The James Kōb Experience – So Right

American composer, lyricist, arranger and producer James Kōb introduces himself to the smooth jazz genre with a personal mixture of Pop, Jazz, Bossa Nova and a little cinematic music. It’s the James Kōb experience and the musical brain wave is entitled So Right.

His paradigm is, smooth jazz has to break out of a special instrumental formula. Mix-up the jazz genres a little bit to stay relevant in both instrumental, vocal and style to avoid to get homogenized. One can add to this, you should also go out of your own warm nest cave.

The participants James involved in his music are Maria Schafer, Danielle Field (vocals), Bobby Cruz (piano, strings), Tripp Sprague, Adam Schroeder and Alex Budman (sax), Ian Francisco (piano, strings), Dan Hall, John Leftwich (bass), Mark Haley (drums, bongos), Michael Smith (percussion), Eric Hughes, Steve Hughes (trombone), Jamie Hovorka, Kyle Palmer (trumpet), Rick Schimdt (guitar), and Lara Wickes (oboe).

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Marc Antoine – Laguna Beach

Born in Paris later resident in Madrid now living near L.A. guitarist Marc Antoine is a global citizen in the true sense of word. His object of desire is specifically his new hometown Laguna Beach (2016).

This place to live is now in the center of his interest and thematic core of his new project. To fulfill his musical dream he got help from Gorden Campbell (drums), Roberto Vally (upright bass), Marco Basci (keyboards), furthermore bassist Armand Sabal-Lecco, saxophonist Greg Vail, percussionists Gumbi Ortiz and Richie Gajate Garcia, and special guests Philippe Saisse (keyboards on “Why Not,” “Deixa” and “New Morning”), Paul Brown (electric guitar solo on “This and That”), Rick Braun (trumpet on “Minority”) and Dutch harmonica master Tim Welvaars (on “Deixa”).

The musical journey begins with Why Not, the fusion point of acoustic guitar of Spanish heritage and the bluesy jazz. That acoustic guitar fits to contemporary jazz horns and piano one can hear note for note.

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Osaru – Stepping Up

Stepping UpOsaru is a multi-talented musician, songwriter, and producer who lives and works in the heart of the Piedmont Triad in North Carolina, USA. His music which he describes as ‘Urban Smooth Jazz with a twist’ combines contemporary jazz themes with urban R&B rhythms marinated in subtle African percussive elements. He also works full time as a physician.

Osaru has released three self-produced albums since 2008. He writes all his material and plays all the instruments on all three albums. He also does all the background and lead vocals. His vocal style has been compared to Seal and John Legend and his saxophone phrasing and laid back keyboard grooves are reminiscent of Paul Hardcastle, Najee, Boney James, and Kenny G to name a few.

Stepping Up is Osaru’s fourth Album. He ups his groove, with punchier drum and bass lines accompanied by catchy melodic saxophone and keyboard phrasing. His ever present subtle background vocals complement his work. All songs are originals written, arranged, performed, recorded and produced by the Artist. Be it one of the slower songs like ‘Remember’ or mid-tempo Funk like ‘The Music Train’, the groove and flow of the album will keep you bobbing your head and tapping your foot.

Get the album at CDBaby.

Troy Dexter – Shoptalk

shoptalkTroy Dexter is a freelance guitarist/keyboardist/record producer based in Los Angeles. He graduated from the prestigious but grueling four-year program at Dick Grove school of music in Los Angeles in the 80’s. Since 2008, he is in the Wilson Phillips band and tours with them throughout the year. His style is comparable with Larry Carlton.

Shoptalk is his first smooth jazz/contemporary jazz project, which is now on sale at CDBaby.

Paul Brown – One Way Back

A smart buddy, a gifted musician, a radiant producer. Guitarist Paul Brown is, in the true sense of the word, an outstanding personality. Anyone who knows him personally will appreciate his deadpan sense of humor.

His newest project, One Way Back (2016), is staffed by a star-studded group of musicians. Peter White, Marc Antoine, Chris Standring, Chuck Loeb, Darren Rahn, Roberto Vally, Greg Vail and many more high-caliber artists are on the guest list.

Put It Where You Want It ensures a great party mood. The electrifying energy is especially fired up by famous organist Brother Paul Brown and trumpeter Lee Thornberg. On Sexy Thang Paul works together with Lew Laing, who is deeply involved in the independent music scene. The tune features Darren Rahn on sax and flute with resonate tones.

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Maggie Herron – Between the Music and the Moon

Events and locations are typically considered tourist attractions. But if it can be said that a voice is a draw, Maggie Herron fits the bill. But for those unable to travel to Hawaii to see and hear her in person, there is Between the Music and the Moon (2016).

Herron is accompanied in various lineups by Bill Cunliffe, piano; Grant Geissman, guitar; the horn section of Bob Sheppard, sax, Brian Scanlon, baritone sax, Bob McChesney, trombone, and Ron Stout, trumpet; Dean Taba, bass; Abe Lagrimas, drums; Denise Donatelli, harmony vocals; Alex Acuna, percussion; Ramon Stagnaro, guitar; DeShannon Higa, trumpet. Stout and Sheppard each appear on one track without the other horns, the former opting for flugelhorn.

The horn section gives a creepy introduction to “Wolf,” a stealthy, stalking, swinging tune. Think film noir meets “Stray Cat Strut.” Sheppard stretches out a bit during the middle break, with the other horns sounding like a mini big band.

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Tom Graf – Wish You Were Here

wish-you-were-hereSongwriter Tom Graf describes his music: “The melodies and underlying harmonic structure are a focus of this CD. The talented musicians making the music come alive are familiar faces on recordings across the spectrum of jazz, Latin, and rhythm and blues. This is the way smooth jazz used to sound when played by the likes of Freddy Hubbard, Milt Jackson, and Wes Montgomery. Just sit down and get ready to take a journey through Latin, samba, straight-ahead, tango, and blues moods.” His debut album was Graffiti, followed by A Day to Remember, and Smokin’.

His new album is entitled Wish You Were Here (2016) offering vocal and instrumental smooth jazz and blues melodies and thoughts about love lost. The album features Marc Russo, Kimiko Joy, David K. Mathews, Leah Tysse, Norbert Stachel, Peter Michael Escovedo, Erik Jekabson, Mike Olmos & Charles McNeal.

Wish You Were Here awaits you at CDBaby.