TOM BRAXTON | The Next Chapter | Pacific Coast Jazz
DR. DAVE | Carefree | Hatherill Records
JONATHAN FRITZÉN | Fritzenized | Nordic Night Records
JAREZ | Sexy Saxy Vol. 1 | Top Jazz Records, LLC
MARION MEADOWS | Soul Traveler | Shanachie Entertainment
JIM SAMUEL | NOW | Independent
SAMURAI GYPSIES | Heart Beat (Latido Del Corazon) | Independent
TONY SAUNDERS | Appaloosa | San Francisco Records
SHASHATY | Brighter Day | A.H.I. Records
DENNIS ANGEL On Track Timeless Grooves Records
Dennis Angel made a fateful choice after high school – study music at Julliard or pursue a law degree. He eventually became a well-respected entertainment attorney, but jazz found its way back in 2009, when he recorded “The Wall Street Recession Time Blues.” He made an impact with his multi-faceted, full-length debut TIMELESS GROOVES, and now he’s back, deep in the melodic and grooving pocket again with his latest, ON TRACK. His new single, "I Like It Like That," produced by Jason Miles, is a sexy, sultry jazz piece made to smolder with Angel on flugelhorn, Miles on piano and Maya Azucena on seduction (come hither vocals). The album is a sophisticated jazz delight with heavy hitters including Kenny Barron. Angel is ON TRACK to become a bona fide jazz star!
MARIEA ANTOINETTE Straight From The Harp Masaai/Infinity Productions
The magical sound of the harp makes it's way to the funk side of Jazz! San Diego native Mariea Antoinette’s repertoire includes Classical, Jazz and R&B, which she has showcased at Walt Disney Hall and of course out on the Jazz in Pink tour. The first single “Give Me Your Love” dominated the summer of '14 Smooth Jazz Charts and many more songs are sure to follow with the fresh release of the full album, STRAIGHT FROM THE HARP, including the effervescent, “Rock Wit’Cha,” the Hiroshima-esque “Special Treasure” and the exciting, new single, “Fly Away.” Keeping her spirited, melodic harp lines front and center, she creates a bold blend of old school with soul sensibilities, symphonic atmospheres and sizzling brass. Mariea has a home in Smooth Jazz… right where her Harp is!
CHERYL BARNES Listen to This Barnes & Cabasso Music
The title of jazz vocalist Cheryl Barnes’ new album LISTEN TO THIS is an invitation to enjoy a brilliant collection of songs, interpreted masterfully by this amazing artist, whose extensive resume includes performances with Wynton Marsalis and Quincy Jones on the jazz side, the Clara Ward Gospel Singers, and the Denver Symphony Orchestra. Talk about vocal range and versatility! Ms. Barnes’ voice and phrasing are stunning. I’m especially drawn to the entrancing “Come with Me,” the gently swinging “Like Jazz,” and her latest single, an incredible take on Joni Mitchell’s “Come In From the Cold." Cheryl Barnes’ LISTEN TO THIS is an absolute must-have!
SYLVIA BENNETT From The Heart CD & Greeting Card Out of Sight Music
Let the music be the message! Sylvia Bennett selects her favs from the original album SONGS FROM THE HEART and creates a gorgeous playlist on her stylish, all-in-one FROM THE HEART CD and Greeting Card! Featuring timeless classics from the great American songbook, including “My Funny Valentine,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “As Time Goes By,” “You Make Me Feel So Young,” and more. Perfect for any occasion, Sylvia’s FROM THE HEART is sure to warm anyone’s heart… Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and/or Father’s Day, anniversaries, and birthdays... a lovely way to send your love with flair in this clever jazz-o-gram from Sylvia Bennett. The music is SO good, you may just decide to keep it for yourself, we wouldn’t blame you!
Heaven, I’m in heaven… two of my favorites are singing CHEEK TO CHEEK on what I predict will be a Grammy winning collection come February 2015! Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga combined forces on Bennett’s DUETS II album and delivered a crowd-pleaser on their colorful version of “The Lady Is A Tramp,” causing jazz fans to cock their heads to the side like Nipper the RCA/Victor dog. Gaga’s voice is warm and pure… perfectly suited for jazz as she mixes, mingles and swoons with the world’s favorite crooner, who still sounds as smooth as ever! Interscope is the proud label of this stunning recording, which by the way, debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200. Despite the 60 year age difference, the chemistry is undeniable between the two... A swirl of vocal genius on this hand-selected batch of standards from the pens of Gershwin, Porter, Berlin and more. Go Gaga and get it!
PATRICK BRADLEY Can You Hear Me Patrick Bradley
When you hear the bluesy organ solo on “All In,” the easy flowing opening track of keyboardist/composer Patrick Bradley’s CAN YOU HEAR ME, and the wild Moog synth solo on the high octane “North of Evermore,” you might just think they’re being played by the project’s legendary producer Jeff Lorber. That’s how exciting and innovative Bradley is as a player! Though he enlists the help of all-star friends like Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal, Bradley shines on both the main melodies and sparkling solos on a set that’s rocking, funkified and at times profoundly spiritual. CAN YOU HEAR ME? That would be a resounding YES!
