GEORGE BENSON | Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole | Concord Music Group
NATHANIEL L. COLE | Listen | Natecole Music Group
D. EDWARD | Little Red Box | Independent
CAL HARRIS JR. | Shelter Island | CHI International Music
CHIELI MINUCCI & SPECIAL EFX | Genesis | Shanachie Records
TOM SCHUMAN | Designated Planets | JazzBridge Music
KIM SCOTT | Rite of Passage | Independent
DAVID P. STEVENS | Epiphany | Sanctify Music Group
ZOÉ | Unstoppable | NuGroove 2
This exquisitely brilliant project from Brazilian master composer/pianist/educator Antonio Adolfo, recorded in Rio de Janeiro in December of 2012 with five “super talented” musicians joining him, is nothing short of entrancing! As his theme, Mr. Adolfo has selected six songs from his “Jazz Masters,” including works by John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, and Bill Evans, and added four extraordinary Adolfo originals, each of which easily measures up to the standard he’s established for FINAS MISTURAS (FINE MIXTURES). The result - musical ecstasy to my ears… iconic jazz compositions such as “Giant Steps” and “Con Alma” combined with Brazilian elements ranging from Toada to Bossa Nova. It’s absolutely the best of two of my favorite musical worlds… classic jazz plus the rhythms and phrasings of Brazil. If ever there was a must-have for your jazz library, Antonio Adolfo’s FINAS MISTURAS (FINE MIXTURES) is it… no question about it!
NICOLAS BEARDE Visions Right Groove Records
If you’re like me, you can never get enough of soulful vocal icons like Phil Perry, Jon Lucien and Lou Rawls. I’m making room on the list for Nicolas Bearde, whose bona fides are impressive: He’s a founding member of Bobby McFerrin’s world renowned and innovative a cappella vocal ensemble Voicestra! With his fourth CD, VISIONS, Bearde taps into a repertoire of soulful love songs with jazz, R&B, pop and blues shadings. “You’re Sensational,” a real highlight, dips south of the border with its Bossa Nova rhythms, lyrical vocalism and sunny optimism. It’s a tune you’re sure to play many times! Never boring, VISIONS combines the exhilarating organ runs of “Misty” with the toe-tapping kind of jazz you like best in “The Best Things in Life Are Free.” There’s plenty of dreamy and romantic ballads, including “Falling In Love Again,” “Never Let Me Go” and “Everything Must Change,” which express true longing. Through it all, Bearde amazes with a sparkling vocal dexterity that rightfully captured McFerrin’s attention back in the day!
SYLVIA BENNETT SylviaBennett.com Out of Sight Music
There is a heavenly place on the Internet where you can visit and feel completely renewed with sweet music and world-class standards… you’ll find the entire Sylvia Bennett catalog on Out of Sight Music, on-line at SylviaBennett.com! This includes her gorgeous release with jazz legend, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton,THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU featuring unreleased songs from the great musician and recording artist. When it came to Sylvia Bennett, Lionel Hampton loved her, he is quoted as saying “Man, the lady can sing! Her magic gets to the ears and the hearts of the audience.” If you’re a fan of Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, and Rosemary Clooney, you'll love Sylvia Bennett. Find all of her albums, tour information, social networking and follow Sylvia on her travels around the world on SylviaBennett.com!
SYLVIA BENNETT C'est Si Bon Out of Sight Music
It is good! That’s what the French mean when they say “c’est si bon”… and let’s face it, nobody knows good like the French! Good wine, good food, good art and good music! Sylvia Bennett was born to sing these songs, her love affair with France include these enchanting songs that, Paris herself, sparkle with seduction and panache! The Grammy-nominee is truly an American diva with a French heart… and her love affair with France continues on this exciting new recording, sung all in French, C’EST SI BON! The charming songtress is in top form here with velvety songs that will translate smoothly into the contemporary jazz arena, including the title track, as well as the first single, “La Mer,” and the fun and sexy “Un Homme et Une Femme.” The timeless talent does it again on C’EST SI BON, with warmth, clarity and exquisite performance! If you like Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, and Rosemary Clooney, you’ll LOVE Sylvia Bennett! Tres bien!
