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Old School Funk Grooves

funk-backgroundRemember the 70s and 80s? Well, ok, I was only a kid in the 70s so a great deal passed me by but I do know about all those funky grooves. New composer David Klotz  is helping us get in touch with our inner funk, with some great “Old School Funk” tracks.

Old School Funk 1– A slow, heavy groove with kicking brass riffs, rhythm guitars, funky bass
Old School Funk 2  – Medium tempo, heavy funk with Moog synth and Hammond organ. 
Old School Funk 3  -My personal favorite, with a really strong melody on brass section.  
Old School Funk 4  – Another heavy funk groove with strong clavinet.
Old School Funk 5  – Another favorite, heavy, slow groove, with vocal.  
Old School Funk 7 – A more up tempo groove, more of a “Play That Funky Thing” style groove.
Old School Funk 8 – A slower groove with Moog bass.

These seriously funky tracks are available to license and download  separately (£12.99, $21)  or as a package of 7 tracks (£29.99, $49).

Posted in: General, Royalty free music

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Latin Music and Brazilian Beats

brazil-backgroundWe’ve recently added some superb Latin music and authentic Brazilian beats by Tempero, composers Felipe Vassão and Janecy Nascimento. After almost two decades writing music for advertising, film and tv, they have honed their skills in multiple genres. Based in Brazil, they and have produced music and sound design for over 1000 TV and radio spots.
Check out these tracks:

Lamento – Utterly beautiful, and a personal favorite. Slow, sensual, tragic music.
Mandacaru Eletronico  – Authentic brazilian MARACATU twisted into an electronic remix. 
 Caatinga – Authentic brazilian slow BAIAO/XOTE, with a 10-string VIOLA playing over a laid-back live percussion groove.
 Lagoa – Latin lullaby, with an accordion and a fiddle playing the sweet main theme over acoustic guitars and light percussion.

All our Latin music can be found here: Royalty free Latin Music
and other great tracks by Tempero.
These tracks (and many more) are all available for licensing in TV,DVD,Video,Film, internet and multimedia.

Posted in: General, Royalty free music

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Indian Background Music

Indian musicJust a quick post to welcome composer David Klotz to SMARTassMusic.
He’s provided us with some really great tracks and amongst them are a number of really strong Indian influenced pieces which enhance our world music/ ethnic music and Indian background music collection.
Delhi Llama uses traditional Indian percussion along with wooden flute and creates a dark, mysterious backdrop.
Sands of Time is rather  sinister and dramatic and includes a male vocal.
Sruti Box includes female vocal and is more of a dance orientated piece with percussion.
Deva Dasi is a traditional style piece with sitar and tabla and creates a dark, mysterious yet soothing mood.

Dave Klotz is an experienced composer,audio engineer and producer, having worked with a variety of groups, in a variety of styles. He has worked with some of the best producers in the business, including Andy Johns, Thom Panunzio and Dave Schiffman. Dave has provided orchestral arrangements on a variety of projects, toured extensively in North America and Europe as a professional keyboardist, and has appeared on a variety of albums. He is a graduate of the York University music program, where he received a BFA degree with honors, specializing in ethnomusicology, composition and avant-garde electronic music. He is credited for composition in film, television, and dance choreography, for clients spanning from Toronto, to Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

Posted in: General, Royalty free music

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Great Evening with Stan Sulzmann and Nick Smart

piano_royalty_free_music_iconOccasionally a gig comes along which makes all the hard work over the years, worth it- and for me, I was lucky enough to experience exactly that on Sunday. I had a gig with the great, British saxophonist Stan Sulzmann  along with Nick Smart (trp), Buster Birch (drms), Pete Ringrose (bass) with myself  (Jim Treweek) on piano. For me, it was one of those rare nights where everything comes together and playing is just a sheer joy. The prospect of playing with such fine musicians is rather daunting but I’ve found over the years that when great musicians have nothing to prove, then they’re the nicest people you could hope to meet. 

It was also a real pleasure to meet Helen Mayhew,  who was in the audience, and is certainly one of the UK’s top Jazz broadcasters and has interviewed Jazz giants such as McCoy Tyner, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Abdullah Ibrahim, Geri Allen, Michael Brecker, Eddie Harris, Dianne Reeves, Chick Corea, Stanley Turrentine, Quincy Jones and Shirley Horn.

