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New to the Listening Loft

SYLVIA BENNETT | Another Love Song | Out of Sight Music

BLUEY | Life Between The Notes | Shanachie Entertainment

D. EDWARD | Love Is | 10th & Clay Records

FLAVOUR | Food For Thought | Independent

CARL NEAL | Kiss of Life | Grace Star Music

RHYTHM JETS | Sound Barrier | Infinity Jazz Records

CAROL SABOYA, ANTONIO ADOLFO & HENDRIK MEURKENS | Copa Village | AAM Music

TONY SAUNDERS | Appaloosa | San Francisco Records

STEPHANIE SPRUILL | It's a Jazz Day | Spruill House Music Production

MARC STAGGERS | Dream Catcher | Expansion Records

THE SAX PACK | Power Of 3 | Shanachie Entertainment

WALDINO | Let It Flow | WaldinoMusic.com

PAUL WHITLEY | Come Groove With Me | Pablo Productions


SmoothJazz.com Hot Picks

The Journey

JIM ADKINS The Journey Clear Image Records

Though he’s based in Central Virginia and has won numerous awards from V.O.C.A.L. (Virginia Organization of Composers and Lyricists), guitarist Jim Adkins’ picture perfect melodies, tight snappy pocket grooves and soulful blues and rock influences have been heard all over the world, from the U.S. to Europe to Indonesia and Australia. A popular independent recording artist since the late 1990s, Adkins continues to embrace THE JOURNEY on his infectious and dynamic sixth album, whose tracks include the lively, spirited acoustic-driven “Time With You”; the slick, funked-up electric title track; the whimsical old school R&B flavored “The Secret Place”; and a colorful, improvisation-rich venture “Into the Storm.” The Billboard Song Contest winner also includes a graceful cover of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love,” followed by a spirited blues jam that heralds “A New Horizon.” THE JOURNEY is a passionate, musical adventure you won’t want to miss out on!

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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. "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 latest single, "Serenity," offers up a gorgeous, jazzy serenade that's sure to peace you out! The album is a sophisticated jazz delight with heavy hitters including Kenny Barron. Angel is ON TRACK to become a bona fide jazz star!

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Straight From The Harp

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!

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Listen to This

CHERYL BARNES Listen to This Barnes & Cabasso Music

The title of jazz vocalist Cheryl Barnes’ new album LISTEN TO THIS is an invitation to enjoy a brilliant collection of songs, interpreted masterfully by this amazing artist, whose extensive resume includes performances with Wynton Marsalis and Quincy Jones on the jazz side, the Clara Ward Gospel Singers, and the Denver Symphony Orchestra. Talk about vocal range and versatility! Ms. Barnes’ voice and phrasing are stunning. I’m especially drawn to the entrancing “Come with Me,” the gently swinging “Like Jazz,” and her latest single, an incredible take on Joni Mitchell’s “Come In From the Cold." Cheryl Barnes’ LISTEN TO THIS is an absolute must-have!

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Another Love Song

SYLVIA BENNETT Another Love Song Out of Sight Music

Grammy-nominated jazz singer, Sylvia Bennett comes to the table with a hip, luxe new single, “Another Love Song,” featuring her gorgeously pure vocals with modern beats as smooth as a night in Miami! The focus of the song, co-written and produced by Sylvia’s long-time music partner, Hal S. Batt, offers encouragement to never give up on love… as the next love may be the best love! Love, a common theme with Ms. Bennett, will be the focus of her next full album due out in 2016, IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE will include this riveting new track! Sylvia Bennett mixes her pristine vocal stylings into to a fresh new sonic playground on “Another Love Song,” which is anything but… more like a unique, exciting love song that lends itself beautifully to the contemporary, lifestyle vibe of Smooth Jazz!

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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 this Grammy-winning, dynamic duo!

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Life Between The Notes

BLUEY Life Between The Notes Shanachie Entertainment

On his second solo album, Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick, groundbreaking UK funk master and longtime creative force behind the Jazz/R&B/Dance collective Incognito, acknowledges some deep spiritual truths as he keeps a steady flow of sensual cool and progressive thumping rhythms flowing. On the whimsical, old school Soul Jazz driven first single, he reminds us that we’re all “Saints & Sinners” living our lives in the same place. He also offers some encouraging advice about living on our own terms on the hypnotic, vocal harmony filled ballad “The Poetry of Life.” And he lets us know where his own musical inspirations come from on the soaring, infectious title track, declaring, “I get up to Aretha, I get down to James Brown” and invoking Quincy Jones and Marvin Gaye. Living LIFE IN BETWEEN THE NOTES, Bluey captivates like the international groove superhero that he is!

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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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Soul Searching

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!

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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 stylin', jazz-infused and highly melodic, “Into The Night” is the latest single and promises to reverberate on the Smooth Jazz Charts in 2015.

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Carefree

DR. DAVE Carefree Hatherill Records

To paraphrase the title of one of Dr. Dave’s previous recordings, once again, ‘the Doctor is in’ stirring up a spirited storm of healing, soulful melodies and electric guitar funk on his perfectly titled album CAREFREE. The prolific, world renowned musician includes some freshly re-imagined covers of classic tunes – most notably, his reggae infused, island spin on Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” – however, Dr. Dave is also an exciting composer. He whips up fresh, infectious magic on tracks like the sensual, wind in your hair opening title track “Carefree”; an atmospheric, pocket groove driven ballad that truly “Feels So Good”; the breezin’ George Benson influenced “G.B. Style”; and the moody, romantic, old school vibin’ “Sylvia.” Listen to Dr. Dave and you’ll truly feel CAREFREE!