If you’ve ever seen Billy Joel in concert, chances are quite good that you’ve caught sax man Richie Cannata, who recorded and toured with Joel’s band from ‘75 to present and joined again for recordings and world tours just a few years ago. He also performed with the Beach Boys for over a decade, and is the musical director for The Bernie Williams Band. This musician’s musician has produced albums for Phoebe Snow, Rita Coolidge and Corey Hart among others and now he has produced his first solo recording, the self-titled RICHIE CANNATA, with Julio Fernandez. “Keep It in the Pocket,” the album’s opener, does just that with a silky smooth vibe, and the other nine tracks easily keep the momentum going with splashes of R&B and funk, with a couple of nice change-ups (“Private View” and “Anna C”) adding even more dimension to what is a totally delectable collection of music. The latest single, a stunning version of Joel's "New York State of Mind" is being added to the album as the icing on the cake! This is the stuff that’ll keep Richie Cannata’s name at the top of the Smooth and Contemporary Jazz charts for quite some time to come! LIVE PERFORMANCE : Catch Richie in concert at the Blues Alley in Washington, D.C. on March 13, 2013! Two shows : 8pm & 10pm. Tickets & Info : 202-337-4141
PHIL CASAGRANDE Manhattan Vibe Independent
From his home studio in New York, composer and pianist Phil Casagrande has been recording some of the best Smooth Jazz in recent years, which he continues with MANHATTAN VIBE. If you want to relax with chilled-out vibes, Casagrande has delivered for you! Paul Hardcastle fans will particularly enjoy “Under the Moonlight” and “Tropical Breeze,” two languid and delicious numbers backed by bouncy bass notes. Casagrande – who has performed in the studio with the likes of Jessica Cleeves of Parliament-Funkadelic – kicks up the tempo with the title track, “Manhattan Vibe,” a head-bopper with a crowd-pleasing vibraphone lead. Sure to spice up any gathering! Smooth Jazz is played to perfection on “Song for Melody,” a ballad with romantic piano sounds, saxophone and synthesizer accents. Casagrande picks two fantastic Baby Boomer songs to cover: the Beatles’ “Here, There and Everywhere,” which he slows down for a mellow piano-led track, and the Spinners’ “I’ll Be Around,” a sexy remaking with Casagrande gently laying down gorgeous, cascading piano riffs.
TIM CUNNINGHAM Reflection Independent
Veteran saxophonist Tim Cunningham keeps getting better and better! For proof, take a few spins with REFLECTION, a 12-song journey to musical heaven that will remind you why you love Smooth Jazz so much. Cunningham, who practically defines “smooth,” “sultry” and “funky,” was once a college football star who passed up the gridiron for music. We’re glad he did! After having performed with stars such as Brian Culbertson, Dave Koz, Norman Brown and George Benson, as well as scoring a Top 20 Smooth Jazz hit on his 1996 Atlantic Records release RIGHT TURN ONLY, Cunningham has now rightfully joined the ranks of today’s top groovin’ instrumental musicians. There are no misfires here, and its thick beats and swaying sounds are on par with familiar favorites: “Surrendered Soul” sounds like another hit with its robust sax lines and a sway reminiscent of the best Boney James. And “Big Jess & Sweet Lee,” with its layered sax sounds, will remind you of the best of Steve Cole. If you love Smooth Jazz saxophone, you’ll be glad to discover REFLECTION! Look for Tim on the Smooth Jazz Cruise West Coast Edition in October 2013!
Could the next big thing in Smooth Jazz hail from Maryland? The answer is a resounding “yes,” and the artist is Drew Davidsen! Davidsen, who plays a sweet guitar, is no rookie, as TRUE DREW is his fifth CD, he scored a Smooth Jazz hit with “Astro” and was nominated as Best New Artist by the American Smooth Jazz Awards. If you love the instrumental music of luminaries such as Larry Carlton and George Benson (who is Davidsen’s hero!), you’ll flip for TRUE DREW. His gliding guitar style is soooo smooth, and it propels such party songs as “95 South” and “Hi5,” the latter already making a move on the charts. Davidsen rocks his guitar on “Do Right” and “Double or Nothin’,” both of which will be show stoppers at live shows. Throw in guest appearances from Bobby Lyle, Eric Marienthal and others, several heartfelt ballads and super-fresh updates of “Change the World” and “I Can’t Help It,” and we’re confident Davidsen is well on his way to becoming a Smooth Jazz mainstay!
