Julia Fordham – The Language of Love

According to singer-songwriter Julia Fordham, Ella Fitzgerald set the standard when it comes to tackling standards so she had to turn to other source material for her forthcoming collection, “The Language of Love,” which will receive its U.S. and European release on April 14 from Red River Entertainment with distribution via BFD/Sony RED.

“As the Queen of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, has already covered every traditional jazz song to perfection, we tried to find a new angle and hopefully put a fresh twist on some of our favorite songs,” the British-born, Los Angeles-based artist said.

Along with producer-arranger Grant Mitchell, Fordham culled a set list of modern pop, rock and R&B classics and revamped them as if they were pages from the Great American Songbook. The misty-voiced singer seductively emotes nine signature hits from the likes of Blondie, Eurythmics, Sting, The Beatles and Stevie Wonder in intimate acoustic jazz settings. She also reconfigured her own debut hit, “Happy Ever After,” and introduces a pair of new tunes – “Like You Used To Do” and “The Morning After (The Night With You)” – that she penned for the occasion with Mitchell.

Throughout “The Language of Love,” Fordham regally plies her deep-hued vocals on tracks that swing (“Call Me” and “Alone Again (Naturally)”), seduce through sultry bossa nova grooves (“Who’s That Girl” and “At Seventeen”), traverse a multicultural world music grid (“Happy Ever After”) and pitter-patter gracefully to a Latin jazz rhythm embellished by a sterling nylon guitar serenade by Ramon Stagnaro (“Fragile”). “I’m Not In Love” becomes a stunning torch song while a stark depiction of “Eleanor Rigby” strikes a hauntingly dramatic tone in a voice, piano and upright bass incarnation. “Sir Duke” bops to a groovy jazz beat highlighted by Wonder’s original “Songs in the Key of Life” tour trumpeter, Harry Kim. The lone tune taken from the Great America Songbook era is “Moon River,” a timeless, heart-tugging beauty written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer. As for the new originals, “Like You Used To Do” is a steamy affair heated by soulful backing vocals from Judith Owen and Sista Jean McClain. A taut rhythm section comprised of David Piltch (upright bass), Herman Matthews (drums) and Ramon Yslas (percussion) construct a subtle Latin vibe on “The Morning After (The Night With You).”

Two bonus tracks, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” and “Moon River” orchestrated with strings, will be available exclusively with the digital purchase of the album. Videos for “Call Me,” “Who’s That Girl,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “At Seventeen” were created and will soon be made available for viewing. Fordham will support “The Language of Love” with concert dates in London on July 28 & 29 at The Strand at PizzaExpress Live, October 18 in Los Angeles at Catalina Jazz Club and October 27 & 28 in New York City at Joe’s Pub.

Fordham said she selected “The Language of Love” as the album title because “it seemed to conjure up a romantic image and the seductive feeling of the album.” The words are the opening lyrics of “Who’s That Girl” and are mentioned in the bridge section of “Call Me.”

Although she grew up writing and singing folk music in clubs since she was 14 in Portsmouth, England, Fordham discovered jazz shortly thereafter and has always incorporated nuances of jazz throughout her recording career that began with her eponymously-titled 1988 release. Her global hit “Love Moves” was featured in 1992’s “The Butcher’s Wife” starring Demi Moore. After relocating to Los Angeles two years later, three of Fordham’s albums were produced by four-time Grammy winner Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Madeleine Peyroux). Her 2005 live CD (“That’s Life”) and DVD (“That’s Live”) featured a stellar ensemble including Klein on bass and Academy Award-winning trumpeter/composer Mark Isham, and showcased Fordham dueting with multiple Grammy winner India.Aire. For additional information, please visit http://www.JuliaFordham.com.

