Archive for the ‘ Smooth Jazz ’ Category

Jakob Elvstrøm – SaxClub vol. 2

Saxophone players from Europe often develop a different style than American musicians. This can be seen also in the Danish saxophonist Jakob Elvstrøm, who has remained unlike Michael Lington in his homeland.

This was already visible on his debut album SaxClub vol. 1 (2009) and continues on his second album SaxClub vol. 2 (2013). Jakob has written and arranged fourteen new originals. The album starts with the funky U.F.O. in the tradition of Pick Up The Pieces. Elvstrøm on sax meets Steen N. Hansen on trombone to a fat brass mix propelled by Henrik Møller on bass.

Lonely People offers a heavy techno groove featuring Jamaica born singer Roy Richards on a stomping beat. Long Lost Love served as the title suggests the romantic side of the listener. St. Tropez Off-season is a relaxed ode to the glamorous southern French city. The song is decorated by a French speaking woman with some funny comments about the city.

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Peter Duval Lee – Promises

PromisesI have heard many musicians in my life but fewer artists. Musicians play using their talents. Artists play using their gifts. Talents are often observed. Gifts are shared and received. Peter DuVal Lee is truly an artist- a gifted artist.

His previous album “It’s A New Day” was a beautiful collection of his work that really connected to the vibe- the emotion- of the listener. It wasn’t unusual to hear me listening to that album in a variety of places to set a variety of moods. Be it “Step By Step” in the car on a brisk autumn sunset; “It’s Alright” cooking a family meal; or the title track, “It’s A New Day” during a reflective, introspective moment- the collection was brilliantly designed to truly resonate with the full range of one’s sensitivities- my vibe, your vibe, our vibe. Now along comes “Promises.”

“Promises” seems to move from the beautiful and brilliant collection of “It’s A New Day” to a soulful- no, spiritual, project. From the title and the opening track of this project “, “More Than You Know”, Peter DuVal Lee carries you through a journey that speaks to your heart, your soul and ultimately your spirit. He stays true to his authentic sound and this time accompanies it with selections that include his daughter, Alexus, and two pianists, Paul V. McKenzie and Stewart Waters, and writer, Alex Mendoza, writing the title track. This project does exact your feet to pat and your head to bop at moments. But the fullness of this album could potentially bring joy to your heart, edification to your soul, and solace to your spirit. You, too, will be full.

I frequently thank Peter in my thoughts and prayers for recognizing the gift he has and his willingness to share it with those of us in the world who can recognize and appreciate him for it. I welcome you to join us for it will be a “new day” for you with “promises” that it will from me- from all of us- who have enjoyed Peter’s gift.

— Adrian K. Haugabrook

Find Promises at CDBaby.

Eric Darius – Retro Forward

RetroForwardEric Darius is one of the true rising stars of Smooth/Urban Jazz. Adored by his growing legion of fans, Eric tours constantly with such superstars as Maxwell, Joe, Mary J. Blige, Prince, and many others. Additionally Eric is a mainstay of Smooth Jazz radio, having already had 8 Top 10 hits in his young career.

Eric’s first single from Retro Forward, a remake of Pharrell’s Happy is already climbing up the Smooth Jazz radio charts, and promises to be Top 5 at the time of the album’s release. Superstar producers Tony Dixon(Babyface, Beyonce) and Bluetooth (Chris Brown, Jordin Sparks) ensure that Retro Forward is brimming with today’s hit sounds while still retaining a firm footing in the world of Jazz. Highlights include Eric’s hit single Happy, the heartfelt ballad Never, the funky title track Retro Forward, and much more.

This title will be released on November 11, 2014. Pre-order the CD now at Amazon.com.

Marcus Anderson – Style Meets Substance

Style Meets Substance is a demanding title full of promise. Can Marcus Anderson fulfill this aroused expectations? The necessary personal and musical requirements he certainly brings along. As one of the saxophonist in Prince’s band the New Power Generation he convinced the audience with his performance.

With five albums under his belt he also has the experience of a lengthy solo career. All started with his debut album My Turn in 2005, soon followed by From the Heart (2009), NOW (2011), and “TLC” Tender Loving Christmas (2011).

Anderson has written, performed, arranged and produced all songs of the new album. He is joined by Bertron Curtis and Nicholas Cole (keys), Kenny Leonhard (organ), Demetrice Everett and Calvin Napper (drums), Fitzgerald McGill (guitar), Chris Ellis and AJ Brown (bass), Morris Hayes (synth solo) on selected tracks.

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Jason Carroll and the Smooth Jazz Symphony – Ride

RideRide is the most recent work of super producer Jason Carroll (dubbed Jason Carroll & the Smooth Jazz Symphony). Smooth jazz fans from all walks of life will enjoy the album as it draws some interesting influences from various artists and incorporates music that listeners of varying ages can relate to.

Get Ride at CDBaby.

Maysa – A Very Maysa Christmas

AVeryMaysaChristmasOn October 28, 2014 Maysa will release her first and highly anticipated holiday album A Very Maysa Christmas. “I’ve been wanting to do a Christmas record for years,” shares the dynamic and down to earth vocalist who has emerged as the best jazz/soul vocalists of her generation.

“I hope people enjoy my take on the songs they’ve heard done by hundreds of artists over the years. My biggest wish for mankind is that people truly learn what it means to love yourself. I believe a healthy self esteem is the basis for true happiness.”

A Very Maysa Christmas features Maysa’s innovative arrangements of such favorites as “Joy To The World,” “Jingle Bells,” “The First Noel,” “Christmas Time Is Here” and “The Little Drummer Boy.” Maysa is joined by special guests Gerald Albright on “Silver Bells” and Will Downing on Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.”

“I was blessed to have three great musicians who are not only like brothers to me but mentors join me on the album. I’ve learned a lot from the both of them. My producer Chris ‘Big’ Dog Davis is another fabulous musician. The three of them shine like diamonds!

A Very Maysa Christmas
also features the superb Maysa original “It’s The Holidays” and the moving Edwin Hawkins “Pray For Peace,” which is a meditation Maysa delivers with the hopes of spreading healing and peace throughout the world.

Bob Baldwin – Twenty

TwentyThe battle of musicians for a recording contract to market their music is normal nowadays. In the case of Bob Baldwin the constant change of labels is already part of his musical experience. After all, it has left such an impression that he expressis verbis published his problems in the liner notes.

Against all odds Bob has managed to release his twentieth album on his own label, which significantly is entitled Twenty. Produced and arranged by Bob Baldwin and in parts by Dennis Johnson the album features several guest musicians mentioned below.

The album starts with Welcome To Planet Funky Onion. This track sounds inspired by Bob’s earlier piece Welcome To The Games, one of my favorites. Seabreeze comes like a gentle wind, the harmonies caress the ear. Gabriel Hasselbach contributes with his gentle trumpet sounds to the overall smooth impression.

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