Tag Archives: IDC news

SoulandJazzandFunk Review: Cornell “CC” Carter “That Feelin'” Single

23 Apr

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For the past few years San Francisco’s CORNELL CARTER (who sometimes just works using his initials “C.C.”) had made himself plenty of friends in the soul community. The one time top session singer (he’s worked with people like Ray Charles, James Brown, The Whispers, The Temptations, Natalie Cole, Kool and the Gang and most recently Narada Michael Walden) really took off with his long player ‘In The Moment’ from which a series of well-crafted singles and their remixes scaled the credible soul charts.

The good news is that CC is putting the finishing touches to a new album – ‘One Love’ – due June/July. Cornell says it’s his homage to the world of classic soul, R&B and jazz, but in the meantime there’s a new single on the way. ‘That Feelin” will be the album’s lead track and though it’s not officially available till April 27th, previews reveal a tasty, insistent modern soul beater. Cornell is in great vocal form (remember, the man has pedigree!) and the vibe and groove are bob on…. so they should be! The tune was co-written and produced by UK muso Morgan Howell, better known, of course, as ‘Soulpersona’…. and if anyone knows the modern soul groove, then it’s Morgan H! It’s all looking good for that new long player!

 

For more information about CORNELL “CC” CARTER or upcoming tour dates, please visit CC’s website and social media pages via http://www.cc2000music.com

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US Review: Unknown Hero “In My Head”

3 Apr

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unknown hereo in my head

Unknown Hero

In My Head

Review by Gary Hill

It would be pretty easy to lump this in with a lot of modern pop music and electronic dance music. Clearly this shares a lot of territory with that kind of sound. However, this album is much more creative than the bulk of those genre. There is almost a progressive music vibe here, and the science fiction angle to the concepts bears that out in definite ways. I like this set quite a bit. Yes, the vocals are processed. I’m not a big fan of that in general. For the most part here, it really works, though. This isn’t necessarily my kind of music, but there is plenty here to pull me in despite that. I would imagine that people who are really into this kind of stuff would really love it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Be Alright (ft. Kate Wild)
An intricate acoustic guitar section opens this. The vocals enter after a bit, and we’re in more of a processed kind of electronic pop song. This is a bit on the odd side, but in a good way. That makes it a bit unpredictable. There are powerful moments, jazzy elements and more here. There are symphonic elements at play, too.
Monsters in My Head
I dig the trippy electronic music vibe on this. The vocals are a bit over-processed for my tastes, though. While the music built around a modern pop element, there are symphonic sides to it, hard rocking ones and more. This is definitely away from the norms.
Her Name
The modern pop sounds are still present on this, but this comes across more like an electronic space music type of piece. This could almost qualify as progressive music.
A Minor 2125
There are some particularly pretty elements at play here. This feels like a modern classical piece in a lot of ways. I think that’s the point, given the title. There are some non-lyrical vocals on this, but otherwise it’s an instrumental.
Hero Beware
I really dig the electronic groove on this piece. The extremely processed voice at the onset is designed to sound artificial or alien and does so in style. This has some cool melodies and energy. There are some computer type vocals later in the track, and overall this is very trippy and space-oriented.
One More Day
With both male and female vocal loops at the start, this is a trippy kind of modern jam. This is more of a hip hop kind of piece as the main vocals (still processed) enter. This is creative and dramatic.
Make It Happen
The modern pop music groove on this works quite well. I dig the texture and vibe on this number.
Dance
As you might guess from the title, this is electronic dance music. It has a cool groove and is rather unusual as the genre goes. It has some cool atmosphere.
Keep Moving Me
I love the funky guitar sound that opens this number. It eventually shifts out to another cool electronic groove. There is definitely a healthy helping of fusion the mix, though.
Going for a Ride
Another classy electronic pop song, the rhythmic groove and keyboard textures on this are both great. This number has a few vocals, but is mostly instrumental.
Ask Me
There is a lot more of a hip hop groove to this piece. It is cool, but not a highlight. I do like the vocals on the piece quite a bit.
Hero’s Groove
Somehow there is a bit of a James Brown vibe to this. There is a lot of old school soul music sound merged with more modern elements on this piece. Like a lot of the music here, there are a few vocals, but it’s mostly instrumental. I suppose this one does qualify as electronic dance music more than it does anything else.
Close My Door
There are a lot more vocals on this piece. The number is very electronic, but also quite soulful. It has a cool groove and vibe to it.
Be Alright (Instrumental)
Some cool acoustic guitar work opens this. The electronic music enters as that continues, bringing drama and more layers of sound. There are some vocal loops on the track, despite the parenthetical. I suppose they are used more as instrumentation, though. I like this version of the cut much better than the one that opened the disc. I just wasn’t all that crazy about Kate Wild’s vocals.
Monsters (Instrumental)
Here we get another instrumental take of one of the cuts from the earlier in the set, but this time the title gets shortened, too. Again there are some vocal bits as loops on this take. I like this version quite a bit, but I think I prefer the original version.

