Archive for August, 2016

Sivan Arbel – Broken Lines

International flavor is what Sivan Arbel brings to listeners with Broken Lines (2016). The Israeli born songwriter and vocalist says the music is inspired by people and experiences she has encountered.

Performing with Arbel are Shai Portugaly, piano; Nadav Shapira, bass; Yogev Gabay, drums; Ron Warburg, trumpet; Jack Sheehan, alto saxophone; and Ori Jacobson, tenor saxophone. The vocal trio of Caleb Mason, Seth Weaver and Ben Tiberio join on the title song.

Arbel seamlessly weaves lyrics, chants, scats and instrumental breaks into a colorful tapestry of sound. Highlights are the opening track, “Over Sensitivity,” the improv special “Analysis” and the cover of Miles Davis’ “Blue in Green.” Her scatting ability could easily have been borrowed from the textbook of Ella Fitzgerald.

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Nat Brown – Treasures of Love

Treasures of LoveGathering together elements of R&B, soul and pop, Nat Brown takes his cue from the likes of Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls and Jackie Wilson, his idols. But chances are he doesn’t do it their way. “I never learned to read music; I just couldn’t do it,” he said. “I hear a particular melody in my head and just go with it.” With the ubiquitous sunglasses, Brown often has been mistaken for Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder, but his blindness isn’t a stick – just a fact of life. “I played in nightclubs in East St. Louis. I worked with Ike and Tina (Turner); that was where all the musicians played in the early days.”

Throughout his musical career, Brown also has shared the stage with Little Richard, The Coasters, Lou Rawls, Etta James and Jackie Wilson. Treasures of Love is his new album now on sale at

Anna Danes – Find Your Wings

FindYourWingsIt was against all odds that Anna Danes found herself standing in Capitol Records Studio A, in front of the same microphone used by her role models, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, recording an a cappella song that she wrote for her sophomore album. In the dimly lit studio in the heart of Hollywood, the woman who escaped communist Poland as a child and overcame the pain and loneliness of a loveless marriage by discovering her voice just three years ago poured her broken heart into the intimate album closer, “I Love You,” as producer Dave Darling sat spellbound at the recording console. In the famed studio during sessions financed by selling a car, Danes shared her deeply personal tales of love and loss through the six acoustic jazz songs that she wrote for “Find Your Wings,” the DLG Records disc scheduled for release on October 14 that is completed by five standards and a stunning interpretation of blues singer Janiva Magness’ “When You Were My King.”

Late last month, as Danes plotted with her marketing and promotions team to gear up for the upcoming album release, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. True to the theme of “Find Your Wings,” the positive-minded vocalist faced her worst fears, saw the silver lining and penned a motivational blog, “Cancer Part 1: Vanity Saved My Life,” to help educate and encourage others facing their own health and personal challenges (

When Danes began the recording project that is slated to street during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she had the desire to emulate the sound of a pair of jazz vocal albums from the esteemed duo of Tony Bennett and Bill Evans. Darling kept Danes’ captivating and expressive voice front and center in the mix using only sparse accompaniment from pianist Rich Ruttenberg, drummer John Ferraro and bassist Trey Henry. Blessed with a classic voice possessing charm, warmth, elegance and grace, Danes’ patient delivery and vocal phrasing uncoils with poise and complete control despite the vulnerability and intensity of her emotion-charged subject matter. Love is her ever-present muse on “Find Your Wings.” On originals, she sings a haunting melody on “The Voice,” pines hopefully on “See You In L.A.” and longs to see forever in the eyes of her lover on “Long Distance.” Among those she interprets from the Great American Songbook are Michel Legrand’s “I Will Wait For You,” Sammy Cahn’s “It’s Crazy” and Johnny Mercer’s “I Want To Be Around” while on the romantic duet “That’s All,” she takes enduring vows with Richard Shelton’s debonair tenor. Continue reading

Phil Palombi – Detroit Lean

Sitting behind the wheel and looking cool is the thought behind the title, Detroit Lean (Xcappa Records, 2016). A product of Ohio, Palombi says the material corresponds to events or feelings that he had when he moved to New York City in 1997.

Personnel are Palombi, Scott LaFaro’s Presscott bass, electric bass; Matthew Fries, piano, Vintage Vibe and Wurlitzer electric pianos; Keith Hall, drums and percussion; Tony Romano, classical, flamenco, steel string and electric guitars; Kat Gang, vocals; and George Walker Petit, percussion and special effects.

