Friday, May 7, 2010

Logan: Hallowed Ground

We wanted to share this video for a couple of reasons. First, it's awesome, and totally rocks. Which is the reason we wanted to work with them, but secondly, we wanted to direct you the the comments on this video, because it makes us feel good that we aren't the only ones out there excited about this band and what they can do!

Click here to view the video on YouTube with comments.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Some JuJu Music

Today we just wanted to share some fun King Sunny Ade Videos for your enjoyment. We promise this album is getting closer to release, and we're very excited about it!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Logan on

Since Logan is a new band to most of our fans here in the U.S., we thought you might appreciate them a little more if you were able to connect them with some artists you might already know. So today we wanted to share with you some links to their page on Last.Fm. On you'll be able to read about the band, listen to tons of samples off of their previous albums, see what others are saying about Logan, and listen to "Logan Radio."


Click on the links above or simply visit Last.Fm to view the page below!

Monday, April 19, 2010

King Sunny Ade North American Tour Cancelled

Since we had posted the information for the King Sunny Ade tour, we thought we better also let you know about the cancellation.

Here is the information from the L.A. Times:

King Sunny Adés spring tour of North America has been canceled for a combination of visa and personnel issues. After two members of the Nigerian Afro-beat band died last month in a car accident, the U.S. Embassy had been slow to approve visas for replacement members.

“At the same time,” according to a statement issued Monday by Adé’s representatives, “it became clear that the artist and the band had neither recovered from the impact of the tragedy, nor were they able to find consensus on how to move forward with normal touring.”

“As a result, [the tour] has been canceled until such a time as King Sunny Adé and his group have sufficiently regrouped and are ready to face the rigors of an International tour again,” the statement said.

But, don't forget we are going to be releasing an amazing new King Sunny Ade album very soon!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Did You Know? Steven Santoro

Today we thought it would be fun to do a little "Did You Know?" game and give you some fun facts about our artist Steven Santoro!

Did you know that Steven Santoro won one 2009 Just Plain Folks Music Award and was nominated for another for two different songs on the Mesa/Bluemoon release "Whisper My Name"?

His song Baby I'm Sorry won second place in the Vocal Jazz Song Winners category and Waiting For Grace was nominated in the R&B Song Category!

Did you know his song Hail Columbia was featured on the album project "Song For America" which featured 50 tracks on 3-CDs and was accompanied by other great artists such as John Mellencamp, The Black Crowes, Martha Wainwright, Andrew Bird, The Wilders, and Take 6?

Check out the amazing story of Hail Columbia by clicking HERE!

Did you know his real name is Steven Kowalczyk, and the last name Santoro comes from his grandfather Libertore Santoro, who was the saxophonist that inspired him to play the same instrument?

Did you know that Mesa/Bluemoon plans on releasing another album with Steven Santoro? Make sure to stay in touch for more information on the upcoming release by subscribing to this blog, following us on Twitter, and becoming a fan of Mesa/Bluemoon on Facebook!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Antonia Bennett - Music on MySpace

As we are getting excited about Antonia Bennett's upcoming digital EP release, we can't help but share some of this excitement with you. So today we wanted to direct you to Antonia's wonderful MySpace Playlist with some previously recorded tracks.

So Make sure to check out these tracks from Antonia Bennett:

Sail Away

Under the Cherry Moon

You're A Lucky Guy

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rasaki Aladokun - The Master of the Talking Drum

Today we continue introducing those involved with the upcoming King Sunny Ade album, but this time we aren't introducing a guest artist, but rather someone who has played with King Sunny Ade for over twenty years!

Rasaki Aladokun

Rasaki Aladokun, Nigerian talking drum miracle artist with over twenty-five years of experience. He was a valued member of King Sunny Ade’s band for over twenty years. During that period Rasaki participated in the recording and release of over 50 albums and CDs.

Rasaki’s incredible energy and mastery of the talking drum has probably contributed to making King Sunny Ade what he has become in the music world. Rasaki is well traveled having performed in several musical engagements in Asia, Europe, the US, not to mention in several parts of Africa. Rasaki’s expertise has earned him the respect of music lovers all over the world. He has been a featured artist in the recordings of many notable musicians, among them, O.J. Ekemode, Stevie Wonder, and Babatunde Olatunji of Drums of Passion among others.

Also watch Video #1 and Video #3 on YouTube!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

King Sunny Ade Engineer Phil Nicolo

Phil received a Bachelor of Science from Temple University in 1977. He and his brother Joe began their music careers as teenagers, fixing speakers at a nearby drive-in theater. In 1980, they founded Studio 4, a recording studio in Philadelphia. Individually and together as the Butcher Bros., they quickly established themselves as a force in all genres of music production, from rock to R&B, mainstream to cutting edge. Mr. Nicolo has attained the most coveted form of success in the music business: he has succeeded in every music genre he has tackled. His early rock credits include the Hooters, Nighthawks and Willie Nile. At the same time, he was creating music with Kriss Kross, Teddy Pendergrass and Taj Mahal. Mixes of Billy Joel's River of Dreams, the Rolling Stone's Love Is Strong, Aerosmith's Falling In Love and James Taylor's A Little More Time are all Mr. Nicolo's work. He co-produced and mixed Sting's When We Danced and re-mixed Message In A Bottle for the Police. Other credits include John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Amy Grant, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Santana, Pete Yorn, Luscious Jackson, Urge Overkill, the Pretenders, Jon Bon Jovi, and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam.

