Archive for April, 2016

Phillip “Doc” Martin – Pocket Love

Quite rightly Philipp Martin is nicknamed Doc. He works in his day job as dentist in the Washington DC area. His second passion is music and as saxophonist he has already released several solo albums.

All started with his album Saxappeal in 2003. 2007 followed Pride and Joy, then Realization (2009), and Good Day at Work (2013). Pocket Love (2016) is his fifth album and was released on the label Innervision Records.

His new album was produced by Marvin Tony Hemmings, who also plays keys on all tracks. Additionally are joining the project on selected tracks Greg Boyer (trombone), Paul Brown (guitar), Frank Brunot (bass, guitar), Courtney Leonard (bass), Luc Derival (guitar), Kenny Kohlhaas (guitar, vocals), Jeff Lorber (drum programming), Eddie Montalvo (percussion), Roger Smith III (bass), Jay Williams (drums), Marlon Winder (flugelhorn, trumpet) and many more.

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Smooth Jazz FHG Band – A Joyful Beginning

A Joyful BeginningThe band Smooth Jazz FHG consisting of seasoned and experienced musicians from the Inland Empire of Southern California, was formed in 2013. They are just a bunch of guys who love to play upbeat Contemporary Smooth Jazz exercising the musical gifts that God gave them. Their repertoire of songs consists of several songs of own composition plus other Contemporary Smooth Jazz standards. These songs are all performed in an upbeat Contemporary Smooth Jazz style.

The aptly titled A Joyful Beginning is their debut album on now on sale at CDBaby.

Dan Sistos – Ventura Blvd

Ventura BlvdDan Sistos is a prolific and sought after session and touring musician in the United States. He has played with some of the biggest names in the business, such as Christina Aguilera, and Toni Braxton. He has performed on major radio stations and on network television shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America and the American Music Awards. He was also the featured guitarist on the blockbuster video games, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed Revelations.

Dan’s debut CD, In the Midnight Hours, received rave reviews in music publications, and has been excitedly lauded by his fans. 20th Century Guitar Magazine hailed him a “Spanish guitar master” while Black Label Reviews declared him “the Carlos Santana for the next generation.” He was even nominated for Instrumental Artist of the Year at the Los Angeles Music Awards. Dan’s latest album, The Road To Euphoria, continues his tradition of blending classical, latin and jazz influences to create a sonic masterpiece that is truly out of this world. Dan’s newest album of jazz originals is called Ventura Blvd. Acoustic and electric guitars soar above intricate crafted melody and harmony. This album also features some of the best musicians in Los Angeles. It’s a must have for any jazz, guitar or music fan!

Ventura Blvd is on sale at CDBaby.

Love Suggestions – Guitar Night

The Love Suggestions series are entitled Piano Night and Guitar Night. This year Konstantin Klashtorni will probably release Sax Night. That sounds like one instrument on each album in the lead.

Konstantin comments꞉ “True, that was my idea, it’s like a piano, guitar and sax player each recorded an album in the same vein. By the way, those are 3 instruments I like to feature on all my releases, I like the combination of different instruments a lot, depending on mood and kind of arrangement. I find it quite boring when only one instrument is playing hole song long, no matter how good it is.

I believe people like a variety very much, by the way in the mean of time I’ve learned a bit to listen music with “normal” people’s ears, just a bit! Wish I could do it much better to understand what Jazz music people like most and why.″

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Konstantin Klashtorni – Smooth Jazz III

Multi-instrumentalist Konstantin Klashtorni is certainly the most productive artist of the smooth jazz genre. Beside his solo projects he released series like Kool & Klean, Chillaxing Jazz Kollektion, Love Suggestions and Smooth Jazz. His newest album of the latter is Smooth Jazz III (2016).

What is the special feature of the Smooth Jazz series? Konstantin comments: “This is the style I started with back in 2004 recording my 1st album Downtown. I always wanted to be a part of SJ community since I first heard David Sanborn and Eric Marienthal play back in 80’s. And of course, as soon as I’ve got that awesome opportunity to record music at my home studio, I started to produce tracks to sound like my heroes. (two more came later – Kirk Whalum and Gerald Albright)

This series has nothing special except of just being a nice melodic easy listening Smooth Jazz. Unlike Kool&Klean and Chillaxing Jazz series it has a bit more chords and arrangement complicity, might be a bit funkier I would say.″

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Chameleon – Smooth Moves

Smooth MovesJazz musician/Producer Phil Wilkinson spent two years working on this album. He is a multi instrumentalist and plays all instruments on the album. The album takes influences from Jazz, Pop, Brazilian music and RnB as well as a dash of India in there for good measure. The concept is a chill out vibe inspired by sunny days and the beautiful coast lines of Spain where he currently resides.

