Jun 13, 2014 · 8:00 PM
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Saxophonist Elan Trotman, quickly becoming one of jazz’s most thrilling and emotive performers, continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist. Trotman’s playing, though inspired by Grover Washington, Jr. and Kirk Whalum, among others, displays his own fresh ideas and distinctive tone. So much so that the New England Urban Music Awards named him best male jazz performer, and he’s been nominated for Boston Music Awards in the jazz category. Born and raised in Barbados, the native island of pop star Rihanna, and educated at the world-renowned Berklee College Of Music in Boston, Trotman approaches jazz in his own way. Blending Caribbean rhythms from his roots with skillful horn textures, his playing is full of surprises. “I like to stretch out, take chances on my solos.” Inspiring and eminently listenable, Trotman’s music is never predictable. MUSIC Elan Trotman’s music has that unique edge where its vibe is instantly seductive and familiar but also offers explosive playing and compelling compositions. For his new CD, Love and Sax, Trotman slows things down for a ballads project where he wrote or co-wrote 12 of the 13 tracks (including the bonus “Can I Play 4 U?” featuring the late, great bassist Webster Roach), for a set full of sensual and seductive melodies, full-bodied rhythms and plenty of hooks. The title track and first smooth jazz radio single, “Love and Sax,” is an irresistible ballad with enchanting wah-wah synth effects and a layered sound that translates to a definite mood enhancer. Trotman’s forte is on the tenor and soprano saxes but he also plays the flute and piano. The multi-instrumentalist has released music with elements of gospel, jazz, R&B, funk and reggae, now steps onto the R & B scene with “Midnight Serenade”, a soulful collaboration with R&B vocalist Tony Terry, whose hits “With You” and “Everlasting Love” have become Urban AC radio mainstays. The two have remained friends since performing together in the Roberta Flack band. “Midnight Serenade” is a sexy slow-burner written and produced by Trotman and co- written by Boston-based Neil Letendre of Sure Fire Music and co-produced by Atlanta-based Herman “P-Nut” Johnson of Big Bully, Inc. The combination of Trotman’s lush horn and Terry’s unforgettable vocals create the perfect atmosphere for romance, released just in time for the most romantic holiday of the year. Also joining Trotman on his new CD are two smooth jazz stars, pianist Brian Simpson on “Heaven in Your Eyes” and American Smooth Jazz award-winning trumpeter Cindy Bradley on “Oasis.” Also joining Trotman on his new CD are two smooth jazz stars, pianist Brian Simpson and American Smooth Jazz award-winning trumpeter Cindy Bradley. The single “Heaven In Your Eyes" feat. Brian Simpson climbed all the way to #12 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs Chart. Love and Sax is Trotman’s 5th CD, and to date is his most successful work, having entered the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums Top 20 in June of 2011. Prior to “Love and Sax” his 2009 release “This Time Around” gained significant airplay for the funky remake of Bill Withers hit “Lovely Day” by reaching #6 on the radio charts, and the self-penned, feel good summer track “100 Degrees”.
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