Kimberly Brewer – Every Day Feels Like Christmas


Kimberly Brewer
is an American singer, songwriter, producer, and arranger. She has been a backing vocalist for Stevie Wonder and many others for many years. She was featured as a background singer on the hit single “We Didn’t Know” a duet by Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder. She was also featured on Elton John’s album, “Duets”

Her new single Every Day Feels Like Christmas features Stevie Wonder on harmonica also Herman Jackson and Byron Miller.

Listen to Every Day Feels Like Christmas on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/1).

Mariea Antoinette – My Favorite Things

A native of San Diego, California, Ms. Antoinette’s diverse repertoire consists of classical, smooth jazz, and R&B music. She has performed for The President and First Lady Of The United States, Barack and Michelle Obama and at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles with the Southeast Symphony Orchestra. Her solo performances have taken her across the US and abroad. Ms. Antoinette has been sought after to perform and record for a variety of artists and events including Ne-Yo, Jamie Foxx, The BET Awards, and American Idol.

Listen to My Favorite Things on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/1).

The Frost Duo – New Years Day

 

A musical tandem perfectly named for this time of year, The Frost Duo – Pennsylvania based composer/multi-instrumentalist Christian Gratz and songwriter/vocalist LeahBeth Evans – follow the funky fire of their two previous 2020 singles with the beautiful stripped-down ballad “New Years Day.” Adding a little love in our lives when we need it the most, the track is a dreamy, sensual and optimistic piano and vocal driven showcase (spiced with an emotional electric guitar solo) of the duo’s more romantic side. It’s perfect for that intimate New Year’s Eve gathering and first dance of 2021. -SmoothJazz.com

Listen to New Years Day on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/1).

Johnny Schaefer – Finlandia Brasiliera


Johnny Schaefer
is a Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter of eclectic music. He has a BA in Music (Composition and Voice) from California State University, Fullerton. While attending school there, he was a winner in the Vocal Arts competition. He has sung backup for Josh Groban, Melissa Manchester, Sarah Brightman, Sarah Vaughan, Pete Townshend, Billy Idol, Diahann Carroll, and others.

We present you Schaefer’s Holiday single, “Finlandia Brasiliera”, a Bossa Nova Christmas tune.

Listen to Finlandia Brasiliera on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/1).

Jody Mayfield – Little Drummer Boy

Having amassed a decades long resume that includes performing with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie and Illinois Jacquet to Grover Washington, Jr. and James Lloyd from Pieces Of A Dream, Jody Mayfield believes that jazz isn’t a style of music, but rather, how you play it. On his inviting holiday EP A JODY JAZZ CHRISTMAS, the multi-talented keyboardist blends his remarkable sense of soulful sonic adventure with a warm, familiar intimacy, resulting in fresh, hipster spins through five holiday classics. As caressing atmospheres waft around the tight grooves and lush melodies, Mayfield switches off seamlessly between piano and contemporary keyboard vibes. -SmoothJazz.com

Listen to Little Drummer Boy Is You on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/1).

Allan Knighton – What Christmas Means To Me

Heavily influenced by world renown artist Kirk Whalum, Allan Knighton carries the torch in delivering an undoubtedly great artistry. Born in Detroit, Michigan, currently residing in Los Angeles, CA. Currently working independently as an international touring artist. His music brings a combination of sounds and genres to the listener. A limitless boundary of Country, Second-line, Jazz, Gospel, fusion, soul, R&B, Blues, and contemporary.

Listen to What Christmas Means To Me on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/1).

Castella – Sleigh Ride

 

Castella is a proud native of Long Beach, California. Castella embodies strength and courage, she goes after what she wants and gets it! Castella is an amazing vocalist and songwriter. Described as a gifted songwriter by her mentor Darryl Swann, he says, “She just writes good songs, she’s a songwriter!” Castella wrote all the lyrics for her debut EP.

Listen to Sleigh Ride on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/1).

Eric Darius – All I Want For Christmas Is You

For Eric Darius there are no limitations when it comes to breaking new ground. Internationally known as an elite R&B/Pop/Jazz Saxophonist, Songwriter, Producer, and Performer, Darius has cemented his status as one of the most exciting and entertaining instrumentalists to enter the must world over the last decade with the release of his highly anticipated, first ever Christmas single, All I Want For Christmas Is You. It is an irresistibly fun, uptempo jam that captures Eric’s signature high energy and saxophone prowess.

Eric states, “This holiday classic song by Mariah Carey was one of my favorite childhood songs growing up and brings back so many fond memories of holidays in the past with my family. While this holiday season will likely look and feel a little different than ones in the past, I recorded my own version of this song to capture the essence of the season and bring some holiday cheer during a time when we all need it most!” Produced by his long-term keyboardist & musical director, Richard Turner Jr., this sing features Romel Veal on guitar, trumpet, & trombone, Frank “Third” Richardson on drums, Richard Turner Jr. on keys, Lorenzo Johnson on keys, Jay Puente on percussion, Rodney Jones Jr. on bass and Rebecca Jade on vocals.

All I Want For Christmas Is You continues Eric’s mission of making a difference in the world through music and is guaranteed to make this holiday season much brighter.

Listen to All I Want For Christmas Is You on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/1).

Lars Taylor – Dance Forever


Lars Rainer Rüetschi
(born March 24, 1977), known professionally as Lars Taylor is a Swiss fusion guitarist, composer and producer. His stylistic versatility, virtuos and passioned playing made him become one of Berlins most busy live and studio guitarists.

A true musical citizen of the world, Lars Taylor brings a sensual, seductive beauty and fresh, sophisticated cosmopolitan spirit to Contemporary Urban Jazz.

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

Jarez – Nightlife

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 first 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.

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

 

Mark Mixx – Morning Rize

 

Native Detroiter Mark Mixx is part of a younger generation of Detroit jazz artists dedicated to pushing the music forward. He’s just produced and released a record on his own label. The Street Jazz Cartel project is composed of Mark Mixx (percussion and keys), Johnny Barnes (trumpet), Steve Cooley (trumpet), Wayne White (keys), Issac Pippen (keys), Jeff Canady (drums), Antonio Johnson (drums) Deblone Jackson (flute), Marty Montgomery (sax), Charles Jones (trombone), Stevo (bass), Derrick Bartel (guitar), Eddie Taylor (trumpet), and Randal Wilson (guitar).

Mark Mixx and Tha Street Jazz Cartel has performed with world renowned names like Michael Franks, Alex Bugnon, Marion Meadows, Mindi Abair and more. The Cartel also appeared on Fox 2 Detroit. In October 2011 Mark Mixx and Tha Street Jazz Cartel performed for the Rainbow Push Coalition for The Rev. Jesse Jackson 70th anniversary. In 2012 Tha Street Jazz Cartel released their sophomore album on Isis Style Music entitled “Cartel Drive” and expect much more success on this release. In July 2013 the Street Jazz Cartel performed on the Dave Koz Summer Horns Tour feat. Dave Koz, Gearld Albright, Richard Elliott, and Mindi Abair.

From this album released is the single Morning Rize.

Listen to Morning Rize on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/5).

Trey Daniels – Can We Talk

Soloist, composer and soulful bandleader, award-winning saxophonist Trey Daniels is an inspiration for his generation in jazz, funk, R&B and Hip Hop. Coming from Atlanta, Daniels’ music blends his experience and his captivating energy, creating beautiful soundscapes across genres. As part of eight-time Grammy award winner Anita Baker’s Farewell World Tour, Daniels was featured at the Monaco Jazz Fest, North Sea Jazz Fest, Montreux Jazz Fest and more. In addition, his very first single, 86th St., was listed on the Smooth Jazz Billboard Charts in 2017.

In Daniels’ upcoming 2021 release, he draws on his influences from the likes of Stevie Wonder, H.E.R., Gerald Albright, Kenny Garrett and Miles Davis to embody vibrant and relentless creativity. In the words of the lovely Anita Baker, “You already know what to do. That’s why you’re here. At the moment where you let go and just play, the stage is yours.”

From his upcoming album we present the single Can We Talk.

Listen to Can We Talk on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/5).

George Benson – Turn Your Love Around (Live)

As an all-time icon and Grammy-winning giant of Jazz, we have grown used to seeing George Benson on the stages that befit his sky-high status. During a 6-decade career marked by awards acclaim and Billboard-topping output, the Pittsburgh born veteran has earned his place in both the history books and the biggest venues around the world. So it’s a rare treat – and a whole different thrill – to find this megastar going nose-to-nose with the breathless 250-capacity crowd at London’s most prestigious bolthole. “I like that kind of intimacy”, says Benson of his flying visit to Ronnie Scott’s jazz club, captured on the year’s electrifying new live album, Weekend In London. “I can feel the love when it’s up close and personal.”

Weekend In London brings Benson full circle. This seasoned performed estimates that almost a half-century has passed since he first played at the fabled Soho club. Taken from this album is the single “Turn Your Love Around (Live)”.

Listen to Turn Your Love Around (Live) on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 5/5).

Willie Bradley – It’s My Time

 

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

Bold, yet simultaneously charming; Edgy, yet at the same time beautiful; these seemingly opposing adjectives might well-describe the music of artist/trumpeter Willie Bradley, but also fittingly tell about the man! Willie Bradley’s music brings together many varied styles, but takes Smooth Jazz to a whole new level.

Willie’s new single “It’s My Time” is the follow-up to his #1 Billboard hit, “It’s On Now”.

Listen to It’s My Time on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/5).

Rob Maletick – Beautiful Daze

Rob Maletick expresses his love for music by melting together the various styles of musical expression that have made him a sought after musician on stage and in the recording studio. During his 25+ years in the recording industry, Rob has played almost every style of music possible on his 3 saxophones, but has landed in Contemporary Jazz music for his foundation.

Born and raised in the Washington D.C. suburb of Manassas Virginia, Rob was able to surround himself with music at an early age. Having music teachers for parents didn’t hurt either. After High School, Shenandoah University became Rob’s home for 4 years. Learning about the Music Business and Jazz Performance there put him in numerous situations in which he was able to perform with legends Billy Taylor, Bob Berg, Chris Vadala, and Randy Brecker.

Producing recordings for other artists has also become a passion for Rob over the last 10 years. He loves to share his experience in the studio and his international relationships with his clients. Rob works between his studio in Virginia and in Nashville TN. His own production company Breaking Ground Entertainment was formed to help manage the producing and live sound part of Rob’s career. In 2018 Rob was asked to help form the Loudoun Jazz Society to help increase the audience and performance opportunities near his home of Leesburg Virginia.

Listen to Beautiful Daze on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/5).

The Allen Carman Project – Fingerprints

 

Thanks to the clever title of the debut album by rapidly-burgeoning urban-contemporary jazz supergroup The Allen Carman Project, we now have a phrase that perfectly captures a unique and inspiring phenomenon. “Carmanology” is what happens when a lifelong musician – in this case, bassist Allen Carman – hooks up with masters of his chosen genre, rekindles his long set-aside dreams and creates an extraordinary recording chock-full of innovative sounds, infectious melodies, explosive grooves and irresistible radio hits.

More than the realization of the vision of a single artist, The Allen Carman Project is a fresh collective featuring a host of contemporary jazz greats, each contributing a distinct musical perspective. With a rhythmic and melodic foundation laid by Carman, Grammy-nominated keyboardist Philippe Saisse, percussionist Gumbi Ortiz and drummer Luis Alicea (all celebrated veterans of fusion legend Al Di Meola’s band), “Carmanology” fast becomes an expansive playground for fun, freewheeling creative contributions by saxophonist Andy Snitzer, violinist Evan Garr (also from the Di Meola fold), guitarist Marc Antoine, trumpeter Rick Braun and Grammy-winning guitar legend Nile Rodgers.

“I always felt like I was a musician first and that was always my true passion,” says Carman. “The whole ‘Carmanology’ experience has been a blast for me and has far exceeded my expectations. The success we have had to this point has been unexpected to say the least. Gumbi wanted us to get together with Philippe, put some songs together and do an album, but there were no promises beyond that. We did the first four songs with Andy (Snitzer) and then invited the other featured artists, and everything developed from there.”

Take from this album is the fun-filled new single, “Fingerprints”.