 

For more information about UNKNOWN HERO and the IN MY HEAD release, please visit the Unknown Hero website and social media pages via www.unknownheromusic.com.

 

To order IN MY HEAD from iTunes please visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/in-my-head/id1274692222 or http://smarturl.it/unknownhero

 

To order IN MY HEAD from Bandcamp please visit https://unknownhero.bandcamp.com/

 

unknown hereo in my head

Canada Review: Unknown Hero “In My Head”

19 Mar

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For more information about UNKNOWN HERO and the IN MY HEAD release, please visit the Unknown Hero website and social media pages via www.unknownheromusic.com.

 

To pre-order IN MY HEAD from iTunes please visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/in-my-head/id1274692222 or http://smarturl.it/unknownhero

 

To pre-order IN MY HEAD from Bandcamp please visit https://unknownhero.bandcamp.com/

 

unknown hereo in my head

 

Germany Review: Birdseed “Not Out Of Time”

14 Mar

Birdseed / Not Out Of Time – EP Review

Artist: Birdseed Label: Bird Records Music style: Pop Rock

Birdseed - "Not Out Of Time" - vinyl EP review 

Funnily enough, the band Birdseed from San Francisco, California was formed by middle-aged hobby musicians, who had met at school events of their descendants. After finding out that each other’s favorite hobby is the music, a band was started. The combo released from the end of 2015 a few digital singles, which were now summarized on the EP present to me.

The essence of the five tracks in total can be compared to the Fleetwood Mac sound in the early to mid-seventies. Cool Pop / Rock, so to say, who benefits from a clever groove and a strong lead vocalist. The title song “Not Out Of Time” starts the journey pleasantly rocking and the voice of Kerry Reed Landreth has that certain something that is so eminently important for every front man / woman. The track is very harmonious, variably arranged and loosely flaked over, which makes him a first winner. “Next Trip Around The Sun” starts off with an e-piano sound before the notable vocals take over the scepter. The ingredients mentioned above are also added here and make this number a listener.

With inviting guitar sound and piano, “I Want You To Know” starts the second act. Musically maybe not the best track on the disc, which is the strong text (the mother’s declaration of love to her child, probably not many years later can really understand) will be made up for. Background is probably that Kerry Landrethdiagnosed with incurable breast cancer a few years ago, she wanted to leave a statement here, so to speak. The shortest song of almost three minutes is called “We Can Do It” and builds again on a really cool groove. This works and harmonizes wonderfully with the vocals and the very positive or optimistic lyrics. The unfortunately last title “More Than I Needed The Truth” keeps the quality quite relaxed and invites you to enjoy the complete work “Not Out Of Time” right from the beginning.

Both the band Birdseed and (especially) the frontlady Kerry Reed Landreth can only wish to spend a lot of time to music and new recordings, because the present (on vinyl quantitatively limited) “Not Out Of Time” makes a great mood and goes splendidly into the ear. Relaxed music with profound lyrics, which at no time lead the listener to the uncomfortably sad feeling trail, but rather powerfully forward looking to convey an uplifting feeling.


Line-up Birdseed:

Brian Hetherington (keyboards)
Peter Landreth (saxophone)
Jamie Goodyear (guitars)
Scott Bell (drums)
Lane Murchison (bass)
Mason Morfit (guitars)
Kerry Reed Landreth (vocals)

Tracklist “Not Out Of Time”:

Side 1:

  1. Not Out Of Time (3:48)
  2. Next Trip Around The Sun (4:09)
Side 2:

  1. I Want You To Know (4:53)
  2. We Can Do It (2:56)
  3. More Than I Needed The Truth (3:54)

Total Time: 7:59 (Side 1), 11:47 (Side 2), Release Date: 2017

 

 

 

Canadian Review: E-Life 7 “Miked Up”

19 Dec

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Amanda Abizaid’s “Walking In Twos” featuring Stephen Stills is a GOLD MEDAL WINNER from GLOBAL MUSIC AWARDS for Female Vocalist and Lyrics/Songwriter

11 Dec

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Congratulations to AMANDA ABIZAID for her GLOBAL MUSIC AWARDS GOLD MEDAL in the Female Vocalist and Lyrics/Songwriter categories! This is a huge and much-deserved honor for an incredible Artist and Track!

