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SmoothIndieStar.com : Listening Loft Store
New to the Listening Loft

DANIEL CHIA | In The Moment | Soundgrove Records

ROBERT DAMPER | D Tales | Orcas Straits Records

AL DEGREGORIS | Time And A Half | A-Pex Recordings

MARK ETHEREDGE | Connected | Vipaka Records

REZA KHAN | Wind Dance | Painted Media

JUSTIN KLUNK | Clarity EP | Justin Klunk

NEX LEV'L BAND | Lev'l One | Nex Lev’l Band

LAWSON ROLLINS | 3 Minutes To Midnight | Infinita Records

WILL SUMNER | Endless Sumner | willsumner.com

THE ALLEN CARMAN PROJECT | The Allen Carman Project | The Allen Carman Project

BRANDON WILLIS | Impact | M1 Records – a division of M1 Music Group LLC


Rendezvous

KELLY ANDREW Rendezvous Journey Music Entertainment

Award-winning independent recording artist, Kelly Andrew, has just released his fifth album of original music. This multi-talented composer, producer and artist’s album, RENDEZVOUS – co-produced by Grammy winner and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman – is warm, romantic and hypnotic, yet lives up to its adventurous title with rhythmic variations and soaring sonic surprises. Andrew creates the perfect balance between New Age ambience, modern rhythms and compelling, piano, guitar and sax driven Smooth Jazz. RENDEZVOUS with the beautiful vibrations of this musical Rembrandt for an exciting and memorable encounter.

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For You

SYLVIA BENNETT For You Out of Sight Music

Sylvia Bennett continues her journey into smooth original music… her forthcoming album FOR YOU, due out in the spring of 2017, promises another successful set of contemporary, sensuous songs from the Grammy-nominated, Miami-based vocalist and songwriter. The new release will be featuring the successful collaborative combination with Ms. Bennett’s longtime producer and writing partner, Hal S. Batt as well as special guest, violinist Peter Ferencz (Peet Project). The first single, “Stay With Me,” is a heartfelt, modern love song that promises to tug at the listeners’ heartstrings as Sylvia’s conviction captures the very essence of desire, mirrored by a beautiful, muted trumpet that supports the song’s passion. A New Year, a new song… Jazzy, sophisticated and current!

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Can I Take You There

BROTHER 2 BROTHER f. Carter Carter Can I Take You There Grandiora Records

Move over, Philly! Siblings Winston and Charles (Chaz) Carter – collectively known as BROTHER 2 BROTHER featuring Carter Carter - are declaring their hometown of Pittsburgh the official city of Brotherly Jazz. The electric guitar and drummer duo backs their boldness with a list of prime opening gigs (Cameo, Bobby Brown, Angela Bofill, Parliament Funkadelic) and a tight, melodic, in the pocket debut CAN I TAKE YOU THERE. Helmed by producer Chuck Cymone – who has done projects with Chris Standring, Eric Darius, Peter White, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot – the song set spotlights the Carter’s prowess on their respective instruments and creates an inviting, sonically expansive world full of sultry contemporary jazz and R&B. When BROTHER 2 BROTHER asks, CAN I TAKE YOU THERE, you’re gonna say yes!

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Treat Yourself

KAYTE BURGESS Treat Yourself Independent

Toronto bred, Atlanta-based vocalist Kayte Burgess has an amazing, uplifting message to impart to fans of urban-flavored Smooth Jazz on her latest single: “Treat Yourself”! The uplifting and deliciously indulgent track is the culmination of a fascinating career, including performing as opening act for Erykah Badu and Jill Scott; singing background for Al Green an Lionel Richie; and being part of the Atlanta-based, internationally touring band Simply Irresistible. Treat yourself, and get to know this incredibly soulful artist!

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D Tales

ROBERT DAMPER D Tales Orcas Straits Records

After 30 incredible years as superstar Kenny G’s keyboardist, musical director, arranger and co-collaborator, Robert Damper fulfills his decades-long dream with his exciting and inspiring emergence as a solo artist in his own right. Damper’s debut D TALES, featuring whimsical guest spots by Kenny G, Najee and singer/songwriter Skyler Jett (Commodores), offers an eclectic mix of old school funk, jamming, soft-spoken romantic eloquence and deep sensual soul. You’ll enjoy listening to these infectious D TALES over and over!

