ROBERT GEE | Robert Gee the EP | 2016 G-Platinum Records LLC
LOWELL HOPPER | Playing It Cool | Get Jazzed Records
KEISER TWINS | Emotional Strangers | NiRo Sounds
MAYSA | Love Is A Battlefield | Shanachie Entertainment
PIECES OF A DREAM | Just Funkin' Around | Shanachie Entertainment
KRIS RUSSELL | Down In Brazil | Kris Russell
DAVE SERENY | Caribbean Cruise | GrooveUnited Records
SMOOTH TWO | Sunset Fantasy | SmoothTwo.com
RAGAN WHITESIDE | Treblemaker | Randis Music
SELINA ALBRIGHT Conversations Golden Rays Music
Selina Albright has been a presence in the Smooth Jazz world for the past 20 years, collaborating with and appearing on many of her father's, multi-Grammy nominated saxophonist, Gerald Albright’s recordings - as well as performing with him and countless genre superstars. After hitting the UK soul charts and the iTunes “Top 100 Downloads” with previous tracks, Selina blossoms fully as a transcendently soulful, urban jazz/R&B singer-songwriter on her diverse and compelling full length debut CONVERSATIONS. With vocals whose dynamics range from hushed and intimate to heights of extraordinary emotional power, she inhabits tracks infused with clever lyrics, sensual atmospheres (reflective of her success in EDM), and fresh contemporary grooves. Selina’s debut is bound to start a lot of exciting CONVERSATIONS!
GEOFF ALPERT Open Your Heart Geoff Alpert Music
The trombone is usually considered the anchor of classic horn sections, however, in the funky hands of emerging recording artist Geoff Alpert, it becomes a melodic and sensual Smooth Jazz lead voice. Featuring re-imaginings of classics by The Jacksons and The Emotions, Alpert’s debut solo album OPEN YOUR HEART draws from his passions for jazz, pop, R&B, soul-jazz and Latin music, with touches of mysticism reflecting his mastery of Eastern martial arts disciplines. In addition to co-producer, renowned keyboardist, Gail Jhonson, Alpert ensembles with genre all-stars Darryl Williams, Adam Hawley, Greg Manning, Tony Moore, Michael Paulo and Althea Rene. OPEN YOUR HEART to a fresh new sound in contemporary jazz!
SYLVIA BENNETT For You Out of Sight Music
Sylvia Bennett continues her journey into smooth original music… her brand new album FOR YOU, delivers another successful set of contemporary, sensuous songs from the Grammy-nominated, Miami-based vocalist and songwriter. On the heals of IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE, which climbed up to #24 in 2016 on SmoothJazz.com’s Top 50 Album Airplay Chart. The new release features the successful collaborative combo with Ms. Bennett’s longtime producer and writing partner, Hal S. Batt. The renowned Miami producer and After Hours studio owner has worked with some of the biggest names in Miami recording history including Ricky Martin, Julio Iglesias, Regina Belle and many more. Also, this go around, Sylvia invites Hungarian violinist and bandleader Peter Ferencz from the Smooth Jazz/Pop ensemble, Peet Project, on the track "Two Hearts One Soul." Modern love songs, jazzy chilled arrangements, heart string-tugging vocals and sophisticated musicianship… FOR YOU is for all of us!
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!
On LET IT GO, Norman Brown’s first solo album in five years, one of Smooth Jazz’s core superstar guitarists has a spiritual mission in mind. The driving forces behind the exhilarating journey are the principles of Maat, the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, harmony, morality and justice. His personal truth and blueprint for self-realization and actualization is an incendiary mix of freewheeling funk jams (with sparks of Latin jazz and blues) and uplifting ballads. Adding enlightenment are BWB bandmates Rick Braun and Kirk Whalum, Marion Meadows, Chante Moore, Sounds of Blackness, TrayCar and S.O.U.L (Sisters of Unbreakable Love), a trio of his three multi-talented vocalist daughters. Even as Brown’s latest magical mix is spiritually designed to help you LET IT GO, you’ll be clinging to its inspirational power for a long time.
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!
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!
