Archive for April, 2018

Leon Neal – We Dance at Midnight

We Dance at Midnight is a smooth jazz funk CD featuring the guitar work of Leon Neal. This new CD is a collection of soulful and expressive guitar work. For anyone who has admired Wes Montgomery and Grant Green you will love “We Dance at Midnight.” It is a mood setting, thought provoking, soulful and expressive jazz guitar. If you love jazz guitar this is a must have for your musical library.

You can obtain this album at Leon’s website.

Urs Wiesendanger – Breakfast In Paris

At the age of three Urs Wiesendanger started playing little melodies on the piano. Later he developed a great passion for playing drums. With his teacher Pierre Favre he began to target a career as a jazz drummer. At the young age of 12 he was already touring with the Big Band of Fernsehen DRS, the national TV station, and was soon regarded as one of the greatest young talents of the Swiss music scene. What followed were several years of gigs in the best reputated jazz clubs in Switzerland where he played with his older brother, the jazz pianist Chris Wiesendanger.

When Urs turned 15 he began to write his first pop songs and also started producing. He definitely gave his career a new direction. Only a short while later he began producing full time.

Since then Urs has worked with a lot of the best known Swiss artists like DJ Bobo, Nubya and the Swiss Idol show winner Carmen Fenk. He produced half of the album of Carmen Fenk in early 2004 and wrote one song for her. Urs, without exaggeration, can be titled as one of the most skillful arrangers and producers in Europe. He’s worked many times in Los Angeles with some of the greatest musicians there like Jeff Lorber, sax players Dave Koz and Warren Hill, producer Mickey Petralia, drummer John Robinson, guitarists Chris Camozzi, Michael Landau and Dean Parks, vocalist Warren Wiebe and and countless others.

His newest album Breakfast In Paris is expected for release May 25, 2018. You can listen to samples on this Album Teaser. Pre-order this album now on

Brian Bromberg – Thicker Than Water

Brian Bromberg is considered to be one of the world’s most ground breaking and diverse bassists of our time, pushing the barriers of the acoustic and electric bass to their limits. Commonly using as many as 10 or more basses on his recordings, using different tunings, string configurations, acoustic basses, electric basses, piccolo basses etc… Brian has taken the bass and truly turned it into a vehicle for him to make music, write melodies, and be the lead melodic voice as well as the rhythmic foundation of the music. The bass has become an extention of the music inside him, and he has used all of these different basses to let that music sing!

His new album Thicker Than Water is coming out July 13, 2018. It’s funky and smooth jazz and it’s masterfully. You can listen to the first snippets on his website.

Club Des Belugas & Thomas Siffling – Ragbag

Club des Belugas describe themselves as one of the leading Nujazz bands in Europe, perhaps in the world. They combine contemporary European Electro, Lounge & Nujazz Styles with Brazilian Beats, Swing and American Black Soul of the fifties, sixties and seventies using their unique creativity and intensity.

The term Nujazz or nu jazz is a mixture of jazz and contemporary electronic music. Emerging in the late 1990’s Nujazz blends jazz elements with other musical styles, such as funk, soul, electronic music, and free improvisation.

The core of this formation consists of Maxim Illion ( keyboard, bass & percussion) and Kitty the Bill ( keyboard) assembling a great amount of other musicians. In collaboration with Mannheim, Germany based trumpeter Thomas Siffling they have already released the album The ChinChin Sessions (2013).

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Bemol Telfort – Popcorn

Bemol Telfort is a multi-talented musician. He is a Jazz guitarist, composer, teacher, arranger, and bandleader. Popcorn, his first release on Chewy Records, features 14 new songs with Bemol performing guitar, bass, and congas. He has written over a hundred songs, produced many Haitian artists and has performed in various capacities.

Get your Popcorn on CDBaby.

Dante Lewis – A Sweet Love: Tribute to Anita Baker

It’s rare to find a jazz artist who so successfully merges his love of soul and groove with such a rich spirituality—but Dante Lewis knows where his inspiration and blessings come from. So he’s not shy about finding ways to share both the jazz and the gospel on his infectious and super soulful first recordings. Like his idol Kirk Whalum, he artfully uses God’s gifts and puts the breath of heaven in every note, whether he’s unking up a classic Luther hit or setting the mood with sensual, ambient original ballads. Dante has shared the stage with Boney James, Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum, Najee, Kenny Babyface Edmonds, Ashford and Simpson, Norman Brown, Kevin Whalum, Nick Colionne, Brian Simpson, Pieces of a Dream, Angela Winbush, Lamar Campbell and Marvin Sapp. In a world, where most artists keep the sacred and secular  separate for commercial reasons, Lewis’ boldness is refreshing.

