Elan Trotman – I Heard It Through The Grapevine

For urban jazz instrumental artists, mining the sacred gold of Motown – and especially Marvin Gaye – can be a bit of a double-edged sword. Do it right, put your own pizzazz on it, and you’re honoring carrying on one of music’s most cherished legacies. Fall short in your re-imaginings, or sound too much like previous tributes, and it’s a misstep that will take a while to recover from. Immersing in dapper style, searing emotion and deep groovability, the resounding transcendence saxophonist Elan Trotman brings to Gaye’s legacy with his latest album Dear Marvin is best summed up by a fan posting on Amazon, all in caps: “This is the best Marvin Gaye tribute ever. Hats off, my man killed it.” To paraphrase a classic 70’s funk tune, saxophonist Elan Trotman blew the roof off the sucka!

Following up the Billboard charting success of the project’s first single “Got To Give It Up,” Trotman has a blast rolling, darting and powering through “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” bringing freshness to the familiar with vibrant new blues-soul energy and heartrending potency. For Trotman, the key to revamping it and taking it to a higher, unexpected level is turning it into a playful, high-spirited duet with veteran trombonist Jeff Bradshaw. Bradshaw simmers along in harmony role adding sizzle and heft (in a horn section with trumpeter Alex Lee Clark) to Trotman’s melody before emerging as a powerful voice center stage on the second verse.

After riffing off each other for a few bars over the non-stop blues drenched simmering organ of Mitch Henry, Trotman and Bradshaw take us to the most ear-popping spot in the track. It’s a festive celebratory breakdown,- a free for all, hard grooving jam that allows the two to break loose, trade fours and improvise with abandon over wild, sizzling brass harmonies. Nothing happens without these poppin’ killer grooves created by Sherrod Barnes (guitar), Keithen Foster (bass), Atticus Cole (percussion) and Charles Haynes (drums). The urban jazz genre is sometimes accused of being too “cover-happy,” but Trotman and Bradshaw’s adventure-filled “Grapevine” is a worthwhile exception that demands repeated, volume all the way up listening.

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
Written by Barrett Strong & Norman Whitfield

Elan Trotman – Saxes and Flute
Jeff Bradshaw – Trombone
Alex Lee Clark – Trumpet
Sherrod Barnes – Guitar
Keithen Foster – Bass
Mitch Henry – Keyboards/ Organ
Atticus Cole – Percussion
Charles Haynes – Drums

Listen to I Heard It Through The Grapevine on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 11/4).

 

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Brian Lenair – Silky Soul

Having performed with the likes of Will Downing, Maysa, Jean Carne, Billy Paul, Angela Bolfill, Christopher Williams, Miki Howard, Glenn Jones, Al Jarreau, Vesta, Tony Terry, the late Phyllis Hyman, Pieces of a Dream, Miles Jay, Grover Washington, Jr., Peabo Bryson, George Benson, Spur of the Moment and others, saxman Brian Lenair has established himself as a talent to be recognized.

Lenair’s new single “Silky Soul” is written and produced by Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis.

Music is not just my vocation, it is my passion and it is my calling. No matter how intimate or large the settings, I always play with the same energy” – Brian Lenair

Listen to Silky Soul on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 11/4).

Will Downing – Déjà Vu

Legendary vocalist Will Downing delivers a clever duet-styled version of the Grammy Award winning Dionne Warwick hit “Déjà Vu.” Although recorded originally in 1977 by Warwick alone, Will Downing was instead inspired by video of a rare 1990 Warwick tour performance with the song’s author, Isaac Hayes and called upon the incredible talents of Avery Sunshine to re-interpret the special moment these two giants blessed the stage together. A tall order for sure…too tall for most, but not this pair!

The signature opening keyboard chords get a thumping boost from bassist Al Turner, percussionist Pablo Batista and drummer Mike Logan, Jr., who set the mood for the sublime vocal blend of Downing and Sunshine. Their voices complement and blend to each other’s perfectly as Downing takes the production helm on this radio-friendly track.

Listen to Déjà Vu on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 11/4).

Bob Baldwin – Long Weekend (See You On Tuesday)

Bob Baldwin presents his new single, “Long Weekend (See You On Tuesday)”! It’s the first single from Baldwin’s new CD Henna, set for release in January 2020.

Baldwin’s good friend, flautist Ragan Whiteside is a featured guest artist on “Long Weekend”; Whiteside and Baldwin co-wrote the new single together.

Bob Baldwin grew up in a musical environment. His father, Robert Baldwin, Sr., (1926-2008) was a Jazz pianist who worked with bass legends Keter Betts and Art Davis. He’s also a fan of his elder cousin, legendary jazz pianist Larry Willis (Blood, Sweat and Tears/Jerry Gonzalez & Fort Apache Band).

Listen to Long Weekend on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 11/4).