CAMILLE I Sing Stevie - The Stevie Wonder Songbook Camilleon Records
Diving deep into the catalog of celebrated, musical icon Stevie Wonder, dynamic vocalist and studio veteran, Camille, re-imagines the deeper cuts on I SING STEVIE – THE STEVIE WONDER SONGBOOK. Camille’s passionate voice is surrounded by a stellar line-up of world-class musicians including Will Lee, Mitchel Forman, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Bobby Franceshini, and Marc Quinones. Released on her own Camilleon Records label, I SING STEVIE ventures from Latin Jazz to R&B ballads to Flamenco-flavored grooves. Crossing genres is not unfamiliar to the accomplished singer, she was a featured vocalist for Grammy-winning Brazilian producer Deodato, which landed her on the Billboard charts twice back in the early days of her career. An all terrain exploration of the artist that this artist adores, as Camille’s liner notes dedicate, "To Stevland Morris!! Beautiful, blessed, gift sent from God above."
SHARON MARIE CLINE This Is Where I Wanna Be Independent
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!
BUTCH AND RHONDA COLEMAN Night Sketches Jeremee Records
The dynamic Baltimore based Smooth Jazz duo of Butch (bass) and Rhonda (vocals, keyboards) brings a dynamic resume to their delightfully poppy and soulful debut NIGHT SKETCHES. Their collective resume includes two decades of performances in the DC Metro area. In addition, Butch plays bass on several of pop singer Jessie J’s hit singles, while Rhonda has opened for Al Jarreau, Phyllis Hyman and The Blackbirds. Complementing the playful, horn-fired light funk instrumental tune “Malibu,” the Colemans are all about imparting lessons of love and romance on the vocal tunes - from the optimistic “Here I Go Again” through the exotic, Latin-flavored “Yellow Butterfly,” “Carry My Heart and “We Belong Together.”
MITCHELL COLEMAN, JR. Soul Searching Soul Revelation Music
Emerging bassist Mitchell Coleman may be SOUL SEARCHING on his dynamic and driving debut, but he doesn’t take long to find some tasty, infectious urban jazz and funk grooves. Influenced by greats like Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke and Larry Graham, the multi-talented musician and composer kicks off the 12 track, two interlude set by stamping a fun and fiery “Passport” to a place filled with buoyant R&B/jazz fusion. While establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with, he also pays homage to Earth, Wind & Fire (a dreamy “That’s The Way of the World” featuring Pam Vincent) and the late great Joe Sample with an eloquent take on “When Your Life Was Low” featuring Dionyza Sutton. There’s plenty of soul in SOUL SEARCHING!
More energy, more swagger, more Darius! RETRO FORWARD is a respectful glance backward toward the legacy of R&B, soul and pop while propelling full speed ahead toward the future of contemporary music, including Smooth Jazz, neo soul, hip hop and more! Mostly originals, this new album will deliver so well for you that you’ll forgive the charismatic young talent, for making you wait so long since 2010’s ON A MISSION. Produced by Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Antonio Dixon (half of FaceTone w/Babyface, Beyonce, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson) and Blu2th (Chris Brown, Jordin Sparks, Boys II Men). 11 Songs featuring today’s hottest talent, Dessy Di Lauro, Terry Dexter, Eric Dawkins, plus the sax phenom sings beautifully on Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love”! Don’t miss the delirious cover of Pharell’s “Happy” and the sensational, jazz-pop dance smash, “Broke Down.” RETRO FORWARD is a joyous, jubilant, funkified, fortified recording that will ignite your soul!
When Al DeGregoris records a new project, the A List shows up! Seven tracks produced by guitarist Nils and two helmed by keyboardist Jeff Lorber, ALL IN GOOD TIME finds the versatile indie composer/keyboardist establishing a powerful ensemble vibe with a batch of contemporary jazz greats, including Chuck Loeb, Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal, it also includes some of the supremely grooving last sessions by drummer Ricky Lawson. The all-star guests may make genre fans curious, but it’s DeGregoris’ infectious and dynamic piano, synth and Fender Rhodes’ melodies, which supercharge the fun. Nils’ tracks range from the funky, exuberant “Sunnyside” (the project’s first single) to the synth driven symphonic pop jazz tune, “Autumn Chill.” The throbbing R&B. jazz-fusion jam “Hey You” has the classic Lorber vibe. The best indie artists capture our hearts ALL IN GOOD TIME!
To paraphrase the title of one of Dr. Dave’s previous recordings, once again, ‘the Doctor is in’ stirring up a spirited storm of healing, soulful melodies and electric guitar funk on his perfectly titled album CAREFREE. The prolific, world renowned musician includes some freshly re-imagined covers of classic tunes – most notably, his reggae infused, island spin on Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” – however, Dr. Dave is also an exciting composer. He whips up fresh, infectious magic on tracks like the sensual, wind in your hair opening title track “Carefree”; an atmospheric, pocket groove driven ballad that truly “Feels So Good”; the breezin’ George Benson influenced “G.B. Style”; and the moody, romantic, old school vibin’ “Sylvia.” Listen to Dr. Dave and you’ll truly feel CAREFREE!
