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VANN BURCHFIELD | Let's Get Started | Self-Released

JACK TURNER | I Got Next | Turner Entertainment Artist

WALDINO | Smile | WaldinoMusic.com

STEVE WATSON | Playtime | Stevewatsonguitar.com


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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The Day Life Began

REGINA BELLE The Day Life Began Shanachie

After successful excursions in recent years recording Jazz standards and Gospel albums, Academy Award and multiple Grammy winning singer, songwriter and actress Regina Belle gets back in the groove with THE DAY LIFE BEGAN. With a stellar mix of passionate ballads, gospel flavored gems and funky dance tunes, the set builds on her legacy and re-establishes her transcendent vocal skills and a storytelling mastery that effortlessly stirs and uplifts emotions. Helping re-introduce Belle into the urban jazz arena is the powerhouse production duo Jamie Jones (from All-4-One) and Jack Kugell of The Heavyweights, who have worked Wayne Brady, Phil Perry and Martina McBride. THE DAY LIFE BEGAN marks a fresh beginning for one of soul music’s most enduring vocal treasures!

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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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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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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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This Is Where I Wanna Be

SHARON MARIE CLINE This Is Where I Wanna Be Sharonmariecline.com

Celebrated and critically acclaimed L.A. based vocal stylist Sharon Marie Cline has released a live album and holiday project in the past, but those were simply prelude to her glorious emergence as a recording artist with this an exquisite and romantic collection that allows her to declare, on the dreamy and sensual, flute spiced title track, one of two lush originals among 10 well chosen interpretations of classics, that “This Is Where I Wanna Be.” Cline’s triumph lies in her effortless breezing from easy swinging (“Happy Talk,” an inspired choice from SOUTH PACIFIC) to Bossa (“Love Dance,” “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars”) to blues (“You Don’t Know What Love Is”). When you listen, you too will declare, THIS IS WHERE I WANNA BE!

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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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California Dreamin'

DRIVETIME California Dreamin' New Vibe Records

Internationally acclaimed as one of the most explosive and innovative jazz-centric bands to emerge from Philadelphia, Drivetime’s become an institution there, forging ahead in some configuration since the mid-70s with an eclectic, groove-driven vibe they call Urban Organic Jazz. They follow up their popular release IGNITION! by cruising West with the likewise rhythmically diverse CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’. Propelled by Gene Terramani’s electric axe, Richard Orr’s blazing sax and Jimmy Dell’Orefice’s old school keys, the six piece unit balances their easy flowing, crisply played seductive cool with free-spirited muscular jams fusing edgy rock, jazz, blues and even surf guitar. Their soul’s still in Philly, but this album will have you CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’!

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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. Start out the New Year by getting CONNECTED!

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Everlasting (feat. Terrence Richburg)

PHIL FRENCH Everlasting (feat. Terrence Richburg) RichEscape Music, LLC

Talk about a divine pairing! On the spiritually empowering, yet jazz-infused EVERLASTING, trailblazing jazz saxophonist Phil French - a former musical director for Grammy winning singer Yolanda Adams – joins forces with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist, producer/songwriter Terrence Richburg, known as the “Quincy Jones of Gospel” for his critically acclaimed solo albums and work with everyone from Richard Smallwood and Aretha Franklin to The Winans, Jennifer Holliday and Gerald Albright. Though their ultimate spiritual goal is a joy filled shout out to the Lord, audiences everywhere can sway and groove along just as easily to this alluring mix of high octane instrumental funk, smooth jazz melodies and dreamy ballads. There are also a handful of beautiful vocal tracks by Terrence and Kathy Richburg. You are sure to be touched by this inspiring collaboration... an EVERLASTING musical connection!

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Casa Groove

AL GOMEZ Casa Groove Shade Records

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

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Front Ground

DONALD HAYES Front Ground Grindhouse Music

You've heard him for the past 25 years, as both a musician and an arranger for a proverbial “Who’s Who” in the R&B, Gospel and Pop worlds – including James Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kirk Franklin, Beyonce, Babyface and on recent and current recordings and tours with Robin Thicke. At last, saxophonist Donald Hayes steps out into the FRONT GROUND on his debut album. Drawing on his Gospel and Blues roots, yet locked firmly in the grooving and melodic Urban Jazz pocket, his multi-faceted new album is smooth, melodic and straight from the heart, blending romance and sensuality with sweet funk. Along the way, his silky sax interacts with a list of heavyweight friends, including the late Wayman Tisdale, Marcus Miller and Eric Benet. Here in the FRONT GROUND, Donald Hayes delivers music that is an extension of his life and who he is as a person... a shining light through and through.

