Gary Meek – Monterey Groove

Monterey-GrooveGary Meek was born in 1961 in Encino, California. His father played piano recreationally. Meek attended El Camino Real High School, where he was active in the music department on clarinet, saxophones and keyboard. After high school he enrolled in the Dick Grove School of Music Professional Instrumental Program. Meek began his career in the early 1980s playing woodwinds in the big bands of the Los Angeles Jazz Workshop, and keyboards and woodwinds for local club dates, weddings and private parties. In the mid-’80s he toured with Dionne Warwick, playing keyboards.

Meek’s first album as a leader and saxophonist, 1991’s “Gary Meek,” comprises 11 songs all written or cowritten by Meek. He has released four other solo projects to date, including “Time One,” “Live at Ronnie Scott’s,” “Good Friends” and “Step 7.” In September of 2017 Meek released “Originals” – His first solo release in Fifteen years. The CD features Terri Lyne Carrington – Drums, Brian Bromberg – Acoustic Bass, Mitchel Forman – Piano, Randy Brecker – Trumpet/ Flugelhorn and Bruce Forman – Guitar, on Three songs apiece.

Monterey Groove is his newest album released in August, 2021. Jim Hynes (Making A Scene!) comments: “Meek is clearly inspired by the surroundings and atmosphere of his adopted home.  You hear it in the pulsating rhythms as well as its floating, seemingly windswept lyricism.” The project soon grew beyond his core quartet, which features guitarist/producer Michael Lent (Barry Manilow, Jeffrey Osborne). along with bassist Robert Wider and drummer Skylar Campbell.

Get the album here.

Dennis Murphy – Our Higher Selves

higherGRAMMY nominated multi instrumentalist Dennis Murphy has been involved with the smooth jazz scene for over three decades. Dennis’s guitar, bass and vocal skills have earned him universal respect throughout the music industry as a first call for many diversified artists in the smooth jazz, blues, r&b, pop and straight ahead jazz genres.

On his first album Hit Me Hard, Dennis collaborated with Eric Marienthal, Jeff Golub, Will Kennedy and Tower of Power lead saxophonist Tom Politzer.

The latest Dennis Murphy album Our Higher Selves (2021) features aforementioned Tom Politzer, along with drummer Marcus Finnie and Ruben Valtierra on keyboards.

You can stream this album here.

Jevon Goode – Here We Go Again

HerewegoagainMulti-instrumentalist Jevon Goode has already released three albums. Unstoppable (2013), The Journey (2016) and Here We Go Again (2021).

All albums can be streamed on Apple Music.

Michael Walker – My Journey

a1810044192_16Guitarist Michael Walker has a fresh new sound in Smooth Jazz. With the combination of R&B, Southern Soul and Gospel you get a style of music that’s not heard today ( Southern Soul Jazz ). Michael has a style of his own but there are influences from his guitar idols Mr. George Benson and Norman Brown. It’s been five years since his debut Album A Smoother You. His sophomore album is DayLight (2018).

His newest album is My Journey (2021). He has graced us with new music again. With this album you hear the growth in songwriting and his riveting guitar skills that outlines soulful jazzy melodies of the five tunes that are on the CD. The tunes will make you smile, think, dance and appreciate what you have been given. The CD will take you to an unbelievable place.

Buy the album at bandcamp.

Ernest Quarles – The Phoenix

Jimmie Highsmith Jr. – Man with the Golden Sax

ManwiththegoldensaxJimmie Highsmith Jr., or as friends call him Tjari, was born September 18, 1967 in “Flower City” Rochester NY. Critically acclaimed, Grammy nominated and award winning Saxophonist Jimmie Highsmith Jr., has shared the stage with and opened for multiple Grammy Award winners, including Najee, Alicia Keys, Víctor and Joseph Wooten, Chris Botti, Grover Washington Jr., and Wynton Marsalis just to name a few. In the last ten years he has recorded more than 10 top selling smooth jazz CD’s that have sold thousands worldwide with his 6th CD “The Anthology of Sound” receiving a Grammy Nomination..

Jimmie has also been honored to record with several other musicians, singers and rappers on their projects. Jimmie Highsmith Jr’s sax work represents some of the best in the Smooth Jazz Genre. The album Indigo Chronicles: Chocolate Brown Eyes was released in 2017. His newest album is Man with the Golden Sax (2021).

The album is downloadable at Amazon.com.

