Suzi Quatro & KT Tunstall, Face to Face…
On rare occasions, the planets seem to align and two talented musicians join forces to produce an extraordinary album. Such is the case with “Face To Face” by Suzi Quatro and KT Tunstall. These talented ladies treat us to ten original tracks where they express a lifetime of feelings and experiences through eloquent lyrics, exquisitely blended harmonies vocals and carefully crafted musical patterns. They brought in an excellent group of musicians to back them up completing the musical pictures.
Suzi’s bass rings clear and true throughout the entire album and her melodic playing style fits seamlessly with KT’s expansive guitar work in a dynamic flow. The similar vocal qualities of their voices blend deliciously in a manner you usually only hear from siblings. The universal topics in these tracks reflect an earthy maturity that addresses many themes common to us all. There is certainly something for everyone on this album and you feel as if these songs were sent to you specifically.
“Face to Face” shares a lifetime of knowledge and sentiments that resonate with the listener at every level. This album is a treat to enjoy and share with your friends.
Available August 11, 2023 on Amazon.com
New Album: Mark Egan, Cross Currents
Bassist Mark Egan to release “Cross Currents” with Shawn Pelton and Shane Theriot – Release Date: March 7th, 2024…
After five decades of touring and recording as an in-demand sideman and leader in his own right, acclaimed bassist Mark Egan has finally released an album that encapsulates his myriad of musical influences in one all-encompassing package. “In many ways this is a new production sound for me,” said the bassist who studied privately with Jaco Pastorius during the mid ‘70s while attending the University of Florida before becoming a charter member of The Pat Metheny Group. “My early influences are from playing r&b, soul and rock before becoming indoctrinated into jazz in the Miami years.
This trio record explores those rootsy R&B funk-rock grooves coupled with my jazz and world sensibilities and utilizes the various fretted and fretless basses that I’ve worked with over the years. It’s a culmination of the many worlds of my experiences and is the reason that it’s titled Cross Currents.”
Completing this potent trio with Egan are drummer Shawn Pelton (a 30-year veteran of the Saturday Night Live band and first-call New York City studio player who has recorded with everyone from Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart and Bruce Springsteen to Elton John, Billy Joel, Van Morrison, Sheryl Crow, David Byrne, Pink and Luciano Pavarotti) and Louisiana-born guitarist Shane Theriot (musical director for Hall & Oates who has also recorded and/or performed with The Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Boz Scaggs, Allen Toussaint, Rickie Lee Jones, Willie Nelson and Todd Rundgren).
Together they cut a wide stylistic swath on Cross Currents, from funk (‘Homebrew’, ‘Pocket Call’) to ambient (‘Big Sky’) to swamp rock (‘Gulf Stream’), second-line (‘Ponchatrain’) and ballads (the Jimi Hendrix flavored ‘Sand Castles’ and the moody ‘Roll With It’) with allusions to Cajun (‘Nonc Rodell’) and Indian Raga (‘Eastern Blue’).
Recorded at Power Station New England in Waterford, CT (a perfect replica of the storied New York City recording studio where Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, David Bowie, Madonna, Sting, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer recorded iconic albums), Cross Currents is Egan’s most versatile and ambitious offering to date. While his past outings as a leader, like 2006’s As We Speak, 2010’s Truth Be Told, 2014’s About Now and Direction Home, 2018’s Dreaming Spirits and 2020’s Electric Blue, have been primarily organic trio and duo affairs, Cross Currents is a power trio with orchestrated layers of rhythms and textures by the participants.
“The intent of this recording was to capture the interplay and energy of the trio and orchestrate it by adding additional guitars, bass and percussion to enhance what the songs were calling for.
Everyone had so many great ideas for orchestrating and arranging the material. The record has electric and acoustic guitar as well as bass and percussion overdubs. We wanted to make atmospheric pads to create a backdrop for us to improvise over. Once I had decided on recording this trio format I spent nine months of composing and arranging the compositions. Shane and Shawn also spent a lot of time conceptualizing and contributing songs. We had three days to record and orchestrate the eleven compositions so the preproduction allowed us to have the time to be creative in the studio and focus on the group interplay and soloing.”
For Egan, interplay and soloing means digging down on his fretted bass
groove lines to lock with the rhythm section and using his fretless electric bass for his signature singing sound that has graced his own recordings since 1985’s groundbreaking and decidedly bass-centric Mosaic. That quality comes across throughout Cross Currents and is particularly evident with him carrying the melody on tunes like ‘Gulf Stream’, ‘Big Sky’, ‘Pocket Call’ and the title track or by his uncommonly lyrical improvising on tunes like ‘Ponchatrain’, ‘Homebrew’, ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Eastern Blue’.
