July 29, 2011

Be Part Of Greg Adams' New CD

Now for your chance to play a part in the production and release of the latest CD from the wonderful East Bay Soul. Much like the band’s 2009 debut, the project is the brainchild of trumpeter Greg Adams who has well as being a founder member of the legendary Tower of Power has carved out a unique place for himself within the higher echelons of contemporary jazz. With major record labels becoming fewer with every passing year Greg is going alone on this one and needs your help. Read on for Greg’s own words on how you can be part of it all.

A message from Greg:

I am hoping that you'll join me at Kickstarter to make a pledge, and if you can, spread the word to your circle of friends. I need all the support I can gather. The money is going towards the recording studio, engineering, mixing, mastering, artwork, CD manufacturing and of course the musicians. I am pretty fast in the studio, am writing now and will have ten original songs with which to go into the recording sessions. More than ever I have something to say and, having made three CDs on my own, have come as far as I can. If we are successful at Kickstarter I am planning a release date in the fall or early January. No pledge is too small!!

When someone makes a pledge with a credit card, it goes through the Amazon credit card services and is held there in an escrow account, and then, only if the project reaches its goal, will the credit card be charged. No one's pledge is publicly displayed. You may make a pledge for any dollar amount you want and in return select a reward of your choice.

At Kickstarter, if the financial goal is not attained the project does not get funded and all the money pledges are cancelled. In other words no one gets charged. It's an all or nothing deal!

If the goal is exceeded, we put the additional funds towards into making the CD even better! Maybe add real string players and even perhaps some promotional activities.

Thanks for checking out what I am doing at kickstarter.com. I want to make a CD with you and some history too!

The goal is $25,000 and with the deadline of August 10 at 4.56PM PST, rapidly approaching $15,866, i.e. 63% of the required total, has been pledged so far.

Here is the link to the fund raising platform at, www.kickstarter.com/projects/2065985585/join-greg-adams-and-east-bay-soul-20. Check it out and, if you can, please support this fantastic project.

Posted by Denis Poole at 2:00 AM

July 28, 2011

It's not just the music that makes BB Jazz so great!

By The Jazz Gypsy

BB Jazz present
9th Annual BB Jazz Festival
Saturday, September 10, 2011

Huntington Beach Central Park
7111 Talbert Avenue,
Huntington Beach, CA 92648.

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BB Jazz has a killer line-up as usual but it's not just the music that makes BB Jazz so great. Every festival has it's own "personality" or "vibe" that is a direct result of the producers.

We've all been to those mega and even mini festivals that make you feel like you are entering a police state because they have so many restrictions and inconveniences from just getting in the venue, to inadequate, costly or difficult parking. And my personal pet peeve is with those venues that don't accommodate people who want to dance.

BB Jazz is just the opposite of that.

The Venue
Huntington Beach Central Avenue Park is filled with lush, green spaces and mature shade trees so there's no need to line-up at 2am to insure you'll get a good spot. Also, by design, every area of the park has excellent sight lines to the stage and the vendor village is only steps away. The venue is also "disability friendly" with paved walk ways and terrain that is easy to navigate by wheel chair and for those walking with canes.

The Entertainment
What a great mix of contemporary jazz and R&B: Rachell Ferrell, The Tony Rich Project, Kindred The Family Soul, Gentlemen of the Night w/Marion Meadows, Warren Hill, Paul Taylor, Time Bowman and Brian Simpson with special guest Elan Trotman. What's not to love?


The Vibe
Upscale but oh so cool! Everybody is there to have a good time including the producers, Betty and Corky Benish. Betty will be the first one on the dance floor and the last to stop dancing, while Corky is calling you out if you're not up and on your feet. BB Jazz is where you can relax, enjoy good music, eat great food, mix and mingle with old and new friends while partying the whole time. And, I must mention LA's favorite DJ, Jonathan Phillips, is always there to keep the party rockin'.

Parking
There is ample, FREE parking, on-site and steps away from the entry. This is a huge plus!!

A Party with a Purpose
You can feel good knowing that your ticket purchase is going to a good cause because BB JAZZ is a non-profit organization and all proceeds benefit Children's charities!

