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So has this young composer and saxophonist their first album. Curtis Haywood "is the generic title chosen for artistic debut this Brooklyn native saxophonist who initially a few years and choose the trumpet as an instrument. Indeed, that trumpet as a gift received that day and never leaves her and just five years old sleeps with her dreaming surely be a great musician. And the dream becomes reality years later. Thus, and while studying in the High School, is chosen from nearly 5,000 applicants to attend as a student at the prestigious New York's High School For The Performing Arts, where after demanding and rigorous graduate studies in the year 1984. Later he completed his studies at the equally prestigious Berklee College of Boston, where you choose as a subject, "Audio Engineering". The time when Curtis Haywood went to bed with his trumpet were already history and the musician is decanted, finally, on the other wind instrument: the saxophone. And his musical influences are aimed at first-level saxophonists as is the case with David Sanborn, Grover Washington Jr., Kenny Garrett and Bob Mintzer, to name a few. Curtis Haywood presents his debut was in a job that takes a total of 12 tracks and which will attempt to combine musical styles such as Contemporary Jazz, R & B, jazz or instrumental music. This first musical project of Curtis Haywood is published by the label Smooth Sound Entertainment Records. The album begins with the theme "Anytime" and which combines the music of saxophonist and Loris Holland's voice remains composed the theme for Barnes and Brian McKnight. Curtis Haywood also debuts as a composer with the tracks "Rain Song", "Moving West", "Springtime," "Heal Our Land" and "Journey". One of the most important themes of the album, entitled "Monet" is composed half with Michael Porter, while "Missing U" is made with Mel Holder. As developments in the debut of Curtis Haywood is remarkable that makes the classic version of Stevie Wonder's "Creepin '" and the topic dedicated to all victims affected by the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and entitled "Heal Our Land". Finally, and as a bonus track is added to the item entitled "Monet" but this time the remix version lasting over five minutes. Already in the most musical, the young musician will have musicians like Mel Holder, Jeff Mironoff, John Smith, Willie Brown, Fred Lamour, Paul Griffith, Nyles Webster, Johnny Mercer, Loris Holland and Artie Reynolds. In the vocal and choirs we have the presence of Larry & MarissaFeldmant, Kenneth Harper, Thurston O'Neal and Loris Holland, and the issue dedicated to the victims of Katrina, we have voices and Nia-Dyamond Buyanna Haywood. The recording techniques we work with Mel Holder, work carried out in the Friends & Family Studios located in New York's borough of Queens. From the mixture of the album deals Predatt Tony Allen Plokin, Robert Rodriguez and Eric Cody, while the mastering is liable John Palmer at Andro-Media, in the city of Lansing, Michigan. The album is produced by Mel Holder and executive producing duties vested in the very Curtis Haywood. In the edition which has kindly sent Curtis Haywood also contains the remix of the song "Monet," the video that was recorded in the item entitled "Anytime".
Review – Akbar Nour
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August 1, 2009 - Saxophonist Curtis Haywood has taken the Smooth Jazz stage by storm with his exciting classy eponymous debut album, that entails twelve sizzling tracks (eight original compositions and four covers of R&B classics). Legendary sax performers Grover Washington Jr. and David Sanborn had very key influences on Haywood and helped him craft his passionate way of performing his horn.
For Haywood, music should have healing aspects and act as a catalyst for positive change worldwide. As he puts it in his CD liner notes: “In order to give or receive a blessing your mind hear and spirit must remain open”.
Being a musician with a strong social conscience, Haywood has taken proceeds from the album and donated it to help the work of two NGOs bringing relief efforts in Africa. And he also applies this philanthropic philosophy with the tracks “Rain Song”, a musical prayer for the famine and war-affected people of Ethiopia, and “Heal Our Land”, a vibrant tribute to the victims of hurricane Katrina that shattered thousands of people’s homes in 2005. The background vocals of this track are performed by the musician’s children Bryanna and Nia-Dyamond Haywood.
The soprano player conveys his message of hope to the mankind through soulful and fluid saxophone phrasings throughout the album. The track ushering the album “Anytime” showcases Haywood’s silky saxophone, backed by Loris Holland’s soulful background vocals. “Monet” looks like an expressive musical painting with guitarist Jeff Mironoff and marimba performer Nyles Webster adding coloured paints to Haywood’s palette. “Missing U” is a great romantic tune, then comes up “Moving West”, a soulful acoustic guitar/saxophone duet between Haywood and Mironoff.
