Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis – White Christmas in Connecticut

Chris Big Dog Davis cover art

Grab your winter coats and make your way to Connecticut and join Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis‘ rendition of “White Christmas”. Smooth, Jazzy, Funky Collaboration with some great artists from CT.

The song features Marty Q on sax and vocals and the lovely voice of Barbara Fowler and Singer Timmy Maia also on vocals.

‘Big Dog’ takes this classic “I’m  Dreaming Of A White Christmas” to another musical level. Sit back and enjoy “White Christmas” – Big Dog Style

Happy Holidays! All Love.

Listen to White Christmas in Connecticut on Christmas Jazz (Playlist 7/1).

Olivia Rox – Jingle Bells

Olivia Rox Jingle Bells cover art

You may have seen her name on Times Square billboards, or heard her songs on the radio, You’ve probably seen her becoming a household name on TV with her pink hair, fashion-forward look and dynamic performances and lovable persona which caused a stir. To break it down, Olivia Rox is on the precipice of being the next big thing. She will not be the one to tell you that, because she is down to earth, humble and kind. But, her talent says otherwise. She can belt out a song that rivals the divas, yes – whistle tone included. She writes all of her own music, even being asked constantly to write for other artists, and has been likened to Carole King in her writing sensibilities.

She plays multiple instruments and has traveled all over the world doing music since she was a child. At 23 years old, she’s an old soul, with a lot to say. No, this is not a typical bio that you would normally read, but Olivia is not a typical girl. This is a girl who, when she heard that her peers were not voting in the last presidential election, stood up to this cause in a non-partisan way. She began this plight by writing a rocking bad-ass song called “Go Vote” which made her peers actually listen, resulting in one of the highest youth voter turnouts in 30 years – which incidentally, helped to sign up over 400,000 young voters to get to the polls and use their voices. Making huge waves in the 2020 presidential election, Olivia was also an ambassador for HeadCount / Global Citizen, and worked alongside Spread The Vote, and The Grammy Foundation. She’s definitely a role model with her positive spin on life, in the times when it’s not always hip to be one. She also defy’s the current state of music by using real players. Remember the days of real live musicians? Well, Olivia embraces the pure musicality that is often lost in today’s programmed, auto-tuned world. Olivia was obviously honing her “ears” while growing up in the discerning world of jazz, and then for all the world to see by landing as a finalist on Season 15 of American Idol, which garnered her much attention and earned her fans internationally.

Her wildly popular, original Christmas single “It’s Christmastime” has topped the pop charts the past two years and is becoming a holiday staple song. With so many requests to make a full-length album, voila she delivers “An Olivia Rox Christmas” which melds her original songs with a very unique twist on some of the classics – A must have for every Christmas household this year.

And, be sure not to miss “An Olivia Rox Christmas Special” airing on Comcast/ XFinity watch in the comfort of your own home On Demand, a true taste of Christmas, with many special guests for the family, this holiday season 2022.

Listen to Jingle Bells on Christmas Jazz (Playlist 7/1).

Jonathan Fritzén – Deck The Halls

Jonathan Fritzen Deck The Halls cover art

It was in 2008 that Billboard chart-topping pianist Jonathan Fritzén burst onto the scene with his debut recording ‘Love Birds’ which at the time was described as reaching the very core of what great smooth jazz is all about. Now, six hit albums later Fritzén is back with the highly anticipated ‘Piano Tales’. Released on his own label, Nordic Night Records, it is a collection that is very much all his own work.

​Indeed, as well as producing, recording and mixing throughout he also writes all ten choice tunes. The title of each track is linked in some way to the piano, a fact born out by the first single to be serviced to radio, ‘Keys To Paradise’, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Chart and the second single, ‘Hammers Of Love’ that also found its way into the top ten.

​The entire collection bears testimony to Fritzén’s renowned musical innovation and this is a quality that was also on show in 2020 when, under the name of the Jonathan Fritzén Jazz Trio, he released the album ‘Bach and Jazz’. Arranged by the trio for piano bass and drums the compositions on it were all written by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Known for his high-octane live performances, Fritzén has toured coast to coast across the USA on numerous occasions. He has appeared at some of the biggest jazz festivals in both the USA and around the world while along the way has collaborated with contemporary jazz heavy hitters such as Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Boney James and Nils Landgren to name just a few.

​Jonathan grew up in Stockholm Sweden to a Swedish mother, and an American father. After majoring in drums in high school he studied piano for six years at the Royal College Of Music in Stockholm where he became one of the first students to take a masters degrees in jazz. As well as giving him an outstanding musical education this experience proved to be pivotal in that he completed ‘Love Birds’ shortly before his graduation.

​Quite simply Fritzén remains one of the hottest composers, producers and pianists around and, in what is already a storied career, it seems likely that there are still many tales to tell.

Listen to Deck The Halls on Christmas Jazz (Playlist 6/1).

Jessy J – What Child Is This?

Jessy J cover art

In 2016, top contemporary jazz and Latin saxophonist Jessy J released her first ever holiday collection– California Christmas. In 2022, due to popular demand and her love for everything about the holidays, especially the classic songs of the season, Jessy has recorded her second album of holiday favorites – with a twist – California Christmas Volume 2.

For California Christmas Volume 2, Jessy, who serves again as executive producer for the Changi Records release enlisted some longtime collaborators (Paul Brown, Jeff Lorber and Euge Groove) and some exciting new additions. Mark Lettieri (Snarky Puppy) adds his guitar chops to “Angels We Have Heard On High” and Jason Goldman (best known for his work with Michael Bublé) provides two of the arrangements with “Jolly Old St. Nicolas” and “Up on the Housetop.” Long time band members joining in the holiday cheer are: Jay Rowe on piano, Dave Anderson on bass, Trevor Somerville on drums, Andy Abel on guitar and Richie Gajate Garcia on percussion. Other members include Norman Jackson on keyboards, Frank Abraham on bass, Iajhi Hampden on drums, Kayta Matsuno and Ash Jenga on guitars. Guest vocalists include Mississippi soul singer Maurice Smith and the smooth vocals of Brandon Wattz.

To quote Jessy from her first California Christmas album release: “For me, California Christmas (now Volume 2) is a special album for many reasons. It gives listeners the feeling of being in a warmer, sunnier climate during the holiday season. But most importantly, as an artist I get to share the holidays musically with all my fans. Christmas is my favorite time of year and I am so grateful for all of my blessings. Feliz Navidad!”

Listen to What Child Is This? on Christmas Jazz (Playlist 6/1).

Herb Alpert – All I Want For Christmas

Herb Alpert All I Want For Christmas cover art-min

Creator and innovator, musician and producer, artist, and philanthropist, Herb Alpert is a man with a profound passion.

A legendary trumpet player, Alpert’s extraordinary musicianship has earned him five #1 hits, nine GRAMMY® Awards, the latest from his 2014 album, “Steppin’ Out,” fifteen Gold albums, fourteen Platinum albums and has sold over 72 million records. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass propelled his sound into the pop music limelight, at one point outselling the Beatles two to one. In 1966, they achieved the since-unmatched feat of simultaneously having four albums in the Top 10– and five in the Top 20. Herb Alpert also has the distinction of being the only artist who has had a #1 instrumental and a #1 vocal single.

In 2006, Alpert and Moss were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in recognition of their accomplishments and are a part of the Grammy Museum’s ”Icons of the Music Industry” series. In 2013 Herb Alpert was awarded The National Medal of Arts Award by President Barack Obama for his musical, philanthropic and artistic contributions.

In addition to his on-going creative outlets in music, philanthropy and the arts, Alpert owns the noted Vibrato restaurant/jazz club in Bel-Air, California. He also continues to perform and tour across the country with his wife, Grammy-winning vocalist, Lani Hall and their band.

Herb’s priorities derive from the same sense of generosity and humility that has guided him through a long, illustrious career. In all of these ventures, there is a harmony not unlike Alpert’s music. A flowing of energy and sound, a dedication to quality, which sustains everything Alpert does. With more than 40 years of continuous philanthropic, musical and artistic activity, Alpert has established a legacy that reflects his firm belief that the arts can make a difference in the world and in the lives of each of us.

Listen to All I Want For Christmas on Christmas Jazz (Playlist 6/1).

Dave Koz & Friends – Happy Xmas (The War Is Over) /Imagine

Dave Koz Christmas Ballads cover art

Dave Koz & Friends released Christmas Ballads (25th Anniversary Collection) on September 23. The chart-topping, GRAMMY®-nominated saxophonist is joined on the album by pianist David Benoit, trumpeter Rick Braun and guitarist Peter White – the friends who accompanied him on the road in the earliest years of the Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022 and holds the record as the longest-running, jazz-based Christmas tour. Rebecca Jade is the featured vocalist on the album’s gorgeous medley of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over) / Imagine.”

In creating a beautiful companion piece for the 25th anniversary, Koz’s vision was very different than any of his previous seven holiday sets. Unlike his earlier, rhythmically eclectic mixes of buoyant funk and soulful slow-jams, Christmas Ballads is designed as an exploration

of the romantic side of the season, setting a gentle, laid back mood for a quiet night by the fireside with a glass of wine.

“As much fun as I have creating a party atmosphere live, if you ask me my favorite part of the holidays, it’s taking the time to relax and enjoy the quiet moments, reflecting and feeling gratitude,” explains Dave Koz. “These ballads are the kind of music I want to be listening to after the big festivities are over and the sleigh bells fade into the night.”

To keep a flow of fresh magic, Koz’s main criteria for Christmas Ballads was putting new spins on songs he had never recorded before. There’s also one original – “Wrapped Up In Your Smile,” a classic-styled Koz power ballad co-written with the album’s producer and arranger, Philippe Saisse.

“He’s so French and brings a different, worldly approach, sensitivity and beauty to these tunes,” says Koz, who recently topped Billboard’s Smooth Jazz Airplay chart with “Summertime in NYC” – the fourth consecutive No. 1 single from his 2020 album, A New Day.

Listen to Happy Xmas (War Is Over) / Imagine on Christmas Jazz (Playlist 6/1).

Von Stupart – It Feels So Good

Von Stupart cover art

“I am a Contemporary Jazz saxophonist and an independent artist. When the world shut down due to the pandemic, I was able to start working on my solo project which is something I have always wanted to do. I was able to connect with some awesome musicians and with the use of modern technology things really came together.

Music has always been a huge part of my life. My father played trumpet and I started formal music lessons at an early age. I have been developing and honing my craft ever since.

I am a very proud husband, father and grandfather. After 40 years of working and prioritizing providing for my family, I am now enjoying the fruits of my labor in this new season of my life. I am thrilled to be able to pour all of my passion and experience into creating music to share with the world! My primary instrument is the tenor saxophone but I also play alto, soprano and EWI.

I hope you can feel the joy, passion, and love! Spread joy! Spread love! Spread hope!” – Von Stupart

Listen to It Feels So Good on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 7/6)

Paul Taylor – And Now This

Paul Taylor cover art

Over 25 years into a stellar, multi-faceted career that’s found him continually pushing the sonic boundaries of what’s possible in contemporary urban jazz, saxophonist Paul Taylor brings us his highly-anticipated new recording AND NOW THIS on Peak Records.


AND NOW THIS, fully created via the exchange of digital files between the Las Vegas based Taylor and his longtime musical compadre, collaborator, co-writer and producer Dino Esposito, features the saxman’s ongoing exploration of an expansive range of dynamic danceable grooves and intricate pop/electronica vibes. The ten tracks fully reflect the way Taylor began moving forward in his personal and creative life, as if to say, in his words, “we’re coming out of the pandemic, this is what I’ve been creating, we’re kicking it back into high gear and we are more open-minded in our approach to music than ever.”


From the atmospheric soul and fast paced funk of the title track (featuring the guitar of Brian Monroney) through the sultry flow of the closing track “Good Night,” AND NOW THIS also celebrates the decades long friendship and intuitive, forward thinking musical chemistry between Taylor and Esposito. Their dynamic history dates back to when they played in the same band as students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas – and includes Taylor touring in Esposito’s band when he was a pop star in the late 80s touring with New Kids on the Block.


Esposito has been Taylor’s chief sonic co-architect since the saxophonist’s 1995 debut On The Horn and subsequently collaborated on Pleasure Seeker (1997), Undercover (2000), his Peak Records debut Hypnotic (2001), Nightlife (2005), Prime Time (2011), Tenacity (2014) and Countdown (2016).


Among Taylor’s chief musical influences in recent years have been globally popular, cutting edge DJ/producer/artists like the late Avicii, Tiesto and Regard. Complementing the new album’s nine inspiring originals, Taylor and Esposito have a blast bringing a vibrant, freewheeling new energy to a re-imagining of “Ride It,” Regard’s global 2019 hit remix of Jay Sean’s 2008 #1 UK R&B hit that started as a viral sensation on TikTok. Taylor’s infectious twist features the smooth, soulful vocals and fast paced phrasing of Jamie Jones of the GRAMMY winning group All-4-One.


The remarkable thing about those Taylor-Esposito collabs is that even the earliest albums they did together in the late 90s and early 2000s sound as sonically and rhythmically innovative as they did a few decades ago. A popular presence in contemporary urban jazz since the early 90s when he toured and later recorded with Keiko Matsui, Taylor scored #1 Billboard hits in the 2010s with “Burnin’,” “Push To Start” and “Supernova” and had his first #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart with Ladies’ Choice (2007), which was produced by Barry J. Eastmond and Rex Rideout.


During the course of his storied career, the Denver native has headlined hundreds of shows and has been part of numerous all-star tours – including dates with Peter White and Euge Groove in a lineup affectionately dubbed “Peter, Paul and Euge;” Gentleman of the Night (with Marion Meadows and Warren Hill). He has also performed with The Rippingtons and the acclaimed “Groovin’ For Grover” tour. Some of his first post-pandemic lockdown shows have been with labelmate Michael Lington and Sax to the Max with Michael and Vincent Ingala.


Officially entering his second quarter century of recording, with AND NOW THIS, Taylor is as excited as ever to continue casting his creative aim higher and grateful for every opportunity to bring his best to his loyal legion of longtime and newer fans. “What I like most about the new album is its freshness, and the fact that after 25 years, Dino and I still have so many unique avenues to explore,” he says. “It’s a special album created in unusual, highly stressful times. There’s something to be said for all of us artists persevering through the shutdown of 2020 and finding a way to get it done. And we did — AND NOW THIS!”

Listen to And Now This on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 7/6)

Wayne Gutshall – Spanish Love

Wayne Gutshall - Spanish Love cover art

After playing on the Grammy award winning album “Mamblue” Wayne Gutshall released his debut album “Spicy”, which produced five number one singles on SmoothJazz.com’s world listener chart, appeared twice on Billboard’s most added chart, and placed him on many of the top 100 contemporary jazz charts.

After much success with the release of the first single “Going Up” from his upcoming second album, Wayne is poised to release his next single “Spanish Love” which features Billboard #1 hit guitarist Steve Oliver. “Spanish Love is a stunningly beautiful ballad written by Wayne for his wife who is of Spanish descent.

In addition to performing with Oliver, Wayne has performed with such artists as Paul Brown, Nathan East, Nestor Torres, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Valentin, and Brendan Rothwell and has appeared in jazz festivals in California and Florida.

Allen Kepler of The Smooth Jazz Network says, “Wayne Gutshall is one of the rising stars in smooth jazz” and Sandy Shore, founder and CEO of SmoothJazz.com, calls Wayne “A modern master of saxophone”.

“Spanish Love”

Wayne Gutshall – Alto Saxophone & Keyboard

Steve Oliver – Guitar

Ray Lyon – Piano & Keyboard

Julio Hernandez – Bass

Orlando Hernandez – Drums

Hector Gomez – Bongos

Listen to Spanish Love on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Dee Lucas – Sir Dee

Dee Lucas Cover Art

National recording artist & saxophonist Dee Lucas is back with another stunning hit! This time, he musically says ‘Thank You’ to the legendary Stevie Wonder with the feel-good original tune ‘Sir Dee’.

“Sir Dee”

Produced by David P. Stevens

Mastered by Steve Hall at Future Disc Systems

Dee Lucas – Soprano Saxophone

Carl Cox – Tenor Saxophone

Frank McComb – Rhodes

Eric Valentine – Drums

David P. Stevens – Guitar, Bass, & Keys

Listen to Sir Dee on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Bryan Anderson – Smokin

Bryan Anderson cover art

Bryan Anderson is a bassist, songwriter, and producer with 11 solo projects to his credit. His unique sound of what he calls “groove music” blends smooth jazz, old school funk, Latin rhythms and a taste of island vibes. A natural entertainer, Bryan pulls you into his live performances. He takes you on a musical journey from high energy funk to laidback grooves and soothing ballads. Bryan surrounds himself with first rate, established musicians. His shows leave you wanting more. Bryan performs at various music venues, private event, local benefits, and festivals. If you gravitate towards the music of Grover Washington, Jr., Spyro Gyra, Boney James, and Jeff Lorber, you are sure to appreciate Bryan Anderson.

“Smokin'”

Bryan Anderson – Bass, synth pads

Allan Phillips – Piano, keys, synth, pads

Nicholas Mead – trumpet

Jacob Shaw – sax

Patric Hays – trombone

Martin Verdonk – percussion

Derico Watson – drums

Written, arranged and produced by Bryan Anderson

Listen to Smokin on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Kenny Nightingale – King David Dance

Kenny Nightingale cover art

A smooth jazz and R&B recording artist based in the US, Kenny Nightingale was originally born on the west side of the Motherland in Lagos, Nigeria. His musical prowess draws back to earlier times when he was only eight years. Growing up in a musically inclined family, the prodigy grew up watching his father perform to the sound of different instruments. His father usually took him along for a couple of shows when he noticed his interest in the craft. He later taught him how to play the saxophone and percussion. While growing up, Nightingale had affluent interests in artists such as; Grover Washington Jr., Jonathan Butler, Slash, John Coltrane, Kenny G, Jimmy Hendricks, Sadao Watanabe and Dave Koz just to name a few among others. Ever since he made his debut in the art of the saxophone, he has carried on with intention and a longing to do music with some of his influences. This has influenced his creativity greatly, creating music that has elevated him to a position where he is now admired by many for his agility.

Nightingale has cemented his brilliance and originality with his sound that includes a fusion of gospel and contemporary beats. As a songwriter, he makes music that originates from deep within and bears the taste of a star. His production is unique in such a way that he tries to make his music a replication of his own self and how he feels. Much of his musical ideas stem across continents as far as the motherland (Africa) to the western world just to create a groove with a sound so different from many performers in the same niche. This originality has helped Nightingale to create a vast discography comprising music in the genres of jazz, smooth jazz, world beats, rhythm, and blues.

