Although this program is very much played by a trio whose members are of equal importance, Dave Liebman is the first among equals, being the lead voice much of the time. The music is often respectful and more conservative than expected, performed mostly at a quiet volume and with subtle interplay. Only the closing "BTU" gets especially heated and, even there, Liebman's tone is fairly mellow. Liebman (heard on tenor, soprano, and flute), bassist Steve Swallow, and drummer Adam Nussbaum had played together previously in many different settings and their familiarity with each other's improvising styles is apparent for they communicate very well, making even the more spontaneous performances sound a little planned out and logical. This intriguing set is worth several listens.
¡YO! Jim Self and the Tricky Lix Latin Jazz Band (Featuring the Music of Francisco Torres)
Jim Self: Tuba/Fluba
Francisco Torres: Trombone
Ron Blake: Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Rob Hardt: Tenor and Soprano Saxes/Flute
Andy Langham: Piano
Rene Camacho: String Bass
Joey De Leon: Timbales, Batá, Shekere
Giancarlo Anderson: Congas
George Ortiz: Bongos
Jim Self, a veteran L. A. Studio Musician on over 1500 movie scores, has released his 13th solo CD (that was his tuba that projected those ve galactic tones as the Voice of Mothership in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”). His Innerplay CD was a Jazz Times top 50 in 2005, and the 2006 Downbeat Critics Poll recognized him as a “Rising Star”.
For this one he has brought together a “who’s who” of young West Coast Latin Jazz Musicians (most of whom are on the great Poncho Sanchez Band). Foremost is trombonist/composer/arranger Francisco Torres who produced and wrote much of the music.
The CD and song title came from a search for Jim’s last name in Spanish. To his amazement, Self is translated as Yo (ego). In Hollywood the word is a greeting or acknowledgement between studio musicians, as in “Yo cats”.
The tunes include originals by Jim and Francisco, and four Latin Jazz standards – a mix of Mambos, Cha Chas, an Afro 6/8, and a Bolero. Outstanding solos are by Ron Blake and Jim Self on Cal’s Pals, Rob Hardt and Andy Langham on Sweetest Blue, Francisco Torres on Quiero Llegar and For Charlie. Bassist Rene Camacho and percussionists Joey De Leon, Giancarlo Anderson and George Ortiz are the heartbeat of this wonderful band. And wait ‘til you hear the FLUBA! (Encognito and Morning)
In the back of my mind, I always wanted to play in an Afro-Cuban band, but that world is not a place where you would expect to see or hear a tuba. In the late 80s, I got to tour Japan with the Marty Paichm Dektette and Mel Torme, recording 2 CDs in the process. Afterward I created a seven-piece jazz group – the Tricky Lix Band. Carl Jefferson released our CD on the Concord label. This CD uses the same horns and an authenic Latin rhythm section.
Latin Jazz is upbeat, happy and full of love and life. All of the guys in the Tricky Lix Latin Jazz Band are great jazz soloists, and I am honored get to play with them. They made me an honorary Latino! ¡YO!
1. Cal’s Pals – 6:27 – Comp. Eddie Cano, Arr. Francisco Torres Solos: Ron Blake, Jim Self, Rob Hardt (Tenor), Joey De Leon
3. For Charlie – 5:00 – Comp. & Arr. Francisco Torres Solos: Francisco Torres, Jim Self, Giancarlo Anderson
4. Encognito – 6:30 – Comp. Jim Self, Arr. Francisco Torres Solos: Ron Blake, Jim Self (Fluba)
5. Sweetest Blue – 5:54 – Comp. & Arr. Francisco Torres Solos: Rob Hardt (Soprano), Andy Langham, Joey De Leon (Bata)
6. Quiero Llegar – 5:37 – Comp. & Arr. Francisco Torres Solo: Francisco Torres
7. ¡YO! – 6:10 – Comp. Jim Self, Arr. Francisco Torres Solos: Jim Self, Andy Langham, George Ortiz
8.Old Arrival – 6:14 – Comp. Tito Puente, Arr. Francisco Torres Solos: Francisco Torres, Andy Langham, All 3 Percussionists
9. Morning – 6:29 – Comp. Clare Fischer, Arr. Bill Cunlie Solos: Rob Hardt (Flute) Jim Self (Fluba), Dog Tags – :06 Solo: Stanley the Basset Hound
“Jim Self has brought a fresh new approach to Latin Jazz with his tuba. Very seldom do you hear this combination in jazz, much less Latin Jazz. If you love good music, you’ll love this.” —Poncho Sanchez, Latin Jazz Legend
“You want ‘tasty’, check out the head on ‘Poinciana’ and Jim’s incredible playing throughout this trend- setting recording. I LOVE it.” —R. Winston Morris, Tuba Legend
Velours Release Date October 21 * Pre-Order Sept 23
(New York, NY) September 15, 2016 – Fresh off intensive summer martial arts training in China and ready to rumble, NYC recording artist Valerie Ghent celebrates the release of her highly anticipated new album, Velours, with a full-band performance of renowned French and American musicians at Joe’s Pub at the Public on October 29th.
