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Bassist Fred Randolph Releases 4th CD of All Originals, “Mood Walk,”

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Bassist Fred Randolph Releases 4th CD of All Originals, "Mood Walk,"

It took Fred Randolph many years to decide which instrument he wanted to play, but when he finally settled on the bass, he knew he had found his true, creative métier.

Randolph is now releasing MOOD WALK, his fourth CD as a leader. Each of his three previous albums received wide airplay and stellar reviews, including his 2015 release Song Without Singing, which All About Jazz called “An exquisite project from bassist Fred Randolph, whose talents as a composer and arranger are what truly makes Song Without Singing an engaging musical experience. Presenting straight-ahead, Latin, Brazilian, and Afro styled rhythms, Randolph designs a varied musical package that will appeal to the most discerning aficionado.”

Randolph grew up in Honolulu where he started taking ukulele lessons when he was very young.

At the time, every young guy wanted to be a rock star, so he switched to guitar when he was 11 years old because he wanted to emulate Jimi Hendrix. When he was in high school, he began listening to jazz albums such as “The Boss” by Jimmy Smith featuring George Benson and became fascinated with jazz harmony. It changed his musical direction forever, and he became a serious student of jazz guitar.  

After high school, Randolph went to UC San Diego. He admits, “I really went there to surf. But after growing up by the beautiful, blue, warm water around Hawaii, the ocean was too cold in San Diego.” So, he switched schools and enrolled in UC Berkeley. One of his guitar teachers in San Diego had suggested he listen to sax players like Coltrane to expand his jazz vocabulary. Soon after his move north, he rented a sax from a pawn shop in Berkeley and became hooked. He put aside the guitar and spent the next 12 years playing the sax.  

After so many years and too many bad casuals, Randolph felt it was time for a change.

He was always a quick study when it came to music, and he had taught himself bass one summer years ago to play in a band. Although he hadn’t played it in over a decade, someone who remembered him from those days asked him to play bass in his band. Soon, one gig led to another. By that time, he had gone back to school and was working on his master’s degree in Composition at CSU Hayward. Says Randolph. “I fell under the spell of the bass, captivated by its endless possibilities and sounds. The acoustic and electric basses became my main instruments, and I started to study intensively. I listened to all types of jazz solos on other instruments and adapted them to the bass.” 

After receiving his M.A., he pursued his professional career as a bass player. At first, he co-led the jazz quintet, The Zone, for several years, composing most of the music for the group’s first CD Grand Canyon Blue. Although he is a jazz musician at heart, his musical interests encompass a wide palette, and he also spent two years as a member of the Diablo Symphony Orchestra while leading his own jazz groups. 

Randolph has performed as a sideman in many genres, from rock to classical, from salsa and samba to jazz, and he feels that great music has common elements that transcend style.

Music should be relatable on an emotive level, and a strong melody is perhaps the most important element in a song. The way a melody is phrased should resemble the natural cadences of speech, but harmony also conjures emotions. Randolph encourages his students to infer the emotion that each, individual chord evokes.  

These elements are well represented on MOOD WALK. Randolph composed all the tunes on the album. He frequently finds inspiration from other compositions when he writes. “I often start writing by listening to other music. However, by the time I’m done, whatever I write doesn’t sound at all like the tune that inspired me,” says Randolph. 

Randolph’s band comprises some of the finest musicians in Northern California.

Each band member is a leader in his own right. Trumpeter ERIK JEKABSON and pianist DAN ZEMELMAN have been members of Randolph’s band just about from the beginning. The core of the band also includes woodwinds player SHELDON BROWN and GREG WYSER-PRATTE on drums. Randolph wanted to add other colors to the music, so he brought on board some special guests, including GREG SANKOVICH on keyboards and organ; SILVESTRE MARTINEZ, who Randolph met on the salsa circuit, on percussion; BRIAN RICE on percussion; and DILLON VADO on vibes.  

The album opens with “On the Upside,” which was inspired by Clifford Brown’s upbeat music. Randolph wrote “Unaware,” inspired by Chick Corea, about people who walk through the streets unaware of their surroundings. “T-Bone Slide” has an R&B shuffle feeling influenced by drummer Bernard Purdie’s playing, especially in Steely Dan. “Strange Game” is about the music business. Randolph wrote it after listening to the latest album by the legendary David Crosby. The bluesy “Mood Walk” is followed by the Latin-tinged “Knowing.”  