DRIVETIME Ignition Independent
Philadelphia has given us some brilliant music over the decades and this tight, contemporary jazz ensemble holds up to Philly’s solid reputation with their highly anticipated new release, IGNITION! The album revs up with what the group calls Urban Organic Jazz… that is funky grooves and jazz-soaked, melodic originals, and delivers exciting new music, ranging from smooth to Latin to fusion to Tower of Power-like grooves, and even a splash of chillout! IGNITION sparks from cool collaborations including special guest appearances by saxophonist Andrew Neu vocalists Phyllis Chapell, Justin Guarini & guitarist Vinnie Zummo. Drivetime has been honing their craft and evolving into an important new voice in the Global Smooth Jazz community with three previous recordings and two top-selling singles featuring Bob Baldwin and Justin Guarini. Leader Bernie Capodici and band shift into high gear for live performances where they marry old school cool with modern, musical ideas… buckle up and download now!
CAROL DUBOC Smile Gold Note Music Inc.
Excitement abounds as news of the new Carol Duboc project SMILE spreads throughout the Smooth Jazz community! This time out, Ms. Duboc, who emerged as a vocal force in the early 2000’s, enlists the writing, performing, producing assistance of none other than Jeff Lorber, and the results are impressive indeed. First single, the sultry and intriguing “Elephant,” as she explores both the challenges and joys of a long-term relationship. This romantic relationship theme predominates throughout SMILE, enhanced artfully by Ms. Duboc’s vocal interpretations and a world-class group of musicians that includes names like Brian Bromberg, Jimmy Haslip, Michael Thompson, and Vinnie Colaiuta. Carol Duboc, who SmoothJazz.com’s Sandy Shore is referring to when she states, “Smooth Jazz has a new poster girl,” has treated us to a whole new collection of originals with SMILE that continues to secure her place as one of the top female jazz singers in the biz!
D. EDWARD Little Red Box Independent
Think of Oakland-based singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist D. Edward’s debut album LITTLE RED BOX as a blender full of flavors… all of them smooth, sweet and savory… from jazz to soul to Latin to pop and blues. His first radio single, “Truly," is a hit, an engaging heartfelt vocal with a melody that you will easily find yourself humming or whistling over and over after only a few listens! As for the rest of his eleven originals, they’re just as impressive, illustrating D. Edward’s prevailing theme of love… finding it, losing it, living it. I love this guy’s style! He’s totally at-ease with his clever intonation and turns of phrase. And the melodies? First-rate and memorable! In fact, the last track on the album, “The Passage,” is an incredibly tasty instrumental that’s perfect for Smooth Jazz. Not to gush here, but D. Edward’s LITTLE RED BOX shines brilliantly with an abundance of creativity and freshness!
EIGHT 02 Drive Bradley Lane Records
Eight 02 is following up their chart-busting debut single, the title track from their album DRIVE, with two more great tunes, “Chocolate Amber” and “Pneuma 5.” Eight 02 is Lucas Adler and Chris Peterman, members of 80’s fusion sensation, Kilimanjaro, joining forces with the founding members of Picture This, Peter Engisch and Jerome Monachino. The critically-acclaimed, chart-topping ensemble also features legendary percussionist Lenny Castro and bassist Jimmy Earl, creating some of the freshest contemporary jazz you’ll hear this year! Kilimanjaro fans will groove to the new material, and new listeners will discover why Eight 02 is quickly becoming the next big thing in fusion. If you like the robustness of Jeff Lorber, Chick Corea and Return to Forever then you’ll love this recording, especially the Pat Metheny-inspired “Tell It” and “Tonia's,“ as well as the languid and tropical feel of “Pneuma 5,” with its wordless, uplifting vocals often found in Metheny’s best-loved songs. Eight 02’s DRIVE is engaging!