For Tickets or more info go to www.bbjazz.com or call 714 377-7574

The VIP area at BB Jazz is exceptional:
VIP Platinum Tables w/dinner & two drinks included $185.00
VIP Gold Chair Seat w/dinner $130.00
VIP Bronze Chair Seat behind Tables/ no dinner $90.00

VIP tickets for children are the same price! Food purchased from the vendors is allowed in the VIP area during the day. The VIP Bar will have all necessary beverages, (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) available.

There is ample shaded areas and executive bathrooms in the VIP Area. Enjoy the music and mingle with the artists.

LAWN SEATING AREA:

GENERAL $45.00 lawn seating bring your own blanket,low back chair and picnic.
Children between 6 &12 years are $10.00 for lawn seating.

Small coolers allowed or purchase food and beverage at the incredible vendor village. All types of food and merchandise will be in the village this year. DO NOT BRING ANY BEVERAGES EXCEPT FOR WATER.

There is great visibility of the main stage from all areas of the park. Come early and find your special spot. Lots of shady trees and PARKING IS FREE!


HOTEL HUNTINGTON BEACH call 714 891-0123, ask for BB Jazz Rate @$75

BB Jazz is on Facebook,Twitter & You Tube. Go to www.bbjazz.com for updates, video and music.

ENTER TO WIN A "PRIME TIME" WEEKEND IN HOLLYWOOD WITH SAXMAN PAUL TAYLOR GO TO HTTP://WWW.PAULTAYLORSAX.COM don't miss an opportunity for VIP SEATS at the festival and more!!!

Posted by JazzGypsy at 7:19 PM

July 27, 2011

What We're Listening To ** July 2011

J E F F * D A N I E L S

Mike D'Lorenzo, Bring It Back (Keep The Groove) (2011)

Cindy Bradley, Unscripted (Trippin & Rhythm) (2011)

Paul Hardcastle, Hardcastle VI (Trippin & Rhythm) (2011)

Joseph Vincelli, The Invitation (Integra Records) (2011)

Jay Rowe, Live At Daniel Street (Jay Rowe Music) (2011)


P E T E R * B O E H I

Brian Hughes - Fast Train To A Quiet Place (2011)
Guitarist Brian Hughes delivers another outstanding album full of great melodies, uplifting grooves and - most of all - excellent guitar playing, supported by a top-notch band. Mighty fine stuff!

Duane Parham - Motor City Sax Appeal (2011)
Saxophonist Duane Parham's tribute to the Motown legends caught me by surprise. This musician has great sound and sensibilities on the saxophone, the selection of the material is fine, and the arrangements just work. This one caresses my soul!

Russ Hewitt - Alma Vieja (2011)
This is a great flamenco guitarist in the vein of Jesse Cook, his latest release boasts excellent acoustic guitar playing and catchy latin melodies with a modern twist. Guests include Michael Lington on sax and Charlie Bisharat on violin. Thumbs up!

Gail Jhonson - Her Story (2001)
Keyboardist Gail Jhonson is the musical director of guitarist Norman Brown, her latest release is tagged "smooth jazz with a feminine touch". The lady delivers some great smooth jazz and adds another nice slice of music to her catalog. Check it out!

Gato Barbieri - Euphoria (1979)
My nod to the past goes to Argentinian saxophonist Gato Barbieri, this classic record belongs to my all-time favorites with the impeccable production by Jay Chattaway and the support of the best NY studio cats. Always worth to come back to!


D E N I S * P O O L E

The whimsical but totally beautiful ‘Mice’ by Michael Franks from the CD Time Together; Brought alive by the vibraphone of Mike Mainieri and sumptuous guitar from David Spinozza, this melodious tour de force will get in your head and not go away.

‘Together We Stand’ by Down To The Bone from the bands latest release The Main Ingredients. With the horn section of Tim Smart on trombone, trumpeter Ryan Jacob and sax-man Tom Richards making velvety magic, the whole tune sizzles in a way that perhaps only the music of DTTB can.

‘Easy Come Easy Go’ by Paul Hardcastle from the recording Hardcastle 6. Despite the fact that ‘Rainforest/What's Going On’ was the first single to be serviced to radio, in terms of popularity, this ultra accessible track might yet prove to be the most enduring.

