THE AULT SISTERS | May You Always | GKM
CHERYL BARNES | Merry Merry Christmas To You | Barnes & Cabasso Music
D. EDWARD | Love Is | 10th & Clay Records
RODNEY FRIEND | So Glad It's Christmas | Independent
HARPER, GUS AND GOMEZ | A Christmas Dream | Independent
JAZZ CLUB feat. Sunnie Paxson, Mark Vincent, Cynthia Calhoun | Holiday Time Of Year | SunMark
DIRK K | Seasons Greetings | DIP Records
DAVE KOZ & FRIENDS | The 25th of December | Concord Music Group
RHYTHM JETS | Sound Barrier | Infinity Jazz Records
MARILYN SCOTT | Get Christmas Started! | Prana Entertainment
TONY TRAVALINI | Everything For Christmas | Independent
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. His new single, "I Like It Like That," produced by Jason Miles, is a sexy, sultry jazz piece made to smolder with Angel on flugelhorn, Miles on piano and Maya Azucena on seduction (come hither vocals). The album is a sophisticated jazz delight with heavy hitters including Kenny Barron. Angel is ON TRACK to become a bona fide jazz star!
MARIEA ANTOINETTE Straight From The Harp Masaai/Infinity Productions
The magical sound of the harp makes it's way to the funk side of Jazz! San Diego native Mariea 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. The first single “Give Me Your Love” dominated the summer of '14 Smooth Jazz Charts and many more songs are sure to follow with the fresh release of the full album, STRAIGHT FROM THE HARP, including the effervescent, “Rock Wit’Cha,” the Hiroshima-esque “Special Treasure” and the exciting, new single, “Fly Away.” 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. Mariea has a home in Smooth Jazz… right where her Harp is!
Eight years after they released their acclaimed debut album CHRISTMAS FEELINGS, The Ault Sisters, Toronto based siblings Amanda (23), Alicia (21) and Alanna (19), are in the holiday spirit once again, bringing their lush, impeccable harmonies to their dreamy, inspirational new single “May You Always.” It’s a warm and endearing follow-up to TIMELESS, the siblings’ latest full length album featuring cool retro jazz takes on originals and classic pop tunes. “May You Always” enjoy The Ault Sisters throughout the season!
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.
CHERYL BARNES Merry Merry Christmas To You Barnes & Cabasso Music
A longtime staple of the Los Angeles club scene and renowned global performer, Cheryl Barnes is now a dynamic, powerful and sultry new presence in contemporary jazz thanks to her most recent album LISTEN TO ME. She perks our ears once again with the lively, uplifting, “Merry Merry Christmas To You." SmoothJazz.com's Sandy Shore calls it "Christmas JAZZ-A-Nova." A truly international musical holiday celebration with an inspiring message about the wonderful things the Christmas spirit can do. Thanks to Barnes, this will be a Merry, Merry Christmas indeed!
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!
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!
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!
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!
SHARON MARIE CLINE By The Fireside Independent
Whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, Sharon Marie Cline is making sure you have a sensual and sexy, festive and JAZZY Christmas with this warm and soulful Yuletide offering. The versatile L.A. based jazz vocalist invites us to the fireside with fresh and sparkling arrangements of some of our favorite holiday classics, including a lighthearted, easy swinging “Santa Claus is Coming To Town,” a lush and intimate “Christmas Time Is Here,” and a delightfully charming romp through “Winter Wonderland.” So grab your loved one, curl up BY THE FIRESIDE and have yourself a merry little (romantic) Christmas now!
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.”
MITCHELL COLEMAN, JR. Soul Searching Soul Revelation Music
Emerging bassist Mitchell Coleman may be SOUL SEARCHING on his dynamic and driving debut, but he doesn’t take long to find some tasty, infectious urban jazz and funk grooves. Influenced by greats like Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke and Larry Graham, the multi-talented musician and composer kicks off the 12 track, two interlude set by stamping a fun and fiery “Passport” to a place filled with buoyant R&B/jazz fusion. While establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with, he also pays homage to Earth, Wind & Fire (a dreamy “That’s The Way of the World” featuring Pam Vincent) and the late great Joe Sample with an eloquent take on “When Your Life Was Low” featuring Dionyza Sutton. There’s plenty of soul in SOUL SEARCHING!
