The magnificent portrait of a blue-tinted ORCHID on the cover of Phil Sheeran's latest smooth jazz recording not only lends imagery to the title of the album itself, but also reflects new and exciting currents in the Seattle bred guitarist's music. Whereas on his four previous albums-1990's Breaking Through, 1991's Standing on Fishes, 1995's It's a Good Thing and 1996's I'll Be Home For Christmas- he wove pop and jazz with distinctly Brazilian and Latin rhythms, Orchid ventures into other areas ripe for exploration-urban music, tropical flavors, the blues and, the laid back, seductive vibe of romance. 'The title track was the first song I wrote for the new project, and I wanted to capture it's laid back, sexy and seductive vibe throughout the rest of the material,' says Sheeran, who relocated in 1996 to Los Angeles, where he operates the indie jazz label Passage Records. 'It was all about creating a consistent mood around a new more diverse sound for me that would be more current and groove oriented, involving loops where appropriate and playing on classical, electric and steel string acoustic guitars.' 'Though Latin and Brazilian music has been my trademark, I've been eager for some time to explore new space, stretch out and write and play from a whole different mindset, a new sound 'he adds. ' The orchid symbolizes so many things, from our individual growth to our extreme fragileness. It touches our senses much like music touches our hearts, in it's' moment of full bloom we allow ourselves to be swept away by it's' delicate beauty.' In addition to picture perfect melodies and adventurous rhythmic contexts, two other great constants from Sheeran's previous albums are on hand once again-keyboardist Gregg Karukas, who produced Orchid (and either produced or co-produced his other projects) and saxman Eric Marienthal, both popular solo artists in their own right. 'The great thing about my relationship with Gregg is that he is always open-minded about the direction I see for each album.' Other all-star contributions to Orchid are Brandon Fields (playing flute), steel pan master Andy Narell, percussionist Luis Conte and drummers Will Kennedy (from the Yellowjackets) and Harvey Mason (from Foreplay). 'Harvey has an ability to keep things on the beat, over the edge, while Will hits on the more relaxed, laid back side. The two styles of playing contrast each other giving the album lots of diversity for the listener.' BIO: Phil Sheeran has established himself as a guitarist and composer with the national international release of his CD's 'Breaking Through', 'Standing on Fishes', 'It's A Good Thing', 'Orchid' and The Marc Anthony Latin Guitar Tribute CD plus two holiday albums, 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' and 'The First Noel', and his most recent Japan only release 'Phil Sheeran, The Best of Smooth Jazz Series'. Phil's albums have hit #17 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz and charted top 5 in the nation for air play on contemporary jazz and New Adult Contemporary stations. Phil has performed on the same bill as the Rippingtons, David Benoit, Richard Elliott, Michael Tomlinson, and Danny O'Keef and has recorded with such artists as Eric Marianthal, Michael Gettel, Steve Kujula, Luis Conte, Gregg Karukas, Andy Narell, Eric Tagg, Brandon Fields, Harvey Mason, and Will Kennedy just to name a few. Phil's educational background is in jazz, classical and Brazilian music. Graduated from the prestigious Cornish Institute of the Arts with a BFA in music, Jazz composition and performance. Phil signed with Sonic Edge Records of Los Angeles, California in 1990 and released his first album 'Breaking Through' nationally. In 1991 came the release of his second album 'Standing on Fishes as it climbed up the charts to #4 NAC. Phil was nominated by NAMA (Northwest Area Music Assoc.) both in 1991 & 1992 for Best Jazz Artist, Best Jazz Recording and Best Electric Guitarist. Presently, Phil resides in Los Angeles performing clubs, concerts, festivals ... as a session guitarist and composer, producing music for radio, film and television. International releases to date include: Japan, Italy, South Africa and Brazil. Review quotes: --- 'With Sheeran there's always more than meets the eye just as he eases our expectations with gentle declarations the guitarist fires up to explosive effect.' Jonathan Widran, JAZZIZ, USA 'With a smooth, clipped-chord sound recalling Earl Klugh sunny, wide-open leads and memorable melodies.' Hilarie Grey, JAZZ TIMES, USA 'Phil is an accomplished acoustic guitarist whose sound and style is a Jazzier version of Earl Klugh.' Al Merritt, JAZZ NOW, USA 'A seductively melodic style, openly revealing the magnetism within this superbly gifted guitarist.' THE MANILA TIMES, Manila, Philippines 'Sheeran swings with unabashed romance & genuine Carioca spirit.' Sandra Burlingame, Earshot Jazz, USA â??Sheeran's original compositions explode with the emotional depth of an aria ... with Sheeran's fluid acoustic guitar at it's lyrical epicenter.' Kathy Raglund, Seattle Times, USA 'A release not to be missed and once you've heard it you'll beg for more.' Nancy Caldwell, LA JAZZ SCENE 'A seductively melodic style, openly revealing the magnetism within this superbly gifted guitarist.' THE MANILA TIMES, Manila, Philippines.
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