Saturday, 21 August 2010


With his rich baritone sound and intelligent, sensual lyrics, Gregory Porter’s star is fast rising on the jazz and soul scene. This highly anticipated debut recording, which features seven compelling originals and four standards, captures the intensity of Gregory’s live performances and establishes him an important new voice in jazz, gospel, and soul. “A fantastic young singer” is the word from jazz icon Wynton Marsalis.
Album Notes
“It’s an album of love and protest,” says Gregory Porter of Water. Love and protest: inextricably twinned emotional drivers of jazz, and primary elements, along with faith and perseverance, of the social and spiritual trajectory of a people. “The full color of jazz is love, its songs of redemption, its power to the people,” Porter says. “It’s pretty and it’s ugly, like the blues, like the people that the music comes from. I think about these things when I’m writing. But when I bring it to fruition, I try to make it feeling.”

Maybe that is why Porter’s compositions, no matter the theme, possess such unerring grace and sweetness. It dwells in the bittersweet nostalgia of love lost, on the opening duet “Illusions” with pianist Chip Crawford; in the desert shimmer and glittering ornaments of “Pretty,” which the ensemble renders with the quicksilver lyricism of a fugue; in the whimsy, light-filled joy of “Magic Cup.” Even the righteous epic “1960 What,” with its succession of horn solos that wax martial or indignant, arcs toward a catharsis in trumpeter Melvin Vines’ plaintive scream.

Beneath it all courses water, the album’s title element and, says Porter, an almost accidental guiding theme that manifested itself as the work took form. The Nile, water of ancestry. The water the slaves crossed in the Middle Passage and in which so many met their end. Baptismal water, the water of belief and redemption. Urban water that rains down onto windows and pavements, tears away grime and gushes angry into gutters. And pastoral water too, the water of morning dew and gentle streams.

“The points in the music in which water comes up, for me, are the most killing moments on the album,” Porter says. But those riverine qualities �— ebb and flow, swell and release �— are hallmarks of the album as a whole, and of the way Porter, as a vocalist, approaches a single song. “I’ll start big and go down, start small and get big �— there’s an emotional arc I go through, and I try to have a beginning, a middle and end to each song.” Blessed with great texture, warmth and control, he can cast away the crutches of formalism, and moan and holler or whisper and hesitate before bringing it all back home.

The blues is overt on Water. So are gospel and soul. Addressing these core seams of American music is as important to Porter as is appreciating the jazz songbook or the legacy of his hero Nat King Cole. In the textures of church and country dwell the echoes of Porter’s childhood in Bakersfield, CA., a place where agriculture and opportunity drew Black folks from the South.

“That’s where I got the gospel rearing I have,” Porter says. “Outdoor services in the dirt, a woman from Texas with three gold teeth in her mouth, singing her heart out. I don’t know if I would have got that if Bakersfield was slicker.” The place owned a kind of rough beauty: “Mornings the sun was bright and we’d go out and lie on some cement, there were birds and lizards and the smell of jasmine and honeysuckle, the water in the gutter seemed like it was a stream.”

Porter’s music still brims with this keenness to the lyricism of small things. He carried it through his training, the years of musical theatre in regional productions and a long Broadway run of “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues” that established him on the New York scene. His artistic pantheon includes Cole, Joe Williams, Jimmy Witherspoon, King Pleasure but also Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gave.The a cappellas of Mahalia Jackson inspired his solo delivery of the classic “Feeling Good,” this album’s coda.

An old soul, Porter could not help but turn Water into a generational encounter, anchored by the stirring contribution of the great James Spaulding on “Black Nile” and “Wisdom,” a song of deep spiritual force. Crawford and Vines represent the new old-heads; the rest of the band are young guns on the New York scene. They recorded in a big open room, running the tunes down straight, top to bottom: “I wanted to get a live sound, the feeling of this music just coming together,” Porter says. “Any cool things that happened, just happened. That’s the way it went down.”

These days, Porter makes his home in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn; when he’s not on tour, he’s often found in Harlem, stirring the hip, diverse crowd at the venerable St. Nick’s Pub. The city has changed; so has the country, and even the music as well. What Gregory Porter knows, and shares in his music, is that the spirit and the beauty remain.