More energy, more swagger, more Darius! RETRO FORWARD is a respectful glance backward toward the legacy of R&B, soul and pop while propelling full speed ahead toward the future of contemporary music, including Smooth Jazz, neo soul, hip hop and more! Mostly originals, this new album will deliver so well for you that you’ll forgive the charismatic young talent, for making you wait so long since 2010’s ON A MISSION. Produced by Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Antonio Dixon (half of FaceTone w/Babyface, Beyonce, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson) and Blu2th (Chris Brown, Jordin Sparks, Boys II Men). 11 Songs featuring today’s hottest talent, Dessy Di Lauro, Terry Dexter, Eric Dawkins, plus the sax phenom sings beautifully on Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love”! Don’t miss the delirious cover of Pharell’s “Happy” and the sensational, jazz-pop dance smash, “Broke Down.” RETRO FORWARD is a joyous, jubilant, funkified, fortified recording that will ignite your soul!
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!
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!
Just in time for the holidays, the Doctor is back on duty, celebrating the merriment of the season with fresh re-imaginings of two Christmas classics. The renowned jazz guitarist trails his illuminated 2014 release THE DOCTOR IS IN with a warm, thoughtful and intimate take on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and a spirited, blues, jazz and funk twist on “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” These are TWO CHRISTMAS SONGS that will brighten up any celebration!
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!
D. EDWARD Love Is 10th & Clay Records
Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, D. Edward is back with a groove so funky, a beat so strong and heart so deep on LOVE IS… a brilliant, soul pop follow-up to 2011’s LITTLE RED BOX, the album that introduced the soul crooner to the Smooth music community. A small, handful of singers have such distinctive character to their voices, that list would include Darryl Hall, Robbie Robertson, Darius Rucker and perhaps more current, Ray LaMontagne… soulful, rugged and sexy! LOVE IS cleverly blends the joy of jazz, the freshness of funk and the style of soul to deliver an incredibly moving collection of songs. The title track is already proving that D. Edward has big fans at radio… the sensual duet with Jenna Lavoie, “Show Me,” the chilled melancholia of “Pretty Eyes” and the 70’s throwback vibe on “Mighty Love” all help make this a SmoothJazz.com Hotpick!
With more than 30 years in the music business, performing Smooth Jazz, R&B and Gospel, Grammy nominated singer Rodney Friend brings us “So Glad It’s Christmas,” a heartwarming, seasonal song! Friend delivers, tasty, contemporary jazz vocals with a splash of traditional, bringing to mind Nat King Cole. “So Glad It’s Christmas” is a wonderful introduction to this extraordinarily smooth singer… who also happens to be a pastor at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California! Make your season bright and bring home a new Friend by downloading this new holiday classic from Rodney Friend!
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!
HARPER, GUS AND GOMEZ A Christmas Dream Independent
Fresh as pine, sexy as ribbon and seductive as mistletoe... A CHRISTMAS DREAM from Harper, Gus & Gomez is a sweet, sophisticated selection of seasonal songs. The project is a hip collaboration between friends and lovers, a trio of accomplished, well-toured performing artists : Pianist, singer, songwriter, Lindsey Harper, singer, songwriter guitarist Jon Gus and songwriter, producer, jazz artist, Nick Gomez. Together they’ve created an artful holiday dream that promises to lull you into a state of bliss before the eggnog and yuletide kiss with delicious originals such as “Winter Fireflies” and “Christmas Dream” and alluring covers of classics including “Silent Night,” and “Oh Christmas Tree.” Dream on!
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!
Rising saxophone star, Jarez brightens up the season with his flirty version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"! Upbeat, cheerful and fun! The confident recording artist has had the attention of the Smooth Jazz community since his release of his charting album, ON TOP OF THE WORLD. This Christmas season has just improved with some Cool Yule from Jarez! Get it!