MITCHELL COLEMAN, JR. Perception Soul Revelations Records
Continuing to draw buoyant and grooving inspiration and innovation from his heroes Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller, emerging bassist/composer Mitchell Coleman, Jr. throws down another explosive, multi-faceted round of feel good, jazz-funk fusion on PERCEPTION, the follow-up to his debut, chart-active, SOUL SEARCHING. Among the most exciting aspects of Coleman’s artistry is his adventure and unpredictability. He’s raucously thick and thumping on the uptempo jams, suave and in the pocket, soulful on the ballads, and throws into the mix colorful atmospheric, world beat exotica that explore realms beyond the cool confines of Smooth Jazz. Another highlight is a lush remake of The Crusaders’ “Street Life,” which puts Dionyza Sutton (High School Musical, Cheetah Girls) in the seductive Randy Crawford role. Your PERCEPTION is on the money – this album’s a “Funkatized” joyride!
JAN DALEY The Way Of A Woman Log Records
A deeply versatile force of musical nature, veteran recording artist, touring performer and actress Jan Daley laid the foundation for her new full length album THE WAY OF A WOMAN with her acclaimed EP WHEN SUNNY GETS BLUE. It’s testament to her powerful skills as a songwriter that her six originals on the album – a mix of fun, swinging jazz and classy, contemporary, pop jazz ballads – fit in perfectly alongside the five Great American Songbook standards that also appeared on the previous EP. Legendary Motown producer and songwriter Michael B. Sutton guides Daley’s exquisite and adventurous path into moments of hushed intimacy and spirited soulfulness. THE WAY OF A WOMAN is a musical path that’s a joy to follow!
It’s a combination of raw talent, focus, commitment, and joy that makes this musician exquisite. All eyes are on bassist/composer Nathan East as he revels in the success of his sophomore album, REVERENCE, on Yamaha Entertainment Group. The audio tapestry of this collection is artful, articulate and inspired. The Fourplay founding member, began his solo recording career after four decades of musical mastery and collaboration with some of the finest on the planet. The list is too amazing to not highlight, including Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton (whom East is touring with this year), Phil Collins, George Harrison, Stevie Wonder... well you get the picture! From the out of the box, chart-topping first single, the joyous, contemporary jazz joint, “Lifecycle,” to his monstrous cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Serpentine Fire,” featuring, wait for it, actual members of E,W&F, Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson, only Nathan has this much love in the bank to make this kind of magic happen! Track by track, REVERENCE will lead you to a sweeter place, one soulful, funky, jazzy tune at a time!
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!
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 new ballad, I Can't Pretend" with featuring rich vocals and acoustic jazz guitar. Catch this world class performer and entertainer live at your earliest convenience.
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. The project's first single, "Morning," features special album guest, legendary Earth, Wind & Fire founder, Verdine White. While the album's 2nd tune, the title track, works its way up the Charts, the full debut lands, delivering a sound filled with jazz, funk and love with a sweet, soulful keyboard vibe of the 70's promising to enchant music fans around the world.
After nearly a three decade layoff, the resurrection of the Jeff Lorber Fusion concept in 2010 gave the legendary composer, producer and keyboardist free reign to more aggressively explore and improvise on all the styles that have defined his expansive career. The Fusion’s newest member, saxman Andy Snitzer, takes Lorber and the group’s longtime bassist to new sonically eclectic, rhythmically dynamic heights on their Shanachie Records debut PROTOTYPE. Grooving with longtime drummer Gary Novak and special guests Chuck Loeb, Paul Jackson, Jr. and Nathan East, the trio fashions an inspired whirlwind of jazz, soul, funk, pop and gospel – with a bit of bebop, a shuffle and a waltz-like jam stirred in for good measure. This new collection is a powerful PROTOTYPE for the group’s future vibes!
One of the most sensual contemporary urban jazz vocalists of our time, Grammy nominee and Soul Train Award winner Maysa, fashions the ultimate playlist of past and present personal influences on her latest Shanachie album LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD. Soulfully, gracefully and sometimes sassily re-imagining favorite songs from throughout her lifetime, the singer uncovers fresh emotional depth and shimmering sultriness on classics by Luther Vandross, The Isley Brothers, Natalie Cole, Tevin Campbell, Pat Benatar, Odyssey and - bringing her right up to date - Justin Bieber. Helping bring Maysa’s musical ideas to life is a dream team of top R&B, jazz and pop producers, including Jason Miles, Chris “Big Dog” Davis and The Heavyweights. Rediscover these carefully chose, timeless songs in Maysavision on LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD!
