Thursday, May 27, 2021

New recordings from Ryan Marquez, Jim Manley, Erika Johnson, and Janet Evra & Ptah Williams

Whether it's the coming of spring, the appearance of some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, or something else entirely, St. Louis musicians have been busy, with several new releases of potential interest to StLJN readers announced or already out:

* Keyboardist Ryan Marquez of The People's Key and Fresh Heir is set to drop Saint Unity, a solo album featuring guest appearances from 20 St. Louis musicians and vocalists, including singers Anita Jackson, Erin Bode, Lola Kristine, Janet Evra, Paige Alyssa, and Chrissy Renick.

The material is a mix of Marquez's originals and covers, including songs by The Beatles, Foo Fighters, and No Doubt. A single, "Serenity," featuring Jackson and trumpeter Dawn Weber, already has been released, with the full album set to come out in June. For more, check out Marquez's interview with Kim Hudson of FOX 2 News and the feature story on the album from the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson

* Meanwhile, the ever-prolific trumpeter Jim Manley has released his second recording since the start of quarantine last year. Still Kickin' Brass includes 15 tracks of original music created in Manley's home studio, and is available now directly from his website as both a download and physical CD.

* Vocalist Erika Johnson will celebrate the release of her latest recording, Raising Standards, with a show next Tuesday, June 1 at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups. The album (pictured), which includes both Johnson originals and covers including "Strange Fruit," was produced by keyboardist Antonio Foster and saxophonist Carlos "Scooter" Brown, and already is available on the major streaming services.

* Last but not least, singer/bassist Janet Evra has teamed with pianist Ptah Williams on a new album titled New Friends, Old Favorites. Recorded live at the Sheldon Concert Hall with a band including saxophonist Kendrick Smith, drummer Demarius Hicks, and Evra's husband, guitarist Will Buchanan, the album features Evra and Williams' arrangements of ten familiar tunes, including songs associated with Ray Charles, Nina Simone, The Shirelles, and more. You can see their rendition of "My Baby Just Cares For Me" on Facebook Video, and find the album streaming online.

No comments: