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New to the Listening Loft

TONY BENNETT & LADY GAGA | Cheek To Cheek | Interscope Records

SHARON MARIE CLINE | This Is Where I Wanna Be | Independent

AL GOMEZ | Casa Groove | Shade Records

DEE DEE LAVELL | Sounds Of Love | Gam Girl Records

THE RIPPINGTONS | Fountain Of Youth | Peak Records USA / eOne Music

SAM RUCKER | Tell You Something | Favor Productions

SEAN SULLIVAN | Hereafter | SonyRed

THREESTYLE Feat. Magdalena Chovancova | Get It | Welovemusic Records


SmoothJazz.com Hot Picks

On Track

DENNIS ANGEL On Track Timeless Grooves Records

Dennis Angel made a fateful choice after high school – study music at Julliard or pursue a law degree. He eventually became a well-respected entertainment attorney, but jazz found its way back in 2009, when he recorded “The Wall Street Recession Time Blues.” He made an impact with his multi-faceted, full-length debut TIMELESS GROOVES, and now he’s back, deep in the melodic and grooving pocket again with his latest, ON TRACK. The first single “Soul Strut,” produced by Jason Miles, is a playfully funky, swinging tune featuring Angel’s soulful flugelhorn surrounded by top Jazz veterans Kenny Barron (piano), Gottfried Stoger (sax) and the grooving rhythm section of James Genus (bass) and Edward J.T. Lewis (drums). Angel is ON TRACK to become a bona fide jazz star!

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No Strings Attached

MARIEA ANTOINETTE No Strings Attached Independent

Who knew the magical sound of the harp could find a home on the funk side of the Jazz world? San Diego native Marie Antoinette’s repertoire includes Classical, Jazz and R&B, which she has showcased at Walt Disney Hall and of course out on the Jazz in Pink tour. Her debut single “Give Me Your Love” is a sensual, funky fresh re-imagining of the love song from Curtis Mayfield’s iconic Super Fly soundtrack. Keeping her spirited, melodic harp lines front and center, she creates a bold blend of old school with soul sensibilities, symphonic atmospheres and sizzling brass. “Give Me Your Love”… and more of it, please!

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Groove Time

BENNETT B Groove Time Baton Records

Veteran Hollywood session guitarist and contemporary jazz artist with three previous albums under his belt, Bennett B declares that it’s GROOVE TIME on his explosive fourth full length project. Produced by multi-Grammy winning artist Paul Brown, the ten track set has splashes of sizzling brass, a sprinkling of Blues, a lot of Funk and simmering old school keyboard textures. Guests include Greg Adams, and Ricky Lawson in one of his last recordings. The single “Tell Me About It” is mid tempo, in the pocket cool all the way – the perfect showcase for Bennett’s expressive electric guitar excitement. The title says it all – GROOVE TIME grooves!

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A Miracle of Love

DIANA BARASH A Miracle of Love Anaviv Music

On her sensual and soulful debut album A MIRACLE OF LOVE, well traveled Eastern European native Diana Barash caresses her spirited blend of moods, romance and inspiration with exotic percussion, soundscape textures and ethereal atmospheres. Drawing from world music as well as traditional genres like jazz, R&B and pop, the sensual singer creates dreamy journeys (on some tracks in collaboration with renowned jazz pianist and composer Sunnie Paxson) that seduce the listener with optimism as she sings of love, hope, empowerment and perseverance. The elegant, trumpet laced focal track “Save This World” can be enjoyed both as a vocal and instrumental.

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Best Love Songs

SYLVIA BENNETT Best Love Songs Out of Sight Music

Love doesn’t get any better than this! Grammy-nominee, jazz chanteuse Sylvia Bennett captures the flirtation, the romance and the jazz on her brand new album BEST LOVE SONGS featuring 12 of the most amazing love songs ever written, including Burt Bacharach’s “Look Of Love,” the Sinatra classic “Fly Me To the Moon,” the Gershwins' “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” and Cole Porter’s “Night and Day.” Ms. Bennett opens the Great American Songbook for her exciting new collection, and helps herself to a rich set list custom made for her exquisite voice and impeccable phrasing! BEST LOVE SONGS is Sylvia Bennett's sweetest assortment of classics yet!

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Cheek To Cheek

TONY BENNETT & LADY GAGA Cheek To Cheek Interscope Records

Heaven, I’m in heaven… two of my favorites are singing CHEEK TO CHEEK on what I predict will be a Grammy winning collection come February 2015! Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga combined forces on Bennett’s DUETS II album and delivered a crowd-pleaser on their colorful version of “The Lady Is A Tramp,” causing jazz fans to cock their heads to the side like Nipper the RCA/Victor dog. Gaga’s voice is warm and pure… perfectly suited for jazz as she mixes, mingles and swoons with the world’s favorite crooner, who still sounds as smooth as ever! Interscope is the proud label of this stunning recording, which by the way, debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200. Despite the 60 year age difference, the chemistry is undeniable between the two... A swirl of vocal genius on this hand-selected batch of standards from the pens of Gershwin, Porter, Berlin and more. Go Gaga and get it!

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Can You Hear Me

PATRICK BRADLEY Can You Hear Me Patrick Bradley

When you hear the bluesy organ solo on “All In,” the easy flowing opening track of keyboardist/composer Patrick Bradley’s CAN YOU HEAR ME, and the wild Moog synth solo on the high octane “North of Evermore,” you might just think they’re being played by the project’s legendary producer Jeff Lorber. That’s how exciting and innovative Bradley is as a player! Though he enlists the help of all-star friends like Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal, Bradley shines on both the main melodies and sparkling solos on a set that’s rocking, funkified and at times profoundly spiritual. CAN YOU HEAR ME? That would be a resounding YES!

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This Is Where I Wanna Be

SHARON MARIE CLINE This Is Where I Wanna Be Independent

Celebrated and critically acclaimed L.A. based vocal stylist Sharon Marie Cline has released a live album and holiday project in the past, but those were simply prelude to her glorious emergence as a recording artist with this an exquisite and romantic collection that allows her to declare, on the dreamy and sensual, flute spiced title track, one of two lush originals among 10 well chosen interpretations of classics, that “This Is Where I Wanna Be.” Cline’s triumph lies in her effortless breezing from easy swinging (“Happy Talk,” an inspired choice from SOUTH PACIFIC) to Bossa (“Love Dance,” “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars”) to blues (“You Don’t Know What Love Is”). When you listen, you too will declare, THIS IS WHERE I WANNA BE!

