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Wolf Den

Danielle Nicole

Blues - Verschenen op 25 september 2015 | Concord Records.

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Wolf Den

Danielle Nicole

Blues - Verschenen op 25 september 2015 | Concord Records.

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The Mosaic Project: Love and Soul

Terri Lyne Carrington

Jazz - Verschenen op 7 augustus 2015 | Concord Records.

When powerhouse drummer and composer Terri Lyne Carrington launched her Mosaic Project back in 2011, her motivation was to celebrate "the artistry of many women I had worked with and felt a sisterly bond with, women that were close friends and musical partners." Her cast included a star-studded host of players and singers such as Anat Cohen, Patrice Rushen, Sheila E., Esperanza Spalding, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Carmen Lundy, Cassandra Wilson, and Dianne Reeves. Love and Soul features appearances by many of the original players as well as new ones, including bassists Linda Oh and Meshell Ndegeocello, violinist Regina Carter, and completely different singers. "I'm a Fool to Want You" was co-written by Frank Sinatra and is just as closely associated with Billie Holiday (both had centennial birthdays in 2015). Here it is completely reimagined as a slippery, summery pop-soul song rendered beautifully by Chaka Khan. Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday" is given a cosmic soul treatment with a triple-timed funky drum-and-bass attack with sparkling, spacy Rhodes and wah-wah guitars. Natalie Cole emerges from the wash with its melody intact. Ashford & Simpson's classic "Somebody Told a Lie" is fronted by Valerie Simpson herself, in a chart that melds woodwinds, strings, a melodic bassline, and laid-back breakbeats. But classics aside, Carrington's tunes are some of the best on the set. "Imagine This" is framed inside a futurist treatment (think of the Foreign Exchange or Sa-Ra collectives) set apart by a chart that makes deliberate room for Nancy Wilson's iconic, classy style. "This Too Will Pass" weaves together pop, Isley Brothers-styled soul, and rock with Lalah Hathaway guiding the band with a smoky, throaty contralto. The sexy "Get to Know You"'s vocal showcase is Ledisi at her best. Ndegeocello's bassline is an expressive tonal counterpoint to the singer and an elastic companion for Carrington's drums. Rushen's "When I Found You" is the closer. It features the composer on Rhodes, Carter's violin, and a horn section backing Lizz Wright's lead. She digs into the lyric and then improvises with piano, guitar, and trumpet as the drummer pushes the ensemble to the creative edge. Mosaic Project fans will appreciate Love and Soul's exceptionally sophisticated take on R&B. Fans of Robert Glasper and José James should take note, too. Carrington has proven on all of her outings that she knows exactly what she wants and how to get it -- from any group of musicians. This one is no exception. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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David Pack's Napa Crossroads

David Pack

Pop - Verschenen op 1 januari 2013 | Concord Records.

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Although he is chiefly remembered as the lead singer for Ambrosia, David Pack's musical career since the mid-'80s has been mostly behind the scenes as a songwriter and producer, and he's been pretty successful at it, having produced work for artists like Selena, Wynonna Judd, Aretha Franklin, and Kenny Loggins, and as a music director, he staged events for both of President Clinton's inaugurals, as well as events for Barbra Streisand, Elton John, and Leonard Bernstein, among others. As a solo artist, he released a solo album post-Ambrosia in 1985, then a trio of albums and a five-song EP between 2004 and 2007, but really nothing since, until this interesting release, a conceptual and production collaboration with several Napa Valley vineyards and featuring guest spots from Ray Manzarek, Béla Fleck, Alan Parsons, Todd Rundgren, Larry Carlton, Rick Braun, and others. In a sense, it's an album-sized commercial for Napa Valley and these specific wineries, but what holds it together as more is the wonderful, warm, and bright production and the fact that the songs, written by people who actually work at these wineries, with Pack's help, are for the most part quite melodic and pleasant, filled with a sun-kissed California glow. Some of the songs have a direct wine or vine-related theme, but not all of them, and the best, which include the joyous and racing opener "O' Blessed Vine" (driven by Béla Fleck's banjo playing), the Doors-like "Silverado Free" (featuring Ray Manzarek's distinctive keyboard playing, one of the last tracks he worked on before his death), and the traditional country-sounding (by way of Bakersfield) "Wine Country Cowboy" (featuring the vocals of Jimmy Wayne), all work outside of the Napa Valley context, even as they draw central metaphors from it. It's a pleasure, too, to hear Pack sing, which is a delight in itself, but a lot of these tracks, however nice they might sound, fall a bit to the generic side of things. It's all a bit sweet, but then, there are worse things. The obvious joy that went into this set redeems it. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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David Pack's Napa Crossroads

David Pack

Pop - Verschenen op 1 januari 2013 | Concord Records.

