AMSTERDAM CONNECTION | Isn't She Lovely | Harmony Music
RICK BRAUN | Around The Horn | Shanachie Entertainment
DELLATORRE | So What! | iM reto della torre
KIRK FISCHER | Friends | Fischful Thinking Music
LOWELL HOPPER | Playing It Cool | Get Jazzed Records
AZIZA MILLER | This Journey Of Love | Aziza Miller
PHIL PERRY | Breathless | Shanachie Entertainment
STEVE RAYBINE | Cool Vibes | Bad Kat Records, LLC
SYLVIA BENNETT For You Out of Sight Music
Sylvia Bennett continues her journey into smooth original music… her forthcoming album FOR YOU, due out in the spring of 2017, promises another successful set of contemporary, sensuous songs from the Grammy-nominated, Miami-based vocalist and songwriter. The new release will be featuring the successful collaborative combination with Ms. Bennett’s longtime producer and writing partner, Hal S. Batt as well as special guest, violinist Peter Ferencz (Peet Project). The first single, “Stay With Me,” is a heartfelt, modern love song that promises to tug at the listeners’ heartstrings as Sylvia’s conviction captures the very essence of desire, mirrored by a beautiful, muted trumpet that supports the song’s passion. A New Year, a new song… Jazzy, sophisticated and current!
Seventeen albums deep into one of Smooth Jazz’s most extraordinary careers, trumpet and flugelhorn great, composer and producer Rick Braun continues to explore and push his creative boundaries. His Shanachie Entertainment debut AROUND THE HORN covers a lot of fresh, exciting stylistic territory, with exotic vibes from Brazil, South Africa, and Portugal, in addition to soulful, sonically intricate re-imaginings of contemporary pop hits by Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez. Artfully connecting groove intensity and tender intimacy, Braun works his magic with an array of incredible guest artists, including Peter White, fellow trumpeter Till Bronner, singer John Stoddart and new labelmate, vocalist and songwriter Lindsey Webster. The well- traveled Braun takes us all AROUND THE HORN for one of this year’s most enticing musical adventures!
BROTHER 2 BROTHER f. Carter Carter Can I Take You There Grandiora Records
Move over, Philly! Siblings Winston and Charles (Chaz) Carter – collectively known as BROTHER 2 BROTHER featuring Carter Carter - are declaring their hometown of Pittsburgh the official city of Brotherly Jazz. The electric guitar and drummer duo backs their boldness with a list of prime opening gigs (Cameo, Bobby Brown, Angela Bofill, Parliament Funkadelic) and a tight, melodic, in the pocket debut CAN I TAKE YOU THERE. Helmed by producer Chuck Cymone – who has done projects with Chris Standring, Eric Darius, Peter White, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot – the song set spotlights the Carter’s prowess on their respective instruments and creates an inviting, sonically expansive world full of sultry contemporary jazz and R&B. When BROTHER 2 BROTHER asks, CAN I TAKE YOU THERE, you’re gonna say yes!
After cutting his musical teeth with numerous pop stars in his native Singapore and scoring appearances at top Asian and other international festivals, saxophonist Daniel Chia is bringing his inviting, easy grooving blend of cool jazz, R&B and retro soul to the U.S. for the first time on his star-studded U.S. debut, IN THE MOMENT. With double Grammy winning producer and guitarist Paul Brown at the helm and guest appearances by Brown, Darren Rahn and singer Melina, Chia’s playful funk, passion and panache make for an exuberant urban jazz ride, in a similar vibe as Boney James – complete with California-centric song titles! Since arriving Stateside, he’s performed with both Peter White and Grammy nominated vocal group DW3. Audiences are quickly discovering that there’s no better way to live IN THE MOMENT!
