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Hackettstown, NJ, USA - October 12, 2007 – If you think you know the music of B.D. Lenz, think again. One of New Jersey's Top 20 up-and-coming jazz musicians 40 and under (Newark Star Ledger), the fifth Lenz CD, Straight Up, is a departure from what audiences are accustomed to hearing.
Past albums were more heavily programmed in contrast to the live vibe that Straight Up embodies. His third project with the Apria Record label, Straight Up captures an uninhibited, loose style that allows the musicians to jam with great improvisation; much like a straight-ahead jazz album. Conceived with an organic spirit behind the project, the title track sets the benchmark for the rest of the album. The song, Straight Up, is a groove-based tune written around the bass line, yet it is still melodic enough for the band to open up and achieve an edgy jam.
With an indigenous sound characterized as melodic jazz funk, the music on this album is still very much B.D. Lenz. "I agonize over every tune and am always modifying each song," said Lenz. A prolific writer, Lenz wrote ten of the eleven featured songs and continues to fuse jazz and rock with chords of funk, soul and R&B. "I work really hard to write good melodic sounds," he admits. Lenz listeners will enjoy this guitar-oriented, genre-bending collection -- a reflection of his eclectic tastes as a multi-dimensional musician.
Jazz Improv Showcase
Hailed as a "Must-Attend Event for Jazz Lovers," the Jazz Improv Convention & Festival showcases the B.D. Lenz Quintet and new tunes from Straight Up on Friday, October 26, 2007 at 8 p.m. Sponsored by Apria Records, the event takes place at Tir Na Nog located at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street, and features B.D. Lenz, guitar; James Rosocha, bass; Tom Cottone, drums; Geoff Mattoon, sax; Nick Rolfe, keyboard. Visit www.tirnanognyc.com or www.jazzimprov.com.
In his first week on the CMJ music charts, B.D. Lenz's Straight Up reached the number one position for the most added jazz CD, nudging out the legendary pianist McCoy Tyner. Tyner, who placed number two in adds, was followed by Billy Taylor and Gerry Mulligan's album in the fifth position. Straight Up continues to receive the nod of approval with air-play on nearly 50 stations nationwide.
About the Artist
Mix together the styles of Pat Metheny, Mike Stern and Stevie Ray Vaughn and you have the recipe for the hottest new contemporary jazz guitarist to hit the streets in a long time. B.D. Lenz has played guitar since the age of 14 and studied with such jazz greats as Mike Stern, Vic Juris and Charlie Banacos. His 2005 Apria Records release, Tomorrow's Too Late, features Grammy-winning trumpeter Randy Brecker and legendary bassist Mark Egan. B.D.'s music has been licensed to 49 television programs and can be heard on shows such as MTV, VH1 and USA. His band easily keeps the audience on their feet whether playing jazz, fusion, jam or straight ahead cover tunes. B.D. Lenz endorses the Godin Montreal guitar.
About the Label
A new generation of great sounds, Apria Records is a U.S. based label featuring jazz, R&B, smooth jazz and Latin artists. They strive to produce quality contemporary jazz artists and gain exposure for them while offering listeners a worldwide, eclectic and diverse mix. Their catalog includes artists as far reaching as San Palo, Brazil. Located in the Midwest, Apria Records is owned by Steve Wilkinson. To learn more, visit: www.apriarecords.com.