“King David Dance drew an influence from jazz greats such as Jonathan Butler, Dave Grusin, Hugh Masekela, Richard Bona, Sadao Watanabe. I just can’t help but keep on dancing to my groove.” – Kenny Nightingale

Listen to King David Dance on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Merlon Devine – Stirred

Stirred

Gifts. Talents. Blessings. All to serve a specific purpose that serves others. And they are to be utilized fully to fulfill that function. That’s how soul-jazz saxophonist Merlon Devine sees it, using his to write and record contemporary jazz that is church derived. His new upbeat instrumental R&B single “Stirred” goes for playlist adds on October 24.

“I believe everyone has a gift. Every person on earth has something they were given – from God – to help them fulfill their purpose while on earth. There’s a scripture in the Bible that talks about each person ‘stirring’ their gift. In other words, your gift should not collect dust, but each person should make sure they keep their gift sharp and in use. I feel we are most effective and happy when we use the gift we’ve been given,” said Devine about the feel-good song he wrote with producer Matt Godina (Darren Rahn, Julian Vaughn, Nicholas Cole, Lin Rountree).

“Stirred” is the ne single from Devine’s eighth album, Soul Jazz which dropped last year. Emoting passion, inspiration and grace, Devine plays saxes and flute on the track. Godina adds keyboards, guitar and programming to the ebullient harmonies. The midtempo groove is anchored by bassist Kevin “Mr. Kevin Jerome” Stancil and drummer Lester Estelle, Jr.

It’s natural for Devine to turn to his faith when it comes to composing music. Born in Little Rock, AR to parents who pastored a church, the household was always filled with music, primarily gospel. While Devine’s nine siblings could all sing, he found his voice via saxophone. Church informed his spirituality, but discovering contemporary jazz informed his music. From Jesus and the Apostles to Groover Washington, Jr., Najee, George Howard, Kirk Whalum and other saxophone greats, Devine found a creative path for his artistic expression to incorporate both pillars in his life.

“My love for contemporary jazz grew as I grew as a player. Listening to these saxophonists, mixed with the soulful and heartfelt riffs I was hearing at church, shaped me into what I am today. When I started writing songs, it was contemporary jazz. It evolved into a wonderful opportunity for me to provide churches with instrumental music in the style of contemporary jazz during sacred worship gatherings. I consider myself a contemporary jazz ambassador to the church,” said Devine who lives with his family just outside of Washington, DC.

Listen to Stirred on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Michael Fields Jr. – I Like That

Michael Fields Jr cover art

National/International Recording Artist/Bassist/Producer Michael Fields Jr. is impacting the world with his musical gift.

Michael burst on the scene in 2016 with his debut album Mr. Fields then in 2018 with “On The Move” with his two hit songs “Lovette Road” & “Let’s Ride”. His music can be heard on smooth jazz stations worldwide with significant recognition on SiriusXM Watercolors, The Smooth Jazz Network & America’s Music Charts (Mediabase).

Michael’s last single “Get Up On It” peaked at #28 on the Smooth Jazz Top 100 charts. Michael is the founder of Water From Rock Productions and Jazz On Green. In 2021 he started a nonprofit “Keep Music Alive Foundation” which is doing extensive work in the Tulsa and surrounding areas. Michael’s greatest joy is being a father to his three beautiful children Zion, Michael & Madison.

Michael Fields Jr. will definitely be a name you won’t forget!

Listen to I Like That on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Leon P – Comin’ Up Aces

Leo P Comin' Up Aces

The high-energy dancing, theatrics and sound effects of a Leo P performance are irresistible but none of that can be delivered on a studio recording; the music itself must carry the day. On Leo P’s debut solo recording on Shanachie, the aptly titled “Coming Up Aces,” the music—a joyous amalgam of funk and jazz—does exactly that. “Don’t let his over-the-top performances fool you,” says Shanachie’s VP of A & R Danny Weiss. “Leo P plays with the depth and passion of the jazz greats. Oh, and he’s also revolutionized the baritone sax!”

Comin’ Up Aces is a compelling showcase for Leo P’s exceptional blowing as well as a fulfillment of his goal to deliver high-quality musicianship in an earthy, accessible package that is very different from his work with his band Too Many Zooz. “Too Many Zooz is very aggressive and high energy,” Leo notes. “As I got older I wanted to play a little more melodically and build my solos more deliberately and not play everything I know in a solo but take my time and be more emotional. For this album I wanted a few different types of grooves: funky, bluesy, salsa…different feels.”

Produced by Leo’s good friend, Brooklyn-based producer Tom Wilson, Comin’ Up Aces makes good on Leo’s intention with seven tasty originals and compelling versions of such classics as Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Porkpie Hat,” Les McCann and Eddie Harris’ “Cold Duck Time” and Earth Wind & Fire’s “Serpentine Fire.” Galactic drummer Stanton Moore delivers the New Orleans funk on “Issa’s Blues,” hit-making saxophonist Richard Elliot, formerly of Tower of Power and The Yellowjackets, graces “Cold Duck Time,” along with trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom of jamband faves Lettuce. The title track is inspired by Maceo Parker, another inspiration.

Continue reading

Eric Valentine – Let’s Move

Eric Valentine Let's Move Cover Art

Hit producer and drummer, Eric Valentine continues his quest to provide music you can feel with his latest single, Let’s Move featuring Richard Elliot. Eric Valentine is Richard Elliot’s long-time drummer. They’ve collaborated and performed together on hit recordings, including Eric’s 2018 single “Velvet Groove” that was Billboard’s #2 Song of the Year.

Eric went on to produce songs that leave music-lovers grooving to his singable melodies, rich harmonies, and impeccable grooves. His most recent single, “Q’s Vibe” ft. Everette Harp & Greg Manning peaked at #1 on Billboard, Mediabase, and The Smooth Jazz Network charts.

“Let’s Move” features a memorable soulful melody over pulsing, four-on-the-floor grooves. Crisp horn-lines dance with the rhythmic percussion, revisiting the sounds native to Eric’s hometown of Washington, D.C.

Eric calls “Let’s Move” a ‘musical gumbo’ where ‘all the flavorings of soul, gospel, and jazz work together to create a rich listening experience.’ “Let’s Move” will be served to listeners via radio airwaves on October 24 and digital media stores on October 28.

 

“Let’s Move” ft. Richard Elliot


Written & produced by Eric Valentine

Co-written by Carnell Harrell

Executive Producers – Eric Valentine & LaTisha B. Valentine

Mixed by Ken Freeman and Eric Valentine

Mastered by Euge Groove, House of Groove Mastering

Eric Valentine – Drums, Keyboards, Programming

Richard Elliot – Saxophone

Keith McKelley – Horn Section

Carnell Harrell – Rhodes, Piano

David Dyson – Bass

Jairus “JMO” Mozee – Guitar

Tim Carmon – Organ

Arthur Thompson – Percussion

Ramon Yslas – Percussion

Listen to Let’s Move on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Merlon Devine – Stirred

Stirred

Gifts. Talents. Blessings. All to serve a specific purpose that serves others. And they are to be utilized fully to fulfill that function. That’s how soul-jazz saxophonist Merlon Devine sees it, using his to write and record contemporary jazz that is church derived. His new upbeat instrumental R&B single “Stirred” goes for playlist adds on October 24.

“I believe everyone has a gift. Every person on earth has something they were given – from God – to help them fulfill their purpose while on earth. There’s a scripture in the Bible that talks about each person ‘stirring’ their gift. In other words, your gift should not collect dust, but each person should make sure they keep their gift sharp and in use. I feel we are most effective and happy when we use the gift we’ve been given,” said Devine about the feel-good song he wrote with producer Matt Godina (Darren Rahn, Julian Vaughn, Nicholas Cole, Lin Rountree).

“Stirred” is the third single from Devine’s eighth album, “Soul Jazz,” which dropped last year. Emoting passion, inspiration and grace, Devine plays saxes and flute on the track. Godina adds keyboards, guitar and programming to the ebullient harmonies. The midtempo groove is anchored by bassist Kevin “Mr. Kevin Jerome” Stancil and drummer Lester Estelle, Jr.

Continue reading

Mariea Antoinette – So Amazing

SoAmazing

It was a million-dollar wedding and the bride-to-be commissioned urban-jazz harpist Mariea Antoinette to play her down the aisle. As she pondered what to perform, Antoinette came upon the Luther Vandross classic “So Amazing” and the bride loved it. Antoinette teamed with longtime producer Allan Phillips to craft a beautiful and soulful arrangement for the occasion. When the bride arrived at the altar, spontaneous applause broke out. Encouraged by the reaction, Antoinette decided to record the rendition as a single. Her sublime “So Amazing” just dropped and is presently receiving more than one hundred spins per week from dozens of radio outlets, including SiriusXM’s Watercolors.

“So Amazing” continues Antoinette’s mission of placing the harp in unexpected settings, proving that the ancient stringed instrument has soul and can groove. With Antoinette dexterously playing delicate notes and strumming mellifluous harmonies, the single is illumined by lush orchestration provided by string and horn sections, including violins, violas, cello, trumpet, saxophone, flute, trombone and celestial background vocals. Phillips’s keyboards and percussion anchors the track flanked by guitarist Evan Marks, bassist Nathan Brown and drummer Tiki Pasillas.

“This wedding was for a bride who has everything. In speaking with her about song selection for the ceremony, she wanted an R&B song that was powerful. She indicated that she loved Luther Vandross, Kem and a host of other R&B singers so I started looking through their catalogs. When I heard Luther’s ‘So Amazing,’ I knew that was the one. The song lends itself to the harp,” said Antoinette who remains a fan of Vandross and was inspired after seeing him perform.

“I’ve been to three of Luther’s concerts. He was/is ‘so amazing.’ I loved his style, professionalism and stage presence. Seeing Luther’s shows was a master class in performance.” Continue reading

Jason Jackson – Workin It Out

4PAN1T

Saxophonist and Billboard top 20 artist Jason Jackson is All In with the release of his newest project. This 8 track album is packed with ear catching melodies, grooves that won’t quit, and collaborations with veteran contemporary jazz greats as well as the genre’s newest rising stars. All In, produced by 14 time #1 artist/producer Adam Hawley is the follow up to Jason’s debut offering, hit EP Movin’ On (also produced by Hawley) and features appearances by Jason’sold friend, teacher, and mentor Eric Merienthal as well. assome new friends: Gino Roasria, Jonathan Fritzen, Chieli Minucci, and Mr. Talkbox. After just one listen, you’ll agree that All In is the person combination of “Groove and Smooth”.

The first radio single from the record is “Workin It Out”: a feel good, high energy anthem that’s sure to lift your spirits every time you hear it. This track is elevated even further by the addition of Gino Rosaria’s piano, which when paired with the sax, creates unforgettable melodies and a groove impossible not to nod your head to.

Jason, a native. of Wilmington, NC proudly served 10 years in the U.S. navy as musician where he was able to not only perform for audiences all around the world, but meet and make friends with people from many different cultures and backgrounds. It was from these experiences that he truly realized that music was the universal language and where he adopted his musical mantra of “Groove Supersedes All”.

Listen to Workin It Out on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Mel Holder – Wake Up

Mel Holder cover art

“Wake Up” is the new single from the Mel Holder album, Phenomenal – Music Book Volume IV. Mel Holder’s last album Magnificent – Music Book Volume III was a top entry for both Billboard Gospel and Contemporary Jazz 2020 charts.


The illustrious multi-talented Grammy, Stellar, and Dove Award-nominated artist, composer, arranger, saxophonist, author and pastor Mel Holder has recorded 6 albums thus far in a meritorious 25-year musical career. His unparalleled perseverance and dedication to his craft are attributed to his Christ-centered lifestyle.


Even in the mist of the current pandemic, there has been no slow down, Mel has authored a new book The New Normal which is a must read as it chronicles the current Covid-19 era with positive and informative life lessons to navigate in the new normal. The studio has never been a stranger to Mel as he used his time of social distancing to pen his upcoming album “PHENOMENAL”


Melodies of Christmas and Melodies of Resurrection are Mel Holder’s recent television productions which were aired on several major networks internationally such as Word Network and The Now Network.


MAGNIFICENT, Mel’s trailblazing album release hit number one on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart twice in 2019 and closed out the Billboard’s Year End Chart at number 2. While simultaneously closing out the year at 54 on the Top Gospel Album Chart while maintaining spots in the top twenty throughout the

year.


Born in Brooklyn NY of Panamanian decent, Mel’s life became a testimony in the making from an early age. At the tender age of eight years old, Mel was hindered from being able to fully participate in all of life’s youthful activities due to asthma. To many, this impediment might have been a stumbling block; however, Mel used this as a stepping stone to ignite his interest in music. Beyond all odds to utilize his respiratory system to play a wind instrument, Mel became a focused, relentless warrior through that challenge and used his newfound musical ability to defeat any notions of limitation.

Mel’s commitment to answering this call on his life gave birth to his ministry.


“Wake Up”


Written Mel Holder (Mel Holder Music, SESAC)

Produced by Mel Holder

Mixed by John Palmer


Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Baritone Saxophones, Keyboards: Mel Holder

Guitar: JJ Sanservino

Keyboards: Joel Deroches

Trumpet: & Trombone: Kirk Brown

Trumpet: Vitaly Golovenev

Listen to Wake Up on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Candy Dulfer – We Never Stop

Candy Dulfer cover art

Give the people an invigorating beat, some swanky sax uplift, and watch the pain melt away. That’s the funky stuff Prince’s former top-choice sax player Candy Dulfer and her band specialize in. The groovin’ Dutch singer-songwriter and saxophonist’s latest album, the aptly titled We Never Stop, is a party platter of stanky jams, silken R&B, jazz, and pop-funk. The good times kick off with the single “Jammin’ Tonight” and the very radio friendly “Convergency,” both featuring special guest, Chic guitarist, producer, songwriter, and three-time Grammy Award-winner Nile Rodgers. We Never Stop is a triumph in the wake of the global pandemic and worldwide racial unrest.

“This is a personal album—it’s personal for everyone because we are struggling with many of the same things,” Candy shares. “The main spirit of this music is to elevate. It feels like it’s never been more important to not wallow in the hurt and the pain in the world, and let that defeat us. That’s why I called this album, We Never Stop.”

Candy is a solo artist, a songwriter, an in-demand instrumentalist, and a co-writer and collaborator who has worked with some of the biggest names in modern music, including Van Morrison, Maceo Parker, Sheila E., Mavis Staples, Lionel Richie, Beyoncé, Pink Floyd, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, and Prince, among many others. She first rose to fame with her high-profile collaboration with Dave Stewart on the worldwide number 1 smash “Lily Was Here.”

Her tenure with Prince may be best remembered by his tongue-in-cheek recommendation in the “Partyman” video: “When I want sax, I call Candy.” Their collaboration continued over the years with many studio sessions, TV show appearances, award show performances, including the Grammy Awards, and concert tours around the globe, including Candy joining Prince’s NPG band as a permanent member for his record-shattering Musicology tour and album.

In addition to her superstar collaborations, Candy is a serious lifelong musician with a robust history as a solo artist releasing albums and touring the world for over 35 years. Since her Grammy-nominated debut, 1990’s Saxuality, Candy has issued 12 studio albums. The combined world-wide sales of her solo albums top 2.5 million copies, and she has had several number 1 hits in the USA. In between her solo albums and her high-profile collaborations, Candy still manages to join Dutch female supergroup the Ladies of Soul for their annual sold-out concerts at the massive Amsterdam Ziggo Dome; she is a headline performer on Smooth Jazz Cruises in the USA and Europe; she is an ambassador for the Dutch ALS Foundation; and Candy was a judge on the Dutch version of X Factor.

Candy soaked up music and life lessons from her father, and the iconic musicians he worked with, but Candy also boldly discovered her own voice as a songwriter and an instrumentalist, finding a home in contemporary jazz and pop-funk. She has worked hard to become an artist on her own terms, inspired by the likes of David Sanborn, Steps Ahead, Marcus Miller, Michael Brecker, Maceo Parker, Cannonball Adderley, writer, producer and percussionist Sheila E., and Janet Jackson. “I want to be Janet Jackson with a saxophone entertaining and musically giving,” Candy says.

Legendary Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers (Madonna, David Bowie, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga) appears on the singles “Jammin’ Tonight” and “Convergency.” “Jammin’ Tonight,” is a bold injection of party pop-funk with a slick jazz overlay that recalls Niles’ 1970s “Good Times” finery. Here, Candy blows some euphoric jazz-tinged solos, and you can hear pain and struggle melt away in her lyrical virtuosity. The album’s title track funks in the face of adversity. It’s Candy’s salute to all the musicians who have had their livelihoods leveled in the wake of the pandemic—this is a funky as hell anthem of resilience. “Convergency” is a dizzyingly romantic R&B instrumental ballad with jeweled melodic sax work.

After three decades of superstar collaborations and world tours, and chart-topping and high-selling solo career releases, Candy is living proof of the title of her latest album, We Never Stop. Nothing gets in the way of her making funky stuff. Today, her determination and passion remain, but her motivations are different. “These days, I play music to, hopefully, inspire younger people. When I was 12, I didn’t have many female saxophonists to look up to, and I want to be that person for the next generation of musicians,” she says.

Listen to We Never Stop on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Justin Klunk – Thunder

Justin Klunk THUNDER Cover Art

Saxophone recording artist Justin Klunk is one of the newer, rising faces of Smooth Jazz in Los Angeles, CA. Justin is both a recording and performing artist that has toured with many acts including Ariana Grande, The Midnight, Saint Motel, and Lindsey Stirling. Justin has also released two solo EP’s and two singles of his own; “Justin Klunk – EP”, “Clarity – EP”, “Dive”, and “Make It Real” which received charting positions at Smooth Jazz radio since his first EP’s debut in 2013.

With many of the artists he tours with, Justin has performed on various TV shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live (Ariana Grande), The Today Show (Saint Motel), The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Leon Bridges), and the American Music Awards. His saxophone and flute work can be heard on various TV shows like “WandaVision”, “Uncoupled”, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”, “iCarly” (reboot), “Modern Family”, “Dr. Ken”, and many others. He’s also recorded on albums for David Benoit, Saint Motel, Mastodon, and many others. As a musical director, Justin has programmed and arranged performances for LA-based RAINNE at iconic venues like the Hollywood Bowl, opening for Taylor Swift, Lizzo, the Jonas Brothers, and Billie Eilish at We Can Survive, 2019.

Additionally, Justin has also performed with an array of artists including David Foster, Leon Bridges, David Benoit, Earth Wind and Fire, Shelea, Pia Toscano, Rozzi, Melissa Manchester, David Pack, and The Steve Miller Band.

