Friday, August 24, 2012

Home Gift Of Music Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Sunnyside Records 2012

Writing about new releases is certainly fun but having the chance to write about a very special release that can do some tangible good for a country still reeling from the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster on 03/11/11 is special.

This benefit release has 100% of the revenue generated from the release going directly to Habitat for Humanity, Japan.

Eight of the nine original works written specifically for this project and an incredible all star line up of talent donated their time and energy to this most worthy endeavor. Artists participating in this project include Claudia Acuna, Gretchen Parlato, and bass phenom Ben Williams just to name a few. Rio Sakairi who is Director of Programming at the Jazz Gallery is the brains behind this project. With a steadfast belief in the ability of music to heal and lift up the human spirit within the midst of utter devastation, Sakairi set out to bring this project together in short order and with literally no rehearsal time. Except for the manufacturing of the disc itself all time was donated as this premier group of talent gathered to channel their compassion, empathy and ultimate hope for the healing of Japan after the hat trick of disasters devastated the country as the world watched in horror. News stories have for the most part died down but help is still urgently needed which is where you come in.

The talent level on this release is off the charts. Vocalist Claudia Acuna contributes the only cover with an emotional take on the Abbey Lincoln tune "The Music Is The Magic." Stellar guitarist Doug Wamble's soulful anthem "Fear Not The Fall" captures the overall emotive yet incredibly intimate quality of this release. Becca Stevens and Sachal Vasandani deliver amazing performances and the band is essentially one of the better quintets you may hear and includes virtuoso pianist Taylor Eigsti, saxophonist Dayna Stephens, guitarist Adam Rogers, bassist Ben Williams and the incredible drummer Johnathan Blake while there are other band members rotating through on the various tracks it is indeed a stellar offering from some amazing talent.

It seems like everyone has their hand out these days. A bad economy coupled with an uncertain future in this country makes charitable giving tough. With the release of HOME, you can rest easy knowing that all the proceeds are going to the people that really need it. Some say charity begins at home but home is where you hang your hat. Check out the web site for complete information and consider doing what you can. There are very few opportunities where one can know they really made a difference. This release is one of those special projects that needs your support!

I want to thank my friend Jordy at DL Media for turning me on to this offering and Bret from Sunnyside Records the label that is proud to carry this release.

Tracks: Gambare Nippon; If It Was; Coming Home; Home; Music Is The Magic; Tillery; Fear Not The Fall; Leaves Rebirth; Doves.

Personnel: Claudia Acuna: vocals (5); John Ellis: vocals (4); Alan Hampton: vocals & guitar (2); Gretchen Parlato: vocals & percussion (2,6,8,9); Becca Stevens: vocals & guitar (3,4,6,9); Leron Thomas: vocals (8); Sachal Vasandani: vocals (9); Doug Wamble: guitar & vocals (7); Dayna Stephens: tenor saxophone (2); Taylor Eigsti: piano (2,8,9); Adam Rogers: guitars (5,8,9); Ryan Scott: guitar (4); Danton Boller: bass (4); Chris Tordini: bass & vocals (6); Ben Williams: bass (5,8,9); Johnathan Blake: drums (5,8,9); Bill Campbell: drums (4).