Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.
No special theme this week. Back to more relatively new music, and this week’s assortment is perfect for some summer backyard cocktailing and lounging. Let’s get started.
Percussionist Edgardo Cintron is a second-generation Puerto Rican and a second generation musician. He attributes his musical influences to his father, Pablo Cintron, who played guitar in the U.S. military band, and also to Charlie Parker, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana and Tito Puente.
By the age of five he was studying French horn and guitar, then moved on to percussion, all under his father’s direction.
Moving the family to the East Coast in 1962, the elder Cintron formed his own band, Los Tropicales. By age twelve, Edgardo had won the percussion chair. He traveled up and down the coast with the band, playing at hotels and Latin dances.
After serving in the army (1975-1977), Edgardo began studying music again, and formed his own twelve-piece band that played numerous jazz festivals and concerts.
From his new CD, a remake of an O’Jays hit released 50 years ago.
Cintron has worked with the Average White Band, Jeff Lorber, Grover Washington Jr., Billy Davis, and Marilyn McCoo.
Before vibraphonist Steve Raybine passed away last December after a year-long battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis his ‘Best Of’ album was released as a tribute.
Born in Oshkosh, WI, Raybine was an accomplished recording artist and solo performer and worked with numerous jazz legends. He received degrees from the prestigious Eastman School of Music, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Iowa.
Raybine was nicknamed “master of the Mallets” and you’ll hear why in this instrumental version of a 1978 song by American singer-songwriter Bobby Caldwell.
On the vibraphone Raybine said, “I’m grateful that so many people love this instrument and am excited for people to hear it and make it a compelling new ‘vibe’ within the smooth jazz idiom.”
Raybine died at the age of 67.
Why do some songs last and last and last for decades? That’s easy. Because they’re so damn good.
They’re now called standards, like this one that debuted 68 years ago, sung first by Frank Sinatra.
Who knows how many artists have recorded this classic but one of them is an Italian born and American raised singer, a Grammy nominated international recording performer and songwriter who has performed at Presidential Inaugurations and opened for such renowned artists as Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Jackie Mason, Dizzy Gillespie, Barry Gibb and David Brenner. Discovered by the legendary Lionel Hampton, she has charmed audiences with her sultry and seductive blend of jazz and pop.
Bennett loves to perform in front of live audiences where she can sing in English, Spanish, and French.
Next up, Birmingham, Alabama based flutist Kim Scott. One reviewer wrote, “Kim plays the flute like a jubilant field lark with a perfection that sets new standards.”
From her most recent album out this year comes a rendition of “Butterfly,” a track from Herbie Hancock’s groundbreaking 1974 jazz fusion album “Thrust.” And since this is a Hancock remake you not only get Scott’s flute but some nice electric piano.
Ronald Jackson, journalist for The Smooth Jazz Ride, states “Artists like Kim Scott bring an exuberance to an art form long prophesied to be a thing of the past in short order by critics. When you listen to the Pied Piper-like allure and magic of her style, you come to the conclusion that those critics couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
I had no idea there is a bit of a teen wave starting in jazz. A great example is J3.
Justin-Lee Schultz on piano is 15.
Justin’s sister Jamie is 18. She plays drums, bass, and guitar.
Jaden Baker is 16 and says, “I play the drums, bass guitar, piano, guitar, cello, tenor trombone, bass trombone, and I’ve just started messing with trumpet and accordion. I was raised to never have a favorite.”
From their debut album, originally recorded by Michael Jackson…
Jaden Baker: “It is important for myself and J3 to ride the positive train because the majority of the negative music that trends nowadays is directed towards teens and young people. I think it’s important for us to always be positive and to make music that spreads positivity. Music definitely has the power to bring people together and I hope J3 can do that.”
That’s it for this week.
Have a great weekend.
We close with Jeff Golkin and his large 13-piece band, Forever Love. Golkin was a former local politician in Warren Township, NJ. He also was an active volunteer firefighter for 8 years, served as Chief of the Mount Horeb Volunteer Fire Company, and was a Member of the Board of Health and Liaison to the Police and Rescue Squads.
Producer, drummer and pianist Golkin has released his first album that includes a remake of a hit by the Blackbyrds.