JESSY J WELCOMES A “CALIFORNIA CHRISTMAS”

2016 has been a great year for saxophonist Jessy J. She got married and on October 28th, released her debut holiday album, “California Christmas.” Jessy produced the project that she had been working on since 2014. She released it on her own label, Changi Records. The album was dedicated to her former manager, Stewart, who passed away last year. A few of Jessy’s friends including Jeff Lorber, Paul Brown, Steve Oliver, Michael Thompson, Maurice Smith, Jay Rowe, and more joined her on the album. Christmas is Jessy’s favorite time of year, and creating a holiday album that was a reflection of a “California Christmas” felt like a must to her. Covering holiday favorites with her own blues, tropical, jazzy sound makes this album a welcome addition to fans’ collections. Additionally, Jessy started a Pledge Music campaign–a great way for her to interact with fans.

Listen to my conversation with Jessy:

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JAZZ FUNK SOUL MEANS “MORE SERIOUS BUSINESS”

The super trifecta otherwise known as Jazz Funk Soul started 2016 off with their latest album “More Serious Business.” The group is comprised of guitarist Chuck Loeb, saxophonist Everett Harp, and pianist Jeff Lorber. Each member distinctly represents artistry that is well-respected, and combined, they have sold millions of albums. Amidst working on “More Serious Business,” Loeb, Harp, and Lorber individually enjoyed successful solo projects. Jeff describes the chemistry between them as fun and challenging. As a cohesive unit, they respect one another’s talents and have found a way to harmoniously blend them. “More Serious Business” has ten original songs that keenly represent the varying yet similar styles of the trio. The lead single “You’ll Know When You Know”–written by Harp–is soulful and funky.

Jeff and I discuss the new project and snippets of his career:

Jazz Funk Soul

CAROL DUBOC CAN SEE THROUGH “COLORED GLASSES”

“Hypnotic,” the first single from Carol Duboc’s latest album, “Colored Glasses,” is the perfect description of the collection of original songs being released on September 18, 2015. Carol collaborated again with her friend and colleague, Jeff Lorber, to produce “Colored Glasses.” And what better way to complete a new album than to once again enlist the talented Jimmy Haslip, Michael Thompson, and Vinnie Colaiuta? Additionally, Eric Marienthal, Hubert Laws, and Paul Jackson, Jr. added their special touches to the long-time anticipated new album. Carol is lyrically gifted, and her uncanny ability to tell stories is a part of her charm. “Colored Glasses” tells the story of someone in love who sees and has seen love through “Colored Glasses”–a little something everyone can relate to. Writing this album has been therapeutic for Carol, empowering her to remove any “Colored Glasses” she has ever worn. Carol recorded a video for the song “Wavelength,” and she was joined by her band live on the sands of Venice Beach. Little did she know that a few onlookers would join them, giving it even more life. Admittedly, Carol had a fantastic time sharing that time with colleagues and strangers, all coming together for a common cause. The end result: perfectly befitting the song, a long line of people on the beach doing one long wave. Carol has an album release on September 18th at Hollywood’s Baked Potato and will be joined by Lorber, Haslip, and Thompson.

Listen to Carol and I discuss love, lost, and the healing power of music:

Carol Duboc

 

Groove therapy: contemporary jazz singer Carol Duboc keeps her diary open on “Colored Glasses”‏

Carol Duboc

Groove therapy: contemporary jazz singer Carol Duboc keeps her diary open on “Colored Glasses”

Her seventh album, due September 18, is bolstered by collaborator Jeff Lorber’s R&B rhythms.

Los Angeles, California (30 July 2015): On Carol Duboc’s deeply personal 2013 release, “Smile,” the contemporary jazz singer-songwriter opened up in a way that she had never done so before, revealing the pain and heartache involved with dissolving her marriage while being the mother of a young daughter. She described writing the album with producer and jazz keyboards legend Jeff Lorber as therapeutic. Her therapy continues on “Colored Glasses,” a Gold Note Music ten-track disc written and produced by Duboc and Lorber set for release on September 18 and launched that evening with a Hollywood concert date that will be streamed online.