Haywood is a magnificent painter using many colours in his music such as the velvety Stevie Wonder’ rendition of”Creepin’” the bouncy “Springtime”, the hypnotic “Crockpot”, the sunny “Just Friends”. Most of these tracks emphasise the penetrating sound of Haywood’s magic horn.
The album closes with my favourite track of the album, the meaningful “Journey” that grew out of love Haywood has for the rock group Fourplay
Haywood’s debut eponymous album is a beautiful collection of tracks with great musicianship and delivering various messages of hope and open-mindedness that unambiguously touches the listener’s heart, mind and soul.
For more information: www.curtishaywood.com - By Akbar Nour
"Jazz Monthly.com Feature Interview" Curtis Haywood
By Baldwin “Smitty” Smith
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Smitty: Well, I am just excited to welcome to JazzMonthly.com for the very first time an incredible sax player. He is an artist with a vision and a voice that can be heard and seen in his great new project. It is a self-titled project that can be heard anytime, anywhere; it is that kind of vibe. Please welcome the incredible and amazing Mr. Curtis Haywood. Curtis, how ya doin’, my friend?
Curtis Haywood (CH): I’m doing great, Smitty. Are we supposed to hear applause? (Both laugh.)
Smitty: Oh, man, I get that question from time to time. I don’t know. Maybe I need to think about the introductions because I’m just kind of speaking from the heart, but they always say “Man, those are great introductions.” I don’t know. There’s something about that.
CH: Oh boy, well, you’ve definitely perfected it.
Smitty: Oh, well, thank you. I’m just speaking from the pump and just letting it fly because it’s all about the artist and what I’m feeling.
CH: Right, right.
Smitty: Yeah, so how are you doing, man? I’m loving the record and it really has such a realistic vibe. It’s true to the heart and it says something about the artist. When we talk about an artist wanting to be heard and wanting to express themselves, I think you nailed it with this record.
CH: I’ve been playing music a long time and as I told someone just yesterday, I get people coming up to me, young and old, and I just kind of have to chuckle inside when they kind of inquire about taking sax lessons or they start hinting at getting in the game. I just say they have no idea of the commitment that it takes to make something like this happen. Even if you want to play a horn or music as a novelty, there’s a serious, serious commitment immediately as to how much you really want this, and with that said, I’ve wanted it all my life. I’ve wanted it since I was in grade school. I’ve excelled at it, have a passion for it, and my music has to have some thumping back beat because I don’t want anything wishy-washy, too light. It’s gotta have strong, strong character.
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Another review form JAZZREVIEW.COM
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CD Title: Self-Titled
Record Label: Smooth Sounds
Style: Smooth Jazz
Review by: Ronald Jackson
Saxophonist Curtis Haywood explodes onto the smooth jazz scene as a solo act with both the amazing talent and arsenal of material that can easily expect to be placed in the spotlight quickly. Each tune here on his self-titled debut quite honestly kept me excited and anxiously awaiting the next cut.
While the opening track “Anytime” has been performed by so many and for so long that Brian McKnight may not ever have to work again, Haywood brings a crispness that can only make McKnight proud. He then follows that with a series of four muscular and finely crafted originals that will surely be catalogued in the playlist of any smooth jazz station worth its mettle. It almost demands it. This guy’s expressive style is not the kind to be ignored.
He later offers his version of the wonderful Stevie Wonder’s “Creepin’.” Again, nothing here to suggest that he meant to do anything but place his own indelible stamp of approval on the piece. He pivots off Stevie’s piece to another stomper “Springtime,” that invites the warmth and color of that season so effortlessly.
No newbie to the scene, Haywood has shared the stage with a considerable number of luminaries in the business, Ray, Goodman and Brown, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The Intruders, both sets of Temptations (Dennis Edwards’ group and Otis Williams’ group), Kirk Franklin, Sounds of Blackness and The Noel Pointer Band.
The saxman’s style is not only smooth and expressive. There’s a mellow and controlled intensity here, and it’s transferred to this great material. His writing shows a grasp of what turns a tune into a tune, a smash hit, and I would be quite surprised if at least one of these selections doesn’t find its way into the mainstream very quickly. There’s an abundance of skill in every area that clearly demonstrates Haywood’s handle on melody and feel, and that’s what pushes this album, in my opinion. Curtis Haywood need only continue in this vein to find his claim to fame in no time at all.