In 1989, Ruffhouse Records was launched out of Studio 4 operations, and over the next ten years it moved more than 100 million units through Sony distribution. Responsible for the careers of Lauryn Hill, the Fugees, Cypress Hill, Kriss Kross and Wyclef Jean, Ruffhouse alone accounted for 12 of Columbia Records 39 Grammy nominations in 1997. In 1993 , Mr. Nicolo founded Master Voice, a mastering lab based in Conshohocken, PA. In 1994 He joined producer Rick Chertoff and Polygram Records. Rick's label Blue Gorilla had great success with Joan Osborn.

While maintaining a busy stable of multi-platinum artists, Mr. Nicolo has continued to work with cutting edge talent. He produced the critically acclaimed Train EP for Aware/Columbia. Phil has produced Hamell on Trial, the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, Dishwalla, Fig Dish and Cibo Matto, a veritable who's who of cutting edge rock. His hard rock credits include Life of Agony, Dog Eat Dog, Urge Overkill,Boy Sets Fire and Anthrax. He mixed the Butthole Surfers Pepper, the Cults Gone/Coming Down and produced the Fugees Live Bootleg EP. Projects include mixes for John Lennon & Yoko Ono, remixes and live recordings with Depeche Mode, mixes for the band New Order, an EP for Columbia artist Pete Yorn, and a live recording of The Moby Area One tour featuring: Moby, Incubis, Nelly Furtado, Outkast and The Roots. A recient thrill was working with Bob Dylan on a track for the "North Country" film soundtrack, produced at his Studio 4 facility in Conshohocken.

Phil recorded a remake of Queen's "Under Pressure" with Keane for a BBC tribute CD . The band loved working with Phil and the sound of the new "A" room. Current projects include new releases from King Sunny Ade' and Schooly D.

He produced Rock School , a documentary soundtrack with the Students from Paul Greens School of Rock and various artists including Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Jon Anderson (Yes), Ann Wilson (Heart), Ian Gillan, Marky Ramone, Dave Mustaine (Megadeath), and Stuart Copeland (The Police).

Phil is a national trustee of NARAS (the Grammy people) and is active in the community with various NARAS events. He has been nominated for 4 Grammy awards, and won for mixing and mastering The Spanish Harlem Orchestra . Phil is the proud recipient of the 2003 Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Award, placing him in the Temple University Communication Hall of Fame, where he teaches as an adjunct professor.

Friday, April 2, 2010

King Sunny Ade Guest Artist Damon Bennett

In our continuing quest to introduce everyone on this jam-packed upcoming release, today we wanted to introduce Damon Bennet. He plays keyboards and flute on the upcoming album!


Damon is one of the "New Millennium" MFSB members. He began his musical career sinign in the church choir. By age thirteen Damon achieved a useful proficiency as a keyboardist. He began working with the Roots Ahmir Thompson, and other musicians from the thriving "Neo-Soul" scene, like Jill Scott.

His primary influences are Quincy Jones, Gamble and Huff, Stravinsky, and John Coltrane. He has composed works for the Freedom Theater, the Prince Theater and Crossroads Theater. He lives and loves jazz, r&b and gospel styles of playing.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Others Say About Wayne Horvitz

As we continue to go in-depth on the guests on the new King Sunny Ade album, we realize we could tell you all kinds of things, but one of the most telling ways to show you how great these guests are is to show you what others say about them!


 Joe Hill, 16 Actions for Orchestra, Voice and Soloist

“Joe Hill” is, in fact, a ravishingly beautiful work…

Paul de Barros  Seattle Times


Somehow, always, they resist the postmodern temptation to be too smart and too cute: they're not trying to impress you with how much they can reference.  These 14 pieces - including a few free improvisations, a traditional, a standard, and a Wayne Shorter tune - are mostly contemplative originals; one is particular, Ms. Holcomb's long form piece, " Before the Comet Comes," is staggeringly beautiful.
Ben Ratliff, New York Times

One of my favorite discs of 2004, Solos (Songlines), teems with solo piano pieces by Horvitz and Robin Holcomb that breathtakingly fuse the hermetic, astringent squiggles of Schoenberg's piano music with the lonesome sound of Shaker hymns.
Chris DeLaurenti, The Stranger (Seattle)

they play like composers, giving every stroke a clear intent, informed by the tension and release of subtle harmonic and dynamic shifts.
Jazziz like "Tired," with its' bittersweet and subtly melancholic feeling, are particularly compelling because one can feel Holcomb's more skewed approach subtly infect Horvitz's playing, while its clearer roots in the blues distinguish it as a Horvitz piece.
John Kelman, All About

Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb - the legendary husband-and-wife team that has had such an impact on extemporaneous music since the early '80s - take turns improvising on this hour-long solo piano recording.... The music is generally sparse and contemplative, but not *too* sparse and contemplative.  It's a relaxed listen that touches on free jazz, polytonal hymnsong, traditional jazz (there's a nice version of "Stars Fell On Alabama",) and postmodern classicism, without really being any of those.
Carl Lumma, Keyboard Magazine

Simplicity of means doesn’t mean simple-minded.  Married pianists/composers Robin Holcomb and Wayne Horvitz shared a solo-piano album, Solos (Songlines), alternating tracks, mixing covers and originals, spontaneous improvisations and through-composed pieces, Holcomb favoring ambiguous tonalities and chord-cluster rumblings and Horvitz leaning toward blues and Wayne Shorter.  The complementary styles make for overall unity and perfect sequencing.
Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix, December 24, 2004


It's easy to tell how the pieces on Mylab (Terminus) began: as vamps and loops for jamming in the studio.  Yet it's impossible to guess where they’ll end up.   Mylab's core duo, the keyboardist Wayne Horvitz and the drummer Tucker Martine, refuse to settle into their own grooves; they add unlikely overdubs, dissolve the track's foundations and flesh out musical connotations from country fiddle to big-band saxophones.  Every free association yields a new treat.
Jon Pareles, New York Times 4/4/04

This is a brilliantly conceived and superbly produced debut album that indicates Martine and Horvitz’s musical future will be a major thrill.
PVV, Billboard Magazine 2/7/04

Talk about a sonic experiment gone horribly right, check out this supernatural melding of genres from Mylab.  All I know is that their debut album is the most imaginative collage of groove, melody, harmony, and texture I’ve heard in a long time.
Jude Gold, Guitar Player 2/04

... a dazzling sonic playground full of some wild rides.  Mylab stretches the art of sound collage into new frontiers.
Ned Wharton, NPR Weekend Edition Editor’s Picks 2/04

My big pick for next week is Seattle’s Mylab and their self-titled debut, a fantastic landscape of haunted pop-instrumentals from the duo of pianist Wayne Horvitz and producer Tucker Martine.  Like Morphine meets the Latin Playboys side-project of Los Lobos, this Terminus Records release is mastercraft sound architecture and worth searching out.
Positively Yeah Yeah Yeah (Ohio)

Filling a niche nobody (but them) knew existed, Tucker Martine and Wayne Horvitz have made a trippy instrumental album conversant with rock, jazz, bluegrass and the intangible music known as "ambient".  Sounds messy, right?  It is, but in a wonderful kind of way.  They’ve done a remarkable job pulling together disparate genres, creating a sound collage that makes sense.
Nick Marino, Atlanta Journal Constitution 2/17/04

They’ve concocted a thouroughly mind-bending, genre-obliterating disc just about equally emphasizing groove, melody, and pure sound.  But Mylab does not sound like a de-constructionist take on old-time music (a la Moby)... it is extremely intoxicating.
Eric Snider, Tampa Weekly Planet 2/04

Sweeter Than the Day

".... a great showcase for Horvitz's beautiful compositions, his really strange angular chord progressions."

Ned Wharton,  NPR's Weekend Edition

On piano, Horvitz is economical yet lyrical, never venturing far from the strong melodic hooks which characterize his compositions, but constantly working small suprises. An irresistible antidote to gray days.

The Wire UK

Horvitz' understanding of country, blues, folk and even singer-songwriter-type music is made quite plain on this CD. None of these elements are represented in an obvious way, and that's perhaps the main reason why this disc appeal so strongly. The strength of the music lies in Horvitz' beautifully crafted compositions. Like Monk and Herbie Nichols, Horvitz is able to create memorable and distinctive melody lines from seemingly disparate, even mundane, motifs and phrases.

Dave Wayne,  Jazz Weekly

 (Four stars) ****   ... this set probably subverts most UK-audience assumptions about Horvitz ... its' offbeat lyricism and trancelike guitar-blues atmosphere.  A real surprise.
John Fordham, The Guardian (London)

Elegant and subtle, these lovely compositions uncoil slowly enough that they’ll likely repay a lifetime of listening.
Alex Varty, The Georgia Straight (Vancouver BC)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wayne Horvitz

The upcoming King Sunny Ade album has many great collaborators, and to relly appreciate that we want to introduce you to them all! So it is our pleasure to introduce musician/speaker/producer Wayne Horvitz. Mr. Horvitz worked with the keyboards on the recording as a producer.

