New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Valentine's Day has deeper meaning this year for Eric Valentine, who released his long-in-the-works labor of love, "Velvet Groove," on Wednesday. The Matcha Entertainment collection of soul-soaked urban grooves and sophisticated contemporary jazz sounds is the first release from the drummer-multi-instrumentalist-songwriter-producer's Velvet
Groove, a creative community of musicians and recording artists spreading love and positivity through music and collaboration. Valentine
produced the set constructed by more than forty musicians, including an enclave of distinguished chart-toppers such as trumpeter Rick Braun
and saxophonist Richard Elliot, who are the featured soloists on the title track, which is presently No. 3 on the Billboard chart.
is a first-call drummer for many of the brightest stars in smooth/contemporary jazz, which is why so many accomplished players were eager to join the "Velvet Groove" sessions. He composed nine songs for the platter illuminated by Grammy-winning saxman Kirk Whalum, multiple Grammy-nominated sax player Gerald Albright, and solo hit-makers Adam Hawley, Elan Trotman, Brian Simpson
and Greg Manning. R&B singer B. Valentine
seduces in lead and background vocal roles while pianist Wayne Linsey, guitarists Kay-Ta Matsuno and Alex Machacek, and percussionists Lenny Castro, Munyungo Jackson and Ramon
Islas texturize the ten songs plus three reprises.
A Washington, DC native and long-time Los Angeles resident, Valentine
sees "Velvet Groove" as the launch of a movement, a reboot of old-school record making where multiple artists are in the studio playing, recording, communicating and collaborating on each other's albums all at the same time like they did at Motown and Philadelphia International Records, but with a modern touch. Valentine's mission for Velvet
Groove is to spread "love, joy and happiness" and use their "musical gifts to inspire people to choose kindness and uplift people to a better place." Valentine
anticipates releasing other projects from the musical cooperative this year, including a disc from B. Valentine, his wife who sings lead on the album's retro cut "Back in the Day," which is the featured "First Listen" track this week on the SoulTracks site.
On March 25, Valentine
will take the stage to helm his Velvet
Groove unit at their live concert premiere during an album release celebration at Spaghettini, south of Los Angeles.
The "Velvet Groove" album is available now around the world from http://smarturl.it/VelvetGroove. For additional information, please visit www.VelvetGrooveMusic.com.
Below are excerpts from some of the initial record reviews:
"An exquisite project and Valentine's Day is the perfect time to release such a masterpiece." - The Pulse of Entertainment
"Eric Valentine's album Velvet
Groove is certainly one of the year's best recordings." - Smooth Jazz Daily
"He outshines even himself with offerings that embrace a bit of jazz, R&B, funk, and fusion masterfully. Tracks here are laced with character, personality, and imagination… the album is stacked with quality, and Valentine
came not only to play but to thoroughly impress… Valentine
is another example of one capable of carrying the genre to another, higher plateau. This album does nothing if it doesn't solidify him as a name to watch as a solo artist." - The Smooth Jazz Ride
"A stunning line-up of contemporary jazz glitterati… a recording that warrants some serious attention…they collectively deliver music that will both inspire and uplift." - Smooth Jazz Therapy
is an artist that you have heard as a session player on albums from other artists…He has a lot of talent, and the arsenal is in full effect on Velvet
Groove." - The Jazz World
"Positive and good vibes can be heard and felt in (the) music." - Top40-Charts.com