‘Morning’, by Bob Baldwin, from the album Re-Vibe; Despite the fact that Baldwin is the undisputed master of urban jazz, this deliciously contemplative cut is a timely reminder that when it comes to melodic smooth jazz Bob is up there with the best of them.

‘Lifted’ by Cindy Bradley from her latest release Unscripted; With Thano Sahnas outstanding on guitar the entire piece serves as a perfect showcase for the sheer splendor of Bradley’s playing.

Posted by Peter Böhi at 5:30 PM

July 23, 2011

Down To The Bone - The Main Ingredients

Welcome to the latest issue of Denis Poole’s Secret Garden, the page that offers a personal perspective on the very best from the world of smooth jazz and classic soul.

Ever since 1997, when they burst onto the scene with the seminal Manhattan To Staten, Down To The Bone has been all about the groove. The brainchild of non musician Stuart Wade, Down To The Bone came out of the acid jazz movement that was prevalent in the UK during the early 90’s. In the intervening years, and with sax man Shilts at its centre, the band delivered a series of high octane albums but now (with Shilts away to pursue his solo career) DTTB are entering a new phase of what by any measure continues to be an interesting career. Recently signed to Trippin N Rhythm, the band’s latest offering is The Main Ingredients where the forte Wade has for using his production skills to bring alive his musical idea’s through a frequently changing group of ultra-talented performers is once more reaping rich dividends.

Talking of DTTB’s frequently changing personnel, The Main Ingredients finds the excellent Oli Silk playing keys and sharing writing credits on three of the tracks. Of these, the intensely rhythmic ‘Music Is The Key’ is underpinned by Wade’s luscious horn arrangements and also happens to be the first single to be serviced to radio while ‘South Side Overdrive’ finds the collective DTTB line-up at its ultra funky best. Silk is again on top form with the Latin tinged ‘Watch Me Fly’ that is brought alive by wonderful vocals from former Eurovision contestant Imaani and in similar vein is ‘Second Nature’ where her contribution is just as good. The song is co-written by Neil Angilley whose performance on keys really steals the show and his contribution is equally significant with the easy grooving ‘Uptown Hustle’ which is notable for more of DTTB’s trademark funk.

In this respect it is in the good company of ‘Cut And Run’ and, although the (relatively) relaxed yet totally mesmerising ‘Universal Vibe’ owes much to splendid bass from Julian Crampton, when Imaani returns for a third and final time the delightfully soulful ‘Closer’ proves to be one of the album’s standout tracks. That said, in terms of personal favourites the brass driven ‘Together We Stand’ is right up there. With the horn section of Tim Smart on trombone, trumpeter Ryan Jacob and sax-man Tom Richards making velvety magic, the whole tune sizzles in a way that perhaps only the music of DTTB can.

Do you have any comments on what you have found in this edition of the Secret Garden? If so please e-mail me on DenisPoole2000@Yahoo.com.

Posted by Denis Poole at 6:21 PM

July 18, 2011

Andre Delano with Special Guest Tom Braxton to perform at INFINITI Summer Concert Series

By The Jazz Gypsy


INFINITI Summer Concert Series
Hyatt Regency, Newport Beach
www.hyattconcerts.com
June 24-September 30, 2011
Fridays, 8 p.m.


The Hyatt Regency Concert Series is billed as the longest running jazz series in the country. As such, you can expect to see a parade of smooth jazz greats every Friday night at 8pm from June 24 through September 30th.

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I am particularly excited about seeing two phenomenal saxophonists, Andre Delano and Tom Braxton August 12th. For many of us, our leisure time is spent traveling from festival to festival or concert to concert and we see the same artists over and over again playing the exact same set list with the same scripted "filler" dialogue. Therefore, having the opportunity to see some fresh faces with fresh music in one of my favorite venues is a huge plus! Andre Delano and Tom Braxton may not be household names but they should be as both are veteran musicians and performers.

To hear more of their music visit www.andredelano.com/ and www.tombraxton.com/


The 2011 Concert Lineup

* July 22 – Mindi Abair with Jeff Golub and Special Guest David Pack

* July 29 – Hiroshima

* August 5 – “Soul of Summer” Starring Jonathan Butler with Maysa and Eric Darius

* August 12 – Andre Delano with Special Guest Tom Braxton

* August 19 – Steve Tyrell

* August 26 – “Sax Pack” – Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole, Shilts with Nick Colionne

* September 2 – Herb Alpert and Lani Hall

* September 9 – “Summer Jam” Starring Richard Elliott and Norman Brown

* September 16 – Christopher Cross

* September 23 – “Jazz Attack” – Starring Gerald Albright, Peter White and Rick Braun

* September 30 – The Manhattan Transfer


Posted by JazzGypsy at 11:27 PM

RAINBOW PROMOTIONS ANNOUNCES IT’S LINE-UP FOR THE 24TH ANNUAL LONG BEACH JAZZ FESTIVAL

Written by The Jazz Gypsy

THIS YEAR’S THEME “JAZZ – THE WAY U LIKE IT!” SUPERSTAR PERFORMANCE ROSTER SWINGS FROM CHARLIE WILSON, KEM, THE WHISPERS AND AMEL LARRIEUX TO MICHAEL FRANKS, BRIAN CULBERTSON, EVERETTE HARP AND JACKIEM JOYNER SPECIAL PAIRINGS OF KIM WATERS & KENNY LATTIMORE and “SMOOTH SIDE OF SOUL” FEATURING NAJEE & ALEX BUGNON with HOWARD HEWETT

Rainbow Promotions presents the 24th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival, Friday-Sunday August 12-14, 2011, a festive summertime setting at Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach. In keeping with this year’s people-pleasing theme, “Jazz—The Way You Like It,” Rainbow Promotions has once again prepared the perfect cross pollination of “fan favorites” from the worlds of contemporary jazz and R&B to tantalize the tastes of the festival’s perennial attendees.

This year’s mighty line-up features electrifying legendary singer Charlie Wilson (former member of the GAP Band), Quiet Storm popular artist KEM, thrilling bandleader/multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson, the magnificently mellow Michael Franks, slow jam treasures The Whispers, all-around jazz sax master Everette Harp, plus two very special pairings : smooth groovin’ saxophonist Kim Waters with R&B singer Kenny Lattimore and the “Smooth Side of Soul,” collaboration with saxophone legend Najee, veteran piano man Alex Bugnon and R&B crooner supreme Howard Hewett. And that’s just a taste of a three-day musical feast!

 As one of Southern California’s longest running and eagerly anticipated annual music events, the Long Beach Jazz Festival brings music lovers from around the world –year after year- with its always dynamic blend of sounds and unique coastal venue offering relaxation for every generation.  A family affair, party people of all ages enjoy the festival grounds, the various food vendors with mouthwatering multi-cultural on-site prepared delights and desserts and, of course, some of the finest music and top artists for everyone’s listening pleasure.

Veteran promoter and musician Al Williams, as is his tradition, will be gracing the stage on Sunday afternoon with his eclectic Al Williams Jazz Society, celebrating the popularity of their latest CD, Something to Groove About. Williams states, “More than ever before, we really listened to the people to bring them the jazz and jazzy R&B stars they love the best. I truly believe this is one of the most exciting 3-day lineups we’ve had in quite some time…and we’ve had some thrillers!”

On Friday August 12, Brian Culbertson brings his full throttle band of rhythm and horns as the headliner of opening night, followed by jazzy R&B mavericks “Smooth Side of Soul featuring Najee, Howard Hewett and Alex Bugnon. The evening will begin at sundown with the sweet sounds of singer/songwriter Kori Withers (daughter of the R&B griot Bill Withers, as seen in his acclaimed new documentary, “Still Bill”).

On Saturday August 13, romance and reminiscing will fill the air with soulful swingin’ harmonies of The Whispers, poetic jazz man Michael Franks (who will be drawing from his latest release Time Together), the dynamic duo of Kim Waters & Kenny Lattimore, jazzy neo soul princess Amel Larrieux, and effervescent sax great Everette Harp (playing straight ahead and contemporary jazz). The day will begin with the heartbeat of the drums as the Long Beach Jazz Festival presents this year’s winner of “The Next Great Drummer!”

