Blake Aaron – Groovers and Shakers

Guitarist Blake Aaron was locked and loaded to release a new single on July 30 when fate intervened. Earlier this month, he received a track from chart-topping saxophonist Darren Rahn, which inspired Blake to write an entirely new melody. The guitar man’s record company, Innervision Records, and radio promoter flipped when they heard the demo, instantly recognizing the hit potential for “Groovers and Shakers.” The hustle was on and within ten days, the new track was produced and recorded by Aaron and Rahn, replacing the single Aaron had intended to drop on the same date. Several radio programmers who have already heard it are eager to add it into rotation on Monday.

“Groovers and Shakers” balances retro R&B dancefloor funk and urbane hipster cool jazz with panache. Aaron’s crisp electric jazz guitar licks pair divinely with Rahn’s vivacious tenor sax blasts throughout the sizzling summer single. The complementary tandem had wanted to collaborate dating back to an interview Rahn did a few years ago when Aaron hosted a nationally-syndicated radio show. The cut they crafted together recognizes the people behind the music, the fans, the radio programmers and the concert promoters who are keeping jazz vibrant and flourishing.

“In every aspect of our lives, there are ‘Groovers and Shakers’ who make everything happen and our smooth/contemporary jazz community is no different. From the dedicated fans who follow the music online, on the radio and who come out to the concerts with smiles on their faces while dancing on their chairs to the people who tirelessly work at the radio stations to bring new music to the listeners; to the club, festival and event promoters; and to radio, print and online jazz media. Every one of them could have used their talents in any number of areas, but their passion for this music has inspired them to work – some even just as volunteers – to keep smooth/contemporary jazz thriving. It is these ‘Groovers and Shakers’ to whom this song is dedicated for without you, there is no jazz,” said Aaron, who for decades has been a fixture on the Billboard Top 10 singles chart.

Slated to appear on Aaron’s forthcoming “Color and Passion” album, “Groovers and Shakers” is the fifth single from the project tentatively slated to drop this fall, following “Riviera Nights,” “VIVID,” “Godfather Brown” and “Summer Ride.” The unconventional approach to recording an album over a period of years mirrors the successful path he followed for 2015’s “Soul Stories,” Aaron’s fifth album that was assembled and released as collection of diverse yet engrossing musical chapters only after three singles reached the Billboard Top 10.

Aaron performs frequently with his own band at venues across the nation along with being a busy first-call session player and producer. He’ll play the Derby City Jazz Festival at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on August 10, The King Center in Melbourne, FL on September 22 where he will share the marquee with Paul Taylor and Brian Simpson, and back home at SoCal’s jazz hot spot, Spaghettini, in Seal Beach on September 29.

For more information, please visit http://www.BlakeAaron.com.

Source: Great Scott Productions

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David Garfield – Stay

When asked how he got Grammy-winning legends George Benson and David Sanborn to perform on his new single, “Stay,” keyboardist David Garfield responds dryly with a gleeful grin, “You ask them.” The third single from Garfield’s forthcoming “Jammin’ Outside the Box” album is a remake of the Rufus classic featuring the vintage R&B-funk band’s former drummer Moon Calhoun singing lead on the song he wrote with Chaka Khan. “Stay” goes for radio adds on June 11 and drops digitally from Creatchy Records on June 15.

As Garfield was gathering material for his multi-disc, multi-genre “Outside the Box” series, he decided to give his long-time friend, Calhoun, the chance to sing the first song he ever wrote, which appeared on Rufus’s “Street Player” (1978). Calhoun was paralyzed in a bike accident 25 years ago and although he can no longer play drums, he can still sing. After inviting Benson and Sanborn to participate, Garfield let Calhoun cast the rest of the track’s musicians, which includes original Rufus guitarist Tony Maiden, along with Maiden’s daughter, Amanda Maiden, on backing vocals. Among the prominent players is a powerhouse sax section comprised of Sanborn on alto, Eric Marienthal on tenor and Tower of Power’s Doc Kupka on baritone; Paul Jackson Jr. (rhythm guitar), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Freddie Washington (bass) and Lenny Castro (percussion). Sanborn and Benson take turns in the spotlight soloing.

“Both George and David were very gracious. It was great to put them together. They compliment each other,” said Garfield, who is Benson’s long-serving music director and has collaborated with Sanborn on numerous occasions. “Initially George was only going to play the solo, but when he heard the guitar tracks, he added some rhythm guitar as well. This track really embodies the idea of musical community, where everyone works hand in hand, gifting each other with their talents. All I think about when I hear the finished song now is, ‘Moon finally got to sing his song!’”

