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New to the Listening Loft

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

JAY NYA SOL | Dancing In The Moonlight | JayNyaSol.band

JAZZ COLLAB | All I Wanna Do Now | Jazz Collab Productions

TERJE LIE | Bright Moments | TCat Records

d. MILLS | Mission Complete | d. M. Records

PHILIPPE SAISSE TRIO | On The Level | Badar Log Music


SmoothJazz.com Hot Picks

Global Force

3RD FORCE Global Force Baja/TSR Records

What a fantastic way to roll out 2016… the Force has truly awakened with the first recording from the compelling contemporary jazz project 3RD Force in more than ten years! Sonic architects, William Aura and Craig Dobbin return with a GLOBAL FORCE. Both artists have spent the past decade involved in musical and cultural endeavors, including global activism through organizations with the mission to bring peace and progress to the world through music. Their exciting and eloquent new release opens a dynamic, new chapter for the duo in a global music paradigm. There was a natural and organic approach taken on GLOBAL FORCE – The concept was to create an album for artistic reward rather than corporate expectations… and the result is extraordinary (amazing how that works). A rich and textured soundtrack for music fans who crave something a little more for their ears than conventional. In addition to juicy rhythms and seductive saxophone, you’ll hear delightful contributions from special guests Lawson Rollins, Brian Hughes and members from the popular Nepali supergroup Kutumba. Download now… and let the Force be with you!

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Midnight Passion

BENNETT B Midnight Passion Baton Records

The perfect follow-up to his 2014 hit album GROOVE TIME, guitarist Bennett B’s MIDNIGHT PASSION – which includes a high energy, party-vocal version of his hit radio single “Get On Up!” - is driven by smooth, sexy grooves designed to take the heart and soul deeper into the night. Produced by the veteran Hollywood session guitarist and Grammy-winning genre hitmaker Paul Brown, Bennett’s high energy blues, brass, funk and exotica filled set features exciting guest appearances by vocal trio DW3, percussion great Lenny Castro and drummer Joel Taylor, with dynamic horn arrangements by Lee Thornburg. You don’t have to wait all day to experience the full-on magic of MIDNIGHT PASSION!

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It's All About Love

SYLVIA BENNETT It's All About Love Out of Sight Music

Sylvia Bennett’s first all original, contemporary jazz album, IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE, is finally available. Featuring the Grammy-nominated singer in an entirely new sonic atmosphere, one that plays on her sensual side and taps into her 24/7, deeply held belief that love is the answer as well as the question. The project has produced two hits before it’s release date and the 3rd single, the title track, “It’s All About Love,” is no doubt going to be another runaway radio smash as well with it’s smooth, ethereal groove featuring the high studio standards of producer/songwriter Hal S. Batt (Shakira, Julio Iglesias) and the gorgeous layering of voice with a sweet, seductive musical ambiance. The Miami song machine is in her creative prime and is redefining the business of music, with no intentions of stopping anytime soon!

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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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Set Me Free

DAVE BRADSHAW JR. Set Me Free MOKU Records

There is a certain sophistication to Dave Bradshaw Jr.’s cool, jazzy compositions. His album SET ME FREE, due out later this year, has yielded three tasty treasures including his brand new single, “West Coast Jammin’” featuring the unmistakable Darren Rahn on saxophone! This classy, groovin’ tune will have you boppin’ your head on Pacific Coast Highway, even if it’s only in your mind! The successful sideman, steps out into the spotlight with his original tunes that exude delightful melody and world-class chops! “Jumpstep” and “Nothin' But Groove” took the killer keyboardist to new, solo horizons in 2015, and early 2016, and we’re certain that the latest single and the soon-to-be-released full album will take this effervescent talent to more exciting successes in 2016 and well beyond! Set yourself free by adding Dave Bradshaw Jr.’s music to your personal playlist!

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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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Let's Get Started

VANN BURCHFIELD Let's Get Started Self-Released

Before he released his sparklingly exotic, Brazilian themed 2015 debut RYTHMS OF RIO last year, Birmingham based saxophonist Vann Burchfield was perhaps best known in jazz circles for setting a new Guinness world record for circular breathing (besting Kenny G). Now that the award-winning, multi-instrumentalist is in the mix of top indie Smooth Jazz artists, there’s no stopping his smooth, sexy, silk-funk fired musical flow. His new collection LET’S GET STARTED features a handful of lush and lighthearted melodic originals amidst a batch of cleverly seductive, easy grooving re-imaginings of classic 80s pop/soul hits. Want to hear what it sounds like when a masterful player is on the rise? LET’S GET STARTED!