The bassist had high praise for his comrades Shawn and Shane on Cross Currents. “They both came very prepared for the sessions. I had sent them demos along with arrangements with suggestions for solo sections and overdub possibilities, and we rehearsed one day before going into the studio to work things out. Shane and Shawn both brought so much to the table and did their homework by creating and practicing grooves, melodies and instrument choices as well as coming up with great orchestration ideas. They are both so fundamentally strong in everything they do that it made the recording process creative and a lot of fun.”
Egan had previously recorded with Theriot on the bassist’s 2018 album, Dreaming Spirits, an Indian flavored trio project with tabla player/percussionist Arjun Bruggeman. “I loved Shane’s contribution on Dreaming Spirits and thought he would be a perfect fit for the trio on Cross Currents. And though Shawn and I have played together on many sessions in New York over the years, he had never played on any of my records before.”
The three players had actually first established some chemistry on a show backing NYC poet Frank Messina back in pre-pandemic times. “This was late 2019, before the COVID shut down,” Egan recalled. “Frank asked me to recommend people for this show that he was performing in New York City and I recommended Shane and Shawn. There was no rehearsal but just a very loose structure to it all with a lot of improvisation. Frank gave us a lot of room to improvise and play off of his poetry. At one point that evening we were playing trio — just Shane, Shawn and myself. That was the ‘light bulb moment’ for me, when I thought, this is very happening. I want to record a project with this trio. In the fall of 2022 I was in touch with Shane and Shawn about recording a trio project and I started writing songs for the group. Shane also sent me a few of his songs that inspired me to write others in a similar style. We co-wrote ‘Big Sky’ as Shane sent me the song as a demo with acoustic guitar chords and a groove and I wrote a melody and added an extended section for his acoustic guitar solo. Shane also contributed ‘Ponchatrain’, ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Homebrew’. Shawn contributed ‘Nonc Rodell’ which is a tribute to his uncle.
‘Nonc Rodell’ showcases Shawn as a world class groove drummer as well as the depth of his creative drumming abilities. Shawn pre recorded his tracks at his studio with his drums, squeezebox (accordion), and added tenor guitar parts as well. We brought those tracks into Power Station New England studio and Shane and I added guitars and basses on top of Shawn’s prerecorded tracks. It’s a very creative track that features Shawn’s amazing drumming and I love it.”
An in-demand New York City studio musician who has played on multi-gold and platinum-selling recordings by Sting, Arcadia, Marc Cohn, GRP Christmas, Mecano and Joan Osborne, Egan has also recorded with a wide variety of artists from pop stars like Roger Daltry, Sophie B. Hawkins, Marianne Faithfull, Judy Collins, Cyndi Lauper and Art Garfunkel to jazz notables like David Sanborn, John McLaughlin, John Abercrombie, Randy Brecker, Gato Barbieri, Freddy Cole, Pat Martino, Jim Hall, Joe Beck, Mark Murphy and Larry Coryell. A member of the Gil Evans Orchestra for 13 years, he has 14 albums as a leader to his credit and another 10 as a co-leader of Elements, the fusion band he formed in 1982 with his Pat Metheny Group bandmate, drummer Danny Gottlieb.
And now Cross Currents, on his own Wavetone label, may be his crowning achievement to date as Egan continues to push the boundaries of his creativity.
For more information visit markegan.com
New Album: Gerald Cannon, Live at Dizzy’s Club – The Music Of Elvin & McCoy
Celebrated Bassist Gerald Cannon Honors McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones on Live at Dizzy’s Club – The Music Of Elvin & McCoy on January 19, 2024…
Woodneck Records is pleased to announce the January 19, 2024 release of Live at Dizzy’s Club – The Music of Elvin & McCoy by consummate bassist Gerald Cannon. Recorded at the famed Jazz at Lincoln Center venue, Cannon’s latest musical endeavor honors two musical giants: McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones, with whom Cannon proudly played alongside for 14 years, and nine years respectively. Invoking the true essence of McCoy and Elvin, Cannon’s vehicle features an outstanding ensemble of musicians who also shared the stage with these giants: pianist Dave Kikoski, drummer Lenny White, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, alto saxophonist Sherman Irby, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, and trombonist Steve Turre.
Nothing says ‘lineage’ like a congruence of living legends paying homage to two of the great architects of the jazz art form. To tap into the immense spirit of Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner is no simple task, and no one is more suited to lead such an ambitious outing than bassist Gerald Cannon. Cannon has McCoy’s adventurous harmonic ethos and Elvin’s rhythmic invention spun into the very strands of his own musical DNA. The Music of Elvin & McCoy tells a story about Cannon’s musical journey, chronicling his years with Elvin, McCoy and also the time that he spent with pianist Larry Willis in the Roy Hargrove Band. These mentors were revered by Cannon who acted as the common thread in their ensembles for many years.
