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Christian McBride Co-produces How Love Begins

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Christian McBride Co-produces How Love Begins

Christian McBride co-produces new album with vocalist, pianist, and composer Nicole Zuraitis: How Love Begins

Outside In Music is thrilled to announce the release of How Love Begins, the provocative new release from jazz singer songwriter and vocal/instrumental powerhouse Nicole Zuraitis. Co-produced by bass luminary Christian McBride, How Love Begins is an ardent, vulnerable and relatable meditation on modern love that solidifies the GRAMMY nominated Zuraitis’ stature as one of the pre-eminent songwriters of our time. Alongside Zuraitis’ soaring vocals and pianistic refrains, How Love Begins features the aforementioned Christian McBride on the bass, Gilad Hekselman on guitar, Maya Kronfeld on organ, Wurlitzer and Rhodes, and Dan Pugach on drums. The album also features special guests David Cook on piano, Billy Kilson on drums and Sonica – a co-led vocal trio comprised of Thana Alexa, Julia Adamy and Zuraitis.

“Perhaps this album should have been called “How Love Begins… and Ends,”” Zuraitis says wryly, commenting on the duality she distinctly presents in the two-part structure of the release. To illustrate the many phases of love, she divides her 10-track collection in halves titled ‘part I: oil’ and ‘part II: water’. This format, which verifies the idea that “opposites attract”, embodies a story of romance initially blessed with harmony yet eventually plagued with discord. 

Propelled by the notion that the polarity of love can often be coincidental,  Zuraitis conceptualized ‘Oil’ and ‘Water’ spontaneously after a visceral reaction she had to the work of Spanish conservation photographer Daniel Beltrá.  She stumbled upon his collection “Spill”, which at first glance looked to her like paintings with beautiful color patterns created from the brush of an artist.   “When I learned that the stunnings works of art, with their swirling colors and perfectly placed hues, were actually aerial photographs of the most devastating oil spill in history, my heart sank,” she describes. “The irony was not lost on me. Just like a love that ends too soon, the common thread is that some of the most beautiful things in life can also be the most heartbreaking.” 

The Deep Water Horizon oil spill destruction combined with the beautiful scope of Beltrá’s imagery struck a chord with Zuraitis.  In effect, How Love Begins efforts to depict the all-encompassing journey of modern love, including the beauty of taking chances, the complexity of desire, the fragility of emotion, the blemishes left when chapters close and the long standing optimism of starting anew.  The album was conceived between Zuraitis and Christian McBride in 2021 after several years of dreaming about collaborating. The musical partners first crossed paths at the Red Eye Grill in New York City where Zuraitis had a longstanding residency, just a few months after she placed in the International Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition. Following many years of mutual admiration, the two artists finally come together on this fruitful collaboration. 

“Working with Nicole was an absolute thrill. She does everything at the highest level: singing, playing, writing, producing, and arranging,” shares Christian McBride. “I’m putting big, big money on Nicole. I can’t wait to see her career explode.” 

Musically, How Love Begins pays homage to many of Zuraitis’ favorite songwriters from Tin Pan Alley to today. Similar to the great composers of yesteryear, Zuraitis succeeded in composing material that is raw and relatable, with the potential of living on for generations. “I don’t want to be the only person singing these songs I write” she adds, fervently insisting that her goal is for jazz enthusiasts and professionals alike to add her songs to their repertoire. 

The first section of How Love Begins, ‘part I: oil’, places the listener in a musical depiction of the thunderous excitement of a new flame that is just beginning, with slippery twists and turns. In “The Good Ways,” Zuraitis warns “You’re simply dangerous, like shock waves” and later “A little heat, a lot of spice / mysterious, never plays nice.” The adventure continues with “Travel” on which a broad, cinematic soundscape is presented by the rhythm section over which Zuraitis’ vocals soar, seemingly bursting with the desire to maintain the listeners autonomy and freedom. 

She explores the vicissitudes of daydreams in her arrangement of the Debussy classic “Reverie” which has original lyrics penned by Zuraitis that meditate on how the mind grows occupied with “undeniable whirlpools of fantasy.” “Let Me Love You” is a poetic highlight with Zuraitis wrestling with the question: “Will you ever let me love you?” and later “Does this game ever end?” We’ve all been there before. But at least now we have a song that keeps us company. 

The final piece of “part I” is “Burn” – an up-tempo and brisk jaunt, beginning with a notable counterpoint between Zuraitis and McBride. The band enters leading to a stellar guitar solo. Hekselman glides through the progression with angular lines, followed by McBride with a punchy, walking solo. The final lyric “I think i’ll finally try a new romance” conveniently sets the listener up for part II, though trepidation lurks. 

Beginning the second section, ‘part II: water”, listeners dive into the deep with “Two Fish” where Zuraitis admires, “how great, the depth of their love”, painting a picture of storybook endings. The feel-good but filled with disquieting subtext of  “Well Planned, Well Played” outlines a recipe for modern love, featuring “caffeine and affirmations”, despite being “deeply overwhelmed.” The album takes an emotional spiral with two thought-provoking numbers: “20 Seconds” and “Like Dew”.  Ominous lyrics like “Alarm bells ring a warning sound” and “change flows like blood to the heart, while we’re growing further apart” set the scene. Though the fire was lit in part I, allusions to tears and water insinuate flames turning to smoke.  “The Garden” comes full circle with melancholic optimism and acceptance, with the hope of starting again. 

“If you listen a moment past the final track you may find faint glimmers of hope for the future, saved for a rainy day,” Zuraitis insinuates. 

Following the July 7, 2023 international release of How Love Begins, the vocalist and composer has two major release performances coinciding with months of national release touring which will continue throughout the summer and fall. She will be producing a large-scale album release concert at Park City Music Hall in CT on July 8th, 2023 titled Siren Songs- For the Love of the Sound; a day of activism and musical festival  benefiting Save the Sound.Org,  a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting climate change and protecting the Long Island Sound estuary, rivers and its wildlife.  Additionally, on September 4, 2023, Zuraitis will have her official New York City album release party at Birdland with special guests Christian McBride and Gilad Hekselman at upstairs at 7pm. More details and ticket links can be found at www.nicolezmusic.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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