U-Nam – Juicy Smile

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“Juicy Smile” is the hot new single from multi instrumentalist, Billboard chart-topper, multi-platinum producer and trendsetter, Emmanuel “U-Nam” Abiteboul and is the kind of track to underscore the fact that here is an artist at the very top of his creative game.

Indeed with an approach that is both innovative and daring he has been consistently fearless in the way he routinely shakes the world of smooth jazz to its core and with “Juicy Smile” U-Nam has the perfect platform from which to show off his myriad of talents. As well as writing, producing, arranging and mixing throughout, U-Nam also plays lead and rhythm guitars, bass, keyboards and drums.

In addition, his production know-how finds a place for Larry Salzmann on percussion and a powerhouse live horn section that comes courtesy of Christian Martinez on trumpet and Joabe Reis on trombone. The combination delivers a thumping dance floor filler that, as well as sounding brand new, is cram packed with old school attitude.

Certainly “Juicy Smile” is the perfect way to invigorate even the most tired of dancing feet and given it will go for adds on October 25, just two days before U-Nam’s birthday, there is much to smile about. Chances are it will be a very “Juicy Smile”.

Listen to Juicy Smile on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 14/6).

Michael Walker – Music 2 Drive By

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Michael Walker didn’t come from a lineage of musicians. But his love for the electric guitar has allowed him to embrace the riveting sounds of Blues and Smooth Jazz. Born in Newport, Arkansas. Michael was hooked on the guitar by listening to his grandmother’s old Blues records, notably the great B.B. King.

His first visual exposure to the guitar came by watching musician Roy Clark stroke the strings every week on the country variety show, “Hee Haw.” His awe of Clark confirmed his desire to play the guitar. When Michael was nearly 12 years old, his dad bought his son an electric guitar.

A novice guitar player in town, Mr. Vault, became his instructor. Eventually, Michael’s dad allowed him to play with more established players in local clubs. Michael contends this experience allowed him to gain exposure in playing in a real band. Michael now has three CD’s under his belt “A Smoother You “released in 2013 and Day Light released in 2018. Michael released his third CD ” My Journey ” July 30, 2021.

Listen to Music 2 Drive By on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 14/6).

Karlton Jones – The Answer

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The Answer, is Karlton’s most recent highly anticipated single that is predicted to shake up the Smooth Jazz charts! The song is a fusion of Karlton’s soprano saxophone played with an afro dancehall track that was produced by Big H and mixed/mastered by Dale “Rambro” Ramsey.

Karlton has had several successful singles such as Supahero, I Believe, and Inside of Me, that reached the Billboard most added charts. He has also had success on the Mediabase charts and Smooth Jazz Network chats. In addition, Karlton’s most recent notable appearance was when he walked the red carpet at the 2020 Grammy awards ceremony in Los Angeles, CA.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Karlton is often inspired by his wife and three kids to make music. Karlton hopes his music encourages the listener to seek God and recognize He is the answer to all our problems.

Produced by Fayetteville, NC‘s finest, George Freeman (Pianist), Brooke and George called on an all star lineup of musicians including Sean Michael Ray (bass), Anthony Roberts (Drums), Adam Smith (Lead Guitar) to bring a fresh, uplifting, and funky groove to the track.

Listen to The Answer on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 14/6).

Brooke Alford – SHINE

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Violinist Brooke Alford is releasing her new single SHINE, which will be included on her highly anticipated fifth CD release in 2022. SHINE is the celebration of overcoming the dark challenges of life by illuminating, fearlessly.

“2020 by far was the toughest year of my life. The challenges I experienced were catalysts that exposed the darkest side of my life end of myself. I had to change in order to truly live in my purpose and on the level that is desired. Diamonds are made in the darkness under extreme pressure and extreme environmental conditions. Their beauty and essence are undeniable. It’s time to shine bright just like a diamond”, says the Atlanta-based artist.

From the transition of her beloved Father, The Late Vernon Alford Jr. from cancer, her Father’s brother Michael Alford from health complications in 2020, to the unexpected passing of her dear God Father William Smith in February 2021, Brooke realized these challenging moments had to occur in order to resurrect the light within her.

Brooke was inspired to transform from the inside-out for the greater. Her new enlightened path of purpose, well-being, and determination to walk a stronger walk in honor of the transcendent loved ones is the inspiration behind SHINE.

Produced by Fayetteville, NC‘s finest, George Freeman (Pianist), Brooke and George called on an all star lineup of musicians including Sean Michael Ray (bass), Anthony Roberts (Drums), Adam Smith (Lead Guitar) to bring a fresh, uplifting, and funky groove to the track.

Listen to Shine on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 14/6).

Madoca – I Feel You

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Keyboardist, Composer, Producer MADOCA is a world-class keyboardist and composer. Her style is a fusion of Contemporary/ Classic Jazz, Soul, Funk, Salsa, Jazz Fusion providing musical sustenance for your mind and soul.

Prior to moving to the U.S., she has performed sideman work for several Asian pop stars. “Music is my Life” Madoca says, and she expresses her music with passion, expression. In 1998, Kawahara worked with The Prince Project, they’ve traveled the world as a working unit. In 2003, Madoca finally made the move to the U.S., where she settled in Atlanta, GA. She formed band called Madoca & Co. She performed with Joe Sample (RIP), Herbie Hancock, and the Ramsey Lewis Tribute Concerts. She has also opened for Chris Botti, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Richard Elliott, India Arie, Jean Carne and Pamela Williams, to name a select few.

Her musical influences include the aforementioned Hancock, Lewis and Sample, as well as Chick Corea, Jeff Lorber Fusion, Jimmy Smith, George Duke (RIP) and Eddie Palmieri, yet, her style is uniquely her own. She has also worked with Eric Marienthal, Paul Young, All 4 One and many more.

Her first single “Surrender,” caught fire across the country, it was on the Billboard Smooth Jazz “Most Added” list in March 2018 and was on the Smooth Jazz Network Top 100 Chart for April and May, 2018. Madoca’s second single “On the Beach (With You)” was on the Billboard Smooth Jazz “Most Added” list in August 2018 and was on the Smooth Jazz Network Top 100 Chart from August 2018 ~ December 2018. Madoca’s third single “Illusions of Love,” – the title song from her album was on the Billboard Smooth Jazz and Groove Jazz Music “Most Added” charts on June 17, 2019 and it has been on the Smooth Jazz Network Top 100 Chart.

Madoca is spreading her wings on her latest offering, “I Feel You”. The pianist has been honing her chops between releases and dynamically executes the sub-Jazz genres of Contemporary, Smooth, and a little taste of Funk.

Listen to I Feel You on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 14/6).

Mark Mixx – Rydn & Chillaxin

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Mark Mixx has produced, arranged and played on musical projects over the past twenty three years. 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.

The Street Jazz Cartel has 4 album release out mow on all digital platforms. In 2021 Mark Mixx feat. Tha Street Jazz Cartel released their new singles from their 5th album “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”!

The Street Jazz CD is currently getting radio airplay in Detroit and other parts of the country plus overseas. Mark Mixx and Tha Street Jazz Cartel have performed with the world renowned Michael Franks, Alex Bugnon, Marion Meadows, Mindi Abair, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot, 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 live television appearances.

Listen to Rydn & Chillaxin on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 14/6).

Daryl Beebe – Unmasked

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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. 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.

This preacher and educator has many gifts and talents. In 2002, Beebe and his childhood friend, Harry Patton, released their debut album, The Covenant Project, by Partners in Christ. The group followed up with their 2010 CD titled Called. In 2016, Beebe released his first solo project, Sonny Side Up which inspired listeners to look to the Son of Man and see the brighter side of life. Beebe was influenced greatly by his father Roy Beebe (musician and composer), his mother Margie Beebe (who allowed him practice at all hours of the night as a teen) and his music teacher, Dr. Limuel Dokes, who not only taught music, but also helped build character, as well as musicianship. Beebe’s musical performances have been described as “electrifying,” “explosive,” “uplifting,” and “awe-inspiring.” He is known for his rich melodious sound on tenor saxophone and his ability to wow audiences with screaming high notes on alto.

As a follow up to Sonny Side Up, Beebe released his latest CD, The Daryl Beebe ProjectSeasons Change. Ecclesiastes 3 says, “To everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” The music will take you on a journey through the many sounds and seasons of life. In February 2020, Daryl released his latest Billboard top 10 single titled “Breathe”. Beebe is now releasing his new single, “Unmasked” as he prepares to release his sophomore album Better Together.

Listen to Unmasked on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 14/6).

Jef Kearns – I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You

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Toronto based Flautist Jef Kearns follows up his recent single Hazy (#77 on Norway’s iTunes Top 100 Soul and RnB Chart and Top 10 on the UK Soul Chart) with a modernized take on Leon Haywood’s 1974 release, “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You.”

“Like many, I knew this song growing up as Dr. Dre’s sample on ‘Nothing But a G Thang’ but I recently dug deeper on the source material,” Kearns says.

Jef’s flute performance sears with sexiness and serves as lightning to vocalist Alana Bridgewater‘s (Toronto’s production of We Will Rock You) thunderous amount of soul. Jef enlisted the production genius of long-time collaborator Douglas Romanow who threw a nod at the original with vintage keyboards from the 70s era but also drew from every era since with elements such as real vinyl scratching, live bass and a 90s inspired groove with modern production sounds. Mastering by Grammy Award winner Randy Merrill (Silk Sonic’s Leave the Door Open) further elevates the track.

Listen to I Want’a Do Something Freaky on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 14/6). 

Phil Davis – Restless

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Phil Davis is a producer, pianist, composer, and professor based in the Atlanta area. He has not only released three independent projects but also worked on many national and international artists’ projects as well.

Phil’s journey has sparked his business savvy and thus PhD Productions was created in 1994. He contributes his musical monologues in his conversation solos to the likes of Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Rachelle Ferrell, Prince, Alex Bugnon, Boney James, Dionne Farris, and Erykah Badu. Phil has also performed with the late George Howard, Jonathan Butler, Norman Brown, and a host of others. In addition to performing with these artists, he has also written and produced some of their works.

Other credits and accolades include scored the music for the film “Maynard” (2013 documentary), producing an NFL commercial for the 2019 Superbowl, being the Musical Director for That Comedy Show on Turner South, and song producer for Star Search on CBS for two years. Phil has also completed a new project entitled “ALIVE”, due to be released during the 1st quarter of 2022.

More importantly, Phil has dedicated time, talent, and resources to the following organizations: Kilgore Music Foundation, How Big Is Your Dream Foundation, The Stewart Foundation, and Westlake High School Marching Band. Additionally, he is currently serving as Assistant Professor/Coordinator at Clark Atlanta University’s Music Department.

Listen to Restless on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/6).

Paul Taylor – Straight To The Point

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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).

While for some artists, song titles on instrumental urban jazz releases are merely clever sounding afterthoughts, the names of each track on AND NOW THIS represent the feeling and intention of the music. With its funked out grooves and swirling sax notes in the hook, “Friday@5” is all about that moment when we clock out, make our weekend plans and have the freedom to, as Taylor says, “chill and relax or take a drive along the coast.” Likewise, “The Face of You” represents a new facet of the saxman’s ever-deeper artistry, an immersion into an urban exotica landscape and hypno-cool synth textured atmosphere with his ever-present soaring soprano. Next is “Epic Dream,” a groove of soundscape effects and soaring atmospheres that’s pure dreamy escapist.

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 Straight To The Point on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/6).

Thomas “Tony” Exum Jr. – Get At You

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In 2014, Thomas “Tony” Exum Jr. was honored by the CO/WY/MT NAACP Freedom Fund for excellence in the arts and involvement in the community as well as the W. Juanita Roberts Award from the Iota Beta Chapter Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 2015.

In his free time Tony has mentored several youth in music including the talented saxophonist Nico Colucci and volunteers his time with students across Colorado including youth talent from the Colorado Springs Conservatory, Sand Creek Elementary and Broadmoor Academy of Music and as a African American Youth Leadership Conference as a presenter since 2016. Tony is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and has the pleasure of voting for the Grammy Awards each year.

As a side man and opening/co-headlining act he has performed with and shared stages with R&B artists KeKe Wyatt, Sunshine Anderson, Kelly Price, actor-singer Leon, the Temptations and Four Tops, jazz legends Najee, Norman Connors, smooth jazz peers Julian Vaughn, Adam Hawley and Nick Colionne just to name a select few. Beyond work as a recording artist Tony embarked on a career in radio hosting on Colorado Springs FM station Jazz 93.5 FM with over 20 hours per week of on air time. 2019 saw Tony on the national airplay charts debuting at #93 on the Smooth Jazz Network top 100 and peaking at #70 with the single “My Name’s Tony” In 2020, Tony will release his 3rd CD/EP entitled “Rhythm and Smooth Vol 1.” with the 1st single “Old School Kind of Love” featuring Emanuel DeAnda (formerly known as “Lingerie” of the group Pretty Ricky) in Feb 2020. Venturing in business outside of music in 2019 Tony Exum Jr became the Global Brand Ambassasor for Kas’tell Vodka.

With unrestrained passion, impeccable work ethic, soulful, sultry infectious sounds, and a engaging stage presence Tony Exum Jr is seasoned gem beginning to shine. As Grover Washington, Jr’s 1982 hit record suggests “the best is yet to come”.

Listen to Get At You on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/6).

Will Sumner – West Of Five

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Ocean Street is the latest, highly anticipated work to be released from renowned jazz guitarist, composer and producer, Will Sumner. With nine CDs now in his multi-layered portfolio, the first single titled, Building Castles from this new album has been a breath of fresh air. After a year of chaos in all of our lives, Will focused his talent in 2021 on creating these mostly upbeat tunes with his signature complex modulations.

Born in Los Angeles, attending college for music in Boston and then spending his young adult life in Minnesota, Will played the clubs and led jazz bands for decades as he worked toward composing his first album, Tropic Zone released internationally to critical acclaim in 1980. Working alongside Prince, Yanni, The Peterson Family and many others on the Minneapolis music scene at the time, he started to receive industry recognition for his lush, heartfelt themes played over hot Latin rhythms, beautiful slow grooves and, of course, funky, driving electric riffs.

Eventually, a move back to Southern California brought with it the opportunity to dive into film scores, trailers and commercial work, but his heart soon brought him back to his first love, jazz guitar.

A virtuoso on guitar, piano, and violin, Will still works with other musicians on occasion and teaches music to both children and adults near his home in Carlsbad, CA. He continues to perform at venues throughout So Cal on both guitar and drums and is always evolving his talent as he lays down rich jazz tracks with ease and finesse. Welcome to Ocean Street!

Listen to West Of Five on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/6).


 

Paolo Rustichelli – Changes

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Born in Rome, Paolo Rustichelli is an Italian composer, piano & keyboard virtuoso, singer and producer that makes his music completely by himself. Paolo call ‘One Man Plug Band’ he’s peculiar way of work, playing each instrument by himself, creating this way a track from A to Z. He amazes audiences with his eclectic styles that make him really unique but recognizable . His peculiar synths sound cluster has become emulated by artists worldwide. Among his album projects, Paolo recorded, performed and produced for rock-jazz superstars like Carlos Santana and Miles Davis.

Son of the Italian three-time Oscar nominee, Carlo Rustichelli, Paolo started his career at age 16 simultaneously as a soundtrack composer and as a rock keyboard player with the album “Opera Prima”on RCA Records, considered by several critics a Rock Progressive masterpiece.

As a teenage prodigy, Paolo pioneered the use of the mono synth ARP 2600 and Moog in Albums and Movies, including the Italian cult film Fernando Di Leo’s “Razza Violenta”. This score was entirely made with both the Yamaha CS80 polysynth and with the first sampler machine of the world, the Fairlight CMI, making Paolo one of the first composers to make a soundtrack entirely with synths. Among movie aficionados, Quentin Tarantino is a fan of Paolo’s music and Fernando Di Leo movies.

Listen to Changes on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/6).

Dee Lucas – The Time Is Now

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National recording artist and saxophonist Dee Lucas has been steadily growing his brand and fan base beginning with Remembrance in 2004. Thereafter, it has been a steady showcase of unique stylings with Something to Ride 2 (2007), Standing Room Only (2010), Rebirth of the Smooth (2012), The Smooth Factor (2014), Going Deeper (2016), The Sweet Spot (2017) & Going Left (2018).

Lucas got his start as a musician playing as a sideman in a local band, Between 9&7. The band recorded a CD, which was a moderate regional hit. Although he got performances, both rhythm and solos, Lucas felt it was time to develop his own by ensemble to demand more challenges within himself as both a musician and entrepreneur. So, on New Year’s Eve of 1999, Lucas formed his own contemporary jazz trio, Xpressions. They produced and recorded a CD titled Footprints, which gained notoriety in regional markets. The record contained the classic hit People Make the World Go Round.

His newest album The Time Is Now was released in September, 2020. The album is produced by the following: Darryl Williams, George Freeman, Adam Omar Hawley, Lew Laing Jr, Gino Luigino, A. Rosaria, & David P Stevens. Additional musicians & artists include Donnell Spencer Jr, Blake Aaron, Eric Valentine, Mel Brown, Joseph Pizzolato, Dee Cole, Andrew Freeman, Darrell Crooks, & Rymand Entezari.

Listen to The Time Is Now on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/6).

Larry Carlton & Paul Brown – Soul Searchin’

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What do you get when two of the greatest creative musicians of our time join forces for a friendly fire no holds barred guitar showdown? You get Soul Searchin’, an electrifying meeting of the minds that surpasses expectations and showcases unbridled joy and virtuosity. Grammy-winning guitar extraordinaires Larry Carlton, who has played on over 100 Gold and Platinum albums and Paul Brown, who has scored 60 #1 radio hits, join forces for a set of ten thrilling originals on their first co-led album together.

Carlton, who was a member of the pioneering super-groups The Crusaders and Fourplay and who is a successful TV and Film scorer (including TV show themes “Hill Street Blues,” “Who’s The Boss” and film “Against All Odds”), first collaborated with Brown in the 90s when Brown produced tracks for his Finger Prints album. “Paul’s engineering and production speak for themselves but his guitar playing and creativity in writing is also very appealing to me,” says Carlton, a 19 time Grammy nominated and four-time Grammy winning artist. Brown’s extensive credits include work as an engineer having engineered for R&B divas Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross, among others.

Brown confesses, “Larry and I had been toying with the idea of doing a CD together for a few years. I always thought our styles and sounds would be beautiful together. From a production, writing, arranging and playing point of view, this is as good as it gets for me.” Collectively between Carlton and Brown, the dynamic duo has collaborated with everyone from Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan and Quincy Jones to George Benson, Patti Austin and Norman Brown, to name a few. The goal for Soul Searchin’ was simple. Paul Brown explains, “We hope it will be musical bliss and that you will allow it to take you on a ride and your mind and ears will be happy, happy, happy!”

