TONY BENNETT & LADY GAGA | Cheek To Cheek | Interscope Records
SHARON MARIE CLINE | This Is Where I Wanna Be | Independent
AL GOMEZ | Casa Groove | Shade Records
DEE DEE LAVELL | Sounds Of Love | Gam Girl Records
THE RIPPINGTONS | Fountain Of Youth | Peak Records / eOne Music
SAM RUCKER | Tell You Something | Favor Productions
SEAN SULLIVAN | Hereafter | SonyRed
THREESTYLE Feat. Magdalena Chovancova | Get It | Welovemusic Records
DENNIS ANGEL On Track Timeless Grooves Records
Dennis Angel made a fateful choice after high school – study music at Julliard or pursue a law degree. He eventually became a well-respected entertainment attorney, but jazz found its way back in 2009, when he recorded “The Wall Street Recession Time Blues.” He made an impact with his multi-faceted, full-length debut TIMELESS GROOVES, and now he’s back, deep in the melodic and grooving pocket again with his latest, ON TRACK. The first single “Soul Strut,” produced by Jason Miles, is a playfully funky, swinging tune featuring Angel’s soulful flugelhorn surrounded by top Jazz veterans Kenny Barron (piano), Gottfried Stoger (sax) and the grooving rhythm section of James Genus (bass) and Edward J.T. Lewis (drums). Angel is ON TRACK to become a bona fide jazz star!
MARIEA ANTOINETTE No Strings Attached Independent
Who knew the magical sound of the harp could find a home on the funk side of the Jazz world? San Diego native Marie Antoinette’s repertoire includes Classical, Jazz and R&B, which she has showcased at Walt Disney Hall and of course out on the Jazz in Pink tour. Her debut single “Give Me Your Love” is a sensual, funky fresh re-imagining of the love song from Curtis Mayfield’s iconic Super Fly soundtrack. Keeping her spirited, melodic harp lines front and center, she creates a bold blend of old school with soul sensibilities, symphonic atmospheres and sizzling brass. “Give Me Your Love”… and more of it, please!
THE AULT SISTERS Timeless Independent
Toronto based siblings Amanda (23), Alicia (21) and Alanna Ault (19) have grown up applying their glorious vocal harmonies to everything from holiday music to pop and rock. On TIMELESS, they swing playfully into a seductive, cool retro Jazz vibe that brings to mind everyone from The Andrews Sisters to Wilson Phillips, while allowing them to put their own stamp on a mix of classics ("The Boy From New York City," "Moondance," "River") and a few originals. The very talented Ault Sisters are in perfect harmony throughout the very compelling TIMELESS!
Veteran Hollywood session guitarist and contemporary jazz artist with three previous albums under his belt, Bennett B declares that it’s GROOVE TIME on his explosive fourth full length project. Produced by multi-Grammy winning artist Paul Brown, the ten track set has splashes of sizzling brass, a sprinkling of Blues, a lot of Funk and simmering old school keyboard textures. Guests include Greg Adams, and Ricky Lawson in one of his last recordings. The single “Tell Me About It” is mid tempo, in the pocket cool all the way – the perfect showcase for Bennett’s expressive electric guitar excitement. The title says it all – GROOVE TIME grooves!
Soulful, Canadian singer, Jasmin Bailey releases a cool, new tune, “Shangri-La,” on Merchant Murango Records. Like the mythical place of the same name, the song captures a lovely, harmonious feeling with pop and jazz sensibilities… a Utopian spell of joy is conveyed in the vocalist’s delivery on this magnetic song. We look forward to hearing more from Bailey and Merchant Murango, and in the meantime, we’ll linger in Shangri-La!
DIANA BARASH A Miracle of Love Anaviv Music
On her sensual and soulful debut album A MIRACLE OF LOVE, well traveled Eastern European native Diana Barash caresses her spirited blend of moods, romance and inspiration with exotic percussion, soundscape textures and ethereal atmospheres. Drawing from world music as well as traditional genres like jazz, R&B and pop, the sensual singer creates dreamy journeys (on some tracks in collaboration with renowned jazz pianist and composer Sunnie Paxson) that seduce the listener with optimism as she sings of love, hope, empowerment and perseverance. The elegant, trumpet laced focal track “Save This World” can be enjoyed both as a vocal and instrumental.