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Black Pearls

WILL DOWNING Black Pearls Shanachie Entertainment

Closing in on three decades of creating silky and sublime R&B/jazz vocals, Will Downing reminds us why he’s long been known as "The Prince of Sophisticated Soul." On BLACK PEARLS, his first full length album in six years, the veteran baritone gives it up for the ladies, paying loving homage to his (and our) all-time favorite soul divas with gently nuanced, lushly produced and arranged re-imaginings of classics and amazing though lesser known tunes by Chaka Khan, Phyllis Hyman, Randy Crawford, Deniece Williams, Angela Winbush, Jean Carne and Cherrelle. Complementing the inviting perfection of one of the greatest voices of our time are cool guest spots by Najee and Kirk Whalum, among others. Downing makes these musical BLACK PEARLS shine like never before!

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Open The Curtains

CAROL DUBOC Open The Curtains Gold Note Music, Inc.

After several solid collaborations with Jeff Lorber, Carol Duboc makes a monumental shift on her infectious and eclectic new album Open The Curtains. Embracing an emphatic “Girl Power” aesthetic, the sexy and soulful singer/songwriter surrounds herself with a star studded lineup of female jazz, rock and R&B musicians, including Mindi Abair, Sheila E, Patrice Rushen, guitarists Bibi McGill and Jennifer Batten, drummer Queen Cora Coleman, bassist Rhonda Smith and trombonist/singer Aubrey Logan. Duboc’s mix of blues, soul, pop and funk influenced tunes includes seven emotionally hard-hitting originals (including the title track, which features vocals by her nine year old daughter) and classics made famous by her heroes Rushen, Nina Simone and Peggy Lee. OPEN THE CURTAINS to experience Carol Duboc like never before!

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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! 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 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 his latest single, the upbeat, “Celebration” featuring the one and only, sax mega star, Gerald Albright! Celebrate and Fritzenize!

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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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Still Euge

EUGE GROOVE Still Euge Shanachie Entertainment

Ten albums into one of Smooth Jazz’s most inspiring and compelling careers, Euge Groove reminds us on his latest infectious, infinitely melodic and easy grooving gem that he’s still cool…still sexy…still unafraid to embrace his soul music ancestors…and yes, STILL EUGE! The multi-saxophonist taps into his passion for blues and gospel while stirring up a fresh batch of danceable jams and steamy ballads, including one featuring the dreamy acoustic guitar of Peter White. Euge complements these core tunes with deeply soulful vocal tracks featuring two of R&B’s greatest, Rahsaan Patterson and Oleta Adams. After 16 years of mesmerizing his fans with some of the genre’s greatest hits, it’s refreshing to know that he’s STILL EUGE!

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In Search Of Better Days

INCOGNITO In Search Of Better Days Shanachie Entertainment

Recognized around the world as pioneers of acid jazz, a genre combining elements of jazz, soul, funk and dance music, the UK's Incognito is still on the forefront of London's creative music scene more than 3 decades in. Founded by Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick, the band has been a mainstay for some of the most well known voices in the world, including Grammy-nominated Maysa, and British sensation, Imaani, as well as extraordinary musicians, and some of the hottest musical discoveries on the planet. IN SEARCH OF BETTER DAYS, is the band's 17th studio album and a joyful amalgamation of vibrant musical stylings, captures the sound and soul of London circa 2016! Featuring lyrically enlightened tracks, and relentless grooves, the recording also features legendary Japanese guitarist Hotei Tomoyasu and Jamiroquai bassist Stuart Zender. This collection is completely tuned into a world IN SEARCH OF BETTER DAYS, providing a soundtrack to lead the way through self-discovery, love and connection. Bluey’s so deep into the inkwell, that I think he actually may be the inkwell… he’s a brilliant source to draw inspiration from in our modern times.

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Stories From Stompin' Willie

PAUL JACKSON, JR. Stories From Stompin' Willie Branch Records, Inc.

One of the most versatile guitarists in pop, R&B and jazz, Paul Jackson, Jr. has worked with everyone from Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston to Barbra Streisand and Daft Punk. The cleverly titled STORIES FROM STOMPIN’ WILLIE, his first solo recording in seven years, is chock-full of high energy jazz/funk, crisp lead and rhythm guitar lines and picture perfect Smooth Jazz melodies. Because the collection is a tribute to the late George Duke (who nicknamed Jackson “Stompin’ Willie”), the guitarist also stretches into fiery electric jazz fusion territory on three Duke deep cuts. Helping Jackson celebrate the keyboard great’s legacy and making this a can’t miss party are Jeff Lorber, Jimmy Haslip, Karen Briggs, Michael Lington, Byron Miller, Patrice Rushen, the Rickey Minor Band and others. They’ve got STORIES FROM STOMPIN’ WILLIE you’ll want to hear again and again!

