Dena DeRose "Big City" We Won’t Forget You
Dena DeRose is an accomplished pianist and vocalist. She’s also a seasoned educator, having served at the Stanford Jazz Workshop for the past 15 years and at the University of Music in Graz, Austria, since 2006.
Dena suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome and was forced to stop playing piano. This is when she was encouraged to begin signing. Successful surgeries have enabled her to resume playing piano and she has recorded 11 albums as a leader.
Her latest CD is an homage to Shirley Horn (Miles Davis’ favorite vocalist, who passed away in 2005). Shirley and Dena met on a jazz cruise and Horn was impressed with her talent. They both have gentle voices and specialize in ballads, but I’ve chosen an up tempo tune which features Gary Smulyan on baritone sax.
Ada Rovati "Smile" Disguise
Ada Rovatti hails from Italy. She studied classical piano and began playing tenor sax in high school. She was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. Her new CD Disguise features seven originals from this emerging composer plus an interesting reworking of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.” Guest artists on this date include trumpet master Randy Brecker (Ada’s husband), flutist Anne Drummond, and pianist Leo Genovese.
Nicola Conte ft. Marvin Parks "Shades Of Joy" Free Souls
Italian journalist Nicola Gaeta describes Nicola Conte: “An accomplished juggler when it comes to play with styles, capable to invent modern structures, Nicola got used to his ability to blend harmonically different musical worlds and create cooperation between great musicians. Deepness is the added value of this album, something in between consciousness and spirituality.”
Aside from his incredible compositional and arranging prowess, Nicola is a great facilitator and assembler of talent. His new CD spotlights vocalist Marvin Parks. Like Jose James and Gregory Porter before him, Marvin enlivens Nicola’s composition “Shades Of Joy,” with a highly original, unique , and soulful voice. This is another great new release on the Milano-based Schema label.
Horndogz "Movin’ On" #Wooof
Horndogz is a trio of producers who met for the first time in a French funk band called Malika. Eric Rohner (sax), Gil Garin (trumpet), and Rico Kerridge (guitar) make up the Dogz. They welcome great guest artists, including Amp Fiddler, Mary Griffin, Breis, and Fred Wesley on their new CD on the French Uptone Records label.
The Horndogz backed up George Clinton during a 2010 European tour and they have a busy schedule on the European festival circuit this summer. You can hear Clinton’s influence in their originals, as well as that of Curtis Mayfield and other soul icons of the 60’s and 70’s.
The New Mastersounds "When It Rains" Therapy
The New Mastersounds are a multinational funk band hailing from Leeds, England. They play instrumental funk with a retro-soul feel. They have an expanding fan base in England, Europe, and Japan, and have recently toured the U.S. guitarist Eddie Roberts is the group’s stand out soloist. His clean lines remind me of Wes Montgomery and Freddie Robinson, set in a thoroughly modern framework.