JAZZ CLUB feat. Sunnie Paxson, Mark Vincent, Cynthia Calhoun Holiday Time Of Year SunMark
Beautifully and sensually blending jazz and R&B, Jazz Club is a soulful fusion of musical minds and unique journeys featuring JAZZ pianist Sunnie Paxson, guitarist Mark Vincent and vocalist Cynthia Calhoun. The trio’s dynamic vision emerges powerfully with the release of their inviting debut single “Holiday Time of Year,” a slice of Yuletide cheer guaranteed to spread peace, joy and loving wishes to all. So come celebrate the “Holiday Time of Year” with contemporary jazz’s new dynamic trio!
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!
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!
The perfect seasonal companion to his hot new album IT’S ON, guitarist Dirk K wishes us joyous SEASON’S GREETINGS with his soulful, fluid melodies, creative improvisations and snappy, often hypnotic electric lines. He complements his seductive original “Endless Love” with a dreamy Christmas Eve fireside set list that includes a spirited, mid tempo romp through “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and an elegant, atmospheric reflection on the deeper meanings of “Silent Night.” Just as he dynamically re-imagined the DISCO classic “Funkytown” on IT’S ON, Dirk makes these timeless Yuletide standards his own on this delightful set – including a clever medley pairing “O Christmas Tree” with his own composition “Spanish Nights.” You’ve never received SEASONS GREETINGS this beautiful and melodic before!
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!
Saxophonist and multi-Grammy nominee Dave Koz has done Christmas beautifully on previous recordings with his Smooth Jazz pals, but he’s expanded the guest list considerably on his magical and exciting new holiday collection THE 25th of DECEMBER. The Yuletide is all about family gatherings, and Koz invites greats from a multitude of genres to celebrate the holiday party of the year. These include Johnny Mathis (an intimate waltz through “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”), Eric Benét (bringing his sensual soul to the Donny Hathaway classic “This Christmas”), Gloria Estefan, Fantasia, Richard Marx, Christopher Cross, Trombone Shorty, Kenny G, Jonathan Butler, Maysa, India.Arie, Stevie Wonder, Heather Headley and BeBe Winans. Koz and many of these incredible vocalist friends re-imagine The Beatles “All You Need Is Love” as a timeless R&B/JAZZ anthem for our time. It’s never too early to get in the spirit of THE 25th of DECEMBER!
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.
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!
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!
Egg nog? Check. Mistletoe? Check. Soulful, jazzy holiday music? Check! Now you’ve got A VERY MAYSA CHRISTMAS! With ten of your favorite Christmas classics as you’ve never heard before including special guests Will Downing on a duet on one of the coolest covers of “This Christmas” and Gerald Albright playing a shiny sax on “Silver Bells”! The project is produced by Chris “Big Dog” Davis with some assistance from Ms. Leak, who also serves as the project’s Executive Producer in addition to laying down some of her smoothest, silkiest, sexiest vocals to date, all beautifully wrapped up in this collection of soul-drenched carols. It’s no wonder that Stevie Wonder says, “Maysa is WONDERful!!!”
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but Christmas is coming and this is one of the BEST of the holiday batch of Christmas tunes! Two time Grammy winning producer, guitarist Paul Brown (naughty) and rising star vocalist Melina (nice) have collaborated on this very subtle, sweetly smooth version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." I'm hearing a guitar vibe like the Hendrix classic, "Little Wing" with a vocal essence of Bonnie Raitt or for the slightly younger demo, Natalie Merchant (10,000 Maniacs). An exquisite holiday cross-over hit... g'wan open a present early, download this one today!
RHYTHM JETS Sound Barrier Infinity Jazz Records
Though they are new on the scene as a unit, the members of this explosive six piece Atlanta-based instrumental band are all veteran musicians with mile long resumes. Joining forces to release their debut EP SOUND BARRIER, Rhythm Jets have created a musical signature they refer to as “Infinity Jazz… not smooth, not traditional… taking you where you’ve never been with rhythm and sax.” Part of their fiery magic comes from a distinctive island and world vibe, which infuses key tracks like the Reggae-tinged, first single “Chasing the Sun” (brightened with sax, electric guitar and steel drums), the buoyant Latin-fusion jam “It’s A New World” and the balmy, tropical romance “Down By The Sea.” Rhythm Jets hit a cruising altitude for the perfect soundtrack to an island destination, full of pulsating rhythms, edgy guitars, funky sax and glorious pop breezes.