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So Right

THE JAMES KOB EXPERIENCE So Right Partly Sunny Records

A multi-talented musical Renaissance man trained in classical guitar and orchestral composition, James Kōb draws on his vast skills as a songwriter, producer, scoring and orchestration skills to create SO RIGHT, the debut project from The James Kōb Experience. The collection is an exciting musical excursion featuring refreshing and super-melodic original tunes blending breezy Bossa, with lighthearted pop, and sensual jazz reminiscent of Sergio Mendes. In addition to sharing his expansive musical vision, the collection doubles as a wondrous showcase for the warm and sensuous vocal talents of featured singer Maria Shafer. SO RIGHT is a multi-cultural experience you won’t want to miss!

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In Too Deep

JAREZ In Too Deep Top Jazz Records LLC

Jarez offers the perfect combination of cool, contemporary and classic in his music. The charismatic saxophonist has a way with writing songs that are filled with emotionally charged verve, and freshly infused swagger; adding a hipness to Smooth Jazz that is appealing to core fans and attracting a youthful new audience! The Vegas-based recording artist and music entrepreneur, merges his jazz influences from legends, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, with today’s sound on IN TOO DEEP. The album is drenched with Sweet, sexy sax, along with urbane and urban grooves, compelling melodies and sophisticated runs. A hip hop heart and a jazz soul makes for a unique, commanding signature sound. This latest project is sure to place Jarez in the thick of things musically speaking…In deep, indeed! With more chart-topping hits and live performances guaranteed!

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Dancing In The Moonlight

JAY NYA SOL Dancing In The Moonlight JayNyaSol.band

An eclectic high energy ensemble founded by Award winning producer T. Burns in 2009, JAY NYA SOL plays tunes as fascinating as their name on their full length collection DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT. From track to track, the band – led by Burns (percussion, vocals, keyboards), Isha Love (keyboards, piano) and Takahito Mori (guitar) – takes Smooth Jazz where it’s never gone before! Stylistically, they ease from sensual and sultry R&B to synthy pop, old school funk and Santana style rock/jazz fusion. Beyond the stylistic diversity, another highlight is the variation of lead melodic instruments. They’ve also got a powerhouse guest list that includes saxman Gerald Albright, vocalist Vanessa Bryan, saxman Cal Bennett and trumpeter Rahmlee Michael Davis. You’ll be DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT trying to keep up with JAY NYA SOL!

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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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Second Nature

MICHAEL LINGTON Second Nature Copenhagen Music

STAX is in the house! On his high octane latest album SECOND NATURE, Michael Lington expands upon the fiery, old school exploration of his 60’s-70’s Memphis soul influences he started with veteran R&B producer Barry J. Eastmond on his last release SOUL APPEAL. Making that vibe fresh, innovative and relevant to today’s contemporary jazz fans, the multi-talented saxophonist, producer and composer creates a hard-grooving retro-modern vibe, surrounding his muscular alto with sizzling horns, simmering organ textures, funky bass lines, crackling guitar licks and playful gospel touches. Lington’s all-star guest list includes Brian Culbertson (on trombone!), Ray Parker, Jr., The Dap Kings, Booker T and Taylor Dayne. After your first listen, these tunes will become SECOND NATURE to you!

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Hold Up (Bring It Down)

BARBARA MAMABOLO Hold Up (Bring It Down) Next Move Entertainment - Canada

The eminently sultry and soulful Barbara Mamabolo has been a multi-faceted force in entertainment in her native Canada for years as leader of the popular band Mamabolo and as a film and TV actress. Her breakthrough single “Hold Up (Bring It Down)” is a coolly grooving, danceable delight that takes a fresh approach to classic, jangling old school R&B/funk. Mamabolo’s sensual sass leaps over a track helmed by powerhouse producer Preston Glass (Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin) and renowned Canadian producer David Case. It features guitarist extraordinaire Paul Pesco, who’s worked his sizzling magic in the past for Madonna, Hall & Oates, C&C Music Factory, Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez. You’ll want to make “Hold Up (Bring It Down)” your sexy new summer jam!

