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New to the Listening Loft

KAYTE BURGESS | For The Love | Kayte Burgess

ERICH CAWALLA | 222 South | Boom! Camp Records

JOURNEYS | Transit | NiRo Sounds

JEFF LORBER FUSION | Prototype | Shanachie Entertainment

PEET PROJECT | Rosy Cheeks | Beagle Beat Records

REMOTEJAZZ | Reign Of Peace | Key Music Productions, LLC

BRENDAN ROTHWELL | Time On My Hands | Brendan Rothwell

THE SMOOTH JAZZ ALLEY | Been a Long Time Comin' | The Smooth Jazz Alley

SEAN U | Electrify | Sean Uliasz


SmoothJazz.com Hot Picks

Open Your Heart

GEOFF ALPERT Open Your Heart Geoff Alpert Music

The trombone is usually considered the anchor of classic horn sections, however, in the funky hands of emerging recording artist Geoff Alpert, it becomes a melodic and sensual Smooth Jazz lead voice. Featuring re-imaginings of classics by The Jacksons and The Emotions, Alpert’s debut solo album OPEN YOUR HEART draws from his passions for jazz, pop, R&B, soul-jazz and Latin music, with touches of mysticism reflecting his mastery of Eastern martial arts disciplines. In addition to co-producer, renowned keyboardist, Gail Jhonson, Alpert ensembles with genre all-stars Darryl Williams, Adam Hawley, Greg Manning, Tony Moore, Michael Paulo and Althea Rene. OPEN YOUR HEART to a fresh new sound in contemporary jazz!

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For You

SYLVIA BENNETT For You Out of Sight Music

Sylvia Bennett continues her journey into smooth original music… her forthcoming album FOR YOU, due out in the spring of 2017, promises another successful set of contemporary, sensuous songs from the Grammy-nominated, Miami-based vocalist and songwriter. The new release will be featuring the successful collaborative combination with Ms. Bennett’s longtime producer and writing partner, Hal S. Batt as well as special guest, violinist Peter Ferencz (Peet Project). The first single, “Stay With Me,” is a heartfelt, modern love song that promises to tug at the listeners’ heartstrings as Sylvia’s conviction captures the very essence of desire, mirrored by a beautiful, muted trumpet that supports the song’s passion. A New Year, a new song… Jazzy, sophisticated and current!

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Around The Horn

RICK BRAUN Around The Horn Shanachie Entertainment

Seventeen albums deep into one of Smooth Jazz’s most extraordinary careers, trumpet and flugelhorn great, composer and producer Rick Braun continues to explore and push his creative boundaries. His Shanachie Entertainment debut AROUND THE HORN covers a lot of fresh, exciting stylistic territory, with exotic vibes from Brazil, South Africa, and Portugal, in addition to soulful, sonically intricate re-imaginings of contemporary pop hits by Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez. Artfully connecting groove intensity and tender intimacy, Braun works his magic with an array of incredible guest artists, including Peter White, fellow trumpeter Till Bronner, singer John Stoddart and new labelmate, vocalist and songwriter Lindsey Webster. The well- traveled Braun takes us all AROUND THE HORN for one of this year’s most enticing musical adventures!

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Can I Take You There

BROTHER 2 BROTHER f. Carter Carter Can I Take You There Grandiora Records

Move over, Philly! Siblings Winston and Charles (Chaz) Carter – collectively known as BROTHER 2 BROTHER featuring Carter Carter - are declaring their hometown of Pittsburgh the official city of Brotherly Jazz. The electric guitar and drummer duo backs their boldness with a list of prime opening gigs (Cameo, Bobby Brown, Angela Bofill, Parliament Funkadelic) and a tight, melodic, in the pocket debut CAN I TAKE YOU THERE. Helmed by producer Chuck Cymone – who has done projects with Chris Standring, Eric Darius, Peter White, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot – the song set spotlights the Carter’s prowess on their respective instruments and creates an inviting, sonically expansive world full of sultry contemporary jazz and R&B. When BROTHER 2 BROTHER asks, CAN I TAKE YOU THERE, you’re gonna say yes!

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In The Moment

DANIEL CHIA In The Moment Soundgrove Records

After cutting his musical teeth with numerous pop stars in his native Singapore and scoring appearances at top Asian and other international festivals, saxophonist Daniel Chia is bringing his inviting, easy grooving blend of cool jazz, R&B and retro soul to the U.S. for the first time on his star-studded U.S. debut, IN THE MOMENT. With double Grammy winning producer and guitarist Paul Brown at the helm and guest appearances by Brown, Darren Rahn and singer Melina, Chia’s playful funk, passion and panache make for an exuberant urban jazz ride, in a similar vibe as Boney James – complete with California-centric song titles! Since arriving Stateside, he’s performed with both Peter White and Grammy nominated vocal group DW3. Audiences are quickly discovering that there’s no better way to live IN THE MOMENT!