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Nathan East

NATHAN EAST Nathan East Yamaha Entertainment Group

The Non-stop, Chart-topping, Grammy-nominated, Yamaha Entertainment release, NATHAN EAST, continues to build momentum and gather accolades! While it may be an individual endeavor, according to the affable East, “It’s a celebration of my musical friends and my musical experiences and influences over 30 years.” As we've always said, to know Nathan East is to love Nathan East... the magnetic musician has recruited a some help from his friends, who, like himself, are in a class of their own, including Bob James, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, and Sara Bareilles. The album starts afresh in this New Year, with the latest single, a relentless, big band-infused version of Van Morrison’s “Moondance” featuring the remarkable vocals of Mike McD! And in addition to all the excitement of the music, Nathan also stars in the new Hulu documentary, FOR THE RECORD featuring Lionel Richie, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and more! The dream continues…

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Love Is

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!

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The Lou Rawls Project

VICTOR FIELDS The Lou Rawls Project Regina Records

Back in the day, when critically acclaimed, chart-topping, San Francisco Bay Area Jazz vocalist, Victor Fields was starting his music career, working a day job and performing music on the side, the legendary Lou Rawls and entourage caught Victor's live performance in a small club in Oakland. Rawls called Fields “the man with the golden voice,” and inspired Victor to launch a full-fledged recording career. Rawls once said the immortal words, “Soul is Truth,” and Victor Fields fulfills that reality brilliantly on highly anticipated release, THE LOU RAWLS PROJECT - A sultry, bluesy and easy swinging set featuring lush, sophisticated re-imaginings of ten Rawls classics. In addition to the first single, the smooth and romantic “Let Me Be Good To You,” the singer lends his graceful caress to the balmy, gently swaying “Lady Love” (featuring producer Chris Camozzi on guitar), the smoky “Let’s Fall In Love All Over Again” and Rawls’ Philly SOUL trademark classic, “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine.” It’s not braggin’ on himself, baby, to call Fields’ THE LOU RAWLS PROJECT a true masterpiece.

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Fritzenized

JONATHAN FRITZÉN Fritzenized Nordic Night Records

We’ve been FRITZENIZED here at SmoothJazz.com since 2008 when we debuted the charismatic composer’s first album LOVE BIRDS on SmoothJazz.com! Exposure to Jonathan Fritzén’s lush and sexy melodies as well as his addictive rhythms is all one needs to become FRITZENIZED! The Swedish keyboardist who grew up listening to Smooth Jazz on Internet Radio is now a #1 chart-topping, Smooth Jazz composer! Upon my first listen to Jonathan’s music, I reached out to Bob James to tell him that I discovered a young artist that moved me in a similar way to his music. That’s FRITZENIZED personified! A tender touch on the keys, a keen sense for melody and arrangement… This album is bound to stick around a long while with wall-to-wall radio hits, including the first single, “A New Beginning,” the sizzling hot, “A Funky Night” featuring vocalist Laila Adele and my favorite “Kiss Goodbye.” Don’t fight it… get FRITZENIZED!

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The Vault

JEFF GOLUB The Vault eOne Music

Jeff Golub was one of the most authentic people you’d ever want to meet… and this quality pervaded his entire life, especially his guitar playing. Meaningful, deep, soulful musicianship filled chart-topping album after chart-topping album, year after year, since the beginning of his solo recordings with the cool project name, Avenue Blue. On New Year’s Day 2015, we woke to the report that Jeff had passed… After suffering the loss of his eyesight several years earlier, Jeff was diagnose with PSP, a rare brain disease that left him unable to even play the guitar. We thank God that Jeff’s music lives on… On this last recording, THE VAULT, he actually hand-selected the pieces and worked closely with his long-time friends Steven Miller, Rick Braun and Bud Harner, who helped bring the songs to life, and the project was completed just days before his passing. THE VAULT is an all-star tribute to Jeff Golub, featuring contributions from Dave Koz, Mindi Abair, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Boney James, Peter White, Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot and many more!

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Casa Groove

AL GOMEZ Casa Groove Shade Records

Smooth Jazz has a new star... check out the uplifting new release from the extremely versatile, Texas-based guitarist Al Gomez, CASA GROOVE on Shade Records featuring all kinds of feel good energy blended into his Smooth Jazz including R&B influences, Neo Soul, Funk, traces of Tejano and killer vocal harmonies, making for a spicy, fresh vibe! Think Santana meets Larry Carlton! The Pecos, Texas native studied music at West Texas State University, Sul Ross State University, and The Recording Workshop of Cincinnati, he also graduated from a two year Master Guitar Certificate Program from Berklee College of Music in Boston! One of the most exciting collections to hit our musical landscape, CASA GROOVE is filled with hooky original compositions that sound like world-class hits along including his latest single, "Closer To You" and stunningly contemporary cover of Toni Braxton's "Another Sad Love Song." Al Gomez is in the casa!

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Talk To Somebody

IREEDMAN & MS. MONÉT Talk To Somebody i Reed Records

This soulful pairing of world-class saxophonist, Joel C. Peskin, AKA iReedman and supremely talented vocalist, Ms. Monét, results in an exciting blend of jazz, funk, sax and sizzle on TALK TO SOMEBODY. A true protégé of woodwind legends, Peskin has navigated his career from the avant garde jazz scene of New York to touring and recording with iconic music stars including the Beach Boys, Canned Heat, Albert Collins, Frank Zappa, and Barbra Streisand, to the west coast and hundreds of TV and film sessions, collaborating with Merry Clayton on dance recordings, and is an original band member of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.” Ms. Monét is a performer’s performer… The California Bay Area native offers up pure vocal genius. From theater to stage, performing for Presidents (Obama and Clinton) and world-wide touring with Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald, Toto, Queen Latifah, Kenny Loggins and more! Together these two, known as iReedman & Ms. Monét are unstoppable… the Dynamic Duo of contemporary jazz leads off with a killer cover of “Strawberry Letter 23,” while the album also features originals that tightly fuse jazz, R&B and soul and include compelling instrumentals.