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Time And A Half

AL DEGREGORIS Time And A Half A-Pex Recordings

If his last album – and first teaming with the emphatic one-two production punch of Nils and Jeff Lorber – ALL IN GOOD TIME, was Al DeGregoris’ emergence into the big leagues of contemporary urban jazz, TIME AND A HALF finds the keyboardist on his way to becoming the genre’s Babe Ruth. Continuing the playful metaphor of the album’s title, he works double and triple time with his collaborators on every last detail to ensure a multi- faceted sonic experience from start to finish. There’s lushness, sensual flow, easy grooves, rambunctious piano melodies, fiery horns and exciting contributions from guest saxmen Steve Cole, Eric Marienthal and Andy Snitzer. While working with Nils cements DeGregoris’ ability to rework classics into fresh, contemporary concepts and will ensure several return visits to the radio charts, it’s his more adventurous journeys with Lorber that really demonstrate his ability to go beyond the usual parameters of urban jazz and make memorable statements hinting at a vibrant future for the genre.

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Connected

MARK ETHEREDGE Connected Vipaka Records

On CONNECTED, Mark Etheredge deals powerfully with his past issues of feeling disconnected from humanity. The result is a heartfelt, socially conscious collection that uses the joy of music to cut across traditional human barriers. With a deep sense of groove and a compelling mix of lighthearted and deeply emotional melodies, the multi-talented performer creates a lively, diverse and lushly soulful celebration of human connection with world class musicianship – including dynamic interactions with guitarists Chuck Loeb and Paul Brown (the project’s Grammy winning producer) and saxman Andy Suzuki. In addition to clearly reflecting his influences David Benoit and Joe Sample, the veteran sideman complements his contemporary jazz vibe with Latin and bluesy excursions. Get CONNECTED now!

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Chocolate Sunshine

JAZMIN GHENT Chocolate Sunshine jazminghent.com

There may be nothing new under the sun, but there’s certainly something as warm and delicious. And it’s hot. Rising star saxophonist, Jazmin Ghent’s new album, CHOCOLATE SUNSHINE, is a languid, jazzy experience. The young woman stole the hearts of contemporary jazz fans onboard the 2014 Smooth Jazz Cruise -- where she won their talent competition and played with Boney James and Candy Dulfer. The Smooth Jazz Go Girl has toured with the prestigious, all-female jazz ensemble, Jazz In Pink, and has performed at world-renowned jazz festivals. Think Rehoboth, Seabreeze, Lowcountry, Red Cat, Magic City and The Florida Smooth Jazz Weekend. The 25-year old’s sophomore release comes on the heels of her debut, BOSS, which produced two Top 20 hits. CHOCOLATE SUNSHINE is sophisticated and contemporary, with hand-picked guests -- hit-maker Jonathan Fritzén; groove master, bassist Julian Vaughn; in-demand guitarist, Adam Hawley; and critically-acclaimed, jazz saxophonist Nelson Rangell. Bring your sunscreen!

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Catchin' A Vibe

AL GOMEZ Catchin' A Vibe Shade Records

One of the most versatile musicians in Texas, Al Gomez started out as a trombone player with local Tejano bands before evolving into a first call guitarist, playing and sharing the stage with everyone from Selena, Aaron Neville and Willie Nelson to Carlos Santana and Buddy Guy. After funkin’ up the Smooth Jazz world a bit with his critically-acclaimed 2014 debut CASA GROOVE, the electric guitarist brings his rich, infectious sound to his cool follow-up EP CATCHIN’ A VIBE. The set is full of edgy licks, vibey grooves, irresistible melodies and moments to dance and later romance. In addition to its awesome originals, Gomez includes dynamic re-imaginings of classics by Dr. John, Luther Vandross and George Duke. Don't delay, catch this vibe today!

