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lovebeauty RSS Feed (San Diego,CA)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool., February 10, 2011
This review is from: Moonlight (Audio CD)
Smooth Jazz saxophonist Steve Cole has built a strong reputation of one of the genre's most accomplished performers.
Usually he takes a funkier slant on things.
'Moonlight' is a romantic take on the 'American Songbook' though 'Long And Winding Road' is a Lennon and McCartney composition.
My personal favourites are 'Undun', 'The Look Of Love' and 'The Masquerade Is Over'.
I came to know his style, when I heard the fantastic track "Just the Two of Us", with the incomparable vocalist Ms Regina Belle and legendary arranger/pianist/keyboardist George Duke, from the beautiful tribute album To Grover With Love.

Track Listing:
1. Moonlight
2. You Can Close Your Eyes
3. I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over
4. Undun
5. Angel
6. You Don't Know Me
7. Cry Me A River
8. Look Of Love, The
9. Long And Winding Road.

"Moonlight" debuts at # 23 of the Billboard Jazz Chart. Week of February 19, 2011.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 13, 2011 5:11 AM PDT

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A summery, elegant Brazilian affair., December 24, 2008
This review is from: Rio (Audio CD)
There are good records that you will play for a few days, maybe a few weeks before they fade to black. Then you have that great record that you have been playing for weeks. The weeks turn into months and before you know it you have a future classic in your possession that you can't put down.
Till Brönner's new release "Rio" would belong to the latter.
"Calling Till Brönner the new aspiring German trumpet talent is obsolete, since he has sold more records than any other German jazz musician. He plays big time now and is well known on the New York jazz circuit, which itself is top of the crop".- ME SOUNDS/Rolling Stone.
Born in 1971 in Viersen, Germany and raised in Rome, Italy, Till experienced his outset with the help of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker
In the smooth jazz arena there are limited opportunities for exposure. Other than artists such as Chris Botti, Rick Braun and Greg Adams, the list becomes very short. Till is definitely in a very elite group of specialized musicians.
On this album are performing guest-musicians like Melody Gardot, Kurt Elling, Annie Lennox, Sergio Mendes, Aimee Mann, Milton Nascimento, Vanessa da Mata and Luciana Souza.
As the title "Rio" may suggest, the young, handsome and talented 37 year old trumpeter makes an easy dive into the Brazilian music world, recreating in the studio the sensual vibe of bossa nova, taking inspiration from some of the greatest Brazilian classic tunes by legendary Brazilian arists.
You may be a little puzzled by the unlikely mix of Annie Lennox and Milton Nascimento as lead vocalists on "Mysterios", a Nascimento composition, and you may like Till's breathy trumpet sound that stops attractively short of sloppy.
On "Sim Ou Nao", the American vocalist Kurt Elling achieves near mastery and the Brazilian chanteuse (and current wife of producer Larry Kline) Luciana Souza is not too far behind Elling on "Aquelas Coisas Todas".
His interpretation of "Café Com Pao" is beatifully understated.
Till brought out the best his skills could offer. And Larry Kline made sure he was accommodated.
If I were in Larry Klein's shoes, I would have suggested Till to pick up a couple of vocalists who would fit perfectly in this nice album : American/Italian Rossana Casale Jazz in Me and American Regina Belle (check her take of Jobim' "Corcovado" on Lazy Afternoon), who have enjoyed the occasional foray into the Brazilian bossa nova music.
More than just recommended, I encourage a complete & thorough listen the minute you put it in your ipods or CD players. Sit back & chill.
Let the music drift you away...
The result: "a relaxed summer-album with Brasilian music produced by Larry Klein, an all-star-album between Jazz, Bossa Nova, Samba and Pop". Till (trumpet and Vocal) and Larry Klein (producer of ex-wife Joni Mitchell, Holly Cole, Julia Fordham, Mary Black, Herbie Hancock, Luciana Souza, Madeleine Peyroux and Tracy Chapman)) have made an album which displays great renditions, exceptional high quality musical arrangements & 13 tracks of soul-stirring, sensual, elegant performances from the fine line-up of musicians & singers listed above.
Have a pleasant listening.

