The Making of Soulosophy – Day 3

Soulosophy Concept Art v1 Brown

Greetings all…hope u are enjoying your Saturday. In the last post, I was going on about a roster of 24 musicians (25 including myself) that I thought could participate on this project. After giving it much thought, especially in relationship to the approach and final release of the Halcyon Sky EP, I decided to take the “walk before you can run” approach. Gone is the idea of that many musicians participating for a sophomore project. I’m definitely not ready to book and pay for studio time when the project can very well be done between my studio and my partner’s studio.

That being said, I have one solid tune already given to me to review by a long time friend and smooth jazz keyboardists with four (at least) CDs under his belt. With the roster being significantly smaller and the musician commitments I have thus far, yeah, we can rock this. Next step, song completion assessments. More about that in the next post.

Before I forget, for those of you that have been following my tweets on my personal Twitter account, @mrfresh, regarding my musical endeavors, I’ve decided to consolidate all those under one new Twitter ID, SFTF Productions, you can follow me there. I’d highly appreciate it. Thanks!

Have a great weekend.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

The Sunday Soundtrack – 14 Apr 13

Greetings Listeners….

Welcome to another edition of The Sunday Soundtrack. “It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you…” (a little hip hop lyric reference there). It’s great to be back with another edition, albeit overdue, of the podcast. It’s about 12:37 am here in studio, but it’s done. I hope to stay on a regular (to be determined) schedule. Starting with pre-production on Monday for the following Sunday helps, doing a little everyday helps even more. The plan is to finish Saturday evening :-)

For my new listeners, The Sunday Soundtrack podcast is geared towards giving you an alternative listening experience to the standard Sunday afternoon commercial smooth jazz formatted programs and expose you to independent artists with tunes that provide that same smoothness, but in such genres as electronica, nu jazz, downtempo, experimental, chillout, instrumental jazzy hip hop, and the like. Please feel free to take a listen and leave comments, if u like. You can also reach The Sunday Soundtrack at (301) 458-0499

Without further delay, let’s get to the playlist.

1. Moon Beat – LTJ X-Perience/Moon Beat
2. Consequences (Late Night Mix) – Blank & Jones/Relax 4
3. Gutenmirgenduft (Morning Scent) – dZihan & Kamien/Gran Riserva
4. Subsolitude – Hypoetical/Pendulum
5. Try Me – J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science f/Goapele & Capitol A/J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science – OM Records 2003
6. Square Purity – The Jazzment/Beats – Old Stuff
7. Sunbeams – Uko/Cafe Del Mar – Vol. 7

Some special shout outs:

  • My entire podcast massive: Fave, Big La (Todd Kelley), DarrenKeith, Anji Bee, Nikki, BSOTS, DJ Diva, EJ Flavors (The Sensei), and T. Grundy (Mr Brilliant). All excellent podcasters whose episodes range from smooth jazz to soul to hip hop to R&B to chillout to funk. My hats off to all of you, thanks for the encouragement
  • All the podcast drops done by the crew above AND listeners – thank you!
  • Ray Garraud – The Garraud Files Podcast, a versatile tech enthusiast, author, blogger, podcaster, public speaker, and good friend with whom I’ve had several great conversations with on his own thoughts of mobile podcasting and the evolving tech out which allows it. Thanks for the push, Ray!
  • Calandra and Madeline for the re-encouragement
  • @DVSJr, @Upright for the re-tweets/favorites about the return!
  • I hope you’re enjoying the tracks. Please feel free to follow the The Sunday Soundtrack on Twitter

    Take care and have a great week.

    ::: oceans of rhythm :::

    Fresh!

    Incognito f/Maysa (with The Robert Glasper Experiment) – 3 April 2012, at The Warner Theater, Washington DC

    Greetings all. I hope this post finds you well. I haven’t posted about a concert since my last one, Jeff Lorber Fusion at The Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis in March 2011. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen Incognito live. As a matter of fact, it was 10 years ago (I think) during the No Time Like The Future Tour at this same venue.

    I purchased my ticket in Dec 2011 and good seats were already going fast so I’m very glad I got seats five rows back from the stage. The crowd, always mature, is filling the theater and the time is 8:02pm. The Robert Glasper Experiment is the opening act, whose current CD. “Black Radio” is blowin’ up the jazz and R&B charts. The Robert Glasper Experiment, for this event, is Robert Glasper, keys; Mark McCollough, drums; Derek Hosge, bass; and Casey Benjamin. vocoder and sax. There’s an excellent cover story article on The Robert Glasper Trio in the April 2012 edition of Downbeat Magazine. Being a musician I’m surveying the stage equiopment…baby grand, Motif 8, and the guitarist’s dream amp, the legendary Roland JC-120, some of which may be for Incognito’s use. Robert played both the grand piano and Motif 8, utilizing its stellar Fender Rhodes patch.

