Mariea Antoinette – That Thing

Strip away Lauryn Hill’s scathing admonition to men and women on her 1998 hit, “Doo Wop (That Thing),” and you are left with an innovative rhythmic track that astutely balances jagged hip hop edginess and a melodic R&B soul. It’s an unlikely composition for a classical harpist, which makes it Mariea Antoinette’s sweet spot. She has made it her mission to tackle unexpected funk, rhythm and blues, and pop songs, creating new possibilities for her instrument by presenting them with harp as the protagonist. Teaming with producer and arranger Allan Phillips, Antoinette’s reimagined “That Thing” goes for playlist adds on September 23.

Antoinette’s elegant stringed siren provides a surprising contrast over the buoyant beats Phillips constructed. Lush harmonic accoutrements are provided by a vibrant live horn section – trumpeter Derek Cannon, tenor saxophonist John Rekevics and trombonist Jordan Morita – and dramatic strings from the APM Allstars Strings along with Evan Marks’ guitar and Phillips’ keyboards. Antoinette debuted “That Thing” with her band on stage last month at the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival, garnering an enthusiastic standing ovation.

“I chose the track for its funky, innovative rhythm and the beats are very cool. It’s a perfect song for harp that people are not expecting. Lauryn Hill is a music pioneer and a leading voice for women and for her style, ingenuity and edginess. The stories she tells through her music and lyrics are fresh and unique. ‘That Thing’ schools both women and men on motivations, keeping your eyes open and being wise in relationships. Everyone loved it when we played it live in San Diego,” said Antoinette.

“That Thing” offers an alluring glimpse into Antoinette’s forthcoming album, “All My Strings.” She and Phillips are busy tracking material for her third album that is slated to drop January 31, 2020 on the Infinity Productions/MAH Productions label. Antoinette’s last outing, “Straight from the Harp,” went top five at Billboard when it was released in 2015. The San Diego-based musician has been balancing her solo career with being a member of the all-star female ensemble Jazz in Pink since 2007. In June, she made her Playboy Jazz Festival debut at The Hollywood Bowl playing with Jazz in Pink, with whom she has performed at several prominent festivals this year, including Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Capital Jazz Cruise and the upcoming Barbados Jazz Excursion and Cancun Jazz Festival. The award-winning harpist collected three statues last year for Instrumentalist of Year (San Diego Prestige Awards), Best Jazz Single for “Overture” (Black Women in Jazz & The Arts Association), and a BMA Image Award from the Black Music Awards. Her high-profile performances include playing for President Barak Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Ne-Yo at the BET Awards, at Vanity Fair’s Grammy party with Jamie Foxx and on American Idol.

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

Source: Great Scott Productions

Tony Momrelle – We Had Searched For Heaven

Tony Momrelle is one of the most exciting and significant soul musicians on the modern British stage.

In a music career spanning 20+ years, he has performed with some of the greatest artists in the world: Incognito, Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Sade, Gary Barlow, Andrea Bocelli, Gwen Stefani, Robert Palmer and many more. In Autumn 2016 he supported the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire on their sold-out UK tour.

Momrelle was also lead male vocalist of the famous British Acid-jazz band Incognito for more than sixteen years. His new single “We Had Searched For Heaven” features Maysa on vocals.

Listen to We Had Searched For Heaven on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 9/4).

Ace Livingston – As Long As You Love Me

 

Continuing the hard-grooving momentum he generated with his last album My Metamorphasis, Jamaican born bass powerhouse Ace Livingston infuses his instantly infectious new single “As Long As You Love Me” with a blend of cool, soulful vibes, supercharged funk, brassy energy, colorful jazz soloing and mystical soundscape touches. Like the promise and fulfillment of love itself, the track builds momentum from it’s intimate opening melody to its fiery burst of passionate expression.

Livingston’s new single is produced by Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis.

“I’ve had the pleasure of playing with Ace; more powerful than his musical brilliance is his unselfish and shining collaborative nature. I only hope I continue to have opportunities to play with him”
– Harry Connick Jr

Listen to As Long As You Love Me on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 9/4).

Paul Brown – Some Of This

 

Along with our friends at Woodward Avenue Records, we are excited to announce the release of Paul Brown‘s new single, “Some Of This”!

Bringing a much-appreciated powerful infusion of raw, rootsy bona fide blues to smooth jazz, Paul Brown – one of the genre’s biggest hitmakers and influential artists and producers – has been on a creative and chart-topping tear lately. Four of his last five singles – including “Boogaloo,” the first from his 2018 album Uptown Blues- hit #1 on the Billboard charts, and his most recent single “Blues for Jeff,” went Top 5 on Billboard and topped the Mediabase and Smoothjazz.com charts. Brown’s zesty swirl of pop, R&B and blues influences reaches its latest fever pitch on his new single “Some of This,” which should keep this train to the top a rollin’ for the next few months.