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Journey To The Heart

KEIKO MATSUI Journey To The Heart Shanachie Records

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since Keiko Matsui released her first album, A DROP OF WATER. This recording was so enchanting, it’s no wonder that the world stopped to listen to the compelling musician from Japan who reimagined piano jazz to include new age, classical, along with mystic, ancient sounds. On her latest release, her 27th, JOURNEY TO THE HEART, Ms. Matsui celebrates her fans, the heart of her world, as well as the universe and its heart or center. Keiko conceived over 100 melodies and motifs for this album, and of the top 10 that have made their way onto the project, she says, “I hope the listeners will allow themselves to go anywhere with my music.” The acclaimed composer and humanitarian has mastered her mission… timeless melodies and global rhythms are at the very HEART of Keiko herself, as she personally delivers her message to people around the world!

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Firefall Revisited

DAVE MUSE Firefall Revisited Deva Records

A founding member of the platinum 70's and 80’s hit-making soft rock band Firefall and member of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, multi-instrumentalist Dave Muse finds a fresh way to re-imagine the group’s hits and renowned album cuts on his new album FIREFALL REVISITED. Putting his soulful and whimsical flute virtuosity front and center (with a little sax here and there), he enhances the picture perfect pop melodies with jaunts into spirited contemporary jazz, blues and rock fusion. Muse brings fans up to date with an explosive new Latin jam tune as well, "Nestor." FIREFALL REVISITED will inspire you to fall in love with the band all over again – and maybe discover some gems you overlooked!

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Coast 2 Coast

GARY PALMER Coast 2 Coast Lauderdale Beach Recordings

During his years many years as a cop in Lauderhill, Florida, Gary Palmer frequently turned to his sax as an outlet and stress-reliever, which calmed him and helped him focus even when he was on stakeouts. Shifting gears after retiring as Chief of Police in 2010, the versatile composer-musician has been sharing his passion for soulful urban jazz as an independent recording artist, starting with his 2015 full-length debut LOVE ME AGAIN. On “Chicago By Morning,” the spirited, delightfully funky and brassy second single from his follow-up album COAST 2 COAST, Palmer joins forces with renowned keyboardist Tim Watson. Watson adds trippy, hypnotic keyboard effects and splashes of lush piano and old school organ harmonies to the saxophonist’s intensely passionate lead sax melody. “Chicago By Morning” sounds like the party the night before never ended!

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All In

PIECES OF A DREAM All In Shanachie Records

Already on a roll in 2015 with the release of his solo debut HERE WE GO, composer and pianist James Lloyd gears up to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Pieces of a Dream - the band he co-founded with drummer Curtis Harmon – with the release of the group’s latest Shanachie Entertainment release ALL IN. Discovered in high school and mentored by the late great Grover Washington, Jr., Pieces have been recording since the early 80s and once earned their hometown Philadelphia Inquirer’s praise as “Pioneers of Smooth Jazz.” Jamming with their longtime saxman Tony Watson, Jr., Lloyd and Harmon serve up yet another can’t miss spirited mix of fanciful funk, urban fired Smooth Jazz and gentle late night romance. As they gear up to enter their fifth decade together, the two are truly ALL IN!

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Cool Vibes

STEVE RAYBINE Cool Vibes Bad Kat Records, LLC

A onetime bandmate of Rick Braun in the 1970’s progressive jazz group Auracle, vibraphonist, composer, percussionist and renowned music educator Steve Raybine has been on a mission since his 2000 debut to make the spirited sound of the vibes a fresh contemporary sound in Smooth Jazz. On his infectious, rhythmically-compelling (and perfectly titled) new album COOL VIBES, the Omaha, Nebraska-based artist stirs up exciting island flavors with a rhythmic mix of swaying coolness and light-funk charm. With a swirl of styles that explore Raybine’s passions for jazz, R&B, Latin, pop/rock and blues, it’s the perfect soundtrack to a night of chillout and romance. Full of surprises, he even does a spirited rap on one track. Steve Raybine's COOL VIBES are the perfect mid-summer delight!

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True Stories

THE RIPPINGTONS f. Russ Freeman True Stories Peak Records / Entertainment One Music

With the release of the ultra-melodic, super high energy and daringly eclectic TRUE STORIES, The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman celebrate an amazing thirty years (and 22 albums!) as a seminal force in contemporary jazz – while finding fresh ways to move the genre forward. The GRAMMY nominated ensemble, launched by the guitarist/composer in the mid-80s, comes full circle with new tracks featuring the soulful, lyrical vibe of original saxophonist Brandon Fields. Beyond the trademark soaring pop/rock funk fusion the band is known for, the collection features a powerful flamenco venture into the Spanish tradition of Andalusia, a return visit from R&B great Jeffrey Osborne and the band’s first ever extended drum solo by Dave Karasony. No lie – these TRUE STORIES will keep Ripps fans as riveted as ever!