D. EDWARD Love Is 10th & Clay Records
Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, D. Edward is back with a groove so funky, a beat so strong and heart so deep on LOVE IS… a brilliant, soul pop follow-up to 2011’s LITTLE RED BOX, the album that introduced the soul crooner to the Smooth music community. A small, handful of singers have such distinctive character to their voices, that list would include Darryl Hall, Robbie Robertson, Darius Rucker and perhaps more current, Ray LaMontagne… soulful, rugged and sexy! LOVE IS cleverly blends the joy of jazz, the freshness of funk and the style of soul to deliver an incredibly moving collection of songs. The title track is already proving that D. Edward has big fans at radio… the sensual duet with Jenna Lavoie, “Show Me,” the chilled melancholia of “Pretty Eyes” and the 70’s throwback vibe on “Mighty Love” all help make this a SmoothJazz.com Hotpick!
JONATHAN FRITZÉN Fritzenized Nordic Night Records
We’ve been FRITZENIZED here at SmoothJazz.com since 2008 when we debuted the charismatic composer’s first album LOVE BIRDS on SmoothJazz.com! Exposure to Jonathan Fritzén’s lush and sexy melodies as well as his addictive rhythms is all one needs to become FRITZENIZED! The Swedish keyboardist who grew up listening to Smooth Jazz on Internet Radio is now a #1 chart-topping, Smooth Jazz composer! Upon my first listen to Jonathan’s music, I reached out to Bob James to tell him that I discovered a young artist that moved me in a similar way to his music. That’s FRITZENIZED personified! A tender touch on the keys, a keen sense for melody and arrangement… This album is bound to stick around a long while with wall-to-wall radio hits, including the first single, “A New Beginning,” the sizzling hot, “A Funky Night” featuring vocalist Laila Adele and my favorite “Kiss Goodbye.” Don’t fight it… get FRITZENIZED!
This soulful pairing of world-class saxophonist, Joel C. Peskin, AKA iReedman and supremely talented vocalist, Ms. Monét, results in an exciting blend of jazz, funk, sax and sizzle on TALK TO SOMEBODY. A true protégé of woodwind legends, Peskin has navigated his career from the avant garde jazz scene of New York to touring and recording with iconic music stars including the Beach Boys, Canned Heat, Albert Collins, Frank Zappa, and Barbra Streisand, to the west coast and hundreds of TV and film sessions, collaborating with Merry Clayton on dance recordings, and is an original band member of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.” Ms. Monét is a performer’s performer… The California Bay Area native offers up pure vocal genius. From theater to stage, performing for Presidents (Obama and Clinton) and world-wide touring with Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald, Toto, Queen Latifah, Kenny Loggins and more! Together these two, known as iReedman & Ms. Monét are unstoppable… the Dynamic Duo of contemporary jazz leads off with a killer cover of “Strawberry Letter 23,” while the album also features originals that tightly fuse jazz, R&B and soul and include compelling instrumentals.
Cali-cool sax star, Jarez (Jarel Posey) redefines contemporary jazz with his youthful, soulful approach to original music. Coolio's sax man, friend and business partner, Jarez turns the swagger up a notch on his latest release, SEXY SAXY Volume 1. The seduction is on high and the EP is loaded with fresh and inviting new tunes featuring the project’s first single, “Hold On Tight” with Billboard, chart-topping Smooth Jazz saxophonist Vandell Andrew. Also on board for two tracks, Jarez guitarist and vocalist A.J. Luke, who enhances the SEXY SAXY vibe. All seven of the tunes are sax-drenched, saucy and smooth infused with Hip Hop, soul and jazz! This may not be your father’s Smooth Jazz, but you're gonna dig it!
Continuing to bring the thunder from Down Under on his new 5-track set MR. JONES, Australian bassist, songwriter arranger and performer Wayne Jones, a renowned session musician who launched his solo career in 2006, keeps that perfect balance between tunes that are lush, melodic and sophisticated and others that showcase his freewheeling and wildly energetic ways. Working with top genre stars like Rick Braun and Grammy nominated keyboardist Philippe Saisse, Jones creates a dynamic array of moods, from the bright and brassy “A Day at the Beach” to the strutting and funky “Get Up” and light and breezy “Sweet Melody.” Another highlight is Jones’ buoyant Latin excursion “The World Keeps Turning.” You’ll enjoy experiencing the wild, wonderful world of MR. JONES!
With his crisp, snappy and often hypnotic electric lines, veteran guitarist Dirk K lets us know from the opening minute of the coolly percussive title track of his latest full length collection that IT’S ON. This mid-tempo delight, which features an exciting tonal and rhythmic shift midway through as the grooves ease into Trip-Hop, is at the core of an engaging set, full of fresh fun like you’ll hear on “Snap Jam” and “Toxic,” plus, silky original ballads and covers galore including “Holding Back The Years,” “That’s The Way of the World” and “Lovesong,” as well as the first ever Smooth Jazz re-imagining of “Funkytown.” Ah yeah… IT’S ON is an album you won’t want to turn off!