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

Marvin Pryor – When The Time Is Right

The PR Experience is a jazz duo comprised of Trumpeter, Nelson Render and Trombonist, Marvin Pryor. These two musicians represent over fifty years of performance experience and are based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Pryor, born in Clermont, Florida, grew up between South Carolina and Connecticut and received his formal music training at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Render, was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia and received his formal music training at Florida A&M University and Delaware State University.

Their collective professional experiences include tours, performances, recordings, opening acts with groups such as: The OHIO Players, Cameo, Ray Charles, Mike Phillips, Rick Braun, Christopher Williams, Claudia Hayden, Alex Bugnon, Najee, Eric Roberson, Mike Phillips, Chi-Lites, The Dells, Third World, and many others.

These vast experiences in music and performance inspired them to create their own band, uniquely featuring a horn front ensemble with a blended style of jazz, funk, and neo-soul. When The Time Is Right starts as new single the hope on Marvin’s first solo album.

Listen to When The Time Is Right on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/5).

Marcia Migét – Over The Rainbow

 

Growing up in a family of musicians, Marcia Migét’s musical heritage began performing extensively throughout the Midwest with her family. Her parents, Bud and Joan Migét, taught them religious and classical music along with Jazz and Blues. The ‘Vaune Sisters’ performed on piano, sax, drums and bass, as well as vocals, renditions of Jazz and pop classics on television, radio, special events and musical clinics. From a very early age studying piano, saxophone and flute, Marcia received numerous music awards.

Carlos Santana’s description of her seminal CD, ‘Marcia Migét Discovery’, is “ … her music reflects a strong, deep and honest commitment to life.”

Executive Director of Miraflores Academié for the last three decades, the list of graduates includes educators and performers in all genres. Her Jazz drummer/composer son is Motema Records’ Jaimeo Brown. An active, ‘on call’ studio musician Marcia has performed and recorded with legends from many different genres from Blues singer Lester Chambers, Classical harpist Georgia Kelly, The Voices of Latin Rock with Jorge Santana and Malo, Anthony Brown’s Asian American Jazz Orchestra, Traditional Jazz with artists such as Azure McCall, Carl Locket and Larry Ridley, and Latin Jazz with Wayne Wallace and Pete Escovedo. Other musical endeavors include the release of three jazz singles ‘Dock of the Bay’, ‘Cruzin’ and ‘Paradise’ produced by Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis with another Smooth Jazz CD to follow in 2020.

Over The Rainbow is a classic newly interpreted.

Listen to Over The Rainbow on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 4/5).

NexLevel – Chillin

In 2000, Columbus, Ohio based guitarist Mark Jackson and Keyboardist Jesse Thompson were asked to play at his nephew’s wedding—a gathering that gave rise to one of the city’s most popular and eclectic jazz fusion bands. When the person printing the wedding program needed a band name, Jackson came up with the clever moniker NexLevel—so that, as Jackson recalls, “When people say it, it sounds good, tells everyone who we are and catapults us where we want to go”.

The group quickly established itself as a popular gigging ensemble and began playing many local festivals and performing with top R&B and urban jazz artist who came through town, in addition to touring with performers like soul singer Conya Doss. They also released their smooth jazz oriented debut album Level One in 2004. When the band’s saxophonist Randolph left shortly thereafter, the remaining ensemble (including bassist Anthony Mackey) chose a completely different route, exploring an eclectic soul jazz fusion route that kept their powerful grooves and melodies strong while increasing the sonic textures, improvisations, rock guitar and funky bass elements—very much influenced by the groundbreaking 70’s work of George Duke and bands like Mahavishnu Orchestra, but with a contemporary urban twist like the jazz/funk trio, Soulive.

We think you will dig the group’s new single, “Chillin”.

Listen to Chillin on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/5).

The Peet Project – Galaxies

 

The Peet Project is a Hungarian pop-funk-jazz band comprising five twenty-something musicians. Their original music is a seductive and eclectic blend, reflecting influences encompassing Brian Culbertson, Candy Dulfer, George Duke, Earth Wind and Fire and the Rippingtons, among others. The group’s driving force is violinist-composer-vocalist-producer Peter “Peet” Ferencz. Peter gives the band its unique sound through his use of violin as a lead instrument in an equivalent role to saxophone or keyboards. His talent was recognized by contemporary jazz icons Brian Culbertson, culminating in Brian lending production guidance to one of the standout tracks off the second album, and Dave Koz who travelled to Hungary to record a single with the Peet Project in the summer of 2016. They play extensively in Hungary and regularly perform in the United States and other European countries like Spain, Slovakia, Romania, Malta and Switzerland.

The Peet Project was formed in 2009 and their career kicked off when they won the grand prize of Budapest-based 90.9 Jazzy Radio’s song contest later that year. Everything started with their debut Pink Spirit, released in 2010. Their sophomore album Turn You On already followed in 2011, then Overseas (2013) and Love (2015). Their next endeavor is entitled The Bad Boys Of Budapest (2017) and offers guest appearances by keyboardist Jonathan Fritzén, saxophonist Dave Koz, bassist and singer Gáspár Laci and singer James Copley from the band Electro Deluxe.

Let’s talk about their newest album Ups And Downs, which is finally scheduled for release October 12, 2020. This album is featuring Csaba Deseő, Paul Brown, Ilya Serov, Marcus Anderson & Michael Lington. First single of this album is Galaxies.

Listen to Galaxies on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/5).

Mark Etheredge – You & Me & We

 

Keyboardist and composer Mark Etheredge returns with a new single offering, “You & Me & We”, which will be released worldwide on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

Etheredge has once again teamed up with Two-time Grammy® Winning producer and guitarist Paul Brown along with bassist Roberto Vally, drummer Gorden Campbell and percussionist Lenny Castro. The contemporary instrumental jazz track, written by Etheredge, was recorded at Big Surprise Music in Los Angeles, recorded by Carmen Grillo, mixed by Paul Brown, and mastered by Rainer Gembalczyk of Sienna Digital. “You & Me & We” is a duet with Etheredge and Brown, bringing jazz, funk, latin and blues influences together in an optimistic, upbeat track.

The inspiration for the tune? “It’s all about love,” says Etheredge. “How can we coexist peacefully with one another? If ‘you’ and ‘me’ think not just about our own wants and needs and consider a third way, ‘us,’ we can focus on shared interests that benefit us both and live more harmoniously.”

Listen to You & Me & We on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/5).

Walter Beasley – House of Sax

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, Beasley 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.

Beasley’s new album Going Home is dedicated in loving memory of his mom, June L. Beasley. House of Sax is taken from this album.

Listen to House of Sax on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/5).

Mattias Roos featuring Michael Lington – Bring It On

A Scandinavian smorgasbord of the tastiest kind, Swedish keyboard player Mattias Roos has teamed up with Danish American sax-man Michael Lington for a fresh new take on the wonderful “Bring It On” that first appeared on Roos’ 2019 recording “It Goes On and On”.

Going for adds on October 5, this vibrant, groove laden and totally memorable number is not only everything that mid tempo smooth jazz should be but also one of four bonus tracks that can be found on a deluxe edition of “It Goes On and On” which will be released October 2 on the Skytown Records label.

As well as “Bring It On” (that is included both as the album version and the radio edit) this deluxe offering also features a stunning high-octane remix of the Mattias Roos composition “Masterpiece” and the brand new never previously recorded “River of Love” that underscores the skill Roos has for fusing smooth jazz grooves with an authentic old school vibe.

Although a solo artist and ‘go-to’ keyboard player for several top-flight Swedish performers, many will know Mattias Roos as a founding member of the band Soweco that he formed in 2011 with drummer Peter Gustavsson. Roos has carried some of that distinctive Soweco sound into what is now a burgeoning solo career but with critically acclaimed projects such as “My Story”, “Movin’ Up” and most recently ”It Goes On and On” he has fashioned an identity that is very much his own.

As for Michael Lington, since relocating to Los Angeles from Denmark in 1990 he has built a reputation for being one of the most soulful sax players in smooth jazz. He is also a tremendous live player and early opportunities in this respect came when he joined Bobby Caldwell’s renowned touring band. He has also performed as part of a sold out, coast to coast Barry Manilow tour and as Manilow himself put it “Michael Lington is one hell of a sax player. He absolutely brought down the house every night.”

As a recording artist Lington’s 1997 eponymous debut set the standard for what was to come and now, ten albums later, he is still essential listening for all those who like their smooth jazz spiced with a modicum of soul.

Listen to Bring It On on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 3/5).

Timmy Maia – A Song For You

A native of Waterbury, CT, Timmy Maia is a rapid-fire vocalist who goes from Nat King Cole to Ne-Yo, with touches of Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson along the way.

Maia’s new single “A Song For You” is produced by Chris “Big Dog” Davis, and features Najee on saxophone.

“My lifestyle is music and i want to reach out to the the hearts of everyone breathing life. I feel that my calling was to touch peoples heart through song.” – Timmy Maia

Listen to A Song For You on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 2/5).

Kenny Nightingale – Coltrane To Montgomery

 

Inspired by John Coltrane, Michael Jackson, Dave Koz, Hugh Masekela, Kenny G, Victor Wooten, Charlie Parker, Aaron Neville, Kenny Nightingale is an American based Smooth Jazz recording artist with fusion of Gospel sounds and Contemporary Jazz with World Beat grooves.

His musical background began with a strong family of 8 talented and musically gifted brothers. Kenny’s father is a saxophonist and percussionist whom he always looked up to in his early years. His father owned a musical school in Nigeria, where Kenny first learned the art of playing the saxophone. After mastering the saxophone in the ghetto, he also learned how to play the piano, guitar and drums, then he started teaching his younger brothers at his father’s request because he was the eldest. Nightingale writes songs and creates sound that comes from the deep! He has been filled with a passion and love for music. That alone has confirmed to him that playing angelical sounds of smooth jazz with a unique blend form all parts of the world is what God has commissioned him this day.

Kenny Nightingale Music is now on iTunes. Amazon. Spotify Music.

Listen to Coltrane To Montgomery on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 2/5).

Eric Essix – Late Night Drive

 

Over a period of more than 30 years and 25 full length album releases, Eric Essix has not only maintained a steady flow of new music that continues to push the boundaries of contemporary jazz throughout his career, he appears to have no intention of stopping. This fact is evident with the release of 9 compositions, all written, arranged and produced by Essix called, “Songs From The Deep”. This latest effort by Eric, revisits the artist’s favorite theme, his Birmingham, Alabama southern roots. It is a project that reveals the soul of the man and his music as he continues to reconcile love for his homeland, its culture and its people, with its history.

Though Eric admits his style is very different from that of Wes Montgomery, the legendary guitarist is another major influence. Ten years before the Jaco experience, Eric’s dad played Montgomery’s 1966 album California Dreaming for him. “I had never heard anyone play jazz interpretations of pop melodies until then,” Eric says. “In my naïve mind of a child, I believed the guitar was actually singing the melody. I soon realized that jazz was the natural style of music for an instrument to achieve the same emotions that a vocal could. I started playing guitar two years later.”

“The most fulfilling part of this musical journey has been experiencing, in real time, my evolution as an artist,” Eric says. “My mindset has shifted dramatically and is light years away from when I was a young guitarist first making records, focusing on being flashy and showing people how fast I could play. In those days, it was all about speed and lots of notes, being a gunslinger – but as I have grown as a musician and especially as a person, I like to think I have developed as a composer and songwriter of maturity and depth as well as a guitar player.”

Listen to Late Night Drive on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 2/5).

Selina Albright – Holding On

 

Like so many Black people, R&B-jazz singer-songwriter Selina Albright is tired and her fatigue has nothing to do with becoming a mother for the first time earlier this year, which was the subject of her latest single to hit the charts, “Discovering.” No, Albright’s exhaustion and discouragement stems from “seeing videos of my brothers and sisters dying in cold blood, their deaths rooted in misplaced fear, their murderers allowed to live freely.” She cowrote and coproduced her forthcoming single, “Holding On,” to call out social injustice and the urgent need for reform. The single drops October 16 and will be promoted at urban adult contemporary and smooth jazz radio formats.

Musically, “Holding On” is an anthemic, multi-genre aural quilt sewn from soulful R&B heart, modern jazz progressions and tones, dramatic rock changes punctuated by drummer James “JRob” Roberson, and ethereal pop vocal harmonies. But it’s the song’s subject matter and lyrical content that is radically new and different for Albright, who has etched her place on the urban-jazz scene with intimate love songs and autobiographical confessions such as those contained on her 2017 debut album, “Conversations.” Her most piercing and provocative cry in “Holding On” is when she passionately repeats “Burn it all to the ground.”