SYLVIA BENNETT Best Love Songs Out of Sight Music
Love doesn’t get any better than this! Grammy-nominee, jazz chanteuse Sylvia Bennett captures the flirtation, the romance and the jazz on her brand new album BEST LOVE SONGS featuring 12 of the most amazing love songs ever written, including Burt Bacharach’s “Look Of Love,” the Sinatra classic “Fly Me To the Moon,” the Gershwins' “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” and Cole Porter’s “Night and Day.” Ms. Bennett opens the Great American Songbook for her exciting new collection, and helps herself to a rich set list custom made for her exquisite voice and impeccable phrasing! BEST LOVE SONGS is Sylvia Bennett's sweetest assortment of classics yet!
PATRICK BRADLEY Can You Hear Me Patrick Bradley
When you hear the bluesy organ solo on “All In,” the easy flowing opening track of keyboardist/composer Patrick Bradley’s CAN YOU HEAR ME, and the wild Moog synth solo on the high octane “North of Evermore,” you might just think they’re being played by the project’s legendary producer Jeff Lorber. That’s how exciting and innovative Bradley is as a player! Though he enlists the help of all-star friends like Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal, Bradley shines on both the main melodies and sparkling solos on a set that’s rocking, funkified and at times profoundly spiritual. CAN YOU HEAR ME? That would be a resounding YES!
A truly revered saxophonist… Tom Braxton is highly respected by both the world-class artists he performs with and the fans that watch him play! With a tone that is rich and distinctive, there’s no wonder why this star player commands attention. Tom’s highly anticipated 8th solo release, THE NEXT CHAPTER, is a feel-good, body movin’, soulfully positive collection of tunes, featuring Grammy winners Bob James, Ricky Lawson, Earl Klugh, along with one of Smooth Jazz’s most beloved guitarists, Peter White! In addition to outstanding, original compositions, you’ll find sweet covers of favorites including the OJay’s “I Love Music,” and the Spinner’s “I’ll Be Around;” tunes that bring to mind the fun vibe of the late Wayman Tisdale, whom Braxton supported as Musical Director for 17 years. In addition to his own band, you can occasionally enjoy him with Earl Klugh and Keiko Matsui. Brimming with good vibes, Tom Braxton’s THE NEXT CHAPTER is a guaranteed chart topper!
BROTHER JAY Driven By Angels BrotherJayjazz.com
Can’t imagine a better thing to be inspired by… the divine and uplifting! Jazzman, Brother Jay composes smooth, melodic songs inspired by angels. He calls his unique blend of jazz, “Inspirational Jazz.” I call his music soulfully connected… Jay is a musician who calls on a higher power to guide him through life, love and songwriting. You can feel the love when you listen… and feel it you will on his exceptional new album DRIVEN BY ANGELS. Delightfully positive new songs featuring Brother Jay’s elegant keyboard playing along with feel-good percussion and undeniably, hooky melodies! Songs like “Steppin’ On Air,” “Talk To Me,” “Slow Ride In Slow Motion” and “Rain On Me” make DRIVEN BY ANGELS one of the best recordings yet from the man with the heart of gold… Brother Jay!
SHARON MARIE CLINE This Is Where I Wanna Be Independent
Celebrated and critically acclaimed L.A. based vocal stylist Sharon Marie Cline has released a live album and holiday project in the past, but those were simply prelude to her glorious emergence as a recording artist with this an exquisite and romantic collection that allows her to declare, on the dreamy and sensual, flute spiced title track, one of two lush originals among 10 well chosen interpretations of classics, that “This Is Where I Wanna Be.” Cline’s triumph lies in her effortless breezing from easy swinging (“Happy Talk,” an inspired choice from SOUTH PACIFIC) to Bossa (“Love Dance,” “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars”) to blues (“You Don’t Know What Love Is”). When you listen, you too will declare, THIS IS WHERE I WANNA BE!
BUTCH AND RHONDA COLEMAN Night Sketches Jeremee Records
The dynamic Baltimore based Smooth Jazz duo of Butch (bass) and Rhonda (vocals, keyboards) brings a dynamic resume to their delightfully poppy and soulful debut NIGHT SKETCHES. Their collective resume includes two decades of performances in the DC Metro area. In addition, Butch plays bass on several of pop singer Jessie J’s hit singles, while Rhonda has opened for Al Jarreau, Phyllis Hyman and The Blackbirds. Complementing the playful, horn-fired light funk instrumental tune “Malibu,” the Colemans are all about imparting lessons of love and romance on the vocal tunes - from the optimistic “Here I Go Again” through the exotic, Latin-flavored “Yellow Butterfly,” “Carry My Heart and “We Belong Together.”
