Archive for the ‘ Smooth Jazz ’ Category

Michael Kevin Ross – Never Give Up

Never Give UpThis album is gospel smooth jazz at its best. Michael Kevin Ross, a lead guitarist from a background of r&b, jazz and gospel has really shown what true dedication can produce. Michael is rapidly elevating beyond measure expressing himself in a urban smooth gospel jazz manner that is definitely outside the box. This anointed, spirit filled music is very relaxing and refreshing taking you on a journey of peace and love.

Never Give Up is now available at CDBaby.

Richard Smith – Tangos

TangosRichard’s well-known discs have garnished praise such as “Best Contemporary Jazz Guitar Album” (Tune Up Magazine), a nomination for “Record of the Year” (Ad Lib Magazine), and “Best New Artist” (Radio & Records Magazine). His album ‘SOuLIDIFIED’ spent 17 weeks in the top 10 for radio airplay of American contemporary jazz radio (Radio and Records Magazine) and 3 weeks at number 1 in the World for satellite and cable airplay (Music Choice).

This has been an exciting time for Professor Smith, a time of growth and change. In 2012 and 2013 Smith traveled to 11 countries around the globe performing music from his 13 releases and collaborating with a group of international all-stars on “Tangos” – the deepest and most engaging release of his career. The reason why Richard’s new global approach works so well is simple, he is a globally connected person, living abroad 3 months out of every year.

For half of 2012 the globetrotting guitarist was visiting professor at Agder University, Norway, one of Europe’s finest conservatories. It was a good fit, for Scandinavia has long been known for it’s unique, influential music. While in Northern Europe, Smith debuted his L.A. Chillharmonic arrangements for Big Band – bringing L.A. style funk, soul and jazz to Oslo, London, and Amsterdam, and to Denmark via a residency with the Royal Academy of Music. Continue reading

Marcus Anderson – Style Meets Substance

Style Meets SubstanceYou don’t have to be a jazz aficionado to know that Marcus Anderson is more than your average musician. The musician, singer, song writer, dancer, and producer’s new record “Style Meets Substance” showcases his unrivaled talent and pushes him firmly into the pop and RnB stratosphere as he continues to deliver world class music. As Star saxophonist in PRINCEs band The New Power Generation, Anderson is famed for his energetic, show stopping performances and raw talent.

This record delivers his innovative and creative personality while still offering that charismatic charm Anderson is famous for. “Style Meets Substance” traverses the decades with tracks inspired by the funky grooves of the 60’s and 70’s to the more current compositions of our modern musical landscape. The record is a reflection of Anderson’s musical influences, giving his listeners a variety of styles and a taste of how far jazz music has come. The Single “No time to waste” feat. Nicholas Cole and showcases the  versatility Anderson has while retaining his smooth jazz roots and contemporary stylings. “Style meets substance” is signature Marcus Anderson and the album of 2014 you need to own.

This album is available under Pop-Jazz at CDBaby.

Ken Navarro – Ruby Lane

Guitarist Ken Navarro celebrates the release of his 21st album Ruby Lane with a glass of delicious red wine. Meanwhile, Ken has disconnected from the chains of the Smooth Jazz format and focuses on pure guitar music.

The difference is audible on the interpretation of Boz Scaggs Can I Make It Last (Or Will It Just Be Over). The primeval sound of abundance of pure acoustic guitar testifies sophisticated recording technology.

Running Toward the Sun is propelled by the rhythm arrangement. The guitar is self-perpetuating the rhythmic guidelines. Kings and Queens is dedicated to Coretta Scott King and Ethel Kennedy, an interlaced piece with its own dynamics.

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Nathan East – Nathan East

EastNathan East, America’s preeminent bassist, is readying his eponymous solo debut and will be sharing music from the album on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Tavis Smiley. The album features appearances by many of Nathan’s friends and past collaborators including Sara Bareilles, Eric Clapton, Michael McDonald, and Stevie Wonder. The album epitomizes Nathan’s time as a go-to player in the funk, soul and jazz world. ‘Nathan East’ is available March 25 on Yamaha Entertainment Group.

“Daft Funk,” Nathan’s ode to the Grammy-winning album he helped record with Daft Punk, is the album’s first single and has reached #3 on the Billboard smooth jazz charts. The song features legendary session guitarist Ray Parker Jr., and uses a talk box to channel the French funk auteurs. Bass Musician Magazine called the song a “groove-heavy Daft Punk-meets-Michael Jackson ‘Off the Wall’ original.”

President of Yamaha Entertainment Group Chris Gero, who co-produced the album with Nathan and co-wrote the song “Madiba” said: “It’s been a privilege to work with Nathan on this album. We at Yamaha Entertainment Group are all honored to be able to work with Nathan on this labor of love, the release of his debut solo album.”

Following the release, Nathan East will kick off a national Guitar Center tour, offering bass clinics and meet and greet opportunities in select cities. The album is available at Amazon.com.

Jim Samuel – Now

Keyboardist Jim Samuel had a great time as musician and composer in the 60′s and 70′s performing with Bob Brady and the Conchords. After a couple of hit records he decided to leave music and pursue a career in business.

Now is the prove that Jim is still infected by the music bug. Last year he released Smooth Covers, Smooth Dance featuring arranged cover songs. Jim has realized that the music world has changed since he left it years ago. But he has accepted the challenge.

Jim has invited as guest musicians Gerald Albright (sax), Rob Tardik (guitar), and Tony Neenan (trumpet).

