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Listening Loft : HOTPICKS

Vassal Benford - Melody Man
Vassal Benford
Melody ManBenford Jazz

Though Vassal Benford is an all-around entertainment juggernaut, complementing his all-star Grammy nominated pop/R&B/jazz resume with ventures as a film producer, his heart has clearly been with music since launching his career as a teen working with Ramsey Lewis and Nancy Wilson. After producing hits for the likes of Toni Braxton, Bobby Brown, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi, he ventured into Smooth Jazz via collaborations with Norman Brown and Gerald Albright. After launching his solo career in 2022 with “Melody Man” – also the name of his upcoming star-studded debut album - the prolific composer, keyboardist and producer keeps the momentum flowing with “Dedication Song,” a sonically adventurous, sunny burst of elegant mid-tempo funk driven by spirited grooves, a tasty, uplifting piano melody and imaginative improvisations. 

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Sylvia Bennett - Amazing Love
Sylvia Bennett
Amazing LoveOut of Sight Music

The love continues… Grammy-nominated vocalist and songwriter Sylvia Bennett releases the 2nd single from her forthcoming album AMAZING LOVE, “Right Before Your Eyes.” The new single, and the entire soon to be released collection is a tribute to her late husband of over 50 years, Dr. Hal. Traveling the world, enjoying friends, and celebrating life to the fullest, Sylvia’s inspiration is limitless. Longtime writing partner and producer Hal S. Batt delivers a sultry new Smooth Jazz single with “Right Before Your Eyes,” showcasing the artist’s intoxicating voice along with Latin Grammy winner Ed Calle’s passionate saxophone playing.

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Norman Brown - It Hits Different
Norman Brown
It Hits DifferentShanachie

Throughout his 30+ year recording career, Soul Train and Grammy Award winner Norman Brown has been compared to everyone from Jimi Hendrix, George Benson and Wes Montgomery. For all his consistency as a #1 Smooth Jazz hitmaker and live headliner, the multi-faceted guitarist/composer and Tai Chi practitioner is always up for some unexpected sonic surprises – a reality he manifests numerous times throughout his latest, appropriately titled album IT HITS DIFFERENT. Seeing parallels between the Chinese martial art, as well as his reverence for ancient Egyptian beliefs and his music, Brown’s all about balance. That manifests here by complementing his core silk-funk urban jazz sound with Double Grammy winner Paul Brown featuring modern, vocal-infused R&B jams helmed by 4-time Grammy nominee and multi-instrumentalist Wirlie Morris and a trippy, odd-metered jazz fusion tune co-written and produced by Phil Davis. 

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Nathan & Noah East - Yesterday cover
Nathan and Noah East
YesterdayEastern Star

Ten years after Noah East, bassist Nathan East’s son, made his recording debut in a duet of “Yesterday” with his legendary dad on Nathan’s Grammy nominated self-titled solo album, the duo returns with a completely re-imagined version of the Beatles classic. Since that time, Noah, now 24, has been following closely in the footsteps of Nathan, a longtime member of contemporary jazz supergroup Fourplay as well as Eric Clapton’s band, and has appeared on thousands of recordings. The younger East has established himself as an in-demand touring and session pianist and organist, with performances in Europe, Japan and the U.S. While their original take on “Yesterday” featured Noah’s exquisite piano work and Nathan’s breezy vocals, this new twist from the forthcoming FATHER SONG debut album, offers a slow-simmering, bluesy instrumental highlighting stellar organ mastery, with trademark Nathan East solo improvisation. 

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Jazz In Pink - Glow
Jazz in Pink
GlowJazz In Pink

Let Yourself Glow….with the latest single from Jazz in Pink, featuring keyboardist Gail Jhonson! This track is an up-beat, feel good melody for all to enjoy. "Glow" will make you smile and light up your day with warm energy and positivity! Jazz In Pink, the premier all female, all-star Smooth Jazz ensemble, is the brainchild of Grammy-nominated and long-time Norman Brown music director, composer/keyboardist, Gail Jhonson. "Glow" may be her most brilliant composition to date, a masterfully produced track by contemporary jazz greats Kim Waters and Nelson Braxton!

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Reza Khan - Mystical
Reza Khan
MysticalPainted Media LLC

Over the course of his multi-faceted 15-year recording career, Reza Khan has enjoyed several radio friendly Smooth Jazz hits, including one with Nils. Yet the Bangladesh-born, NYC based composer/guitarist’s unique, freewheeling stylistic fusion includes elements of pop, jazz, soul and global influences. His world jazz guitar vibe comes to full creative fruition on the perfectly titled MYSTICAL, which finds him and longtime co-writer, arranger and producer, saxophonist David Mann, imagining a magical album featuring infectious pieces written with specific contemporary jazz greats in mind. Khan’s incredible skills as a musician and magnetism as a studio visionary attracted a dream guest list that includes Bob James, Jimmy Haslip, Philippe Saisse, Mark Egan, Jeff Lorber and Keiko Matsui – who join with Khan to create special collaborations for the ages. 

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Jeff Logan - Indigo
Jeff Logan
IndigoFire & Ice Entertainment Network

When keyboardist/composer Jeff Logan first reached out to Paul Brown, the Grammy-winning hitmaker was first intrigued by the decades Logan had toiled as a corrections officer while developing his craft. When Brown heard his graceful and infectious, radio friendly compositions and lively piano style, he signed on to produce one song, which quickly evolved into Logan’s new album INDIGO, a tour-de-force collaboration that strikes Smooth Jazz gold. While showcasing Logan’s fresh, ultra-melodic touch on the piano and exciting sense of improvisation, the 10 fanciful, romantically inclined tracks create a dazzling, lightly funky flow that puts a hip, modern twist on a classic contemporary jazz piano sound that may remind listeners of classic tracks by David Benoit, Brian Culbertson and Gregg Karukas.

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Michael Manson - Ride Share
Michael Manson
Ride ShareManson Music Productions

Consistent with the musical tone and overall philosophy of his 2021 collection A RAY OF HOPE, veteran bassist Michael Manson keeps the relentlessly joyful, high stylin’ vibes flowing on “On the Up and Up” – the hard-grooving lead single from his upcoming RIDESHARE album featuring tight horns, bubbly improvisations, soaring energy and spirited musical conversations with Marcus Miller’s saxophonist Donald Hayes and former Rippingtons’ keyboardist Dave Kochanski. While best known for playing with Smooth Jazz greats like Steve Cole, Brian Culbertson, Kirk Whalum, Larry Carlton and George Duke, along with his wife Lana Manson is also co-founder of the Chicago based Musical Arts Institute, a non-profit school launched in 2010 that has serves thousands of students and families who lack the resources for a formal high quality music education. 