Hailed by reviewers at her last Joe’s Pub performance as “Valerie Ghent is a True Rockstar at Joe’s Pub” and “Ghent's show was enthralling and pure excitement” (NY Cabaret Today), mark your calendars for this one night only performance & get your tickets today!
On her fourth solo album, Velours, Valerie draws on the full range of her talents forged over 20+ years working with music luminaries Ashford & Simpson, Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Debbie Harry & Billy Preston to deliver a breathtaking, spell-binding performance that draws the listener in and never lets go.
Returning to the smooth sound that has won her fans around the globe with her iHeart Radio #1 hit song, Love Enough for a Lifetime, Velours is sure to become Valerie’s most iconic album yet.
In this electrifying mix of R+B, funk, reggae and smooth soul, Ghent fully unleashes her 3 and 1/2 octave vocal range, powerful keyboard chops and her distinctive voice that can hurtle into the stratosphere, whisper in your ear or fall into a low croon at will. These talents, combined with her undeniable authenticity, vitality and joy, her sterling record production, the strength of her songwriting and engineering skills, and her radiant physicality as a performer shaped by years of martial arts training, make Valerie a force to be reckoned with. Velours is set for release October 21 on iTunes, amazon and CDBaby. Pre-orders begin September 23. Recorded in the South of France and NYC, the 11 original songs on Velours propel the listener from the transcendent luminosity and opening invocation of Love Divine to the exuberant Get Funkay, from the unstoppable New York City Streets to the heart-stopping ballad, Light in My Life. The mesmerizing funk groove of title song Velours literally flows into the American-songbook inspired Linger (with accompanying string quartet), while future R+B classic It's Got To Be You plays smooth counterpoint to the reggae-inspired Phased and the gospel blues of 30 Days. The deep groove of On & On flows like a river, and Love Will Keep Me Strong brings us back to the source.
Backed up by a band of internationally acclaimed musicians and vocalists from NYC, France and Senegal, Velours takes the listener on a journey through smooth soul, feel-good R+B, intimate ballads, sun-drenched reggae and pure funk. With A-list musicians playing live on each song, Valerie has conjured up a hot, real, live sound that harkens back to old-school days, recording live with real musicians, delivering killer lead vocals alongside the band. As one fan aptly described, Valerie makes “music you can touch”.
Why the French spelling? “That’s a great question! My mother was born in Paris and I’ve been retracing her steps there. Velours actually began in France – we recorded six songs with my French band, then five songs in New York. The entire album was mixed in the French countryside by Jérôme Buigues, in a studio surrounded by Provençal vineyards. Plus the title song comes from French slang. So it made total sense to me to go with the French spelling.”
How do you pronounce Velours? Leave off the ‘s’ and say "veh-loooor". A French word with the same meaning in English: smooth, velvety, velour. Exactly how you'll feel after listening to Valerie Ghent.
A-list musicians on Velours include Tinkr Barfield (Luther Vandross, Ashford & Simpson) on bass, guitarists Robin Macatangay (Hamilton, Lizz Wright) & Jérôme Buigues (Murray Head, Sir Cliff Richard), percussionist Bashiri Johnson (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston), keyboardist/arranger Rob Mounsey (Madonna, Paul Simon), drummers Kevin Johnson (Curtis Mayfield, Cassandra Wilson), Philippe Jardin (Ray Lema, Gerard Blanc) & Franck Taieb (Daniel Levi), organist/harmonicst Pierre Sibille (Blues’ UP), vocalists Alfa Anderson (Chic, Luther Vandross), Keith Fluitt (Nona Hendryx, Roberta Flack), Dennis Collins (Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder), John James (Toto, Elton John), Ada Dyer (Chaka Kahn, Roberta Flack), cellist Dave Eggar (Coldplay, Beyonce), violinist/violist Katie Kresek (Adele, Alicia Keys), trumpeters Steven Bernstein (Hot Nine, Levon Helm) & Marc Borlet-Hôte (Massak, Keziah Jones), saxophonist Paul Shapiro (Jay-Z, Lou Reed), Nicolas Baudino (Lio, Harry Morse Project), baritone saxophonist Briggan Krauss (Eliot Sharp, Wayne Horvitz), trombonist Dan Levine (Ray Charles) and a special guest performance by Senegalese vocalist Mano Korani Camara.