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On The Level

PHILIPPE SAISSE TRIO On The Level Badar Log Music

On the heels of his first hit, solo single in more than 10 years, 2016's "And So But Then," the Philippe Saisse Trio is back with fresh new, hippifying grooves on the cool and slinky new hit single “On The Level.” Penned by Saisse and featuring percussionist Gumbi Ortiz and guitarist Marc Antoine, the tune seductively blends the veteran Grammy nominated keyboardist ‘s 60’s influenced trademark soul jazz style (with piano, Wurlitzer and Fender Rhodes) with a cool, mega-contemporary slowed down EDM vibe courtesy of David Finck’s hypnotic upright basslines. The overall vibe was enhanced by mixing engineer Goh Hotoda, who was told by Saisse to create an Amy Winehouse styled flow that’s retro and modern at the same time. With “On The Level,” the trio takes us to the next level of Smooth Jazz consciousness.

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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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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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Rhythm and Romance

KIM WATERS Rhythm and Romance Shanachie Entertainment

An incredible 22 albums into his extraordinary career, versatile composer and saxophonist Kim Waters continues to set standards on the urban side of Smooth Jazz by bringing the emotional power of RHYTHM AND ROMANCE. Dedicating his 12th Shanachie collection to his daughters Kayla and Kimberly, the man The Washington Post calls “a romantic pied piper” incorporates cutting edge production and deep beats into a mix of seriously sultry ballads and funked up, supremely grooving originals. Beyond his renown as a master instrumental composer, Waters loves taking well known pop/R&B originals to fresh, inspiring places – and he works fresh, dreamy magic with an infectious Janet Jackson jam and candlelit classics by DeBarge and Sam Smith. If you're looking for more RHYTHM AND ROMANCE in your life, listen up!

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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 launches with popular title track, a fresh, in the pocket gem featuring the lush acoustic guitar counterpoint of special guest Chuck Loeb. With production by 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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SmoothJazz.com Listening Loft Store

Tropical Infinito

ANTONIO ADOLFO Tropical Infinito AAM Music

Recorded in his hometown of Rio with a rhythmically dynamic octet featuring a sizzling three piece horn section, veteran Brazilian pianist, arranger, producer and educator Antonio Adolfo brings the intoxicating, exotic sounds of his native land alive via gorgeous melodies and spirited improvisations on TROPICAL INFINITO. Complementing his four originals are fresh re-imaginings of classics by Benny Golson, Horace Silver, Oliver Nelson and Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein. TROPICAL INFINITO will keep you infinitely grooving!

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Jet Samba

REBECCA ANGEL Jet Samba Timeless Grooves Records

With RIO 2016, there’s no better time to celebrate the joys of Brazilian music – and emerging New York jazz vocalist Rebecca Angel’s got the perfect track to remind us just how exuberant and passionate those vibes are! Produced by contemporary jazz veteran Jason Miles and featuring Rebecca’s father, trumpeter Dennis Angel, the exotic, playfully rhythmic track is the first -ever vocal version of legendary Brazilian composer Marcos Valle’s 2005 instrumental hit. Rebecca enhances her beautiful lead vocals with some wondrous scatting throughout. Take off with “Jet Samba”!

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20/20: Best of Dave Baker

DAVE BAKER 20/20: Best of Dave Baker DAB Music

Veteran contemporary jazz, Latin, and classical guitarist Dave Baker compiles his favorite solo, duo and ensemble tracks from his two decade recording career on his latest release 20/20: BEST OF DAVE BAKER. Keeping his nylon string playing and right hand techniques center stage, he runs the stylistic gamut with fresh interpretations of long beloved classic pop and jazz hits (Christopher Cross, Acoustic Alchemy, Steely Dan, etc.), 20/20 is a musical vision you’ll love!

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Repertoire

JAMES DAY Songs Repertoire SONG KING RECORDS

Harkening back to those classic Quincy Jones albums featuring a rich array of veteran and up and coming R&B vocalists, International Award winning and chart topping songwriter James Day brings together on his new album REPERTOIRE an exhilarating roster of R&B and urban jazz singers and instrumentalists to create the ultimate 80s styled jam. The mix of soul, Smooth Jazz, disco/dance and Quiet Storm magic includes leads and solos by Maysa, Lin Rountree, Tony Terry, Walter Beasley, Glenn Jones, Audrey Wheeler, Donnie, U-Nam, Trina Broussard, Tim Owens and the late Gavin Christopher. The vast REPERTOIRE of James Day includes songs for every moment and mood of the day!