Scheduled to street on July 20, “Jammin’ Outside the Box” is the second volume of the star-studded “Outside the Box” collection. Released in late March, Garfield’s first ever straight-ahead jazz date, “Jazz Outside the Box,” continues to gather radio spins and receive accolades. “Jammin’ Outside the Box” mixes it up in the smooth/contemporary jazz sandbox showcasing luminaries Benson, Sanborn, Smokey Robinson, Michael McDonald, Ray Parker Jr., Oleta Adams, Phil Perry, Marcus Miller, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun and many more. The outing’s first single, “Go Home,” hit No. 2 on the Billboard chart, while the follow up, “Jamming,” rose to No. 8.

Garfield will perform music from “Outside the Box” on May 31at Cleveland’s Night Town and celebrate “Jazz Outside the Box” on June 12 in Hollywood at the Catalina Jazz Club featuring special guests.

For more information, please visit www.DavidGarfield.com

 

Source: Great Scott Productions

Kim S. Hansen – To the Limit

After twenty years of being one of the genre’s most sought-after side-men, arranger, writer, producer and keyboard player Kim S. Hansen is stepping center stage with his debut single, the infectiously vibrant “To the Limit”. Not only is it a fine example of smooth jazz circa 2018 but, given he plays both keyboards and all guitars throughout, stands also as a glowing tribute to his multi-faceted artistry.

Since his arrival in LA from Denmark in 1997, and starting out as Musical Director for the Grammy-nominated and platinum-selling recording artist Maxine Nightingale, Kim has gone on to tour or record with the likes of Patti Austin, Howard Hewitt, Earl Klugh, Peabo Bryson, Bobby Lyle, Oleta Adams, Doc Powell, Steve Oliver, Jeff Kashiwa, Paul Jackson Jr., Everette Harp, George Duke, Nils, Phil Perry, Michael Lington and, significantly, U-Nam with whom he has played many times. This has included cameo appearances on the U-Nam “Live @ Anthology” DVD and his “Give Me the Night” video.

In fact, his smooth jazz career really took off through a chance encounter with legendary drummer Ricky Lawson when they were both hired for the same TV show. Kim quickly came to regard Lawson as his musical mentor and when he booked Hansen as Musical Director for the nationwide “Winans Family Reunion Tour” things began to happen. He continues to write prolifically for both television and the movies while with “To the Limit” his musical evolution is entering an exciting new phase.

Out on Skytown Records, “To the Limit” radio single will be going for adds on March 26th, 2018.

Rocco Ventrella – Precious Of Life

Delilah Records is thrilled to announce the release of the latest single by Rocco Ventrella, “Precious Of Life”, available on all major digital stores on April 30, 2018. “Precious Of Life” is the new single which will be part of the full new album by Rocco Ventrella which will be released in autumn. “Precious Of Life” is an original composition of the saxophonist and producer Rocco Ventrella. With this single, he expresses his thoughts about the most precious things that life has to offer him (and to all of us), his two daughters Delilah and Margherita.

“Precious Of Life”, the new single is scheduled for release on April 30, 2018, in digital download.  Rocco Ventrella lives in Bari, Italy and he’s introduced quite well to the music business since his debut album Give Me The Groove, gaining a Grammy Award Pre-Nomination for Contemporary Jazz Best Album 2007. 

More about Rocco Ventrella can be found on his website at www.roccoventrella.com

Jazz Holdouts – Morning Breeze

 

From night until morning, Jazz Holdouts frontmen Alan Palanker and Lou Cortelezzi have been toiling away in the studio diligently conceiving ultramodern electronic soundscapes to pair with their enticing keyboard and saxophone melodies. Last summer, they came up with a sensual blend of throbbing house music, nocturnal chill nuances and steamy contemporary jazz harmonies on a cut titled “Summer Nights,” which went No. 1 on the Billboard and Mediabase charts. Going downtempo for a laidback oeuvre of sunrise seduction, the duo wrote and produced “Morning Breeze,” the follow-up single that began going for radio playlist adds on Monday.

“‘Morning Breeze’ refers to the urge we often have to make love when we awaken in the morning. It passes over us like a cool breeze on a hot summer day and we make of it what we will,” said Cortelezzi about the inspiration for the new cut. “Our goal is to create instrumental music that is, groove-oriented, atmospheric and contemporary. The more traditional elements that say ‘jazz’ – like improvisation – are secondary to the overall effect of the composition.”