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Dennis Murphy - Infinite
Dennis Murphy
InfiniteDennis Murphy Music

If it was possible after OUR HIGHER SELVES spent 49 weeks on the chart, Dennis Murphy reaches even greater musical-spiritual heights on his perfectly titled new album INFINITE. Famed for his work with pop and soul greats (Billy Preston, Lenny Williams, Kenny Rankin) and the crème of the crop Smooth Jazz artists (Acoustic Alchemy, Kirk Whalum, Eric Marienthal), the versatile veteran bassist – also a radio personality who once hosted the show “Bass Trax” – explores with great sonic boldness everything from Brazilian pop/jazz and strutting funk to slow simmering blues and re-imagined 60’s-70’s classic pop balladry. Murphy creates these infinite possibilities with guest collaborators Ricky Peterson, Eddie M., Miles Gilderdale and Eric Marienthal, plus a dynamite ensemble alternately featuring Oli Silk, Sonny Emory, Will Kennedy and the late great Jeff Golub. The multi-instrumentalist's 3rd solo release is indeed a charm!   

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Rei Narita - Veiled Emotions cover
Rei Narita
Veiled EmotionsStudio Luna Azul

Continuing to fulfill his ongoing musical mission to be “in pursuit of beauty,” Asian Smooth Jazz pioneer and multi-talented pianist/composer Rei Narita has taken listeners to many unique places with his recent flurry of singles, from an exotic French island and starry outer space to a romantic liaison under a Sakura tree. Though the thought-provoking title of his latest single “Veiled Emotions” makes it sound like we’re in this time for a gentle, introspective journey, it’s anything and everything but that. Creating the jazz equivalent of shouting those emotions to the world, he creates a joyful and rollicking, densely percussive flow, with swirling synth harmonies dancing around his explosive piano melody and otherworldly improvisations. It’s a fun-spirited, dynamic tune that puts Narita’s full array of talents on display.  

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Al Nesbitt and The Alchemy - A Million Shiny Things
Al Nesbitt and The Alchemy
A Million Shiny ThingsMad Hat Fat Lip

Since opening 95 years ago, the legendary Chateau Marmont on Sunset Strip has been a beloved retreat for Hollywood creatives craving a temporary home away from the prying eyes of the public and press. With his new four-piece ensemble Al Nesbitt and the Alchemy, the multi-faceted, flamenco rock-driven, veteran acoustic guitarist – who recently scored a profile in Guitar World Magazine-Online – finds a fresh and exciting musical way to explore the rich history of the historic landmark. Fusing his snappy exotic style – influenced by everyone from John McLaughlin to Vicente Amigo – with his passions for film composers like Nicholas Hooper, Hanz Zimmer and Alexandre Desplat, Nesbitt creates an epic journey through time fueled by moody, film noir-inspired jazz and funky, symphonic rock jams.   

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Nils - Feelin' Good
Feelin' GoodBaja/TSR Records

If any Smooth Jazz great should be FEELIN’ GOOD, it’s super guitarist, composer, and producer Nils, whose accolade-filled two decade run includes having his hit “Pacific Coast Highway” chosen Billboard’s Song of the Decade and Nils himself being named the #1 Smooth Jazz Airplay Artist for 2021 and 2023. FEELIN’ GOOD is the perfect title for an engaging, uplifting album infused with the prolific artist’s trademark sense of adventure, alternating between snappy, crunchy funk-filled jaunts and sly, moody seductions - all wrapped in the colorful, brass-tinged bow of the cool dynamite he brings to an Earth, Wind & Fire classic. Nils builds on the intricacy of his electric guitar with tasty sonic production details and killer performances from an ensemble featuring Mitch Forman (piano) and Johnny Britt (Rhodes, vocals, horns). 

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Steve Oliver - A New Light
Steve Oliver
A New LightWide Sky Records

After releasing ILLUMINATE in 2018, Steve Oliver engaged in some cool side projects, including a popular duet album with Brian Simpson and a set of acoustic re-imaginings of his greatest hits. Now, the prolific Smooth Jazz hitmaker a journalist once called “musical Disneyland” (for his sunny personality and composing style) is back in snappy, melodic and sonically adventurous radio-friendly mode with A NEW LIGHT. Perfectly in line with his other instantly infectious albums with similarly light-bearing titles, the collection – co-produced by genre mega-hitmaker Michael Broening – offers a blend of funky-breezy drive time jams, gently caressing ballads (one featuring saxman Jeff Kashiwa) and exciting dashes of percussive exotica featuring the one-two punch of his dynamic strings and trademark dreamy wordless and percussive vocals.      

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Shawn Raiford - The Next Step
Shawn Raiford
The Next StepShawn Raiford Sax Productions

Calling to mind the title of sax man’s Shawn Raiford’s critically praised 2020 debut album, MAN WITH A HORN… While many may call themselves ‘men (or women) with horns, few know what to do with it to create the magic and make an emotional connection! Raiford, who’s been sharing his vibrant and adventurous horn-fire with fans in and around his home base in California for years, continues his breakthrough hot streak by following his recent, top-charting single, a sassy and brassy twist on Silk Sonic’s #1 multi-Grammy winning smash, “Leave the Door Open,” with his 3rd pre-release single, “Vallejo,” from his forthcoming album THE NEXT STEP. This jazzy nod to the original East San Francisco Bay Area hip hop scene sound, pioneered by Mac Dre and E-40 promises to propel Mr. Raiford further into Smooth Jazz star status! Becoming well-known for his live performances, the artist packs his rich, pure, dynamic tones into an entertaining, muscular delivery making for exciting concert productions featuring this supernova. 

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Rainforest Band - Good Medicine
Rainforest Band
Good MedicineSan Francisco Records

With the release of GOOD MEDICINE, an inviting mix of spirited contemporary jazz, robust funk and sensual balladry, six-piece Bay Area ensemble Rainforest Band confirms its status as one of Smooth Jazz’s most environmentally conscious artists. Launched in 2017 by R&B/Gospel soul veterans Tony Saunders (bass), Vernon “Ice” Black (guitar) and Sylvester Burks (keyboards), the group refashions the eco-minded aesthetic of BLUES FROM THE RAINFOREST – A MUSICAL SUITE, an early 90s “environmental earth music album” created by Saunders’ father, famed keyboardist Merl Saunders, and the legendary Jerry Garcia. While the soaring power and passion of saxophonist Dave Ellis ensures that this collection is more horn-centric than their debut, there’s also plenty of urban jazz and groovin’ soul from Saunders and tasty, melodic guitar magic from Black and Lorn Leber. GOOD MEDICINE will make you feel good!