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Soul To Soul

MIKE DiLORENZO with Frank Valdes Soul To Soul Keep The Groove

Veteran New York based keyboardist Mike DiLorenzo may be classically trained, but his eclectic career is driven by jazz, R&B and Latin music. SOUL TO SOUL, his new album featuring percussionist Frank Valdes, runs the glorious gamut from Latin funk to organ swing to smooth, contemporary jazz. Using a cool array of unique instruments (including Rhodes, melodica and accordion), the sound is a jazzy blend of street beats and melodic improvisation making SOUL TO SOUL a cool, connected musical experience from two amazingly soulful musicians.

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Truly Loved

CHERILYN EVANS Truly Loved Ceejazz.com

All at once, sultry, funky and intimately jazzy... St. Louis based singer-songwriter Cherilyn Evans began her singing in church, but she’s enjoyed a diverse professional career beyond the gospel realm. Fronting the CEEJazz Band, her rhythmically diverse jazz infused soul debut TRULY LOVED is a set of colorful originals with pop and jazz standards that showcase her inviting vocals with a variety of groove foundations. If you like things soulful and silky, then you'll fall in love with TRULY LOVED!

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Keeping The Groove Alive

GROOVE MASTERS BAND Keeping The Groove Alive Groove Masters Band

Closing in on 10 years as a contemporary jazz and gospel mainstay in their hometown of Charlotte, NC, Groove Masters, winner of the coveted “Best Jazz Band in the Carolinas” Award, lives up to their cool moniker on their 3rd album release, KEEPING THE GROOVE ALIVE with funk, neo soul and Smooth Jazz. Known for their lively performances, Groove Masters have toured with a wide variety of noteworthy artists, from Hip Hop legend, Doug E. Fresh to Gospel star Twinkie Clark. These super heroes of groove, are bringing audiences to their feet around the globe… be on the look out for Groove Masters at your favorite jazz fests!–

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Cielo Nocturno

RUSS HEWITT Cielo Nocturno russhewittmusic.com

Known for his fiery, soulful and intoxicating rumba flamenco rhythms, warm, inviting acoustic melodies and his virtuosic improvisational runs, guitarist Russ Hewitt taps further into his passion for a variety of Latin and other global music vibes on CIELO NOCTURNO. He ensembles with a powerhouse lineup of jazz and Latin greats, including Larry Carlton, Ardeshir Farah (from Strunz & Farah), percussionist Raphael Padilla, drummer Walfredo Reyes, Jr. and Gypsy Kings All Stars guitarist Alfredo Caceres. The stars in the CIELO NOCTURNO (Night Sky) are definitely dancing!

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Between The Lines

LOWELL HOPPER Between The Lines Get Jazzed Records

Dubbed by SmoothJazz.com as “one of our best discoveries yet!”, Panama City, Florida based guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Lowell Hopper is a veteran in two inspiring ways. During his 20 years serving in the Air Force, he performed and recorded with jazz artists in Germany, Panama Canal and Florida. His stellar 7th solo recording BETWEEN THE LINES features the kind of soulful, hypnotic guitar lines, deep, haunting original melodies, easy grooving basslines and seductive beats he’s been wowing audiences with for over 30 years. Don't miss special guest, saxophonist Chris Godber on "Flying High," which could be Hopper's anthem upon the release of such a quality recording!

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All I Wanna Do Now

JAZZ COLLAB All I Wanna Do Now Jazz Collab Productions

The unique urban-flavored Smooth Jazz ensemble, JAZZ COLLAB is the exciting outgrowth of Montreal based keyboardist and producer Jacques Mignault’s Jazz Collab Productions, which he calls a “utopian” group of top Quebec jazz players. Most prominently featured on the dreamy and atmospheric, easy grooving single “All I Wanna Do Now” are the calming lead vocals of Jean-Claude Beliveau and the slow simmering sax of Yves Adam. You’ll be saying “All I Wanna Do Now” is listen again!

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Bright Moments

TERJE LIE Bright Moments TCat Records

Terje Lie (pronounced "Terry Lee") knows a good team when he's got one. Collaborating on the second project in a row with the writing and production team of keyboardist Jeff Lorber and Yellowjackets' bassist Jimmy Haslip, the Norwegian born, Los Angeles based saxophonist stirs up the perfect high energy blend of pop, R&B and jazz fusion here. Stocked with playful, solid grooves like the funky opener and hit, "Storm Skies" as well as the album's upbeat, latest single, the 5th track to hit radio, "Pancakes," is super positive and fun! 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!

