Rick Keene Music Scene – Some Great Jazz Albums of 2019

Real music is not always ‘sold’ through mainstream avenues.

That does not mean the albums in question are not ‘good enough’ or not sold through mainstream, it means good music must be sought out.

Here are just a few albums than music lovers should add to their collection. Buy albums, attend shows and keep music alive.

Please Scroll down and listen to selected tracks from the albums.

Michael Eaton
Dialogical

May 3, 2019
Destiny Records

Dialogical is Michael Eaton’s second release. The album is augmented by Lionel Loueke on guitar and vocals. Alongside Eaton on tenor/soprano saxophones is his long-time ensemble consisting of Brad Whiteley on piano,  Daniel Ori on bass and gimbri and Shareef Taher on drums. Also featured is Jon Crowley on trumpet, James Brandon Lewis and Sean Sonderegger on tenor saxophones, Cheryl Pyle on flute, Dorian Wallace on piano, Brittany Anjou on vibraphone and gyil, Enrique Haneine on udu and Sarah Mullins on marimba and triangles. With an emphasis on rhythm and texture, Dialogical fuses modern jazz, minimalism, and world music.

Ralph Peterson
& Messenger Legacy Band
Alive Volume 6 at the Side Door

May 20, 2019
Onyx Productions

When it comes to Art Blakey, there is no living drummer more suited to honoring his legacy than the incomparable Ralph Peterson. As the last drummer chosen by Blakey to play by his side in the Jazz Messengers Two Drummer Big Band, Peterson is tasked with the unique responsibility to carry forth Buhaina’s torch and tradition. On Legacy: Alive Vol. 6 at the Side Door, the mission comes full circle as Peterson and the Messenger Legacy Band mark what would have been the icon’s 100th birthday. Due out on May 20 (RP’s 57th birthday) on Peterson’s own Onyx Productions label, Legacy presents Peterson in the company of five undisputed authorities and alumni of the Blakey tradition: saxophonists Bill Pierce and Bobby Watson, trumpeter Brian Lynch, pianist Geoffrey Keezer, and bassist Essiet Essiet. This double album was recorded live in October 2018 at the Side Door in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

KENNER
8Ball City

May 23, 2019
Self-release 

8Ball City features an array of international musicians including drummersDavid Frazier Jr.Noam Israeli and Diego Joaquin Ramierz, bassist Tamir Shmerling, guitarists Andrew Whitbeck and Nitzan Bar, saxophonists Clay Lyons and Jonathan Greenstein and trumpeter Wayne Tucker.  The album also features two guest masters: Jamey Haddad on percussion (Paul Simon, Yo Yo Ma, Herbie Hancock), and Tamer Pinarbasi on qanun (New York Gypsy All-stars).  This apologetically playful album integrates the soulful and the calculated, with elements of R&B and jazz coming in contact with Kenner’s classical and progressive rock influences. This album combines the grittiness of the real world- the day to day struggle, with the boundlessness of imagination. 8Ball City was recorded at Riro Muzik and Black Lodge Studio in Brooklyn, NY and at Gil Feldman’s Studio in Israel.

Sam Newsome
Chaos Theory: Song Cycles for Prepared Saxophone

June 3, 2019 
Self-release

Sam Newsome’s new solo saxophone recording, Chaos Theory: Song Cycles for Prepared Saxophone appeals to anyone willing to immerse him or herself in what’s before them: Newsome’s innovative approach to the soprano saxophone and contributions to the solo saxophone canon.

While the album is quite obviously a result of Newsome’s unapologetic desire to delve into the sonic potential of his instrument, the saxophonist’s primary concern, first and foremost, is listen-ability. Actively in search of creating music that is both fresh and relate-able, Newsome’s sound palette coddles the ear as it challenges the mind.

Brandee Younger
Soul Awakening

June 7, 2019
Self-release

Surfacing six years after its completion in 2013, Soul Awakening was recorded in 2012 under the direction of producer and bassist Dezron Douglas, and embodies the ambition, vigor and aesthetic ideals of The Brandee Younger Quartet, at and since its inception. A benchmark recording that captures the group’s collective brilliance in its infancy, Soul Awakening is a synthesis of the people, places and moments that impacted Younger most, ahead of the album’s creation. The very first album recorded by the ensemble, Soul Awakening marks the birth of Brandee Younger’s artistic signature and the reemergence of the harp as a pillar of modern popular music.  Brandee will be celebrating this new release at the Blue Note in New York City on May 21 and May 22.

Listen Below to Some Tracks !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Delfeayo Marsalis; Part of Jazz Royalty

We all know the Marsalis clan. Yet – do we?

Delfeayo Marsalis is the unsung hero. The master of arranging, producing, conducting and teaching. He is also no slouch musically either. All the Marsalis’ children were raised with a social conscience and it shines through directly in Delfeayo’s release; Make America Great Again.

Plese listen below to my chat with Jazz royalty. Delfeayo? What’s up?

Rick Keene Music Scene – StringKatz; Putting The ‘Classic’ Back In Classic Rock

Many Rock n Roll musicians are classically trained …

Lawrence Gowan of Styx immediately comes to mind which is ironic since StringKatz, a quartet of stringed instruments, just recorded Gowan’s A Criminal Mind on their new CD.

Music imitating music or music imitating music?

StringKatz are on to something. Rock music is historically ripe in beautiful harmonies and chords. Even Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones’ first manager stated famously the Stones’ music can easily be put to orchestral arrangements. How many times have you heard The Beatles’ tunes in elevator music mode?