“I frankly find it exhausting and infuriating to see ongoing evidence of oppression without much change. And because writing music is a therapeutic outlet for me, I couldn’t help putting pen to paper about my struggle to maintain hope for the freedom of my people – real freedom to pursue happiness, be our beautiful selves, and to live fully as is our inalienable right. Instead, our rights are seen as privileges by those who work to prevent the impending moment when Black people truly know our strength,” said Albright who wrote the song with her co-producer Chris “Big Dog Davis, David P. Stevens and Kayta Matsuno.

Although “Holding On” is a song that captures present life for Black Americans, its origins date back to a November 2017 recording session between Albright and guitarist Stevens. Stevens awoke with the chord progression in his head and played it for Albright when she arrived in the studio.

“The lyrics were originally written to bring hope and consolation to people with emotional health disorders because at the time, suicides were hitting close to home. Something in my spirit told me not to release the song yet. Since then, the United States has been exposed around the world for its social injustice, the roots and workings of which are so well hidden and indulged by a small fraction of our nation, but whose disadvantages are felt by multitudes,” said Albright, who plans to release an accompanying video for “Holding On.”

As usual, Albright found a way to incorporate her own experiences into the lyrics. After having a series of discussions with friends about their similar experiences of being Black in America, she revisited the song’s lyrics in order to make them more specific to Black people and the fight for social justice.

“I remember the first time my parents told me that because I’m Black, I’d have to work twice as hard as my non-Black peers to accomplish the same result. They also taught me how to dress and behave when certain people were present so that the police wouldn’t be called, and I wouldn’t die. Wouldn’t die! They said my smile and ‘proper’ dialect would be my protection. I’m glad I was warned because the same has been true even in my adulthood. There’s really nowhere to run from it,” said Albright, the daughter of multi-time GRAMMY nominated saxophonist Gerald Albright.

Ultimately, Albright would like to see her message in “Holding On” become obsolete, a dark and distant memory of the past before “we started over using our spirit of power, love and sound minds” to prevail over systematic racism.

“Black people are being herded around the country like cattle, our culture and excellence exploited, rather than kept sacred. We are being poisoned by processed scraps of food, and then given the lowest quality of healthcare. I see many of us losing steam. We can’t afford to do that. We must continue to find the strength to keep holding on until the whole world knows that at the very least, we matter.”

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

Source: Great Scott Productions

Raymond Crossley – Smoothalicious

 

Raymond Crossley, a native Angeleno, came from a musical family. As a kid he spent summers on his uncle’s farm, where there were plenty of instruments. He started his musical calling playing drums, but quickly found that his natural ability for piano far surpassed his passion for percussion. When he figured out Loving Spoonful’s “Summer in the City” at 13, he was on his way.

Ray went to Morningside High and became fast friends with sax player, Fred Johnson. The two of them would play together, forming various bands that would play the iconic club, Maverick’s Flat. Seen by several musicians, he was repeatedly asked to tour worldwide while still in his mid-teens. Crossley found himself performing with The Brothers Johnson, Cheryl Lynn, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Pointer Sisters, Barry Manilow, Smokey Robinson, Tata Vega, and Howard Hewett to name a few.

One night, Crossley caught the attention of Motown’s Hal Davis while on stage at Maverick’s Flat. Davis brought Ray together with Curtis Nolen and Motown had a new duo – Nolen and Crossley. Ray has performed on several artist’s tracks and has written hundreds of songs. One notable single was the title song written with Maurice White and Ralph Johnson of the Grammy nominated Earth, Wind and Fire album “The Promise”.

Ray is a sought-after writer/producer/keyboardist who is now giving us a sample of his artistry with “Smoothalicious”.

“Smoothalicious”

Produced By Ray Crossley
Executive Produced by Ralph Johnson
Writer – Ray Crossley (ASCAP)
Pub – Raytunes777 Publishing (ASCAP) and Milk, Cabbage & Gumbo Music (ASCAP)

Keyboards and Programming – Ray Crossley
Guitar – Mike Wells
Bass Guitar – Leslie King
Percussion – Ralph Johnson
Horns – Jeff Lewis
Mixed by Dave Rideau
Mastered by Ron Boustead for Resolution Mastering

Listen to Smoothalicious on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 2/5).

Dave Koz – Side By Side

Dave Koz teams up with David Sanborn, his all-time saxophone hero, on “Side By Side.” The new song, which is being serviced to Smooth Jazz radio, is from Koz’s forthcoming album, A New Day, which will be released on October 9 – exactly 30 years and one day after the release of Koz’s self-titled debut album.

Although Koz and Sanborn have toured together, “Side By Side” marks their first recording together. The two sax greats wrote “Side By Side” with Rick Braun, Philippe Saisse and Alice Soyer. Braun produced, recorded and arranged the track and plays trumpet, trombone and keyboards. In addition to playing keyboard and B3 organ, Saisse took on additional production, recording and arranging duties.

Koz says, “Collaborating with David Sanborn on this song was an opportunity to celebrate these last 30 years by going back to my roots. He’s not only been a hero of mine since I started playing but has become a good friend and trusted colleague. It was SUCH a shot in the arm, personally and professionally, to work with him, Side By Side. I was really excited when he responded positively to me asking if he’d like to write and perform a song together. When he sent back the track featuring his alto, it honestly felt like an out-of-body experience for me.”

The focus of the song is obviously on the two Daves, but Rick Braun and Philippe Saisse are also responsible for making this a really interesting track musically. It was awesome having their deep musicality to draw from as well as their amazing arsenal of sounds to add in the mix.

“Thematically, “Side By Side” is about friendship and “leaning on your friends” even when you can’t physically lean on them. Besides the opportunity to record with a true master of the saxophone for the first time, this song for me is about creating that Side By Side feeling. We all need that kind of comfort so badly now, the comfort of leaning on our friends.”

“Side By Side” featuring David Sanborn

Written by Rick Braun, Philippe Saisse, David Sanborn, Alice Soyer
and Dave Koz
Wylie Kylie Songs (ASCAP); Dorian 2000 Music (ASCAP); Hiatus Music (BMI); Alice Soyer Music (ASCAP); DKLA Music (BMI)

Dave Koz – alto saxophone
David Sanborn – alto saxophone
Philippe Saisse – keyboards, B3 organ
Rick Braun – trumpet and trombone, keyboards, programming
Nathan East – electric bass
John (JR) Robinson – drums
Tony Pulizzi – guitar
Arthur Thompson – percussion

Produced, recorded and arranged by Rick Braun
Additional production, recording and arrangement by Philip

Listen to Side By Side on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 2/5).

Herb Alpert – Herb Alpert Is

Legendary trumpeter/philanthropist’s Herb Alpert new box set will be released on October 2. This new release from Herb Alpert presents the definitive retrospective on the illustrious career of one of America’s most unique musical voices, Herb Alpert! Containing 63 tracks culled from 6 decades of the trumpeter’s classic recordings, HERB ALPERT IS… is the perfect companion piece to the new 2020 feature length documentary of the same name.

The October 1 movie premiere on Facebook will be accessible from Herb’s official page will also be cross-posted on multiple other pages. The livestream will also be syndicated to Herb’s official YouTube and Twitter pages, as well as Herb’s website.

For more information, please visit HerbAlpertIs.com

Lamont Dozier – I’m Gonna Take My Time

When it comes to enduring musical legacies, it’s always inspiring when the melodic, grooving evergreen apples drop so close to the tree. The son and namesake of legendary singer, songwriter and record producer Lamont Dozier – one third of the famed Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting and production team – Lamont Dozier, Jr. grew up a child of Motown, steeped in and influenced by gospel, jazz and old-school R&B and immersing in the magic and creative mentorship of the likes of Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross.

More than simply living up to the promise of his unique lineage, he has forged a unique path towards his musical destiny. Since his first live performance at the age of 15, the Detroit born and raised, Las Vegas based Lamont has developed an extraordinary, multi-faceted career as a bandleader, club headliner and creative force behind the scenes, clocking studio time and sharing stages with everyone from The Temptations and Aretha Franklin to contemporary urban jazz greats Dave Koz, Rick Braun, Gregg Karukas and Greg Manning, and working on show productions featuring Jennifer Hudson and Jay Leno.

Dozier’s new single “I’m Gonna Take My Time” is a hip, dreamy and heartfelt contemporary R&B ballad about a guy who’s rushing home to his loved one “at the speed of sound,” promising to get there as soon as possible.

Listen to I’m Gonna Take My Time on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 2/5).

Danny Lerman – Blueberry Pie

Danny Lerman is a riveting saxophonist and composer. Danny has studied with Junior Walker’s legendary teacher, Charlie Atkins and at the music school of the University of North Texas and the Berklee School of Music. Danny’s CD’s Danny’s Island (Chartmaker Jazz) and Meow Baby (Lightyear/EMI) earned stunning reviews, opening the door to international airplay, festivals and concerts in Finland, Venezuela, South Africa, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Turkey, Hong Kong, Mexico, Israel, and the USA.

Lerman has recorded and performed with Howard Hewett, Danny Boy, Bobby Lyle, Norman Connors, and Jimmy Mngwandi. Danny has performed with Peabo Bryson, Kevin Mahogany and Onder Focan, and recorded with Randy Brecker , Dave Valentin, and Hubert Laws. Additionally, Lerman has opened for Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, Sergio Mendez, Richard Elliot, David Benoit, Eric Marienthal, and Joe Lovano among others.

Lerman’s melodic new single “Blueberry Pie” was co-written and produced by Adam Hawley.

Listen to Blueberry Pie on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 1/5).

Nathan Brown – Oxygen

 

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).

His new single Oxygen is his first as solo artist. Nathan has written the song and played bass. Jeff McCullough produced and played keyboards. Patrick Yandall played guitar and Scott Williamson drums.

Listen to Oxygen on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 1/5).

Dee Lucas – Feeling You

National recording artist/Atlanta saxophonist Dee Lucas has been steadily growing his brand and fan base since 2004.

As as runner-up in the 2007 Capital Jazz Festival Competition, Dee Lucas has opened for a plethora of artists such as Boney James, Norman Brown, Ronnie Laws, Nnenna Freelon, Hugh Masekela, Gregg Karukas, Peter White, Nick Colionne, and Michael Franks just name a few. He has performed at several jazz festivals such as The Arizona Jazz Festival, The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, The Savannah Jazz Festival, and The Atlanta Jazz Festival.

From his upcoming album The Time Is Now (release date September 18)  Dee Lucas presents his new single Feeling You, which was written by Darryl Williams and Orlando (Dee) Lucas.

Listen to Feeling You on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 1/5).

Dave Koz – A New Day

I’m thrilled to announce that a brand new Dave Koz album is coming this October, thirty years and one day after the release of my debut album! And this one (my 20th) is unlike any other I’ve ever made, having been conceived and recorded completely under the umbrella of Covid-19. It’s called A New Day. And the sole purpose of making this album was to provide a sense of hope, comfort and good feeling to all of those whose lives have been so transformed by this pandemic.

In celebration of the project, (my first album of original material in 10 years), we are doing something special and unique for you, our incredible fans, by releasing 6 songs from the album in a new and creative way before the full album’s release October 9th. The campaign is called “Colors Of A New Day”.

Each Friday starting August 28th and for 6 consecutive Friday’s, I’ll tell a story and play another song from the new album, using a different color as a backdrop. The first song is “Summertime In NYC”, featuring Brian McKnight, and the color will be RED. Followed by the next song the following Friday, when the color will be ORANGE and so on. Every week, another song and another color! I’d love to see you get in on the action as well, so if the mood strikes and you want to wear the color of the week as you listen, send us a photo of yourself and we’ll do our best to post it!

As a teaser, beginning this Thursday August 27th, I will join SiriusXM Watercolors host Talaya to premiere the song of the week on national radio. We will do that with all 6 songs each Thursday at 6pm ET/ 3pm PT!

By the end of this campaign, we will have formed a RAINBOW of colors…a nice metaphor for where we are in the pandemic, in that I truly believe there is a rainbow waiting for all of us at the end of all this. We aren’t there yet of course, and have a long way to go…but intuitively we know better days are coming. We’re heading to A New Day.

And while we’re on our way, we’re going to use music to get us there, smoothing our journey forward.