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!
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!
MARILYN SCOTT Get Christmas Started! Prana Entertainment
It’s one of those parties that you can’t stop thinking about... just enough egg nog to take full advantage of the mistletoe and just enough old school R&B and blues to funk up the jazz! GET CHRISTMAS STARTED!, recorded live, from one of our most favorite song stylists Marilyn Scott, is the first-ever, holiday party album with an all-star band that is equal parts naughty and nice with bold and brassy horn arrangements featuring Tower of Power alumni and A-Listers including Greg Adams, Eric Marienthal, Brandon Fields, Lee Thornberg and more... plus Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen! Produced by former Yellowjackets’ bassist Jimmy Haslip and Erik Zobler, Ms. Scott’s soulful and powerful voice covers the gamut on holiday favorites and best of all, it’s a party! GET CHRISTMAS STARTED!... this is your candy cane swirled invitation to the premier musical bash of the season!
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!
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.
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.
TONY TRAVALINI Everything For Christmas Independent
"Everything For Christmas” is a beautiful, sensitive holiday original with a tinge of Motown from New York multi-instrumentalist and singer Tony Travalini, a Christmas bonus to his current charting album, RENAISSANCE MAN. Penned by his long time friend and Motown associate, songwriter, Teddy Randazzo. Recording this smooth, sentimental ballad is a tribute to his mentor and a tip of the ol’ hat to those of us who pine for a holiday time of yesteryear, to be with loved ones who are no longer here. Now you do have “Everything For Christmas,” including this romantic, old school vibe featuring Tony Travalini’s sensual vocals!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
JOHANNES LINSTEAD Midnight Rhumba Earthscape Media
Johannes Linstead is one of the most vibrant craftsmen of contemporary Latin guitar music in the world… his songs are hip, festive and fresh! His new Top 10 Billboard Charting album MIDNIGHT RHUMBA captures the multi-award winning instrumentalist at his most vivacious. This collection of songs serve up gorgeous melodies along with fiery rhythms that are accompanied by Gypsy violin, Afro-Cuban percussion and joyful accordion. The album’s first single, “Bewitched” delivers a Santana attitude in a James Bond film vibe... it's exciting, rhythmic, and sexy! Escape the mundane for a MIDNIGHT RHUMBA, a world of passionate, sensual beats and exotic tempos!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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 latest exciting single, “Before I Let Go," is a brilliant collaboration with Norman Connors and Euge Groove featuring Bobby Lyle and Alyson Williams. 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!
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!
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!
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”!
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!
THE UPTOWN BAND Feat. Erich Cawalla & Jenifer Kinder Heart, Soul, Body & Mind Uptown Band Music
An exciting blend of soulful and old school from performers and songwriters Erich Cawalla (sax/vocals) and Jenifer Kinder (vocals). The Uptown Band’s new collection artfully and playfully captures all four items on the list : Heart. Soul. Body. Mind. Hip, cool, contemporary... like a genre-defying mix of Alicia Keys, Bobby Caldwell and Tower of Power! This deeply emotional, smooth and heartfelt musical journey includes the Maxi Priest hit, “Close To You,” a mid-tempo light funk tour de force for Cawalla’s voice and sax; Kinder’s sensual spin on “Saving All My Love For You”; the alluring, pop/rock ballad “I Can Breathe”; the urban jazz jam “The Conversation” and a sassy, horn-fired contemporary twist on “That Old Black Magic.” Every part of you will enjoy HEART, SOUL, BODY & MIND!
The highly anticipated follow up to their 2008 debut Sleeping Giants, Vali & Saxolution’s second volume beautifully blends the dual pianos of composer Vali Saciri and Clemens Herzog with the alternatively silky and funky, supremely soulful sax of Wolfram Dullnig and Markus Wendlinger’s vibrant percussion and drums. The key to their “saxolution” is infectious melodies and rhythmic diversity. They balance the dreamy elegance of “No Regrets” and meditational vibe of “Deep Blue 1” with the exotic romp, staking claim to “My Island” and the in the pocket old school, soul-jazz of “Funky Vali.” You’ll enjoy waking these SLEEPING GIANTS!