Le Jazz Collab is the evolution of Canada’s Groove55, the critically acclaimed, contemporary jazz band from Montreal. A better fit for bandleader, keyboardist/composer/producer Jacques Mignault’s vision of creating a collaborative recording environment where musicians and music professionals can work together from anywhere via the Internet. The first release, THE GREEN ALBUM, features extraordinary musicians that cover a full spectrum with many musical genres that range from Smooth Jazz to Latin rhythms to horn-centric fusion and pop. Stand out tracks include the latest single, “On The Tap” which will compliment any jazz radio station’s playlist, and the chilled-out cover of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” This exciting, world-class project was created with love and all done in the artists’ free time… speaking of free, it is absolutely free for you to download on www.jazzcollab.com.
On his perfectly titled 5th solo album, THE SMOOTH FACTOR, Dee Lucas continues his soulful mastery of the soprano sax in the tradition of one of his heroes, the late George Howard, whom he recorded his debut album as a tribute to. Lucas’ evolving musical career is fascinating in that he didn’t pick up a horn until he was 28, then worked his way up as a sideman as well as a bandleader (of the ensemble Xpressions) before venturing out on his own. Highlights on THE SMOOTH FACTOR include the playful, funky title track and 1st single (mixing moody old school keys creating a soaring atmosphere behind his horn playing), the sensual vocal ballad “Stay” and the wistful, compelling mid-tempo ballad “The Smooth Ride.” Dee Lucas has the X Factor and it's all over THE SMOOTH FACTOR!
MICHAEL MASSARO Love In Motion Independent
One of Toronto’s most in demand musicians, saxophonist and flutist Michael Massaro has played with legendary pop and jazz greats from Percy Sledge to Branford Marsalis. His infectious and eclectic fifth album showcases a wide range of influences, from Latin jazz to pop/R&B and blues, but the foundational ingredients are passion, energy, sensual soul and above all, love. Smooth Jazz fans will truly enjoy the funky RETRO SOUL vibe of the title track and silky cool of “The Promise” while those who like a little exotic spice in the mix will groove on the percussive tropical vibe of “El Corazon (The Heart)” and bright Latin romp “Fun in the Sun.” If you want to experience pure LOVE IN MOTION, you must check out Michael Massaro!
As passionate a photographer and cyclist as he is a musician, composer and artist, Marion Meadows has always made his music about more than just solid grooves and infectious melodies. As the title of his distinctively world music tinged album SOUL TRAVELER implies, the soulful saxophonist is all about the heart, mind and spirit. With guest artists like Najee, Joey Sommerville, Vincent Ingala and Elan Trotman and key contributions from guitarist Carlos Penninsi, Meadows creates a powerful, multi-faceted emotional journey. The core of his passionate mission statement is the freewheeling celebration of our common “Humanity” featuring cool exotic touches and old school keyboard magic by Lamar Gaines. What better way to start the year than taking a beautiful trip with the genre’s great SOUL TRAVELER?
RHYTHM JETS Sound Barrier Infinity Jazz Records
Though they are new on the scene as a unit, the members of this explosive six piece Atlanta-based instrumental band are all veteran musicians with mile long resumes. Joining forces to release their debut EP SOUND BARRIER, Rhythm Jets have created a musical signature they refer to as “Infinity Jazz… not smooth, not traditional… taking you where you’ve never been with rhythm and sax.” Part of their fiery magic comes from a distinctive island and world vibe, which infuses key tracks like the Reggae-tinged, first single “Chasing the Sun” (brightened with sax, electric guitar and steel drums), the buoyant Latin-fusion jam “It’s A New World” and the balmy, tropical romance “Down By The Sea.” Rhythm Jets hit a cruising altitude for the perfect soundtrack to an island destination, full of pulsating rhythms, edgy guitars, funky sax and glorious pop breezes.
The journey began 28 years ago when Russ Freeman formed the band that would become synonymous with contemporary jazz… a band that four-wheeled through a fusion of rock, world music, pop and jazz. A band that helped defined a genre, create a lifestyle and explore melody without vocals. Nearly three decades later, his band is showing no signs of slowing down; Russ Freeman continues to create soul stirring, driving music on the Rippingtons’ 20th album, FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. This guitar-centric project features some of the coolest guitars in Freeman’s collection, including his 1960 Strat, 70’s Telecaster, Baglama (Turkish sitar-like instrument), Ukulele, among other vintage gear. The 10 new tunes will leave you delighted… from the energetic, opener, “Spice Route” to the pop/rock first single, “North Shore” to the chilled out finale, “Garden of the Gods,” it’s clear the band has discovered the secret to youthful longevity. Long live the Rippingtons!
PAOLO RUSTICHELLI Walking in Rome (Soul Italiano) Next Age Music
A new year, and another new hit for inspired composer and world-class keyboardist Paolo Rustichelli. His latest single, “Walking In Rome” is a sweet, soulful Smooth Jazz stroll and a fitting tribute to the artist’s beloved home. The Italian one-man band invites you to a romantic, funky promenade on the streets of Rome. You can feel the magic of the Mediterranean and the beat of the Eternal City on this joyful tune… bringing to mind his 2014 multi-platinum selling hit, the chart-topping “Med Groove.” Paolo takes the experience to the next level on “Walking In Rome,” raising the bar and building excitement for the release of his full album SOUL ITALIANO due out this summer. Adored by musical icons, Carlos Santana and Miles Davis, the super-keyboardist continues his exploration of Smooth Jazz, lending his genius to the celebration of the lifestyle music genre.