That’s the Colors Of A New Day!

As always, I look forward to having you along for the ride ahead, and I thank you for all you’ve contributed to this true blessing of a career you have gifted me with, thirty years and counting. I am eternally grateful, and can’t wait for the next chapter!

With love and gratitude, always.

Dave Koz

Justin Lee Schultz joins Shanachie Entertainment

 

13 Year Old Prodigy To Be Joined On November 2020 Recording Debut By Bob James, Harvey Mason, Najee, Jonathan Butler, Gerald Albright, Pieces Of A Dream & More.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa and based in Durham, NC, 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 Musical Family, is a prodigy in the fashion of his idols Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock. His talent is exceptional not 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 faced and charismatic 13-year old who has aspirations to one day share the stage with Wonder and Herbie Hancock, as well as Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, Jacob Collier, Cory Henry and Robert Glasper. Justin, who plays piano, guitar, bass guitar and talkbox, devotes five to seven hours each day to his musical craft. His anticipated Shanachie Entertainment debut will be released November 2020.

Shanachie VP of Jazz A&R Danny Weiss, who was instrumental in producing another young prodigy, the pioneering jazz-fusion guitarist Larry Coryell 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.” Justin Lee Schultz’s anticipated label debut will unite him with some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz including Bob James, Harvey Mason, Najee, Gerald Albright, Jonathan Butler and Pieces of A Dream, among others. Justin also welcomes his friend and fellow prodigy, youthful Brazilian bassist Michael Pipoquinha on a track, and his sister, drummer Jamie is featured on four tracks. While Justin and his father share the producer hat for much of the recording, they did enlist help from such heavyweights as Jeff Lorber, Paul Brown and Kim Waters, who lend their Midas touch and perfectly showcase Justin’s dazzling talents.

Within 30 seconds of experiencing Justin in his musical element, it is apparent that he was born with a gift. His father Julius shares, “When Justin was five I called him and Jamie up on stage together to play at one of my concerts. It was then that I knew I had something special. It wasn’t my intention for my kids to play music, but when they showed interest and started playing and showing incredible potential, I knew I had something special on my hands. Every time I hear them play, I’m super proud.” Justin cites his dad as his main inspiration. “God blessed me with my musical gift but my dad guided me and nurtured it!” he says.

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!”

Source: Shanachie Entertainment

Brien Andrews – Don’t Dance Just Groove

It’s all about the music, connecting with the music and then making sure the music connects to those that hear it! A consistent “in-the-pocket” drummer with solid grooves that are captivating. Brien Andrews electrifies audiences across the globe with his savvy, mastered and proficient artistic styling. Brien has the ability to play a vast repertoire of music and it is this diversity that makes him a preferred musician.

Brien has accompanied many great artists such as “Dreamgirl” Jennifer Holliday, Kelly Price, Monica, and Gospel Greats: Pastor Donnie McClurkin, LaShun Pace, Ted & Sherie, and PJ Morton. He has also toured with playwright Tyler Perry in “Madea’s Family Reunion”, “Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned”, “I Know I’ve Been Changed” and Bishop T.D. Jakes’ “Women Thou Art Loosed”. Brien is also an entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Bri’Entertainment, LLC.

Listen to Escape on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 1/5).

Adam Hawley – Escape

Six #1 hits. 60+ dates per year. Adam Hawley‘s first two albums stormed up the charts in unprecedented fashion setting the stage for his third release, “Escape.” The album features guest appearances by Najee, Rick Braun, Michael Lington, Marcus Anderson, Jeff Ryan and Kat Hawley.

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

He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California and currently teaches at Musician’s Institute, Chaffey College, and Saddleback College.

Hawley’s new single/title track “Escape” features Rick Braun on trumpet. It’s the follow-up to the #1 single, “To the Top”.

Listen to Escape on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 1/5).

Player A and John Eric Copeland – The complete CD Bundle package

Player A  has an interesting offer for all listeners: Their CD Bundle package includes all Player A CDs but also many others of John Eric Copeland. Here is the info:

It starts with the brand new Player A CD released this week on John Eric’s birthday called “Sand Dollar In My Suitcase” It’s a new album of sambas, bossa novas, and Caribbean-flavored music that will make you feel like you are sitting next to the ocean. As usual with Player A, it features all the great session players from Nashville like Mark Baldwin, Gary Lunn, and many more. It also features. John Eric on vocals. Can you imagine?

But, as they say, that’s not all. In fact it’s only the beginning. They are also offering 7 other CDs as part of this including Our Own Devices, their first full CD, and The Jazz in Me by yours truly, the full CD from Player A before they were Player A. Also included is the remix CD from 2019 called “Devices, Techniques & Mechanisms”.

Also, they are offering both the Quiet Soul PIano records, which feature Copeland’s solo piano music. Also included are older albums of John Eric himself, including “Cooler” his very first CD way back in 1999 and the aptly names”Creative Soul”, an EP he made way back in the day.

That’s 8 CDs, and John Eric will be glad to sign them too.

To get this deal, please go to: https://playera.bandcamp.com

Boney James – Full Effect

“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 will be released by Concord Records, April 17, 2020. Solid follows 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.”

Listen to Full Effect on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 1/5).

Alex Churchill – Best Of Me

Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Alex Churchill started playing the saxophone when he was nine years old. He studied under kiwi saxophonist Brian Smith (Maynard Ferguson Band, Nucleus) and afterwards went on to study Jazz Performance at the New Zealand School of Music, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree with First Class Honors. He also competed at the 2009 New Zealand Youth Jazz Competition, where he was awarded the highest honor at the competition – the trophy for the “Most Outstanding Young Musician”.

After completing his musical studies in 2012, he began exploring other genres of music, most notably RnB, Soul and Smooth/Contemporary Jazz while he was playing saxophones, flute and keyboards for seven years backing vocalist and guitarist extraordinaire Andréa Lisa (Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler).

In 2014, Alex became an official RS Berkeley Performing Artist. He is an endorser of their Virtuoso Black Nickel Tenor Saxophone, Virtuoso Unlacquered Alto Saxophone, and Volaré Flute. Alex is currently in the process of completing his first solo album, with it’s release planned for 2021.

Listen to Best Of Me on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 1/5).

Chase Huna – Dynamic Duo

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Chase Huna is an up and coming saxophonist who blends pop, electronic, and contemporary jazz into his style of playing. From the early years, Chase has enjoyed playing alongside some of the greatest musicians in contemporary jazz such as Rick Braun, Peter White, Steve Oliver, Richard Elliot, Eric Darius, Greg Manning, Jeff Kashiwa and so many others.

Since the release of his debut album ‘On The Chase’, Chase has performed at some of the most popular jazz festivals and venues around the country such as the Catalina Jazz Festival, Balcones Heights Jazz Festival, Newport Beach Jazz Festival, Spaghettini’s Jazz Club and many more! Chase released his newest album ‘Life Of The Party’ in January 2020 and is having much success with the much success with the album and radio single ‘Dance’ and ‘Dynamic Duo’! Chase’s goals are looking to further his career as a live performer and song writer!

His new single “Dynamic Duo” is co-written by Chase Huna and Steve Oliver.

Listen to Dynamic Duo on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 1/5).

Bob Baldwin – Back To Basics

Pianist/Composer/Arranger Bob Baldwin’s 32nd offering was not planned so soon. His upcoming disc is a jazz-funk offering, and his latest journey with rhythms, vocals and syncopated vibrations continues to intrigue and inspire. The end result is the empathetic new single. ‘Back To Basics (Family First)’.

‘The upcoming disc is a direct result of basically staying home, staying off the road, quarantining, not knowing what’s really happening out there’, says the New York native. “As a result, at home, I got back into a heavy groove of producing, arranging, wanting and performing on several tracks, including Will Downing, Marion Meadows, CeCe Peniston, Ragan Whiteside and Lori Williams. I also, however, squeezed out 11 tracks for myself. I didn’t want the time at home to be wasteful, and in many cases. I found myself needing less, being less dependent from the outside world and keeping things uber-simple Eating better, enjoying family and friends, re-connecting with some great people was the order of the day, hence, my latest creation, ‘ Back To Basics (Family First)’ is a reflection of these moments.

These crazy Corona times were actually peaceful at the home front for me and my family. It saddens me tremendously, however, the amount of great people we have tost in 2020. both in jazz and in my own circle. 2020 will be a year never forgotten as a big hole is in my heart from these losses”

Bob’s upcoming disc has more of an urban twist than the previous organic “Henna”, as he taps on many writers and singers to get him through the project. ‘Lots of new tracks, but I also had to revisit some things that were never released and got them across the finish line’, says Baldwin. “Back to Basics (Family First)’ is his first single from the new project, off the heels of his Sirius/XM smash ‘Long Weekend (See You On Tuesday)”, featuring the aforementioned Whiteside on flute.

Listen to Back To Basics on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 1/5).

Kei Chaney – Jazz Times

Kei Chaney is a talented first tenor vocalist who lives in the City of Brotherly Love. His father, a gospel soloist, his mother, a lover of jazz, and his oldest sister, a pianist, all influenced Ken (aka Kei). He studied the piano at the age of nine; and was the youngest vocalist to perform with the legendary Duke Ellington at his “sacred concert” at the age of thirteen. In 1972, he sang with the R&B group “The Majestics”. He later moved on to stage plays and the jazz club circuit. (He loves to scat!)

Performing as a solo artist and group singer with many known producers such as Norman Harris, Sam Reed, Eugene (Lambchops) Curry, and many more. Ken’s vocal range is from baritone to first tenor.

Kei’s new single “Jazz Times” features trumpeter Lin Rountree. “Jazz times” is written and produced by Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis.

Listen to Jazz Times on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 1/5).

Love Today Project – Love’s In Need Of Love Today

 

Greg Manning produced this classy cover of a timeless, and timely Stevie Wonder classic. Greg’s Love Today Project kicks off with a soulful rendition of “Love’s In Need Of Love Today”. It’s a reminder of what the world needs right now.

A collaborative effort that blends the smooth tones of vocalists Matt Cusson and Rebecca Jade, with the seasoned and soulful sound of guitarist Darryl Crooks and saxophonist Najee. All graciously agreed to contribute their talents for free, as the proceeds will go to the NAACP Legal Fund and the Equal Justice Initiative.

Listen to Love’s In Need Of Love Today on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/4).

So Cal Sound Collective – Marisa

As human beings, we’re all struggling in one way or another to feel “normal” right now. Even under the best circumstances, the arts have always played a role in keeping us sane and keeping us connected. Musicians are hungry to get back to their calling, to unify people through the music they make—an activity usually done in the company of others. But challenging times call for creative responses, and thanks to today’s music technology, virtual ensembles can create from their separate home studios.

Founders Kevin Walt (bass) and Steve Kuhn (drums) formed So Cal Sound Collective in the spirit of making music beyond the confines of any four walls. Their first single “Marisa” features 3-Time Grammy winning saxophonist Tom Scott, Ray Yslas (percussionist) of legendary rock band Chicago, Joel Paat (piano), Michael Fash (keys), and Adam Castillo (guitar). Expect to hear more from SCSC soon, because now more than ever, we need the music!

WaKaNa – Go For The Sound

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

Now she presents her new single Go For The Sound, released since July 4, 2020 ft. Darren Rahn, and Koh Mr. Saxman.

Listen to Go For The Sound on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/4).

Joe Rozum – Grease Funk

Seamless fusion of Smooth Jazz and pop – this is what best reveals Joe Rozum as an artist and composer. His signature sound may be soothing piano ballads, but Rozum is well known for violin duets and performances with a full band.

His music has inflections of cool blues, soundtrack themes, gospel, and a hint of classical, which come from many musical influences ranging all over the map … Billy Joel, Elton John, David Foster, Diane Warren, Yanni, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Jim Brickman, Quincy Jones, Phil Vassar, Yolanda Adams, Oleta Adams Andre Crouch, Michael Jackson, James Taylor, Carole King, Earth, Wind and Fire, Gino Vanelli, Jamie Cullum, Lionel Ritchie, John Williams, Hans Zimmer & David Arnold. The list can probably go on and on with such great musicians… and of course the great music of Elvis and The Beatles.

Listen to Grease Funk on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/4).

