Long regarded as one of the premier musicians in the world, David Sancious was an original member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, toured and recorded with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Seal, Eric Clapton, Jon Anderson and a long list of A-level musicians. He also created groundbreaking music with his band Tone.
David Sancious has begun a new PledgeMusic campaign for his forthcoming album “Eyes Wide Open”: www.pledgemusic.com/projects/davidsancious
After a long absence from recording, David has embarked on his 9th recording entitled “Eyes Wide Open,” an 8 song project featuring legendary names such as Vinnie Colaiuta (drums) and Prince alumni Michael Bland (drums) and Sonny T. (Thomson) (bass). A mix of instrumental and vocal music reminiscent of David’s group Tone, “Eyes Wide Open” takes a contemporary stance by addressing today’s issues head-on through David’s signature sound.
All pledgers receive a digital download of the recording with their pledge (also available in high-resolution 96K 24bit). The campaign will also be offering signed and unsigned audiophile 180-gram vinyl and CDs, remastered versions of landmark recordings “True Stories” and “Just as I Thought” (both remastered in 2000), rare photos and posters of David with Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel, as well as behind the scenes videos, T-shirts, interactive updates, gear used by David on tour, and much, much more, all of which will only be available through PledgeMusic!!
Contact for David Sancious:
John McCracken: [email protected]
YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjJmrZu-lg0 (This is the Pledge Video just available on YouTube.)
I must confess that I was more than a little surprised to discover that this is the debut album from Maurice Frank, as not only not the youngest talent on the block, but he sounds as if he has been recording and performing for many years. He has a fine voice, and obviously grew up listening to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, and wants to take everyone back to the Fifties and the slow ballads of those performers. Pianist John Di Martino has put together a great band, but the arrangements sometimes overpower the feel and style that Frank is attempting to portray. Take “Slow Hot Wind” for example, the Latin undertones of the backing almost overpower the vocals and totally change the mood.
This isn’t really my style of music, as it is just too laid-back for me, but I can recognize that Frank has a fine voice and isn’t afraid to go for long-held notes, as he nails them every time. Sat on a stool, in a solo spotlight, I can imagine Frank holding a jazz room in the palm of his hand and if you like this sort of thing it could well be worth investigating. For more details visit www.mauricefrank.com
6/10 – Kev Rowland
This is the sort of album that can only be produced by people who have a wealth of experience behind them, as it is full of the confidence that only comes from the long hours of playing. Here, singer Fred Farell is working with pianist Richie Beirach and Dave Liebman (saxophones, recorder), and together they have produced an album of original material that is laid back, reflective, spiritual, delicate and refreshing all at the same time. No-one here has anything to prove, they just combine in a manner that I found absolutely enthralling in its simplicity and beauty.
Acoustic piano, a gentle sax and vocals that often don’t even have much reverb place on them, it doesn’t get far more stark and sincere than this. Yet, there is a real warmth and depth to what is going on, that belies the fact that it is just three guys gently bouncing off each other to provide an album whose cover art is a perfect reflection of what lies inside. The landscape combines fields with the sea and distant mist, a gentleness that has a strength and power within it. This isn’t the sort of jazz that I listen to often, but rarely have I heard it more controlled and heartfelt than here and is something I have enjoyed considerably.
by Kev Rowland
by Kev Rowland
Born and raised in Kobe, Japan, Takaaki Otomo started learning classical piano at the age of five, moving onto jazz when he was fifteen, inspired particularly by Oscar Peterson. He has released a number of CDs as a leader and sideman, and then in 2014 moved to New York City. Composer Bernard Hoffer heard him playing at a restaurant in New York, and knew that it would be wonderful to hear him record in a trio setting, and set about making that a reality. Takaaki was joined by Noriko Ueda (bass) and Jared Schonig (drums), and they selected five originals, four jazz standards, plus one Broadway show tune (Takaaki’s suggestion) and two novelties from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. The originals were two tunes by Takaaki, one by Noriko, and two of Hoffer’s tunes written specifically for this project. Although Hoffer doesn’t perform, he was heavily involved, arranging eight of the numbers on the show.
Takaaki (pronounced Tock-ah-OCKie, rhymes with hockey) is an incredibly lyrical and accomplished pianist, and uses the full range of the grand piano, while in Ueda and Schonig he has discovered some incredibly capable and willing partners. There are times when the trio are in full flight, and it is incredibly majestic. Takaaki did start learning classical music, and this shows in some of the pieces as they move in and out of the jazz form. I must comment on their version of “Mars”, as while I have heard it undertaken in both its original form and with rock bands, this is the first time I have come across it as a jazz trio. It starts very true to the original, but at just under two minutes in length, Takaaki starts to stretch his musical wings and instead of playing the piece as composed, he starts to use it as an influence and plays in and around the piece. Overall it is an album that can be enjoyed on many levels, always pleasant and interesting without ever really pushing the boundaries a great deal.
By Kev Rowland
Sometimes a thought can lead to some different and unusual places, and this is exactly what has happened here when Lockyer wondered what would have happened if Sinatra and Reinhardt had met and collaborated together. To assist in this journey he invited Ben Powell (violin), Rob Hardt (clarinet) and Ed Bennett along for the ride, and the result shows how much he loves both styles of music. I have never been a massive fan of Sinatra, to be honest, it’s not really my style of music, but over recent years, have been investigating Reinhardt and especially his recordings with Stéphane Grapelli. With this album, I soon discovered that while I appreciated Lockyer’s vocals, and what he was attempting to do when marrying the two artists together, what I really wanted to listen to was his amazing guitarwork combined with the lyricism of Ben Powell. An album of just the two of them, with no vocals whatsoever, would be a very special set indeed, but that this doesn’t work is far more due to personal taste than to any failing in the presentation.
It may not be exactly what I am looking for in music, but Lochyer’s approach to Django-style acoustic guitar is masterful, and the album is well worth investigating.