While “Boogaloo” was pure nonstop wild energy from the get-go, “Some of This” is more about a slow-building seduction, a playfully strutting, simmering horn tinged, mid-tempo funk gem that invites us to explore Brown’s crisp blues chops and improvisational virtuosity but in an infectious pop-soul setting. Building on the coolly grooving foundation of Mel Brown (bass). Dave Karasony (drums) and Hans Zenmuehien (keys), the casually sassy tune features the guitarist’s spirited interaction with the lead sax intensity of Greg Vail and a sly dance in and around trumpeter Lee Thornburg’s snazzy, dynamics-filled brass arrangement. One of the more noteworthy aspects of “Some of This” is that it’s that rare Paul Brown track that the guitarist didn’t pen himself – proving that he’s more about recording the greatest songs possible, wherever they originate. Though it was written by his fellow veteran guitarist Allen Hinds, Brown makes it very much his own as he showcases the slightly more laid- back side of those Uptown Blues.

“Some Of This”
Written by Alan Hinds
Produced and mixed by Paul Brown
ISRC US-VHM-18-00063

Paul Brown – Guitar
Mel Brown – Bass
Hans Zermuehlen – Keyboards
Dave Harosony – Drums
Kevin Ricard – Percussion
Greg Vail – Saxes
Trumpet & horn arrangement – Lee Thornburg

Listen to Some Of This on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 9/4).

Butch & Rhonda Coleman – Moment Of Your Time

A spiritually grounded husband and wife duo that recognizes music as a universal healer, Maryland based Butch & Rhonda Coleman create a fascinating dual sound around the plucky thump of his bass and her versatility as a sultry pop/R&B singer and jazz keyboardist. The title of their third album Moment Of Your Time doubles as an invitation to get to know them and their deft blend of old school soul-jazz, breezy and heartfelt balladry and buoyant urban-flavored Smooth Jazz. Adept at creating a variety of moods, the Colemans like to say that their music tells a story. Here, that’s paying homage to past influences like Bill Withers while making sure we’re hip to their eclectic, very contemporary sexy, funky flow. – SmoothJazz.com

Listen to Moment Of Your Time on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 8/4).

The Justus Brothers – Chinese Checkers

Jason Clark, Niko Lyras, Steve Potts, Pat Register and Dave Smith are the core members of The Justus Brothers, the new Contemporary Jazz super group from Memphis, TN. They are five of the city’s most talented, most experienced, and most respected musicians.

Having played together all over the world for decades, these brothers have a bond that creates amazing music and amazing moments for the audience. Joined by stellar guest artists such as percussionist Billy Ramirez and Memphis horn ace Scott Thompson, they’re releasing a new album of deep grooving originals along with a few choice covers.

Check out their fresh treatment of Booker T’s “Chinese Checkers”.

Listen to Chinese Checkers on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 8/4).

Bernard “BK” Jackson – Velvet Ropes

 

Bernard “BK” Jackson is an international-performing saxophonist, electrifying audiences across the globe with his unique playing style, energetic stage presence and unparalleled passion for music that touches the soul. A native of Tampa, Florida, he goes by the stage name “BK Jackson” and has crossed musical paths with industry giants such as B.B King, Brian McKnight, Bruno Mars, Hunter Hayes, Chaka Khan, Fantasia, Zac Brown Band and more. Most notably, BK spent three years touring domestically and abroad with musical icon Prince, performing timeless hits for sold out arenas night after night as a member of his 11-piece horn section, known as New Power Generation.

Currently, BK can be found rocking the stage with New Orleans front man Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews as a member of the multi-talented musician’s touring band, Orleans Avenue. The group headlines tours around the world, bringing audiences a classic infusion of the New Orleans brass band sound, perfectly mixed with sonic rock, jazz and hip-hop influences. In addition to headlining their own sold out shows, the group has also opened for powerhouse acts such as The Foo Fighters, Zac Brown Band, Lenny Kravitz, Hall & Oates, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

His new single Velvet Ropes features keyboardist Nicholas Cole.

Listen to Velvet Ropes on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 8/4).

The Slim Man Band LIVE at Vicky’s

A double LIVE CD of mostly Slim Man songs, some Bona Fide tunes, and a few cool covers.

