Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tom Dice & His Orchestra: Mike Needs Music

Here are some tunes by London based Tom Dice & His Orchestra with a good vibe that I plan on incorporating in future Sunflower Jazz projects that I will mix. Mike Needs Music will be Tom's last instrumental LP, as he is focusing on future projects where he will take on the role as a lyricist, along with a few other nifty projects to follow. From the way things sound, you better get your hands on this while he has it available for FREE. ENJOY!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Havana Cultura Sound System: A Brownswood Mixtape

Tropical sounds are what's going to run this summer's dance scene. I personally hope it lasts for years to come and not just be some commercialized fad like some labels tend to make trendy for a short time. To help give you a jump start in the right direction, The Havana Cultura Sound System has put together this awesome mixtape of remixed tunes from Gilles Peterson's Havana Cultura Band and a few other tunes from the Brownswood Recordings catalog to celebrate their upcoming releases. Now's the time to help with the celebration by pressing play. You also have the option to download this mix to take it on the go.

Hidden Jazz Quartett ft. Omar: High Heels

Thanks to the heads up from Bama Love Soul, German based Jazz ensemble Hidden Jazz Quartett is set to release a phenomenal new track titled "High Heels" in June on Agogo Records. With the soul of "The Man" Omar Lyefook on vocals, how can you lose? I'm sure the b-side will be one to fill dancefloors, with a remix by Lack of Afro.

Pawcut: Friends

I want to take this time to thank German producer Pawcut for reaching out to me to give the heads up for his Hungry People project with Atlanta rapper Classic The Legend. Honestly, I have to say that I wasn't too fond of the rap end of the album because the "N" word was used entirely too much. However, the production end is pretty solid. So I decided instead to post one of his instrumental tracks that really grabbed my attention and had my neck at work. Show Pawcut some love by visiting his Soundcloud page and listening to more of his work. ENJOY!

MC ZULU & Mochipet: Year of The Dragon (Ska Remix)

Yes! I have to go ahead and say it. MC ZULU is like James Brown, as far as the work he's putting in to build up his catalog and for smashing it on stage in front of thousands, gradually becoming a household name. "Year of the Dragon" represents well for 2012, since it is that year based on the Chinese zodiac. The man behind the remix of this track is the purple dragon Mochipet, taking you for a ride on the Ska side. If you would like a FREE download of this track, you better hurry and click here to get it. ENJOY!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dezaray Dawn: Over It

With spring being a transitional period to bring about new beginnings, some people have hopes to find new love, while others are moving on from situations that have run their course. Dezaray Dawn has recently released her first single "Over It", that she wrote and produced, from her upcoming The Dawning album due out in June, that speaks on issues of getting past the issues of heart break and breaking up. I'm sure this will be an anthem and message for the ladies who are going through this currently. Right now, you can get this FREE limited download. Grab it while it lasts.

Voice: presents CuTZ

I remember picking up the "Know Rhythm" 12 inch by VOICE some years back. At the time, being a bit unfamiliar with who she is, I have to admit, I was attracted at seeing the cover art of her wearing her hair in dreadlocks, which made me a bit curious to see what she had to say. Not only was her unique beauty appealing, but to put the needle to the groove, I was more impressed by her delivery and overall sound. I was taken back to the days of three piece Jazz bands with poets on the mic, pouring their heart, soul and life into their craft, making their rendition of art come alive.

After a hefty catalog of collaborations through BBE, Ninja Tune, Wax Tailor, Twisted Funk and Public Transit Records, for 2012 she sports a new hairstyle and releases her new album Voice presents CuTZ, which dropped today on High Bar Music. Go hereto order hard and digital copies of the album. This is another recommended piece to add to your music collection. She has an upcoming tour scheduled for this summer. For cities and dates or to get info on booking and other information, log on the her official website posted below. ENJOY!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Birthday: Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Jane Fitzgerald
(April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996)

Ella Fitzgerald known by her fans as "The Queen of Jazz", "Lady Ella" and the "First Lady of Song", is by far my most favorite singer of all time. A complete singer who is the singer's singer, having a vocal range that spans more than three octaves. The following quote sums it up nearly perfectly for me as to how I view this vocal great.

Author and music critic Will Friedwald noted;

"Unlike any other singer you could name, Fitzgerald has the most amazing asset in the very sound of her voice: it's easily one of the most beautiful and sonically perfect sounds known to man. Even if she couldn't do anything with it, the instrument that Fitzgerald starts with is dulcet and pure and breathtakingly beautiful. As Henry Pleasants has observed, she has a wider range than most opera singers, and many of the latter, including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, are among her biggest fans. And the intonation that goes with the voice is, to put it conservatively, God-like. Fitzgerald simply exists in tune, and she hits every note that there is without the slightest trace of effort. Other singers tend to sound like they're trying to reach up to a note - Fitzgerald always sounds like she's already there. If anything, she's descending from her heavenly perch and swooping down to whatever pitch she wants."