JEANETTE HARRIS Summer Rain J & M Records
Three ‘S’ words come to mind to describe the music of Jeannette Harris: Smooth. Sultry. Saxophone. Ms. Harris is a classically trained saxophonist and pianist from the famous Berklee College of music. She uses her strong musical skills and her unmistakable brand of smooth to deliver an unforgettable fourth album. Critical Jazz says of Jeannette’s SUMMER RAIN, “It’s a positive vibe… as close to perfect as you can get!“ We think you’ll agree! The first single from this project, “Just Keep Holding On” is already making its way up the Smooth Jazz charts. There are other really compelling tracks as well, from the Latin-flavored “Muy Caliente,” to the powerful love ballad, featuring singer Joel Bowers, “Thankful,” along with a beautiful and sensitive treatment of the Luther Vandross classic “Here And Now.” SUMMER RAIN by Jeannette Harris is one project you’ll definitely want to have in your home collection.
CAL HARRIS JR. Shelter Island CHI International Music
Esteemed contemporary jazz keyboardist Cal Harris Jr. definitely brings the “smooth” and the “sexy” back to Smooth Jazz with his outstanding sophomore release, SHELTER ISLAND. Mr. Harris has concocted a luscious concept album that will whisk you away to exotic, mysterious places where you can reconnect with your higher self and feel truly stress-free. He’s gathered top-shelf talent to support his beautiful playing, too. Sax work from Marion Meadows, Elan Trotman, and talented newcomer Keith McKelley, together with Ricky Lawson (Yellowjackets) on drums and up-and-coming indie guitarist Joel del Rosario, add immeasurably to the lovely patina of the ten original tracks, including the radio hits “Smooth” and “By the Bay.” I must tell you - this is one of the most beautifully assembled and performed keyboard-driven albums I’ve heard so far this year… one that any Smooth Jazz aficionado would be delighted to include in their collection. That means you!
SKII HARVEY Bound by History Vie Publications
I’m never sure if it’s the voice, the words or the music that gets under my skin first with Skii’s music… The soulfully connected Ms. Harvey delivers an extremely satisfying new release for us intimacy junkies who also happen to love a smoldering fusing of jazz and pop. BOUND BY HISTORY layers one alluring song upon another. The project is lyrically soul bearing, empowering and passionate, while musically it’s melodic, deep and captivating with a fantastic use of brass as well as beautiful sax, piano and guitar solos. The textures of Skii’s soulful voice is truly amazing… the sexy gruffness does not seem to limit her, she has an incredible range that actually gets smoother the higher she reaches. I’m a fan of what I call profound pop, artists like Annie Lennox, Adele and the like always find their way to the top of my iPod… Skii Harvey hits me where I live and I’m certain that there’s something for everyone on BOUND BY HISTORY!
Gabriel delivers a fiery hot follow-up to his award winning, chart penetrating 2010 album TOLD YA SO. After receiving ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ honors at the 2011 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards, he has returned with a burner with KISSED BY THE SUN! Gabriel continues his musical ascension with an ever-widening concert, radio, and fan base. Drawing on the soulfulness of masters like Blue Mitchell & Donald Byrd, then blending it with the relevance of contemporary favorites like Chris Botti and Rick Braun. Gabriel steps out with the uber-funky second single from Kissed By The Sun, “Lock It Up,” featuring the liquid sax of Walle Larsson, one of the brightest newcomers on the charts, as well as the mad skills of the iconic Jeff Lorber. Trumpeter Gabriel lays down the law, and does exactly as the title implies! A fun album through and through, burnished with golden light living up to its namesake, KISSED BY THE SUN!
VINCENT INGALA Can't Stop Now Independent
An amazing sense of playing style and grace, well beyond his years… he’s charming, sincere and extremely talented. Vincent Ingala knocked us out the minute we heard his debut album NORTH END SOUL. I’ve always said, the most dangerous kind of people in the world are those who don’t know what they want… Vincent is the exact opposite, he knows precisely what he wants and there’s no way he’s going to stop now! Quickly becoming a favorite at festivals and music events, the young saxophonist and composer is working with seriously skilled talent on CAN’T STOP NOW. You’ll hear the utmost quality in production on this savory new release including contributions from one of our favorites, keyboardist Gregg Karukas as well as chart-topper, Jonathan Fritzén. Soulful grooves with addictive melodies, Vincent’s exciting new album will be a game changing arrival at Smooth Jazz… I anticipate this being a huge hit for the 19-year-old. Get ready world, Vincent Ingala’s shifted into high gear!
