Valentine’s Day has deeper meaning this year for Eric Valentine, who released his long-in-the-works labor of love, Velvet Groove, on Wednesday. The Matcha Entertainment collection of soul-soaked urban grooves and sophisticated contemporary jazz sounds is the first release from the drummer-multi-instrumentalist-songwriter-producer’s Velvet Groove, a creative community of musicians and recording artists spreading love and positivity through music and collaboration. Valentine produced the set constructed by more than forty musicians, including an enclave of distinguished chart-toppers such as trumpeter Rick Braun and saxophonist Richard Elliot, who are the featured soloists on the title track, which is presently No. 3 on the Billboard chart.
Valentine is a first-call drummer for many of the brightest stars in smooth/contemporary jazz, which is why so many accomplished players were eager to join the Velvet Groove sessions. He composed nine songs for the platter illuminated by Grammy-winning saxman Kirk Whalum, multiple Grammy-nominated sax player Gerald Albright, and solo hit-makers Adam Hawley, Elan Trotman, Brian Simpson and Greg Manning. R&B singer B. Valentine seduces in lead and background vocal roles while pianist Wayne Linsey, guitarists Kay-Ta Matsuno and Alex Machacek, and percussionist Lenny Castro, Munyungo Jackson, and Ramon Islas texturize the ten songs plus three reprises.
A Washington, DC native and long-time Los Angeles resident, Valentine sees Velvet Groove as the launch of a movement, a reboot of old-school record making where multiple artists are in the studio playing, recording, communicating and collaborating on each other’s albums all at the same time like they did at Motown and Philadelphia International Records, but with a modern touch. Valentine’s mission for Velvet Groove is to spread “love, joy, and happiness” and use their “musical gifts to inspire people to choose kindness and uplift people to a better place.” Valentine anticipates releasing other projects from the musical cooperative this year, including a disc from B. Valentine, his wife who sings lead on the album’s retro cut “Back in the Day,” which is the featured “First Listen” track this week on the SoulTracks site.
On March 25, Valentine will take the stage to helm his Velvet Groove unit at their live concert premiere during an album release celebration spaghettini, south of Los Angeles.
The Velvet Groove album is available now around the world from http://smarturl.it/VelvetGroove. For additional information, please visitwww.VelvetGrooveMusic.com.