Two years on, Duboc’s new material details her struggles with cutting the ties of the relationship, one tinged by her partner’s delusional view of the world. Writing lyrics and melodies to rhythm tracks sent to her by Lorber, Duboc addresses the realities and realizations of moving forward with honesty and candor, even if she felt her ex was hiding the truth behind “colored glasses,” thus spawning the album’s title. But she acknowledges her own role as well.

“Some people refuse to see the world as it really is or life as it is, and to be honest, I was so caught up in the hypnotic love that I didn’t see things as they really are either,” admitted Duboc, who titled the first single “Hypnotic.” “I think this album is going to surprise people. It’s about letting go completely and moving on emotionally. And it may be the funkiest solo record I’ve ever made.”

Lorber’s R&B rhythms are lively throughout the soulful, sophisticated session of jazzy adult pop tunes. A marquee supporting cast brings high-caliber musicianship to the taut grooves with stellar performances by Jimmy Haslip (electric bass), Brian Bromberg (acoustic bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), guitarists Paul Jackson, Jr. and Michael Thompson, Hubert Laws (flute), Eric Marienthal (sax), Lenny Castro (percussion) and multi-instrumentalist Lorber on keyboards, piano, bass and guitar. Dave Mann punches up several cuts with crisp horns and vivid horn arrangements that add vibrancy, lushness and depth.

“Hypnotic” will be serviced to radio next month coinciding with the release of a video lensed on Venice Beach for the album’s “Wavelength,” a danceable guitar and horn-driven song about intuitive communication between partners. To mark the album’s release and celebrate coming through the other side of the relationship, Duboc will perform at the famed jazz joint the Baked Potato on the release date (Sept. 18), which will be streamed live on her website (www.CarolDuboc.com). Lorber, Haslip and Thompson are among the musicians from the album’s lineup already confirmed to be backing the singer that night.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Duboc has been living in Los Angeles ever since she attended USC Thornton’s School of Music. Prior to launching her solo recording career in 2001with the critically-acclaimed “With All That I Am,” Duboc wrote hits on gold and platinum-selling albums, including records by Patti LaBelle, Chante Moore, Tom Jones, Stephanie Mills, Jade, Fine Yong Cannibals, Maurice White and the late George Duke. Possessing multimedia appeal, the photogenic blond had a supporting role on the silver screen in “Be Cool” alongside John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Danny DeVito.

The songs on “Colored Glasses” are:

“Hypnotic”

“Every Shade of Blue”

“Celestial Skies”

“Wavelength”

“Breathing”

“Trajectory”

“Spinning”

“Colored Glasses”

“Walking in My Sleep”

“Code Red”

Additional information is available at www.carolduboc.com.

Jazz royalty “Open Up” “The Vault” to help departed friend’s family‏

Jeff Golub

Jazz royalty “Open Up” “The Vault” to help departed friend’s family

New single from the late guitarist Jeff Golub debuts in the Billboard Top 20

ahead of Tuesday’s album release with sales benefitting The Golub family.   

New York City (31 March 2015): A few days prior to New Year’s Day, the day guitarist Jeff Golub passed away at age 59, his frequent collaborators Steven Miller, Rick Braun and Bud Harner put the finishing touches on Golub’s 13th solo album, “The Vault,” a collection of previously unreleased songs and reimagined early career gems that were redecorated with the assistance of some of the artist’s high-profile musician friends. Everyone involved with creating the album that was released today by eOne Music – musicians, producers, songwriters, engineers, mixers, mastering, graphic artists, etc. – donated their time to the project so that all of the money generated by record sales can go to Golub’s family.

One of the new cuts, “Open Up,” featuring the soulful Golub boisterously shredding over a trademark jazzy blues-rock groove produced by Jeff Lorber, debuted last week in the Top 20 of Billboard’s smooth jazz singles chart boding to become the next addition to the artist’s catalogue of No. 1 singles.