Nathan East is so much more than a world-class bassist, if you look closer, you’ll discover the Fourplay founding member’s playing is a channel to convey a greater purpose on this planet… one of healing. Whether he’s conscious of it or not, the affable composer and musician lovingly cultivates a better human experience for all he comes in contact with, in person and through music. A life based around gratitude results in more to be grateful for… This is a principle that Nathan’s very familiar with. His resume overflows with collaborative endeavors with some of the greatest music minds of all time. His aptly titled new recording, REVERENCE, the follow up to the #1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz solo debut NATHAN EAST, will be available on January 20, 2017. The first single, “Lifecycle,” an upbeat, joyful, life-affirming celebration of connection, is already spinning on radio around the world, creating massive motion on the charts and emotion with listeners. We anticipate another wonderful run from one of our favorite runners!
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. Get CONNECTED now!
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!
CHASE HUNA On The Chase SOM Entertainment, LLC
With the explosive emergence of Chase Huna in 2017, the future of Smooth Jazz has never sounded brighter. Still in his teens, the ultra-melodic, R&B driven saxophonist caught the ear of critically acclaimed guitarist, songwriter, producer, engineer and vocalist Steve Oliver, who took Huna under his wing and helmed his dynamic debut ON THE CHASE. The two co-wrote all ten originals, whose vibes range from in your face funk to road trippin’ pop and dreamy sensuality. Oliver’s colorful instrumental and vocal imprints lay a lush foundation for Huna to explore a playful range of soul-stirring emotions. Your new year will get off to a high flying start when you launch ON THE CHASE!
JAREZ Sexy Saxy Vol. 2 J Star Entertainment LLC
Since breaking through in 2013 with his solo debut ON TOP OF THE WORLD, L.A. based saxophonist Jarez has been a non-stop hit machine. He’s been at forefront of an exciting revitalization on the contemporary jazz scene with his explosive blend of soulful jazz and hip-hop. The innovative saxman, who has recorded and toured with music icon Coolio for years, fashions his cool, fashionable and relaxed new EP SEXY SAXY Vol. 2 as a sequel to 2015’s Vol. 1. Jarez sets the funk aside for a set of silky and sensual romantic mood setting originals – including one featuring guitarist Dirk K and a “chilled version” of his hit single “In Too Deep.” Turn the lights down low and embrace the vibe of SEXY SAXY!
After spending time on the road after the release of their self-titled debut Jazz Funk Soul, the superstar trio of Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb and Everette Harp booked more studio time, with the goal of capturing their dynamic onstage energy and flow on a follow-up release. The brilliant result may be called MORE SERIOUS BUSINESS, but these legends also have a blast, let loose and jam. Combine Harp’s soaring sax, Loeb’s brilliant inventive guitar and Lorber’s super funky piano, and the result is serious fun – percussive and punchy one minute, sweet and sensual the next. Combined, the three have amassed an incredible 50-plus #1 Smooth Jazz radio hits, including two from their debut as Jazz Funk Soul. There are sure to be a bunch more now that they’re getting down to MORE SERIOUS BUSINESS.
REZA KHAN Wind Dance Painted Media
The inspiration behind Bangladesh Born and Raised, NYC based, world-fusion guitarist and composer, Reza Khan’s 4th solo album release, WIND DANCE, came in an instance, upon a breeze and swirled meaning through movement into the recording artist’s mind. "This is a story of a Twilight Dream," Reza recalls, which sparked a song title on the new album, he continues, “it happened in a breath of an instance or in a whole life, I don’t know.” This engaging collection is magical and mystical in a way that only Reza can harness through composition and playing. The guests on the project are as special as the music itself, including performances from Andy Snitzer, Philippe Saisse, Nelson Rangell, Mark Egan, Miles Gilderdale, and Marc Antoine. WIND DANCE will move your mind and body through a journey of sweet reflection and musical expression, prepare to be blown away!
TONY LINDSAY Tony Lindsay Next Move Entertainment - Canada/Lindseed Music
11-time Grammy winning singer Tony Lindsay is world renowned for being a frontman on numerous tours with Santana and recording or performing with The O’Jays, Al Jarreau, Steve Winwood, Aretha Franklin and the late Teddy Pendergrass. He’s also legendary in the San Francisco Bay Area for leading his R&B/Jazz/Pop ensemble Spang-a-Lang. Lindsay’s deeply soulful, self-titled album showcases the vocalist's incredible range and stylistic versatility, from Smooth Jazz laced R&B ballads and Latin-tinged jazz to Santana influenced fusion... the project includes the artist's debut international hit single, "Only If You Knew What My Eyes See," as well as his brand new track for 2017, "Crush," spinning on radio around the world. Download now and discover the magic of Tony Lindsay!
