Latitudes is the debut CD from Gold Coast (guitarist Jon Coleman, percussionist John Pickell and bassist John Ugarte), a release which blends melodic compositions and arrangments with natural acoustic elements. Also appearing on the CD are Grammy nominee Patrice Rushen on keyboards, Ndugu Chandler and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, Gerald Albright on saxes and flute, and many others. Their smooth jazz style blends influences such as Caribbean, North African and Latin - kind of like if late-'90s era Rippingtons focused their style several notches deeper into world music. The track "Dunes" for example, conjures up a journey south from Morrocco, while the tropical-rainforest feel of "Gold Coast" is quite refreshing and will take you to the island paradise of your choosing. Coleman is an excellent, sensitive guitar player and seems to know exactly the phrasing to deliver an evocative statement. Of note, a portion of the proceeds from sales of their CD will be donated to cancer research projects.
Coleman, Pickell and Ugarte have composed, recorded and performed together since the 1980's throughout Los Angeles' jazz circuit, and most notably as the house band at The Lighthouse in southern California's South Bay area. Coleman, named Best Jazz Guitarist at the 2000 Los Angeles Music Awards, discovered his talent at age 11. He took classical guitar lessons for 15 years, then studied music and played in the early '70s while attending college. Colman hooked up with Pickell in 1980, then started the band Abracadabra with Ugarte, playing their final performance under that name in 1986. They reformed many years later to create Gold Coast, with all three band members participating in the writing and arranging work.
Coleman, for his part, would love to land a contract with a major music company. Thirty-five years of guitar playing have taken him this far, so certainly anything is possible.
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