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Psycho Bass

BYRON MILLER Psycho Bass Byron Lee Miller Studio, LLC

Throughout his four decade career, Detroit bassist Byron Miller has brought the coolness and funk to a lot of “late greats” including Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Joe Sample and Luther Vandross. Emerging from a 12-year recording hiatus with an expansive, deep bottom, intensive album, with a title that doubles as his new musical persona and mission statement, Byron blesses us with three of the last sessions from the late great George Duke, including a slowed-down, emotional twist on Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” With an exciting guest list that includes veterans Ndugu Chancler (drums), David T. Walker (guitar) and Sheila E. (percussion), Miller balances fierceness with heartfelt emotion on the atmospheric, old school, soul-jazz flavored single, “U Must Be Crazy,” then turns to Duke-esque classic, mellow fusion on “Spoken Funk.” Miller's latest single, is one that delivers a much needed message to the world, a creative, jazzy cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground." Lunatic for the low end? Don’t miss PSYCHO BASS!

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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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Something To Say

ISAAC NORRIS Something To Say Isaac Norris

The title of Michigan-based saxophonist Isaac Norris’ debut EP SOMETHING TO SAY tells Smooth Jazz fans looking for some fresh new vibes everything about his intentions as a solo artist. After years of playing with major artists like gospel greats Marvin Sapp and Debra Perry and jamming with a local big band collective called Big Band Nouveau, the Grand Rapids born and raised performer fashions an infectious and soulful sonic world where uptempo, danceable funk collides powerfully with heartfelt and silky smooth romantic passion. You will feel the inspiration when Norris has SOMETHING TO SAY!

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Sincerely Yours

SHARON RAE NORTH Sincerely Yours Sharon Rae North

Perfectly capturing the stylishness and soulful sensuality of Sharon Rae North’s jazzy vibe and expressive vocals, Jay Edwards of Jazz Tones (WCLK, Atlanta) once said, “Line up all the female jazz vocalists you can think of and Sharon can sing them all under the table!” The singer artfully lives up to that promising praise on her new 5 song EP SINCERELY YOURS, which features lush, easy flowing originals and two beautiful covers including a sly, moody take on Sting’s “Sister Moon.” If you’re a fan of singers like Oleta Adams, you’ll feel the deep sincerity of SINCERELY YOURS!

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Ivory Soul

JOHN NOVELLO Ivory Soul 529 Music

At the heart of John Novello’s signature sound that’s imprinted on #1 hit songs worldwide is a classic sense of groove and sensuality perfectly captured in the title of his latest collection IVORY SOUL. The multi-faceted keyboardist, arranger and composer, draws on his deep old school jazz, soulful pop and R&B sensibilities for a set that finds him gliding and grooving on acoustic and electric piano, B3 organ, Korg synthesizers and even upright bass. Enhancing the cool, Novello jams with top saxmen Gerald Albright, Eric Marienthal and Tom Scott. The new single, "I Can't Stop My Heart" is trending now at Smooth Jazz radio. Get Novello and get groovin’ with some potent IVORY SOUL!

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I Concentrate On You

KRIS RUSSELL I Concentrate On You Kris Russell

Growing up in a family of musicians and entertainers, vocalist Kris Russell was inspired by great female jazz singers, studied the styles of legendary Brazilian artists and has had a long passion for the works of Cole Porter. The veteran live performer draws from all of these influences on her debut single “I Concentrate on You,” a lush, intimate and inviting twist on the Porter classic, a delightful intro to a truly gifted and versatile singer!

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Spice of Life

ROB SABADO Spice of Life Rob Sabado

Years ago at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the legendary Stan Getz took notice of young saxophonist Rob Sabado and said he had “the best tone around.” Now, Sabado delivers big time on that promise with his soulful and gently exotic debut SPICE OF LIFE. Sabado surrounds his warm, intimate tones and flavorful grooves with balmy atmospheres fashioned by Grammy-winning producer Paul Brown, whose distinctive guitar energy plays off Sabado’s lead lines perfectly. Also on hand are bassists Roberto Vally and Daryl Williams, as well as keyboardist Marco Basci, who adds dynamic old school touches. Sabado’s kind of variety is truly the SPICE OF LIFE!

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Carolina

CAROL SABOYA Carolina AAM Music

Carolina, the latest recording by sensual Brazilian vocalist Carol Saboya, is an intimate and celebratory family affair, with her father, legendary pianist/composer Antonio Adolfo, and his band providing lush, caressing arrangements of a unique slate of exquisite compositions. She is most at home interpreting the native repertoire, including songs by legendary composers like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Djavan and Joao Bosco. Yet Saboya is equally emotionally compelling interpreting classics by Sting and The Beatles. Destined to become a classic, CAROLINA is the perfect soundtrack to a warm romantic evening!

