Freddie Fox – Top It Off

Smooth Jazz guitarist Freddie Fox will be releasing his new album titled Limitless in November. Limitless will be Freddie’s twelfth album release in over a long and successful career. A graduate of Berklee College Of Music, Freddie has toured with many top acts including Walter Beasley, Jennifer Holliday, Eric Benet, Atlantic Starr, Rose Royce, Sheila E., Evelyn Champagne King and numerous others.

Freddie’s guitar has never sounded stronger and more soulful than on the project’s first single “Top It Off,” a rhythmic, melodic, groove based track.

Listen to Top It Off on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 12/4).

Walter Beasley – Here (Aqui)

We are excited to announce the release of Walter Beasley’s new single, “Here (Aqui)”!  It’s the follow up to Beasley’s #1 single, “It’s Alright”.

“During the recording of this album my father was very ill and I lost my Mother to cancer.  One day while getting ready to visit them, I decided no matter what to accept responsibility for every day I was given.  I remember saying to myself, ‘you are responsible for what you do right here, right now’.

I picked up the saxophone and wrote this song” – Walter Beasley

Listen to Here (Aqui) on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 11/4).

GTF – Autumn Rain

Ten years after their debut Smooth Jazz album Always… made a strong international impact – earning airplay throughout the U.S., Norway, the UK, Japan, Poland and South America – GTF makes a highly anticipated return with Cross Paths – an eclectic jazz, pop and R&B infused collection of powerhouse instrumentals, soulful vocals, infectious originals and lush re-imaginings of classics by George Duke and Nat “King” Cole.”

The title Cross Paths is a reflection of a group whose core dynamic is driven by the intersection and intuitive chemistry of musical talents from Northern and Southern California and beyond. The five piece band is led by its namesakes, San Francisco based married couple George and Tracy Franklin. George is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who plays bass, keyboards and guitar; songwriter and associate producer Tracy also contributes backing vocals.

Taken from this album is the new single Autumn Rain.

Listen to Autumn Rain on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 11/4).

Sheldon Ferguson – Take You There

Sheldon Ferguson is an award-winning 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.

Outside of his work as a jazz artist, Sheldon Ferguson is Grammy Nominated studio guitarist whose sound is highly sought after. He most recently recorded guitar on Travis Scott’s Billboard Hot 100 hit, Yosemite, which appears on the Double Platinum album, Astroworld.

Ferguson 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.

Listen to Take You There on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 11/4).

 

Elan Trotman – I Heard It Through The Grapevine

For urban jazz instrumental artists, mining the sacred gold of Motown – and especially Marvin Gaye – can be a bit of a double-edged sword. Do it right, put your own pizzazz on it, and you’re honoring carrying on one of music’s most cherished legacies. Fall short in your re-imaginings, or sound too much like previous tributes, and it’s a misstep that will take a while to recover from. Immersing in dapper style, searing emotion and deep groovability, the resounding transcendence saxophonist Elan Trotman brings to Gaye’s legacy with his latest album Dear Marvin is best summed up by a fan posting on Amazon, all in caps: “This is the best Marvin Gaye tribute ever. Hats off, my man killed it.” To paraphrase a classic 70’s funk tune, saxophonist Elan Trotman blew the roof off the sucka!

Following up the Billboard charting success of the project’s first single “Got To Give It Up,” Trotman has a blast rolling, darting and powering through “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” bringing freshness to the familiar with vibrant new blues-soul energy and heartrending potency. For Trotman, the key to revamping it and taking it to a higher, unexpected level is turning it into a playful, high-spirited duet with veteran trombonist Jeff Bradshaw. Bradshaw simmers along in harmony role adding sizzle and heft (in a horn section with trumpeter Alex Lee Clark) to Trotman’s melody before emerging as a powerful voice center stage on the second verse.

After riffing off each other for a few bars over the non-stop blues drenched simmering organ of Mitch Henry, Trotman and Bradshaw take us to the most ear-popping spot in the track. It’s a festive celebratory breakdown,- a free for all, hard grooving jam that allows the two to break loose, trade fours and improvise with abandon over wild, sizzling brass harmonies. Nothing happens without these poppin’ killer grooves created by Sherrod Barnes (guitar), Keithen Foster (bass), Atticus Cole (percussion) and Charles Haynes (drums). The urban jazz genre is sometimes accused of being too “cover-happy,” but Trotman and Bradshaw’s adventure-filled “Grapevine” is a worthwhile exception that demands repeated, volume all the way up listening.

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
Written by Barrett Strong & Norman Whitfield

Elan Trotman – Saxes and Flute
Jeff Bradshaw – Trombone
Alex Lee Clark – Trumpet
Sherrod Barnes – Guitar
Keithen Foster – Bass
Mitch Henry – Keyboards/ Organ
Atticus Cole – Percussion
Charles Haynes – Drums

Listen to I Heard It Through The Grapevine on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 11/4).

 

Brian Lenair – Silky Soul

Having performed with the likes of Will Downing, Maysa, Jean Carne, Billy Paul, Angela Bolfill, Christopher Williams, Miki Howard, Glenn Jones, Al Jarreau, Vesta, Tony Terry, the late Phyllis Hyman, Pieces of a Dream, Miles Jay, Grover Washington, Jr., Peabo Bryson, George Benson, Spur of the Moment and others, saxman Brian Lenair has established himself as a talent to be recognized.

Lenair’s new single “Silky Soul” is written and produced by Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis.

Music is not just my vocation, it is my passion and it is my calling. No matter how intimate or large the settings, I always play with the same energy” – Brian Lenair

Listen to Silky Soul on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 11/4).

Will Downing – Déjà Vu

Legendary vocalist Will Downing delivers a clever duet-styled version of the Grammy Award winning Dionne Warwick hit “Déjà Vu.” Although recorded originally in 1977 by Warwick alone, Will Downing was instead inspired by video of a rare 1990 Warwick tour performance with the song’s author, Isaac Hayes and called upon the incredible talents of Avery Sunshine to re-interpret the special moment these two giants blessed the stage together. A tall order for sure…too tall for most, but not this pair!

The signature opening keyboard chords get a thumping boost from bassist Al Turner, percussionist Pablo Batista and drummer Mike Logan, Jr., who set the mood for the sublime vocal blend of Downing and Sunshine. Their voices complement and blend to each other’s perfectly as Downing takes the production helm on this radio-friendly track.

Listen to Déjà Vu on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 11/4).