The synergy between Larry Carlton and Paul Brown on Soul Searchin’ is impalpable. Their telepathic interplay, and joyful exchange create numerous moments to willingly get lost inside the music. Larry Carlton reveals their ingredient. “We have different musical backgrounds but, the common thread for Paul and I is that we both like melodic music with a great groove.” Joining Larry Carlton and Paul Brown on Soul Searchin’ are bassist and guitarist, Shane Theriot (who co-wrote many of the compositions), drummer Gorden Campbell, keyboardists León Besquera and Gregg Karukas, bassist Travis Carlton (Larry’s son), drummers Roberto Vally, Doug Belote and Gordon Campbell, trumpeter Ron King, saxophonist Greg Vail and percussionist Lenny Castro (Tower Of Power).

Soul Searchin’ was recorded this past year and afforded Carlton and Brown the opportunity to give the music their undivided attention. Carlton shares, “The advantage of recording the album during the pandemic was that we both had more available time. Paul worked at his studio in Los Angeles and would send me tracks while I created at my studio in my home outside of Nashville.” Brown adds, “Honestly it probably would not have been possible in normal circumstances because both of us would have been too busy to get it done.”

Carlton plays a Larry Carlton model SIRE H7 through his Bluedotone amp on all of the tracks while Paul Brown uses his arch top on most of the tracks. Brown’s heavy strings create a punchy sound while Carlton’s strings create a slinkier feel allowing him to bend his notes more easily.

JazzTimes has the exclusive album stream now. Click and check it out!

 

Mattias Roos – You Might Need Somebody

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Paving the way for his latest album that will be released early in 2022 on the Skytown Records label, Swedish keyboard player Mattias Roos is back with a decidedly sultry instrumental interpretation of the Randy Crawford classic “You Might Need Somebody” that can be found on her 1981 recording “Secret Combination”.

It goes for adds on 09/27/21 and following as it does the radio single “Commercial Free”, which proved to be a cool collaboration with hit maker, guitarist and double Grammy winner Paul Brown, is the second single to be lifted from what is already a highly anticipated new project. Much like most things that Roos touches both tracks serve to demonstrate the penchant he has for sublimely fusing smooth jazz grooves with an authentic old school vibe.

This first emerged in 2011 with the band Soweco that he formed with drummer Peter Gustavsson and gathered momentum in 2017 with his Skytown debut, the critically acclaimed album “Movin’ Up”.  The equally good “It Goes On And On” followed two years later yet that wasn’t quite the end of the “It Goes On And On” story. In 2020 it was released as a deluxe version with four additional tracks and an outstanding reworking of “Bring It On” that this time featured Michael Lington on sax and proved to be a runaway chart success. You might need somebody, maybe. You might need contemporary jazz from Mattias Roos, most definitely.

Listen to You Might Need Somebody on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/6).

Philippe Saisse – Shift

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Thirty seven years after playing keys and synth on Arif Mardin’s legendary pioneering production of Prince’s “I Feel For You” by Chaka Khan and rapper Melle Mel, Philippe Saisse is still fascinated by the fusion of hip-hop with other genres of music – including contemporary jazz, where the veteran Grammy nominated artist followed scored #1 radio hits in 2020 with Rick Braun, Dave Koz and his own single “Eva Kant Dance.”

Now, following months of airplay for his groundbreaking reunion with the legendary Marcus Miller on the Billboard Top 20 hit “The City that Never Sleeps,” Saisse explores the sly and slinky, ultra-hipster magic of rhythmic displacement (playing behind the beat) of lo fi hip hop jazz on his latest perfectly titled track “Shift.” The infectious, easy shuffling tune – which features his trademark hypnotic intermingling of acoustic piano and vibraphone – is the latest manifestation of Saisse’s passion for incorporating hip-hop beats and textures, which began on his solo projects on Verve Records in the late 90s.

Like many classic hybrid hip hop tracks, “Shift” has a prominent featured young artist – Chicago and NYC based trumpet player, composer and bandleader Marquis Hill – who like Saisse embodies both the jazz and hip-hop aesthetic. The 2014 winner of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Trumpet Competition, Hill’s musical style stems from Black American Music, synthesizing, in addition to jazz and hip-hop, R&B, Chicago house music and neo-soul. Saisse became a fan of Hill’s via his recordings on Spotify and reached out to him through a mutual connection, bassist Luca Alemanno, who can be heard on Saisse’s video for “Sarabanda,” also featuring drummer Dave Weckl and percussionist Gumbi Ortiz.

“If you go on YouTube, you hear these licks, loops and vibes – they’re what all the college kids are listening to,” Saisse says. “I love the flow of these low fi hip hop breakbeats that have nothing to do with jazz, so my idea was to develop the simple four bar riffs they usually have into a four minute track with two musicians throwing it down for real. It’s a blast continuing to explore my love for hip-hop and treading on what is truly new ground in my solo career.”

The youth movement on “Shift” extends to the technical side as well. The track’s cool crackle and vibrant polished energy comes via two other young but very accomplished cats – three time Grammy winning mix engineer Fabian Marasciullo, whose clients include Lil Wayne, Pharell Williams, T-Pain and Justin Bieber; and mastering engineer Colin Leonard of Sing Mastering, whose credits include Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Paul McCartney and Beck.

Listen to Shift on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/6).

Vel Lewis – Forever More

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You have certainly listen to the music of keyboardist Vel Lewis.  TV shows such as The Sopranos, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Mad About You, and Wife Swap USA feature his compositions. In earlier time a member of the group The Futures he also followed his own path as performer with Earth, Wind, & Fire, Parliament/Funkadelic, Al Green, Isaac Hayes, David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks.

His newest single is the love ballad Forever More composed and written by Vel Lewis. This single presents Vel Lewis on Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes, electric piano and synthesizer, vocalist Larry Braggs, Lenny Castro (percussion), Morgan Stevenson (electric bass), Eric Fountain (drums), David Gallego (electric guitar) and Stephen Richard (tenor sax). The song was mixed and mastered by Greg Manning.

Listen to Forever More on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/6).

Marshall Charloff – Eye For Jazz

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Singer, songwriter, Marshall Charloff, has been creating music since an early age. Currently, Marshall fronts the incredible Purple xPeRIeNCE – the greatest tribute to Prince in the world. Not only does he style the magic of Prince’s talent in an uncannily, unmatched fashion with his appearance, vocal imitation, and multi-instrumental capacity on guitar and piano, but Marshall also performs nationwide fronting world-class symphonies in most major cities in the US and Canada.

Recently, Marshall Charloff teamed up with the famous saxman Marcus Anderson in Raleigh, NC to perform with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. Marshall recorded with Prince on the album 94 East, (where Marshall plays both, keyboards and bass guitar and Prince is on lead vocals). Pepe Willie, who discovered Marshall, was also responsible for getting Prince’s career up and running.

In 2009, Marshall teamed up with Doctor Fink from Prince and the Revolution and Pepe Willie from the band 94 East to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame benefit concert (On the same bill were Cheap Trick, Atlanta Rhythm Section, and the Georgia Satellites). In 2019, the Atlanta Rhythm Section brought Marshall in to play keys.

Marshall Charloff is a celebrated producer and recording artist. He produced, wrote and recorded for the Multi-Platinum and Grammy award winning Commodores. He produced, wrote, and recorded for Hall of Fame Inductee Little Anthony (Little Anthony and the Imperials). His skills paved the way for Marshmallow Fields: a 1990s production team consisting of Marshall, Grammy winner John Fields (The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and Switchfoot), and Steven “Funkytown” Greenberg, and their single charted on the Billboard Top 100 dance charts and is still in rotation amongst DJs around the country.

Charloff’s new single “Eye For Jazz,” is an earworm instrumental track that combines all that’s cool about smooth jazz and neo-soul into one buoyant song with a hook that’s sure to get stuck in your head!

Listen to Eye For Jazz on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/6).

Lori Williams – Baby, Hold On (To Me)

Lori Williams cover art BABY HOLD ON

Acclaimed international Jazz and Soul vocalist Lori Williams is turning a corner. In possession of a most impressive resume as a performing artist, music educator, songwriter, producer, vocalist and musical theater actress, her reputation and level of respect are top shelf and unimpeachable. Many aspiring singers and vocal students look up to Lori as well – be it in classrooms, the multiple church, community and concert choirs she conducts, or the clinics she runs through her organization – Positive Music for Positive Minds (PositiveMusicPM.org / PMPM). Her annual summer vocal jazz symposium and tour have taken her to Europe (Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Russia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and Ukraine), Japan and across the USA, performing in festivals and conducting vocal jazz workshops.

As an educator for over 25 years, Lori has received many honors including Outstanding Music Teacher in the October 2000 issue of Teaching Music, the 2007 Superintendent’s Arts Teacher of the Year Award, and the 2010 Vincent E. Reed Teacher of the Year. As a performing artist, Lori was nominated for a 2014 Helen Hayes Award as an Outstanding Lead Actress in a Resident Musical for her role as Ella Fitzgerald in “Ladies Swing the Blues: A Jazz Fable” (directed by Thomas W. Jones). Lori has received letters of recognition for her performances by President Joseph Biden, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Maryland Senator C. Anthony Muse.

Ultimately, it is her international work as a singer that most satisfies her and has brought the widest amount of recognition. With each performance in a new territory come fresh admirers that sponsor her to other countries. Though her work has also included background and featured singing for artists such as Gospel’s – Yolanda Adams and Walter Hawkins, R&B’s – Maysa, Howard Hewett, Will Downing and Phil Perry, Soul’s – Lloyd Price, Jerry Butler, Ben E. King, and Gene Chandler, Contemporary Jazz’s – Bob Baldwin, Stanley Jordan, Nathan East, Najee, Althea Rene, Nick Colionne, Norman Brown and Tom Browne, Traditional Jazz’s – Slide Hampton, Terri Lyne Carrington, Winard Harper, and Christian Havel, super producer/composer/singer – `Angela Winbush, and Tap Dance sensation – Savion Glover, Lori is most focused on unveiling songs from her “dream book”. She has currently produced and released five CDs / one EP under her name; and is releasing the 6th CD – A NEW BOOK in 2021.

Williams is following up her Watercolors inspirational smash, “New Day” with a smooth mid-tempo romance track “Baby, Hold On To Me”, featuring Bob Baldwin on piano and production.

This is a specially-crafted smooth jazz version for her core audience. Written by Bob Baldwin and Lori Williams.

Listen to Baby, Hold On To Me on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/6).

Dan Siegel – Tried and True

 

Dan Siegel cover art

While the coronavirus wreaked havoc to a deadly extreme, the pandemic era with its heightened quarantine measures proved to swing a double- edge sword for musicians. Many were silenced, suffering the liability of limited-to-no opportunities to perform. But on the other hand, the disease aroused many to be creative in their artistic expression. Veteran contemporary jazz pianist/keyboardist Dan Siegel took that difficult challenge during the social distancing desert to remotely assemble a group to deliver his eclectic album Faraway Place on his DSM label. It’s comprised of 11 originals that range from straight-up lyrical beauties to accordion-tinged grooves, to a baroque-like number with strings and horns. Remarkably, this is Siegel’s 22nd recording as a leader.

“This is a different kind of album because of the pandemic,” says the Irvine, California-based composer and bandleader. “After writing the music in isolation, everything, with a few exceptions, was recorded separately by musicians in their home studios.” says Siegel. All of the tracks were demoed and developed rhythmically by drummers Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd at East West Studios in LA. “Those were the only sessions that I was present at,” Siegel says. “They set the music into motion with their drums. Then I sent what they did to the musicians I wanted to use and asked them to lay their parts down. What they sent back was so musical and really well-played. It only required a few modifications. I also went into the studio to record piano, and I rented an accordion for four tunes. I used contrast on the arrangements. They started sparse but then built with layers in the mix, always keeping in mind the song underneath it all. The way I see it is that I’m a composer first and I perform piano second” says Siegel. Also joining Siegel on the album are saxophonist Eric Marienthal, trumpeter/trombonist Lee Thornburg, guitarist Allen Hinds, acoustic bassist Brian Bromberg, electric bassists Abraham Laboriel and Dwyane “Smitty” Smith, percussionist Lenny Castro, and on two tracks Brazilian vocalist Rogerio Jardim.

The recording of Faraway Place was arduous at stretches. The genesis of the title track speaks volumes on the omnipresent ordeal. “It was all about being in a faraway place removed from reality,” Siegel says. “It’s been a pretty tough year and a half. There were times when I thought about leaving planet earth to escape all the nonsense and craziness and then to top it off, the pandemic” says Siegel. The tune started out as an improvisation that he played into his recorder as he was walking. It opens on a reflective note then moves into a swing. He transcribed it and handed it off to Colaiuta. “Vinnie got the essence of the song on the first take. How did he know where this song was going? I was so moved. It was as if he knew this tune his entire life. I asked him about the details he played into the song and he said, ‘Sometimes the music tells me what to play.’ This is my favorite tune on the album. It’s so spontaneous” Siegel says. Faraway Place is something of a trilogy. There are songs that are more accessible, Siegel says. The lead-off tune “Old School,” started out with a soulful Ramsey Lewis vibe twisted together with Lee Morgan’s “Sidewinder” hit that he made into a lyrical tune with his piano bathed in a horn wash. ”I went for a retro sound that takes left turns harmonically,” he says.

His original concept for the catchy number “Tried and True” came from his love for Steely Dan. “I’d had been walking a lot and was listening to Steely Dan on Spotify,” he says noting that’s not recognizable in the tune that has its own beat and hooks. With all the distractions and isolation, Dan Siegel acknowledges that Faraway Place was difficult to finish. “I questioned myself, yet I felt a burden of the times. I kept writing, working on music from different angles, creating what I didn’t even know what it was. But I knew I needed to get this music out, even with those tunes that come from left field. I got through it all, even though it wasn’t easy, and I’m pleased with what we came up with.” Siegel says.

Listen to Tried and True on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5).

Bob Baldwin – B Positive

Bob Baldwin cover art

New York native Bob Baldwin has recorded on six of the seven inhabitable continents, and while Antarctica is not on his recording bucket list, his international list, including Dubai, Brazil, South Africa, Spain, UK, Canada, is quite impressive. “Whether it’s a massive festival crowd of 30,000 or an intimate restaurant audience of 60, I refuse to rob my audience of great music and a good experience”, says Baldwin.

Across a career for which a two decade milestone was achieved in 2013 with his twentieth CD Twenty, Bob Baldwin has proven to be one of the most ubiquitous and ingenious chameleons of Contemporary Jazz – both in his own projects and those he has endeavored upon for others. He has twice honored the canons of giants: Never Can Say Goodbye: A Tribute to Michael Jackson and Betcha By Golly Wow / The Songs of Thom Bell.

In addition to his work as a musician, Bob Baldwin hosts a nationally syndicated weekly radio show (The New Urban Jazz Lounge).

Bob began being taught piano by his father at age 4. His musical influences include Herbie Hancock, Patrice Rushen, Chick Corea, Earth Wind & Fire, Ramsey Lewis, Stevie Wonder and the late, greats Joe Sample, Miles Davis and George Duke. In 1986, he formed The Bob Baldwin/Al Orlo Project in New Rochelle, NY, performing at the legendary club the Bottom Line in New York City, opening up for Tom Browne of “Funkin’ for Jamaica” fame, and this led to his first production effort with trumpeter Tom Browne on one of the first-ever gospel-jazz offerings, No Longer I.

Baldwin was the Curator of the NewUrbanJazz @ the Arts Exchange in White Plains, NY. Collaborating with ArtsWestchester and the White Plains Youth Bureau, Baldwin presented a workshop that would prepare young people for a career in music. In 2010, his Jazz for Haiti program raised over $60,000.00 for the American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey. And in 2013 he produced the benefit concert “Music for Dave” to assist Latin Jazz legend and stroke victim, flautist Dave Valentin, with funding for his ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. He reached out to Larry Rosen, the original GRP Records owner (RIP), who signed Valentin to his first deal, who contributed to the event. Wedding his many talents to a fierce streak of conscious independence, Bob Baldwin sees himself as more than just an artist but a human being in control of his destiny and with a legacy of artistic benevolence to pass on.

From his upcoming 2022 release, Baldwin’s new single “B Positive” speaks to the current times,
dealing with life’s ups and downs in 2020 – 2021 and beyond. Bob is following up from his tracks “Be Blessed (No Stress)”, and “Back to Basics (Family First)” with another direct message: “B Positive” is sure to brighten your day.

For “B Positive”, Baldwin brings in his co-writing partners, Ragan Whiteside and Dennis Johnson. The band features award-winning musicians; Lil’ John Roberts on drums (Duke, Paul Brown, Janet Jackson), Grammy award-winning Mel Brown on bass, and Phil Hamilton on guitar (Luther, Anita, Roberta Flack).

“B Positive””
Written by Bob Baldwin, Ragan Whiteside and Dennis Johnson
Produced by Bob Baldwin, co-produced by Dennis Johnson

Listen to B Positive on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5)

Walter Beasley – The Beasley Strut

Walter Beasley cover art

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. Upon graduation, Beasley accepted a teaching position at Berklee where he continues to share his musical genius with students, nearly 30 years later.

Listen to The Beasley Strut on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5)

Rob Tardik – Walk It Like You Talk It

Rob Tardik cover art

“Walk It Like You Talk It” is the latest high-energy horn-laden single from Rob Tardik’s current 8th recording release Diversity Volume 2–Contemporary Funky Jazz. Featuring a stellar cast of musicians from Canada and the U.S., this track features both instrumental and vocal versions for radio programmers.

Carson Freeman is an Ontario-based saxophonist and Rob’s long-time performing & touring bandmate. Carson performs on alto, tenor, soprano, and baritone saxophones and even doubles on flute and clarinet.

From Vancouver, Rob’s special guest, multi-award-winning horn player Gabriel Mark Hasselbach appears here adding his artistic magic on both trumpet and trombone.

On guest vocals from Toronto is Sandra Bouza. Sandra is an incredible artist herself and is featured here lending her soulful voice on this track to bring truth and integrity to the song’s message.

Adding to the Toronto synergy of talent is Rob DeBoer from Four80East who plays keyboards on the track as well as co-producing the single with Rob.

From Southern Los Angeles, both Tony Moore and Roberto Vally are two musicians firmly grounded in the Contemporary Jazz culture and artistic landscape who perform with the biggest stars of Smooth and Contemporary Jazz. They are the perfect addition to Rob’s current funky jazz Diversity project.

Listen to Walk It Like You Talk It on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5).

Jarez – This Time Around

Jarez - _J Funk City_ - Album Cover

Jarez is a contemporary saxophonist with a ear for what is hot. In a few short years, he has gone from being known as “Mr. Sexy Saxy’ to the mayor of J FUNK CITY, a CD full of all-star guests and ultra funky goodness. Featured artists include Julian Vaughn, Vandell Andrew, Willie Bradley, Ragan Whiteside and Gerald Albright.