-- Siddhartha Mitter

SPOTLIGHT ON The Mark Craddock Trio featuring Ken Sadak CDGoodbye Blue Monday

Album Notes

all songs written by MARK CRADDOCK (Fred James Music) BMI

Produced by Steve Hohn for Bluesland Productions
Executive Producer - Fred James
recorded & mixed at Fishin' Hole Recording Studio by Steve Hohn
mastered at Bluesland Studio by Fred James

Mark Craddock - Saxophone
Tom Reid - Bass
David Zehring - Drums
with special guest Ken Saydak - Keyboards

THE MARK CRADDOCK TRIO is actually the backup band for legendary Chicago keyboard player Ken Saydak. Ken has recorded for Rounder, Delmark and Evidence Records and has backed virtually every major Chicago Blues artist of the last 30 years, including Johnny Winter, Otis Rush, Muddy Waters, Lonnie Brooks, Mighty Joe Young and Sam Lay. Ken was gracious enough to guest on the first solo effort by Mark and the band.

The Mark Craddock Trio hails from Southern Colorado, but Mark made a name for himself in the 1980s on the West Coast where he appeared regularly in the house band at John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom Room. Drummer David Zehring is originally from the Kansas City area but toured with Ann Margret in the early 1960s. He worked with KC jazz legend Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson in the 1970s and more recently with Nashville blues artists Fred James and Mary-Ann Brandon. Bassist Tom Reid has been a fixture on the Colorado music scene for many years and has worked regularly with Taxim Records recording artist Steve Hohn, leader of the band The Taints and producer of this CD. The MC3 has one foot firmly in the grand tradition of the 1960s sound of Blue Note and Prestige Records, and the other in the current "Jam Band Jazz" sound pioneered by Medeski, Martin & Wood.

The Mark Craddock Trio featuring Ken Saydak may be filed under "Jazz", but there is much to like for fans of any kind of funky music.

Saturday, 5 June 2010


Six String Evolution
"Archibald's Dance" (mp3)
from "Six String Evolution"
(Resonance Records)

Andreas Öberg is quickly becoming one of the most admired jazz guitar players on the planet, and Six String Evolution, his second CD for Resonance Records, represents yet another remarkable step in his international ascendance.
Andreas Öberg is quickly becoming one of the most admired jazz guitar players on the planet, and Six String Evolution, his second CD for Resonance Records, represents yet another remarkable step in his international ascendance.
Beverly Hills, CA

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Monday, 15 March 2010


Margot Roi winner of the 2008 "Best Female Jazz Artist" awarded by the Toronto Exclusive On-line Magazine! Margot is a  New York City featured artist.
Margot has been recently given an award by Billboard World Song for one of her original songs "A Place For Me". It has also been included in the CD compilation "Songs of Canada 2008:Anthology of Canadian Songwriters". Margot was given the "Song Writers Universe Best Song of the Month  for "A Place For Me"
Hamilton ON, native Margot Roi combines both her artistic and musical background to create an unique flexible style of language resulting in a mesmerizing effect.

Margot's current CD release 'A Place For Me' is an eclectic collection of jazz and contemporary songs that approach the subject of love from every possible perspective to affirm a place in your heart! Margot arranged traditional and contemporary standards including the Beatles, Gordon Lightfoot, Cole Porter and her original compositions to reflect her diverse musical nature. Recorded with Toronto's top jazz musicians: Kelly Jefferson, Reg Schwager, William Carn, Mike Downes, Ted Warren, Brian O'Kane, Mark Kelso, Ted Quinlan, John Johnson, Alan Hetherington, Will Jarvis and Anthony Panacci. This CD has been playing on many international radio broadcasts and has charted in the top ten both in the USA and Canada.

"This vocalist possesses an authoritative delivery that is counterbalanced with sincerity and her emotively generated lyricism..." -Glenn Astarita -ejazznews.

