A LOOK THROUGH KELVIN WOOTEN’S “WINDOW”

There are so many thoughts that go through one’s mind when they stare out of a window. Multi-instrumentalist producer Kelvin Wooten has always been fascinated by windows. Kelvin is well known for his musical prowess on countless songs and albums in a variety of genres of music. He is artistically multi-dimensional, and that is what makes him a joy to work with for artists. Wooten has spent years growing and dedicating his gift to music. Recently, Kelvin had something to say–musically, that is. Thus, he embarked on a R&B Soul project that he had wanted to do for a while. Reflecting on his time spent viewing through a window in his home, Kelvin titled the EP “Window.” It is stirring and inspiring. “Window” features some of Wooten’s fellow musical comrades, those he also lovingly refers to as family.

Listen as Kelvin and I discuss the project:

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THE QUEEN CITY JAZZFEST

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Buy The Queen City Jazz Fest tickets at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre in Charlotte, NC for June 17, 2017 6:00PM at Ticketmaster.

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E00528ABCFEFD18

Guitarist Blake Aaron is Sirius about making it a “VIVID” spring

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Guitarist Blake Aaron is Sirius about making it a “VIVID” spring

The vivacious third single from the forthcoming “Color and Passion” album goes for radio adds on April 24.

ALISO VIEJO (11 April 2017): Guitarist Blake Aaron has been featured multiple times on SiriusXM over the past week as part of Jazz Appreciation Month just as his vibrant new single, “VIVID,” is preparing to bloom brightly. The third single issued in advance of his upcoming “Color and Passion” album, Aaron wrote and produced the multihued bouquet of invigorating instrumental dance music, power pop horns and glossy R&B grooves that surround fragrant stems of fresh electric jazz guitar flourishes. On the way to radio stations now with an April 24 playlist add date, the perfectly-timed spring fling should happily satiate listeners until Blake’s sixth album streets this fall on Innervision Records.

Last Thursday, the national satellite radio broadcaster’s Watercolors aired a live concert performance by Aaron recorded at the SiriusXM studios in Washington, DC. On Sunday, the guitarist who hosted his own nationally syndicated radio show for seven years hung out on the “Dave Koz Lounge” with the affable sax sensation. This week, Aaron served as guest DJ on Tuesday and although he took command of the air waves, he didn’t sneak in the new single before the official add date.

“No, not yet,” he chuckled. “’VIVID’ is my feel good track of the spring/summer. With real Earth, Wind & Fire-style horns and tons of energetic, bright melodic hooks, I am proud to say that this is one of my most infectious grooves and most intense productions I’ve done to date. Vivid is how I try to live my life and it is how I try to teach my kids to live their lives. Be uniquely you – boldly and with passion. Be you – vividly.”

Aaron’s last collection, 2015’s “Soul Stories,” spawned five Billboard Top 10 singles. “Color and Passion” aims to continue his run of chart success with a chromatic and intense fusion of sounds and styles – funk, R&B, soul, jazz, rock, blues and Latin music. While the first three singles – “Summer Ride,” “Godfather Brown” and “VIVID” – are upbeat and full of life, the disc will also include intimate ballads allowing Aaron to showcase his lyrically expressive guitar on downtempo numbers.

Aaron recently plied his soulful fretwork on three songs for urban-jazz chart-topper Najee’s forthcoming set. The indemand session player, sideman, producer and songwriter will celebrate his birthday with an April 29 concert at Southern California hotspot Spaghettini in Seal Beach where he will be joined by two-time Grammy winner Bill Champlin, a singer-songwriter and keyboardist who spent 28 years as a member of the legendary band Chicago. Aaron will hit the road Memorial Day Weekend for performances at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival in Florida (May 26), St. James Live! in Atlanta, GA on a bill shared with saxophonist Tom Braxton and vocalist Kevin Whalum (May 27), and a headline date with Braxton at The King Center in Melbourne, FL (May 28).

For additional information, please visit www.BlakeAaron.com.

“AROUND THE HORN” WITH RICK BRAUN

Rick Braun sets himself apart with his latest album “AROUND THE HORN.” This standout project is more contemporary and described by Rick as being “a musical journey around the world.” This will be Rick’s seventeenth album and debut release on Shanachie Entertainment. Braun collaborated with long time friend John Stoddart and says that “this record would not be what it is without John’s help.” Peter White and Lindsey Webster are featured artists, adding their originality. “AROUND THE HORN” is a collection of original songs and covers of songs. Braun added his genius to songs by Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Charlie Puth, and Selena Gomez, maintaining their authenticity. Rick proudly admits that his daughter was “a big inspiration for the album.” He even titled the song “Pool Dancer” for her. Braun’s friend and fellow trumpet player from Germany, Till Bronner, joins him on the title track “AROUND THE HORN.” Together, they take trumpet playing to another level.