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Night Sketches

BUTCH AND RHONDA COLEMAN Night Sketches Jeremee Records

The dynamic Baltimore based Smooth Jazz duo of Butch (bass) and Rhonda (vocals, keyboards) brings a dynamic resume to their delightfully poppy and soulful debut NIGHT SKETCHES. Their collective resume includes two decades of performances in the DC Metro area. In addition, Butch plays bass on several of pop singer Jessie J’s hit singles, while Rhonda has opened for Al Jarreau, Phyllis Hyman and The Blackbirds. Complementing the playful, horn-fired light funk instrumental tune “Malibu,” the Colemans are all about imparting lessons of love and romance on the vocal tunes - from the optimistic “Here I Go Again” through the exotic, Latin-flavored “Yellow Butterfly,” “Carry My Heart and “We Belong Together.”

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All In Good Time

AL DEGREGORIS All In Good Time A-PEX Recordings International

When Al DeGregoris records a new project, the A List shows up! Seven tracks produced by guitarist Nils and two helmed by keyboardist Jeff Lorber, ALL IN GOOD TIME finds the versatile indie composer/keyboardist establishing a powerful ensemble vibe with a batch of contemporary jazz greats, including Chuck Loeb, Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal, it also includes some of the supremely grooving last sessions by drummer Ricky Lawson. The all-star guests may make genre fans curious, but it’s DeGregoris’ infectious and dynamic piano, synth and Fender Rhodes’ melodies, which supercharge the fun. Nils’ tracks range from the funky, exuberant “Sunnyside” (the project’s first single) to the synth driven symphonic pop jazz tune, “Autumn Chill.” The throbbing R&B. jazz-fusion jam “Hey You” has the classic Lorber vibe. The best indie artists capture our hearts ALL IN GOOD TIME!

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The Doctor Is In

DR. DAVE The Doctor Is In Hatherill Records

An author as well as a prolific artist and composer, guitarist Dr. Dave has written a book in which he says, “Often music touches people in ways that words alone cannot.” Hot on the heels of his star studded 2013 collection “Love Potion,” he lets fans know that THE DOCTOR IS IN – in super-melodic, funky and slightly exotic and tropical ways – on his infectious, high energy new album. The lead single is an easy swinging cover of Stanley Turrentine’s jazzy version of the Marvin Gaye penned, “Don’t Mess With Mr. T,” a dynamic showcase for his crisp, hypnotic electric lines. He includes some older cuts with late sax great Hollis Gentry III, and also a horn-intensive twist on the Booker T. classic “Hip Hug-Her.” Make your appointment – The DOCTOR IS IN!

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Nathan East

NATHAN EAST Nathan East Yamaha Entertainment Group

When word began trickling down that super-bassist and Fourplay founding member Nathan East was releasing his first solo recording in 2014, you could feel the music industry’s heartbeat begin to flutter! The excitement continues to mount as we await the release of NATHAN EAST, the A-List musician’s very first foray into recording as a solo artist. While it may be an individual endeavour, according to the affable East, “It’s a celebration of my musical friends and my musical experiences and influences over 30 years.” To know Nathan East is to love Nathan East. The magnetic musician has recruited a handful of friends to join him, who, like Nathan, are in a class of their own, including Bob James, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, and Sara Bareilles. Nathan’s stars are definitely aligned, as he prepares for a new Eric Clapton tour, on the heels of the international hit “Get Lucky,” (featuring Nathan on bass) and his first single, “Daft Funk,” the feel-good tribute to the Grammy-winning, French hit makers, Daft Punk, is taking to the airwaves and the charts! Fasten your seat belts… this ride is gonna be amazing!

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LanceEllis.com

LANCE ELLIS LanceEllis.com Landlord Records

He grew up learning from Ellis Marsalis, he marched in the Mardi Gras in school, he moonlighted on Bourbon Street and played on riverboats and he followed in the footsteps of the, great saxophonist Charles Miller. Meet Lance Ellis, a former New Orleans postal worker turned entrepreneur and entertainer. The charismatic performer has taken the innovative principles of jazz and applied them to his unique style of smooth music that is truly seductive and hypnotic. A timeless, sophisticated gumbo of jazz, Gospel-tinged R&B and soul… inspired by New Orleans but too big to stop there! LanceEllis.com is home to a catalog of cool music, including original Lance Ellis music on CD and DVD. Jazz just the way you like it, smooth and sexy, featuring saxophone and flute with renowned guests including Michael Ward, Gina Brown and Lee Oskar. Get inspired, get inspiring music at LanceEllis.com!

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Got 2 Be Groovin'

EUGE GROOVE Got 2 Be Groovin' Shanachie

Euge Groove’s funky stage name has adapted itself well to the soulful, funky vibe of his recordings, including GOT 2 BE GROOVIN’, his third album to cleverly incorporate some form of the word “groove” in the title. The concept adapts itself to several of the new collection’s songs as well: the buoyant R&B/jazz jam (and first single) “Got To Be Groovin’ (Good God! Father!)” and the late night seduction, “Groovin’ Up Hip Street.” The multi-saxman also makes it a family affair with loving winks to his wife (“Miss Bane”) and daughter (“Hey Hey Lil’ Lilah Belle”). Euge’s guest list includes familiar names like Peter White and Paul Brown and surprise vocalists Elliot Yamin (wringing every ounce of soul from the 70s classic “Wildflower”) and Chanel Haynes from Trin-i-Tee 5:7 on the passionate closer “In Love With You.” If you’ve GOT 2 BE GROOVIN’, check out Euge’s latest!

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On Top Of The World

JAREZ On Top Of The World Independent

Crave new music? Meet innovative Saxophonist Jarez and his Cali-cool hybrid blend of jazz, hip-hop and R&B; robust with style and confidence! His album ON TOP OF THE WORLD, takes his unique treatment of Smooth Jazz to the Echo Boomer generation, featuring his infectious new hit single, "Can't Let Go." Jarez says that his desire is to be the "Tiger Woods of jazz." As he puts it, “Tiger made an old man’s game exciting and real for kids. I want to do the same for jazz.” The 30-something is a busy entrepreneur, in addition to promoting his new release, he tours, performs and even cooks with iconic rapper Coolio! Discover jazz by Jarez and expand your world!