J Funk City has made a sizzling impact of the music citizens of the world. With the release of the CD, Jarez became the indie saxophonist to have number 1’s on all SmoothJazz.com charts at one time with this release. Additionally, the J Funk City mayor made #1 on the Groove Jazz Music Charts and Radio Wave Monitor Charts for the single “24 Hours” (featuring Julian Vaughn), as well as the Top 10 on the Smooth Jazz Network Charts and the Smooth Jazz Billbord charts for the same single. J Funk City features the well-known steamy side of the mayor’s saxophone, but lends itself overall to a more muscular and athletic approach for summertime grooving.

Jarez’s ability to extend his musical outreach to fans of all ages included multiple appearances on “Cooking with Coolio”, as well as world tours with the famous rapper. He also assisted in the production of Coolio’s cookbook of the same name, along with ongoing management of various aspects of Coolio’s business operations. This intense work ethic would be pivotal to the development of Jarez’s solo career. A whirlwind of single releases began for the saxophonist in 2013. Jarez gained notoriety as a soloist with his 2013 release of “On Top of the World” with radio charting success, which led to the album rated as #16 on the 2014 year-end top 100 albums chart on SmoothJazz.com. Additionally, the “Make it Better” and “Can’t Let Go” singles would be in the top 100 songs chart for 2014 on GrooveJazzMusic.com. The “Hold on Tight” single featuring Vandell Andrew from Jarez’s “Sexy Saxy” Vol. 1 EP would make the World Jazz top 20 singles chart. Releasing seven singles in two years, Jarez also made it to the most added and most increased spins list on Billboard’s smooth jazz chart. In September 2017 Mr. Sexy Saxy (AKA Jarez) returned with the release of his “Blow Your Mind” CD. The eargasmic collection of songs features an appearance on the “You Said” by Selina Albright, the daughter of the legendary saxophonist Gerald Albright. Complementing seductively driving rhythms and an inviting sax line, Selina expresses an impressive vocal range that purrs in low and mellows on the higher end. The resulting arrangement at the hands of Jarez is an emotionally charged masterpiece.

In addition to his musical career, Jarez used his knowledge to serve as a spokesperson for Environmental Justice and Climate Change’s (EJCC) campaign, which facilitates Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in educational initiatives regarding global warming. This opportunity also lent him a chance to develop his fan base even further with selections from his “Saxoholic” CD becoming the musical signature for the “Just Environment” radio show, which broadcasted weekly on from Atlanta’s Clark University’s WCLK 91.9, “The Jazz of the City,” and live online at http://www.wclk.com.

Listen to This Time Around on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5).

Gregory Goodloe – Somewhere Out There

Gregory Goodloe cover art

After releasing the single, “Cool Like That,” R&B-jazz guitarist Gregory Goodloe attempted to stay calm early in the COVID-19 pandemic despite the uncertainty and concern for his mother’s health. As we move closer to the other side of the pandemic, the man of faith ventured out earlier this year with a single, “Step’N Out,” that he wrote with fellowBillboardchart-topping guitarist Adam Hawley. Combining their energy felt so good that the pair reteamed to write the hopeful new single, “Somewhere Out There,” which drops August 27 on Hip Jazz Records ahead of its August 30 radio add date.

As the world continues to recover and reemerge from the coronavirus, the Denver-based Goodloe is focused on moving forward. Produced by Hawley, Goodloe co-wrote “Somewhere Out There” to encourage and inspire. With a midtempo groove anchored by drummer Eric Valentine and bassist Melvin Brown, Goodloe’s lyrical fretwork and cool-toned electric jazz guitar calisthenics evoke his iconic influencers: George Benson and Wes Montgomery.

“The title ‘Somewhere Out There’ came to me as a reflection of hope in an ever-changing world. Adam and I wrote the song with inspiration in our hearts, determined to face what’s ahead positively, and with hope for a brighter tomorrow. We wrote the track purposely to be an upbeat, feel-good tune. The song is bright and just feels so good, with its toe-tapping steady groove and arrangement,” said Goodloe, who recently made his return to live concert performances at the Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival in Keystone, Colorado.

Two years ago, Goodloe scored his first Billboard No. 1 single, “Stylin’,” a collaboration with GRAMMY-nominated songwriter-producer-saxophonist Darren Rahn that has garnered more than three million Spotify streams. After a successful outing last year with urban-jazz keyboardist Bob Baldwinon “Cool Like That,” which was Billboard’s No. 1 most added single in its debut week, the guitarist began a fruitful creative relationship with Hawley.

“Adam Hawley is a genius arranger/producer with a feel for music that is extraordinary,” gushedGoodloe who wrote, produced and performed his debut recording project, “It’s All Good” (2016), entirely on his own.

Since the self-taught musician andUS Army veteran arrived on the scene, Goodloe has performed with or opened for a wide variety of R&B, jazz and gospel headliners, including Howard Hewett, Tank, Ben Tankard, Norman Brown, Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson, Michael McDonald, James Ingram, Roy Ayers, Shirley Caesar, Angela Spivey, John P. Key, The Rance Allen Group and fellow Denver native Larry Dunn of Earth, Wind & Fire fame. Goodloe has also served as musical director for R&B-pop group Surface and soul-jazz singer Aysha.

With the upcoming release of “Somewhere Out There,” Goodloe has his sights firmly set on the promise that lays ahead, saying “We can believe in our dreams and hold on to hope for a brighter tomorrow.”

Listen to Somewhere Out There on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5).

Larry Carlton & Paul Brown – Soul Searchin’

Larry Carlton & Paul Brown cover art

• Between them they have won an incredible 8 Grammys! Now these 2 jazz greats come together to create the guitar
event of the year!!
• Larry Carlton has been a guitar icon for close to 5 decades. Famous for his work as the lead guitarist of the legendary
Crusaders, he has appeared on over 100 gold albums with such greats as Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Quincy Jones, and
many, many more!
• Paul Brown, both as an artist and producer, is responsible for more that 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!
• Together, these 2 giants are a match made in heaven. Highlights include tasty, laid back “Miles And Miles To Go,”
the funky “Hip Pocket,” the heart-felt “Soul Searchin’,” and more Carlton/Brown originals.

Listen to Soul Searchin’ on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5).

Brad Alexander – It’s About Time

Art & Illustration

Brad Alexander, a Los Angeles native, has been in the music business for many years. His roots come from playing Gospel music in church. As an accomplished music producer, songwriter and pianist he has assisted many other artist in presenting their music to the world. He has served as a keyboard player for artist in different genres of music, but Smooth Jazz is where his heart is. Alexander’s love for music and his musical artistry is evident.

August 23, 2016 Alexander released his debut CD project titled Just Between Us, where he showcases his high caliber musicianship and soulful sounds with many original compositions such as “Missing You” and “Feel Da Music.” He did a cover of Chaka Khans “Through The Fire,” and Bill Withers “Lovely Day.”

In 2020 he released a new project that featured the first single “Straight Up” which was produced by Adam Hawley. He followed up that single with a cover of The Gap Bands “Yearning For Your Love.”

His new single “It’s About Time” features saxophonist Dee Lucas. “It’s About Time” is an Alexander composition that he produced and definitely continues to showcase his musical talents.

Listen to It’s About Time on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5).

Boney James – Sundance

Boney James cover art

“A solid relationship is when someone has your back and will stand by your side no matter what,” explains Boney James about the title of his new CD. “Solid is a word that has a few meanings, but this one really resonated with me and became the theme of the record.”

Solid is the four-time GRAMMY nominated saxophonist’s seventeenth album as a leader and was released by Concord Records, April 17, 2020. Solid followed up his smash 2017 release Honestly which became his eleventh #1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album.

Sometimes, inspiration is slow in coming, evasive and stubborn. Other times, if an artist is very fortunate, it simply flows, the music practically writing itself. That’s how Solid, the latest release from Boney James came to be. “This record really flowed at an unusually quick pace,” Boney says. “There was a lot of positive energy in making this music. Solid is a very upbeat record. As I was writing them, these songs put a smile on my face.”

All of Solid’s eleven tracks were produced and written or co-written by James. Three songs—“Full Effect,” “Tonic” and the title track—were built from licks played at sound-check by touring guitarist Kendall Gilder on the road in support of Honestly. “I said, hey, what’s that riff you’re playing?” James recalls, “And Kendall said, ‘that’s just something I’m messing around with.’ I got my iPhone and recorded them, then took it home and wrote the songs!”

James crafted many of the song titles (“Fresh Air”, “On The Path”, “Tonic)” to play off this theme, “Similar to my last CD Honestly, this new music is a reaction to how stressful the world feels these days. Music is a respite, it’s always ‘solid’ and it never lets me down.”

Boney James’ personal relationship with music has never been anything but solid. Picking up the sax at age 10 in his native New Rochelle, New York, “I immediately loved it, and it pretty quickly became my favorite thing to do.” By the time he entered his teens, James was gigging with bands, and he turned pro at 19. He apprenticed as a sideman for artists like Morris Day, The Isley Brothers, Teena Marie and many others, touring and doing sessions for seven years before cutting his first solo album in 1992. The independently released Trust led immediately to a major label deal and a string of increasingly successful recordings and nonstop touring.

Now a four-time GRAMMY nominee with four RIAA Gold records and career sales topping three million units, James continues to defy musical genres; A two time NAACP Award nominee, a Soul Train Award winner and named one of the Top 3 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Artists of the Decade.

James, who lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 34 years Director/Actress Lily Mariye, says he’s looking forward to heading out on the road and seeing how the Solid material evolves from night to night. “I love playing live, maybe more than I ever did. A lot of guys get tired of the traveling but it’s still a joy for me every time I go out there and play.”

It’s still a joy to his multitude of fans too. “I try to ‘be there’ for the people who are interested in my music,” says James, “to be Solid in that relationship and to not let anybody down. I often get great compliments from the people that come to my shows, that I ‘never disappoint’ them, and that’s very gratifying to me. That’s what I was trying to express with this title, that sense of character… to stand for something principled.”

From the album Solid is the new single Sundance.

Listen to Sundance on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5).

Jody Mayfield – Strawberry Sunday

Jody Mayfield cover art-m

Jody Mayfield is a Jazz musician from Atlanta GA. He studied at Clark Atlanta University, where he majored in Music Performance. He holds a B.A. Degree in Music Technology from Morris Brown College and Master’s Degree in Music Technology from Southern Utah University. He has performed with musical greats such as Dizzy Gillespie at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland (’81, ’82) as well as James Lloyd of Pieces of a Dream; Frank Foster; Grover Washington, Jr.; Mary Lou Williams; Illinois Jacquet and the Tony Rich Project. He also opened concerts for Sarah Vaughn, Dexter Gordon, Rodney Franklin, Wynton Marsalis, Lionel Hampton, Fred Hammond, Bishop T.D. Jakes to name a few. Jody Mayfield was the creative director for Evander Holyfield’s record label, Real Deal Records for three years.

Jody Mayfield has worked with top hip-hop producers such as Organized Noize, Anthony David, Marq (Remarqable) Jefferson of So So Def Records. He has also produced a double CD set of songs for the non-profit organization Young Life, which impacts the lives of inner-city teens. Jody Mayfield has toured with Sleepy Brown. He has also worked with actor-comedian, Robert Townsend (who referred to him as a “master musician”) on film and television projects for the Black Family Channel.

Listen to Strawberry Sunday on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5).

The Allen Carman Project – Straight Up

Allen Carman cover art-min

The original founding members of The Allen Carman Project are keyboard player extraordinaire, Philippe Saisse, legendary percussionist, Gumbi Ortiz, and Tampa Bay bassist, Allen Carman. The band’s mission was simple; to write and play good music with great players. To that end, The Allen Carman Project was lucky enough to have musical contributions from Mark Antione, Rick Braun, Nile Rodgers, Andy Snitzer and Don Harrison on the band’s debut album, Carmanology. Now in the process of finishing the band’s second album, they have already released “Rosario”, their tribute to Gato Barbieri.

The new release “Straight Up” continues in the same style with a little more soul. “Straight Up” was written by Philippe Saisse and features Don Harris on trumpet and now full-time member, Kenny Anderson on sax. Together they bring the tight funky sound that Don’s former band, Tower of Power made famous. Enjoy the continued musicality of The Allen Carman Project with “Straight Up”.

Listen to Straight Up on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5).

Adam Hawley – Risin’ Up

Adam Hawley cover art

Guitarist Adam Hawley has burst on to the scene as a celebrated and innovated 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. Release date for Risin’ Up is September 10, 2021.

Select tour dates include: Java Jazz, Mallorca Jazz Fest, Seabreeze Jazz Fest, Newport Beach Jazz Festival, Catalina Jazz Fest, Berks Jazz Fest, Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, Dave Koz Cruise, Smooth Jazz Cruise, Cancun Jazz Fest, Earl Klugh’s Weekend of Jazz, Rehoboth Jazz Festival and more.

In addition to touring as a leader, Adam also played for Jennifer Lopez, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, The Manhattan Transfer, Gerald Albright, and recently appeared on American Idol in the house band to name a few. He also is an educator holding a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Listen to Risin’ Up on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/5).

Christian de Mesones – Hispanica (instrumental)

Hispanica

Hispanica (instrumental)”, the new single from bassist, composer and band leader Christian de Mesones, is now available for streaming and purchase on all major music platforms and on the artist’s website, de Mesones’ latest creation is a vibrant, soulful, Latin-flavored contemporary jazz gem that prominently features legendary jazz pianist Bob James, who appears courtesy of Tappan Zee Records. It is the instrumental re-imagining of a track from de Mesones’ debut solo project, “They Call Me Big New York”, which contained multiple charting singles and surpassed one million streams on Spotify.

With beautifully crafted supporting color from flautist Arch Thompson, “Hispanica (instrumental)” now also boasts melodic, unison and harmony trumpet punches and interludes from Bill McGee, and showcases Curtis McCain on percussion and Mike Gamble on Guitar. Carl Anderson lays a solid foundation on drums while Rob Maletick lends his sultry saxophone to this well-rounded composition. “Hispanica (instrumental)” was written and co-produced by de Mesones who also plays bass on the track, produced and mixed by Christopher Scott Valentine, and mastered by David P. Marchione.

De Mesones’ experiences while growing up in Brooklyn during the turbulent 60s still heavily influence his musical compositions today. “I grew up during a difficult transitional period in our nation’s history. I had to navigate the effects of this on my own neighborhood and reconcile what I was going through with my desire to become an artist,” de Mesones said. “Luckily, my dream was continually nurtured in a household always filled with music, and I have fond memories of listening to quite a diverse mixture of artists. From Yma Sumac to Alice Cooper and Stravinsky to Streisand, I just couldn’t get enough. That constant exposure to such a vast array of genres had a profound impact on my development as a composer and arranger. This song is a tribute to that history and those influences, which have culminated in this uplifting story – told through song – that represents my cherished Bulgarian-Peruvian heritage.”

The artwork for the single was created by High School of Art and Design alum and lifelong friend of de Mesones, Lisette Nieves-Flores. “As soon as I saw the image, I felt it directly reflected what the song represents for me,” said de Mesones. “It reminded me of The Madonna. That image, and the vivid colors she chose, immediately evoked the symbolism associated with purity, love, royalty, and immortality. This is how I think of my ancestors.”

Listen to Hispanica on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/5).

U-Nam – Perfect Match

U-Nam-PerfectMatch-ArtworkCover

Spring is here again and love is not only in the air but is very much in motion. “Love in Motion ” from writer, p roducer and guitarist Emmanuel “U-Nam” Abiteboul was released on May 28, 2021 and subtitled “Future Love Part 3” builds on the theme that U-Nam sensationally brought to market in 2019 with “Future Love”. It peaked at #20 on the Billboard Top 25 best seller jazz albums chart and #8 on the Billboard Top 25 best seller contemporary jazz albums chart yet later that same year

The “Future Love” concept is simple yet profound as U-Nam continues to use the creative process to purge theme options and relieve the tensions that, from the debris of a complicated divorce, had threatened to engulf him . But “Love in Motion ” is far from being a work of self-indulgence. H e remains totally focused on the detail that invariably makes U-Nam’s music special and with a glittering array of supporting artists seems intent on making “Part 3” the best yet. The warm feel good vibe of “Perfect Match (The Wedding Song )” not only proves to be the perfect show case for U-Nam’s w ide ranging talents but is also beauty personified.

Listen to Perfect Match (The Wedding Song) on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/5).

Chris Godber – West Coast Soul

Chris Godber cover art

Following the chart topping success of his [2015] Starting Over and [2018] MOMENTUM albums, Chris Godber is bringing brand new music for 2021 with his latest release, West Coast Soul. Godber’s 6th project will be an EP featuring plenty of “Soul”, as the title suggests. The title track will be going to radio and available worldwide on all digital outlets Aug. 9th, 2021 with the EP to follow.

In the last few years Billboard charting saxophonist, Chris Godber (God – brrr) has become a highly sought after performer in both the Smooth Jazz & Gospel Jazz realms. He’s been playing some of the nation’s largest jazz festivals and constantly selling out his own shows at various jazz clubs throughout the country thanks to his addictive melodies and inspiring performances. Though he had several projects out prior, it was his 2015 album “Starting Over” that launched him into the Smooth Jazz spotlight with the chart topping hits Rain and Chill.

However, Godber isn’t just another sax player. When he performs his goal is not just to entertain, but to inspire. He does both well because he’s lived it. Despite being told by doctors he wouldn’t be able to play the saxophone due to of the severity of his asthma, he took to it anyway. Picking up the sax in middle school band at age 12, he was first drawn to the sound of the saxophone while living in Germany. His family was military and while being stationed overseas the majority of their entertainment came from music as they picked up only one channel on their television. As Godber recalls, “I was a product of the 80’s and Kenny G was getting pretty popular around that time. My parents were Big Kenny G fans!” No doubt it may have sparked his appreciation for the saxophone, but he definitely has a sound all his own with a healthy dose of R&B and Gospel roots showing through. For the last 24 years, Godber has been leaving others breathless with his soulful saxophone playing and inspiring testimony.

It’s clear that Godber loves what he does. On stage, his performance is invigorating and inspiring. “The live shows are so much fun” Chris says. “What I like most about playing live though is the audience. Music is such a powerful force that brings people together and I think we need more of that. Despite doctor telling me I couldn’t do it, God gave me the ability to play even with my asthma, so all Glory goes to Him. I tell my story everywhere that I play because I want it to resonate with people just as much as my music. You never know who’s out there listening and who needs to hear something inspiring; that message of God’s grace, hope and healing. That’s why I do what I do.”

Chris Godber is a versatile saxophonist and his music bridges genres; appealing to a broad audience. As a result he has shared the stage and or opened up for a wide range of notable artists such as Mindi Abair, Marcus Anderson, Jackiem Joyner, Average White Band, Tower of Power, Dr. John, Snarky Puppy, Sara Evans, T. Graham Brown and even the live tour of Dancing with the Stars.