Margot Roi delivers a pronounced and powerful performance with an exuberant, unfettered approach.
"When  I perform vocally, I want the audience to experience a little fun. I choose lyrics that intensify the emotive colourations of my interpretive style, to further inhabit the textured atmosphere laid down by the other musicians."
Margot has studied music at the University of Windsor, ON and vocals at The Academy of Canadian Vocals. She has also studied with The Toronto Singing Studio,Bob Mover and Mitch Seekins and The Toronto Singing Studio. Margot Roi has studied piano and learned the guitar, autoharp, and ukulele at her father's knee and of course played the trombone in her High School Band!
Margot Roi delivers her infectious, personable performances at festivals, concerts, art openings,corporate affairs and intimate jazz venues.

" The sparkly, effervescent and yet substantial vocals of singer Margot Roi will blow you away. Her lively stage personality engages music lovers of all ages." -Megan Morgan - Press Photographer

I will perform as a duo, trio, quartet or quintet
Margot Roi: vocals
Ross MacIntyre, Jordan O'Connor: acoustic bass
Mark Kieswetter : piano
Jeff Halischuck, Glenn Anderson: percussion
Kelly Jefferson, Richard Underhill: Saxophone
Trumpet: Brian O'Kane
"A Place For Me" CD

Many tracks from this album have been on radio rotation internationally.
Official Website Margot Roi

Friday, 12 March 2010


Jazz vocalist Sarah DeLeo takes the best from the masters and combines it with her own signature style to produce a sound that is both timeless and fresh. One hears her singing and is swept away to another time, and yet her powerful presence as a musical storyteller is thoroughly in the here and now: No matter the song, she delivers each lyric in such a personal way that the listener feels as if they are hearing their own stories. Her tireless exploration of many different styles of music yields fascinating results when it comes to song choices and arrangements, and her inventive melodic improvisation makes every restatement of a tune’s melody thoroughly engaging – nothing’s ever the same twice.

Sarah has been compared to many legendary singers including Shirley Horn, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, Julie London, and Sarah Vaughan. She has lit up the crowd with her natural charm and grace at venues such as Cornelia Street Café, Detour, and Rockwood Music Hall. Audiences are enraptured by her unique voice (once referred to as her "calling card"), her exquisite phrasing, and her heartfelt interpretations of ballads, which have been described as "beyond her years". Simply put, her sumptuous, satiny sound and crystal clear diction turn every performance, whether live or on disc, into an intimate and moving affair.

Her current project, I'm in Heaven Tonight, celebrates the music of the 1950s and 60s, and was officially released on January 27, 2009.

Vocalist-led ensemble with guitar or piano and bass, sometimes percussion and horn.

I'm in Heaven Tonight - Released 1/27/09
The Nearness of You - Debut CD, Released 10/1/05
Tracks from both recordings have received air play on over 100 internet and broadcast radio stations.


Monday, 22 February 2010




For over 15 years, Rare Blend’s music resonates with purists as well as those who embrace a progressive multi-genre approach to original instrumental music. Pulling from a variety of influences and musical styles, Rare Blend continues to receive favorable press reviews, and radio airplay, performing at a variety of concerts and outdoor festivals, and have been invited to be included on regional and national compilation discs.
Because of their diversity and growing catalog of music, Rare Blend can be found performing on bills that range from Jazz to jam band, fusion to progressive rock. They have shared bills or have opened for the likes of David Sanborn, Special EFX, Ozric Tentacles, Tunnels, Dark Star Orchestra, Kevin Eubanks, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Spyro Gyra, Frogg Cafe, Los Lobos, and others...
Started in 1993, Rare Blend (Samalot / Holt), released their debut independent CD entitled Cinefusion as a duo. Recorded and produced by Vic Samalot and Bobbi Holt, Cinefusion received local, national, and even international college radio airplay and was performed live in small intimate venues in Ohio.

In 1998, Rare Blend expanded to a four piece with bassist/composer Jeff Scott and drummer Paul Stranahan. As a quartet, Rare Blend added additional musical texture to the original concept and took the live performance to a new level.

CD album recordings added to the catalog to date:
• INFINITY (2000)
• STOPS ALONG THE WAY  (2006) Introduced veteran drummer (Fayreweather, Tie Die Harvest, and Wish You Were Here) Vince Broncaccio, whose talent brought a fresh nuance to the group during 2005 and 2006.
• SESSIONS  (2009) With veteran drummer Ivan George, whose fusion style influenced by Billy Cobham and Dennis Chambers has brought the improvisational edge to the RB fold since 2007.

Rare Blend continues to write, record, and perform at various concert clubs and outdoor festivals throughout the year and is looking forward to incorporating on the spot improvisations to audiences in 2010.

Rare Blend have released their 5th CD album Sessions, an impressive 14 track disc of live recordings from stage and studio. Unlike the groups previous CDs, Sessions highlights Rare Blends one takes, and in the moment jam-fusion instrumentals.
Sessions features new songs and improvisations from shows in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and in-studio improvs recorded at Odyssey Studios in Cleveland. Also included are selections from a taping for the Crooked River Groove television program (title track - Hipster Spinster), as well as performances during their 2008 Bridging The Gap music/film series against the backdrop of such classic films as; Phantom of the Opera and Metropolis.

Sessions is now available at CD Baby
InstrumentationVic Samalot - Electric and acoustic guitars
Bobbi Holt - Keyboards and vocals
Jeff Scott - Bass
Ivan George - Drums & Percussion
DiscographySessions - 2009/ 2010
Stops Along The Way - 2006
Evolution Theory -  2002
Infinity - 2000
Cinefusion - 1995
Purchase RB CD's at CDBaby
Apple iTunes


Gini Wilson, known as The Duchess, is legendary in the Bay area as a brilliant jazz pianist, entertainer, and composer. In concerts and interviews she is also noted for her irreverent sense of humor . She is the Director and, with reedman Steve Heckman, the co-founder of The San Francisco ChamberJazz Quartet.
When not performing at concerts and festivals with the group, Gini performs regularly at well-known Bay area clubs such as Kuumbwa, Jazz at Pearls, and many jazz clubs in San Francisco. She has done many television and radio projects and was a regular on the NPR radio show “West Coast Live”. She has been the Music Director for many clubs and musical projects in the Bay Area. She studied classical piano (M. Music) and studied composition with the American master George Crumb before dedicating herself primarily to jazz.

Gini Wilson is well known as the Director and Co- Founder of the San Francisco ChamberJazz Quartet. Now she has released an album of solo piano jazz containing the same elements as the SFCJQ: technical virtuosity and poignant lyricism.

Review of The Crossing Point :
“Wilson is a highly trained musician who is informed by the best elements of classical music and jazz. Emotion-drenched chord progressions,... and effortlessly floating harmonies are just a few of the tools she employs to convey her deeply personal musical statements. Wilson's precise execution sounds nothing short of regal …”

- Ken Hohman, All About Jazz.
Best of the Vintage contains gorgeous arrangements of some well-loved jazz standards, two bossa novas by the famed composer Amandio Cabral, two pop songs and some emotionally moving originals by Gini Wilson.

CDBaby :

Saturday, 13 February 2010



Since her debut performance at the Glasgow Jazz Festival in 2003, Faith Gibson has performed at jazz clubs and concerts in the UK and in Cologne, Bonn and Berlin, Germany and recorded her first CD You Don’t Know Me.

Faith has also studied with Silvia Droste, Judy Niemack and Sheila Jordan. In addition to writing her own songs, she collaborates with jazz composer Christopher Morse of Now Standards Music, Brooklyn, NY. She also operates her own internet radio station, Blossom’s Vocal Jazz, which was chosen Editor’s Pick on and has a loyal fan base of listeners around the world. Faith’s second CD, Big Moon, was released on June 15, 2009 and can be heard on radio stations in North America, Europe and (even) Australia.

Faith grew up in Pittsburgh and Miami, where she studied piano and flute, listened to a wide variety of music, and sang in her high school’s concert chorus. At Florida Southern College, she sang in the chorale and with the pop ensemble Southern Singers. However, it would be some time before Faith pursued a career as a jazz singer as she felt too shy to sing alone in front of an audience.

