Friday, February 21, 2014

Kere Buchanan takes West Coast Sound & Owns It

There's nothing more exciting than listening to an album that's been done right.

The album I'm talking about is "Goodbye Yesterday" by Kere Buchanan

Kere is from Sydney, Australia. He and his friends have done their homework. . . studied the West Coast Sound, including just stepping out, asking if some legends might lend their vocals and skills and created a fine project that I am positive will be considered a classic by all who love Smooth Jazz.

This is probably one of the best albums I've heard in a very long time in this genre. Kere has taken everything that he has learned from everyone that he has admired musically and put them together to create one fantastic LP. He's also made this an album that if it were on vinyl, you'd put on your turntable, play "side one" from it's beginning, then turn over to "side two" and play the rest to it's end and maybe start it over because it's that good. I definitely feel like I've been transported back to the early 1980's and believe me. . . I was there! HA. Those were my L.A. days!

There is just enough that I can hear many of my personal favorite influences on this album from Bobby Caldwell to George Benson to Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle to Toto to Earth, Wind & Fire to Bryan Duncan to Steely Dan to Chicago, David Sanborn, Jerry Hey, Lenny Castro, Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton and Al Jarreau. Let me also add Quincy Jones, David Foster, Michael Omartian, Michael Ruff. I could just go on and on!
But the bottom is. . . THIS IS KERE BUCHANAN!

Let me tell you, the weather right now is chilly and rainy where I live, but I don't care, I want to put the top down on my car and go cruising while listening to "Goodbye Yesterday."
This is an amazing album, folks! This is cruising music to the max! Don't take my word for it, while you're reading my review of Kere's album, preview it here at CD Baby

There might be a chance that you'll detect a familiar voice on one of the tracks. And yes, you're right. You are hearing songwriter/artist Bill Champlin of Chicago doing not only the lead vocal on "Never Gonna Give You Up" but along with Kere, doing back up vocals as well. Other notable musicians are Louie Shelton & Robbie Buchanan and Marc Jordan who supplied the beautiful front and back CD cover. As far as the others, I'm afraid that I don't really know too much about the vocalists or musicians. All I can say is that they are exceptional in their skill. The musicians play like the "musician's musician" they have more than likely been influenced by.

Let me break it down to you as to who are the personnel are:
Lead vocals: Gary Pinto, Michelle Martinez, Glenn Bidmead, Karen O’Shea, Geoff Robertson, Barry Leef and Kere Buchanan.
Background vocals: Natasha Stuart, Michelle Martine, Geoff Robertson, Kere Buchanan
Fender Rhodes: Bill Risby, Robbie Buchanan, Kere Buchanan
Acoustic Piano: Bill Risby, Brendan St. Ledger, Kere Buchanan
Hammond: Brendan St. Ledger
Melodica: Bill Risby
Synths: Bill Risby, Kere Buchanan
Electric Guitar: Chris Kamzelas, Mark Punch, Jim Kelly, Louie Shelton
Electric Bass: Leon Gaer
Trumpets: Stewart Kirwan, Angus Gomm
Flugel Horns: Stewart Kirwan, Angus Gomm
Trombone: James Greening
Tenor Saxophone: Andy Bickers
Clavinet: Kere Buchanan
Flute: Mark Taylor.
Ewi Solo: Aaron Michael
Percussion: Tony Azzopardi
Drums: Kere Buchanan

The Track List is as follows:

I want to make mention of the last track; "Hard Goodbyes." Kere does an amazing job of singing this. His vocals are so authentic in expressing his feelings. And his tone is very reminiscent of the late Kenny Rankin. This is one of my favorite tracks. My daughter listened with me and she, too felt that Kere did a great job. By the way. . . this is a hard song NOT to tear up to.

For more about Kere Buchanan. . . who he is, what he's all about and this project, check out his recent interview with my friends at Inside MusiCast here.

I'll say it again, I don't think I've been this excited about music like this in a long time! For my friends who been telling me they want some good music along the lines of Toto, Chicago, EW&F, etc, . . . you HAVE to check Kere Buchanan. This guy is off the hook!

This is smooth jazz at it's finest!

Order info:
Email Kere directly HERE


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Keyboardist for Lady Gaga & His 360° Piano

I had an opportunity to meet an amazing musician who just happens to be touring with Lady Gaga and has toured with her since 2010. He is Brockett Parsons. What an nice guy!

Brockett was at this year's NAMM Show demonstrating his amazing keyboard that has gone through two Gaga tours and is about to hit the road again with the upcoming Artpop tour.

I also had a chance to meet Brockett's friend, Richard Fell from QRS who is the creative force behind the ArcPiano. Rich took a few minutes to tell me how this concept was conceived and what he did to make it a reality.

Isn't that incredible!? Proof that if you can see it, you can achieve it!

As you can see, Brockett is so amazingly awesome! He's got that Weather Report vibe going on there, don't you think? I told him that. I also told him that if he ever puts out a solo LP, I would love to listen and review it. He immediately responds with, "I'd like to show you something."
Grabbing his iPhone, he shows me this video of a solo project he did. . . .

Very impressive, right!? Love the concept of the video with his song. Yes, I will definitely review any future solo projects he puts out.

It was a pleasure meeting Brockett and spending a little time with him. He's a cool dude and I wish him much success.

For information on the ArcPiano by QRS, contact them here: QRS Music Technology and their Facebook

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Leah Turner Has The Keys to Her New Vehicle; SUCCESS!

Lean Turner is an up and coming Country music artist and I predict; Superstar.
But I think she always knew this.

What I'm sure she doesn't know, is that I met her when she was a baby and toddler.
Her Tia and I were not only school alumnus' but co-workers in Palm Springs and remain dear friends to this day.

In the last year, Leah's name has been blowing up the social media sites, but I wasn't really aware of who she was until her auntie told me. It was pleasing to see her grow up to be not only a beautiful young woman but incredibly talented!

But as most of you know, if you've been reading my page for the last few years, I won't promote something on my own that I am not fully excited by and that includes even from those I know. Seeing Leah on her new video, "Take the Keys" excites me because even if I didn't know her family, I would still promote her. She is authentic. She has an amazing presence about her.

Here is her official video of "Take The Keys."

Leah is working with some amazing people. One of which is Cary Barlowe, whom I've not met but we've shared the same friends for years, two being Kevin Max and Adam LaClave (formally of my fav band; Earthsuit). If you are a Mutemath superfan, then you'll know who he is. Anyways, Cary's credits reads like a who's who, including Carrie Underwood, Kevin Max, Taylor Swift, tobyMac, Rebecca St. James, Mandisa, Dierks Bentley and so on.

Also, I enjoyed this video introducing everyone to Leah.
Great to see the clips of her with her mom.

Best wishes to you, Leah. I will be watching and posting!

By the way, Leah's aunt had no idea that I would be writing about her niece.
I'm glad she didn't ask. ; )

The Officials!