Wayne Horvitz Short Biography

Wayne Horvitz is a composer, pianist, and electronic musician. He has performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. He has performed and collaborated withBill FrisellButch MorrisJohn ZornRobin HolcombFred FrithJulian PriesterPhilip WilsonMichael ShrieveBobby PreviteMarty EhrlichSkerikWilliam ParkerRon MilesSara SchoenbeckPeggy LeeSteven BernsteinBriggan Krauss, and Dylan van der Schyff among others. He has been commissioned by the NEAMeet The Composer,Kronos String QuartetSeattle Chamber PlayersMary Flagler Cary TrustPGAFFBAMand others. Collaborators include Paul TaylorLiz Lerman Dance ExchangeGus Van Sandt and Gordon Edelstein. He has produced CDs for Eddie PalmieriFontella Bass,Robin Holcomb and Bill Frisell among others. He is the 2001 recipient of the Seattle Artist Trust Fellowship, 2003 and 2006 recipient of the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture fellowship, 2002 recipient of the Rockefeller Map Grant for JOE HILL, 16 Actions for Chamber Orchestra, Voices and Improviser, and the 2008 NEA American Masterpieces grant forThese Hills of Glory for string quartet and improviser. Ensembles include The President,PigpenZony MashThe HMP TrioThe New York Composers OrchestraThe 4 Plus 1 EnsembleSweeter Than the Day and The Gravitas Quartet.

For more on Wayne Horvitz, visit

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Joe Doria

Monday we introduced you to Hammond Organist, Joe Doria, and as you know Mr. Doria will be performing as a guest artist on our upcoming King Sunny Ade release. So today we thought we would show you a little bit of what Joe can do. So, enjoy this video and get excited for the part he will play on this album!

Monday, March 22, 2010

King Sunny Ade Guest Artist Joe Doria

As we told you on Friday, the new King Sunny Ade album that we will be releasing here on Mesa/Bluemoon will feature many guest artists, so we want to introduce you to them here on the Mesa/Bluemoon blog!

First up is Joe Doria, Hammond organist.

"Raised in the Northwest, Hammond organist Joe Doria has been making big waves on the music scene and is the most sought after organist in the area.

Featured in numerous bands and CD's, Audiences are dazed with his ability to comp both the bass lines and the chordal structure of a song, while at the same time adding depth and dimension to every song he performs.
Joe learned from the Hammond greats of past and present with emphasis on his favorite - Jimmy Smith. It's clear to see that these studies are paying off. Crowds whoop and hollar along with the incredibly tasty grooves he lays down. People watch in amazement at his finger and pedal work. He is obviously at home and in touch with the Hammond, knowing the instrument and it's history so well as to make it sing in any situation.

Never limiting himself to one style and constantly working with new projects, Joe can be heard on many cd's and playing live in projects such as: Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet (on both Ropeadope and Hyena records), Arisawkadoria, DOS(e) with John Wicks, Skip Heller (Hyena Records), Chewy , The Drunken Masters, Jeff "Tain" Watts clinic, Swampdweller, The Living Daylights, Atma, The Stone Crazy Blues Band, American Idol winner "Blake Lewis", Michael Shrieve's "Spellbinder", with Farko Dosumov and Dave Carter in "Last Mile, and many more.

For more information on Joe Doria, visit his website at

Friday, March 19, 2010

New King Sunny Ade Album

Today we just want to announce that we are going to be releasing a new album with King Sunny Ade. This is going to be a very, very exciting release filled with many guest artists! In the coming weeks we will be introducing you to those featured on this album. We hope this will help you to get excited about the release. Though excitement shouldn't be too difficult as this album will be two CDs, with seven songs including a remix, consisting of almost 110 minutes of music in long jams the real way Juju music should be heard. This is new, never before heard or recorded material!

In the meantime make sure you have our last King Sunny Ade release, Seven Degrees North!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We know that Scotland and Ireland are not the same, but for St. Patrick's Day, Scottish band Logan is about as close as we can get. So, for your St. Patrick's Day celebrations, enjoy this video of Logan:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Antonia Bennett

This February we introduced you to our new artist Antonia Bennett with whom we are releasing a new album with very soon. So today we wanted to share a little taste of her voice with a video we found with her and Tom Wopat performing “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” This track is included on Tom Wopat's album The Still of the Night. In a review by All About Jazz, Dan Nathan says this:
A fun cut is Wopat and Antonia Bennett's delivery of that masterful song of seduction "Baby It's Cold Outside". His strong, masculine baritone contrasts with the innocent sounding voice of Bennett.

So please enjoy this video:

So make sure you're keeping up with the latest developments from Mesa/Bluemoon Recordings!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Logan - Grounded live video

In our last post we shared a video of Logan's hit song "When I Get Down." But when we were really investigating the band closely, what really sold us was their live show and the presence they had. Though it's very difficult to recreate that via video, we thought we would share a live video we found to at least prove that they sound as good off the record as on.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Logan - When I Get Down

Last month I told you about my trip to see the rock band Logan in Glasgow and how impressed legendary producer, Keith Olsen and I were watching them live. The crowd went crazy on about every song they performed, but especially during their encore "When I Get Down." So today I thought I would share a music video of "When I Get Down."

Make sure to check out the Official Logan Website.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Steven Santoro Compilation Video

The amazing talents of Steven Santoro are showcased in edited pieces on this YouTube clip. His diversity ranging from R&B, Jazz and Pop sensibilities is exactly why we have chosen to work with this fine artist. We are currently working on a new set of song material to record in May 2010 for a September 2010 release which we believe will capture and merge his true talent — writing great songs and singing from the heart.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More on Cliff Sarde

Today we're going to tell you more about artist Cliff Sarde who will be working with us for his "Smoke 'N Function" project.