Justin strives to take the saxophone in new directions by experimenting with electronics in his compositions including “Dive”, “Make It Real”, and his new single “Thunder” featuring Smooth Jazz icon, David Benoit.

Listen to Thunder on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Mo Louis – Georgy Porgy

Mo Louis cover art

“Music has played a monumental role in my life. I can remember my earliest years when the sounds of David Sanborn and Grover Washington Jr. filled the air of my childhood home. My parents were, and continue to be very avid fans of smooth jazz. It was from them, where my love for r&b & smooth jazz firmly took shape in my heart. It was a voice that I could relate to and that’s how I developed my unique, soulful sound.

At the age of 10 I began playing the saxophone. Initially, I was enamored by its beauty but that was only the beginning of the lifelong love affair that I have for this instrument. At the age of 14, after my first year of high school marching band, I knew that playing the sax was more than a hobby and it would be my lifelong aspiration. Here’s a funny story from high school. I almost got expelled from my high school marching band because I started playing a sax solo over a trombone solo while we were performing Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”. It was then I realized that I had a voice that needed to be heard as a solo artist!

After high school, I attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Ma, where I majored in performance and music business. As life sometimes alters our paths, Mine was no different. I returned to California, began to raise a family, and put my dreams on hold. I’ve been playing professionally since my early 20’s and come from humble beginnings. No illustrious tours or side acts, just a local player from Southern California where I’ve worked steadfastly at my craft. I like to say that I’ve played with about everyone who’s played with “The” guy. Over the last 15 years I’ve played, recorded and toured throughout the western states with bands including The Chris Thayer Band & the TCB and The Brandon Ummel Band “Bub”. I’ve been able to establish a reputation as an artist and soloist amongst the finest Los Angeles Blues musicians. I’ve reached a place in my life where it’s time to share with the world the music that’s been in my heart for so long!

A little over a year ago I met Euge Groove while buying one of his saxophones and we became good friends. I’ll never forget standing in his studio and him putting on one of his own tracks for me to play along with. Talk about a humbling moment! I expressed my interest to release my own music and after some consideration, he decided to help me make my dreams a reality. I owe a lot to him… this wouldn’t be happening without him! Soon after I began working with the amazing smooth jazz producer, Jeff Carruthers and here we are today!

My debut single, TURN IT UP, was released on April 11th, 2022. My soulful and melodic voice gives me a unique identity that will hopefully find a place in the hearts of jazz lovers for years to come. This is just the beginning and I’m honored to share my heart and music with my amazing fans! Enjoy!” – Mo Louis

“Georgy Porgy”

Produced by Euge Groove

Arranged by Jeff Carruthers

Mixed and Mastered by Euge Groove

Saxophone: Mo Louis

Drums: Dan Needham

Bass: Cornelius Mims

Percussion: Lenny Castro

Rhodes: Carnell Harrel

Listen to Georgy Porgy on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

Herb Alpert – Tickle Time

Herb Alpert cover art

Few artists in the history of American music have been able to stay relevant decade after decade like Tijuana Brass titan Herb Alpert. The music icon, philanthropist and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee returns with the release of his latest studio effort, Sunny Side Of The Street.

Alpert, the prolific Tijuana Brass titan, returns with the new single “Tickle Time”, a new original composition from Herb Alpert and keyboardist Jeff Lorber.

The prolific musician’s new set of 11 songs features six original compositions and was recorded with longtime collaborators Lani Hall, Jeff Lorber, Bill Cantos and more. Prior to the full album, Alpert released his cover of Miriam Makeba’s “Pata Pata” and the single “Here She Comes.” In addition to those tracks, the album contains gentle ballads like “Childhood” and “Time After Time,” covers of classic songs like “I’ll Remember You” (of Kui Lee/Don Ho/Andy Williams/Elvis Presley fame), and his version of Louis Armstrong’s “On the Sunny Side Of The Street.”

“I don’t try to make music for other people,” says Alpert. “If I can record something that makes me feel good and in the moment, then that’s a sign I’m doing something right. This recording gives me that feeling.”

Listen to Tickle Time on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 6/6)

The Allen Carman Project – Baby Maybe

Allen Carman Project Baby Maybe cover art

The Allen Carman Project is back in the studio putting the final touches on their second CD to be released in the next few months. Much like their successful debut CD titled Carmanology which produced several Top 30 Billboard hits, their second CD also features some of the best musicians from the “Smooth Jazz” arena. On October 3rd, the Allen Carman Project is releasing a new single from the upcoming CD titled “Baby Maybe” with original band members Philippe Saisse on keyboards, Gumbi Ortiz on percussion, and Allen Carman on guitar. It features Freddie Fox on guitar, Rick Braun on trumpet, Brandon Fields on sax and flute, Wayne Bergeron on trumpet, Nick Lane on trombone, and Jay Williams on drums. “Baby Maybe” continues with the same jazz funk/smooth jazz flavors of Carmanology. The single, “Baby Maybe”, (and the CD) are being produced by Gumbi Ortiz and Philippe Saisse.

Last month, Gumbi Ortiz and Allen Carman (East Coasters) flew out to Los Angeles to join Philippe Saisse and the other “West Coasters” listed above to join in the comradery of all playing together to produce a live feel for “Baby Maybe”. While it did produce a bit of friendly competition between the East Coasters and West Coasters (like which coast has the best players), the result was fantastic. We hope you enjoy “Baby Maybe” and the CD to follow shortly thereafter.

Listen to Baby Maybe on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/6)

Robin Bramlett – Inside My Love

Robin Bramlett Inside My Love cover art

Robin Bramlett, born and raised in Bakersfield, CA, is a bassist, recording artist, producer, musical director, arranger, and songwriter who is primarily self-taught; however, she took music theory classes at Bakersfield College to further hone her musicianship skills. Her early musical experiences included the piano that was a staple in the family home to taking up the electric bass guitar and then eventually keyboard and upright bass. For 10 years she served as musical director for the all female jazz ensemble, Jazz In Pink, under founder and keyboardist Gail honson which led to performing with notable artists such as Althea Rene, Karen Briggs, Jeanette Harris, Kim Scott, Mariea Antoinette, and many others.

She has also performed with ther notable artists such as Nona Hendryx, Kandice Springs, Miki Howard, Chrystal Rucker, JJ Airston, and many others as well. In 2013 she released her debut project, This Is My Life, and he is currently working on a new project which is due to be released on all platforms mid to late 2023. “Inside My Love”, a Minnie Riperton cover, is the first single from that project.

“Inside My Love”

Produced and Arranged by Robin Bramlett

Written by Minnie Riperton, Richard Rudolph, and Leon Ware (Dickiebird Music and Jobete Music Co. Inc.)

Mixed by Lew Laing

Lead Bass, Electric Bass, Vocoder, Synths, Guitar, and Drum Programming: Robin Bramlett

Strings and String Arrangement: Karen Briggs

Listen to Inside My Love on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/6)

Richard Smith – Groove Assets

Richard Smith cover art

Contemporary jazz guitarist Richard Smith continues the legacy of groove with the new single, “Groove Assets,” produced by his former student, hitmaker Adam Hawley.

Whether he’s teaching at USC’s Thornton School of Music or abroad in such diverse locations as Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Manila, London, Oslo, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Palermo, Rome or Bueno Aires, contemporary jazz guitarist Richard Smith gets asked about playing in the groove. So much so that the globetrotter thinks that playing in the pocket may be America’s greatest cultural export musically. Recorded in London, Amsterdam and Los Angeles, Smith’s new single, “Groove Assets,” captures that soulful sound with the aid of one of his former students, multi-time Billboard chart-topping guitarist Adam Hawley, who produced and cowrote the song with his former professor.

“I’ve found that no matter where I go in the world, I hear American popular music – R&B, hip hop, soul and jazz – coming out of restaurants, bars, cars and classrooms as much or more as the indigenous music. The minute I come back to the States and fire up my Los Angeles band, it hits me: the groove, lock, pocket, and soulfulness that is embedded so deeply in our American music culture. When I teach or give masterclasses abroad, they want to know about what ‘playing in the pocket’ is, as if it is a mysterious, elusive phenomenon. And it IS a cultural phenomenon that comes out of our deep and diverse musical heritage. So, I have developed a lot of classes around that, sort of a how to lock-it-up and groove. I say that one of the best musical ‘assets’ that they can have is groove assets,” said Smith about his inspiration for the single.

“Groove Assets” has a certain laid back, chill quality to the midtempo groove fronted by Smith’s cool electric jazz guitar licks, which are embellished by Hawley’s rhythm guitar harmonies. Bolted to a taut rhythmic pocket crafted by drummer Eric Valentine and bassist Mel Brown, the song’s cowriter Tico Pierhagen adds keyboard melodies. Trumpeter Michael Stever architects the lush horn arrangements that form a proscenium around the R&B groove.

Smith has been traveling internationally since he was seven and for most of the last twenty years, he’s taught and performed each year in Europe. The guitarist has served as a visiting professor of contemporary jazz and popular music at major music conservatories and academies all over the world, which he’s been doing since he was in his twenties. He was one of the youngest tenured professors at USC’s Thornton School of Music where he created the world’s first doctorate program in contemporary guitar. That’s where he first connected with Hawley, whom he calls a “success story.”

Shortly after the pandemic hit in 2020, Smith was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer. To divert his mind, he reached out to Hawley to help him write and produce a few singles. “Groove Asset” is their third collaboration. “The first two songs (“Let’s Roll” and “Soul Share”) we did together were hits, and it feels like we are onto another one with ‘Groove Assets’. There is no greater pleasure or prouder moment in a jazz professor’s life than the act of hiring a former student for the incredibly important job of producing a single. I am a very lucky, proud soul indeed,” beamed Smith, whose cancer is in complete remission.

“We train jazz and rock stars. I am super proud of all our students who have gone on to play with Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, John Legend, Gwen Stefani, Marc Anthony, Thundercat, Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé, Jason Mraz, Elton John, Madonna, Bono, Maroon 5, Jennifer Lopez, John Mayer, and on hit television programs ‘American Idol’ and ‘Glee’ to name a few.”

Smith was a student at USC when he attended the last masterclass given by Spanish classical guitar great Andre Segovia, which had a lasting impact. “The Maestro said many profound things, but the one that really stuck with me and guided my life was ‘When you teach, you learn twice.’ That, and the fact that my mother, father, cousins, aunts and uncles were all professors at schools like Oxford, MIT, Oberlin, Tufts, Hong Kong, UCLA, Michigan and Liverpool guided me toward university life as my recording and performing career grew. It has all been something of a mission,” said Smith who plans to perform next summer in England, Holland, Greece and Italy.“Our (America’s) jazz and popular music are our greatest cultural export, and I am proud to be an ambassador for that.”

Closer to home, Smith will be a featured performer alongside Greg Adams and East Bay Soul at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival on October 22.

Listen to Groove Assets on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/6)

Johnny Britt – After We Play

Johnny Britt cover art

J-Jams Records is releasing the new single “After We Play” featuring Peter White from the forthcoming 5th studio album by trumpeter/singer Johnny Britt. Britt is thrilled to be joined by smooth jazz icon Peter White on guitar.

“After We Play” was written, arranged and produced by Johnny Britt mixed by Nils, and mastered by Ron Boustead at Resolution Mastering. This smooth groove with the lush flugelhorn tone and melodies of Johnny Britt combined the acoustic guitar genius of Peter White makes this an incredible collaboration that will make the listener hit rewind over and over again.

Britt will perform “After We Play” at music festivals nationwide including THE OXNARD JAZZ FESTIVAL 2022, LOMPAC JAZZ FESTIVAL 2022 and the CAPITAL JAZZ SUPER CRUISE 2023 amongst other upcoming scheduled events.

“After We Play” ft. Peter White

Johnny Britt – Flugelhorn, trumpet and keyboards

Peter White – Acoustic Guitar

Marcus Williams – Drums

Dean Mark – Bass

Sean J Lawson – Percussion

Listen to After We Play on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/6)

Byron Miller – Say it Ain’t Good to Ya

Byron Miller cover art

“And, lo, in times of incessant challenge, and strife, there is always a groove to soothe in a drop top `neath the Motor City moonlight.” Thus, arrives electric bass master Byron Miller, a.k.a. PsychoBass, with his fully test-driven first single, “Say it Ain’t Good to Ya,” from the forthcoming fourth CD in his PsychoBass series: Motor City Love. The song is going for adds at radio on September 19.

Cruise groove at its most funkadiciously relaxed, “Say it Ain’t Good to Ya” creeps up on the listener like the Batmobile in stealth mode with zip zero aural waste – just great taste. The jam was sent expressly to Byron by longtime collaborator Chris “Big Dog’ Davis with only him in mind. “Big Dog Facetimed me talkin’ `bout how hard he had studied my work with George Duke,” Byron shares. “Then he sent me this track. And as soon as I started playing on it…I knew. I played it for a few of my inside crew then for some trusted folks at radio. They all strongly suggested that it should be the first single from my new album.”

What makes this highly unusual and praiseworthy by PsychoBass standards is that Byron Miller usually produces and at least co-writes all of his music. But he’s also been around long enough to know that when its right, its right. Davis’ judicious use of piano, guitars, keyboards and rhythm set the table for Miller to grace with bass in layers of wonder in conversation with himself as well as the listener. Why tamper with perfection? The song embodies the feeling of piling into the whip with the homies as the night breeze cools your head and the sounds of WJZZ blow cool in your ears.

“Say it Ain’t Good to Ya” is the perfect lead-in to PsychoBass 4: Motor City Love, an album that celebrates Byron Miller’s roots in and love for Detroit, Michigan – its power, its soul and its resilience. The album will feature cats such as keyboardist Herman Jackson, guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. and saxophonist Walter Beasley for whom Miller recently produced his album, Meet Me at My Place.

So lay back deep and get all the way into “Say it Ain’ Good to Ya” – a song so coldblooded, you won’t even be able to say the song title while the record is on.

Listen to Say it Ain’ Good to Ya on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/6)

Kim Waters – Joy Dance

Kim Waters cover art

Smooth Urban Jazz superstar Kim Waters has sold over two million albums in his more than 20 years of touring and recording. Loved by R&B and Jazz fans alike, his crossover appeal, Smooth Jazz #1 radio hits, and dynamic performances have placed him among the elite in his field. His new album That Special Touch has special significance to the artist because the album features the young smooth jazz hit maker, Kim’s daughter Kayla! The energy and joy of this occasion have inspired and elevated Kim’s writing and playing to new heights! Highlights include Kim and Kayla’s dream-like remake of Adele’s smash hit “Go Easy On Me,” the ebullient first radio single “Joy Dance,” the intensely pulsating “House Call,” and more Kim Waters originals!

Heralded as “Simply one of the planet’s best saxophonists” by JazzTimes Magazine and the “Pied piper of Smooth Jazz” by Upscale Magazine, the prolific chart-topping saxophonist, composer and producer has enjoyed a career longevity that is rare in the music business. For three decades, Waters has reigned as one of the premier architects of Urban Smooth Jazz and a beacon of light in Contemporary Jazz. He‘s garnered praise from critics and fans alike, ranking among the top five best-selling instrumentalists in jazz.

Waters has sold over two million albums in his more than 20 years of touring and recording. Loved by R&B and Jazz fans alike, his crossover appeal, Smooth Jazz #1 radio hits, and dynamic performances have placed him among the elite in his field.

Listen to Joy Dance on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/6).

Richard Smith – Groove Assets

Smith

Whether he’s teaching at USC’s Thornton School of Music or abroad in such diverse locations as Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Manila, London, Oslo, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Palermo, Rome or Bueno Aires, contemporary jazz guitarist Richard Smith gets asked about playing in the groove. So much so that the globetrotter thinks that playing in the pocket may be America’s greatest cultural export musically. Recorded in London, Amsterdam and Los Angeles, Smith’s new single, “Groove Assets,” captures that soulful sound with the aid of one of his former students, multi-time Billboard chart-topping guitarist Adam Hawley, who produced and cowrote the song with his former professor.

“I’ve found that no matter where I go in the world, I hear American popular music – R&B, hip hop, soul and jazz – coming out of restaurants, bars, cars and classrooms as much or more as the indigenous music. The minute I come back to the States and fire up my Los Angeles band, it hits me: the groove, lock, pocket, and soulfulness that is embedded so deeply in our American music culture. When I teach or give masterclasses abroad, they want to know about what ‘playing in the pocket’ is, as if it is a mysterious, elusive phenomenon. And it IS a cultural phenomenon that comes out of our deep and diverse musical heritage. So, I have developed a lot of classes around that, sort of a how to lock-it-up and groove. I say that one of the best musical ‘assets’ that they can have is groove assets,” said Smith about his inspiration for the single.

“Groove Assets” has a certain laid back, chill quality to the midtempo groove fronted by Smith’s cool electric jazz guitar licks, which are embellished by Hawley’s rhythm guitar harmonies. Bolted to a taut rhythmic pocket crafted by drummer Eric Valentine and bassist Mel Brown, the song’s cowriter Tico Pierhagen adds keyboard melodies. Trumpeter Michael Stever architects the lush horn arrangements that form a proscenium around the R&B groove.

Continue reading

D’Sal – Late At Night

D'Sal Late at Nite Front Cover

Just over a decade ago… Damon and Sally Bartlett, two musicians from the west coast, met each other in a show they both landed in Las Vegas, the PRINCE tribute show, Purple Reign. From there, a true love story for Damon and Sally was created from a common musical ground for their duo recording project, titled D’Sal.

Son of legendary singer-songwriter Wayne Bartlett, Damon Bartlett was brought up in the world of music since birth. He’s co-produced many talented artists throughout his musical career and in recent years, he and his wife, Sally have composed and produced their own Smooth Jazz music out of their recording studio in Las Vegas, nomaD studiO vegaS.

In addition to having extensive professional knowledge for the technical side of music, Damon has an ear at an orchestral level, melding instruments together whether by tracking, mixing or mastering, and bringing in accompanists to give the live “feel” and performance a given song needs. With decades of experience recording and mixing, he has an ear for detail, and quality. Damon plays bass guitar, keyboards, and some drums, although he says he can program drums better. He’s been involved around music with midi and computers since digital audio was introduced into the music scene.

Bass guitar is her forte, but Sally Bartlett didn’t start there. With a musical mother playing the organ for her, she developed a love for music at a very young age. She played the clarinet for over a decade in her early childhood, tinkered with sax and switched to the bass, starting with R&B and then set herself free to learn many other genres. Like Damon, she too had developed an ear for components in an orchestra growing up. Creating and producing music fell into the picture after she and Damon decided to fully focus on their own album. Dreaming up a song, laying down its foundation, and assisting Damon with the bells and whistles is now a part of her musical creativeness.

Sally comments “We compliment each other and seem to read each others minds. We feed off each other.”

