From The Vault – Speak To My Heart

I was converting a song that my brother-in-law composed and recording in some studio, from cassette to mp3, and came across some old rehearsal session. Me and the fellas at the drummer’s house trying to put together a jazzy rendition of Donnie McClurkin’s “Speak To My Heart”. This had to be two summers ago or more. The keyboardist is Wydell Croom, someone I’ve worked with off and on since ’97. Ken Stanback on drums, Roger Dent on bass, yours truly on guitar.

peace.
F!

In The Lab – Dec 2009

Greetings crew….

Happy Holidays (Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, etc) to all. A lot of you catch my tweets about what I’m doing musically, so I wanted to give you a peek at where it all happens. All the composers, songwriters, musicians, etc have such a spot, most of them (obviously your truly) tend to call it a lab of some sort. I was talking with a friend yesterday, who’s a songwriter/musician/producer about studio workspaces and how they run the gamut of styles. I kinda thrive on ergonomics, comfort, and organization, etc…helps the muse flow freely. As for as tools, I’m a firm believer that the best utilize what they have to the max to get the results needed.

I’m looking forward to completing a long awaited CD that my partner and I have been working on, continuing work on a collaboration called “contempojazzsoulhop” with my boys Fave and Todd, a smooth jazz project with KLWJazz, more remixes for Philip Clark, gospel jazz keyboardist Kevin Battle, vocal group Destined 2 Praise, vocalist Dana Yates, more production work with AfterSix Productions, saxophonist Harron Evoria, annnnnnd my own CD project, whew. Ok, anyway, here’s mine, in it’s current form:

That’s about it…now u see where the tweets flow from, the hangout spot.

Happy New Year…

peace,
F!

The Sunday Soundtrack – Smooth Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas listeners….just a lil gift from me to you. I hope it makes your Christmas Day brighter. Remember the reason for the season! Ready? Let’s flow….

  • The Christmas Song – Norman Brown/Mo Jazz Christmas Album
  • O Come All Ye Faithful – Sam Levine/Brentwood Jazz Christmas Holiday
  • Oh Christmas Tree – Eric Reed/Mo Jazz Christmas Album
  • Silent Night Holy Night – Sam Levine/Brentwood Jazz Christmas
  • Away In A Manger Ben Tankard/Christmas Love
  • What Child Is This – Norman Brown/Mo Jazz Christmas Album
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Ben Tankard/Christmas Love
  • O Little Town Of Bethlehem – Ben Tankard/Christmas Love
  • Angels We Have Heard On High – Ben Tankard/An Instrumental Christmas
  • Silent Night – Ben Tankard/An Instrumental Christmas
  • Good King Wenceslas – Sam Levine/Brentwood Jazz Christmas
  • Go Tell It On The Mountain-Ben Tankard/An Instrumental Christmas
  • Joy To The World – Ben Tankard An Instrumental Christmas
  • Christmas Time Is Here – Philip Clark

I’ve got one more gift to wrap…

Best!
F!

The Sunday Soundtrack Special Edition – A Christmas Chillout – 24 Dec 09

usb_optical_fibre_christmas_tree-753172Seasons Greetings listeners.

I hope everyone is well into the spirit of the season and more so remembers what the reason for the season is…the word CHRISTmas describes who and what that reason to a tee!Ā  As mentioned to a few of you, this month marks the 2nd anniversary of the Sunday Soundtrack podcast. In celebration of such, I am running a contest! Keeping it simple (’cause I couldn’t think of anything reaaally catchy – LOL ), all you have to do is place a call to the voicemail number below, and tell me what you like best about The Sunday Soundtrack Podcast. The winner will receive a custom Sunday Soundtrack podcast with up to 15 tracks of your choice (provided I can find them on iTunes, and that by my definition the lyrical content or essence of the tunes are NOT offensive in nature), and personal voiceovers referencing you in the podcast (or no reference at all – your choice)! I’ll choose and announce the winner during the 03 January 2010 Sunday Soundtrack podcast. The cutoff is 11:59am EST on Dec 27. Provide me with your email address and I’ll provide you a download link to your podcast when done.
Throughout this year, I’ve met some cool artists who have graciously allowed me to feature their material on my podcast. What’s great to me is that I’ve gotten to do via global offerings from Canada to Los Angeles to Denmark to Germany and beyond. It further proves the saying “Music is a universal language” Thanks to the artists I’ve formed bonds with and for the relationships forged that will carry themselves into 2010. This is my way of saying thanks for making this podcast a success, in my eyes.

Just call 1-301-458-0499…and remember … “..you gotta be in it to win it” šŸ˜‰

Legal Disclaimer: In order to eligible to win, could have not won anything from the Sunday Soundtrack within the last year. Void where prohibited.