A renowned artist, producer, songwriter, vocal coach, session musician and performer, the multi-talented Jaee Logan brings a lifetime of musical joy to his emergence as a Smooth Jazz artist. In addition to selling over 30 million records worldwide, he has worked with everyone from Sheila E, Pebbles and Club Nouveau to Rosie Gaines, Digital Underground and Bobby Brown. Logan’s latest single "Morning," which features legendary Earth, Wind & Fire bassist Verdine White, is pure jazz, funk and love. Harkening back to the classic shimmering jazz-soul keyboard vibe of the 70s, the song includes dreamy, soaring vocals and a burst of Latin piano exuberance midway through. Logan will be releasing his full-length debut album SUN RIDER in early 2017. Until then, enjoy a beautiful and inspiring "Morning"!
One of Contemporary Urban and Smooth Jazz’s premier vocal giants over the past 25 years, Phil Perry was once called the "Pavarotti of Jazz" by Down Beat magazine... he truly inhabits this lofty praise with each album and performance. His 12th recording, BREATHLESS, keeps his always endearing and heartfelt blend of mid-tempo pop/jazz magic and soaring, sensual balladry flowing on a set that finds him becoming not only the genre’s premier storyteller, but the story itself. Thematically, he tackles all the ups, downs, triumphs, tribulations of romantic relationships – and the enduring power of love itself - via a slate of originals and spot-on covers of classics by The 5th Dimension, Stevie Wonder and Lee Ritenour. Perry’s latest will truly leave you BREATHLESS!
KENNEY POLSON Paradise Vol. 1 Sony
After earning four college degrees and teaching for years everywhere from Bogota and Rio to Beijing, saxophonist and composer Kenney Polson returns to recording and performing music full time with the release of an album whose title perfectly describes the listening experience: PARADISE, VOL. 1. Drawing on his passions for jazz, new age, Latin, R&B, funk and gospel, Polson creates a spirited, soulful mix of melodic tunes, jazzy riffs and dreamy atmospheres with top Brazilian musicians he has recorded with previously. In all, the versatile musical force of nature has visited and performed in over 50 countries. He pools all those magical experiences and vibes together to create a true musical PARADISE! Best of all, the second half of the album title promises there’s more to come!
PROJECT GRAND SLAM The Queen's Carnival CEN
Powerfully transcending genres, language and geographic barriers, Project Grand Slam – a bold seven piece jazz/rock fusion ensemble with a worldwide following launched by veteran bassist Robert Miller – celebrates their 10th Anniversary with THE QUEEN’S CARNIVAL, a blazing, multi-faceted collection whose influences range from Jimi Hendrix and The Kinks to Afro-Cuban music and Celtic Folk. No Depression calls the recording “Impossibly Memorable.” We are happy to welcome the entertainingly edgy jazz ensemble to our SmoothJazz.com family and highly recommending the musical celebration for live events and festivals.
The title is intriguing in these current times, while it does elude to a sense of urgency, award-winning, world beat guitarist/composer Lawson Rollins’ focus on 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT is really on the exhilaration of the speed of sound as well as the mystical power of the number 3. This clean, stripped-down recording features twelve multicultural compositions all in the 3-minute range, and exploding with Lawson’s famed finger style guitar playing, a radical departure for the Billboard chart-topping artist known for elaborately-constructed tracks that are at least twice as long. Produced with multi-platinum producer Dominic Camardella utilizing Grammy-winning violinist Charlie Bisharat, bassist Randy Tico and drummer/percussionist Dave Bryant joined Rollins and Camardella who is featured on keys. 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT is dazzling, pertinent and explosive… get it now, time is of the essence!
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!