“The Language of Love” contains the following songs:

“Call Me”

“Who’s That Girl”

“Happy Ever After”

“I’m Not In Love”

“Alone Again (Naturally)”

“Fragile”

“Like You Used To Do”

“Eleanor Rigby”

“The Morning After (The Night With You)”

“At Seventeen”

“Sir Duke”

“Moon River”

Bonus Tracks – Digital Only

“You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”

“Moon River (with strings)”

Source: Great Scott Productions

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

conversations

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”

Source: Great Scott Productions

Paul Brown – One Way Back

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Grammy-winning hit-maker Paul Brown follows his heart “Back” to his roots

Paul Brown has had the Midas touch since the early ‘90s when he began producing some of the biggest contemporary jazz hits and definitive chart-topping albums by the brightest urban-jazz stars in the galaxy, amassing more than 60 Billboard No. 1 singles. In the past twelve years, the guitarist stepped forward as an artist in his own right, consistently cranking out hits of his own. Although his formative recordings established the sound of the smoother side of contemporary jazz for more than two decades, Brown yearned to reconnect with his first musical passion: the blues. On Friday, Woodward Avenue Records issued his eighth solo collection, “One Way Back,” a self-produced ten-track outing on which he followed his heart back to his blues roots.

“There was only one way back to my roots and that was to go down every road and embrace each one of them in order to find my way back to where I began,” said Brown, a two-time Grammy winner who wrote nine new tunes for the disc that was preceded by a reimagined take on Joe Sample’s party starter “Put It Where You Want It,” currently bulleted at No. 8 on the Billboard singles chart.

Bubbling under Brown’s clean and cool electric jazz guitar expressions throughout “One Way Back” are blues-powered keyboard and Hammond B3 organ blasts courtesy of the similarly-named Brother Paul Brown (no relation) and stacks of muscular horn section workouts from saxophonist Greg Vail and trumpeter-horn arranger Lee Thornberg. Having enjoyed a tremendous amount of success producing signature hits for saxophonists Boney James, Kirk Whalum, Euge Groove and Jessy J, Brown invited label mate saxman Darren Rahn to guest on “Sexy Thang.” Guitar fans will rejoice that four cuts – “Piccadilly Circus,” “River Walk,” “Take Flight” and “Rear View Mirror”- spotlight Brown trading stringed barbs with contemporary jazz guitar sensations Chris Standring, Marc Antoine, Peter White and Chuck Loeb respectively. Standring, Antoine and White stand apart using the voice of nylon guitars while Fourplay’s Loeb emotes deftly on jazz guitar. The session boasts a roof-raising gospel-jazz vocal from Don Bryant on the celebratory juke joint original “Well Alright.” Brown himself takes to the mic to croon the intimate “Heaven,” a poignant, heart-on-the-sleeve country-blues album closer spotlighting the artist’s character-rich voice.

“’One Way Back’ is a journey thru my musical and life experiences. This album is a pure sense of expression and everything I’ve got to give,” said Brown before adding, “I’m a much better guitarist, producer and writer now than ever before.”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif., initially Brown was a drummer before picking up the guitar. After learning his way around the recording studio, he became the engineer for R&B legends Diana Ross, Luther Vandross and Aretha Franklin. Moving over into the producer’s seat, Brown almost single-handedly architected the sound of smooth/contemporary jazz since the 1990s before delivering his solo debut in 2004, “Up Front.” From subsequent albums, three of which went Top 10, two singles -2005’s “Winelight” and 2007’s “The Rhythm Method” – were the most-played radio songs of their respective years. Concert performances around the world enabled him to refine and develop his guitar chops as well as cultivate his fan base far beyond the limiting confines of a recording studio. For more information, please visit www.PaulBrownJazz.com.

 

Brown’s “One Way Back” album contains the following songs:

 

“Put It Where You Want It”

“Sexy Thang” (featuring Darren Rahn)

“Hush”

“Piccadilly Circus” (featuring Chris Standring)

“River Walk” (featuring Marc Antoine)

“Well Alright” (featuring Don Bryant)

“Take Flight” (featuring Peter White)

“One Way Back”

“Rear View Mirror” (featuring Chuck Loeb)

“Heaven”

Source: Woodward Records

Bob Baldwin – The Brazilian-American Soundtrack

As recollections of Olympian accomplishments fade into our memories, the music of Rio via Grammy-nominated keyboardist Bob Baldwin’s (www.BobBaldwin.com) “The Brazilian-American Soundtrack” continues to thrive, casting a vibrant and soulful spell of urban-jazz bliss. The critically-acclaimed, 26-song double CD is riding a wave of critical acclaim and multi-format radio spins. Multi-instrumentalist Baldwin meticulously produced and arranged the collection of twenty of his original songs along with a selection of seminal Brazilian jazz classics and R&B hits. Clocking in at more than two hours of sophisticated music, Baldwin’s lavish opus debuted as one of Billboard’s Top 20 Contemporary Jazz Albums and is capable of having the staying power to soar through 2017.