When Al DeGregoris records a new project, the A List shows up! Seven tracks produced by guitarist Nils and two helmed by keyboardist Jeff Lorber, ALL IN GOOD TIME finds the versatile indie composer/keyboardist establishing a powerful ensemble vibe with a batch of contemporary jazz greats, including Chuck Loeb, Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal, it also includes some of the supremely grooving last sessions by drummer Ricky Lawson. The all-star guests may make genre fans curious, but it’s DeGregoris’ infectious and dynamic piano, synth and Fender Rhodes’ melodies, which supercharge the fun. Nils’ tracks range from the funky, exuberant “Sunnyside” (the project’s first single) to the synth driven symphonic pop jazz tune, “Autumn Chill.” The throbbing R&B. jazz-fusion jam “Hey You” has the classic Lorber vibe. The best indie artists capture our hearts ALL IN GOOD TIME!
TIM DEHUFF Big Water Little Boat Independent
New York area guitarist extraordinaire, Tim DeHuff shines brightly on his impressive album debut, BIG WATER LITTLE BOAT. It's truly amazing that this world class musician is just releasing a solo recording given the long list of artists he's supported over the years including The Main Ingredient, Larry Coryell, John Klemmer, David Benoit, Lee Ritenour, George Duke and many more. This stunning project features original tunes offering a variety of musical styles ranging from contemporary jazz, funk, and rock to Latin and Reggae, all showcasing Tim’s polished, yet edgy guitar solos, guaranteeing an exciting listening experience. Get ready to have your boat rocked!
An author as well as a prolific artist and composer, guitarist Dr. Dave has written a book in which he says, “Often music touches people in ways that words alone cannot.” Hot on the heels of his star studded 2013 collection “Love Potion,” he lets fans know that THE DOCTOR IS IN – in super-melodic, funky and slightly exotic and tropical ways – on his infectious, high energy new album. The lead single is an easy swinging cover of Stanley Turrentine’s jazzy version of the Marvin Gaye penned, “Don’t Mess With Mr. T,” a dynamic showcase for his crisp, hypnotic electric lines. He includes some older cuts with late sax great Hollis Gentry III, and also a horn-intensive twist on the Booker T. classic “Hip Hug-Her.” Make your appointment – The DOCTOR IS IN!
LANCE ELLIS LanceEllis.com Landlord Records
He grew up learning from Ellis Marsalis, he marched in the Mardi Gras in school, he moonlighted on Bourbon Street and played on riverboats and he followed in the footsteps of the, great saxophonist Charles Miller. Meet Lance Ellis, a former New Orleans postal worker turned entrepreneur and entertainer. The charismatic performer has taken the innovative principles of jazz and applied them to his unique style of smooth music that is truly seductive and hypnotic. A timeless, sophisticated gumbo of jazz, Gospel-tinged R&B and soul… inspired by New Orleans but too big to stop there! LanceEllis.com is home to a catalog of cool music, including original Lance Ellis music on CD and DVD. Jazz just the way you like it, smooth and sexy, featuring saxophone and flute with renowned guests including Michael Ward, Gina Brown and Lee Oskar. Get inspired, get inspiring music at LanceEllis.com!
This is one of the most uplifting new releases I’ve heard all year! Texas guitarist Al Gomez blends in all kinds of feel good energy into his Smooth Jazz including some R&B influences, neo soul, funk and killer vocal harmonies! Al’s CASA GROOVE es mi Casa Groove filled with hooky original compositions that sound like world-class hits! Fans of Larry Carlton, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana will love this!
I can’t tell you the thrill that I still get discovering new music… so when Grammy nominated recording artist Brian Bromberg let us know that he had just produced an exceptional new vocalist, I tracked her down fast! Meet Maggie Herron, often referred to as “Hawaii’s Jazz Goddess.” While that may be true, Ms. Herron is an approachable, down to earth chanteuse.. with an honest to God, honey-dipped voice that wraps itself around some of the most beloved standards of all time on this album, as well as her own, gorgeously penned originals! Bromberg, featured on bass, invited additional A-Listers to join in on the project, including one of our favorite trumpeters, Rick Braun, who also sits in on vocals! Maggie’s cover of “Woodstock” transcends the rock classic by spinning it into a contemporary jazz knockout. GOOD THING is the best thing to hit the jazz community in a long time.
