Gratitude Steve Cole
- 1Good News Day03:42
- 2Neo Sol04:55
- 5Starting Over03:37
- 6Love Ballad04:36
- 8Can’t Get Enough03:42
- 9Let’s Go!03:43
Info zu Gratitude
Gratitude, due out via Mack Avenue Music Group’s Artistry Music, arrives on the heels of a health scare in Steve Cole’s family. The successful battle left the saxophonist feeling rejuvenated, with a renewed sense of hope and faith in his fellow humans. That depth of feeling shines through on the album’s ten tracks, which joyously spotlight Cole’s gift for infectious grooves, soulful melodies, and vibrant pop hooks.
"Going through something like this", Cole says of the recent health scare, "and seeing all these marvelous people who care so much about others has really imbued my music with optimism and gratitude."
Co-produced with longtime collaborator and fellow saxophonist David Mann, Gratitude in no way reinvents the trademark sound that has seen Cole consistently top the contemporary jazz charts, both solo and with the much-loved sax trio The Sax Pack, over the last two decades. But it does find an artist with a love of life and an overflowing passion for self-expression, the formula for an invigorating and moving set of music.
"Joy is baked into this record, and hopefully it means as much to the listeners as it does to me."
Another reason for appreciation came via one of Cole’s Sax Pack partners when Marcus Andersondelivered the funky “Can’t Get Enough.” As Cole marvels, “He just laid it at my feet, completely finished. Marcus said, ‘I was thinking of you,’ and he gave me this awesome song. It was an incredible gift from one of my saxophone brothers.”
The album opens with “Good News Day,” one of three tunes for which Cole takes sole composer credit. The celebratory song takes pleasure in waking up to enjoy another day of being alive. A similar spirit fuels “Starting Over,” which basks in the opportunity for a second chance.
The grooving “Neo Sol” pays homage to two inspirations: the neo-soul genre, whose blend of modern R&B and contemporary jazz is a clear influence, along with a nod to Ramsey Lewis’ iconic “Sun Goddess.” The songwriter’s love of British neo-soul, embodied by bands like the Brand New Heavies and Incognito, is acknowledged through the warm vibe of “Soho.” And the cryptically titled “Five6oh83” is a stealth dedication to another sax idol.
The seductive late-night feel of Cole’s version of Skip Scarborough’s “Love Ballad” splits the difference between L.T.D.’s slinky original and the more disco-inflected take by George Benson. The adrenalized “Let’s Go!” is self-explanatory, while Mann’s “Toronto” (named for the city where it was written) close the album on a bluesy note.
Having created one of his strongest albums to date, Cole hopes that the music of Gratitude returns some of the healing energy and positive emotion that he received from so many people back into the wider world. He’s seen it happen firsthand: “Writing music is a dream, and it always blows me away when someone tells me a story about how my music has affected them in a profound way,” he says. “Joy is baked into this record, and hopefully it means as much to the listeners as it does to me.”
During his career to date Steve’s albums have been well-received, earning him several awards and Steve has sold hundreds of thousands of albums worldwide and scored four No.1 R&R Smooth Jazz hits.
Steve Cole, saxophone
Bernd Schoenhart, guitar
Ricky Peterson, organ
Trevor Neumann, horn
Dan Levine, horn
Lamar Jones, bass
Khari Parker, drums
is one of the most celebrated players in contemporary jazz.
The Chicago native exploded onto the scene in 1998 with the album “Stay Awhile” that was produced by fellow Chicagoan Brian Culbertson. The disc scored two #1 hits and earned Cole the Oasis Smooth Jazz Award for best new artist shortly before his sophomore set, “Between Us,” was released in 2000. His catchy singles made him an instant radio favorite and he cranked them out with regularity on subsequent albums “NY LA” (2003), “Spin” (2005, “True” (2006), "Moonlight" (2009), and "True" (2013).
In addition to his work as solo artist, Steve has performed/recorded, with Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Boz Scaggs, Larry Carlton, Jeff Lorber, Jim Peterik, Freddie Cole, Cyrus Chestnut, and KMFDM, and has been a featured soloist with the City of Prague Orchestra, and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Steve is also a founding member of The Sax Pack, a stellar sax trio completed by Marcus Anderson and Jeff Kashiwa.
Known for consistently cranking out chart-topping singles that deploy big vibrant pop hooks, contemporary jazz saxophonist Steve Cole conjures a sonic escapade with the hypnotic “Mirage,” the first single from his forthcoming eighth album, “Turn It Up,” which will be released July 15 by Artistry Music. Radio programmers were instantly spellbound, making the track from the David Mann-produced set of R&B grooves and soul-powered sojourns the No. 1 most added single on the Billboard BDS chart.
The entrancing single on which electronic beats bombard the senses before chill tenor and soprano sax leads and a soothing trumpet undercurrent take command of the illusion is one of nine new songs on the session, eight of which were composed or co-composed by Cole. The tune reflects his hometown roots and ardor for Chicago’s dance music scene. It’s one of three major cities that helped shape the collection.
"I embarked on ‘Turn It Up’ with the goal of making music with great musicians and great friends in great cities. This time around I wrote much of the music with Dave Mann in New York City. We recorded horns, guitars and vocals there as well. The energy in that great city was truly inspiring and it really is reflected in the music. Next stop was Minneapolis, where I worked with the great keyboardist and producer Ricky Peterson. Ricky and I wrote the song ‘Workhouse’ together, a track influenced by our love of Chicago house music. Dave joined us later in Minneapolis to record Ricky on the Hammond B3 organ as well as to record my Chicago pals, bassist Lamar Jones and drummer Khari Parker. I decided to track all of the saxophone parts in Minneapolis as well,” explained Cole, who has a slate of festival and club dates running into mid-October to help support the album release.
Cole and Mann have been collaborating ever since Cole’s sophomore record, “Between Us” (2000). In addition to helming the production on “Turn It Up,” multi-instrumentalist Mann often shadows Cole on alto and soprano sax to add depth, thickness, volume and intensity to the layers upon layers of horns – alto, tenor and soprano saxophones, trumpet, trombone and flute. Aside from the back-to-back dance music workouts that close the album, Cole’s energizing pop melodies and hooky harmonies on the disc are presented as soulful R&B joints. The saxman dusted off Bobby Womack’s “Woman’s Gotta Have It,” teamed up with fresh-faced keyboardist Nicholas Cole on “Turn It Up!” and yielded the spotlight on “Bright Side” to Pieces of a Dream’s James Lloyd, the author of the sunny mid-tempo smile, who solos on piano.
“In the end, I really accomplished what I set out to do,” Cole surmised. “The music reflects all of the diverse backgrounds and personalities that brought it to life. There was a lot of laughter and good times throughout this journey. I think that's why I've got such a big smile on my face on the album cover. After all, it's supposed to be fun...and it sure was!”
Cole’s 1998 award-winning arrival onto the contemporary jazz scene was the Brian Culbertson-produced “Stay Awhile” that spawned a pair of No. 1 singles. Solo tours and prominent sideman gigs with Culbertson, Boz Scaggs, Rick Braun, Peter White, Jeff Lorber and Larry Carlton served to rapidly multiply his fervent fan base exponentially while successive albums and singles repeatedly took Cole to the top of the charts, establishing him as a radio playlist favorite. In addition to his own recordings, Cole records and performs regularly as a member of Sax Pack, an all-star sax combo consisting of rotating members Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, Jackiem Joyner and Marcus Anderson.
Dieses Album enthält kein Booklet