“Late At Nite” is the debut radio single from their new album, Seaside.

Listen to Late At Night on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/6).

Bill Colletti – Count Me In

Bill Colletti Count Me In Cover Art

Bill Colletti is a professional multi-instrumentalist/recording artist and has been performing since 1978. His primary instruments are the flugelhorn, trumpet, valve trombone, piano, guitar and vocals. Bill’s horn style is influenced by the likes of Chet Baker, Doc Severinsen, Herb Alpert and Chuck Mangione while his versatility is demonstrated throughout many musical genres such as Jazz, Latin, Big Band, Pop, Orchestral and Broadway musicals.

Bill has performed with Grammy-Award winning and top Contemporary/Smooth Jazz artists including Dave Koz, Peter White, Marc Antoine and Oli Silk. His first all original music CD Be On The Light was released in January 2019 and can be heard on Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, YouTube as well as streaming radio stations world wide. In addition, Bill was awarded 1st place in the So You Think You Can Jam contest aboard the Dave Koz 2013 Mediterranean Jazz Cruise.

Bill is a full time Musician with a BS Degree in Computer Science, owns and operates Kay L. A. Recording Studio in Naples, FL where he performs at local venues, restaurants & Jazz clubs.

Listen to Count Me In on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/6).

Eric Darius – Rollin’ Out

Eric Darius Rollin' Out Single Cover

For Eric Darius there are no limitations when it comes to breaking new ground. Internationally known as an elite R&B/Pop/Jazz Saxophonist, Songwriter, Producer, and Performer, Darius has cemented his status as one of the most exciting and entertaining instrumentalists to enter the Contemporary Jazz world with the release of his highly anticipated album, Unleashed, his second album release on his SagiDarius Music label.

Darius’ signature saxophone tones can be heard loud, cool, and clear throughout Unleashed, alongside a smorgasbord of traditional and unconventional jazz instruments. Produced by GRAMMY-award winning musician,Philip Lassiter (Prince, Kirk Franklin,Ariana Grande), this album features collaborations withEric Roberson, Paul Jackson,Jr.,Justin Lee Schultz, Mononeon, Metropole Orkest and many others as the album seamlessly blurs the lines between Jazz, R&B,Hip-Hop, Afro, Funk & Pop.

For the first time in his career, Darius recorded the album live in studio with a full band, simultaneously capturing an organic, authentic sound while bottling up the magic and synergy the musicians shared recording Unleashed in real time.

“I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone on this project and truly unleash my full musical potential. This album is an honest reflection of myself and my growth both musically and personally over the past several years, and it really takes the listeners on a musical journey from start to finish!” Darius shares.

Raised in a musical household in Tampa, Florida, Eric Darius has been making music for as long as he can remember. His Haitian father (a bass player) and Jamaican mother (a singer and piano player) instilled Caribbean influences and a passion for music on Eric and his siblings.

“At the end of the day I just want to uplift people with my music, and I want people to feel where I come from–feel my heart and soul from my music. My story is simple−hard work, passion, persistence, patience, perseverance and prayer,” Darius says.

In every aspect of this album, Eric Darius is breaking the mold. Unleashed is authentic, fresh, and energetic, and Darius invites the world to join in his unbridled, unfiltered musical celebration.

Listen to Rollin’ Out on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/6).

Keith Eatmon – My Love Is On Fire

Keith Eatmon cover art

Jazz/R&B vocalist Keith Eatmon gets down to business putting pop, soul, funk, and romantic sensibilities into “MyLove Is On Fire.”

This long awaited, instantly infectious debut single dynamically re-imagines one of Stevie Wonder’s lesser -known tunes (from the 2006 album A Time For Love) as a spirited, soaring contemporary urban jazz rhapsody. Eatmon’s version of “My Love Is On Fire” was produced and features keyboards by Trammell Starks, who has performed with the likes of Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack, Patti Labelle and Jennifer Holliday, among others. Starks has mixed the new track in both stereo and the cutting edge Dolby Atmos immersive technology, which allows the music to be experienced in a stunning three dimensional soundfield.

“My Love Is On Fire” features a stellar cast of musicians including saxophonist Sam Skelton (Elton John, Match-box 20, The Gap Band, and The Ohio Players); bassist Sam Sims (Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Whitney Houston and many others); drummer Louis “Styx” Newsome who has performed with virtually every Smooth Jazz star active today; guitar virtuoso Chris Blackwell; and legendary vocalist/producer Cheryl Rogers, who performs the captivating backing vocals.

Eatmon was delighted to hear that Stevie Wonder had Luther Vandross in mind as the singer when he wrote “My Love Is On Fire.” For Eatmon, recording it was a dream come true that find him walking in the footsteps of two legends and laying the foundation for what promises to be a successful and impactful solo career.

Listen to My Love Is On Fire on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/6).

Elan Trotman – Passport To Paradise

Yellow Hello Summer T-Shirt

Barbadian-Born sax-man Elan Trotman returns to the airwaves with yet another tropical treat to listeners with “Passport To Paradise”, the new single from the upcoming album Brighter Days Ahead.

“Passport to Paradise” is a reggae-infused groove with a taste of steel-drum and flute, which all help to take the listener on a Caribbean escape to warm island breezes and frozen cocktails on white sands. The single is just one of 10 tracks composed by Elan, and features the smooth lead guitars of JJ Sanseverino (Maxi Priest Band), and the steel drums of Kareem Thompson (Trinidadian pannist & Berklee College of Music faculty member).

This late-summer hit also features the groovy bass playing of Mr. Alex Bailey (Marcus Miller band), and was mixed by legendary Grammy-Winning producer Paul Brown. The upcoming album is set for a September worldwide release with CPI Distribution/The Orchard and features guest performances by Adam Hawley (“Brighter Days Ahead”), Marcus Anderson (“Twice as Nice”) and Julian Vaughn (“Tatianna Nale”) amongst many others.

Listen to Passport To Paradise on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/6).

LaShawn D. Gary – Transitions

LaShawn Gary cover art

Emmy-Award Winning producer, composer, Smooth Jazz artist, arranger, and pianist LaShawn D. Gary is the Executive Director for the Michigan Fine Arts Institute. He is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Instrumental Music Education from Southern University A&M College, where he also served as Band Captain for the world-renowned “Human Jukebox” Marching Band. LaShawn also earned a Master’s of Music Education Degree from the University of Louisville.

LaShawn has previously released five Smooth Jazz singles: “Now is the Time (2019) ”, “Love, Peace & Praise (2020)”, “Inception, featuring Mark Whitfield (2021)”, “Line Brothers (2021)” and “On The Yard” (2022). The newest single ”Transitions” is scheduled for release on September 5, 2022. He is also the featured artist on “For Your Love” with Smooth Jazz Recording Artist, Willie Bradley (album, “It’s My Time”). He is a sought-after studio musician and has performed on several recordings.

LaShawn worked with Grammy Award-winning singer Patti Austin, Greg Phillinganes, and Sanchez Harley as the Assistant Choir Director for the Charles H. Wright Museum 50th Anniversary Celebration “Oh Freedom.” He was the Choir Director for the McDonald’s 365 Black Awards directing the Southern University Gospel Choir with Erica Campbell and the Louisiana Leadership Institute drumline performance with American Idol winner, singer, and actress Jordin Sparks. He has toured professionally as a pianist with jazz guitarist, Mark Whitfield and the late jazz clarinetist, Alvin Batiste.

LaShawn has also worked as a composer/arranger in commercial advertisement with Burrell Communications, Global Hue, and Yessian Music. His musical talents were displayed on television in the production of the Toyota Avalon “Son-in-Law” commercial, the introductory advertisement of the Ford Fiesta, Xfinity “Unplug” Commercial, and the Happy’s Pizza Jingle featuring the Four Tops. The decade ended as the Emmy Award-winning producer and fellow producing partners, Bill Bowen and Mike Ellison released “Detroit: One Nation Under A Groove”, a YouTube video featuring the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Choir which received over a million views in the first month. The team was also awarded two Detroit Music Awards for “Outstanding Music Video” and “Outstanding Urban Recording”. He most recently was the film score composer for the Detroit Public Schools documentary ”We Went To Work.” He is currently on staff as a composer for the new television mini-series “Terror Lake Drive.”

LaShawn is a music educator with Southfield Public Schools and serves as the Director of Music at Oak Grove AME Church. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity, The American Federation of Musicians (AFM), and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

Listen to Transitions on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/6).

Matt Lee – Panama City Groove

Matt Lee Panama City Groove cover art

Saxman Matt Lee uncovered his passion for music when his grandmother bought his 1st alto saxophone in 1997. From that point, he knew he found his calling and followed his dream from California to Nevada. Lee is a a self taught saxophonist and have developed his ear by listening to some of the greatest musicians of all time. In the early 2000’s, Matt opened up for Starship and played a cool show for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

From 2000 until now, he’s played corporate events, weddings, wineries, fine dining restaurants, hotels etc. He’s always been around music since he was a young kid. What’s strange is, Matt had no idea what jazz was and actually listened to heavy metal bands in high school. In 1996 or so, Matt heard Kenny G. and Grover Washington for the 1st time on a pop radio station and really enjoyed the music. From that point, he became mesmerized by Traditional Jazz, Blues, R&B, Soul, Motown, Contemporary Jazz, and the rest was history.

Matt would consider his style of play melodic and soulful. He really loves melodies that bring out emotion while he’s playing in front of an audience. Lee writes most of his own music and produce from his home studio. Music unites our hearts and is healing. He finds inspiration all around him. His musical influences stem from Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, The Isley Brothers, Al Jarreau, Gato Barbieri, Grover Washington Jr and Kenny G.

Matt recently relocated from Las Vegas to Panama City, FL, which inspired the title of his new single, “Panama City Groove”. It’s the follow up to the first single “One More Kiss”, which spent 8 weeks at #1 on the Groove Jazz Music chart.

Listen to Panama City Groove on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/6).

Julian Vaughn – Busta Move

Julian Vaughn cover art

Born and raised in Kansas City, KS, Julian Vaughn was primarily a drummer when he picked up the bass guitar. Vaughn developed his playing style while growing up in the church where his grandfather pastored until turning over the reins to Vaughn’s father. A few years later, he became good enough to start playing at concerts and live gospel recordings.

Vaughn launched his solo career in 2010 with his album The Purpose Project, which spring boarded him into his jazz career. In 2012 he put out the album Breakthrough (2012), featuring the single “On Your Feet,” which peaked at #1 on the Billboard chart. He later would release albums Limitless (2015), Bona Fide (2017), Supreme (2019), and Chapters of Love (2021). Vaughn racked up four Billboard #1 hits between his albums and 8 #1s overall as a feature on various artists’ songs. Vaughn has toured across the U.S., playing at some of the largest jazz festivals. In addition, he has performed abroad in places like Dubai, South Africa, Nigeria, Nairobi, Italy, Spain, and Germany. Vaughn takes pride in writing and producing almost all his music, saying, “I want to be known as a great writer and producer just as much as an artist.”

In 2020 Vaughn was the #2 Artist of the year and had the #2 and #17 Billboard songs of the year, “Afro Calypso” and “Afternoon Delight.” His latest independent release, titled SOLO is slated to be his best work to date. As Vaughn’s recording catalog continues to grow, he hopes to continue to redefine the lead bassist role in the Smooth Jazz genre.

Listen to Busta Move on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/6).

Brien Andrews – In The Moment

Brien Andrews cover art

Brien Andrews is a billboard-charting drummer, artist, producer and composer based in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally from St Louis, Missouri, his mother, a choir director and music major, from an early age, nurtured Brien’s love for music. After moving to Atlanta in the early 90s, Brien began pursuing a career in music that would take him to South Africa, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Gotland, Visby, Japan and Germany. Brien has performed with acclaimed artists such as Mandisa, Kim Waters, Willie Bradley, Carol Albert, Ragan Whiteside, Marqueal Jordan, Phil Denny, Marcus Anderson, Jennifer Holliday, Kelly Price, Monica, Donnie McClurkin, LaShun Pace, Ted & Sherie and PJ Morton to name a few.

Brien has also performed live on Good Morning America as well as several other national televised shows. He has enjoyed success as a solo artist with his most recent release, ‘Don’t Dance Just Groove’, charting on Billboard for eight weeks and reaching #40 on the Smooth Jazz Network chart.

As well as his career as a musician, Brien is also a skilled producer and entrepreneur, working on a variety of releases for other artists and founding his own company, Bri’Entertainment LLC, that offers production, studio and live band services.

Listen to In The Moment on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/6).

Peet Project – Donut Jam

Peet Project cover art

Budapest, Hungary’s Peet Project‘s new single “Donut Jam” is an irresistibly pleasant, groovy track with a sweet chorus, an even sweeter bridge and fun musical interactions between bass, violin and sax all the way through.

The track’s main composer is Martin, the band’s bass player. He recalled how the song was born: “Once the harmonies of the chorus popped up in my head, I got goosebumps. From that moment on, I virtually could not sleep until we recorded the demo in the studio. Donut Jam is one of my favorite songs from the upcoming Peet Project album. I have listened to it over a hundred times already, and it has not even been released yet. I am totally thrilled!”

Now. the finished track is presented to you for airplay consideration.

“…The Peet Project…it’s pure fun, pure musical genius” -Dave Koz

“Donut Jam”

Written by Martin Gudics, Peter Ferencz, Attila Zavodi, Oliver Magan and Marcell Gudics

Produced, mixed and mastered by Péter “Peet” Ferencz

Violin: Peter Ferencz

Alto Sax: Attila Zavodi

Keys: Oliver Magan

Bass: Martin Gudics

Drums: Marcell Gudics

Listen to Donut Jam on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/6).

Althea René – Pastel Leather

Althea Rene Pastel Leather cover art

Althea René is releasing her new project titled Pastel Leather in the third quarter (“Pastel Leather” is the title track). The theme of the project is a particular duality of human behavior. Sometimes we are forced to exhibit a soft, polite, and forgiving demeanor while quietly maintaining a hard mentality and physical toughness. The project features a powerful lineup of guest artists like vibe master Warren Wolf, trumpeter Lin Rountree, producer/writer Demetrius “Krayon” Nabors, and jazz fusion icon Jeff Lorber.

“Pastel Leather”

Produced by Demetrius “Krayon” Nabors (DKN) for Kolorful Ent LLC

Written by Althea Rene for Althea Rene Productions LLC and Demetrius “Krayon” Nabors (DKN) for Kolorful Ent LLC

Mixed & Mastered by Greg Manning

Executive Producer Althea René

Flute: Althea René

Keyboard & Programming: Demetrius “Krayon” Nabors

Bass: Robert “Rob Bass” Skinner

Guitar: Gary Johnson

Drums: Nate Winn

Horns & Horn Arrangement: Vinnie Ciesielski

Listen to Pastel Leather on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/6).

Willie Bradley – Rejuvenation

Willie Bradley cover art

Willie Bradley is a native of Orangeburg, SC and a graduate of South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC where he earned his BS Degree in Music Education and Performance. Over the course of his career he has become a go –to musician for many of soul music’s greats over the years. Willie’s stage presence includes performances with jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Frank Foster, Max Roach, Betty Carter, Gerald Albright, Walter Beasley, Alex Bugnon, Ronnie Laws, Hiroshima and Marion Meadows.

Bold, yet simultaneously charming; Edgy, yet at the same time beautiful; these seemingly opposing adjectives might well-describe the music of artist/trumpeter Willie Bradley, but also fittingly tell about the man! Willie Bradley’s music brings together many varied styles, but takes smooth jazz to a whole new level. On his new CD project “Going With The Flow”, Willie is definitely not just going with the average flow of things. Together with multi-award winning producer Preston Glass, (Kenny G., George Benson, Earth Wind & Fire and many more) they have brought together a fantastic group of songs as well as a cast of stellar musicians with varied styles (Greg Manning, Gerald Alston from The Manhattans, Bob Baldwin, Club Nouveau, and Jerry Martini of Sly & The Family Stone).

This musical adventure promises to be an appetizer of sweet things to come for Willie; savor it with open ears; and heart!

“Rejuvenation”

Written By Jacob Webb (ASCAP)

Willie Bradley – Flugel Horn

Jacob Webb – Bass, Keys, Production, Mixing,

Sonny Dumarsais – Guitar

Kevin Bowden – Drums

Listen to Rejuvenation on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/6).

David Margham – The Last Time

Cover Single - The Last Time

David Margam producer, composer and international guitarist returns with “The Last Time” , a new single preview of his imminent album that will be presented in the coming months. After his successful and recent releases, David Margam is positioned among the best and most sought-after Guitarists in the recording studio of Smooth Jazz and R&B in the World.

Internationally recognized artist has reached important positions in the ‘Top International’ lists with his recent singles in the most important radio stations, among which ‘Hunch’ stands out with his Spanish project MARHID and ‘I’ll Treat you Right’ with the New York producer J. Michaels among other compositions Along with international producers Jimmy Østbygaard, Lee Jones and Sergio Hidalgo.

Composed, produced and mixed by David Margam, a new single with a special flavor full of nuances and sonorities in which the masterful Spanish Jazz singer Rosa Lazar has collaborated together with the great Brazilian teacher and trumpeter Fernando De Araujo, one of the most recognized artists in Brazil, a perfect combination with David Margam’s soft guitars that has raised the production to a higher state. Rosa Lazar’s voice has transformed this new single into a magical composition, providing an elegant voice and truly hopeful lyrics, a melody that will leave no one unmoved.

Listen to The Last Time on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/6).

Kevin Crockett – Cruisin’ In The Wind

Kevin Crockett Cruisin' In The Wind Cover Art

Hailing from Washington D.C. and currently residing in Franklinton, North Carolina,
Kevin Crockett has performed/recorded with the following smooth jazz artists: Marcel Anderson, Marcus Anderson, Collective Groove Band, Willie Bradley, Reggie Codrington, Eric Darius, George Freeman, Jazmin Ghent, amd Marqueal Jordan.

“Cruisin’ In The Wind”

Composed by Kevin Crockett & Jeff Canady
Produced by Jeff Canady

Recording Engineer: Carlos Gunn
Mixing Engineer: Derrick Holmes
Mastering Engineer: Steve Hall

Listen to Cruisin’ In The Wind on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/6).

Antoine Knight – Infatuation

Antoine Knight Infatuation cover art

Saxman Antoine Knight is back with another hot new single, following the success of his first single “Something About You,” which was picked up by 9 Billboard stations.

His newest sophomore campaign “Infatuation” is composed by Detroit’s two-time #1 Smooth Jazz Producer and drummer, Jeff Canady.

“Infatuation” is a highly anticipated release filled with passion & admiration for that special someone in your life.

Listen to Infatuation on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/6).