Listen to West Coast Soul on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/5).

Paul Jackson, Jr. – City of Refuge

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Following his #1 single, Down the Road, GRAMMY nominated artist Paul Jackson, Jr. releases his new single ‘City of Refuge’, featuring long-time friend and collaborator Jeff Lorber. Releasing under his independent label, M And P Music Factory, ‘City of Refuge’ will be available to download and stream across all digital platforms beginning August 15, 2021. Continuing in the tradition of Jackson’s signature ‘lyrical urban contemporary jazz’ style, this acclaimed artist delivers his first single from the forthcoming album “More Stories,” dropping Fall 2021 and is anticipated to be equally as successful as his previous releases. “City of Refuge is a reminder that music brings peace and comfort to the soul at a time when we all could use it” says, Jackson. Coined a ‘supreme session musician,’ Jackson has an impressive body of work and has appeared on numerous recordings with top superstars such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, Quincy Jones, Daft Punk, Luther Vandross, Boney James, Chicago, George Duke, Dionne Warwick, and more. As a solo artist, Paul has released eight successful albums, containing top ten hits, including the Grammy-nominated “I Came To Play”. ‘City of Refuge’ is a welcome escape from the challenges faced during a global pandemic and an excellent opportunity for Jackson to collaborate with a buddy. Paul has been safe at home during the pandemic and is excited to hit the stages early this Summer through the end of year across the U.S.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Paul Jackson Jr. began nurturing his musical talent at an early age by performing with local bands, including a band composed of himself and his siblings. Paul is featured on recordings with top superstars such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Barbara Streisand, and childhood friend Patrice Rushen. Recently, Paul received Grammy recognition for his contribution to the Daft Punk album. Paul has appeared on many television shows & specials, including Tonight Show with Jay Leno, American Idol, The Academy Awards, The Emmys, The Kennedy Center Honors plus multiple Grammy appearances, with Steve Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Ne-Yo, Lionel Ritchie, Chance The Rapper. During a recent Hollywood Bowl appearance, Herbie Hancock who described Paul Jackson Jr. as the guitarist who can “play anything”.

Listen to City of Refuge on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/5).

Gary Honor – Summer Cool

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A young Australian smooth jazz saxophonist went on board at Warren Hill’s Smooth Jazz Cruise in 2005 and won the contest “Star Search”. Rightly, he has earned the name Honor.

He was kindly enough to give me his debut album Atmospheric (2004), that my positive impression fully confirmed. The more I was pleased that Gary has published on the prestigious label Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm his album Heads & Tales (2012). 

From his upcoming new album comes Summer Cool (2021).

Listen to Summer Cool on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/5).

Wayne Gutshall – Going Up

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After playing on the Grammy winning CD “Mamblue”, Wayne Gutshall has released his debut album “Spicy” which produced five #1 singles on SmoothJazz.com World Listener Chart! Garnering attention on Billboard’s Most Added Chart twice and placing him on several of the “top 100” charts for 2018, 2019, and 2020. California radio personality Sandy Shore calls Wayne “a modern master of saxophone”. Wayne has performed with artists such as: Paul Brown, Steve Oliver, Arturo Sandoval, Nathan East, Nestor Torres, and Dave Valentin. Now Wayne is poised to release his first single from his second CD. The single is entitled “Going Up”!

Wayne wrote “Going Up” during the pandemic and hopes this song will sooth and uplift listeners during these unprecedented times. When writing the song, Wayne had Canadian bassist and Chart topping Smooth Jazz artist Brendan Rothwell in mind for the duet. Wayne and Brendan met at a Jazz Festival in Carmel, California as guest artists just before the pandemic. Rothwell, a Spotify sensation with nearly 3 million total streams and over eighty five thousand monthly listeners, is quite accomplished in his own right and up to the task of laying down a serious funky groove reminiscent of his mentor and inspiration Marcus Miller.

Wayne and Brendan rake the listener on a beautiful sonic journey that is sure to sooth. The duet features Rothwell’s funky Fender bass and Gutshall’s warm and beautiful Tenor Saxophone. Joined by an incredible band and mastered by Grammy winner Mike Fuller. Enjoy this Smooth groove that is soon to be part of your Smooth Jazz playlist.

Listen to Going Up on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/5).

Donn Bynum – Donn B!

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What happens when spend your life touring the world with some of the finest musicians and Covid hits? You invite them to keep doing what they love and make a CD. A reflection of perfection, this collection by saxman Donn Bynum features Paul Jackson, Jr., Gary Mudbone Cooper, Vincent “Cino” Calloway, Makeda, Takahito “Taka” Mori, Lew Laing Jr and Sheldon Reynolds. To be released in early August 2021, the music will be available at your favorite retailers like CD Baby and Amazon.

If Donn’s solo music is new to you, you can bet you’ve had plenty of chances to experience his sax sounds as a sideman for some of the greats. A music maker during the formative years of Motown, Donn has toured with legends like the Commodores, Bootsy Collins, The Brothers Johnson and more. In addition to an ongoing list of live performances with various R&B and funk artists that includes Michel’le, Donn is also a devoted Gospel performer. He has recorded and performed with Kynne Smith. As a member of Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Bynum was featured on the song “Make My Funk The P-Funk,” along with funk master keyboardist Bernie Worrell.

In 2008, Donn released his long-awaited debut solo CD, “Do You Feel Me.” Featured on the CD were Bernie Worrell (Parliament/Funkadellic) and smooth jazz guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. Nina Goodrich of the Jazz Review declared, “Bynum captivates his audiences and is ready to capture someone’s heart.”

Listen to Donn B! on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/5).

Patrick Bradley – Completely Yours

Patrick Bradley cover art 1Like most things in 2020, the concept of contemporary jazz keyboardist Patrick Bradley’s fifth album took a dramatic turn when the pandemic hit. Although ideas for the eleven-song set were already sketched out, when he and producer Darren Rahn wrote the uplifting title track, “Exhale,” the composition seemed to encapsulate exactly what Bradley was feeling and believes that we are all in need of: expel the fear, worry and division gripping the nation and inhale unifying hope and peace.

Bradley recorded “Exhale” during quarantine without ever being in the studio with Rahn, who produced nine tracks for the project, or GRAMMY winner Jeff Lorber, who produced a pair of tunes. The “Exhale” album is a contemporary jazz amalgam constructed of jazz fusion, rock, R&B, blues, funk and pop. The melodies are lush and indelible, fragrantly blossoming amidst soulful grooves. The fusion excursions stretch beyond and across borders. The production deftly melds the warm organics of live instrumentation and the modernity of synthesized sonics.

Recording artists aspire toward a time in their career when their music and the process by which it is realized become as natural as the ordained rushing of a sparkling mountain spring. Keyboardist/Composer Patrick Bradley has arrived at that rarefied space with his 5th album…Exhale.

That he has reached this peak even while working with a new collaborator, producer, saxophonist, composer, multi-instrumentalist Darren Rahn (with Jeff Lorber returning to co-produce 2 of the 11 songs), is even more serendipitous. Exhale sounds and feels as breezy as it was to create – as rewarding for the listener as it is a testament to the growth of the artist.

“This fifth record is coming right on track with my every three-year trajectory,” Bradley quietly marvels. “My goal was to continue my musical journey with some accessible radio music but also stick to my Jazz Fusion and Progressive Rock roots. The project was originally going to be titled ‘Providence,’ the theme about being grateful to God and a title track that I almost slotted onto my last record… until I connected with Darren Rahn.

After three successful albums with Jeff Lorber, I felt it was time to explore a different approach, while still retaining Jeff for two numbers. Dave Koz introduced me to Darren and we instantly connected on many levels. We started in late Fall collaborating and preparing songs. I wanted my new music to provide a release from recent tensions in the world with a Christ-centered foundation. All of these songs are imbued with senses of hope and relaxing – even the more rockin’ ones!”

Listen to Completely Yours on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/5).

Gregory Goodloe – Somewhere Out There

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After releasing the single, “Cool Like That,” R&B-jazz guitarist Gregory Goodloe attempted to stay calm early in the COVID-19 pandemic despite the uncertainty and concern for his mother’s health. As we move closer to the other side of the pandemic, the man of faith ventured out earlier this year with a single, “Step’N Out,” that he wrote with fellow Billboard chart-topping guitarist Adam Hawley. Combining their energy felt so good that the pair reteamed to write the hopeful new single, “Somewhere Out There,” which drops August 27 on Hip Jazz Records ahead of its August 30 radio add date.

As the world continues to recover and reemerge from the coronavirus, the Denver-based Goodloe is focused on moving forward. Produced by Hawley, Goodloe co-wrote “Somewhere Out There” to encourage and inspire. With a midtempo groove anchored by drummer Eric Valentine and bassist Melvin Brown, Goodloe’s lyrical fretwork and cool-toned electric jazz guitar calisthenics evoke his iconic influencers: George Benson and Wes Montgomery.

“The title ‘Somewhere Out There’ came to me as a reflection of hope in an ever-changing world. Adam and I wrote the song with inspiration in our hearts, determined to face what’s ahead positively, and with hope for a brighter tomorrow. We wrote the track purposely to be an upbeat, feel-good tune. The song is bright and just feels so good, with its toe tapping steady groove and arrangement,” said Goodloe, who recently made his return to live concert performances at the Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival in Keystone, Colorado.

Two years ago, Goodloe scored his first Billboard No. 1 single, “Stylin’,” a collaboration with GRAMMY-nominated songwriter-producer-saxophonist Darren Rahn that has garnered more than three million Spotify streams. After a successful outing last year with urban-jazz keyboardist Bob Baldwin on “Cool Like That,” which was Billboard’s No. 1 most added single in its debut week, the guitarist began a fruitful creative relationship with Hawley.

“Adam Hawley is a genius arranger/producer with a feel for music that is extraordinary,” gushed Goodloe who wrote, produced and performed his debut recording project, “It’s All Good” (2016), entirely on his own.

Since the self-taught musician and US Army veteran arrived on the scene, Goodloe has performed with or opened for a wide variety of R&B, jazz and gospel headliners, including Howard Hewett, Tank, Ben Tankard, Norman Brown, Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson, Michael McDonald, James Ingram, Roy Ayers, Shirley Caesar, Angela Spivey, John P. Key, The Rance Allen Group and fellow Denver native Larry Dunn of Earth, Wind & Fire fame. Goodloe has also served as musical director for R&B-pop group Surface and soul-jazz singer Aysha.

With the upcoming release of “Somewhere Out There,” Goodloe has his sights firmly set on the promise that lays ahead, saying “We can believe in our dreams and hold on to hope for a brighter tomorrow.”

For more information, please visit https://gregorygoodloe.com.

Source: Great Scott Productions

Greg Chambers – Let’s Dance

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A SF Bay Area-based saxophonist and music educator, Greg Chambers is quickly establishing himself on the contemporary jazz scene. With five albums to date and multiple hit singles landing on the Billboard Smooth Jazz chart, Greg has collaborated with some of the best in the industry, including Jonathan Fritzen, Julian Vaughn, Lew Laing, Nils, David P. Stevens, Matt Godina, Adam Hawley, and 2x Grammy winner Paul Brown. Onstage, Greg has opened for Evelyn “Champagne” King, Howard Hewett, Eric Darius, Warren Hill, and Special EFX.

A classically-trained saxophonist, Greg Chambers earned a Master of Music Degree in Saxophone from UCLA and has worked with the New World Symphony in Miami, FL, the Spoleto USA Festival Orchestra, was the Saxophone Fellowship recipient for the 2007 & 2008 seasons of the Aspen Music Festival, and has played under renown conductors like Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, David Robertson and others.

Produced by hitmaker Adam Hawley, Greg’s new single “Let’s Dance” is the energetic, feel good, and soulful song we need in 2021. With his always-melodic playing, silky smooth tone and group of All-Star musicians, Greg will have you on your feet from start to finish. The perfect mix of upbeat and smooth, “Let’s Dance” showcases the spot-on catchy tunefulness, radio-ready production and infectious grooves that we yearn for in this genre. So relax, let go, and…. Let’s Dance.

Listen to Let’s Dance on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/5).

Bill Colletti – Get Into It

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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. In addition, Bill is a composer, producer and recording engineer.

Bill has performed with Grammy award winning and top Contemporary/Smooth Jazz artists including Dave Koz, Peter White, Marc Antoine and Oli Silk. He was awarded 1st place in the “So You Think You Can Jam” contest aboard the Dave Koz 2013 Mediterranean Jazz Cruise as well as 1st place aboard DAve’s 2014 Alaskan Jazz Cruise.

Colletti 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 & clubs.

You will certainly dig the new single, “Get Into It”.

Listen to Get Into It on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/5).

Garry Percell – Smooth Strut

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Garry Percell has played guitar for over 25 years and has a solid background in electric and acoustic guitar. Garry is a respected studio and stage musician, producer, project- consultant and has toured nationally with several recording artists. His Secular background has roots in R&B, Jazz, Blues such as the likes of Grammy Award recording artist General Johnson and the Chairman of the Board, and recently toured with Betty Davis Band “Funk House”, Todd Curry and Focus and many others that have enabled Garry Percell to share his gift with.

God has blessed Garry to share the stage with Gospel artists including Richard Smallwood, Luther Barnes, Lee Williams and the QC’s and many others in the Gospel industry. While in school at Reidsville Senior High, Garry also help formed bands and talent shows. A few years later Robert Irving, III composer/producer and pianist with legendary Jazz trumpeter, Miles Davis. Robert “Bobby” Irving helped me get a job as a studio session guitarist in Chicago, IL.

When off the road Garry can be found in his Upward Bound Recording Studio creating new music to be released by his label, Upward Bound Music Group. His brand-new hit single “Smooth Strut” is produced by Adam Hawley.

Listen to Smooth Strut on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/5).

Joyce Spencer – Cherish

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As an award-winning saxophonist, flutist and vocalist from Dallas, TX, Joyce Spencer covers the gamut of musical influence, style and genre from traditional to contemporary jazz and classical to R&B, funk, fusion, blues, pop, and Gospel/Christian. The mixing and blending of musical styles in her upbringing is definitely her forte and an asset to writing music and entertainment. Whether it’s upbeat music or sultry smooth jazz or ballads, Joyce provides sensational musical entertainment on saxophone (soprano, alto, and tenor), flute and vocals that caters to the fans.

Spencer explains the title to her new single “Cherish”:

After we lost our Mother to COVID-19, my siblings and I struggled to find ways to deal with our loss. Coping became more difficult as we observed a steady increase in deaths across the country. More relatives fell victim to this virus, including two additional deaths. Now I cherish the memories of my Mother so much that I just poured my grief into this song and titled it, Cherish”.

Listen to Cherish on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/5).

Shane “Terry-O” Theriot – Free Fall

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Currently emerging in the contemporary urban jazz world with his infectious debut single “Free Fall,” Grammy-Award winning producer Shane “Terry-O” Theriot is asserting his identity as an artist with a nickname reflecting the phonetic pronunciation of his oft-mispronounced French surname. The moniker also marks a unique fresh and soulful sonic start in an illustrious career that’s found him playing blistering Louisiana fueled blues/rock on several previous acclaimed albums, touring eight years with his homies The Neville Brothers and serving as Music Director for Daryl Hall’s long-running internet and TV series Live from Daryl’s House.

After years of serving the music of legends, Terry-O is focusing for the first time on the magic of the acoustic nylon string guitar – which, he says, has “a more naked and raw sound…a darkness in the tone that creates a classic mellow sound.” When you listen to Terry-O’s crisp and precise, yet balmy and breezy approach throughout “Free Fall,” you’ll understand why the track’s producer, Paul Brown, encouraged him to record it based on his distinctive tone.

For purposes of comparisons for those new to the Terry-O experience, his vibe is along the lines of those of other genre greats focusing on the acoustic, Peter White and Marc Antoine. Yet Terry-O’s got his own cool, confident and strutting personality, snapping and sparkling through a powerfully expressive melody and creating a timeless conversation and duality (on the instantly hummable chorus) with guest saxophonist, Najee, over a buoyant clapping light funk groove. After the second chorus, Terry-O and Najee treated us to multiple bars of back-and-forth sax and guitar soloing that further develop their sizzling rapport.

Many of Brown’s #1 hit recording for other artists feature a regular rhythm section crew – but Terry-O is the complete package, impressively playing all the other musical parts here, including electric guitars, bass and keyboards, and doing the drum programming and arranging. Terry-O says that one of the deciding factors leading him to record “Free Fall” after a lengthy career on a totally different axe was the fact that guitar legend Slash scored an enduring instrumental hit with the flamenco oriented “Obsession Confession” shortly after his heyday stint with Guns N’ Roses. “Free Fall” has that same cross generational potential, and hopefully its success will inspire Terry-O to dig into his catalog of compositions and keep the momentum going. – Jonathan Widran

“The nylon string is a very expressive guitar, and recording ‘Free Fall’ was an opportunity to use that to express myself in a different, more pop-oriented way,” says Terry-O. “In a technical sense, the strings are more responsive to vibrato and touch, with a more naked and raw sound. The string itself vibrates in a different way, and there’s a darkness in the tone that creates a classic mellow sound that people love. The lack of sustain may seem like a limitation but it’s actually a strength which forces you to express yourself in a very different way from the electric guitar. I presented it to Paul as a fully produced demo with me playing the melody on top. It was his great idea to add Najee to it.” – Shane ‘Terry-O” Theriot

Listen to Free Fall on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/5).

Kayla Waters – Open Portals

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With Apogee pianist and composer Kayla Waters, introduced by her famous dad saxophonist Kim Waters, had her first surprise success. In 2018 we could admire her following album Coevolve.

Her new single is Open Portals (2021). This artistic piece musically paints the portrait of portals opening that are ultimately a gateway to the heavenly realm, a realm of supernatural protection, abundant blessings and divine love.

Listen to Open Portals on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/5).

Ilya Serov – Ironic

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Los Angeles-based trumpeter /singer /guitarist /band leader Ilya Serov has a passion for Jazz that knows no bounds. A talented young musician with an old soul, Serov brings an infusion of imagination, vision and energy to the many shades of America’s original musical art form. Possessing both chops and charisma, his live performances and recordings have attracted a solid following among jazz fans and seasoned musicians alike.

Serov has the creds to back up his competence. Russian born and classically trained, he was first introduced to the trumpet at the age of seven, and studied in an intense, five-year program at a demanding music academy. He won a rare and coveted scholarship to attend the prestigious St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music, and his talent as a classical trumpet player led to performances with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the St. Petersburg State Symphony, and St. Petersburg State Opera Theatre.

While at the conservatory Ilya explored the local Jazz club scene, and exchanged tapes and records with friends and fellow musicians, which stoked his love of the genre even more. His earliest jazz influence was Arturo Sandoval, and he subsequently discovered Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra and Nat “King” Cole, eventually incorporating their sounds and vocal stylings into his own music.

