Latest R&B News and Smooth Jazz Update June 18
Music festivals are probably the single greatest invention in history. What, are you laughing? Usually they take place in the summer/early fall when the weather is nice, and the festivals always feature top flight artists, which makes it a non-stop party.
Back in the day, the Budweiser Superfest was the premium festival. Some of the names that come to mind are Jesse Johnson, Lakeside, Teena Marie, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Atlantic Starr, Rene & Angela. It was just insane.
Thankfully, the festivals are still happening, and there are still a few that have nice lineups.
Those of you in Atlanta will have theKISS 104 Flashback Festival 2017, and it will be happening on August 12. The Lakewood Amphitheatre will be the scene, and there will be a nice mix of acts for your musical pleasure.
Here is the lineup:
- The Isley Brothers
- Keith Sweat
- Kid ‘N Play
- Evelyn Champagne King
I don’t know about you, but I cannot believe that the Isley‘s are still out there doing it! They have been out there since 1959.
What about Keith Sweat? He and Teddy Riley started the New Jack Swing movement with the Make It Last Forever album.
Kid ‘N Play brought us comedy along with their music. In case you forgot, go back and check out the House Party films. They had a nice run with that franchise in the 1990’s
For those of you that are into DiscoFunk, Evelyn King is one of the originators. I dare you to play Love Come Down or I’m In Love. Those tracks will get you in the mood to party.
I still remember the first time that I heard the song Someone To Love. It was from an unknown vocalist called Jon B., and it also featured Babyface. As I was listening, I said to myself, I thought this was a Jon B song, as quite frankly, it just sounded like Babyface.
I immediately listened to the song several times to figure out the skinny on this issue. I finally started to hear the differences in the two voices, but I was like, MAN! This is a singer!
The fact that he was endorsed by Babyface did not hurt either.
Since then, Jon has released several hits, including Are U Still Down, They Don’t Know, Don’t Talk, Don’t Say, and my favorite, Pretty Girl.
By the way, there’s a great remix for the track Don’t Say. It is the Love Hangover Remix, and it has that classic Diana Ross groove behind it. Check it out below and let me know what you think. I know it’s old, but it is still hot!
I know you still like those infectious grooves, and Jon will be performing spot dates in 2017, so be sure to go see him live if you get the chance.
One more thing, if you did not see the Unsung episode that premiered on January 19th, you can check it out here:
Swedish keyboardist Mattias Roos is set to release his full-length album, Movin’ Up on June 12. This is a ten track effort under the Skytown Records label. Roos takes care of the writing, arranging and production for the album. Special guests include Elan Trotman and U-Nam.
Mattias Roos Movin’ Up Album Review
The set opens with the title track, and Movin’ Up features the one of today’stop jazz guitarists, U-Nam. This is a great track to open the album. It is an uptempo song, and it shows off Roos’ piano chops. Take It Higher breaks it down a little, giving us a mid-tempo groove, and I nominate this track as the second single off the album.
Midnight Drive is up next. This is another uptempo song, and in addition to the fine piano lead, Roos gives us a synthesizer solo that adds some late ’80’s flavor to the track. If you want a nice, romantic track, then From Me To You is the one that you want. I especially like the sounds of the string parts. The mini guitar solo toward the end is not bad either.
This is one of those tracks where you can make up your own lyrics and sing along.
Go ahead, try that out. I know I am not the only one who does that!
The pace slows down a little with Just Between Us. Elan Trotman make a guest appearance on the track. Trotman’s saxophone plays nicely with Roos’ piano stylings. This is an R&B track that you will definitelyadd to your playlist.
You’re My Everything is another mid-tempo track, and it features trumpeter Markus Asplund. I have said this on many occasions, the music is always better with horns. Wind instruments just add a layer of goodness! Touch The Sky is a track that is all about the piano. This isthe song where you will appreciate Roos’ piano playing skills.
Sunset View brings up the tempo once again. Like the previous track, Sunset View also showcases Roos at his best. Stay For A Whileis an interesting track, as it has an airy sound. It is almost New Age in nature, but it still has a funk edge to it. I know that sounds counter intuitive, but once you hear the track, you will understand.
The set rounds out with City Nights, and ittakes us home with it’s infectious, uptempo groove. We definitely like the guitar solo. Overall, the guitar works really well with Roos’ piano style. We need more of that pairing on the next album.
Here is a quick video where you can sample a couple of tracks:
There aren’t a lot of good piano-based jazz albums right now. Movin’ Up is an album that fills that void. Look for it on your favorite listening program or radio station.
You can order Movin’ Up here:
We love to give you the skinny on the different entertainment options that are available. We especially like the cruises, because you can eat, drink, and be merryfor several days at a time.
Save the dates: January 27th February 3rd. This is whenBlue Note At Sea 2018 will take place. The Blue Notebrand is iconic, with it’s record label and the New York nightclub. It is only fitting that Blue Note is involved in one of the top music themed cruises.
There are several cruise types to choose from, so why not select one that involves some of the top artists in the genre?
Here is the music lineup:
What are the ports of call for this trip?
The cruise sets sail from Ft. Lauderdale on January 27th. Here are the ports of call:
- January 29th Labadee, Haiti
- January 30th St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
- January 31st San Juan, Puerto Rico
- February 2nd CocoCay, Bahamas
- February 3rd Ft. Lauderdale, FL
There are currently eight different stateroom options available, and the price range is between $2350 and $4450.
There are payment plans available, so you can drop a deposit to secure your spot on the cruise.
Here are the amenities that are included in the price:
- Round trip cruise from Ft. Lauderdale
- Port Charges, Taxes, Onboard Gratuities, Fuel Surcharge Guaranty and Administrative Fees.
- All performances, interviews, parties and events presented on the cruise
- All meals (gourmet fare in the formal dining room, casual fare at multiple venues open for meals throughout the day).
- 24 hour room service
- Non-carbonated beverages (i.e. coffee, juices, tea)
- Fitness center
- Casino access
- Hot tubs
- Basketball court
- Jogging track
- In room TV and movies
- Full service room cleaning (twice a day)
- Daily in room fruit presentation
Click here to startyour reservationforBlue Note At Sea 2018
California is known for it’s wineries. Did you know that the state of California has 4,202 wineries? WHAT? Washington is next on the list with 747. With all of that wine production, you have to have something to go along with it. Luckily, there are several wineries that offer an experience. This would include food and music.
The Mountain Winery isa winery that offers an entertainment experience like no other.
The Mountain Winery Saratoga Concert Schedule 2017
Located in Saratoga CA, the winery was started by the legendary Paul Masson in 1905. In 1958, a concert bowl was constructed, and thus the Summer Concert Series started its run.
The concert venue has an old-world charm, with its intimate ivy-covered stone structure, engenders old world ambiance and provides a dramatic stage backdrop.
This year there will be no less than 70 concerts, and there will be something for everyone.
Let’s see some of the highlights:
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