Brooke Alford – On The Move

Brooke Alford cover art

Violinist Brooke Alford is releasing her new single “On the Move”, which will be included on her highly anticipated 5th CD release.

Brooke’s inspiration behind the creation of On the Move is simple: focused and determined forward motion to achieve ultimate goals at hand! When a mission is set out to be accomplished, there can be no negativity, distraction, procrastination, or doubt. There are exciting places to experience, amazing people to meet, and greatness ahead. Trust the process and have some fun along the way!

“The daily moves we make in our lives dictate our outcome. Strategy is definitely needed (much like playing a game of chess) in order to win! In this season of my life, I literally stay ‘On the Move’ and in motion because it’s time to make the dream a full reality.” says the Atlanta-based artist.

Featuring and produced by Fayetteville, NC’s finest, George Freeman (pianist), Brooke and George came together once again to create an upbeat, “make you want to dance” track full of high energy, pocket, and groove. The all-star musicians that brought this track to life are Sean Michael Ray (bass), Kevin Crockett (guitar), and Anthony Roberts (drums).

Listen to On The Move on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/6).

2unes – Still Hanging

2unes cover art

Primarily a self-taught musician, it was at the age of eleven that his mom introduced him to the guitar and a love affair with music that has stood the test of time. In his teens, North “2unes” Woodall studied the playing styles of Ernie Isley, Santana, and Joe Walsh, among other R&B, funk, rock, and pop music styles. Hard work, determination, and a natural gift paid off and as a result of his exceptional proficiency with the guitar, he was quickly established with popular groups in and around Dayton, Ohio, such as The Delvones and Round Trip Ticket. North has since relocated to Atlanta, Georgia and was sought to share the stage with funk masters Lakeside, The Ohio Players, Roger Troutman and Zapp, Roy Aires, Millie Jackson, Tom Brown and Will Downing.

He regularly sells out venues as the audiences know that they will be highly entertained and satisfied by tight arrangements and banging guitar solos with great licks. And the blessings continued to flow. 2unes has become a staple on the Atlanta music scene appearing in venues from the Ritz Carlton to Wind-Down Wednesdays at Centennial Park, bridging the generation gap with his unique music blend of jazz, R&B, and hip-hop.

“I work for the listener and my music is designed for them. It is important to me that I give them what they want.” Woodall went on to say that he defines his musical style as being like a gumbo. “I can’t be put into a box musically. I’m not one thing, but many things bringing people together from all sides of the music spectrum.”

Listen to Still Hanging on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/6).

Bob Baldwin feat. Kathy Kosins – Let’s Rewind

Bob Baldwin cover art

Bob Baldwin features Detroit native, vocalist Kathy Kosins on his latest single with “Let’s Rewind”, a ballad that reflects on the stay at home era.

Baldwin comments “We wanted to come up with a cool track that musically reflects on the soulful sounds of Phily and Motown, with a Smooth Jazz spin. It’s a pleasure to work with her!”

Bob’s new 34th album, B Positive! is set for release August 19, 2022.

Catch Bob on tour at City Winery (8/11), and Middle C Note in Charlotte (8/19-20), Atlanta (9/9) and Toledo (9/10).

Listen to Let’s Rewind on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/6).

Adam Hawley – Let’s Get Down Tonight

Adam Hawley cover art

Nine #1 hits. 50+ dates per year. Adam Hawley has burst on to the scene as a celebrated and innovative artist, composer and band leader. Originally signed to Maurice White’s (founder of Earth, Wind, & Fire) label Kalimba Music, Adam’s first two albums “Double Vision” and “Just the Beginning” spawned an incredible Six #1 Hits, an unprecedented feat for a new artist. He followed that up with “Escape” which included the 2020 Billboard Song Of The Year “To The Top.” Now totaling 9 # 1’s, Adam sets out with this exciting fourth album “Risin’ Up” which features Steve Cole, Vincent Ingala, Julian Vaughn, Riley Richard & Kat Hawley anchored by the thrilling first single “Risin’ Up.”

Tour Highlights Include: Seabreeze Jazz Fest, Catalina Jazz Fest, Berks Jazz Fest, Rehoboth Jazz Festival, Jazz Fest West, Java Jazz, Cancun Jazz Fest, Newport Beach Jazz Fest, Dave Koz Cruise, Mallorca Jazz Fest, Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, Jazz on the Vine & Many More…

Adam has also been a guitarist to the stars, appearing with a who’s who list of artists in a wide variety of genres. Credits include Dave Koz, Jennifer Lopez, Brian Culbertson, Natalie Cole, Brian McKnight, and American Idol to name just a few.

Hawley’s new single “Let’s Get Down Tonight” features Vincent Ingala on saxophone.

Listen to Let’s Get Down Tonight on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/6).

Carol Albert – Paradigm Shift

Carol Albert Cover PARADIGM SHIFT

While many smooth jazz artists create their music as a means of pure escapism, Carol Albert has scored numerous Billboard chart hits over the past five years with songs that powerfully chronicle her evolving personal emotions and thoughtfully reflect upon the world around her. The multi-talented pianist and composer’s latest single, the infectious, deeply soulful mid-tempo ballad “Paradigm Shift,” artfully captures the profound shift of consciousness that’s taken hold of all of us in the wake of the darkest days of the pandemic.

Co-written by Carol, Paul Brown and Shane Theriot and produced by and featuring Brown on guitar, “Paradigm Shift” is one of the lead singles from Carol’s upcoming full length album, whose title Magic Mirror literally reflects the theme of self-reflection in this era of new awakenings. The collection will also include the artist’s most recent singles “Fire & Water” (which reached #4 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart) and “Crashing,” intended as a digital release for fans only.

While representing a dynamic new phase of Carol’s recording career, “Paradigm Shift” and Magic Mirror follow on the high charting heels of four hit radio singles from Carol’s 2020 album Stronger Now, including three Top 5’s – “Stronger Now,” “Perfect Sunday” and “Femme Flight,” the latter of which featured flutist Ragan Whiteside and saxophonist Magdalena Chovancova and earned Carol a new legion of fans via extensive airplay on SiriusXM’s Watercolors. In addition to their success at radio, “Perfect Sunday” and “Stronger Now” have achieved unprecedented streaming numbers for the Smooth Jazz genre, with “Perfect Sunday” currently at over 6.4M streams on Spotify and “Stronger Now” at over 2.1M.

Reflecting on the connected themes of “Paradigm Shift” and Magic Mirror, Carol says, “To me, there has been a profound shift of consciousness as we emerge from the pandemic. It’s like we’re stepping through a mirror, looking more closely at ourselves and experiencing a journey where so many of us are taking stock of our lives like never before. We’re asking ourselves, ‘What’s it all about? Who have I become? And do I like where I am?’ These are the questions that have come naturally to me, and the melody, rhythm and overall flow of the song is a musical expression of the fresh perspective I have on the direction of my life and career.”

With the release of “Paradigm Shift,” the Atlanta based artist continues to build on the career momentum she’s experienced since breaking through on the smooth jazz charts in 2016 with “Mas Que Nada” and her first Billboard charting single “One Way.” Carol’s other recent radio hits include the Top 10 “Sun’s Out,” the Top 5 “Fly Away Butterfly”, “Chasing Waterfalls” and “One Way.”

Listen to Paradigm Shift on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/6).

Cloud Nyyne – Livin It Up

Cloud Nyyne Livin It Up

Rocky Padilla has been in the music business for over 45 years, has been around The U.S. touring, making people happy and making them dance. CEO Rocky Padilla is a veteran in the Music Department. Selling over 500,000 C.D’s with On The Spot, then Thump Records. RP has built a steady fan base all over the United States. While playing 6 different instruments and taking over any size show, RP has a one of a kind stage presence, along with mesmerizing vocal talents, RP is a professional from start to finish.

Since 2003, Billy Mondragon of DW3 & Steve Carias have set the high energy mood on cruises (Smooth Jazz Cruise, Dave Koz Cruise, Soul Train Cruise & 80’s), at jazz festivals, showrooms and clubs, including hundreds of performances at their longtime home base of Spaghettini in Seal Beach, CA. They also played a key role on Dave Koz and Friends’ Grammy nominated Summer Horns project.

Cloud Nyyne – “Livin’ It Up” (4:16) – featuring Billy Mondragon of DW3
Written by F. Padilla & S. Carias

RP (Fidel Padilla) – Song Production, Horn Arrangements, Mix & Mastering
Steve Carias – Music Production, Drums, Bass Guitar, Piano, Synths
Billy Mondragon of DW3 – Creative Production
Walle Larsson – Sax, Flute
Michael Bautista – Guitar, Trumpet

Listen to Livin’ It Up on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/6).

Joe Rozum – Overdrive

Joe Rozum cover art

Joe Rozum originates from Wyomissing, PA….located 15 minutes outside of Reading, PA. Rozum is a graduate of Boston’s world renowned Berklee College of Music. The thrill of going to Berklee and living in Boston was certainly a fantastic four-year journey. At Berklee, Rozum was surrounded by music day and night in one of the most beautiful & historical cities in the country, not to mention all of the great Colleges, Universities and professional sports teams located there too.

Seamless fusion of smooth jazz and pop — this is what best reveals Joe Rozum as an artist and composer. His signature sound may be soothing piano ballads, but Rozum is well known for violin duets and performances with a full band. His music has inflections of cool blues, soundtrack themes, gospel, and a hint of classical, which come from many musical influences ranging all over the map … Billy Joel, Elton John, David Foster, Diane Warren, Yanni, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Jim Brickman, Quincy Jones, Phil Vassar, Yolanda Adams, Oleta Adams Andre Crouch, Michael Jackson, James Taylor, Carole King, Earth, Wind and Fire, Gino Vanelli, Jamie Cullum, Lionel Ritchie, John Williams, Hans Zimmer & David Arnold. The list can probably go on and on with such great musicians… and of course the great music of Elvis and the Beatles.

Rozum’s extensive background of songwriting in all genres includes composing for commercials and film. One current commercial that repeats in southern California throughout the year is for the Valley View Casino in San Diego, which uses a :30 spot from his song “Boogie Cookin”. Other songwriting projects include the Bruce Lee Jeet June Do video, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon titled Phish and Chip, a commercial for the local based Los Angeles / Santa Barbara Gift Store Jay’s Luggage, and music for the short film winner in the 1999 NY International Film Festival entitled Have A Perwinkle Day.

Listen to Overdrive on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/6).

Boney James – Bring It Back

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Chart-topping jazz/R&B sax player Boney James released his new single “Bring It Back” featuring critically acclaimed composer, conductor, orchestrator, arranger, and trumpeter, Dontae Winslow. The track is now available via all streaming services and marks the first release from James’ forthcoming 18th studio album, Detour, out September 23rd on Concord Records. The new 10-song collection is a subtle stylistic turn that builds on the commercial success of 2020’s Solid, James’ highest charting release ever on the pop charts, peaking in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.

Also featuring vocals from 5-time Grammy winner Lalah Hathway, Detour was recorded largely at Boney’s L.A. home studio (live drums and percussion were tracked at venerable Sunset Sound). The album was produced by Boney with co-production from in-demand writer/producer, Jairus “J-Mo” Mozee (Anderson.Paak, Nicki Minaj, Anthony Hamilton) among others. Additional musicians on the album are keyboardist Tim Carmon (Eric Clapton), longtime drummer Omari Williams and bassist Alex Al, renowned percussionist Lenny Castro and guitarists Big Mike Hart and Paul Jackson Jr.

“We’ve all been on a detour these last few years,” says Boney. “This album reflects how my music and I have been affected by the times we’re in.”

James is currently on the road for select dates across the U.S. which will take him well into 2023. Promising to bring James’ iconic 30-year career to the live stage, including selections from Detour, the multi-city trek will hit a number of major markets including Detroit, Hartford, Dallas, Nashville, and Los Angeles, where he is scheduled to headline the legendary Hollywood Bowl on August 28th. For further information on the tour, dates, and on-sale info please visit https://boneyjames.com/.

During his 30-year career, Boney James has released a staggering 18 studio albums – including a pair of Christmas records -with 1995’s Seduction, 1997’s Sweet Thing and 1999’s Body Language all RIAA certified gold. In 2015, Boney’s futuresoul spent 11 weeks atop the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart and was the best-selling Contemporary Jazz Record of 2015. Boney has earned four Grammy nominations (“I’m not gonna lie… I’d still love a statue,” he says), two NAACP Image Award nominations and a Soul Train Award, while a dozen of his albums have landed at #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Album chart. His collaborators in the past include a Who’s Who of R&B and soul: Raheem DeVaughn, Faith Evans, George Benson, George Duke, Dwele, Al Jarreau, Philip Bailey, Anthony Hamilton, Jaheim, Eric Benét, Dave Hollister, Stokley Williams, Kenny Lattimore and Angie Stone.

Listen to Bring It Back on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/6).

Terrell Edwards – 100%

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Referred to as “the perfect blend between Sinatra and Motown”, crooning sensation Terrell Edwards style of music is that organic blend which becomes the soundtrack to moments in your life that evokes the fondest of memories.

Terrell took to the stage as an adult contemporary artist. The smooth, but explosive tunes is what got the attention of legendary Tonight Show host Jay Leno. Within days of being introduced to Jay Leno, Edwards was invited to Las Vegas to work alongside the legend. Terrell and the Tri City Rat Pack spent the next few years opening for the icon at the Mirage Hotel.

Terrell’s long-awaited solo project “Unchained” was released in 2018, showing his resurgence as a soul singer and in the same year he was nominated for the “Live Entertainer of the Year”.
Beyond music, Terrell is a true philanthropist in many charitable organizations. One of his passions lie with The Reach Mission Foundation, which was founded by Edwards and brings aid and awareness to International poverty relief, and also provides financial support to local youth initiatives.

The other organization that receives a lot of attention and financial support from Terrell is the Alzheimer’s Society. Terrell hopes to inspire people in everything that he is blessed to be a part of. He’s having the time of his life! Everybody deserves that opportunity!

Jessy J – Dance Beat

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What do you do after celebrating over a decade as one of contemporary jazz’s top saxophonists, known for your trademark blend of sensual Latin tinged powerful horn playing which garnered 12 top singles and 6 chart topping albums? You tap into your longtime love for the vibrant soul and blues energies of the 60s and 70’s to release your first studio album in six years BLUE, an album of original songs totally stylistically different from your previous recordings as evidenced by the cover art reminiscent of some of the great albums of that era.

Born in Oregon and raised in southern California of Hispanic heritage, Jessy J is grateful that her Hispanic fans have been inspired by her love of these musical roots. A jazz studies graduate from USC, Jessy paved the way for her success recording with Michael Bublé and touring with Jessica Simpson, The Temptations and Michael Bolton.

Starting with the immediate #1 Billboard chart success with the title track from her debut album Tequila Moon, the powerhouse saxophonist cemented her rising stardom touring with contemporary jazz greats like Lorber, Gerald Albright, Euge Groove and Peter White. She is seen regularly performing on the hit television competition shows “American Idol,’ “The Voice” and “Dancing with the Stars,’ and in more recent years has toured with Anita Baker, recorded with Robin Thicke and contributed as composer/performer to the albums of two members of Chance the Rapper’s band – the GRAMMY® nominated Intellexual album and The Juju Exchange’s Exchange.

In conjunction with the release of BLUE Jessy embarks on a U.S. tour throughout the spring and summer. She will also be releasing California Christmas Vol. 2 for the 2022 holiday season.

“Writing and recording BLUE was an extraordinary experience,” says Jessy. “I have missed the connection with my fans so much these past two years. On every level–physical, emotional, spiritual – music plays such an important role in healing us. It’s like therapy, making everything in life so much better and healthier.”

Multi-instrumentalist Thiago Pinheiro contributed his keyboards, strings, drums and percussion programming on the new single “Dance Beat” from Brazil.

Listen to Dance Beat on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/6).

U-Nam – Make A Wish

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Going for adds on August 1st, 2022 and out on the 3rd, “Make a Wish” is the latest single from Billboard chart-topping artist and multi-platinum producer U-Nam.

Reminiscent of the stellar work U-Nam was doing back in the nineties with some of the biggest R&B acts around, but with the addition of silky strings to bestow a veneer that is both sophisticated and soulful, this exuberant slice of up-tempo smooth jazz is the perfect accompaniment to the long hot summer days to come.

Indeed it is just the sort of infectious cut that U-Nam seems able to effortlessly deliver and deliver he certainly does where from his CFM Lab in Laguna Hills, California.

He is front back and center with lead & rhythm guitars, bass, keyboards, horns, programming and editing. Not only that, he writes, produces, mixes and masters throughout while in the company of Raymond Gimenes, he concocts a sublime string arrangement that in the capable hands of Lyudmila Kadyrbaeva on cello and Maria Grig on violin and viola is a joy to behold.

Truth to tell U-Nam’s production touches are everywhere and when the picture is completed by Larry Salzmann’s tight percussion.

There is only one thing left to do, close your eyes, Make A Wish and let U-Nam transport you to that special place where a luscious, Motown style vibe meets instrumental smooth jazz in the most sensational of ways.

Listen to Make A Wish on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/6).

Reggie C. – Journey Back Home

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While Reggie C, the Fayetteville, NC native may be new on some people’s radars, he is actually no stranger to music. Reggie has been performing and recording for over a decade, with nine previous albums to his credit. The towering company he keeps powerfully confirms Reggie’s emergence in smooth jazz circles. His latest album titled, Always in Motion, features #1 recording artist NILS’ (who produced the project, composed some of these wildly infectious pieces, and lends his slick guitar, bass, keyboards and drum programming), to keyboard master Jeff Lorber, and the late, great R&B/jazz drummer icon, Ricky Lawson. Even more impressive is the glorious father/son horns of Reggie and his trumpeter dad Ray, whose tandem magic drives the emotion of most of the tracks.

Throughout his career, the soprano saxophone player has also opened for numerous music legends, including Ramsey Lewis, keyboardist Kevin Toney, and Frankie Beverly & Maze and Charlie Wilson. Perhaps the most notable of these for the North Carolina native was receiving an invitation to perform at the Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC, January 2012. Codrington also played at the star studded Black Caucus Ball in Washington, DC, and was later invited to perform jazz, gospel, and Christian rock music at eight concerts in villages in Guatemala, followed by another performance in Antigua. Always on the go and in demand, Reggie has since performed at various jazz concerts, festivals, and venues. Like many veteran recording artists who have taken many recordings to break through, Reggie has survived his share of disappointments in the music industry, even as he has made a living performing for many years. That commitment to overcoming obstacles stems from the difficulties in his childhood of dealing with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy (ACP), a chronic condition that affects muscle coordination and depth perception. Receiving a curved soprano sax on his 18th birthday led to a major transformation, offering Reggie a comfortable way to play that he had not previously experienced. “Something magical happened, and I knew I had found my niche,” he says. “I fell in love.”

