Ripa Records to Release East Bay Soul Debut Album

Two Fil-Am Saxophonists Featured in East Bay Soul Album

LOS ANGELES (U.S. ASIAN WIRE) – July 30, 2009 — Ripa Records announces the September 22nd, 2009 release of East Bay Soul, the debut album produced by trumpeter Greg Adams. Greg Adams, founding member of Tower of Power and legendary horn arranger, Adams’ signature sound and distinct arrangements made the group’s horn section a sought-out entity in its own right.

Adams is also the music arranger for Japan recording artist Miwa Yoshida and the group Dreams Come True from 1995-2009. His contributions as producer and horn arranger have been sought out by instrumentalists and vocalists including Malta, Anri, Ammi Ozaki, Himoro, Wild Style, Shogo Hamada, Yasko Agawa, Yoicho Marata and Yamagen.

East Bay Soul is a combination of contemporary rhythms and sounds, a blend of instrumental soul funk and R&B vocals. Lead by trumpeter and Grammy® and Emmy® nominated Writer/Arranger Greg Adams, the band features an outstanding ensemble of multi-talented recording artists and musicians, each bringing their own style and musical achievements to this collaborative project.

Band Members: Greg Adams, Lee Thornburg, Michael Paulo, Johnnie Bamont, James Wirrick, Brian Allen, Joey Navarro, Evan Stone and Johnny Sandoval

Lead Vocals: Tom Bowes, Darryl Walker, Sean Holt and Lee Thornburg

Among this list of highly skilled and seasoned artists two band members are of Filipino descent: Michael Paulo and Johnnie Bamont.

Michael Paulo, a native of Hawaii, is Filipino and Japanese and one of the most versatile and dynamic saxophonists in contemporary jazz, pop and soul today. In a career that spans over 30 years, Michael has recorded and toured with Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, James Ingram, Oleta Adams, Kenny Loggins, Patti Austin, Jeffrey Osborne, Jeff Lorber, Bobby Caldwell, and Johnny Mathis. Paulo’s solo career has garnered top ten hits on the contemporary jazz/NAC charts and Top 20 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart.

In 2008 Michael received the Bravo Award from the Asian American Symphony in recognition for his dedication and service in community affairs that lead to numerous contributions benefitting of the citizens of Los Angeles. Michael received special commendation from the Japanese Consulate General in Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Since 2004 Michael has been the Artist in Residence for The International Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia and Producer of the annual Temecula, Wine and Music Festival and this year became Producer of Smooth Jazz Nights, bringing the best in smooth jazz back to Hawaii.

Johnnie Bamont, multi-talented saxophonist and recording artist, a native of San Francisco is Filipino and Irish. His father is from Bayambang Pangasinan, Philippines. Johnnie has been singled out by 19 time Grammy® Award winning sound engineer Al Schmitt as having one of the best baritone sax tones he ever recorded. A San Francisco native who grew up in the musically diverse environment that the Bay Area offers, Johnnie had the opportunity to perform with numerous jazz, classical, Latin, R&B, and funk groups.

Johnnie tours constantly and has performed with many of the greatest artists ever including Boz Scaggs, The Temptations, Ben E. King, Huey Lewis and the News, Third World, Howard Tate, The Four Tops and Sly Stone. He has recorded with Celine Dion, Sammy Hagar, Chris Isaak, Todd Rundgren, Diane Schuur, Toni Tony Tone and Taylor Hicks, to name a few.

Johnnie has performed at the annual Nihonmachi Fair in San Francisco’s Japantown and in Hawaii has performed with artists Don Ho, Loyal Gardner & Melveen Leed. Through his father, Johnnie is involved with Filipino organizations including the 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry, and the United Pangasinan association.

As part of the horn section, Paulo and Bamont will be featured throughout the record, as the CD is a horn-driven ensemble.

Adams’ trust and confidence in what he has designed is what makes East Bay Soul so exciting. “It took this much time for me to get here and to finally make this kind of record. I always knew it would happen,” said Adams.

Greg Adams co-wrote several songs with Nick Milo, his former Tower of Power band mate and now Music Director for Joe *bleep*er. The opening track “Survival of the Hippest” unfolds with the epitome of cool as the horn-laden track swells with complete commitment before Tom Bowes, former lead singer of Tower of Power, delivers a rap that is almost biographical as the title implies.

Trumpeter Lee Thornburg emerges with his interpretation on Howard Tate’s 1960’s chestnut, “Stop”, and Adams’ arrangement is just what the song needed to bring the “full funk” of the track to life. Drawing on the inspirations of our times and awareness of new ideas, “iHope” asks the question of promise and possibilities, a message delivered with tremendous style by vocalist Darryl Walker.

The track listing for East Bay Soul:

1. “Survival of the Hippest”
2. “Bop Drop”
3. “Reading Lips”
4. “Jump, Shout and Holler”
5. “What’s It Gonna Be”
6. “Always Take Two”
7. “iHope”
8. “Awaken”
9. “Stop”
10. “Five To Eleven”
11. “Someone New”

To pre-order an autographed copy of East Bay Soul’s CD visit EBS online at or MySpace at

For more information or to schedule interviews with Greg Adams, Michael Paulo and/or Johnnie Bamont please contact:

Andrea Adams
ALM Management Group
Phone: 818.609.9528

Photos: Greg Adams, Michael Paulo and Johnnie Bamont
Photo Credit: Bettie Grace Miner © 2009