VINCENT IOIA No Time Like Now Independent
An emotional odyssey lies behind the launching of saxophonist Vincent Ioia’s (pronounced "ee-yoy-ya") recording adventure! His world-class release, NO TIME LIKE NOW, comes on the heels of a 30-year career as an IT professional and successful Chief Information Officer for a major Wall Street investment company! Heart warming story… a young musician opted out of his music career to earn a living for his family; later revisiting his first love (music) after tragedy struck, losing his wife to cancer. Literally inspired by David Sanborn, NO TIME LIKE NOW showcases power and passion. You'll hear it in Vincent’s explosive playing! From the horn-driven, title track featuring Rippingtons’ keyboardist Bill Heller to the rest of the album, with songs penned by co-producer Ricky Peterson as well as Heller, featuring A-Listers, guitarist Gerey Johnson, bassist Paul Peterson and percussionist Petar Janjic.
JAREZ On Top Of The World Independent
Crave new music? Meet innovative Saxophonist Jarez and his Cali-cool hybrid blend of jazz, hip-hop and R&B; robust with style and confidence! His album ON TOP OF THE WORLD, takes his unique treatment of Smooth Jazz to the Echo Boomer generation, featuring his infectious new hit single, "Can't Let Go." Jarez says that his desire is to be the "Tiger Woods of jazz." As he puts it, “Tiger made an old man’s game exciting and real for kids. I want to do the same for jazz.” The 30-something is a busy entrepreneur, in addition to promoting his new release, he tours, performs and even cooks with iconic rapper Coolio! Discover jazz by Jarez and expand your world!
DAVID JONES Beautiful Music Independent
Emerging from Alabama’s Gulf Coast like an exciting and electric force of musical nature, multi-talented composer, trumpeter and vocalist David Jones calls his brand of Smooth Jazz, “Soul Jazz” and titles it BEAUTIFUL MUSIC! There’s so much more here than that title implies. With the help of guitarist Eric Essix, Jones gets the party off to a soulful, funk-drenched start, having his trumpet declare on his radio hit, “Let The Players Play.” He and Essix keep the rock/soul hoppin’ on “Glory Be.” Jones includes lovely vocals and trumpet ballads and even an explosive Gospel tune. It’s BEAUTIFUL MUSIC for fans with expansive tastes!
With his crisp, snappy and often hypnotic electric lines, veteran guitarist Dirk K lets us know from the opening minute of the coolly percussive title track of his latest full length collection that IT’S ON. This mid-tempo delight, which features an exciting tonal and rhythmic shift midway through as the grooves ease into Trip-Hop, is at the core of an engaging set, full of fresh fun like you’ll hear on “Snap Jam” and “Toxic,” plus, silky original ballads and covers galore including “Holding Back The Years,” “That’s The Way of the World” and “Lovesong,” as well as the first ever Smooth Jazz re-imagining of “Funkytown.” Ah yeah… IT’S ON is an album you won’t want to turn off!
REZA KHAN Dreamwalker Painted Media
New from Bangladesh-born guitarist Reza Khan comes DREAMWALKER with his band Painted Diaries and featuring special guests keyboardist Philippe Saisse and saxophonist Andy Snitzer on Reza’s exciting new collection of global grooves! The title track is the project’s first single and we anticipate a tremendous traction at radio worldwide. The music is remarkably accessible… fans of Peter White and Ken Navarro, will love Reza Khan! Living in New York, Reza gathers his musical inspiration from his world travels as well collaborative efforts with renowned musicians. Chillaxed yet deep!
DEE DEE LAVELL Sounds Of Love Gam Girl Records
Australian born, Philadelphia based jazz vocalist DeeDee Lavell taps into the diverse, R&B/jazz music scene in her adopted hometown to create a lush, glorious album that balances hushed intimacy with lively, percussive grooves. Produced by master percussionist Doc Gibbs, engineered by Philadelphia International Records veteran Craig White and featuring top Philly based musicians, the collection mixes classics by Billie Holiday (“Don’t Explain”), Joni Mitchell (“Big Yellow Taxi”), Stevie Wonder (“Creepin’”), Prince (“Diamonds & Pearls") and Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Dindi”) with spot on originals like the Latin tinged “Celebrate” and the Gospel-colored “Supernatural (Song for Maliq"). These SOUNDS OF LOVE are magical!
