Showing posts from May, 2018

Don Braden - Earth Wind And Wonder, New Interpretations of Songs by Earth Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder; Jazz Doesn't Get Any More Joyous Than This

Photo by Chris Drukker For a musician of Don Braden's accomplishment, there wouldn't seem to be a project more potentially enjoyable, thrilling, and fulfilling as creating new jazz interpretations of Earth Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder songs. According to Braden, Earth Wind and Fire and Stevie Wonder captured my teenage heart, mind and soul and have not let go. The messages within their music – built around core themes such as strength, love and joy -- are imbued with African-American spirit, and yet embody a wide variety of human emotions and experience. They are delivered with power, artistry and elegance via memorable and singable melodies, rich harmonies, compelling lyrics, infectious grooves, outstanding arrangements and superb performances. Happily, the commercial success of these great artists reflects their brilliance. Don Braden is a native of Louisville, KY where he picked up the saxophone at a very young age and began playing professionally by age fifteen. N

Caitlyn Smith, World Cafe Live, 4/14/2018; Smith Brought Her Starfire Tour To Philadelphia Which included Her Road Band and Opener Andrea Davidson

Photo: Caitlyn Smith brought her Starfire tour to Philadelphia playing the upstairs venue at World Cafe Live on Saturday night April 14th. The tour brought together two songwriters from Nashville for an evening of fine music (more on Andrea Davidson's opening set below). Smith drew a great deal of her set from her newest album Starfire . She offered lots of stories and talked about her career quite freely during the show. Smith grew up in Minnesota and began performing in and around St. Paul. She talked about this during the intro to her song "St. Paul". Eventually, she moved to Nashville and for the past eight years has worked as a songwriter, writing material for other singers. Although she didn't play much from this catalog, she did pull out one gem saying that she wrote it with Meghan Trainor a couple of years before Trainor hit the big time. This song, "Like I'm Gonna Lose You", wound up being recorded by Trainor with John Lege

Bluebirds of Paradise - Balcony, A Jump To Lightspeed On This Exquisite Second EP

Photos courtesy of Bluebirds of Paradise Bluebirds of Paradise is a project of singer/songwriters Chrissi Poland and Ari Hest who formed the group to express their mutual affection for the marriage of Brazilian jazz and pop known as Bossa Nova. They released their first EP, In A Night , in 2015. Producing themselves this time, the Bluebirds convened some familiar faces to record within the friendly confines of The Carriage House in Stamford, CT. Joining Poland (vocals, Rhodes) and Hest (vocals, guitars) were returning musicians Will Lee on bass, Doug Yowell on drums and percussion, and Gary Schreiner on chromatic harmonica. In addition, Dave Eggar (cellos) and Aaron Heick (tenor sax) made their Bluebirds debut on Balcony . All songs were written by Poland and Hest. The recordings were engineered and mixed by Brendan Muldowney at The Carriage House. Additional vocal recording was engineered by Carl Barc at The Distillery in Brooklyn. Before we continue, click on track one "Je