The perfect follow-up to his 2014 hit album GROOVE TIME, guitarist Bennett B’s MIDNIGHT PASSION – which includes a high energy, party-vocal version of his hit radio single “Get On Up!” - is driven by smooth, sexy grooves designed to take the heart and soul deeper into the night. Produced by the veteran Hollywood session guitarist and Grammy-winning genre hitmaker Paul Brown, Bennett’s high energy blues, brass, funk and exotica filled set features exciting guest appearances by vocal trio DW3, percussion great Lenny Castro and drummer Joel Taylor, with dynamic horn arrangements by Lee Thornburg. You don’t have to wait all day to experience the full-on magic of MIDNIGHT PASSION!
SYLVIA BENNETT It's All About Love Out of Sight Music
Sylvia Bennett’s first all original, contemporary jazz album, IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE, is finally available. Featuring the Grammy-nominated singer in an entirely new sonic atmosphere, one that plays on her sensual side and taps into her 24/7, deeply held belief that love is the answer as well as the question. The project has produced two hits before it’s release date and the 3rd single, the title track, “It’s All About Love,” is no doubt going to be another runaway radio smash as well with it’s smooth, ethereal groove featuring the high studio standards of producer/songwriter Hal S. Batt (Shakira, Julio Iglesias) and the gorgeous layering of voice with a sweet, seductive musical ambiance. The Miami song machine is in her creative prime and is redefining the business of music, with no intentions of stopping anytime soon!
DAVE BRADSHAW JR. Set Me Free MOKU Records
There is a certain sophistication to Dave Bradshaw Jr.’s cool, jazzy compositions. His album SET ME FREE, due out later this year, has yielded three tasty treasures including his brand new single, “West Coast Jammin’” featuring the unmistakable Darren Rahn on saxophone! This classy, groovin’ tune will have you boppin’ your head on Pacific Coast Highway, even if it’s only in your mind! The successful sideman, steps out into the spotlight with his original tunes that exude delightful melody and world-class chops! “Jumpstep” and “Nothin' But Groove” took the killer keyboardist to new, solo horizons in 2015, and early 2016, and we’re certain that the latest single and the soon-to-be-released full album will take this effervescent talent to more exciting successes in 2016 and well beyond! Set yourself free by adding Dave Bradshaw Jr.’s music to your personal playlist!
VANN BURCHFIELD Let's Get Started Self-Released
Before he released his sparklingly exotic, Brazilian themed 2015 debut RYTHMS OF RIO last year, Birmingham based saxophonist Vann Burchfield was perhaps best known in jazz circles for setting a new Guinness world record for circular breathing (besting Kenny G). Now that the award-winning, multi-instrumentalist is in the mix of top indie Smooth Jazz artists, there’s no stopping his smooth, sexy, silk-funk fired musical flow. His new collection LET’S GET STARTED features a handful of lush and lighthearted melodic originals amidst a batch of cleverly seductive, easy grooving re-imaginings of classic 80s pop/soul hits. Want to hear what it sounds like when a masterful player is on the rise? LET’S GET STARTED!
Years after launching her professional career as part of a young Christian group with her five sisters, emerging neo-soul singer/songwriter Natalie Cadét draws on her deep spirituality and five octave range to share her personal and intimate debut MY JOURNEY. A true, introspective self-portrait in progress, this reflective, soulful, healing and hopeful collection covers the gamut of emotions before arriving at a place of inner peace. Natalie details different phases of her life via her lush and sensual lead vocals and clever, dreamy voice texturing. Open up and let MY JOURNEY carry you away!
SHARON MARIE CLINE This Is Where I Wanna Be Sharonmariecline.com
Celebrated and critically acclaimed L.A. based vocal stylist Sharon Marie Cline has released a live album and holiday project in the past, but those were simply prelude to her glorious emergence as a recording artist with this an exquisite and romantic collection that allows her to declare, on the dreamy and sensual, flute spiced title track, one of two lush originals among 10 well chosen interpretations of classics, that “This Is Where I Wanna Be.” Cline’s triumph lies in her effortless breezing from easy swinging (“Happy Talk,” an inspired choice from SOUTH PACIFIC) to Bossa (“Love Dance,” “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars”) to blues (“You Don’t Know What Love Is”). When you listen, you too will declare, THIS IS WHERE I WANNA BE!
