There's a new solo CD from Kim Simmonds and it's called "Jazzin' On The Blues". It's an acoustic offering but, this time, it's all instrumental. As the title suggests, it's a nod towards Kim's jazzier side. The album includes original material as well as cover songs. In addition to soloing on guitar, Kim also shines on harmonica and plays bass. The whole sound is rounded out by Ron Keck's percussion. Says Kim, "On this album I've found a new way to express myself on the acoustic guitar. It's very exciting to find a new approach to playing the guitar after spending so many years trying to master the instrument". Jazzin' On The Blues was officially released January 1, 2015, but is currently available at all Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown live shows.
On Chris Dingman's sophomore album, 2015's The Subliminal and the Sublime, the creative jazz vibraphonist/composer finds inspiration in nature, and the result is an often stunning album of both grand gestures and detailed, percolating undercurrents. Featuring alto saxophonist Loren Stillman, pianist Fabian Almazan, guitarist Ryan Ferreira, bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Justin Brown, Dingman's sextet displays true mastery of wide dynamics across a suite whose extended-form movements culminate in strikingly dramatic fashion. Opener "Tectonic Plates" begins with high singing tones and chordal volume swells, creating an ethereal ambience over which Stillman introduces a calm melody, briefly joined by sharper yet still understated support from the other bandmembers to close this lovely four-and-a-half-minute intro.
Historically, there have been many variations on the line-up of a jazz trio. But as the piano-led model becomes somewhat ubiquitous any alternatives are more than welcome. Herman/Ceccaldi/Darrifourcq is a breath of fresh air in small group improvisation, as the uncommon textural palette created by saxophone, cello, drums and electronics reveals the maximum possibilities of what some might call a minimal set up.
The Epic is saxophonist Kamasi Washington's aptly titled, triple-length, 172-minute debut album for Brainfeeder. He is a veteran of L.A.'s music scene and has played with Gerald Wilson, Harvey Mason, Flying Lotus, and Kendrick Lamar (his horn is prominently featured on To Pimp a Butterfly), to name but a few. Most of his bandmates have played together since high school, and it shows. There are two drummers (including Ronald Bruner), two bassists (including Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner on electric), two keyboardists, trumpet, trombone, and vocals (Patrice Quinn). In various settings, they are supported by a string orchestra and full choir conducted by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Washington composed 13 of these 17 tunes; he also meticulously arranged and produced them. At just over six to nearly 15 minutes, the jams leave room for engaged improvisation. The Epic is based on a concept, though it's unnecessary to grasp in order to enjoy. The music reflects many inspirations – John Coltrane, Horace Tapscott's Pan-African People's Arkestra, Azar Lawrence's Prestige period, Donald Byrd's and Eddie Gale's jazz and choir explorations, Pharoah Sanders' pan global experiments, Afro-Latin jazz, spiritual soul, and DJ culture.
Some artists who evoke the styles of the past seem to have spent every waking moment of their adult lives struggling to sound as if they were born in a different decade. Pokey LaFarge, on the other hand, makes music that suggests he somehow passed through a wrinkle in time from 1929 to 2015, complete with his banjo in hand; LaFarge's music never seems forced, but flows from him naturally with an easy grace, a playful insouciance, and a confidence in his talent that stops well short of arrogance.
"Go Back Home to the Blues" is the second Knickerbocker All-Stars record, building on the enthusiastically received "Open Mic at the Knick". Once again the deep pool of New England blues talent has provided knockout versions of blues and R&B classics, this time adding some new songs which are perfect fits stylistically. The Knickerbocker All-Stars are celebrated veterans and masters of their craft. Original Roomful of Blues members and other Roomful alumni, members of the Duke Robillard Band, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, and vocalists Willie J. Laws and Brian Templeton all make a powerful blend…
Cheers To The Fall, Andra's 2015 debut album, is what she calls "a biography told in the form of soul music." The 13 tracks see her exploring relationships with both others and herself, grappling with past mistakes but ultimately finding forgiveness and truth.
Limited box containing four CDs in card wallets housed inside a clamshell box. Susanna Hoffs, a founding member of The Bangles and co-conspirator Matthew Sweet released three full volumes of their Under The Covers series between 2006 and 2013, on which the two teamed up to pay homage to many of the singles (and album deep cuts) from the '60s, '70s, and '80s which informed and shaped their own musical destinies. The Beatles, Dylan, Fairport Convention, Neil Young, The Beach Boys, The Who, Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, Carly Simon, The Ramones, The Clash, The Pretenders, The Smiths and Prince are amongst the 57 acts covered. With guest appearances from Lindsey Buckingham, Steve Howe, Van Dyke Parks and Dhani Harrison, this 60 song package contains all three albums and fifteen previously-hard-to-get bonus tracks plus a 48 page booklet with annotation by Sweet and Hoffs, all gathered together for the first time.
Without a doubt, Bob Marley is (and has been for decades now) the global representation of all things reggae, not only for music but also for its culture. However, he wasn’t the first artist from the genre to achieve worldwide success (Desmond Dekker and Jimmy Cliff were there before him, to name just a few) but he was the most charismatic and the one who created the most solid, extensive and influential catalog in the world of reggae. In The Many Faces Of Bob Marley we take a tour through his influences, roots, his lesser-known works, the side projects of his band (The Wailers), some remixes and rarities, plus his huge legacy. Con remastered sound, liner notes and a wonderful artwork, The Many Faces Of Bob Marley is an essential album for your collection!