Le Jazz Collab is the evolution of Canada’s Groove55, the critically acclaimed, contemporary jazz band from Montreal. A better fit for bandleader, keyboardist/composer/producer Jacques Mignault’s vision of creating a collaborative recording environment where musicians and music professionals can work together from anywhere via the Internet. The first release, THE GREEN ALBUM, features extraordinary musicians that cover a full spectrum with many musical genres that range from Smooth Jazz to Latin rhythms to horn-centric fusion and pop. Stand out tracks include the latest single, “On The Tap” which will compliment any jazz radio station’s playlist, and the chilled-out cover of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” This exciting, world-class project was created with love and all done in the artists’ free time… speaking of free, it is absolutely free for you to download on www.jazzcollab.com.
Terje Lie (pronounced "Terry Lee") knows a good team when he's got one. Collaborating on the second project in a row with the writing and production team of keyboardist Jeff Lorber and Yellowjackets' bassist Jimmy Haslip, the Norwegian born, Los Angeles based saxophonist stirs up the perfect high energy blend of pop, R&B and jazz fusion here. Stocked with playful, solid grooves like the funky opener "Storm Skies" and the first single "You Know," which are both hooky and melodic, you should also know that this album is a classic "player's album" where inventive improvisation and explosive jamming reign throughout. Lie saves the most unpredictable ride for last, blowing hard with his cohorts amidst the explosive rock energy of guest guitarist Michael Landau as they navigate the wild "Jungle." Lots of BRIGHT MOMENTS to enjoy throughout! Bold moves for Terje Lie, we expect big things from this talent!
KEITH MASON King Of The Most High Independent
Love, light, spirituality… all wrapped up with a beautiful, bottom heavy vibe! Meet bassist, Keith Mason who mixes his passion for music with the grace of a higher calling on his 3rd album release, KING OF THE MOST HIGH. A one-of-a-kind tapestry of Smooth Christian Jazz, soul and R&B. Music on a spiritual path from an artist who’s spent 35 years performing many musical genres which has honed his impeccable tone and masterful melodies, both showcased here along with beautiful bass solos. Keith lives and breaths his love of music and includes it in his Ministry of Music at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Virginia as well as performing with his own band N2N. The message on KING OF THE MOST HIGH is one of love, and love, no matter how you slice it, is always a positive thing!
MICHAEL MASSARO Love In Motion Independent
One of Toronto’s most in demand musicians, saxophonist and flutist Michael Massaro has played with legendary pop and jazz greats from Percy Sledge to Branford Marsalis. His infectious and eclectic fifth album showcases a wide range of influences, from Latin jazz to pop/R&B and blues, but the foundational ingredients are passion, energy, sensual soul and above all, love. Smooth Jazz fans will truly enjoy the funky RETRO SOUL vibe of the title track and silky cool of “The Promise” while those who like a little exotic spice in the mix will groove on the percussive tropical vibe of “El Corazon (The Heart)” and bright Latin romp “Fun in the Sun.” If you want to experience pure LOVE IN MOTION, you must check out Michael Massaro!
Meet Melina... A sweet, songbird from San Antonio! The beautiful, bluesy/jazzy emerging pop artist has teamed up with world-class producer, two-time Grammy-winner Paul Brown. The two have hit the mother lode with WISHING ON LOVE; fashionable vocals that are grounded in an earthy vibe. Exceptional producers know how to get to the heart of an artist and support their strengths… everything on this recording celebrates Melina as a vocalist. Simple, elegant production values boost Melina’s conviction of each song, including Brown’s pleasing guitar work. The first single, “Maybe Not Today” will grab you by your soul and pull you into Melina’s world. Other favorites include “Stay With Me Tonight,” the sophisticated cover of “Landslide” and the compelling title track, “Wishing On Love.” Welcome Melina… we have plenty of room for a sincere, smooth vocalist!
Composer, singer, pianist, poet Jeanne Newhall is what I call an expansive artist; her sound is not easily confined to one genre. Rather her organic music style is inclusive of much... such as love, jazz, folk, intelligence, soul, blues, spirituality, humor, yoga, earth, sea and SKY. This new recording, some 10 years in the making, features 10 originals and a casual-cool cover of Bob Dylan's "If Not For You." The project also features the artful bass work of the great Abraham Laboriel as well as Walter Rodriquez on percussion and drums, and Japanese guitarist Kazunori Koga. The album is called SKY for reasons that only Jeanne Newhall knows, but to me, it's because it features music that is elevated… songs with meaning, delivered with an intelligent musical sensibility, like jazz. These songs will attach themselves to your heart and work their way skyward to your thoughts, where they will linger.
