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!
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!
SYLVIA BENNETT From The Heart CD & Greeting Card Out of Sight Music
Let the music be the message! Sylvia Bennett selects her favs from the original album SONGS FROM THE HEART and creates a gorgeous playlist on her stylish, all-in-one FROM THE HEART CD and Greeting Card! Featuring timeless classics from the great American songbook, including “My Funny Valentine,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “As Time Goes By,” “You Make Me Feel So Young,” and more. Perfect for any occasion, Sylvia’s FROM THE HEART is sure to warm anyone’s heart… Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and/or Father’s Day, anniversaries, and birthdays... a lovely way to send your love with flair in this clever jazz-o-gram from Sylvia Bennett. The music is SO good, you may just decide to keep it for yourself, we wouldn’t blame you!
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!
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!
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."
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!
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!
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.
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!
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…
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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?
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 first single “City Electric”) and other times with a more sensual dreamy flow (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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.”
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!
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.
IDARA Spirits and Souls Independent
If you like poignant lyrics with your jazz, along with rich, soulful vocals, then you’re going to love this SmoothJazz.com Discovery… Distinctive, American singer-songwriter of Caribbean and African decent, Idara! From the East Coast to the West Coast to the Bay Area, the UCLA graduate and prolific musician, describes her sound as “popular soul,” as she releases her brand new album, SPIRITS & SOULS, covering subjects of life, love and unity. Idara, whose name means “joy,” has a lush, vibrant voice. The songs roll out sweetly on SPIRITS & SOULS, with thought-provoking words and jazz-infused grooves that we believe will open hearts worldwide as listeners experience the expression of Idara!
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!
Terje Lie (pronounced "Terry Lee") knows a good team when he's got one. Collaborating on the second project in a row with the writing and production team of keyboardist Jeff Lorber and Yellowjackets' bassist Jimmy Haslip, the Norwegian born, Los Angeles based saxophonist stirs up the perfect high energy blend of pop, R&B and jazz fusion here. Stocked with playful, solid grooves like the funky opener and new single, "Storm Skies" and the album's first single, "You Know," which are both hooky and melodic! You also need to know that this album is a classic "player's album" where inventive improvisation and explosive jamming reign throughout. Lie saves the most unpredictable ride for last, blowing hard with his cohorts amidst the explosive rock energy of guest guitarist Michael Landau as they navigate the wild "Jungle." Lots of BRIGHT MOMENTS to enjoy throughout! Bold moves for Terje Lie, we expect big things from this talent!
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!
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.
Ooh la la! From the soon to be released album LET'S HAVE SAX from Steve Reason, comes another sexy, new song that spills over with scintillating jazz, infused with chill and neo soul. "Bedtime," is like John Legend meets Boney James. Fresh on the heels of his first single, "French Love," the Miami saxophonist, singer, songwriter, producer, performer has our full attention again! "Bedtime," is a sexy, smooth vocal with sax and soul accents, however, Reason offers it up as an instrumental as well for jazzy jazz fans! Lingerie, silk sheets, champagne… “Bedtime,” with pure unadulterated saxophone and seductive lyrics will satisfy all of your musical needs!
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!
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!
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!
THUMPER & GENERATION ONE One United 4 Love Entertainment
A wildly versatile one-man-band and creative Renaissance man (singer, songwriter, producer actor, model) from Omaha, Nebraska. Meet Thumper & Generation One... urban jazz fans will be swaying to the electric guitar and vocal driven slow jam of the Johnny Gill classic “My My My.” But don’t get too chilled, Thumper's got a lot more up his sleeve on this eclectic 14 track collection of multiple moods – including New Age (the opener, “Song of the Universe”), blistering Rock/Soul (“It’s Time”), funky Synth-Jazz (“In The Zone”) and Techno-Rock-Gospel (“The Saints Jam”). Thumper’s ONE is one cool and wild ride!
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!
Hot, soulful, saxy Smooth Jazz wth full bodied sax playing from R.L. Walker (Smoothnsaxy) on his THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM! Nine soulfully, spirited tracks ranging from seductive ballads to upbeat jams, showcase an exciting new direction… one that utilizes fresh beats and new grooves to support Walker’s horn work, which also digs in deeper. Songs like “Malibu Chaser” “Pocket Change,” and “Cubana Flow” show off a new side to the artist. He sites his inspiration on his website, while maintaining his own signature sound, “I really sat back and listened to many dynamic performers such as Walter Beasley, Boney James, and Najee while creating this CD.” As they say, THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM and in this case, it absolutely delivers the goods!