Byron Miller – Real Love

Just when Funk Mugs thought it was safe to glide again in a funk free air zone, bassist Byron Miller, a.k.a. “Psychobass,” has returned to re-funkify the sky-ways with some musical ESP – Extra Sensory PlushFunk – purposed for re-calibrating hearts and spirits to the vibrations of Peace and Love…Indivisible…under Oneness 4 All.

In the `70s when funky lead electric bass rose up from the earth like an infectious enveloping vapor, there were many memorable bass lines…but only a palm-full of legendary bass solos. One was played by a 19 year-old out of Detroit circa `77. The song was “Reach For It” by George Duke. The bassist was Byron Miller. This solo indelibly identified the sound of Byron’s talking bass, a style that borders between a reverent sermon and woof ticket/street corner smack. Both melodic and percussive, the Byron Miller bass sound is as intoxicating as Pouilly-Fuissé wine from a brown paper sack, unimpeachable funky, instantly recognizable and clearly sourced from someone just a bit touched about the brain. No wonder legend has it that this soul brother is orbiting Earth not just as Byron Miller but also as his alien alias…Psycho Bass.

Listen to Real Love on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/4).

Eric Darius – Summer Feelin’

For Eric Darius there are no limitations when it comes to breaking new ground. He is internationally known as an elite Jazz/R&B/Pop Saxophonist, Songwriter, Producer, and Performer. Eric’s music innovatively crosses over all music boundaries from Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, to Pop, creating a very distinctive, fresh sound and approach that is uniquely his own. He has shared the stage with innumerable world renown, Grammy Award-winning artists, such as Prince, Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige, David Foster, Carlos Santana, Babyface, Wynton Marsalis & George Benson and he’s been featured on FOX’s hit TV show, The X Factor, and TNT’s hit drama series, Mob City. Eric is building bridges, forging new paths and ensuring that his heartfelt, organic and honest approach to the music will stand the test of time.

Darius believes in giving back to today’s youth in the form of education. His On A Mission in the Schools initiative include making regular appearances to speak and perform with students from elementary and middle schools to high schools and at the college level. “I benefited greatly from the music-arts programs, and education is very important to me,” says Darius. “I’m an advocate for music in the schools and I want to help keep it alive. It’s important to me to expose kids to Jazz, encourage them to follow their dreams and inspire them to play musical instruments. I feel I have a responsibility to pay it forward, encourage the next generation and help preserve the future of music.”

Eric’s new single “Summer Feelin'” is the first single from his forthcoming new album. We love it!

Listen to Summer Feelin’ on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/4).

 

Randy Brecker and Eric Marienthal – Double Dealin’

What do you get when you pair two visionaries who happen to be kindred spirits? You get an ace in the hole! Multi Grammy award-winners trumpeter/flugelhornist Randy Brecker and saxophonist Eric Marienthal and deliver ten thrilling originals on their anticipated Shanachie Entertainment debut Double Dealin’ out September 11, 2020. It’s all aboveboard on Double Dealin’ as Brecker and Marienthal opt not to follow suit but rather let the spirit of the moment be their guide as they draw some wild cards and the blur boundaries between traditional and contemporary jazz. Randy Brecker, who was a key player in numerous ground-breaking fusion bands like Blood, Sweat and Tears and Larry Coryell’s The Eleventh House, states “Duke Ellington said ‘There are only two kinds of music, good and bad’ and we both love the latter!” Double Dealin’ marks Brecker and Marienthal’s first co-led recording. Danny Weiss, Shanachie Entertainment VP Of Jazz A&R says, “This album is a rarity – funky and brilliant at the same time. One plus one equals five with these two jazz giants.”

Brecker and Marienthal have built careers being musician’s musicians. Randy Brecker has remained at the forefront of creative music for over six decades collaborating with everyone from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, The Brecker Brothers (with his late tenor titan brother, Michael Brecker), Bruce Springsteen, Parliament/Funkadelic and Steely Dan. Saxophonist Eric Marienthal’s equally impressive career has allowed him to captivate audiences alongside everyone from Chick Corea’s Elektric Band, Patti Austin, Lee Ritenour, Elton John, Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder, among others. Longtime comrades on and off the stage, Marienthal and Brecker credit one thing for bringing them together. “Pizza” exclaims Brecker who won a Grammy this year for his album with the NDR Big Band. Laughing he adds, “We dig each other’s playing and personalities. We also like each other’s families. Eric and I have played together many times throughout the years with different ensembles including Jeff Lorber, The GRP Big Band and always ‘clicked’ as a section, so we were long overdue in doing a project together.” Marienthel adds, “Yes, definitely pizza! Besides being one of the world’s great musicians and trumpet players, Randy is a very open and cool guy. Getting to play with Randy is like getting to make a pizza with Mario Batali! You just know that no matter what you do it’s going to end up being great.”

Bringing Double Dealin’ to fruition was a bi-coastal affair as both musicians created from their own home based studios with Brecker in Long Island and Marienthal in Los Angeles. The duo sent files back and forth to one another and Brecker even admits that his attire for some of the session was PJs. “When the pandemic hit the mixing phase was about to begin,” recalls Marienthal who is the musical director of both the Blue Note At Sea Cruise and The Smooth Jazz Cruise. “I have to say it was a welcome distraction to deep dive into this music.” Double Dealin’ unites the dynamic duo with keyboardist and producer George Whitty, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dave Weckl. “George Whitty is one of the very best musicians and record producers out there,” comments Marienthal. “Dave Weckl and John Patitucci are longtime bandmates of mine with the Chick Corea Elektric Band and good friends. Their playing on this record is exceptional and really put the icing on the cake!”

The thrilling ten-track album opens with the first single and title track. All bets are off as Brecker and Marienthal get down to business on this funky and free wheeling ditty that sets the tone for the joyous excursion ahead. The composition “Three Deuces,” takes us out for a bluesy cruise while “Fast Lane” shift gears for a high-octane affair propelled by Dave Weckl’s driving rhythms. Double Dealin’ also features tender moments like the gorgeous ballad “Mine The Fire,” penned by Marienthal and Whitty in memory of guitarist and friend Chuck Loeb. “Chuck was one of my closest friends,” reflects Marienthal, who appears on Loeb’s last two Shanachie recordings Bridges (Co-led by Marienthal) and Unspoken. In 2018, Marienthal organized and played a star-studded memorial concert at the Berks Jazz Fest for Loeb that featured Brecker among numerous others. Brecker who has long had an affinity for Brazilian music offers “Sambop,” where Samba rhythms and Bebop harmonies joyously collide. Brecker’s no-holds barred track “You Ga (Ta Give It),” is a delight as he and Marienthal create maximum firepower from the opening note to the exhilarating end. Eric Marienthal and George Whitty’s intriguing and intensely beautiful “True North” lends itself to some memorable interplay and soloing including that of bassist John Patitucci. It’s all about the groove on “The Hipster,” while the meandering and percussive “Jetlagged” takes us down a totally different path. Double Dealin’ comes to a finale with “Habañero,” which lives up to its name offering the perfect combination of hot and cool that leaves you wanting more.

Randy Brecker concludes, “Double Dealin’ is uplifting and filled with great vibes and fun beats. I hope it takes everyone’s mind off our current problems and I hope people just groove with it and forget about everything else for a while!” Eric Marienthal adds, “This record has a particularly uplifting feel which is a good thing for the times we’re in right now. I know I feel better when I listen to it!”

Source: Shanachie Entertainment

Artaska – Spontaneous

Violinist and Composer Artaska is known for her powerful, yet soulful voice and violin playing. It is impossible to not want to dance and feel good when hearing her grooves.

“There’s no denying the power of Artaska’s voice, which merits some legitimate Billie Holiday comparisons. Her rhythm section is impressive as well, and she’s got an engaging presence onstage.” ~ Milwaukee Record

Classically trained since the tender age of 4 years old, Artaska mastered the crafts of violin and singing through the involvement with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and many other orchestras and ensembles infusing her influences in every note. Her new single is Spontaneous.

Brad Alexander – Straight Up

 

We are excited to announce the release of Las Vegas keyboardist Brad Alexander‘s new single, “Straight Up”! It’s the first single/title track from his forthcoming new album, set for release on BCB Entertainment. On “Straight Up”, Brad teams with Adam Hawley, and you will hear Hawley’s soulful, energetic influence on the new single.

“Straight Up”
Written by Adam Hawley and Brad Alexander
Produced and mixed by Adam Hawley

Piano: Brad Alexander
Sax: Donald Hayes
Drums: Eric Valentine
All other instruments: Adam Hawley

Listen to Straight Up on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 24/4).

Ragan Whiteside – JJ’s Strut

JJ’s Strut is a feel-good song for the ages, treating the listener to a much needed 4-minute break from the craziness of 2020. It is the 3rd single from Jazz/Soul flautist Ragan Whiteside‘s upcoming album “Five Up Top”, to be released in October.

“JJ’s Strut” (named after Ragan and Dennis’ adorable daughter, JJ) was produced by industry veterans Dennis Johnson and Bob Baldwin. It follows on the heels of Billboard Top 10 singles, “Jam It” and “Reminiscing” which reached #2 and #8 respectively.

Listen to JJ’s Strut on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/4).

Isaac Edwards – Bird Rock


Isaac Edwards
graduated from North Central University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance (Saxophone). He went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Music (Jazz Studies) from California State University Long Beach, where he studied extensively with renowned jazz saxophonists, Eric Marienthal and Jeff Clayton (Clayton-Hamilton Big Band).

Isaac has opened for renowned artists such as Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith and has performed at Paisley Park (the late Prince’s extraordinary private estate). He has performed and recorded with multiple top-notch musicians including Malcolm-Jamal Warner (a.k.a. Theo from the Cosby Show), Kirk Whalum (saxophonist for Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”), Eddie Bullen, Liberty Silver, John Blackwell (Prince), Michael Bland (Prince), Tommy Barberalla (Prince) and Darryl Williams. Additionally, he has had the honor of playing with the Bernie James sextet and Gary Greene’s Big Band of Barristers in Los Angeles.

His new single “Bird Rock” is written and produced by Isaac Edwards, mixed by Darren Rahn, and mastered by Steve Hall.

Listen to Bird Rock on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/4).

Patrick Bradley – Reinvention

Keyboardist Patrick Bradley‘s new single, “Reinvention” is the first single/title track from his forthcoming new album.

On his new single, Bradley again teams with legendary producer/keyboardist, Jeff Lorber. You will clearly hear Lorber’s signature production on “Reinvention”.

“Reinvention”
Written by Patrick Bradley
Produced by Jeff Lorber

Piano: Patrick Bradley
Guitar: Michael Thompson
Drums: Gary Novak
Additional keyboards: Jeff Lorber

Listen to Reinvention on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/4).

Paul Brown – Notorious

Along with our friends at Woodward Avenue Records, we are excited to announce the release of double Grammy winner Paul Brown‘s new album, Ones Upon A Time, as well as the project’s first single, “Notorious”! Ones Upon A Time will be available worldwide on Friday, August 14.

Over the years since Paul Brown became one of contemporary urban jazz’s premiere hit makers as a producer and artist, it’s become harder to keep track of how many Billboard #1 smashes he has amassed since breaking through producing Boney James in the early 90s. Is it 60? 70? 75? The two-time Grammy winner makes it slightly (and soulfully, seductively and delightfully easier by gathering a batch of his favorite chart-toppers produced for himself and other artists (Boney, Bob James, Larry Carlton, Kirk Whalum, George Benson) and re-imagining them for his cleverly titled upcoming collection “Ones Upon a Time” – his tenth album as a solo artist.

If the sensual atmospheres and deeply inviting, seductive groove at the start of the set’s lead single “Notorious” sound familiar, it’s because it was not only a smash for Rick Braun 23 years ago (from his 1997 album Body and Soul), but has been a staple at hundreds of the trumpet great’s live shows during that time. And for good reason. In its initial iteration, it offered the perfect combination of sexy and invigorating, a showcase of Braun’s bright and sultry energy, combined with Boney’s sweet coolness. Brown’s new twist, where he carries the moody, slow burning melody on his 1963 Gibson Johnny Smith L5 guitar, takes the song multiple shades deeper both tonally and emotionally than the original version, arriving at a perfect blend of urban jazz and blues.

