The music business, in my opinion, is 50% talent and 50% tenacity. Somewhere in between is who you know and what contacts you can collect along your travels. Monica Chapman is has managed to have it all. She has the talent, no doubt, the connections being produced by the amazing Bill King, and she is tenacious beyond belief.
It took her four years of working with Bill King to release her first CD, But Beautiful, which was released in the summer of 2013 and garnered some great media attention and some wonderful live performances.
Now back with a second offering, King has put the finest renowned musicians in Canada on this album with Bill himself on piano, Dave Young –acoustic bass, William Sperandei – trumpet, Nathan Hiltz – guitar and Mark Kelso on drums. Produced and arranged by Bill King, the CD was recorded at Inception Sound Studios, engineered by Michael Haas, mixed and mastered by Michael Hass and Chad Irschick.
The Diodes were a Canadian punk rock band formed in 1976 in Toronto. They released five albums: Diodes (1977), Released (1979), Action-Reaction (1980), Survivors (1982), and Time/Damage Live 1978 (2010). One of the first Toronto bands playing that style of music, The Diodes helped foster the scene in the city.
In the summer of 1977, I had a once in lifetime opportunity to share the stage for thirty-one days with VSOP - a remarkable lineup that included Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Freddy Hubbard, Tony Williams and Ron Carter. I joined saxophonist John Klemmer's unit, playing grand piano and clavinet. Klemmer was awarded opening act status which proved to be both exhilarating and frustrating; depending on which region of the country the band performed.
Klemmer's music was destined for West coast yuppies and new-agers not the hard bop aficionado waiting in Cleveland and New York. The uncertainty would send Klemmer into bouts of depression and self-examination. I was pretty much immune to the jazz virus. Up to then, my background as a sideman included stints with everyone from the Pointer Sisters, Janis Joplin, Sonny Criss, Eddie Harris, The Shangri-las, Chuck Berry and everybody's favourite jazz person, Trini Lopez. I wasn't suffering to become Bud Powell's long lost protégée. But for players who grew up playing mainstream jazz - then collecting mucho dollars playing contemporary jazz; saving face became a stalking internal priority. Especially, if Down Beat Magazine crowned you an up-and-comer in your late teens and you drifted from the fold, seduced by the mighty pop buck, like Chicago born Klemmer.
This is the third release from Tirotto, an Italian singer-songwriter and long time resident of the Netherlands, where this album was recorded live before an enthusiastic audience towards the close of 2014.
Although her backing band appears to suggest a blues outfit, in reality this album has as much rock as anything else at its core. There are shades of jazz, funk and soul also audible in the mix. Overall this is one of those genuinely gripping albums that rips and roars along from track to track with bags of high energy fun and musical facility evident throughout.
It's clear from the raucous recording that the crowd are with her all the way here and she rises to the occasion to produce a cracking album of rocking blues and soulful music full of razor-edged guitar work from one of Europe's finest guitarists, Micha Sprenger, here doing a guest-spot as emergency stand-in for the bands' usual fretman, Loek van der Knaap. Heins Greten adds some excellent keyboard and soaring Hammond B-3 work, together with Arno Hagemans on both Bass and Double Bass. Jim Kakiay completes the group on Drums with another guest, pounding extra Percussion, from Onny Tuhumena.
An album that should appeal to lovers of good-time, fun-filled rock-blues at its best.
Badbadnotgood, Toronto’s jazz-funk instigators stir it up strong with Sour Soul, their-long buzzed about collab with the legendary Ghostface Killah. For the most part, it’s a good fit. The voice and cadences are unmistakable as is the film noir gangsta rhymes and badbadnotgood do a righteous job of not only matching the beats but getting the emotional connections just so. While Ghostface DNA is all over the project, the guys manage to get in some guest shots from young comers DOOM (“Ray Gun”), Elzhi(“Gunshowers”), Tree(“Street Knowledge”) and a sizzling drop from Danny Brown on "Six Degrees" giving it all a very much in the moment vibe. Very cool considering the bulk of the material was written in 2012 durng an NY session with producer Frank Dukes. This is muscular, sinewy music tapping Stax soul, nodding at Jazzmatazz, touching on RZA and arranged so that a song’s true intentions often creep in from side stage rather than pushing to the front, all boombastic. Beats and production values are outstanding, bright touches like guitar reverb and string passages are never out of place and as per the badbadnotgood aesthetic, all this happens to you in 34 minutes flat, thank you ma’am.