World-class bassist Tony Saunders plays bass like a wild-spirited, free-running, colorful Appaloosa. His soulful, low-end bass work is melodic, joyful and deep… like the Bay Area artist himself! This chart-topping release features many originals including the first hit, “Sandy Shores of Monterey,” a smooth, sultry groove that I love beyond the obvious reasons. The latest single is a Sophisticated smooth Jazz jam, "Blue Nickels" featuring Tony's melodic groove and keen jazz sensibilities. Special guests on APPALOOSA include Howard Hewitt, Santana's Tony Lindsay, Sakai, Tower of Power’s Tom Politzer and Bill Champlin on the cover of Gino Vannelli's title track. Tony's career began at 5 years old, as it would in the house of his father, the beloved, late Merl Saunders (Rainforest Band, Jerry Garcia). This is why he runs deep! The romance continues!
SHASHATY Brighter Day A.H.I. Records
Inspired by years of on-stage experience with the brightest of stars including Carlos Santana, The Mavericks, Kirk Whalum and Dave Koz. ShaShaty’s own 5-piece band opened for legends the likes of The Bee Gees, Peter Cetera, Gloria Estefan and George Benson! ShaShaty explodes on to the scene with this exciting, fresh sound that is truly original! His A.H.I. Records debut, BRIGHTER DAY is a soul-drenched, smash hit with high energy, sweet and pure saxophone performances with soaring melodies and genre-blending curves. The first single, “Dream Ride” is like a top-down, moonlit drive, while “Let’s Go!” and the title track are upbeat, mood enhancer’s with cool vocal accents and “Late On 91” will soulfully set your spirit free! It’s clear to see why ShaShaty has so many fans around the world… and tons more on the way!
RICHARD SMITH Tangos Chillharmonic Music
It’s been some 5 years since the The L.A. Chillharmonic project, the last recording from one of the coolest guitarists in Contemporary Jazz. By no means does that mean he’s been idle. The tenured music professor at the University of Southern California lives abroad 3 months every year; in 2012 and 2013 he traveled to 11 countries performing music from his previous 13 releases and collaborated with a group of international all-stars on the creation of TANGOS, the deepest, most engaging release of his career. The globally connected musical innovator was inspired by his travels to explore the intensity of the music and the dance. He brings his West coast, flirtatious, chill vibe to one of the most romantic, fiery music forms. On TANGOS the passion of the Tango meets the cool of Smooth, featuring Smith on a variety of stringed instruments in luscious orchestrations with fashionable loop mixes and effects. Get ready for this new Richard Smith groove… fresh, soulful, global!
JOEY SOMMERVILLE Overnight Sensation Jayvox, Inc.
The ATL’s Joey Sommerville is anything but an OVERNIGHT SENSATION! The spectacular jazz trumpeter has been paving a successful road with his distinctive blend of traditional and smooth jazz, hip hop, R&B, and Gospel. His credits include collaborations with a diverse artist and recording roster including the jam band Phish, Cirque du Soleil and Jazze Pha. While the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, the album OVERNIGHT SENSATION is filled with tasty horn arrangements, feel good grooves, special guests and a handful of surprises including a couple of JS vocals! Guests include guitar legend, Earl Klugh, saxman Elan Trotman, cool trombonist Jeff Bradshaw and fellow Southern gentleman, guitarist Eric Essix! Music fans of all persuasions will enjoy discovering Joey Sommerville’s OVERNIGHT SENSATION… it’s loaded with class, elegance and good times! Due out October 28, 2014, listen to SmoothJazz.com Global Radio to hear early tracks and the World Premier on Saturday, October 25 at 10am Pacific.
SEAN SULLIVAN Hereafter SonyRed
Sean Sullivan’s relaxed musical approach and smoldering vocal style will draw you in like a Sunday morning. HEREAFTER is a compelling collection of jazz, blues, pop and soul. On this smoothly eclectic album, produced by Matt Pierson, the New York City singer, songwriter and guitarist delivers gorgeous originals with intelligent and moving lyrics, plus cool, soulful covers. The Sullivan-penned, "Don't Get Me Started," the first Smooth Jazz radio single, has a Marvin Gaye vibe with a Boz Scaggs jazzy-bluesy slant along with the moody and alluring, "Wash My Soul," which features tasty saxophone and melancholy flute. Covers include Michael Franks' "Jive," Bob Marley's "Waiting In Vain," and Aretha's "Until You Come Back To Me." If you dig the music of the aforementioned Franks, and Scaggs as well as James Taylor, this gem of a talent is for you... Sean Sullivan is the star to watch rise and rise, from now 'til the HEREAFTER.