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Jazz Funk Soul

JAZZ FUNK SOUL Jazz Funk Soul Shanachie Records

What happens when three of the most dynamic and innovative Urban Jazz greats join forces? In the case of keyboardist Jeff Lorber, guitarist Chuck Loeb and saxman Everette Harp, infectious melodies, in the pocket grooves and lots of spontaneous musical combustion – in short, Jazz Funk Soul. This powerhouse collection evolved from the trio touring together, which has led to a playful, freewheeling chemistry. Each of the ten originals allows for colorful solo passages that showcase their true jazz chops (or funk or soul as the case may be). From the frenetic sizzle of “Adrenaline” and the edgy funk of the first single “Serious Business” to the soulful romance of “Silent Partner,” this is a gem from start to finish. JAZZ FUNK SOUL lives up to its name – and then some!

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Mr. Jones

WAYNE JONES Mr. Jones Dim & Dimmer

Continuing to bring the thunder from Down Under on his new 5-track set MR. JONES, Australian bassist, songwriter arranger and performer Wayne Jones, a renowned session musician who launched his solo career in 2006, keeps that perfect balance between tunes that are lush, melodic and sophisticated and others that showcase his freewheeling and wildly energetic ways. Working with top genre stars like Rick Braun and Grammy nominated keyboardist Philippe Saisse, Jones creates a dynamic array of moods, from the bright and brassy “A Day at the Beach” to the strutting and funky “Get Up” and light and breezy “Sweet Melody.” Another highlight is Jones’ buoyant Latin excursion “The World Keeps Turning.” You’ll enjoy experiencing the wild, wonderful world of MR. JONES!

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It's On

DIRK K It's On DIP Records

With his crisp, snappy and often hypnotic electric lines, veteran guitarist Dirk K lets us know from the opening minute of the coolly percussive title track of his latest full length collection that IT’S ON. This mid-tempo delight, which features an exciting tonal and rhythmic shift midway through as the grooves ease into Trip-Hop, is at the core of an engaging set, full of fresh fun like you’ll hear on “Snap Jam” and “Toxic,” plus, silky original ballads and covers galore including “Holding Back The Years,” “That’s The Way of the World” and “Lovesong,” as well as the first ever Smooth Jazz re-imagining of “Funkytown.” Ah yeah… IT’S ON is an album you won’t want to turn off!

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Dreamwalker

REZA KHAN Dreamwalker Painted Media

New from Bangladesh-born guitarist Reza Khan comes DREAMWALKER with his band Painted Diaries and featuring special guests keyboardist Philippe Saisse and saxophonist Andy Snitzer on Reza’s exciting new collection of global grooves! The title track is the project’s first single and we anticipate a tremendous traction at radio worldwide. The music is remarkably accessible… fans of Peter White and Ken Navarro, will love Reza Khan! Living in New York, Reza gathers his musical inspiration from his world travels as well collaborative efforts with renowned musicians. Chillaxed yet deep!

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The Green Album

LE JAZZ COLLAB The Green Album Independent

Le Jazz Collab is the evolution of Canada’s Groove55, the critically acclaimed, contemporary jazz band from Montreal. A better fit for bandleader, keyboardist/composer/producer Jacques Mignault’s vision of creating a collaborative recording environment where musicians and music professionals can work together from anywhere via the Internet. The first release, THE GREEN ALBUM, features extraordinary musicians that cover a full spectrum with many musical genres that range from Smooth Jazz to Latin rhythms to horn-centric fusion and pop. Stand out tracks include the latest single, “On The Tap” which will compliment any jazz radio station’s playlist, and the chilled-out cover of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” This exciting, world-class project was created with love and all done in the artists’ free time… speaking of free, it is absolutely free for you to download on www.jazzcollab.com.

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The Smooth Factor

DEE LUCAS The Smooth Factor Smooth Soul Music Group

On his perfectly titled 5th solo album, THE SMOOTH FACTOR, Dee Lucas continues his soulful mastery of the soprano sax in the tradition of one of his heroes, the late George Howard, whom he recorded his debut album as a tribute to. Lucas’ evolving musical career is fascinating in that he didn’t pick up a horn until he was 28, then worked his way up as a sideman as well as a bandleader (of the ensemble Xpressions) before venturing out on his own. Highlights on THE SMOOTH FACTOR include the playful, funky title track and 1st single (mixing moody old school keys creating a soaring atmosphere behind his horn playing), the sensual vocal ballad “Stay” and the wistful, compelling mid-tempo ballad “The Smooth Ride.” Dee Lucas has the X Factor and it's all over THE SMOOTH FACTOR!

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Thumpin' - The Live Album

MICHAEL MANSON Thumpin' - The Live Album NuGroove Music, LLC.

One of Smooth Jazz's most creative and explosive bassists, Chicago-based Michael Manson has put out some great studio discs – but nothing tops the wild abandon and all-out joy of his live performances. So it’s exciting that he’s giving us his unfiltered, hard groovin’ best on THUMPIN’ LIVE, a 16-track set CD/DVD of the multi-talented artist at his best. In addition to expansive romps through his popular tunes like “Outer Drive,” key tracks include the soulful, swaying “Just One Touch” and the brassy, heavy bottom way out rockin’ funk of “The Bottom Line,” fashioned as a tribute to his late hero George Duke, whom Manson first played with on Kirk Whalum’s “The Gospel According To Jazz” in 1997. Nobody does THUMPIN’ LIVE better than Manson!

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King Of The Most High

KEITH MASON King Of The Most High Independent

Love, light, spirituality… all wrapped up with a beautiful, bottom heavy vibe! Meet bassist, Keith Mason who mixes his passion for music with the grace of a higher calling on his 3rd album release, KING OF THE MOST HIGH. A one-of-a-kind tapestry of Smooth Christian Jazz, soul and R&B. Music on a spiritual path from an artist who’s spent 35 years performing many musical genres which has honed his impeccable tone and masterful melodies, both showcased here along with beautiful bass solos. Keith lives and breaths his love of music and includes it in his Ministry of Music at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Virginia as well as performing with his own band N2N. The message on KING OF THE MOST HIGH is one of love, and love, no matter how you slice it, is always a positive thing!