Following his passion, Serov relocated to the United States in 2008 at the age of 21. He settled and set up shop in Los Angeles, and it didn’t take him long to establish a name for himself. As a solo artist or with his band, he was soon performing throughout the greater Los Angeles area, including well-known venues such as Spaghettini and the Catalina Club. In 2014 he was honored to be named Best New Artist at the Hollywood International Music Awards.

Serov has even dipped his toes into the Hollywood film scene, co-writing with composer Ludwig Göransson one of the main themes (Drago’s Walk Out) for the 2018 cinema sensation, Creed II. The film was directed by Steven Caple Jr. and starred Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson.

After hearing Serov perform, Smooth Jazz sensation Dave Koz offered him the opportunity to join his popular Dave Koz and Friends at Sea Jazz Cruise as a guest artist. Over the past two years, Ilya has performed on cruises throughout Europe and Australia with Koz and other Smooth Jazz greats, sharing the stage with the likes of Jonathan Butler, David Benoit, Larry Graham, Peter White and BeBe Winans. He has also been featured on The Dave Koz Lounge on SiriusXM’s Watercolors, as well as on KJAZZ 88.1FM, expanding his fan base to include smooth jazz afficionados worldwide.

Ilya Serov is driven today not only by his desire to preserve jazz as an American treasure, but by a mission to engage and educate new generations of listeners. He continues to focus exclusively on contributing his time and talent to the world of jazz – its past, present and future.

“Ilya really is a talented trumpeter and a great singer. This guy has got the goods. Ilya Serov – remember that name.” — Dave Koz

Listen to Ironic on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/5).

Will Sumner – Building Castles

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Born in Los Angeles, attending college for music in Boston and then spending his young adult life in Minnesota, Will Sumner played the clubs and led jazz bands for decades as he worked toward composing his first masterpiece, Tropic Zone released internationally to critical acclaim in 1980. Working alongside Prince, Yanni, The Peterson Family and many others on the Minneapolis music scene at the time, he started to receive industry recognition for his lush, heartfelt themes played over hot Latin rhythms, beautiful slow grooves and, of course, funky, driving electric riffs over amazing and complex modulations.

Eventually a move with his young family back to Southern California brought with it the opportunity to dive into film scores, trailers and commercial work, but his heart soon brought him back to his first love, jazz guitar.

The California vibe inspired him to launch his next few CDs including: Tracks and Yuletide Jazz, followed by Coast Drive, Pier Groove and Endless Sumner, just to name a few. All were extremely well-received on the smooth jazz scene and are still getting airplay today on radio, iTunes, smoothjazz.com and numerous other outlets.

The first symphony composed by Will was performed live by the Riverside, CA Philharmonic in an outdoor amphitheater at the beautiful South Coast Winery in Temecula, CA. Will counts the amazing experience of sharing his music with, not only the audience but the orchestra of his peers, as one of the highlights of a diverse career.

A virtuoso on guitar, piano, and violin, Will still works with many other local musicians and teaches music to both children and adults near his home in Carlsbad, CA. He continues to perform at venues throughout So Cal on both guitar and drums and is always evolving his talent as he lays down dense, complex jazz tracks with ease and finesse.

Listen to Building Castles on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/5).

Xavier Gordon – Bridges

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For more than a decade, Xavier Gordon has been an all-around entertainer in the music industry. Pianist, songwriter, producer and jazz artist are just some of the musical titles he has developed since his start playing piano at the age of eight and his debut into the live music scene in Atlanta, GA in 2008. Born in Conyers, GA, he grew up in a musical family full of singers and musicians and quickly became immersed into the rhythmic sounds and powerful music found in church. This influence can be heard in his music even today. In 2009, an opportunity to sit in with the Lincoln Jazz Orchestra turned into an amazing showcase of his talent and a scholarship to study jazz performance. In addition to his childhood classical training, he became formally trained in jazz while obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies from Georgia State University.

After graduating, he pushed his musical skills to the next level by entering into the Los Angeles music scene. The city of dreams and stars propelled Xavier into dynamic music collaborations and opportunities to play with artists like Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, John Legend and many more. He has produced music for artists like Angie Stone, Puff Daddy and Musiq Soulchild, for which he earned a Grammy nomination in 2018. And in 2019, he recorded a single where he plays alongside jazz greats Norman Brown and Kirk Whalum. These experiences led to an evolution in his own artistry, and now, he is prepared to unveil a musical project of a lifetime: Excellence. Excellence, Xavier Gordon’s innovative and feel-good jazz EP, is set to be released in the summer of 2021.

Listen to Bridges on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/5).

Johnny Britt – Good Feelin’

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Founder of the Motown MoJazz group Impromp2 Johnny Britt is now a soloist and has released his 4th solo album titled Mo Jazzin’.

George Benson quotes: “I love the way the Mo Jazzin‘ album was recorded and the concept. It’s a classic production all around it’s fantastic I even love the cover.”

Dave Koz quotes: “Johnny Britt is an amazingly consistent music-maker, providing listeners with tracks that make you immediately want to press ‘repeat’! And his latest release is no different. Way to go , Johnny!”

Gerald Albright quotes: “Johnny Britt has done it again with his beautiful and genuine approach to his instrument. This project is action – packed with an array of great featured artist and great music. Two thumbs up!”

Terrance Martin quotes: “Johnny Britt has always been able to capture the moment of life through his music and that’s hard to come by.”

While romance, infectious singing and playing are the driving forces throughout, Mo Jazzin transcends the typical genre album via a few unique twists. Two songs, the sultry “Let’s Get Down Tonight” and soulfully swinging “Can’t Stop,” are given both jazz and vocal versions; the jazz takes have more trumpet and only backing vocals. Another slightly off the beaten path tune is “Love’s Callin,” which features a dreamy, talk-sing lead vocal, that could be interpreted as a romantic expression but is also deeply spiritual. The Marvin Gaye styled vocal texturing is a callback to one of Britt’s popular 2016 album Marvin Meets Miles.


As Johnny has contributed his multitude of talents behind the scenes in recent years to albums by smooth jazz stars Boney James, Jessy J and Nils, and pop works by Annie Lennox and Harry Styles, he’s slowly built a solid discography that includes his 2018 set So Hot. Mo Jazzin, his most dynamic and diverse collection to date, should be the breakthrough as an artist he’s been working towards.

Listen to Good Feelin’ on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/5).

Isaac Edwards – On The Town

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After nearly twenty years as a recording artist plus four months of persistence, patience and promotional pushing from his new record label, soul-jazz saxophonist Isaac Edwards has hit the Billboard singles charts for the first time. Released in early February, “On The Town” finally debuted on the Billboard chart last week at No. 24. The funky R&B instrumental, Isaac’s first single after inking with Next Paradigm Records, was written by the saxman and produced by label head, Jacob Webb, who has produced several Billboard chart toppers.

As the world emerges from coronavirus restrictions, the marketplace – and the Billboard charts – have become quite crowded with new releases, especially from marquee artists, which makes Edwards’ chart debut that much more of an accomplishment.

“It has been a huge battle at radio this year with just about every A-lister releasing a track, sometimes more. Due to COVID, most of the artists were at home, not touring, and presumably finishing their tracks, and now they’re releasing them. To give you an idea of how hard it has been to hit the Billboard charts this year, this is our 19th week promoting the single at radio! It took this long to debut on Billboard, but we never gave up! It is rare for a single to take this long to hit the charts and there were lots of moments when we thought that we weren’t going to make it, but we did. Now we are on the chart with a bunch of A-listers,” said an excited Isaac.

“On The Town” features Isaac’s alto saxophone engaging in a discourse with Randall Haywood’s flugelhorn. The groove is anchored by drummer Kevin Bowden and Webb’s rubbery basslines with melodies added by Webb’s keyboards and programming along with Sonny Dumarsais’ piercing electric guitar riffs. COVID precautions and geographic distance required that all of the tracks except for sax to be recorded at Webb’s New York studio compound while the saxophone tracks were laid down in a vocal booth set up in Edwards’ San Diego home.

Edwards has released three albums since the early 2000s, juggling his desire to be a jazz musician with busy days in court as a litigation attorney. His recording projects have incorporated jazz, R&B, pop, rock and gospel, and have included collaborations with GRAMMY-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum, multiple GRAMMY nominee Darren Rahn, and Joel Kibble, a 10-time GRAMMY-winning member of Take 6. Edwards’ 2002 gospel-jazz album, “Here,” was nominated for a Vibe Award, Canada’s Dove Awards equivalent. He studied under the tutelage of noted saxophonists Eric Marienthal and Jeff Clayton and has opened concerts for multiple GRAMMY winners Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith.

Last July, Edwards dropped the independent single, “Bird Rock,” which not only garnered national airplay from SiriusXM’s Watercolors, but captured Webb’s attention, leading to the recording pact with Next Paradigm.

“The title for ‘On The Town’ came to me during the recording process. I had just signed the record deal and it made me think that I had really stepped up my game. I have released albums and singles before, but this is the first time I had a label behind me. I guess you could say that it made me feel like I was really on the music scene, or ‘on the town,’” said Edwards.

For more information, please visit https://isaacedwardsmusic.com.

Source: Great Scott Productions

Willie Bradley – Mystical Moment

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.

In 2014, Willie released his debut Contemporary Jazz CD “Another Day & Time” produced and co-written by keyboardist/Recording Artist Nicholas Cole. Tracks from this CD made the Smooth Jazz Billboard Charts and have been added to Smooth Jazz Radio Stations worldwide to include Music Choice, Pandora, Spotify, and iHeart Radio.

Willie has performed at high profile shows around the country including Catalina Island Jazztrax, Denver’s Premier Jazz Room, The Soiled Dove Underground, Magic City Smooth Jazz in Birmingham, Spaghettini Lounge, Ocean City Jazz Fest, Columbus Jazz & Rib Festival, Carson Jazz Festival, Newport Beach Jazz Festival, Lake Arbor Jazz Festival, Southern Maryland Wine, Jazz & R&B Festival, and the Jacksonville Jazz Coalition Jazz Festival. He is also known for being part of the brass section with RJ & The Original James Brown Band touring abroad in France, Osaka and Tokyo Japan’s Billboard Live and Summer Sonic Music Festival.

Willie’s sophomore CD ”Going With The Flow” is being considered for a Grammy, “Best New Contemporary Jazz Instrumental Album 2018”. Title track, “Going With The Flow” and “Bring Your “A” Game” are smooth winners being added to Sirius XM “Watercolors” and Direct TV’s Music Choice Smooth Jazz Chanel. To put a sharper point on that, the first single from the album is out, and it is terrific. “In the Meantime” featuring legendary vocalist Gerald Alston was released in the UK on October 3, 2017 by Soul Music Records (SMR)/Platinum Garage. “In The Meantime,” was written and produced by award-winning multi-faceted music man Preston Glass. Experts in the music world say this is “Real soul music for the 21st century…timely lyrics, amazing musicianship, heartfelt vocals…” These lyrics are timely and powerful as America heals. “In the Meantime” is a cool midtempo number that borders soul and jazz and has a positive message of living in harmony at a time of an awful lot of confusion in the world.

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!

Listen to Mystical Moment on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/5).

John E. Lawrence – Photo Shoot

John E Lawrence Masterpiece Front Cover-min

John E. Lawrence, a lifelong resident of Ypsilanti, is one of Michigan’s most talented and respected guitarists. John is gained national recognition as a guitar instructor with his contract with Mel Bay Publications, Inc., one of the country’s largest publishers of instructional materials; writing a celebrated series of guitar instruction books.

John became an instructor at Washtenaw Community College where he taught for 27 years and was the Director of the Music Performance Program. John also developed the “Living Legends Series.” The series provided a stage for famous recording artists to be interviewed and share their life stories in front of an audience.

Among Mr. Lawrence’s many accomplishments was a performance at Carnegie Hall. In addition to touring throughout the United States and performing at Jazz Festivals such as: Boston Globe, New Orleans, and Montreux Detroit, he has also performed in Haiti, Surinam, Germany, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

Some of John’s sound recordings include “The Supreme Dream,” “Old Smooth,” “Summer Nights,” “All By Myself,” “Merry Christmas from John E. Lawrence,” “Winter Wonder Land,” and “A Solo Guitar Christmas.”

The single Photo Shoot is taken from his new album Masterpiece Vol. 1.

Listen to Photo Shoot on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/5).

Eric Essix – The Deep

Eric Essix Cover Art

In the midst of a devastating global pandemic, social unrest, and economic upheaval in 2020, veteran jazz guitarist Eric Essix produced one of the most brilliantly focused releases of his 27 album, 32 year career entitled “Songs From The Deep”.

Now, following the success of the record’s first single. “Late Night Drive”, comes a ‘summer mix’ of the title track, “The Deep”. Written, arranged, and produced by Eric, “The Deep” revisits a familiar theme that has defined the guitarist throughout his career: love for his Alabama home, the South and gospel, jazz and blues music that was born there.

“The Deep” washes over the listener like a warm, Alabama summer day with its church inspired Hammond organ, pulsating 6/8 backbeat and laid back vibe. In the spirit of Southern culture, Eric takes his time with this one while skillfully articulating the melody and leaving plenty of space to experience the song’s deliberate pace and phrasing. It is, by far, the most expressive track on the album. It is also the perfect vehicle for Eric to take the listener on a musical journey through his homeland with so much imagery and emotion, you’ll feel like you’re actually there.

Listen to The Deep on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/5).

Richard Elliot – Right On Time

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“There are absolute parallels between jazz and flying,” confesses Grammy-nominated tenor titan Richard Elliot who has been flying airplanes for the past three decades. The Renaissance man, who is currently engrossed in the colossal project of building his own airplane, adds “When you are performing and flying you are 100 percent consumed and focused on that experience from a technical perspective, emotional and aesthetic perspective, taking in everything around you.” Elliot, who has also successfully moonlighted as a software engineer, has a laser-like focus and creative vision that knows no bounds. The chart-topping saxophonist and pioneering Contemporary Jazz musician’s instantly recognizable trademark tenor has afforded him the opportunity to work with everyone from Smokey Robinson, Bonnie Raitt and The Temptations to Dave Koz, Tower of Power and Gerald Albright, to name a few. On January 29, 2021, Richard Elliot offers the perfect antidote to a year wrought with challenges and setbacks. Authentic Life is the Scottish-born, LA-raised saxophonist’s Shanachie debut – his first new album in five years. It’s an inspiring collection comprised mostly of originals that speak to Elliot’s optimistic outlook on life. “The recording has a positive and uplifting feel which is what we all need right now,” reflects the San Diego resident. “A lot of the inspiration is based on the idea of living life in a mindful way, with focus and in the truest way possible that allows you to be sincere in your actions and intentions with other human beings.”

Danny Weiss, Shanachie VP of Jazz A&R states, “Richard Elliot has an uncanny ability to combine precision and technical mastery with passion and excitement. As a result, whether you’re a casual listener or a jazz fanatic (like me), Richard Elliot’s music is richly rewarding – and a real home run for Shanachie!”

A musician’s musician, for Elliot, the line-up alone on Authentic Life is a testament to the respect and adoration he has garnered from his peers throughout his enviable four – plus decade career. Never one to rest on his laurels, the saxophonist confides, “With every record, I try and push my boundaries and stay just a little bit out of my comfort zone so that hopefully I can create an environment for evolution. There is such a camaraderie in this genre. If you are in it for any meaningful period of time you have this community of artists. I feel very fortunate and privileged.” Some of the special guests joining Elliot on Authentic Life include trumpeter Rick Braun, keyboardists Jeff Lorber, Chris “Big Dog” Davis and Philippe Saisse, saxophonists Dave Koz and David Mann, and percussionist Lenny Castro, among others. “It was wonderful collaborating with these guys because each one of them pushes me in a different direction melodically.”

The new single “Right On Time,” a collaboration with keyboardist Chris “Big Dog” Davis and Rick Braun, transports us to a tranquil space if only for a moment in time. Elliot shares, “Chris is the perfect melding of jazz and R&B. He writes and plays these amazing harmonic structures and beats. We all had a great time working on this particular song.”

Listen to Right On Time on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/5).

LaShawn D. Gary – Line Brothers

LaShawn D. Gary cover art

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

LaShawn is currently on staff as a composer for the new television mini- series “Terror Lake Drive” featuring Malik Yoba, Shannon Kane and Lamman Rucker. He is also completing his second album scheduled for release in September of 2021. LaShawn has toured professionally as a pianist with jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield and the late jazz clarinetist Alvin Batiste.

LaShawn has 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. LaShawn 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 Jordan Sparks.

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”. In 2015, LaShawn released his debut album, “Love, Peace, and Praise.” Two singles, “Now Is the Time” and “Love, Peace, and Praise” charted on iHeart Radio and SmoothJazz.com in 2019 and 2020. 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”.

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). He is married to Cherida D. Gary and together they have two children Nigel and Niyah.

Gary’s new single “Line Brothers” features two of his Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Line Brothers (Donald Edwards – drums; Roland Guerin – bass), along with percussionist Romel Alexander. We think LaShawn’s talent on piano is showcased on “Line Brothers”.

Listen to Line Brothers on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/5).

Michael Lington – Up All Night

Michael Lington Alone Together cover art

Alone Together – the album of Duets Features Dave Koz, Boney James, Brian Culbertson, Kenny Lattimore, Chris Walker, Sy Smith, Nick Colionne, Billy Dean, Dorian Holley and Javier Colon.

What do you do when you can’t hit the road in 2020? You turn your home studio into a premiere virtual performance destination with a popular ongoing series of weekly shows on the StageIt Platform, invite your musical friends to be your guests, record all the performances, and a year later release an extraordinary album of duets Alone Together.

States Michael: “Alone Together is a unique project that presented itself in many shapes and forms. When the pandemic started and all my touring was postponed indefinitely, I knew I needed to continue creating music for my own well-being. That’s when I started doing my virtual shows from my home studio on StageIt. A few shows in I started inviting special guests to perform with me, but as technology wasn’t allowing for ‘live’ duets we did it literally ‘alone together’ from separate locations as a pre-record. The most exhilarating part was that my fellow artists that I invited all said yes immediately – and the same goes for the selections I made for this album.”

When it came time to stream the duets, technical challenges made it impossible to do them live. So for each duet, Lington and each artist created pre-recorded videos, doing one take from top to bottom. He mixed the music and then sent it all to a video editor to synch it up – and the result is pure sonic and split screen visual magic. As Lington says in his liner notes, “What ended up happening was incredible. We put together performances that were so real, heartfelt and authentic that it became apparent we were creating something special. We captured a spirit and vibe beyond anything I could have imagined. It’s not about being perfect but all about the heart and soul. It’s exciting to now share that magic again on Alone Together.