Crowdfunding for Willie Bradley’s New CD 2019

Hello, this is Willie Bradley, Trumpeter with Heart and Soul and I want to be the first to share with you some exciting news for 2019.  First, I want to thank all that contributed to helping me complete my current CD Project “GOING WITH THE FLOW”.  I hope you are enjoying your incentives and the CD as well.

Throughout my career, I strive to provide my fans with first- class performances and I have a lot of music that I want to share; however, I need your help!  The production of a CD Project, Global Marketing and Radio Promotion as an Independent Artist is an expensive task.  Please help me reach my goal of $24,000.00 to cover expenses in the areas of production cost, manufacturing, distribution, marketing/promotion, & tour support.  There is no minimum or maximum amount to donate and any amount donated is greatly appreciated.

On January 3, 2019, Gorov Music Marketing will officially release the first single “LIFE ON TOP “ to Smooth Jazz Radio Stations along with a Marketing Campaign with Smoothjazz.com Global to ensure maximum exposure in building my brand however; I need your help in reaching my goal in order to make this all happen.

Support Willie’s new album here.

Kayla Waters – Full Bloom

After launching her recording career with back-to-back No. 1 Billboard singles, urban-jazz pianist Kayla Waters is truly a blooming artist on the rise. The third single from her “Coevolve” album is the aptly titled “Full Bloom,” which goes for playlist adds on Monday. The single drops during the period that voters are considering Waters’ music and video for nominations in four categories in first-round voting for the 62nd GRAMMY® Awards.

Under consideration in first-round GRAMMY voting for Jazz Instrumental Album and Engineered Album, Non-Classical, Waters composed the material for “Coevolve” conceptually. To tell the story of a seedling’s evolution into a blossoming plant on “Full Bloom,” she collaborated with Michael Broening. The Washington, DC-based musician-songwriter-producer jetted to Broening’s Phoenix, Arizona studio for the session. The night before meeting with Broening, Waters doodled on a baby grand piano into the wee hours of the night eager to come up with something fresh. The next day, she presented her ideas, which became the essence of the song.

“During that late-night session, I created the chords to what are now the piano verses of ‘Full Bloom.’ I wanted to come up with a unique concept for the song and with Broening’s help, it naturally came to life. When composing, I wanted the musical construct of the song to literally sound like the blossoming of a flower or in the case of ‘Coevolve,’ the evolution of a seed into a beautiful plant. In the song’s intro, you’ll hear me play a glissando upward on the piano to emulate the sound of blossoming,” said Waters, an inspired 28-year-old artist of substance, style and divine depth.

“Full Bloom” is the only song that Waters wrote with a collaborator for “Coevolve” thus the process was different than that of the rest of the record’s creation. With Broening programming the invigorating track, Waters’ ebullient piano is bolstered by guest soloist Nick Colionne’s crisp electric jazz guitar licks. Freddie Fox adds rhythm guitar to the melody and Mel Brown’s bass enhances the brisk groove.

“The embryonic stage of the song was conceived in Phoenix during our first studio session together. From that point, we worked over cyberspace to get the song done. It was actually the longest song to complete for ‘Coevolve,’ likely due to the collaborative efforts, but it’s also significant and symbolic as a plant takes time to grow, to be nurtured and to bloom,” said Waters, who is signed to Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm Records.

When Waters’ sophomore album, “Coevolve,” was released last fall, she scored her second consecutive No. 1 hit when the collection’s premiere single, “Zephyr,” topped the Billboard chart. The accompanying video for “Zephyr” (http://bit.ly/2mzMhp6) is on the first-round GRAMMY ballot in the Music Video category. Also appearing on the first-round GRAMMY ballot for Instrumental Composition is the second single from “Coevolve,” “Obsidian Rain,” on which Waters passionately pours her classically trained piano prowess throughout the ethereal jazz-rock-fusion amalgam that she artfully crafted.

Waters debuted on 2017’s “Apogee,” powered by the defining No. 1 Billboard single, “I Am.” She won the Rising Star in Jazz award from the Black Women in Jazz and the Arts Foundation and was named Best Jazz Artist at DC’s Wammies. For more information, please visit http://www.iamkaylawaters.com.

Source: Great Scott Productions

Sherry Winston – Regatta

Flutist Sherry Winston has performed with Stevie Wonder and has shared the stage with John Legend, Gregory Porter, Vanessa Williams, Maxwell, Sinbad, Fourplay, Chaka Kahn & many more.

Her TV appearances include Emeril Live, The Today Show, BET, and she has been featured in the New York Times, Ebony, Essence, Black Enterprise, and many other national magazines and newspapers.

Sherry’s client list includes many of the top Fortune 500 companies and she has worked as National Director of Jazz Promotion at Columbia, Arista, GRP and Elektra-Asylum Records in New York.

Listen to Regatta on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 10/4).