Although he is chiefly remembered as the lead singer for Ambrosia, David Pack's musical career since the mid-'80s has been mostly behind the scenes as a songwriter and producer, and he's been pretty successful at it, having produced work for artists like Selena, Wynonna Judd, Aretha Franklin, and Kenny Loggins, and as a music director, he staged events for both of President Clinton's inaugurals, as well as events for Barbra Streisand, Elton John, and Leonard Bernstein, among others. As a solo artist, he released a solo album post-Ambrosia in 1985, then a trio of albums and a five-song EP between 2004 and 2007, but really nothing since, until this interesting release, a conceptual and production collaboration with several Napa Valley vineyards and featuring guest spots from Ray Manzarek, Béla Fleck, Alan Parsons, Todd Rundgren, Larry Carlton, Rick Braun, and others. In a sense, it's an album-sized commercial for Napa Valley and these specific wineries, but what holds it together as more is the wonderful, warm, and bright production and the fact that the songs, written by people who actually work at these wineries, with Pack's help, are for the most part quite melodic and pleasant, filled with a sun-kissed California glow. Some of the songs have a direct wine or vine-related theme, but not all of them, and the best, which include the joyous and racing opener "O' Blessed Vine" (driven by Béla Fleck's banjo playing), the Doors-like "Silverado Free" (featuring Ray Manzarek's distinctive keyboard playing, one of the last tracks he worked on before his death), and the traditional country-sounding (by way of Bakersfield) "Wine Country Cowboy" (featuring the vocals of Jimmy Wayne), all work outside of the Napa Valley context, even as they draw central metaphors from it. It's a pleasure, too, to hear Pack sing, which is a delight in itself, but a lot of these tracks, however nice they might sound, fall a bit to the generic side of things. It's all a bit sweet, but then, there are worse things. The obvious joy that went into this set redeems it. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Anthem for a New Day

Helen Sung

Jazz - Verschenen op 28 januari 2014 | Concord Records.

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Although she has released several trio albums, Helen Sung's 2014 album, Anthem for a New Day, is the pianist's first quintet album. As the 2007 Mary Lou Williams Piano Competition winner, Sung has displayed her virtuosic abilities backing such luminaries as trumpeter Clark Terry, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and trumpeter Jon Faddis, just to name a few. Here, Sung takes center stage backed by a stellar cast of supporting players including saxophonist Seamus Blake, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Reuben Rogers, drummer Obed Calvaire, and others. In a jazz world split between more esoteric avant-garde albums and safe, standards-heavy albums, with Anthem for a New Day Sung finds the perfect balance between intellectual, exploratory improvisation and no-nonsense, finely tailored jazz arranging. On Anthem for a New Day, Sung primarily delves into a handful of new compositions, from the buoyant "Armando's Rhumba" to the expansive "Hidden," as well as several well-chosen covers, including a gorgeous "Never Let Me Go," featuring violinist Regina Carter, and the tense yet funky "Epistrophy." These are immaculate and organically arranged pieces, all played in a swinging, straight-ahead style that allows for all musicians involved to shine. All of which is even more impressive when you consider that Sung, a classical student in college, didn't seriously began exploring jazz until after graduating from the University of Texas in 1995. After years of paying her dues as a sideman and "shedding" her chops in trio settings, with Anthem for a New Day Sung has delivered the soundtrack to the next phase of her career as a jazz leader. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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The Line

Kneebody

Jazz - Verschenen op 24 september 2013 | Concord Records.