MITCHELL COLEMAN, JR. Perception Soul Revelations Records
Continuing to draw buoyant and grooving inspiration and innovation from his heroes Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller, emerging bassist/composer Mitchell Coleman, Jr. throws down another explosive, multi-faceted round of feel good, jazz-funk fusion on PERCEPTION, the follow-up to his debut, chart-active, SOUL SEARCHING. Among the most exciting aspects of Coleman’s artistry is his adventure and unpredictability. He’s raucously thick and thumping on the uptempo jams, suave and in the pocket, soulful on the ballads, and throws into the mix colorful atmospheric, world beat exotica that explore realms beyond the cool confines of Smooth Jazz. Another highlight is a lush remake of The Crusaders’ “Street Life,” which puts Dionyza Sutton (High School Musical, Cheetah Girls) in the seductive Randy Crawford role. Your PERCEPTION is on the money – this album’s a “Funkatized” joyride!
THIERRY CONDOR So Close NiRo Sounds
Though his German-Italian heritage initially drew him close to Italian composers, Switzerland based singer/songwriter Thierry Condor’s many professional visits to the U.S. led him to incorporate 80’s and 90’s West Coast pop, R&B and jazz into his lighthearted soul/pop recordings. His fourth album SO CLOSE, featuring special guests Jeff Lorber and Tom Scott, finds his passionate voice lending powerful emotions to a mix of up-tempo tunes and romantic ballads, including spirited covers of classics by Kenny Loggins and Olivia Newton John. You’ll be inspired to keep SO CLOSE nearby!
DRIVETIME California Dreamin' New Vibe Records
Internationally acclaimed as one of the most explosive and innovative jazz-centric bands to emerge from Philadelphia, Drivetime’s become an institution there, forging ahead in some configuration since the mid-70s with an eclectic, groove-driven vibe they call Urban Organic Jazz. They follow up their popular release IGNITION! by cruising West with the likewise rhythmically diverse CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’. Propelled by Gene Terramani’s electric axe, Richard Orr’s blazing sax and Jimmy Dell’Orefice’s old school keys, the six piece unit balances their easy flowing, crisply played seductive cool with free-spirited muscular jams fusing edgy rock, jazz, blues and even surf guitar. Their soul’s still in Philly, but this album will have you CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’!
On CONNECTED, Mark Etheredge deals powerfully with his past issues of feeling disconnected from humanity. The result is a heartfelt, socially conscious collection that uses the joy of music to cut across traditional human barriers. With a deep sense of groove and a compelling mix of lighthearted and deeply emotional melodies, the multi-talented performer creates a lively, diverse and lushly soulful celebration of human connection with world class musicianship – including dynamic interactions with guitarists Chuck Loeb and Paul Brown (the project’s Grammy winning producer) and saxman Andy Suzuki. In addition to clearly reflecting his influences David Benoit and Joe Sample, the veteran sideman complements his contemporary jazz vibe with Latin and bluesy excursions. Start out the New Year by getting CONNECTED!
Talk about a divine pairing! On the spiritually empowering, yet jazz-infused EVERLASTING, trailblazing jazz saxophonist Phil French - a former musical director for Grammy winning singer Yolanda Adams – joins forces with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist, producer/songwriter Terrence Richburg, known as the “Quincy Jones of Gospel” for his critically acclaimed solo albums and work with everyone from Richard Smallwood and Aretha Franklin to The Winans, Jennifer Holliday and Gerald Albright. Though their ultimate spiritual goal is a joy filled shout out to the Lord, audiences everywhere can sway and groove along just as easily to this alluring mix of high octane instrumental funk, smooth jazz melodies and dreamy ballads. There are also a handful of beautiful vocal tracks by Terrence and Kathy Richburg. You are sure to be touched by this inspiring collaboration... an EVERLASTING musical connection!
MILES GILDERDALE & SHILTS Sun-Up Soul Miles Gilderdale
What happens when two of Smooth Jazz’s funkiest UK guys get together and groove? We’ve got our irresistibly infectious answer in “Sun-Up Soul,” the upbeat, joyfully thumping new track from Acoustic Alchemy guitarist MILES GILDERDALE featuring saxophonist SHILTS (originally from Down To The Bone). Grounded in their mutual passion for classic R&B sounds, this dynamic Brit Funk duo pays homage to the classic productions of Quincy Jones & Rod Temperton, Barry White, The Crusaders and all forms of soul royalty. Fresh and energizing, “Sun-Up Soul” is a great, danceable way to start the day!