After building momentum over a simmering, funky groove by bassist Roberto Vally and drummer Gorden Campbell, Brown is joined by the steamy, edgy sax of Richard Elliot. Brown had seen Elliot play the Boney part numerous times live with Braun, and knew he was the perfect foil for this slower burning version. Not surprisingly, considering their decades long friendship and working relationship, the two work a symbiotic magic (with Elliot harmonizing off the guitarist’s steady flow) on their way to the glorious hook, It’s one that smooth jazz fans have heard a million times, yet it sounds completely fresh with this new rendering, which also features Lenny Castro on percussion and a shimmering key solo by Gregg Karukas. If you’ve been a fan of Brown’s productions and heart-tugging melodic guitar vibe over the years, “Notorious” will allow you to experience his vast artistry from an exciting new perspective. Once you hear it, it’s likely that you, like me, will be chomping at the bit for the release of the entire album. – Jonathan Widran

“Nororious”
Written by Paul Brown, Rick Braun & Leon Bisquera
Produced & Mixed by Paul Brown

Paul Brown – Guitar
Richard Elliot – Tenor Sax
Gregg Karukas – Keys
Roberto Vally – Bass
Gorden Campbell – Drums
Lenny Castro – Percussion

Listen to Notorious on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/4).

Stabe Wilson – The Comforter

 

Passionate, soul stirring and eclectic are all adjectives describing the musical styling of saxophonist Stabe Wilson.

Drawing inspiration from every musical genre from gospel to jazz to soul and R&B, Stabe’s vast list of musical influences can best be described as versatile. His unique style and interpretation of song has been influenced by traditional jazz saxophonists such as Hank Crawford, David “Fat Head” Newman and Stanley Turrentine; contemporary saxophonists David Sanborn, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Michael Brecker and Everette Harp; blues greats B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland; the vocal phrasing of jazz greats Nancy Wilson, Ray Charles and gospel artist Daryl Coley, just to name a few.

Stabe has had the rare opportunity to make appearances with some of the world’s most renowned recording artists including gospel icons, Edwin Hawkins, Donald Lawrence, Richard Smallwood, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp and the late Edwin & Walter Hawkins; Latin jazz legend Pete Escovedo; soul greats Will Downing, Lalah Hathaway, Howard Hewett, Tower Of Power, Eric Benet and the late Phyllis Hyman. Stabe has also acted as music director for neo-soul artists Eric Roberson and Frank McComb.

Whether performing as leader of the Stabe Wilson Band or backing up established recording artists, in an intimate venue, arena or spirit filled church one thing is guaranteed…your ears are in for a pleasurable musical journey while Stabe Wilson is in command of his saxophone.

Listen to The Comforter on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/4).

Carl Roland – A Natural High

 

Carl Roland is a multi-instrumentalist, record producer, composer and songwriter. Known for hs addicting melodies, Carl has earned gold and platinum records in the POP/R&B genres and is now embarking on new adventures, a Jazz album of his own and a duo-mega transforming band called Dustyy Lane. Carl’s new Smooth Jazz single, “A Natural High” is his 1st single from the forthcoming album entitled “Let’s Ride”.

Carl’s playing and production styles are derived from a wide range of his influences. Innovative artists such as Herbie Hancock and George Duke with the keyboard style of Jeff Lorber and Brian Culbertson. legendary guitarist Norman Brown, Russ Freeman, Chuck Loeb and Paul Jackson Jr. lends their influence to say the least, Carl has infused smooth jazz vibes, underlined electro styled beats and good old fashion skille playing as the main components creating an innovative twist on his single “A Natural High” and his “Let’s Ride” album presentation.

Listen to A Natural High on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/4).

Darryl Williams – There’s Always Tomorrow

Bassman Darryl Williams has just released his new single, “There’s Always Tomorrow”! It the first single from his forthcoming new album. Williams was a teenager when he opened for R&B acts Lakeside and Al Green along with gospel legend Shirley Caesar. After studying jazz at San Diego State University, Williams went from regular gigs backing many of San Diego’s most prominent homegrown talent to the neon lights of the Las Vegas strip.

Darryl has become a fixture on the smooth/contemporary jazz scene where he has shared the stage with the genre’s heavy hitters: Richard Elliot, Peter White, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, Brenda Russell, Darren Rahn, Jessy J, Everette Harp and Jeff Kashiwa.

Listen to There’s Always Tomorrow on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/4).

Butch & Rhonda Coleman – Moment of your Time

Hailing from Baltimore, MD, contemporary/smooth jazz artists Butch and Rhonda Coleman are soulful songwriters whose coolly creative musicianship has created an atmosphere of positive energy and harmony. Citing the impact that music had on their lives as young adults, Butch and Rhonda started a program called, “Heart for Music”. This program focuses on providing musical instruments and lessons to inner city youth who cannot afford them.

The music from this Maryland Duo is lively, Jazzy and soulful with catchy melodies. You get the best of both worlds with their funky instrumentals and smooth and heartfelt vocals.As in the lyrics of Moment of your Time, “can I have a moment of your time,just to get to know you”, they want to you to get to know them through their music!

Listen to Moment of your Time on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 23/4).

Johnny Britt – Mo Jazzin’

 

We are excited to announce Johnny Britt‘s new single, “Mo Jazzin'”! It’s the first single/title track from his forthcoming new album, Mo Jazzin’. Along with Norman Brown and Wayman Tisdale, Britt’s group Impromp2 was among the original collection of artists signed to Jazz record label, MoJazz in the early 1990’s. His new single pays homage to the legendary label.

Early on, Britt immersed himself deeply into jazz, meeting the artform’s icons and legends and studying diligently to become a classically-trained jazz trumpet player at The Versailles Conservatory near Paris, France. He is no stranger to the smooth/contemporary side of jazz having composed material for some of the genre’s stars, including three No. 1 hits for Boney James and songs for Rick Braun, Euge Groove and Norman Brown. The tunesmith also wrote for R&B singer Peabo Bryson and Motown legends The Temptations, the latter for whom he served as musical director.

Johnny Britt “Mo Jazzin”” ft. Norman Brown -Written, produced and arranged by Johnny Britt -Mixed by Nils

Listen to Mo Jazzin’ on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/4).

Herb Alpert Feat. Jeff Lorber – Slick

 

Creator and innovator, musician and producer, artist, and philanthropist, Herb Alpert is a man with a profound passion. Born in Los Angeles, the future trumpeter came of age in a house filled with music. At the age of eight, he was drawn to the trumpet in a music appreciation class in his elementary school. “I was very fortunate that I had that exposure to music and was encouraged to stick with it. Years ago, when the arts programs were cut out of our public schools, so many kids stopped having that kind of opportunity.”

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 vocal single.

Herb’s new single, “Slick,” is an exciting collaboration with Jeff Lorber.

Listen to Slick on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/4).

H Allan – BAM!

 

Guitarist H Allan‘s first job out of college was with the LA Sax Company, the maker of color-coated saxes used by an array of artists in all genres of music, including Richard Elliot. His duties required that he attend shows whenever the musicians played Chicago thus Allan attended all of Elliot’s local gigs in the early 90s. A dynamic, high-energy performer, Elliot plays sax aggressively with power, passion and pyrotechnics much like the way Van Halen plays guitar, which quickly impressed Allan and won his respect and admiration.

H Allan “BAM!'”
Written by Horace-Alexander Young

H Allan – Guitars
Ron Reinhardt – Keyboards
Eric Valentine Jr. – Drums
Keith Vivens – Bass
Horace-Alexander Young – Sax (Whitney Houston, Jonathan Butler, Anita Baker)
Steve Jankowski – Trumpet/Trombone (CHIC / Nile Rodgers touring band, Chicago, BS&T)
Robert Martin – Mix / Master (Zappa)

Listen to BAM! on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/4).

Charlton Singleton – Sea Breeze

A native of Awendaw, SC, Charlton Singleton began his musical studies at the age of three on the piano. He would then go on to study the organ, violin, cello, and the trumpet throughout elementary, middle and high school. In 1994, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from South Carolina State University. Since that time, he has taught music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as being an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston.

As a performer, Charlton leads his own ensembles that vary in size and style. He has performed in France, Great Britain, Scotland, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands, as well as many great cities throughout the United States. In addition to performing, he is in demand as a speaker, clinician, composer, and arranger. He has also shared the stage with and/or worked with some of most talented entertainers in the world, including Bobby McFerrin, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Houston Person, Darius Rucker, Fred Wesley, and Cyrus Chestnut to name a few.

Listen to Sea Breeze on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/4).

The Justus Brothers – Crazy

 

Memphis based band The Justus Brothers hit the Jazz charts with their first single “Chinese Checkers” in 2019.

Their new single is a Contemporary Jazz/BeBop interpretation of CeeLo Green’s hit “Crazy” featuring future star, Katrina Anderson. She grew in the same home town as Tina Turner, and she grew up a huge fan of Tina and has a similar stage presence. Katrina was singing background for an artist performing at BB King’s club on Beale Street when The Justus Brothers producer and lead guitarist Niko Lyras heard her and fell in love with her voice and personality. Having co-written and produced Wendy Moten’s top 5 hit “Come In Out Of The Rain”, Niko knew she would become a star.

Listen to Crazy on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/4).

Darren Horn – Coltan

Best known as the keyboardist/producer half of the Lansing, MI based hit making contemporary urban jazz duo Horn & Holland, Darren Horn adopts the artist moniker “Mr. Horn” and showcases a fresh side of his R&B/gospel/jazz influenced vibe on his dynamic, multi-faceted and deeply soulful and grooving debut solo EP, Taste and See.

In the tradition of genre greats like Kirk Whalum and Jonathan Butler, the veteran composer and musician works with some of the region’s most prominent sidemen and arrangers to create an instantly infectious collection driven by his faith and desire to praise and worship – but whose transcendent musical flow will appeal to lovers of old school R&B inflected smooth jazz as well.

Listen to Coltan on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/4).

Les Sabler – Keep Pushin’

 

We are excited to announce the release of guitarist Les Sabler‘s new single, “Keep Pushin'”!

Sabler’s first recording project came in 1989 when asked to score a Canadian Television Network documentary titled Lost Treasures of the Titanic. The following year, he released his solo debut CD, Hidden Treasure. Five years later, Sabler’s second album, Time For Love, garnered radio spins and hit the charts, enabling him to land concert dates headlining or opening for artists such as Lorber, Spyro Gyra, Richard Elliot, Michael Lington, Diane Schurr and Fattburger.

“Like the artists that influenced me most, on my albums I set out to blend a variety of styles while balancing art and technique with commercial accessibility,” said Sabler. His catalogue of recordings reflects this outlook and direction and his performances demonstrate an eclectic mix of passion and energy.

Les Sabler “Keep Pushin'”
Written by Paul Brown, Lew Laing & Les Sabler
Produced and mixed by Paul Brown at The Funky Joint

Listen to Keep Pushin’ on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/4).

Lawson Rollins – With the Wind

The winds of change are upon us and while possessing the power of destruction, wind can also purify, refresh and foster renewal. It’s the latter that world music guitarist Lawson Rollins had in mind when composing “With the Wind,” the second single from the recently released “True North” album, a collection that the Billboard chart-topper wrote and produced marking his 20th anniversary as a recording artist. The single recently serviced to radio began collecting playlist adds on Monday.

“‘With the Wind’ is an expression of energetic joyfulness. The song emerged out of improvisation – as songs often do for me – so the inspiration was spontaneous and enigmatic as the music flowed naturally, like the steady force of the wind,” said the San Francisco-based Rollins who was named by Guitar Player magazine as one of the “50 Transcedent Acoustic Guitarists” of all-time.

“With the Wind” follows the success of the album’s first single, “Bluewave Bossanova,” which went to No. 1 on the SmoothJazz.com chart, Top 10 on the Mediabase and Groove Jazz Music charts, and Top 30 on the Billboard and Radiowave Monitor charts. Opening with tribal percussion beats, “With the Wind” takes off on an exuberant flight. Rollins crafts whirling gusts of masterful acoustic guitar delivered at alacritous speed and technical brilliance, searing electric guitar accents and snappy beats at cadences that vacillate between a cascading and careening thrill ride mixed with deliberate and dramatic pauses seemingly to allow the listener the opportunity to catch their breath. The track is an eclectic escapade unlike any other recorded by Rollins, who was accompanied by Stephen Duros (additional keyboards and electric guitar), Dan Feiszli (bass) and Dave Bryant (drums and percussion).