“Beyond the Wall” opens the set in dynamic fashion. Palombi’s riveting bass line introduces the song, augmented by a haunting chorus of instruments. The melody is tightly syncopated, with Romano, Fries and Palombi playing complementary lines. After two passes, the leader stretches out, taking the bass to its upper range and diving down to its depths. Romano and Fries get their turns as well, the latter doing his with the electric piano. Palombi says of the title that it represents the success of one who steps outside of his comfort zone. He says it’s built atop the idea that “we put up personal walls around us and can accomplish much if we get past them.”

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Roberto Restuccia – Exposure

UK based guitarist Roberto Restuccia studied at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford. His early influences were guitarists such as Slash and Prince. Later he discovered smooth jazz through the music of George Benson and Ronny Jordan.

The album Exposure (2016) is his musical debut. All tracks are written, produced, recorded and mixed by Roberto himself, who is regularly performing in UK to promote his project.

The album starts with Paradise. A place which is associated with a lot of desire. Roberto’s subdued way of playing is reminiscent of the music of Ronny Jordan but also near to Zachary Breaux.

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Chuck Loeb – Unspoken

14124939_1254392934593856_3801022758354851824_oThe Hitmaker Is Back! With over 30 top ten Smooth Jazz radio hits to his credit, including an incredible 20 #1s, Chuck Loeb is truly an icon and pioneer of the Smooth Jazz genre. Unspoken features guest appearances by Smooth Jazz superstars Brian Culbertson, Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp and Eric Marienthal, plus the great Will Lee (of David Letterman fame). In addition, the album features vocals by Carmen Cuesta (Mrs. Loeb), whose sensuous vocals have resulted in her own growing fan base.

Pre-order your album now at

Brian Culbertson – Funk!

FunkBrian Culbertson‘s Funk! is a throwback, funkadelic, old-school record in the style of P-Funk meets Prince that will make you dance, laugh, sing along and pretty much get down. That’s what Funk! is all about. It’s been 8 years since the release of Bringing Back The Funk so get ready for the latest evolution coming this September 30th! Pre-order today to reserve your copy and get it before release day! They’ll be shipping these out starting September 12th.

Get Funk! here.

Saxing Up – Bee Gees Love Songs

Saxophonist Konstantin Klashtorni is best known for his unbelievable creativity transformed in a plethora of smooth jazz albums. Compared to his other projects Saxing Up is unique.

On this album from 2007 which is currently not available, he covered famous Love Songs of the Bee Gees. Recorded in the KVK Music studio in Rotterdam, Netherland this musical gem has stood the test of time.

The album starts with How Deep Is Your Love, a pop ballad written and recorded by the Bee Gees in 1977. Although the tune lives from the falsetto lead vocal of Robin Gibb, is Konstantin on sax a gorgeous replacement.

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Bobby Wells – Back In The Day

Bobby Wells is since more than twenty years in the recording industry. Wait A Minute (1994) was his debut album in the Blues genre. In 2005 he released the smooth jazz album Bayside with an array of top notch musicians. With Here with You Lord (2010) he praised his Savior Jesus Christ.

Now he returns with the album Back In The Day (2016). While most of the instruments are played by Bobby, he invited again his friends Gerald Albright and Darren Rahn (sax), Bob Rebholz (flute, sax), Michel O’Neill, Freddie Fox, Dr. Isidro Aybar Jr. (guitar), and as vocalists his sister Yvonne Brown and his daughter Brandy.

The album begins with She’s Playful. Bobby manages to cram in this vivid piece a great array of stunning instrumental performance. But it’s Michel O’Neill, George Benson’s longtime guitarist, who elevates the magic flow with his arsenal of guitar and bass.

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Paul Taylor – Countdown

CountdownIn 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.
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 saxman s core flow has been Dino Esposito, who helped Taylor establish his vibe with On The Horn and Pleasure Seeker, and has played a powerful role in the saxophonist s evolution by helming tracks on his subsequent recordings Undercover, Hypnotic, Nightlife, Prime Time and Tenacity.

Countdown marks the return of Dino Esposito who for the second album in a row is the sole producer. “I’m always trying to grow as an artist, so there were ideas going all the time as we developed these tracks,” he adds. “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,” says Taylor. Countdown also finds Paul working with guest artist Peter White. Taylor’s mix of funk and sensuality were a natural fit for the emerging urban jazz genre, and he soon became one of its core artists.

Pre-order your Countdown now at