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Sexy Saxy Vol. 1

JAREZ Sexy Saxy Vol. 1 Top Jazz Records, LLC

Cali-cool sax star, Jarez (Jarel Posey) redefines contemporary jazz with his youthful, soulful approach to original music. Coolio's sax man, friend and business partner, Jarez turns the swagger up a notch on his latest release, SEXY SAXY Volume 1. The seduction is on high and the EP is loaded with fresh and inviting new tunes featuring the project’s first single, “Hold On Tight” with Billboard, chart-topping Smooth Jazz saxophonist Vandell Andrew. Also on board for two tracks, Jarez guitarist and vocalist A.J. Luke, who enhances the SEXY SAXY vibe. All seven of the tunes are sax-drenched, saucy and smooth infused with Hip Hop, soul and jazz! This may not be your father’s Smooth Jazz, but you're gonna dig it!

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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, who is featured on the exciting new single "5 To 6," 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

The excitement continues with chart-topping, contemporary jazz guitarist Dirk K, his critically-acclaimed album release, IT’S ON, launches another hot new hit for spring and summer, the captivating, "Snap Jam"! Dirk is 14 solo releases deep at this point of his career, and has performed on dozens of recordings with many other artists. The fresh, vivid, somewhat hypnotic Smooth Jazz that Dirk delivers on IT’S ON is sure to bring new fans to the format and continue to generate a string of radio hits from the rhythmic delights and clever covers including originals "Dwee Dwee Ouh," and "Can O’Beats," along with cool covers, like "Toxic," "Lovesong," and "Funkytown." It’s SO on!

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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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Here We Go

JAMES LLOYD Here We Go Shanachie Entertainment

As a founding member of the legendary Contemporary Jazz group Pieces of a Dream, James Lloyd’s joyfully melodic keys and soulful grooves have been a staple of the genre for several decades. He keeps the magical mix of jubilance and sensuality flowing freely on his long awaited solo debut HERE WE GO, whose multitude of vibes includes bright, danceable gems like the first single “Pay It Forward,” edgy, powerfully rhythmic jams such as, “No Holds Barred,” a blistering duet with Gerald Albright and dreamy, wistful charmers like “Granted Wish,” which showcase Lloyd’s brilliance for romantic balladry. The versatile composer/keyboardist also pays clever and unforgettable homage to Mary J. Blige on the synth driven “Much O’Blige’d,” and his late idol George Duke with the deep, dirty old school funk fired “For The Duke In Me.” If you love Pieces, you’ll dig the new places Lloyd’s headed. Ready? HERE WE GO!

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Soul Traveler

MARION MEADOWS Soul Traveler Shanachie Entertainment

As passionate a photographer and cyclist as he is a musician, composer and artist, Marion Meadows has always made his music about more than just solid grooves and infectious melodies. As the title of his distinctively world music tinged album SOUL TRAVELER implies, the soulful saxophonist is all about the heart, mind and spirit. With guest artists like Najee, Joey Sommerville, Vincent Ingala and Elan Trotman and key contributions from guitarist Carlos Penninsi, Meadows creates a powerful, multi-faceted emotional journey. The core of his passionate mission statement is the freewheeling celebration of our common “Humanity” featuring cool exotic touches and old school keyboard magic by Lamar Gaines. What better way to start the year than taking a beautiful trip with the genre’s great SOUL TRAVELER?

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A Better Man

PHIL PERRY A Better Man Shanachie Entertainment

Embodying the sensual, romantic cool at the crossroads of contemporary jazz and old school R&B, Phil Perry – whom Al Jarreau calls “the genuine article” and Down Beat magazine has dubbed “The Pavarotti of Jazz” – gets his dreamy vibe and slow groove on while showcasing some serious songwriting chops with producer Chris “Big Dog” Davis. The set includes great moments with Rick Braun, Kim Waters and Howard Hewett and silky covers of two Curtis Mayfield classics. Perry also works his shimmering vocal magic on the lush new single “You’re The Only One,” the slow jams “A Better Man” and “Let It Rain” and the exquisite parent-to-children ballad “Beautiful Girls.” When you want smooth candlelit vocals and a little inspiration, there’s not A BETTER MAN than Phil Perry!

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Blue

NELSON RANGELL Blue Independent

He is truly one of the most diverse and exciting performers in the genre, equally adept at soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone, as well as being a genuine virtuoso on flute and piccolo. Nelson Rangell offers up, simultaneously, RED, a gripping, sax-soaked contemporary jazz adventure, and BLUE his sparkling new collection of flute recordings. Blue is a musical exploration of tremendous depth and broad vision with beautiful melodies and spiraling improvisations featuring very special guest Bob James. According to Rangell releasing BLUE at the same time as RED is an attempt to do something unique and to sincerely engage listeners in his musical vision. "I'm a flutist as much as a saxophonist and, after all these years and 17 CDs, I wanted to try to tell another side of my musical story in a more full way on that instrument." Ranging from whimsical (“Dizzy”) to profound (Maurice Ravel's "Le Tombeau De Couperin”) BLUE gracefully and mind-blowingly swirls jazz, pop and classical together with creative abandon.