In my opinion Stan Sulzmann really is the best of British Jazz, with a wonderful tone and a never ending stream of thoughtful, inventive  ideas. 

stan-sulzmannStan Sulzmann is constantly in demand as a guest soloist and has appeared with bands across Europe, including the Hilversum Radio Orchestra, NDR Big Band (alongside Chet Baker), Hanover Radio Symphony Orchestra and the New York Composers Orchestra. His career stretches back to the 60’s, where he drew critical acclaim playing alongside Graham Collier, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Gordon Beck, as well as leading many groups of his own. Since that time Stan has been at the forefront of European contemporary jazz, and has been in demand by musicians such as  Gil Evans, Mike Gibbs, Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland and Michael Brecker. 

 

nick-smart1Nick Smart (trp)  is another musician who constructs intelligent, swinging solos with a beautiful tone. Nick has performed with numerous groups including the Stan Sulzmann Big Band, London Jazz Orchestra, Michael Garrick Big Band, BBC Big Band and is the regular soloist with the James Taylor Quartet.
 Nick has been increasingly sought after in jazz education.  Currently Jazz Co-ordinator and  Bmus Tutor at the Royal Academy, he teaches the Jazz LRAM pedagogical diploma and directs the Big Band. Under Nick’s direction recent Big Band projects have included performances with Peter Erskine, John Taylor, Stan Sulzmann and Kenny Wheeler. Nick is also currently on the faculty at the Guildhall School of Music and Middlesex University, as well as a regular tutor on various Jazz summer schools including Glamorgan, Wavendon, Burnley and Trinity.

If you get a chance to see either (or both) of these great British Jazz musicians you really won’t be disappointed.

Posted in: General

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Online Audio File Converter WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP3s

smartassmusic_100x100Have you’ve ever needed to convert your audio files quickly and not had the right software to hand?
We know exactly how frustrating that can be so we’ve just added a really cool feature to SMARTassMusic which allows you to convert all of your music into the most useful audio formats, and it’s REALLY fast 🙂

You can see here that in my account I’ve converted “Urban Symphony” to MP3 (128kbps) and I’ve chosen to convert “Insomnia” to all available file formats.

CONVERTER2If you login into your account and navigate to your “downloads” page you’ll now be able to download your purchased music in the following formats:

For explanations of each file type click here 

The converter is incredibly quick and when I tested  a 4 minute WAV  the site converted it to AIFF in 6 seconds!!

In your account area you can quickly review each purchased track by pressing the play button and  download the WAV file at any time. To convert the WAV file choose an alternative format from the drop-down menu an additional download button will appear in a few seconds.
To save server space your converted files are deleted after 24 hours but your WAV files are always in your account and you can revisit and convert/ download as many times as you want.

Posted in: Audio, General, Royalty free music, Tutorials

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Royalty Free TV Themes

tv-themes-icon

We’ve just put together a package of really strong, catchy themes which would be perfect for TV shows, DVD titles and Video credits.
If you’re tired of hearing royalty free cheesey sounds and lame music then you should like these 🙂

Big Bang Theory – a hard hitting, “in your face”  RnB groove with great production and an annoyingly catchy tune.
Break The Ice – is a solo piano piece with rhythmic sections contrasting with more lyrical passages.
Carousel (incl strings) – is a beautiful theme tune played on two classical guitars (by concert guitarist Jonathon Preiss) with a wonderfully crafted string arrangement. If you like class, with a catchy tune then this is it!
Urban Symphony – is a constant best seller on the site and combines beautiful baroque style strings with modern Rap beats.
Beach Party – is a hugely popular track which uses a classical guitar with common dance music sounds and grooves
Burlesque – is a raunchy, 12/8 groove and a very catchy string line.
Funking Brass – is an “out and out” 60’s groove with modern kit sound. Brass riffs and heavy Hammond organ.
Another Time – combines orchestral strings with modern beats in a dark, powerful track.
All Over Now – is a cool, triumphant track with heavy guitars and synths.

The entire package of 12 full length tracks is available to buy here (£49, $79, 57 EUR).