NEXLEVEL Midnight Blue Independent
A popular, multi-faceted, jazz fusion force in the Columbus, Ohio area since the early 2000s, NexLevel launched with in the pocket URBAN JAZZ but has evolved into an outside the box ensemble that incorporates high energy JAZZ fusion into their vibe. Inspired by the late night hours, the intoxicating MIDNIGHT BLUE is a statement that music can be high octane and explosive as well as sexy and sensual – all on the same recording. Original music that is soulful and high energy; powerful grooves with strong melodies!
NOBRESIL Original Independent
Driven by soulful, Bossa based rhythms, colorful and exotic instrumentation (by top Latin and Brazilian musicians) and the sensual voice and beautiful phrasing of multi-lingual lead vocalist Mari Nobre, Nobresil offers a unique, multi-cultural world jazz and Brazilian music vibe on their new album that lives up to its title: ORIGINAL. A partnership between Mari Nobre and her Grammy winning husband, bassist Leo Nobre, the group works magic with a mix of classic Brazilian tunes, infectious new compositions and fresh twists, such as on The Gershwins’ “Fascinating Rhythm” and the Oscar-winning ballad “Up Where We Belong.” The tunes are filled with passion, poetry and only real instrumentation! Nobresil (a play on the the artists’ name Nobre and Brasil) defies all rules! Part pop, part jazz, part World music, 100% ORIGINAL!
The next generation of Smooth Jazz has a visionary… welcome to the inspired world of saxophonist Sam Rucker and his soulful and passionate new album TELL YOU SOMETHING! This unique blend of Jazz, Soul, Gospel and Hip Hop, is collaboration with sax star, Euge Groove and features special guests Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Tom Brown and Alyson Williams. Nearly three years in the making, every song is moving with nonstop, positive energy and rich production. The latest exciting single, “Before I Go," is a brilliant collaboration with Norman Connors and Euge Groove featuring Bobby Lyle and Alyson Williams. The saxman who’s played with Smooth Jazz stars such as Peter White, Ronnie Laws and Phil Perry is telling you something, we highly recommend that you listen!
PAOLO RUSTICHELLI Playa Blanca (Soul Italiano) Next Age Music
After hitting it big on the charts with his recent #1 hit "Med Groove," the Smooth Jazz hit maker, pioneer of synth music and originator of the Chillout explosion, takes us on another enchanted, pulsating, energetic journey this summer, on a white, sandy beach with "Playa Blanca" - A musical vacation to the beach of your dreams! From Paolo Rustichelli's forthcoming, masterpiece album SOUL ITALIANO, comes this exciting new single with a fresh, smooth energetic mix of saxophone riffs, Latin rhythms, Reggae and classic Paolo melodies and style! It's easy to predict that this new oustanding exploration of the Mediterrannean and his enchanted vibrating realms will be a summer sensation!
JIM SAMUEL NOW Independent
Composer/pianist Jim Samuel offers a compelling variety of textures and tempos on his latest release, NOW, featuring a stellar collection of originals, augmented by two sterling covers… namely the iconic “Mr. Magic,” featuring Gerald Albright’s brilliant sax work, and the Norah Jones hit, “Don’t Know Why.” Of the originals, I’m particularly drawn to the lovely “Serena,” featuring talented guitarist Rob Tardik, and the bittersweet “Now That You’re Gone,” featuring trumpet/flugelhorn master Tony Neenan. NOW just might be Mr. Samuel’s best release yet. Expect to see this one spending a lot of time at the top of the charts in 2014!
ROBERT SANAE Indigo Blue - The Crater Creek Project Platinum Strive Music Group LLC
It’s all about timing… and for musician, composer, producer and multi-instrumentatlist Robert Sanae, his time has come! The Dayton native and former member of Zapp feat Roger Troutman, is the son of percussionist Robert Jones Kuumba, one of the original members of The Ohio Players. On his 2nd release, INDIGO BLUE : THE CRATER CREEK PROJECT, Sanae offers some of the tastiest, new Smooth Jazz, Pop and Neo Soul we’ve come across this year! Songs flow sweetly like honey... so accessible and catchy, with trumpet playing that embodies the classic vibe of Mangione and the hipness of Braun, a dream come true for radio! Many stand out tracks here, including “Time Machine,” featuring vocalist Justin Sanderson, and other than a special guest appearance by Bob Baldwin, Sanae performs all of the music on the album! The time is right for the world to discover this talented artist!