Listen to Rick and I share conversation:

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PHIL PERRY LEAVES US “BREATHLESS”

Phil Perry has a voice that is timeless and intoxicating. For decades, the storyteller has created music and moments never to be forgotten. Phil has shared his gift with artists such as Quincy Jones and Chaka Khan. The legendary Al Jarreau fondly referred to Phil as the “real deal,” a sentiment everyone shares. “Breathless” is Perry’s 12th album, and quite honestly, it will take your breathe away. Collaborating with his long time friend and producer, Chris “Big Dog” Davis, once again proved to be a formula for success. Phil says that with them, it’s about “friendship and relationship. However, the music is paramount.” He says his music feels like home. When listening to songs like “Someday We’ll Meet Again,” “Moments In The House Of Love,” and his cover of “Loves In Need Of Love Today,” you are sure to feel the same way. On “Breathless,” Phil says: “I’m just a mouthpiece.”

Listen to my friend and I talk all things music:

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Smooth soul singer Selina Albright comfortable and confident enough to “Eat Something”

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Therapeutic “Conversations”: Smooth soul singer Selina Albright comfortable and confident enough to “Eat Something” 

Empowering radio single about self-love and acceptance previews her March 17 debut album release.

FRISCO (30 January 2017): While a song about the joy of packing on a few pounds and a widening booty may seem contrary to the messages bombarding the popular music and media landscapes, smooth soul singer Selina Albright’s “Eat Something” is instantly resonating with fans and radio programmers, including SiriusXM Watercolors’ Dave Koz Lounge, which will feature the song on the February 5 national broadcast. The mid-tempo adult R&B song bolstered by guitarist Kay-Ta Matsuno’s crafty touch is the lead single from Albright’s first full-length album, the very personal “Conversations,” which will be released March 17 by Golden Rays Music with preorders beginning February 1 on iTunes.

“Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that I’ve reprioritized my life and stopped putting so much emphasis on doing and being what’s most acceptable to others, and instead focused more on appreciating and expressing who I’ve become. Getting to that place in my life inspired me to write about topics I normally wouldn’t, such as ‘Eat Something.’ I know it’s unconventional to write a song about being so happy that you gain weight from eating more, but there’s a freedom in the candor of the lyrics. There was no way I was going to change that. It was far too special,” said Albright, who selected the heartening cut as the first single based upon the immediate and rousing response she receives whenever performing the song in concert and from the fervent reaction from her “FanFamily” on social media.

Describing the custom-tailored blend of sensual soul and sultry jazz album as “my own therapeutic diary through joy, betrayal, liberation and hope, all written without holding back,” Albright wrote the lyrics for all nine original tunes and co-produced three tracks on “Conversations.” Her subject matters are based upon intimate and probing conversations she’s had, shared as if she’s confiding in a close friend. Whether skillfully unleashing the full power and magnitude of her gravity-defying voice or harnessing her passion in a reassuring caress, Albright’s demeanor remains sunny and glowing on uplifting numbers like “Possible” and “Highest High.” Even when confronting weightier subjects head on like she does on “Wifey Anthem (You Don’t Have To Fight At Home)” and “Victim,” her inherent optimism remains present and undaunted. “Let Go” also is wrought with emotion and includes dramatic flute flourishes from multiple Grammy nominee Gerald Albright, Selina’s father. The disc’s lone cover is a stripped down, jazzy take on “If I Were A Boy” with accompaniment by contemporary jazz hit-maker Peter White on acoustic guitar and Randy Ellis (Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé) on sax. Also contributing to the date are producers Chris “Big Dog” Davis and James “JRob” Roberson as well as guitarist David P. Stevens.

To help launch the album, Albright will perform at three record release parties: February 12 at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, California, April 6 at the Berks Jazz Fest in Reading, Pennsylvania and April 15 at The Soiled Dove Underground in Denver, Colorado. The Southern California show is already nearly sold-out.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Albright was reared in the jazz and R&B scene, making her first appearance singing on one of her father’s albums twenty years ago. She has since sung on several of his collections, including penning lyrics and singing on the Grammy-nominated “24/7,” a 2012 duet set from the chart-topping saxophonist and Grammy-winning guitarist Norman Brown. Oozing stage presence, exuberance and captivating charisma, Albright has made her own name while singing on records and stages around the world, shining brightly amidst a galaxy of contemporary jazz stars and R&B legends that spans Brian Culbertson, David Benoit, Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum, David Sanborn, Boney James, Richard Elliot and Rick Braun to Chaka Khan, Will Downing, Regina Belle, The Temptations, Hugh Masakela and the late George Duke. In an entirely different setting, she injected her soul-powered energy into the electronic dance music world by collaborating with Manufactured Superstars, leading to a performance with the internationally-revered DJ duo at Las Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival in 2011. Recording as a solo artist, Albright placed the spirited jazz original “You and I” on the iTunes Top 100 Singles Downloads in 2010. A few years later, she topped the soul chart in the United Kingdom for four weeks with her R&B/soul single “Brighter.” Last year, Albright primed the marketplace for “Conversations” by issuing “Sun Comes Up,” which outpaced her previous singles.