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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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My Own Skin

KENYA My Own Skin KenyaMJ Music

A fast growing jazz-kissed soul sensation who is artfully wooing a growing base of admirers around the world, Chicago vocalist and songwriter Kenya makes her U.S. debut with MY OWN SKIN – which, upon its early 2015 release in Europe, was a #1 smash on the UK Soul chart for four consecutive weeks. Kenya’s family life and successful career as a clinician and educator delayed her emergence as an artist, but now the multi-talented performer – who counts everyone from Stevie Wonder to Billie Holiday as influences - is quickly finding her niche as a sensual, emotional vocalist sharing what she calls the “many layers…and spaces within me.” Her deep 15 track debut finds her feeling mighty comfortable in MY OWN SKIN.

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Eruption

DANNY KUSZ Eruption Independent

Named “one of the hippest cats in Minneapolis” by Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, saxophonist Danny Kusz’s versatility has led him to perform with Eric Leeds, Joey DeFrancesco, Root City and Marcus Miller’s saxman Alex Han. On his emotionally hard hitting, ultra-infectious new album ERUPTION, he creates an explosive hybrid of top alto influence, David Sanborn, and favorite funk-rocker, fellow Minneapolis native Prince. Combining soulful, sensual passion and high energy grooves with inventive and trippy synth textures, Kusz showcases a fresh, youthful approach to urban jazz/funk, jamming throughout with Smooth Jazz greats Jeff Lorber, Nils and fellow saxman Will Donato. Kusz’s wild musical ride is bound to cause a major ERUPTION!

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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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You, Me and Forever

NAJEE You, Me and Forever Shanachie Records

One of the greatest instrumentalists of our time… The two-time Grammy-nominated jazz and R&B saxophonist and flautist Najee, has earned two platinum and four gold albums and has collaborated with Quincy Jones, Prince, Steve Wonder, and Herbie Hancock. This musical visionary embodies contemporary and fusion jazz… sweet and seductive playing, rich melodies and progressive ideas. YOU, ME, AND FOREVER, his latest release, features world-class musicianship on covers and originals, including Frank McComb (Buckshot LeFonque), James Lloyd (Pieces Of A Dream) and Robert Damper (Kenny G). The highly inspiring collective was recorded in part, in Incognito’s studio in the UK with audible influences, especially on the captivating “Give It All We’ve Got.” The project’s single, “Fly With the Wind,” will reclaim the dynamic performer’s place at the top of the charts and don’t miss the evocative covers of Ambrosia’s “Biggest Part Of Me” and Jobim’s “Wave.” Timeless Najee at the top of his craft!

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Alley Cat

NILS Alley Cat Baja/TSR Records

A prolific, chart-topping Smooth Jazz hit maker with so many airplay classics that he merited a 2014 compilation called JAZZ GEMS : THE BEST OF NILS, the versatile Munich born, Los Angeles based composer, guitarist and producer launches into the next phase of his multi-faceted career with ALLEY CAT, his most explosive, infectious and sonically creative album yet, on Baja/TSR Records. Incorporating more horns than ever and beautifully showcasing his expanding skills as a sound designer and keyboardist, Nils’ 12 sensational, ultra-melodic tracks offer a range of musical vibes for everyone’s tastes, from retro soul-jazz and high energy hypnotic funk to sensual, silky ballads. Like a sly ALLEY CAT, Nils is always adding fresh new sounds to keep his music hip, slinky and sexy!

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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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Red

NELSON RANGELL Red Independent

In a sea of saxophonists, there is only one Nelson Rangell - Daring, compelling, and heartfelt. Fans of contemporary jazz are quite familiar with this extraordinary talent, he released eight CDs with GRP Records garnering chart-topping airplay in the 80’s and 90’s, and recorded with The Rippingtons, Chuck Loeb, Patti Austin, the GRP All-Star Big Band, featured on Don Grusin’s Grammy-nominated album, THE HANG, among numerous other accolades. In a bold move in 2015, Rangell released two albums simultaneously... the sax-focused RED, as well as BLUE, which is an acclaimed flute and piccolo musical masterpiece, both are full-throttle adventures with persuasive originals! The latest single, "From Here" is from RED. It's an urbane, Euro-cool tune that showcases the master class saxophonist's improv, yet delivers a sweet, accessible melody and promises to quickly gain interest with radio and consumers alike... Fresh and fashionable for your Spring and Summer music mixes!

