on albums with such superstars as Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Dionne Warwick and many others. Paying tribute to the vibrant Manhattan music scene, Powell's Heads Up debut was inspired by the location and his fond memories of Mikell's, the now-defunct jazz club in New York City that drew everyone from George Benson to Regina Belle. 97th & Columbus includes a lengthy roster of well-known contemporary musicians, including George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Harvey Mason, Marcus Miller, Benny Maupin and many others. The album features a stunning version of Luther Vandross singing the Marvin Gaye classic "What's Going On."
(HUCD 3073, HUSA 9078 SACD 5.1, March 2003)
Considered to be one of contemporary instrumental music's most popular bands, Spyro Gyra was founded in 1975 by saxophonist and producer Jay Beckenstein. Original Cinema reunites the band with vibist Dave Samuels, and also features labelmate and steel pan master Andy Narell. Spyro Gyra's 2001 Heads Up debut, In Modern Times, enjoyed 64 weeks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart, peaking at # 2.
(HUCD 3074 enhanced CD, HUSA 9074 SACD 5.1, February 2003)