While he enjoyed widespread acclaim for his self-produced debut 2015 LOVE ME AGAIN, saxophonist Gary Palmer – eager to learn more about production, embrace new sonic textures and up his creative game – opted to work with top Smooth Jazz producers on his upcoming follow-up COAST 2 COAST. On Palmer’s latest single “Land Of the Sun,” double Grammy winner Paul Brown adds his simmering, old school production vibe and crisp guitar licks to Palmer’s slinky, sensual pure soul melody – all complemented by guest pianist Bob Baldwin’s elegant, harmonic touch. “Land Of the Sun” is a bright, ultra-romantic prelude to the magic Palmer will soon be letting loose on COAST 2 COAST!
Over 40 years after Grover Washington Jr. discovered, nurtured and produced keyboardist James Lloyd and bassist Curtis Harmon when they were high school phenoms in Philly, the duo known as Pieces of a Dream keep the powerhouse melodies and deep grooves flowing stronger than ever on their latest Shanachie album JUST FUNKIN’ AROUND, featuring 10 new originals including the hit "Right Back Atcha." Balancing the high energy, joyful celebration with smoother, laid back expressions, the inventive duo’s creative whimsy launches from a foundation of Lloyd’s acoustic piano and old school keyboards. Several of the tracks feature well-placed sizzling horn sections and the intensely emotional sax of Tony Watson, Jr. Spend some time JUST FUNKIN’ AROUND yourself, let Pieces of a Dream pave the way.
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!
Celebrating an extraordinary 27-year personal and musical friendship, URBAN SOUL is the compelling first album under the name Urbanity by renowned Australian musicians, guitarist Albare and keyboardist Phil Turcio. Packed with dreamy, sensual melodies, lush atmospheres, easy funk, and touches of traditional jazz improvisation, the collection showcases innate instincts and gorgeous grooves that can only happen when two musical titans share this kind of history. Reuniting after many years, the duo paved the way for Urbanity when Turcio joined Albare’s band International Travel Diary, which toured the world from 2012 to 2014; Turcio later played on two Albare solo recordings. Smooth Jazz fans across the globe are sure to be seduced by the jazzy vibes of URBAN SOUL!
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!
JAVO BARRERA Far From Home Behind The Tree Music
A household name on the Latin American music scene, drummer, producer and composer Javo Barrera has been featured on numerous Grammy winning recordings and served as musical director for top Latin artists. His highly anticipated debut FAR FROM HOME offers a wildly eclectic, rhythmically diverse and explosive cultural blend, full of funky grooves and lush melodies infused with sizzle and cool. Najee (playing flute) is among many the many musical greats invited to this jam. FAR FROM HOME is for fans who like their Smooth Jazz exotic!
KAYTE BURGESS For The Love Kayte Burgess
One of the key lines in Toronto bred, Atlanta based neo-soul/jazz artist Kayte Burgess’ hypnotically sensual, playfully grooving new single “No Looking Back” is her declaration that she’s “ready to take flight. . .and it only gets better.” That’s an inspiring view of her future, which includes the release this June of FOR THE LOVE, an album that’s all at once organic, uplifting and contemplative in nature. The collection is the culmination of a fascinating career that includes opening for Erykah Badu and Jill Scott and singing background for Al Green and Lionel Richie. It’s full steam ahead with “No Looking Back”!
ERICH CAWALLA 222 South Boom! Camp Records
While continuing to perform with his versatile Pennsylvania jazz/pop ensemble, The Uptown Band, featured at hundreds of shows throughout the Northeast since 2005, band leader/saxophonist Erich Cawalla is branching out as a dynamic and charismatic solo artist. His debut single “222 South” is a soulfully melodic, in the pocket easy-grooving gem featuring Pieces of a Dream drummer Curtis Harmon and bassist Bennie Sims. “222 South” is an inspiring destination – and an exciting launch to Cawalla’s solo career!
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.
Many dentist's play Smooth Jazz in their offices to calm their patients' nerves... but there's only one dentist that actually plays Smooth Jazz the way world-class saxophonist, Dr. Phillip Martin plays, that is super soulful and totally in the pocket! In fact, Phillip "Doc" Martin's latest album, POCKET LOVE, is loaded with charting hip, infectious singles, a mix of dreamy coolness and funk and seductive grooves. The Grover Washington, Jr. cover, "Just The Two Of Us," includes the spirited guitar licks of two time Grammy-winner, Paul Brown. Time for a check-up, make an appointment today and feel the POCKET LOVE!