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A Stagey Bank Affair

ARUN SHENOY & THE GROOVE PROJECT A Stagey Bank Affair Narked Records

Step right up and experience GRAMMY® nominated composer and record producer, Arun Shenoy’s latest musical inspiration featuring a 13 member collaboration team known as The Groove Project. A STAGEY BANK AFFAIR, referring to an expression derived from an actual event held in the North East of England in the previous century at Stagshaw Bank. The gathering went from a forthright agricultural fair to a rather rowdy celebration involving sideshows, gambling and drinking before being banned in the 1920s. The concept translates to excitement in musical terms, and will certainly liberate your inner child with a fantastic fusion of funk, jazz and rock with a spicy hint of worldly pleasures, featuring pianist Uziel and Bansuri flautist Ravichandra Kulur, in addition to jazz great, Jeff Coffin. We’ve never heard anything quite like it… and we’re certain that you’ll be enthralled. Surrender to the swirling wonderment within and dig in for some good ol’ fashioned fun, like Stagey Bank fair!

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#ThatsWhatsUp

THE PR EXPERIENCE #ThatsWhatsUp The PR Experience

Brian Culbertson fans who dig it when the keyboardist jams on the trombone are going to love The PR Experience, the Atlanta-based horn duo featuring trumpeter Nelson Render and trombonist Marvin Pryor. Having played collectively with everyone from Ray Charles to The Ohio Players and ConFunkShun, the tandem perfectly capture the vibe of their sound with their album title, #THAT’S WHAT’S UP! “Experience The Smooth… Experience The Sound… Experience The Jazz.” Three other key elements that jump out, funk, groove and neo-soul. Musically, if you want to know what’s up, let The PR Experience show you the way! #thatswhatsup

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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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Musically Speaking

PAUL TUVMAN Musically Speaking Independent

Filled with gorgeously rendered, easy flowing compositions written by pianist Paul Tuvman over the past 30 years, MUSICALLY SPEAKING is more than just a dazzling debut by a thoughtful new Smooth Jazz artist. It also marks the resurrection of his musical dreams after he set them aside to become a successful airline pilot. This pilot’s amazing musical journey involved making some wonderful musical friends – including Rick Braun, who adds simmering horn section harmonies to “Rebecca” and “Inverted.” Don't miss the summer single, "Tap Your Feet," it will have you dancing in the sunshine! MUSICALLY SPEAKING, Tuvman’s blend of elegance and funk soars to the heavens!

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Smile

WALDINO Smile WaldinoMusic.com

From audio craftsman, Waldino, comes his latest recording, and his most exciting yet, SMILE, featuring mood music for a happier life! Electro-positive beats enhanced by compelling lyrics in between the chilled, musical vibe, from the infectious title track to the highly motivating, “You Know You Got It,” to the captivating, “Turn Me Around,” SMILE is an Ibiza-conjuring soundtrack drenched with melody and splashed with sunshine! The doctor of groove, Walter Liskiewicz (aka Waldino) is one of the most prolific recording artists in the genre with new releases every other year on average and many more songs in the works, it’s a nonstop creative flow for the retired maxillofacial surgeon! Download the album and turn up your SMILE!

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From Sunset To Sunrise

R.L. WALKER From Sunset To Sunrise R.L. Walker

With a title like FROM SUNSET TO SUNRISE, saxophonist R.L. Walker sets the tone for some sensual and romantic late night magic on his latest album. Creating easy, laid back grooves behind his passionate dreamy lead horn melodies, he creates the perfect Smooth Jazz chill album, opening doors into a dreamy, atmosphere rich realm full of lush, powerful moods and a relaxing flow. While many artists simply gather a bunch of their best tunes, Walker’s idea was to invite listeners into a deep, memorable experience. Over ten tantalizing tracks filled with sweet soul and passionate emotion, he allows listeners to experience a “Sexy-Saxy” musical escape... FROM SUNSET TO SUNRISE, you’ll have this one on repeat!

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Back In The Day

BOBBY WELLS Back In The Day Bobby Wells

A mainstay on the Colorado contemporary jazz scene since the 90’s, critically acclaimed producer, songwriter and keyboardist Bobby Wells creates the ultimate, urban-flavored jazzy experience. He balances the super-melodic, smooth and swaying vibes on his latest project BACK IN THE DAY with exhilarating, toe tapping groove lockdowns. Working with guest guitarists, Michael O’Neill and Freddie Fox and sax greats Gerald Albright and Darren Rahn, Wells mixes his ‘in the pocket’ Smooth Jazz with Gospel, tropical spices, and keeping true to its title, the feel good kind of R&B that we loved BACK IN THE DAY!

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