In this challenging era for our planet, legendary 9-time Grammy winning trumpet legend Herb Alpert offers a timely and uplifting reminder: “What a Wonderful World” it would be if we would only give it a chance. His fresh and progressive, international re-imagining of the Louis Armstrong classic breezes along amiably with exotic guitar, flute and steel pans as a full orchestra sweeps it into another direction filled with a hooky vocal chorus. Adding to the message that the world can be improved through positivity, kindness and love are the voices of children and a reminder from Armstrong himself that it’s all about “love, baby, love.”
Turning a onetime clever album title into the name of his high energy ensemble, Dr. Dave & The Housecall Band work major musical healing miracles on their latest album MIDNIGHT DAYDREAM. With a sizzling swirl of pop, R&B, traditional and contemporary jazz, topped off with tasty touches of Latin, blues and swing, Dr. Dave embraces the freedom to improvise more than ever before and tackle jazz classics and a popular TV theme in addition to a slate of ultra-infectious originals. The collection’s first single, the sensual, old school R&B-vibin’ “Sexy Cindy,” was named for Cindy Sanchez Medina, Miss Santander, Colombia 2018.
Canadian Contemporary Jazz guitarist and renowned educator Rob Tardik’s five previous projects leading to his fascinating SYNERGY album have earned him numerous awards and great chart statistics. Yet those accolades only tell one side of his multi-faceted musical story. SYNERGY is a wild, high octane journey that darts from rhythmically exotic acoustic world music to toe-tapping flamenco, soothing and ambient soul, graceful folk, feisty in the pocket funk and blistering electric fusion. Just when you think you have Tardik’s sound pegged, he spins your ears in a new direction. You’ll feel the powerful musical SYNERGY with every note and groove!
On the follow-up single to his debut album PARADISE VOL. 1, saxophonist Kenney Polson takes us down old school memory lane with a fresh, improvisation-rich, contemporary urban jazz re-imagining of The Moments’ 1970 #1 R&B classic “Love on a Two Way Street.” Driven by spirited mid-tempo grooves and buoyed by a simmering horn section throughout, the versatile musician and educator – who has performed, lectured and given educational clinics in over 50 countries - creates an irresistible blend of warm-hearted nostalgia and in-the-moment emotional poignancy.
The eclectic Swedish composer and keyboardist behind SOUL VACATION chose his “Jonify” moniker as a way to unite his many musical emotions, including his classical roots and passions for easy flowing pop-jazz, funk and R&B. Blending lush, melodic piano with a variety of explosive keyboard sounds, the album celebrates a multitude of exciting vibes, taking us from the dreamy realms of his Scandinavian home to the tropics and into blissful blues and jazz fusion territory. His multitude of American influences include Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Jeff Lorber come shining through. Isn’t it time you took a SOUL VACATION?
A versatile singer equally comfortable in pop, dance and jazz, power house vocalist Brenda Reynolds once held court as one of the two female singers in the disco/funk/soul band Positive Force, which was signed to Sugarhill Records and scored big on the UK dance scene. After taking time away from music to raise her two daughters, she re-energizes her career with this masterful, multi-genre collection HOLD ON TO LOVE. Vibing with veteran Smooth Jazz pianist, composer and producer, Bob Baldwin at the helm. Reynolds radiates love, joy and romantic passion whether she’s surrounded by powerful synths and deep dance floor grooves, mid-tempo pop funk (as on the inclusion of five re-workings of Postive Force’s well-known hit “We Got The Funk”) or a gentler flow geared towards late night seduction. Among the notable contributors are saxophonist Marion Meadows and original Atlantic Starr writer/producer Porter Carroll, Jr.
Washington, DC based saxophonist R.L. Walker fashioned his fifth solo album as a self-titled affair because it’s his most personal – a mix of eminently seductive ballads and snazzy mid-tempo funk tracks, inspired by past life experiences, places he’s been and people he’s met. In loving response to his fans’ mantra that he continue to “Get Your Smooth On,” Walker creates emotionally charged vibes based on his innermost heartfelt thoughts and feelings. The result is a unique flow that includes equal doses of contemporary whimsy, old school cool and hypnotic, atmospheric romance.
Last year, multi-talented singer/songwriter Fay Gauthier stunned everyone with the eclectic excitement of her album FIREHEAD, which incorporated soul, blues, rock, funk, pop, jazz and rap as a means to convey a powerful journey to self-acceptance. On her infectious follow-up single “Shame,” she shifts her focus outward to create an edgy, socially conscious power-pop anthem for our time. Over a lively, grooving foundation and hypnotic production textures, she reflects on how our “us vs. them, my needs over yours” mentality has taken us down the wrong road – and looks forward to a time when we will once again embrace our common humanity.