Reviewd By Jonathan Widran of allmusic.com
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Funny thing about the smooth jazz world — while it's a genre that cries out for new fresh faces and sounds, the radio format that promotes it seems to, with very few exceptions, favor the genre veterans who have sustained it for years. Since only one or two young artists seem to have a shot at breaking through to mainstream success every year, the challenge is great for even the most ambitious, melodic and groove oriented performers like Haywood. That said, while the soprano player hardly reinvents the wheel on his eminently likeable, slickly produced debut — it's soulful, it's sensuous, it's sexy and grooves wonderfully when it's not tugging the heartstrings — he shows that indie artists can still, despite the odds, throw some unique ideas into the mix. "Moving West," for instance, mixes its trip-hoppy vibe with a touch of gospel/blues and a few touches of exotica. "Monet" may have a straightforward, catchy and soaring sax hook, but it floats over some elegant glissandos and high spirited jazz piano chordings and Nyles Webster's marimba. The swirl of crunchy shuffle grooves and hypnotic synth sounds on "Crockpot" takes the sweet melody into a dreamy stratosphere. Haywood also plays with a charitable heart. On the surface, "Rain Song" is a simple, gently percussive midtempo ballad but it's also a call to awareness and action towards the suffering people of Ethiopia. The wistful and gospel-inflected "Heal Our Land" is a moving, children's choir-driven tribute to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Rounding out this appealing set are pleasing covers of Brian McKnight's "Anytime" and an elegant reading of Stevie Wonder's "Creepin'." Overall, it's an impressive debut by a saxman who should be making deep waves in the urban jazz world within a few years if not sooner.
What the media are saying about CURTIS HAYWOOD
“A new talent who puts his money where his heart is….” Contemporaryjazz.com
“Curtis Haywood has emerged as a new force in the world of smooth jazz.”
“In the ultra crowded landscape of contemporary jazz saxophone, Curtis Haywood has delivered a project that dazzles with rhythm and melody.” Smoothjazztherapy.com
“Haywood puts all the right moves in all the right places to fit right into the genre.” Midwestrecord.com
“”Sultry, sexy, stellar musicianship….Curtis Haywood is making his mark in the music world with this amazing debut, a compelling, infectious, touching and sensual album.” Jazzreview.com
“On his self-titled debut as a solo artist, he has found a strong voice of his own.” Exclusive Magazine
Check out Curtis' interview is now up on the Exclusive Magazine website
Curtis featured on Newsweek.com
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Saxman Curtis Haywood Walks The Walk
By Carol Archer
With his recently released eponymous debut CD on Smooth Sounds Records, saxophonist Curtis Haywood is concretely putting his money where his heart is by donating a portion of the proceeds to two causes: Feed the Children and Self Help Africa. Haywood will donate one-twelfth of the sales price of the twelve-track CD, tied to his original composition "Rain Song," which expresses his dedication to music as a healing force.
"There is overwhelming evidence of Ethiopia being the cradle of all mankind," he explains. "Simply put, all human life could very well have begun from this region of the earth. However, it is ravaged with famine and considered one of the world's poorest countries, where people struggle daily for their most basic of needs."
Feed the Children helps supply food for the people of Ethiopia and around the globe, while Self Help Africa is an international development agency engaged in promoting and implementing sustainable development programs in rural Africa. To learn more about the work of the non-profits organizations Haywood supports, click on www.feedthechildren.org and www.selfhelp.ie/selfhelp/Main/ethiopiadrought.htm.
Saxman Curtis Haywood Helps Feed the Children
By John Hilderbrand on Aug 4, 2008 in benefit, smooth jazz
Saxophonist Curtis Haywood is donating a portion of his sales of his self-titled debut recording to two causes: Feed the Children and Self Help Africaposition. Feed The Children helps supply food for the people of Ethiopa and around the globe, while Self Help Africa Self Help Africa is an international development agency engaged in promoting and implementing sustainable development programs in rural Africa.
Haywood’s recording is made up of contemporary jazz originals and soulful interpretations of R&B standards. His soprano on the single “Rain Song” reminds me of Najee or the late George Howard. I think we all should give a new talent, who puts his money where his heart is in this fashion, a try. Give him a listen a try at his web site or MySpace page and buy it at Amazon. It’s out now on Smooth Sounds Records.
|Posted by: editor on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - 09:05 AM
Smooth jazz saxophonist Curtis Haywood makes a thrilling debut with a twelve track album containing eight new contemporary smooth jazz originals along with a selection of R&B standards given new soulful interpretations. Originally influenced by the likes of Grover Washington, David Sanborn and named after the legendary R&B saxophonist King Curtis, when Haywood plays the sax, you can almost hear a little of each of these greats in his saxophone voice.
