Suite 28 Records Releases
Blair Big Band - Such Sweet Thunder
“Such Sweet Thunder” is the swinging and creative debut of the Blair Big Band – the big band from Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.
Built on the tradition of classic big band jazz, “Such Sweet Thunder” offers a fresh look at some jazz standards and a peek at what the future of the music might be. The band consists of students from Blair plus some of Nashville’s veteran players. But this is no typical college lab band – they swing and blend together with the assurance of a tight, well-travelled working orchestra. “Sorry Not Sorry” kicks off the album with a moody electric piano and wah-wah trumpet setting the stage for electric guitar solo. Standards such as “Such Sweet Thunder” and “The Very Thought of You” get creative updates. Nashville legend pianist Beegie Adair guests on a beautifully executed arrangement of the latter tune, giving fresh life to an old chestnut with nuanced harmony and exquisite shading. The southern tinged “Atchafalaya” reminds one of the deep south roots of jazz with its gospel tinged sound, ending with a sharp interchange between electric guitar and horns. A kicking bass solo sets the stage for Christina Watson singing “Cry Me A River”, the band building to a powerful climax. The music on “Such Sweet Thunder” makes a strong case for the bright future of large ensemble jazz.
Reta Watkins - That Christmas Feeling
Vocalist, Reta Watkins presents a surefire perennial classic, with this hypnotic big band orchestration of holiday standards and original songs. Beautifully sung, and freshly arranged, That Christmas Feeling is a cheerful nod to popular seasonal favorites, including Sleigh Ride, White Christmas, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and the album’s single, the newly arranged Mary Did You Know.
Jonathan Sargent- Little Cathedrals
Born in Chicago, Jonathan Sargent began his musical studies at the age of five with celebrated classical guiatrist Irene Lorence. After graduating from Columbia University in New York City, he was granted a full scholarship on the classical guitar in Washington, D.C. with Sophocles Papas (Andres Segovia's emissary in the U.S.) He continued with graduate studies in musicology, theory and composition with Jose de Azpiazu at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
Jonathan completed his formal guitar education with performances at the master classes of Alirio Diaz (Banff, Alberta, Canada), Angel Romero (New York City) and Musica de Compostela (Santiago de Compostela, Spain - founded by Andres Segovia). Jonathan has toured throughout Europe, South America and parts of Asia. He has composed and arranged for Warner Brothers, Sony and Word Records. Little Cathedrals was composed, arranged and recorded in Franklin, TN, where Jonathan resides.
Jean Watson- Wonder
Born into a musical family, Jean Watson's classical training began when she was still a young child. Early on, she displayed an affinity for the violin, but as time passed she became equally recognized for her wistful, ethereal vocals. As an adult, music was set aside for Watson to focus on her responsibilities as a wife and mother. Her marriage ended in divorce and she found herself in a time of deep depression and hopelessness. At her lowest point, she cried out to God. She experienced a remarkable breakthrough when her landlord gave her rent money back and said she needed to record an album. The rest, as they say, is history.
Watson can be heard worldwide on UCB Radio Ireland where she hosts a daily inspirational radio program, Jean Watson, which she records from her Michigan home studio. Watson has logged thousands of miles traveling the U.S. and the world to perform in churches, prisons, coffee houses, homeless shelters and concert halls. When she is not on the road, she plays violin in the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.
Ilonka- To Be Loved
From her start as a child pop star in South Africa, Ilonka Deaton’s life has had many twists and turns. On August 26, that journey comes to a joyful, yet reflective fruition with the release of her new album To Be Loved on Suite 28 Records.
To Be Loved showcases Ilonka's mezzo-soprano voice with a musical compliment of piano, upright bass, drums, and tasteful use of sensitive and emotional sax in addition to solo arco bass lines. The songs are a clever and meaningful interweaving of popular standards such as "The Way You Look Tonight", some originals, as well as amazing new arrangements of Motown favorites "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" and "What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted." On two of the originals, Ilonka collaborated with songwriter extraordinaire Randy Goodrum, and penned two classic soundtrack moments "Getting Over" and "A Reason."
ThunderSOUL Orchestra - "528-0728"
Dedicated to their beloved mentor, Conrad O. Johnson, Sr., affectionately known as “Prof,” ThunderSOUL Orchestra has recorded a new album to be released by Suite 28 Records in September 2016.
From 1968 to 1977, Prof transformed the struggling Houston, TX Kashmere High School Stage Band into a world-renowned funk powerhouse. During this time, Prof broke the race-barrier and status-quo by placing his students in the fiercely competitive arena of national high school stage band competitions. Opposite of the established, conservative tone of these gatherings, Prof encouraged the Kashmere Stage Band to embrace their own style, introducing elaborate funk arrangements and showmanship. In the face of tremendous odds, the band went on to win prestigious awards and perform across the United States, Japan, and Europe.
The Union of Sinners & Saints
The Union of Sinners & Saints features members of Petra, and Whiteheart, two of the best-selling Christian rock bands of all time.
The project features ten new compositions and updated versions of Petra’s Beyond Belief and Whiteheart’s Independence Day.
Members of The Union of Sinners & Saints have collectively generated more than 25 # 1 songs and earned more than 15 Grammy® and 40 Dove nominations and awards. The project also features new artist Jason Fowler on guitar and vocals.
The self-titled release was produced and arranged by Billy Smiley for Cul De Sac Records & Suite 28 C Records.
Heel – Dogs of Peace
Dogs of Peace is proud to present their first release in 20 years. “Heel” is a continuation of their first project “Speak”. The group’s members include: Gordon Kennedy, Jimmie Sloas, Blair Masters, John Hammond, and Jeff Balding. Together their collective accolades include multiple GRAMMY® nominations and wins.
Many well-known guest artists appear on this record including: Peter Frampton, Michael Omartian, Ricky Skaggs, Joel Hanson, Rick Florian, and the McCrary Sisters.
Until Now – Alyson Cambridge
Internationally acclaimed soprano, Alyson Cambridge, takes a step away from the opera stage and classical repertoire that has defined her career thus far for this album, and showcases her full range of vocal talents, never before heard on recording…that is, until now!
Tree of Life – Kory Caudill
Pianist Kory Caudill began playing melodies on the piano when he was only a toddler. Twenty-five years later, he is one of the most sought after pianists in the country. Suite 28 is proud to be releasing Caudill’s debut recording, Tree of Life.