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!
After 20 years of plucking his bass and heightening the grooves as a sideman for a variety of artists, multi-talented musician, producer and Christian preacher, Myron “Phausterchyld” Foster, steps out in a blaze of funky spiritual glory to share his own music with the world on THE WAY I HEAR IT. A lively, high-energy performer, Foster’s background in Smooth and Gospel jazz reaches fruition on a set that mixes in your face grooves and sensual subtleties behind his instantly infectious melodies. You're gonna love it the way he hears it!
ROBERT GEE Robert Gee the EP 2016 G-Platinum Records LLC
Renowned for his years as a backup vocalist for R&B greats Vesta Williams, Kashif, BeBe Winans and the late Teena Marie, Philly native Robert Gee steps out onto center stage with a heart-tugging set of old school originals that will remind people of his hometown’s seminal soul sound. ROBERT GEE THE EP is the perfect soul soundtrack for a smooth chill with original, jazzy pop featuring candlelit ballads and relaxed, dance floor slow jams showcasing Gee's silky soulful voice. The EP goes down EZ!
CHRISTIE GRACE Golden Thread Christie Grace
With a mix of deep soul, easy swing and global vibes, veteran Canadian jazz sensation Christie Grace’s intimate and infectious new album GOLDEN THREAD is masterful self-healing project inspired by a three week journey to Big Sur, California. Working with Juno Award winning producer Chris Gestrin, Grace lends her gorgeous, emotional voice to a set that incorporates jazz, pop, folk and R&B influences. GOLDEN THREAD is pure vocal gold!
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!
HORN & HOLLAND Steps Of A Good Man Horn Records Inc
On a creative roll since meeting at a National Day of Prayer Gathering in their adopted hometown of Lansing, MI, keyboardist/producer Darren Horn and saxophonist Dr. Sean Holland create a fresh new sound and vision for contemporary urban jazz. Their debut album STEPS OF A GOOD MAN, blends jazz with R&B and gospel into a joyful, grooving and uplifting bundle powered by Holland’s vocal like alto melodies. One listen will have you falling in line behind the STEPS OF A GOOD MAN!
Over the past 15 years, this six piece powerhouse band has created the finest in Swiss Fusion and Smooth Jazz with dynamic grooves, sparkling melodies and exotic textures. Journeys have brought this exciting mix of contemporary jazz, fusion, funk and Latin elements to audiences across Europe and North America. On their perfectly titled third album TRANSIT, the guitar, sax and piano driven ensemble adds cool and soulful lounge elements to their refreshing mix. TRANSIT is a multi-faceted trip you’ll want to add to your listening itinerary!
Legendary figures on the Swiss music scene for several decades, Peter and Walter Keiser, aka The Keiser Twins, are a hard grooving bass and drum duo who have played with Switzerland’s best known artists on recordings, tours and radio and TV performances. EMOTIONAL STRANGERS, their first dual recording in years, celebrates their personal and musical connections with a spirited, mostly instrumental swirl of pop, rock, sensual urban jazz and jazz fusion produced by Andy Wright, featuring the fun, vocal hit, “A Picture Of You.” Get intimate with EMOTIONAL STRANGERS, you’ll love it!
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!
RUPERT LEIGHTON All Kinds Of Fine Rupert Leighton
Truly living up to his album title ALL KINDS OF FINE, British pianist and composer Rupert Leighton – dubbed by one Smooth Jazz outlet as “the funkiest keys player you will hear anywhere," stirs up an enticing mix that includes groove-driven, in the pocket Smooth Jazz, improvisational straight ahead jazz, Stride and soothing new age elegance. Adding to the expansive sonic intrigue, Leighton also plays vibraphone, alto sax and bass. All of these delights add up to ALL KINDS OF FINE!
d. MILLS Mission Complete d. M. Records
A onetime bassist playing behind gospel legend Shirley Caesar and an NYC detective, multi-instrumentalist d.Mills brings a fascinating background to his career as a Smooth Jazz composer. While his melodic focus is his lively acoustic piano, the tunes on MISSION COMPLETE offer a mix of smooth grooves, R&B and jazz with touches of rock guitar, sexy vocals, exotic percussion, sensual atmospheres and funky horns. MISSION COMPLETE has the complete package with several, charting radio hits for fans with eclectic tastes in jazz.