Ella Fitzgerald Official Website

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Birthday: Cory Sinclair

Giving a big salute to a good friend who I love like a brother, Cory Sinclair, the front man of Houston based Rock band The Manichean. Currently they are all in the studio working on their upcoming full-length album titled LOVERS, which will be due out soon. For those here in the city, they have a show on May 12th at Fitzgeralds. Go and show your support. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Evil Needle: Warp Drive

It's been a minute since i've posted anything from Evil Needle. This time he's featured with other heavyweight indie producers on the HW&W Vol.1 FREE compilation provided by Los Angeles based HW&W Recordings which dropped on 420 day. For those who missed the herbal festivities, go here for the chance to take a musical toke to get that perfect high. INDULGE!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Deep Jazz: Little Sunflower

You dig Jazz? Then here's a delightful ditty by Munich, Germany based bass player Jerker Kluge and his collective called Deep Jazz, who draws inspiration from the Blue Note and Impulse catalogs from the 1950's and 1960's.

"Little Sunflower", originally composed by Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, with lyrics written by Leon Thomas, was covered on Deep Jazz's The Meeting, which dropped in January. They have already got a big thumbs up from Gilles Peterson by him spinning this tune on his "All Winners Show" and considered this as one of the best tracks of 2011. Deep Jazz is giving away this tune for FREE. As always, be sure to show support for good art by purchasing their bodies of work.

Full Crate & Jesse Boykins III: See With Me

Some of you may know that i'm not too keen on R&B these days by the majority of American artists, because they have watered it down so much that the rhythm and blues have been washed away. Thankfully, Red Bull Music Academy alumni Full Crate and Jesse Boykins III have stuck to the roots, yet still have a modern twist. The soul of rhythm and blues is back y'all! We hope you will get excited as we are over here after you pump the sounds through your speakers. Hurry up and press that button. ENJOY!

Chidi Sings: Someone

SoulPersona is another excellent producer based in the UK who has won a big part of my musical heart. That being said, I really need to get on posting more of his material. This time around, he collaborates with singer/songwriter Chidi Sings as if they used the production equipment to time warp back several years to whip up this soulful rare groove like tune that's bound to be a classic. Kudos to Carl Hudson (keys/synths) and Andy Tolman (bass) for lending helping hands in the production. "Someone" will appear on her Exhale album that's due out in May on Selah Records. Keep your eyes glued for more details. For now, press the play button and get your groove on.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dr. Dre + Snoop Dogg Live: Coachella 2012 (Tupac Hologram)

Not that i'm trying to get religious or anything, but i'm still in a bit of awe to see the resurrection of Tupac Shakur in the image of a hologram appear on stage with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival which happened over the weekend. According to San Diego based AV Concepts, creators of the hologram, they say that the idea for the project was all Dr. Dre's and it took several months to plan, along with an additional 4 months to create.

Here's the full set of the Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg show that featured 50 Cent, Eminem, Warren G, Kurupt, Wiz Khalifa and the now infamous 2Pac hologram. In case you want to get to the hologram image, skip forward to 32:25, sit back and be amazed. Enjoy!

Back From Hiatus

OK folks! I know it's been more than a week since I last posted and have missed a few birthdays along the way, but I have returned to keep the good tunes flowing, along with other things. These last few days have been eventful, complete with the usual ups and downs. Thankfully there have been way more ups than downs. Biggest downer being that I lost my event banner after having it for only two days.

Many, many thanks to my friends who were a huge part of my last two weekends with the parties and other events that booked me for my DJ services or simply to enjoy good company. Special thanks to my artist friends who helped make Rhythm Kitchen happen by being part of the show. I can't thank you guys enough. Stay tuned for an audio portion of that set to be posted in a few. CHEERS!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bobby Phats: The Blastoff King (Official Website)

HOUSTON! We are clear for take off with "The Blastoff King", better known by many who love him as Bobby Phats. He's back with us in the world of blogging with his new website featuring many indie and underground artists, along with podcasts and other goodies. On Mondays he hosts Houston's #1 radio show called "PHAT FREE MONDAYS", co-hosted by the lovely "hygiene queen" Care Free on Pacifica Radio KPFT 90.1 FM-Houston from 11pm - 2am (CST). Be sure to tune in and have a few laughs and listen to some good music. In case you miss the show, you can always catch up by downloading archives of the shows.

Bobby Phats: The Blastoff King

Maylee Todd: Hieroglyphics (Tall Black Guy Remix)

In mid-December, Canadian vocalist Maylee Todd dropped her latest single "Hieroglyphics" as a free download via her website. However, for my vinyl junkies, she has a limited edition 7 inch of the single b/w a remix by Kon & The Gang. Now, we enter a third strike, but not in terms of striking out, with a phat ass remix by the great Tall Black Guy taking the controls (as usual) to deliver more head nod ish. ENJOY!

Maylee Todd Official Website

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Andy Suzuki & The Method: The Ghost Stories EP

While many artists of today focus solely on sounding modern, Andy Suzuki & The Method dare to revisit the classic sounds of soul and rhythm & blues. "Tell Me" is the track that really grabbed my attention with its slight funk tinge, somewhat reminiscent of afro-beat, with lyrical content asking the lady in question to give him reasons why he should pursue her beyond the common ideas of getting involved in a relationship.

