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Souvenirs of Love

Meeco — Souvenirs of Love (February 16, 2015)

FranceGermany                Meeco — Souvenirs of Love 
°°   Among jazz musicians, the pianist, composer and producer Meeco has been an internationally respected big name for quite some time. His fourth album "Souvenirs Of Love" combines irresistible refrains with complex improvisations and is his most personal work at the same time. This collection of love songs include intimate jazz ballads, modern soul and hip-hop influences, the very varied range of moods on "Souvenirs Of Love" makes this a thrilling CD from the first song to the last.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Album release: February 16, 2015
Record Label: Challenge Records / Double Moon Records
Duration:     73:36
01 Souvenirs of Love     4:09
02 Make My Dreams Come True     5:33
03 Every Day     3:23
04 Times Have Changed     3:53
05 If Only I knew     4:30
06 Can't Get You Out Of My Mind     5:35
07 Paris At Night     5:12
08 Your Eyes     5:10
09 Words Of Love     6:00
10 For You     4:59
11 Farewell     4:24
12 Paris At Night     5:12
13 Your Eyes     5:04
14 Times Have Changed     3:53
15 If Only I Knew     3:19
16 Every Day     3:20
°   Jean Baylor: vocals
°   Casey Benjamin: vocals
°   Talib Kweli: vocals
°   Aaron Marcellus: vocals
°   Mary Stallings: vocals
°   Yahzarah: vocals
°   Hubert Laws: flute
°   Eddie Henderson: trumpet
°   Wallace Roney: trumpet
°   Vincent Herring: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone
°   Kirk Whalum: tenor saxophone
°   Shedrick Mitchell: Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes
°   Eric Reed: piano
°   Stefon Harris: vibes
°   Lionel Loueke: electric guitar
°   John Scofield: electric guitar
°   Jaques Morelenbaum: cello
°   Richard Bona: electric bass
°   Dezron Douglas: upright bass
°   Buster Williams: upright bass
°   Marcus Baylor: drums
°   Victor Lewis: drums
°   DJ Stylewarz: FX
By EDWARD BLANCO, Published: February 1, 2015 | Score: ****
°   Pianist, composer and producer Meeco alias Michael Maier delivers his fourth album with Souvenirs of Love offering a "collection of love songs that tell my life" story as the artist states, through a range of R & B, intimate jazz ballads and a touch of the hip–hop influence provided in a tasteful elegant platform. Not a conservative musician by any stretch, Meeco is used to doing things big, out of the norm and striking a new approach. On this venture, Meeco does it again designing a musical statement with new innovations. Here, he presents the music through the prism of jazz using an all–star list of jazz and soul musicians to document, what is, essentially, a classic R&B vocals recording.
°   The opening title track sets the stage for what's to come with Mary Stallings on the narration and Vincent Herring laying down a beautiful alto saxophone solo defining the mood and the texture of the tune as pianist Eric Reed and bassist Buster Williams round out the stellar cast. Soul singer Dana Nicole Williams, known professionally as Yahzarah, is featured often on the array of vocal pieces found on this album. The hip–hop sound comes plainly through on "Times Have Changed" featuring Talib Kweli on lead vocals which also highlights trumpeter Wallace Roney, Victor Lewis on the drums and DJ Stylewarz on effects.
°   The R&B sound is quite alive on many tunes such as on "Can't Get You Out of My Mind," and on "If Only I Knew" featuring vocalists Jean Baylor and Marcus Baylor with superb muted trumpet solos from Eddie Henderson. There are many highlights on this love journey from Meeco and one such song is "Paris At Night" with Jean Baylor on vocals Herring on soprano and the great Stefon Harris on the vibes. Another beautiful love song not to miss is "Words of Love" featuring Yahzarah on lead vocals the guitar icon John Scofield and Richard Bona on electric bass.
°   With an original eleven-song repertoire and an additional five bonus tracks presenting instrumental versions of several of the original vocal pieces, Meeco's highly entertaining Souvenirs of Love showcases the best of light R&B and jazz-tinged love ballads in a gorgeous album that speaks to the heart. This is indeed a special album that brings together luminaries of jazz with a new generation of stars on the same stage in a unique format that works quite well, well done! :: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meecomusic
