Groove Legacy is the fantastic aptly named LA-based band that is pushing great jazz-funk forward. Their eponymous debut CD is a blend of the tried-and-true in the genre with a contemporary spirit. The band is the construct of bassist Travis Carlton, keyboardist Bill Steinway and saxophonist Paul Cerra. Also essential to the sound is the inclusion of trombonist Andrew Lippman, guitarists Kirk Fletcher and Sam Meek, as well as drummer Lemar Carter. The unit has a fantastic sound that is very much power horns and bass-driven that fuses jazz with blues, rock and funk in a set comprised of original tunes. Adding to the depth and quality of the production are legendary guitarists Larry Carlton and Robben Ford as guests on various tracks. This is an outstanding collective and production that definitely lives up to its name.
Click to listen to a clip of “Odd Couple”:
Tracks: Sweetness (For Walter Payton), Odd Couple, Cornell, The Know It All, Moneybags, Lolly’s Dream, Memphis 40oz Hang, 47 Degree Angle, My Someday Girl, H-Town Hipster .
The members of Blue Muse met as students at Jacksonville University and their sonic camaraderie comes across in their debut release Live. What also comes across is the fact this is a very talented group of musicians. The unit is comprised of Sarah Lee on saxophone, Jonah Pierre on piano and percussion, Jarrett Carter on guitar, Ernie Ealum and Cody Wheaton on basses, Tony Steve on vibraphone and percussion, and Evan Peterson on drums. In a set laden with mostly original compositions, the band’s collective and individual talents shine through, as they venture through their musical mission. A fantastic recording and group worth checking out .
The Pacific Harp Project is something rare, unique and enjoyable. The effort features the harp as the centerpiece of a contemporary music ensemble. The addition of vibraphone to the mix is also a nice twist on the traditional band personnel setup. Megan Bledsoe Ward is the group’s extraordinary harpist. She’s joined by Noel Okimoto on vibes, Jon Hawes on bass and Allan Ward on drums. Performing a mix of originals and wonderfully arranged take on classical pieces by Claude Debussy, Maurice Revel, and Franz Liszt, the ambiance that the unit creates is captivating. Definitely check these guys out.
Click to listen to a clip of “Incognito”:
Tracks: Sonatine, Revenge of the Harpies, Rhapsodie, , Willow Waltz, Sanse Sacrée, Danse Profane, Portrait, Intro & Allegro, Serafina, Un Sospiro, Un Sospiro, First Take, Incognito.