Friday, September 26, 2014

New CD From Vocalist Carmen Lundy "Soul To Soul" Released 9/23/14 #jazz

A Myriad Of Special Guests Including Patrice Rushen, Geri Allen, Randy Brecker, Simphiwe Dana, Bennie Maupin, Carol Robbins, Warren Wolf And More

“Soul To Soul,” a passionate new song cycle from vocalist, songwriter, producer and musician Carmen Lundy, was released on September 23rd, 2014 via Afrasia Productions.  “Soul To Soul”, Lundy’s 14th album, is the next chapter in her critically-acclaimed career as both a musical artist and a visual artist; a return to her roots but also an exploration of these roots -- and the journey that those roots can take you on.  The release of “Soul To Soul” will be accompanied by tour dates both in the U.S. and overseas.



Carmen Lundy began working on “Soul To Soul” well over a year ago in a very hands-on manner – literally composing, co-composing and arranging eleven of the thirteen tracks and then playing and recording all the instruments - including bass, drums, piano, guitar and percussion - in her home studio to get a working “feel” for how the music might sound. She then “sweetened” the songs by adding string sounds and other software instruments to elaborate and experiment with the aural mood of each track, interpreting and identifying with each track’s sound individually as well as part of the overall song sequence.  On the final CD, Lundy plays guitar on all tracks, piano and Rhodes on many tracks, and drums on two.  

“I wrote the music with specific players in mind for each respective instrument,” says Lundy.  “My producer and label co-owner Elisabeth Oei encouraged me to reach out to those musicians whose music I have loved and have been inspired by; some of whom I had worked with but never recorded with. I consider these artists specialists on their instruments.  These are players who bring a distinctive sound to everything they play and
add another layer of individuality to my original music.”

Patrice Rushen, for example, is featured on nearly every track on “Soul To Soul” because of the deep musical connection Carmen felt with her.  “I could hear her sound in my music,” says Lundy, “Patrice creates these beautiful sonic palettes from which I could soar freely through the music.  This project would not be as special to me if it were not for her incredible contribution.”

Featuring the stellar talents of guest artists Patrice Rushen, Geri Allen, Randy Brecker, Mayra Casales, Simphiwe Dana, Bennie Maupin, Carol Robbins, Ada Rovatti, and Warren Wolf along with Carmen’s core rhythm section members Darryl Hall and
Jamison Ross, “Soul To Soul” invites the listener on an intriguing journey. Whether the source of inspiration comes from time spent in Sardinia, Italy (“Soul To Soul” and “Sardegna”) or from her hometown of Miami in the songs “Kindred Spirits” and “Grateful” – “It’s important to acknowledge and remember where you come from and all those who provide unwavering moral support” says Lundy; from the beauty of Mary Lou Williams’ “What’s Your Story, Morning Glory” - “Geri Allen and I have spent many years performing the works of this great pianist,” Lundy remarks, “I could not miss the chance to have yet another of the great pianists/composers of our time be a part of this musical journey”; to the sexy bossa nova beat of “Everything I Need”, the moods and moments of  “Soul To Soul” are genre-bending and traverse many borders, both literally and figuratively.

Of special note is the story of the track “Grace,” the result of a meeting with South African vocalist Simphiwe Dana.  At the time of the meeting – which coincided with tour dates Lundy and Dana had in Johannesburg and Los Angeles – Lundy was in the process of writing the song on guitar and had been haunted by it for months.  She then played the track for Dana who immediately began to sing the melody in her native tongue, and whose contribution to the track on the CD adds yet another dimension to the journey of “Soul To Soul.”

Added Lundy, “It is an honor to have these players joining in this majestic musical adventure.  I hope listeners – both new and established - enjoy the voyage.”
Carmen Lundy is also a celebrated mixed media artist and painter, and her works have been exhibited in New York at The Jazz Gallery in Soho, at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, and at a month-long exhibition at the Madrid Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.  For additional information and media requests, please contact Chip Schutzman at Miles High Productions, 323-806-0400; e:  chip@mileshighproductions.com
A complete track listing with credits is as follows:

TRACK LISTING:

1.    Kindred Spirits  (Carmen Lundy)
2.    Life Is A Song In Me  (Carmen Lundy, Julie Raynor)
3.    Soul To Soul  (Carmen Lundy)
4.    When Will They Learn  (Carmen Lundy, Julie Raynor)
5.    Daybreak  (Carmen Lundy)
6.    Between Darkness and Dawn  (Carmen Lundy, Julie Raynor)
7.    Grace  (Carmen Lundy, Simphiwe Dana)
8.    Grateful Pt. 1  (Carmen Lundy)
9.    Grateful Pt. 2  (Carmen Lundy)
10.     Everything I Need  (Carmen Lundy)
11.     Don’t You Know How I Feel  (Marilyn Castilaw)
12.     Sardegna  (Carmen Lundy, Deborah Ash)
13.     What’s Your Story, Morning Glory  (Mary Lou Williams)

