JUSTIN YOUNG SHARES HIS “BLUE SOUL”

Justin Young is just in time for the November 17th release of his fourth album “Blue Soul,” fashioned and created by Justin’s desire to “get back to his roots.” Hailing from Detroit, Young automatically pulled his inspiration from the soulful music he grew up listening to. His approach to “Blue Soul” was to create music the good old-fashioned way. As a result of his determination, Justin, along with a cast of A-list musicians, recorded in the studio. His tenacious spirit paid off, and the momentum of “Blue Soul” has been non-stop; the pendulum is steadily swinging in his favor. Young told me he was “going to make sure this project flies.” To his credit, that, he did. His third single “High Definition” was recently released, and his first single “Always There,” written and produced by Jackiem Joyner, made the Billboard Top 25 and the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown.

Listen to Justin and I converse about this project: 

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JUSTIN YOUNG SHARES HIS “BLUE SOUL”

Justin Young is just in time for the November 17th release of his fourth album “Blue Soul,” fashioned and created by Justin’s desire to “get back to his roots.” Hailing from Detroit, Young automatically pulled his inspiration from the soulful music he grew up listening to. His approach to “Blue Soul” was to create music the good old-fashioned way. As a result of his determination, Justin, along with a cast of A-list musicians, recorded in the studio. His tenacious spirit paid off, and the momentum of “Blue Soul” has been non-stop; the pendulum is steadily swinging in his favor. Young told me he was “going to make sure this project flies.” To his credit, that, he did. His third single “High Definition” was recently released, and his first single “Always There,” written and produced by Jackiem Joyner, made the Billboard Top 25 and the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown.

Listen to Justin and I converse about this project: 

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Brian Culbertson to celebrate love with a colorful bouquet of romantic music on Valentine’s Day

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Brian Culbertson to celebrate love with a colorful bouquet of romantic music on Valentine’s Day

 

The jazz-R&B keyboardist will release the intimate “Colors of Love” single and album that will be supported by an extensive spring concert tour. A bonus track is available for Indiegogo supporters.

LOS ANGELES (7 November 2017): They met for the first time when they were music majors at DePaul University. Flash forward, Michelle and Brian Culbertson celebrated their twentieth wedding anniversary last month. With love, romance and his wife serving as his motivation, the soulful contemporary jazz hit-maker started writing material earlier this year inspired by the occasion, crafting thirteen new songs that will be released as “Colors of Love,” his eighteenth album, on Valentine’s Day on the BCM Entertainment label. The seduction begins early next month when the amorous title track, a sensual R&B groove illuminated by Culbertson’s lyrical acoustic piano melodies typical of the collection’s contents, ships to radio. A nearly three-month-long U.S. concert tour will bring “Colors of Love” to life in a vivid theatrical production with the itinerary being revealed December 1.   

Culbertson is thriving creatively on this, his third independent album funded by an Indiegogo campaign (http://bit.ly/2wr3kt9), which closes this Thursday and offers unique opportunities and exclusive perks including a bonus track. Having spent the majority of his career on a major label, the freedom to follow his creative muse is readily apparent on “Colors of Love,” a complete contrast to last year’s “Funk!” set, which was a lively, full-band funk/R&B workout that features a number of vocal cuts. He describes “Colors of Love” as “purposely electronic, using very modern sounds and production” with his acoustic piano serving as the singular lead voice throughout the intimate date. The quiet and contemplative tracks are textured atmospherics and gentle R&B grooves – soothing beds for Culbertson’s melodic piano expressions of ardor.

Sharing the recording process via Facebook live, Culbertson polled his audience and they voted that “Colors of Love” be instrumental only. He took it a step further and for the first time in his career that to date has racked up 30 No. 1 Billboard singles as an artist, producer and/or songwriter, he refrained from using saxophone or guitar as lead instruments – only his poetic piano.

“The music on ‘Colors of Love’ explores all aspects of what love is. It’s a deep word that says a lot of things. There’s passionate love, love at first sight, longing love, lost love. Each color represents a different type of love. There are heart-wrenching songs, cuddly love – all kinds of different love songs,” said Culbertson, who played all of the instruments on the new record except for rhythm guitar (Isaiah Sharkey) and accordion (Peter White).

“I’ve been playing ‘Through the Years’ from the new album in my set since the Berks Jazz Fest last April. The response has been very emotional. Clearly this music touches a nerve – or the heart to be more exact.”   

Culbertson is already at work on how he will present “Colors of Love” live during the U.S. concert trek that runs March 28 through June 17 with tickets going on sale December 8. He’s planning to incorporate a video element in a major way.

“It’s going to be a very theatrical presentation with video images and lighting timed to the music. This music is visual and cinematic thus the show needs to be visual to complement the experience. It’s going to be larger than life when you see it live.

“Colors of Love” contains the following songs:

“Love Transcended”

“I Want You”

“Colors of Love”

“Don’t Go”

“You’re Magic”

“Through the Years”

“In A Dream”

“Let’s Chill”

“Desire”

“Michelle’s Theme”

“In Your Embrace”

“The Look”

“All My Heart”

A bonus track will be available exclusively for Indiegogo supporters.