Be sure to pay them a visit on their website to order some great music, to watch video footage from their recent SXSW performance and to gather more info. Also, they are offering free downloads for signing up for their mailing list.

Andy Suzuki Music

Ark & Mama Crow: Avery

"Avery" is a captivating tune, to say the least. I've been soaking this composition in for the last couple of weeks and am finally getting around to posting it. Ark and Mama Crow describe their sound as; "The Eurythmics meets The Knife meets Never Ending Story. This down-tempo, soulfully mellow track is interlaced with ancient story and epic, fantasy soundscapes." Not only am I thoroughly enjoying this single, but she also has one of her older works, which is great too, available on her Bandcamp page. Grab the FREE download and also show your support for indie art by purchasing her Indigo album. ENJOY!

Mama Crow Music

Funk & Soul Club: The Cuban Brothers Live

For my people in London, you are about to get a special treat on this upcoming Saturday. If you haven't witnessed a show by The Cuban Brothers, made up of Miguel Mantovani, Archerio Mantovani and Kengo San, then this is a must see show that you just have to attend. The Cuban Brothers give a "complete" show, in the terms of them alternating vocals to sing and emcee, then they will flex their b-boy and dance skills, doing all this backed by both a live band and rocking a live DJ set. If that's not enough for you, they also have a "live mixtape" segment with a breaks medley of classic tunes they cover from the likes of Chic, Kurtis Blow, Sugar Hill Gang and many other legendary classic funk, soul, latin and hip-hop artists.

There's still a chance to get £5 early bird tickets while they last. For more details and to order, visit We Got Tickets. Also on hand to make it a more festive occasion will be Mary-Go-Round, Sir Funk and DJ Haze. This event is brought to you by We Like You London.

£7/8 on the door
Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes
Bedford Way
Russell Square

Happy Birthday: Maya Angelou & Gloria Rolando

I'm always happy and blessed to see another solar year. It's also wonderful to share the same date that you were born with some dynamic people who have touched the lives of many, much like the two ladies below.

Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Ann Johnson; April 4, 1928), has been highly inspirational and influential in my personal life and music career, as well as many other artists. She is one of the people who has been key in me learning more about linguistics and to dig more into history. A master wordsmith and highly decorated author and poet who penned numerous autobiographies, essays, plays and films. One of her most noted works that brought her to international recognition is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), which tells of her first seventeen years.

Angelou is one of the most honored writers of her generation. She has been honored by universities, literary organizations, government agencies, and special interest groups. Her honors have included a National Book Award nomination for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her book of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie, a Tony Award nomination for her role in the 1973 play Look Away, and three Grammys for her spoken word albums. In 1995, Angelou's publishing company, Random House, recognized her for having the longest-running record (two years) on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List. She has served on two presidential committees, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. Angelou has been awarded over thirty honorary degrees.

Maya Angelou Official Website

Gloria Rolando, an Afro-Cuban filmmaker who has produced a film in 2004 titled "Nosotros y el Jazz" (The Jazz in Us), which focuses on Jazz music and its relation to the history shared by Afro-Cubans and African-Americans through their common culture. Rolando has raised quite a stir with her series of documentaries, most notably from her 1997 release of "Eyes of the Rainbow", a film about Assata Shakur, former Black Panther and Black Liberation Army leader who took refuge in Cuba. Currently Rolando is here in Houston speaking at various local museums , universities and libraries. I have plans to go hear her speak later today and wish her a very happy birthday.

Gloria Rolando, 4-6-2010 from Sonja Haynes Stone Center on Vimeo.

DJ Kool Emdee: Sub Mission II

Here's another Dubstep mix for you guys with enough bass to shake your walls down. It's featuring the new sounds of Benga, along with a few other goodies fresh for 2012. ENJOY!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Happy Birthday: Gil Scott-Heron & Marvin Gaye

Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron
(April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011)

Widely considered as one of the forefathers and greatest influences to the world of Hip-Hop with his poetry that had the backings of African drumming, Soul, Jazz, Blues and Funk. His own term for himself was "bluesologist", which he defined as "a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues." His best known composition that is considered a critically acclaimed classic is The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. His works with multi-instrumentalist Brian Jackson include Free Will, Pieces of A Man and Winter In America, also gained heavy notoriety and considered classics by many.

Scott-Heron remained active until his death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I'm New Here. "The Last Holiday", was also published, posthumously in January 2012.

Marvin Gaye
(April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984)

Starting his career as a "doo-wop" artist, he later became a session drummer for Motown Records, before becoming the top selling solo artist of Tamla, a Motown subsidiary. He was crowned the "Prince of Motown" and also the "Prince of Soul". His work in the early and mid-1970s included the albums, What's Going On, Let's Get It On, and I Want You, which helped influence the quiet storm, urban adult contemporary, and slow jam genres. Here, My Dear, In Our Lifetime and Midnight Love would all be heavy influences for the more modern soul sound.

In 1982, during an interview for New Musical Express magazine, he's quoted as saying:

"I don't make records for pleasure. I did when I was a younger artist, but I don't today. I record so that I can feed people what they need, what they feel. Hopefully, I record so that I can help someone overcome a bad time."