Archive for October, 2020

Francesco Polito – Trip

Born in Rom Francesco Polito decided at the age of 11 to play his favorite instrument, the saxophone. After his move to Naples he received a master in jazz music and improvisation at the Music Conservatory “San Pietro a Majella”.

He was involved in CD projects of Don Backy, Carmelo Zappulla and Enzo Polito. Inspired by saxophonists like Boney James, Dave Koz, Euge Groove, Richard Elliot, his decision to create his own smooth jazz album was rather easy.

His debut album Trip was released May 29, 2020 on AlfaMusic. Unlike his label mate Gianni Vancini Francesco Polito is accompanied by Italian musicians especially from the family environment.  Details about the accompanying musicians can be found in the credits.

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Frank Kohl – Solitude

Frank Kohl has had a lifetime refining the art of jazz guitar. Born and raised in New York, Kohl began playing guitar at age eight. Initially drawn to the pop music of the day like the Beatles and then playing and learning from the rock and blues musicians of that period. It was time for a change, and at age sixteen, Kohl discovered the music of Wes Montgomery and began his path into jazz guitar. Fortunately, Kohl’s high school had one of the nation’s top Jazz Big Bands, and he began playing and learning with them. During this time, Kohl had easy access to NYC and all the jazz clubs NY had to offer. One of the clubs Kohl frequented was Rapsins, which presented free-flowing cutting-edge jazz of the highest level. Players like guitarist Linc Chamberland, bassist Lynn Christie, and saxophonist Dave Liebman were regulars at Rapsins. Kohl eventually became a student of Linc’s and bandmate with Linn’s.

To date, Kohl has six CDs as a leader to his credit. Three of his CDs include NY bassist Steve LaSpina, who has played and recorded with Jim Hall, Pat Martino, Marian McPartland, and countless others. Kohl’s last CD, The Crossing, featured LaSpina and guitarist John Stowell, an internationally recognized guitarist, clinician, and jazz innovator.

Kohl’s latest offering, Solitude, is a lifelong goal of recording a solo guitar CD. Absorbing the solo guitar approaches of greats like Joe Pass, Martin Taylor, John Stowell, among others. Kohl has found his own voice in this challenging medium and pays reverence to the solo guitar idiom so cherished in the jazz canon.

Solitude is available in all stores.

Attila Fias – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Attila Fias is an award-winning, Hungarian born jazz pianist, composer, arranger and producer raised in Toronto. His special blend of sounds from across the globe reflects his rich and varied musical background with influences from Canada, Hungary, Brazil, Cuba and India. With over 100 internationally distributed albums to his credit, Attila has several gold and platinum records and has also recorded three albums of original music. His latest album called Ride was released to great acclaim and continues to receive regular radio airplay.

Newest album release “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” from Multi Platinum selling jazz pianist Attila Fias is out today in all streaming and download stores features Solo piano Jazz classics like “Taking A Chance On Love”, “The Way You Look Tonight”, Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” and more… A must add to your smooth jazz music playlist.

Available on all digital platforms.

Chance Hayden – Grab & Go

Guitarist, composer, arranger and producer Chance Hayden has sustained an active presence throughout Portland, Oregon since 2005. His talent continuously extends to diverse acclaimed artists such as Darrell Grant, Farnell Newton, Andy Stokes, Lindsey Webster, Maimouna Youssef and Mycle Wastman. Hayden garnered international exposure touring throughout fifteen countries alongside Jarrod Lawson, highlights involving Holland’s North Sea Jazz Festival, Japan’s Billboard Live and an exclusive birthday celebration for Stevie Wonder.​

Hayden’s talent as a composer has charted through his self-released debut, The Family Tree, from which multiple songs appeared within the acclaimed BET television series Being Mary Jane and Sony Pictures’ #1 box office film The Perfect Guy. Furthermore, Hayden’s musicality is known through an ongoing video series, Peace House Sessions, in which he has produced celebrated artists including Snarky Puppy guitarist Mark Lettieri and former backup singer to Prince, Liv Warfield.

​As a Portland State University Jazz Studies graduate, Hayden’s guitar stylings are well informed through the jazz tradition while equally matched with influence of funky rhythm players a la Curtis Mayfield and Cornell Dupree to story-telling bluesmen such as B.B. King and Johnny Guitar Watson. Hayden’s sophomore album and label debut, Get Somethin’ (Ropeadope / Atlanta Records), forwards his authentic approach in the jazz-funk idiom.

His new album Grab & Go will be released November 20, 2020 in all stores.

Gianni Vancini – Get Your Groove

Gianni Vancini studied saxophone at the “Vecchi-Tonelli Conservatory of Music” in Carpi (MO), Italy. He successfully completed his studies with a diploma. He started his solo career with the album Souls United (2011). His sophomore album Get Your Groove On was released on AlfaMusic in 2018.