Rewind, reorganize, remix… Bennett B's "Get On Up! (remix)" starts the New Year off with both a Saturday night party and a Sunday morning sermon with a strong gospel influence, a non-stop groove and a hook that goes on for days! A remix of an original track written by Bennett from his successful CD, 2014's GROOVE TIME, includes vocals by TC Carson and Lynette DuPree with an awesome vocal arrangement by Patrick Gandy. Blurring lines between jazz, R&B and soul, Bennett teamed up with Paul Brown to produce this killer remix as only the two-time Grammy winner can.
Soulful, Canadian singer, Jasmin Bailey releases a cool, new tune, “Shangri-La,” on Merchant Murango Records. Like the mythical place of the same name, the song captures a lovely, harmonious feeling with pop and jazz sensibilities… a Utopian spell of joy is conveyed in the vocalist’s delivery on this magnetic song. We look forward to hearing more from Bailey and Merchant Murango, and in the meantime, we’ll linger in Shangri-La!
A truly revered saxophonist… Tom Braxton is highly respected by both the world-class artists he performs with and the fans that watch him play! With a tone that is rich and distinctive, there’s no wonder why this star player commands attention. Tom’s highly anticipated 8th solo release, THE NEXT CHAPTER, is a feel-good, body movin’, soulfully positive collection of tunes, featuring Grammy winners Bob James, Ricky Lawson, and Earl Klugh who is featured on the smooth, "Sunrise In Malawi," along with one of Smooth Jazz’s most beloved guitarists, Peter White! In addition to outstanding, original compositions, you’ll find sweet covers, including his current single, the OJay’s “I Love Music,” and the Spinner’s “I’ll Be Around;” tunes that bring to mind the fun vibe of the late Wayman Tisdale, whom Braxton supported as Musical Director for 17 years. In addition to his own band, you can occasionally enjoy him with Earl Klugh and Keiko Matsui. Brimming with good vibes, Tom Braxton’s THE NEXT CHAPTER is a guaranteed page turner and chart topper!
This fresh, new song is from Al Chestnut, of the Philly bred singing/songwriting duo, The Chestnut Brothers! The brothers (Al & Ty) have mesmerized audiences all over the world with their electrifying stage show and recorded with some of the biggest stars on the planet including Grover Washington, Jr, Luther Vandross, Najee, and many more. “Touch Me In A Special Way” is the lead single from a soon-to-be-released EP from Al Chestnut and the tune has it’s own special way of soulfully moving and grooving straight into your heart and quickly down to your toes! Once you hear it, you’ll have the hook and you won’t want it out of your head! This is what we like to call a bona fide hit! Can’t wait to hear more!
JAZMIN GHENT Jazmin Ghent Independent
This rising star is one to keep an eye on! Meet Smooth Jazz saxophonist, Jazmin Ghent. Young Jazmin showed an interest in music at the age of 5, playing piano in Sunday School by 8, and winning the NAACP’s ACT-SO Competition at 17! This girl received a full scholarship offer to attend Berklee, skyrocketed through Florida State University and received a Bachelors Degree in Music Education in 2013 and a Masters Degree from Tennessee State University in 2014. Then as if to make a dent as early as possible in her promising career, she walked away as the Opening Act winner onboard the prestigious Smooth Jazz Cruise in 2014! The talented Ms. Ghent is focused, and following her heart as she plans a full album release in 2015, with radio receiving her killer first single, “Boss,” while the world has access to 3 songs in total, all originals, including “Eyo” and “Jazzy Jazz.”
This is one of the most uplifting new releases I’ve heard all year! Texas guitarist Al Gomez blends in all kinds of feel good energy into his Smooth Jazz including some R&B influences, neo soul, funk and killer vocal harmonies! Al’s CASA GROOVE es mi Casa Groove filled with hooky original compositions that sound like world-class hits! Fans of Larry Carlton, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana will love this!
CHELSEY GREEN & THE GREEN PROJECT The Green Room Independent
This is a WOW listening experience! Meet emerging artist Chelsey Green and The Green Project… The Houston, Texas native plays the violin and viola in such a powerful way that it will leave you yearning for more. She tears down stereotypes of the instruments by fusing classical with pop and original music that incorporates R&B, Jazz, Alternative, Soul, Hip Hop, Gospel and more. THE GREEN ROOM is the artist’s 2nd release, a killer collection of compositions and arrangements that showcase this unique, musical twist. The talented and accomplished Ms. Green has shared the stage with Maysa, Ruben Studdard and many more… she’s received a scholarship at The University of Texas at Austin, received her Master’s at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland College Park. This is an artist we’re extremely proud to have discovered and will be featuring many of her songs from THE GREEN ROOM on SmoothJazz.com Global Radio!
All aboard the Groovexpress… featuring a vintage vibe with original material that encompasses jazz, blues, funk and more on their latest release UKRAINIAN DOLL. The internationally acclaimed band is based out of New Zealand and delivers upbeat, fun, sensual jazz with a retro spin that will inspire you to throw swanky parties and hand shake your martinis while playing UKRAINIAN DOLL as the soundtrack! The album is receiving critical acclaim and airplay around the world. A band of highly accomplished individuals with deep resumes and guitarist/vocalist Mykeljon at the helm of this exciting ensemble, creating music that is ageless and timeless by combining genres with fresh flavors to attract music lovers worldwide! Groovexpress is the new face of Smooth Jazz!
