Visions: The Music Of Stevie Wonder Yoron Israel

January 8, 2013 in Music Reviews

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Yoron IsraelYoron Israel’s recently released CD, “Visions: The Music Of Stevie Wonder” is unique in that it is a rework of Stevie Wonder’s music, but as Israel hears it. He says this is always the way he heard Wonder’s music, and he has put it into a form where we can share and enjoy his concept with him. Musically sound and full of innovations, I really enjoyed his approach to making the music in the form of jazz. Israel states that Wonder, in his opinion, was always a Jazz composer even if his music was more mainstream R&B. Leading his band from the drummer’s position is amazing, and his playing is consistent and fabulous.

Always making his presence heard and felt, Israel’s abilities are reminiscent of the late great Art Blakey. “Visions” with spoken word is bad to the bone with perfect balance, and the spoken word adds an interesting touch. The musicians backing Israel up do a tremendous job in their playing as well, exploring the works of one of the greatest American artists to ever preform. The amount of love and respect for Wonder’s music comes pouring out song after song on the CD. I did not mention other songs because I liked them all so much that I could write a review of each one and I’m sure you’d rather hear the music than to read my writing. I almost wanted to do just that, but I instead recommend you get this CD and listen for yourself. Trust me, it’s a journey of discovery that you won’t soon forget.

The 10 track CD is interesting in another way, that being the fact that Israel doesn’t just choose the most recognizable of Stevie Wonder’s songs, but reaches deep and conceptualizes some of those that are lesser known. “You Are The Sunshine Of my Life” is an exception of course, and I can clearly hear what Israel means when he says Wonder’s music has always been composed for jazz. This is one classy CD with wonderful renditions that will make you smile inside and out. This CD is a big winner for fans of jazz and R&B, and I highly recommend it.

The name Is “Co-X-isT” Hot New Group

August 28, 2012 in News

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The name “Co-X-isT” comes from the word coexist which means – To exist together, at the same time, or in the same place. In this world of trials and tribulations these young people have come together in the same place and at the same time blending their Latin, African and American roots to create a sound representing the world “today” and “tomorrow”. The group “Co-X-isT” was created in the summer of 2011 from participants in the “S.T.A.R.S.” Striving To Achieve Real Success a music program for youth in Columbus Ohio. 
The mission of “S.T.A.R.S.” is to find talented teens whose dreams are to fulfill a successful career in the music / entertainment industry and to help them achieve their dreams.

The program was founded by veteran producer Chris Powell who has worked with such artists as Rick James, Stevie Wonder, Destiny’s Child and Paula Abdul to name a few. The members of “Co-X-isT” are Sydney Arterbridge (13) lead vocals, Ernest Bonsu (15) bass guitar – keys –drums & bg vocals, Alex Urban (16) keys – guitar & bg vocals, Kiara Urban (14) vocals & keys, Carlos Willis (16) drums – bass & keys, Ben Porter (16) lead guitar and Marquale Mckinney (17) lead vocals. The band Co-X-isT has been together a very short time but, several members of the group have had a multitude of experiences.

Blue Mangoo Software Announces A New Release

July 19, 2012 in News

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Blue Mangoo Software announces the release of iFretless Bass for iPad / iPhone

Hans Anderson, director of Blue Mangoo Software and developer of iFretless Bass, a musical app for guitarists, believes that tablet computers like the iPad will soon replace musical instruments in live performances. And he’s got video to prove it.

iFretless isn’t the first app to offer users a chance to play guitar on the iPad. Most notably, apple’s GarageBand app – with its guitars, pianos and drums – has been a top seller in the music category for almost two years.

What makes iFretless different is its playability.

As its creator explains: “Developers of music instrument apps think that what they are making isn’t going to be used seriously as an instrument. We think differently. When we find something about the interface is difficult to use, we change it.”

“Even after they’ve seen the videos on our website, people still don’t believe it,” continues Hans. “Our biggest challenge when we do marketing is convincing people that iFretless is real.”

One doubtful viewer commented on an iFretless video: “It sounds great with the background music but what if we just hear it by itself?” Ironically, the song he was commenting about didn’t have a background track; It was all played on the iPad. That’s how real the sound is.

Unlike Apple’s GarageBand, iFretless doesn’t look like a guitar. Read the rest of this entry →

Erly Thornton – The Jazz Vampire

July 7, 2012 in News

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Erly Thornton is not a man who likes labels. And it’s just as well, because this saxophonist, song-writer and self-proclaimed ‘jazz vampire’ makes music that cannot easily be put into a box.

Why vampire? It’s because Erly is a performer who feeds off the energy and emotion that comes from his audience. It’s that interaction which is the very essence of great jazz, and which makes Erly a truly great jazz musician.

Now, he has managed to bottle that unique live feeling with the release of a sophomore album that shows he is a talent with a whole lot to give to the world.

Coming on the back of the critically acclaimed ‘My Life’, this record – ‘In Transit’ – takes Erly’s playing and songwriting to a whole new level. It’s an apt name for a record that is set to move its creator into a new world of popularity.

Described by some critics as ‘smooth jazz’ – a term that Erly believes doesn’t do enough to describe his sound – this is a record that is anything but. Yes, there are sweet, beautiful melodies and finely sculptured rhythms, but ‘In Transit’ is a far, far cry from the type of muzak which that term brings to mind. Read the rest of this entry →


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