Versatile singer-songwriter Rehya Stevens makes her deepest emotional impact to date with her new album "Celebrate." Featuring #1 billboard Smooth Jazz artists Jessy J and Chris Standring, this collection of all - original songs pays homage to the inkwell of timeless Christmas classics by Nat King Cole, Donny Hathaway, Frank Sinatra, Brenda Lee and The Carpenters. With infectious melodies and eloquent lyrics, "Celebrate" is an ultra-passionate collection of classic folky pop, old-school jazz - and fiery swinging' blues - with a vibrant, contemporary - yet nostalgic perspective.
While carving out a career as a drummer, Kenwood Anderson began playing keyboards, writing songs and studying recording. He showcased all these skills on his previous recordings – including several duo funk projects – and brings everything to full fruition on the multi-faceted, naturally groove intensive CHRISTMAS DREAMING. Bringing his multitude of talents to the holiday table, Anderson throws down a tasty mix of classics and original tunes that swing from gently intimate to lightly funky. This diverse artist mixes moods and tones so effectively (solo piano, organ, Fender Rhodes), you may think you’re listening to more than a single artist!
Ricky Alan Draughn might be new on the Smooth Jazz artist radar, but he’s been rated one of the hottest cutting-edge artists on the East Coast by virtue of his Tri-State area performances with the Slammin’ Band. Previewing next year’s full length holiday album, BEST HOLIDAY WISHES, the intensely emotional soul singer creates a dramatic, orchestra-enhanced version of “O Holy Night” under the guidance of two-time Grammy nominated producer Chris “Big Dog” Davis. In addition to his towering vocals, the track is notable for its clever quoting of “My Favorite Things.” Draughn’s “O Holy Night” is one of the most inspiring tracks of the season!
After eight genre-defining hit Smooth Jazz albums, producer, composer and electric guitar master Nils graces us with a whirlwind of holiday cheer on CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY. While applying his alternately silky and feisty trademark tones to catchy originals and fresh spins on pop classics, Nils creates a generous showcase for some amazing soul-driven vocal talents – including Erin Stevenson, Kathryn Bostic, Clydene Jackson, Ken Stacy, Diana Tash and longtime multi-talented Nils collaborator Johnny Britt. A snazzy solo by emerging saxman Jeff Ryan spices up and brings fresh urgency to a Christmas standard as well. NILS makes you wish it was CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY!
The same way John Coltrane redefined the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic “My Favorite Things” for traditional jazz in his time, sultry Chicago based vocalist Kenya re-imagines it for today’s neo-soul generation – just in time for the holidays - as “Favorite Things.” Gerald Albright’s always welcome sax energy adds powerful emotional thrust to the singer’s hip phrasing and a fresh contemporary production driven by sensual atmospheres and a dynamic polyrhythmic flow.
Closing in on the 50th anniversary of Les McCann and Eddie Harris groundbreaking soul jazz album, SWISS MOVEMENT, that contained the classic smash hit "Compared to What", the Jazz legend, Les McCann, known for his funky piano style, soulful vocals and his deep catalog of compositions, returns to recording to regale us with A TIME LES CHRISTMAS “ his first ever Christmas album. A balance of warm, intimate and funky swinging arrangements of Christmas classics we love and two moving Les McCann originals. At 83 years young, Les is the host of a truly festive affair which includes exciting contributions by Jazz vets, Michael Wolff, John Patittucci, Ray Obiedo, Ricky Peterson, Kenny Elliott and a vocal duet with Maxayn Lewis."I have always wanted to do a Christmas Album, but the timing was never right" “ Les McCann… UNTIL NOW!
It may be rare for singers to make their recording debut with a holiday album, but one listen to powerhouse jazz vocalist Reta Watkins’ THAT CHRISTMAS FEELING and you’ll be glad she made that unique choice! After 30 years of honing her skills as a vocal stylist, she creates a heartfelt, sometimes gently intimate, often playfully swinging big band session. While celebrating the season with delightful, fresh arrangements of classics and two touching original ballads, Watkins also pays homage to her late missionary father and her memories of growing up singing carols with him.
Talk about a funky switch for the holidays! Currently on tour with the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, saxophonist Gary Meggs trades big band for Smooth Jazz on “A Joyous World,” a fresh, sizzling twist on “Joy To the World.” This is one of those rare cool tracks that dynamically shifts tempos and textures midway through. Just as the former director of the 531st Air Force Jazz Band is easing into a dreamy mystical flow, he amps up the groove, starts improvising wildly and brings on some enticing horn textures for a full-on Christmas party. Let’s turn the season into “A Joyous World!”