When Grammy nominated recording artist Brian Bromberg let us know that he had just produced an exceptional new vocalist, I tracked her down fast! Meet Maggie Herron, often referred to as “Hawaii’s Jazz Goddess.” While that may be true, Ms. Herron is an approachable, down to earth chanteuse... with an honest to God, honey-dipped voice that wraps itself around some of the most beloved standards of all time on this album, as well as her own, gorgeously penned originals! Bromberg, featured on bass, invited additional A-Listers to join in on the project, including one of our favorite trumpeters, Rick Braun, who also sits in on vocals! Maggie’s cover of “Woodstock” transcends the rock classic by spinning it into a contemporary jazz knockout. So many radio-friendly tracks here, including the project's 2nd single, "Je T'aimerais," a jazzy original and Joni Mitchell-esque love song. GOOD THING is the best thing to hit the jazz community in a long time.
IDARA Spirits and Souls Independent
If you like poignant lyrics with your jazz, along with rich, soulful vocals, then you’re going to love this SmoothJazz.com Discovery… Distinctive, American singer-songwriter of Caribbean and African decent, Idara! From the East Coast to the West Coast to the Bay Area, the UCLA graduate and prolific musician, describes her sound as “popular soul,” as she releases her brand new album, SPIRITS & SOULS, covering subjects of life, love and unity. Idara, whose name means “joy,” has a lush, vibrant voice. The songs roll out sweetly on SPIRITS & SOULS, with thought-provoking words and jazz-infused grooves that we believe will open hearts worldwide as listeners experience the expression of Idara!
Terje Lie (pronounced "Terry Lee") knows a good team when he's got one. Collaborating on the second project in a row with the writing and production team of keyboardist Jeff Lorber and Yellowjackets' bassist Jimmy Haslip, the Norwegian born, Los Angeles based saxophonist stirs up the perfect high energy blend of pop, R&B and jazz fusion here. Stocked with playful, solid grooves like the funky opener and new single, "Storm Skies" and the album's first single, "You Know," which are both hooky and melodic! You also need to know that this album is a classic "player's album" where inventive improvisation and explosive jamming reign throughout. Lie saves the most unpredictable ride for last, blowing hard with his cohorts amidst the explosive rock energy of guest guitarist Michael Landau as they navigate the wild "Jungle." Lots of BRIGHT MOMENTS to enjoy throughout! Bold moves for Terje Lie, we expect big things from this talent!
JOHANNES LINSTEAD Midnight Rhumba Earthscape Media
Johannes Linstead is one of the most vibrant craftsmen of contemporary Latin guitar music in the world… his songs are hip, festive and fresh! His new Top 10 Billboard Charting album MIDNIGHT RHUMBA captures the multi-award winning instrumentalist at his most vivacious. This collection of songs serve up gorgeous melodies along with fiery rhythms that are accompanied by Gypsy violin, Afro-Cuban percussion and joyful accordion. The album’s first single, “Bewitched” delivers a Santana attitude in a James Bond film vibe... it's exciting, rhythmic, and sexy! Escape the mundane for a MIDNIGHT RHUMBA, a world of passionate, sensual beats and exotic tempos!
NEXLEVEL Midnight Blue Independent
A popular, multi-faceted, jazz fusion force in the Columbus, Ohio area since the early 2000s, NexLevel launched with in the pocket URBAN JAZZ but has evolved into an outside the box ensemble that incorporates high energy JAZZ fusion into their vibe. Inspired by the late night hours, the intoxicating MIDNIGHT BLUE is a statement that music can be high octane and explosive as well as sexy and sensual – all on the same recording. Their latest single, "Thursday," is proof! Original music that is soulful and high energy; powerful grooves with strong melodies!
DAVID PETROSYAN Good Morning Love Independent
The Armenian born, Los Angeles based saxophonist is a master of melody and romance, with a cool, contemporary jazz twist. He floats his dreamy, infectious tunes over exciting percussive elements and guitar riffs, while surrounding them with ambient and elegant piano stylings. On one of the most alluring tracks, Petrosyan breathes magic into “Existence” with a lush, intimate flow that will remind listeners of Paul Hardcastle and Dave Koz. The sensual, romantic ballads “Are You There” and “Good Morning Love” are smooth, sexy JAZZ at its finest. Wake up with GOOD MORNING LOVE playing and start your day with some of the freshest music from this hot, new rising star!
Ooh la la! From the soon to be released album LET'S HAVE SAX from Steve Reason, comes another sexy, new song that spills over with scintillating jazz, infused with chill and neo soul. "Bedtime," is like John Legend meets Boney James. Fresh on the heels of his first single, "French Love," the Miami saxophonist, singer, songwriter, producer, performer has our full attention again! "Bedtime," is a sexy, smooth vocal with sax and soul accents, however, Reason offers it up as an instrumental as well for jazzy jazz fans! Lingerie, silk sheets, champagne… “Bedtime,” with pure unadulterated saxophone and seductive lyrics will satisfy all of your musical needs!
