Michael Kaeshammer’s recording career now spans 22 years and 12 albums. His last record, the critically acclaimed “No Filter”, was nominated for a 2018 Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year, his eighth nomination (he has won twice). He has also earned multiple Western Canadian Music Award nominations, winning as both Musician of the Year and Entertainer of the Year and, in 2017, for Jazz Artist of the Year for “No Filter”, and touring 7 times through the People’s Republic of China, it’s no wonder that Kaeshammer makes his meticulous instrumentals sound so effortless.
Michael’s newest album is the aptly named “Something New” (released April 20, 2018). In his 22 years on the Canadian music scene, he has established himself as a talented vocalist, songwriter, arranger, record producer, and jazz and boogie-woogie pianist. “Something New” gleams with polish with 10 tracks of varied tempo, fresh lyrics, and a harkening back to the classicism of old-school jazz and blues. Produced by Kaeshammer himself, the songs encompass stories of politics, travel, love, and the ups-and-downs of life. It was recorded at the historic Esplanade Studios in the beating heart of New Orleans’ Treme district. To give his original songs extra musical resonance, Kaeshammer assembled two A-list casts of guest musicians and vocalists, one American and one Canadian. The American all-star grouping includes guest singers Cyril Neville of The Neville Brothers (on “Heaven And Earth) and Curtis Salgado (on “Do You Believe?”), plus New Orleans legends George Porter Jr. (The Meters) on electric bass and Johnny Vidacovich (Professor Longhair, Al Hirt, Johnny Adams) on drums, with Chuck Leavell (The Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton) contributing keyboards to “She’s Gone.” Canadian guests includes Michael’s True North labelmates Randy Bachman and Colin James, who both play guitar on the horn-fuelled New Orleans-inflected romp “Who Are You?,” with Colin swapping vocals with Michael on the infectious cut. Amos Garrett (guitar) and Jim Byrnes (vocals) are featured on the bluesy lament “She’s Gone,” rising jazz star Bria Skonberg plays trumpet on “Forbidden Love,” David Piltch (k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, Holly Cole) contributes acoustic bass throughout, Justin Abedin (Jacksoul, Serena Ryder) is on guitars and mandolin, and Kaeshammer’s regular horn section of William Sperandei, Chris Gale, and William Carn strut their stuff prominently on Something New. New Orleans is crucial to the sound of Something New. The Big Easy has been a crucial component of Michael Kaeshammer’s musical DNA since he began his career in his teens as a boogie-woogie pianist in his native Germany. “I grew up with the music of New Orleans, from listening to my dad’s records,” he recalls. “That is where the music I love comes from, so what can be better than to go and record with some of the guys that were part of that.” More info at www.kaeshammer.com