 

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Walking In Twos, featuring the legendary Stephen Stills, is a 7-track EP including two diverse mixes of the titular song, which was inspired by Amanda’s experiences with the Aeta Filipino children.  The EP also features other original songs and released worldwide on all digital platforms March 3, 2017, along with a limited physical release.  The project’s goal is to create a self-sufficient revenue stream using proceeds from the song’s downloads and streams to buy school supplies for the Aeta children of the Philippines.

 

By making state-of-the art teaching technology available, while at the same time seeing to the need for proper food and clothing, HelpPhilippineSchools.org insures a prosperous, personal and professional future for young minds in the country. Amanda is a professional singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA and she is the Cultural Ambassador to the organization. Their overall mission is to supply rural government elementary schools throughout the Philippines, beginning on Mindanao, with modern educational equipment, food and clothing. They do this by dedicating profits generated through AEGIS, and from donations by private individuals, businesses and/or institutional entities.

 

Amanda describes her music as “Neo-Soul meets World.” A gifted pianist, guitarist and flautist, Amanda Abizaid was born in Beirut, Lebanon to an American mother and Lebanese father. Upon relocating to Los Angeles in the 1990s, Amanda immediately began working with some of the best musicians on the scene. She gained major notoriety when she lent her voice to “A Place in Time,” the haunting theme song from Paramount’s TV series The 4400, which premiered in 2004. Amanda’s 2010 CD release This Life garnered rave reviews from fans and music press from around the world. Brian Ball of Woman’s Radio touted “This Life is the perfect half-hour escape from the boundaries of time and space altogether,” and Paul Fleck, former Executive Director of Marketing of Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group praised, “This Life is unquestionably Amanda’s most accomplished work to date.” Tapping into her early musical influences from her childhood, Amanda infuses a sensual and seductive Middle East flair to her music.

 

The song “Walking In Twos” was inspired by Amanda Abizaid’s experiences with the Aeta Filipino children in Haduan Village when she was abroad in 2016. “I shook hands with every child and they told me their names,” Amanda recalls. “This is how the magic of this song began.” The village of Haduan is situated in the Southeastern foothills of the Pinatubo Volcano Range, across the Secovia Lahar River Basin. Visiting the village requires walking a few miles through rugged dirt paths, crossing a wide river, and a tropical wet dirt hike through the mountains. “When I arrived at their village,” says Amanda, “I entered their little stone classroom and soon began singing to my acoustic guitar instrumental of ‘Walking In Twos’ walking in between the tables and chairs. They smiled and their eyes lit up. In their indigenous language, they yelled out how much they loved the melody, clapping joyfully and asked what it meant. That’s when I knew I was on to something special.”

 

Amanda made a strong impression on the children, and on her way home, a barefoot little girl named Lilibeth walked by her side. “Together we hiked down the mountain, crossing the unstable wooden roped bridge high over the river to the other side. We walked until we reached the paved road—the main entry of their village to civilization.” The children also made a strong impression on Amanda, and when it came time to record the song she had them sing in their native language on the chorus. “For the Aeta to agree to perform on my song ‘Walking In Twos’ is a first time event for them, and for the world to hear these children’s voices.”

 

Amanda Abizaid wrote and produced the Walking In Twos EP, and sings and plays flute and piano as well. Stephen Stills is a legendary singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He plays guitar on the title track. “To have Stephen Stills performance on the project is an amazing honor,” says Amanda, “and together with the support of the Aeta children this project is a wonderful opportunity to share and help them through music.”