Opening with a rousing version of “Baker Street” (the first single released Feb. 19) featuring Javier Colon (from Heat), the set includes “Everything Must Change” feat. Chris Walker (Everything Must Change), “Gonna Love You Tonight” feat. Kenny Lattimore (Soul Appeal), “My Love” feat. Dave Koz (Stay With Me), “Some Kinda Way feat. Sy Smith (Second Nature), “Slick” feat. Brian Culbertson (Second Nature), “So Very Hard to Go” feat. Dorian Holley (Silver Lining), “Road Trip” (feat. Nick Colionne) (Pure) and “You’ve Got a Friend” feat. Billy Dean (A Song For You). Lington also fires up a dynamic horn conversation with superstar saxman Boney James on the project’s new single, Boney’s #1 hit “Up All Night.”

And last, but certainly not least, in 2020 Michael became a Dad to son Landon, his first child and they were able to be Alone Together, too!

Taken from the album Alone Together is the new single Up All Night.

Listen to Up All Night on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/5).

Michael Broening – Shine a Light

Michael Broening - Shine A Light Cover

After two decades of non-stop hit making as a writer/producer for R&B/jazz legends and smooth jazz icons and upstarts, multi-talented veteran keyboardist/composer Michael Broening is ready to “Shine a Light” on a more personal side of his artistry with the highly anticipated release of his debut single as an artist on June 14.

Showcasing his vibrant acoustic piano over a hipster pocket groove and colorful synth textures, “Shine a Light” – featuring bassist Mel Brown and the song’s co-writer, rhythm guitarist Thano Sahnas – offers a master class in picture perfect elegantly played adventurous urban jazz/funk, laying the foundation for not only Broening’s upcoming debut smooth jazz album but a dynamic new chapter in his illustrious, multi-faceted career.

Since 2006, Broening has scored 11 #1 airplay hits, including the Grammy-winning “Mornin’” with George Benson and Al Jarreau, four with Cindy Bradley and others for Althea Rene, Lin Rountree, Kayla Waters and Randy Scott. He has also written or co-written and produced hits for saxophonists Marion Meadows, Michael Lington and Lebron, guitarists Tim Bowman and Steve Oliver, keyboardist Brian Simpson and vocalist and labelmate Catie Waters.

Over the years, Broening penned numerous songs he felt would sound great with a piano lead but wouldn’t be quite right for the vibes of his other artists. After years of keeping crazy-busy in the service of other artists, with the encouragement of Jeff Lunt and Les Cutmore of Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm, he felt now was the time to develop some of these tracks and launch his long in the making solo career.

“I think part of the reason I’ve lasted so long working behind the scenes is that I always felt that I was happy in that role and never felt like I was missing anything,” says Broening, whose journey in instrumental music began by forming the popular rock-jazz band Turning Point with Sahnas and Sahnas’ brother Demitri in the early 90s right after graduating from Arizona State University.

“When I’d hear a song I wrote and produced for one of my artists on Watercolors or saw that someone had hit #1, I shared in the joy of that achievement, but for a long time didn’t have the yearning for being out in front and having my name be better known by fans of this music. I suppose along the way, when I was with Turning Point or working early on with Marion that I would one day become a solo artist, but I got so caught up in the cycle of writing a song and giving it to other artists that I set those thoughts aside for a long time. I joke that up till now I’ve been the 40-year-old virgin of smooth jazz – it just never happened!”

Broening cites Randy Scott’s #1 Billboard chart success with “Joyride,” the track he produced in 2020 for the veteran saxophonist, as further inspiration for his decision to focus on a solo project. “I’m really proud of the work I did with Randy,” he says. “He’s been dedicating his passion for this for a long time, and then out of the blue he’s got a huge hit that everyone’s listening to and talking about. You never know where the next hit’s coming from. If you’ve got a melody you can’t get out of your head, that’s where the magic is.”

Listen to Shine a Light on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/5).

Nathan Brown – This Place Hotel

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After experimenting with several instruments during his childhood and discovering that members of the opposite sex aren’t interested in guys who play baritone horn, Nathan Brown decided to take up electric bass. He began playing seriously at the age of 15, and has been tearing up the Detroit and L.A. music scenes ever since with his distinct brand of intelligent, funky, jazz-infused bass. Nathan currently performs as a member of the Scott Wilkie Band and as a session player for various other artists in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Nathan earned an A.A. in music from Henry Ford College, but attributes some of the best learning in his perpetual musical education to the time he spent in the Detroit music scene. It was in Detroit that Nathan met flutist Alexander Zonjic. As a member of Zonjic’s band from 1986-1993, he performed with some of the world’s most eminent jazz artists, including Bob James, Earl Klugh, and Kirk Whalum. In 1993, Nathan moved to southern California and eventually hooked up with Detroit buddies Scott Wilkie (the Scott Wilkie Band) and Randy Jacobs (Boneshakers).

The new single by Nathan Brown is a cover of the classic hit by the Jacksons. Nathan comments: “The is a song by my favorite group, The Jacksons, featuring my favorite artist, Michael Jackson. I’ve always loved the bass line to this song. I started recording it some years ago to feature Joel Scott, who passed away before we finished. When we revisited it, Jeff McCullough suggested I play the lead on bass. I hope you enjoy it!”

The single features Nathan Brown (bass), Jason Weber (sax), Patrick Yandall (guitar), Richard Sellars (drums), Jeff McCullough (production, keys, percussion), and Joel Scott (keys). Available on all major platforms.

Listen to This Place Hotel on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/5).

Andrew Neu & Rob Zinn – A To Z

Andrew Neu & Rob Zinn cover art-min

From Miles and Coltrane to the Brecker Brothers, the pairing of sax and trumpet defines great jazz and funk. Billboard artists Andrew Neu and Rob Zinn continue that tradition performing as A2Z. Teaming up with hitmaking producers like Adam Hawley and an all star rhythm section, A To Z is their first collaborative single. Tearing a page from great horn bands, the song sizzles from start to finish with Andrew and Rob bringing their unique style and signature horn licks.

Andrew has released 5 albums and toured with Bobby Caldwell, Diane Schuur, Smokey Robinson and Norman Brown. Rob is releasing album #3 in 2022 and has toured with Paul Brown.

Nice groove… A To Z covers it all. Great tune, production and playing by all. Andrew Neu has a great tenor sound that is complimented by Rob Zinn’s fitness on the trumpet. Tight rhythm section brings it all home!” -Jeff Kashiwa

Listen to A To Z on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/5).

Paul Brown – Deep Into It

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Longtime urban jazz fans have probably felt a nostalgic sense of déjà vu these past months as the first two singles from Paul Brown’s Ones Upon a Time hit the Billboard Top Ten Smooth Jazz Airplay Chart. The guitarist’s concept of freshly re-imagining as an artist classic radio hits he had produced (mostly) for others led a Richard Elliot fueled revamp of Rick Braun’s “Notorious” to reach #7 and the Brown-Jeff Ryan collaboration on Boney James’ 1995 smash “Nothin’ But Love” to hit #1. Aside from experiencing dynamic new arrangements, the truly fun part of this experience is Brown’s interaction with the different artists he’s vibed with over the years.

There’s no doubt Brown will reach similar heights with his sensual, soulful and ultra-vibey light funk spin through “Deep Into It,” whose original version was the title track to Larry Carlton’s 2001 album and hit #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. This time, Brown keeps a similar tempo, but fashions a whole new atmosphere and flow by changing out the sax for Braun’s silky, soaring flugelhorn, which breezes along in sparkling musical conversation with the lead guitar and then, with spirited whimsy and improvisational notes to spare, swells on the chorus with a snazzy horn arrangement featuring Lee Thornburg (trumpet, valve trombone) and saxophonist Greg Vail.

Because they’re the focal artists, our ears will no doubt catch Brown’s crackling guitar grace and Braun’s dreamy cool from the get go, but upon repeated listenings, the deeper (pun intended) textures that really drive the track powerfully emerge. Gregg Karukas’ rich, bluesy and subtly simmering keyboard harmonies are the most prominent element, but as with so many of Brown’s best tracks, everything grooves along on the energy of the rhythm section of Roberto Vally (bass), Gorden Campbell (drums) and the legendary Lenny Castro on percussion. These cats form the urban jazz/equivalent of the famed Wrecking Crew, driving the infectious exuberance of so many classics tracked at Brown’s Funky Joint studio. Needless to say, “Deep Into It” deserves a deep dive to fully appreciate its subtleties beyond the hook that will take radio by fire all summer long. – Jonathan Widran

“Deep Into It”

Written by Paul Brown, Larry Carlton & Carl Burnett
Produced & Mixed by Paul Brown

Paul Brown – Guitar
Rick Braun – Flugelhorn
Roberto Vally – Bass
Gregg Karukas – Keys
Gorden Campbell – Drums
Lenny Castro – Percussion
Lee Thornburg – Trumpet & Valve Trombone
Greg Vail – Saxes

Listen to Deep Into It on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/5).

Tarik Clark – Soul Surpluss

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Tarik Clark is an embodiment of the old saying, “When it comes from the heart, it reaches the heart”. His style is full of passion. Born and raised in Hannibal, MO, Tarik began playing music at an early age. His fascination with the saxophone started at the age of 5 when he was mesmerized by a saxophonist visiting his church. He began taking clarinet lessons at the age of 8 (once his two front teeth finally came in), and quickly switched to saxophone at the age of 10. Tarik credits his father, Stan “Holy Harp” Clark, who plays a mean harmonica and his mother, Georgia with continuing to challenge him musically, Spiritually, and academically. Clark earned a BS in Engineering Management from the prestigious Missouri University of Science and Technology; however, his true passion is music.

Inspired by players such as Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, Najee, and Grover Washington, Jr., Tarik’s passionate playing brings you to your feet with a soulful sound that leaves you crying out to the heavens. Clark serves in the music ministry for his church. He has traveled across the globe, where he has blessed thousands throughout South Africa and Kenya. Recently, Tarik led the Houston Texans in the singing of the National Anthem, and has performed the National Anthem on Opening Night for the Sugar Land Skeeters minor league baseball team. Tarik is a loving family man, who makes his home in Houston with his wife Micale and their two children, Kalel and Camille.

Listen to Soul Surpluss on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/5).

Gino Rosaria – Don’t Stop Now

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Don’t be fooled by the quiet façade. Pianist Gino Rosaria has an uncommon depth that stems from being a native of culturally diverse Curacao. He possesses a master’s degree in classical music performance while having a love of jazz. Each element helps shape the music he composes, produces and plays as a first-call session musician and sideman. Gino is currently working on his fourth album, dropping later this year. Gino’s first three singles have collecting playlist adds and earned most added status on the Billboard chart. His latest single, “Don’t Stop Now!” speaks for itself.

Gino’s plan is to keep the momentum of climbing the billboard charts. This single features charting saxophonist WaKaNa. Previous records include an array of chart-topping smooth/contemporary jazz artists such as saxophonist s Marcus Anderson and Elan Trotman, drummer Eric Valentine, flautist Althea Rene, multi-horn man and arranger David Mann, Roman Street’s acoustic guitarist Noah Thompson, and electric guitarist Adam Hawley. Rosaria’s compositions are inspired by such collaborations, adventures with his sons, Simon and Elijah, and recognizing that it is time to make his own unique musical statement.

“I knew it was time for me to step out as a solo artist. I’ve been putting it off for a long time and playing with other artists. I have some good material to release to the world. Because of my Caribbean and Latin roots, I think I have something special to offer musically. I don’t know how to explain it except by showing it through my music. My time has come to step out onto that stage, not as a sideman, but as Gino Rosaria, The Pianist,” said Rosaria, who moved to the US from Curaçao in 2003 and resides in Pensacola, Florida.


“Don’t Stop Now!”

Written by :
Gino Rosaria – G-Sharp Enterprises (BMI)
Adam Hawley – MBF Entertainment (ASCAP)
Keith McKelley – Keith Mac-Publishing (ASCAP)


Piano: Gino Rosaria
Sax: Wakana
Guitar and Sequencing: Adam Hawley
Drums: Eric Valentine

Listen to Don’t Stop Now! on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/5).

Marhid – Sensibility

 

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With a progressive, avant-garde and multifaceted approach to urban jazz, the veteran composer and guitarist David Margam and the multifaceted producer and keyboardist Sergio Hidalgo merge their sound, although the main objective of the new project is to consolidate their own identity in a new instrumental era of music. Modern where they leave the doors open on the way to urban jazz funk.

MARHID is the combination of the acronym of the artists MAR (Margam) & HID (Hidalgo), the reunion of two great friends, musicians and producers passionate about Contemporary Jazz that destiny has reunited during the pandemic in which they unify and merge his creativity and experience with Guitar and Keyboard instruments respectively.

Coincidentally, MARHID translated into Arabic means “Cradle” and represents the birth of a new musical stage for both artists that begins with the presentation of the first debut single “Sensibility” inspired by the inherent and inherent capacity of any living being to perceive sensations and as responders. to small stimuli or excitements through the power of music.

“Sensibility” debut single preview of his first album scheduled for this year 2021 of this fruitful project in which the media and radio stations around the world already predict a promising future in the Smooth Jazz scene internationally.

Listen to Sensibility on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/5).

Ragan Whiteside – Off The Cuff

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Classically trained Soul Jazz flautist, vocalist, and composer Ragan Whiteside is at it again with her latest release, “Off The Cuff”, poised to continue her streak of 6 consecutive Billboard Top 10 Hits: “JJ’s Strut”, “Reminiscing”, “Jam It”, “Early Arrival”, “See You At The Get Down”, “and Billboard #1 and Smooth Jazz Network’s song of the year “Corey’s Bop,” which made Ragan the first female flautist to hold the #1 spot on 3 major smooth jazz charts simultaneously. For the second consecutive year, Ragan is also Billboard’s top female Smooth Jazz Songs Chart artist of the year. In the male-dominated genre in which only three females made it into the year-end top 10, Whiteside came in at No. 5 for 2020. The previous year, the Atlanta-based musician-songwriter checked in at No. 3.

As any composer will tell you, some songs take months to develop while other songs seem to write themselves. It’s exciting and inspiring to work on one of those songs that seem to sense its own rhythm and feel-good vibes and just comes alive. “Off The Cuff” takes the listener on a journey from “feel good” to “feel great”, whether they are on that first climb in spin class or the last mile of a long road tip.

She has made the flute an integral part of this format,” said veteran sax player Walter Beasley of her work, “Huge!

Listen to Off The Cuff on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/5).

Mark Jaimes – Evenin’

Over the past few years, as longtime Simply Red guitarist Mark Jaimes was honing his vibe and writing and recording tracks, Jimi King, promoter of London’s legendary jazz club Pizza Express had a running joke where he’d ask every time they met, “Is the album finished yet?” With his upcoming, highly anticipated and cleverly titled debut collection on Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm Records, Jaimes can finally respond that it’s Hear at Last.

 

“Evenin’,” the collection’s lead single, is a snappy, strutting mid-tempo funk driven tune featuring Jaimes’ lively, lighthearted trademark riffs and an old school soul-jazz keyboard vibe and sparkling piano solo by labelmate and longtime friend Oli Silk. The track is set to drop at radio May 31 and retail/streaming July 23.

Listen to Evenin’ on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/5).

 

 

 
 

 

Rocco Ventrella – A New World

Delilah Records is thrilled to announce the release of the latest radio version single from saxophonist Rocco Ventrella. A New World is a fresh jazz music style composed, arranged and produced by Rocco Ventrella. This track is part of the “Reflections” ep releasing in July 30, 2021.

Listen to A New World on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/5).

Joe Rozum – Summer Cool

Joe Rozum cover art

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 and of course the great music of Elvis and the Beatles.

The California-based Rozum also performs live. Since 2004, he has done six near sell-out concerts with his band of talented musicians at the Smothers Theatre on the stunning, ocean-view campus at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. This 500-seat theatre has been the perfect venue for Rozum to celebrate the release of his latest music projects. He has also been involved in Music Ministry, playing with amazing musicians in several churches, as well as performing for annual Award Shows, private parties and solo unplugged performances at private home concerts.

Rozum loves both performing solo to the Private Home Concert audience…..and on stage with his amazing band to the larger audience. “I love making the piano talk and come to life. My motto is ‘Love what you do, Do what you Love’… I love that message and apply that to the piano when I perform, write a new song or take on a new project!”

Listen to Summer Cool on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/5).

Peet Project – Down To The Lake

 

Peet Project cover art

We are excited to announce the release of Peet Project‘s new single, “Down To The Lake”!

Violinist / producer / bandleader Peter “Peet” Ferencz explained the title as follows:

“When I was a kid, I spent the summers by Lake Velence, a lovely natural lake near my hometown. I have always dreamed of having a house there and now I am blessed to live there actually. Whenever I hear somebody say “let’s go down to the lake”, my heart begins to beat faster and I am always in! Lake Velence is a lovely, upbeat resort area and the summer sunsets are just breathtaking there. We strove to encapsulate this feel in the song and in the accompanying video, hoping to make listeners be a part of the experience, as if they were there with us.”


“Down to The Lake”
Written by Peter Ferencz, Attila Zavodi and Oliver Magan
Produced, mixed and mastered by Péter “Peet” Ferencz.

Peter Ferencz – violin
Attila Zavodi – alto sax
Oliver Magan – keys
Martin Gudics – bass
Marcell Gudics – drums

Listen to Down to The Lake on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/5).

Dave Koz & Cory Wong – Family Reunion

Saxophonist Dave Koz and hipster funk/jam band guitarist Cory Wong (Vulfpeck, the Fearless Flyers, Cory and the Wongnotes) celebrate the joy of reconnecting with loved ones on the infectious new single, “Family Reunion,” which is being serviced to radio on May 24. The track is from their forthcoming album, The Golden Hour, which will be released on June 11.

Dave Koz says, “‘Family Reunion’ is a complete musical celebration…you can just feel it in the energy of the track. A celebration not only for us musicians, but for the millions of families that due to Covid, have had to be separated from each other for a very long time. Families are now finally able to come together, to hug, to once again feel the special joy of being around loved ones – something we’ve all missed so much. That’s the musical DNA of this particular song.”

Cory Wong – who produced the album, co-wrote 10 of its 11 tracks and played electric guitar, among other instruments – notes, “It’s the kind of song that takes me right to the backyard on a hot summer day…the smell of the grill, the presence of friends, and an air of optimism that says ‘everything’s gonna be alright’. When we wrote this song, we wanted to capture the feeling of community. Recording a 10-piece band in a live room with that live energy really brought the song to life in a way that can’t be fabricated by studio tricks!”


About Dave Koz
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.

His 2020 album, A New Day — released exactly 30 years to the week after his very first album came out – marked Dave’s first album of original material in 10 years and his 20th overall album. Conceived and recorded completely under the umbrella of COVID-19, with the express purpose of providing some musical comfort in these extremely uneasy times, it featured special guests Brian McKnight, Antwaun Stanley (Vulfpeck), Meshell Ndegeocello, Bob James, Marc Antoine, Rick Braun, Jeff Lorber, Chris “Big Dog” Davis and others. The album reached the No. 1 position on numerous jazz charts, including iTunes and Amazon, and delivered two back-to-back No. 1 singles: “Side By Side” ft. David Sanborn and “Dr. Norm” ft. Paul Jackson Jr. Koz will be touring the U.S. this summer.