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Paul Taylor – Tenacity

TenacityIn the 19 years since Paul Taylor first got On The Horn with his hit debut album, he’s enjoyed an extraordinary journey in the contemporary urban jazz world. The key to the charismatic saxophonists success? Beyond those instantly identifiable sax tones, infectious melodies, cutting edge production, and dynamic live performances, it’s one thing, Tenacity the perfect title for his latest recording on Peak Records and 10th overall.

From the start of his recording career, Taylor has created his ever cool deeply soulful and rhythmic trip-hop influenced sound by working with some of urban jazz and R&B s top producers, including Rex Rideout, Barry J. Eastmond and The Heavyweights. But one of the most important architects of the saxmans core flow has been Dino Esposito, who helped Taylor establish his vibe with On The Horn and Pleasure Seeker 1997, and has played a powerful role in the saxophonist’s evolution by helming tracks on his subsequent recordings Undercover 2000, his Peak Records debut Hypnotic 2001, Nightlife 2005, and Prime Time 2011.

Tenacity marks the first time ever that Taylor has recorded an entire project with a single producer and his longtime friendship and incredible chemistry with Esposito made him the perfect choice for the varied rhythms and progressive sonics that the saxophonist wanted.

“I have always had this special bond with Dino and it was really exciting to focus on doing an entire project with my great friend, rather than just a few tracks here and there like in the past; says Taylor. He adds: I am always trying to grow as an artist, so there were ideas going all the time as we developed these tracks. I definitely have an established sound, so the key was having an open mind and being honest when we hit on a certain vibe, groove or lick I had done before and taking the tune in another direction.”

Tenacity is available at Amazon.

Sam Rucker – Tell You Something

TellHip-hop producer turned contemporary jazz saxophonist Sam Rucker has something to say. Blending jazz, hip-hop, soul and gospel, he communicates through inspirational instrumentals that meaningfully resonate with listeners. Nearly three years in the making, his sophomore album, “Tell You Something,” is slated for release from Favor Productions on June 3 and includes contributions from Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Tom Browne and Alyson Williams on the set mixed and mastered by Euge Groove.

Rucker produced “Tell You Something” featuring eight originals that he wrote or co-penned. The tracks harness the rhythms and intensity of hip-hop, melodic phrasing typical of R&B, rousing gospel affirmations and improvisational jazz nuances. A fan of vintage R&B, Rucker was honored to share production chores with Connors on instrumental renditions of three classics: “Before I Let Go,” “Footsteps in the Dark” and Connors’ signature hit, “You Are My Starship.” Lyle’s keyboard wizardry is on full display on each cover tune with gregarious solos while Browne’s regal trumpet adds a touch of class along with a fervent solo to “Starship.” Williams’ glorifies “Before I Let Go” and “Footsteps” with her lustrous voice. But it’s one of Rucker’s own empowering compositions, “Be True 2 Who U R,” that will be the first to receive airplay from the radio-friendly disc when it is serviced to stations in May. Rucker, who plays keyboards as well as tenor, alto and soprano sax on the record, elects to use his soprano horn over the chunky hip hop beats on the single.

“My desire as an artist is not only to entertain, but to be a communicator – to connect with the listener in such a way that they are encouraged and inspired by my music. Even as an instrumentalist, I believe my music speaks lyrically and I use it to convey uplifting messages. I wrote ‘Be True 2 Who U R,’ ‘No Other Way’ and ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Like It’ to inspire confidence in one’s individuality. My music has a unique fingerprint and the songs on the album celebrate what the Creator put in me to share with the world. ‘Tell You Something’ and ‘A Million Ways’ convey my gratitude for the gifts He’s given me. ‘Brighter Day,’ ‘Love’s Melody’ and ‘A Long Way to Go’ were written to offer compassion for the sacrifices and struggles that we face in life and touch that place in our soul where adversity rests. ‘Brighter Day’ advocates that a brighter day will come if you keep the faith. The covers I selected pay tribute to some of the great R&B artists that shaped my listening while growing up. One of whom, Norman Connors, I had the pleasure of working with on this album,” said Rucker, a Virginia Beach, Virginia native who studied music while attending nearby James Madison University. Continue reading

Chris Geith – Chasing Rainbows

Keyboardist Chris Geith is known for his sales success on the internet platform Mp3.com. His recent albums Timeless World (2007) and Island Of A Thousand Dreams (2010) were also chart toppers. His collaboration with David Wells No Side Effects (2013) was often played on radio stations around the USA.

His newest album Chasing Rainbows (2014) is currently available as download only, but Chris has promised to manufacture some CDs for his next show. The first track Andromeda shines with elegant piano performance. Atmospheric force receives the piece through sustainable re-verb effects. Comparable is this with Brian Culbertson’s newest effort Another Long Night Out.

However, Chris’ music tends more to the New Age field. Green Shadow wide spreads romantic advances. Absolute Magnitude takes the style sheet of the first piece again. Chasing Rainbows has nothing to do with Ray Wilson’s album. It is knit more for the Weather Channel, where Chris found already considerable appeal.

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Blue Claw Jazz – Smooth Jazz Playlist 2

blueclawjazz2Thomas James Ackley aka Tomazz started his musical activity as recording engineer in the Philadelphia area. Boyz to Men and Grover Washington, Jr. counted to his clients. After his move to New York he worked at the famous Hit Factory Studios for artists including Celine Dion and Will Smith.

Since 2007 he releases solo projects like Orient Bay (2007), Chronicles (2008), Lucid Dream (2010) and Thinking About You (2010). His  album is Winter Chill (2012), currently only available as download. Under the project name Blue Claw Jazz he now offers a great collection of smooth jazz songs. Smooth Jazz Playlist 2 is just arrived at CDBaby.

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