The Franchise is in full effect! We’re talking about the
Hidden Beach All-Stars and they’re spanking brand
new CD, “Unwrapped Vol. 3”. For all you folks
unfamiliar with the series, Hidden Beach Recordings
is the label that pioneered the jazzy remakes of hit
hip-hop jams. The All-Stars are jazz musicians that
take turns creating the funky remixes.
Volume 3 continues the tradition of the slamming club
sequencing/segues that make the project unique. This time out, the All-
Stars bring us a funkified version of 50 Cent’s anthem “In Da Club”, with
Hidden Beach’s Jeff Bradshaw blowing on the trombone, while “P.I.M.P”
gets an exotic treatment, featuring Jeff Lorber on keyboards.
Mike Phillips and his sax keeps the rhythm hot, as he stretches out on
Lauren Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing), and Outkast’s instant classic “The
Way You Move”. Be sure to check out Snoop’s “Beautiful” and a really
smoothed out version of Slum Village’s “Tainted”, featuring Larry Dunn
on guitar and a blazing vibe solo by Richard Turner.
This edition of “Unwrapped” pays tribute to Tupac, Biggie, and Jam
Master Jay with individual medleys of their hits.
Get wrapped up in, “Unwrapped Volume 3”, brought to you by the funky
and smooth Hidden Beach All-Stars.
|Gerald Albright "Kickin' It Up"
Kickin’ It Up” is the title of the latest CD from vet
saxman Gerald Albright. It’s a fine smooth jazz outing,
mellow, yet funky.
With so many saxophone players on the scene today,
it’s hard for a performer to stand out. Gerald over the
years has developed a large following
Is his music selections better than the rest? Probably not. Perhaps it’s
his soul that makes the difference. The way he blows the horn. The
intangible, that we call personality. What ever it is, he’s got it.
“4 On The Floor” kicks off the set, rocking us gently. “To The Max”
continues the cool groove, while “Throw Yo Hands (In The Air), “On The
One” and “Kickin’ It Up” bring the funk to the party. When it’s time to
cool down, “Why Georgia”, “Father’s Lullaby”, and a nice rendition of
Harold Melvin’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” are the cuts to turn to.
Looking for some smooth jazz to help you make it through a carefree
summer day, throw on “Kickin’ It Up” by Gerald Albright.
|Mia Miata’s “Urban Arias"
This next artist provided me the wonderful dilemma, of
determining which column to include her review.
After multiple plays, I settled on jazzy rhythms. With
that behind me, let me introduce you to this impressive
Mia Miata’s “Urban Arias” is an excellent work. It’s jazzy, and spiritual,
with mesmerizing lyrical prose delivered by a powerful vocal instrument.
Mia is the total package! She reminds me of Dianne Reeves, Cassandra
Wilson, and Sarah Vaughan. Her rhythm arrangements are refreshing,
embracing all that is good about jazz, gospel, and R&B.
“Jazzy Soul a la Mode” is a flowing musical definition of this CD. “Urban
Aria” is a moving interpretation of the spiritual “Lord, How Come Me
Here” which invoked memories of Mahalia Jackson. “Be U” urges you to
respect yourself, forgive yourself, be yourself. “Promise Land” and
“Birth To The Earth” are statements of inner strength and the discovery
of self worth.
I could continue but it would just be more positive proclamations. This is
an uplifting, thought provoking, soul-searching musical experience. Sung
to the key of life, “Urban Arias” by Mia Miata
Visit her site to hear samples of her music www.miamiata.com
|Ronald Turner and Fashion Statement "It's All About Love"
“It’s All About Love” is the latest release from Ronald
Turner and Fashion Statement. If you’re looking for
soothing smooth jazz rhythms, this CD is worthy of
Whether you like your jazz mellow, bouncy, or a little on the funky side,
there’s something on this project for you. The title track “It’s About
Love” (be sure to check out the alternate vocal version) gets things
started with a cool laidback groove, which continues on “Song For A
Queen”. The mid-tempo flow of “Real Chocklett”, and “Ebonically
Correct” provide cruising music for that summer drive to nowhere. “Take
Me As I Am” featuring La Van Davis on vocals is the slow jam standout,
while “Pocketslam”, and “Mr. Gary (Slam Dunk) bring some funk to the
“It’s All About The Love”, new music from of Ronald Turner & Fashion
|James Hollihan “The Funky Misfit”
James Hollihan’s “The Funky Misfit” is an interesting
title for a jazz CD. Due to his extensive touring and
session work with pop/rock artists for years, the
release of this CD must have thrown everybody for a
loop. “The Funky Misfit” was written, produced, and
arranged by James.
This is a fun listen for jazz fans. The traditional sound remains me of the
era that I really embraced jazz. I remember the old CTI Records with Bob
James, Hubert Laws, Grover, Deodato, George Benson, and the crew.
The CD starts out with “The Funky Misfit”. I guess you can figure out
what it’s all about from the song title. “Groove DeVille” continues the
funky groove, and then we shift down a gear to “Across The Desert Sky”
a groovy piece with some Hammond organ in the mix. The project’s
mellower cuts are the centerpiece of “Misfit” You’ll enjoy “The Hush Of
Love”, Cypress Shores” and Latin influenced “It Come From Brazil”
Real jazz lovers take note of “The Funky Misfit”, mainstream jazz from
James Hollihan. www.nuevotron.com