Slim Man just won Best Jazz Vocalist at the 2019 Coachella Music Awards. Fourth year in a row. He wants to put out a double LIVE CD. He knows it sounds a little crazy and a bit ambitious but let him tell you the story…

“I’m from Baltimore, Maryland. I moved to Palm Springs, California, a few years ago. Last October, I was asked to do a residency at a listening club outside of Palm Springs, a place called Vicky’s.

I put together a band, and we played every Wednesday night for 3 ½ hours, week after week, month after month. Some magic started happening on stage. We kept improving, learning new songs, crafting the catalog, honing the arrangements.

We’d play on a Wednesday night and then every Thursday I’d send the band my show notes, ideas on how to improve. We started getting better and better. We were hitting our stride.

After 8 months, and 32 shows, I decided to do a live recording of Our Big Finale, the last show of the season. Wednesday, June 5th, 2019. Vicky’s was packed. We played for 4 hours and 18 minutes.

When we went into the studio a couple days later to listen to the recording, I was apprehensive. Live CDs are tough to make. That’s why there are very few of them these days, and even fewer good ones. So we sat down in the studio and listened…

What came out of the speakers sounded really good. Song after song, the music was stellar. The performances were excellent. The 9-foot grand piano sounded glorious. The music had some sizzle. There was definitely some pep in the pepperoni.

We  started out as a group of musicians, and over time became a band. And most important, the band is having fun. You can hear it on this recording.

I tried to create a set list that has peaks and valleys, a list that has highs and lows and in-betweens. I varied the tempos…some songs are slow, some are fast, and some are half-fast! We did lots of Slim Man songs, some Bona Fide songs,  and a couple cool covers. It’s a wonderful mix of music.

We want to finish this project. And to get that done, we need some funding. And that’s where you Slim People come in. We need a minimum of $6,000 to get these songs mixed and mastered. And then there’s promotion. We want to hire the proper people to spread the word, to give it the best chance of success.

The more money we raise, the better chance for success.

I’ve done 2 LIVE CDs already. I’ve got a feel for this stuff. And I’ve run 4 successful Kickstarter campaigns. I haven’t had any complaints yet!

We’ve put together some very cool rewards. Kickstarter’s a great platform to find funding for creative projects you’re passionate about. And I’m passionate about this. I wouldn’t be putting this CD up on Kickstarter if I didn’t feel really good about this music.

So make a pledge, get cool stuff.

Thank you for listening. And thanks for the support.

Couldn’t do it without you Slim People.

Who loves ya?

 

Uncle Slimmy ”

To support the project visit

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/slimman/the-slim-man-band-live-at-vickys/description.

Dave Bradshaw Jr. – Latina Love

 

The story behind Dave Bradshaw’s development as a contemporary urban jazz artist after years as a renowned, very versatile sideman in Southern California is as poignant as “Jumpstep” is uplifting. For 13 years, he was a member of the Al Williams Jazz Society, a popular, multi-faceted ensemble led by the popular jazz drummer and jazz promoter, known for their regular gigs at Spaghettini in Seal Beach and rousing annual performances at the Long Beach Jazz Festival. The keyboardist had the pleasure of opening for genre greats like Kenny G and Brian Culbertson; he was often inspired by their success and felt like he had the potential to become an artist and performer in his own right. But at some point, while continuing at the top of his game technically, he started feeling like he was losing his passion for music.

The passing of Bradshaw’s father in 2010 changed everything, making him realize like never before that time was quickly passing by and if he wanted to pursue deeper dreams, this was the time. Composing became a necessary catharsis, and he began putting all of his intense emotions over his dad’s loss into music. Excited by what he was writing, he invested in DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software and started making his own beats and tracks. He was encouraged by many of his musical cohorts to do a recording. He started off very DIY, printing his own CDs with graphics he created himself.

His first album was Set Me Free (2016), followed by Flipside (2018). From his new album comes Latina Love featuring the Earth, Wind & Fire Horns.

Listen to Latina Love on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 8/4).

Adam Hawley – Shuffle

Los Angeles based guitarist Adam Hawley has already worked as sideman for stars like Jennifer Lopez, Monica, Kenny Latimore, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Richard Elliot, Michael McDonald, Brian Culbertson and many more.

More important is his solo career, which he started with his aptly titled album Just The Beginning in 2016. His friend and band mate Greg Manning helped him to get a contract with the label Kalimba music. Now Adam returns on the same label with his second album Double Vision in 2018.