Throughout the journey of writing and recording Always in Motion, NILS’ – whose crackling lead and rhythm guitar lines complement Codrington’s trademark soprano and occasional alto/soprano lead melodic lines – was able to grant Codrington’s “wish list” of collaborators. The groove-packed 10 track set includes keyboardist Jeff Lorber, some of the last sessions ever by the late drum legend Ricky Lawson, trumpeter Johnny Britt, bassist Reggie McBride and drummer Joey Heredia. “I always loved NILS’ music and thought this would be the perfect time to do something different from the past,” says Reggie. He goes on to say, “NILS’ really pushed me beyond what I thought I could do emotionally. In the past, I might run through a solo once and be satisfied, but NILS’ would say, I think you have another one in you! Along with his sonic expertise, this kind of work ethic gave this album something fresh, a new vibe that is helping me evolve as an artist in ways I never expected.”

Reggie Codrington’s masterful blend of smooth jazz, old school soul, and elements of contemporary funk is nothing short of brilliant. To experience his musical flavor is to understand his popularity, and know why he is one of the most requested jazz artists on the scene today.

Listen to Journey Back Home on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/6).

Mark Etheredge – Love Planet

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With its swanky, sassy four-on-the-floor groove, “Love Planet” was composed by Etheredge and features the artist on piano and synthesizers, supported by guitarists Paul Brown and Jay Gore, bassist Roberto Vally, drummer Joel Taylor, and percussionist Lenny Castro. The horn section is comprised of Ron King (trumpet, flugelhorn, horn arrangement) and saxophonist Greg Vail.

“‘Love Planet’ is about love for each other, as well as self-love. I was taught growing up that everyone is born with a sense of goodness, and I still believe it’s true. And that goodness is totally inclusive. With all the craziness on this planet, it’s easy to lose sight of that. These days, I wake up asking, ‘What can I do to be more loving today?’” said Etheredge.

Etheredge’s most notable radio single, “Connected,” ranked No. 6 on Billboard’s Smooth Jazz Chart. Subsequent singles include “Roger That,” “Resonance,” and “You&Me&We.”

“Love Planet”

Produced by Paul Brown
Session engineer: Carmen Grillo

Mark Etheredge – piano, synthesizers
Paul Brown – electric guitar
Jay Gore – electric guitar
Roberto Vally – electric bass
Joel Taylor – drums
Lenny Castro – percussion
Ron King – trumpet, flugel horn, horn arrangements
Greg Vail – tenor & baritone saxophones

Listen to Love Planet on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/6).

Blake Aaron – Promised Land

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Guitarist Blake Aaron is living the dream. Writing, producing, recording and performing music all over the world at the highest level, he just notched his fifth Billboard number one single as a solo artist. The scintillating summer smash that he wrote with chart-topper Adam Hawley, “Dreamland” went number one on five national charts simultaneously: Billboard, Groove Jazz Music, Mediabase, Radiowave and Smooth Jazz Network. The Innervision Records single is the second consecutive release to go number one from Aaron’s forthcoming seventh album, “Love and Rhythm.”

“I set out to create a song that captures the imagination, excitement, fun and unbridled curiosity of a dream come true,” said Aaron whose dexterous electric jazz guitar was accompanied on the energizing track by Hawley (rhythm guitar and keyboards), drummer Eric Valentine (who recently topped the Billboard chart with his own single), bassist Mel Brown, saxophonist and horn arranger David Mann, and trumpeter Trevor Neumann.

Together, Aaron and Hawley scored a number one last year with Aaron’s single “Sunday Strut,” which topped four charts, including Billboard. Although Aaron has produced number one singles for himself as well as for other artists, he realizes the benefits of teaming with Hawley, a consistent chart-topper both as a solo artist and as a producer.

“Working with another Billboard number one producer inspired ideas and concepts that I may not have thought of on my own. Having a writing and production partner whom I respect but has a different style than mine opens up new musical and creative doors through different approaches and compromises. Utilizing a producer to challenge an artist to go to another level with an idea they may have thought was already ‘making the cut’ or conversely, encouraging the artist to run with an idea they were ready to throw out, can take the song in a whole new direction,” said Aaron.

Aaron hopes to continue the success that he and Hawley share by collaborating. In May, they locked themselves away in Hawley’s studio and didn’t emerge until they recorded rough mixes for two more singles.

“In the internet age when most artists are collaborating online, Adam and I have found a certain magic of writing ‘old school’ by actually meeting in the studio, locking the door and not leaving until we have a fully recorded rough mix of a hit single,” said Aaron who plans to drop the next single crafted during their recent session on September 19.

Aaron has a proven track record of recording more than a handful of hit singles before bundling them as an album. Initially, it was an approach that came out of necessity for the time crunched artist – he’s also a first-call studio musician who has composed and produced music for television and film – but as the music industry has changed and evolved, now it’s a chosen path that helps him reach more listeners via Spotify. The coronavirus quarantine allowed him time to finish and release his last album, “Color and Passion,” in 2020, which spawned three Billboard number one singles.

“We’ll probably have enough music ready to release ‘Love and Rhythm’ next year.”

Catch Blake Aaron on tour in the following cities (additional dates may be added):

August 20         Tyron, NC                                Mountain Brook Vineyards Wine & Jazz Fest

August 21         San Diego, CA                         Humphrey’s Backstage Live

August 27         Melbourne, FL                         The Maxwell C. King Center

August 28         Largo, FL                                 Central Park Performing Arts Center

September 5     Atlanta, GA                              City Winery Atlanta

September 10   Oxnard, CA                              Oxnard Jazz Festival

September 11   Temecula, CA                          Rhythm on the Vine Concert Series

October 20       Avalon, CA                              Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival

October 23       Galveston, TX                          BillyRay Sheppard’s Smooth Jazz Cruise

October 31       Sa Coma, Spain                        Mallorca Smooth Jazz Festival

For more information, please visit https://www.blakeaaron.com.

Source: Great Scott Productions

Von Stupart – Come Party With Me

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Music has always been a huge part of Von Stupart‘s life. Von started formal music lessons at the age of 12. He started on the trumpet, but picked up the saxophone in high school. He has been developing and honing his craft ever since. Von is a very proud husband, father and grandfather. After working for 40 years and now retired, he is now enjoying the fruits of his labor in this new season of his life. He is thrilled to be able to pour all of his passion and experience into creating music to share with the world!

Von hopes you can feel the joy, passion, and love in his music.

“Come Party With Me”

Written by Von Stupart & Adam Hawley

Von Stupart – Saxophones

Eric Valentine – Drums

Mel Brown – Bass Guitar

Adam Hawley – All other instruments and programming

Listen to Come Party With Me on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/6).

Andrew Neu – Take It Home

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“Greg Manning and I have come to know each other over the years while working with other artists. In that time he’s been recognized as a gifted solo artist and a brilliant producer.

We always had great chemistry when we played together so it was long overdue for us to collaborate on a project. I love a great melody and real horns and Greg is the master at all things that groove and vibe. We were each able to contribute our individual strengths to create a track that showcases our mutual passion for creating music that appeals to musicians and fans alike.

“Take It Home” is your perfect summertime jam! Thanks for listening.” – Andrew Neu

“Take It Home”

Andrew Neu – Sax & Flute
Greg Manning – Keys & Programming
Morris O’Connor – Guitar
Mel Brown – Bass
Eric Valentine – Drums
Peter Neu – Trumpet
Nick Lane – Trombone

Written by Greg Manning & Andrew Neu
Produced by Greg Manning
Horns arranged by Andrew Neu
Mixed by Greg Manning
Mastered by Steve Hall

Listen to Take It Home on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/6).

Paul Brown – Secret Sauce

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Two time Grammy Award winner Paul Brown, both as an artist and producer, is responsible for more than 60 #1 jazz radio hits! Paul has produced and shared the stage with a who’s-who of jazz greats such as George Benson, Patti Austin, Boney James, Norman Brown, and Peter White, just to name a few.

With his new album Promised Land (Shanachie), Brown reaches the peak of his prodigious creativity. The album kicks off with the spirited first single “Secret Sauce,” a sure fire contemporary jazz radio #1, and delivers with “Don’t Stop,” Paul’s sexy collaboration with Marion Meadows, and the Bluesy, in-the-pocket, “7 and 7,” featuring Euge Groove.

Paul Brown
“Secret Sauce”
Written by Paul Brown & Jeff Carruthers

Paul Brown – Guitar
Roberto Vally – Bass
Jeff Carruthers – Keys, Drums and Percussion
Ron King – Trumpet and Horn Arrangement
Greg Vail – Saxes

Listen to Secret Sauce on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/6).

Lars Taylor – Blue Sphere

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While equally remarkable and melodically and rhythmically infectious as his earlier tunes, Swiss guitarist Lars Taylor‘s latest jam “Blue Sphere” showcases some different exciting elements of his artistry, starting with his graceful and fluid flow on the electric guitar, bright sizzling high register tones on the main melody and a seductive, transportive, sense of ambience he creates as a producer of the track.

Then, just as we’re grooving along with the playful summery energy, Taylor romps into full world fusion territory, switching axes and plucking out a powerfully exotic solo on an oriental gypsy guitar and heavier percussion (including the darbuka) heats up. Just as quickly, he returns to the buoyant, melodic electric fusion vibe for the rest of the track.

In these compelling and dynamic 3:48, Taylor takes us on a journey full of memories of the few weeks he spent at the Black Sea in Romania with his wife, a native of that country. Here’s hoping for more travels and great guitar adventures in the future!

Listen to Blue Sphere on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/6).

Gold Coast Horns – Bounce To This

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Chuck Dennis Productions along with J-Jams Records is proud to announce the World Premier of the “Gold Coast Horns”. Comprised of 4 of the hottest stars in Smooth Jazz this 4 member unit consists of trumpeter/vocalist Johnny Britt, saxophonist Jeff Ryan, trumpeter Lin Rountree and saxophonist Jackiem Joyner. These stars are ready to set the Smooth Jazz World on fire. Along with their hit-making songwriter/ producer Chris “Big Dog” Davis and horn arranger Johnny Britt this debut single “Bounce To This” is sure to be a hit on Smooth Jazz radio.

With this infectious groove and the mastery of Britt, Ryan, Joyner and Rountree on the horns is a combination of Gold at radio and jazz festivals nationwide. Along with a hot touring schedule which will debut at the 2022 “Oxnard Jazz Festival” September 10th. The Jazz Festival produced by concert promoter Chuck Dennis is also the executive producer and brainchild behind the making of the “Gold Coast Horns”. The target marketing audience for the “Gold Coast Horns” will be adult contemporary/ smooth jazz listeners 35 – 70 of age.

“Bounce To This”

Lin Rountree – Trumpet
Jeff Ryan – Tenor Sax
Johnny Britt – Flugelhorn
Jackiem Joyner – Alto Sax

Written and Produced by “Big Dog” Davis
Horn Production by Johnny Britt
Mastering by Ron Boustead at Resolution Studios
Mixed by Josh Britt at Intuitive Music
Executive Producer Chuck Dennis

Listen to Bounce To This on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/6).

Michael Lington – Play

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Powering full steam ahead into the next phase of his dynamic 25 year solo career, saxophonist Michael Lington captures all the freewheeling magic, energy and optimism we’re feeling post-pandemic with his latest perfectly titled single “Play” – a funked out, fun-spirited, perfect for summertime jam that marks his first time co-writing and co-producing with longtime friend and fellow horn master and hit maker, Darren Rahn.

The groove-intensive track also features Paul Jackson Jr.’s blistering guitar fire and the non-stop grooves of bassist Mel Brown and drummer Tarell Martin. While creating a forward minded way to keep joy and hope flowing in turbulent times, “Play” – from Lington’s upcoming EP and first set of original tunes since 2018’s Silver Lining – also reflects the multi-talented artist’s ever-bustling role as a new dad and the passion he’s bringing to his latest endeavor, hosting his own Friday radio show on Smoothjazz247.com

“Play”

Michael Lington – Alto Sax
Darren Rahn – Wurli, Rhodes, Hammond Organ, Synths, Programming
Paul Jackson Jr – Guitar
Mel Brown – Bass
Tarell Martin – Drums

Written by Michael Lington & Darren Rahn
Produced and Mixed by Darren Rahn
Co-Produced by Michael Lington

Listen to Play on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/6).

Terry Wollman – What Is Hip?

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Terry Wollman’s new album, “Surface”, was composed and recorded virtually during the unprecedented global pandemic. Terry collaborated remotely with a world class myriad of musician friends from around the globe to create a deeply personal, inspired expression of his art. With over 30 years in the music business, Terry has produced and performed with an array of artists including Melissa Manchester, Keb’Mo, Al Jarreau, Joan Baez, Billy Preston, Michael McDonald, Alan Bergman with Dave Grusin, Tony Bennett, Dick Van Dyke and many more.

From his critically acclaimed debut album, “Bimini” to his 25 year retrospective “Silver Collection”, and the recent “Cassini’s Last Dance”, Wollman’s songs, arrangements and production continue to reach straight into the heart of each listener. His latest offering features artists Bob James, Najee, Andy Snitzer, Greg Manning, Ricky Kej, Wayne Bergeron and special guest vocalists Melanie Taylor, Connie Jackson and Ellis Hall. Terry is proud to present “Surface”, a unique global musical collaboration, and a true journey of songs and stories infused with gratitude and attitude.

“In many ways, making this album has been an awakening for me. You have to dive deep before you surface.” – Terry Wollman

“What Is Hip?” ft. Andy Snitzer

Terry Wollman: Acoustic & Electric Guitars
Andy Snitzer: Alto Sax
Greg Manning: Keyboards
Will Lee: Bass
John “Jr” Johnson: Drums
Luis Conte: Percussion
Wayne Bergerton: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Dan Higgins: Alto, Tenor, Bari, Alto Flute

Produced and Arranged by Terry Wollman
Mixed by Peter R. Kelsey

Listen to What Is Hip? on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/6).

Ryan Montano – Honest

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Ryan Montano is a nationally recognized trumpeter, songwriter, bandleader and recording artist. His beautiful tone, sophisticated and memorable compositions, impactful live performances and precise technique have garnered him national radio airplay and festival performances across the nation.

In addition to his musical artistry, Montano is a talented and truthful actor having appeared in several commercials and Hollywood films with speaking roles in GoodKill starring Ethan Hawke, Disney’s Lemonade Mouth and Love N’ Dancing starring Amy Smart, Rachel Dratch and Betty White. He has been a featured performer on CSI Miami and Wildfire and has several runway modeling shows and print campaigns to his modeling credits.

Montano has also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! playing the trumpet for pop stars Hanson as part of the Cleto & The Cletones horn section. Montano is also a professional filmmaker, director, videographer, photographer, editor and graphic artist. His work has been featured on several national networks including ESPN, CBS, NBC and FOX.

Specializing in music-based visual media, Montano has filmed and directed award-winning music videos for Dustin Lynch, Kane Brown, Runaway June, Ozomatli, Nosotros & Citizens Of Tape City. He has created films for major universities, marketing agencies, and companies across the nation.

While his talents encapsulate many different passions, it is music and the trumpet that truly define Montano as an artist. With a truthful artistic vision and emotive songwriting, delivered through a graceful and soft tone, Ryan Montano is an artist with a path and sound all his own…

Listen to Honest on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/6).

Fred Dinkins – R.L. (Ricky Lawson) ft. Paul Jackson Jr.

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Fred Dinkins is a world-renowned Grammy-nominated musician, producer, drummer, educator, author and motivator.

With over three decades of influencing drumming styles, Fred has performed amongst world renown artists such as Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Paul Jackson Jr., Verdine White, Norman Brown, Andre Crouch, The O’Neal Twins, The Emotions (Musical Director also Producer of the Emotions Live CD), John Barnes, Heat Wave, Peaches & Herb, Gene Chandler, GQ, Taste of Honey, Tremaine Hawkins (Grammy nominated and Stella and Dove Award Winner), Hugh Masekela, Deniece Williams (Musical Director) and many more.

From Mexico to Japan, Fred has toured worldwide and has appeared on numerous television shows such as ABC’s Good Morning America, (HBO) Sinbad’s Funkfest and more.

In Fred Dinkins’ 32 years of privately mentoring drummers at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, Fred has taught and mentored students spanning from the United States to Asia. Dinkins’ personal alumni include many recording and touring drummers like Anderson.Paak, David Myers (Frank Ocean), Erik Gutmanis (studio tech, author), Walter Rodriguez (percussionist playing on soundtracks, The Incredibles, etc.), Bennie Rodgers II (Mariah Carey), Manny Dominick (Ghost Town DJs), Vince Fossett Jr. (Steve Bardwill Band), and many more.

Author of the best seller “It’s About Time”, an Alfred Publication and producer of his own debut album Favor, Fred has provided musicians the key to understanding timekeeping and major dynamism. Inspiring musicians to never give up and pursue their highest achievements, Fred continues to serve as a pioneer in leading musicians to their greatest potential.
Today, Dinkins is still influencing drummers around the world with his remarkable teachings, private master classes, studio sessions and musical director for Deniece Williams, the Emotions and Barbara Morrison.

The history behind the title is that it’s a tribute to my late friend, Ricky Lawson. I tried to mimic his groove and feel”. – Fred Dinkins

Listen to R.L. (Ricky Lawson) on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/6).

Daryl Beebe – New Day

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Smooth jazz saxophonist Daryl Beebe seeks to brighten your day with his single release, “New Day.” This composition is innovative, invigorating, and refreshing. You will tap your feet to the beat and dance to this energetic rendition. Daryl takes listeners on a journey of hope, inspiration, and joy. He demonstrates his instrumental diversity by performing on alto, tenor, and soprano sax. New Day is a must-have for your smooth jazz library. Each day is a gift. What are you going to do with it? Get inspired every day with “New Day”.

Born and raised in Detroit Michigan, Daryl Beebe is a phenomenal and innovative saxophonist, producer, songwriter, composer, preacher, teacher, motivational speaker, counselor and Central Officer Administrator for the Southfield Public School District, in Southfield, MI. Daryl received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Kentucky State University where he majored in criminal justice and minored in music. He was a member of the university jazz, concert, and marching bands.

During his undergraduate studies, Beebe began to focus on songwriting, production, improvisation, and poetry. Later, he received his Master of Arts and Master of Education degrees from the University of Cincinnati. He has performed and recorded with artists such as Kurt Carr, Karen Clark, Teddy Harris, James Carter, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Winans, Vicki Winans, Tim Bowman, Martha Reeves, Doc Powell and recently opened for Norman Brown.

Listen to A New Day on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/6).