About Cory Wong
GRAMMY® Award-nominated songwriter, producer, and guitarist extraordinaire Cory Wong is a masterful musician and impossible-to-categorize artist adept at blending a variety of genres into his own unique sound. From his work as a member of Vulfpeck and The Fearless Flyers, to collaborations with Dave Koz and Jon Batiste, the Minneapolis, MN-based Wong has proven a restless creator and visionary musician, hailed for his distinctly original approach and dazzling live performances. 2020 saw Wong release an extraordinarily diverse series of eight original albums, spanning a stunning selection of sounds and musical styles. This year has already seen the premiere of his inventive new YouTube musical variety series, Cory and the Wongnotes, as well as an original album collecting music from the series’ first season backed by his explosive new 11-piece big band. CORY WONG AND THE WONGNOTES marks the first album in what will undoubtedly be another busy year for the indefatigable Wong as he continues making his mark as a prolific, once-in-a-lifetime artist and personality.

Listen to Family Reunion on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/5).

Antonio Farao’ – Trip

Trip

The album EKLEKTIK contains 12 compositions and arrangements of Antonio Farao’ and features an incredible cast of musicians : Marcus Miller, Snoop Dogg, Krayzie Bone (Bone Thugs-N-Harmony), Manu Katché, Mike Clark (Herbie Hancock/Headhunters) Didier Lockwood, Bireli Lagrene.

Antonio Faraò is a pianist of uncommon skill. With a career that extends over 35 years, he has realized his potential and established himself as one of the most respected jazz pianists in the International scene. Antonio Faraó has collaborated and/or performed live with a number of great jazz musicians: Joe Lovano, Jack Dejohnette, Bireli Lagrène, Al Jarreau, Wayne Shorter, Marcus Miller, Gary Bartz, Lee Konitz, Steve Grossman, Christian Mc Bride, Miroslav Vitous, John Abercrombie, Toots Thielemans, Kurt Elling, Didier Lockwood, Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin, George Garzone, Cecil Mc Bee.

Now he returns with the new single Trip, which is available on all digital platforms.

Listen to Trip on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/5).

North “2unes” Woodall – Funkie Sister

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.”.

2unes new single Funkie Sister is produced by Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis.

Listen to Funkie Sister on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Roman Street – Turn It On

Roman Street Balcony Of The World Album Cover

Brothers Noah and Josh Thompson put their guitars together to form Roman Street. Since their college years, this brotherly jam session has developed into a Billboard/iTunes charting band who many have dubbed ‘the next generation’ of Jazz Fusion. Roman Street, named for an old roman street in the Alps where they studied guitar, is an internationally trained instrumental band specializing in improvisational fusion of Classical, Gypsy and Contemporary Jazz, Latin, and Nuevo Flamenco. A departure from the over-produced music that is out there today, they keep it simple—the beautifully organic sound of acoustic instruments played by talented people who love what they are doing. Whether performing as a guitar duo, or with a backing band, Roman Street astounds with music that appeals to fans of many genres.

Roman Street has opened concerts/festivals for international sensations George Benson, The Gipsy Kings, Ziggy Marley, Boney James, Dave Koz, The Rippingtons, Earl Klugh, Jesse Cook, Four Play, Maroon 5, Michael McDonald, Bela Fleck and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Their new single taken from their album Balcony Of The World (2021) is Turn It On.

Listen to Turn It On on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Lin Rountree – Release

Lin Release single cover

Chicago based trumpet player Lin Rountree started his solo career in 2006 with the album Groovetree, followed by Sumthin’ Good (2008), Soul-Tree (2011) and Serendipitous (2013). Soulfunky (2015) is his fifth album and the second for CutMore Records followed by Stronger Still (2018) on Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm Records.

This year Lin will return with the brand-new album Fluid (2021). Taken from this upcoming album is the first single with the aptly title Release.

Listen to Release on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Jonathan Fritzén – Keys To Paradise

Jonathan Fritzen cover art

We are excited to announce the release of “Keys To Paradise”, the new single from Swedish-American Billboard chart-topping pianist & composer, Jonathan Fritzén!

“Keys To Paradise” was written & recorded by Fritzén in his studio – playing all the instruments & mixing it as well. “Keys To Paradise” – the first single from his upcoming 7th album Piano Tales – is an upbeat song, filled with hope for a golden future.

“Keys To Paradise” will be released worldwide on May 21st on all digital music outlets. Piano Tales is a groovy, ‘feel good’ album. For the latest up-to-date information in these “special times”, please visit the Jonathan Fritzen Facebook Fan Page.

Listen to Keys To Paradise on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Matt Willard – Por la Orrilla del Mar

Por la Orrilla del Mar

While Nashville is primarily known as a launch pad for country music careers, Music City also has a burgeoning jazz scene. Trekking south from his Virginia home, saxophonist Matt Willard entered a Nashville recording studio with some of the city’s finest contemporary jazz musicians to record his debut single, “Por la Orrilla del Mar.” Willard wrote the single that just dropped on the Creative Soul Jazz imprint and produced it with the label’s Eric Copeland and Sunset Blvd. Studio’s Steve Dady. The exotic track showcasing the tenor saxman’s impassioned play is the first in a series of singles and accompanying videos that will precede Willard’s first album that is expected to drop by the end of the year.

A staccato Latin rhythm constructed by drummer Steve Brewster and bassist Jacob Lowery is the pedestal for the lush melodies of “Por la Orrilla del Mar.” Guitarist Dave Cleveland adds to the harmony while keyboardist Jason Webb shines when trading solos with Willard, who’s deft saxplay runs the gamut of emotion: from intense, raw and emotional to restrained, poised and harnessed. A horn section underscores and illumines Willard’s saxophone excursions.

Willard struggled to come up with a title for the single that has Caribbean nuances and conjures up soothing beach scenes. He felt it needed a Spanish title, but since he doesn’t speak the language, he turned to family members for help.

“After spending many hours trying to come up with the perfect song title, the idea to ask my uncle popped into my head. He speaks fluent Spanish along with many other languages. I sent him the track, and he and my aunt picked up on the Latin feel to the song, and ultimately, they came up with ‘Por la Orrilla Del Mar.’ It means ‘by the sea shore.’”  

Willard’s soulful and inspired sound meshes perfectly with the ethos of Copeland’s label. Creative Soul Jazz is a purveyor of improvisational jazz that they describe as “different and has spiritual roots.”

“As a label and production company, our mission is to use our God-given talents to show the beauty, the intensity, the passion and the spiritual effect of jazz. Our souls are rooted firmly in the freedom and pure art form of jazz,” said Copeland.    

Willard began playing baritone sax in sixth grade and switched to tenor after graduating high school. Having played in jazz ensembles as well as his school’s marching band, he landed professional gigs playing at restaurants, special events and weddings. Willard tested the waters by issuing several recording projects locally, but teaming up with Dady, Copeland and Creative Soul Jazz is about taking his craft to the national level. “Por la Orrilla del Mar” offers a promising glimpse of what’s to come from this artist.   

Willard said, “I had a blast recording in Nashville and cannot wait to see everyone’s reaction to the music as we release it. I hope that these songs touch as many lives as possible like they did mine when writing them. I am truly blessed to have a great team working with me to write and produce this record. Collaborating with Nashville session players is an amazing experience. The entire production team has knocked it out of the park. The album is going to be great!”

For more information, please visit www.mattwillardsax.com

Source: Great Scott Productions

Joel Del Rosario – Night Shift

 

Joel Del Rosario cover art

San Francisco based guitarist and songwriter, Joel Del Rosario has opened up and performed with many of today’s top Contemporary Jazz artists. From performing alongside Brian Culbertson and Michael Lington at Brian’s annual Napa Valley Jazz Festival, to opening up for mega stars Warren Hill and Eric Darius in Phoenix, Arizona and doing the same for Eric Marienthal and Gail Johnson with the ladies of “Jazz in Pink” at Carson’s Jazz Festival. “jDR”, as he as commonly referred to, has been able to stand alongside the industry’s best. Bringing an undeniable onstage presence, jDR’s electrifying performance commands the attention of music lovers everywhere as he can create an intimate musical experience even in the midst of sold out venues and outdoor festivals.

However, not only is “jDR” recognized as a distinguished jazz guitarist who has been voted “Best Jazz Guitarist” by Coffee Talk Jazz Radio and won multiple awards, including a prestigious “Stan Getz” scholarship to Stanford University’s Jazz Camp while in high school. Joel is also an established songwriter, having produced music for Billboard charting artist(s): Ragan Whiteside, Cal Harris Jr., Dee Lucas, and fellow Bay Area keyboardist, Marco Montoya.

His single “Delicious Vinyl” off his latest release “Past Present Future” charted #27 on Billboard’s Smooth Jazz airplay chart for 3 weeks, and was successfully in the running for “Best Instrumental Music” at the 2016 Grammy Awards.

His passion for music however was born out of tragedy. At the age of eleven, Joel’s mother succumbed to a long bitter fight with breast cancer, and the only solace Joel found was through music and his guitar. It was at this point in young man’s journey that he began to spend many quiet moments practicing and bonding with his instrument. In these quiet moments he had developed his unique and distinct playing sound which would later garner the affection of jazz fans internationally.

Definitely be on the lookout for the evolution of Contemporary Jazz where you’ll find Joel Del Rosario at the forefront.

Listen to Night Shift on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Elan Trotman – Brighter Days Ahead

Saxophonist Elan Trotman, has quickly become one of jazz’s most thrilling and emotive performers as he continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist. Trotman’s playing, though inspired by Grover Washington, Jr., Kirk Whalum and Najee, displays his own fresh ideas and distinctive tone. So much so that the New England Urban Music Awards, and The Barbados Music Awards both named him Jazz Artist of The Year on multiple occasions.

Trotman is also the Executive Producer and host of the Barbados Jazz Excursion, a jazz and golf weekend getaway which brings over 300 music lovers to the island every Columbus Day Weekend. Past performers include Jeff Lorber, Javier Colon, Gerald Veasley, Brian Simpson, Althea Rene, Marcus Anderson, Peter White and Jeffrey Osborne. Elan is also the founder of the Never Lose Your Drive Foundation – a Non-Profit which directly funds the Headstart Music Program. Headstart Music provides FREE weekly instrument instruction to students ages 7-11 on saxophone, trumpet, flute, clarinet and percussion. In 2016, over $6,000.00 was raised at the Jazz Excursion Weekend and Golf Tournament. All proceeds go towards tutor salaries, instrument maintenance and supplies for the program.

Born and raised in Barbados, the native island of pop star Rihanna, and educated at the world-renowned Berklee College Of Music in Boston, Trotman approaches jazz in his own way. Blending Caribbean rhythms from his roots with skillful horn textures, his playing is full of surprises.

Trotman has recorded and performed with a number of world-class musicians, including Michael McDonald, Roberta Flack, Jonathan Butler, Keiko Matsui, Johnny Gill, Jeffrey Osborne, Sheila E, Marcus Miller, Will Downing, Earl Klugh, Jeff Lorber, Peter White, Peabo Bryson, Brian Simpson and many others. A huge sports fan, Trotman has performed the National Anthem on numerous occasions for such teams as the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers. As an avid sports fan, Elan has provided entertainment for numerous celebrities including The Bronson Arroyo Band, Cold Pizza on ESPN with Woody Page, Jeffrey Osborne Celebrity Golf Classic, Chris Tucker Charity Golf Tournament, Ray Allen Golf Tournament, Hot Stove Cool Music with Peter Gammons and Theo Epstein.

As a recording artist Elan has topped the Billboard Radio Charts over 10 times. As a solo artist charting songs include “Heaven In Your Eyes” feat. Brian Simpson, “Tradewinds” feat Peter White, “Master Blaster”, “As” feat. Lin Rountree, “Thoughts of Sumer” feat. Will Downing, and “Smooth N Saxy”. Collaborations that have topped the charts include “Magic Men” (Marion Meadows), “Groove Me” (Greg Manning), “Just What You Need” (Brian Simpson), “Smooth (Cal Harris) and “Ride Along” (Julian Vaughn).

Listen to Brighter Days Ahead on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

 

 

Ryan Montano – Gemini

Ryan Montano cover art

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.

The success of his music has led to nation-wide performances at jazz and music festivals across the country including the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, The Phil Denny Armory Jazz Festival, The Seabreeze Jazz Festival “Rising Star” performance slot and several others.

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.

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 Gemini on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Ashely Scott – Don’t Throw Our Love Away

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Ashely Scott is a singer/songwriter from Philadelphia and a graduate of Howard University in Washington DC where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music. Influenced by his aunt Helen Scott of the Three Degrees, as well as The Delfonics, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Price, Ashley found his love and passion for music. He has performed on shows with Take 6, Bilal, and Eric Robertson, as well as recorded background vocals in teh studio with Will Downing, Chavous, and Tye Tribbett. His 2020 single release, “Dance The Night Away” made it to the top 10 on the UK Soul Chart. Ashley has served as a Governor on the Board of the Recording Academy Philadelphia Chapter. His label Soulful Sounds International promises to make timeless music for the future.

His new single is Don’t Throw Our Love Away (2021).

Listen to Don’t Throw Our Love Away on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Sheldon Ferguson – Next To You

Sheldon Ferguson cover art

Sheldon Ferguson is a Grammy nominated guitarist who is originally from Columbia, SC and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. He earned his Bachelors in Professional Music with emphasis in Performance and Production at Berklee College of Music. In 2011 Sheldon released his first smooth jazz album titled The Brighter Side, at the age of seventeen. Sheldon’s music has sold in over forty different countries and can be heard on jazz stations all over the world. The international radio broadcast, Talking Smooth Jazz, considers him a part of the new generation of smooth jazz. In January 2018, Sheldon released his second album, Soul Searching, after a six-year hiatus from releasing music. Soul Searching charted at #7 on the Smooth Jazz Global Listener Chart and #39 on the Top 50 Albums Chart. The album documents a journey of self-discovery and Sheldon hopes to inspire others with its message.

Outside of his work as a jazz artist, Sheldon Ferguson is Grammy Nominated studio guitarist whose sound is highly sought after. Sheldon produced the hit song, Don’t Check On Me by Chris Brown and Justin Bieber with over 80 million streams on Spotify. He also recorded guitar on Travis Scott’s Billboard Hot 100 hit, Yosemite, which appears on the Double Platinum album, Astroworld. This song is credited for bringing guitar back into hip-hop, as mentioned in the Rolling Stone article titled, Hip-Hop’s Secret Weapon: Acoustic Guitar. He was also featured on the IMAGE award winning soundtrack for Oprah Winfrey’s, Greenleaf, as well as appearing on the show in Seasons 2 and 3. Sheldon has performed on stage with notable artists, including Ledisi, Aloe Blacc, Bilal, Angie Stone, Bazzi and many others. Whether on stage on in the studio, Sheldon Ferguson’s goal is to create musical moments that will last forever.

His new single is Next To You (2021) featuring saxophonist Walter Beasley.

Listen to Next To You on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Herb Alpert – Dance With Me

Herb Alpert cover art

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.

As an industry leader, Alpert’s commitment to artists with personal vision guided A&M Records (with partner Jerry Moss) from a Hollywood garage operation into one of the most successful independent record labels in music history that started in 1962 with Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Stars including Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, Stan Getz, Cat Stevens, Supertramp, The Carpenters, Carole King, Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, The Police and scores of others that are evidence of the consistent quality and diversity of the A&M Records family.

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.

His new single is Dance With Me (2021).

Listen to Dance With Me on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Lee Jones – Three Day Weekend

Portada Three Day Weekend

Lee Jones presents one of his new songs “Three Day Weekend” that will be included in his new album “Timeless” with the collaboration of Spanish guitarist David Margam Founding member and leader of FUNKDACION, one of the most representative Bands of Spanish Funk. The new release will be available on all digital platforms on April 13.
“Three Day Weekend” is a song inspired by the good times that life gives us, a motivating composition to get carried away in difficult times like the ones we are living.

His album, Watercolors has remained on the Hot New releases for CD sales with his most popular song, “once in a lifetime” hitting international radio airplay on jazz radio stations and online streaming. Lee is currently collaborating with top billboard charting jazz artist on recording a new album featuring all collaborations from familiar jazz artist.

Listen to Three Day Weekend on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Jef Kearns – Find My Way 2 U

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Amazon best-selling Canadian solo artist Jef Kearns is transforming the flute from a background instrument to a serious soul voice in R&B and hip-hop. His goal, even from an early age, was to create a distinct and instantly identifiable flute sound with enough presence to command attention—just like an R&B singer’s voice. Jef’s cover of Warren G‘s “Regulate” was featured in XXL Magazine’s “20 Covers of Hip-Hop Songs Using Instruments” and his cover of Kanye West‘s “Slow Jamz” in Mashable’s “14 Bizarrely Awesome Rap Cover Videos.”

Over his two decades as a professional musician, Jef has built what would be considered an impressive online following for any independent artist. His YouTube channel has exceeded 1.3 million views. For a solo flute player it’s unprecedented. Kearns’ professionally produced discography includes two full albums, On the Level ( 2009), and Soulfisticated (2013), and an EP called The Flute (2016), and eight stand-alone singles. His follow up album, Jazzy AF is a modern pop instrumental album layered with jazzy melodic phrasings.

Jef will release a new single Find My Way 2 U on May 14, 2021. The single combines Kearns’ instrumental virtuosity with the sultry vocals of Lisa Michelle to form a soulful jam with chill downtempo beats. It was written by Kearns in collaboration with Karen Jewels and producer Douglas Romanow (Sky Machine, Kinnie Starr), and mastered by acclaimed engineer Chris Gehringer, whose resume includes such names as Chromeo, St. Vincent, Rhianna, Cardi B.

Listen to Find My Way 2 U on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Jason Jackson – All The Way

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Saxophonist Jason Jackson has a lot to be excited about – not only is his debut EP, Movin’ On (produced by Adam Hawley) due to release May 14th – but his first radio single, “All The Way” featuring bassist extraordinaire Julian Vaughn will be up for adds at stations all over the country on April 26th.

Jason grew up in Wilmington, NC and at a young age, started to study music with long time James Brown saxophonist  Leroy Harper Jr.. While still in high school, Jason landed a gig working as a member of the house band at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, SC where he performed as the opening act for artists such as: Brian McKnight, Morris Day and the Time, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Michael McDonald among others.