The next generation of Smooth Jazz has a visionary… welcome to the inspired world of saxophonist Sam Rucker and his soulful and passionate new album TELL YOU SOMETHING! This unique blend of Jazz, Soul, Gospel and Hip Hop, is collaboration with sax star, Euge Groove and features special guests Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Tom Brown and Alyson Williams. Nearly three years in the making, every song is moving with nonstop, positive energy and rich production. The latest exciting single, “Before I Let Go," is a brilliant collaboration with Norman Connors and Euge Groove featuring Bobby Lyle and Alyson Williams. The saxman who’s played with Smooth Jazz stars such as Peter White, Ronnie Laws and Phil Perry is telling you something, we highly recommend that you listen!
JIM SAMUEL NOW Independent
Composer/pianist Jim Samuel offers a compelling variety of textures and tempos on his latest release, NOW, featuring a stellar collection of originals, augmented by two sterling covers… namely the iconic “Mr. Magic,” featuring Gerald Albright’s brilliant sax work, and the Norah Jones hit, “Don’t Know Why.” Of the originals, I’m particularly drawn to the lovely “Serena,” featuring talented guitarist Rob Tardik, and the bittersweet “Now That You’re Gone,” featuring trumpet/flugelhorn master Tony Neenan. NOW just might be Mr. Samuel’s best release yet. Expect to see this one spending a lot of time at the top of the charts in 2014!
SAMURAI GYPSIES Heart Beat (Latido Del Corazon) Independent
Truly living up to their clever name, which implies that they’re musical warriors with a deep seated gypsy soul, Samurai Gypsies – the brilliant, high energy duo of Ecuador-born violinist Dany Cobo and guitarist Gary Carpenter – bring tradition, passion and exotic adventure to their powerhouse album HEART BEAT (Latidos Del Corazon). They lead their blazing acoustic ensemble on a wild journey fired by African, Flamenco, Latin and Jazz. Listeners in the mood for glorious romance with a beat will gravitate to “You Are The Music in My Heart,” the project’s first radio single and the sweetly captivating, “Duele no Tenente Aqui” (It Hurts Not Having You Here). Samurai Gypsies will touch your soul while making your HEART BEAT faster!
Threestyle adds two time Grammy winner Paul Brown to round up to a foursome that delivers a sophisticated punch of Smooth Jazz, chilled vibes, sultry sax and luxurious guitar playing! The band’s mainstays are the alluring Magdalena Chovancova on saxophone/flute and her partner in song, Robert Fertl on guitar… their classy new album, GET IT, was recorded at Brown’s Funky Joint studio in Los Angeles, California, hence the project includes some of L.A.’s top players including songwriting assistance from PB and Boney James! GET IT offers up stylish jazz with cool song titles like, “Soul Candy,” “Red Squirrel,” “Dropping the Box” and the album’s first single, “Just For Fun”!
THE UPTOWN BAND Feat. Erich Cawalla & Jenifer Kinder Heart, Soul, Body & Mind Uptown Band Music
An exciting blend of soulful and old school from performers and songwriters Erich Cawalla (sax/vocals) and Jenifer Kinder (vocals). The Uptown Band’s new collection artfully and playfully captures all four items on the list : Heart. Soul. Body. Mind. Hip, cool, contemporary... like a genre-defying mix of Alicia Keys, Bobby Caldwell and Tower of Power! This deeply emotional, smooth and heartfelt musical journey includes the Maxi Priest hit, “Close To You,” a mid-tempo light funk tour de force for Cawalla’s voice and sax; Kinder’s sensual spin on “Saving All My Love For You”; the alluring, pop/rock ballad “I Can Breathe”; the urban jazz jam “The Conversation” and a sassy, horn-fired contemporary twist on “That Old Black Magic.” Every part of you will enjoy HEART, SOUL, BODY & MIND!
The highly anticipated follow up to their 2008 debut Sleeping Giants, Vali & Saxolution’s second volume beautifully blends the dual pianos of composer Vali Saciri and Clemens Herzog with the alternatively silky and funky, supremely soulful sax of Wolfram Dullnig and Markus Wendlinger’s vibrant percussion and drums. The key to their “saxolution” is infectious melodies and rhythmic diversity. They balance the dreamy elegance of “No Regrets” and meditational vibe of “Deep Blue 1” with the exotic romp, staking claim to “My Island” and the in the pocket old school, soul-jazz of “Funky Vali.” You’ll enjoy waking these SLEEPING GIANTS!
Hot, soulful, saxy Smooth Jazz wth full bodied sax playing from R.L. Walker (Smoothnsaxy) on his THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM! Nine soulfully, spirited tracks ranging from seductive ballads to upbeat jams, showcase an exciting new direction… one that utilizes fresh beats and new grooves to support Walker’s horn work, which also digs in deeper. Songs like “Malibu Chaser” “Pocket Change,” and “Cubana Flow” show off a new side to the artist. He sites his inspiration on his website, while maintaining his own signature sound, “I really sat back and listened to many dynamic performers such as Walter Beasley, Boney James, and Najee while creating this CD.” As they say, THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM and in this case, it absolutely delivers the goods!