Press: meeco.music@gmail.com
Website: http://www.meecomusic.com/
°   “He's certainly a unique personal strong voice in music.” (Eddie Henderson)
°   “His skills at bringing cats together and making it happen, he’s a pro at it.” (Victor Lewis)
°   “He’s in an upward spiral, and his creativity will keep him going in that direction.” (Benny Golson)
°   “As far as I am concerned he has captured the essence of beauty.” (Buster Williams)
°   “He has his own way to write music and his own sound. It's a real pleasure to play his music.” (Lionel Loueke)
°   “His music is different and unique, and he knows what he wants.” (Hubert Laws)
°   “Meeco has a very particular way of composing and I identify myself very much with his music.” (Jaques Morelenbaum)
°   “His music is not your average run in the middle stuff.” (Kenny Barron)
°   “His melodies are alive and beautiful.” (Stefon Harris)
°   Meeco is a French/German pianist, producer and composer based in Berlin, Germany as well as in Paris, France. He is also an active DJ and photographer. At the age of thirty–seven, Meeco has recorded with greats such as Benny Golson, Gregory Porter, Ron Carter, John Scofield, Hubert Laws, Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, Kirk Whalum, Richard Bona, Casey Benjamin, Mary Stallings, Freddy Cole, Kevin Mahogany, Yahzarah, Jean Baylor, Bennie Maupin, James Moody, Eddie Henderson, Shedrick Mitchell, David “Fathead” Newman, Eric Reed, Vincent Herring, Victor Lewis, Stefon Harris, Lionel Loueke, Jaques Morelenbaum, Cedar Walton, Romero Lubambo, Charlie Mariano, David Friedman, Talib Kweli, Joe Bataan, Jane Birkin, DJ Stylewarz and many others.
°   He released four albums: “Amargo Mel” (2009), “Perfume e Caricias” (2010) and "Beauty of the night" (2012) on German label Connector as well as on US label Spectra Jazz. (“Perfume e Caricias”). His new and fourth album "Souvenirs of love" (release date: January 16, 2015) features again guest appearances of many fine and established artists such as John Scofield, Hip Hop artist Talib Kweli and soul singer Yahzarah as well as Grammy Award winners Casey Benjamin and Kirk Whalum. He also wrote music for the major German motion picture “Soloalbum” written by Benjamin Stuckrad–Barre and directed by Gregor Schnitzler.
°   His release "Beauty of the night" received international acclaim and was reviewed by numerous international jazz magazines such as JAZZTHING, JAZZTHETIK, JAZZ ZEITUNG, JAZZPODIUM, JAZZ MAGAZINE, ALL ABOUT JAZZ and many others. German magazine "STEREO" selected "Beauty of the night" to be CD OF THE MONTH as well as AUDIOPHILE HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH.
°   Meeco’s music is first and foremost an emotional thing, for while at the piano, Meeco lets his feelings flow in order to create the soundtrack that corresponds with the pictures of his mind. His music has been described as "impressionistic", "romantic", "intimate" as well as "fragile and introspective".
°   As a young child, Meeco was heavily influenced by his father who played classical piano and his mother, a poet and artist, thereby making it completely natural to follow their footsteps. Beginning piano lessons at 6 years old, and after several years of studying classical music, Meeco, sought other musical outlets. It was after a friend introduced vintage Ella Fitzgerald, Horace Silver and McCoy Tyner recordings, that he became enamored with black American music.
°   Through Meeco’s mentor and close friend New York pianist/singer Bob Lenox (RIP), who had worked as a staff writer for Warner Bros. Records and performed with artists such as Esther Phillips, Pee Wee Ellis, Garland Jefferies and others, Meeco realized that the only important thing in music, whether composition or pianistic skill, was creating the right “feeling”. Working further with German producer Marco Meister (founding member of the group "Terranova") Meeco gained invaluable studio experience producing his own music.
°   With this knowledge Meeco quickly gained a reputation as producer for some of the finest artists and to this day with his most recent successes, he has been recognized as a respectful, critically acclaimed producer and composer joining the stage alongside today’s greatest talents…

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