On Sunday August 14, soul lovers will be knocked out by the one-two punch of adopted “LBC” Godfather Charlie Wilson and firmly established superstar KEM. Jazz will be in plentiful supply thanks to Al Williams’ Jazz Society and urban jazz up-and-comer saxophonist Jackiem Joyner, plus horn-fortified funkologists Down to the Bone, and this year’s winner of the festival’s annual “Jazz Search” Winner (tba).

Tickets are available through Rainbow Promotions at (562) 424-0013, or online at www.longbeachjazzfestival..com  VIP tickets--$155 on Friday and $180 per seat on Saturday and Sunday—include dinner and wine service. Reserved box seat tickets are $60 on Friday and $75 per seat on Saturday and Sunday. General admission/lawn seating is $45 (prior to August 5th) and $50 at the gate.  Friday-Gates open at 5pm.  Saturday and Sunday-Gates open at 11:00am.

This year’s sponsors for the 24th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival are US Bank, Budweiser and Charter Communications

About Rainbow Promotions
Rainbow Promotions is the producer of the Long Beach Jazz Festival and other concerts throughout the year.  For 23 years, Rainbow Promotions has presented the Long Beach Jazz Festival, one of the city’s major events.  For more information regarding the Long Beach Jazz Festival, go to www.longbeachjazzfestival.com or www.rainbowpromotions.com

Posted by JazzGypsy at 5:57 PM

July 17, 2011

Sparkling 4th of July Fireworks with Music

By Ricky Richardson

Los Angeles - The nation celebrated its birthday on the Monday, July 4th, 2011. Locally, Angelenos had many options for enjoying the 4th of July. One could picnic in the park, visit the mountains, go to the beach, have a block party or perhaps a private function at home. Hundreds gathered at the Vision Backlot for the 9th Annual 4th of July Leimert Park Jazz Festival sponsored by Councilmember Bernard C. Parks and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. We were thoroughly entertained with a stellar line-up of musicians as well as comedianes. I arrived in time to catch Mark Allen Felton played a set of smooth jazz, coupled with some jazz standards from his latest CD I Do It For Love. Ray Bailey set the stage on fire with a incendiary set of blues. Comedian Roz Browne were making a return engagement to the festival with some side splitting humor. Marquaret Love along with pianist Karen Hernandez and drummer Fu Fu closed out the festival with a mixed set of jazz, blues and soul.

My next stop for the 4th of July, happened to consist of two different celebrations. The Exposition Park 4th of July Extravaganza was brought to the people by The Office of Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, Radio Free 102.3 KJLH, A Better LA, Unity One, The Los Angeles Coliseum Commission and the California African American Museum. A family friendly Fun Zone was set up for the kids which consisted of bouncers and face paintings. Radio Free 102.3 KJLH had those in the parks jamming to music provided by DJ's as well as local musicians. I was delighted that I arrived in time to see a fabulous vocalist taking the stage. She comes from a musical family. Her name is Tasha Taylor (does it rang a bell). This is the daughter of Johnny Taylor. Ms. Taylor fronted a tight band as she performed some popular tunes from her dads catalog, as well as material from her latest CD entitled Taylor Made to the delight of all in attendance.

I walked over to my next and final destination for the day. Target Sundays at CAAM were beginning to start their live program as I found a seat near the stage. We were welcomed and greeted by CAAM's Executive Director Charmaine Jefferson and she introduced the co-host for the evening Nita Whitaker LaFontaine and Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter. The live program of entertainment had a patriotic vibe - the venue was decorated appropriately for the occassion. Some of the special guest performers contributed to the occassion by singing some patriotic songs or reciting poems. We were entertained  for several hours with performances by Nita Whitaker LaFontaine, Kim Staunton, K. B. Solomon, Sharon Ridley, Rodrick Covington, and Adam Jackson and the Full Spectrum Band closing out the program. DJ N'Namdi added a special touch to the program by spinning tracks for everyone.

Thousands circled the Los Angeles Coliseum for "The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Fireworks Extravanga" - a one hour fireworks show accompanied by contemporary music.

