Brent Black / Not Just Jazz
Is it jazz? What is jazz and for that matter who is Bart Brandjes? O.K. then, Bart Brandjes is The Voice of Holland! Need something more? Take the blue eyed soul styling of Darryl Hall and add just a splash of Al Jarreau and you are getting close to what may be the new voice for contemporary jazz here in the United States. Soulful and soul filled finds Brandjes masterfully manipulating jazz phrasing within his incredibly unique and gifted lyrical flow. I now understand what a "good hang" and "chill" are all about.
Real Life is entirely produced by contemporary jazz icon Paul Brown who also contributes some incredibly tasty guitar licks on the opener "Boogie On Reggae Woman." Covering any Stevie Wonder tune is an incredible artistic leap of faith, covering "Boogie On Reggae Woman" is going all in on your own talent and Brandjes simply slays this tune. Other guests include drumming great Ricky Lawson, saxophonist Jesse J, steady as she goes bassist Roberto Vally and percussion master Lenny Castro. Another tune with the potential to make or break any recording is the classic "One Hundred Ways" which is a tune that has seen better days and been done to death. The arrangement by Jeff Carruther is masterful and somewhat deconstructed to allow Brandjes plenty of room to work his timing, tone, and vocal timbre to full effect. There are a four compositions written by guitar great Paul Brown which go well beyond expectations in terms of both content and execution. Brown is now a legitimate triple threat as producer, instrumentalist and lyricist and working with a talent such as Brandjes is a match made in heaven.
Real Life has contemporary smooth jazz style but the release as a whole crosses over and transcends the self imposed limitations of genre as well or better than most any vocal release of this nature over the last decade. Bart Brandjes may be a new shooter on the vocal scene for the American audience but Real Life is indeed the real deal!
The first single is set to drop very soon while the release is scheduled for early October. Mark your calendar accordingly!
Tracks: Boogie On Reggae Woman; Real Life; One Hundred Ways; On The Beach; When It Comes To Leaving You; Beggin'; Your Love Is Beautiful; Fallin' In Love Again; Out of Time; I Get A Feeling.
Personnel: Bart Brandjes: vocals; Paul Brown: Guitar,Drums,Percussion; Ricky Lawson: Drums; Marco Basci: Grand Piano, Keyboards; Tracy Carter: Organ; Roberto Vally: Bass; Background Vocals: Tim Owens; Devere Duckett; DeYon Dobson, Kez, Eric Mondragon, Billy Mondragon, Dax Reynosa; Jeff Wyatt: Harmonica; Michael Ripoll: Guitar; Jeffrey Freeman: Keyboards; Freddie Flewellen: Bass; Mike Shapiro: Drums; Jeff Carruthers: Keyboards, Drums, Guitar; Lenny Castro: Percussion;