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Love In Motion

MICHAEL MASSARO Love In Motion Independent

One of Toronto’s most in demand musicians, saxophonist and flutist Michael Massaro has played with legendary pop and jazz greats from Percy Sledge to Branford Marsalis. His infectious and eclectic fifth album showcases a wide range of influences, from Latin jazz to pop/R&B and blues, but the foundational ingredients are passion, energy, sensual soul and above all, love. Smooth Jazz fans will truly enjoy the funky RETRO SOUL vibe of the title track and silky cool of “The Promise” while those who like a little exotic spice in the mix will groove on the percussive tropical vibe of “El Corazon (The Heart)” and bright Latin romp “Fun in the Sun.” If you want to experience pure LOVE IN MOTION, you must check out Michael Massaro!

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Original

NOBRESIL Original Independent

Driven by soulful, Bossa based rhythms, colorful and exotic instrumentation (by top Latin and Brazilian musicians) and the sensual voice and beautiful phrasing of multi-lingual lead vocalist Mari Nobre, Nobresil offers a unique, multi-cultural world jazz and Brazilian music vibe on their new album that lives up to its title: ORIGINAL. A partnership between Mari Nobre and her Grammy winning husband, bassist Leo Nobre, the group works magic with a mix of classic Brazilian tunes, infectious new compositions and fresh twists, such as on The Gershwins’ “Fascinating Rhythm” and the Oscar-winning ballad “Up Where We Belong.” The tunes are filled with passion, poetry and only real instrumentation! Nobresil (a play on the the artists’ name Nobre and Brasil) defies all rules! Part pop, part jazz, part World music, 100% ORIGINAL!

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Fountain Of Youth

THE RIPPINGTONS Fountain Of Youth Peak Records USA / eOne Music

The journey began 28 years ago when Russ Freeman formed the band that would become synonymous with contemporary jazz… a band that four-wheeled through a fusion of rock, world music, pop and jazz. A band that helped defined a genre, create a lifestyle and explore melody without vocals. Nearly three decades later, his band is showing no signs of slowing down; Russ Freeman continues to create soul stirring, driving music on the Rippingtons’ 20th album, FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. This guitar-centric project features some of the coolest guitars in Freeman’s collection, including his 1960 Strat, 70’s Telecaster, Baglama (Turkish sitar-like instrument), Ukulele, among other vintage gear. The 10 new tunes will leave you delighted… from the energetic, opener, “Spice Route” to the pop/rock first single, “North Shore” to the chilled out finale, “Garden of the Gods,” it’s clear the band has discovered the secret to youthful longevity. Long live the Rippingtons!

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Playa Blanca (Soul Italiano)

PAOLO RUSTICHELLI Playa Blanca (Soul Italiano) Next Age Music

After hitting it big on the charts with his recent #1 hit "Med Groove," the Smooth Jazz hit maker, pioneer of synth music and originator of the Chillout explosion, takes us on another enchanted, pulsating, energetic journey this summer, on a white, sandy beach with "Playa Blanca" - A musical vacation to the beach of your dreams! From Paolo Rustichelli's forthcoming, masterpiece album SOUL ITALIANO, comes this exciting new single with a fresh, smooth energetic mix of saxophone riffs, Latin rhythms, Reggae and classic Paolo melodies and style! It's easy to predict that this new oustanding exploration of the Mediterrannean and his enchanted vibrating realms will be a summer sensation!

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Appaloosa

TONY SAUNDERS Appaloosa San Francisco Records

World-class bassist Tony Saunders plays bass like a wild-spirited, free-running, colorful Appaloosa. His soulful, low-end bass work is melodic, joyful and deep… like the Bay Area artist himself! This highly anticipated release features many originals including the album’s first single, the sophisticated and melodic “Sandy Shores of Monterey,” a smooth, sultry groove that I love beyond the obvious reasons (but I love it for the name as well :-). Special guests on APPALOOSA include Howard Hewitt, Santana's Tony Lindsay, Sakai, Tower of Power’s Tom Politzer and Bill Champlin singing the title track, a Gino Vannelli penned tune. Tony's career began at 5 years old, as it would in the house of his father, the beloved, late Merl Saunders (Rainforest Band, Jerry Garcia). This is why he runs deep! The project is love-inspired, love-themed and will set your spirit free!

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Tangos

RICHARD SMITH Tangos Chillharmonic Music

It’s been some 5 years since the The L.A. Chillharmonic project, the last recording from one of the coolest guitarists in Contemporary Jazz. By no means does that mean he’s been idle. The tenured music professor at the University of Southern California lives abroad 3 months every year; in 2012 and 2013 he traveled to 11 countries performing music from his previous 13 releases and collaborated with a group of international all-stars on the creation of TANGOS, the deepest, most engaging release of his career. The globally connected musical innovator was inspired by his travels to explore the intensity of the music and the dance. He brings his West coast, flirtatious, chill vibe to one of the most romantic, fiery music forms. On TANGOS the passion of the Tango meets the cool of Smooth, featuring Smith on a variety of stringed instruments in luscious orchestrations with fashionable loop mixes and effects. Get ready for this new Richard Smith groove… fresh, soulful, global!

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Overnight Sensation

JOEY SOMMERVILLE Overnight Sensation Jayvox, Inc.

The ATL’s Joey Sommerville is anything but an OVERNIGHT SENSATION! The spectacular jazz trumpeter has been paving a successful road with his distinctive blend of traditional and smooth jazz, hip hop, R&B, and Gospel. His credits include collaborations with a diverse artist and recording roster including the jam band Phish, Cirque du Soleil and Jazze Pha. While the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, the album OVERNIGHT SENSATION is filled with tasty horn arrangements, feel good grooves, special guests and a handful of surprises including a couple of JS vocals! Guests include guitar legend, Earl Klugh, saxman Elan Trotman, cool trombonist Jeff Bradshaw and fellow Southern gentleman, guitarist Eric Essix! Music fans of all persuasions will enjoy discovering Joey Sommerville’s OVERNIGHT SENSATION… it’s loaded with class, elegance and good times! Due out October 28, 2014, listen to SmoothJazz.com Global Radio to hear early tracks and the World Premier on Saturday, October 25 at 10am Pacific.