Over the course of two evenings, June 3 – 4, 2022, at New York City’s iconic Dizzy’s Club, audiences were treated to many moments of passion, grace and soul delivered by Cannon and his esteemed bandmates. Bassist Buster Williams, who shares storied histories with Jones, Tyner and Willis, remarks in the liner notes: “…this is the quintessence of art. It’s no surprise that this is an exceptional recording. These guys know how to breathe, they know how to trust, they create freedom for each other.”
The album begins with Elvin Jones’ “EJ’s Blues”, immediately showcasing the sheer tightness of the rhythm section and the communication taking place between the frontline players, Cannon, and drummer Lenny White. The group then changes tempos and delivers one of Gerald Cannon’s compositional gems – “Three Elders”. This heart-rending composition demonstrates the bandleader’s deep love felt for Jones, Tyner and Willis. Henderson begins the piece with a solo trumpet intro reminiscent of ‘taps’, in honor of these three fallen heroes who paved the way for us all.
The band delivers a spirited rendition of Elvin Jones’ “Three Card Molly”, a tune that originally appeared on Jones’ Genesis album. Cannon offers a rousing, lyrical solo before shifting into one of McCoy Tyner’s classic compositions, “Search For Peace”. The piece features Lovano and Henderson who both masterfully convey a story with their horns over McCoy’s changes. The piece gains its buoyancy through Cannon and White’s impeccable feel. McCoy’s “Blues in The Minor” begins with Cannon and White, and then the ensemble joins explosively. Kikoski offers a brilliant solo, harkening to McCoy’s fourth-filled voicings and pentatonic refrains. Cannon, Kikoski and White are so locked that they appear to be joined at the hip. Lovano and Irby bring a true fire to this piece with their supple melodic invention.
The band continues with another McCoy Tyner piece entitled “Home”. White’s driving cymbal-work brings a crispness to the piece that is perfectly complemented by Cannon’s deep groove and Kikoski’s left hand. On this piece in particular, one can hear, undeniably, the joy that this group feels playing together. Kikoski’s solo is both insightful and elegant, befitting McCoy’s composition. The group explores an array of dynamics and textures on “Contemporary Focus”. A bombastic, densely harmonic melody section leads to driving solos by Lovano, Turre, and Irby. The dynamics shift when Henderson comes in for a solo and is accompanied only by Cannon and later being joined by the rest of the group. A true ensemble piece!
The group concludes the album with the McCoy Tyner classic “Inception”. The piece features Kikoski who really stretches out and demonstrates his melodic acuity, White and Cannon offering a muscular accompaniment.
Gerald Cannon Live at Dizzy’s Club – The Music of Elvin & McCoy acts as a stellar document, not only of two swingin’ evenings at Dizzy’s, but of the continued impact of masters Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and Larry Willis on the jazz idiom. With his immense and singular voice on his instrument, Cannon is the living through-line to the sound of the masters, carrying the lineage of the artform forward into present day.
New Album: Gili Lopes, Algures
Bassist Gili Lopes Creates a Rich Musical Travelogue Bridging Contemporary Jazz and His Brazilian Roots on the Captivating Algures – Out January 12, 2024…
Featuring John Ellis (Sax), Ari Hoenig (Drums), Vinicius Gomes (Guitar), Helio Alves (Piano), Rogerio Boccato (Percussion)
For Brazilian-born composer, bassist, and bandleader Gili Lopes, music is a portal to the world. On Algures, Lopes uses that portal to synthesize his lifetime of experiences into an eight-track travelogue for a modern jazz ensemble. “This album is a sonic portrait of my travels around the world and of the places I’ve visited and lived,” he explains. The result is a firsthand musical telling of his personal journey.
Guiding the way with Lopes is a cohort of masters who bridge Brazilian music and the contemporary jazz scene in New York, where the bassist now calls home. Guitarist Vinicius Gomes and pianist Helio Alves are two of Lopes’ longtime collaborators, both Brazilian players who Lopes says “get the music right away.” On Algures, they’re joined by drummer Ari Hoenig, whose fluid grooves propel Lopes’ compositions, and saxophonist John Ellis, who glides over the grooves with bouncy, lyrical melodic lines. Together, the two “provide that strong, rhythmic New York sound.”
Tracks such as the driving album-opener “Antalya”—which conjures the Turkish city of the same name with its thrilling rhythmic interplay and soaring solos from Gomes, Ellis, and Alves—and “Famara”— on which Lopes connects Berber culture and Afro-Brazilian samba with a supple, springy groove and angular counterpoint while invoking a Canary Island beach—have specific ties to places Lopes has visited.