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Golden Thread

CHRISTIE GRACE Golden Thread Christie Grace

With a mix of deep soul, easy swing and global vibes, veteran Canadian jazz sensation Christie Grace’s intimate and infectious new album GOLDEN THREAD is masterful self-healing project inspired by a three week journey to Big Sur, California. Working with Juno Award winning producer Chris Gestrin, Grace lends her gorgeous, emotional voice to a set that incorporates jazz, pop, folk and R&B influences. GOLDEN THREAD is pure vocal gold!

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The Phase III EP: Lets Go Back

GRAINGER The Phase III EP: Lets Go Back GBM Records

The name Grainger in the music industry is synonymous with groove… whether it’s in reference to bassist Gary Grainger or his brother, drummer Greg Grainger. The two are considered one of the most sought after rhythm sections in the world. Combined, they’ve played with an amazing assortment of musical royalty including Whitney Houston, Santana, John Scofield, Kim Waters and Acoustic Alchemy! The new 4-song EP, PHASE III, is the prelude to Grainger’s forthcoming full-length album which includes the single, a compelling, soul-filled vocal, “Let’s Go Back,” plus 3 additional tracks featuring their patented funky, tight grooves and catchy melodies, with special guest Kim Waters. The brothers are currently in the studio with the recently reunited funk project, Pockets, along with other original members, creating fresh new songs for yet another upcoming Grainger-infused release!

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So Right

THE JAMES KOB EXPERIENCE So Right Partly Sunny Records

A multi-talented musical Renaissance man trained in classical guitar and orchestral composition, James Kōb draws on his vast skills as a songwriter, producer, scoring and orchestration skills to create SO RIGHT, the debut project from The James Kōb Experience. The collection is an exciting musical excursion featuring refreshing and super-melodic original tunes blending breezy Bossa, with lighthearted pop, and sensual jazz reminiscent of Sergio Mendes. In addition to sharing his expansive musical vision, the collection doubles as a wondrous showcase for the warm and sensuous vocal talents of featured singer Maria Shafer. SO RIGHT is a multi-cultural experience you won’t want to miss!

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Sexy Saxy Vol. 2

JAREZ Sexy Saxy Vol. 2 J Star Entertainment LLC

Since breaking through in 2013 with his solo debut ON TOP OF THE WORLD, L.A. based saxophonist Jarez has been a non-stop hit machine. He’s been at forefront of an exciting revitalization on the contemporary jazz scene with his explosive blend of soulful jazz and hip-hop. The innovative saxman, who has recorded and toured with music icon Coolio for years, fashions his cool, fashionable and relaxed new EP SEXY SAXY Vol. 2 as a sequel to 2015’s Vol. 1. Jarez sets the funk aside for a set of silky and sensual romantic mood setting originals – including one featuring guitarist Dirk K and a “chilled version” of his hit single “In Too Deep.” Turn the lights down low and embrace the vibe of SEXY SAXY!

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Wind Dance

REZA KHAN Wind Dance Painted Media

The inspiration behind Bangladesh Born and Raised, NYC based, world-fusion guitarist and composer, Reza Khan’s 4th solo album release, WIND DANCE, came in an instance, upon a breeze and swirled meaning through movement into the recording artist’s mind. "This is a story of a Twilight Dream," Reza recalls, which sparked a song title on the new album, he continues, “it happened in a breath of an instance or in a whole life, I don’t know.” This engaging collection is magical and mystical in a way that only Reza can harness through composition and playing. The guests on the project are as special as the music itself, including performances from Andy Snitzer, Philippe Saisse, Nelson Rangell, Mark Egan, Miles Gilderdale, and Marc Antoine. WIND DANCE will move your mind and body through a journey of sweet reflection and musical expression, prepare to be blown away!

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Clarity EP

JUSTIN KLUNK Clarity EP Justin Klunk

There’s a major reason saxophonist Justin Klunk’s Twitter and Instagram name is @KlunkFunk - his high octane EP CLARITY is as jammin’ and funky as Smooth Jazz gets! The upbeat tracks pair his powerful sax and horn texturing vibes with the thrust of rhythm and electric guitars, creating an energizing experience and a (literally!) smashing release. Playing and touring with Ariana Grande, Tommy Page and others, he’s also blowing open his solo career with CLARITY!