For more information, please visit www.BrianCulbertson.com.

Saxophonist Justin Young’s “Blue Soul” powered by “High Definition”

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Saxophonist Justin Young’s “Blue Soul” powered by “High Definition

The November 17 album release reflects his Motor City roots, driven by the set’s new single

SEATTLE (9 October 2017): Justin Young is hungry. The energetic and enthusiastic saxophonist is all about hustle and hard work. For over a decade, he’s put out quality soul-jazz albums, but his forthcoming disc, “Blue Soul,” captures an artist hitting his stride on the cusp of a major breakthrough. Mining his Detroit roots, Young’s fourth album, due November 17 via JustnTime Records, features a dozen new songs recorded live in the studio with premier musicians, producers and songwriting collaborators. Paving the way for the collection is the new single, “High Definition,” a vibrant R&B/pop confection just shipped to radio stations, a tune that Young penned with fellow soul-jazz saxman Jackiem Joyner and keyboardist Matt Godina.  

The release of “Blue Soul” caps a lengthy recording odyssey for Young. His approach for this outing was purposely different and taps into the Motown lore that influenced his musical discoveries while growing up.

“I started work on this album three and a half years ago. There have probably been about 40 different songs written for this album. In the past, I would write twelve songs, and then enter the studio quickly and put out an album. But for ‘Blue Soul,’ I wanted to take a different approach and put the absolute best songs out, really push myself to elevate the standard this time around,” said Young, who had a hand in writing all but one song on the album. “‘Blue Soul’ goes back to my roots in music, Detroit, the home of Motown. I loved the creativity of musicians recording together in the studio, creating an amazing vibe. The opportunity to put high-quality musicians together along with amazing producers has always been my dream. I watched this growing up and listened to the Motown stories. ‘Blue Soul’ goes back to my love of jazz and soul music. It’s organic, it’s played by consummate musicians and it truly is soul music with saxophone at its beating heart.

Throughout “Blue Soul,” Young’s alto, tenor and soprano sax is embedded amidst rhythms and grooves constructed by the likes of bassists Alex Al and Hussain Jiffry, and the late drummer to the stars, Ricky Lawson. Former Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist-vocalist Sheldon Reynolds is another notable player who fortified Young’s lilting harmonies and undeniable melodies. The first single, “Always There,” one of four cuts written and produced by Joyner – a Billboard chart-topper in his own right – hit the Billboard Top 25 and the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown. “Jazz Along The 101,” one of three tracks shepherded by gospel producer Noel Hall (Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond), kept Young’s momentum motoring along with both singles garnering daily spins on SiriusXM’s Watercolors. In response to Hurricane Harvey, he released the hopeful “Song For A Better Tomorrow” (https://youtu.be/PoL8NtcUwFw), donating the track’s proceeds to the American Red Cross. “High Definition” promises to take him into 2018 on a high note with a wealth of potential singles in the offing.

Young began in music as a drummer and was introduced to a wide array of styles – from R&B and pop to jazz and gospel – by his father, Jim Young, who led and played in a variety of bands, encouraging his scion to play sax. Landing his first professional concert at age sixteen, Young put himself through Michigan State University by playing weekend gigs. He issued his debut album, “Rendezvous,” in 2003. After winning a competition at the famed Capital Jazz Fest in 2007, he released “On The Way.” A move to Southern California helped his following multiply quickly when he booked a year-long residency at Spaghettini, a hot spot for the contemporary jazz crowd south of Los Angeles. Gigs on the national festival circuit ensued as did subsequent recordings, “Home for the Holidays” and “Nothin’ But Love.” Young previewed music from “Blue Soul” at a Detroit show held at Chene Park last July with 5,000 people in attendance and at a sold-out date in August when he returned to Spaghettini. Now based near Seattle, he will support the new record with a series of local concerts at nearby wineries this fall. Resourceful and brand savvy, Young produces and plies his effervescent personality as the host of “The Justin Young Audio Experience,” a podcast that teaches musicians about the business of music. For more information, please visit www.JustinYoungSax.com.

“Blue Soul” contains the following songs:

 “Always There”

“Nothin’ But Love”

“Razzmajazz”

“Jazz Along The 101”

“Paradise Found”

“New Life”

“Blue Soul”

“Sorento”

“Sweet Release”

“India”

“Song For A Better Tomorrow”

“High Definition”

SUNSET JAZZ FESTIVAL

The fifth annual Sunset Jazz Festival was nothing short of spectacular. The evening was hosted by Will Downing and featured guest appearances by Chris Walker and Norman Brown. The line-up included Regina Belle, Boney James, and concluded with a stellar performance by the master himself, Mr. George Benson. The weather was beautiful at Chastain Park in Atlanta, providing music lovers with the perfect atmosphere. Regina Belle serenaded the audience with hit after hit, wooing the crowd as they sang along. Boney James gave fans the show they’ve grown to expect and enjoy. After the sun set, George Benson and his amazing band graced the stage giving fans a night to remember. The legendary Benson played song after song from various era’s of his illustrious career. He was simply phenomenal.