Kneebody's fourth studio album and Concord debut, 2013's The Line, delivers more of what we've come to expect from the experimental ensemble's unique all-instrumental approach. Once again showcasing the talents of keyboardist Adam Benjamin, trumpeter Shane Endsley, bassist/guitarist Kaveh Rastegar, saxophonist Ben Wendel, and drummer Nate Wood, The Line marks the first time Kneebody have worked with a producer (Chris Dunn) and a sound engineer (Todd Burke), as most of their previous albums were self-produced. Utilizing Dunn and Burke seems to have freed the band to let loose in the studio. Consequently, the album has a raw, high-energy vibe that matches the group's frenetic live performances. Also, with songs that are melodic but still harmonically knotty and dynamically engaging, the album fits nicely within the group's aesthetic of making challenging music that defies easy categorization. All of the members of Kneebody are university-trained musicians with a deep working knowledge of jazz traditions. And as you might expect, much of the material on The Line has a basis in improvisational jazz and, more specifically, avant-garde and post-bop jazz of the '70s. That said, one would be hard-pressed to pigeonhole any of the songs on the album as pure jazz; many of the rhythms here have more in common with rock and electronic music. In that sense, Kneebody are also a spiritual continuation of the Chicago post-rock movement of the 1990s and bring to mind the work of such similarly genre-bending bands as Tortoise and Isotope 217. Many of the songs on The Line are built around repeated keyboard riffs or fractured funk drumbeats. There is also plenty of serpentine, harmonically complex, bop-influenced trumpet and saxophone. That said, Kneebody are more interested in creating long-form movements than featuring extended solo improvisations. As a result, the emphasis on The Line is largely centered around group interplay and layered aural textures, rather than virtuosic individual statements. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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The Line

Kneebody

Jazz - Verschenen op 24 september 2013 | Concord Records.

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The Mystery of You

Spencer Day

Pop - Verschenen op 12 maart 2013 | Concord Records.

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Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns (feat. Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, Richard Elliot)

Dave Koz

Jazz - Verschenen op 11 juni 2013 | Concord Records.

Summer Horns is the first studio album from Dave Koz since 2010's Hello Tomorrow. That said, it's not solely billed to him. The "and Friends" on the bill refers to three other contemporary jazz saxophonists: Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, and Richard Elliot. Produced by Paul Brown, this is a big up-front horn section record, full of jazz, funk, and R&B covers, alternately by Greg Adams, Tom Scott, Gordon Goodwin, and Albright. The four-sax line is augmented by brass in various places, too. While Brown's production sound stays within the genre of contemporary jazz -- it's both clean and bright -- the feel is all groove. Early on there is a finger-popping open-road vibe in the take on Herb Alpert's "Rise," and an atypical jazzy read of Sly Stone's "Hot Fun in the Summertime," with Brian Culbertson adding a trombone solo and chorus vocals by Jonathan Butler and Jeffrey Osborne. Abair's lead alto on the cover of Paul Desmond's iconic "Take Five" is slippery and warm, and rides the time signature beautifully; the multi-horn arrangement by Goodwin, with its layered and interweaving solos and upright bass in place of the piano and drums, is a nice touch. Michael McDonald's vocal on Tower of Power's "So Very Hard to Go" is every bit as soulful as the Motown covers on his own records. Koz's lead alto breaks are tasty. Adams' chart substitutes elegance for grittiness, but the emotion remains. While Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4" and James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)" suffer a tad for their lack of wildness, both have interesting guitar touches and fine solos by Koz and Albright, respectively. Led by Elliot's expressive tenor, Charles Stepney and Earth, Wind & Fire's "Reasons" is a groove-laden midtempo babymaker and a set high point. Rick Braun's trumpet solo and Butler's gospel moaning vocal turn Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'" into one of the set's dancefloor shakers. Albright's horn chart is funky, chunky, and righteous. The lone original here is the title track. It's pure contemporary jazz, with Koz delivering a nice soprano solo followed by Elliot's fine tenor break. Lenny Castro's percussion and Roberto Vally's bassline keep the groove fluid and deep. Summer Horns doesn't pretend to be anything other than it is: a good-time record that sounds like it was as much fun to make as it is to listen to. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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It’s Magic, The Songs of Sammy Cahn

Steve Tyrell

Jazz - Verschenen op 14 mei 2013 | Concord Records.