JOE LEADER Seductive Sax Leading Note Ltd
Take the congeniality of Dave Koz, along with his famous showmanship, then add the tone and passion of Gato Barbieri and David Sanborn, and now douse that image with originality and conviction and you’ve got UK’s hottest rising sax star, Joe Leader! SEDUCTIVE SAX is the exciting debut release from the handsome young talent, featuring a stellar live performance at one of London’s top jazz clubs, Chelsea’s The Pheasantry. The nine-song album includes world-class musicianship including fantastic backing vocals, delicious improvisation, and yes, extremely seductive saxophone playing! Favorite contemporary jazz standards are rendered here with style and creative flair, expertly fusing soulful jazz with R&B and pop on classics like Grover Washington, Jr. and Bill Withers' smash, “Just the Two of Us,” Quincy Jones’, “The Secret Garden,” Eden Ahbez’s “Nature Boy,” made most famous by Nat King Cole and more. Leading the way for this brilliant star to rise and shine, SEDUCTIVE SAX is Joe Leader’s entry into the sultry world of Smooth Jazz!
JOE LINDSAY I Wanna Groove Dirty Soul Entertainment
This debut album from guitarist Joe Lindsay, I WANNA GROOVE, is one you will want to play over and over again... it's that good! The Berklee College of Music educated musician merges his superior guitar technique with soul grooves and irresistible melodies. While every track on this collection is impressive, there are a few notable standouts including the title track, “I Wanna Groove,” it’s the perfect kickoff to the album, with background vocals from 3-time Grammy nominated artist Calvin Richardson. Calvin also lends his vocals to a beautiful ballad, "Nobody's Gonna Love You." And the only word that can describe the duo of Joe Lindsay with Saxophonist Marcus Anderson is, "tight!" As songwriter and producer of the project, Joe Lindsay has created a sound that's all his own - If you like the guitar magic of Norman Brown, George Benson and Larry Carlton, you'll love Joe Lindsay's I WANNA GROOVE, and yes, it’ll make you wanna groove!
DUNCAN MILLAR Fresh Air Warmday Records
It’s been too long since we’ve heard the infectious grooves and melodic keys playing of Duncan Millar, who released two well-received Smooth Jazz CDs more than a decade ago on legendary Instinct Records. But the U.K. native and MOBO nominee is officially back and better than ever with the aptly titled FRESH AIR! Add the skills of one the U.K.’s top talents along with a musical mix of influences including Samba, funk and even waltz, and you have a well-rounded project perfect for repeated listening. The first single, the title track “Fresh Air,” is upbeat and oh-so-catchy, with backing sax from Jacko Peake. Mostly, though, the CD explores sensual and laid-back grooves, from the eye-closing sweetness of “Ilhabela,” the after-hours vibe of “Belmondo” and the smooth, jazz-club feel of “Subcontinental.” Millar varies his acoustic playing with electric piano, as well as Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer organ runs. It all adds up to a remarkable Smooth Jazz CD from someone who’s been gone too long. Welcome back, Duncan!
D. MILLS On The Table D.M. RECORDS
There’s no holding back this guy’s talent! D. Mills, who sings and plays multiple instruments, is a Nu Jazz/R&B artist with an amazing story. His resume includes as a bass player for Gospel legend Shirley Caesar, opening a recording studio for artists and for documentaries, and – wait for it – being a New York City detective! His third album, ON THE TABLE, is a mix of styles that would shine in both Smooth Jazz and Urban AC formats. “59th Street,” in particular for Smooth Jazz, is a piano-driven, upbeat gem punctuated by “la-la-las”; “Way O” and “L.A. Mood” are two more tracks perfect for Smooth Jazz fans. Mills’ vocals are sexy in a Quiet Storm way, which you’ll agree with after hearing the title track, “On the Table.” The singer can be naughty, you should know: His “Don’t Say No” includes an “explicit” warning. Sensual, original and a bit daring, D. Mills new project is definitely one you’ll want to put on the table!
