Tag Archives: Jazz

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Flow with their self titled Debut Album

FLOW: A DYNAMIC NEW AGE IN MUSIC

Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy Hawkins, Lawrence Blatt and Jeff Oster Take a Open Approach to Musical Discovery, Embracing Friendship While Building Organic Songs for their eponymous new release–FLOW.

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Forty years after Windham Hill became a catalyst for the global musical phenomenon, its bountiful legacy of best-selling solo works (George Winston, Liz Story, Alex DeGrassi, Michael Hedges) and Grammy-winning ensembles (Shadowfax)–extends into a truly new age with FLOW–a new four-piece ensemble comprised of Ackerman and three of today’s most acclaimed independent artists, Australian pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins, acoustic guitarist Lawrence Blatt and flugelhorn master Jeff Oster. All in, FLOW members have accumulated literally dozens of accolades, from GRAMMY® Awards, ZMRs, IMAs, IAMAs and a catalog of #1 albums in the genre.

FLOW, on Blatt’s LMB Music label, came together to record deep in the West River Valley in Southern Vermont, at Imaginary Road Studios, the longtime creative home base of legendary Grammy-winning acoustic guitarist Will Ackerman, the original founder of Windham Hill; the 282-acre property in Windham County has become a hotbed of acoustic excellence over the past 25 years.

Ackerman shared his thoughts on the process of recording with FLOW, saying – “There was a moment in the process of making FLOW with Fiona, Lawrence and Jeff when I felt a hint of panic that my pieces were being altered and transformed into something very different from what I would have done with them on a Will Ackerman record. It was in the moment just after this thought that I realized that FLOW was actually working… that I was experiencing real synergy. The group had become a creative entity unto itself and four dear friends had gathered to create something beyond anything they could have created on their own.Experiments don’t always work. This one worked!?”

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As officially announced, the concept of FLOW had its origins in 2015, when Blatt invited Fiona and Oster to join him at Imaginary Road to create an album inspired by the iconic Windham Hill sound and ensembles. Ackerman had already produced several of Fiona Joy Hawkin’s and Oster’s albums plus Blatt’s recordings The Color of Sunshine, Emergence, and Latitudes and Longitudes featuring Oster on horn; Blatt and Fiona met while recording a special project on Blue Coast Music.

Oster remembers that each of them brought two or three songs to the project to which they added their parts under the guidance of Ackerman’s longtime production partner at Imaginary Road, Tom Eaton. The group likens Eaton’s multi-faceted role in the success of the project as that of The Fifth Beatle.

Reflecting on FLOW’s debut project, Oster says, “If you look back into any time of human existence, this need for peaceful breathing and listening has always and will always be deeply important. It’s not only New Age music, it is EVERY AGE music!”

FLOW made their official debut with an album release celebration at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on October 6, 2017. The group is booking concert dates this Spring, including a featured performance at the Zone Music Awards on Saturday May 12th at Roussell Hall in New Orleans; they are nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

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AXS Review

“By Sari Cohen”

“These are four musicians who are all self-sufficient in their talents. They’re brilliant at making albums that are unique and musically successful as soloists. The lovely surprise is that they, we, all managed with grace and ease to come together and create something new and different from anything any of us had ever done before,” Grammy-winner Will Ackerman explains.

World Music Central Review

“By Angel Romero”

Flow is a supergroup of musicians who have been involved with New Age music for many years. The term New Age is used to describe a wide range of genres, from easy listening acoustic music to electronic meditation music. In this case, Flow performs peaceful and ethereal instrumental music with smooth jazz, folk, gliding ambient sounds and classical music elements.

Website Link

https://www.flowthegroup.com/

Link to USA Tour Dates and Tickets

FLOW hope to tour Australia at select locations in 2019

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Carol Albert – New Album and a chat

Carol Albert releases her new album ‘ Fly Away Butterfly, a Jazzy, Soulful offering with some modern twists and talks to us about her early influences-

Tell us about the moment you decided to become a Songwriter and Performer?

It was never a conscious decision . I grew up with music in my church playing the Organ for Worship Services and Singing with the Oldschool southern “Singing Schools” of the South where we learned Solfege (shape-Do-Re-Mi ) notes which we sang to the music instead of lyrics to Gospel Songs. I took piano lessons as well while I was growing up. I didn’t decide to major in music/piano until my Sophomore year of College. It was after I graduated from College that I decided to play Pop Music in Clubs, Bars and Private Events as well as teaching private Piano Lessons.

How did my family feel about it?

My Dad publicly announced at a family gathering that he would give me 10 cents when I graduated from College because that is all my Degree would be worth. He always thought I should just be a school-teacher.                

Tell us a little about your music and what a crowd can expect at a live show?

 My music is a combination of Smooth Jazz, Ambient World and New Age Music. I intersperse Instrumental Piano and Vocals with other instruments like Saxophone, Guitar, Bass , Drums . With some really upbeat tunes mixed with more introspective Ballads that are Piano driven.

What is the first record you bought and why?

I bought the Album “Close To The Edge” by Yes because it was my 1st Concert to ever attend. I was blown away and listened to the record until the Grooves were worn down. Then Emerson, Lake and Palmer, The Moody Blues and Pink Floyd. The keyboards were so over my head I just listened over and over trying to figure it all out.