    They did an excellent set from their latest CD. Every member of the group is EXTREMELY talented. Mark McCoilough substituted for Chris Dave, the drummer on the CD (some of you may remember him from Mint Condition). Derrick played a chorded and quite elegant, but soulful bass solo of the Stevie Wonder tune “Overjoyed” (I believe). Robert’s engaging of the crowd went over very well, as evidenced from the feedback from the ladies. They closed the set with their sonically awesome version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” I am now an official Robert Glasper Experiment fan.

    I regret not going up during the intermission to get that RGE CD purchased and signed, but I stayed put and watched the stage crew get it ready for Incognito. I was five rows back front and center, as a result of purchasing these tickets four months in advance. The interesting thing is I just happened to go on Incognito’s website one night and saw announcements about the tour. They’ve been to the Capitol Jazz Fest since I last saw them in 2002, but as popular as the CJF is, I’m not really a fan of seeing music on the lawn or picnic area because I prefer the comfort of a theater type setting (you know I view the performance from more than an entertainment aspect :-)) Deborah Bond, DC area vocalist (and a very good one at that) was the emcee for the event. She really engaged well with the audience and I would encourage you to check out not just her latest CD but the ones prior.

    The stage crew continued getting things ready for the main act. I spied Matt Cooper’s keyboard rig, two red Nord Stages and a Roland JP 8000. I noted Bluey’s guitar rig included what looked like a white Strat (just iile mine…ha) and I knew he’d would be playing his Atelier Z (a version of Fender’s famous Telecaster) which he says is… ““Simply the best guitar I have ever played!” . I can’t speak to the drum and percussion gear, nor the horns that the excellent brass section used, but it was very nice to see that Francis Hylton held down the bass duties, using that classic blue Fender Jazz 5 string bass he’s often seen with.

    ‘Cog played The Ram’s Head Tavern, in Annapolis MD, the night before. The Ram’s Head is an intimate jazz club that serves dinner and is obviously a much smaller venue. The audience, for all intents and purposes, is up close to the artist, but the sound system is excellent from ever seat in the house. Seeing many concerts at The Warner in the past assured me that the sound would be on point for tonight’s concert. As the stage crew appeared to be thinning and people started to return to their seats, Deborah Bond assumed her emcee duties and the excitement began to mount.

    Incognito came to the stage and the electricity surely got kicked up a few notches. They wasted no time in getting musically busy! Interestingly enough after the second tune, they DID experience minor sound issues with the Mo Brandis’ vocal monitor and Matt’s keys…to the point where Bluey litterally made an announcement to that effect. Fortunately, from my vantage point anyway, those issues really weren’t noticeable That being said, here is the set list:


    1. Roots f/Vanessa Haynes
    2. As (Steve Wonder) f/Mo Brandis
    3. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head f/Natalie Sullivan
    4. Step into my life f/Maysa
    5. Change f/Maysa
    6. Colibri f/Maysa
    7. Goodbye to Yesterday f/Mo Brandis
    8. Above The Night f/Natalie Sullivan
    9. Ain’t It Time f/Vanessa Haynes
    10. The Leds You Know f/Maysa
    11. Still a Friend of Mine f/Maysa and Mo
    12. Blueys Story
    13. Expresso Maduwria f/the band
    14. Percussion explosion f/Francisco and Joao
    15. Everyday f/Vanessa
    16. Deep Waters f/Maysa (with Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” interlude)

    Every track above was on fire, even in the smoothest sense. Two of the highlights of the concert was a percussion and drum breakdown which brought the crowd to it’s feet. The other was one of Bluey’s famous stories on how he got into music at the early age of five, knowing then he wanted to form a band and tour the world…a dream he is constantly living.

    Cog closed the concert with one of their flagship songs, Deep Waters featuring the diva Maysa. She paid tribute to Whitney Houston by inserting a very nice rendition of “I Will Always Love You”, intricately woven into Deep Waters….excellent.

    After introducing the band, with members ranging from Ireland to Trinidad to Swaziland to Jamaica to England to Brazil, I’ve dubbed Incognito as “The International Groove Alliance”. Bluey always articulates and leaves the audience with messages of pure positivity, global positivity that is much needed in this day and age. This concert was well worth the wait.

    Incognito Official Website
    The Robert Glasper Experiment Official Website

    Oceans of rhythm….

    peace…
    Fresh!

    Kenny Burrell – 2010 Grammy Jazz Honoree of The Year.

