James Tillman & His Excellent Brazilian Infused Soul

Hailing from DC, residing in NYC, and having recorded his upcoming project in Brazil, New School vocal jazz student James Tillman is quickly proving himself to be a force.

Citing classic soul greats like Marvin Gaye and Bill Withers as influences, his sound also touches on modern talents like Jose James and Michael Kiwanuka, while still holding an irrefutable air of the tropical and tranquil Brazilian charm.

His debut EP, Shangri-La, is just around the corner with an April 29 release; lucky for you, we’ve been able to dig up three out of the four tracks for you to cozy up with.

Watch the video for “And Then” above and listen to “Shangri-LA” and “Love Within” below!

New Release: Kris Bowers – ‘Heroes + Misfits’

 

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Today, young jazz pianist Kris Bowers drops his impressive debut album, Heroes + Misfits. Kris crafts his own progressive brand of jazz by blending a variety of styles, including R&B, electronic, and rock.

Also contributing to the album are Casey Benjamin (alto sax), Kenneth Whalum III (tenor sax), Adam Agati (guitar), Burniss Earl Travis II (bass), Jamire Williams (drum), along with guest vocalists Julia Easterlin, José James and Chris Turner.

Cozy up to the full album stream below and grab a free download of the “Forget-Er” single after the jump!

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Free download of “Forget-Er”

Rest In Peace, Chico Hamilton

 

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Legendary jazz musician and leader of the Euphoria ensemble Chico Hamilton has passed away.

Coming up as a rising jazz drummer alongside other heavyweights such as Charles Mingus in high school, Chico played with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and others, cementing himself as a force to be reckoned with early on.

In 1987, he helped found the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Program in NYC, a place dear to many of our hearts.

His ensembles helped develop talent like Gabor Szabo and Larry Coryell, amongst many others. Chico is also credited as an influence for many contemporary talents such as Carlos Santana, Joe Claussell, Jose James, Mark de Clive-Lowe and Thievery Corporation.

Honored as a “Living Jazz Legend” by the Kennedy Center and as an NEA Jazz Master, Chico Hamilton was seminal to the jazz community, culture, and history. Material from his October 2013 recordings with his Euphoria ensemble will be released as the The Inquiring Mind in early 2014.

We are grateful to have had Chico as part of our own history here at Giant Step as well – he will be sorely missed.

The ongoing event series, Celebrating the Life & Music of Foreststorn ‘Chico’ Hamilton will continue on December 15 at Drom in NYC. Come out and pay homage to one of the greats.

Giant Step SummerStage 2013 Video Recap

 

Almost a month ago, over 6000 people came out to celebrate music at Giant Step’s annual SummerStage showcase. We were thrilled to bring New Yorkers an awesome lineup featuring Hiatus Kaiyote, Jose James, and Shuggie Otis. The mood, the merriment, and good weather were all undeniable. Watch our video above for clips from each performance as well as sit downs with Maurice and each act.