 

The new disc reignites Baldwin’s affair with the seductive and sensual sounds of Brazil, which first served as his muse on his 2004 love letter, “Brazil Chill.” Three years in the making and recorded on two continents, “The Brazilian-American Soundtrack” is presented in two movements: Rio-Ipanema and New York. Baldwin employed an accomplished cast of Brazilian and Latin musicians – percussionists Café Da Silva, Rafael Pereira and Armando Marcal, and guitarist Torcuato Mariano – to construct the exotic rhythms on tunes such as the energizing first single, “Ipanema Fusion,” “Funky Rio,” “Teardrop” and “Oasis Of Love,” and when reimaging music from masters Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Corcovado”), Ivan Lins (“Anjo De Mim,” “The Island” and “Love Dance”) and Djavan (“Eu Te Devoro”). Baldwin uses first-call session players, vocalists and prominent soloists – Marion Meadows (sax), Gabriel Mark Hasselbach (trumpet) and Marlon McClain (guitar) to name a few – to craft soul-soaked, funk-flavored urban grooves including a pair of tunes (“Maurice” and “The Message”) that pay tribute to Maurice White, the influential creator and leader of Earth, Wind & Fire, who passed away as Baldwin was finishing the record.

 

On “The Brazilian-American Soundtrack,” melody-rich explorations abound anchored by Baldwin’s agile keyboard, Rhodes and piano artistry. The date, which became Baldwin’s ninth album to hit the Billboard Top 20, also benefits from his soothing tenor voice, bass, drums, percussion, Moog bass, Melodica, strings and clave contributions.

 

Beyond his 23-album recording career, Baldwin produces, hosts and nationally syndicates ”The NewUrbanJazz Lounge” radio show, leads a production and event planning company, designs and markets a line of men’s hats and has authored two informational books about the music industry.

Source:  Great Scott P.R.oductions

Lindsey Webster – Back To Your Heart

Growing up in an artist community, the daughter of loving hippie parents, in Woodstock NY, the allure of music was never far from Lindsey Webster. The adorable, instantly likable and earthy singer/songwriter, who grew up listening to her parent’s Jimi Hendrix, Beatles and Elvis Costello LPs and later the Supremes, once pursued medical school before finally settling on music. Webster has been taking the contemporary jazz world by storm, scoring a #1 hit with her soulful original “Fool Me Once.” This feat is remarkable in numerous ways. Not only is Lindsey half the age of the male instrumentalists who dominate the genre, but her #1 is the first vocal driven song that has topped the Billboard smooth jazz chart since Sade’s “Soldier of Love” in 2010. Lindsey exclaims, “This honor has changed the game for me. Once a dream comes into fruition, it really lights a fire.”

November 4, 2016, Shanachie Entertainment will release Webster’s anticipated label debut, Back To Your Heart. Randall Grass, Shanachie Entertainment General Manager states, “Lindsey Webster is an extraordinary vocalist who effortlessly melds R&B and jazz in a uniquely appealing ‘jazzy soul’ style that instantly connects with audiences and the world is already taking notice!” Influenced by everyone from Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera to Steely Dan and Earth Wind and Fire, there is an honesty and authenticity that reverberates through Lindsey Webster’s enchanting, smoky, rich and soulful honey-toned pipes.

Joining forces with her husband, pianist and musical partner, Keith Slattery, the duo crafts evocative soundscapes that fuse the best elements of R&B, jazz, pop and soul. “The knowledge, style and intuition that Keith brings to my songs is amazing,” says Lindsey of her husband. “Keith and I are extremely passionate and sensitive people who put the same pride and perfectionism into our writing, recording, and producing. Our philosophy is simple, we do what feels right. I believe this is what has helped us to forge our own sound.”