“A point came when I realized it was ridiculous to allow shyness to deny me things I always wanted. I began venturing outside myself and onto stages, first with ‘Lipstick,’ a vocal trio, and finally as a soloist.”

She attended the Fionna Duncan Vocal Jazz Workshop in Glasgow, Scotland, which gave her important tips and confidence. “I went away from that week knowing I was a jazz singer.” 

Faith Gibson�s new CD "Big Moon" was released on June 15, 2009 on the independent jazz label Capricopia

CD on Sale at CD BABY
CD on Sale at AMAZON

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


FortunaRoni Ben-Hur
"Guess Who" (mp3)
from "Fortuna"
(Motema Music)

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Esquema NovoMeirelles e Os Copa 5
"Esquema Novo" (mp3)
from "Esquema Novo"
(Dubas Musica)

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SerenataOswaldo G. Pereira
"Serenata" (mp3)
from "Serenata"
(Dubas Musica)

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Tempo Bom Com ChuvaFoco
"Super-8" (mp3)
from "Tempo Bom Com Chuva"
(Dubas Musica)

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With influences ranging from Wayne Shorter to Radiohead, Deerhoof to J Dilla, The Worst Pop Band Ever is a Toronto based group that tries to combine a love of improvisational jazz music and “indie pop”. Individually, the WPBE has worked with the who's who of Canadian and international musicians (see personnel), but together, whether it be blending acoustic bass with turntables or analog synths with the saxophone, the WPBE sets out to twist and bend both originals and covers, straddling genres and butting heads with expectation.
They have played festivals and clubs throughout North America including the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival, the Ottawa Jazz Festival, IAJE, NXNE, as well as clubs like the Rex in Toronto, Schuba's in Chicago and the Beat Niq in Calgary.
They have shared stages/ toured with the Bad Plus, Happy Apple, Jeff Parker of Tortoise, Shannon Butcher, Rich Brown, Rich Underhill, Erik Hove, Elizabeth Shepherd, Seamus Blake and Kelly Jefferson.
Most recently the band finished a mini tour of the west where they played to packed houses promoting their latest CD, "Dost Thou Believeth in Science". The album has received national and international rotation and even reached # 1 on the Toronto College Radio Charts and has received numerous glowing reviews including from All About Jazz.

Their music has also been used for film and video, including work for the United Nations, Disney, Teletoon, CBC and the National Film Board. They played on the soundtrack for the multiple award-winning animated short, "Flutter." (NFB/PPF Multimedia Production) and most recently provided music for the NFB's tribute to Governor General Award Recipient, dancer, Peggy Baker.

Drew Birston - bass
(Amanda Martinez, Sarah Slean, Sultans of String, Chantal Kreviazuk, Lori Cullen, Justin Hines)
Chris Gale - saxes
(Shuffle Demons, Brandi Disterheft. Rich Underhill, Tyler Yarema, Ron Sexsmith, Blue Rodeo, Dione Taylor)
Leo37 - turntables
(Soliva, Magnolius, Abyss)
Tim Shia - drums
(Rich Underhill, Amanda Martinez, Suzie McNeil, Laila Biali, Milosh, Rhonda Stakich)
Dafydd Hughes - keys and electronics
(Feist, Esthero, Julie Crochetiere, Jacksoul, James McCollum)
Adrean Farrugia - Keys (Matt Dusk, Jefferson/Grant Quintet, Curtis Fuller, Reg Schwager, Brad Goode)


1) Thanks for Coming Out - 2006
- Giant Things by the Side of the Road
- Army of me (Bjork)

2)PPF House Bassment Suite (Sampler) - 2007
- Chroe or Gloe
- Those Crazy Hens
3) Dost Thou Believeth in Science - 2009
-Elizabeth Shepherd, Rhonda Stakich and Rob Ritchie

4) PPF Neighbourhood - Benefit for Haiti
- featuring Elizabeth Shepherd, Amanda Martinez, Brian MacMillan, Vangel and Milosh

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