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Red

NELSON RANGELL Red Independent

In a sea of saxophonists, there is only one Nelson Rangell - Daring, compelling, and heartfelt. Fans of contemporary jazz are quite familiar with this extraordinary talent, he released eight CDs with GRP Records garnering chart-topping airplay in the 80’s and 90’s, and recorded with The Rippingtons, Chuck Loeb, Patti Austin, the GRP All-Star Big Band, featured on Don Grusin’s Grammy-nominated album, THE HANG, among numerous other accolades. RED, Rangell’s dynamic, sax-centric new recording, part of a tandem album release with BLUE, his flute and piccolo musical masterpiece, is a full-throttle adventure with bold and persuasive originals including the first single, the rocketing “Point Of Departure,” and the slammin’ “The Red Pill,” balanced by honest and haunting ballads such as “Matters Of the Heart” and “Some Next Grace.” Two albums from one mad-skilled musician, Nelson Rangell makes a big statement with this unprecedented maneuver… fully embracing his independence as a Global recording artist!

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Sound Barrier

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,” the fun next single from the album! 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.

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Air Play

TRAVIS ROGERS Air Play Roxboro Entertainment

With credits that include everyone from Lady Gaga and Brian McKnight to Missy Elliot and Chaka Khan, Travis Rogers brings a deep history as a sound engineer to his emergence as a buoyantly melodic Smooth Jazz composer and guitarist. Rogers has been the man behind many of Stanley Clarke’s recordings, and has also worked with the late George Duke - so it’s natural that Rogers launches his consistently infectious album AIR PLAY with a crisp, electric romp through “Sweet Baby.” But that’s just the start of the thoughtful and spirited fun, as Rogers grooves sensually through the lush acoustic title track single, the sweetly reflective “Loving You” and the breezy acoustic soul of “It’s You.” The inventive guitarist follows the eleven studio tracks with live versions of two tracks from a previous album. Tracks from Rogers’ perfectly titled set will indeed be receiving substantial AIR PLAY!

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Traveler

LAWSON ROLLINS Traveler Infinita Records/Baja TSR

Have guitar, will travel… On his fifth solo album since departing the genre-busting Latin fusion duo Young and Rollins, Lawson Rollins – once again powerfully sharing what Guitar Player magazine once called his “ungodly classical chops” – travels the globe, beautifully and insightfully chronicling many of the places he’s lived, visited and returned to in his memory. The versatile, melodic and delightfully grooving guitarist, whose YouTube videos have garnered nearly eight million views, bridges countries, continents and cultures. Sometimes he does it with wild, whimsical energy, as on the irresistible radio hit “City Electric," as well as his hot, new single, "Berlin Bossa," and other times with a more sensual dreamy flow such as the lush and soulful title track. He also enjoys a romping and romantic “Meeting in Madrid” and, closer to home, takes us “Beyond The Bayou for a swampy fusion of flamenco and blues. Pack your suitcase - this TRAVELER’s got a passport for your soul!

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Walking in Rome (Soul Italiano)

PAOLO RUSTICHELLI Walking in Rome (Soul Italiano) Next Age Music

A new year, and another new hit for inspired composer and world-class keyboardist Paolo Rustichelli. His latest single, “Walking In Rome” is a sweet, soulful Smooth Jazz stroll and a fitting tribute to the artist’s beloved home. The Italian one-man band invites you to a romantic, funky promenade on the streets of Rome. You can feel the magic of the Mediterranean and the beat of the Eternal City on this joyful tune… bringing to mind his 2014 multi-platinum selling hit, the chart-topping “Med Groove.” Paolo takes the experience to the next level on “Walking In Rome,” raising the bar and building excitement for the release of his full album SOUL ITALIANO due out this summer. Adored by musical icons, Carlos Santana and Miles Davis, the super-keyboardist continues his exploration of Smooth Jazz, lending his genius to the celebration of the lifestyle music genre.

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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 chart-topping release features many originals including the first hit, “Sandy Shores of Monterey,” a smooth, sultry groove that I love beyond the obvious reasons. The latest single is a Sophisticated smooth Jazz jam, "Blue Nickels" featuring Tony's melodic groove and keen jazz sensibilities. Special guests on APPALOOSA include Howard Hewitt, Santana's Tony Lindsay, Sakai, Tower of Power’s Tom Politzer and Bill Champlin on the cover of Gino Vannelli's title track. 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 romance continues!

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Brighter Day

SHASHATY Brighter Day A.H.I. Records

Inspired by years of on-stage experience with the brightest of stars including Carlos Santana, The Mavericks, Kirk Whalum and Dave Koz. ShaShaty’s own 5-piece band opened for legends the likes of The Bee Gees, Peter Cetera, Gloria Estefan and George Benson! ShaShaty explodes on to the scene with this exciting, fresh sound that is truly original! His A.H.I. Records debut, BRIGHTER DAY is a soul-drenched, smash hit with high energy, sweet and pure saxophone performances with soaring melodies and genre-blending curves. The first single, “Dream Ride” is like a top-down, moonlit drive, while “Let’s Go!” and the title track are upbeat, mood enhancer’s with cool vocal accents and “Late On 91” will soulfully set your spirit free! It’s clear to see why ShaShaty has so many fans around the world… and tons more on the way!