CARL NEAL Walk On By Grace Star Music
One of our favorite new saxophonists of the world-class persuasion, Carl Neal comes back to the table with another great single, Burt Bacharach’s “Walk On By.” This passionate new track is what we call, ‘in the pocket,’ meaning that it fills the bill, ticks all the boxes and otherwise slam dunks it and should be finding it’s way onto many radio station playlists around the world! This tune will be included in his exciting new collection due out soon called GRACE STAR… The talented Mr. Neal studies with jazz legends Max Roach and Archie Shepp and has very cleverly worked his way into the hearts of Smooth Jazz fans all over the world with his new music and sense of style. Download “Walk On By” today and we’ll keep you posted on when the full album is available!
Who doesn’t love Brazilian music? Fabiana Passoni is an award-winning Brazilian vocalist with a compelling life story (she battled breast cancer for three years) who is recognized in her native country and has now released her first English-language project, the appropriately named DIM THE LIGHTS. Passoni has a sensual voice similar to the great Astrud Gilberto, which she displays on seven diverse, well-known classics. What a selection! You’ve heard them all in a different context – here, Passoni gives each a soft and lilting Bossa Nova touch with bouncing percussion. Like the best cover songs, Passoni’s retain the feel of the original but are presented in a new light. “Lovin’ You” features a new chorus (“La-la-la-la-la, you’re beautiful”) and a sweet acoustic guitar solo. “Lovely Day,” a Smooth Jazz favorite, is hushed and jazzy, with amazing, extended organ and guitar solos. And the Carpenters’ “Close to You” feels just right with sweet and simple strings backing Passoni’s husky, sexy vocals. Want more? There’s also “Rock With You,” “Magic,” “You’ll Never Find” and “Ain’t Nobody.” Romance is sure to heat up with DIM THE LIGHTS!
YOLANDA RABUN Hold On To Your Dreams Yodyful Music
“Just believe and you will soar…” In my opinion, there is not a more powerful arrangement of words to inspire the human spirit. Yolanda Rabun’s brand new, soul-stirring single “Hold On to Your Dreams” is a moving testament to this fact. Her dynamic, compelling vocals pull from R&B, soul, and maybe even a little jazz gospel to deliver a poignant new song that we are very proud to feature on SmoothJazz.com Global Radio. In a world of second guessing, over-thinking, waning self-confidence and lack of inspiration Ms. Rabun’s message is exactly what we need to tap into on a personal, community and even global level! She brings big vocals, warm tones and an upbeat, positive melody to this captivating musical gem! Yolanda Rabun walks the walk and talks the talk on “Hold On to Your Dreams” – Download now and inspire yourself!
PAOLO RUSTICHELLI Vagabond Next Age Music
Critically-acclaimed, eclectic music composer, plug-in and piano virtuoso, the extraordinary Paolo Rustichelli, blends contemporary jazz and Reggae on his latest single, “Vagabond,” from his soon-to-be released SOUL ITALIANO. This cool, electro-chill tune is Paolo at his best! Stylish, fashionable and right on the leading edge of what today's Smooth Jazz should sound like! Son of 3-time Oscar nominee and movie soundtrack composer, Carlo Rustichelli, Paolo started his career at 16. He’s become one of the most influential composers in instrumental and chill out music in the world! His first radio hit "Paisa" started a new trend in Smooth Jazz, with its electric and vibrant grooves, which was quickly adopted by many artists in the genre. Paolo is globally renown for his pioneer work in fusing rock and jazz and producing for and recording with Santana, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Andy Summers and many others. Carlos Santana said in Billboard, "Paolo Rustichelli's music is a soundtrack for life!” Miles, who worked with Paolo on several songs, considered him an eclectic genius! Listen for yourself... it won't take you long to discover why!
KIM SCOTT Rite of Passage Independent
Kim Scott is a highly sought after jazz and classical flutist. She is a performer and a teacher. As Chair of the Music Department at Alabama's School of Fine Arts, she's shaping future Smooth Jazz superstars! Her latest album, RITE OF PASSAGE truly showcases her amazing talent while her exceptional tone and technique shine throughout this project. You'll find yourself getting lost in the haunting melody of the title track, and marveling at her attack on the grooves of the Smooth Jazz single, "Golden." In addition to her top-rate playing skills, Kim proves to be a fine singer, too… on "Sweet Obsession," Kim sings both lead and background vocals, and adds just the right flair of flute, as well, now that's talent! Let Kim Scott's sensual style take you on a journey, one that will never have you thinking the same way about Smooth Jazz flute ever again!