Personnel:

Carmen Lundy – Vocals (all), piano (track 1) Rhodes (track 11), keyboards (track 8), guitar (tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12), drums (track 12), percussion (tracks 1, 6), string arrangements and programming
Patrice Rushen – piano, Rhodes, keyboards (all tracks except 8, 13)
Darryl Hall – acoustic bass, electric bass (all tracks)
Jamison Ross – drums, percussion (all tracks)
Geri Allen – piano (track 8, 13), Rhodes (tracks 6, 9)
Randy Brecker – trumpet (track 3, 10, 11), flugelhorn (track 3)
Mayra Casales – percussion, congas (all tracks except 13)
Simphiwe Dana – Vocals (track 7)
Bennie Maupin – tenor sax, soprano sax (tracks 5, 9)
Carol Robbins – harp (tracks 4, 5, 6, 10)
Ada Rovatti – tenor sax (track 3, 10)
Warren Wolf – vibes (tracks 5, 8, 12)
Background Vocals – Carmen Lundy, Patrice Rushen, Jamison Ross (track 2), plus Mayra Casales, Darryl Hall, Elisabeth Oei (track 7).

All songs composed and arranged by Carmen Lundy, C. Lundy Publishing/ASCAP except * by Marilyn Castilaw (Redfield Music/BMI); ** by Mary Lou Williams (Cecilia Music), Paul Francis Webster, Jack Lawrence; *** by Carmen Lundy and Julie Raynor (Castle Dream Music/ASCAP); **** by Carmen Lundy and Deborah Ash (Compashe Music/ASCAP); ^ by Carmen Lundy and Simphiwe Dana (Black Carrot Publishing).

Produced by Elisabeth Oei and Carmen Lundy
Recorded and Mixed by Don Murray at Firehouse Recording Studios, Pasadena, CA and Mixed at Afrasia Studios, Woodland Hills, CA. Basic tracks recorded and played by Carmen Lundy at Afrasia Studios.
Mastered by Doug Sax at Mastering Lab, Ojai, CA
CD Cover Photo by Victor Dlamini

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

The stars align for Joey Sommerville’s “Overnight Sensation” #jazz

More than 20 years in the making, the soul-jazz trumpeter’s fifth album, due October 28, features Earl Klugh, Jeff Lorber, Jeff Bradshaw, Elan Trotman and Eric Essix.

Behind every musical overnight sensation are years of toiling away in rehearsal halls, recording studios and sweaty nightclubs meticulously honing one’s craft. In trumpeter Joey Sommerville’s case, it’s more than two decades of writing, recording and touring to cultivate his following and establish his presence on the national scene. On October 28, the award-winning soul-jazz musician, songwriter and producer will release a new collection of songs that he’s been working on as far back as 1993 that will comprise his fifth album, “Overnight Sensation,” slated for release on his Jayvox imprint. The title track will crank up the party when it is serviced to radio stations for airplay at the end of this month.  
 
Sommerville’s forte is serving as an impresario of fun and funky frolics and pretty harmonies that touch the heart. He wrote or co-wrote nine of the disc’s ten tracks and produced the entire session sharing production duties on two cuts with fusion icon Jeff Lorber. Like a ringmaster who skillfully unifies the eclectic acts of a three-ring circus, the trumpeter who also plays flugelhorn, piano, keyboards, synth bass and drum programming on the record has scripted a colorful collection of short stories with his horn serving as the common thread binding gripping chapters in contemporary and straight-ahead jazz, R&B, hip hop and rock.
 
“In this era of singles downloads, I still believe in the concept of albums and a cohesive body of music,” said the Atlanta, Georgia-based Sommerville, who will perform at an album launch gig there on October 30 at the Suite Food Lounge. “I’ve always wanted to record these songs and I really like them, but they didn’t fit on previous projects. They were all inspired by real life experiences thus they have meaning. The long journey that is a music career is a marathon, not a sprint, and the timing finally came around for these songs to be recorded for the first time. Surprisingly, they fit together despite being written over a long period of time and the variety in their sound and style.”
 
Sommerville’s trumpet seduces on the sensuous “Desire” highlighted by gossamer guitar from legend Earl Klugh. Venturing in a divergent tangent, Sommerville tosses a bone to Jeff Bradshaw on a raucous and imaginative take on “Caravan,” a scintillating thrill ride that Duke Ellington never would have seen coming. “Red Cups Up” is a playful party anthem while Sommerville surprises when he steps to the mic on the stunner “I Just Wanna Be With You” on which his husky voice quivers and cracks with raw emotion while crooning an autobiographic story of romance to his wife. A spiraling Lorber groove, “The Next Big Thing” is a tightly-wound R&B-jazz-funk mélange illumined by Sommerville’s trumpet and quirky synth along with a touch of sax from Elan Trotman. The elegiac “Rebecca of Birmingham” was penned years ago after Sommerville’s grandmother passed and is graced by a stirring blues-jazz guitar eulogy from Eric Essix. “Karma” induces reflection during the straight-ahead jazz exercise after which Sommerville closes the album with the throwback R&B instrumental “Forever” followed by the boisterous “The Passport Life.”                    
 