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Perception

MITCHELL COLEMAN, JR. Perception Soul Revelations Records

Continuing to draw buoyant and grooving inspiration and innovation from his heroes Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller, emerging bassist/composer Mitchell Coleman, Jr. throws down another explosive, multi-faceted round of feel good, jazz-funk fusion on PERCEPTION, the follow-up to his debut, chart-active, SOUL SEARCHING. Among the most exciting aspects of Coleman’s artistry is his adventure and unpredictability. He’s raucously thick and thumping on the uptempo jams, suave and in the pocket, soulful on the ballads, and throws into the mix colorful atmospheric, world beat exotica that explore realms beyond the cool confines of Smooth Jazz. Another highlight is a lush remake of The Crusaders’ “Street Life,” which puts Dionyza Sutton (High School Musical, Cheetah Girls) in the seductive Randy Crawford role. Your PERCEPTION is on the money – this album’s a “Funkatized” joyride!

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Reverence

NATHAN EAST Reverence Yamaha Entertainment Group

Nathan East is so much more than a world-class bassist, if you look closer, you’ll discover the Fourplay founding member’s playing is a channel to convey a greater purpose on this planet… one of healing. Whether he’s conscious of it or not, the affable composer and musician lovingly cultivates a better human experience for all he comes in contact with, in person and through music. A life based around gratitude results in more to be grateful for… This is a principle that Nathan’s very familiar with. His resume overflows with collaborative endeavors with some of the greatest music minds of all time. His aptly titled new recording, REVERENCE, the follow up to the #1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz solo debut NATHAN EAST, will be available on January 20, 2017. The first single, “Lifecycle,” an upbeat, joyful, life-affirming celebration of connection, is already spinning on radio around the world, creating massive motion on the charts and emotion with listeners. We anticipate another wonderful run from one of our favorite runners!

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Connected

MARK ETHEREDGE Connected Vipaka Records

On CONNECTED, Mark Etheredge deals powerfully with his past issues of feeling disconnected from humanity. The result is a heartfelt, socially conscious collection that uses the joy of music to cut across traditional human barriers. With a deep sense of groove and a compelling mix of lighthearted and deeply emotional melodies, the multi-talented performer creates a lively, diverse and lushly soulful celebration of human connection with world class musicianship – including dynamic interactions with guitarists Chuck Loeb and Paul Brown (the project’s Grammy winning producer) and saxman Andy Suzuki. In addition to clearly reflecting his influences David Benoit and Joe Sample, the veteran sideman complements his contemporary jazz vibe with Latin and bluesy excursions. Get CONNECTED now!

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Catchin' A Vibe

AL GOMEZ Catchin' A Vibe Shade Records

One of the most versatile musicians in Texas, Al Gomez started out as a trombone player with local Tejano bands before evolving into a first call guitarist, playing and sharing the stage with everyone from Selena, Aaron Neville and Willie Nelson to Carlos Santana and Buddy Guy. After funkin’ up the Smooth Jazz world a bit with his critically-acclaimed 2014 debut CASA GROOVE, the electric guitarist brings his rich, infectious sound to his cool follow-up EP CATCHIN’ A VIBE. The set is full of edgy licks, vibey grooves, irresistible melodies and moments to dance and later romance. In addition to its awesome originals, Gomez includes dynamic re-imaginings of classics by Dr. John, Luther Vandross and George Duke. Don't delay, catch this vibe today!

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On The Chase

CHASE HUNA On The Chase SOM Entertainment, LLC

With the explosive emergence of Chase Huna in 2017, the future of Smooth Jazz has never sounded brighter. Still in his teens, the ultra-melodic, R&B driven saxophonist caught the ear of critically acclaimed guitarist, songwriter, producer, engineer and vocalist Steve Oliver, who took Huna under his wing and helmed his dynamic debut ON THE CHASE. The two co-wrote all ten originals, whose vibes range from in your face funk to road trippin’ pop and dreamy sensuality. Oliver’s colorful instrumental and vocal imprints lay a lush foundation for Huna to explore a playful range of soul-stirring emotions. Your new year will get off to a high flying start when you launch ON THE CHASE!

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Sexy Saxy Vol. 2

JAREZ Sexy Saxy Vol. 2 J Star Entertainment LLC

Since breaking through in 2013 with his solo debut ON TOP OF THE WORLD, L.A. based saxophonist Jarez has been a non-stop hit machine. He’s been at forefront of an exciting revitalization on the contemporary jazz scene with his explosive blend of soulful jazz and hip-hop. The innovative saxman, who has recorded and toured with music icon Coolio for years, fashions his cool, fashionable and relaxed new EP SEXY SAXY Vol. 2 as a sequel to 2015’s Vol. 1. Jarez sets the funk aside for a set of silky and sensual romantic mood setting originals – including one featuring guitarist Dirk K and a “chilled version” of his hit single “In Too Deep.” Turn the lights down low and embrace the vibe of SEXY SAXY!