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Paolo Rustichelli - Tempus Fugit cover
Paolo Rustichelli
Tempus FugitNext Age Music

Following the tremendous success of 2023’s “Love Divine” featuring the iconic Miles Davis posthumously, the father of chillout music and Smooth Jazz pioneer Paolo Rustichelli returns with a sexy summer gem and a new guest, sax star Jessy J. The title track to his soon to be released album, “Tempus Fugit” literally translates to “Time Flies.” Yet, it also stands still and traverses back and forth in our minds and here we are, always in the present moment! The non-linear thinking musician delivers a song that borrows musical ideas from the past and present and all the while innovates the future. Press play, turn up “Tempus Fugit” and dance in the moment, reminisce about the past, or plan for the future… This song will allow you to experience all of the above at the same time!

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Kim Scott - Like Butter
Kim Scott
Like ButterInnervision Records

Perfectly capturing the swirl of melodic adventurousness and classically-influenced virtuosity that’s propelled Smooth Jazz flutist Kim Scott to #1 on Billboard three times, she hits another musical jackpot with the aptly titled “Like Butter,” the latest single from her upcoming, 2025 album release, LIVIN’ IT UP! While most woodwind solo artists like to feature their instrument exclusively, Scott has a blast joining forces with and trading lead and solo sections with fellow chart-topper, saxophonist Jeff Ryan. The two combine their powerful vibes on the punchy hook, but the deeper fire comes with their alternating, supercharged improvisations which melt together, wait for it... Just like butter. One of the hardest working headliners in Smooth Jazz, you will have no trouble catching Kim live with her own band or with her longtime touring squad Jazz In Pink! 

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Neika Simone - Point of View
Neika Simone
Point of

Riding the promising momentum of her debut EP BEAUTIFUL MOMENT and the single “Million Pieces,” fast-emerging vocalist Neika Simone (whose name intentionally honors the legendary Nina) promotes her multi-faceted artistry as “Relaxing jazz vibes with a touch of funk and soul.” That description aptly captures the mid-tempo groovin’ (and sometimes rockin’) energy and hopeful and heartbreaking romantic themes coloring her engaging new album POINT OF VIEW. Yet Neika’s real magic takes hold when she transcends the easy flowing dreaminess and showcases the angelic, ethereal aspects of her voice as it hits surreal, sky-high notes that take her to Mariah-Whitney territory. Buoyed by a killer band and with a fiery guest appearance by saxophonist Marcus Anderson, Neika’s latest makes her one of the most promising urban jazz artists around.  

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D.S. Wilson - Metamorphosis
D.S. Wilson
MetamorphosisBig Splash Music, LLC

Though its release is scheduled for 2025, the title of Chicago-based saxophonist D.S. Wilson’s next album, METAMORPHOSIS perfectly captures the full circle evolution from his roots in jazz through decades of playing and recording rock, pop and blues before emerging as a bona fide Smooth Jazz artist in 2018. Testament to his extraordinary melodies and chart success - as well as spotlighted for being a finalist in the illustrious talent competition on board the Dave Koz Cruise - Wilson’s 2023 album SKYLINE was produced by Adam Hawley and METAMORPHOSIS is being helmed by Steve Oliver and Grammy nominee Jeff Carruthers. The sophomore single, "Telegram" is a feel-good, joyful jazz jam reminiscent of genre staples like Spyro Gyra and The Rippingtons. 

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Listening Loft : MUST HAVES

Patrick Bradley - Road Trippin'
Patrick Bradley
Road Trippin'Patricks Song Factory

Just in time for spring and summer travel plans, veteran pianist/composer Patrick Bradley creates the ultimate free-spirited, let’s forget about the winter, driving tune with his breezy, high-spirited single, “Road Trippin’," from his forthcoming album GRATITUDE. After years of brilliant hit-making with Jeff Lorber, this instantly engaging track – the follow-up to the post-pandemic EXHALE album – is Bradley’s latest collab with Smooth Jazz saxophonist and producer Darren Rahn, who co-wrote and produced this new tune, which features the unique touches of a Wurlitzer piano. Deeply rooted in the joy of their shared spirituality, the prolific Bradley-Rahn partnership has blessed us with positive, percussive and jazzy, solo-filled tunes that have the power to clear minds, uplift souls and get toes tapping! 

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Jill Butler - Joyride
Jill Butler
JoyrideJill Butler

It’s listed as a “Fun Fact” on her bio, but when you listen to multi-talented, genre-busting (blues, jazz, pop soul) pianist, vocalist and composer/producer Jill Butler’s aptly titled, wildly and adventurous debut JOYRIDE, you’ll know it’s truly her ongoing mission – devoting 100% of her time to uplifting the soul and uniting hearts through music. She brings her fiery and frolicsome, homegrown Louisiana lightning to a slate featuring both shimmering, percussive piano driven originals (including tributes to her professional musician parents and regional legend Carol Fran) and fanciful twists on classics by Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Charlie Chaplain and New Orleans great Allen Toussaint. While ensembling with a cadre of Louisiana Music Hall of Famers, Butler also spins fascinating flute, vibes and organ sounds on her synth.  

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The Allen Carman Project - I've Arrived
The Allen Carman Project
I've ArrivedAllen Carman Music

Five years and six hit singles since releasing their critically acclaimed debut CARMANOLOGY, the title of The Allen Carman Project’s I’VE ARRIVED says it all about the vibrant full-length collection their fans have been longing for. Comprised of those memorable singles and two new freshly funked-out, horn-fired tracks, the set showcases the intricate sonic invention and ever-groovin’ camaraderie between Carman’s hoppin’ bass, Philippe Saisse’s keyboard wizardry and jazzy, high-energy solos and Gumbi Ortiz’s alternately wild and subtle percussive textures. The band’s expansive repertoire features songs for every mood, from laid back romance and breezy mid-tempo coolness to full on Latin party jams. The Project is booking festivals and events across the U.S. in 2024... Don't miss them!

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Evan Carydakis - Paradise Beach
Evan Carydakis

For some artists, a title like “Paradise Beach” might be a metaphorical, sunny fantasy, but for Evan Carydakis, the name of his latest joyous, in the pocket, sizzle funk-driven single is an invitation to an actual beautiful destination. Working once again with his versatile keyboardist/producer Michael Whittaker, the Australian saxophonist and rising Smooth Jazz artist is in a lighthearted celebratory mood from the energizing start, extolling the glorious, calming yet fast swirling virtues of the Greek isle of Mykonos. From the punchy blast of sunlight in the first notes and grooves (courtesy of powerhouse drummer Stacey Sydnor), the track offers a soundtrack to a fun day on the white sand – and the buzzing party atmosphere of the bars and clubs after hours. 

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Bob Coate - Love Like That
Bob Coate
Love Like

The first thing you'll see on the website of the keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Bob Coate is the phrase “Smooth Jazz and Beyond.” More than just clever branding, the slogan captures the stylistically freewheeling artist’s ever-evolving vibe. Easing away from the laid back beachy cool of his earlier singles, his previous two were a festive Latin excursion and an in the pocket, light funk romp with producer Sonix. Continuing not only to move but obliterate the needle of previous expectations, Coate’s upbeat, frolicsome latest single “Love Like That,” finds him blending lighthearted, jazzy piano magic with bluesy organ harmonies over a contemporary, irrepressible groove. In addition to featuring the energetic warm tones of Hungarian saxophonist Peter Herold, the track was produced by Peet Ferencz (Peet Project) and Sandy Shore ( – a remarkable duo that has also produced an ongoing series of star-studded “Songles" and is opening their studios to artist works!

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Karén Devroop - Overjoyed
Karén Devroop

Long considered one of South Africa’s top saxophonists, Karen Devroop’s expansive stylistic palette has led to collaborations with artists from around the globe, performances at international jazz festivals, playing in symphonies throughout the U.S. and Europe and recording albums that range from smooth to acoustic quartet jazz. He amiably follows RELENTLESS, a set of high energy Smooth Jazz originals, with the aptly titled OVERJOYED, a lush collection of exquisitely arranged quartet and orchestra (the South Africa based Mzansi National Philharmonic) interpretations of classic pop ballads by Sting, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Adele, Chicago and Randy Crawford/Joe Sample. As lovely and soulful as the familiar tunes are, Devroop’s reveals his deeper musical heart with a passionate rendition of the mid-80s anti-apartheid song “Weeping.”    

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Fahrenheit 702 - Gettin' In The Game, Vol. 1
Fahrenheit 702
Gettin' In The Game, Vol. 1Jaz-Zay Soul Recordings

Fahrenheit 702 brings a sultry, high energy and party vibe to their debut GETTING IN THE GAME, Vol. 1! Named for producer/bassist/group founder Greg Radford’s triumphant return to the music industry after a near-decade hiatus, the colorful Las Vegas centric themes and slick ensemble action make it the perfect soundtrack to a winning streak with a frolicsome night on The Strip. The core members of this Smooth Jazz collective include Radford, power vocalist Diane 'Dedae' Patrise' Spann and saxophonist Keith Marlo are complemented by Grammy & Emmy Award winning Singer/Trumpeter Skip Martin, keyboardist Mike Clark, bassist Walter Jones, guitarists Michael Henegan and James 'JD' Davis, plus Ronnie Foster (organ) and John Wedemeyer (guitar) infuse blues excitement into the delirious swirl of urban jazz, Prince-like funk and Brazilian coolness.

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Nick Gomez - (the blue one)
Nick Gomez
(the blue one)TDC&M

Feel good Smooth Jazz saxophone is what drives the vibe of Southern California's 8x Emmy Award nominee Nick Gomez! His brand-new single, "Let's Move," from the forthcoming EP (the blue one) is sure to loosen your joints with its energetic melody, and soulful groove. Nick's fascinating musical resume is steeped in 1980s artists and bands. Before he started getting his own tracks played on radio, in television and on films, he performed with Naked Eyes, Wang Chung and Nick Heyward of Haircut 100. Complementing his growing output of Smooth Jazz recordings, Gomez has also collaborated with famed punk rocker Billy Bones and folk-rock singer Mondo Cozmo. Make "Let's Move" the first track on your road trip playlist and get going! 

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Lowell Hopper - Soul Fingers
Lowell Hopper
Soul FingersGet Jazzed Records

If there’s one sure thing fans of adventurous, fashionable and super-melodic Smooth Jazz guitar can look forward to, it’s an annual (sometime bi-annual) release of another phenomenal album by Lowell Hopper, one of the most prolific hitmakers in the genre over the past decade. While his discography extends much further back to a whole different era, his latest masterwork, the perfectly titled SOUL FINGERS, is the Air Force veteran’s 22nd album since the mid-90s. Not surprisingly, it’s another instant smash, with his silky, fluid and intricate guitar lines soaring over sly, supple and funky basslines, adventurous and bouncy beats, bluesy keyboards, magical motifs and dreamy, hypnotic vibes.   

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Infinitive Vibes - One Love cover
Infinitive Vibes
One LoveBLWM Production LLC

With the release of two versions of the passionate, gospel-inflected R&B ballad “One Love," written by Katrina Watts-McFarland and bundled as a debut EP, the Smooth Jazz world is graced with the launch of Infinitive Vibes, a unique indie music collective whose goal is to create generational wealth by consistently releasing music of all genres, using a shared equity royalty split. Just as significantly, the lushly romantic tune introduces two off the charts talents – vocalist Brenda Roy and saxophonist Stabe Wilson – who each carry the emotional melody of their version backed by jazzy horns, a rousing choir of backing vocalists and the grooving support of top Bay Area studio musicians. Having performed with the likes of Lionel Richie, James Brown, Sheila E. and Pete Escovedo, Roy is currently on tour with Patti Labelle. Wilson’s resume features Edwin and Walter Hawkins, Donald Lawrence, Kirk Franklin, Howard Hewett, Tower Of Power and Eric Roberson.

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James PJ Spraggins - Metamorphosis
James ‘PJ’ Spraggins

In 2023, veteran drummer/producer James 'PJ' Spraggins re-emerged after an eight year hiatus with STICK IT OUT, an innovative funk and ballad filled album that was featured on SiriusXM’s Dave Koz Lounge. Now, true to its core, faith-based message of determination and confidence, the multi-faceted artist teams with longtime friend and Grammy winning producer/keyboardist Phil Davis for his latest single “Metamorphosis.” Featuring Davis’ gorgeous, easy flowing piano melody and load of fascinating synth sounds over Spraggins’ hypnotic drums and electronic percussion, it’s a meditative and atmospheric tune that seems expressly designed to help people “chillax” and contemplate the mysterious way life evolves as we live it. Even the extra stuff on this tune is alluring, including the song's pastel butterfly cover art and the Spotify Canvas video displaying the actual metamorphosis of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.  

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Mo Louis - To The Maxx
Mo Louis
To The MaxxWestCoast Sax Records

Euge Groove’s official credits on emerging saxophonist Mo Louis’ sexy and swaying, emotionally hard-hitting 4th single “To the Maxx” are mixing and mastering. Beyond that, Louis credits Euge – after buying a horn from him - for helping make his dream of becoming a Smooth Jazz artist a reality by hooking him up with composer/producer Jeff Carruthers. It’s a dream that began with the artist's childhood love for David Sanborn and Grover Washington, Jr. and found its way to fruition after years of touring with pop, R&B and blues groups. Testament to Mo's increasing renown among the genre elite, this super fire, horn-centric track, is Louis’ latest co-write with Jeff Carruthers, and it features explosive interaction with and a sparkling piano solo by Jeff Lorber! Mo may be short for Maurice, but it also refers to what's to come from this artist, as in MORE. Watch this space!

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Maysa - Music for your Soul
Music For Your SoulBlue Velvet Soul Records

From recording and performing with Stevie Wonder and singing and recording with Incognito through her stellar two decade plus solo career, Maysa has been an essential innovator on the R&B/Smooth Jazz landscape. Evolving as a songwriter and producer, she launched her own label Blue Velvet Soul in 2018 to attain more control over her music and marketing. On her first studio album in six years, she defies industry convention with MUSIC FOR YOUR SOUL, an epic 19 song, personal and spiritual journey that boldly unleashes the depths and fullness of her artistry. With danceable up-tempo and slow jams, silky romantic ballads, soul-gospel and even a torchy reworking of a Stevie song that she once sang backup on, the collection also features exciting guest turns by Chris Walker, Chieli Minucci and Kirk Whalum!

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Byron Miller - Stride
Byron Miller
StrideByron Miller Studio

A Smooth Jazz riddle: What do you get when you cross a “psychobassist” with a “Big Dog”? The beautiful, intuitive musical camaraderie between Byron Miller – veteran bassist for legendary figures like George Duke, Roy Ayers, Luther Vandross and Marvin Gaye – and premiere contemporary urban jazz artist/producer Chris “Big Dog” Davis. Their latest dual single “Stride (Granby Hills”) is not only the most coolly seductive, laid back and atmospheric of their three recent collaborations, but has a poignant story behind it. Driven by Miller’s signature buoyant bass, synth-flute accents and chill keyboards, its lighthearted, spirit lifting vibe is rooted in Davis’ desire to elevate his mood as he was successfully battling cancer. The track will appear on the upcoming fourth chapter of Miller’s acclaimed PsychoBass series, PSYCHOBASS4: MOTOR CITY LOVE. 

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Andrew Neu - Keep It Real
Andrew Neu
Keep It RealCgn Records

In addition to being among the elite Smooth Jazz recording artists with five hit singles over the past few years, saxophonist Andrew Neu is so powerfully identified by his legendary touring associations (Bobby Caldwell, Smokey Robinson, Diane Schuur, Norman Brown) that it’s often easy to overlook his amazing facility for dazzling horn arrangements – a versatile skill that led him to record the critically acclaimed big band album CATWALK in 2018. The 2024 Grammy nominee’s punchy, percussive and alternately silky and hard jamming new single “Keep It Real” – Neu’s fourth collaboration with keyboardist/producer Greg Manning – offers spectacular showcases for his emotionally compelling way with a melody and his ever-sizzling brass magic on the explosive choruses. The title is meant as a reminder that real musicians are behind the music we love!

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Jim Richter - Peace Five
Jim Richter
Peace FiveJamesland Music Management, LLC

With his breakthrough 2020 single “Mr. Kool,” Jim Richter pulled off a major coup for an independent Smooth Jazz artist, racking up nearly 3M streams on Spotify. Fifty-five years after the legendary Son House first asked him to come onstage and play the blues in Chicago, the North Georgia based multi-talented composer, keyboardist and guitarist is still as active as ever, jamming with his 8-piece horn ensemble, The Kool Breeze Band and playing a unique rock-jazz driven repertoire he fondly calls “Steely Dan without words.” Driven by a vibrant and elegant piano with a dynamic keyboard solo, hypnotic locomotive percussion and ever-soaring strings, Richter’s adventurous latest single “Peace Five” lands on the corner of Pat Metheny and Bruce Hornsby.

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Sonix - Victory
VictoryNucleus Entertainment

With his chart-topping 2022 debut album LOVE CRUSADE, keyboardist/composer Tim “Sonix” Rouse infused Smooth Jazz with groovin' blasts of the epic, sonic magic he previously brought to the music of legends and icons including David Bowie and Barry White, DMC, Maxi Priest, Travis Barker, and 50 Cent. Continuing his mission to spread love and harmony across the globe through music, the multi-talented artist and label owner (Nucleus Entertainment, Inc.) nicknamed “The Mad Scientist” sets the stage for LOVE CRUSADE 2.0 with this buoyant, high energy, synth and piano driven funk and fury of its lead single “Victory.” With soaring atmospheres swirling around Sonix’s ultra-catchy melody, it’s a sweeping anthem and rallying cry paying homage to the ever-resilient spirits of those who have endured life’s toughest trials, overcome obstacles and emerged as champions!

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Franko Spero - One Step Ahead
Franko Spero
One Step AheadFH-Music

Under his cleverly rhyming hipster moniker Franko Spero, veteran Norwegian keyboardist, composer and producer Frank Hestness uses the titles of his EP releases to make it easy for fans of “high energy chill” to track his creative and career progress. He called his debut SIGNING IN as a way of introducing his vibe, followed by the new ONE STEP AHEAD. This one keeps the artful balance of smooth and edgy yet has deeper, more infectious melodies and poppin’ grooves that drive both hypnotic, mid-tempo ballads and energetic drive time gems. One of Spero’s unique trademarks is surrounding his in-the-pocket Smooth Jazz sound with colorful, immersive synth-generated sonic details that create warm, soulful and sometimes bluesy atmospheres.    

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Nick Stefanacci - Secrets
Nick Stefanacci
SecretsSweet Lion Music

Nick Stefanacci’s rise in Smooth Jazz has been so quick and steep that it’s hard to believe he was a longtime pop fusion artist who started his career touring with artists like Derek Trucks, Ja Rule and DMC. Three years after dropping his picture-perfect collection, COVER TO COVER, rising Smooth Jazz star Nick Stefanacci launches his new EP SECRETS with a sizzling, high-octane tribute to one of the legends he covered, Michael Jackson, complete with a “Billie Jean”-like bass groove. In addition to two previously released singles (including a seductive holiday tune featuring vocalist Rich Aveo), the set features three mid-tempo jazz/funk ballads (one is also a playful romantic vocal) that showcase the power and soaring passion Stefanacci brings to his ever-evolving artistry.    

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Ultrablue - Herbie
New York StoriesSRS Records

John Smatla, leader of the cosmopolitan global fusion collective UltraBlue, has been on a roll, paying homage to jazz legends since successfully re-releasing the group’s self-titled 2006 release last year. He follows the Earl Klugh tribute “Maria in Blue” with a free-spirited, horn-fired tip of the cap to “Herbie” Hancock, the single’s inspiration. The song features Smatla’s absolutely dazzling melodic and improvisational piano excitement, but there’s an even deeper connection with the intense grooves of longtime Hancock drummer, Trevor Lawrence. Another key element is the lyrical playing and fiery solo by New York saxophonist Eric Knight. Smatla worried it wouldn’t live up to its namesake – but once he let go and chose to have fun, the inspiration led him to a burnin’ final product. The song will be included on Ultrablue’s upcoming album NEW YORK STORIES.   

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Dennis van Aarssen - Just Call It Love
Dennis van Aarssen
Just Call It LoveBTA Music Powered By AOE

The 4th album from super-talented wunderkind Dennis van Aarssen is a jazzy pop success as well as a masterclass in musical elegance with veteran composer-pianist Jeff Franzel (Sinatra, Torme, Groban). The two met in 2019 to write for DVA’s big band, and a seed was planted about an acoustic piano project. The idea of simmering down songs with an intimate approach was appealing, allowing the two more personal access to the music, as well as to the lyrics by including renowned lyricist Maria Christensen (Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez). The Voice of Holland winner can sing just about anything and on JUST CALL IT LOVE his voice style is impassioned with greater emotional depth. As Dennis notes “the songs are more fragile,” and his vocals are “not so much about power as they are about the nuances.” 

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Jamie WilliamS - Tongue Tied cover
Jamie WilliamS.
Tongue TiedJamie WilliamS.

A consummate, globally renowned entertainer, saxophonist Jamie WilliamS. has performed over the past quarter century in Europe, Central and South America and the Far East while also doing gigs with everyone from Gloria Estefan and Ricky Peterson to Jennifer Hudson, Justin Bieber and on the Smooth Jazz side, Kim Waters and Walter Beasley. Considering that Hudson sang a Stevie Wonder classic on his debut album AFTER HOURS, WilliamS. – also a Professor of Music Production at Full Sail University - had a tough act to follow in dropping his long awaited second collection TONGUE TIED. Yet he succeeds spectacularly and eclectically, finding his niche with an awesome array of mood swings, from fiery blues funk and silky cool romance to atmospheric chill and a smoky, emotional mid-tempo urban jazz flow.

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Alexander Zonjic & James Lloyd - Night at the Roxy
Alexander Zonjic & James Lloyd
Night at the RoxyHi-Falutin' Music

James Lloyd, founding member of the world-renowned, Smooth Jazz band Pieces of a Dream, teams up with extraordinary, award-winning flutist, Alexander Zonjic on their brand-new single “Night at the Roxy." Smooth meets Latin Dance Party on this hot track, turning up the heat on the dance floor and already delivering massive streams and spins around the world. Featuring Grammy Winner Kirk Whalum on tenor sax with David Mann horn arrangements. The song is from the duo's forthcoming album, 2COOL!

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Listening Loft : ESSENTIALS

Amandus - Earth
EarthAmandus Records

Four years after his Smooth Jazz breakout album SING A SONG, versatile German keyboardist/composer Michael Amandus Quast (aka Amandus) is celebrating a quarter century since shifting from a career in science to full time musician – a decision that paid off when he was hired to tour for years with 80s icons Paul Young, Nik Kershaw and Midge Ure. Offering pure chill vibes and a spirit of relaxation, Amandus’ latest single “Earth” is the ultimate combo of urban jazz and lo-fi hip-hop. A super melodic, easy grooving meditational ballad with soothing atmospheres and subtly swirling angelic vocals. 

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Marcos Ariel - Missing Ipanema cover art
Marcos Ariel
Missing IpanemaHumaita Music

With 30+ albums, legendary Brazilian keyboardist/composer Marcos Ariel has been a true ambassador for his home culture, sharing the varied musical joys of Brazil and his hometown of Rio for four decades. Extending a series of recent albums dedicated to themes like his love for the sea and the flora of Rio, Ariel infuses his latest collection MISSING IPANEMA not with a sense of nostalgia or melancholic longing, but with celebratory vigor, whimsy and exotic, intoxicating rhythms in his musical heart. He expresses this love with passionate acoustic and electric piano melodies and solos, backed by a cadre of Brazilian greats and a guest appearance from Marc Antoine. 

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Steve Baxter - Crusade Blvd
Steve Baxter
Crusade BlvdSlubba Bub Record

In 2003, the same year Steve Baxter released his debut solo album IN AND OUT, he earned a Grammy nomination for his work on the Jazz Crusaders’ classic RURAL RENEWAL. Over 20 years later, the versatile trombonist – who has toured with Barry Manilow, Ray Charles and The GAP Band and recorded with Justin Timberlake among others – keeps the classic, soul-deep Wayne Henderson vibe a viable, funky and rockin’ force in Smooth Jazz with his latest album CRUSADE BLVD. Baxter showcases his multi-faceted style with a blend of coolly, strutting grooves, inviting, hipster melodies, silky intimacy and two power vocals featuring legendary soul crooner Ellis Hall.   

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Marius Billgobenson - A Little Bit of Honey cover
Marius Billgobenson
A Little Bit of HoneyBlue Willow Entertainment

It’s fitting that a portion of the proceeds from the pre-sale of Congolese born, Stockholm based singer-songwriter Marius Bilgobenson’s latest single “A Little Bit of Honey” was donated to the international anti-poverty, social justice organization Global Citizen. The multi-talented artist is a concerned and compassionate musical citizen of the world, committed to bridging cultural divides through his music. Produced by and featuring guitarist Paul Brown – who helmed two tracks on Bilgobenson’s album THE SPIRIT LOVE – the charming and romantic, horn-spiced tune fuses exotic African rhythms and sensibilities with a soulful, urban jazz vibe. The tune features performances by David Garfield, Shane Theriot, Ron King and Freddie Washington. Welcome back Marius... You are a voice for the voiceless! 

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Uli Brodersen - City Lights
Uli Brodersen
City LightsLorraine Tracks

After over a decade away from solo recording, veteran German jazz guitarist Uli Brodersen – a longtime collaborator with Smooth Jazz pianist Amandus - is well on his way to making 2024 a major comeback year, first with his ironically titled drive time romp “South of Summer” and now embracing spring with his super chill, laid back new single “Coast To Coast.” Both tracks are from the forthcoming EP, CITY LIGHTS. This latest single is a showcase for his keen melodic sensibilities, atmospheric production design and alternately cool and snappy melodic guitar lines and vibrant improvisations, the track is designed as the perfect soundtrack for exploration and adventure on the open road. 

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Mark Carter - Brand New Day
Mark Carter
Brand New

It's been more than 15 years since guitarist/composer Mark Carter's last Smooth Jazz album. The 2022 Paul Brown-produced hit "Swingtown" left the door open for more from the talented Southern California recording artist! Hopefully back in the groove for a good while, Carter re-establishes his multi-faceted, stylistically diverse excellence on this latest album BRAND NEW DAY. Alternately showcasing his crisp, edgy electric guitar artistry and romantically-inclined acoustic guitar grace (including on the project's rollout radio single, "First Love" with saxophonist Greg Vail), Carter infuses his love for gritty funk and classic blues with a touch of Latin jazz into his infectious contemporary jazz vibes.  

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Deaddream - Dreamin
DreaminDiverseworks Records

For an enigmatic band with minimal available background information and an unusual dark-themed moniker reflecting the challenge these days of attaining the elusive American Dream, the five-piece Baltimore-based urban jazz fusion ensemble Deaddream sure makes a great deal of fun and furious joyful noise! The new album, DREAMIN is centered on instantly catchy melodies and hip, organic and machine generated grooves, and their expansive slate of vibes rides beautifully on a multitude of emotions conveyed by different lead instruments – including acoustic and electric piano, trumpet, trombone, saxophone and spacey and exotic synth adventures. Every note seems to convey the idea that the dream may be dead, but let's see if these feel-good vibes can renew hope!

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Everett B. Walters - Funking Under the Chicago Skyline
Everett B Walters
Funking Under the Chicago SkylineEverett Mych Music

Surely the Chicago bred, longtime Las Vegas based brother duo hears the question all the time: “Which one of you is Everett B Walters?” Turns out, neither, as the band name is a clever blend of their names and playfully defines that fun and funky grooving dual energy of guitarist Michael Everett Brown and bassist Harold Walter Brown III since joining forces as recording artists in the mid-2000s. Once again forging a colorful chemistry with their crew featuring keyboardist Stanley Small (aka Duayne Stanley), saxophonist Audley Reid and drummer Michael white, the Browns pay spirited homage to the rhythmic excitement of their hometown on the new album FUNKIN UNDER THE CHICAGO SKYLINE. Complementing their blend of original bouncy thrillers and silky, laid-back ballads is a crafty twist on a Toto classic featuring Stanley on vocals.  

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Girl - You're Everything To Me
You're Everything To MeGSJ Records

Since shifting gears, literally, from the auto industry to the music industry in 2019, Gil Johnson’s many charms as a soulful vocalist have resulted in multiple popular radio and streaming singles and collaborations with genre stars Doc Powell, Tom Braxton and Darren Rahn. His latest single, the high spirited and Brazilian flavored, “You’re Everything To Me,” is another starry-eyed triumph that finds him working for the first time with Alan Palanker and D. Cooper Getschal of the contemporary jazz group Jazz Holdouts. With Getschal providing vocal arrangements and backing vocals, Gil’s exuberant lead vocal rides over Palanker’s lively keyboards and Jamie Glaser’s breezy acoustic guitar. This is as good as love songs get! 

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Jazz Holdouts - Room To Breathe
Jazz Holdouts
Room To BreathePiermont Jazz

As the supergroup Jazz Holdouts reaches their milestone decade as a force in Smooth Jazz with their smooth swaying, sonically sexy sax, piano and synth driven new single “Room to Breathe,” the reason for their clever name comes clear. In the decades before keyboardist Alan Palanker, saxophonist Louis Cortelezzi, guitarist Michael Thompson and bassist John Siegler pooled their talents, they were so busy as sidemen with legends (Madonna, Quincy Jones, Rod Stewart, David Foster, Chaka Khan, et al) that they were holding out on sharing the kind of ample compositional and improvisational jazz chops they generously showcase on catchy tunes like this new single!

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Eric Knight - Cash In
Eric Knight

After years touring with The Rolling Stones, Prince, J Lo, Etta James and others, alto saxophonist Eric Knight made an immediate impact in the Smooth Jazz community with rip-roaring versions of hits by Gnarls Barkley, SWV and Tevin Campbell. While his debut album COVER TO COVER – VOL. 1 is set for release later in 2024, the multi-talented artist is dazzling us with his first original single “Cash In,” an edgy and feisty, easy funk, power ballad co-penned and co-produced by creative partner Rodge Nelson. Knight complements his passionate lead melody with some sizzling sax harmonies along with the fire of Mike Ciro’s blazing guitar solo.

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Le Sonic - Take It Or Leave It
Le Sonic
Take It Or Leave ItGeneric Records

The inspiring story of Smooth Jazz chart toppers Le Sonic is rooted in the 20-year friendship of Mike Rogers and Gary Lefkowith, veteran composers, musicians and producers in the pop, dance and R&B worlds who joined forces in 2016 and by 2022 were the #1 Billboard Smooth Jazz Group on Billboard’s Airplay chart. One of the duo’s greatest discoveries along the way is sultry voiced singer Lauran Beluzo. Her silky, soulful charms helped them ride “I’ll Be The One” to the pole position and now turns their dreamy and intimate, easy flowing latest single “Take It Or Leave It” into one of the silkiest, most intoxicating musical ultimatums ever. 

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Dee Lucas - TWENTY
Dee Lucas
Tighten UpODL Music

Two years after his Soul Café Radio Indie Soul Awards nomination, 4-time Billboard charting saxophonist Dee Lucas remains steadfast in his aim to create a “Rebirth of Smooth Jazz” (as his mantra goes) with each recording. Currently celebrating two decades since releasing his debut album REMEMBRANCE, he sets the stage for the release of his latest, the aptly titled TWENTY, with this new single, the cheery, infectious “Tighten Up,” which features some of Lucas’ most charming and lyrical soprano playing and adventurous soloing ever-riding over a bright and bubbly mid-tempo groove.        

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Kim Maiden - Dayspring
Kim Maiden
DayspringKim Maiden Music

Time get excited, Smooth Jazz electric guitar lovers – there’s a new cat on the scene and he’s bringing his years of NYC based pop and R&B experience to genre, starting with the full-on mid-tempo seduction of his cool, crisp and snappy debut single “Dayspring.” Produced by Adam Hawley and propelled by a chill groove that's colored by echoing keyboard effects and a dreamy atmospheric caress. The perfect introductory showcase for Maiden’s higher toned melodic dazzle and riveting improvisations. While his shimmering style follows the tradition of greats like Nick Colionne, Chieli Minucci and Norman Brown, Maiden’s fresh sound is one you’ll want to hear more of!  

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Bruce McKenzie - Revised (Remix)
Bruce McKenzie
Revibed (Remix) B-Love Entertainment

With a flurry of intoxicating light funk single releases, guitarist Bruce McKenzie feels like an exciting new presence in Smooth Jazz – but doing a deeper dive, we discover that he put out a batch of excellent urban jazz-oriented releases earlier in the 2000s as well. His latest jam, a silky splash of tight, in the pocket, horn-spiced sunshine titled “Revibed (Remixed”), is the 30- year Air Force veteran’s radio-friendly edit of the track’s original rendition, showcasing his warm, rhythmic Norman Brown/George Benson style tone, playful way with electronic percussion and atmospheric sound design and ample skills as a sly soul-jazz keyboardist.

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Greg MInnick - Distanza
Greg Minnick
Distanza Levelblu Records

The founder of Levelblu Music Productions, Miami-based guitarist/composer Greg Minnick has produced numerous Smooth Jazz and World Fusion projects for other artists while working with the likes of Audra McDonald, Yo Yo Ma, DeBarge, Mary Wilson, and Smooth Jazz cats like Warren Hill and Praful and contributing music to MTV, VH1 and HBO. Drawing from a wealth of the many genres he’s worked in, the multi-talented artist’s long awaited debut album DISTANZA weaves something of an autobiographical musical narrative of Greg Minnick’s life. This includes zesty, deeply percussive romps into smooth jazz, chill and samba territory, breezy, and atmospheric urban jazz. The project's first two singles, "Lazy Time" featuring Lauren Carter & Ricky Williams and "Dreams of Ibiza" featuring Ed Calle are soon to be genre staples.