 

The new Walking In Twos EP features an electronica remix of Amanda’s original title track produced by Lindsay Gillis, a Los Angeles based musician and songwriter who has worked with Ron Fair, Dennis Dreith and Steve Deutsch. The Walking In Twos EP also includes five original songs: “One Love,” Amanda’s most recent acoustic reggae rock single, featuring bi-lingual lyrics; “Promises Of Love,” a trip hop World beat track featuring Egyptian oud player Ahmed Kamal (creative singer and composer) both co-produced with Raj Ramayya (Cowboy Bebop, Beautiful Losers, Pokemon, Strawberry Hill Music) and Théo Nogueira; “Set It Up,” a trip hop track featuring World flute melodies; “Lion’s Den,” an acoustic rock track with a touch of electronica; and “Release Me,” an ambient electronic bi-lingual track co-produced with Mixman Shawn.

 

Other featured musicians on this work are bassist Mike Mennell and acoustic guitarist Lindsay Gillis.  Mike Mennell is a bassist and singer in Southern California who has been friends with and worked alongside Amanda for the past 16 years. Lindsay Gillis is a Los Angeles based musician/songwriter, survivor of numerous Southern California gigs and sessions, and collaborates with Amanda on the songwriting project “Someday Girl.”

 

Other contributions of note include MI (Musicians Institute) students performing drums under Stewart Jean, a drummer and educator based in Los Angeles, California, currently the Program Chair for Drums at Musicians Institute in Hollywood. Also featured are local Buddhist children and the Aeta children from Village of Haduan, Philippines singing in their native language on the chorus, and Mark Stephen Weitz from ’60s legends Strawberry Alarm Clock performing Wurlitzer on the track. Bill Dasheill was the engineer.

 

“The hard work and dedication of Amanda Abizaid shows all over this new track ‘Walking In Twos’! Thank you for asking me to play on this new project. The addition of the Aeta Filipino children’s voices recorded ‘on site’ really brought even more life to an already upbeat and spiritually uplifting song. You are truly a SAINT!” – Mark Stephen Weitz

 

Download proceeds will go to www.helpphilippineschools.org

 

To purchase Amanda Abizaid’s Walking In Twos EP:

Pre-Order on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/walking-in-twos/id1201027283

 

For more information about Amanda or this release, please visit: www.AmandaAbizaid.com

US Review: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up”

11 Dec

http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=20478

Saran, Jennifer: Wake Up

Jennifer Saran is a Hong Kong based singer songwriter with a new album titled Wake Up, the follow up to her holiday album Merry Christmas, You Are Loved released in 2015. First things first. If you are solely into progressive rock you might as well stop reading this immediately as this is adult contemporary pop music with the occasional nod to jazz and soul. To prove my point the first time I put this in the player my wife replied, “this is nice.” She is not the biggest prog rock fan if you get my drift although she does like the occasional helping of Floyd and Rush. The album recording is top notch with the instruments and vocals very clear. On the plus side Saran does have a beautiful voice and she also gets help from the African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo on three tracks including the lead off title tune which also includes lead guitar from Carlos Santana. Here is playing is reserved and mostly set back in the mix although it is always a treat to hear the man play. The rest of the songs are mostly slow to mid-tempo balladic fair with ear candy choruses and lush strings.

My favourite song is the Billy Paul tribute “Me and Mr. Jones”, a nicely crafted soulful ballad and a real throwback to a bygone era. The synth solo in the infectious “Look At Me Fly” is also quite nice. The heartwarming “Old Cape Cod” is another nod to old time pop music.Being that I mostly listen to much heavier music I probably won’t play this much but over the holiday season this just might hit the spot when wanting something light and airy. And hey, my better half will likely appreciate it.Track Listing:
1. Wake Up (4:36)
2. Jesus To A Child Tribute to George Michael (5:11)
3. Really (4:10)
4. Me and Mr. Jones – Tribute to Billy Paul (4:50)
5. You Are My Star (4:25)
6. Too Young To Know (4:16)
7. Better Than Me – ‘for anjali’ (3:23)
8. Look At Me Fly (4:02)
9. Old Cape Cod – Tribute to Patti Page (3:30)
10. Try To Forgive (But I Cannot Forget) (4:24)
11. Lean On Me – Tribute to Bill Withers (4:42)
12. Grace Is The Champion (3:32)
13. I Will Always Be Your Home (4:16)
14. My Love and Devotion – Tribute to Doris Day (4:18)
15. Aad Guray (5:42)

Added: November 27th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score: 
Related Link: Artist’s Official Site
Hits: 28
Language: english

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