Bossa Nova

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is what "soulfulness" is all about., November 8, 2008
This review is from: Arrival (Audio CD)
On the footprints of Ashford and Simpson or Womack and Womack, husband-and-wife duo, Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon from Philly release their third set, which is a reiteration of their love for each of other and Soul music.
The album is titled after the arrival of their twin children.
It is quality mainly mid and down tempo Soul /R&B love songs, with great harmonies.
"Can't Help It" is a really great beat ballad that gets better each time you hear it.
"Alright" and "Pressure" are mid tempos with good grooves.
"Just The Way You Are" is a melodic mid tempo, "Rightfully So" and "No Limit" are excellent beat ballads.
"Love We Share" is a mid tempo with a fuller sound, "House Of Love" and R&B ballad and the spoken word "Always Be Arriving", featuring Malik Yusef gives an interesting take on "Rocking You Eternally".
Critically acclaimed as the next big thing coming from Philly after Jill Scott, Bilal, Musiq or Vivian Green, the duo is similar in vibe to their second set, but it is their debut "Surrender To Love" that remains one of the greatest albums of the 00's.
Just listen to the twelve songs of the album and surrender to the freshness and the soulfulness of their latest offering.
There's a great deal of positive energy, creativity, warmth, sincerity in this album.
The soulful duo offer a journey in their everyday life as a couple and ordinary people. The lyrics are full of poetry and honesty, the voices incredibely soulful and they are supported by an admirable band.
This album takes a couple of plays to fully appreciate but is worth the effort.
You will like it.
The album debuts at # 7 of The Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and at # 67 of The Billboard 200.
In This Life Together
Surrender to Love

Lay It Down
Lay It Down
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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, soulful, magical stuff., May 27, 2008
This review is from: Lay It Down (Audio CD)
Al Green drafted in some soulful stars de jour for this project in the shape of Anthony Hamilton, John Legend and Corinne Bailey Rae.
He also brought in hip-hop luminaries Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, from Philadelphia's the Roots, and James Poyser, another big name from Philly.
"With a cherry-picked backing band, which includes the Dap Kings horns (who feature on Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black"), the duo capture Green's familiar laid-back, orchestral groove, while also dropping hints towards "urban" modernism".- Andrew Perry
This should not lead you to think that this is an undignified musical hip transplant for the old master.
The rhythms, the jazzy chord progressions, the aching falsetto and the love-infused subject matter of these songs have much in common with the stellar tracks Green cut in the first half of the Seventies.
Inevitably, though, the songwriting itself can't match the quality of the classics now etched in our memory.
But this is still a fine product from a singer whose capacity to dazzle has barely waned in 40 years.
These arrive most noticeably via a trio of guest vocalists, Anthony Hamilton, John Legend and Corinne Bailey Rae, who each wisely choose to complement, rather than attempt to outgun, their host.
Conceived as a way of uniting Green with a new generation of soul and R&B singers, "Lay It Down" might have been an embarrassing attempt to modernise an old star. Instead, the producer Ahmir Thompson of the hip-hop band the Roots has gone the other way.
The younger musicians have to fit in with Green's laid-back, slow-burning sound, in contrast to the excessive slickness of modern R&B. And while Corinne Bailey Rae sings with jazzy sophistication on Take Your Time and Anthony Hamilton shows how classic R&B can be updated on "You've Got the Love I Need", it's Al Green's voice, so full of humour and joy, that stands out.
The album proves that great soul music need not come at the cost of life itself.
Green's effortless yet ever-astonishing vocal flexings are, again, wrapped around some fabulous co-written songs.
The title track, "No One Like You", and the nimble "Just For Me" are exquisitely seductive.
On "What More Do You Want from Me", meanwhile, Green makes romantic desperation sound like a rather alluring condition.
"Now 62, Green has musical powers that still verge on the magical".
Whatever the commercial outcome, we have a five-star Al Green album on our hands.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2010 3:26 AM PDT

Brazil: Essential Album
Brazil: Essential Album
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential., November 14, 2006
This review is from: Brazil: Essential Album (Audio CD)
There's any number of Brazilian compilations out there, and most of them are good - but this double set is very, very good!

In fact, as the title says, it's essential. The 31 tracks cover a wide sweep of Brazilian music and take in gentle guitar/vocal bossa novas, percussive sambas, brassy celebrations of life, lazy-sounding folk ballads and much more.