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Tony Lindsay

TONY LINDSAY Tony Lindsay Next Move Entertainment - Canada/Lindseed Music

11-time Grammy winning singer Tony Lindsay is world renowned for being a frontman on numerous tours with Santana and recording or performing with The O’Jays, Al Jarreau, Steve Winwood, Aretha Franklin and the late Teddy Pendergrass. He’s also legendary in the San Francisco Bay Area for leading his R&B/Jazz/Pop ensemble Spang-a-Lang. Lindsay’s deeply soulful, self-titled album showcases the vocalist's incredible range and stylistic versatility, from Smooth Jazz laced R&B ballads and Latin-tinged jazz to Santana influenced fusion... the project includes the artist's debut international hit single, "Only If You Knew What My Eyes See," as well as his brand new track for 2017, "Crush," spinning on radio around the world. Download now and discover the magic of Tony Lindsay!

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Sun Rider

JAEE LOGAN Sun Rider Lounge Renown Records

A renowned artist, producer, songwriter, vocal coach, session musician and performer, the multi-talented Jaee Logan brings a lifetime of musical joy to his emergence as a Smooth Jazz artist. In addition to selling over 30 million records worldwide, he has worked with everyone from Sheila E, Pebbles and Club Nouveau to Rosie Gaines, Digital Underground and Bobby Brown. Logan’s latest single "Morning," which features legendary Earth, Wind & Fire bassist Verdine White, is pure jazz, funk and love. Harkening back to the classic shimmering jazz-soul keyboard vibe of the 70s, the song includes dreamy, soaring vocals and a burst of Latin piano exuberance midway through. Logan will be releasing his full-length debut album SUN RIDER in early 2017. Until then, enjoy a beautiful and inspiring "Morning"!

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This Journey Of Love

AZIZA MILLER This Journey Of Love Aziza Miller

In the years since she was Natalie Cole’s musical director, composer, singer and pianist Aziza Miller has performed to standing room only crowds at NYC’s most prestigious clubs. Her latest recording, THIS JOURNEY OF LOVE, showcases her passions for soulful, urban jazz vocals with lively jazz melodies and improvisations on a set that includes both vocal tunes (including a tribute to Cole) and a spirited piano driven tribute to Horace Silver. THIS JOURNEY OF LOVE is one you’ll enjoy taking!

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Bonfire

KEN NAVARRO Bonfire Positive Music Records

When fire meets air things start to heat up and when music meets passion, it’s the same thing… Discover "My Best Friend," a beautiful new song from masterful acoustic guitarist Ken Navarro. Ken’s new album “BONFIRE” features thirteen diverse tracks of smooth jazz, fusion, rock and global grooves, all sharing a summer vibe and melodic richness. Navarro has had well over twenty recordings on the music charts over the past 25+ years… BONFIRE will prove to be no exception. The innovative composer plays every instrument on the album, focusing foremost on guitars, and venturing off into all the other sonic elements you hear on this hot new release! Warm up the speakers, start BONFIRE and let the summer begin, no matter what time of year.

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Lev'l One

NEX LEV'L BAND Lev'l One Nex Lev’l Band

Are you ready for the next level in your Smooth Jazz listening experience? Then check out Nex Lev’l Band, a five-piece unit launched by Pieces of a Dream’s James Lloyd in 1992 and still going strong! Specializing in passionately silky and eminently funky, jazz-soul vibes, the ensemble – driven by saxophonist Isaac Parham and vocalist Mycah Chevalier – offers contemporary jazz at its finest. They’ve shared stages with Ray Charles, Roy Ayers, Brian McKnight and Kirk Whalum. Now let them take you to LEV’L ONE on their latest musical journey!

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Paradise Vol. 1

KENNEY POLSON Paradise Vol. 1 Sony

After earning four college degrees and teaching for years everywhere from Bogota and Rio to Beijing, saxophonist and composer Kenney Polson returns to recording and performing music full time with the release of an album whose title perfectly describes the listening experience: PARADISE, VOL. 1. Drawing on his passions for jazz, new age, Latin, R&B, funk and gospel, Polson creates a spirited, soulful mix of melodic tunes, jazzy riffs and dreamy atmospheres with top Brazilian musicians he has recorded with previously. In all, the versatile musical force of nature has visited and performed in over 50 countries. He pools all those magical experiences and vibes together to create a true musical PARADISE! Best of all, the second half of the album title promises there’s more to come!