Smooth Moves is a Smooth Jazz and Bossa Chill Out album to bring some sun and good vibes to your ears. Now on sale at CDBaby.

Michael Paulo – Songs

SongsOne of the most versatile and cosmopolitan saxophonists in pop, soul and contemporary jazz for nearly 35 years, Michael Paulo has added his distinct saxpertise to a virtual who’s who of artists, including Al Jarreau (Paulo’s longest term touring association), James Ingram, No. 1 Smooth Jazz Trumpeter and guitarist Rick Braun and Peter White, Oleta Adams, Kenny Loggins, Patti Austin, Jeffrey Osborne, Jeff Lorber, David Benoit, Carl Anderson, Bobby Caldwell, Johnny Mathis and more.

Paulo grew up in a musical family (his father a pianist, his mother a singer, his siblings all playing instruments) and though he came upon the sax relatively late at age 15, he quickly became first horn player in his high school band and was playing professional gigs around the islands within a few years. Rather than accept a scholarship to North Texas State, he chose a more adventurous road by joining Hawaiian pop/rock band Kalapana, which had some success on the mainland but was most popular in Japan. After playing regularly and recording on all four of Kalapana’s albums from 1975 through 1979, Paulo recorded a solo album for Japanese release on Trio records. In addition to exposing him to the Japanese jazz audience. Tats in the Rainbow gave him the opportunity to work with legendary pianist Herbie Hancock.

Paulo moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and quickly established himself by playing with percussionist Ray Armondo and a local R&B outfit featuring members of Rufus. Two years later, he caught his big break when Al Jarreau hired him for his touring band. The young saxman became an integral part of the Jarreau experience while touring the world for the next decade. Paulo also gained international recognition as a result of his work on Jarreau’s famed ‘Live in London’ release. In 1988 Paulo recorded his first Major solo release One Passion on MCA records which was critically acclaimed as one of the most influential recordings in contemporary Jazz. He has since released nine solo projects with the latest entitled Songs, a compilation of his compositions over the years and featuring two new tracks.

Songs is now on sale at the world’s greatest independent music platform CDBaby.

Taeko Ota – Walk My Way

Pianist and vocalist Taeko Ota taps into the emotions and struggles of dealing with grief. Her self-produced debut, Walk My Way (2016) presents her thoughts and feelings with nine original songs, two covers and one new song contributed by Shoji Hisamatsu.

Ota is accompanied on most tracks by Masami Ishikawa, guitar; Seth Lewis, bass; and Paul Francis, drums and percussion. Akio Mokuno plays acoustic guitar on two tracks.

The set begins with the lively, dance-friendly “Walk My Way.” The rhythm guitar, bass line and drum play give the song a strong, party vibe. Ota’s lyrical delivery is sunny and warm.

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Mikael – Grooveology (Prelude)

Grooveology is the science of groove. In this specific case an album dedicated to the groove. Dayton, Ohio guitarist Mikael Manley has released Grooveology (Prelude) in 2015.

The former member of the legendary group Commodores started his solo career in 2007 with the debut In Ya Pocket. With the sophomore album he shows that he is still in the music ring.

Multi-instrumentalist Mikael is supported by Thomas Dawson, Marque Walker, Cliff Mitchell and Andre Hoxter (keyboards), Donald Wright (bass), John Micalak (sax), and vocalists Joi (Giel) Branker, Rachel Ricca, Bo Henderson, and Ray “Ahmeer” Harrington.

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Steve Oliver – Pictures and Frames

13071748_949881478414240_753086479226416341_oPerfectly capturing the soul-searching music of our times and the universal sense of wonder human beings have been contemplating since the beginning of time, Steve Oliver ( follows a dynamic decade and a half of #1 instrumental Billboard Jazz hit making and global touring by asking the simple but resonant question “Why?”

The soulful, thought-provoking track, the lead single from the multi-talented singer, songwriter and guitarist’s first ever all-vocal album, Pictures and Frames, is currently shipping to Pop Contemporary stations nationwide. It’s Oliver’s first official venture into the pop format after nine albums and over 15 years of dominance on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. Oliver has always sprinkled a few pop/R&B vocals into his instrumental albums — but “Why” and many of the other tracks on the album mark a deeper emergences as an observational, socially conscious songwriter.

Recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood, the John Mayer, Sting and Steely Dan influenced Pictures and Frames features the exotic soundscaping of Steve Reid (former percussionist of contemporary jazz powerhouse The Rippingtons) and the all star rhythm section of bassist Lee Sklar (whose 2,000 studio sessions include multiple albums with James Taylor, Phil Collins and Linda Ronstadt) and legendary jazz/rock drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, known for his work with Sting, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton and Herbie Hancock, among hundreds of others. Continue reading