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Morgan|Husband|Feraud - A Soul in Time feat Eric Marienthal cover
A Soul In TimeGuitar One Records

A year after releasing GROOVIN’ SMOOTH, the fourth album from his award winning, self-styled West Coast Laid Back Jazz” group Ghost Jazz Trio, veteran guitarist, composer and producer James Morgan returns to his classic, jazz-fusion roots with Morgan|Husband|Feraud... A tight, seamless and propulsive new trio with drummer/keyboardist Gary Husband and bassist Hadrien Feraud. Showcasing their artful ensemble action, their funky, free-spirited debut single “A Soul In Time” – the title track from the group’s upcoming debut album - features a silky, increasingly fiery melody by guest saxophonist Eric Marienthal and adventurous solo improvisations by Husband (on piano) and Feraud.

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Bryan Morris - Tasty Smooth
Bryan Morris
Can't BelieveBMoProductions

While he’s played with legends like Maynard Ferguson and blues master Kenny Neal and formed his own popular blues band The Truth featuring Cat Rhodes, veteran drummer Bryan Morris popped into the Smooth Jazz universe for the first time last year as co-composer and performer on Roman Street’s popular 2023 single “Key to Paradise.” The multi-talented artist’s aptly titled debut EP, CAN'T BELIEVE showcases his exciting diversity and ability to inspire a wide range of moods. It includes a hypnotic chill tune featuring silky sax and excitingly edgy electric guitar, atmospheric electronica with intoxicating grooves and a brassy, discofied vocal jam featuring Ms. Rhodes on vocals. Mr. Morris is one to watch for fresh musical ideas and exciting grooves.

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Jessie Laine Powell - Fire and Ice
Jessie Laine Powell
Fire and IceJLP Music Global

Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Jessie Laine Powell’s has many unique extra-musical activities, including being the creator of the Dream Manifestor, a community designed to inspire and transform talented people to go after their dreams. The Lexington, KY native’s own manifestations these days include the release of “Fire and Ice,” a sultry and whimsical mid-tempo collaboration with Jazz in Pink’s Gail Jhonson (and featuring the keyboardist’s sparkling piano solo) that celebrates the truth that a relationship’s ups, downs, differences and unpredictability make it stronger – a refreshing perspective! The new single will appear on MY LOVE JOURNEY, Powell’s second R&B/Smooth Jazz album, due later in 2024. 

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Ronny Smith - Struttin
Ronny Smith
StruttinPacific Coast Jazz

Right in line with chart-topping, Smooth Jazz guitarists the likes of Norman Brown and the late great Nick Colionne, multi-talented guitar hero Ronny Smith – a 35-year veteran of U.S. Army bands - has been working his fluid and melodic, Wes Montgomery/George Benson-influenced string magic for over 20 years. His latest, perfectly titled album STRUTTIN is a picture perfect collection of playfully grooving and burning smooth tunes from start to finish. Infused with exciting brass energy, sly and sultry ballads, and a soulful re-imagining of a Great American Songbook classic as well as a snappy personal homage to the Montgomery aesthetic on a whimsical, exotic twist of a familiar Wes chestnut. 

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Daniela Soledade - Garota de Ipanema
Daniela Soledade
The Girl From IpanemaCopanema Records

When folks around the world think of Brazilian music, one sultry bossa nova classic comes to mind… Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “The Girl From Ipanema.” It’s been covered hundreds of times since the famous Stan Getz/Astrud Gilberto version, but perhaps never more beautifully and authentically than on this new single by emerging Rio born, U.S. based singer Daniela Soledade. She tenderly and dreamily carries on the legacy of her grandfather Paulo Soledade and musician father Paulinho Soledade, both of whom collaborated with the foundational greats of bossa nova. Sung seductively in Portuguese and English, this charming new version features the smoky sax of Jeff Rupert. 

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Debbie Spring - Have I Got A Deal For You
Debbie Spring
Have I Got A Deal For YOU Cr Records

Contemporary and Smooth Jazz have had their share of top violinists... Inspired by the great Jean-Luc Ponty, Debbie Spring brings a whole new sensual, intoxicating vibe to the genre via her five-string viola. After decades of playing with everyone from The Mavericks to Miami Sound Machine and Shakira, the illustrious veteran musician follows her 2023 breakthrough album TOCAMOS with the title track to her forthcoming album, HAVE I GOT A DEAL FOR YOU. The full album is a stylistically adventurous, genre-busting set that taps into the loves of her musical life, including bouncy, Latin-tinged horn jams, lush, romantic ballads, soaring orchestral pieces and a trippy, and tasty spin on a Seal classic, "Kiss from a Rose," which is the 2nd single from the forthcoming album!

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Eric Evans - Water Sound
The Eric Evans Project
Water SoundSoundtracks To Life

Since its 2010 debut with WAVES OF GRACE, The Eric Evans Project has captivated global audiences with a unique blend of contemporary jazz. A decade later, after years of fruitful collaboration, Eric Evans and David Eugene Ivey founded "Soundtracks to Life," a music and media arts publishing company. Evans expertly handles various instruments and composition roles, infusing his touch into every project. His live performances enchant Smooth Jazz enthusiasts with vibrant flutes, alto sax, and EWI. Evans began working with chart toping guitarist Adam Hawley on recent releases, with “Water Sound” as their latest. Delivering a dreamy, swaying piece enriched with lush sonic textures, transitioning seamlessly from relaxed and laid-back to soaring to a deeply emotional track. Dive into the musical waves of "Water Sound" and let it carry you to your own personal oasis.

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Jayson Tipp - Table For One
Jayson Tipp
Table For OneMind in Overdrive

It’s been a banner year for Jayson Tipp! The veteran keyboardist/composer celebrated 30 years since founding his popular “rough jazz” fusion band Under the Lake – which has been on a prolific creative roll since releasing a comeback album in 2018. 2023 also found Tipp releasing two hit airplay singles (one produced by Darren Rahn, the other by Adam Hawley) which laid a promising, momentum-filled foundation for the drop of his long-awaited Smooth Jazz debut album TABLE FOR ONE. Driven by his summery, upbeat grooves galore and a tasty mix of various keyboard sounds (including organ) with his lively, romantically inclined, improvisational piano excitement, the engaging collection features impactful guest appearances by saxophonists Quintin Gerard W (from Under the Lake) and Greg Vail as well as trumpeter Ilya Serov. 

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