Elsewhere, the bassist looks deeply at his native country from a unique personal lens. Lopes recalls one of his earliest musical memories, when he would hear brief snippets of percussion band rehearsals coming through the windows of his childhood home. “The wind would bring in only the low frequencies,” he reminisces. “All you could hear was the low end. And it would be this mysterious thing, it would come in with the wind and disappear.”
Those mysterious sounds, he believes, drew him to the bass at an early age, as he tried to evoke the memory of those low frequencies. But the bass would also take him away from Brazil when, at the age of 18, he moved to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In the decades since, he’s lived in Europe and the U.S., performing in 35 countries along the way.
The song “De Longe”—which means “from far away”—uses a rich dramatic arc driven by bass and piano unison lines to create a “reflection of Brazil and the places I was living in Europe,” and serves as a thesis for Algures. Lopes’ personal arrangements of Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes” in the first half of the record, and Milton Nascimento’s “Outubro” on the latter, further elaborate upon the combination of Brazilian groove and knotty contemporary New York-jazz flavors while paying tribute to a pair of his greatest influences, who he calls “some of the most enlightened musical minds of our times.”
On four tracks—“Antalya,” “The Fortress,” “Famara,” and “Barrinha”—percussionist Rogerio Boccato contributes what Lopes calls “a tribal element from Brazil” that melds with the sensitivity and nuance of each player in this elite ensemble to make an “an essential statement” on the composer’s musical experience and reinforces the album’s concept with exquisite finesse. Masterfully recorded by Grammy-winning engineer Marc Urselli at EastSide Sound Recording, you’ll hear every twist and turn along the way.
Follow online at www.instagram.com/giliard_leitzke_lopes
New Album: Professor John, Bass the Music Vol. 1
Bass the Music Vol. 1…
Professor John is releasing his third solo album Bass the Music Vol. 1 on December 13, 2023 on Bandcamp and December 27, 2023 on all other platforms.
The album includes 6 pop songs from artists the Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Glass Animals, Doja Cat and Cardi B, and Justin Bieber. All of the parts of these cover songs were performed on the 7-string bass except for the drums. The bass guitar is featured prominently on this album with Professor John showcasing the instrument’s versatility. Available online at Bandcamp here
About Professor John
John Mallanda aka Professor John is a bassist and producer born and raised in Marietta, GA. John’s parents had him involved early in piano lessons and the middle school band, but music never really stuck for him…until one day when he was 14, he heard the bass guitar played live. Now 35 years old, John has a resume that includes releasing two solo albums, playing bass with various musicians around Atlanta and the southeast, producing hip-hop and R&B instrumental and contributing bass lines to other artists’ music. With this background, John has crafted a unique style of funk that features the bass guitar and is heavily influenced by such artists including Marcus Miller, the Brothers Johnson, Parliament Funkadelic, and Victor Wooten.
Visit online at professorjohnmusic.com
New Album: Yves Carbonne, Tales of the Reconstruction
Back on stage with a new album called “Tales of the Reconstruction”, the French bassist artist Yves Carbonne explains “his 4th album embodies maturity and synthetizes his work over four decades going through the careful reconstruction of each stage to fly the listener to the stars”. With the uniqueness and warmth of his recognizable sound
The bass is offered in all its forms. Yves has made a name for himself as an innovator in the service of an emotional music that never leaves anyone indifferent and that is not intended for musicians only. Under an appearance of simplicity, sophistication is very present and takes the form of very accomplished improvisations. The improvisations have become compositions on which Yves’ guests improvise in turn. A solo orchestral play, as well as an ensemble play that is making one, tell you these tales of the reconstruction.
Yves’ new album features Camélia Ben Naceur, who can be heard with Billy Cobham and was already part of Yves’ group “Seven Waves” at the time of the eponymous album. With Joris Seguin, a trio was born two years ago whose vocation is an electric jazz repertoire which is illustrated in Yves’ compositions “1967” and “More Life”.
Randy Bernsen improvises on “Legacy” which is also the name of the duet formed with Yves for a few years. It’s about the legacy of musicians like Jaco Pastorius, who was Randy’s friend, and Charlie Haden who is Yves’ main influence on acoustic bass. As to Freddy Buzon is the perfect guest for the groove of “Low and Slow”. Stéphane Edouard, who can be heard with Sixun, brings his creativity and communicative joy on “More Life”. Christophe Monniot met in Uzeste in the 90s, and excels in a remarkable improvisation on « Focus”. Joris Seguin is Yves’ current groove partner, the result of this partnership in this album is a blast!
Not only an innovator in the world of bass, Carbonne is an accomplished artist impressing and surprising us one more time with his new fantastic and vibrant album!
For more information, visit online at www.yvescarbonne.com
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