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Out of a Dream

BRIAN SIMPSON Out of a Dream Shanachie Entertainment

Like something OUT OF A DREAM, the title of Brian Simpson’s sixth solo recording – which once again showcases his masterful sense of melodic joy and rhythmic diversity – the versatile keyboardist been blessed with thriving dual careers. While building his career as a chart-topping solo artist, he’s been Dave Koz’s musical director for two decades and has been a go-to studio musician for Janet Jackson, Stanley Clarke and late greats Teena Marie and George Duke. Led by the soulful, mystical and romantic mid tempo ballad “Sky Watcher,” Simpson’s ten track set is alternately warm and intimate and lighthearted and whimsical, with tracks featuring rising saxophonist/singer Grace Kelly as well as genre vets like Koz, Najee, Norman Brown, Marc Antoine and Maysa. Listening to Simpson’s latest gem, you’ll feel like you stepped OUT OF A DREAM.

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Overnight Sensation

JOEY SOMMERVILLE Overnight Sensation Jayvox, Inc.

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! The sultry, new single, "Desire" features the aforementioned Mr. Klugh on guitar and ready for radio! Music fans of all persuasions will enjoy discovering Joey Sommerville’s OVERNIGHT SENSATION… it’s loaded with class, elegance and good times!

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It's a Jazz Day

STEPHANIE SPRUILL It's a Jazz Day Spruill House Music Production

This multi-faceted force of vocal nature brings to her first true JAZZ album an extensive history as a session and touring vocalist and stellar reputation as a vocal and artist development coach and author of “17 Points To Longevity in Show Business.” Like her expansive career, Spruill engages many different influences – including R&B, CONTEMPORARY URBAN JAZZ, TRAD JAZZ and BRAZILIAN – to create a musical journey that allows her to tap into her full vocal range. Her splendid mix of originals and classics includes a sassy, brass-infused “Fever,” an intimate “Round Midnight” and the moody, poetic title track, featuring Brenda Russell and Patrice Rushen, which cleverly weaves decades of jazz legends into a celebration of the art form. When you’ve got “A Metheny morning and a Whalum afternoon…Tea with Thelonious and a Yellowjacket Moon,” you know IT’S A JAZZ DAY!

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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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Power Of 3

THE SAX PACK Power Of 3 Shanachie Entertainment

The cover of The Sax Pack’s exuberant new funkfest POWER OF 3 says it all, with genre superstars Steve Cole, Jeff Kashiwa and Kim Waters laughing and joyously toasting their first collective studio jam since 2009. But as the title of the buoyant, summery first single reminds us, the magical horn action thousands of fans have heard live for years had to get back in the studio “Sooner or Later.” Celebrating ten years of smooth and snazzy sax tradeoffs and combined brassy sizzle, the new collection is soulful, sexy, and swanky, full of toe-tapping lines, infectious hooks and uplifting vibes that continue to make them the life of the party. Though styled after The Rat Pack, the dynamic trio celebrates everything from “Disco Here” to the late 80s bounce of Rick Astley. A truly remarkable return to form that celebrates the POWER OF 3! – Jonathan Widran

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Let It Flow

WALDINO Let It Flow WaldinoMusic.com

The wonderment of Waldino continues with his most connected and creative album to date, LET IT FLOW! Sexy vibes, alluring lyrics and swirling electro grooves surround the title track, which comes in two flavors here, one with vocals and the other as a radio-friendly, jazzy re-mix! The musical craftsman has outdone himself on this exciting new project with 17 original tracks… Waldino has forged together an eclectic yet cleverly cohesive mix of sweet, Chill Jazz as heard on the single, “Let It Flow,” Electro Fusion, and “It’s A Beautiful Day,” plus Electro Dance which is pumpin’ on “Let’s Go” and “Hot Stuff,” Groove Funk as featured on “I Got The Groove, and “e-Motion,” as well as a splash of roadhouse blues on tunes “Chillin’ In The Ethereal Plane,” and “Funk Love Magic.” LET IT FLOW is in reference to going with the flow in life, in love and of course in laughter, “Trying hard to let loose all the things that bother us then we go out and let it go, then we go out and let it flow…” Amen.

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Heat It Up

STEVE WATSON Heat It Up Independent

Explosive new music from one of the greatest American guitarists of our time… Steve Watson’s HEAT IT UP follows the success of his 2011 release, WATSON’S RIDDLE (#13 on Billboard CJazz Chart). This highly anticipated album features freewheeling, buoyant, sax-infused grooves with innovative, funky guitar licks. A fiery and fresh fusion of down-home Memphis blues & soul, as well as jazzy melodic, pop! The powerhouse, electric guitarist has been a versatile behind the scenes force for decades. He was six-year member of The Bruce Hornsby Band and has been a studio guitarist for the scores of countless TV shows and commercials including "Hill Street Blues," "Magnum P.I," "The A-Team." A prominent music educator (USC, University of Miami, Furman University), Watson and Smooth Jazz guitar veteran and USC professor, Richard Smith, co-produced the album’s first single, a lighthearted, Smooth Jazz gem, “Mary Anna.” HEAT IT UP throws it down with the wild excitement!

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SmoothJazz.com Listening Loft Store

Get On Up (Remix) [Groove Time]

BENNETT B Get On Up (Remix) [Groove Time] Baton Records

Rewind, reorganize, remix… Bennett B's "Get On Up! (remix)" starts the New Year off with both a Saturday night party and a Sunday morning sermon with a strong gospel influence, a non-stop groove and a hook that goes on for days! A remix of an original track written by Bennett from his successful CD, 2014's GROOVE TIME, includes vocals by TC Carson and Lynette DuPree with an awesome vocal arrangement by Patrick Gandy. Blurring lines between jazz, R&B and soul, Bennett teamed up with Paul Brown to produce this killer remix as only the two-time Grammy winner can.