MOTOWN MOE Cool Life Style Windee Records
With a hip moniker like Motown Moe, this versatile Detroit keyboardist/composer (and Air Force veteran) primes listeners for a soul-infused, groovin' ride from the get go on his latest album COOL LIFE STYLE. Yet the most fascinating part of the experience is the way he complements the funky and percussive foundations of his super-melodic tunes with rich ambient textures and laid back dreamscapes that put the lounge and chill vibes front and center. Motown Moe provides the perfect soundtrack to everyone’s COOL LIFE STYLE!
Exhilarating and fun... that's why "Rosy Cheeks" will leave you feeling frivolous and carefree! The Peet Project's energetic and contemporary new, hit single features Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling saxman Dave Koz who is as much of a fan of the Hungarian jazz pop soul band as we are! Mixed by the guru of musical goodness, double Grammy winner, producer Paul Brown! Turn it up and dance, don't be surprised if your face is flushed from what is truly one of the most fun tunes the Project has spun out of their creative corner!
REMOTEJAZZ Reign Of Peace Key Music Productions, LLC
Under the hip moniker of Remotejazz, Maryland-based composer and producer Robert L. Bryant creates a transcendent, ethereal mix of chill, Smooth Jazz, ambient sounds, electronic harmonies and light funk on his mystical minded, socially conscious album REIGN OF PEACE. Sonically designed as a response to the chaos of the modern world, the collection features two compelling collaborations with jazz saxophonist Dave Jarvis. REIGN OF PEACE is both jazzy and relaxing!
BRENDAN ROTHWELL Time On My Hands Brendan Rothwell
Canadian composer, bassist and producer Brendan Rothwell cites Marcus Miller’s work on Miles Davis’ classic recording TUTU as the reason he chose his lead instrument. His debut album TIME ON MY HANDS is a showcase for the bass’ ability to stir melodic excitement while creating deep, hypnotic rhythms. While his soulful, funky fluidity often brings to mind the coolness of the late Wayman Tisdale, there’s also an atmospheric, trippy and mystical exploratory vibe influenced by Miller’s slow simmering fusion style. You’ll enjoy keeping time with TIME ON MY HANDS!
KRIS RUSSELL Down In Brazil Kris Russell
Veteran Las Vegas based singer Kris Russell grew up in Sacramento with a passionate love of ballads, swing, cool jazz, bebop and traditional jazz inspired by the likes of Julie London, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald. Continuing to establish herself as a timeless contemporary jazz vocalist in her own right, she follows her debut single “I Concentrate on You” with a sultry, soulful and exotic twist on Michael Franks’ travelogue classic “Down In Brazil.” Russell’s lighthearted, freewheeling version is fortified with a seamless blend of Fender Rhodes, acoustic guitar and smoky sax. Book your ticket now and venture “Down In Brazil” with this talented songstress!
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!
Guitarist Dave Sereny hails from Toronto, but his heart and soul are basking in sunnier, steamier climes on his latest single “Caribbean Cruise,” which will appear on his upcoming full length album. A multiple Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards nominee, Sereny brings a crisp, cracking electric guitar energy and wild sense of improvisation to the high energy, tropically-tinged track. Its frolicsome melody, enhanced by cool synth accents and whimsical vocalese, rides a buoyant danceable groove that’s perfect for summer listening. Get your passport stamped now for this incredible “Caribbean Cruise”!
THE SMOOTH JAZZ ALLEY Been a Long Time Comin' The Smooth Jazz Alley
Forming their powerhouse guitar and keyboard duo, The Smooth Jazz Alley in the wake of the breakup of their Bay Area Latin fusion band Grupo Caribe, Stan Evans and Marco Montoya’s debut BEEN A LONG TIME COMIN’ features a dynamic mix of tasty, in the pocket, Smooth Jazz grooves with lead melodies powered by Evans' fluid electric guitar and Montoya’s playful piano and keys. With nods to the exotic music of their past, this album’s BEEN A LONG TIME COMIN’, but entirely worth the wait!
