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

selina-albright

 

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.

THE “COUNTDOWN” IS ON FOR PAUL TAYLOR

Saxophonist Paul Taylor is ready and set to release the 11th project of his illustrious career: “Countdown.” On September 9th, his fans will get the opportunity to experience Paul like never before. Taylor keeps an open mind and pays attention to new sounds and elements in music. Thus, he is armed with a diversified palette to create “Countdown” from. Paul collaborated with his longtime friend and co-producer, writer Dino Esposito. Their working relationship is built on years of trust and respect. The title track, “Countdown,” is the first song on the cd and sets the tone for the mystical journey ahead. “Arrival” is the first single and is flirtatiously soulful. Guitarist Peter White joins Paul on the sultry song “Polaris.” And amidst his saxophone playing, Taylor garnishes “What You Love” and “Knocking At The Door” with his laid-back vocals. He adds just the right amount of spice by giving fans a little something different. Paul is an artist who likes to keep current and listens to all music, staying engaged. Paul said, “I feel like I’m just coming into my own.” Admittedly, this is a new direction for Paul, and he is embracing it.

Listen to my conversation with my friend Paul:

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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.

PETER WHITE MAKES ME “SMILE”

If you want to lift your spirits and feel incredibly good, then sit back, relax, and listen to Peter White’s new CD, “Smile.” It is a bountiful collection of soul-stirring songs that will have you pressing repeat. Although “Smile” is Peter’s 14th album, and his career has spanned 40 decades, he remains driven by his fans’ appreciation for his music. When asked if he had a formula for making an album, his response was, “I have to be moved”–by the music that is. Peter reached into his vault of previously written songs to create this masterpiece. “Smile” has lots of personal touches that make it extraordinarily special for many reasons–one of them being that White was joined by some of his dear friends in music: Rick Braun, Mindi Abair, Euge Groove, Philippe Saisse, Nate Phillips, Ramon Yslas, Stevo Theard, and his daughter, Charlotte. Furthermore, it includes a song for the birthday of a friend’s daughter (Jordan), a song in honor of Barry White, and a tribute to Mason Williams. “Smile” has a song for everyone and is sure to be a fan favorite.

Peter and I chat about music, fans, and his superpower:

Peter White

Peter White

Nicholas Cole…The Next Generation

When I hear the name Nicholas Cole, a few words come to my mind. Words such as gifted, grounded, humble, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, AMAZINGLY talented. Cole has landed on the contemporary jazz scene and shown that he’s the future generation. His friend Brian Simpson says “Nicholas is the best young songwriter of contemporary jazz that I’ve come across in the last several years….and he will definitely play a huge part in the future.” He is a composer, producer, and performer. He collaborated with Michael Stever, Tim Bowman, Vincent Ingala, Steve Oliver, Julian Vaughn, Marcus Anderson, and Lynne Fiddmont on his current CD “Endless Possiblities.” His knowledge and awareness of different genres of music gives him the ability to be innovative and continuously evolving. The future is very bright for Nicholas, and I look forward to following his journey.

Click below to hear our interview:

[audio https://mm2513.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/nicholas-cole.mp3]

Keyboardist Nicholas Cole

Keyboardist Nicholas Cole

Nicholas Cole

Nicholas Cole

The Thrilling Elan Trotman

Elan Trotman is not only a brilliant recording artist, he’s a composer and performer. Coming from the beautiful island of Barbados, Elan knows how to infuse the sounds of calypso and reggae into his music. Yet, his music is also sexy and full of edgy melodies. He shows this side of himself on the “Love and Sax” CD. His collaboration with Brian Simpson on “Heaven In Your Eyes” climbed the charts, and quickly paved the way for all that was to come for Elan. His latest release “Tropicality” features Peter White among other jazz artists, and embodies his native Barbadian culture.

More from Elan himself.

Elan Trotman

Elan Trotman

Elan Trotman

Elan Trotman