Along with that, I’d like to give a shout out to my fellow podcasters, who share their gift and favorite genres that they feature on a consistent basis:

Jason Smith ::: Both Sides of The Surface (BSOTS)
Todd Grundy ::: Rhythms In Black Satin (RIBS)
EJ Flavors ::: Old School Wednesdays
Fave ::: The Friday Favecast
Nikki ::: Soulrific
Darrenkeith ::: My Love For Music
DJ Diva ::: The Monday Mixtape
Todd Kelley aka The Big La: Flowink (Worldwide Soul)
Anjibee ::: The Chillcast
Honeysoul ::: Honeysoul
Fleep (Deep House) ::: Fleep
Travis Nobles ::: Hidden Place Music
Solipsistic Nation ::: Solipsistic Nation
DJ Grant Love ::: Music To My Ears

The following tracks i think non-traditionally (genre-wise) fit the flow nicely. I hope you find a few as well. Without further adieu…the playlist is as follows:

1.The First Noel – Inverse Cinematics/The Reindeer Room, Vol. 1: A Christmas Chillout

2. What Child Is This? – The Pleasant Groove Minstrels/hOMe for the Holidays

3. We Three KingsĀ  -Kurbis Blumen/The Reindeer Room, Vol. 2: A Festive Collection

4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Zigo/The Reindeer Room, Vol. 1: A Christmas Chillout

5. Still Still Still – Kaskade/hOMe for the Holidays

6. Mi Ymalei (Who Can Retell?) – Craig Taubmas/The Reindeer Room, Vol. 3: Not So Silent Night

7. Carol of the Bells – Durbin Elf/The Reindeer Room, Vol. 1: A Christmas Chillout

8. Jingle Bells – Sub Santa /The Reindeer Room, Vol. 1: A Christmas Chillout

9. O Christmas Tree – Sub Santa/The Reindeer Room, Vol. 2: A Festive Collection

10. Good King Wenceslas – Billy Paul Wiliams and Nicole Henry/The Reindeer Room, Vol. 2: A Festive Collection

11. The Kwanzaa Song – Billy Paul Williams/The Reindeer Room, Vol. 3: Not So Silent Night

12. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – DJ Trax/The Reindeer Room, Vol. 2: A Festive Collection

13. Peace On Earth – Kaskade/The Mistletoe Lounge

Wishing all of you a safe, blessed Christmas….Stay tuned for the Sunday Soundtrack CHRISTmas Day Special Edition!

Keep it chilled….

peace,
F!

Dedicated to You – Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman – 2010 GRAMMY Awards/Best Jazz Vocal Album

Greetings Readers…

Over the weekend, I got a chance (while putting together the last podcast) to listen to another one of the nominees for Best Jazz Vocal, Mr. Kurt Elling. I listened not only to the release for which he has been nominated, but some of his earlier material as well. What attracted me to this artist was first, his style. If you can follow me on this, his delivery is articulate, knowledgeable, smooth and confident. Note that I’ve spoke nothing about his vocal talent thus far but those few things aforementioned draw a direct correlation to his smooth vocal delivery as well. His delivery brings to mind a certain air of sophistication, the type of sophistication that is part of jazz. If I were to compare his vocal delivery to a jazz instrument, I’d say saxophone comes to mind. Couple that with the elegance the selections on this nominated CD, I’d say it makes for a winning combination. I definitely have been enjoying the renditions he’s done in tribute to Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane. I’d recommend it to any jazz lover’s collection.

Here’s the electronic press kit (EPK) for Kurt Elling’s new Concord Jazz album “Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman. The CD was released on June 23rd, 2009.

Kurt Elling Online
Official Website

The Sunday Soundtrack – 13 Dec 09 (2010 Grammy Awards – Jazz Nominees – Podcast #1)

Jazz

Greetiings readers and listeners. Thanks for stopping by. I hope the weekend was great. This evening I bring you the first installment of special Sunday Soundtrack podcasts featuring my favorite picks for the GRAMMY nominees in the category of jazz. There are a few specific musicians from last years list (if memory serves) that have been nominated again this year. I personally think there are some choice tracks in all 5 categories. While this is a shorter podcast than usual, my aim is to deliver unto you a few featured podcasts before the big night. I happened to announce my pick for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, but you’ll have to wait until you listen to the end of the podcast. Some favorites out of this small offering are Sammy Nestico and The SWR Big Band and Roberta Gambarini.

Stay tuned for some future blog posts featuring some great footage of the nominees speaking about their respective projects, allowing us, the fans, to get some great insight on the releases. That being said, I bring to you the playlist, a little something to whet your palette until next time.


Sunday Soundtrack 52nd Annual Grammy Awards – Jazz Podcast #1

1. Topanga Moon Dance – Phillip Saisse/At Worlds Edge (Best Contemporary Jazz Album)
2. Crazy – Roberta Gambarini/So In Love (Best Jazz Vocal Album)
3. Wild Man – The Clayton Brothers/Brother To Brother (Best Instrumental Jazz Album)
4. Bird Blue – Mike Stern/Big Neighborhood (Best Comtemporary Jazz Album)
5. Blue Samuel – Sammy Nestico and The SWR Big Band (Best Large Jazz Ensemble)
6. Tanktified – Stefon Harris and Blackout/Urbanus (Best Contemporary Jazz Album)

All the releases above can be found in the familiar places: iTunes, Amazon, etc.