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Wind Dance

REZA KHAN Wind Dance Painted Media

The inspiration behind Bangladesh Born and Raised, NYC based, world-fusion guitarist and composer, Reza Khan’s 4th solo album release, WIND DANCE, came in an instance, upon a breeze and swirled meaning through movement into the recording artist’s mind. "This is a story of a Twilight Dream," Reza recalls, which sparked a song title on the new album, he continues, “it happened in a breath of an instance or in a whole life, I don’t know.” This engaging collection is magical and mystical in a way that only Reza can harness through composition and playing. The guests on the project are as special as the music itself, including performances from Andy Snitzer, Philippe Saisse, Nelson Rangell, Mark Egan, Miles Gilderdale, and Marc Antoine. WIND DANCE will move your mind and body through a journey of sweet reflection and musical expression, prepare to be blown away!

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Sun Rider

JAEE LOGAN Sun Rider Lounge Renown Records

A renowned artist, producer, songwriter, vocal coach, session musician and performer, the multi-talented Jaee Logan brings a lifetime of musical joy to his emergence as a Smooth Jazz artist. In addition to selling over 30 million records worldwide, he has worked with everyone from Sheila E, Pebbles and Club Nouveau to Rosie Gaines, Digital Underground and Bobby Brown. Logan’s latest single "Morning," which features legendary Earth, Wind & Fire bassist Verdine White, is pure jazz, funk and love. Harkening back to the classic shimmering jazz-soul keyboard vibe of the 70s, the song includes dreamy, soaring vocals and a burst of Latin piano exuberance midway through. Logan will be releasing his full-length debut album SUN RIDER in early 2017. Until then, enjoy a beautiful and inspiring "Morning"!

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Prototype

JEFF LORBER FUSION Prototype Shanachie Entertainment

After nearly a three decade layoff, the resurrection of the Jeff Lorber Fusion concept in 2010 gave the legendary composer, producer and keyboardist free reign to more aggressively explore and improvise on all the styles that have defined his expansive career. The Fusion’s newest member, saxman Andy Snitzer, takes Lorber and the group’s longtime bassist to new sonically eclectic, rhythmically dynamic heights on their Shanachie Records debut PROTOTYPE. Grooving with longtime drummer Gary Novak and special guests Chuck Loeb, Paul Jackson, Jr. and Nathan East, the trio fashions an inspired whirlwind of jazz, soul, funk, pop and gospel – with a bit of bebop, a shuffle and a waltz-like jam stirred in for good measure. This new collection is a powerful PROTOTYPE for the group’s future vibes!

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Breathless

PHIL PERRY Breathless Shanachie Entertainment

One of Contemporary Urban and Smooth Jazz’s premier vocal giants over the past 25 years, Phil Perry was once called the "Pavarotti of Jazz" by Down Beat magazine... he truly inhabits this lofty praise with each album and performance. His 12th recording, BREATHLESS, keeps his always endearing and heartfelt blend of mid-tempo pop/jazz magic and soaring, sensual balladry flowing on a set that finds him becoming not only the genre’s premier storyteller, but the story itself. Thematically, he tackles all the ups, downs, triumphs, tribulations of romantic relationships – and the enduring power of love itself - via a slate of originals and spot-on covers of classics by The 5th Dimension, Stevie Wonder and Lee Ritenour. Perry’s latest will truly leave you BREATHLESS!

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Paradise Vol. 1

KENNEY POLSON Paradise Vol. 1 Sony

After earning four college degrees and teaching for years everywhere from Bogota and Rio to Beijing, saxophonist and composer Kenney Polson returns to recording and performing music full time with the release of an album whose title perfectly describes the listening experience: PARADISE, VOL. 1. Drawing on his passions for jazz, new age, Latin, R&B, funk and gospel, Polson creates a spirited, soulful mix of melodic tunes, jazzy riffs and dreamy atmospheres with top Brazilian musicians he has recorded with previously. In all, the versatile musical force of nature has visited and performed in over 50 countries. He pools all those magical experiences and vibes together to create a true musical PARADISE! Best of all, the second half of the album title promises there’s more to come!

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The Queen's Carnival

PROJECT GRAND SLAM The Queen's Carnival CEN

Powerfully transcending genres, language and geographic barriers, Project Grand Slam – a bold seven piece jazz/rock fusion ensemble with a worldwide following launched by veteran bassist Robert Miller – celebrates their 10th Anniversary with THE QUEEN’S CARNIVAL, a blazing, multi-faceted collection whose influences range from Jimi Hendrix and The Kinks to Afro-Cuban music and Celtic Folk. No Depression calls the recording “Impossibly Memorable.” We are happy to welcome the entertainingly edgy jazz ensemble to our SmoothJazz.com family and highly recommending the musical celebration for live events and festivals.