You are on stage with Hans Zimmer.   What do you say?

i would be awkward and speechless but, having seen him this summer in Atlanta, I think he would be very earthy and friendly. I wouldn’t know what to say except “ I’m in awe of your work! “

What is the one thing you want/need that you think will make you a successful artist? Why?

What is success? is it making enough money to retire and travel around the World or is it having the ability to create music that is so intrinsically satisfying that it doesn’t matter if you ever do anything else? Success for me is reaching as many ears as possible and have people contact me saying “Your music is beautiful . it really touched my soul. We want to hear more.” Of course , making it monetarily feasible is always a challenge and some people equate success with how much money you make/made. Recognition is always a nice validation that your work is successful with monetary rewards.

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Joel Sena (AUS)

Joel Sena – QnA with Foghorn Media

Joel Sena is a Sydney saxophonist and producer with his debut self-titled EP expected for release 11 November, 2016. The first single off the EP, “Be With You,”Featuring Female Vocals from Phoebe  will be available 7 October, 2016.

Listen to previews of the EP here: joelsena.com/music

Foghorn Media: What inspired you to become a musician? Who
are your early influences?
Joel Sena: I’ve been playing and writing music from a very young age. It has always been a great emotional outlet for me, being someone who is quite shy and reserved. Sharing an emotional connection with others through music is something really special and that’s why I try and write songs that are honest and direct. I’ve always thought the saxophone to be a uniquely lyrical and compelling instrument when played well. Mastering that instrument and its potential has been a long term pursuit of mine!
FM: Tell us a little about how you write; how do the songs come?  What gets you going creatively?
JS: I write songs in the strangest of places. More often than not I’ll have an idea in the car or on the train. I’ve learnt to jot down ideas quickly and then unpack them when I have some time to be more creative. I produce my own music and the pre-production phase of putting songs together is really helpful in developing them further. I love finding something compelling – whether it be a melody, groove, or set of chords – to expand upon bit by bit. I’ve always found that experience drives creativity. Travel, relationships, and life’s struggles have all spurred me on to create more and more music.
FM: What is the first record you bought and why?
JS: Miles Davis – “Kind of Blue,” I bought it because my sax teacher told me to! It took me more than a decade to really appreciate all of the nuances of that album but it inspired me from the start. It has remained one of my favourite albums of all time.
FM: What current OZ acts inspire you? International acts?
JS: I’m loving the current resurgence of soul inspired music in Australia. Artists like Hiatus Kaiyote, Daniel Merriweather, and Chet Faker are pushing the boundaries and creating some incredible stuff. I’m inspired by international acts that are fusing the spontaneity of jazz and soul with modern production and contemporary songwriting. Artists like Robert Glasper, Kendrick Lamar, and Jill Scott have been huge inspirations to me. I’m also a sucker for a great female vocalist – Melody Gardot and Lianne La Havas come to mind.
FM: Tell us a little about your music and what a crowd can expect
at a live show?
JS: The music is groovy and engaging. It’s for people who love a well written song and a great sax sound. It’s music with an infectious groove. Those coming to a live show can expect a fair bit of spontaneity within a seriously tight sounding band. They can expect soaring instrumentals with wailing solos to soft, delicate and contemplative ballads. There may or may not be a dose of my dry sense of humour in there too! I always feature at least one world class vocalist at my live shows to sing several of my songs.
FM: Favourite artists of all time?
JS: Miles Davis, Jill Scott, Robert Glasper, Kenny Garrett, Michael
Brecker/Brecker Bros, Toto, Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder,
Chaka Khan.
FM: Favourite film? Favourite Book? Favourite place?
JS:
Film: Lord of the Rings.
Book: The war of art (Steven Pressfield) – helped me
so much with getting over myself and making the music happen!
Place:I love the hustle and bustle of big cities like NYC. When I was there I met and jammed with some killer musicians who were some of the most welcoming people I’ve met. I turned up unannounced to a funk jam run by one of Lauryn Hill’s horn players. I had a play and slotted right in. It was a great experience. They value music there and are so accepting of people from any walk of life. It’s a great place for art to thrive.
FM: Favourite food or drink and is there a story associated with that?
JS: I’ll go to great lengths to find a perfect coffee. Whenever I’m traveling I’ll be sure to suss out where the best coffee spots are with a little help from Google Maps. Unfortunately this obsession has oft taken me on wild goose chases and long detours.
FM: You are backstage with Miles Davis; what do you say?
JS: I don’t think I would have to say much. From what I hear, Miles had a knack for imparting years of wisdom in a single phrase. I’d be quite happy to be on the receiving end of an MD one liner!
FM: Where do you see Aussie music heading?
JS: There are a bunch of highly motivated and talented artists that have been a little late to the self promotional internet age we’re in now. I think as more and more of these artists start coming to terms with the new tools we have to connect with fans we’ll start to see some really special stuff. I think that really well crafted songs and a high level of musicality will come to the forefront somewhat again.
FM: What are your future plans for 2016/2017
JS: After releasing my own EP, I plan to get playing live regularly. Live shows are where my music will really shine and inspire people. I love playing live and creating special moments with an audience. I’m really excited to return to the studio in 2017 and follow up my EP with another release. I’ve learnt an unbelievable amount over the past year and I can’t wait to put all of that new knowledge to use!