Greg Manning – A Song For Peace

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Greg Manning is a Berklee College of Music alum and an amalgam of cultures. He was born in Nigeria and raised in Switzerland. Greg moved to Los Angeles in 2002 and has had an incredible career. Greg is the former keyboardist and music director for GRAMMY Award-nominated artist Jonathan Butler, and keyboardist for Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright, Will Downing, Richard Elliot, Brian McKnight, Chante Moore, and Kirk Whalum, just to mention a few.

“‘A Song For Peace’ is my most personal composition to date. I was feeling helpless in the face of war abroad and the senseless killing of children in our homeland. What can I do as a human to bring about lasting change and peace in the world? It is a daunting question, but pressing at this time. My answer lies in music, and it’s not just a shallow cliché to me. I deeply believe in the healing power of music. It changes people and it opens hearts.

“I’m thrilling that Grammy winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum is featured on this song, along with veteran guitarist Ray Fuller. Both musicians played on Whitney Houston’s single of the century “I Will Always Love You”.

“Thank you for listening to my new music, and I hope you feel the love we poured into this project”- Greg Manning

Greg Manning “A Song For Peace” ft. Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum: Saxophone
Ray Fuller: Guitars
Greg Manning: Piano, vocals, and all other instruments

Written, mixed and produced by Greg Manning
Mastered by Steve Hall

Listen to A Song For Peace on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/6).

Ellis White – Keeping It Real

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Grooving optimistically into the post-pandemic era with fresh bursts of musical creativity, guitarist Ellis White’s highly anticipated debut single “Keeping It Real” – due to drop July 15 – marks the launch of his career as a solo artist after a dynamic decade of success with the Jacksonville, FL ensemble Catch The Groove.

A perfect summer soundtrack tune, the infectious, high octane track is his first release under a deal he recently signed with Polyphemus Records in the UK. It was produced by Trammell Starks, whose decades-long resume includes legendary R&B vocalists Jennifer Holliday and Patti Labelle, as well as popular smooth jazz saxophonist Michael J. Thomas.

While “Keeping It Real” is a powerful showcase for White’s adventurous rhythmic, melodic and improvisational guitar playing, “Keeping It Real” also borrows a bit from the uniquely democratic aesthetic he created as leader of CTG. White creates a fascinating musical conversation throughout with saxophonist Sam Skelton and there  are exciting sections later in the song for Starks’ tropical-tinged keyboard solo and a snappy bass solo by Sam Sims. The White-composed song also features drummer Louis Newsom, percussionist Barbara Martin, with programming by Starks and White.

“Keeping It Real” is a testament to White’s coming back after Covid and re-entering the arena as a solo artist while engaging members of his longtime band that have stuck with the project through thick and thin. The song depicts making things happen with limited resources and against the odds in a field of high caliber talent. Driven by a spirit of great positivity, White is determined to settle for nothing less than excellence while at the same time “Keeping It Real.”

“It has the kind of energy and guitar centric sound I had always wanted to instill in the music of Catch The Groove, reflecting exactly where I am today as an artist,” he says. “It’s basically me expressing the reality that I’m doing my solo thing and keeping it as real and honest as possible. When I wrote the track, I envisioned incorporating the sax and also the underlying percussion throughout. Trammell helped me formalize those ideas and put a flow to them. He brought great ideas for the arrangement and how best to use the horn element. My goal in working with a producer was not just having a yes man but someone who had great ideas who could take my music to the next level – and Trammell truly delivered.”

Formed by the Portland, ME native in 2010, Catch The Groove played hundreds of packed shows at popular jazz venues, jazz and arts festivals, corporate functions and public and private events throughout the Southeast. Three singles from their 2017 EP Smilin’ in Paradise were major genre airplay hits on the UK Smooth Jazz chart, with “When I See You Smile hitting #1, “Shaken Not Stirred” reaching #4 (and #17 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Top 30) and “Paradise” climbing to #10. “Shaken Not Stirred” was written and produced by #1 smooth jazz guitarist Nils and featured Nils, Darryl Williams and Oliver C. Brown.

Though the pandemic brought the hard working band’s non-stop schedule to an abrupt halt, as early as 2019, White was contemplating an eventual breakout as a solo artist. “I’m excited about launching this phase of my career with ‘Keeping It Real’ and my association with Polyphemus Records. I’m currently collaborating and lining up shows with other artists, and it’s great to know there’s a buzz around the music I’m creating. I’m feeling a great sense of momentum and truly believe I will be catching those groove for a long, long time.”

Listen to Keeping It Real on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/6).

Jerome Walker Jr. – Velvet Rose

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A native Westside of Chicago musician, Jerome Walker Jr. started playing for his Dad’s gospel group. The Late LD Stalling of Soul Productions gave Jerome his first recording opportunity at PS Recording studio. After high school Jerome attended the American Conservatory of Music for two years. Jerome’s passion for music drove him to continue pursuing music opportunities.

Heavily Influenced by Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, Gospel Funk and R&B, Jerome took a little bit of all these genres and influences to develop his own style and musical voice. He continued to develop his musical skill by working with many local and National artist. Experience includes Song writing and recording with Sweetymotion, recording and video project with Brandy Amber, national television “Saturday NightSing” with Love Salvation and Devotion, professional recording with Love Salvation and Devotion; national tour with gospel recording artist Keith Pringles, professional recording with Marie Herz “Silent Night Lonely Night”, CD project. Corporate and private parties with Deja Vu Production, Ron Star, Guerrini Music Production of Chicago and many more.

“Velvet Rose” is a Smooth Jazz song that is filled with passion & love.

“This is a single project release that I wrote & I had dreamed of completing for years. By the Grace of God, and with the help of song writer and music producer Sylvester Harper, my dream manifested into a reality. A special thanks also goes to LeRoy Edwards.”

Listen to Velvet Rose on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/6).

Mark Mixx feat. Tha Street Jazz Cartel – Ziggy’s Groove

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Mark Mixx is a native Detroiter that grew up listening to music and because of his infatuation with music, he knew at an early age that one day he would embark on a musical career.

Tha Street Jazz Cartel: In 2009 Mark Mixx decided to produce a Jazz CD on his independent record label (Isis Style Music). He assembled some talented Detroit musicians to collaborate and play on the “Street Jazz Project”, such as Johnny Barnes (trumpet), Steve Cooley (trumpet),Eddie Taylor (trumpet), Ike Pippen (keys), Shane Mckeever (keys), Jeff Canady (drums), Antonio Johnson (drums), Deblone Jackson (flute), Marty Montgomery (sax), Don Whyte (sax), Charles Jones (trombone), Stephen “Stevo” Current (bass), Tony Parker (bass), Derrick Bartel (guitar), Randal Wilson (guitar), Athony Booker (guitar) and Mark Mixx (percussion and keys).  The Street Jazz Cartel has four album releases out now on all digital platforms. In 2021 Mark Mixx feat. Tha Street Jazz Cartel release their new singles from their 5th album entitled “V” with a collaboration with James Gibbs III (trumpet) “Rydn & Chillaxn” along with “Ziggy’s Groove”. These releases will put you in the mind of riding on a “Hot Sunny Day”!

Mark Mixx and Tha Street Jazz Cartel has performed with the world renowned Michael Franks, Alex Bugnon, Marion Meadows, Mindi Abair, Dave Koz, Gearld Albright, Richard Elliott, Nelson Rangell, and Will Downing. Also Tha Street Jazz Cartel has performed for the Rev. Jesse Jackson for The Rainbow Push Coalition for charity and many more also with a few live television appearances.

Listen to Ziggy’s Groove on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/6).

Nick Stefanacci – Dance Until Dawn

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After having released seven solo albums constructed of sophisticated pop, funk and jazz fusion featuring guest vocalists, saxophonist Nick Stefanacci decided to throw a change up by crafting a buoyant smooth/contemporary jazz instrumental, “Dance Until Dawn,” which drops May 24 on the Sweet Lion Music Group label. Stefanacci wrote the single with Billboard hitmaker Adam Hawley, who produced the vibrant, melody-rich sax-led tune.

As a saxophonist, Stefanacci is driven by timbre and rhythm. “Dance Until Dawn” illumines his soulful alto horn harmonies and deep connection to groove. Multi-instrumentalist Hawley adds guitar, keyboards, strings and programming while Carnell Harrell makes the track more robust by adding synths to the rhythms created by drummer Eric Valentine and bassist Mel Brown.

“As a young saxophonist, I was enamored with David Sanborn so releasing a contemporary jazz single has been a long time coming. I wanted to give my fans something different than what they are accustomed to hearing from me. My albums are kind of a Steely Dan meets Maceo Parker mashup, a more funk fusion groove with vocals, horns and jazz harmony,” said Stefanacci, who is also a philanthropist that founded and curated The Promise Music Festival to benefit local children’s hospitals.

Stefanacci met Hawley while the saxman was touring with trumpeter/flugelhornist Cindy Bradley. He’s been performing with the Billboard chart-topper for a few years. As a sideman, his wide-ranging resume also lists hip hop superstars Ja Rule and DMC (of Run-DMC), blues rocker Derek Trucks, seminal R&B, funk and soul drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie; and hardcore punk/rap pioneers Dog Eat Dog.

Stefanacci stepped into the solo spotlight in 2010 with the release of his debut album, “26 Years.” His latest collection is the self-titled set that dropped two years ago as the pandemic raged. The album highlights Stefanacci’s imaginative arrangements of songs originally recorded by some of the eclectic artists whom he cites as having influenced his craft: Stevie Wonder, Nirvana, Michael Jackson, Metallica, Nina Simone and Bill Withers, among others.

“Dance Until Dawn” previews Stefanacci’s eighth album, “Nú FNK,” which will be a return to his funk roots along with instrumental grooves and pop-fusion vocal tunes. The disc is slated for release later this year.

Listen to Dance Until Dawn on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/6).

Brendan Rothwell – Tell Me

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Brendan Rothwell is an accomplished Anglo-Canadian bassist, composer and producer. With extensive global radio play and a multi-million stream count across the primary digital music platforms, his music continues to attract a growing audience.

Our insight to the skills of the artist is enhanced with his 3rd album: “Destiny” (Independent, 2022). Primarily known for his mastery of the electric bass, Brendan uses this new recording as a platform to develop his signature sound with increased use of electric and acoustic piano, the instrument that began a life-long dedication to music. “Destiny” is comprised of 12 diverse tracks with individual personalities and a collective identity, taking the listener to a place of serenity to eavesdrop on this musical conversation.

The first single to be released from this new recording is “Tell Me” (GFA June 13, 2022). This dynamic track features the signature lead bass sound that Brendan has become known for, in an upbeat and sophisticated melody supported by deep harmonies from an orchestra of synths and cool, clean Rhodes piano.

Listen to Tell Me on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/6).

Keith Wilson – Must Be Love

Keith Wilson Must Be Love Cover

Keith (Kool-K) Wilson born and raised in Norfolk Va. attending Norview High School where he was an accomplished Tuba player. Graduating from High School in 1978, went on to college attending Elizabeth City State University on a Band Scholarship. Performing with the Elizabeth City State University Viking Marching Band.

As a self-taught Saxophonist, Mr. Wilson has developed a unique sound around performing the voice of a tune. , Improvising over and around the melody, creating wonderful solos his audience loves. Performing in the Washington DC area Mr. Wilson has displayed his talent at well known venues such as Blues Alley, The Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club , Port Towns Day Festival in Bladensburg MD where his band “Kool-K and Change” has been the heading act for the last seven years. Currently Mr. Wilson is a regular at Bobby Vans Grill at 1201 New York Ave. NW in the heart of downtown Washington DC.

Listen to Must Be Love on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/6).

Mark Carter – Swingtown

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The year 2021 brought together a new winning team of Paul Brown, Larry Carlton, and Mark Carter for the smash hit “Miles And To Go”. Mark Carter breaks out his jazz guitar and joins once again with Paul Brown as producer and Mark Etheredge on piano for “Swingtown”.

Mark Carter is a veteran guitarist/composer in the Southern California area and has performed with some of the biggest names in the business including: Al Jarreau, Dave Koz, Tom Scott, David Foster, Glen Campbell, Englebert Humperdink, Roger Williams, The Crystal Catherdral, and Disneyland.

“Swingtown” brings Mark Carter to a team of great players and production. The boys of summer are here… Batter up… Swingtown.

Listen to Swingtown on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/6).

Dave Koz – Summertime In NYC

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In a recording career that spans three decades, saxophonist Dave Koz has racked up an astoundingly impressive array of honors and achievements: nine GRAMMY nominations, 12 No. 1 albums on Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, numerous world tours, performances for multiple U.S. presidents, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and more. A Platinum-selling artist, the California native is also known as a humanitarian, entrepreneur, radio host and instrumental music advocate.

Legendary vocalist Brian McKnight links up with Koz for the new single “Summertime in New York City, a buoyant and bright, playfully grooving anthem. With the help of EWF percussion legend Ralph Johnson setting the tone, and the genius vocals of McKnight, it’s a happy, ‘feel good’ summer song that exemplifies the unbreakable spirit of New Yorkers. A perfect tribute to the city and the resilience of its people!

“ALWAYS FRONT AND CENTER IS THE MUSIC. IT’S HUMBLING, THIS MANY YEARS IN SUCH A FICKLE BUSINESS, TO STILL HAVE A CAREER, STILL BE ABLE TO GO OUT AND TOUR AND MAKE RECORDS. MUSIC HAS BEEN SUCH A BLESSING TO ME, AND WE NEED IT MORE THAN EVER TODAY.” – Dave Koz

Listen to Summertime In NYC on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

Cindy Bradley – Drive

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Flugelhorn and trumpet really rock her boat. Cindy Bradley left some imposing traces in the sand of the smooth jazz genre with Just A Little Bit (2007), Bloom (2009), Unscripted (2011), Bliss (2014) and Natural (2017). The Little Things (2019) was her sixth album in connection with the label Trippin’ n’ Rhythm.

The new album is coming soon. Cindy served as first appetizer her new single Love Yourself (2022). Now the second single follows titled Drive.

Listen to Drive on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

J Staton – Kickin It

J Staton Kickin It Front Cover

Professional Saxophonist, Writer, National Recording Artist, and Producer, J Staton is taking the world by storm. His unique sound has left audiences all over the United States awe-struck. J’s Jazz sound is captivating and provides a listening pleasure that is hard to escape. He creates tasteful, masterful, powerful, smooth, and rhythmic sounds that resonate with the soul.
He has been on several stages including The Apollo Theater and has performed alongside the true greats of the industry – Gerald Albright, Norman Connors, Jennette Harris, and Peter White, to mention but a few. His single project “IT’S ALL GOOD” made Billboard and The Smooth Jazz National Charts and remained on there for 17 weeks.

His latest single, “KICKIN IT” produced by Grammy Award-winning Jeff Lorber and Featuring Jeff Lorber and bassist Jimmy Haslip from the Yellowjackets, is set to release by May 31st. Entirely devoted to his craft, J has been focusing his time on his songwriting and unique sound, whilst developing relationships to network effectively. He remains humble always as he continues to create grounded and honest works of art in a bid to share his gift with the world.

Listen to Kickin It on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

Eldon T. Jones – Captured By Love

Eldon T Jones Captured By Love Cover art

Side 2 Music is proud to present the brand new single “Captured By Love” from sax phenom Eldon T. Jones. Eldon presents this fresh new offering with a tenor saxophone that is one of the most robust and mature found in the genre. With Jazz roots and urban R&B/Soul inspiration, Jones’ voice soars on this soulful exploration surrounded by some mix of the industry’s top session players.

Produced and mixed by industry veteran Darren Rahn, “Captured By Love” is sure to lift and elevate the listener, and provide a feel-good atmosphere of groove and romance.

Listen to Captured By Love on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis – Quiet Storm ft. Najee

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47 years ago, Smokey Robinson filled the air waves with his hit “Quiet Storm”. In 2022 Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis, with the help of dear friends Najee And Lamone, has captured the essence of this song with smooth, soft, and warm melodies flowing throughout this track.

This song is dedicated to Melvin Lindsey who started the term Quiet Storm Radio format in 1976 at WHUR-FM, and to all radio DJ’s And Quiet Storms formats around the globe.

Listen to Quiet Storm on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

Marhid – Hunch

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The Spanish duo returns with a new release ‘Hunch’ a joint production of two great producers and musicians Sergio Hidalgo and David Margam in which the great Italian saxophonist Gianni Vancini has joined with a masterful collaboration with arrangements that will take you to a state of higher emotional. Gianni Vancini is one of the most important saxophonists on the contemporary scene, considered one of the artists and musicians with the greatest projection on the international circuit.

Sergio’s enveloping piano together with the elegant sound of David’s guitar merge with some really motivating arrangements to give way to Gianni’s sensual sax with a magical final improvisation in a super careful production that has resulted in a beautiful song inspired, possibly the prelude to an important musical career for a project that evolves considerably with each new composition.

Listen to Hunch on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

Mark Kibble & Steve Khan – Island Letter

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When two legendary artists decide to collaborate on a very special one-song project, the results are expected to be magical. So the pairing of vocalist Mark Kibble, the 15 time Grammy award winning singer known for his brilliant work as the lead arranger of Take 6, along with guitarist Steve Khan gave good reason for such excitement.

That they chose to reinterpret singer/songwriter Shuggie Otis’ Island Letter from his 1973 album “INSPIRATION INFORMATION” conjured up thoughts that anything might be possible on this musical journey. In a business where categories become essential, music writers classified Shuggie’s music as “Psychedelic Soul.” Here the Kibble-Khan tandem creates a musical impression that will also stretch the boundaries of labels and categories.

In these times, it is rare that artists might be able to release one song, a single, but this is the case, and Blue Canoe Records is proud to be the label to bring this extraordinary song performance to the public.

Mark Kibble: Vocals & Vocal Arrangement
Steve Khan: Ac. Guitar, Strat Orchestrations & Arrangement
Rob Mounsey: Keyboards & Orchestral Arrangement
Rubén Rodríguez: 5-String Elec. Bass
Marc Quiñones: Timbal, Conga, Bongó & Percusión Menor

Listen to Island Letter on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

Xavier Gordon – Sunshine And Rain

Xavier Gordon Sunshine and Rain Cover Photo

Xavier Gordon began his journey as a pianist at the age of seven and has become a composer and producer of jazz, gospel, r&b, hip hop, pop and many more genres of music. He became formally trained in jazz while obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies from Georgia State University.

After playing for acts like Jamie Foxx ,Jennifer Hudson, John Legend and producing for artists including Angie Stone and Puff Daddy, he earned his first 2018 Grammy nomination for production with Musiq Soulchild. And in 2019, he recorded a single where he plays alongside jazz greats Norman Brown and Kirk Whalum.