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3 Minutes To Midnight

LAWSON ROLLINS 3 Minutes To Midnight Infinita Records

The title is intriguing in these current times, while it does elude to a sense of urgency, award-winning, world beat guitarist/composer Lawson Rollins’ focus on 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT is really on the exhilaration of the speed of sound as well as the mystical power of the number 3. This clean, stripped-down recording features twelve multicultural compositions all in the 3-minute range, and exploding with Lawson’s famed finger style guitar playing, a radical departure for the Billboard chart-topping artist known for elaborately-constructed tracks that are at least twice as long. Produced with multi-platinum producer Dominic Camardella utilizing Grammy-winning violinist Charlie Bisharat, bassist Randy Tico and drummer/percussionist Dave Bryant joined Rollins and Camardella who is featured on keys. 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT is dazzling, pertinent and explosive… get it now, time is of the essence!

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Uptown Jazz

TONY SAUNDERS Uptown Jazz San Francisco Records

The son of legendary keyboardist/composer Merl Saunders, Tony Saunders was taught piano by Herbie Hancock and for his tenth birthday received an electric organ from Sly Stone. But the magic started happening once he shifted to bass, and the two time Emmy Award winner’s s third album UPTOWN JAZZ on San Francisco Records is a full-blown celebration of the multiple ways he grooves. Joyfully eclectic throughout, he launched the album with the brassy, ultra-funky title track single that featured Gabriel Mark Hasselbach and Tower of Power’s Mic Gillete on horns and Paul Hardcastle, Jr. on sax. Saunders’ bass also bubbles beneath the emotional sax passion of Gerald Albright and later engages on an improvisation rich jazz-fusion journey also featuring saxophonists Tom Politzer (Tower Of Power) and Rock Hendricks and vocalist Sakai (Train)! UPTOWN JAZZ gonna give it to ya!

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Persuasion

BRIAN SIMPSON Persuasion Shanachie Entertainment

Concurrent with his success as a solo Smooth Jazz artist, keyboardist/composer Brian Simpson has been a true music MVP, serving as Dave Koz’s musical director for two decades and working with legends the likes of George Duke and Stanley Clarke to Larry Carlton, Billy Cobham and Gerald Albright. His effortless way with lively, infectious melodies, jazzy ivory improvisations, super-vibey atmospheres and nonstop seductive grooves, hits another sweet spot on PERSUASION, his 7th album as a leader. While his lush piano stays front and center, Simpson surrounds himself with format super stars Boney James and Peter White. You won’t need to be persuaded to listen to PERSUASION over and over!

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Endless Sumner

WILL SUMNER Endless Sumner willsumner.com

Will Sumner may have been born in Minnesota, but the highly versatile San Diego based guitarist, composer and multi-instrumentalist’ several decade recording career – starting with his 1980 classic surf jazz album TROPIC ZONE - is all about lighthearted, feel good, easy grooving summer vibes. His latest collection ENDLESS SUMNER, whose title is a colorful reference to a classic Beach Boys album, is endlessly smooth, melodic and fresh. The tracks are driven by Sumner’s electric and acoustic virtuosity, enhanced in all the perfect spots by lead sax and horns. Continuing the eclectic flow of earlier releases, the album mixes heartfelt urban rhythms, funk and Latin grooves and breezy tropical atmospheres. If you can’t wait for summer to begin (or end), put ENDLESS SUMNER in a continuous loop!

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The Allen Carman Project

THE ALLEN CARMAN PROJECT The Allen Carman Project The Allen Carman Project

Infused with a high energy, super-melodic tight funk vibe perfectly captured in the title of its first single “Groove Salad,” THE ALLEN CARMAN PROJECT – both the group and the album - marks bassist Allen Carman’s highly anticipated official return to music after several decades away. He began his earlier career sharing the stage with everyone from Vince Gill and Bobby Caldwell to Joe Lala (Stephen Stills, Bee Gees) and Chris Pinnick (Chicago), so it’s no surprise that he’s once again surrounded by musical greats. The Allan Carman Project’s fresh rhythms and delicious jams feature keyboardist Phillipe Saisse, percussionist Gumbi Ortiz, saxman Andy Snitzer and drummer Luis Alicea. THE ALLEN CARMAN PROJECT is an exciting way to energize the New Year!

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Urban Soul

URBANITY Urban Soul Alfi Records

Celebrating an extraordinary 27-year personal and musical friendship, URBAN SOUL is the compelling first album under the name Urbanity by renowned Australian musicians, guitarist Albare and keyboardist Phil Turcio. Packed with dreamy, sensual melodies, lush atmospheres, easy funk, and touches of traditional jazz improvisation, the collection showcases innate instincts and gorgeous grooves that can only happen when two musical titans share this kind of history. Reuniting after many years, the duo paved the way for Urbanity when Turcio joined Albare’s band International Travel Diary, which toured the world from 2012 to 2014; Turcio later played on two Albare solo recordings. Smooth Jazz fans across the globe are sure to be seduced by the jazzy vibes of URBAN SOUL!