Cliff Sarde was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2008 for Best Native American Music Album. The album was "Reconnections" and featured Native American flutist, R. Carlos Nakai who has earned two Gold Records and received four New Age Grammy nominations.

Also, Cliff Sarde has had his music featured on many television programs such as:

The Sopranos
Bad Girls Club
Making The Band
Cake Boss
The Rachel Zoe Project
Fox Sports
Parental Control
Dress My Nest
48 Hours
True Hollywood Story
Biography Channel

And that's only a partial listing! You've probably heard Cliff Sarde's music and don't even know it. So get excited about Smoke 'N Function — we know we are!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Arabic Music with Ken Habib

Continuing our quest to keep you up-to-date on our projects, today we want to talk about a very special project involving an Arabic music ensemble that we are recording in a couple of weeks with Ken Habib. 

Ken Habib has written some wonderful traditional style music with traditional instrumentation.  Our session will take place on March 6th with some of the best Middle Eastern musicians from Los Angeles participating in the recording.  This could be one of the most interesting projects on the schedule next month.

About Mr. Habib:

Dr. Ken Habib earned his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) with specializations in the Middle East and American popular music. He has particularly concentrated on the music of the Eastern Mediterranean, and especially on the collaboration of the Lebanese superstar singer, Fairouz, and the Rahbani composers. Foci of his work include musical and textual analysis, use of musical arts in the creation of personal and social meaning, and experience of music culture in diaspora. He has taught music at Pomona College and UCSB, and he has taught Arabic at Santa Barbara City College and served as Assistant Director of the Middlebury College Arabic School. Dr. Habib also is a composer and performer, and his responsibilities at Cal Poly include direction of the Arabic Music Ensemble.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Smoke 'N Function

Yesterday we introduced you to Cliff Sarde, so today we're gonna share some information about what we're planning with him.

"I hate to put a tag on it, but I always thought of this as "adult electronica,'" Sarde says. "People will hear rave or drum 'n' bass or acid jazz or some of the other things that I'm pulling from. But I don't listen to a lot of electronica. I don't listen to a lot of anything, because I don't want to be influenced by it.

The Smoke 'N Function project started as Sarde began his exploration into the potential of modern musical technology. He opted to take a very electronic path towards creating new music, utilizing MIDI, samples and loops, all recorded on a desktop computer at home, in "a bedroom the size of a closet. Through this solitary approach, Sarde found creative autonomy in the new hardware, a freedom to not only conceive expansive and ingenuous music, but to express himself in the purest, most personal, fashion.

"I was very influenced by Miles Davis's "IN A SILENT WAY", Sarde explains. "The idea here was to create a non-linear record, a record that didn't go verse-chorus-verse. Whatever happened, happened.

"It was going to be whatever music came out, he continues, "and there was going to be no responsibility as far as selling it. My plan was to press a thousand CDs and give them to my friends.

As Sarde's sound paintings took shape, it soon became apparent that Smoke 'N Function was going to deserve more than a self-release. When his longtime pal, esteemed jazz radio programmer Nick Francis, heard what was cooking in Sarde's studio, he knew he wanted to be part of it.

"It was great for me, Sarde enthuses, "because I was looking for someone to produce so that I didn't have to. I didn't want to engineer, write, play, and produce, I didn't want all those responsibilities.

With Francis on board as producer, Sarde, whose wide-ranging musical loves include early Weather Report, Angelique Kidjo, Ben Harper and Beck, was free to explore the possibilities of today's technology, a journey which gave the musician a heretofore unseen chance to express himself on unfamiliar instruments. For example, Sarde's bass playing on "SMOKE 'N FUNCTION was performed on a MIDI wind instrument, enabling him to play rhythms through his saxophone.

"I'm not fumbling around a bass guitar, he says. "I have a sample of a bass that I can trigger with the MIDI. That's how I created a lot of the sound textures. For example, on "Glide", the piano part is me playing a MIDI sax that sounds like a piano. Remarkably, the increased independence allowed Sarde to reach deep into himself to find the most natural and human music possible.

"This spiritual thing inside of me came through," Sarde says, "the spiritual energy that we all have and we're all connected to. It's a part of all of us. We're all connected by energy, and I tried tapping into those feelings.

"It's not coming from me, he points out, "it comes through me, because I'm open to it."

The Bronx-born, Long Island-raised Sarde is no novice to spiritual matters. He first migrated to the Arizona desert in 1972, as a self-described "cult member, following the teachings of Guru Maharaj Ji. Though he soon parted from the Guru's flock, Sarde did pick up some valuable lessons through the experience.

"Once I got into the dogma who's spiritually higher than who, and all that bullshit then I started getting away from it," Sarde explains. "But there are things from that period I really like. Learning to be here now and just accept what is, things like that."