DWIGHT SIRLS Paradigm Shift Independent
New from engineer, producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist Dwight Sirls comes a cool, funky, futuristic new project with bass oriented tunes on a subject Dwight has been involved with for decades, life forms from other dimensions, realities, or planetary systems. According to the artist, in order to go beyond the skeptical programming of our reality, and intelligently view this subject, “you must open your mind and who knows, you may have a PARADIGM SHIFT.” While the instrumental project may be inspired by X File type consideration, these instrumentals are soulful and jazzy, blending Chill Out with Nu Jazz and my favorite, swirling bass grooves! Dwight knows how to deliver these grooves as he plays fretless, upright and six, five, four string bases as well as electric and classical guitars, Native-American flute, keyboards and more! PARADIGM SHIFT is perfect for chilling, driving, unwinding and maybe even going a little deeper into your own realities. Great to have another new album from this innovative composer!
ED STONE King of Hearts Sapphire Music, LLC
My first reaction to Michigan-based guitarist Ed Stone’s third CD, KING OF HEARTS was, “Wow, this guy really knows his stuff”! Dr. Stone (he’s a medical guy too!) has crafted an outstanding collection of in-the-pocket, feel-good Smooth Jazz, with all the elements that hits are made of… superb musicianship, hooky melodies, even some fine vocal work on three of the songs, and a positive vibe throughout. The album’s title track, still cruising along on the charts, and the follow-up single, “Automatic” are very strong tunes indeed. In addition to those songs, I also especially like Dr. Stone’s covers of Gloria Estefan’s “The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” and the Temptations’ “Treat Her Like a Lady.” Fact is, there’s not a track on this album that isn’t a radio-worthy winner. So, if you were to ask my “wellness” advice, Dr. Ed Stone’s KING OF HEARTS is definitely right for you!
We’re pleased to share with you a SmoothJazz.com discovery… Europe’s Threestyle, founded by German guitarist Robert Fertl and his partner the Czech Republic’s Magdalena Chovancova who plays saxophone and flute for the ensemble. The project, currently based in Germany, features Magdelena’s twin sister, Gabriela Chovancova on drums, along with an assortment of European A-Listers! Threestyle truly personifies Smooth Jazz with killer originals and a sophisticated, modern spin with their blend of smooth, nu, funk, soul and chill jazz! The band continues to tour the world on a regular basis, from the U.S. to South Africa, to the Caribbean and extensively throughout Europe! Their latest release FEEL THE VIBE is available on Fertl’s welovemusic recording label featuring the first single, the cool and sophisticated “Chilling Mr. Benson,” along with previously released Threestyle recordings and Magdalena’s debut solo album MOVING UP QUICKLY. The prolific collaboration keeps an ambitious recording schedule and releases new music every month!
UNCLE LOS MUSIC Say Something Independent
People in the Bay area know all about Carlos "Uncle Los" Sanders. He's been in demand for years because of his amazing keyboards and unique vocal style. Now, the rest of us can enjoy his talents in his debut release, SAY SOMETHING. This project features fresh, original songs that range from the introspective "We Still Have Fall," featuring the vocal stylings of Kenny Washington to the funky and soulful "Pocket Presence," which really puts the spotlight on Uncle Los' talents on the keys. As a lyricist, Uncle Los is a master of poetry... be sure to check out "Earth Calling." And if you're into more of a traditional sound, you'll want to put your ears to "Miles 12." This debut outing is being praised for its musicianship, writing and production. SAY SOMETHING says so many good things musically that we can’t help but highly recommend it, enjoy!