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Hereafter

SEAN SULLIVAN Hereafter SonyRed

Sean Sullivan’s relaxed musical approach and smoldering vocal style will draw you in like a Sunday morning. HEREAFTER is a compelling collection of jazz, blues, pop and soul. On this smoothly eclectic album, produced by Matt Pierson, the New York City singer, songwriter and guitarist delivers gorgeous originals with intelligent and moving lyrics, plus cool, soulful covers. The Sullivan-penned, "Don't Get Me Started," the first Smooth Jazz radio single, has a Marvin Gaye vibe with a Boz Scaggs jazzy-bluesy slant along with the moody and alluring, "Wash My Soul," which features tasty saxophone and melancholy flute. Covers include Michael Franks' "Jive," Bob Marley's "Waiting In Vain," and Aretha's "Until You Come Back To Me." If you dig the music of the aforementioned Franks, and Scaggs as well as James Taylor, this gem of a talent is for you... Sean Sullivan is the star to watch rise and rise, from now 'til the HEREAFTER.

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Morning Nouveau

WALDINO Morning Nouveau WaldinoMusic.com

Fresh, uncomplicated, shimmering… MORNING NOUVEAU showcases the chillout craftsman in a sweet, positive light! Songs like “Morning Nouveau,” “High On Love” and “Thinking of You,” bring out the jazzier musings from the prolific songwriter and make for a collection of hopeful and inspiring tracks. The Waldino electro-retro sound is very much evident on MORNING NOUVEAU and lets the sun shine in brightly on the 10 new originals! Walter Liskiewicz aka Waldino, brushes with spacious and sincere strokes and relaxed colors here. Always eager to get a new album from the master of tranquilo, MORNING NOUVEAU delivers gentle, inspired songs, each a mini movie soundtrack in its own right. You know how it is at first light, the day is innocent and vulnerable… such is the essence on this latest offering from the wizard of wonder… Waldino!

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Silver Soul

KIM WATERS Silver Soul Red River Entertainment

Veteran saxophonist Kim Waters has found the perfect way to celebrate his 25th music career anniversary, with his 20th solo release by which he thanks his legion of fans with 12 magnificently, in-the-pocket tracks of cool and infectious SILVER SOUL. The prolific hitmaker (14 #1 singles) grooves mightily on the soaring first single “Dreaming Of You,” which kicks off a set mixing his trademark dreamy, romantic, smooth funk instant-classics like “Go-Go Smooth” and “Cruising Round Rock.” He includes picture perfect covers of “Fireflies,” performed by its original singer, pop sensation Zendaya (who happens to be in the family) and John Legend’s “All Of Me.” Keeping it in the family, Kims daughter, Kayla, plays keyborads and guest vocalists include the silky Eric Roberson and Water’s wife Dana Pope. SILVER SOUL is on it’s way to gold!

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Smile

PETER WHITE Smile Heads Up

So many things to SMILE about! This one is chalk full of stunning Peter White originals, including the first single, “Head Over Heels.” It’s the guitarist/composer’s completion of his trilogy of three albums consisting entirely of his own material! The quest began with GOOD DAY in 2009, and continued with HERE WE GO in 2012… Some of the new album’s songs were written recently, others are from the PW vault, while some tracks are collaborations with his musical friends. Special guests on SMILE include Mindi Abair, Rick Braun, Euge Groove, Philippe Saisse and Charlotte White, Peter’s daughter who plays violin on one song. I have always been inspired and uplifted by Peter’s music… Produced once again by DC and White, SMILE delivers bigger and better than ever and delightfully features vocals on a couple of tracks that bring out the very best of the guitarist’s compositions and showcases Mindi Abair’s shiny, pop voice. Get your grin on and grab your copy of SMILE!

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Slam Dunk

GERALD ALBRIGHT Slam Dunk Heads Up

Still touring as part of the Grammy nominated Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns project, Gerald Albright’s first solo set in four years delivers on the promise of its namem big time. In addition to featuring covers of classics by Phil Collins and James Brown, a heartfelt tribute to George Duke and guest appearances by Peabo Bryson and daughter Selina Albright, SLAM DUNK is directly influenced by the classic R&B the saxophonist grew up with. A versatile multi-instrumentalist, Albright complements his trademark alto sax with more prominent spotlights for his skills on bass, flute and tenor, baritone and soprano sax. You don’t need to be a basketball fan to appreciate this sonic sure thing... a SLAM DUNK indeed!

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The Road Home

ASTROMETRIC STAR The Road Home Distant Sounds Records

To boldly go where 18 musicians dare to go... Astrometric Star's THE ROAD HOME, a musically intelligent ride that travels adeptly through contemporary jazz, pop, rock and R&B on this new collection of cleverly arranged tunes contributed to by L.A.'s top musicians… Astrometric Star's THE ROAD HOME, an instrumental album created by arranger and producer Lee Gianangelo celebrates both original compositions and outstanding covers including a mini tribute to Steely Dan with five of their titles woven into this release. Smooth Jazz fans will delight with the album's first single, "Valdez In the Country," as well as "Rosalinda" and a grooving' cover of "Low Rider," plus much more. THE ROAD HOME is a cool, diverse musical offering, with an emphasis on dynamic treatments and arrangements!

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Timeless

THE AULT SISTERS Timeless Independent

Toronto based siblings Amanda (23), Alicia (21) and Alanna Ault (19) have grown up applying their glorious vocal harmonies to everything from holiday music to pop and rock. On TIMELESS, they swing playfully into a seductive, cool retro Jazz vibe that brings to mind everyone from The Andrews Sisters to Wilson Phillips, while allowing them to put their own stamp on a mix of classics ("The Boy From New York City," "Moondance," "River") and a few originals. The very talented Ault Sisters are in perfect harmony throughout the very compelling TIMELESS!

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Shangri-La

JASMIN BAILEY Shangri-La Merchant Murango

Soulful, Canadian singer, Jasmin Bailey releases a cool, new tune, “Shangri-La,” on Merchant Murango Records. Like the mythical place of the same name, the song captures a lovely, harmonious feeling with pop and jazz sensibilities… a Utopian spell of joy is conveyed in the vocalist’s delivery on this magnetic song. We look forward to hearing more from Bailey and Merchant Murango, and in the meantime, we’ll linger in Shangri-La!