Named by Jazziz magazine as one of the “10 Albums You Need to Know,” “True North” displays familiar Rollins’ hallmarks while introducing new and different elements. His prodigious fingerstyle guitar work remains the focal point of the tracks that stylistically serve a melange of contemporary jazz, world music, Latin and New Age sounds. On this outing, Rollins expands his repertoire by playing electric and slide guitars and steel string guitar alongside his signature classical Spanish nylon string acoustic guitar. He also adds textured synthesizer swatches. Known for embarking on lengthy improvisational explorations, Rollins keeps the tracks tightly focused on “True North,” exhibiting discipline and control.

Exotic travel and exhilarating adventure have long been Rollins’ primary thematic subjects, however, as pictured on the album cover and accompanying photography in the CD packaging, “True North” derives much of it’s geographic inspiration from a more familiar locale: Rollins’ favorite vacation spot on the Outer Banks in his home state of North Carolina.

For more information, please visit http://www.lawsonrollins.com.

Source: Great Scott Productions

Ron King – Downtown Mama

 

Ron King is one of the finest trumpet /composer /arranger artists in the world today. A Grammy nominated soloist, he is also one of L.A.’s top lead jazz improvisational trumpet players. He has received many awards, from the IAJE, NAJE, ASCAP, and the RMA. He has received Gold records for working with artists including George Benson, Ricki Lee Jones, and Marvin Gaye.

In addition to these artists, he has also performed and recorded with: The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Frank Sinatra, Keely Smith, Jimmy Kimmel Live, ABC TV’s The Next Best Thing, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, and featured on the Grammy Awards.

Ron King “Downtown Mama” is the title song of the same named album. Written by Ron King and Paul Brown and produced by Paul Brown at The Funky Joint.

Listen to Downtown Mama on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/4).

Rocco Ventrella – On The Road

 

Rocco Ventrella was born in Bari, Italy and began playing saxophone at age of twelve. Rocco has shared stages with many respected artists including Peter White, Marion Meadows, Candy Dulfer, Renato Falaschi, Mindi Abair, Jessy J., Brian Culbertson, Nick Colionne, Jackiem Joyner, Nils, Paul Brown, Gerald Albright, Jonathan Fritzen, Eric Darius, Brian Simpson, Rick Braun, Marc Antoine, Michael Lington, Dave Koz and more.

“One can only smile and enjoy when hearing the music of Rocco Ventrella. The joy of his music that exudes from his soul is undeniable. His passion for smooth jazz is so obvious with every note he plays”

– Everette Harp

His new single is On The Road.

Listen to On The Road on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/4).

Ryan Montano – Soulfully

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

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

Ryan’s new single “Soulfully” is co-written by Montano and Darren Rahn. You’ll also recognize Phil Denny’s warm tone on saxophone.

Listen to Soulfully on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/4).

Paul Hardcastle – Latitude

Paul Hardcastle will be known to most slightly older listeners for his megahits Rain Forest and 19, which have sold millions of copies. His series The Jazzmasters was a considerable success in the field of smooth jazz, which he also continues with The Chill Lounge for the chill out genre. With his album Hardcastle 8 (2018) he remained the nation’s groove master. This year Paul Hardcastle returns with the follow-up IX.

Taken from this album is the single Latitude.

Listen to Latitude on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/4).

RJ & The Assignment – Everybody Wants To Rule The World

 

Reginald ‘RJ’ Johnson is a Las Vegas resident who studied Classical Piano at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and acquired a Masters in Music in Jazz Piano Performance. Since graduating, he has recorded four albums.

RJ performs regularly with his group, The Assignment, as well as other groups in Las Vegas. He is also touring with Boys II Men as their keyboardist for their residency at the Mirage Casino and Resort in Las Vegas. RJ plays Jazz and R & B utilizing his own compositions and style as a modern mix of the two genres, creating a unique “new” Jazz style that is all his own. He has played keyboard in live shows and studio recordings for various headlining artists, including Jennifer Hudson, Otis Clay, Christopher Williams, Beverly Crawford, Angie Stone, Boys II Men, Jon B and Buddy Guy.

RJ’s new single, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” features guest vocalist Kiara Brown, who appeared on NBC-TV’s The Voice in Fall 2019. Midway through the performance she got a chair turn from Blake Shelton. Gwen Stefani eventually turned as well. Blake called her voice “hypnotic.” Gwen liked the way she flipped the song and said she appreciates her singer-songwriter vibe. Kiara decided to join Team Gwen.

Listen to Everybody Wants To Rule The World on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/4).

BK Jackson – Silver Lining

 

BK Jackson has been put on this earth to do one thing, electrify and amaze audiences across the globe with his unique playing style, energetic stage presence and unparalleled passion for music that touches the soul. Most notably, BK spent four years touring 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 (NPG) Hornz. Currently, BK can be found rocking the stage with Trombone Shorty as a member of the multi-talented musician’s touring band, Orleans Avenue.

Taken from the new album Life Of The Party we present you Silver Lining.

Listen to Silver Lining on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/4).

 

Kay-Ta Matsuno – Distance

Kay-Ta Matsuno was born in Osaka, Japan, and moved to Boston, MA to study at Berklee College of Music when he was 20. The broad capacity of his playing style (from Gospel, R&B, country, jazz, and rock) helped him to start his career as a session guitarist in Los Angeles. His list of credits includes:

David Foster, Baby Face, Natalie Cole, Keiko Matsui, Lalah Hathaway, Amerie, Chante Moore, Jackiem Joyner, Daniel Bedingfield, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Steve Porcaro, Virgil Donatti, Tony Macalpine, Jody Watley, Amber Riley (from Glee), and Bob Mintzer (from Yellow Jackets).

In 2016 he released his debut album Arrival, a recording that is still garnering considerable airplay. Now working with Polyphemus Records, he is on a quest to produce 10 singles in 10 weeks, later to be released as a special 10 track album.

Taken from this upcoming album is the first track Distance.

Listen to Distance on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/4).

Will Sumner – Where We Go

 

Ride the Wave is the latest, highly-anticipated work to hit the music world from renowned jazz guitarist, composer and producer, Will Sumner.

With nine CDs already in his multi-layered portfolio, Sumner’s new album Ride the Wave has been hailed “a perfect 10” and it continues the energetic ride of his dynamic musical career. taken from this album is the new single “Where We Go”.

Listen to Where We Go on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 21/4).

Oli Silk – New Bounce

It’s a long way to make a name for itself, when you are a keyboardist from UK. Oli Silk has made the impossible possible and achieved a great reputation as one of the hottest acts in USA. Although an integral member of the band in Pizza Express, London, he often takes the  transatlantic leap to be visible at numerous events in the States.

He is best known by the albums Fact or Friction (2000) and Duality (2002), which he released with Danny Sugar. During his solo career he already published the albums So Many Ways (2006),  The Limit’s The Sky (2008), All We Need (2010), Razor Sharp Britt (2013) and Where I Left Off (2016). In May 2020 he returns with his new album Six on Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm Records.

Taken from this album is the fresh new single New Bounce. Featured artist on this single is Vincent Ingala on sax.

Listen to Six on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/4).

Jakob Magnusson – Caption This

 

With a title like “Caption This,” keyboardist/composer Jakob Magnusson – aka the popular, eminently grooving artist formerly known as Jack Magnet – all but begs us to dig for colorful words and an apt description of his latest cool, funky and retro flavored soul-jazz single. The first that comes to mind is seductive. Then simmering. Sultry. Swaying. (Lots of s’s!) And now a phase that captures its inviting organic vibe: old school cool. Although it’s on the same EP (High North) that has Magnusson’s prior single “Hook, Line & Sinker,” and is also produced by genre hit making master Paul Brown, the overall flow and tone of the new track is delightfully different. It’s less in your face and more about caressing your heart with a warmth, intimacy and subtle nudge towards the way contemporary jazz was recorded back in the day. Cool and warm at the same time? That’s the magical conundrum on how we use words to describe music here!

Whereas the earlier tune featured Magnusson’s playful acoustic piano and the muscular sax of Jeff Ryan, “Caption This” rolls more like an updated version of a classic, deeply rhythmic but melodically and harmonically freewheeling Crusaders track. Weaving an infectious melody (often with the dreamy harmonic pairing of flugelhornist Snorri Sigurdsson) and then taking us on a spirited and hypnotic improvisational adventure, Magnusson showcases just why he’s considered Iceland’s foremost musical icon and one of the most renowned Fender Rhodes players in the world. Brown is also on hand, using his guitar to keep the retro magic crackling gently – like an echo from an earlier era – in the background throughout. And let’s not leave out Lew Laing, who keeps both the rhythm tight and the atmospheres hoppin’ as both drummer and synth player. As you listen and vibe along, you can almost imagine late cats like Joe Sample and George Duke chiming in their approval and coming up with witty captions of their own from above and beyond.

Listen to Caption This on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/4).

Walter Chancellor Jr. – Steppin’ Out

Professional saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, educator, arranger, mentor and music producer Walter Chancellor Jr. has been a mainstay in the Twin Cities contemporary Jazz and R&B music scene for the past 25 years. Not long after his arrival in Minneapolis, Walter performed and recorded with Prince, earning him a Double Platinum record for his participation on Prince’s Emancipation CD in 1996.

Chancellor’s new single “Steppin’ Out” is the follow-up to his 2019 hit single, “Beautiful Day”.

“Steppin Out”
Written by Walter Chancellor
Produced by Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis

Listen to Steppin’ Out on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/4).

Paolo Rustichelli – Hot

 

Italy was the second country to be ravaged by the novel coronavirus disrupting and threatening life, economics and the freedoms perhaps we took for granted. While encamped at his house near Rome on the coast close to the Tyrrhenian Sea that is part of the Mediterranean basin, forward-thinking multimedia jazz artist Paolo Rustichelli began contemplating life after quarantine while surrounded by ancient Etruscan temple ruins. His vision created the sensual aural and visual feast titled “Hot,” the new single and video impacting radio on May 4. He intends the project to serve as a charm to ward off COVID-19.

“‘Hot’ is a musical hymn implying the take back of our freedom from quarantine as we enter a summer of regeneration from our present burden with coronavirus. Reading between the lines in Europe and what happened in China, I composed a liberating song in March to celebrate regaining health and freedom from the threat and oppression caused by the virus. You can think of this song as a ‘spell’ or a charm to regain our health after a period of self-quarantine, thinking also that in ancient times, charms or spells were generally sung with the aid of musical instruments. ‘Hot’ is dedicated to a new summer of spiritual and physical regeneration,” said Rustichelli who composed, produced and performed the track using electronic plug-ins.

Listen to Hot on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/4).

Naomi Adriaansz – Soulstice

 

Popular Dutch jazz musician and saxophonist Naomi Adriaansz releases her new EP entitled ‘Soulstice’ on May 1st, 2020. The ‘Soulstice’ EP delivers five of her original compositions. These are intense, energizing, atmospheric, electronically-infused tracks with driving beats and soaring sax solos. Naomi collaborated with Dutch keyboardist and producer Frank Pels in creating her distinctive funky new sound. “The EP has been created from the soul with the aim of uplifting the human spirit”, says Naomi.

This EP is an expected follow-up to the first two singles that Naomi released last year. Especially with her first single release ‘Soul Smile’, she rapidly climbed the smooth jazz charts and reached #1 on several online Internet radio music streaming networks, around the world. From May 1st, 2020 the ‘Soulstice’ EP will be available on all online music platforms like AppleMusic,
Amazon, Spotify, Deezer etc. Naomi is looking forward to an exciting 2021 ahead, as well as the potential to tour internationally
and perform her spirited new sound live for audiences worldwide.

Listen to Soulstice on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/4).

 

Full Flava feat. Donna Odain – Make It Right

 

One of Dome Records’ most popular streaming tracks worldwide from the Full Flava catalogue is “Make It Right”, featuring the voice of Donna Odain. It has now been remixed by Bluey and Richard Bull, and this brand new, summery Incognito Remix is released on May 1, together with an equally fine Full Flava 2.0 Mix by the band’s producer Rob Derbyshire.

Co-written by Full Flava producer Rob Derbyshire and vocalist Donna Odain, the beautifully summery Incognito Remix is courtesy Bluey and his long-time collaborator Richard Bull. Donna’s delicious vocal is the highlight of this gently swaying, soulful cut, which is also stunningly remixed by Rob himself on the Full Flava 2.0 Mix. A perfect summer tune…

Listen to Make It Right on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/4).