Concurrent with his success as a solo Smooth Jazz artist, keyboardist/composer Brian Simpson has been a true music MVP, serving as Dave Koz’s musical director for two decades and working with legends the likes of George Duke and Stanley Clarke to Larry Carlton, Billy Cobham and Gerald Albright. His effortless way with lively, infectious melodies, jazzy ivory improvisations, super-vibey atmospheres and nonstop seductive grooves, hits another sweet spot on PERSUASION, his 7th album as a leader. While his lush piano stays front and center, Simpson surrounds himself with format super stars Boney James and Peter White. You won’t need to be persuaded to listen to PERSUASION over and over!
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!
THE ALLEN CARMAN PROJECT The Allen Carman Project The Allen Carman Project
Infused with a high energy, super-melodic tight funk vibe perfectly captured in the title of its first single “Groove Salad,” THE ALLEN CARMAN PROJECT – both the group and the album - marks bassist Allen Carman’s highly anticipated official return to music after several decades away. He began his earlier career sharing the stage with everyone from Vince Gill and Bobby Caldwell to Joe Lala (Stephen Stills, Bee Gees) and Chris Pinnick (Chicago), so it’s no surprise that he’s once again surrounded by musical greats. The Allan Carman Project’s fresh rhythms and delicious jams feature keyboardist Phillipe Saisse, percussionist Gumbi Ortiz, saxman Andy Snitzer and drummer Luis Alicea. THE ALLEN CARMAN PROJECT is an exciting way to energize the New Year!
STEVE WATSON Playtime WatsonWood
Guitarist/composer Steve Watson has enjoyed many musical lives, from touring overseas with the Miami Concert Jazz Band to becoming a first call Hollywood session player and most recently, impacting students in various educational roles in his adopted hometown of Greenville, SC. His career as a solo artist continues with the release his dynamic new album PLAYTIME, which kicks off 2017 with a brand new, radio-friendly single, "Pear Bear," written in celebration of his beautiful granddaughter, Perrin. The album features special guests and production by jazz fusion icons Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak. Watson offers a mix of brassy, high energy jams and mid-tempo light funk delights, balanced in the middle with a graceful, reflective ballad. When Watson picks up his formidable axe, it’s always PLAYTIME!
SoulTracks found the perfect way to describe Lindsey Webster’s artful dual talents as a vocalist and songwriter: “If Carole King and Sade had a kid, she would be Lindsey Webster.” The Sade comparison is particularly apropos. The rising soul/jazz star has perhaps Smooth Jazz’s most sensually inviting voice since the Nigerian born singer first charmed us. Webster is also the first vocalist since Sade to hit #1 on the contemporary jazz charts (“Fool Me Once”). On her lush, beautifully intimate and easy flowing Shanachie Records debut BACK TO THE HEART, she delivers smokey, honey toned vocals on a batch of soulful originals, including one inspired by and featuring Kirk Whalum. Open up and let Lindsey Webster take you BACK TO YOUR HEART!
Fans hoping 2017 brings a new sound to Smooth Jazz will be excited about Brandon Willis’ perfectly titled new single “Impact.” Fresh and vibrant and primed to put the multi-talented 25-year-old saxophonist on the map, the track dynamically mixes danceable funky beats with his rich emotional urgency for an unforgettable ride. After scoring a Billboard chart hit from his debut album, he sought out a producer/songwriter who had the goods to make him stand out from the crowd – and found Grammy nominated artist and sonic innovator Nate Harasim, co-owner of M1 Records, which is now Willis’ label home. Together, the two take an old school, boots on the ground approach to music, performance and artistry that will no doubt make a huge “IMPACT” in the genre.
AMSTERDAM CONNECTION Isn't She Lovely Harmony Music
Combining the sensual funky passion of tenor and alto saxophonist Naomi “Smile” Adriaansz and the lively piano and lush jazz harmonica of Tim “Harmony” Welvaars, the Netherlands based duo, Amsterdam Connection, releases ISN’T SHE LOVELY, a unique, eclectic tribute to the legendary musical icon, Stevie Wonder. Produced by double Grammy winning producer, Smooth Jazz guitarist Paul Brown. The album is a spirited fusion of laid back cool and feisty grooves... Stevie himself calls Tim a “genius on the harmonica.” You’ll agree when you hear ISN’T SHE LOVELY!