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The Next Chapter

TOM BRAXTON The Next Chapter Pacific Coast Jazz

A truly revered saxophonist… Tom Braxton is highly respected by both the world-class artists he performs with and the fans that watch him play! With a tone that is rich and distinctive, there’s no wonder why this star player commands attention. Tom’s highly anticipated 8th solo release, THE NEXT CHAPTER, is a feel-good, body movin’, soulfully positive collection of tunes, featuring Grammy winners Bob James, Ricky Lawson, Earl Klugh, along with one of Smooth Jazz’s most beloved guitarists, Peter White! In addition to outstanding, original compositions, you’ll find sweet covers of favorites including the OJay’s “I Love Music,” and the Spinner’s “I’ll Be Around;” tunes that bring to mind the fun vibe of the late Wayman Tisdale, whom Braxton supported as Musical Director for 17 years. In addition to his own band, you can occasionally enjoy him with Earl Klugh and Keiko Matsui. Brimming with good vibes, Tom Braxton’s THE NEXT CHAPTER is a guaranteed chart topper!

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Driven By Angels

BROTHER JAY Driven By Angels BrotherJayjazz.com

Can’t imagine a better thing to be inspired by… the divine and uplifting! Jazzman, Brother Jay composes smooth, melodic songs inspired by angels. He calls his unique blend of jazz, “Inspirational Jazz.” I call his music soulfully connected… Jay is a musician who calls on a higher power to guide him through life, love and songwriting. You can feel the love when you listen… and feel it you will on his exceptional new album DRIVEN BY ANGELS. Delightfully positive new songs featuring Brother Jay’s elegant keyboard playing along with feel-good percussion and undeniably, hooky melodies! Songs like “Steppin’ On Air,” “Talk To Me,” “Slow Ride In Slow Motion” and “Rain On Me” make DRIVEN BY ANGELS one of the best recordings yet from the man with the heart of gold… Brother Jay!

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Truth B Told

PAUL BROWN Truth B Told Woodward Avenue Records

The two-time Grammy winning guitarist has produced over 60 #1s for other artists, but, truth be told, none of that success behind the boards can shadow his powerhouse solo artistry. Brown showcases his mastery of catchy melodies and smooth Funk grooves, with cool atmospheres and occasional sizzling horn accents adding harmony pizzazz to electric guitar melodies that are rooted in Jazz but steeped in heartfelt Blues. He's got a killer guest list of top saxmen, with Najee, Dave Koz, Richard Elliot, Euge Groove and Darren Rahn. Though the rousing brass funk driven "Take It From Me" is the first single, the heart and soul cuts are "Love N Trust" (a duet with singer Wendy Moten) and "Purple Shoes," the closing jam with Larry Carlton. TRUTH B TOLD, you’re going to love this album!

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Touch Me In A Special Way

AL CHESTNUT Touch Me In A Special Way AE Music Group/Rebel Hill/Warner Music Group

This fresh, new song is from Al Chestnut, of the Philly bred singing/songwriting duo, The Chestnut Brothers! The brothers (Al & Ty) have mesmerized audiences all over the world with their electrifying stage show and recorded with some of the biggest stars on the planet including Grover Washington, Jr, Luther Vandross, Najee, and many more. “Touch Me In A Special Way” is the lead single from a soon-to-be-released EP from Al Chestnut and the tune has it’s own special way of soulfully moving and grooving straight into your heart and quickly down to your toes! Once you hear it, you’ll have the hook and you won’t want it out of your head! This is what we like to call a bona fide hit! Can’t wait to hear more!

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Journeyman

DEAN Journeyman Independent

Always delighted to receive new music from this UK multi-instrumentalist and recording artist. Also a visual artist, Dean is known for infusing emotion, poetry and his lifelong musical influences ranging from rock, funk, soul, Latin and jazz, into his albums. He says of his latest, JOURNEYMAN, that it represents more than any other of his releases, the inspiring impact of these influences. With more of a live band vibe, but still an outside of the box landscape, Dean plays with bold, brass textures (horns) and lush strings with infectious rhythms and grooves. Stand out track for us, is the plush pop vocal, "King Of the World." It’s all here on JOURNEYMAN, cool vocals with poignant lyrics as well as stirring instrumentals on another wonderful album of musical song journeys.

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Big Water Little Boat

TIM DEHUFF Big Water Little Boat Independent

New York area guitarist extraordinaire, Tim DeHuff shines brightly on his impressive album debut, BIG WATER LITTLE BOAT. It's truly amazing that this world class musician is just releasing a solo recording given the long list of artists he's supported over the years including The Main Ingredient, Larry Coryell, John Klemmer, David Benoit, Lee Ritenour, George Duke and many more. This stunning project features original tunes offering a variety of musical styles ranging from contemporary jazz, funk, and rock to Latin and Reggae, all showcasing Tim’s polished, yet edgy guitar solos, guaranteeing an exciting listening experience. Get ready to have your boat rocked!

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The Memphis Project

DUAL DRIVE The Memphis Project Icehouse Records

The only thing deeper than the south is the roots of soul music and this new project captures the heart, funk and soul of the city that is often referred to as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, Memphis, Tennessee! Dual Drive is comprised of two veteran Memphis musicians, guitarist Garry Goin and saxophonist Patrick Register! THE MEMPHIS PROJECT, is sizzling hot and features these two dynamic players paying tribute to the city’s legends including Al Green, Otis Reading, Sam & Dave, Elvis, Booker T & The MGs, whom by the way penned the recording’s first single, “Green Onions,” and many more! This is one most muscular, revved up, recordings we’ve ever had land on our airwaves… Power over to Dual Drive and do be sure to fasten your seatbelt!

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Casa Groove

AL GOMEZ Casa Groove Shade Records

This is one of the most uplifting new releases I’ve heard all year! Texas guitarist Al Gomez blends in all kinds of feel good energy into his Smooth Jazz including some R&B influences, neo soul, funk and killer vocal harmonies! Al’s CASA GROOVE es mi Casa Groove filled with hooky original compositions that sound like world-class hits! Fans of Larry Carlton, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana will love this!