“Dear Friend”: Jazz fusion keyboardist Patrick Bradley honors tangible and “Intangible” influences on his fourth album, due August 25

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“Dear Friend”: Jazz fusion keyboardist Patrick Bradley honors tangible and “Intangible” influences on his fourth album, due August 25 

ALISO VIEJO (31 July 2017): The spiritually-minded jazz fusion keyboardist Patrick Bradley doesn’t need a special occasion like marking his tenth anniversary as a recording artist to acknowledge his inspirations both tangible and divine. However, “Dear Friend,” the first single from his forthcoming fourth album, “Intangible,” due August 25, does just that, slated to arrive ten years after the release of his first solo set. Written with the album’s producer, Jeff Lorber, “Dear Friend” pays respectful homage to the seminal musicians who influence and inform Bradley’s contemporary jazz, rock, fusion and R&B mashups released on the Patrick’s Song Factory label.

“My intent was to honor the influence and significant impact that late musicians have on me musically such as keyboardist giants Keith Emerson, Richard Wright, George Duke, Joe Sample and Jon Lord. Bass players Chris Squire and Jaco Pastorius and guitarist Alan Holdsworth have a major influence on my approach to arrangements and melodies. Their influences are woven throughout my musical experiences, abilities and styles,” said Bradley, who wrote and arranged the ten songs that comprise “Intangible” with Lorber. “The tune also celebrates friendship of all kinds – whether it is the intimate friendship between a spouse or lover, a trusted best friend, a mentor, your family pet or the friendship expressed through songs of faith.”         

 Intangible” is the third outing for Bradley and Lorber, the latter of whom is a keyboardist widely recognized as one of the forefathers of jazz fusion, thus an element of mentorship is evident in their ongoing creative friendship. “Jeff and I work very well together. Coming into the studio, I had about 18 songs to work with for this project and we selected ten. Collaborating with Jeff always draws out new dimensions and makes me dig deeper.”

One of the dimensions that Bradley developed under the tutelage of Lorber was to cultivate the ability and the confidence to communicate as a trilingual keyboardist: piano, Hammond B3 organ and Moog synthesizer. Bradley’s nimble finger work dispenses harmonies in equal measures of power and grace, poignant and propulsive, riveting and rousing, and cerebral and accessible. His multi-voiced keyboard approach makes an individual track seem as if it is helmed by more than one protagonist with each unique keyboard instrument providing a different perspective on the melodies. In addition to the heavy usage of the Hammond B3 along with frequent spacy Moog forays, Bradley’s distinctive brand also consists of deep-pocketed grooves constructed by live instrumentation from a core unit of prominent musicians – guitarists Adam Hawley and Michael Thompson, bassist Jimmy Haslip, drummer Gary Novak and Lorber on synth bass, guitar and additional keyboards. A handful of cuts are bolstered by the brawn and bravura of David Mann’s horns. Paul Jackson Jr. cranks out a gale force of electric guitar riffs on “Tail Wind” while Andrew Carney’s trumpet thrives animatedly while exploring “Newport Coast.”                    

There is another essential element to Bradley’s recordings that have been present ever since he issued his debut album, “Come Rain or Shine,” a decade ago. “Music and creativity and whatever talents we each have are a gift from God. Love, faith, hope and even music are all intangible, hence the new album title. Much of our universe is intangible yet we spend the majority of our time seeking the physical and temporal things. I always want to encourage people to look beyond the physical universe and turn our hearts towards God,” said the Southern California native who balances his creative output with a corporate profile by serving as president of the Southern Pacific Region at Whole Foods Market.

Bradley’s singles regularly hit the Billboard chart, but he was especially encouraged by the success and growing support he received for his previous album, 2014’s “Can You Hear Me.” “It gave me a new drive to write, play and collaborate with a newfound zeal and energy, revealing where I am at musically at this time. All music has a piece of the artist within their songs. I find with each new project, I feel the need and responsibility to dig deeper and in a sense, be truer to the musician I am and inspire to be.”

For more information, please visit www.PatrickBradleyMusic.com.

“Intangible” contains the following songs:

“Dear Friend”

“Funky Greens”

“Tail Wind”

“On Tap”

“Intangible”

“Find the Way”

“Newport Coast”

“Winds of Change”

“Destiny”

“Out of Bounds”

JACKIEM JOYNER IS ON A “MAIN STREET BEAT”

Jackiem Joyner is enjoying the success of his sixth album “Main Street Beat” and life as a father. His daughter Trinity, whose name is also the title of the album’s first single, is a tremendous inspiration to him. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz album chart. Jackiem says, “it’s his most exciting record.” “Main Street Beat” is about common folks getting down to the funky beat, and it will make you want to groove. One very exciting aspect of this project is that a lot of it was recorded live–an experience Jackiem thoroughly enjoyed. Nick Colionne, Steve Oliver, and Nikolai Egorov are all featured artists on the project. Jackiem is looking forward to sharing “Main Street Beat” with his fans on the road.

Listen as Jackiem and I chat about the project:

Jackeim Joyner