Chris Godber was told as a child that his asthma was too severe to play the sax. His lifelong determination to beat the odds has led the chart-topping performer to wide acclaim for his latest album STARTING OVER – a set that mixes edgy, in the pocket funk with dreamy laid back chill and lots of romance in between. Bringing a refreshing sound with a distinctive gospel/R&B twist to the genre, Godber is a master at weaving addictive melodies on soprano and tenor with funky, driving grooves along with stellar musicianship featuring Lowell Hopper and Adam Hawley on guitar and Eric Lampley on bass for eleven originals and one killer cover of Etta James’ “At Last.” STARTING OVER has never been so easy to do.
One of the most versatile musicians in Texas, Al Gomez started out as a trombone player with local Tejano bands before evolving into a first call guitarist, playing and sharing the stage with everyone from Selena, Aaron Neville and Willie Nelson to Carlos Santana and Buddy Guy. After funkin’ up the Smooth Jazz world a bit with his critically-acclaimed 2014 debut CASA GROOVE, the electric guitarist brings his rich, infectious sound to his cool follow-up EP CATCHIN’ A VIBE. The set is full of edgy licks, vibey grooves, irresistible melodies and moments to dance and later romance. In addition to its awesome originals, Gomez includes dynamic re-imaginings of classics by Dr. John, Luther Vandross and George Duke. Don't delay, catch this vibe today!
TOM HAMILTON A Work In Progress Hambone Records
Tom Hamilton may call his spirited and masterfully eclectic contemporary jazz debut A WORK IN PROGRESS, but the veteran world class saxophonist brings to his infectious mix decades of diverse experience. On large and small scales alike, the versatile composer/musician has done it all - from jazz/funk to salsa, blues and rock – and has performed with legends like Natalie Cole, The Temptations and Clark Terry. Now he brings the most cool, soulful, fiery elements of that resume to his masterful in the pocket originals. If this is A WORK IN PROGRESS, you’re gonna love the end result!
Before releasing his picture perfect, in the pocket urban flavored Smooth Jazz debut JUST THE BEGINNING (on the late Maurice White’s Kalimba Music), guitarist Adam Hawley laid some serious groundwork. He toured and recorded with all the top genre artists, in addition to superstars from a multitude of genres (The Manhattan Transfer, Jennifer Lopez, Pit Bull, the late Natalie Cole). Hawley surrounds his tight beats and crisp, soulful and sensitive guitar melodies and improvisations with powerhouse contributions from a high-octane guest list, including Brian Culbertson, Euge Groove, Michael Lington, Gerald Albright and Eric Darius. If this is JUST THE BEGINNING, Hawley’s got a stellar career ahead of him!
DONALD HAYES Front Ground Grindhouse Music
You've heard him for the past 25 years, as both a musician and an arranger for a proverbial “Who’s Who” in the R&B, Gospel and Pop worlds – including James Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kirk Franklin, Beyonce, Babyface and on recent and current recordings and tours with Robin Thicke. At last, saxophonist Donald Hayes steps out into the FRONT GROUND on his debut album. Drawing on his Gospel and Blues roots, yet locked firmly in the grooving and melodic Urban Jazz pocket, his multi-faceted new album is smooth, melodic and straight from the heart, blending romance and sensuality with sweet funk. Along the way, his silky sax interacts with a list of heavyweight friends, including the late Wayman Tisdale, Marcus Miller and Eric Benet. Here in the FRONT GROUND, Donald Hayes delivers music that is an extension of his life and who he is as a person... a shining light through and through.
Smooth Jazz fans wanting to cap their winter with funk-filled, smooth Caribbean musical breezes will find fun in the groovin’ sun with “Friday Afternoon,” the tasty new tune from St. Lucia’s Ronald “Boo” Hinkson. The renowned guitarist’s gifts have been hailed by legends like Stanley Jordan, George Benson and Ronnie Laws. Capturing his musical essence perfectly, the spirited, percussive track playfully blends Latin-tinged contemporary jazz with the soul of the islands. Time to drift away… start your holiday with “Friday Afternoon,” and don’t miss Boo at the upcoming St. Lucia Jazz Festival this spring!