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Playtime

STEVE WATSON Playtime WatsonWood

Guitarist/composer Steve Watson has enjoyed many musical lives, from touring overseas with the Miami Concert Jazz Band to becoming a first call Hollywood session player and most recently, impacting students in various educational roles in his adopted hometown of Greenville, SC. His career as a solo artist continues with the release his dynamic new album PLAYTIME, which kicks off 2017 with a brand new, radio-friendly single, "Pear Bear," written in celebration of his beautiful granddaughter, Perrin. The album features special guests and production by jazz fusion icons Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak. Watson offers a mix of brassy, high energy jams and mid-tempo light funk delights, balanced in the middle with a graceful, reflective ballad. When Watson picks up his formidable axe, it’s always PLAYTIME!

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Back To Your Heart

LINDSEY WEBSTER Back To Your Heart Shanachie Entertainment

SoulTracks found the perfect way to describe Lindsey Webster’s artful dual talents as a vocalist and songwriter: “If Carole King and Sade had a kid, she would be Lindsey Webster.” The Sade comparison is particularly apropos. The rising soul/jazz star has perhaps Smooth Jazz’s most sensually inviting voice since the Nigerian born singer first charmed us. Webster is also the first vocalist since Sade to hit #1 on the contemporary jazz charts (“Fool Me Once”). On her lush, beautifully intimate and easy flowing Shanachie Records debut BACK TO THE HEART, she delivers smokey, honey toned vocals on a batch of soulful originals, including one inspired by and featuring Kirk Whalum. Open up and let Lindsey Webster take you BACK TO YOUR HEART!

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Impact

BRANDON WILLIS Impact M1 Records – a division of M1 Music Group LLC

Fans hoping 2017 brings a new sound to Smooth Jazz will be excited about Brandon Willis’ perfectly titled new single “Impact.” Fresh and vibrant and primed to put the multi-talented 25-year-old saxophonist on the map, the track dynamically mixes danceable funky beats with his rich emotional urgency for an unforgettable ride. After scoring a Billboard chart hit from his debut album, he sought out a producer/songwriter who had the goods to make him stand out from the crowd – and found Grammy nominated artist and sonic innovator Nate Harasim, co-owner of M1 Records, which is now Willis’ label home. Together, the two take an old school, boots on the ground approach to music, performance and artistry that will no doubt make a huge “IMPACT” in the genre.

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Isn't She Lovely

AMSTERDAM CONNECTION Isn't She Lovely Harmony Music

Combining the sensual funky passion of tenor and alto saxophonist Naomi “Smile” Adriaansz and the lively piano and lush jazz harmonica of Tim “Harmony” Welvaars, the Netherlands based duo, Amsterdam Connection, releases ISN’T SHE LOVELY, a unique, eclectic tribute to the legendary musical icon, Stevie Wonder. Produced by double Grammy winning producer, Smooth Jazz guitarist Paul Brown. The album is a spirited fusion of laid back cool and feisty grooves... Stevie himself calls Tim a “genius on the harmonica.” You’ll agree when you hear ISN’T SHE LOVELY!

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Rendezvous

KELLY ANDREW Rendezvous Journey Music Entertainment

Award-winning independent recording artist, Kelly Andrew, has just released his fifth album of original music. This multi-talented composer, producer and artist’s album, RENDEZVOUS – co-produced by Grammy winner and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman – is warm, romantic and hypnotic, yet lives up to its adventurous title with rhythmic variations and soaring sonic surprises. Andrew creates the perfect balance between New Age ambience, modern rhythms and compelling, piano, guitar and sax driven Smooth Jazz. RENDEZVOUS with the beautiful vibrations of this musical Rembrandt for an exciting and memorable encounter.

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For The Love

KAYTE BURGESS For The Love Kayte Burgess

One of the key lines in Toronto bred, Atlanta based neo-soul/jazz artist Kayte Burgess’ hypnotically sensual, playfully grooving new single “No Looking Back” is her declaration that she’s “ready to take flight. . .and it only gets better.” That’s an inspiring view of her future, which includes the release this June of FOR THE LOVE, an album that’s all at once organic, uplifting and contemplative in nature. The collection is the culmination of a fascinating career that includes opening for Erykah Badu and Jill Scott and singing background for Al Green and Lionel Richie. It’s full steam ahead with “No Looking Back”!

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222 South

ERICH CAWALLA 222 South Boom! Camp Records

While continuing to perform with his versatile Pennsylvania jazz/pop ensemble, The Uptown Band, featured at hundreds of shows throughout the Northeast since 2005, band leader/saxophonist Erich Cawalla is branching out as a dynamic and charismatic solo artist. His debut single “222 South” is a soulfully melodic, in the pocket easy-grooving gem featuring Pieces of a Dream drummer Curtis Harmon and bassist Bennie Sims. “222 South” is an inspiring destination – and an exciting launch to Cawalla’s solo career!