“The Vault” is just the latest rallying of the music community to aid Golub, who succumbed to complications from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare, incurable and aggressive brain disease. Although he wasn’t officially diagnosed until last November, PSP stole his vision in the spring and summer of 2011. An all-star contingent played a sold-out benefit concert that autumn in Southern California to raise money to cover medical expenses. Golub’s motor skills rapidly began to deteriorate while touring in 2013 in support of his final set of all new material, “Train Keeps A Rolling,” and eventually left him unable to play his beloved instrument. After his passing, nearly two dozen prominent recording artists gathered January 21 near the guitarist’s New York City home to play a sold-out tribute benefit concert at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. Many of the musicians who appeared on that high-wattage bill perform on “The Vault,” including Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum, Mindi Abair, Richard Elliot, Bill Evans, Philippe Saisse, Steve Ferrone and Braun. Additional album contributors were hitmen Gerald Albright, Brian Culbertson, Euge Groove, Boney James and Peter White.

The ten-track “The Vault” consists of vastly different versions of seven Golub songs harvested from seminal album releases that were given a fresh twist by the guest artists personally selected by Golub; a soul-stirring live version of the Golub classic “Naked City”; and two previously unreleased selections, “Open Up” and the Saisse-produced “Swagster,” a sweltering swing sparked by Golub’s scalding guitar and Whalum’s impassioned sax wails.

To help set the stage for “The Vault,” SmoothJazz.com hosted the world premiere of the record on March 28 along with interviews with the guest artists and producers. Last Sunday’s (March 29) episode of Koz’s radio show that airs nationally on SiriusXM’s Watercolors was devoted to the album spotlighted by interview segments with Abair and Braun, and played multiple tunes from the disc. On April 15, SiriusXM’s Watercolors will broadcast the entire Golub all-star tribute concert.

Golub began his career as an ace guitar slinger alongside superstars Rod Stewart, Billy Squier, Peter Wolf and Tina Turner before launching his own chart-topping band, Avenue Blue, leading to his star-making solo career. The Akron, Ohio native is survived by his wife Audrey Stafford Golub, and sons Matthew (14) and Chris (12).

“The Vault” contains the following songs:

“Funky Is As Funky Does”

“One More Excuse To Play The Blues”

“Open Up”

“Gimmie Some”
“Swagster”

“Keep The Ball Rolling”

“Jeff’s Blues (Mama Didn’t)”

“Groanin”

“Atlanta Nights”

“Naked City” (Live)

For additional information about Golub, go to http://jeffgolub.com.

AL DEGREGORIS DID IT “ALL IN GOOD TIME”

When you start playing piano at age four and over time evolve into a multi-instrumentalist all while still a young man, your future has promise. Al DeGregoris simply wanted to be like his older family members he witnessed performing in a band. He had to have it, and so he went after it. To his advantage, Al not only honed his talent but also learned the technical side of music and owned his own recording studios. Armed with an arsenal of talent and skills, DeGregoris’ collaboration with Nils and Jeff Lorber on “All In Good Time” was majestic. Significantly different from his first two albums, Al describes “All In Good Time” as “organic.” It was recorded live with some of the finest musicians in the industry.

Al and I discuss the new album and what he admired most about working with Nils and Lorber:

Al DeGregoris

Al DeGregoris

AL DEGREGORIS DID IT “ALL IN GOOD TIME”

When you start playing piano at age four and over time evolve into a multi-instrumentalist all while still a young man, your future has promise. Al DeGregoris simply wanted to be like his older family members he witnessed performing in a band. He had to have it, and so he went after it. To his advantage, Al not only honed his talent but also learned the technical side of music and owned his own recording studios. Armed with an arsenal of talent and skills, DeGregoris’ collaboration with Nils and Jeff Lorber on “All In Good Time” was majestic. Significantly different from his first two albums, Al describes “All In Good Time” as “organic.” It was recorded live with some of the finest musicians in the industry.

Al and I discuss the new album and what he admired most about working with Nils and Lorber:

Al DeGregoris

Al DeGregoris