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Infinite Chill - The Remix Sessions

LAWSON ROLLINS Infinite Chill - The Remix Sessions Baja/TSR Records

The only thing better than a new Lawson Rollins recording is a Lawson Rollins remix project featuring chilled out versions of his evocative songs, re-imagined for the electronica and downtempo sector of the music scene. Those of us who like to travel and gravitate towards vibey, sultry hangs and inspired concoctions will be all over INFINITE CHILL, a 10 song collection of the critically-acclaimed, world guitarist's most compelling material, fused with beats and moods befitting of an evening in Ibiza! This languid and loungey album features Shahin Shahida (Shahin & Sepehr) and delivers big on allure! INFINITE CHILL - The Remix Sessions promises to transform your listening experience from smooth to tranquil!

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Don't Stop (Soul Italiano)

PAOLO RUSTICHELLI Don't Stop (Soul Italiano) Next Age Music

The long awaited full album SOUL ITALIANO rolls out another addictive, groove-driven single before its summer release! Inspired by an L.A. jam session with jazz legend, Miles Davis, composer and keyboardist Paolo Rustichelli, re-imagines the experience on his latest single, “Don’t Stop”! The words, “Don’t stop…” came from Miles mouth as he picked up his red trumpet to play along to Paolo’s groove and this song captures that day to honor the freeness of jazz, the coolness of groove and a timeless friendship. With nearly a half a dozen hit songs, we imagine the full album will be a best-seller in no time and "Don't Stop" will be this year's bright light from the masterful musician who's Italian soul keeps us all waiting for more!

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And So But Then

PHILIPPE SAISSE TRIO And So But Then Badar Log Music

Ten years after The Philippe Saisse Trio lit up Smooth Jazz radio with their burning cover of Steely Dan’s “Do It Again,” the Grammy nominated composer, arranger, producer and keyboardist reunites with bassist David Finck and drummer Scooter Warner on the tropical, percussive and whimsically jazzy “And So But Then.” Its unique title is a tribute to the wordplay of the late author David Foster Wallace. The hit lead single from the trio’s forthcoming new full length album, the multi-textured track features the hypnotic percussion of Gumbi Ortiz (whom Saisse has played with in the touring band of Al Di Meola) and some dazzling interplay between Saisse’s dancing piano and the warm, vibrant acoustic guitar of guest star Marc Antoine. “And So But Then” puts Saisse back where he belongs – center stage!

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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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Out of a Dream

BRIAN SIMPSON Out of a Dream Shanachie Entertainment

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

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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! Play it 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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Playtime

STEVE WATSON Playtime Stevewatsonguitar.com

Fresh off his critically acclaimed 2015 album HEAT IT UP - which reached #12 on the SmoothJazz.com Indie chart - South Carolina guitarist/composer Steve Watson keeps the momentum rolling with his latest single "Playtime." The infectious, spirited and uplifting track features the lush acoustic guitar counterpoint of another master guitarist, Chuck Loeb, who also produced the track. Watson, also a prominent jazz educator, will be releasing his new album in June, with tracks produced by Loeb, Jeff Lorber, Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak. Unwind after your stressful day with "Playtime!"

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SmoothJazz.com Listening Loft Store

My Journey

NATALIE CADÉT My Journey Breath Of Life Records, LLC

Years after launching her professional career as part of a young Christian group with her five sisters, emerging neo-soul singer/songwriter Natalie Cadét draws on her deep spirituality and five octave range to share her personal and intimate debut MY JOURNEY. A true, introspective self-portrait in progress, this reflective, soulful, healing and hopeful collection covers the gamut of emotions before arriving at a place of inner peace. Natalie details different phases of her life via her lush and sensual lead vocals and clever, dreamy voice texturing. Open up and let MY JOURNEY carry you away!

