Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jukka Eskola - Orquesta Bossa (2013)

by Jukka Eskola

"The Orquesta Bossa project started actually with a live gig in January 2012 when I had a chance to produce a concert for a line up with a quintet plus a string quartet. The material was Jazz and Bossa standards, nothing unusual. The sound of the combo got stuck in my mind, I just loved the traditional Bossa sound of the rhythmic section, combined with the front line horns and the string quartet adding a little bit more modern angle to it. So I decided to make more of the project and compose some original tunes and make an album. I was lucky to get my good friend, drummer Teppo Mäkynen involved in the project as a co-writer and producer. He has such wide knowledge in all kinds of music, and being a Bossa Nova enthusiastic, he was the one and only guy I could think of for this project. So we made tunes that we thought would be, in a way traditional Bossa Nova, but at the same time having some Scandinavian angle to it."

Don-E - Little Star (2013)

Don-E is back with his finest album to date (available via Amazon or download it on iTunes) – a stunning 14-track collection including the blockbuster lead single “Spiritual” which features no fewer than 7 of the UK’s finest male soul vocalists – Carl McIntosh of Loose Ends, Omar, Leee John of Imagination, Junior Giscombe, Noel McKoy, Paul Johnson and Rick Clarke.
Don-E, who first came to prominence in the early Nineties with his Island hit singles “Love Makes The World Go Round” and “Unbreakable”, covers a range of styles from smooth ballads to Nineties-influenced swing to frenetic up-tempo dance tunes.  An album that is so packed full of hit tunes it will be a permanent fixture on soul dancefloors this year. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cola & Jimmu (Nicole Willis & Jimmy Tenor) - Enigmatic (2013)

Recording artists Jimi Tenor & Nicole Willis who are life partners as well as past collaborators, reunite for their new project, artist name Cola&Jimmu, 'Cola", a kind of pseudonym of Nicole and 'Jimmu", associated with the legend of the first emperor of Japan, Jimnu Tenno. Both Tenor and Willis have fronted their own projects over the past decade, Willis most recently working with Helsinki - based group the Soul Investigators, for their albums Tortured Soul & Keep Reachin' Up, Timmion Records 2005, 2013. The Helsinki Sanomat recently called Willis & the Soul Investigators 'the world's best on the stage of Tavastia". The title track of Keep Reachin' Up was chosen in February 2012 for POTUS, Barack Obama's Re - Election Spotify Playlist. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Madeleine Peyroux - The Blue Room (2013)

On The Blue Room, her second Decca recording, Madeleine Peyroux and producer Larry Klein re-examine the influence of Ray Charles' revolutionary 1962 date, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. They don't try to re-create the album, but remake some of its songs and include others by composers whose work would benefit from the genre-blurring treatment Charles pioneered. Bassist David Pilch, drummer Jay Bellerose, guitarist Dean Parks, and pianist/organist Larry Goldings are the perfect collaborators. Most these ten tracks feature string arrangements by Vince Mendoza. Five tunes here are reinterpretations of Charles' from MSICAWM. "Take These Chains" commences as a sultry jazz tune, and in Peyroux's vocal, there is no supplication -- only a demand. Parks' pedal steel moves between sounding like itself and a clarinet. Goldings' alternating B-3 and Rhodes piano offer wonderful color contrast and make it swing.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mario Biondi - Sun (2013)

The first essential soul purchase of 2013 comes courtesy of Italy’s Mario Biondi. His new album, Sun, produced by Mario and Incognito‘s Bluey, is as good an album as we’re likely to hear all year. Awash with strings, horns, impeccable production, timeless songwriting and that unmistakable voice, Sun delivers on the promise of Mario‘s earlier material and confirms his position as one of the world’s finest soul and jazz vocalists doing the business in 2013.
Sun plays at the intersection of soul and jazz, with enough spirit and meat on its bones to satisfy the most hardened critic on either side of the spectrum. Mario possesses one of those sing-the-telephone-book voices that enthrals irrespective of the quality of the songs. But the very good news is that Sun has an abundance of well crafted songs ripe for repeated plays.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Love Supreme Jazz Festival (5 - 7 July 2013)

The new Love Supreme Jazz Festival a three day green-field Jazz Festival for 15,000, takes place at Glynde Place, East Sussex, from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th July 2013.

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra will headline Saturday also confirmed are Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Marcus Miller, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Michael Kiwanuka, Melody Gardot, Esperanza Spalding, Brand New Heavies, The Soul Rebels, Gwyneth Herbert, Lucinda Belle Orchestra, Three Trapped Tigers, Kairos 4Tet, Matthew Lee, Courtney Pine, Gregory Porter, Portico Quartet, Roller Trio, Gogo Penguin, Naturally 7, Branford Marsalis Quartet, Robert Glasper Experiment, Neil Cowley Trio, Snarky Puppy, Andreya Triana, Soweto Kinch, Phantom Limb, Zara McFarlane, and White Mink vs Peppermint Candy.Latest additions Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires, Terence Blanchard, Eric Bibb, Ryan Quigley Big Band, Troyka, Arun Ghosh, Kitten & The Hip, Oli Rockberger, and Brass Jaw.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Soil & Pimp Sessions with Ringo Sheena - Koroshiya Kiki Ippatsu/Spy High ep

A very cool EP from the mighty Soil & Pimp Sessions – and a set that has the group stepping into a whole new realm of music! The fierce horns and sharp jazzy energy of the combo is still at the core here – but the music takes on a bit more of a classic mode, too – almost a crime jazz sort of vibe, with elements that echo an older Henry Mancini mode – but in ways that still have all the joyous bursting of sound we love from Soil & Pimp! Vocalist Ringo Sheena joins the group on the title track – adding in a soulful sort of swing – and the second track is an instrumental with a Japanese title, followed by a third sweet instrumental – "Spy High". (Special package comes with a surprisingly large fold-out poster too!)  © 1996-2013, Dusty Groove, Inc.

Myron & E with The Soul Investigators - Broadway

The vocal duo is something of a rarity. There have been countless solo stars, trios, quartets and quintets, but the pairing of equally talented singers isn’t nearly as common. Sam and Dave, Ashford and Simpson, the Righteous Brothers and the Everly Brothers comprise a short list of standouts. Enter Myron & E.

Myron (Myron Glasper) was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. He sang in choirs and played piano growing up, and was a star athlete in football and track, but found his calling as a dancer. Working with Rosie Perez landed him on the early ’90s sketch comedy show In Living Color. During those years, however, the streets of South Central were no place to foster creativity, so Myron moved to the Bay and began touring as a backup singer, which is where he met E (Eric “E da Boss” Cooke).