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No Words Needed

EDDA BORG No Words Needed Independent

Classically trained pianist Edda Borg is one of Iceland’s greatest ambassadors, doing everything from singing with the Reykjavik Big Band to working with Bjork and running the Edda Borg Music School. On NO WORDS NEEDED, she’s all about the high energy, in the pocket keyboard driven ensemble funk – most notably on the fiery jam “Liberation.” She also floats lush wordless vocals to the infectious grooves and elegance of the first radio single, “Let Me Know,” while the languid “I Want It All Back” finds her vibing beautifully with acoustic guitar. There are NO WORDS NEEDED to express Borg’s wild musical heart!

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Phillip Brandon

PHILLIP BRANDON Phillip Brandon Independent

Often described as “the intersection between Luther Vandross and Bruno Mars,” silky soul singer/songwriter Phillip Brandon – whose mother was a Raylette singer with Ray Charles – performed in a national tour of “The Color Purple” and shared the stage with the likes of Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Patti LaBelle before his powerful emergence as a solo recording artist on his debut self-titled EP. His infectious single “Sail On” finds the sweet spot between sensual romance and funky Smooth Jazz, while jams like “On My Mind” showcase his powerful chops as a sultry rocker. Embrace BRANDON with abandon!

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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, and Earl Klugh who is featured on the smooth, "Sunrise In Malawi," along with one of Smooth Jazz’s most beloved guitarists, Peter White! In addition to outstanding, original compositions, you’ll find sweet covers, including his current single, 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 page turner and chart topper!

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I Sing Stevie - The Stevie Wonder Songbook

CAMILLE I Sing Stevie - The Stevie Wonder Songbook Camilleon Records

Diving deep into the catalog of celebrated, musical icon Stevie Wonder, dynamic vocalist and studio veteran, Camille, re-imagines the deeper cuts on I SING STEVIE – THE STEVIE WONDER SONGBOOK. Camille’s passionate voice is surrounded by a stellar line-up of world-class musicians including Will Lee, Mitchel Forman, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Bobby Franceshini, and Marc Quinones. Released on her own Camilleon Records label, I SING STEVIE ventures from Latin Jazz to R&B ballads to Flamenco-flavored grooves. Crossing genres is not unfamiliar to the accomplished singer, she was a featured vocalist for Grammy-winning Brazilian producer Deodato, which landed her on the Billboard charts twice back in the early days of her career. An all terrain exploration of the artist that this artist adores, as Camille’s liner notes dedicate, "To Stevland Morris!! Beautiful, blessed, gift sent from God above."

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Spring Break

LOUIS COLAIANNIA Spring Break LouisMusic

Colorado-based, contemporary jazz composer and keyboardist Louis Colaianna turns into spring with a break-out single for Smooth Jazz. “Spring Break” is both uplifting and seductive. Colaianna is a well-established touring and performing musician as well as a recording artist. Winner of a Mozart Award for his contributions to music as well as a Primo Award winner for two years in a row, for Italian American Entertainer of the Year and was recently inducted into the Colorado Italian American Hall of Fame. The passionate composer blends his favorite genres… Contemporary Jazz, New Age and Chill to create a sultry, new sound that is soaring!

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Romances Latinos

RUSTY CRUTCHER Romances Latinos Emerald Green Sound Productions

On Romances Latinos, his first recording in over a decade, saxophonist Jay "Rusty" Crutcher – renowned for his New Age oriented Sacred Sites musical travelogue series – taps into the sensual, passionate and exotic spirit of some of the most beautiful Latin love songs written by the Greatest Latino Songwriters and Composers of the Twentieth Century. Tapping into a dreamy and emotional Gato Barbieri-like aesthetic Crutcher offers a lush, moody meditation on the first single “Here’s To Life (Gracias a La Vida), vibes with wistful Spanish guitar and accordion on the slow burning “I Miss You (Te Extrano) and is all tropical splashed whimsy on “Unforgettable (Inolvidable)” (not the Nat King Cole classic). ROMANCES LATINOS is a gorgeous multi-cultural sweep through a glorious era of music!

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Dear Mr. Benson

JIMMY DALE Dear Mr. Benson Daletone Records

Respected guitarist, Jimmy Dale has played with legendary bands since he was a young man, (The Drifters, The Platters, The Coasters, Little Anthony and the Imperials) and played on the Big Mountains' hit album BABY, I LOVE YOUR WAY. Yet, in many ways, his career is just revving up with his super-exciting Smooth Jazz singles, “Agi’s Tune,” and the driving, in-the-pocket hit, “Dear Mr. Benson,” a homage to his idol, George Benson. The composer, vocalist and guitarist, credits his success to his exposure to the Monterey Bay area. When his family moved to California’s Central Coast, the jazz community embraced the young talent. The A-List musician is quick to drop the names of his many influences by Monterey jazz icons the likes of music educator Don Schamber, musicians Ace Hill, Bobby Phillips, Lee Durley, JoJo Franklin, Don Pendergrass, Brian Stock and Santa Cruz legends Randy Masters, Joe Sekon and Ray Brown! A wonderful new addition to Smooth Jazz playlists all over the world... The Welcome sign is lit up for Jimmy Dale!