Over the past ten years, the dynamic six piece ensemble, Jamhunters have energized audiences everywhere from their native Denmark to Tanzania to NYC with their unique sonic blend of chill ambiences, dreamy soul, danceable grooves, exotic world beat adventures and vibrant jazz/funk. True to its unique title, their fourth album COLORTONES is an expansive sonic landscape covering a spectrum of moods and vibes. These multi-faceted vibes are centered on the flowing harmonic melodies of guitarist Lars Fabiansen and keyboardist Peter Michael – as well as the lush, sensual vocals of Christina Boelskifte. You’ll enjoy exploring the many COLORTONES of Jamhunters!
JAREZ In Too Deep Top Jazz Records LLC
Jarez offers the perfect combination of cool, contemporary and classic in his music. The charismatic saxophonist has a way with writing songs that are filled with emotionally charged verve, and freshly infused swagger; adding a hipness to Smooth Jazz that is appealing to core fans and attracting a youthful new audience! The Vegas-based recording artist and music entrepreneur, merges his jazz influences from legends, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, with today’s sound on IN TOO DEEP. The album is drenched with Sweet, sexy sax, along with urbane and urban grooves, compelling melodies and sophisticated runs. A hip hop heart and a jazz soul makes for a unique, commanding signature sound. This latest project is sure to place Jarez in the thick of things musically speaking…In deep, indeed! With more chart-topping hits and live performances guaranteed!
KENYA My Own Skin KenyaMJ Music
A fast growing jazz-kissed soul sensation who is artfully wooing a growing base of admirers around the world, Chicago vocalist and songwriter Kenya makes her U.S. debut with MY OWN SKIN – which, upon its early 2015 release in Europe, was a #1 smash on the UK Soul chart for four consecutive weeks. Kenya’s family life and successful career as a clinician and educator delayed her emergence as an artist, but now the multi-talented performer – who counts everyone from Stevie Wonder to Billie Holiday as influences - is quickly finding her niche as a sensual, emotional vocalist sharing what she calls the “many layers…and spaces within me.” Her deep 15 track debut finds her feeling mighty comfortable in MY OWN SKIN.
Throughout Bill McGee’s extraordinary, multi-decade musical career, he’s been a music teacher, released seven CDs as owner of 804 Music Group, scored two gold records, worked with Evelyn “Champagne” King, Lou Rawls, The O’Jays and Sugar Hill Gang. The international trumpet man, music producer and educator’s latest multi-faceted jam is a way to let the world know he’s STILL BILL, a soulful, spiritual, jazzy horn guy who still hangs with the top musicians in the business. This Smooth Jazz, cool funk, gospel and blues-infused set features seven infectious originals and four lush re-imaginings of classics by Herbie Hancock, The Stylistics, and Hugh Masekela. He’s STILL BILL and still making the musical magic!
MIKAEL Grooveology (Prelude) MikaelMusix Group
As a member of the legendary Commodores from 1995-2005, Mikael got to share the stage with legendary R&B icons like Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes and The Temptations. He’s been moving to center stage in the urban jazz world ever since. The passionate guitarist and composer’s second album GROOVEOLOGY (PRELUDE) has been praised as “flawless” by SmoothJazz.com founder, Sandy Shore. It’s an extraordinary set of Smooth Jazz and R&B moods and grooves, a perfect showcase for the diverse musician’s crisp, funky and fluid electric lead lines and exciting interactions with sax, acoustic piano and dreamy female vocals. From start to finish, you’ll enjoy engaging in the study of GROOVEOLOGY!
BYRON MILLER Psycho Bass Byron Lee Miller Studio, LLC
Throughout his four decade career, Detroit bassist Byron Miller has brought the coolness and funk to a lot of “late greats” including Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Joe Sample and Luther Vandross. Emerging from a 12-year recording hiatus with an expansive, deep bottom, intensive album, with a title that doubles as his new musical persona and mission statement, Byron blesses us with three of the last sessions from the late great George Duke, including a slowed-down, emotional twist on Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” With an exciting guest list that includes veterans Ndugu Chancler (drums), David T. Walker (guitar) and Sheila E. (percussion), Miller balances fierceness with heartfelt emotion on the atmospheric, old school, soul-jazz flavored single, “U Must Be Crazy,” then turns to Duke-esque classic, mellow fusion on “Spoken Funk.” Miller also includes a pair of moody and meditative gems in “Apples & Oranges” and the atmospheric “Eyes.” Lunatic for the low end? Don’t miss PSYCHO BASS!