Award-winning independent recording artist, Kelly Andrew, has just released his fifth album of original music. This multi-talented composer, producer and artist’s album, RENDEZVOUS – co-produced by Grammy winner and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman – is warm, romantic and hypnotic, yet lives up to its adventurous title with rhythmic variations and soaring sonic surprises. Andrew creates the perfect balance between New Age ambience, modern rhythms and compelling, piano, guitar and sax driven Smooth Jazz. RENDEZVOUS with the beautiful vibrations of this musical Rembrandt for an exciting and memorable encounter.
ROBERT DAMPER D Tales Orcas Straits Records
After 30 incredible years as superstar Kenny G’s keyboardist, musical director, arranger and co-collaborator, Robert Damper fulfills his decades-long dream with his exciting and inspiring emergence as a solo artist in his own right. Damper’s debut D TALES, featuring whimsical guest spots by Kenny G, Najee and singer/songwriter Skyler Jett (Commodores), offers an eclectic mix of old school funk, jamming, soft-spoken romantic eloquence and deep sensual soul. You’ll enjoy listening to these infectious D TALES over and over!
AL DEGREGORIS Time And A Half A-Pex Recordings
If his last album – and first teaming with the emphatic one-two production punch of Nils and Jeff Lorber – ALL IN GOOD TIME, was Al DeGregoris’ emergence into the big leagues of contemporary urban jazz, TIME AND A HALF finds the keyboardist on his way to becoming the genre’s Babe Ruth. Continuing the playful metaphor of the album’s title, he works double and triple time with his collaborators on every last detail to ensure a multi- faceted sonic experience from start to finish. There’s lushness, sensual flow, easy grooves, rambunctious piano melodies, fiery horns and exciting contributions from guest saxmen Steve Cole, Eric Marienthal and Andy Snitzer. While working with Nils cements DeGregoris’ ability to rework classics into fresh, contemporary concepts and will ensure several return visits to the radio charts, it’s his more adventurous journeys with Lorber that really demonstrate his ability to go beyond the usual parameters of urban jazz and make memorable statements hinting at a vibrant future for the genre.
DELLATORRE So What! iM reto della torre
Swiss-born guitarist, Reto Dellatorre, playfully titled his second album SO WHAT! as an ironic statement about the infinite importance of unimportance. Yet the searing, fiery ballads and barn burning jams he creates with veteran Blues guitarist Josh Smith, R&B vocalist Nio Rene and some of L.A.’s top studio musicians (recorded at Robbie Krieger’s Horse Latitudes studio) have a free spirited, West Coast vibe you’ll care deeply about. Dellatorre's SO WHAT! is so right!
He won’t have to ask you twice… once you hear the rhythms you’ll be on your feet. “Get Up And Dance,” the brand new single from two-time Emmy Award winning violinist, philanthropist and musical innovator, Damien Escobar, is helping to shape the future of instrumental music, with sweet, irresistible playing and compelling production that fuses influences from world, hip pop, jazz and more. Dame Esco, as his friends and fans know him, was just 10 years old when he became the youngest student accepted into Julliard. After launching the renowned, ground breaking duo, Nuttin’ But Stringz with his brother Tourie, Escobar has recently gone solo. Still in his twenties, he’s well on his way... with nonstop, headlining performances, 200k downloads and more than a half a million social media followers, the man is boundless!
KIRK FISCHER Friends Fischful Thinking Music
Even as he’s jamming on the keys with his Austin, Texas area dance band Touch of Class, Dr. Kirk Fischer enjoys sending out a “nerd alert” about his “day job” as Associate Professor of Accounting at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. On his instantly joyous, soaring and infectious debut album FRIENDS, he offers a master class in dreamy balladry and horn-drenched keyboard funk in collaboration with Greg Adams’ East Bay Soul Band, featuring the relentless, brassy energy of Adams, Lee Thornburg and Greg Vail. You’ll want to make fast FRIENDS with this one of a kind emerging talent!
