Sunday Strut •••
Blake Aaron, Guitar
Blake Aaron’s “Sunday Strut” from his Color and Passion album, featuring Najee, is now the third Billboard No. 1 hit from the album that was released in September of 2019. The guitarist and Adam Hawley wrote “Sunday Strut.” The hard-charging, high-energy contemporary jazz instrumental tops four singles charts simultaneously. The horn-powered track featuring urban-jazz icon Najee and produced by Mr. Hawley is No. 1 on the Billboard, Mediabase, Smooth Jazz Network and SmoothJazz.com charts. Color and Passion is a diverse collection, blending colorful melodies and prodigious, impassioned guitarwork neatly encased in capsules of jazz, R&B, pop, Latin, Caribbean, funk, fusion and rock. Mr. Aaron mindfully infused the album with hope, positive energy, optimism and joy. Appearing on the album are saxophonist Darren Rahn and flautist Kim Scott as guest soloists.
Sunshine Of Your Love •••
Ella Fitzgerald, vocalist
The Hub of Hubbard •••
Freddie Hubbard, trumpeter
Germany’s first jazz label, Vinyl Me, Please, recently relaunched MPS records label with a pair of color vinyl LPs by Ella Fitzgerald (sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella), and Freddie Hubbard (an American jazz trumpeter, who played bebop, hard bop, and post-bop styles from the early 1960s onwards). Other reissues include Dizzy Gillespie, George Duke and Baden Powell in partnership with Bob Frank Entertainment.
Two albums by Mr. Powell, Images on Guitar and Live in Berlin, are reissued on vinyl and CD with the latter also released on DVD. The guitarist was a pivotal figure in Brazilian music, an alchemist mixing bossa nova, samba, baroque and Latin jazz with jazz and classical guitar techniques. The music contained on Images on Guitar is as richly colored as its album cover art. Mr. Powell recorded the album with his quartet and French singer Jannine de Waleyne who serves as an ideal counterpoint to the guitarist’s inventive, virtuoso play.
Kristen Mather de Andrade, clarinet/vocalist
Vocalist and clarinet player, Kristen Mather de Andrade, has released her debut album, Clarão, an authentic Brazilian album on which she plays and sings in Portuguese. Teaming with producer Sergio Krakaowski, Ms. Andrade gathered several Brazilian musicians to accompany her and help select the repertoire. Half of Clarão is comprised of instrumental covers, three of which are performed big band-style and were made famous by Brazilian clarinetists. The album includes four original songs penned by Brazilian singer-songwriter Roque Ferriera, tunes that showcase Ms. Andrade’s silken, yearnful voice singing sublimely in Portuguese. Mr. Krakaowski relied upon genuine Brazilian instrumentation from Vitor Gonçalves (accordion), Cesar Garabini (violão) and Eduardo Belo (bass) while playing pandeiro himself. A lively four-piece horn section adds luster to the ten-track album brimful of exuberance, lush harmonies and masterful musicianship.
The album contains the following songs: “Um Chorinho Diferente,” “Côco Tara Tá Tá,” “Guelê Guelê,” “Chorinho Pra Ele,” “Doce Melodia,” “Sagrado,” “Bendito,” “Modulando,” “Santo Forte,” and “O Clarinete Gostoso.”