NILS Alley Cat Baja/TSR Records
A prolific, chart-topping Smooth Jazz hit maker with so many airplay classics that he merited a 2014 compilation called JAZZ GEMS : THE BEST OF NILS, the versatile Munich born, Los Angeles based composer, guitarist and producer launches into the next phase of his multi-faceted career with ALLEY CAT, his most explosive, infectious and sonically creative album yet, on Baja/TSR Records. Incorporating more horns than ever and beautifully showcasing his expanding skills as a sound designer and keyboardist, Nils’ 12 sensational, ultra-melodic tracks offer a range of musical vibes for everyone’s tastes, from retro soul-jazz and high energy hypnotic funk to sensual, silky ballads. Like a sly ALLEY CAT, Nils is always adding fresh new sounds to keep his music hip, slinky and sexy!
STEVE OLIVER Pictures & Frames SOM Entertainment, LLC
Throughout his decade and a half of instrumental #1 Billboard Smooth Jazz radio hits, multi-talented composer/guitarist/vocalist Steve Oliver peppered his recordings with soulful pop/R&B vocals. Expanding his musical aesthetic further into that dynamic realm, his first all-vocal album PICTURES & FRAMES is driven by his trademark cool, classic, contemporary vibe and meaningful, soul searching lyrics. Recorded at the iconic Capitol Studios and using Frank Sinatra’s legendary mic, Oliver creates his John Mayer, Michael McDonald and Steely Dan influenced sound with the all-star rhythm section of Lee Sklar and Vinnie Colaiuta as well as a debut singing collaboration with critically-acclaimed, Northern Californian songstress Chris Webster. PICTURES & FRAMES is a splendid musical snapshot of Oliver’s heart and soul!
During his years many years as a cop in Lauderhill, Florida, Gary Palmer frequently turned to his sax as an outlet and stress-reliever, which calmed him and helped him focus even when he was on stakeouts. Shifting gears after retiring as Chief of Police in 2010, the versatile composer-musician has been sharing his passion for soulful urban jazz as an independent recording artist, starting with his 2015 full-length debut LOVE ME AGAIN. On “Waterfalls,” the infectious, irresistibly grooving lead single from his follow-up album COAST 2 COAST, due out later this summer, Palmer keeps the silky, laid-back funk flowing, trading explosive licks with chart-topping electric guitarist Nils. No need to go chasing “Waterfalls” – it’s all right here on Gary Palmer’s hot new single!
DAVID PETROSYAN Endless Love DP
On ENDLESS LOVE, the adventurous follow-up to his debut album GOOD MORNING LOVE, Armenian-born David Petrosyan continues to establish himself as a new front runner in contemporary saxophone jazz. Inspired by his father – who introduced him to the instrument at a young age - and his wife and baby son, Petrosyan complements his smooth, seductive and sleek tone with fresh electronic grooves, lush atmospheres and touches of tropical jazz and edgy jazz-rock fusion. We have fallen into ENDLESS LOVE with David Petrosyan's music and believe you will to!
A mainstay at the Capital Jazz Fest since winning the event’s Challenge Competition in 2005, Phaze II has been a popular groovin’ force throughout the Washington, DC region for nearly 20 years. Playing Smooth Jazz with a funky, free twist, the hot six-piece ensemble has been headlining shows and opening for urban jazz greats performing there. Keeping the cool thumping and soulful sensuality flowing, Phaze II’s album BACKTALK – driven by the emotional lead melody lines of saxman Brent Birckhead - is a powerful way to introduce their dynamic vibe to fans everywhere. You’ll want to Phaze this kind of BACKTALK into your life!
