Thursday, July 31, 2014
Posted by brent black at 1:42 PM
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
For Immediate Release
Veteran Cuban Musician Rey Cabrera Spices Up The Summer With A Brand New Album!
Los Angeles, CA - Cuban born vocalist and master of the tres, a traditional Cuban style guitar, brings his finest latin jazz music to the North American audiences this coming August 5th. The extraordinary new album, Cabrera’s third full-length as Rey Cabrera y Sus Amigos, is entitled Controversia, and will be released on both CD and digitally by Goldenlane Records, a subsidiary of Cleopatra Records, Inc.
Born 1943 in the Oriente mountains that surround Santiago de Cuba, Cabrera inherited his love and passion for música campesina, Cuba’s oldest and most traditional music style, from both of his parents. His father taught him to play the tres, and before too long the young Cabrera moved to Santiago de Cuba where he met and performed with Eliades Ochoa, later of Buena Vista Social Club fame. From there, Cabrera went on to his own international acclaim as one of the last ambassadors of the Cuban musical style known as son cubano, a blend of Spanish canción and African rhythms. Cabrera has performed everywhere from the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz in South Africa, the UK, and Belgium. Now this seasoned veteran will bring his immense talent to US shores - so grab a mojito and let Cabrera’s band transport you through the rich history of his musical heritage!
1. Merci Beaucoup
2. Mi Niña Mari
3. Los Refrancitos
4. Le Canto Al Palenque with Roberto Carrión
5. Cuando Nace El Sol with René Baes
6. Me Voy A Recoger Café
7. Canto A Bruselas, 10 Años Después
8. Los Testigos
9. La Calabaza with Mongo Vuelta
10. El Fuiki Fuiki with DJ Proceed
To order the CD on Amazon: http://geni.us/SPF
To order the digital version on iTunes: http://geni.us/2wLh
Posted by brent black at 5:44 PM
The soundtrack for the horizontal mambo...
I have loved Richard Elliot since he split from Tower of Power to start one of the finest careers as a contemporary instrumental soloist and hand to god I want to like this one, I don't. Unlike most "smooth jazz" saxophonists whose difference in sound and execution can be measured by the thickness of a sheet of paper, Richard Elliot was on fire. Lip Service is easy listening on steroids, nice melodies and well produced but the jazz / soul hybrid is being and has been done to death.
Power ballads and mid tempo sweet soul morph into a sonic sedative on a shiny silver disc. I'll blame producer Paul Brown as this is his somewhat predictable wheelhouse. The covers are eclectic and range from The Manhattans to Bruno Mars, seriously? After working on the Dave Koz Summer Horns project with some truly classic covers and this is what we get?
I still love Richard Elliot. I just don't love this. I can't...This is so mind-numbingly predictable that the only thing left to say is that this is the prime example of why smooth jazz is on life support.
Posted by brent black at 2:04 PM
Truth B Told, This Is Paul Brown's Finest Release...
Most people that roll with me in my musical mafia know that I just don't care for "smooth jazz." Mind numbing predictability and over produced easy listening are simply not how I roll. Paul Brown has gone a little deeper with Truth B Told and the results should pay huge dividends for this highly respected performer.
The one negative to the release would be his vocal duet with Wendy Moten, "Love n Trust." Nothing against Moten, Brown is the problem as his vocal chops just aren't there. Outside of the vocal blip, Brown moves past the more traditional pretentious ear candy associated with this genre on life support and hits some more blues infused regions of his six string soul that raise the level of the tunes and dynamics of what may well be his finest commercial success yet. Cameos are made by Larry Carlton on the gem of the release, "Purple Shoes." Other notable performances are from Dave Koz and Richard Elliot.
A review that writes itself. Paul Brown fans will flip over Truth B Told.
Posted by brent black at 1:36 PM
A globally inspired improvisational feast for the senses!
Guitarist Raimundo Santander and drummer Rodrigo Recabarren have teamed up for a cutting edge duo that does a rhythmic exploratory on a unique hybrid of Chilean folk music with a slightly more nuanced improvisational flair. Deconstructed eclectic excursions that develop an organic pulse while attacking both the visceral and cerebral with a meticulous forward motion of sound. This collaboration also included critically acclaimed saxophonist Joshua Kwassman who both wrote and performed on the more "jazz" influenced "For Our Last Day" highlighting the versatility and depth of this amazing duo.
For the uninitiated, Chilean folk music is just that. A cultural infusion of certain regions that is handled by this duo with flair and finesse yet with an innate ability to take these amazing melodies and push the improvisational envelope. "Mapu" begins with a percussive heartbeat follow by an acoustic counterpoint that morphs into a harmonic conversation for contemporary culture. The title track "Peregrinos" walks a percussive tightrope with guitarist Santander taking a more angular avant garde approach embracing a distinct Chilean flair. Both Santander and Recabarren are masters at their craft.
Part of the journey as a critic is to take what you know and what you like and move past that. The harmonic road less traveled can be a freeing experience. While North America seems to have a cultural embargo on many artists from South America, I have been fortunate to be contacted on numerous occasions for review submissions. Peregrinos is deserving of a far wider audience and I would strongly encourage you to check out their web site:
You can sample some of this amazing music for yourself.
Tracks: Peregrinos; Huellas en el Cielo; Parsimonia; For Our Last Day; Nino Luchin; Sube; Mapu.
Personnel: Raimundo Santander: Guitars, Effects; Rodrigo Recabarren: Drums and Percussion.
Posted by brent black at 1:12 PM
The Michael Carvin Experience goes back to the future with a tremendous debut!
Not hip to drummer Michael Carvin? The improvisational resume of Carvin includes work with such giants as Dizzy Gilespie, McCoy Tyner and Pat Martino. Flash Forward is the first release for Carvin since the 2006 Marsalis Honors Series and he has assembled a premier quartet. Why the eight year gap? We all need a break and apparently the rigors and mental gymnastics necessary to deal with some people in the business were taking their toll.
Flash Forward brings melody out of the jazz witness protection program with odd meters along with a rhythmic intensity that embraces these familiar standards without losing the integrity of the originals. Predictable? No and this is the foundation of why the release could easily be a sleeper for Grammy consideration. Sure, this is not necessarily a new concept but rarely will one hear it pulled off with such precision. An open ended spatial attack from a formidable 4tet with a unified approach and a melodic sense of urgency. Tunes include a danceable shuffle beat to "Autumn Leaves" along with a more Afro-Cuban riff on "Night In Tunisia." Perhaps the most impressive showcase would be the R & B infused "You Stepped Out Of A Dream." Flash Forward is a key player in the new sound of modern jazz.
The Carvin Experience is that rare improvisational collective that functions with a lyrical consciousness, harmonic conversations from the soul. Kenny Loftis shows amazing range on saxophone, Yayoi Ikawa adds nuanced flavor while bassist Jansen Cinco may well be the glue that binds this band together.
An absolutely stellar recording!
Tracks: So What; Sayonara Blues; In Walked Bud; Same Shame; Night In Tunisia; You Go To My Head; You Stepped Out Of A Dream; Autumn Leaves
Posted by brent black at 12:20 PM