Please listen below to my chat with Helga Dathe and Marie – Claude Martel. They are the two violinists in StringKatz. Hear some great tunes as well !

Helga? Marie – Claude? What’s up?

Visit StringKatz here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Gino Vannelli Shines Brightly on New Album

Sometimes – it is worth the wait.

Gino Vannelli ( Montreal’s wayward son) made a rule when he was younger. ‘Never put out music without a purpose …’

That is the reason why it has been over ten years since music fans heard something new from Vannelli. Wilderness Road is the name of the new record and it is a mark of beauty. It is a different sounding Gino yet it still sounds like Gino …

” Well … I can’t sound different …” Laughs Vannelli. ” I am who I am and my style and voice remain the same.”

Wilderness Road is a Bluesy / Americana – themed album and it is exactly the type of recording Gino wanted to do.

” I did not want to do a Jazz or Classical album or anything I had done before. I wanted to explore the rootsy side of things with the focus on storytelling. I had about forty songs written and the ones on the album are the best stories. All the songs were written in the last five years.”

The disc may be ‘ rootsy’ with elements of Blues and Jazz but Gino’s keen ear for perfection and production are what make Wilderness Road a typical Vannelli recording. That unique talent is what made Herb Alpert ( co- founder of A&M Records) sign Gino in the first place. A signature sound which eventually led to twenty million records sold worldwide.

” It is not so much as audio perfection.” Says Gino. ” It is getting an authentic sound. A real sound which comes from the soul. That is what I try to do in the studio.” He laughs. ” My brother Joe has something to do with it also … “

The album is part reflection. Part of an older man looking back but it is also a collection of personal stories and tales which have affected Vannelli in different ways.

The Woman Upstairs is about an abused lady who lived above my wife and I when we lived in Ahunstic. I couldn’t come up with a name for the song when it was done so I asked my wife. She said why not ‘ The Woman Upstairs …?”

Another tale is about the story of a five year old boy whose body was discovered headless. The killer was thought to be found but he was killed in an accident before he could stand trial.

The album is truly about the human condition.

” I saw this woman taking care of her husband, pushing him in a wheelchair. He had Parkinson’s disease or had a stroke.” Says Vannelli of the song Yet Something Beautiful. “I thought of all the unsung heroes in this world like this woman. The love and patience she had. We don’t hear enough stories like this”

Wilderness Road contains many ‘wistful’ ballads containing a Blues’ backdrop. A canvas which tends to arrive when Gino writes songs on guitar.

” When I am writing on my acoustic, the tendency is towards Blues and Folk. Rootsy / Americana sounding songs. Black Cars for example, was written that way but we turned it into an eighties’ sound to fit the times. The original ‘Black Cars’ could easily be on Wilderness Road – it would fit right in …”

Gino’s new album (his 20th) was not made because of a recent trend of older musicians making Blues’ records. (The Stones, Myles Goodwyn (April Wine) and Randy Bachman ( Bravebelt, The Guess Who, BTO) all have recently returned to their roots).

” I don’t know why they made these albums …” Admits Gino.

” If I had to guess I think it is because they want to ensure storytelling and their own expertise in storytelling does not fade away. I think in this day and age – the art of telling stories in songs has been lost. Some artists want to remind people before it is lost forever.”

Vannelli is in his fifth decade as a recording artist and he is not interested in ‘ fitting in’ with the trends or sounds of today.

” I just do what I feel is right. I don’t pretend or aspire to being anything different. After all these years people know who I am. I know who I am and that’s okay for me.”

Vannelli lives in Portland, Oregon and spends time jogging in the mountains to stay in shape. Once a year he gives Master Classes and it was during one of those classes he met a girl from Quebec who travelled to work with Gino. A voice which ended up on Wilderness Road …

Gino will be in Montreal April 26th and 27th.

Listen to The Long Arm of Justice Below

Get Tickets Here !

Visit Gino Here

Rick Keene Music Scene – Dawn Tyler Watson is Mad About Love on Her New Disc !

Dawn Tyler Watson has the throne …

Dawn Tyler Watson

She is Queen of the Montreal Blues scene and is continuing her reign with a great new album.

Mad Love is the name of the disc and features some very special guests.

Please listen below to my chat with Dawn and hear some tunes from the new album

Dawn? What’s Up?

Visit Dawn Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Samantha Kives; Keeping K-Tel Records Alive !

Everyone from the sixties and seventies owned a K-Tel Record.

Philp Kives, the founder of K-Tel products and records was an innovator. One of those few people who come along every couple of decades.

K-Tel Records was the very first ‘streaming’ service. The original Spotify. Amassing hits and not-so-hits into collections on disc. If not for K-Tel Records and Mr. Kives; many artists or music lovers would not exist today.

Please listen below to my chat with Samantha Kives, the daughter of Philip and the current President of K-Tel Records.

Samantha? What’s up?



Visit K-Tel Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Jeff Gunn’s ‘Sonic Tales’ A Must Listen for Every Guitar Player

Adding layers to a canvas sounds easy …

Every artist can add and subtract tones from their work of art. Experimenting and learning tones from around the world and ‘adjusting’ the canvas is an entirely different thing.

On Jeff Gunn’s latest offering ‘Sonic Tales’, exploration is the key. An entry into the sounds of an instrument Jeff has nurtured. Few guitar players have devoted so much time to not only growing themselves as players yet passing that knowledge on to other students.


Please listen below to my chat with Jeff and hear some great tunes from the album Sonic Tales.

Jeff? What’s up?

Visit Jeff Here !