What’s the martial arts connection? Valerie is longtime student of Chinese martial arts, training which helps fuel the indomitable spirit inherent in her music. Her August 2016 trip to China to train with Master Zhao Da Yuan has solidified her training and will undoubtedly add an extra ‘punch’ to her Joe’s Pub performance. WHAT: Valerie Ghent Velours CD release concert
WHEN: Sat. Oct 29, 2016, 7:30pm
WHO: Valerie Ghent (vocals/keys), Bernard Davis (drums), Damon Banks (bass), Jérôme Buigues (guitar), Pierre Sibille (keys/harmonica), Alfa Anderson & Dennis Collins (backing vocals), Gary Fritz (percussion) & special guests
WHERE: Joe’s Pub at the Public, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC 10003 SUBWAY: 6 to Astor Place, R/N to 8th Street
ADMISSION: $20/$25 day of show/ $12 food / two (2) drink minimum TICKETS: Online at joespub.com Phone, 10am-7:00pm, Daily 212-967-7555 In Person Box Office, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC (opens daily at 2pm). DiRECT TICKET LINK: http://tinyurl.com/hu3gd8k
Valerie Ghent Bio: Powerhouse recording artist VALERIE GHENT wows audiences with her emotive, evocative voice, piano chops to match, and “soul-stirring, uplifting songs full of vitality and joy.” A native New Yorker with a bluesy, funky piano style and a stunning 3 1/2 octave range, it’s no surprise she has toured with music legends Ashford & Simpson and Debbie Harry and performed with artists as diverse as Dr. Maya Angelou, Billy Preston, Iggy Pop and Defunkt.
Valerie’s Day to Day Dream album launched a #1 hit song on iHeart Radio with Love Enough for a Lifetime, was added nationwide on Sirius XM, national radio in Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the BBC and 100+ radio stations across the EU/UK/AU. Her single Supernatural Thing made the Top 40 on NBT Music Radio (Germany). Fans around the world eagerly await her 2016 release, Velours, recorded in France and NYC.
A native New Yorker with four acclaimed CD’s on her own label, Valerie grew up in SoHo and Greenwich Village. Born into a musical family, she began writing songs as a child, recording in her father’s electronic music studio, absorbing her mother’s string quartet rehearsals and falling asleep to the music of Ornette Coleman, who lived and rehearsed in the same SoHo building.
Longtime keyboardist, vocalist and recording engineer for legendary hit singer-songwriters Ashford & Simpson, Val worked closely with the duo for over two decades, recording their music as well as collaborations with Angelou, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, Sir Cliff Richard and many others. Literally a whirlwind of musical energy, in addition to her own music career Valerie continues to perform and record with Valerie Simpson, is founder of Feel the Music!, an arts education nonprofit and travels regularly to China to further her studies of the internal Chinese martial arts.
“Ghent sings from the guts. Her contralto rises with the smooth momentum of something out of NASA.” - Woman About Town
“Ghent, herself, is a vocal phenomenon...she has the glistening, effervescent energy of a top pop/rock star.” - NY Cabaret Today
Blameful Isles is back with a entirely live recorded instrumental album! This time around we decided to imprint the album on a single limited edition of 100 copies LP vinyl that will only be available while they last!
Strange But No Entirely Unattractive will transport you once again in Blameful Isles deep inner universe where places and characters are mostly intriguing and unexpected. Like laying on the ground glancing at the sky with an upside down perspective and hearing the noise of a distant city while seeing imagery of your past and future life.
This time around the young man summoned a couple friends and local musicians to help him record the album live, mostly composed but partly improvised, you'll experience the Blameful Isles take on modern Jazz as never before! Take heat ladies and gentlemen as this is Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive.