- Isaac Edwards
- Begin Again
- Songs In My Pocket Music
- Mel Holder
- Music Book Volume III - Magnificent
- Psalmist Music Group/MEGAWAVE
- Michael C. Lewis
- Intimate Journey
- Cybervision Entertainment
- Tony Lindsay
- Something Beautiful
- Lindseed Music
- John Novello
- Good To Go
- 529 Music
- Herb Partlow
- Future Jazz
- Superb Muzic
- BillyRay Sheppard
- Big Bib Entertainment
- Daneen Wilburn
- Daneen Wilburn
Listening Loft : HOTPICKS
Greg Carmichael, founding member of seminal guitar driven contemporary jazz ensemble Acoustic Alchemy, is a true survivor. He regrouped after the passing of band co-founder Nick Webb 20 years ago, and now, with longtime partner Miles Gilderdale, creates some of the group’s most compelling and diverse music ever on 33 1/3, the title reflecting on the band’s age. Recorded in the wake of Carmichael’s wife experiencing a life-threatening bout with meningitis and the loss of their long-time friend and manager, Steward Coxhead. The first studio album in seven years is a collection that darts by design, across a stylistic map from the assertive world-fusion fun on the opening track, “East of Babylon” to an exhilarating nod to fallen guitar hero, Chuck Loeb with “Carmen’s Man.” In addition, it includes a Steely Dan-esque pop/blues tribute to Walter Becker, “Blues For Mr. Mu,” while the album also brushes on Latin, classical and contemporary sonic realms, it also includes a full band collaboration “The Girl With A Plan,” a title inspired by global radio pioneer and decades long companion, Sandy Shore. With a fresh, new energy, their trademark melodic chemistry created by an alchemy of nylon and steel guitars shines brightly through.
Southern bred multi-talented vocal interpreter and songwriter Nicole Banks Long brings a fascinating background – including musical theater performer and contributor to Rod McGaha’s jazz fusion album THE SERVANT - to her a fresh, sultry emergence in Smooth Jazz with the release of her debut album FLY. Balancing honest emotion to her balance of hushed intimacy and deeply soul dramatic flair, the singer finds her unique voice as an artist while cleverly re-imagining classics and lesser known tunes by the likes of Al Jarreau, Roberta Flack, Shirley Horn, Phoebe Snow, Nancy Wilson and others. A sly and insightful storyteller, Banks Long also shares a powerful sense of social consciousness on her two standout originals.
Because it’s all we need... because it’s the answer and because it never fails. These are only but a few of the reasons why our favorite songbird, Grammy nominated vocalist Sylvia Bennett, wishes us Love on her latest outing of recorded musical bliss! I WISH YOU LOVE is simmering to the brim with delicious contemporary musical treats. Dipping into her collection of favorites from the classic songs that she’s romanced over the years in several languages; this intentional album of love songs blazes a new trail for our tireless, crooning crusader... the lusciously arranged set by longtime producing partner, Hal S. Batt, is all in English and features some amazing special guests including the one and only bass master, Nathan East on an impeccable cover of “Its Impossible” and Chart-topping Smooth Jazz trumpeter Rick Braun on a highly enjoyable run of “C’est Si Bon,” or as we like to call it, “C’est Si Braun.” Really it’s all you need to get by. Love that is… and this wonderful assortment of love songs falls into that category as well. Find out for yourself!
With the release of his bold and funky, in your face fourth album INTANGIBLE, composer and multi-keyboardist Patrick Bradley continues to thrive under the production guidance of musical kindred spirit and genre legend Jeff Lorber – who also helmed his previous two projects. Whether he’s jamming on piano and organ or going wild with spacey, way out synth improvisations, Bradley keeps the buoyant melodies and relentlessly energetic grooves flowing. The album’s deep sense of adventure and invention reflects the multi-talented artist’s desire to pay homage to recently departed musical greats like progressive rockers Keith Emerson, Chris Squire and Richard Wright and jazz legends George Duke and Joe Sample. Once you start listening, you won’t be able to let go of INTANGIBLE!
Saxophonist Wayne Gutshall’s perfectly titled debut album SPICY! is a joyous reflection of the many years he’s spent immersed in Miami’s Latin pop and jazz scenes – which includes work with greats like Nestor Torres, Dave Valentin, Arturo Sandoval and an appearance on Ed Calle’s Latin Grammy winning album MAMBLUE. While he showcases these influences via an artful balance of high energy exotica and balmy sensuality, the Latin vibe is simply the launching point for a stylistically eclectic collection that includes jazz fusion, gritty blues, stylish tributes to Gato Barbieri and Miles Davis and engaging twists on pop classics by Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie. Playfully jumping genres from track to track, Wayne Gutshall delivers a fashionable collection with a lot of Miami spice!
A fresh addition to the acoustic pop and soul side of Smooth Jazz, 22-year old Joe Hurworth is a UK based artist whose rich blend of clear emotive vocals, lush vocal harmonies and insightful songwriting will appeal to fans who appreciate multi-genre greats like Michael McDonald. Having recently topped the SmoothJazz.com Listener Chart with “Single Day,” Joe’s unassuming, yet exquisitely produced debut EP CREATIVITY is full of infectious ballads and mid-tempo numbers that find him reflecting thoughtfully about different phases of romance and the conflicting nature of the creative process. Vocally, he cites legendary influences like Marvin Gaye, Al Green and the aforementioned McDonald, but he’s no doubt equally in influenced by his contemporaries the likes of Jason Mraz, James Morrison and Ed Sheeran. Joe’s one to watch… from Smooth to Soul, he’s got his finger on the pulse. "Single Day" made it to #1 on the SmoothJazz.com Listener Chart in the Spring of 2018!
Twenty years since he co-wrote the Smooth Jazz classic “When I Think of You” with Brian Culbertson for Steve Cole, electric guitarist Gerey Johnson continues as a busy sideman (Culbertson, Richard Elliot, Boney James, Rick Braun, Euge Groove), producer, record company executive and co-producer/music director of the Smooth Chicago concert series. With the release of his new track “Like We Used To,” Johnson finally rewards fans who have been waiting for his emergence as a solo artist. An easy-grooving, compelling and crackling, blues/gospel infused track featuring the inimitably soulful Richard Elliot on sax. “Like We Used To” is the lead single of Johnson’s highly anticipated upcoming full-length debut album YOU DIDN’T KNOW? Now you do!
One of urban jazz’s most consistently soul-inspiring vocalists over the past 25 years, Grammy nominee and Soul Train Award winner Maysa has a powerful message for those who may feel alone in their struggle with life’s ongoing challenges: “You Are Not Alone.” Her dreamy and uplifting, new R&B and gospel tinged single is not a Christmas song, per se, but with its inspirational, hopeful message and stunning performance, it has the makings of a seasonal perennial. While universal in scope and applicable to many situations in her life and the lives of others, she wrote it as a tribute to the folks at the March of Dimes, who helped her through a tough time after the premature birth of her son Jazz.
Reflective of its title and the individual themes driving its soulful, engaging tracks, Sam Rucker’s emotionally compelling third album REDEMPTION is powered by a deep spiritual vision of true soul survival. The versatile Virginia-based saxophonist uses bright melodies, tight grooves and the occasional uplifting, gospel flavored female vocals to enhance the musical praise, and to count the blessings that saw the artist through the dark times. While Rucker’s previous works were infused with inspirational messages, his shift from featuring top guest stars on his previous album TELL YOU SOMETHING (Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Euge Groove) to carrying the emotional passion himself is indicative of the many emotional and creative breakthroughs he’s made over the past five years. REDEMPTION is as divinely inspired as Smooth Jazz gets!
Will Sumner’s got a pretty tasty theme developing, and it’s all about bringing the joie de vivre and sunshine filled adventures to Smooth Jazz! Extending the summery magic of his recordings COAST DRIVE, PIER GROOVE and ENDLESS SUMNER, the veteran composer/guitarist’s latest single “Ride The Wave,” the title track from his upcoming album, is pure buoyant, rolling energy. To create the ideal carefree top down, wind in your face, drive along PCH vibe, Sumner takes a Rippingtons-esque production approach, doubling his guitars with saxes and featuring lush piano and tropical percussion textures.
Music has colors… as well as textures and energy. Our favorite Lifestyle Music craftsman, Waldino returns with a new collection of musical motifs, RANDOM SCATTERED COLORS. This soundtrack of soul-tugging jazz vibes and melodic dance grooves will play like a weekend every time you turn it on. The one-time, in demand emergency room maxillofacial surgeon returned to music composition after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s over a decade ago. Since that time, Dr. Walter Liskiewicz (aka Waldino) has prolifically created over a dozen albums… all compelling and kinetic upon the last. The perennial composer delivers a stunning set of songs here with RSC, just hit Play/Repeat and see/feel the music for yourself!
Listening Loft : MUST HAVES
R&B/funk driven, Detroit based guitarist dee Brown’s REMEMBERING YOU is that rare Smooth Jazz album that lifts the spirits and gets the fingers snapping as it weaves a compelling narrative through its thoughtful song titles. A colorful blend of hard grooving jams and passionate ballads, the collection tells the beautiful and emotional story of Brown’s relationship with singer/songwriter Shaunia Edwards, his collaborator and fiancée who made her transition to heaven in February 2016. His inspirational chronicle of their time together is a celebration of her extraordinary life and their incredible love - and a reminder that we are all here to share our lives together.
Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Paul Dozier’s success as a solo artist these past 17 years has led him to open shows for the Smooth Jazz, Soul and Gospel elite, play with everyone from Paul Taylor and Brian Simpson and serve as musical director for Karen Briggs and Gail Jhonson. The optimistic title of his latest album BRAND NEW DAY lets us know that he’s looking forward to the future with tight, infectious melodies, fluid guitar licks and picture perfect urban pocket grooves. Dozier complements the electric guitar vibe with an acoustic neo soul tune featuring vocalist Jessica Lane and a deep electronica soul dive into a Sade classic.
The title of saxophonist Isaac Edwards’ urban oriented debut album BEGIN AGAIN reflects his determination to get back to making music over a decade after releasing two well received gospel albums – one of which included a collaboration with Kirk Whalum. Finding time amidst his successful career as a lawyer, he delivers a collection of intense passion, alternating the silk and funk, sizzling powerfully with rich horn textures and even frolicking in playful Latin territory. The multi-talented artist – who has opened for Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith – also taps deeper into his gospel roots on soul-stirring collaborations with Take 6’s Joel Kibble.
Chicago flutist, composer and music educator Steve Flowers may have titled his latest album MISSING YOU in tribute to a departed friend, but this super soulful, dreamily melodic and rhythmically diverse collection is more about celebrating. Playing an array of flutes – including the piccolo, bass and G flute – the multi-talented artist, who has performed with everyone from Take 6 and Koko Taylor to Regina Belle and B.B. King, takes us on a whimsical yet wistful, emotionally compelling journey filled with pop, R&B, light funk, improvisational jazz and vibrant, spirited Latin pleasures.
Bringing more of the sweet and radiant “Chocolate Sunshine” of her 2016 breakthrough album, electrifying saxophonist, full time music educator and emerging Smooth Jazz sensation Jazmin Ghent now invites us to fully experience THE STORY OF JAZ. Following two hit singles with Paul Brown, she takes her unique brand of snazzy sizzle and sultry funk to the next level with producer Euge Groove and keyboardist Philippe Saisse. Beyond the fiery and infectious, groove intensive originals, she kicks it old school with a re-imagining of a Carole King classic and closes by taking us to church, where her amazing journey began.
A decade after first dazzling the Smooth Jazz world with their combined talents on the hit debut ALWAYS… Bay Area married couple George and Tracy Franklin – collectively known as GTF - are back with CROSS PATHS, leading their powerhouse ensemble on an intoxicating mix of soul-sensual ballads and tight urban jazz with an edgy funk twist. Though keyboardist Bob James and percussionist Juan Escovedo (of the legendary Escovedo family) lend their exuberance, the deeper joys emerge from George’s lush lead and wordless vocals, Tracy’s background vocals and the explosive energy of band members John Rekevics, Richard “Blitz” Livoni and John Cain.
With her sensual yet gritty, world-wise influenced vocals, popular Australian singer/songwriter Skii Harvey offers a cross between the raucous bluesy soul of Tina Turner and hip, jazzy elegance of Ella Fitzgerald. The multiple award-winning artist’s latest EP may be called UNINVITED, but she immediately draws us into the raw, plainspoken emotion and sizzling horns on these four, new tracks. Sharing a variety of moods and tempos, she powerfully fulfills her goal with this tight, energetic project to give herself, and all of us listening, a little mental health TLC as we “un-invite” ourselves from the pressures of the world.
A renowned luminary in his adopted hometown of NYC who has also toured throughout Europe, Russia and Australia, veteran trumpeter Michael C. Lewis’ INTIMATE JOURNEY is the kind of clever, artful, stylistically expansive album that Miles Davis would be making if he were still alive and rising up the Smooth Jazz charts. Lewis enhances his inviting melodies with a blend of old school textures, soothing atmospheres, tight hip-hop elements and edgy electronica flavors. Complementing the vibrant instrumentals, he also impresses with a deep vocal timbre perfect for creating a romantic urban jazz vibe.
Tony Lindsay’s remarkable quarter century as Carlos Santana’s lead vocalist included numerous world tours and netted him 11 Grammys – but it’s all forward motion now with the release of his first post Santana solo album SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL. As he describes it, it’s a “no smoke, no mirrors” collection of vibrant, heartfelt originals that showcase the versatility of his songwriting and vocal style. With production by greats like Narada Michael Walden, Preston Glass and Randy Emata, Lindsay taps into his love of romantic R&B, gospel, Latin jazz and brass fired blues. This album offers SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL for everyone!
For legendary bassist Byron Miller, “Psychobass” is more than a clever branding idea reflective of his lifelong passion for his instrument. It’s his full-on “a.k.a.” identity. His rhythmically eclectic, jump off your chair grooving new album THE GIFT: PSYCHOBASS 2 picks up where his 2015 long awaited return to action PSYCHOBASS left off. He keeps the deeply personal autobiography hopping with a sensual George Duke cover, some island fun and a mix of high octane and chill, Duke-inspired originals with appropriate funk and groove related titles. On hand to celebrate the bassist’s many gifts are Kirk Whalum, Paul Jackson, Jr., Walter Beasley, Munyungo Jackson and others.
Decades after establishing himself as a progressive jazz rock great via his band Niacin, keyboardist/composer John Novello is a fast-emerging Smooth Jazz star. Building upon the foundation he laid with three hit singles from 2016's IVORY SOUL, he stirs a blend of lively, funk filled romps and dreamy, sensual, romantic ballads on GOOD TO GO. The clever album title perfectly captures the spritely energy and graceful elegance he creates with longtime collaborator Eric Marienthal, plus two of the genres brightest young saxophonists, Jeff Ryan and Jazmin Ghent.
Smooth Jazz fans with venturesome musical tastes beyond the core of the genre, will go absolutely wild for young, German composer/producer Kai Otten’s fascinating, genre-bending explorations on his latest album CAMPER MODE. Self-described as creating “decorative music,” Kai utilizes a flamenco guitar vibe – both meditative and fiery - as a foundation, then adds a variety of sound textures including exotic percussion, electronic ambiences and self-styled, instruments to create compelling soundscapes. The journey includes moments of chill and relaxation, as well as dance, and clap-alongs, trippy trances, moody meditations and other unconventional – but always melodic – colors. CAMPER MODE is a musical journey like no other!
Renowned by his peers as “The Quincy Jones of Gospel,” Terrence Richburg has graced that realm as a songwriter, vocalist, arranger, orchestrator, producer, keyboardist, guitarist, bassist and percussionist. In addition to working with the likes of Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar and Ben Tankard, he has been a force in gospel jazz with his own groups R&R and The Terrence Richburg Experience. His latest Smooth Jazz collection PORTRAIT OF ADORATION is a powerful testament to Richburg’s wild multitude of talents, driven by his love of God and equal passions for sensual soul-jazz, sizzling funk and dazzling keyboard and guitar melodies and improvisations. Along the way, Richburg also impresses with some Take 6 like vocalizations.
Two-time Grammy winning producer Kamau Kenyatta, best known for discovering and helming projects for Gregory Porter, says it all about emerging vocalist Daneen Wilburn: “When Daneen sings, you will believe every word.” Produced by Kenyatta, Wilburn’s multi-faceted self-titled album is a soul-deep immersion reflecting the artist’s wide range of passions - from pop, soul and jazz to Brazilian music and, most “earpoppingly,” the rousing gospel music she was raised on. The San Diego based performer’s ability to modulate her voice to create sensual seductions as well as shout-outs to the Lord is attention grabbing and inspiring.
Nearly 10-years after his being named runner-up in the Capital Jazz Challenge launched his exciting and prolific career as a Smooth Jazz artist, Detroit-bred saxophonist Deon Yates is feeling not just great, but QUINTASTIC. The socially trending title of his upcoming fifth solo album literally means “a person aged 50 or more and is still attractive and successful.” That timeless magnetism is on full display on “No Other Love,” a hip and infectious, mid-tempo soprano jam penned and produced by Chris “Big Dog” Davis, that artfully blends old school sensibilities with soul-deep contemporary grooves. This sure-fire hit also features tasty horn texturing, dreamy backing vocals and a lush piano solo.
