There's a thousand different worlds in the wide world of music, and because music is always made out of the world around it, there always have been. It's different now, though, because you can wander from world to world as fast as you can type a url, so what you need now more than ever is a reliable guide. If you ever want to visit the world of Smooth Jazz, you might want to think about bringing Denis Poole along; he's the kind of guide who can tell you a lot about the places you might want to go.
Poole does it all from a website called Smooth Jazz Therapy, where he writes about the artists and music that fall somewhere in the world called Smooth Jazz, a term that's been one of the most unreliable in all of music. Depending on the country, region, or radio market you happen to know best, 'smooth jazz' can conjure anything from the less abstract side of inspired musicianship to a background soundtrack for brunch. That's alright, you can sort it all out at smoothjazztherapy.com.
Powerplay FYI's new album "A Normal Life" is out now, it's a full length trip through the musical imaginations of some really accomplished performers and writers. "A Normal Life" is a richly textured concept album; it's a new collection of ten tracks that showcase what great writing sounds like with the energy of a percussion-rich Latin big band, with the flawlessly soulful vocals of two great singers, and with the driving funk of a full horn section and first-call rhythm players.
Powerplay fyi keyboard player, writer, and producer Ruben Agosto is just back from the ASCAP I Create Music Conference in Hollywood, and the new Powerplay album, "A Normal Life" is coming out later this spring. Here's a short intro interview Ruben did at the Heart & Soul studios just after finishing mastering on the album.
PowerPlay FYI features some of the most talented and accomplished performers around; their two vocalists (Pam Fernandez and Peter Frank) are both featured in the tracks used behind the photo collages in the video. "A Normal Life" covers a wide range of soulful, smooth jazz and funk-driven beats. Several of the arrangements are by Tower of Power arranger Dave Eskridge. The whole album is already at PowerPlayFYI.bandcamp.com for full strreaming. Not to mention, check out the photo of Ruben hangin' in Hollywood with Lee Ritenour.
Ruben Agosto came into the studio today working on finishing up his band's new record A Normal Life. Powerplay FYI's last track on AOTPR can be listened to here. You can also visit their website or find them on Twitter and Facebook
The new record is a bit concept album telling the story of normal people doing extraordinary artistic things while dealing with everyday issues. "It covers a lot of ground" Says Ruben. The sound goes from Steely Dan to Santana to Tower of Power with the musicianship of several of Chicago's top musicians.
"You are always going to do what you're passionate about" says Agosto. "If you find out what that is you will find out how to do it."
Look out for previews of the songs here on aotpr.com and the full release in early 2012.
It might be surprising for some to hear that a lot of the most talented musicians never really get around to writing, let alone releasing, their own music.
Why is that?