Pooling their composing and performing talents as the perfectly named duo Smooth Two, saxophonist David Herpin and bassist Mike Ellison bring the classic Quiet Storm vibe into a fresh, contemporary musical mindset on their ultra-sensual debut album SUNSET FANTASY. Collectively, they bring extensive history of classic R&B associations (including The Delfonics, Nancy Wilson, The O’Jays, New Edition, Jennifer Holliday) to their dreamy and ambient, lightly funky, mix of slow jams, emotional ballads and uptempo dance gems. Along the way, they mix in some exotic vocalese from guest singers. This is a SUNSET FANTASY that can be enjoyed any time of day!
RAYMOND TOWLER This Freedom Raymond Towler
After spending more than 28 years in prison for a crime he was later exonerated from, guitarist/composer Raymond Towler wasted no time getting back to his musical passions. The sparkling first result of this re-dedication is, appropriately enough, the full length album THIS FREEDOM. Drawing on his ample skills on both the acoustic and electric, he celebrates his new life with perfectly honed melodies in stylistic settings ranging from straight ahead to Smooth Jazz, gospel and raucous blues. Towler’s unique way of telling his story through music makes THIS FREEDOM an engaging listen and true spiritual triumph!
SEAN U Electrify Sean Uliasz
Drawing brilliantly on the influences of Jeff Lorber, David Benoit and Brian Culbertson, Western Massachusetts based keyboardist, arranger, composer and producer Sean U creates a spirited, in the pocket mix of infectious light funk grooves and sparkling piano-driven melodies on his perfectly titled debut ELECTRIFY. The versatile artist, who has performed throughout the Northeast (including at Carnegie Hall), brings his lively, lighthearted tunes to life with some of New England’s top musicians. The 25-year-old Sean U will ELECTRIFY U in many ways!
WALDINO Pulse Of The People WaldinoMusic.com
Freedom has always been at the PULSE OF THE PEOPLE… this downtempo triumph from composer/creator Waldino, has the song craftsman at the center of his most connected place yet. The collection offers a palpable audio experience with jazz grooves, electro moods and soulful, sensual vocalizing. This hybrid musical concoction blends all of the finest ingredients in contemporary music and offers the listener a chilled environment while jazzing up the vibe with accents of upright bass, saxophone and sophisticated rhythms and beats. A rich, color-drenched musical soundtrack for our modern times… PULSE OF THE PEOPLE truly has infused today’s sound, serving it up with freeness and fluidity through each and every song.
RAGAN WHITESIDE Treblemaker Randis Music
With the release of her creatively named fourth album TREBLEMAKER, endlessly inventive flutist Ragan Whiteside continues to bring to contemporary urban jazz the kind of ultra-funky, richly improvisational vibes that greats like Najee and the late Dave Valentin did back in the genre’s early days. With her whimsical flute leading the way, she delivers a sizzling mix of infectious ballads, mystical mid-tempo cool and spirited dance romps with an all-star guest list that includes saxophonists Kim Waters and Marion Meadows, trumpeter Tom Browne, and keyboardists Frank McComb and Bob Baldwin. It’s called TREBLEMAKER, but you’ll want to turn up the bass to get fully into the groove!
NORTH 2UNES WOODALL Between The Lobes 2unewaves Records
As we lucky Smooth Jazz listeners ponder the clever coolness of North Woodall’s fascinating nickname “2unes,” we can enjoy immersing in the Mississippi born, Ohio raised and Atlanta based musician’s fanciful and funky electric guitar magic on his latest album BETWEEN THE LOBES. 2unes fires up for a slick array of grooving horn drenched originals and covers that showcases his trademark gumbo of jazz, R&B and hip-hop – including a laid back reflection on Michael Jackson (“Listening to MJ”) and a dynamic romp through Pharrell’s “Happy.” 2unes vibe will bring you sweetness BETWEEN THE LOBES!
ROB ZINN Yesterday Again Rob Zinn
Influenced by greats like Rick Braun, Freddie Hubbard and Chet Baker, Delaware based trumpeter and flugelhornist Rob Zinn infuses his debut album YESTERDAY AGAIN with a genre-transcendent blend of pop, R&B, funk, Latin, blues, jazz/rock fusion, hip-hop, straight ahead jazz and even EDM. Zinn and his band included renowned musicians Andrew Neu (sax), Gerald Veasley (bass) and Rafael Padilla (percussion) to join them on their horn-centered journey... Make sure you discover YESTERDAY AGAIN today!