Adam Hawley – Escape

The four years since dropping his debut album has been a bit of a rocket ride for award-winning R&B-jazz guitarist Adam Hawley. Six of his seven singles have gone to No. 1 nationally and he deftly avoided the sophomore slump when his second outing further established the artist as a centerstage solo artist. The stage is now being set for the February 28th arrival of “Escape,” his third album and first for his new record label, MBF Entertainment. Hawley produced and wrote eight of the record’s ten tunes featuring collaborations with a constellation of smooth/contemporary jazz luminaries including Rick Braun, Najee, Michael Lington, Jeff Ryan, Marcus Anderson and Greg Manning.

Hawley’s albums adopt themes and as he composed the title cut for “Escape,” he felt transported. That feeling inspired the rest of the music he wrote for the collection.

“When I wrote ‘Escape,’ it really took me away to another, special place. The groove, the vibe…it just transported me to a place of chill and Zen. That became the theme that runs through the entire record,” said Hawley, a Portland, Oregon native who has resided in the Los Angeles area ever since earning a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California.

Anchoring the beats and grooves throughout “Escape,” drummer Eric Valentine and bassists Nathaniel Kearney Jr. and Ian Martin are longtime and frequent Hawley co-conspirators. Percussionist Ramon Yslas adds nuance and Carnell Harrell supplements with vibrant harmonies via his keyboards, organ and synth.

Attacking his electric guitar with fervent tones amidst a shimmering jazz-pop backdrop reminiscent of guitar legends Wes Montgomery and George Benson, Hawley showcases deft fretwork on album opener “Tokyo Groove.” The cut benefits from David Mann’s crisp and punchy horn arrangements performed by the horn section the saxophonist formed with trumpeter Trevor Neumann. “Escape” includes contributions from a number of noteworthy horn players and next up is Lington who cranks up the soul power on “99 and Counting.” “Saturday Morning” is a midtempo chill with sax accoutrements courtesy of Keith McKelley. Being serviced for playlist adds on February 10 as the first single, “To The Top” features the firepower of breakout saxophonist Ryan. The guitarist teams with vocalist Kat Hawley (aka Adam’s wife) for an intimate, Latin-tinged take on the sultry pop hit “Senorita.” Hawley makes a break in the company of veteran trumpeter Braun on the album’s title track. “Sunday Swing” bounces to a funky, go-go-influenced beat that finds Hawley’s electric jazz guitar in a loquacious mood. “Can’t Stop” opens with the chorus, a potent hook that connects with muscle added by sax player Anderson. Seminal urban-jazz icon Najee blesses “Thinking of You” with dreamy flute that meshes sublimely with Hawley’s amorous guitar riffs and runs on the song co-written and co-produced by keyboardist Manning. Closing with a cover, Hawley’s expressive steel-stringed acoustic guitar serenade on “Rain” casts a transcendent spell.

Hawley’s debut album, “Just the Beginning,” sent three singles to the top of the Billboard chart and earned the guitarist Debut Artist of the Year honors from JazzTrax and Smooth Jazz News. Two years ago, “Double Vision” confirmed Hawley as a consistent hitmaker when he notched his fourth Billboard No. 1 single and collected No. 1 singles on the Mediabase and Smooth Jazz Network charts. Hawley will tour throughout the year in support of “Escape” as his place on concert marquees continues to grow. He’s performed at more than a dozen of the most popular jazz festivals and cruises around the globe as well as at Stateside clubs and theaters. Not long ago, Hawley accompanied and toured extensively with Jennifer Lopez, Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum, Brian Culbertson, Gerald Albright, Natalie Cole and “American Idol.” He passes his knowledge along to students at Musician’s Institute, Chaffey College and Saddleback College.

“Escape” includes the following songs:

“Tokyo Groove”

“99 and Counting” featuring Michael Lington

“Saturday Morning”

“To The Top” featuring Jeff Ryan

“Senorita” featuring Kat Hawley

“Escape” featuring Rick Braun

“Sunday Swing”

“Can’t Stop” featuring Marcus Anderson

“Thinking of You” featuring Najee

“Rain”

Source: Great Scott Productions

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