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Cool Vibes

STEVE RAYBINE Cool Vibes Bad Kat Records, LLC

A onetime bandmate of Rick Braun in the 1970’s progressive jazz group Auracle, vibraphonist, composer, percussionist and renowned music educator Steve Raybine has been on a mission since his 2000 debut to make the spirited sound of the vibes a fresh contemporary sound in Smooth Jazz. On his infectious, rhythmically-compelling (and perfectly titled) new album COOL VIBES, the Omaha, Nebraska-based artist stirs up exciting island flavors with a rhythmic mix of swaying coolness and light-funk charm. With a swirl of styles that explore Raybine’s passions for jazz, R&B, Latin, pop/rock and blues, it’s the perfect soundtrack to a night of chillout and romance. Full of surprises, he even does a spirited rap on one track. Steve Raybine's COOL VIBES are the perfect mid-summer delight!

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Reminiscence

TYLER REESE Reminiscence REMU Records

Having studied with Pat Metheny and played with everyone from Prince to Ernie Isley, guitar virtuoso and contemporary instrumental music innovator, Tyler Reese brings an incredibly diverse background to his rock, funk and R&B driven new album REMINISCENCE. Just as he’s seducing us with his graceful acoustic sound, he amps up the emotional intensity with high-powered, electric strength, edgy jazz fusion and even some rhythmically dynamic Django Reinhardt flavored vibes. Soaked with inspiring diversity and off the charts playing, REMINISCENCE is a guitar lover’s dream date.

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3 Minutes To Midnight

LAWSON ROLLINS 3 Minutes To Midnight Infinita Records

The title is intriguing in these current times, while it does elude to a sense of urgency, award-winning, world beat guitarist/composer Lawson Rollins’ focus on 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT is really on the exhilaration of the speed of sound as well as the mystical power of the number 3. This clean, stripped-down recording features twelve multicultural compositions all in the 3-minute range, and exploding with Lawson’s famed finger style guitar playing, a radical departure for the Billboard chart-topping artist known for elaborately-constructed tracks that are at least twice as long. Produced with multi-platinum producer Dominic Camardella utilizing Grammy-winning violinist Charlie Bisharat, bassist Randy Tico and drummer/percussionist Dave Bryant joined Rollins and Camardella who is featured on keys. 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT is dazzling, pertinent and explosive… get it now, time is of the essence!

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Now That You're Gone

JIM SAMUEL Now That You're Gone Smooth Dance Records

This sultry, moody, horn-infused jazz track, “Now That You're Gone,” has been plucked from Jim Samuel's NOW album and is being featured on the audio book for the new Harry Bosch novel, The Wrong Side Of Goodbye. The popular detective series, written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly, began in 1992 with The Black Echo and now numbers some twenty novels. The wistful tune features Tony Neenan on flugelhorn, creating an inspiring albeit somewhat melancholy motif, which of course lends itself beautifully to the storyline of the latest Bosch thriller and will definitely enhance your winter playlist!

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Uptown Jazz

TONY SAUNDERS Uptown Jazz San Francisco Records

The son of legendary keyboardist/composer Merl Saunders, Tony Saunders was taught piano by Herbie Hancock and for his tenth birthday received an electric organ from Sly Stone. But the magic started happening once he shifted to bass, and the two time Emmy Award winner’s s third album UPTOWN JAZZ on San Francisco Records is a full-blown celebration of the multiple ways he grooves. Joyfully eclectic throughout, he launched the album with the brassy, ultra-funky title track single that featured Gabriel Mark Hasselbach and Tower of Power’s Mic Gillete on horns and Paul Hardcastle, Jr. on sax. Saunders’ bass also bubbles beneath the emotional sax passion of Gerald Albright and later engages on an improvisation rich jazz-fusion journey also featuring saxophonists Tom Politzer (Tower Of Power) and Rock Hendricks and vocalist Sakai (Train)! UPTOWN JAZZ gonna give it to ya!