    Kenneth Earl “Kenny” Burrell was born July 31, 1931 in Detroit, MI and by 12 years old, started playing guitar (similar to yours truly who started playing at the age of 14). Little did he know that he would be this year’s Grammy Jazz Honoree.

    I don’t know who is more excited, Kenny or me. He has certainly been my favorite jazz guitarist for as long as I remember. Kenny’s choice as this years honoree is quite a substantial one, in my mind. His discography alone proves his ability (and history) of being a superb sideman and solo musician in his own right. Between the years of 1956 and 2006, Mr. Burrell has excelled as a leader, co-leader and sideman releasing recordings with stellar musicians in the world of jazz. His last release, Kenny Burrell: 75th Birthday Bash Live! released in 2007 on the prestigious Blue Note label, not only has a historic playlist of wonderful jazz standards, but showcases prominent musicians such as Joey DeFracesco, Hubert Laws, Snooky Young, and the like. During that same year, he began his tenure as Director of Jazz Studies at UCLA.
    He has recorded on well respected jazz labels including Prestige, Verve, Fantasy, and Concord Jazz.

    Kenny Burrell posesses a unique style (and grace) if you will, defines the essence of jazz guitar. His playing easily brings to life the stellar arrangements of his great predecessors, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn and, in addition, has away of conveying the cool that IS jazz. If there was to ever be a true definition of “smooth jazz”, Mr. Burrell would undoubtedly be a defining factor. His remake of Neal Hefti’s classic song “Girl Talk” is one of my favorite tunes.

    Mr. Burrell, if you are reading this, I came VERY close to being there this week to fulfill my dream of meeting you on Tuesday evening. Keep being the inspiration to jazz musicians and jazz lovers alike. I salute you in your accomplishments and in receiving this auspicious honor. There are many of your tracks that leave me “Just a Sittin’ and Rockin’”
    Jazz lives.

    We’ve Got The Jazz: 2009 Year End In Review

    Greetings listeners. As we are nearing the airing of the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, those nominated in the category of Jazz have provided the fans a wide and exciting array of great jazz music. There is a color of jazz on this wonderful palette for every jazz listener.

    The young lion Stefon Harris, and his group Blackout bridge the gap in between classical jazz stylings and comtemporary jazz in a way that some may call unconventional, yet captivating. The tracks on Urbanus offer musical stylings that satisfy even the young, neophyte jazz listener and still capture the traditional offerings best liked by the most discerning long time listener.

    Mike Stern is no stranger as a nominee in this category. Returning once again to the nominee circle with his release Big Neighborhood, he brings to us not only familiarity of his own jazz offerings, but nicely mixes blues, funk and shades of rock in his release. A cast of star musicians help create a catalyst that rightly places Mike as a nominee once again.

    Jazz is not jazz without the most organic jazz instrument of all, the human voice. Randy Crawford has represented such an instrument superbly for many years, and has done stellar work is piano virtuouso, Joe Sample on various occasions. “No Regrets” is a release that combines, once again, the commanding and captivating voice of Randy Crawford along with the unmistakably recognizable style of Joe Sample.

    With the “voice” in jazz, it’s yet still not complete without that crisp, cool class of a voice like that of Kurt Elling. His release “Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman” eloquently covers the great tunes of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman in a way that automatically demands a Grammy nod. His depth of style and grace continues to further bring an aspect of style that jazz will be ever known for.

    Strong returning contenders to this year’s nominee circle are once again, vibraphonist Gary Burton, guitar virtuouso Pat Metheny, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Antonio Sanchez. “Quartet Live” is a must for any fan of instrumental jazz and it decidedly earns it’s rank as a premier nominee in the subcategory of Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Swift competition comes from piano and synthesizer legend Chick Corea and his longtime bandmate from Return To Forever, John McLaughlin. “Five Peace Band – Live” is a collection of songs that define the term “jazz virtuosity” to the utmost degree. Both releases are strong contenders in this category.

    Jazz, THE American music art form must be defined, as well, by the Big Band…and as such, “Fun Time” – Sammy Nestico And The SWR Big Band provide and excellent definition of the big band aspect in every respect. Fun Time is an excellent release for any jazz lover’s collection.

    When Latin Jazz is mentioned in a conversation, the discussion cannot go long without mention of the name Valdes! “Juntos Para Siempre” –
    Bebo Valdés And Chucho Valdés define the state of Latin Jazz and wholeheartedly represent that in a Grammy nomination well chosen by The Academy.

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t pay homage, at least in this post, to this year’s Grammy Jazz Honoree, the great jazz guitarist and legend, Mr Kenny Burrell. Suffice it to say, as a guitarist myself, he is my favorite and it is truly and honor to see him receive this auspicious award.