Until next time (sleep is catching up to me)….take care…

Keep it chilled (and jazzy)

F!

Grammy Nominee Guitarist Mike Stern talks equipment

Hey everybody…

I hope this post finds you well. It’s a late Saturday afternoon here in the DC metro area. I was surfing around YouTube and came across a “behind-the-scenes” (if you will) video of guitarist Mike Stern in a short discussion about the equipment he uses on stage. Being a guitarist also has me interested, and slightly biased :-). Interestingly enough, he plays a custom Yamaha Pacifica, which has the same body style as the legendary Fender Telecaster. Personally, I like the Pacifica better, appearance-wise, anyway. Mike is no stranger to the jazz world and has been nominated for a Grammy in the past. He brings a unique combination of jazz, blues, and rock to his style of playing and his been recognized as a world renowned guitarist for years, especially since being on the scene with Miles Davis’ comeback band in 1981. Mike Stern’s “Big Neighborhood” is nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album this year. Here he is, in a video from late 2008, talking gear.

Mike Stern Online
Official Website
Myspace
All About Jazz Interview

peace…
F!

Julian Lage – Soundpoint/Nominee for Best Contemporary Jazz Album – 52nd Annual Grammy Awards

Greetings readers. A somewhat frigid night here in the DC Metro area. I hope those in similar weather conditions are keeping warm.

The other day I perused this category and took a listen to Julian Lage. I had never heard of this nominee until this the nominees list came out, and was pleasantly surprised to find him as a guitarist. Being a child prodigy, musically, is nothing new at all, but being prodigious in a number of different genres and combining them into one style is no so commonplace. Receiving accolades from various music luminaries at such a young age is also uncommon. Being a guitarist, I’m naturally biased to him as a nominee (this goes for Mike Stern as well). What I found myself thinking about his style of music was…it didn’t quite match what I thought a contemporary jazz album should sound like. Lage’s style, to me, has somewhat heavy folk influences across the board and my experience with contemporary jazz, listening to it for 30+ years, doesn’t quite jive what that (I lend the same mindset to Mike Stern’s “Big Neighborhood” with the rock influences, as well). As I listened to the tracks from his most excellent release, Soundpoint, I became increasingly impressed by each song, particularly his rendition of Miles Davis’ “All Blues”. Equally impressive is the height of musical stature that he’s grown into, by not only releasing a Grammy nominated album, but already (by age 21) being a sideman to jazz great Gary Burton. Here’s Julian discussing Soundpoint, released on Emarcy Records:

To me, Soundpoint is a collection of very well done, intricate arrangements and performances that encompasses the mastery of his instrument. I find it interesting that the selections themselves find themselves in this category, but I enjoy them nonetheless. I wonder if he will, in the future, perform his arrangements with a larger electric ensemble or continue bring his compositions in a group such as this. In any event, it will be a welcome addition to my collection

Julian Lage Online

Official Website
Facebook
Myspace
All About Jazz

peace,
Fresh.

The Sunday Soundtrack f/Afterlife – 06 Dec 09

Hello, and welcome back for another edition of The Sunday Soundtrack. I hope this post finds you well.

It’s been a crazy week. The GRAMMYs are well underway and I was chosen to be the official community blogger for the category of Jazz. We have an excellent group of community bloggers, all on Twitter, that do an excellent job of representing the major categories. Any time it gets busy, I usually resort to doing a very chilled podcast. That being said, I bring you the king of chiil, Afterlife. Steve Miller is Afterlife and is the top downtempo producer in the UK and the most played artist in Ibiza. I couldnt see why he WOULDN’T be the top rated. Take a listen to the tracks, and I’m sure you would agree.

Special shouts today to @mainelementlove, thanks for the comment you left. My apologies for posting the podcast late tonite (see above). @deegospel…go and get your scribe on.

I present to you the playlist


1. Clear Blue Sky – Afterlife/The St. Regis Chill & Groove
2. Ozo – Afterlife/Speck of Gold
3. Speck of Gold – Afterlife/The St. Regis Chill & Groove
4. Breather 2000 (Arithunda Mix) – Afterlife/The St. Regis Chill & Groove
5. Smooch – Afterlife/Speck of Gold
6. Miracles – Afterlife
7. Shine – AfterLife ft Cathy Battistessa/The Blue Bar
8. Falling – Afterlife/Simplicity Two Thousand
9. Cry – Afterlife/The Mix EP
10. Cry (Sunset Dream Mix) – Afterlife/The Mix EP
11. Sunrise [DJ Thunda & The K20 Allstars Mix] – Afterlife/Speck of Gold
12. Rood Beatz (Cornucopia Remix) – Afterlife/Speck of Gold

Afterlife Online
The Official Myspace Site
The Official Afterlife Website

Back to studio work…

Have a great day!

peace and blessings…
F!