There may be nothing new under the sun, but there’s certainly something as warm and delicious. And it’s hot. Rising star saxophonist, Jazmin Ghent’s new album, CHOCOLATE SUNSHINE, is a languid, jazzy experience. The young woman stole the hearts of contemporary jazz fans onboard the 2014 Smooth Jazz Cruise -- where she won their talent competition and played with Boney James and Candy Dulfer. The Smooth Jazz Go Girl has toured with the prestigious, all-female jazz ensemble, Jazz In Pink, and has performed at world-renowned jazz festivals. Think Rehoboth, Seabreeze, Lowcountry, Red Cat, Magic City and The Florida Smooth Jazz Weekend. The 25-year old’s sophomore release comes on the heels of her debut, BOSS, which produced two Top 20 hits. CHOCOLATE SUNSHINE is sophisticated and contemporary, with hand-picked guests -- hit-maker Jonathan Fritzén; groove master, bassist Julian Vaughn; in-demand guitarist, Adam Hawley; and critically-acclaimed, jazz saxophonist Nelson Rangell. Bring your sunscreen!
GRAINGER The Phase III EP: Lets Go Back GBM Records
The name Grainger in the music industry is synonymous with groove… whether it’s in reference to bassist Gary Grainger or his brother, drummer Greg Grainger. The two are considered one of the most sought after rhythm sections in the world. Combined, they’ve played with an amazing assortment of musical royalty including Whitney Houston, Santana, John Scofield, Kim Waters and Acoustic Alchemy! The new 4-song EP, PHASE III, is the prelude to Grainger’s forthcoming full-length album which includes the single, a compelling, soul-filled vocal, “Let’s Go Back,” plus 3 additional tracks featuring their patented funky, tight grooves and catchy melodies, with special guest Kim Waters. The brothers are currently in the studio with the recently reunited funk project, Pockets, along with other original members, creating fresh new songs for yet another upcoming Grainger-infused release!
SKII HARVEY Standing For A Fall Vie Publications
With edgy, Tina Turner-like vocals that work brilliantly on bluesy barnburners as well as more intimate (but no less palpable) ballads, award-winning veteran, Australian vocalist Skii Harvey fashions a powerful one woman protest on her latest album STANDING FOR A FALL. Returning to the musical frontline with thoughtful, provocative songs of conviction, determination and strength. The album is Skii’s latest milestone in a career that’s earned her attention from Sting, the Billboard Music Awards, the UK Songwriting Awards and the Australian Songwriter’s Association. STANDING FOR A FALL will inspire you to rise up!
LOWELL HOPPER Playing It Cool Get Jazzed Records
With a smooth vibe driven by soulful guitar, hauntingly infectious melodies and deeply funky beats, Lowell Hopper has performed and recorded with jazz artists everywhere from Germany to the Panama Canal during his 20 year stint in the U.S. Air Force. While continuing to develop intimacy with his audiences around the world, the Panama City, Florida musician and composer is PLAYING IT COOL on his latest album full of thoughtful, candlelit ballads and buoyant, compelling up-tempo, urban jazz delights. PLAYING IT COOL some of the time, but more often than not, Hopper’s bringing major heat to the genre!
JUSTIN KLUNK Clarity EP Justin Klunk
There’s a major reason saxophonist Justin Klunk’s Twitter and Instagram name is @KlunkFunk - his high octane EP CLARITY is as jammin’ and funky as Smooth Jazz gets! The upbeat tracks pair his powerful sax and horn texturing vibes with the thrust of rhythm and electric guitars, creating an energizing experience and a (literally!) smashing release. Playing and touring with Ariana Grande, Tommy Page and others, he’s also blowing open his solo career with CLARITY!
AZIZA MILLER This Journey Of Love Aziza Miller
In the years since she was Natalie Cole’s musical director, composer, singer and pianist Aziza Miller has performed to standing room only crowds at NYC’s most prestigious clubs. Her latest recording, THIS JOURNEY OF LOVE, showcases her passions for soulful, urban jazz vocals with lively jazz melodies and improvisations on a set that includes both vocal tunes (including a tribute to Cole) and a spirited piano driven tribute to Horace Silver. THIS JOURNEY OF LOVE is one you’ll enjoy taking!