A spotlight soloist on the Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning album “Alegria” by Cirque du Soleil, Sommerville’s 2007 release “Like You Mean It” won the American Society of Young Musician’s All That Jazz Award in 2009. His trumpet artistry was featured on Hidden Beach Recordings’ “Unwrapped Volume 4” and he’s written and produced a Top 20 single for Bob Baldwin and an album by Rhonda Smith that features performances by Prince, Sheila E. and gospel icon Fred Hammond. Sommerville is a high-octane performer who is a regular at festivals and on music cruises. Outside of music, he can be heard voicing spots for BMW, Coke, Ford, the U.S. Army and more. Additional information can be found at www.JoeySommerville.com.    
 
The songs contained on the “Overnight Sensation” album are:
 
“Overnight Sensation”
“Desire”
“Caravan”
“Red Cups Up”
“I Just Wanna Be With You”
“The Next Big Thing”
“Rebecca of Birmingham”
“Karma”
“Forever”
“The Passport Life”

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Boys Are Back! Gerry Gibbs reunites Thrasher Dream Trio With Ron Carter, Kenny Barron, and a few very special guests #jazz

Sometimes good ideas just materialize. Sometimes they come simply out of urgency. Gerry Gibbs had just recorded and released Thrasher Dream Trio—with Kenny Barron and Ron Carter—for Whaling City Sound. That record was so successful so quickly that all parties involved wanted to hop back in the studio faster than a teenager driving his first car. But with what material? What kind of record?

Gibbs had been working with Neal Weiss, label head of WCS, for four of his eight solo recordings. They worked together well. Gibbs’ mind is a massive scratchpad of possible ideas: recordings, songs, harmonies, hooks, collaborators … “Neal never tells me what to do,” explains Gibbs, “but he threw out an idea for a concept record.”

Gibbs has a lot of concepts up his sleeve, but chose a handful of classic R&B and soul tunes from the 60s and 70s to see how the band would handle them. “I thought I will not try and re-harmonize any of the original chord changes because these songs are already so beautiful,” says Gibbs. “We’lI only change the rhythms to make them swing.”

They all agreed: a cool idea indeed. Gibbs cleared it with his bandmates, and while that sounds manageable, it took months to find a recording date in which all parties were available. “Kenny and Ron loved the idea,” says Gibbs. “With these guys, I can go in 50 different directions, so it’s frustrating to choose just one.” Not to mention that they are so in demand, it’s tough to find the time.

And so they set out to record. The songs are ambitious; the choices are predictable, but also great canvasses for the band. Choices include material by the greats: Stevie Wonder (“Too High,” “My Cherie Amour”), Marvin Gaye (“What’s Going On?”), Earth, Wind and Fire (“Reasons,” “Fantasy,” “Runnin’”), Nascimento (“Brazilian Rhyme”), and many others.

The performances are spontaneous, fiery and inventive. They take warmly familiar tunes and turn them into sizzling, classic jazz standards that stretch the skills of these consummate musicians and draw the listener into an epic jazz adventure. “I thought,” says Gibbs, “these are all recognizable melodies that people love, so I will treat them like old jazz standards  to sing to and only make up the forms for the solos.”

The recording also features playing from red hot, world-class guests Warren Wolf (vibraphone), Larry Goldings (B-3), and Steve Wilson (woodwinds). Says Gibbs: “Ron and Kenny use Steve a lot, too, so the camaraderie was a blast with the four of us.” Goldings, besides being one of everybody’s favorite piano players, is also one of the music world’s most accomplished organists. “I can brag a lot about Larry,” says Gibbs, “but when Kenny expressed his love for Larry’s playing and told me after listening to the tracks how great he thought Larry sounded, well, that’s about as great of a compliment as one can get coming from one of the masters of the piano!”

Recorded by Alex Venguer at MSR Studios in New York, mixed and mastered by Mike Marciano at Systems 2 Studios, produced by Gibbs, and overseen by Weiss at WCS, the stage was set for a handful of truly grand performances. Combine that collective effort with a great concept for a recording, and you’ve got “We’re Back,” the Thrasher Dream Trio’s inspired new project.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Keyboardist Dan Siegel returns with a lush collection of astute jazz etched in melodically rich “Indigo” #jazz

Having recorded a catalogue of Top 10 albums in a vivid spectrum of jazz hues with topflight musicians for 35 years, Dan Siegel only emerges when he has something engaging to say with his poetic piano and crafty keyboards. Back with his first new statement in five years, Siegel’s DSM record label will release “Indigo” on October 14, a set comprised of ten new compositions that he wrote, arranged and shared production chores with Grammy-nominated bassist Brian Bromberg.    
 