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So Close

THIERRY CONDOR So Close NiRo Sounds

Though his German-Italian heritage initially drew him close to Italian composers, Switzerland based singer/songwriter Thierry Condor’s many professional visits to the U.S. led him to incorporate 80’s and 90’s West Coast pop, R&B and jazz into his lighthearted soul/pop recordings. His fourth album SO CLOSE, featuring special guests Jeff Lorber and Tom Scott, finds his passionate voice lending powerful emotions to a mix of up-tempo tunes and romantic ballads, including spirited covers of classics by Kenny Loggins and Olivia Newton John. You’ll be inspired to keep SO CLOSE nearby!

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Mr. Bonejazz

BUFF DILLARD Mr. Bonejazz Buff Dillard Music, LLC

Continuing to glide contemporary jazz to a scintillating new edge, Charlotte, NC based trombonist Buff Dillard infuses his instantly compelling and dazzlingly diverse eighth solo recording MR. BONEJAZZ with deep grooves, soulful seduction and free flowing musical atmospheres. As a high school student, he played with Pieces of a Dream and the Count Basie Band – and his career since includes work with greats best in the pop, R&B, gospel and jazz worlds. He brings all those inspirations together on a set where he balances his ‘bone with violin, sax and organ. If you love your horns funky, you’ll dig MR. BONEJAZZ!

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Sun-Up Soul

MILES GILDERDALE & SHILTS Sun-Up Soul Miles Gilderdale

What happens when two of Smooth Jazz’s funkiest UK guys get together and groove? We’ve got our irresistibly infectious answer in “Sun-Up Soul,” the upbeat, joyfully thumping new track from Acoustic Alchemy guitarist MILES GILDERDALE featuring saxophonist SHILTS (originally from Down To The Bone). Grounded in their mutual passion for classic R&B sounds, this dynamic Brit Funk duo pays homage to the classic productions of Quincy Jones & Rod Temperton, Barry White, The Crusaders and all forms of soul royalty. Fresh and energizing, “Sun-Up Soul” is a great, danceable way to start the day!

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Starting Over

CHRIS GODBER Starting Over Chris Godber

Chris Godber was told as a child that his asthma was too severe to play the sax. His lifelong determination to beat the odds has led the chart-topping performer to wide acclaim for his latest album STARTING OVER – a set that mixes edgy, in the pocket funk with dreamy laid back chill and lots of romance in between. Bringing a refreshing sound with a distinctive gospel/R&B twist to the genre, Godber is a master at weaving addictive melodies on soprano and tenor with funky, driving grooves along with stellar musicianship featuring Lowell Hopper and Adam Hawley on guitar and Eric Lampley on bass for eleven originals and one killer cover of Etta James’ “At Last.” STARTING OVER has never been so easy to do.

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A Work In Progress

TOM HAMILTON A Work In Progress Hambone Records

Tom Hamilton may call his spirited and masterfully eclectic contemporary jazz debut A WORK IN PROGRESS, but the veteran world class saxophonist brings to his infectious mix decades of diverse experience. On large and small scales alike, the versatile composer/musician has done it all - from jazz/funk to salsa, blues and rock – and has performed with legends like Natalie Cole, The Temptations and Clark Terry. Now he brings the most cool, soulful, fiery elements of that resume to his masterful in the pocket originals. If this is A WORK IN PROGRESS, you’re gonna love the end result!

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Friday Afternoon

RONALD 'BOO' HINKSON Friday Afternoon Zephyrn Records

Smooth Jazz fans wanting to cap their winter with funk-filled, smooth Caribbean musical breezes will find fun in the groovin’ sun with “Friday Afternoon,” the tasty new tune from St. Lucia’s Ronald “Boo” Hinkson. The renowned guitarist’s gifts have been hailed by legends like Stanley Jordan, George Benson and Ronnie Laws. Capturing his musical essence perfectly, the spirited, percussive track playfully blends Latin-tinged contemporary jazz with the soul of the islands. Time to drift away… start your holiday with “Friday Afternoon,” and don’t miss Boo at the upcoming St. Lucia Jazz Festival this spring!

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Colortones

JAMHUNTERS Colortones Jamhouserecords

Over the past ten years, the dynamic six piece ensemble, Jamhunters have energized audiences everywhere from their native Denmark to Tanzania to NYC with their unique sonic blend of chill ambiences, dreamy soul, danceable grooves, exotic world beat adventures and vibrant jazz/funk. True to its unique title, their fourth album COLORTONES is an expansive sonic landscape covering a spectrum of moods and vibes. These multi-faceted vibes are centered on the flowing harmonic melodies of guitarist Lars Fabiansen and keyboardist Peter Michael – as well as the lush, sensual vocals of Christina Boelskifte. You’ll enjoy exploring the many COLORTONES of Jamhunters!