The lead single on Back To Your Heart is the album’s title track. It’s an intoxicating and emotive number that sizzles and a song that Webster said wrote itself. “Keith was coming up with the idea for the chorus upstairs on his keyboard one day and I was downstairs cleaning,” she shares. “Once he got the chord progression going and played it a few times, the words ‘You gotta show me the way back to your heart’ popped into my head.” Back To Your Heart is a revealing and intimate portrait of Lindsey Webster’s life.

There are songs like “On Our Way,” about Lindsey’s personal path and the principals of the Laws of Attraction and her heartfelt and moving tribute to her mother Barbara, who passed in 2014. “One At A Time,” was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and an inspirational speech that saxophonist Kirk Whalum (who guests on the song) gave at one of his concerts about the power of everyday Americans. Lindsey shares, “I realized that one person at a time is how we are going to come to some kind of peace. We have to love and respect and embrace our differences in order to get to the inner peace we need to create widespread peace.” Lindsey’s mission is to make an emotional connection with her fans. Somewhat of an old-soul, the young singer concludes, “With all the pop tunes out nowadays, literally about nothing, I think it’s important to hold the torch for the artists before us who found it important to write real music.” With the release of Back To Your Heart, Lindsey Webster is poised to find her way into your heart…and this is just the beginning!

Source: Shanachie Entertainment

Lemon Aid: “Instrumental Magic 2” to benefit Lighthouse for the Blind

InstrumentalMagic2
Continuing the legacy of benevolence that began ten years ago when the late music industry legend Henry Stone discovered blind saxophonist Jeff Zavac and featured him on “Instrumental Magic,” generating over one million dollars in contributions to the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind – the organization that came to the aid of the renowned record pioneer when he lost his vision in his later years – Henry Stone Music released the second collection on Friday. “Instrumental Magic 2,” showcasing Zavac with the Lemon City Rhythm Section and produced by Stone’s son, Joe Stone, and guitarist Aaron Fishbein, spotlights the saxman rendering soul-jazz interpretations of ten hits written or made classic by sightless artists including Stevie Wonder, Ronnie Milsap, Jose Feliciano and Ray Charles, the last of whom was first recorded by Henry Stone in the 1950s.

The five-piece Lemon City Rhythm Section – Zavac (sax, flute, woodwinds), Fishbein (guitar), Jerald Dorsett (keyboards), Shaka Pace (bass) and King David Hill (drums) – will perform music from “Instrumental Magic 2” at jazz hotspot Ball & Chain in the Little Havana section of Miami on Monday, June 27 at 6:30pm. Tickets are free while donations to the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind will be accepted at the venue and online at https://secure.miamilighthouse.org/Donations.asp.

Henry Stone, who forged an enduring legacy in R&B, dance and rap music prior to his 2014 passing at the age of 93, launched the “Instrumental Magic” series with the goal of creating modern American music with a classic American feel. Joe Stone was inspired to continue his father’s mission of positivity by promoting music recorded by live players while raising awareness and funds for the association that taught his father how to live without sight.

“Henry lost his sight in the last decade of his journey here on earth and Miami Lighthouse was a huge part of his ability to move forward,” said Stone, general manager of Henry Stone Music. “It is an honor and a joy to work with this group of very talented musicians on an important production that carries on the Henry Stone legacy. Musically, ‘Instrumental Magic 2’ creates a sonic palette filled with funk, soul, salsa, rock, R&B and jazz covering American standards loved the world over.”

The first “Instrumental Magic” disc, one of the last albums produced by Henry Stone, paired Zavac with 1970s soul queen Gwen McCrae. The record remains one of the Henry Stone Music label’s most popular releases having received millions of plays on Spotify alone.

After losing his eyesight during cataract surgery while in his 80s, Stone turned to Miami Lighthouse for the Blind where he learned to adapt. In an effort to “repay” the organization that helped him, Stone facilitated a million dollar donation that funded the creation of a recording studio for the blind now named in his honor. His act of leadership and philanthropy garnered the inaugural Man of Vision Award in 2008 from Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, which provides vision rehabilitation and eye health services that promote independence, educates professionals and conducts research in related fields. For additional information, please visit http://www.MiamiLighthouse.org.