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Food For Thought

FLAVOUR Food For Thought Independent

Since joining forces as Flavour, multi-saxophonist Bryne Donaldson and keyboardist/arranger Lawrence Ross have been stirring up a lot of grooving, soulful FOOD FOR THOUGHT throughout their home base of the Southwest. They showcase their unique, bold, yet sensual brand of “Nu Jazz” throughout the six track EP, most notably on the somewhat exotic and infectiously mystical radio hit “Savory,” the kickin’, old school alto jam “Jazzmental” and a trippy Latin romp through War’s “Low Rider” they have re-imagined as “Take a Little Trip.” FOOD FOR THOUGHT is the perfect recipe for smooth urban jazz with lots of cool twists!

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Jazmin Ghent

JAZMIN GHENT Jazmin Ghent Independent

This rising star is one to keep an eye on! Meet Smooth Jazz saxophonist, Jazmin Ghent. Young Jazmin showed an interest in music at the age of 5, playing piano in Sunday School by 8, and winning the NAACP’s ACT-SO Competition at 17! This girl received a full scholarship offer to attend Berklee, skyrocketed through Florida State University and received a Bachelors Degree in Music Education in 2013 and a Masters Degree from Tennessee State University in 2014. Then as if to make a dent as early as possible in her promising career, she walked away as the Opening Act winner onboard the prestigious Smooth Jazz Cruise in 2014! The talented Ms. Ghent is focused, and following her heart as she plans a full album release in 2015, with radio receiving her killer first single, “Boss,” while the world has access to 3 songs in total, all originals, including “Eyo” and “Jazzy Jazz.”

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Ukrainian Doll

GROOVEXPRESS Ukrainian Doll Independent

All aboard the Groovexpress… featuring a vintage vibe with original material that encompasses jazz, blues, funk and more on their latest release UKRAINIAN DOLL. The internationally acclaimed band is based out of New Zealand and delivers upbeat, fun, sensual jazz with a retro spin that will inspire you to throw swanky parties and hand shake your martinis while playing UKRAINIAN DOLL as the soundtrack! The album is receiving critical acclaim and airplay around the world. A band of highly accomplished individuals with deep resumes and guitarist/vocalist Mykeljon at the helm of this exciting ensemble, creating music that is ageless and timeless by combining genres with fresh flavors to attract music lovers worldwide! Groovexpress is the new face of Smooth Jazz!

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Good Thing

MAGGIE HERRON Good Thing MaggieHerron.com

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. So many radio-friendly tracks here, including the project's 2nd single, "Je T'aimerais," a jazzy original and Joni Mitchell-esque love song. GOOD THING is the best thing to hit the jazz community in a long time.

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Intuition

JAZZ HOLDOUTS Intuition Palm Beach Jazz

Calling themselves by the clever name Jazz Holdouts, eight of the world’s most recorded and well-toured POP, R&B and JAZZ sidemen found time in their breakneck schedules to jam collectively and create the sparkling Intuition. Led by pianist/composer Alan Palanker and vocalist/composer Douglas Cooper Getschal, they mix old school romantic soul (sophisticated vocals and instrumentals) with easy flowing grooves and a few exotic textures. Highlights include the percussive, chant driven “Babadoo,” the candlelit “Smooth One” and the silky, Al Jarreau flavored JAZZ-POP pop tune “Intuition.” INTUITION tells you that this amount of talent will result in some explosive musical magic!

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2 Weeks In December

RICK MCGUIRE 2 Weeks In December Jingle Monkey

It’s always inspiring when an exciting and inventive new artist, like guitarist Rick McGuire, pops onto the scene. McGuire reveals more of his musical soul on his new 3-song EP (the seductive, groove-infused, 2 WEEKS IN DECEMBER) than many artists do on a full length album. The veteran Minneapolis based composer (originally from Monterey, California), artfully blends his funky, upbeat and haunting electric lead lines with infectious, easy-jangling rhythm guitar. McGuire’s first single “Little Love” both hypnotizes and tugs the heart, taking us on a spirited sensual journey. You’ll want to spend more than just 2 WEEKS IN DECEMBER with this guy!

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Living In The Poetry Hotel

N-SIDE : THE HEALER Living In The Poetry Hotel Shalamar Records/Three Alexander Music

Words spoken at the right time can facilitate change… Poetry with Jazz can facilitate healing and that’s what we have found here on N-Side, the healer’s latest recording LIVING IN THE POETRY HOTEL. This hip and cool project focuses on the healing process with beautifully crafted words accompanied by gorgeous jazz undertones. Norman A. Woods is the poet known as N-Side, the healer, he has found an artful, jazz-centric way to express his inner struggles along with the various stages of his triumphs. Stories and feelings, frustrations and victories we can all relate to… SmoothJazz.com is pleased to introduce our Global audience to this soulful and original artist. We believe that you will indeed embrace his deep, stirring spoken word, while attaching quickly to the sophisticated jazz platform he speaks upon.

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Hidden In Plain Sight

NATURALLY 7 Hidden In Plain Sight Hidden Beach Experiences

Some how one of the most intriguing, a cappella groups in the world, who have drawn standing ovations during three world tours with Michael Bublé, as well as in an opening stint for Coldplay, plus a #1 single in Germany, a Top 15 album in Australia, more than 20 million YouTube impressions, and clever TV commercials for Honey Nut Cheerios, have somehow managed to slide under the radar, eluding the general masses… until now! The release of their U.S. debut, the aptly named, HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT, subtitled Vox Maximus Vol. 1, features this extraordinary seven-man ensemble’s branded “Vocal Play,” which is a remarkable approach to music making… 100% vocalized instrumentation (drums, bass, guitars, horns, flutes, even turntables) and voices on genre-blending original compositions, and magical mash-ups on songs from Art Of Noise, Wham, Queen and their first single, a cover of Coldplay’s smash, “Fix You,” bringing a beautiful new intensity that rivals the original tune. Poised for greatness, Naturally 7 has delivered a 14-track set of inspiring vocal gymnastics and rich, sparkling harmonies that leaves us soaking up the brilliance of what will soon be one of the most well-known bands of our time.