Jason went on to study music at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where he earned a degree in jazz performance. After college, he continued to perform in many local and regional bands and was a regular in the wedding, corporate, and nightclub entertainment scene. In 2011, Jason enlisted in the Navy as a musician where he was able to play for audiences all over the world including: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Australia just to name a few. During his first tour, he was awarded the Colonel Finley R Hamilton Outstanding Military Musician Award and a few months later, he was relocated to the Seventh Fleet Band in Yokosuka, Japan where he lived for over 3 years. During this time, Jason was able to play at some of the most prestigious venues in the area as well as volunteer in several local community bands where he was able to interact one on one with young local musicians. It was during this time that Jason learned that music was truly “the universal language”.

After his military service ended in early 2021, Jason teamed up with contemporary jazz star Adam Hawley to create his first offering as a solo artist. Movin’ On is not only produced by Hawley, but includes him as a featured artist along with Julian Vaughn and Tim Bowman.

Listen to All The Way on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 16/5).

Von Stupart – Living It Up In The City

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Saxophonist/Songwriter Von Stupart is influenced by the likes of Hank Crawford and Grover Washington Jr. He hails from New York, raised in Harlem and The Bronx. Studied music in school and with top notch Jazz musicians at Jazz Mobile in Harlem for many years. Von Stupart has a smooth and silky south with a Jazz and R&B feel.

Von Stupart is joined on his new single Living It Up by guitarist Adam Hawley, drummer Eric Valentine, percussionist Ramon Yslas, and bass player Mel Brown.

Listen to Living It Up In The City on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/5).

Antoine Knight – Something About You

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After being away from the jazz scene for nearly two years, Antoine Knight is back with his new single “Something About You,” released in April 2021. But Antoine wants you to know when it comes to a live performance; it’s an immersive experience that he is truly a “Knight 2 Remember,” which is the title track off his latest CD.

In 2017, Antoine opened for jazz music icon Boney James at the Gulf Coast Jazz Festival in Pensacola, Florida. Antoine found it fitting to release “A Knight 2 Remember”, which it was, and he received multiple encores from his hometown fans. Since the release of “A Knight 2 Remember”, Antoine has gone on a world tour playing tenor sax for the legendary “BB King All-Star Band,” based in Memphis. In the first year of joining the quintessential band, Antione traveled to Amsterdam, Portugal, the Caribbean, Sydney & Melbourne, Australia. In 2018 Antoine’s travels took him to France, Italy, Greece, and Spain. On his final leg of the tour in 2019, Antoine traveled to Singapore, Tokyo, Hong-Kong, and Beijing, China. This tour was a memorable experience that inspired him to return to the United States and start working on his new single called “Something About You.”

Antoine was inspired on sax by the Motown sounds of Jr. Walker & the All-Stars from his aunt’s 8-Track tapes with his cousin. He continued his music listening to jazz giants like John Coltrane, David “Fat Head” Newton, Sonny Rollins, and Cannonball Adderley from his dad’s old vinyl records. Subsequently, Antoine Knight became a Florida A&M University distinguished military graduate, as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army. Antoine served over 20 years as a reserve officer, climbing the ranks to major. On his last command, Antoine retired as a Battalion Executive Officer at Fort Gillem, GA. When asked about his life experience’s involving his musical journey, Antoine states, “For me, I have been around the world, and “A Knight 2 Remember” is the musical journey of my life testimony that will never end. I’ve been battle-tested with mistakes, but I will always emerge stronger than ever at what lies ahead. It is my way of conveying my own experience through music.”

Listen to Something About You on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/5).

Carol Albert – For The Moment

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If there’s anything positive we’ve learned over this challenging, anxiety ridden past year, it’s the importance of loving more deeply, being grateful for what we have and living, as the title of Carol Albert’s new single reminds us, “For The Moment.”

The Billboard charting pianist/composer may have written the soulful and lilting instrumental ballad pre-pandemic, but its sense of cool, free-flowing joy taps powerfully and insightfully into our collective need for hope and optimism amidst the trauma during this anxious age of COVID-19. Produced by Carol, the track features guitarist Paul Brown so prominently that as it grooves along, it feels like a spirited melody and harmony dance/duet between the two smooth jazz hit makers. It also includes the powerhouse rhythm section of bassist Joseph Patrick Moore, drummer Jay Williams and percussionist Curtis McCain. Brown, who produced five tracks on the album, also mixed “For the Moment.”

“Tying in with the overall theme of Stronger Now, the song reminds of being free and having the strength to not only endure but to express that freedom and love of life to the fullest,” says Carol. “When I wrote it, there was no way I could have predicted anything like this past year, but as a reminder about living and embracing the present, ‘For the Moment’ feels very relevant to what we’re all living through. “Perhaps more than ever before,” she adds, “with all the uncertainties and upheavals, we’ve had to face, we have learned about the fragility of our lives and the reality that we only have and can count on the present – so we best embrace it. Though I wrote it from a deeply emotional place as I was coming out of a tragic personal loss, I’m grateful that it can be appreciated and perhaps offer a sense of hope on a more universal level now.”

With the release of “For the Moment,” the Atlanta based artist continues to build on the incredible career momentum she’s experienced since breaking through on the smooth jazz charts in 2017 with “Mas Que Nada” and her debut Billboard charting single “One Way.” She scored her two biggest successes with “Femme Flight,” a Brazilian flavored song that featured flutist Ragan Whiteside and saxophonist Magdalena Chovancova, and “Perfect Sunday” (featuring Brown on guitar), both of which reached #4 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Airplay chart. “Femme Flight” also earned Carol a new legion of fans via extensive airplay on SiriusXM’s Watercolors. Carol’s other recent radio hits include the Top 5 single “Fly Away Butterfly” (the title track from her previous album, released in 2017), the Latin tinged “Sun’s Out” (which reached #7), “Chasing Waterfalls” and “One Way.”

“It’s been very rewarding to see how my music has resonated with people, and the radio airplay and appreciation from listeners are a wonderful confirmation that I’m on a strong creative path and achieving my goals on this very personal quest,” says Carol, whose multi-faceted career includes five albums dating back to the 90s, including the new age oriented releases Morning Music and Night Music. “In addition to the opportunity to touch and inspire so many people with these songs, on a purely creative level it’s been an incredible experience to work with so many of the genre’s highest caliber musicians, from Paul Brown to L’il John Roberts. It’s been wonderful to find so many new ways to grow creatively and continue developing my art.”

Listen to For The Moment on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/5).

Christian De Mesones – Sexy Beast

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Christian “Big New York” de Mesones has been playing bass guitar for over 40 years.  He was only 18 years old when he graduated from the world famous Bass Institute of Technology (now the Musician’s Institute) in Hollywood, California where he had the opportunity to study and workshop with greats such as Abe Laboriel, Louis Johnson, Tim Bogart, Howard Alden, Steve Morse, Pat Metheny, and the late Tommy Tedesco and Ray Brown.  By personal request from visiting guitar faculty member and legendary jazz guitarist Pat Martino, he performed an original composition for his graduation ceremony.

His newest single is Sexy Beast, which is scheduled for release April 30, 2021 on Spotify and in May on other platforms. The single is featuring Bill McGee on trumpet and Rob Maletick on alto saxophone. Jack Turner and Nia Simmons also provide guitar and voice dynamics.

Listen to Sexy Beast on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/5).

Byron Miller – Love On The Run

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A long respected sideman in R&B circles, Byron Miller has thus far only had a couple opportunities to lead his own record dates. Although he had started playing piano when he was five, Miller did not take music seriously until he had a football injury while a junior in high school. He soon taught himself bass and keyboards. Shortly after high school Miller joined Roy Ayers’ Ubiquity for several years (with whom he recorded several dates). Other associations included Carlos Santana, George Duke (appearing on 14 of his albums), Herbie Hancock, the Crusaders, Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross and Doc Powell. Byron Miller recorded a pair of CDs in the 1990’s as a leader including Until for Discovery.

“Love On The Run” is Byron’s new single featuring Walter Beasley on sax.

Listen to Love On The Run on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/5).

Justin Lee Schultz – Gruv Kid

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Raised in Minneapolis and born in Johannesburg, South Africa, musical wonder-kid Justin Lee Schultz is the good news you did not even know you needed. He is joy personified. The multi-instrumental wizard who has dazzled audiences on TV shows Harry, Little Big Shots and American’s Most Talented Family, is a prodigy in the fashion of his idols Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock. His talent is not exceptional merely because he is young but also due to his melodic, harmonic and technical maturation. While his peers are learning the latest Tik Tok dances and amassing kills on Fortnite, Justin prefers studio time and woodshedding for hours. While social distancing has most people jamming at home with their families, Justin has literally been jamming with his musician father and bassist Julius and 16-year-old sister and drummer Jamie-Leigh. “Music brings me joy because I can express myself when I play. I can also get creative when I’m improvising,” shares the amiable, cherub face and charismatic 13-year old who has aspirations are to one day share the stage with Stevie and Herbie Hancock, as well as Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, Jacob Collier, Cori Henri and Robert Glasper. Justin, who plays piano, guitar, bass guitar and talkbox, is home schooled and devotes five to seven hours each day to his musical craft, will make his Shanachie Entertainment debut. Gruv Kid, on November 13, 2020.

Shanachie VP of Jazz A&R Danny Weiss states, “The words prodigy and genius do not do him justice. The warmth, the maturity, the feel, the brilliance… these are qualities that only a handful of artists can hope to attain, regardless of their age. The unadulterated joy that overflows from the gifted artist’s music is really a gift to all of us.” Chart-topping label-mates Pieces Of A Dream are the producers of Justin’s forthcoming CD, which joins him with special guests pianist Bob James and guitarist and singer Jonathan Butler. It is a natural that Pieces would produce Justin as they have developed a close relationship in recent years and both James Lloyd and Curtis Harmon were also child prodigies. They were just teens themselves when they were mentored by saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., who gave them their first record deal.

With a new CD on the way, Justin Lee Schultz has high hopes. “The ultimate dream is to win or even get nominated for a Grammy!, exclaims Justin. “I also hope that I can give people feel joy and happiness when they listen to my music!”

Listen to Gruv Kid on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/5).

Greg Manning – Sunrise Boulevard

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It’s been almost five years since keyboardist/producer Greg Manning released his last CD. Finally it’s coming with the first single, “Sunrise Boulevard”. Get ready for the song that will lead us into Summer.

“Sunrise Boulevard” is an invitation to a reunion. In this hot, forward-moving song from a master of melody, Greg reunites with the talented team of musicians from his chart-topping “Top Down.” In 2021, if you’re looking for the energizing glow and warm horizon of possibility, “Sunrise Boulevard” will take you there. Grab your shades and let’s go!

Listen to Sunrise Boulevard on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/5).

Brad Alexander – Yearning For Your Love

Brad Alexander, a Los Angeles native, has been in the music business for many years. As an accomplished music producer, songwriter and pianist he has assisted many other artist in presenting their music to the world. He has served as a keyboard player for artist in different genres of music, but Smooth Jazz is where his heart is. Alexander’s love for music and his musical artistry is evident.

On August 23, 2016 Alexander released his debut CD project entitled “Just Between Us”, where he showcases his high caliber musicianship and soulful sounds with many original compositions such as “Feel Da Music” featuring Grammy nominated saxophonist Gerald Albright, “Missing You” featuring accomplished saxophonist Jackiem Joyner, super covers of great hits such as Chaka-khan’s “Through the Fire” featuring bass player Andre Gouche’ and Bill Withers “Lovely Day”.

Brad’s new single is a stunning instrumental interpretation of The Gap Band’s “Yearning For Your Love”. It’s the follow-up to his 2020 single, “Straight Up”.

Listen to Yearning For Your Love on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/5).

Richard Smith – Let’s Roll

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Last March, guitarist Richard Smith was in a battle for his life. Before the doctors and nurses administered the experimental infusions that he hoped would strangle the stage 3 cancer gripping his throat, his daily response to their inquiries asking if he was ready for the four-hour process that he went through for 45 consecutive days became an affirmation: “Let’s roll.” A year later and now cancer free, Smith is set to drop his first US single in five years, “Let’s Roll,” which he wrote with Billboard chart-topping guitarist Adam Hawley, who produced the uplifting track featuring saxophonist-flutist Jeff Kashiwa.

Shortly before Smith’s diagnosis, the former chair of the contemporary guitar department at the Thornton School of Music at USC’s former student, Hawley, sent a demo track of the single that goes for playlist adds on March 29 from Chillharmonic Media. “Let’s Roll” was to become Smith’s daily mantra before infusions.

“The clinical trial drug that I volunteered for was a daily four hours of intravenous infusion, as well as radiation and chemotherapy that drained my mojo to zombie levels every day. Fortunately, the drug is now in production and is a game changer,” said Smith, who lost 40 pounds during treatment and has an eight-inch scar on his neck from the surgery.

“Let’s Roll” previews Smith’s forthcoming 13th album, “Language of the Soul,” which he plans to drop in the Fall.

“The album title comes from a piece written by great South American poet Pablo Neruda, who I discovered while on tour in Argentina and have become a huge fan. The new album is a lively collection of pieces that I recorded over the last two years while living in Finland, Italy, Greece, London and while isolated here in LA. I wanted to get back in my ‘LA lane’ and working with Adam (Hawley) helped me get back in the musical headspace to produce music for an American audience,” said Smith who remains a full professor at USC.

Smith’s “SOuLIDIFIED” (2003) album spent 17 weeks in the top 10 in terms of airplay and his 2015 set, “Tangos,” spent more than five months in the top 10 of the indie and contemporary jazz charts. As a featured sideman and collaborator, Smith has recorded or shared the stage with contemporary jazz royalty, including Richard Elliot, Peter White, Kenny G, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, Eric Marienthal, Brian Bromberg, Warren Hill, Everette Harp and Dan Siegel. Opportunities over the last ten years to perform, compose and record with international artists and at universities aboard afforded Smith the opportunity to combine his two loves.

“I can’t separate my passion for making music from my passion for teaching it. So, I committed to a musical life away from the States. I get summers off from USC, so I hop on a plane the day after classes and spend May to September abroad. My music has changed a lot, doing arrangements that suit European concert goers. However, when I met American actress Nancy Lee Grahn (General Hospital), I decided to return to full-time life in the United States and get back to my West Coast modern jazz roots.”

Although Smith describes the exuberant R&B instrumental groove on “Let’s Roll” as “very West Coast, very LA,” songs from the upcoming album tackle weightier subjects than just “palm trees, ocean breezes and great vibes.”

 “A few songs from ‘Language of the Soul’ have political origins. A big part of songwriting history are songs of protest and struggle. We are in such turbulent times that as an artist, it is impossible to avoid the opportunity to share the inspiration and social commentary that such times provide,” said Smith.

It’s possible that Smith’s cancer experiences may inspire more music that will appear on “Language of the Soul.”

“A typical thing that cancer survivors say is that no one understands except the people who have been through it. That is so true, but it helps those who haven’t been through it to share some of the details – whether it helps them personally or one of their loved ones as they go through it.”

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

Source: Great Scott Productions

Listen to Let’s Roll on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/5).

Richard Randolph – Changing Lanes

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Contemporary and Smooth Jazz Saxophonist, Richard Randolph, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, co-founder of Columbus-based Smooth Jazz band, NexLevel, and saxophonist of UrbanJazzCoalition, has such versatility and finesse that captures your soul at the very first note. His skilled ability has allotted him a wide experience of performing with artists of many disciplines, and his sound has no limitation from soul-jazz, R&B, and funk.

He picked up a saxophone at the age of twelve and contributes his first taste of the true essence of music from his eldest sister, Dr. Charsie Randolph-Sawyer, Emeritus Professor of Music at Calvin College, along with his humble beginnings in church.

He continues his onward journey of music mastery, with his debut single release “Changing Lanes” written by Richard and produced by chart-topping guitarist/producer, Adam Hawley.

Listen to Changing Lanes on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 15/5).

Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis feat. Kim Waters – Caregiver

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For more than two decades, Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis has worked with artists including Grammy nominated Maysa, multi-Grammy nominated Gerald Albright, Will Downing, Phil Perry, Najee, Brian McKnight, Chante’ Moore, the late Vesta Williams, gospel giant Kim Burrell, Floacist, Glenn Jones, Miki Howard, Melba Moore, Marion Meadows, George Clinton, Selena Johnson, Avant, Kim Waters, Rick Braun, Alex Bugnon and many more. Davis has also performed as a solo artist at the Berks Jazz Fest, Philly South Kitchen and Jazz Parlor, and is the music director for the Brass City Jazz Fest. Equally captivating behind the scenes and on the stage, this two-time Grammy nominated writer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist has 17 Billboard top #1 smooth jazz records since 2008.

Early in 2020, Davis had been diagnosed with Stage Four Lymphoma for the second time in ten years. While Davis was in the hospital, he talked to the label heads at Shanachie Records, “I’ve been working with Shanachie for years, but I’d never done my own record. If I’m going to leave this earth, I want to make my own record,” said Davis. Three months later, Davis was discharged from the hospital.

In June 2020, Davis debuted his solo album, Focus. He could make his album in part thanks to his sister. “My sister was my caregiver when I was too weak to care for myself.” When Davis was due for chemotherapy treatments, “she’d take me there and stay in the hospital for days, and then I would come home and do the record.” In October 2020, Davis and Jackson collaborated to record Caregiver with one of the planet’s best saxophonists,” Kim Waters.

Davis (caree) and executive producer Keisha L. Jackson (caregiver) dedicate Caregiver to the millions of paid and unpaid caregivers in the world.

Listen to Caregiver on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 14/5).

Mattias Roos – Commercial Free

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Flourishing in the smooth jazz friendly confines of Skytown Records, Swedish keyboard player Mattias Roos is back with his latest single Commercial Free that goes for adds March 22. Finding him in cool collaboration with hit maker, guitarist and double Grammy winner Paul Brown this joyous mellifluous and uplifting number looks certain to lay siege to the smooth jazz charts for some time to come and is replete with the trademark vibe that Mattias has very much made is own.

Indeed his penchant for sublimely fusing smooth jazz grooves with an authentic old school vibe first emerged in 2011 with the band Soweco that he formed with drummer Peter Gustavsson. His Skytown debut came in 2017 with the critically acclaimed album Movin’ Upand the equally good It Goes On and On followed two years later. However, that wasn’t quite the end of the It Goes On and On story. In 2020 it was released as a deluxe version with four additional tracks and an outstanding reworking of Bring It On that this time featured Michael Lington on sax and proved to be a runaway chart success. As for Paul Brown, with a string of hit albums to his name, it is easy to forget that before he became a chart topping smooth jazz guitarist he was (and remains) one of the most influential producers of the genre.

Not only that, and in common with Roos, Brown has always been ready to explore areas previously untouched by contemporary jazz. In so doing he has created that special Paul Brown sound, a delicious melange that lays somewhere between rock, smooth jazz and chill.  It makes the statement that suddenly it is very OK to blend smooth jazz with guitar driven rock. Sumptuous music plus inspirational artistry from two of the best in the business and all of it totally Commercial Free.

Listen to Commercial Free on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 14/5).