NEX LEV'L BAND Lev'l One Nex Lev’l Band
Are you ready for the next level in your Smooth Jazz listening experience? Then check out Nex Lev’l Band, a five-piece unit launched by Pieces of a Dream’s James Lloyd in 1992 and still going strong! Specializing in passionately silky and eminently funky, jazz-soul vibes, the ensemble – driven by saxophonist Isaac Parham and vocalist Mycah Chevalier – offers contemporary jazz at its finest. They’ve shared stages with Ray Charles, Roy Ayers, Brian McKnight and Kirk Whalum. Now let them take you to LEV’L ONE on their latest musical journey!
STEVE RAYBINE Cool Vibes Bad Kat Records, LLC
A onetime bandmate of Rick Braun in the 1970’s progressive jazz group Auracle, vibraphonist, composer, percussionist and renowned music educator Steve Raybine has been on a mission since his 2000 debut to make the spirited sound of the vibes a fresh contemporary sound in Smooth Jazz. On his infectious, rhythmically-compelling (and perfectly titled) new album COOL VIBES, the Omaha, Nebraska-based artist stirs up exciting island flavors with a rhythmic mix of swaying coolness and light-funk charm. With a swirl of styles that explore Raybine’s passions for jazz, R&B, Latin, pop/rock and blues, it’s the perfect soundtrack to a night of chillout and romance. Full of surprises, he even does a spirited rap on one track. Steve Raybine's COOL VIBES are the perfect mid-summer delight!
TYLER REESE Reminiscence REMU Records
Having studied with Pat Metheny and played with everyone from Prince to Ernie Isley, guitar virtuoso and contemporary instrumental music innovator, Tyler Reese brings an incredibly diverse background to his Fusion (jazz, rock, funk) driven new album REMINISCENCE. Just as he’s seducing us with his graceful acoustic sound, he amps up the emotional intensity with high-powered, electric strength, edgy jazz fusion and even some rhythmically dynamic Django Reinhardt flavored vibes. Soaked with inspiring diversity and off the charts playing, REMINISCENCE is a guitar lover’s dream date.
DELI ROWE Smile Again Liberated Soul Music Group, LLC
An outspoken advocate for self-empowerment, Richmond, VA singer/songwriter Deli Rowe’s contemporary R&B infused indie soul sound has earned her airplay throughout the U.S., the UK and Australia. Her latest EP SMILE AGAIN offers hopeful personal, yet universal messages about letting the past go and embracing the joy and happiness of what’s to come. This is what happiness sounds like!
JIM SAMUEL When I Look At You Smooth Dance Records
Taking a heartfelt detour from the infectious, eminently grooving vibe of his 2014 debut album NOW, keyboardist/producer Jim Samuel wrote his new single, “When I Look At You,” as a wedding gift for his son Jamie. With rich, emotional vocals by East Bay Soul lead singer Darryl Fitzgerald Walker and a soaring flugelhorn performance from Tony Neenan, it’s a timeless and hypnotic old school, R&B love song for the ages that will have you falling in love!
THASAINT Touch Style Setters Entertainment
A fresh mix of compelling funk grooves, dreamy soundscapes, retro sounds and bright keyboard melodies define Thasaint’s new album TOUCH, and while it fits perfectly into the Smooth Jazz realm, the veteran award-winning musician, composer and producer cares less about labels and more about making people feel. Covering a wide range of emotions, the album finds him back in tune musically after many personal losses, including the passing of some of his greatest musical influences. Every song on this incredible set will TOUCH you deeply.
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!
The release of multi-talented, award winning Hungarian saxophonist Zolbert’s latest hard grooving, intensely expressive album INSIDE OUT is the culmination of a career roll he’s been on since putting together a tribute band to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the passing of his musical hero Grover Washington, Jr. in 2009. Balancing in your face funk with sultry, easy flowing romance, his colorful vibe draws on the silkiness of Grover, the deep urban cool of Gerald Albright and Everette Harp and the infectious pop of Dave Koz. Zolbert’s turning smooth jazz INSIDE OUT!