“Instrumental Magic 2” contains the following songs:

“Hey Baby”

“I Got A Woman”

“Night Time Is The Right Time”

“I Just Called To Say I Love You”

“Guantanamera”

“Isn’t She Lovely”

“I Wish”

“There’s No Gettin’ Over Me”

“Feliz Navidad”

“America The Beautiful”

For more information about Henry Stone Music, please visit http://www.HenryStoneMusic.com

Source: Great Scott P.R.oductions

Third Barbados Jazz Excursion adds exotic encounters to provide intimate experiences on the Caribbean island

Soul-jazz saxophonist Elan Trotman has always taken great pride in his Barbadian roots. A few years ago, the Boston-based artist leapt at the opportunity to showcase the cozy Eastern Caribbean locale by creating and hosting a Columbus Day Weekend jazz festival on the island, inviting a handful of contemporary jazz chart-toppers to share the marquee. This October 7-10, the native son returns home for his third annual Barbados Jazz Excursion at the plush Crane Resort with perhaps the strongest talent lineup yet, a fresh itinerary of unique excursions and a golf tournament to benefit Trotman’s newly formed Never Lose Your Drive Foundation, which raises funds for a local music program that provides students with regular music instruction from local tutors and quarterly faculty visits from the prestigious Berklee College of Music and other college professors. After all, it was the government of Barbados that awarded Trotman a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music where he launched his own music career.

Joining Trotman at this year’s Barbados Jazz Excursion is four-time GRAMMY®-nominated R&B/pop vocalist Jeffrey Osborne, guitar-slinging hitman Peter White, award-winning keyboardist Brian Simpson and urban-jazz flutist Althea Rene. Local musicians will be featured during a Bajan All-Star Night performance and devout guests can celebrate Sunday at a gospel brunch.

“The Barbados Jazz Excursion is designed to be an island festival unlike any other with world-class talent, a wide range of land and sea excursions for our guests’ enjoyment and non-stop fun at the Crane Resort. Our excursions are purposely intended for people to discover Barbados through a local’s eyes. I’m especially excited about launching my new foundation, Never Lose Your Drive. The NLYD Celebrity Golf Tournament brings together music and sports celebrities on the links to raise funds in support of our local music program at the Never Lose Your Drive Community Center,” said Trotman, a popular performer on the contemporary jazz circuit known for incorporating Caribbean culture into his distinctive blend of R&B, jazz and gospel recordings that have earned him a consistent presence on the Billboard Top 10 singles chart.

While live music occupies the primetime slot during the festival evenings, the daytime and post-concert timeframes are for discovering Barbados through exclusive excursions. Guests can dive deeply to glimpse the colorful life aquatic on the Atlantis Submarine Tour; take an Island Safari adventure; go underground to explore Harrison’s Cave where caverns and massive crystal formations will leave you marveling; rest, rejuvenate or recreate during a Beach Day at the Boatyard; sail away on a sunset catamaran cruise; hit The Gap to partake in the vibrant nightlife that includes fine dining, street vendors and multicultural exchanges; and play golf with Trotman, Osborne and other celebrities while basking in glorious sunshine under brilliant blue skies amidst breathtaking vistas and lush tropical landscapes.

On October 10, former New York Knick John Starks, singer Javier Colon, actress/singer Suzzanne Douglas and other celebrities and sports figures are expected to attend the Golf With A Cause Celebrity Tournament at the Royal Westmoreland and the Never Lose Your Drive Foundation Reception & Silent Auction. The next day, a NLYD seminar and panel discussion will be held for student musicians and athletes.

The Crane Resort, located less than three miles from Grantley Adams International Airport, is set on Crane Beach, which has been called one of the 10 best beaches in the world on “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous,” named by the Travel Channel as one of the Top 25 sexiest beaches in the world and voted last year by USA Today readers as the “best Caribbean beach” for its stunning beauty and serenity.

For more information or to purchase a Barbados Jazz Excursion package, please visit http://barbadosjazzexcursion.com/.

Source:  Great Scott P.R.oductions