He is joined on the new album by an incredible huge cast of musicians such as Dave Koz, Keith McKelley, Darren Rahn (saxophone), Carnell Harrell (organ), Nathaniel Kearney Jr. (key bass), Eric Valentine, Gary Novak (drums), Ramon Yslas (percussion), Jeff Lorber(Rhodes, piano, Clav), David Mann (horns and arrangement), Mel Brown, Julian Vaughn, Ian Martin(bass), Marcus Anderson (sax, flute), Demonte Posey (Rhodes), Carnell Harrell (synth), Greg Manning (keys), Kat Hawley (vocals) and Trevor Neumann (trumpet).

From his new album comes his single Shuffle. Shuffle featuring Darren Rahn develops from a routine piece of music into a uniquely personal style of a guitarist who knows his crafts.

Listen to Shuffle on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 11/3).

Ragan Whiteside – Jam It

 

The sizzling summer heat. A backyard barbecue filled with food, family and friends. A tune comes on the radio that instantly sets bodies in motion. As people start moving and grooving, someone exclaims, “That’s my jam!” This scene is what soul-jazz flutist Ragan Whiteside envisioned when creating her latest single, “Jam It.” The hot track became her fourth consecutive Billboard Top 10 single when it hit the ninth spot on the chart for the week of August 3. At No. 9 with a bullet, it’s still rising like the mercury.

Whiteside wrote “Jam It” with seminal urban-jazz artist Bob Baldwin, who produced the joint with Dennis Johnson (Marion Meadows, Freddie Jackson, Phil Perry, Melba Moore). The cut previews Whiteside’s forthcoming fifth album, “Five Up Top,” slated to drop this fall from Randis Music, an indie label run by Whiteside and Johnson.

“Your favorite party song comes on the radio and someone claims it as their jam. I wanted ‘Jam It’ to give you that feeling and get people dancing – whether you’re at a backyard barbecue or just driving to work. Wherever you’re listening, you should turn up your speakers and JAM IT!” said the Atlanta-based Whiteside.

Whiteside’s hit streak began when her 2017 “Treblemaker” album sent all three singles into the Billboard Top 10. Another collaboration with Baldwin, “Early Arrival” featuring saxophonist Kim Waters, got things started when it checked in at No. 7. She scored her first Billboard No. 1 hit with “Corey’s Bop,” a clubby trek she wrote with Johnson and Baldwin. Her own boisterous party starter, “See You at the Get Down” celebrated at No. 5.

Whiteside’s vibrant and velvety flute leaping amidst jazzy rhythms and funky beats is ushering her instrument back into the centerstage spotlight. She takes pride in being a completely independent artist who is flourishing while releasing her own recordings. A classically trained flautist and vocalist who grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, Whiteside took up the flute after first learning piano, violin and drums as a child. While studying classical music, she discovered her passion for songwriting and arranging. When Whiteside first became a jazz, funk and R&B mixologist, she won the Capital Jazz New Artist competition. She began collaborating with Baldwin and Johnson for her debut disc, “Class Axe” (2007), pouring splashes of classical into intoxicating jazz, funk and R&B cocktails. Whiteside incorporated fusion into the branded brew on subsequent sets: 2012’s “Evolve,” 2014’s “Quantum Drive” and “Treblemaker.” Among her honors, Whiteside was named Flutist of the Year at the Black Women in Jazz & Fine Arts Awards.

Either on her recordings or as a guest artist, Whiteside has flanked urban/contemporary jazz cohorts Earl Klugh, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Marion Meadows, Walter Beasley, Patrice Rushen, Chieli Minucci, Frank McComb, Eric Darius, Baldwin and Waters. Her spirited stage performances have made her a popular draw at festivals and cruises such as the Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Mallorca Smooth Jazz Festival and the Capital Jazz SuperCruise. Catch Whiteside in the coming weeks at the Derby City Jazz Festival in Louisville, KY on August 10; Fourth Avenue Jazz Festival in Birmingham, AL on August 24; and at the Gulf Coast Jazz Summer Fest in Pensacola, FL on September 1. For more information, please visit http://www.raganwhiteside.com.

Source: Great Scott Productions

Listen to Jam It on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/4).

Reggie Codrington – Sunny Skies

 

When the burden of caring for aging and ailing parents is added to the daily stresses and strains, sometimes simply seeing sunny skies is enough to help get through the day. That scenario is what inspired urban-jazz saxophonist Reggie Codrington’s new single, “Sunny Skies,” which he wrote with bassist-producer Darryl Williams. The hopeful mid-tempo R&B groove, mixed by hitmaker Euge Groove and going for playlist adds on August 12, features Codrington’s soulful soprano sax expressions and trumpet play from his 82-year-old father who is battling Alzheimer’s.

