When drummer Tony Williams died of a heart attack on February 23, 1997, at the relatively young age of 51, it was a tremendous loss for straight-ahead post-bop and hard bop as well as for fusion. Williams had numerous acoustic jazz credentials (including his contributions to Miles Davis' legendary mid-‘60s quintet), and his band Lifetime was one of the most important fusion outfits of the ‘70s. The late drummer's fusion side is what electric guitarist Allan Holdsworth, electric bassist Jimmy Haslip (of Yellowjackets fame), keyboardist Alan Pasqua, and drummer Chad Wackerman pay tribute to on Blues for Tony, an excellent two-CD set that was recorded live in 2007…
On Nightfall, Haslip’s first solo album since 2000’s Red Heat, he’s joined by keyboardist and producer Joe Vannelli for a set of heavily textured tracks characterized by multilayered keys and synths and programmed drums and percussion. Haslip’s awe-inspiring bass chops are amply on display.
Guitarist Jeff Richman, bassist Jimmy Haslip (taking a break from the Yellowjackets to play some fusion!) and drummer, Danny Gottlieb recorded live at the Baked Potato, in Hollywood CA, on Oct. 6 & 7 2000. Entirely instrumental, tasty, well played fusion from these three jazz/fusion veterans.
Renegade Creation is the new record by veteran musical giants, Michael Landau, Robben Ford,Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak. Blending together to create a blues-driven sound that not only willsatisfy their individual fans but is fresh enough to attract a legion of new fans as well. Delivering bothrootsy, blues/rock vocal tunes and fiery instrumentals, the band draws on the unique guitar interplay between guitar giants Robben Ford and Michael Landau who inspire each other to new personal bests.
As he was developing his formidable career in the early era of smooth jazz, the saxman proved an invaluable sideman of Chick Corea's Elektric Band, David Benoit's touring ensemble and a studio player for projects by such artists as Keiko Matsui and Mike Garson. Yet as a solo artist, he spent his first three albums searching for an identity that ranged from pop (Round Trip) to electronic mainstream jazz (Crossroads). With Oasis, his search came to a diverse, exciting, and highly enjoyable end. Marienthal applies his stellar blowing techniquest to styles ranging from folk to gospel, but the overall attitude he conveys is sweet and soulful R&B, as in the hoppin' grooves of the funky opening tracks "Hustlin'" and "Seafood to Go."
No chance Franks is going to change the formula now after all these years, but what a great formula it is. Michael Franks delivers another superb collection of idiosyncratic pop songs as only he can - this time out with a bit of a Brazilian flavored twist. Features Chuck Loeb (guitar, keyboards, programming), David Sancious (piano, keyboards), Jeff Lorber (keyboards, programming), Michael White (drums) and Eric Marienthal.
A top-notch adult contemporary vocalist still awaiting a well-deserved crossover commercial breakthrough, Marilyn Scott adds powerful fuel to her cause on Avenues of Love by helping herself with a well-balanced array of production and songwriting talent. George Duke surrounds her with party voices and a kneejerking Latin groove on a playful list of dance steps on "I Like to Dance," then surrounds her clear, sensuous voice with airy, billowing synth cushioning on the Bacharach-David classic "The Look of Love." Scott and bassist Jimmy Haslip reroute to Memphis on Michael Ruff's Wilson Pickett-like pick me up, "Love Is a Powerful Thing," engaging a two-piece horn section that sounds even larger. The Yellowjacket touch is in full effect on the picturesque "Avenida del Sol," which approximates an update of the gentle Astrud Gilberto sound; the tune was written by Scott and Bob Mintzer, and produced by Scott, Haslip, and Russell Ferrante. Scott's greatest gift here is her sense of modulation; she belts like crazy on the funk pieces, but recognizes the emotional power of restraint on the ballads.