Vocalist Steve Tyrell began his salute to the great American songbook with the 1999 release A New Standard. The tribute continues with It's Magic: The Songs of Sammy Cahn as Tyrell explores 13 of his favorite songs written by the legendary composer. In a roundabout way, this set not only pays tribute to Sammy Cahn, but also his collaborators. Gene De Paul is musically acknowledged with the inclusion "Teach Me Tonight," a song associated with Frank Sinatra. Seven of the tracks were co-written with Jimmy Van Heusen and have become iconic songbook standards including "The Second Time Around," "Call Me Irresponsible," and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head." They also wrote several tunes made popular by Sinatra: "Come Fly with Me," "The Tender Trap," and "All the Way." Cahn's partnership with Jule Styne is also highlighted with "I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry," "It's Been a Long, Long Time," "Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week)," and "I Fall in Love Too Easily." The 2013 release of It's Magic: The Songs of Sammy Cahn coincides with the modern crooner's extended New York gig, succeeding the late vocalist Bobby Short at the Café Carlyle, where the great American songbook has been celebrated for several decades. © Al Campbell /TiVo
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The Beat

Boney James

Jazz - Verschenen op 1 januari 2013 | Concord Records.

After a brief sojourn for Verve Forecast with 2011's Contact, Boney James returns home to Concord for The Beat. Aptly titled, this is the recording where the composer and saxophonist weds his love for both R&B and Latin music, weaving them together in his trademark brand of contemporary jazz. Besides James, the other star on this date is all-star percussionist Lenny Castro, whose use of congas, timbales, bongos, and numerous other instruments adds dimension, flavor, and punch to most of these cuts. A cover of Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing," is the opener. It's played as a lithe bossa nova. Drummer Vinnie Colauita and Castro exchange accents in all the right places as James uses his soprano to glide through the melody. Another highlight is the cover of the Sergio Mendes classic "Batacuda," with longtime friend and collaborator Rick Braun lending his trumpet. In James' arrangement, this is 21st century jazz funk with the two-horn frontline backed by Rob Bacon's stinging guitar, Alex Al's bassline, Tim Carmon's keyboard washes -- including a second bassline -- and keen interplay between punchy drummer Omari Williams and Castro. Braun's solo is short but very tight. Soul crooner Raheem DeVaughn appears on the slippery meld of old-school soul and laid-back funky jazz on "Maker of Love." Natalie "The Floacist" Stewart offers her rhyming and signing skill to "They Midas (This Is Why)." It simmers with a sexy, nocturnal feel and illustrates modern club jazz at its best. "Sunset Boulevard" wanders into the jazz fields more, with lovely piano work from Brandon Coleman and a low-end strutting bass by Dwayne "Smitty" Smith. "Powerhouse" melds Latin funk to fingerpopping contemporary jazz, while "You Can Count on Me" -- with one of James' most memorable melodies in ages -- weds Brazilian MPB, languid R&B, and emotive smooth jazz, and sends it all out on a high note. His tenor playing here is wide open and sultry. While The Beat is not as uptempo as its title might imply, it more than compensates with the layers of rhythms inherent in its tunes. There are no low points on the set, only grooves galore. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Robert Randolph Presents: The Slide Brothers

The Slide Brothers

Blues - Verschenen op 29 januari 2013 | Concord Records.

The first studio album by pedal steel icons the Slide Brothers incorporates the sacred steel tradition in gospel music with rock, funk, and blues. The quartet and like-minded co-producers John McDermott and Robert Randolph -- the pedal steel guitarist and leader of the Family Band -- embrace the philosophy that traditional gospel and secular music should not be divided but celebrated. That diversity is reflected in the tasteful union of material linking the Allman Brothers classic "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'," Fatboy Slim's trip-hop hit "Praise You," two Elmore James tracks, George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord," and an instrumental version of the spiritual "Wade in the Water." No matter what categorization this music is relegated to, it doesn't change the genuine celebratory nature the Slide Brothers bring to the listener. Making special appearances with the band are Calvin Cooke, Chuck Campbell, Darick Campbell and Aubrey Ghent, the Blind Boys of Mississippi, Shemekia Copeland, Billy Cox, and the aforementioned Robert Randolph & the Family Band. © Al Campbell /TiVo
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The Living Room Tour

Carole King

Pop/Rock - Verschenen op 12 juli 2005 | Concord Records.

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I'll Take Romance

Steve Tyrell

Jazz - Verschenen op 1 januari 2012 | Concord Records.

An homage to the Great American Songbook, vocalist Steve Tyrell's 2012 studio album I'll Take Romance features the singer on various classics of American popular song. Featured are such compositions as "That's All," "Taking a Chance on Love," and more. Also included are Tyrell's versions of such R&B classics as Etta James' "At Last," Sam Cooke's "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons," and the Supremes' "You Turn Me Around." © TiVo
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Love Makes the World

Carole King

Pop - Verschenen op 25 september 2001 | Concord Records.