Paul Brown & Marc Antoine Tickets and CDs Giveaway

ForeignXchange from Paul Brown and Marc AntoineContemporary jazz guitar collaborations between label mates have resulted in some memorable recordings over the history of the genre. The first ones that pop in my head are George Benson and Earl Klugh (Collaboration on Warner Bros.) and Lee Ritenour and Larry Carlton (Larry & Lee on GRP). Peak Records joins in on the tradition with Paul Brown and Marc Antoine. Their new release is ForeignXchange. Brown was the go-to producer for smooth jazz for a long time before starting a solo career. Antoine has had a notable smooth jazz career for over 15 years. I’ve heard his beautiful “Storytime” (from Urban Gypsy, one of his first releases) on a PBS Kids sponsor message a number of times.

The recording has guest performances from Philippe Saisse, Gregg Karukas, and Jessy J. The more noteworthy tracks I heard had the horn section of Jerry Hey, “Bill Richenback” (though I think the liner notes mean Bill Reichenbach), and Dan Higgins. If I programmed a Sunday Brunch show, I’d be playing “Foreign Exchange.” Worth mentioning is that Brown and Antoine are both listed as writers of each of the ten songs on ForeignXchange.

You can experience Brown and Antoine live. They’ll be on tour and I’m happy to be able to give away to one lucky person a pair of tickets to the KIFM festival in San Diego on May 23 where Marc and Paul will be performing. The winner will also get a signed copy of ForeignXchange. I’m also giving away a couple of copies of the CD.

To win the ticket and autographed CD, just respond to this post with your favorite Paul Brown or Marc Antoine (or other smooth jazz) song, concert experience, etc. Make sure you include a valid email address so I can contact you with details.

To win a copy of the CD, follow me on Twitter! I’ll direct message two random winners to ask for a mailing address. I love Twitter because I can convey quick information much faster than blogging. That’s my primary method for announcing contemporary jazz news.

This contest ended on Friday, May 1. The winner was notified on Sunday.

Hear “Foreign Exchange” – Quicktime | Windows Media

Review: Tequila Moon from Jessy J

Wow! What a discovery! I was at the Berks Jazz Festival last week. Unfortunately, I was only able to spend two of the festival’s ten days taking in music. Simultaneously I realized that Peak has released the debut of 26-year-old saxophonist Jessy J, who also was to appear at Berks as part of the Guitars & Saxes show. What a debut, from the opening throaty chords of “Tequila Moon,” I knew I was going to like this woman. I’m not sure the last time I’ve gotten this excited over a debut by a young sax player. Jessy J, under the ever-watchful eye of Paul Brown, exhibits maturity on her instrument beyond her age. I can’t help but make the comparison to Grover Washington, Jr. – and that’s a good thing! The album Tequila Moon has a definite Latin lean to it, but in a very sophisticated, intense, contemporary jazz way. This album just feels different – unlike anything that’s been released the last few years – smoky, intense, throaty, complex, and sexy. On top of the blowing, this girl can sing as well! This just might be the best all around contemporary jazz release of the year so far.

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Review: Boney’s Funky Christmas from Boney James

[This is an archived review I wrote at some point between 1997 and 1999.]

Boney's Funky Christmas from Boney JamesThe ads for Boney’s first holiday release call this “the album to put on after you put the kids to bed.” Sure enough, Boney’s Funky Christmas features the seductive grooves you know the saxman for. This is the smoothest Christmas release I’ve heard in the last two years. Boney’s stamp on these songs (mostly traditional holiday tunes) is distinctive and the rhythms and production by his longtime producer, Paul Brown are top notch. Boney is especially tender on the Chris Eaton/Amy Grant composition “Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song).” He has able assistance on the album from guest vocalists Dee Harvey (on “This Christmas”) and Bobby Caldwell (on “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve”). Rick Braun guests on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Although the other eight tracks are in the silky r&b vein, Boney also tries his hand at a stripped down sound with just him and percussionist Paulinho Da Costa on “Jingle Bells.” Overall, this is one of the most solid contemporary jazz holiday releases and one that will be enjoyed for years to come.

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