Sarde remains an impassioned student of the human spirit. Throughout "SMOKE 'N FUNCTION" he weaves samples and loops of Zuni and Navajo vocals (the album- opening "Thunderstorm"), Tibetan parade sounds and voices ("Tibetan Spring"), and many other Eastern-based sonic building blocks into a richly evocative musical tapestry which conjures a multi-cultural feeling of profound inner harmony.

"Spirituality is inside every one of us," he says. "It's like a radio station; all we need to know is where to tune in. Most of the time we're flipping around the dial looking for it, but once we tune it in, it's always there and we can get there through meditation, music, or whatever."

Cliff Sarde has certainly expressed his true self with Smoke 'N Function. An imaginative sonic voyage with unprecedented heart, humor and harmony, the hypnotic blend of "SMOKE 'N FUNCTION" is utterly fascinating and utterly unexpected.

"This music is perfect for this new millennium," Sarde says. "Hopefully people into contemporary jazz or other genres will accept this blur of music, which is non-definable but yet completely heartfelt."

"I think I'm on the forefront of something new," he says. "I'm not coming out with the same old record that you've heard before. That's the beauty of this. I'm not imitating anybody. I'm not even imitating myself."

Smoke 'N Function... Can you?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cliff Sarde

Like electronic music? Then you're going to love the release we're planning with artist Cliff Sarde. Today we want to introduce you to Cliff Sarde, which will of course get you excited for what we're planning with him!

Grammy nominee musician/producer Cliff Sarde's work is a fluid and moving collection which fuses world beat, electronica and contemporary jazz into a thoroughly original and powerful new music. In addition to Sarde's saxophone and assorted woodwinds. Sarde's music comes to life via samples of various Eastern and Native American voices, drum and bass textures, MIDI loops, and a hopeful and positive series of Zen tranquility. This music, recorded in a desktop home studio, offers ample proof that the Phoenix, Arizona-based Sarde has concocted a truly original adventure in sound.

In 1998, Sarde adopted the moniker "Smoke 'n Function", (Mesa/ Atlantic Records) releasing an album of the same name featuring his innovative blending of jazz, world beat and electronica. Sarde's most recent release, "Enter-Tribal" (2004, Canyon Records) is a collaboration featuring Native American flutist, R. Carlos Nakai who has earned two Gold Records and received four New Age Grammy nominations. In December 2004, Enter-Tribal topped the New Age Voice Chart at number ten. In 2008 Sarde was a Grammy Nominee for his work with R. Carlos Nakai release titled "RECONNECTIONS".

Before his innovative epiphany with his new sound, Sarde tread a more traditional musical path. He spent the Eighties recording a number of acclaimed contemporary jazz albums, including "Every Bit Better" (1983, Curb/MCA), "Waiting" (1985, Curb/MCA), "Two On One" (1986, Curb/MCA) "Dreams Out Loud" (1988, Passport Jazz) and "Honest and True" (1990, ProJazz). All of these have garnered national airplay on over 165 stations.

In addition to his recording, Sarde owns CE Productions, a music and sound production company where the multi-instrumentalist works as composer, producer and sound designer for various cinematic projects and commercials. Among these is "Quality Time" (starring Nancy Allen, Corin Nemec, Bruce Weitz and John DeLancie), as well as the PBS documentary, "Thieves of Time" and "Visions of Arizona". Sarde is the recipient of many Telly and Addy and Emmy Awards.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Introducing Antonia Bennett

In more than a hint towards a future release (it will be a digital EP in fact), we wanted to take some time to introduce you to Antonia Bennett:

Antonia Bennett

Written by Keya Morgan via
New York City, September 21, 2006

According to The New York Times, the truly beautiful voice of Antonia Bennett “conjures echoes of Billie Holiday and Ricki Lee Jones, with a hint of Betty Boop." Since the age of four, Antonia Bennett has been gracing the stage and serenading audiences internationally alongside her world-renowned father, Tony Bennett. In fact, some of those early performances were with the legendary American jazz icon Count Basie.

Having spent most of her life in Los Angeles and New York City and coming from a show business family, Antonia Bennett was surrounded by and received praise from such greats as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Gene Kelly, Rosemary Clooney, Les Paul and Ella Fitzgerald, so it was inevitable that she would be infected with a passion for the arts.

A recipient of the David Award presented by the "Italo-American National Union" (the oldest Italian-American fraternal organization in America), Antonia is an alumnus of the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston. In addition to Antonia Bennett’s beautiful voice, she has also had formal acting and dance training throughout her life. Her experience and timeless sound make her a presence that commands and captures audiences wherever and whenever she performs.

Antonia Bennett has performed in opera houses, casinos, jazz clubs and amphitheaters worldwide. Her beauty, sweetness and timeless qualities are reminiscent of the great female jazz vocalists of the twentieth century. A rising star, she continues to dazzle crowds around the globe time and time again with her unique and ever-alluring voice.

To listen to samples of Antonia Bennett, please visit her Website

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Little About Logan

Last week we told you about our trip to see the Scottish rock band Logan, so today we'd like share a little band history:

Formed in 2003, Logan are a five piece hard rock band from Glasgow, Scotland.