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Time And A Half

AL DEGREGORIS Time And A Half A-Pex Recordings

If his last album – and first teaming with the emphatic one-two production punch of Nils and Jeff Lorber – ALL IN GOOD TIME, was Al DeGregoris’ emergence into the big leagues of contemporary urban jazz, TIME AND A HALF finds the keyboardist on his way to becoming the genre’s Babe Ruth. Continuing the playful metaphor of the album’s title, he works double and triple time with his collaborators on every last detail to ensure a multi- faceted sonic experience from start to finish. There’s lushness, sensual flow, easy grooves, rambunctious piano melodies, fiery horns and exciting contributions from guest saxmen Steve Cole, Eric Marienthal and Andy Snitzer. While working with Nils cements DeGregoris’ ability to rework classics into fresh, contemporary concepts and will ensure several return visits to the radio charts, it’s his more adventurous journeys with Lorber that really demonstrate his ability to go beyond the usual parameters of urban jazz and make memorable statements hinting at a vibrant future for the genre.

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So What!

DELLATORRE So What! iM reto della torre

Swiss-born guitarist, Reto Dellatorre, playfully titled his second album SO WHAT! as an ironic statement about the infinite importance of unimportance. Yet the searing, fiery ballads and barn burning jams he creates with veteran Blues guitarist Josh Smith, R&B vocalist Nio Rene and some of L.A.’s top studio musicians (recorded at Robbie Krieger’s Horse Latitudes studio) have a free spirited, West Coast vibe you’ll care deeply about. Dellatorre's SO WHAT! is so right!

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Friends

KIRK FISCHER Friends Fischful Thinking Music

Even as he’s jamming on the keys with his Austin, Texas area dance band Touch of Class, Dr. Kirk Fischer enjoys sending out a “nerd alert” about his “day job” as Associate Professor of Accounting at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. On his instantly joyous, soaring and infectious debut album FRIENDS, he offers a master class in dreamy balladry and horn-drenched keyboard funk in collaboration with Greg Adams’ East Bay Soul Band, featuring the relentless, brassy energy of Adams, Lee Thornburg and Greg Vail. You’ll want to make fast FRIENDS with this one of a kind emerging talent!

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Chocolate Sunshine

JAZMIN GHENT Chocolate Sunshine jazminghent.com

There may be nothing new under the sun, but there’s certainly something as warm and delicious. And it’s hot. Rising star saxophonist, Jazmin Ghent’s new album, CHOCOLATE SUNSHINE, is a languid, jazzy experience. The young woman stole the hearts of contemporary jazz fans onboard the 2014 Smooth Jazz Cruise -- where she won their talent competition and played with Boney James and Candy Dulfer. The Smooth Jazz Go Girl has toured with the prestigious, all-female jazz ensemble, Jazz In Pink, and has performed at world-renowned jazz festivals. Think Rehoboth, Seabreeze, Lowcountry, Red Cat, Magic City and The Florida Smooth Jazz Weekend. The 25-year old’s sophomore release comes on the heels of her debut, BOSS, which produced two Top 20 hits. CHOCOLATE SUNSHINE is sophisticated and contemporary, with hand-picked guests -- hit-maker Jonathan Fritzén; groove master, bassist Julian Vaughn; in-demand guitarist, Adam Hawley; and critically-acclaimed, jazz saxophonist Nelson Rangell. Bring your sunscreen!

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Standing For A Fall

SKII HARVEY Standing For A Fall Vie Publications

With edgy, Tina Turner-like vocals that work brilliantly on bluesy barnburners as well as more intimate (but no less palpable) ballads, award-winning veteran, Australian vocalist Skii Harvey fashions a powerful one woman protest on her latest album STANDING FOR A FALL. Returning to the musical frontline with thoughtful, provocative songs of conviction, determination and strength. The album is Skii’s latest milestone in a career that’s earned her attention from Sting, the Billboard Music Awards, the UK Songwriting Awards and the Australian Songwriter’s Association. STANDING FOR A FALL will inspire you to rise up!

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Playing It Cool

LOWELL HOPPER Playing It Cool Get Jazzed Records

With a smooth vibe driven by soulful guitar, hauntingly infectious melodies and deeply funky beats, Lowell Hopper has performed and recorded with jazz artists everywhere from Germany to the Panama Canal during his 20 year stint in the U.S. Air Force. While continuing to develop intimacy with his audiences around the world, the Panama City, Florida musician and composer is PLAYING IT COOL on his latest album full of thoughtful, candlelit ballads and buoyant, compelling up-tempo, urban jazz delights. PLAYING IT COOL some of the time, but more often than not, Hopper’s bringing major heat to the genre!

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Transit

JOURNEYS Transit NiRo Sounds

Over the past 15 years, this six piece powerhouse band has created the finest in Swiss Fusion and Smooth Jazz with dynamic grooves, sparkling melodies and exotic textures. Journeys have brought this exciting mix of contemporary jazz, fusion, funk and Latin elements to audiences across Europe and North America. On their perfectly titled third album TRANSIT, the guitar, sax and piano driven ensemble adds cool and soulful lounge elements to their refreshing mix. TRANSIT is a multi-faceted trip you’ll want to add to your listening itinerary!