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Good Thing

MAGGIE HERRON Good Thing MaggieHerron.com

I can’t tell you the thrill that I still get discovering new music… so when Grammy nominated recording artist Brian Bromberg let us know that he had just produced an exceptional new vocalist, I tracked her down fast! Meet Maggie Herron, often referred to as “Hawaii’s Jazz Goddess.” While that may be true, Ms. Herron is an approachable, down to earth chanteuse.. with an honest to God, honey-dipped voice that wraps itself around some of the most beloved standards of all time on this album, as well as her own, gorgeously penned originals! Bromberg, featured on bass, invited additional A-Listers to join in on the project, including one of our favorite trumpeters, Rick Braun, who also sits in on vocals! Maggie’s cover of “Woodstock” transcends the rock classic by spinning it into a contemporary jazz knockout. GOOD THING is the best thing to hit the jazz community in a long time.

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No Time Like Now

VINCENT IOIA No Time Like Now Independent

An emotional odyssey lies behind the launching of saxophonist Vincent Ioia’s (pronounced "ee-yoy-ya") recording adventure! His world-class release, NO TIME LIKE NOW, comes on the heels of a 30-year career as an IT professional and successful Chief Information Officer for a major Wall Street investment company! Heart warming story… a young musician opted out of his music career to earn a living for his family; later revisiting his first love (music) after tragedy struck, losing his wife to cancer. Literally inspired by David Sanborn, NO TIME LIKE NOW showcases power and passion. You'll hear it in Vincent’s explosive playing! From the horn-driven, title track featuring Rippingtons’ keyboardist Bill Heller to the rest of the album, with songs penned by co-producer Ricky Peterson as well as Heller, featuring A-Listers, guitarist Gerey Johnson, bassist Paul Peterson and percussionist Petar Janjic.

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Beautiful Music

DAVID JONES Beautiful Music Independent

Emerging from Alabama’s Gulf Coast like an exciting and electric force of musical nature, multi-talented composer, trumpeter and vocalist David Jones calls his brand of Smooth Jazz, “Soul Jazz” and titles it BEAUTIFUL MUSIC! There’s so much more here than that title implies. With the help of guitarist Eric Essix, Jones gets the party off to a soulful, funk-drenched start, having his trumpet declare on his radio hit, “Let The Players Play.” He and Essix keep the rock/soul hoppin’ on “Glory Be.” Jones includes lovely vocals and trumpet ballads and even an explosive Gospel tune. It’s BEAUTIFUL MUSIC for fans with expansive tastes!

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Sounds Of Love

DEE DEE LAVELL Sounds Of Love Gam Girl Records

Australian born, Philadelphia based jazz vocalist DeeDee Lavell taps into the diverse, R&B/jazz music scene in her adopted hometown to create a lush, glorious album that balances hushed intimacy with lively, percussive grooves. Produced by master percussionist Doc Gibbs, engineered by Philadelphia International Records veteran Craig White and featuring top Philly based musicians, the collection mixes classics by Billie Holiday (“Don’t Explain”), Joni Mitchell (“Big Yellow Taxi”), Stevie Wonder (“Creepin’”), Prince (“Diamonds & Pearls") and Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Dindi”) with spot on originals like the Latin tinged “Celebrate” and the Gospel-colored “Supernatural (Song for Maliq"). These SOUNDS OF LOVE are magical!

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Bright Moments

TERJE LIE Bright Moments TCat Records

Terje Lie (pronounced "Terry Lee") knows a good team when he's got one. Collaborating on the second project in a row with the writing and production team of keyboardist Jeff Lorber and Yellowjackets' bassist Jimmy Haslip, the Norwegian born, Los Angeles based saxophonist stirs up the perfect high energy blend of pop, R&B and jazz fusion here. Stocked with playful, solid grooves like the funky opener "Storm Skies" and the first single "You Know," which are both hooky and melodic, you should also know that this album is a classic "player's album" where inventive improvisation and explosive jamming reign throughout. Lie saves the most unpredictable ride for last, blowing hard with his cohorts amidst the explosive rock energy of guest guitarist Michael Landau as they navigate the wild "Jungle." Lots of BRIGHT MOMENTS to enjoy throughout! Bold moves for Terje Lie, we expect big things from this talent!

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Wishing On Love

MELINA Wishing On Love Woodward Avenue Records

Meet Melina... A sweet, songbird from San Antonio! The beautiful, bluesy/jazzy emerging pop artist has teamed up with world-class producer, two-time Grammy-winner Paul Brown. The two have hit the mother lode with WISHING ON LOVE; fashionable vocals that are grounded in an earthy vibe. Exceptional producers know how to get to the heart of an artist and support their strengths… everything on this recording celebrates Melina as a vocalist. Simple, elegant production values boost Melina’s conviction of each song, including Brown’s pleasing guitar work. The first single, “Maybe Not Today” will grab you by your soul and pull you into Melina’s world. Other favorites include “Stay With Me Tonight,” the sophisticated cover of “Landslide” and the compelling title track, “Wishing On Love.” Welcome Melina… we have plenty of room for a sincere, smooth vocalist!

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Twenty

ROBERT MILLER Twenty Cakewalk Records

Acclaimed bassist/composer Robert Miller, who launched his career playing fusion in Boston in the 1970s, has been busy these past two decades with his bands The Robert Miller Group and Project Grand Slam, playing soulful, high energy contemporary jazz with an equal mix of urban funk and fiery rock elements—with the occasional lush ballad thrown in for dreamy pleasure. After a hiatus, we're happy to report that Project Grand Slam is reassembled and performing again! TWENTY is a fun-filled, retrospective romp with 16 original Robert Miller tunes, including the exciting, brassy single "Catch You Later." So good, you'll wish there were 20 tracks on TWENTY!