Listening Loft : ESSENTIALS
Talk about prolific! In just over a year, classically trained keyboardist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Grace Brancale has released nearly 20 albums of atmospheric, chill oriented Smooth Jazz covering a wide variety of vibes and moods. As its title promises, the global sensation’s latest work VACATIONS, VOL. 1 blends soothing ambiences, lively grooves and lush, soulful melodies reflecting a variety of inviting activities and destinations, from a rainforest and a tropical paradise to a festival and just relaxing at home.
The title of veteran saxophonist Reggie Codrington’s latest funky and flowing collection album AGAINST THE ODDS refers to all he has overcome early in his life – when he was afflicted with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – to become an artist whose music and personal story offers endless inspiration. Codrington, who has worked with Smooth Jazz greats like Jeff Lorber, Nils, Paul Jackson, Jr. and Ricky Lawson, has it all here – fresh beats, sweeping atmospheres, silky and emotionally punchy melodies and uptempo tunes and ballads to dance and romance to.
Like Jonathan Butler and Kirk Whalum, veteran saxophonist Mel Holder is a powerful musical minister who shares his faith via infectious, easy grooving jazz/funk and rich gospel vocals and instrumentals. On MUSIC BOOK VOLUME III - MAGNIFICENT, the producer, speaker, author and multiple award nominee (Grammy, NAACP, DOVE, Stellar) keeps the powerful message and the edgy, soulful, multi-faceted cool of his previous volumes flowing with various special guests, including keyboardists Ben Tankard and Bob Baldwin.
Rarely has the title of a Smooth Jazz track so perfectly reflected its grip on our body, soul and emotions! Iceland’s foremost musical icon, Jack Magnet’s instantly hummable, crazy-catchy “Hook, Line & Sinker” is technically a solo single, with Magnet front and center on spirited acoustic piano. Yet it’s truly a collaborative jam, with featured guest saxophonist Jeff Ryan and Paul Brown (the track’s producer) and Chris Standring (co-writer) on guitar. From the upcoming release, HIGH NORTH, this is a festive romp driven by the dynamic dual melodic magic of Magnet and Ryan.
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Herb Partlow has been a radio personality, producer and artist, manager, recording and mastering engineer. Yet he’s totally focused on what’s ahead for him: FUTURE JAZZ, his sonically inventive breakthrough EP that he calls “jazz music for a new generation.” Playing keyboards, piano and bass, he lays a dynamic foundation for an atmospheric, trippy effects filled and groove intensive flow. Saxophonists Allen Omenka Webb and JLP and rockin’ guitarist Ricardo Love take Partlow’s vision and vibe into the urban jazz fusion stratosphere!
An exciting and versatile bass prodigy who formed his first jazz fusion band at age 12, Gabriel Severn makes his Smooth Jazz debut with “Song for Fina,” a gently exotic, quick tempo changing Brazilian flavored gem he wrote for a family friend and which earned him a prestigious DownBeat Award. Helping shape Severn’s dynamic vibe is producer and guitarist Chieli Minucci, who brings current Special EFX members Joel Rosenblatt and Jay Rowe on board for a highly energized good time!
One of the top Smooth Jazz performers in the San Antonio area for several decades, BillyRay Sheppard’s infectious debut album SILK finds him bringing his stylistically and rhythmically sophisticated saxophone magic to life with the alternately supercharged and sensitive input from co-writer and producer Steve Oliver. Beyond the in the pocket, danceable funk and wistful balladry, Sheppard taps into the Latin/Tejano side of his artistry for a rousing closing jam. BillyRay is smooth as SILK!
The seeds of the uniquely soulful Smooth Jazz duo Urbanity were planted nearly 30 years ago when guitarist Albert Dadon – aka Albare – recruited pianist Phil Turcio for his band at the time. They follow their full-length debut Urban Soul with a gently rhythmic, deeply intimate and slightly bluesy re-imagining of the Eagles’ classic ballad “Desperado.” With Turcio’s B-3 simmering in the background, the track showcases Albare’s versatile rhythmic and fluidly melodic genius.
Embracing the alternately fluid, then crisp and crackling tone and deeply soulful energy of Terence Young’s latest single “My Jewel,” it’s easy to see why R&B greats like Ashford & Simpson, Tower of Power’s Lenny Williams and Angie Stone have tapped the South Carolina guitarist to be their musical director. The song has a unique dual vibe. Just as Young is seducing us with a dreamy, sensual flow, he turns up the groove and thumps his way to the dance floor on the wildly infectious, vocal powered hook.