Afflicted with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy that required nine major surgeries even before he became a teenager, Codrington is returning the loving care he received from his parents, Joyce and Ray Codrington. The grind is a challenge physically and mentally, but the optimistic artist awakens each day seeking beauty and blessings in his life that put a smile on his face.

“The song (‘Sunny Skies’) makes me feel happy. I find beauty all around me, even in the rain. But seeing sunny skies makes me feel especially peaceful and happy. Blue skies make me feel close to nature. I’m a pretty simple guy. Life is complicated enough and so are all the things going on in life. Sunny skies keep me moving forward,” said Codrington.

After an intro from Codrington’s label, M.A.N.D.A.T.E Records, Codrington and Williams hooked up a few years ago at a jam session. Williams sent a track to the saxman who then wrote the buoyant melodies for “Sunny Skies.” With Williams programming the drum tracks, playing piccolo and synth basses and keyboards, Codrington emotes smilingly on a special curved horn designed to overcome his physical limitations. Guitarist Darrell Crooks, who has recorded with Grammy winners Eric Clapton, Boyz II Men, Ledisi, Gregory Porter and Kirk Whalum, adds rhythmic licks while Rymand Entezari contributes electric piano touches. Codrington gets emotional when talking about his father, who has played with Little Richard, Gladys Knight and Jackie Wilson, making a guest appearance on the single.

“Yeah, man, he’s an inspiration for me. It means a lot (to me) to have him on the record with all that he’s going through with Alzheimer’s. There’s great beauty in that as well as inspiration for me. Taking care of my parents as their health fails, I try to find the bright spots in each day to keep from feeling down. Everyone has got to find their own ways to get through the day. It could be as simple as looking up in the skies. Just seeing beautiful blue skies makes me feel like I can take on the world,” said the Fayetteville, North Carolina-based Codrington who studied music at Howard University.

Last year, Codrington dropped a single, “Cherry Sweet,” a song that sprang from helping his mother feel better by giving her cherries. It appeared on his “Against The Odds” disc, titled for the improbable story of how he overcome a rare disability and found a home in music. Ataxic Cerebral Palsy is the least common form of the disorder and is a chronic condition that affects movement and muscle coordination, sparking tremors and walking difficulties. Muscles were cut and transferred from his elbow, wrist and triceps to improve the functionality of his fingers. To make walking easier and enhance mobility, muscles were sliced from his legs. The curved sax enables him to play comfortably. Codrington has performed for President Barak Obama, recorded with Jeff Lorber, Paul Jackson Jr. and Nils, and opened for Ramsey Lewis, Charlie Wilson, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Peabo Bryson, Kenny Latimore, Kim Waters and Kevin Toney. He’s too modest to know what an inspiration he himself is for others.

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

Source: Great Scott Productions

Willie Bradley – Over The Horizon

 

Trumpeter Willie Bradley’s new single “Over The Horizon” is killer! It’s the second single from Willie’s forthcoming new album, It’s My Time.

“Over The Horizon” ft. Julian Vaughn
Written by Willie Bradley (BMI)
Produced/co-written by Jeff Canady (BMI)
Mixed by Greg Manning

Trumpet/flugelhorn – Willie Bradley
Lead bass guitar – Julian Vaughn
Keyboards – Demetrius Nabors
Bass guitar – Robert Skinner
Lead guitar – Gary Johnson
Drums – Jeff Canady

Listen to Over The Horizon on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 8/4).

Dave Koz and Friends – Before I Let Go

Overcoming massive scheduling problems, saxophonist and entertainer Dave Koz has again managed to win some of the best musicians for his Summer Horns project. His new dream team consists of trumpet player Rick Braun, saxophonists Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot as well as trombonist and singer Aubrey Logan, a featured artist for Postmodern Jukebox.

Greg Adams, Tom Scott and Gordon Goodwin, who also arranged the previous album, are on this recordings again. Featured artists are singer Kenny Lattimore and Sheléa Frazier, Jonathan Butler and Gloria Estefan. The press release also mentions a rhythm arrangement by Chris “Big Dog” Davis.

Summer Horns II From A To Z is based on the same principle as the previous album. Selected songs that have passed the test of time and yet remain in lasting memory. The common denominator of all songs is a horn arrangement that qualified the piece for inclusion on the album. Cross-genre, dynamic and with a certain pep.

From this album the group releases Before I Let Go. This new single featured in the original Frankie Beverly and the group Maze. The song is completely transcribed to a horn arrangement featuring the formation in Toto and as soloists.

Listen to Before I Let Go on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 8/4).