Posted by Peter Böhi at 6:57 PM

July 13, 2011

What We're Listening To ** June 2011

R O N A L D * J A C K S O N

Marcus Anderson, Now, (Independent)

Cindy Bradley, Unscripted, (Trippin N Rhythm)

Three Deep, Common Ground, (Joe Street Records)

Lorenzo Johnson, Things Are Looking Up (Zosmooth Records)

Paul Taylor, Prime Time, (Entertainment One)



J E F F * D A N I E L S

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke & Lenny White, Forever (Video Arts Japan/Zoom) (2010)

Nick Gomez, Third Date (2011)

Lorenzo Johnson, Things Are Looking Up (Zosmooth Records) (2011)

Neamen Lyles, So Free (N1 Studios) (2011)

Marcus Miller, TuTu Revisited (Jvc Japan) (2009)


P E T E R * B O E H I

David Hughes - Hopeful Romantic (2011)
Bassist David Hughes, who usually plays with David Benoit, released his latest album and it is a winner, boasting intelligent compositions and excellent playing by all involved, this is music to sink your teeth in and be entertained at the same time. Great stuff!

Westbound - Gone For A Walk (2011)
Westbound are an Italian duo of guitarist Cristian Rocco and drummer/percussionist Enrico Catena providing some of the finest smooth jazz of recent times, the music on this sophomore release flows along nicely with catchy hooks and outstanding playing, guests include Rick Braun on trumpet. Thumbs up!

Don Immel - Together Alone (2011)
This is the second release by trombone player Don Immel delivering some funky and groovy smooth jazz, featuring top-notch players like David Mann on sax, Jason Miles on piano (who also produced) and others, this is a very satisfying release without a weak track. Don't miss it!

Marcus Miller - Tutu Revisited (2011)
This is a 2CD/DVD set with live recordings from performances done in France revisiting Miles Davis' "Tutu" sessions, which were mostly composed and produced by Marcus Miller. The band is stellar, featuring Alex Han on sax and Christian Scott on trumpet, the extended tracks are full of energy and surprise, they groove like hell and take you on a thriller ride. This is a truly remarkable album!

Selina Jones - My Love (1981)
My nod to the past goes to songstress Selina Jones who teams up with the band Stuff (featuring Eric Gale and Cornell Dupree on guitar, Richard Tee on piano, Steve Gadd on drums, Gordon Edwards on bass), creating a warm atmosphere of style and class. Classic stuff!

Posted by Peter Böhi at 8:45 PM

July 6, 2011

Nocy -- Simplicity

Spanish flamenco jazz always gets a real lift when veteran guitarist Nocy sets out to produce a new project. His last release, Rise, was truly a testament to his marvelous and sensuous kill at crafting authentic and exotic melodies reminiscent of other lands and islands. His latest, Simplicity, is another stop along this enjoyable journey around the world as he explores not only the attraction of flamenco but the romanticism of Brazilian and salsa music and the beautiful mystique of Japan, In addition to tossing in his own version of reggae, new age, and even country.

This album is dedicated to a big influence and inspiration in the guitarist’s life, his dad, who departed this life last year. The tracks reflect the closeness as you can sense the emotion in each piece which played with definite purpose.

Here's another artist who’s great with a melody, and some will argue that it’s hard not to make good of a Spanish-influenced melody (to which I would beg to strongly differ), Nocy turns simple pieces into great exotic moments. There is one track on which I might differ with him with respect to how he classifies it. His beautiful “Forever Dad,” an obvious tribute to the man he cherished, is indeed soulful but hardly “hip hop,” as he tends to see it. At any rate, whatever you may want to call it, it affects and impacts.

Others of note here—and there are many—include track two’s nice reggae-laced “No Way,” which has some really tight vocals by Felice Hernandez, the riveting “Watashimo (Me Too”), a Japanese-flavored, wonderfully alluring piece with Spanish undertones sung by one Yuka Nakano , the totally moving, rhythmic “Sambaramba,” and “Echa Pa’lante,” among others. Personally, the house music remix of “No Way,” which serves as the finale, could have been omitted, in my opinion. Aside from that, this CD is most appealing.

Nocy’s tradition of fine, Spanish jazz and quality world sounds is in no way in jeopardy as long as he continues producing such material as Simplicity, which stands up proudly with its competition

Posted by Ronald Jackson at 2:28 AM