A Sweet Love: Tribute to Anita Baker, his newest album, covers the most emotional hits by Anita Baker. Find the album on CDBaby.

Carlyle Barriteau – Groovin at Sunset

With the release of Groovin’ at Sunset on Funky Noiz Music, Carlyle Barriteau combines his reputation as a premier guitar instrumentalist for such artists as Bobby Caldwell, Patti Austin, Paul Taylor, American Idol’s Elliott Yamin and Donny Osmond, with his skillful production arrangements on songs such as the title track, “Groovin’ At Sunset”, “Breaker One 9”, “Diminishing Odds” and the 2 tracks that have Carlyle taking center stage on vocals: “Even Now” (written by Bobby Caldwell and Jimmy Haslip), and the sultry “Give Me One Night”.

The result is a jammed-pack set of skillfully crafted songs that showcase both his soulful/pop vocals and his straight-ahead no nonsense guitar styling on such songs as “From Me To You”, My Flava” and the island-filled “Cruisin” and “Irie Strut”. Combining West Coast cool with the Caribbean flavor only adds to the excitement of a major player who has finally arrived and takes center stage on the smooth jazz scene.

Get this album on

Greg Adams and East Bay Soul – Conversation

Trumpet legend Greg Adams was the bedrock of the formation Tower of Powers. As a founding member of the group he has recorded fourteen albums and composed many of their hits. Nowadays his focus is  on the band East Bay Soul.

The band currently consists of Greg Adams (trumpet, flugelhorn, and background vocals), Darryl Walker (lead vocals, tenor sax), Lee Thornburg (trumpet, flugelhorn, and background vocals), Johnnie Bamont (alto, tenor and baritone saxes, flute, and background vocals), Greg Vail (alto, tenor sax, flute and background vocals), Nick Milo (keys and background vocals), Kay-Ta Matsuno (guitar), Dwayne “Smitty” Smith (bass), Herman Matthews (drums, and background vocals), and Johnny Sandoval (Latin percussion and background vocals).

The formation started in 2009 with the same named debut album. Soon followed East Bay Soul 2.0 (2012), That’s Life (2015) and this year Conversation. The album takes an overwhelming start with Look Book. The track shines with a sophisticated horn arrangement where the listener can discover many details. Dwayne’s bass plays a dominant role however.

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Nick Colionne – Just Being Me

Chicago’s best dressed jazz guitarist Nick Colionne released his first albums It’s My Turn (1994), Arrival (1996) and The Seduction (1999) on the Lake Shore Jazz label followed by Just Come On In (2003), Keepin’ It Cool (2006), and No Limits (2008). Feel The Heat (2011), Influences (2014) and The Journey (2016) are released on Trippin & Rhythm. Now he is back with Just Being Me on the same label.

Guest musicians are producer and keyboardist Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis and keyboard wizard James Lloyd, who are also producing and writing some of the new tracks. The album offers ten new tracks, almost originals with the exception of a cover of Marvin Gaye’s hit How Sweet It Is.

The album is scheduled for release April 27, 2018 and can be pre-ordered on

Dave McMurray – Music Is Life

Dave McMurray’s Blue Note Records debut, Music Is Life (out May 18), is a reunion of sorts, given the long history the saxophonist shares with the label’s president, and fellow Detroit native, Don Was. McMurray was a member of Was’ genre-defying unit Was (Not Was), first working together on the band’s self-titled 1981 debut. He’s played on all of the band’s albums and many other Was produced projects in the years since. Hear the lead track “Naked Walk” on the Jazz Now! playlist.

When Was signed McMurray to Blue Note, the saxophonist says that he gave him no imperatives as to which artistic paths to take. “It was one of those situations in which he just said, ‘Do it,’” McMurray explains.

“I know Dave’s playing really well. He doesn’t bullshit,” Was praises. “He’s never playing licks for the sake of playing licks. He’s not trying to impress people with what all he knows about music or about his dexterity over the instrument. It’s all about honest expressions.” Continue reading