Their self-funded, debut album First Leaf Fallen was released in 2003 and was followed with Welcome to The Wasteland a year later, building an impressive U.K. fan base and selling over 8,000 copies.

In 2005 they secured high profile support slots with Alter Bridge, which helped them to become one of the most talked about independent bands in the U.K. In June 2006, they released their first single When I Get Down which debuted at No. 12 on the Official U.K. Rock Chart and proceeded to stay in the chart for seven weeks — a feat never before achieved by an unsigned band.

September 2006 saw the release of their third album Cruel Little World and their second single Hallowed Ground followed, again breaking into the U.K. Rock Chart Top Twenty.

2007 saw the band win awards at The U.K. Glasswerks Awards for New Music and a nomination as ones to watch in 2008 by the UK's leading rock magazine Classic Rock and an inclusion on the accompanying cover mount cd.

2008 was a great year for Logan. Airplay of the single "Lost & Found" won the band a support slot with Bon Jovi at Hampden Park in front of 4,000 and the subsequent 8-date UK headline tour pushed sales of Cruel Little World to sell-out status. The band headed to L.A. in October to record two videos and play a new pressing of Cruel Little World with three additional tracks and new packaging was released to coincide with a 24-date European tour in support of Alter Bridge, which was a great success. The tour saw the band conquer new audiences in 11 countries and set them up nice for 2009.

For more information visit

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Catching Up - Mesa/Bluemoon Adventures with Logan

Want to know what Mesa/Bluemoon has been up to the past two months? Owner George Nauful tells all!

"I’ve been courting a great rock n’ roll band from Scotland for the last several months that I really wanted to work with and release here in the U.S. So I went to Scotland in mid-December to see the band perform live in Glasgow. The band had been looking for a producer for the new album they want to record so I hooked them up with an old friend from my past who is the world renown rock producer, Keith Olsen. Keith has like 25 platinum albums producing icon bands like Fleetwood Mac, Thin Lizzy, Scorpions, Alice Cooper, Grateful Dead, Santana, White Snake, Foreigner to name a few. So I took Keith with me and headed to Scotland to see Logan perform for the first time.

The guys in Logan are really nice guys as are the managers of the band and they treated us with such kindness and respect. Glasgow was cold to say the least so we stayed close to the hotel the first day and didn’t get to spend much time sightseeing around the city. We spent a lot of our time with the band and management including the day of the performance. The day of the concert Keith and I went to see Logan at The Garage in Glasgow which is a popular club that holds about 1,500 people standing room downstairs and balcony upstairs. We were both so impressed with Logan from the first downbeat of the set. They are a hard rocking band with great musicians and great songs. Kenny who is the lead singer is a great front man just blew us away with his vocal prowess. The crowd went crazy on just about every song they performed but especially their encore which was “When I Get Down”. It’s the song that has gotten a lot of radio attention in Scotland and the fans loved every minute of the performance.

Needles to say, we loved the band and have made a deal to release the next album here in the U.S. through Universal/Fontana distribution. We are scheduled to start the new album recording in mid-March in Los Angeles and are shooting for a summer release and tour. Logan is a terrific band and destined to be newest stars of rock n’ roll."

- George Nauful

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

MIDEM Report #1

MIDEM 2010 Report #1 (written Jan. 24, 2010):

Our meetings started early Sunday morning. The Palais (convention center where all the meetings are held) was not as crowded as in previous years, but we anticipate that Monday will be jammed.

What struck us first was the optimistic atmosphere! It seems that everyone is glad that 2009 was behind us. People are actually excited about the possibilities rather than scared about the industry. The changes in the industry have elevated creativity and the folks here are genuinely positive. The indie labels are shinning now and their passion for music is as heightened as it ever has been.

We had a total of 10 meetings on Sunday - some planned, some spontaneous. The feedback about our releases has been solid especially in the area of sync placement for our artists (commercials, TV and film music usage).  The level of musicianship and the diversity of our artists has been very well received!

It's always so good to be here - to see old friends and colleagues - not to mention to eat the amazing food!!!

Monday holds 10 more meetings for us and a couple of seminars. More later.....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

MIDEM 2010

We know we are still just getting going with the online stuff, but we are going to have to take a break for the next few weeks. Mesa/Bluemoon Recordings is taking off tomorrow to Cannes, France for the 2010 MIDEM Conference. Unfortunately due to time, internet reliability, and luggage limitations, we will not be able to do any blogging/tweeting/Facebooking while we are there. But please enjoy the videos, samples, and information we have posted already!