World-class bassist Tony Saunders plays bass like a wild-spirited, free-running, colorful Appaloosa. His soulful, low-end bass work is melodic, joyful and deep… like the Bay Area artist himself! This highly anticipated release features many originals including the album’s first single, the sophisticated and melodic “Sandy Shores of Monterey,” a smooth, sultry groove that I love beyond the obvious reasons (but I love it for the name as well :-). Special guests on APPALOOSA include Howard Hewitt, Santana's Tony Lindsay, Sakai, Tower of Power’s Tom Politzer and Bill Champlin singing the title track, a Gino Vannelli penned tune. Tony's career began at 5 years old, as it would in the house of his father, the beloved, late Merl Saunders (Rainforest Band, Jerry Garcia). This is why he runs deep! The project is love-inspired, love-themed and will set your spirit free!
SEAN SULLIVAN Hereafter SonyRed
Sean Sullivan’s relaxed musical approach and smoldering vocal style will draw you in like a Sunday morning. HEREAFTER is a compelling collection of jazz, blues, pop and soul. On this smoothly eclectic album, produced by Matt Pierson, the New York City singer, songwriter and guitarist delivers gorgeous originals with intelligent and moving lyrics, plus cool, soulful covers. The Sullivan-penned, "Don't Get Me Started," the first Smooth Jazz radio single, has a Marvin Gaye vibe with a Boz Scaggs jazzy-bluesy slant along with the moody and alluring, "Wash My Soul," which features tasty saxophone and melancholy flute. Covers include Michael Franks' "Jive," Bob Marley's "Waiting In Vain," and Aretha's "Until You Come Back To Me." If you dig the music of the aforementioned Franks, and Scaggs as well as James Taylor, this gem of a talent is for you... Sean Sullivan is the star to watch rise and rise, from now 'til the HEREAFTER.
Threestyle adds two time Grammy winner Paul Brown to round up to a foursome that delivers a sophisticated punch of Smooth Jazz, chilled vibes, sultry sax and luxurious guitar playing! The band’s mainstays are the alluring Magdalena Chovancova on saxophone/flute and her partner in song, Robert Fertl on guitar… their classy new album, GET IT, was recorded at Brown’s Funky Joint studio in Los Angeles, California, hence the project includes some of L.A.’s top players including songwriting assistance from PB and Boney James! GET IT offers up stylish jazz with cool song titles like, “Soul Candy,” “Red Squirrel,” “Dropping the Box” and the album’s first single, “Just For Fun”!
THUMPER & GENERATION ONE One United 4 Love Entertainment
A wildly versatile one-man-band and creative Renaissance man (singer, songwriter, producer actor, model) from Omaha, Nebraska. Meet Thumper & Generation One... urban jazz fans will be swaying to the electric guitar and vocal driven slow jam of the Johnny Gill classic “My My My.” But don’t get too chilled, Thumper's got a lot more up his sleeve on this eclectic 14 track collection of multiple moods – including New Age (the opener, “Song of the Universe”), blistering Rock/Soul (“It’s Time”), funky Synth-Jazz (“In The Zone”) and Techno-Rock-Gospel (“The Saints Jam”). Thumper’s ONE is one cool and wild ride!
TONY TRAVALINI Renaissance Man Independent
A onetime Motown artist and songwriter returning to the groove after a few decades away, Tony Travalini forges a fresh, multi-faceted vibe and a wealth of sonic possibilities via his Roland GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer. On his dynamic, genre-defying debut RENAISSANCE MAN he uses this incredible electronic "axe" to create sweeping atmospheres, exotic chants, pan flutes, saxophone, trumpet, horn sections, crisp electric and acoustic guitar sounds - and a lot of unexpected sonic textures along the way. His latest single, "Give A Little Of Your Love," is a fun, Latin-tinged jam featuring Travalini's jazzy lead electric guitar, rich percussive textures and mojito-inspiring vocal play. Great to have such a wonderful talent among the Smooth Jazz ranks!