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A Stagey Bank Affair

ARUN SHENOY & THE GROOVE PROJECT A Stagey Bank Affair Narked Records

Step right up and experience GRAMMY® nominated composer and record producer, Arun Shenoy’s latest musical inspiration featuring a 13 member collaboration team known as The Groove Project. A STAGEY BANK AFFAIR, referring to an expression derived from an actual event held in the North East of England in the previous century at Stagshaw Bank. The gathering went from a forthright agricultural fair to a rather rowdy celebration involving sideshows, gambling and drinking before being banned in the 1920s. The concept translates to excitement in musical terms, and will certainly liberate your inner child with a fantastic fusion of funk, jazz and rock with a spicy hint of worldly pleasures, featuring pianist Uziel and Bansuri flautist Ravichandra Kulur, in addition to jazz great, Jeff Coffin. We’ve never heard anything quite like it… and we’re certain that you’ll be enthralled. Surrender to the swirling wonderment within and dig in for some good ol’ fashioned fun, like Stagey Bank fair!

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Endless Sumner

WILL SUMNER Endless Sumner willsumner.com

Will Sumner may have been born in Minnesota, but the highly versatile San Diego based guitarist, composer and multi-instrumentalist’ several decade recording career – starting with his 1980 classic surf jazz album TROPIC ZONE - is all about lighthearted, feel good, easy grooving summer vibes. His latest collection ENDLESS SUMNER, whose title is a colorful reference to a classic Beach Boys album, is endlessly smooth, melodic and fresh. The tracks are driven by Sumner’s electric and acoustic virtuosity, enhanced in all the perfect spots by lead sax and horns. Continuing the eclectic flow of earlier releases, the album mixes heartfelt urban rhythms, funk and Latin grooves and breezy tropical atmospheres. If you can’t wait for summer to begin (or end), put ENDLESS SUMNER in a continuous loop!

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I Got Next

JACK TURNER I Got Next Turner Entertainment Artist

Four decades after making his initial musical foray performing and recording with seminal soul-jazz organist Charles Earland, Pittsburgh-based electric guitarist Jack Turner launches a fresh new movement in contemporary jazz guitar with his crackling, playfully grooving debut, I GOT NEXT. Embracing the freewheeling next chapter in his career, the versatile composer/musician – who pays direct homage here to Wes Montgomery - creates a powerful fusion of soul, acid, funk, hip hop, ambient music and exotic Latin and Brazilian music – all rooted in jazz. I GOT NEXT should be the very next album you check out!

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Playtime

STEVE WATSON Playtime WatsonWood

Guitarist/composer Steve Watson has enjoyed many musical lives, from touring overseas with the Miami Concert Jazz Band to becoming a first call Hollywood session player and most recently, impacting students in various educational roles in his adopted hometown of Greenville, SC. His career as a solo artist continues with the release his dynamic new album PLAYTIME, which kicks off 2017 with a brand new, radio-friendly single, "Pear Bear," written in celebration of his beautiful granddaughter, Perrin. The album features special guests and production by jazz fusion icons Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak. Watson offers a mix of brassy, high energy jams and mid-tempo light funk delights, balanced in the middle with a graceful, reflective ballad. When Watson picks up his formidable axe, it’s always PLAYTIME!

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Impact

BRANDON WILLIS Impact M1 Records – a division of M1 Music Group LLC

Fans hoping 2017 brings a new sound to Smooth Jazz will be excited about Brandon Willis’ perfectly titled new single “Impact.” Fresh and vibrant and primed to put the multi-talented 25-year-old saxophonist on the map, the track dynamically mixes danceable funky beats with his rich emotional urgency for an unforgettable ride. After scoring a Billboard chart hit from his debut album, he sought out a producer/songwriter who had the goods to make him stand out from the crowd – and found Grammy nominated artist and sonic innovator Nate Harasim, co-owner of M1 Records, which is now Willis’ label home. Together, the two take an old school, boots on the ground approach to music, performance and artistry that will no doubt make a huge “IMPACT” in the genre.

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