Xavier is currently promoting his new EP entitled Excellence. Excellence is an innovative and feel-good jazz EP released July 2, 2021 and debuted #2 on the iTunes Charts.

Listen to Sunshine And Rain on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

Kenny Nightingale – My Saxophone

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Motivated in his music career by so many legends before him, just to name a few, Jimmy Hendrix, Grover Washington Jr, Slash, and Jonathan Butler. Kenny Nightingale is an American based smooth jazz recording artist who includes a fusion of gospel and contemporary beats. Mr. Nightingale writes songs and creates sounds that come from the deep. He plays with angelical tunes and a unique blend of jazz from all parts of the world.

Nightingale’s new single “My Saxophone” was created from his passion for the instrument that he plays.

Listen to My Saxophone on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

Vassal Benford III – Melody Man

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Vassal Benford III is an American music mogul and film producer. Benford has stamped his indelible imprint on the music scene as one of the worlds top producers.

In 2017, Benford landed a platinum EDM pop hit with 2x Grammy Award winner DJ Diplo (Justin Bieber, Skrillex) song titled “Be Right There, also performed by superstar DJ’s Marshmellow and Major Lazer generating over 1 billion internet streams. Benford’s productions has generated over $400 million in sales revenue for such companies as Universal, Sony, BMG, and Warner Bros. Davis also founded label imprints with superstar producers Sean ‘P Diddy” Combs, L.A. Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmounds. The La-face duo released Toni Braxton’s debut selling over 15x platinum. Benford’s production with Toni Braxton received a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Performance.

Benford has garnered several awards including the ASCAP Top Pop songwriter of the year award, 13 film scores, 4 television syndication’s, and 57 platinum records awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA Certified) Benford’s introduction to the “fast track” of success started with music icons, Quincy Jones, Don Davis, Clarence Avant, and Universal Music Group record executive, Louil Silas Jr.

Benford’s production has helped create platinum hits for superstar talents DJ Diplo, Major Lazer, Toni Braxton, NAS, Marshmellow, Flo Rida, Fat Joe & Remy Ma,Queen Latifah, Mariah Carey, Rick Ross, Deborah Cox, Sheryl Crow, U2, Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) Kool G-Rap, Bell Biv Devo, Jade, Bobby Brown, New Edition, The Baha Men , Lil Kim, Tisha Campbell, Erika Jayne, Patti Labelle, Faith Evans, Chanté Moore, Aaron Hall, Oleta Adams, London Beat, Surface, Lisa Stansfield, Trimaine Halkins, and The Fine Young Cannibals.

Benford has also scored and/or produced the soundtrack for a host of television and film titles including “Arnold Schwarzenegger “The Running Man”, “New Jack City,” Kid and Play “Class Act,” Woppi Goldberg “The Associate,” “Melrose Place,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Fame LA”, and the “Keenan Wynn Show, Billy Bob Thornton “The Smell of Success”, Hillary Duff, and Winona Ryder “Stay Cool”.

During Benford’s two year tenure as CEO of Vaz/Arista a label Imprint formed by Clive Davis. Benford was integral in launching the careers of two multi platinum recording acts, Deborah Cox performed the hit singles “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here.” and “Who Do You Love”. Benford dominated the Billboard Hot 100 pop charts making music history with the hit single, “Don’t Walk Away,” performed by the female trio Jade, “Don’t Walk Away” went on to become one of the hottest singles ever performed by a group or duo for the longest period of 39 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.

Benford formed his second imprint distributed label, Vaz/Mercury with Danny Goldberg Chairman of Mercury Records. Benford was then appointed as Senior Vice President of Motown Records West Coast Division. After a two year tenure as VP, Benford was promoted and given yet another distributed label imprint, Vaz/Motown Records. Behind the success of Vaz/Motown Benford then teamed up with Danny Goldberg, formed a new distribution partnership with Artemis Records at Sony Music distribution. Artemis became the #1 independent label in the world with the mega hit, “Who Let The Dogs Out,” performed by the band The Baha Men.


Vassal Benford III is ranked one of the most prolific producers in the entertainment industry today.  His new instrumental single “Melody Man” is written and produced by Vassal, and is mixed by Smooth Jazz chart topper, Greg Manning.

Listen to Melody Man on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

Walter Beasley – Hydra

Walter Beasley Hydra cover

Over the past three decades, saxophonist, Walter Beasley, has artfully and dynamically redefined the phrase “musical Renaissance Man” for the modern generation. Considered by fans and critics alike as the “heir to Grover Washington, Jr.’s throne,” Beasley is the acclaimed saxophonist, vocalist, educator, and entrepreneur of the decade. As the highest selling full-time Professor / Recording Artist in history, the Boston-based musician has long mastered an exhilarating high wire act of balancing a successful career as a contemporary jazz recording artist and performer with an equally thriving presence in the field of music education.

A leading alto and soprano saxophonist and prominent vocalist all the same, Beasley is hailed by fans for his thrilling performances along the East Coast and throughout the U.S. and Caribbean. Notable performances include the all-star tour To Grover, With Love, performing alongside Chuck Loeb, Buddy Williams and Andy Snitzer and performing as the headlining act for the Playboy Jazz Festival.

A native of El Centro, CA, Beasley found his calling in the 1970’s after his Aunt gave him his first Grover Washington, Jr. record at the age of nine. During his early teens, Beasley played sax and sang in various bands throughout Southern California. In the following years, Beasley attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music and graduated alongside such prominent classmates as saxophonist, Branford Marsalis, and vocalist, Rachelle Ferrell.

“My new single “Hydra” is a song by Grover Washington Jr. that I have always loved. To my knowledge, it has not been done before now as the song is extremely difficult. If you play too much, you destroy it , if you play too little, you destroy it. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. My love for Grover Washington Jr and his expression is limitless. I have done my best to add my personality to an extremely beautiful track. Please enjoy.”

-Walter Beasley

Listen to Hydra on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

Wakana – Fika Talk

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Chiba, Japan born saxophonist WaKaNa is member of the upcoming band LUCA and in Korea and China of the band IN YA MELLOW TONE. Her first solo project was Saxcess Story (2018). The album was produced by keyboardist Greg Manning, who also performs on six of the eight tracks.

Her new album A Sunny Day was released on May 4, 2022. Taken from this new album is the single Fika Talk.

Listen to Fika Talk on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/6).

Eric Essix – Ain’t No Sunshine

Eric Essix Aint No Sunshine Cover art

In 1995, after playing a concert for students at Huffman High School in Birmingham, AL, Eric Essix met a young Ruben Studdard. Ruben’s fellow students persuaded him to sing and Eric listened in amazement and said “young man that voice will take you wherever you want to go in the music industry.” Eight years later, Ruben became the second winner of the hit television show, American Idol!

Eric and Ruben have, over the years, discussed one day working in the studio together and, when considering possible collaborations for his new album “Stride”, Eric knew he would be the perfect person to sing his arrangement of the Bill Withers classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine”.

“My goal when covering an iconic piece of music like this, is to try and preserve the character and soul of the song while creating instrumental moments that will compliment rather than distract from it,” Eric says. “This song is so elegant in its simplicity. It’s a study in songwriting where the lyrics tell a complete story with very few words and Bill Withers delivers a vocal performance that is both understated and stunning. I believe Ruben’s interpretation is one that Mr. Withers would have approved and it was an absolute joy and honor to work with him on it.

The single is the first from Eric’s new album, “Stride” the follow up to his “Songs From The Deep” album which was released in 2020 and produced the radio hits “Late Night Drive” and “The Deep”. It is Eric’s 28th album as a solo artist since his debut, “First Impressions” in 1989.

Listen to Ain’t No Sunshine on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/6).

Patrick Bradley – Song Of May

Patrick Bradley Song Of May cover art

Setting the tone for Exhale is the album’s title track which rolls out on a celestial sequencer groove with majestic chordal progressions and bubbly synth bass. “‘Exhale’ was clearly the lead single since 2020 has been a tough year for us all,” Patrick Bradley shares. “The original title was ‘Soffrito,’ inspired by me cooking Bolognese with my grandson and explaining that it takes all day. He shouted, ‘All day Bolognese!!’ Looking up the recipe, I saw that soffrito is the key ingredient and thought, ‘What a beautiful word.’ When Darren and I worked on the song together, it grew into something more. Then when we entered the COVID world, my wife suggested I call it ‘Exhale.’

Patrick and Darren’s shared Christian faith buoyed beautiful, heartfelt numbers such as “Completely Yours,” “Song of May” and “Lighthouse” (featuring some signature tasty guitar by Allen Hinds). More forthright in terms of inspiration is “In the Heart of the Seas” which shifts between piano-centric verses and guitar driven choruses.

“The term comes from The Book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament which I am referencing in a specific context,” Bradley states. “When you’re flailing in the heart of the seas and you need someone to pull you out, only Jesus – for me – can save you. I had the title first which gave me that vibe – a mental picture of what it should sound and feel like. You can be in the worst situation yet rest in the knowing that it’s all going to work out fine.”

This song was created for Patrick’s daughter Heather, who was born in May.

Listen to Song Of May on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/6).

Ragan Whiteside – Thrill Ride

Ragan Whiteside Thrill Ride cover art

Billboard #1 flautist, vocalist, and composer Ragan Whiteside is back with an exciting new single, “Thrill Ride” – the title track to her upcoming 6th album release. Teaming up with veteran hit producers Dennis Johnson and Bob Baldwin, Ragan delivers a performance that is sure to get your summer started right. Joining Ragan on the track is Rich Harrison a.k.a the artist RAH on drums and Phil Hamilton on guitar.

“Thrill Ride” (the single) will be available May 9, 2022 at all digital download and streaming platforms. The full album will be available August 2022.

“The energy of this song allowed me to live out my race car fantasy,” says Whiteside. “The photoshoot with the Slingshot autocycle brought out my inner wild-child and driving it was definitely a thrill ride!” – Ragan Whiteside

Listen to Indigo Rain on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/6).

Rei Narita – Indigo Rain

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Japanese pianist and composer Rei Narita is a constant and sustainable contributor to the smooth jazz genre. He made his debut with The Color of Soundscape in 2011, followed by The Color of Soundscape II (2015), Key Rei Cover (2017), and The Color of Soundscape 2020. His latest project is The Color of Soundscape 2021.

Rei now presents his new single of breathtaking beauty Indigo Rain (2022) featuring Peter White and Omar Hakim.

Listen to Indigo Rain on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/6).

Collective Groove Band – Definition Of Funk

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For the last decade, the Durham NC based Collective Groove Band has been giving invigorating spins to Jazz, R&B, Neo-Soul, Pop, classic Soul and Gospel music.

With a new look and an ever-evolving sound, CGB is comprised of Kensby Blount, Cameron Morgan, Antwon Timmons and Kevin Crockett. This group of stage and studio professionals are not only musicians, but creatives who have the ability to write, arrange, produce and engineer their own imaginations and release them to the world.

CBG will bring the energy to any experience and setting, from Intimate events at the Governor’s Club, to some of the biggest stages on the East Coast; CGB makes the crowd groove!

Listen to Definition Of Funk on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/6).

Paul Taylor – Friday@5

Paul Taylor cover art

Over 25 years into a stellar, multi-faceted career that’s found him continually pushing the sonic boundaries of what’s possible in contemporary urban jazz, saxophonist Paul Taylor brings us his highly-anticipated new recording And Now This on Peak Records.

And Now This, fully created via the exchange of digital files between the Las Vegas based Taylor and his longtime musical compadre, collaborator, co-writer and producer Dino Esposito, features the saxman’s ongoing exploration of an expansive range of dynamic danceable grooves and intricate pop/electronica vibes. The ten tracks fully reflect the way Taylor began moving forward in his personal and creative life, as if to say, in his words, “we’re coming out of the pandemic, this is what I’ve been creating, we’re kicking it back into high gear and we are more open-minded in our approach to music than ever.”

From the atmospheric soul and fast paced funk of the title track (featuring the guitar of Brian Monroney) through the sultry flow of the closing track “Good Night,” And Now This also celebrates the decades long friendship and intuitive, forward thinking musical chemistry between Taylor and Esposito. Their dynamic history dates back to when they played in the same band as students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas – and includes Taylor touring in Esposito’s band when he was a pop star in the late 80s touring with New Kids on the Block. Esposito has been Taylor’s chief sonic co-architect since the saxophonist’s 1995 debut On The Horn and subsequently collaborated on Pleasure Seeker (1997), Undercover (2000), his Peak Records debut Hypnotic (2001), Nightlife (2005), Prime Time (2011), Tenacity (2014) and Countdown (2016).

During the course of his storied career, the Denver native has headlined hundreds of shows and has been part of numerous all-star tours – including dates with Peter White and Euge Groove in a lineup affectionately dubbed “Peter, Paul and Euge;” Gentleman of the Night (with Marion Meadows and Warren Hill). He has also performed with The Rippingtons and the acclaimed “Groovin’ For Grover” tour. Some of his first post-pandemic lockdown shows have been with labelmate Michael Lington and Sax to the Max with Michael and Vincent Ingala.

Officially entering his second quarter century of recording, with And Now This, Taylor is as excited as ever to continue casting his creative aim higher and grateful for every opportunity to bring his best to his loyal legion of longtime and newer fans. “What I like most about the new album is its freshness, and the fact that after 25 years, Dino and I still have so many unique avenues to explore,” he says. “It’s a special album created in unusual, highly stressful times. There’s something to be said for all of us artists persevering through the shutdown of 2020 and finding a way to get it done. And we did — And Now This!”

“Friday@5” is the follow-up to Taylor’s #1 Billboard hit, “Straight To the Point”.

Listen to Friday@5 on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/6).

Walter Chancellor Jr. – Time 2 Chill

Walter Chancellor Jr Time 2 Chill Cover

Professional saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, educator, arranger, mentor and music producer Walter Chancellor Jr. has been a mainstay in the Twin Cities contemporary Jazz and R&B music scene for the past 25 years. After constant touring during his formative years he decided to relocate to musically successful Minneapolis from Des Moines, Iowa and lessen the necessity of so much traveling to perform.

Not long after his arrival in Minneapolis, Walter performed and recorded with Prince, earning him a Double Platinum Record for his participation on Prince’s “Emancipation” CD in 1996.

Additionally, Walter has performed, recorded and has shared the stage with such artists as Chaka Khan, Willie Nelson Maceo Parker, Candy Dulfer, Chance Howard (Prince, Candy Dulfer & Brian Culbertson), Brown Mark Mazarati, Musiq Soulchild, Larry Graham, the late Louis Johnson, Cameo, The Pointer Sisters, Bobby Lyle, The Platters and Producer greats as Chris “Big Dog ”Davis, Andre Fischer and Jack Douglas just to name a few.

“Time 2 Chill”
Written by Walter Chancellor Jr and Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis

Walter Chancellor Jr – Saxophones and Production
Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis – Keyboards and song arrangements

Listen to Time 2 Chill on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 20/6).

Philippe Saisse – Lost Words

Lost Words Cover

In 2021, Philippe Saisse took a dynamic stylistic detour into the world of lo fi hip hop jazz on “Shift,” a contemporary throwback to his days working with Arif Mardin and Chaka Khan which is still receiving major airplay on SiriusXM’s Watercolors and is included on Spotify’s influential playlists State of Jazz and 21st Century Jazz.

The ever innovative and adventurous keyboardist/ composer returns to his trademark global fusion vibe on his new single “Lost Words,” a vibrant and infectious, multi-genre track that taps into his passion for lush orchestration (drawing particular inspiration from the beautiful string arrangements Johnny Mandel created for Brazilian legend Joao Gilberto in the 70s), Caribbean-African flavors, romantic Brazilian rhythms and harmonies and snappy flamenco magic courtesy of guest guitarist Marc Antoine.

Driven by a powerful synergy with some of his most trusted go-to collaborators – acoustic bassist David Finck, drummer Maurizio Zottarelli and percussion master Gumbi Ortiz (whom the keyboardist has worked with for years in Al Di Meola’s band) – Philippe creates a uniquely soulful journey from an initial feeling of dreamy melancholy to a later sense of bright and hopeful joy that perfectly parallels our collective experiences during the pandemic era.
The intriguing title “Lost Words” speaks to its origins as one of several demos that he was working on as collaborations with Al Jarreau in the years before the legendary singer’s passing in 2017.

Jarreau was excited about the tune, loved the Brazilian style of the track and felt the melody had an Italian quality, so he came up with the working title “Trevi Fountain.” He had scatted some ideas, with every intention of putting lyrics to Saisse’s music. When Jarreau entered the hospital, he took with him a CD with four tracks, intent on writing despite being gravely ill. He also had a black book with lyrics – possibly including the words he wanted for “Trevi Fountain” – but Saisse later learned that the book had been stolen.

So any lyrics he may have written are lost to history – hence the keyboardist’s eventual title “Lost Words,” which is also a subtle homage to author Dan Brown’s 2009 thriller The Lost Symbol. Because of his profound sadness over his friends’ departure, Saisse took five years to begin working again on the track again. The version Saisse is now releasing is very much like the original demo, only now with live drums and a high energy piano solo in the middle.

“Lost Words”

Composed, Arranged & Produced by Phillipe Saisse
Mixed by Goh Hotoda
Mastered by Colon Leonard at SING Mastering

Steinway acoustic piano, Marimba, Vibraphone, Keyboards, Vocals – Phillipe Saisse
Acoustic Guitar – Marc Antoine
Drums – Mauricio Zottarelli
Percussion – Gumbi Ortiz
Acoustic Bass – David Finck
Soprano, Alto & Bass Flutes – David Mann

Listen to Lost Words on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 20/6).

Vel Lewis & Michael Garvin – PlayTyme

Vel Lewis & Michael Garvin cover art

Vel Lewis and Michael Garvin joined forces in 2020 and Garvel Music was born. Their new single “PlayTyme” is destined to burn radio waves worldwide!

Vel Lewis is an award-winning Hammond Organ Company artist whose music can be found listed on many popular recordings and well-known TV shows: The Sopranos, Mad About You, Friends, Wife Swap USA, and many more. He has performed numerous shows around the world with soul legends Dionne Warwick, The Delfonics, The Futures, and has shared the same stages with the Stylistics, the late Phyllis Hyman, and Earth, Wind & Fire and many mire.

Michael Garvin has made his career as a world-class songwriter of 33 Top Ten hits to date, of which 23 hit Number One on the charts. He is a guitarist and trumpeter, who is widely known for penning the Global Number One hit “Waiting For Tonight” recorded by Jennifer Lopez, and the worldwide, multi-platinum hit “Never Give Up On A Good Thing,” recorded for George Benson. Michael has also created musical hits worldwide for artists from many different genres.

Listen to PlayTyme on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 20/6).