The winning combo of keyboardist Palanker and saxman Cortelezzi have taken Jazz Holdouts in bold directions. The outfit initially formed as an adult R&B/singer-songwriter venture that dropped the debut disc, “Intuition,” in 2014. Scrapping the original concept and recruiting the hornman into the fold, the reimagined Jazz Holdouts premiered their reworked vision in 2016 with the Billboard Top 20 single “Simple Things,” a futuristic foray swirling exhilarating electronica experimentations, dancefloor dynamics and soothing sophisticated sax. All three singles will be on the ten-song album slated for release this summer.

Jazz Holdouts consists of a veteran core of accomplished musicians who have toured and recorded with many of the biggest names in pop, R&B and jazz over the past few decades. On “Morning Breeze,” Palanker and Cortelezzi are joined by guitar ace Michael Thompson, bassist John Siegler and percussionist Walfredo Reyes Jr. Fusion guitarist Jamie Glaser will appear on the album as well.

“Lou and I are the songwriters, but the Jazz Holdouts recording process is unique and technologically current, including valuable contributions from our highly-skilled audio mix engineer, Douglas Cooper Getschal, who is key to shaping our sound,” said Palanker.

After the album is complete, the Jazz Holdouts’ focus will shift to how to present the music live in a compelling multimedia production that stimulates the senses. Cortelezzi said, “We are excited about the possibility of adding extensive video content to our live shows. The combination should be very entertaining to our audience and interesting to us as musicians.”

For more information, please visit http://jazzholdouts.com.

Source: Great Scott P.R.oductions

Mariea Antoinette – Overture

The dramatic opening immediately commands attention. Emerging from the lab with a preview of her upcoming summer album, urban jazz alchemist Mariea Antoinette returns on January 29 with the jubilant “Overture,” the new single featuring her mystical harp pouring forth as a bubbly protagonist. The divine stringed instrument is cast amidst an intriguing orchestral proscenium both ancient and modern constructed by a nine-piece string section, three-piece horn section and an empowering rhythm track crafted by Emmy winner and two-time Grammy-nominated producer Allan Phillips, who co-authored the composition with Antoinette.

“Overture” is the first original recording from Antoinette since her Phillips-produced “Straight from the Harp,” which was a Billboard Top 5 smooth jazz album in 2015. The new cut demonstrates that her mission to shatter preconceived limitations, stretch and abolish musical borders and boundaries, and expand the possibilities for the harp as a lead instrument in R&B, jazz, funk, soul and rock remains unwavering.

“My goal has been to present the unexpected: to make the harp the lead instrument backed by bass, drums and percussion. I am continuously stretching and pushing the boundaries of the harp, making a clear statement that it possesses a funky and powerful place in contemporary music. The harp is unexpectedly expressive in its delivery, a forceful lead voice and soloist in the midst of it all,” said the San Diego-based Antoinette. Continue reading

Valeriy Stepanov – Happy People

Widely recognized within the genre as a Smooth Jazz highlight of 2017, ‘New Beginnings’ by multi-instrumentalist Valeriy Stepanov not only blasted a path to #1 on the Amazon US chart of best-selling Jazz albums but also proved to be a project that is entirely radio ready. Indeed having already delivered the captivating single ‘Tonight’, the next track headed to the airwaves is the high octane ‘Happy People’. It finds Stepanov really tearing it up on keys (& drums) while the addition of cello from Vsevolod Guzov, coupled with a delicious splash of synth horns, are production masterstrokes that serve as the icing on a very tasty cake.

Prior to ‘New Beginnings’ Stepanov was best known as a YouTube sensation who, to date, can boast over three and a half million Internet views. He enjoys such an online profile that musicians around the world are clamoring to both cover and rework his music. Not only that, he has been recognized as having the ability to traverse the entire spectrum of Jazz, from his Smooth Jazz sensibilities, that are very much the province of ‘New Beginnings’, through to his own brand of fusion that can accurately be described as Chick Corea meets Jeff Lorber.

The story of Valeriy Stepanov, who grew up in Irkutsk, Siberia, close to the Mongolian border, is very much a story of today. He is living proof that in today’s connected world an Internet presence combined with an abundance of talent can propel a performer from the most unlikely of locations into the global spotlight. In fact the original ‘Russian’ title of ‘Happy People’ is  Irkutskrasnoyarsk’, the blending of the names of the two cities where Valeriy and Vsevolod grew up as childhood friends.

What makes Valeriy stand out from the crowd is the superb formula he has for rhythm and melody, his unbounded energy and a technique that is solidly grounded in music theory. ‘New Beginnings’ is a magnificent showcase for his artistry, writing skills, and production know-how, an inspired body of work and an important step on his journey to musical stardom. ‘Happy People’ will be Going for Adds on 01/29/2018