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Clarity EP

JUSTIN KLUNK Clarity EP Justin Klunk

There’s a major reason saxophonist Justin Klunk’s Twitter and Instagram name is @KlunkFunk - his high octane EP CLARITY is as jammin’ and funky as Smooth Jazz gets! The upbeat tracks pair his powerful sax and horn texturing vibes with the thrust of rhythm and electric guitars, creating an energizing experience and a (literally!) smashing release. Playing and touring with Ariana Grande, Tommy Page and others, he’s also blowing open his solo career with CLARITY!

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This Journey Of Love

AZIZA MILLER This Journey Of Love Aziza Miller

In the years since she was Natalie Cole’s musical director, composer, singer and pianist Aziza Miller has performed to standing room only crowds at NYC’s most prestigious clubs. Her latest recording, THIS JOURNEY OF LOVE, showcases her passions for soulful, urban jazz vocals with lively jazz melodies and improvisations on a set that includes both vocal tunes (including a tribute to Cole) and a spirited piano driven tribute to Horace Silver. THIS JOURNEY OF LOVE is one you’ll enjoy taking!

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Mission Complete

d. MILLS Mission Complete d. M. Records

A onetime bassist playing behind gospel legend Shirley Caesar and an NYC detective, multi-instrumentalist d.Mills brings a fascinating background to his career as a Smooth Jazz composer. While his melodic focus is his lively acoustic piano, the tunes on MISSION COMPLETE offer a mix of smooth grooves, R&B and jazz with touches of rock guitar, sexy vocals, exotic percussion, sensual atmospheres and funky horns. MISSION COMPLETE has the complete package with several, charting radio hits for fans with eclectic tastes in jazz.

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Lev'l One

NEX LEV'L BAND Lev'l One Nex Lev’l Band

Are you ready for the next level in your Smooth Jazz listening experience? Then check out Nex Lev’l Band, a five-piece unit launched by Pieces of a Dream’s James Lloyd in 1992 and still going strong! Specializing in passionately silky and eminently funky, jazz-soul vibes, the ensemble – driven by saxophonist Isaac Parham and vocalist Mycah Chevalier – offers contemporary jazz at its finest. They’ve shared stages with Ray Charles, Roy Ayers, Brian McKnight and Kirk Whalum. Now let them take you to LEV’L ONE on their latest musical journey!

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Rosy Cheeks

PEET PROJECT Rosy Cheeks Beagle Beat Records

Exhilarating and fun... that's why "Rosy Cheeks" will leave you feeling frivolous and carefree! The Peet Project's energetic and contemporary new, hit single features Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling saxman Dave Koz who is as much of a fan of the Hungarian jazz pop soul band as we are! Mixed by the guru of musical goodness, double Grammy winner, producer Paul Brown! Turn it up and dance, don't be surprised if your face is flushed from what is truly one of the most fun tunes the Project has spun out of their creative corner!

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Reminiscence

TYLER REESE Reminiscence REMU Records

Having studied with Pat Metheny and played with everyone from Prince to Ernie Isley, guitar virtuoso and contemporary instrumental music innovator, Tyler Reese brings an incredibly diverse background to his Fusion (jazz, rock, funk) driven new album REMINISCENCE. Just as he’s seducing us with his graceful acoustic sound, he amps up the emotional intensity with high-powered, electric strength, edgy jazz fusion and even some rhythmically dynamic Django Reinhardt flavored vibes. Soaked with inspiring diversity and off the charts playing, REMINISCENCE is a guitar lover’s dream date.

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Reign Of Peace

REMOTEJAZZ Reign Of Peace Key Music Productions, LLC

Under the hip moniker of Remotejazz, Maryland-based composer and producer Robert L. Bryant creates a transcendent, ethereal mix of chill, Smooth Jazz, ambient sounds, electronic harmonies and light funk on his mystical minded, socially conscious album REIGN OF PEACE. Sonically designed as a response to the chaos of the modern world, the collection features two compelling collaborations with jazz saxophonist Dave Jarvis. REIGN OF PEACE is both jazzy and relaxing!

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Time On My Hands

BRENDAN ROTHWELL Time On My Hands Brendan Rothwell

Canadian composer, bassist and producer Brendan Rothwell cites Marcus Miller’s work on Miles Davis’ classic recording TUTU as the reason he chose his lead instrument. His debut album TIME ON MY HANDS is a showcase for the bass’ ability to stir melodic excitement while creating deep, hypnotic rhythms. While his soulful, funky fluidity often brings to mind the coolness of the late Wayman Tisdale, there’s also an atmospheric, trippy and mystical exploratory vibe influenced by Miller’s slow simmering fusion style. You’ll enjoy keeping time with TIME ON MY HANDS!

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Smile Again

DELI ROWE Smile Again Liberated Soul Music Group, LLC

An outspoken advocate for self-empowerment, Richmond, VA singer/songwriter Deli Rowe’s contemporary R&B infused indie soul sound has earned her airplay throughout the U.S., the UK and Australia. Her latest EP SMILE AGAIN offers hopeful personal, yet universal messages about letting the past go and embracing the joy and happiness of what’s to come. This is what happiness sounds like!

