Marcus Johnson is presenting three new recordings under the brand FLO – For the Love Of.
FLO: Standards covers classics like “On Green Dolphin Street,” “Body and Soul,” “My Funny Valentine,” and “Goodbye Port Pie Hat” and features Johnson, Bobby Lyle, Michael Price, and drummer Lenny Robinson.
Like FLO: Standards, the title of FLO: Romance speaks for itself. It includes a number of Johnson compositions and performances by Johnson and vocal stylings of Frank McComb, Keith Ailer, Alyson Williams, Stoney Ellis, and YahZarah.
The subtitle for FLO: Chill is “lounge vibes and dance grooves with the right touch of jazz.” That got my attention. Johnson adds electronica elements to his music creating some interesting sounds. Some of it falls in the acid jazz category. I’ve already added “Another Planet” to the ContemporaryJazz.com Radio playlist and it won’t be the last cut I pull from this release.
Get more information on the FLO recordings on MySpace. Discs are available only at Circuit City but you can sample and buy digital versions at iTunes:
FLO: Chill | FLO: Romance | FLO: Standards
It’s been over 15 years since I’ve gotten a new Kim Pensyl recording (the excellent Eyes of Wonder). He kind of dropped off my radar. I heard he switched to trumpet but whatever label(s) he was on never did any sort of media push that I saw. He’s back, and on piano/keyboards, with When Katie Smiles on October 26. It’s a contemporary jazz recording, with a guitar/bass/drum/percussion band support.
“As on all my albums, When Katie Smiles is about communicating feelings born of my life experiences. This makes each album something very personal, emotional and expressive, but it also makes me a bit apprehensive since I put myself in such a vulnerable position by sharing my feelings so openly. However, the chance to communicate deeply with listeners is certainly worth the risk. It creates a bond of understanding that I treasure,” explains Pensyl. “My music is a positive light, deeply committed, and is offered with sincerity in the hope it will bring joy to others by sharing part of my life.”
There are a couple of other new releases out today that I didn’t list on my first post. In stores now are the latest recordings from Russell Gunn and George Colligan.
I wasn’t able to quickly find a press release on Russell’s new one but I think the title says it all: Love Stories. There are some samples on Russell’s MySpace page. As I write this, a download was not available at Amazon.com or iTunes. What’s up with that?
Buy it at Amazon.com
George can play many different styles of jazz, from fusion with his Mad Science to acoustic trio. His new Runaway recording has Edward Blanco at AllAboutJazz raving. Check it out now on:
Buy it at Amazon.com
You know how sometimes you’re a huge fan of an artist but their style changes over time? You keep buying their new music because you’re holding on/hoping for what you enjoyed in the past. Fortunately, that is not the case for every artist. George Duke is a constant in the contemporary jazz universe. He’s done other styles but he always comes back to the funk/soul style he loves best. His new Dukey Treats, available tomorrow, is full of soulful vocals provided by some familiar names: Jonathan Butler, Howard Hewett, Teena Marie, Rachelle Ferrell, and more. “I didn’t want to drift too far away from the old school sensibility,” Duke explains. As usual, you’ll find an irresistible track or two – it was the peppy “Are You Ready” for me.
Fans will not be disappointed in Dukey Treats. It’s like a visit from an old friend who hasn’t lost the things you love about him or her.
Buy Dukey Treats now from Amazon.com.
Download it from iTunes
Check out the Concord site for more information.
Aaron Parks has played piano on the last three Terence Blanchard recordings. I’m a big fan of those and the have made certain that the band was mentioned as an integral aspect of them. Now Mr. Parks has his chance to shine with Invisible Cinema, his debut on Blue Note Records. The Boston Globe says “…this is a different sort of piano jazz record… Everything is in this mix: classical influence, bop-based grooves, rock attitude, film-score drama, and hip-hop textures…” I have a press release titled “Jazz Meets Indie Rock on Aaron Park’s Blue Note Debut” and that sounds right. You can judge for yourself: AOL Spinner will be hosting a Listening Party featuring full-album streaming of Invisible Cinema the week of release starting Monday.
For more on Aaron Parks, check him out on MySpace.
Buy the CD from Amazon.com!