On his 20th album, Siegel creates right up the spine of the jazz dichotomy allowing the melodies, improvisational soloing and grooves to unfold and flourish unencumbered by restrictive genre borders and polarizing labels. His cerebral compositions traverse the expansive jazz terrain, but do so with heart rendering them instantly accessible. The keyboardist has a gift for writing inviting, emotionally-evocative material that connects soulfully.    
 
"My tendency is it to overwrite, which can make it challenging for the listener.  I believe the emotional 
allure of the music on this album (“Indigo”) transcends its compositional complexity," said the Irvine, 
California-based artist who was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Eugene, Oregon.
 
The beating heart and soul heard on “Indigo” in part comes from the live production tracked in the cozy confines of Bromberg’s home studio in the valley just over the hill from Los Angeles. Siegel and Bromberg have an easy rapport and level of trust that dates back several decades from playing and recording together. Bromberg’s 300-year-old acoustic bass provides the rhythmic bottom end on tracks anchored by the deft drum beats from Yellowjackets veteran Will Kennedy. Bob Sheppard plays a prominent role using a variety of saxophones and impassioned play to echo Siegel’s piano and keyboards leads as well as emote his own scholarly theses. Allen Hinds and Mike Miller are afforded ample room to dispense thoughtful guitar riffs and do so with finesse. Lenny Castro’s percussion and Craig Fundyga’s vibraphone embellishments add texture, color and shadow in all the right places while two different horn sections appear on a total of six tracks providing power and depth. The cumulative result of such masterful players animating Siegel’s poignant piano pieces is a warm and plush album that will be serviced for airplay at straight-ahead jazz (full album) and contemporary/smooth jazz outlets (title cut).       
 
Siegel inked his first record deal in 1979 with Inner City Records, which issued his debut disc, “Nite Ride,” featuring guitar great Lee Ritenour. Siegel’s sophomore session, “The Hot Shot,” went No. 1 on the Radio & Records chart and spent ten weeks in the Top 10 on the Billboard jazz chart. A couple years later, Siegel moved to Los Angeles to focus on composing film and television scores. Subsequently, he signed with Epic Records and altered his sound from fusion to collections that spanned contemporary jazz, electronic, worldbeat and R&B. Over the years, he has played and recorded with Herbie Hancock, Boney James, Larry Carlton, Joe Sample, Ernie Watts, John Patitucci, Bela Fleck and Ottmar Liebert in instrumental settings; Glenn Frey, Chaka Khan, Berlin and Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire) in the pop world; and amassed an array of television and film credits that boasts Oscar-winner “The Usual Suspects.” For more information, please visit www.DanSiegelMusic.com.
 
The songs contained on “Indigo” are:
 
“To Be Continued”
“By Chance”
“Indigo”
“Beyond”
“Far and Away”
“If Ever”
“Spur of the Moment”
“First Light”
“Consider This”
“Endless”


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Monday, September 15, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 15, 2013 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 1 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
3 - 3 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' - (Shanachie)
4 - 9 - Al Jarreau - "My OldFriend: Celebrating George Duke" - (Concord Music Group)
5 - 5 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
6 - 4 - Gerald Albright - "Slam Dunk" - (Heads Up)
7 - 6 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
8 - 8 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
9 - 17 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
10 - 12 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
11 - 10 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
12 - 15 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
13 - 7 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
14 - 14 - Kim Waters - "Silver Soul" - (Red River Entertainment)
15 - 16 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
16 - 11 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
17 - 13 - Steve Cole - "Pulse" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
18 - 19 - Greg Manning - "Dance With You" - (Kalimba)
19 - 24 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord Music Group)
20 - 18 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Monday, September 08, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 8, 2013 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
2 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
3 - 6 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' - (Shanachie)
4 - 5 - Gerald Albright - "Slam Dunk" - (Heads Up)
5 - 4 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
6 - 10 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
7 - 7 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
8 - 3 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
9 - 12 - Al Jarreau - "My OldFriend: Celebrating George Duke" - (Concord Music Group)
10 - 9 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
11 - 13 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
12 - 11 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
13 - 16 - Steve Cole - "Pulse" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
14 - 26 - Kim Waters - "Silver Soul" - (Red River Entertainment)
15 - 14 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
16 - 18 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
17 - 17 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
18 - 22 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
19 - 19 - Greg Manning - "Dance With You" - (Kalimba)
20 - 21 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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