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When I Look At You

JIM SAMUEL When I Look At You Smooth Dance Records

Taking a heartfelt detour from the infectious, eminently grooving vibe of his 2014 debut album NOW, keyboardist/producer Jim Samuel wrote his new single, “When I Look At You,” as a wedding gift for his son Jamie. With rich, emotional vocals by East Bay Soul lead singer Darryl Fitzgerald Walker and a soaring flugelhorn performance from Tony Neenan, it’s a timeless and hypnotic old school, R&B love song for the ages that will have you falling in love!

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Been a Long Time Comin'

THE SMOOTH JAZZ ALLEY Been a Long Time Comin' The Smooth Jazz Alley

Forming their powerhouse guitar and keyboard duo, The Smooth Jazz Alley in the wake of the breakup of their Bay Area Latin fusion band Grupo Caribe, Stan Evans and Marco Montoya’s debut BEEN A LONG TIME COMIN’ features a dynamic mix of tasty, in the pocket, Smooth Jazz grooves with lead melodies powered by Evans' fluid electric guitar and Montoya’s playful piano and keys. With nods to the exotic music of their past, this album’s BEEN A LONG TIME COMIN’, but entirely worth the wait!

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Touch

THASAINT Touch Style Setters Entertainment

A fresh mix of compelling funk grooves, dreamy soundscapes, retro sounds and bright keyboard melodies define Thasaint’s new album TOUCH, and while it fits perfectly into the Smooth Jazz realm, the veteran award-winning musician, composer and producer cares less about labels and more about making people feel. Covering a wide range of emotions, the album finds him back in tune musically after many personal losses, including the passing of some of his greatest musical influences. Every song on this incredible set will TOUCH you deeply.

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I Got Next

JACK TURNER I Got Next Turner Entertainment Artist

Four decades after making his initial musical foray performing and recording with seminal soul-jazz organist Charles Earland, Pittsburgh-based electric guitarist Jack Turner launches a fresh new movement in contemporary jazz guitar with his crackling, playfully grooving debut, I GOT NEXT. Embracing the freewheeling next chapter in his career, the versatile composer/musician – who pays direct homage here to Wes Montgomery - creates a powerful fusion of soul, acid, funk, hip hop, ambient music and exotic Latin and Brazilian music – all rooted in jazz. I GOT NEXT should be the very next album you check out!

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Electrify

SEAN U Electrify Sean Uliasz

Drawing brilliantly on the influences of Jeff Lorber, David Benoit and Brian Culbertson, Western Massachusetts based keyboardist, arranger, composer and producer Sean U creates a spirited, in the pocket mix of infectious light funk grooves and sparkling piano-driven melodies on his perfectly titled debut ELECTRIFY. The versatile artist, who has performed throughout the Northeast (including at Carnegie Hall), brings his lively, lighthearted tunes to life with some of New England’s top musicians. The 25-year-old Sean U will ELECTRIFY U in many ways!

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Pulse Of The People

WALDINO Pulse Of The People WaldinoMusic.com

Freedom has always been at the PULSE OF THE PEOPLE… this downtempo triumph from composer/creator Waldino, has the song craftsman at the center of his most connected place yet. The collection offers a palpable audio experience with jazz grooves, electro moods and soulful, sensual vocalizing. This hybrid musical concoction blends all of the finest ingredients in contemporary music and offers the listener a chilled environment while jazzing up the vibe with accents of upright bass, saxophone and sophisticated rhythms and beats. A rich, color-drenched musical soundtrack for our modern times… PULSE OF THE PEOPLE truly has infused today’s sound, serving it up with freeness and fluidity through each and every song.

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Yesterday Again

ROB ZINN Yesterday Again Rob Zinn

Influenced by greats like Rick Braun, Freddie Hubbard and Chet Baker, Delaware based trumpeter and flugelhornist Rob Zinn infuses his debut album YESTERDAY AGAIN with a genre-transcendent blend of pop, R&B, funk, Latin, blues, jazz/rock fusion, hip-hop, straight ahead jazz and even EDM. Zinn and his band included renowned musicians Andrew Neu (sax), Gerald Veasley (bass) and Rafael Padilla (percussion) to join them on their horn-centered journey... Make sure you discover YESTERDAY AGAIN today!

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Inside Out

ZOLBERT Inside Out Tom-Tom Records

The release of multi-talented, award winning Hungarian saxophonist Zolbert’s latest hard grooving, intensely expressive album INSIDE OUT is the culmination of a career roll he’s been on since putting together a tribute band to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the passing of his musical hero Grover Washington, Jr. in 2009. Balancing in your face funk with sultry, easy flowing romance, his colorful vibe draws on the silkiness of Grover, the deep urban cool of Gerald Albright and Everette Harp and the infectious pop of Dave Koz. Zolbert’s turning smooth jazz INSIDE OUT!

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