    2009 was a great year for jazz and all the nominees in every subcategory represent America’s music with greatness!

    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!

    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

    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.

    Welcome To The Sunday Soundtrack – 17 May 09

    5f1e

    Hello listeners…

    As usual, glad to bring you another Sunday Soundtrack…a late Sunday Soundtrack, but one nevertheless. I hope you enjoy it.

    All quiet on the Eastern front here. Coming off of a 3-day weekend, and even that was too short. I am starting a petition to Start Friday Over…u wanna sign it? ;-)

    I’m completing my offerings from the Obsession Lounge compilation, I hope they were enjoyable. Now it’s time to go on a track hunt…and I think it’s time for a fully laidback and mellow SSP….yes?

    Here is the playlist, for your edification:

    Sacra Samba (Original Mix) – Ante Rem/Obsession Lounge
    Composite Five – Lounge Conjunction//Obsession Lounge
    Hispanos In Space (Remix 2005) – Jam & Spoon//Obsession Lounge
    Sand (Original Mix) – R. Eberspacher/Obsession Lounge
    Dear Tryphonite – Nor Elle
    Reflections – Jeff Lorber/Kickin’ It
    Nia – Pete Belasco/’Deeper
    Shadow Of Your Smile – Amel Larrieux/Lovely Standards
    Like A Tattoo – Sade/The Best Of Sade
    Get Back to Serenity – Vargo/Beauty

    All tracks can be found at Amazon.com and iTunes

    A special shoutout goes to the family of Wayman Tisdale, ex-NBA star turned smooth jazz bassist. The community will truly miss u. Thank you for your musical prowess and gift…

    Using Twitter? Feel free to follow The Sunday Soundtrack. If you’re on Facebook, check the group out here

    For those interested, I’d like to get you on my mailing list. Rest assured the list is Sunday Soundtrack specific – podcasts, contests, new artists, etc. If you’d like to be on it, please email me your address….

    Enjoy your moments in positivity…hopefully we can all learn, for the better, those of negavity.

    peace/blessings.

    F!

    Welcome To The Sunday Soundtrack – 1 Mar 09

    Kristof's Chill Spot
    Photo Credit: Christophe Sandot

    Hey everyone…welcome back to The Sunday Soundtrack. Goodbye February…hello March. Two months gone already in ’09…wow…somebody slow it down…geez!. In any event, glad you can join me again. Hope your day is going well.

    The type of week I have, along with the kind of tracks I discover or am feeling at the moment, generally determines the flow of the playlist I developed. While this past week wasn’t necessarily overwhelming by any stretch of the imagination, it was tedious. The perpetuation of such led me to put together more of a laidback playlist. I put it together, partly, as a result of having discussions with who seems to be my biggest fan on The Sunday Soundtrack Facebook Group, Christophe Sandot over in France!. Kristof has made himself my official global ourtreach PR man, as he says…hahah. Just wanna give you a quick shoutout, brotha. Thanks for letting me know about the tracks your are listening to, the stories of your travels, and most of all spreading the word about The Sunday Soundtrack to your crew abroad, I definitely appreciate it.

    This edition of the podcast sort of features an artist I discovered on XM Radio and subsequently found their tracks on iTunes – Blank and Jones. Blank and Jones is a top dance group out of Germany, known for their chill and downtempo tracks. If you love some seriously chilled tracks, check them out. Their official website is here.

    Let’s move to the playlist:

    1. Gotta Be Love – Joey Youngman/Om Lounge, Vol. 10
    2. Original Bedroom Rockers – Kruder & Dorfmeister/Ultra Chilled
    3. President Chimp Toe – Fila Brazillia/Power Clown
    4. Twilight – Blank & Jones/Relax Edition 2 (Sun) – EP
    5. Cruisin – Blank & Jones/Relax Edition 2 (Sun) – EP
    6. Die Blaue Stunde – Blank & Jones/Relax Edition 3 (Sun) – EP
    7. ‘Lost In Thought – Jon Hopkins/Opalescent
    8. Florent 2 A.M. – Blank & Jones/Relax Edition 3 (Sun) – EP
    9. Miracles – Afterlife
    10. Tone Poem – Third Face/Sty Wars

    For your viewing pleasure, here’s one of their videos.

    That’s it…It’s my wish that u enjoy this podcast, it’s always a pleasure to bring it. Be sure to check out my fellow podcast massive in my blogroll. I’m certain you will enjoy what they have to offer.

    Using Twitter? Feel free to follow The Sunday Soundtrack. If you’re on Facebook, check the group out here

    Keep it chill….

    peace,
    F!