NELSON RANGELL Red Independent
In a sea of saxophonists, there is only one Nelson Rangell - Daring, compelling, and heartfelt. Fans of contemporary jazz are quite familiar with this extraordinary talent, he released eight CDs with GRP Records garnering chart-topping airplay in the 80’s and 90’s, and recorded with The Rippingtons, Chuck Loeb, Patti Austin, the GRP All-Star Big Band, featured on Don Grusin’s Grammy-nominated album, THE HANG, among numerous other accolades. In a bold move in 2015, Rangell released two albums simultaneously... the sax-focused RED, as well as BLUE, which is an acclaimed flute and piccolo musical masterpiece, both are full-throttle adventures with persuasive originals! The latest single, "From Here" is from RED. It's an urbane, Euro-cool tune that showcases the master class saxophonist's improv, yet delivers a sweet, accessible melody and promises to quickly gain interest with radio and consumers alike... Fresh and fashionable for your Spring and Summer music mixes!
PAOLO RUSTICHELLI Don't Stop (Soul Italiano) Next Age Music
The long awaited full album SOUL ITALIANO rolls out another addictive, groove-driven single before its summer release! Inspired by an L.A. jam session with jazz legend, Miles Davis, composer and keyboardist Paolo Rustichelli, re-imagines the experience on his latest single, “Don’t Stop”! The words, “Don’t stop…” came from Miles mouth as he picked up his red trumpet to play along to Paolo’s groove and this song captures that day to honor the freeness of jazz, the coolness of groove and a timeless friendship. With nearly a half a dozen hit songs, we imagine the full album will be a best-seller in no time and "Don't Stop" will be this year's bright light from the masterful musician who's Italian soul keeps us all waiting for more!
Years ago at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the legendary Stan Getz took notice of young saxophonist Rob Sabado and said he had “the best tone around.” Now, Sabado delivers big time on that promise with his soulful and gently exotic debut SPICE OF LIFE. Sabado surrounds his warm, intimate tones and flavorful grooves with balmy atmospheres fashioned by Grammy-winning producer Paul Brown, whose distinctive guitar energy plays off Sabado’s lead lines perfectly. Also on hand are bassists Roberto Vally and Daryl Williams, as well as keyboardist Marco Basci, who adds dynamic old school touches. Sabado’s kind of variety is truly the SPICE OF LIFE!
PHILIPPE SAISSE TRIO And So But Then Badar Log Music
Ten years after The Philippe Saisse Trio lit up Smooth Jazz radio with their burning cover of Steely Dan’s “Do It Again,” the Grammy nominated composer, arranger, producer and keyboardist reunites with bassist David Finck and drummer Scooter Warner on the tropical, percussive and whimsically jazzy “And So But Then.” Its unique title is a tribute to the wordplay of the late author David Foster Wallace. The hit lead single from the trio’s forthcoming new full length album, the multi-textured track features the hypnotic percussion of Gumbi Ortiz (whom Saisse has played with in the touring band of Al Di Meola) and some dazzling interplay between Saisse’s dancing piano and the warm, vibrant acoustic guitar of guest star Marc Antoine. “And So But Then” puts Saisse back where he belongs – center stage!
LUMINESCENCE is the 9th album release from multi-instrumentalist Stephanie Sante… featuring layers of Smooth Jazz, Chill, Soulful Funk & Bossa, the project creates a buoyant, heartfelt, tranquil vibe from start to finish. While the collection is inspired by the artist’s love for the Pacific Northwest, this writer is presently enjoying it in Spain on the Mediterranean, where music fluidity is as important to the lifestyle as the sun and LUMINESCENCE is a perfect fit. Adapting to advances in computer technology, with her musical, fine arts and engineering backgrounds, Ms. Sante integrates new forms of sound generation with the latest advancements in tactile expression… LUMINESCENCE shines brightly and directs the composer towards a new level of recording artistry, one that will have new listeners around the world, from the Pacific to the Med, chillaxing to the new soundtrack!
The son of legendary keyboardist/composer Merl Saunders, Tony Saunders was taught piano by Herbie Hancock and for his tenth birthday received an electric organ from Sly Stone. But the magic started happening once he shifted to bass, and the two time Emmy Award winner’s s third album UPTOWN JAZZ on San Francisco Records is a full-blown celebration of the multiple ways he grooves. Joyfully eclectic throughout, he launched the album with the brassy, ultra-funky title track single that featured Gabriel Mark Hasselbach and Tower of Power’s Mic Gillete on horns and Paul Hardcastle, Jr. on sax. Saunders’ bass also bubbles beneath the emotional sax passion of Gerald Albright and later engages on an improvisation rich jazz-fusion journey also featuring saxophonists Tom Politzer (Tower Of Power) and Rock Hendricks and vocalist Sakai (Train)! UPTOWN JAZZ gonna give it to ya!
WILL SUMNER Endless Sumner willsumner.com
Will Sumner may have been born in Minnesota, but the highly versatile San Diego based guitarist, composer and multi-instrumentalist’ several decade recording career – starting with his 1980 classic surf jazz album TROPIC ZONE - is all about lighthearted, feel good, easy grooving summer vibes. His latest collection ENDLESS SUMNER, whose title is a colorful reference to a classic Beach Boys album, is endlessly smooth, melodic and fresh. The tracks are driven by Sumner’s electric and acoustic virtuosity, enhanced in all the perfect spots by lead sax and horns. Continuing the eclectic flow of earlier releases, the album mixes heartfelt urban rhythms, funk and Latin grooves and breezy tropical atmospheres. If you can’t wait for summer to begin (or end), put ENDLESS SUMNER in a continuous loop!
Four decades after making his initial musical foray performing and recording with seminal soul-jazz organist Charles Earland, Pittsburgh-based electric guitarist Jack Turner launches a fresh new movement in contemporary jazz guitar with his crackling, playfully grooving debut, I GOT NEXT. Embracing the freewheeling next chapter in his career, the versatile composer/musician – who pays direct homage here to Wes Montgomery - creates a powerful fusion of soul, acid, funk, hip hop, ambient music and exotic Latin and Brazilian music – all rooted in jazz. I GOT NEXT should be the very next album you check out!
PAUL TUVMAN Musically Speaking Independent
Filled with gorgeously rendered, easy flowing compositions written by pianist Paul Tuvman over the past 30 years, MUSICALLY SPEAKING is more than just a dazzling debut by a thoughtful new Smooth Jazz artist. It also marks the resurrection of his musical dreams after he set them aside to become a successful airline pilot. This pilot’s amazing musical journey involved making some wonderful musical friends – including Rick Braun, who adds simmering horn section harmonies to “Rebecca” and “Inverted.” MUSICALLY SPEAKING, Tuvman’s blend of elegance and funk soars to the heavens!
WALDINO Smile WaldinoMusic.com
From audio craftsman, Waldino, comes his latest recording, and his most exciting yet, SMILE, featuring mood music for a happier life! Electro-positive beats enhanced by compelling lyrics in between the chilled, musical vibe, from the infectious title track to the highly motivating, “You Know You Got It,” to the captivating, “Turn Me Around,” SMILE is an Ibiza-conjuring soundtrack drenched with melody and splashed with sunshine! The doctor of groove, Walter Liskiewicz (aka Waldino) is one of the most prolific recording artists in the genre with new releases every other year on average and many more songs in the works, it’s a nonstop creative flow for the retired maxillofacial surgeon! Play it and turn up your SMILE!
R.L. WALKER From Sunset To Sunrise R.L. Walker
With a title like FROM SUNSET TO SUNRISE, saxophonist R.L. Walker sets the tone for some sensual and romantic late night magic on his latest album. Creating easy, laid back grooves behind his passionate dreamy lead horn melodies, he creates the perfect Smooth Jazz chill album, opening doors into a dreamy, atmosphere rich realm full of lush, powerful moods and a relaxing flow. While many artists simply gather a bunch of their best tunes, Walker’s idea was to invite listeners into a deep, memorable experience. Over ten tantalizing tracks filled with sweet soul and passionate emotion, he allows listeners to experience a “Sexy-Saxy” musical escape... FROM SUNSET TO SUNRISE, you’ll have this one on repeat!
STEVE WATSON Playtime WatsonWood
Fresh off his critically acclaimed 2015 album HEAT IT UP - which reached #12 on the SmoothJazz.com Indie chart - South Carolina guitarist/composer Steve Watson keeps the momentum rolling with his latest single "Playtime." The infectious, spirited and uplifting track features the lush acoustic guitar counterpoint of another master guitarist, Chuck Loeb, who also produced the track. Watson, also a prominent jazz educator, will be releasing his new album in June, with tracks produced by Loeb, Jeff Lorber, Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak. Unwind after your stressful day with "Playtime!"