The compilers have clearly put the package together with knowledge and love. They've selected accalaimed artists, celebrated songwriters and a mix of well-known and more esoteric songs as their starting point. Naturally Antonio Carlos Jobim is well represented with three tracks of which "Aguas De Marco" (from his seminal "Jobim" album) is typical of his relaxed style. Other well-known names featured include Tania Maria, Astrud Gilberto, Joyce, Jorge Ben, and the Tamba Trio. Tania Maria's offering is her wonderful original version of "Come With Me", which is a lot less urgent than the more famous jazz covers, but because of that it actually implies a latent urgency which which is the more powerful - if you know what I mean.

Astrud Gilberto's inclusion is her Stan Getz-paired version of "It Might As Well Be Spring", while the Tamba Trio's "Mas Que Nada" will forever be associated with those famous yellow and green shirts.

The lesser known material includes some lovely sporific bossa nova vocals like Maria Bethania's "Ambar" and the mightily percussive Timbalada Dance's "Beija-Flor" - and who cares if the vocals are in Portugese - the message is in the music.

The more contemporary side of Brazilian music is represented here by a couple of cuts that wouldn't sound out of place on a modern dance compilation.

Marcos Valle's "Freio Aerodynamic" flies along on the aerodynamics implicit in the title, while Jorge Ben's "Pais Tropical", though a little more subdued, is nevertheless irresistibly rhythmic.

In effect that's the secret of all Brazilian music. Despite its rich variety, it's all down to feeling the rhythm.

Rio Bahia
Rio Bahia
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicate., November 14, 2006
This review is from: Rio Bahia (Audio CD)
Joyce may be one of Brazil's finest singers and songwriters, but she still has a remarkably low profile around US and Europe.

On the eve of another world tour where she'll be playing clubs and small halls comes a reminder of what makes her special.

She can tackle anything from delicate ballads and jazz-tinged bossa nova to more up-beat samba, and there's a delicacy, immediacy and energy to her work that sets her apart.

This set is a tribute to the two music centres of Rio and Bahia.

She's joined by guitarist and singer Dori Caymmi, who wrote many of the songs, including his exquisite collaboration with Chico Buarque, "Fora de Hora".

There's not quite the intensity or range of one of Joyce's live performances, and Caymmi's vocals are not up to his guitar work, but there are some fine moments, from the sophisticated scat of "Joaozinho Boa Pinta" to the gentle treatment of "Saudade da Bahia".

She likes to include the unexpected and "The Colours of Joy" is a tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, sung in English and with appropriate African influences.

Check it out, then see her live.

Sings the Vinicius De Moraes Songbook
Sings the Vinicius De Moraes Songbook
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful homage., November 13, 2006
One of Brazil's greatest voices tackles the back catalogue of one of its greatest songwriters.

Maria Beth‚nia has carved out a distinctive place for herself amongst the pantheon of Brazilian greats of the last half century.

Her love for the dramatic, the theatrical and the unashamedly romantic has earned her a place in the hearts of a devoted fan-base and today, 40 years after her debut show in Rio set her on the path to stardom, she is still one of the biggest names in Brazilian music.

It is also 40 years since she first met the legendary poet, lyricist and co-founder of the bossa nova movement Vinícius de Moraes, an early supporter with whom she went on to forge an enduring friendship.

To celebrate this double anniversary, Beth‚nia has produced "Que Falta VocÍ Me Faz" ( this is the original title of the album), a homage to Vinícius that draws on material from across his luminous career, including his near-mythical collaborations with Tom Jobim and Baden Powell.

Typically, Beth‚nia has sought out material with a dramatic edge. Her selections range from the smooth, confident samba of `Lamento no Morro' to the introspective `O Astronauta'. Her smoky, controlled delivery is complemented perfectly by an expansive musical setting based around sensitive arrangements of piano, guitar and percussion. Unfortunately, the glossy, overwrought strings that Beth‚nia too often relies upon to provide the emotional punch are also present on many of the tracks, needlessly distracting from the otherwise subtle performances.

"Que Falta..." is at its best on songs such as "Modinha" and the closing "Nature Boy" (with brother Caetano Veloso) when the backing is kept simple, allowing the quality of the songwriting and Beth‚nia's remarkable voice to shine.

At moments of undeniable beauty such as these, the set borders on perfection.

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