Coltrane Plays the Blues was the inspiration for “Mr. Now.” Randolph has been a big fan of Todd Rundgren and wrote “Todd’s Idea,” featuring the old school sound of a Wurlitzer electric piano. Listening to NPR one day, Randolph heard a group from the Congo playing the Ndombolo rhythm, which inspired him to write “Nouveau Monde.” “Meadows” is an impressionistic Latin waltz styled after Brazilian composer Guinga. Randolph closes the album with “Funky N.O. Thing.” He originally wrote this 2nd line groove for his group, The Zone, and wanted to record a new version of it. Everyone gets to solo on the tune. 

Randolph has always loved the power, valor, energy, and confidence of jaguars, which had spiritual significance in Pre-Columbian, Meso-American cultures. That’s why he used a painting of one on the cover of the CD. MOOD WALK was inspired by its beauty, mesmerizing movements, and mystery.  

MOOD WALK is set for release in June 2020, and will be available at Amazon, iTunes, and everywhere.   

Visit online at Fredrandolph.com

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Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

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Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

Mark Egan, Cross Currents…

It is exciting every time I get a new album from Mark Egan as he is such an amazingly versatile player and I never know what to expect (except for excellent artistry!) In his latest release, Mark has teamed up with Shawn Peyton on drums and Shane Theriot on guitar to bring us “Cross Currents”.

This collection of eleven tracks transports me to the Gulf Coast (New Orleans specifically). Mark’s fretless basses lay down a solid groove and lots of juicy solo work for this rootsy collection of funk, ambient, swamp-rock, second line, ballads, Cajun and even Indian Raga.

This trio is super-tight and the musicianship is flawless as each member has ample opportunity to shine. Even though each player is very talented in their own right, I feel that the collective energy is greater than just the sum of the players on this album. Each musician contributed to composing music for this project but the lion’s share are Mark’s original pieces.

I spent the summer of 1981 in New Orleans and this wonderful music takes me back to those fond memories. I participated in a wacky raft race on Lake Ponchatrain and this opening track elicits images of fun, sunshine, music, and great food.

This is another superb album that everyone will enjoy. Get your copy today! Cross Currents is available online at Amazon.com. Visit Mark online at markegan.com.

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New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album

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New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce "Kingdom of Shred" Album

ALBERTO RIGONI’s New Project NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album, Feat. Super Talented Guests Such as Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner + Many Others

Worldwide known Italian bassist and composer ALBERTO RIGONI (soloist, BAD As, Kim Bingham, Vivaldi Metal Project, etc.) announces the new album “Kingdom of Shred” of his new project NEMESIS CALL. 

Alberto says: 
“Even if my latest album “Unexpected Lullabies”, dedicated to my newborn Vittoria Parini Rigoni, was released on June 4th 2024, I felt the need to compose new music (yes, I really can’t stop!). This time will be quite challenging because I’m willing to release an instrumental shred/prog/rock/metal/melodic album, that will feature many talented top-notch musicians such as drummer Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner, Alexandra Lioness, Aanika Pai (11 years old!), Keiji by Zero (19 years old!), SAKI and many others TBA/TBC). It won’t be easy to manage all such great musicians but I will make it! Are you ready to face a new prog experience? The album will be released in Digipack CD and in high-quality digital format approximately at the beginning of 2025 or maybe for Christmas!.”

As an independent artist, Alberto Rigoni has launched a fundraising campaign to support the project. Support at www.albertorigoni.net/nemesiscall. 20% of the income will be donated to Lega del Filo d’Oro (www.legadelfilodoro.it/it), an Italian association that helps deaf and blind children!

Visit online at www.albertorigoni.net | albertorigoni.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/albertorigonimusic | www.badas.rocks

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New Album: Los Lonely Boys first new album in 11 years, Resurrection

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New Album: Los Lonely Boys first new album in 11 years, Resurrection

Today, Los Lonely Boys announce the release of their first new album in 11 years.

Out August 2nd via BMG, Resurrection marks a return to form for the GRAMMY-winning, multi-platinum trio of Texican brothers, who have performed everywhere from the GRAMMYs telecast to the World Series to recent tours with The Who. Lead single “Wish You Would” conjures the group’s classic sound, combining breezy guitar leads with hard-earned doses of wisdom.