DAVID VALENTINO Wonderland Independent
Sometimes you just gotta move! If you’re ready for an infectious brew of grooves, dance music and ambient, sexy sounds, you’re ready for David Valentino! On WONDERLAND, Valentino lays down some spicy guitar lines on songs that call to mind such distinctive influences as Weather Report, Steely Dan, Santana and Groove Armada. Ready for a hit single? Check out “Carla’s Song,” a romantic romp with sexy sax stylings. Ready to dance? Listen to “Wonderland,” an enchanting and dreamy number that would sound awesome in hip clubs. Care for some upbeat electronic vibes with vocals and a jamming guitar solo? There’s “Under the Influence.” There’s more, like the disco-like guitar strums and slamming bass lines of “Mercury.” And are you ready for some wine and candles? “Bliss,” with its Chris Botti-like trumpet dreamscape, is the perfect antidote to a stressful day. A fusion of jazz, dance and ambient music, WONDERLAND signals the arrival of a major talent.
GIANNI VANCINI Souls United Progetti e Dintorni
Italian master saxophonist Gianni Vancini takes the coolest parts of contemporary music and blends it together for a sophisticated, funky, stylish pop sound that reaches deep into the groove bag to deliver upbeat jazz and feel good melodies akin to David Sanborn and Grover Washington, Jr! SOULS UNITED is the affable musician’s debut recording and co-produced by Thomas Bank and recorded in Amsterdam. The international release features special guests Eric Marienthal, Umberto Tozzi and Andrea Mingardi. This rising star’s sax tone is rich and smooth… pleasing to the ear yet offering enough depth to capture the attention of aficionados and Smooth Jazz enthusiasts alike. The excitement Gianni captures here reminds me of how I felt when I first heard Sanborn’s UPFRONT… cool, suave, a little gritty and a lot sexy! Don’t miss this new discovery… Gianni Vancini’s SOULS UNITED is yet another one of Italy’s inspired contributions to the arts! Grazie!
WALDINO At The Oasis LoveGypsies.com
One of my favorite recording artists on the planet, Walter Liskiewicz aka Waldino has a brand new album out and it’s one of his most enthralling to date! AT THE OASIS is the perfect follow up to his last project, WALDINO GOES LATINO, with a continuation of Spanish flavored chill-out vibes. OASIS also delivers jazz-infused jams such as displayed on “Just Be Cool,” as well as international espionage drama on the very sexy “Waldino 007 Bond Remix,” timed perfectly for the latest James Bond installment, Skyfall. Be on the look out for deliciously seductive rhythms as well, they’re running deep throughout this hydrating musical offering from the doctor of soulful swagger. AT THE OASIS is a direct reflection of the bold richness and character that is found at the heart of its composer and indeed a refreshing respite in what can be a rather arid musical climate.
Let me introduce you to an outstanding new project from World-class Detroit saxophonist Deon Yates that’ll keep you coming back for more. SPOTLIGHT delivers big-time on talent and performance, as Deon’s playing sparkles like a new diamond on ten compelling songs. He brings in guests Nick Colionne, Maysa, and fellow Detroiter Lin Rountree to complement his own impressive jazz chops on a well-rounded selection of mostly original tracks that range from soothing and romantic to lively and exhilarating. When you listen to Colionne’s work on the energetic, “Use to Be,” Maysa’s alluring vocals on “Look How Far We’ve Come,” and Rountree’s delicious trumpet work on the brand new single,“Resaxation,” you’ll hear why Emmy-nominated Deon Yates is fast becoming one of the most sought-after emerging talents in jazz today, both as a performer and a composer/producer. As for your personal jazz library, you’ll definitely want to brighten it up by owning SPOTLIGHT!
ZOÉ Unstoppable NuGroove 2
Zoe (zo-AY) is a hot group of musicians from the Philadelphia area that bring together smooth funk, R&B style and pure entertainment! UNSTOPPABLE is an extremely entertaining, high-energy project that is the pinnacle of the group's 12-year history. Discover what has made Zoe the toast of the Philadelphia Jazz scene by diving into this incredibly rich, eighteen-track album! The ensemble is exceptional on their own, but the magic that happens when guitarist Jim Peterik joins them for "Always Thinking Of You" is smokin' hot. There are also some extraordinary contributions from trumpeter Cindy Bradley, and the legendary Jeff Lorber! Some of the must-listens on the project include "It Is What It Is," "Hurry Up But Take Your Time,” and "Mister Magic,” Zoe's nod to Philadelphia native son Grover Washington, Jr. You'll want to be playing UNSTOPPABLE the next time you're entertaining, trust me, your friends will thank you for turning them on to this band!