If you don't know what MIDEM is, click to learn more!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another Steven Santoro Review

Check out this raving quote about Steven Santoro from the "Cadence" journal:

Steven Santoro is a skilled, appealing Jazz singer-songwriter. He possesses maybe the most important quality for someone trying to extend that tradition of the Great American Songbook—a sense of humor. While he takes on romance and discontents as well as a few more serious subjects, he maintains a wry slant on things...I particularly liked “Waiting for Grace,” a soulful gospel flavored slow rocker that looks at the gloomy side. His lyrics tend to be straightforward without any convoluted wordplay or complex rhyme schemes. He tells stories...The music supporting these tales is assured and, in the case of “Hey ThereSunshine,” quite beautiful.
-David Dupont

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Whisper My Name (Steven Santoro) Review Quotes

Here are a couple of review quotes regarding the Mesa/Bluemoon release "Whisper My Name" featuring Steven Santoro

From "All about Jazz":
Steven Santoro - has listened to a great manysingers, it seems, given the diversity of his output. He’s got a great voice and a great new CD - Whisper My Name (s/r), acompelling combination of romance and brio. As is often the case with young jazz singers, his is not an unadulterated art form. But when it comes to the hybridization of Pop, R&B and Jazz, Santoro gives a convincing argument for its viability as a legitimate child of the Jazz genre.
- Suzanne Lorge

From "ejazz news":
...Whether you know this vocalist as Steven Kowalczyk or Santoro, you should know that "Whisper My Name" is indeed one elegant piece of jazz vocals performed by a talented songwriter with a gifted voice, highly recommneded.
- Ed Blanco

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lalah Hathaway Outrun the Sky Review

Check out this great review of our 2004 release Outrun the Sky with Lalah Hathaway from

LALAH HATHAWAY: – Outrun The Sky
(US Mesa / Bluemoon, 2004)
How Many Times - Back Then - Your Favourite Song - Forever, For Always, For Love - Better And Better - Outrun The Sky - If U Ever - In The End - Admit It - Stronger - We Were 2 - More - Boston

This beautiful Lady has been off the scene for far too long in my opinion, and I therefore review this with great pleasure. She is a shining star in my humble opinion and a daughter that her dear, late father would be supremely proud of. Although it is a pleasure to receive a new CD from this Lady it is possibly the patchiest album that we have yet had delivered to us. Saying this, though, I am certain that this set sees her produce her best work EVER, and if you have both previous efforts then that is saying something.

This really is a varied album, plying itself in a few unusual directions and appealing to more than one taste of music. This is handled far better than the effort of Adriana Evans earlier this year, and holds more water as a result. There are very good, if not extraordinary, R&B orientated cuts such as "How Many Times", "Your Favorite Song" and "Better And Better" which are produced by Mike City - he of Sunshine Anderson fame, if you remember. Perhaps not!

However the first song really is a grower and should not be disregarded lightly. Chris Parks adds a few songs and these are OK, I think "Back Then" is the best on here, and its funky guitar and lively shuffling gait has some promise. "Back Then" would be great but is spoiled by some daft keyboard affects that detract from the general funkiness, and "Admit It" is just too rocky for my particular taste and a bit too much to the left. But that's just me.

Those of you who purchased the compilation "For Ever, For Always, For Luther" will own the competent cover of "Forever, For Always, For Love " so I will not elaborate here. What I do want to do, though, is shout from the rooftops about four songs, starting with Lalah's own composition, "Outrun The Sky". This is very tasty indeed, and what Lalah creates here is a song that marks her out as a serious artist and writer as well as sensuous singer. This has a beautiful acoustic feel and slight AOR leanings but is essential. The lyrics are very intricate and show other lackaday writers about how a song should be crafted.

Very warm and satisfying that may be, but I was absolutely flabbergasted by the ENORMOUS ballad, "If U Ever". Now, I am still reeling over Gary J's "Completely" (and others!) and to have this blasting out really was too much! I immediately had the shivers and the spine had the old chills going up it. I give parity to this sublime song as the same vein as George Benson's "I'm Calling You" or Womack & Womack's "Long Time". This song is just amazing but the surprise is the choice of instruments. Now, I am not partial at all to Country & Western steel guitar but this underpins the squeezebox and is so haunting that I am doubly taken aback. I feel that this constitutes one of the most beautiful records Lalah Hathaway has plied us to date.

I would recommend buying this for "If U Ever" alone, but imagine my joy to discover the KILLER "More". This is jazzy soul heaven at its very best. I defy anyone to not adore this track; real instrumentation is the order of the day and again this constitutes Lalah's own writing of paramouncy above all other contributors. I would certainly like to see more of this in the future. Again, the CD price is worth it for THIS track alone, too, and if this is not enough Lalah leaves the last song to drop the real killer on us. "Boston" is a spine tingler and then some. This is equal to the superb material on Brenda Russell's "Paris Rain" effort and as such the haunting melody and melancholy simply overpower you. Oh, what a song, and showcases how much sheer talent this beautiful Lady has.

Why oh why do artists such as these release albums that slip quietly away unnoticed by the moronic R&B press when the likes of Missy Elliott get all the attention. Criminal and unbelievable. This Lady has given me a lot of emotion from this album and I cannot recommend it enough, rocky influences aside. Another worthwhile track is the Vivienne McKone / Brenda Russell-ish "Stronger", which is slightly AOR but completely and utterly a must-have! A mandatory purchase for any of the five aforementioned songs.
- Barry Towler