Posted in: General, Royalty free music

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Dramatic Background Music

smartassmusic_100x100 We’ve just uploaded a large amount of high quality Dramatic background music from TV composer Alex Khaskin.

Each track creates a dramatic backdrop, perfect for video,  expertly using different textures and rhythms to create a feeling of suspense or tension.

There are 38 different cuts in all, which are available to license and download individually or as a collection of all 38 tracks at an amazing £69.99 ($110, 79EUR).

This pack has  got to be a must for any TV/Video production company.
Check out the amazing value “Dramatic Bumper Pack” here.

Posted in: General, Royalty free music

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Scary Halloween Music

Scary Music

It’s that time again, when many of you will be looking for scary music
We’ve got a great selection of professionally produced  scary, eerie and fun Halloween tracks.

Check out the scary background music with great tracks such as :
“Haunted House “and “Horrible Encounter”, “Psycho Therapy” by Michael Talyor,
“Evil Returns“, “Gloomy Picture” and “Trapped Creature” by Alex Khaskin.
“Home Alone” by James Treweek,

For some great themes have a listen to :
Dark Skies” a creepy, slow yet beautiful theme………. and the bestseller “Shadows” another great orchestral theme, which is arranged in the style of Danny Elfman.

We’ve also put together various compilations of Horror and Halloween music.

Our tracks are some of the highest quality you’ll find anywhere, composed and produced by professional musicians and perfect for TV, Film and Video.

Have fun 🙂

Posted in: Royalty free music

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Electronic Music by Jon Cooper

electronic-music-icon We added a few great new tracks of electronic music by Jon Cooper recently.

He’s never one to let us down and these tracks are the same high quality you’ve come to expect!

Glasshouse is a subtle electronic track full of space and intertwining melodies, with an overall glass and metallic texture.

Electrotek is another very cool track with a great bass line and smooth melodic lines over the top.  Perfect for fashion or cool technology.

Defenders is a more aggressive track with a hard bass line and great use of synths throughout.

Thanks Jon 🙂

Posted in: Royalty free music

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It’s All About Time…and Space!

smartassmusic_100x100 Holidays are well and truly over now and although I’m hanging onto the last of the Indian summer we’re having in Britain (I’m still in shorts!), there’s no denying the workload which is building and it’s time to get back to the blog 🙂

The summer has been full of arranging for a variety of ensembles, managing the royalty free music site (more of that later) and the gig diary has been pretty continuous – culminating in a great evening with vocalist Sue Rivers last Friday.
Apart from the fact that the gig was a mile from home, it was a great evening for me because Sue is a great natural musician with excellent pitching and natural time. Very few vocalists are so reliable  that they allow the accompanist complete freedom to use frequent harmonizations and in particular, space!

Playing in time is NOT about playing on the beat – in fact I have a pet hate of that. It’s about knowing where the beat is and either playing in front, on or behind  it, depending upon the mood/ style of the music and the instrument.

Groove and swing is all about the rhythmic “pull” between a group of good live musicians which relies upon their ability to hear the “invisible” internal beat. You must hear the constant, imagined beat although you may never play on it.

For me, when musicians are able to do this, everything starts to flow, musically and technically. You can stop “fighting” the groove and trying to jostle musicians into hearing right time or feel. Sometimes it happens immediately and sometime never, but it’s the most rewarding experience when it occurs because ideas flow naturally and you are able to use the musicians most powerful tool……..space.

The key to all of this is not the ability to hear the notes – but the ability to hear the space that surrounds them. It took me years to understand what this means and it’s not always easy to do. I first heard Keith Jarrett talk about it with reference to his period in the Miles Davis band. Miles was “all about space”. If you learn to hear the silence, the notes are easy.
Some very good musicians never understand this although their natural gifts allow them to play very well, but for me their music it never artistic – it just does the job.

improvisation

You must first imagine the beat (and “groove” or various subdivisions of the beat), then the harmony……. and only then you start to play! If you cannot conjure up these aspects before you play then it’s highly likely that you’re music won’t be very good.

If you’re a visually inclined thinker then the image to the left may make sense to you. This is quite literally what I see very often when playing. If you’re not visually oriented…. don’t be put off!

Posted in: General, Music

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