“It’s something we think people need to hear—especially the youth,” says bassist/vocalist Jojo Garza, speaking on “Wish You Would” and Resurrection. “When we’re young, we think we have it figured out. When you get older, you start to see things differently. Having kids of our own, we see their ambitions and ideas of what they want to be, so we want to be good parents. The message is, ‘Be careful what you wish for. There could be a false light, and we don’t want you to get hurt’.”

After an extended break from recording, Los Lonely Boys are making a triumphant return with Resurrection. Rejuvenated and more cosmically attuned than ever before, the album rekindles the sonic fire that bonds the Los Lonely Boys brotherhood, while also paying respects to Texas legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Fender, among others. The album was recorded at guitarist/vocalist Henry Garza’s home studio in St. Angelo, TX, and El Paso’s Sonic Ranch (Fiona Apple, Bon Iver, Snarky Puppy etc), and mixed live in Chicago by Chris Gelin at Opus Audio Labs. 

This year Los Lonely Boys will also celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their self-titled debut, which reached double-platinum status and yielded the gold-certified, generational smash “Heaven,” which earned them a GRAMMY Award for Best Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and performance on the awards telecast. The brothers’ follow-up Sacred bowed at #2 on the Billboard 200, paving the way for fan favorites ForgivenRockpango, and Revelation. Along the way, Los Lonely Boys collaborated with legends such as Santana, Willie Nelson, and Dr. John. 

Even as they’ve been away from the studio, Los Lonely Boys have continued to tour tirelessly for decades, and this year they’ve hit the road again for an extensive, months-long run across the US. They will also perform on select shows alongside long time friends Los Lobos. Find tickets here. Pre-order Resurrection

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New Album: Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies

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New Album: Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies

Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies…

ALBERTO RIGONI Springs Surprises on “Unexpected Lullabies” Album, Out Today!

Today, Italian bassist and composer ALBERTO RIGONI has released his new solo album “Unexpected Lullabies” via Sliptrick Records, containing songs that are half-sweet and half rock-metal. The album is produced and partially composed by Alberto Rigoni and it’s dedicated to Vittoria Parini Rigoni and all newborn babies. 

Alberto shared: “There are no just tragedies in this world, life is going on!”

Album Design and Artwork created by Mark Barrett at elmtreecreative.co.uk

Among the various bass used one belonged to Randy Coven for the recording of Ark – Burn The Sun. Alberto searched it for years since he’s a great fan of Randy (Rest in Peace and Power)!

Tracklist:
01. Vittoria
02. Fly Me To The Moon
03. Azzurra
04. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
05. Out Of Fear
06. Veni Laetitia
07. Nenia
08. Slap Lullaby
09. Saga
10. Vicky
11. Ocean Traveler
12. Strangers In The Night
13. Peaceful
14. Un uomo che voga

Order the album at deadpulse.com/product/alberto-rigoni-unexpected-lullabies/

This album promises to be a collection of auditory wonders, each track a testament to Rigoni’s genius and his ability to transcend musical boundaries. Featuring a symphony of guest musicians alongside Rigoni’s virtuosic bass, Unexpected Lullabies is poised to be a beacon for lovers of music, an invitation to explore the depths of creativity and emotion. What makes ‘Unexpected Lullabies’ even more exciting is the assembly of musical titans. The album features the legendary bassist Michael Manring, the keyboard wizardry of Alessandro Bertoni (of the Graham Bonnet Band) and Vitalij Kuprij (known for Artension and Trans-Siberian Orchestra), and many more yet-to-be-revealed guest artists.

Alberto Rigoni is:
Alberto Rigoni – Bass | Plus various guest musicians

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

The Chilean bassist, producer and sociologist, Ben Mortiz, celebrates the launch of his latest studio work, “MORENO” an album that mixes jazz, soul, and funk following the characteristic Latin style of  Mortiz. The artist completely produced the album under the label “Fallen Lab Records” in the south of Chile.

“MORENO” brings deep and smooth sounds, expressing a sophisticated and elegant Latin vibe. You will find meditative harmonies and joyful melodic voices. The record’s core is the human vibration that Mortiz feels from the Latin American music. The Caribbean rhythms and strong Latin percussions are the musical glue in every song that emerges with the force of the electric bass.

“MORENO” creates a real connection between corporal reactions and mind sensations, always in reference to the originality of Mortiz to fuse modern and classic Latin sounds.

For more information, visit online at danielbenmortiz.com/

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