Mike Murray – Sunset

New Jersey’s own Mike Murray, an independent composer/producer is (quoting one industry spokesman); “in a league by himself and clearly has re-defined the musical genres known as “Chill-Out” and “Smooth Jazz” by blending them masterfully”. Mike calls his self-described musical genre “Chazz” but fans of Bob James/Fourplay, Hiroshima and Jazzmasters will feel right at home with Mike’s expanding repertoire and unique musical style. Smooth jazz, chill composer, musician and producer Mike Murray, has been creating musically aural delights since 2007.

His new project is entitled Sunset and surprises again with high professionality. Get it on CDBaby.

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Madoca – Illusions of Love

Madoca Kawahara a.k.a. Madoca [pronounced “ma du ka”] is a Japanese American producer, pianist/ keyboardist/ composer. Her style consists of contemporary/ classic jazz, fusion, soul, funk, Latin, and Salsa blended together to provide sustenance for your mind and soul. Madoca began studying piano/organ at the age of 7 and graduated the Senzoku Music University in Kawasaki Japan with a major in Composition and Piano. She had a 3-day live audition before being awarded her scholarship programs at the Nemu Music and she studied jazz piano, jazz theory, ensemble, composition, arrangement etc. under educators from Berklee College of Music.

In 1994, Madoca moved to Hong Kong where she performed/ world tour (Australia, France, UK, USA etc.) with various Chinese major artists including PolyGram recording artist Jacky Chueng, Sandy Lam etc. Her selection, “I Don’t Cry Anymore” was the winner Song Writer’s Quest, a competition organized by the CASH. She has worked with numerous American recording artists including Eric Marienthal, Paul Young and has even opened for Chris Botti, Richard Elliott, Jonathan Butler. Madoca’s latest release, Illusions of Love (produced by Pianist/Arranger/Composer Bob Baldwin), showcases the growth and maturity of this very talented underrated artist from Atlanta, Ga. Originally from Japan, she honed her skills at the Senzoku Music University in Kawasaki, but made her mark in GA in 2005 with her debut disc Mysterious Ways….

Her style is smooth (check out the title track), and she can dig in on a beautiful ballad (“Sentimentally Yours”), but also can operate in an acoustic piano setting as evidenced in “Picadillo” and “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise”. Madoca is the real deal and deserves your immediate attention. Now on sale on CDBaby.

Daymond Callahan & Ahmad Johnson – Grooves & Melodies, Vol. 2

This is what happens when you combine instrumental R&B, jazz fusion, and funk on one project. Daymond Callahan & Ahmad Johnson are both aficionados of smooth jazz. They love to listen and to play this music. Grooves & Melodies, Vol. 2 is their fourth project. And they keep refining the formula. Instrumental R&B, smooth jazz, Funk, Fusion, Simple grooves that grow on the listener. Catchy melodies that become instant favorites.

Give this album a listen on CDBaby.

Euge Groove – Groove On

They belong to the elite circle of best entertainers in the field of smooth jazz. At larger festivals, they are among the first cast. Saxophonist Euge Groove is one of these acts on top of the game.

On his new album Groove On Euge performs soprano and tenor saxophone, Wurlitzer piano, Fender Rhodes and Hammond B3. He is accompanied on selected tracks by Tracy Carter (piano, Fender Rhodes), Jubu Smith (guitars), Cornelius Mims (bass), Trevor Lawrence Jr., Dan Needham (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion), Tim Heinz (Hammond B3), Philipp Saisse (string arrangement), Austin Creek (string programming), Peter White (guitar), Lindsey Webster (vocals).

A sonnet is a poem in a specific form which originated in Italy. The term sonnet is derived from the Italian word “sonetto”. On Sonnet Xl Euge performs a soprano sax with dreamlike security although it’s tricky to ensure a perfect intonation. The pitch conveys the impression of smallness, which explains the title.

Read more …

John Williams – Jazz Guitar

John Williams is currently playing solo acoustic guitar around the Seattle/Tacoma/Puget Sound area. The music is a mix of traditional and modern, acoustic and electric, jazz and blues, instrumentals. John’s music is used in countless video productions. Clients include NPR, BigTex Video, Franklin-Covey, Working Horse Winery, GearHead Pictures, Quova, Showa University (Tokyo), The State of Alabama, QSR Magazine, University of Michigan, and WGBH. At age 9 John started playing in neighborhood bands. At age 17 he was playing guitar for Charlie Pride, Willie Nelson, Jack Jones, and Conway Twitty. (John is much older now.)

John wrote, produced, and engineered four solo albums and scored two independent films. He has been the musical director for a vast array of bands of all styles. His new album is simply entitled Jazz Guitar and that is the main focus of the album. It’s to find on CDBaby.

Urban Jazz Coalition – XXII

Sandy Shore (smoothjazz.com) comments about this album: “The title of Urban Jazz Coalition’s new album, XXII, represents an extraordinary achievement for the Columbus, Ohio based six piece powerhouse ensemble founded by the visionary bassist Phil Raney. The group celebrates 22 years of performing regionally and at some of America’s hottest jazz festivals, as well as backing Smooth Jazz greats like Peter White, Jeff Lorber and Nick Colionne. XXII, their 11th album, is the most accessible Smooth Jazz Project they’ve ever done and we expect big things from it. It’s a tight, soulful, in the pocket masterwork showcasing the edgy solo virtuosity of – and blazing interaction between – saxophonist Richard Randolph, guitarist Duane Tribune and keyboardist Brandon Howard, and the driving rhythm section of Raney and drummer Rich “Rico” Adams and percussionist Hector Maldonado. You’ll want to hang around for UJC’s next XXII years!”

XXII is available on Amazon.com.

R.L. Walker – R.L. Walker

R.L. Walker is the self-titled fifth full CD by Saxophonist R.L. Walker. A collection of tracks inspired by past experience, places, and people. Continuing with the fan adorned mantra of “Get Your Smooth On!””, Walker does not disappoint.

Each track provides a steady dose of smooth emotions and vibes. “This project is emotionally charged” proclaims Walker. “This album is me, my thoughts and feelings, coming straight through the music to your ears”.

The new album is available in all stores, also on CDBaby.