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Sky

JEANNE NEWHALL Sky Marzipan Records

Composer, singer, pianist, poet Jeanne Newhall is what I call an expansive artist; her sound is not easily confined to one genre. Rather her organic music style is inclusive of much... such as love, jazz, folk, intelligence, soul, blues, spirituality, humor, yoga, earth, sea and SKY. This new recording, some 10 years in the making, features 10 originals and a casual-cool cover of Bob Dylan's "If Not For You." The project also features the artful bass work of the great Abraham Laboriel as well as Walter Rodriquez on percussion and drums, and Japanese guitarist Kazunori Koga. The album is called SKY for reasons that only Jeanne Newhall knows, but to me, it's because it features music that is elevated… songs with meaning, delivered with an intelligent musical sensibility, like jazz. These songs will attach themselves to your heart and work their way skyward to your thoughts, where they will linger.

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Midnight Blue

NEXLEVEL Midnight Blue Independent

A popular, multi-faceted, jazz fusion force in the Columbus, Ohio area since the early 2000s, NexLevel launched with in the pocket URBAN JAZZ but has evolved into an outside the box ensemble that incorporates high energy JAZZ fusion into their vibe. Inspired by the late night hours, the intoxicating MIDNIGHT BLUE is a statement that music can be high octane and explosive as well as sexy and sensual – all on the same recording. Original music that is soulful and high energy; powerful grooves with strong melodies!

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Let's Have Sax

STEVE REASON Let's Have Sax SoBe Entertainment

Ooh la la! From the soon-to-be-released album LET'S HAVE SAX comes a sexy new tune that spills over with scintillating jazz, infused with chill and neo soul... Steve Reason's "French Love"! The saxophonist, singer, songwriter, producer, performer has our full attention! "French Love" comes in two flavors, a St. Tropez-tinged version with sultry vocals and smooth rap featuring guests Ja'Rae and Stack$, as well as a mostly instrumental version for clear-air flying with pure unadulterated saxophone. If this is how Steve's gonna bring it with the first single, we are preparing for the rest!

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Tell You Something

SAM RUCKER Tell You Something Favor Productions

The next generation of Smooth Jazz has a visionary… welcome to the inspired world of saxophonist Sam Rucker and his soulful and passionate new album TELL YOU SOMETHING! This unique blend of Jazz, Soul, Gospel and Hip Hop, is collaboration with sax star, Euge Groove and features special guests Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Tom Brown and Alyson Williams. Nearly three years in the making, every song is moving with nonstop, positive energy and rich production. The single, “Be True 2 Who U R” will surely be the first of many songs from this album to hit the airwaves! The saxman who’s played with Smooth Jazz stars such as Peter White, Ronnie Laws and Phil Perry is telling you something, we highly recommend that you listen!

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NOW

JIM SAMUEL NOW Independent

Composer/pianist Jim Samuel offers a compelling variety of textures and tempos on his latest release, NOW, featuring a stellar collection of originals, augmented by two sterling covers… namely the iconic “Mr. Magic,” featuring Gerald Albright’s brilliant sax work, and the Norah Jones hit, “Don’t Know Why.” Of the originals, I’m particularly drawn to the lovely “Serena,” featuring talented guitarist Rob Tardik, and the bittersweet “Now That You’re Gone,” featuring trumpet/flugelhorn master Tony Neenan. NOW just might be Mr. Samuel’s best release yet. Expect to see this one spending a lot of time at the top of the charts in 2014!

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Indigo Blue - The Crater Creek Project

ROBERT SANAE Indigo Blue - The Crater Creek Project Platinum Strive Music Group LLC

It’s all about timing… and for musician, composer, producer and multi-instrumentatlist Robert Sanae, his time has come! The Dayton native and former member of Zapp feat Roger Troutman, is the son of percussionist Robert Jones Kuumba, one of the original members of The Ohio Players. On his 2nd release, INDIGO BLUE : THE CRATER CREEK PROJECT, Sanae offers some of the tastiest, new Smooth Jazz, Pop and Neo Soul we’ve come across this year! Songs flow sweetly like honey... so accessible and catchy, with trumpet playing that embodies the classic vibe of Mangione and the hipness of Braun, a dream come true for radio! Many stand out tracks here, including “Time Machine,” featuring vocalist Justin Sanderson, and other than a special guest appearance by Bob Baldwin, Sanae performs all of the music on the album! The time is right for the world to discover this talented artist!

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Get It

THREESTYLE Feat. Magdalena Chovancova Get It Welovemusic Records

Threestyle adds two time Grammy winner Paul Brown to round up to a foursome that delivers a sophisticated punch of Smooth Jazz, chilled vibes, sultry sax and luxurious guitar playing! The band’s mainstays are the alluring Magdalena Chovancova on saxophone/flute and her partner in song, Robert Fertl on guitar… their classy new album, GET IT, was recorded at Brown’s Funky Joint studio in Los Angeles, California, hence the project includes some of L.A.’s top players including songwriting assistance from PB and Boney James! GET IT offers up stylish jazz with cool song titles like, “Soul Candy,” “Red Squirrel,” “Dropping the Box” and the album’s first single, “Just For Fun”!

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One

THUMPER & GENERATION ONE One United 4 Love Entertainment

A wildly versatile one-man-band and creative Renaissance man (singer, songwriter, producer actor, model) from Omaha, Nebraska. Meet Thumper & Generation One... urban jazz fans will be swaying to the electric guitar and vocal driven slow jam of the Johnny Gill classic “My My My.” But don’t get too chilled, Thumper's got a lot more up his sleeve on this eclectic 14 track collection of multiple moods – including New Age (the opener, “Song of the Universe”), blistering Rock/Soul (“It’s Time”), funky Synth-Jazz (“In The Zone”) and Techno-Rock-Gospel (“The Saints Jam”). Thumper’s ONE is one cool and wild ride!

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Renaissance Man

TONY TRAVALINI Renaissance Man Independent

A onetime Motown artist and songwriter returning to the groove after a few decades away, Tony Travalini forges a fresh, multi-faceted vibe and a wealth of sonic possibilities via his Roland GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer. On his dynamic, genre-defying debut RENAISSANCE MAN he uses this incredible electronic "axe" to create sweeping atmospheres, exotic chants, pan flutes, saxophone, trumpet, horn sections, crisp electric and acoustic guitar sounds - and a lot of unexpected sonic textures along the way. His latest single, "Give A Little Of Your Love," is a fun, Latin-tinged jam featuring Travalini's jazzy lead electric guitar, rich percussive textures and mojito-inspiring vocal play. Great to have such a wonderful talent among the Smooth Jazz ranks!

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