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Kiss of Life

CARL NEAL Kiss of Life Grace Star Music

International recording artist, Grace Star Music CEO and saxophonist, Carl Neal releases a fresh take on the sensuous Sade smash, “Kiss Of Life,” bringing a killer Smooth Jazz vibe to the already sexy song. The sax man has roots in Gospel, Jazz, Hip Hop, Rock, Pop, yet his expedition into Smooth Jazz has been met with the most successful reception including making new fans and receiving radio airplay around the world with radio stations spinning his songs on their playlists... this latest tune will be no exception. Sultry, saxy and sweet… on “Kiss Of Life,” Carl keeps the beat in the color of love!

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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 a 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!

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Copa Village

CAROL SABOYA, ANTONIO ADOLFO & HENDRIK MEURKENS Copa Village AAM Music

Bringing together three world-class song stylists, COPA VILLAGE is an extraordinary collaboration by vocalist Carol Saboya, composer/arranger/pianist Antonio Adolfo and harmonica master/vibraphonist Henrik Meurkens. Recording in NYC and Rio, the three create a fresh, spirited celebration of the shared artistic impulses of Brazil’s BOSSA NOVA era (centered around Rio’s Copacabana sector) and the exciting JAZZ of New York’s Greenwich Village in the 1960s. Using four imaginative re-workings of Antonio Carlos Jobim tunes – including sensuous, charming twists on “Agua de Beber” and “The Girl From Ipanema” – as a springboard, they create a lush, whimsical “Pretty World” of inspired original Brazilian breezes. Traveling has never been more romantic than a stay at the COPA VILLAGE!

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NOW

JIM SAMUEL NOW Independent

Composer/pianist Jim Samuel Productions 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 Music’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 Smooth Jazz guitarist RobTardik, and the bittersweet “Now That You’re Gone,” featuring trumpet/flugelhorn master Tony Neenan. Also the driving, cool radio hit, "Off The Tracks" with Gerald Albright burning the sax, and "Binney Street" adding the fresh element of dance-electronica, while the title track continues to impart joy n' jazz with escalating piano and pulsating rhythms. NOW just might be Mr. Samuel’s best release yet!

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Heart Beat (Latido Del Corazon)

SAMURAI GYPSIES Heart Beat (Latido Del Corazon) Independent

Truly living up to their clever name, which implies that they’re musical warriors with a deep seated gypsy soul, Samurai Gypsies – the brilliant, high energy duo of Ecuador-born violinist Dany Cobo and guitarist Gary Carpenter – bring tradition, passion and exotic adventure to their powerhouse album HEART BEAT (Latidos Del Corazon). They lead their blazing acoustic ensemble on a wild journey fired by African, Flamenco, Latin and Jazz. Listeners in the mood for glorious romance with a beat will gravitate to “You Are The Music in My Heart,” the project’s first radio single and the sweetly captivating, “Duele no Tenente Aqui” (It Hurts Not Having You Here). Samurai Gypsies will touch your soul while making your HEART BEAT faster!

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Dream Catcher

MARC STAGGERS Dream Catcher Expansion Records

Listen up, Luther fans! Ten years after the legendary singer’s passing, his legacy and style is in great hands with Washington, DC vocalist Marc Staggers, whose silky-smooth voice bears an uncanny resemblance. Fully embracing the similarities, Staggers’ third album DREAM CATCHER features a lush cover of the classic “So Amazing.” It’s testament to the singer’s artistic vision, and the great songwriting and arranging skills of his brother Reginald, that the best songs are the originals. These include the funked up, breakup fueled new single “Bring Me Back,” the seductive liquid soul/funk of “Come on Baby” and confident and sultry, “I Wanna Spend My Life With You.” You’ll want to spend some romantic nights with this DREAM CATCHER!

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Blue Socks

KASSIE TYERS Blue Socks Next Move Records

In creating her charming, melodic acoustic pop, young Canadian singer/songwriter Kassie Tyers taps into a rootsy yet playful AMERICANA-grounded sense of honesty, illuminated best on cuts like the reflective, graceful “I’ll Be There.” Amidst the hypnotic and heartfelt, Tyers enjoys a bit of quirkiness, as on the guitar and piano driven first single “Blue Socks.” If you like the easy acoustic flow of John Mayer and Colbie Caillat, you’ll love Tyers’ infectious feel good energy – and maybe want to try on a pair of BLUE SOCKS for yourself!

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Sleeping Giants 2

VALI & SAXOLUTION Sleeping Giants 2 Southendmusic

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!

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Come Groove With Me

PAUL WHITLEY Come Groove With Me Pablo Productions

A veteran gospel and contemporary jazz performer, pianist and multi-instrumentalist Paul Whitley believes “Music and rhythm is a gift from God…It’s a message that carries a sound.” That explains the truly divine inspiration behind this alternately supercharged and sultry set of GOSPEL, JAZZ and R&B originals. They spotlight Whitley’s artistry as a keyboardist and composer while shining spotlights on emerging genre talents Jonathan Fritzen, Elan Trotman and Marcus Anderson. With blazing George Duke-like fusion flavors, Whitley invites us to “Come Groove With Me,” but he’ll also get you in a romantic, even spiritual mood with the slow simmering ballad “Tranquility” and the elegant, exotic atmospheres of “Take Me Away.” Accept Whitley’s invitation to COME GROOVE WITH ME now!

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