“Conversations” contains the following songs:

“Eat Something” (featuring Kay-Ta Matsuno)

“Possible”

“If I Were A Boy” (featuring Randy Ellis)

“Talk To Her”

“Highest High”

“Wifey Anthem (You Don’t Have To Fight At Home)” (featuring David P. Stevens)

“Search My Name”

“Victim”

“Let Go” (featuring Gerald Albright)

“Uncharted Love”

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

Vocalist Clint Holmes has an intimate “Rendezvous” with a star-studded jazz collective

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Vocalist Clint Holmes has an intimate “Rendezvous” with a star-studded jazz collective

Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jane Monheit, Ledisi, Joey DeFrancesco, Dave Koz, Patti Austin and The Count Basie Orchestra help bring the veteran crooner’s story to life on the album due February 24.

LAS VEGAS (26 January 2017): A song that singer-songwriter Clint Holmes wrote fondly recalling the Sunday afternoons he used to spend with his father at the historic Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo in upstate New York where he was first exposed to jazz serves as the centerpiece of “Rendezvous,” his new album slated for release on February 24 from LL Music.

“I was twelve and it was a true coming of age moment for me. I had never seen my dad in his world. He worked three jobs and never seemed happy until I saw him in this element. I fell in love with jazz and how cool it felt to interact with the ‘cats’ the way my dad did,” said Holmes, the son of an African-American father and a white British mother who was a classically-trained opera singer.

With jazz timing and phrasing informing his velvety tenor croon on eleven cuts, including three new songs that he co-wrote, Holmes surrounded himself with a royal herd of jazz “cats” on the collection that was produced by two-time Grammy winner Gregg Field. The sophisticated session offers a diverse play list that reinterprets modern day and classic pop hits, soulful R&B, theatrical tunes and numbers culled from the Great American Songbook. Field placed Holmes’ voice front and center amidst live instrumentation, sweeping strings and orchestra accompaniment, and sparse piano and vocal settings. The first single shipped to radio stations for airplay is “Say Something,” a duet between Holmes and multi-time Grammy nominee Ledisi. Grammy winner Patti Austin sang, conducted and arranged the background vocals on the track that will also be remixed for dance floors and serviced to club DJs.

Class and elegance reign on a cunning big band mashup of “I Loves You Porgy”/”There’s A Boat That’s Leavin’ Soon For New York” pairing Holmes and Grammy-winning chanteuse Dee Dee Bridgewater backed by The Count Basie Orchestra. Holmes will join Bridgewater and the famed orchestra on stage at the legendary Blue Note in New York City on February 4 and 5 to perform the showstopper arranged by four-time Grammy winner Gordon Goodwin.

Stellar contributions proliferate “Rendezvous.” Holmes and Grammy winner Jane Monheit break hearts on a sublime rendition of Cole Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” Swinging jazz and blues mingle “At The Rendezvous,” which is illuminated by a storming Hammond B-3 solo from Grammy-nominated organist Joey DeFrancesco. Closing the record with poignancy, Holmes penned lyrics to the sweetly melodic “What You Leave Behind,” composed by contemporary jazz luminary Dave Koz, who embellished the acoustic guitar and vocal track with a gracefully emoting sax solo.

“Every track does come from a personal place for me and this CD is a ‘rendezvous’ in every sense of the word – a coming together of great and generous artists. The material I selected for the album is specific and biographical while being universal at the same time,” Holmes concluded.

Holmes burst onto the pop landscape nearly 45 years ago with the million-selling smash “Playground in My Mind.” His enduring and accomplished career as a recording artist, multidimensional showman and consummate entertainer includes tenure as Joan Rivers’ sidekick on her late night television program, a stint as musical feature and event correspondent on “Entertainment Tonight,” and his own Emmy-winning talk/variety show. Along with appearing in marquee musicals across the country, he has written the book, music and lyrics to original shows and cabaret acts. A critically-acclaimed draw in Las Vegas and New York City in recent decades, Holmes concluded an extended run at the Palazzo a short time ago and soon expects to announce a new Vegas residency with a production inspired by “Rendezvous.” For more information, please visit www.ClintHolmes.com.

“Rendezvous” contains the following songs:

“Stop This Train”

“At The Rendezvous” featuring Joey DeFrancesco

“I Loves You Porgy”/”There’s A Boat That’s Leavin’ Soon For New York” featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater and The Count Basie Orchestra

“Every Time We Say Goodbye” featuring Jane Monheit

“All Of Me”

“Say Something” featuring Ledisi

“Maria”

“The Perfect Trance”

“Marie”

“My Way”

“What You Leave Behind” featuring Dave Koz