A humanitarian and true believer in the healing power of music, Haywood has agreed to donate 1/12 of the sales price of this recording to two charities, Feed The Children and Self Help Africa. Feed The Children helps supply food to the children of Ethiopia and Haywood dedicates his original “Rain Song” for this awareness and marks the music by peeling off cool saxophone phrasings along with Willie Brown’s guitar riffs together making one sensational tune that has already hit the airways as a single.
Haywood is accompanied here by a collection of players from the jazz, gospel and R&B worlds, among them bassist Artie Reynolds, drummer Ainsley Taylor, keyboardist Chris Fischer, Willie Brown on guitar and Paul Aponte on percussions.
On “Heal Our Land,” a tribute to Katrina victims, Haywood shares the limelight with a chorus of children singing a song of hope as he weaves his magic on the sax with stunning clarity. It is the album’s opening track that sets the stage for Haywood’s healing theme through out as he describes the music by stating that “Anytime,” “just screams heartbreak.”
All is not melancholy though as there are several cool smooth jazz takes to familiar standards like his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Creepin’” and the perky almost funky style of the Bobby Hebb classic “Sunny,” one unique version. There are a lot of good smooth jazz grooves on this album which will more than please those who favor the genre.
Curtis Haywood has emerged as a new force in the world of smooth jazz and this self titled debut makes a powerful statement that this music, whether blessed with the power to heal or not, does provide the right medicine for those in need of stress relief and a dose of relaxation, just in time for a well earned vacation.
Label: Smooth Sounds Entertainment
Artist Web: www.curtishaywood.com
CURTIS HAYWOOD: Well-traveled saxman jumps into the smooth jazz arena and shows he knows his stuff quite nicely. A nice solid dose of contemporary biz jazz, Haywood puts all the right moves in all the right places to fit right into the genre. While not trying to be a set that breaks new ground it does succeed in its efforts to be a warm, friendly session and it’s nice to have around when some decompression is called for. Smart, reliable playing throughout
12 (Smooth Sounds)
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Nothing But The Truth
His induction into the world of music was a gift from his parents. “My first memory of music is a story my mom passed on to me. ‘I was about five or six and had received my first instrument, the trumpet. When it came time for me to go to bed, I absolutely refused to go without my trumpet. Now, being of West Indian decent, my parents were obviously not trying to have any back mout’ from dis here little child, which was spoken with a West Indian accent. Finally convinced that they had lost the battle, my parents allowed me to sleep with my trumpet.’
His prowess for music was a gift from God. That simple story magnificently illustrates that on a soul level, Curtis Haywood knew his reason for being, and at an early age, he showed an aptitude for and a love ofmusic. With this awareness, he began shaping his musical identity. Curtis studied music in the early 70’s with his dad at the New Muse in Brooklyn, New York. He also attended New York’s prestigious high school of the Performing Arts, graduating in 1984, as well as Berklee College of Music, where he studied alongside famed alumni Cyrus Chestnut, Will Calhoun, and Javon Jackson.
“Music is a surgical tool that liberates your soul from your mind and body. As I look back, I know why I’m such a well-rounded appreciator of all styles of music. My influences come from calypso, rhythm & blues, swing/big band, and classical music.” Haywood continued to hone his skills and forge his unique style by listening and learning from musical mentors, Grover Washington Jr., David Sanborn, Bob Mintzer of the Yellow Jackets, Kenny Garrett, and his namesake, King Curtis.
As a soloist and lead sax voice in Joshua, a contemporary jazz/funk band, Haywood has shared the stage with legendary performers like Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, The Intruders, and The Temptations (with Otis Redman), as well as, gospel greats Kirk Franklin, Richard Smallwood, Take 6, and Sounds of Blackness, just to name a few.
For everything, there is a time and a season. A time to plant and a time to grow, as well as a time to show us what you’re working with. In June of 2007, Haywood released his debut album, appropriately titled, Curtis Haywood. And, what is Haywood working with? For starters, he has a spirited horn; it’s wide open and he’s giving you a full sound. Simply stated, Curtis can blow. Secondly is his posse. Haywood had a great supporting cast in the musicians used to make this project a happening. Number three, tight arrangements and the dude is a writer, too (Manee’ and Rain Song). And, most importantly are the licks. What is jazz without the licks? Does elevator music ring any bells?
When the voice of Curtis Haywood’s saxophone is heard, words like sultry, enthusiastic, and riveting are used to describe his energetic horn. Haywood brings new life and soulful arrangements to his passionate interpretations of R&B favorites and contemporary jazz. “My sole intent when I play is for my voice to be felt sharper than any double-edged sword. I want the music to penetrate your body, your mind, and your spirit, letting God do the rest.”
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