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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 striking new single, his 4th from this album, "A Special Thing," both captivating and sweet! 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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Still Bill

BILL MCGEE Still Bill 804Jazz

Throughout Bill McGee’s extraordinary, multi-decade musical career, he’s been a music teacher, released seven CDs as owner of 804 Music Group, scored two gold records, worked with Evelyn “Champagne” King, Lou Rawls, The O’Jays and Sugar Hill Gang. The international trumpet man, music producer and educator’s latest multi-faceted jam is a way to let the world know he’s STILL BILL, a soulful, spiritual, jazzy horn guy who still hangs with the top musicians in the business. This Smooth Jazz, cool funk, gospel and blues-infused set features seven infectious originals and four lush re-imaginings of classics by Herbie Hancock, The Stylistics, and Hugh Masekela. He’s STILL BILL and still making the musical magic!

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Grooveology (Prelude)

MIKAEL Grooveology (Prelude) MikaelMusix Group

As a member of the legendary Commodores from 1995-2005, Mikael got to share the stage with legendary R&B icons like Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes and The Temptations. He’s been moving to center stage in the urban jazz world ever since. The passionate guitarist and composer’s second album GROOVEOLOGY (PRELUDE) has been praised as “flawless” by SmoothJazz.com founder, Sandy Shore. It’s an extraordinary set of Smooth Jazz and R&B moods and grooves, a perfect showcase for the diverse musician’s crisp, funky and fluid electric lead lines and exciting interactions with sax, acoustic piano and dreamy female vocals. From start to finish, you’ll enjoy engaging in the study of GROOVEOLOGY!

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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 also includes a pair of moody and meditative gems in “Apples & Oranges” and the atmospheric “Eyes.” Lunatic for the low end? Don’t miss PSYCHO BASS!

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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. Get Novello and get groovin’ with some potent IVORY SOUL!

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Pictures & Frames

STEVE OLIVER Pictures & Frames SOM Entertainment, LLC

Throughout his decade and a half of instrumental #1 Billboard Smooth Jazz radio hits, multi-talented composer/guitarist/vocalist Steve Oliver peppered his recordings with soulful pop/R&B vocals. Expanding his musical aesthetic further into that dynamic realm, his first all-vocal album PICTURES & FRAMES is driven by his trademark cool, classic, contemporary vibe and meaningful, soul searching lyrics. Recorded at the iconic Capitol Studios and using Frank Sinatra’s legendary mic, Oliver creates his John Mayer, Michael McDonald and Steely Dan influenced sound with the all-star rhythm section of Lee Sklar and Vinnie Colaiuta as well as a debut singing collaboration with critically-acclaimed, Northern Californian songstress Chris Webster. PICTURES & FRAMES is a splendid musical snapshot of Oliver’s heart and soul!

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Endless Love

DAVID PETROSYAN Endless Love DP

On ENDLESS LOVE, the adventurous follow-up to his debut album GOOD MORNING LOVE, Armenian-born David Petrosyan continues to establish himself as a new front runner in contemporary saxophone jazz. Inspired by his father – who introduced him to the instrument at a young age - and his wife and baby son, Petrosyan complements his smooth, seductive and sleek tone with fresh electronic grooves, lush atmospheres and touches of tropical jazz and edgy jazz-rock fusion. We have fallen into ENDLESS LOVE with David Petrosyan's music and believe you will to!

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Backtalk

PHAZE II Backtalk Phaze II Publishing

A mainstay at the Capital Jazz Fest since winning the event’s Challenge Competition in 2005, Phaze II has been a popular groovin’ force throughout the Washington, DC region for nearly 20 years. Playing Smooth Jazz with a funky, free twist, the hot six-piece ensemble has been headlining shows and opening for urban jazz greats performing there. Keeping the cool thumping and soulful sensuality flowing, Phaze II’s album BACKTALK – driven by the emotional lead melody lines of saxman Brent Birckhead - is a powerful way to introduce their dynamic vibe to fans everywhere. You’ll want to Phaze this kind of BACKTALK into your life!

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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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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.” MUSICALLY SPEAKING, Tuvman’s blend of elegance and funk soars to the heavens!

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Jazz In The Park
April - October 2016
Birmingham, Alabama
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