Cory Wong & Dirty Loops – Turbo

TurboGrammy-nominated songwriter, producer, guitarist, and bandleader Cory Wong has teamed up with Stockholm, Sweden-based “twisted pop trio” Dirty Loops for a new collaborative album, Turbo. The album offers an reimagined take on iconic Michael Jackson smash hit, “Thriller”. “Thriller” appears as the penultimate track on Turbo, which also includes pre-release singles “Follow The Light” and “Ring of Saturn”.

Jonah Nilsson sets the tone right away with his uncanny, MJ-level falsetto, but the underlying music sounds less like the original 1982 hit and more like a Steely Dan outtake. Bolstered by the virtuosic bass work of Henrik Linder, the tactile drums of Aron Mellergardh, the rhythmic texture provided by Wong, and the vivid, complex instrumentation by a talented five-piece horn section, the Cory Wong/Dirty Loops version of “Thriller” puts a uniquely enthralling, genre-blending spin on an all-time classic.

This new album is available on all digital platforms.

Andrew Oh – Essence of Oh

Andrew-Oh-Essence-of-Oh-CD-CoverAndrew Oh stands out as extremely accomplished saxophonist of international standard. His musical background and experience span almost three continents. Originally from Singapore, Andrew’s interest in music begun in the early 1970’s when he learnt to master a wide variety of woodwind instruments and a variety of percussion instruments.

Originally released in Australia with wide acclaim, Andrew released his debut album CD, Silk, with Devine Music (Australia ), which received great success in Australia and Asia and led to a recording contract with an American company, Honest Entertainment in Nashville ( USA ). His second self titled CD charted in the top 20 of the Gavin Smooth Jazz charts in America and received excellent reviews and extensive airplay in the US and Canada.

Essence of Oh is his first flute album in 2021 which also features his tenor and soprano saxophone talent. Andrew’s Roland Aerophone also added the colors of muted trumpet, harmonica, accordion and string pads. The music on this new album demonstrates Andrew’s versatility playing various instruments with the passion and expressiveness unique to his personal style. This recording is a fusion of jazz, soul, blues and Latin combined to deliver a whole new direction in improvised music.

The album is available on all digital platforms. Physical copies are on sale at Andrew’s website.

Pete Escovedo – Rhythm of the Night

241491121_4093181084114241_6676575253244875579_nLegendary Percussionist Pete Escovedo is an artist who broke down the barriers between Smooth Jazz, Salsa, Latin Jazz and contemporary music. His name has been synonymous in the music industry for more than 50 years. Pete is known worldwide for his live performances, session work and solo albums.

As a young boy he would sit on the steps of nightclubs and watch musicians play. Music became his outlet. When he was 15 years old he began to also sketch and paint on wood or cardboard. Anything he could get his hands on, he would start to draw.

Pete did not know that his love for music and art combined would change his life forever. And this is how it began. Pete Escovedo has recorded 9 acclaimed solo albums, 2 albums with his daughter Sheila E., and the Latina Familia live album with Sheila E. and Tito Puente. The entire family has gotten together as the “E Family” to record the album “Now and Forever”, featuring Pete Escovedo, Sheila E., Juan Escovedo and Peter Michael Escovedo.

His newest album is Rhythm Of The Night (2021).

Get the CD on Amazon.com.

Hiroshima – 2020

240871448_389909516030600_3459868792147086096_nHiroshima is the only Asian band to receive a Grammy-nomination and they have two. Legacy featured songs from the first 10 years and celebrated the band’s 30 years in the industry. Departure, number 18 for the celebrated Hiroshima who has created it’s own voice. . . One of the most unique bands in the world, Hiroshima combines traditional Japanese instruments, including koto, taiko and shakuhachi with western instruments and harmony, embracing rhythms ranging from Jazz to Latin and R&B –a blend referred to by famed British producer Robin Millar as “Urban World Music.”

Hiroshima continues to bring west coast influences to world music, that transcend music boundaries. The band took its name from the Japanese city of Hiroshima, which sustained a nuclear blast during World War II. “Since we were born after all that, it’s our legacy to come up from the ashes,” Kuramoto said. After their latest album Songs With Words (2015), a live album the band returns with 2020.

The album is finally released in September 2021 and contains the singles “Someday Soon” and “Groove Latino”. Soon available on all major platforms. Physical copies are available on the band’s website.