DW3 – Let’s Have Fun Tonight

 

DW3’s new self-titled album on Woodward Avenue Records is so chock full of instant classics, it’s a challenge to find a single entry point that perfectly captures the old school funky, R&B, jazz and Latin fired energy stirred up by the party band turned studio masters Eric and Billy Mondragon and Damon Reel.

To help them flesh out their vision, the trio ensembles with a batch of SoCal’s top studio guns and brings the heavy hitting saxophones of Boney James, Richard Elliot and Eric Darius to the mix. Elliot helps get the album off to a slammin’ start, bringing his high-octane tenor fire (and some well-placed EWI generated vocals) to the loose, freewheeling funk opener whose title, “Let’s Have Fun Tonight,” sets the album’s overall intention.

While DW3 will surely always be playing the arrangements of crowd-pleasing pop and soul classics which made them a sensation among urban jazz fans, their new album lays a foundation for a band creatively transcending their past and embracing a future with no musical limits. Its inspiring to hear them integrate their classic vibe with fresh new sounds, contemporary melodies and songs that draw from all of their influences yet have their own distinctive flow.

Listen to Let’s Have Fun Tonight on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/4).

Willie Bradley – It’s On Now

Willie Bradley is a graduate of South Carolina State University, 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 Jazz and Soul music’s greats over the years. Willie’s stage presence includes performances with legends including Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Frank Foster, Max Roach, Betty Carter, Gerald Albright, Walter Beasley, Alex Bugnon, Ronnie Laws, Hiroshima and Marion Meadows.

Bold, yet simultaneously charming; edgy, yet at the same time beautiful; these seemingly opposing adjectives might well-describe the music of artist/trumpeter Willie Bradley, but also fittingly tell about the man! Willie Bradley’s music brings together many varied styles, and takes Smooth Jazz to a whole new level.

His new single “It’s On Now” is Willie’s strongest melody, and together with Ragan Whiteside’s contribution on flute a killer song.

Listen to It’s On Now on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/4).

Justin Young – Groove Magic

 

Justin Young sounds utterly natural when he plays, as if his extraordinary saxophone talent never needed formal training. But those mellifluous lines of soulful notes come through years of study, training and commitment to his love of music, as well as a constant desire to move forward.

“Groove Magic” is the first single/title track from Justin’s new album.

“Groove Magic”
ISRC Code: QMAAK2021059

“As a musician and songwriter, we try to make people feel good. Music has the power to heal. Its something we all need”

– Justin Young

Listen to Groove Magic on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/4).

Paolo Rustichelli – Hot

 

Italy was the second country to be ravaged by the novel coronavirus disrupting and threatening life, economics and the freedoms perhaps we took for granted. While encamped at his house near Rome on the coast close to the Tyrrhenian Sea that is part of the Mediterranean basin, forward-thinking multimedia jazz artist Paolo Rustichelli began contemplating life after quarantine while surrounded by ancient Etruscan temple ruins. His vision created the sensual aural and visual feast titled “Hot,” the new single and video impacting radio on May 4. He intends the project to serve as a charm to ward off COVID-19.

“‘Hot’ is a musical hymn implying the take back of our freedom from quarantine as we enter a summer of regeneration from our present burden with coronavirus. Reading between the lines in Europe and what happened in China, I composed a liberating song in March to celebrate regaining health and freedom from the threat and oppression caused by the virus. You can think of this song as a ‘spell’ or a charm to regain our health after a period of self-quarantine, thinking also that in ancient times, charms or spells were generally sung with the aid of musical instruments. ‘Hot’ is dedicated to a new summer of spiritual and physical regeneration,” said Rustichelli who composed, produced and performed the track using electronic plug-ins.

Accompanying the single is a steamy video directed by Rustichelli featuring two bikini-clad dancers dancing sensuously on cliffside bluffs and against fluorescent lime green skies and magenta sands. Waves gently wash over and purify the women and beach symbolizing humanity and the planet. The clip can be viewed at https://bit.ly/2Xzenkf. Rustichelli elaborates on the striking visuals and symbolism.

Continue reading

Dee Lucas – Tried and True

 

We are excited to announce the release of Atlanta saxman Dee Lucas new single, “Tried And True”! It’s the first single from his upcoming new album, Now Is The Time.

“Tried And True” features David P. Stevens on guitar, who also produced and co-wrote the song along with Lucas.

“Tried And True” (3:42)
Written by Orlando (Dee) Lucas and David P. Stevens
Produced by David P. Stevens
Released on ODL Music

Listen to Tried and True on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/4).

Philippe Saisse – Eva Kant Dance

Entering a new decade of infectiously grooving, supercharged melodic funk and a fresh freewheeling sense of musical and personal optimism, Philippe Saisse finds the perfect way to celebrate ten years since his last solo album, At World’s Edge, received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Hot off his incredible run of Billboard hits with tunes from The Philippe Saisse Trio’s 2017 collection On The Level!, the multi-talented keyboardist composer amps up for his new single “Eva Kant Dance.”

Marking a triumphant return to solo artistry after years of success (in the century’s first two decades!) with his longtime trio, the track is a playfully thumping, NYC influenced old school meets hipster R&B/hip-hop driven jam so spirited and upbeat that, he says, “Every time I listen, I catch myself dancing to it – and I don’t dance!” It is the first of a handful of singles he will release in the coming months, with a possible full-length album down the road.

After years of recording mainly on acoustic piano, he brings to “Eva Kant Dance” his full arsenal of keyboard sounds, including synth bass, vibraphone, Fender Rhodes, Vocoder, and Clavinet. It is mixed by the legendary Goh Hotoda, who has brought his Midas touch to recordings by Chaka Khan, Duran Duran, Janet Jackson, Madonna and Prince, among countless others. In line with Saisse’s passion for choosing song titles based on hip but obscure cultural and literary references, “Eva Kant Dance” makes reference to a 60’s Italian comics character, a master of all disguises who was the sidekick of criminal mastermind Diabolik – also the name of the comic book series and 1968 cult film Danger Diabolik.

The vibe of “Eva Kant Dance” may remind fans of Rick Braun’s recent Billboard charting smash “Crossroads,” which Saisse co-wrote and co-produced. “It freaks me out in a good way that I wrote such a happy, danceable tune,” he says. “I usually write more tormented, minor key songs, but lately, as testament to the happier life I lead these days, I am starting to write more uplifting songs.”

Jonathan Widran (March 2020)

Listen to Eva Kant Dance on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/4).

The Allen Carman Project – Rosario

 

 

Coming off the resounding success of their debut album Carmanology, The Allen Carman Project is back in the studio writing and recording their follow up album. The first single from the new album, “ROSARIO”, is going for adds April 6, 2020. During the writing and recording of the new single, the group members started discussing the Latin feel of the new tune and that it had a “Gato” feel. Of course, they were talking about the incomparable Gato Barbieri who some say is the father of smooth jazz. Keyboardist Philippe Saisse produced Gato’s 1997 album, Que Pasa.

Gumbi Ortiz, percussionist and producer of The Allen Carman Project, also played in Gato’s band on several worldwide tours and became one of Gato’s close friends. Based on the close connections the members of The Allen Carman Project had with Gato, they decided to honor his memory and title their new single “Rosario” after the town in Argentina where Gato was born and raised.

Listen to Rosario on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/4).

David Garfield – Sweetness

 

On his new single “Sweetness”, keyboardist David Garfield teamed up with one of his favorite saxophonists and long-time friend, Gerald Albright to perform this new original song, which also includes performances by favorites such as Rick Braun and Paul Jackson Jr. “Ready” Freddie Washington (“Forget-Me-Nots”, “Men In Black”), David Williams (Michael Jackson) and Lenny Castro (Toto) round out this all-star offering. “Sweetness” is a fresh, smooth urban groove, yet sassy and funky. This track features Garfield’s dynamic acoustic piano playing which soars over the solid and steady rhythm section with Castro’s syncopated percussion driving the band.

“Sweetness” has a groove that energizes the listener and even makes them want to get up and move! Garfield, who leads the band on piano and keyboards, also produced and arranged the new single.

Listen to Sweetness on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/4).

Citrus Sun – Hard Boiled

 

Following their Smooth Jazz singles “Mais Uma Vez” and “Calling Mr Wolf”, Citrus Sun return with Hard Boiled, from their forthcoming album Expansions And Visions (DOME CD 348). More information about the upcoming album is to find here.

Featured are Dominic Glover on trumpet, Jim Mullen on guitar… and introducing 22-year-old Indonesian harmonica player Rega Dauna.

Listen to Hard Boiled on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/4).

Ralph Johnson – Smooth And You

Ralph Johnson is a musical wonder. In a remarkable career that has spanned over 50 years, Ralph has achieved unparalleled success as drummer, songwriter, vocalist, and principal member of the iconic group Earth, Wind & Fire. His dynamic stage presence has thrilled sold-out audiences around the world, and he’s inspired future generations of musicians and young people to follow their dreams and be a global citizen.

With Earth, Wind & Fire, Ralph’s artistry has been celebrated with seven Grammy Awards, including one for Lifetime Achievement, an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a portrait in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, and the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor, acknowledging his contributions to arts and culture.

House Studios and Ralph Johnson are proud supporters of Young Storytellers, the non-profit organization Ralph has partnered with. His new single is entitle Smooth And You.

Listen to Smooth And You on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 18/4).

Mariea Antoinette – Loving You

A native of San Diego, California, Ms. Antoinette‘s diverse repertoire consists of classical, smooth jazz, and R&B music. She has performed for The President and First Lady Of The United States, Barack and Michelle Obama and at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles with the Southeast Symphony Orchestra. Her solo performances have taken her across the US and abroad. Her new single “Loving You” is a tender, soulful tribute to Minnie Ripperton that we think your audience will thoroughly enjoy.

“Unless you heard yourself, you would never believe the strait-laced, classical harp could bend in any forward motion toward R&B Funk, much less possess even an ounce of sex appeal. Mariea Antoinette changes all of that. The San Diego urban-jazz harpist (yes, urban-jazz) utilizes all the pertinent styles at her disposal to loosen up her classical instrument, from street smart, EDM hip-hop, sexy, luscious R&B vocals. Mariea Antoinette is living proof that a visionary artist can bust out of traditional boxes on pure ability alone.”

– Carol Banks Weber, AXS

Listen to Loving You on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/4).

 

Nick Colionne – Let’s Get Serious

Chicago’s best dressed jazz guitarist Nick Colionne released his first albums It’s My Turn (1994), Arrival (1996) and The Seduction (1999) on the Lake Shore Jazz label, followed by Just Come On In (2003), Keepin’ It Cool (2006), and No Limits (2008). Feel The Heat (2011), Influences (2014) and The Journey (2016) are released on Trippin & Rhythm.  Now he returns on the same label with Finger Painting (2020).

His new single Let’s Get Serious is taken from this album scheduled for release March 23, 2020.

Listen to Let’s Get Serious on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/4).

Boney James – Solid

 

“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 will be released by Concord Records, April 17, 2020. Solid follows 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!”

Four other songs were initiated by longtime James collaborator, acclaimed writer/producer Jairus ‘J-Mo’ Mozee (Anderson Paak, Nicki Minaj, Anthony Hamilton). One of those, “Be Here,” was ultimately transformed into Solid‘s Adult Urban single featuring special guest Kenny Lattimore, best known for his Top 10 R&B hit “For You.”

Says James, “We met at the Soul Train Awards twenty years ago and he said, ‘Some day we need to work together!’ As I was working on ‘Be Here’, I started to hear his voice in my head. I reached out to him and he wrote and recorded the lyrics. It’s such a romantic song and it really reinforced the theme of the record, strong and positive relationships.”
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.

Listen to Solid on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/4).

Chase Huna – Dance

 

Chase Huna is an up and coming saxophonist who blends contemporary jazz and pop into his style of playing. Chase has enjoyed playing alongside some of the greatest names in Contemporary Jazz including Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Peter White, Eric Darius, Greg Manning, Steve Oliver Jeff Kashiwa and so many others.

Now 20 years old, Chase has just released his brand new album Life Of The Party and is looking to further his career as a live performer and songwriter.

“Dance,” is the first single from Life Of The Party. It’s upbeat, bright, hot and makes you want to groove and maybe even “Dance!”

Listen to Dance on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 17/4).