The album is remarkable, because the crème de la crème of American smooth jazz contributed to the album. The album features Kenya Hathaway, Terry Wollman, Jeff Lorber, Selina Albright, Kirk Whalum, Alex Al and a lot more. Greg Manning has produced and mixed the album. The details are noted in the credits.

The album starts with the title song in a funky attitude. Gianni struts his astonishing prowess with energetic blows. Kenya Hathaway, the daughter of Donny Hathaway,  marks the refrain with a soulful voice.

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Jeff Bradshaw – Stronger

Born in North Philadelphia, Jeff Bradshaw is known as a soul-jazz and hip-hop/funk innovator, so it was only right that this trombone virtuoso found a home at Hidden Beach Recordings. Coming up in and out of the Philadelphia Soul Movement, he had performed along some of the music industry’s greats – Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Pattie LaBelle, to name a few.

In 2004, he released his solo debut Bone Deep, which earned him critical acclaim throughout the industry and among his fans. His signature smooth sound secured his consistent spot on the festival circuit as solo act and as a guest to artists such as Jill Scott, the Roots, and Mary J. Blige. His sophomore album at Hidden Beach, Bone Appetit, was a 2-disc release that featured a host of guest performers, including his Raheem DeVaughn, Marsha Ambrosius, and his Hidden Beach label mates – Kindred the Family Soul.

His new album Stronger featuring Robert Glasper, Marsha Ambrosius, Frank McComb, Glenn Lewis, Raheem DeVaughn, Amber Jeanne Navran of Moonchild, Paula Champion, Micki Miller and more surprises will be released October 30, 2020. The album cover was created by artist Stacey Brown!

Streetwize – Ocean Eyes

Streetwize is famous for delivering sophisticated Smooth Urban Jazz versions of today’s hottest grooves from the world of R&B and HipHop, delighting their loyal jazz cross-over fans. Streetwize Ocean Eyes shines brightly with the latest R&B hits. Sexy, smooth interpretations of recent smashes from Billie Eilish (Ocean Eyes), Chris Brown feat. Drake (No Guidance), H.E.R. (Best Part), Khalid (Talk), Daniel Caesar (Get You), and more – all reimagined in the Smooth Urban Jazz style made famous by Streetwize. Smooth Jazz superstar saxophonist/producer Kim Waters, up and coming jazz phenom Justin Lee Schultz and the Streetwize all-stars make all the right moves, creating a delightful non-stop listening experience.

Ocean Eyes is available on all digital platforms.

Paul Williams – Colours of Joy

Gospel jazz guitarist Paul Williams, who has played with numerous figures on the UK scene including Barbara Brooks Thomas, Freddie Kofi and Dorothy Allen as well as being one of the founding members of instrumental group Collaboration, has released in July, 2020 the album Colours Of Joy.

This album is available on all digital platforms.

Justin Lee Schultz – Gruv Kid

A genius is a person who displays exceptional intellectual ability, creative productivity, universality in genres or originality.  Seldom is the use of this term so justified as in the case of the now thirteen-year-old multi-artist Justin Lee Schultz. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa he came in contact with music for the first time, when he learned to play keyboards in an unbelievable age of 5 years. After six months he played like a graduate of an university. By the way Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart also started to compose in the same age.

Over a year ago I became aware of Justin, who is known in the social media like a colorful dog, through numerous video clips. Speechlessness and enthusiasm are the most frequent reactions to his numerous appearances at shows, music fairs and wherever you find an audience. In music circles he has been welcomed with open arms, be it Bob James or Quincy Jones.

He is currently planning to perform with the group Pieces Of A Dream when he is not appearing with his own group, the JLS Experience, consisting of him and his siblings. As far as I know he plays piano, keyboards, guitar, bass and the harpejji, an electric stringed musical instrument. Everything, of course, on a level that corresponds to a virtuoso.

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Will Donato – Elevate

Popularity can be measured by the acceptance of the audience or the frequency of participation in music recordings. Saxophonist Will Donato can take advantage of both. His stellar list of recordings includes musicians like Steve Oliver, Steve Reid, Blake Aaron, Al McKay, Greg Karukas, Danny Kusz, Rob Tardik, Alan Hewitt, Todd Ashley, Toni Childs, Gerald Levert and Richard Marx.

He can count to his solo albums Will Power (2004), Will Call (2006), Laws of Attraction (2009), What It Takes (2010), Best Of The Season (2011), Universal Groove (2014) and in 2017 Supersonic.

Will Donato’s new album Elevate (2020) features ten soul-inspiring tracks including the smash hit Infinite Soul which is dedicated to his hero father Joseph, a retired military man and Will s wife Diana. The track reached the coveted #1 spot on the Billboard smooth jazz airplay chart and has since reached over 2 million streams on Spotify alone. Other tracks include the uplifting new single The High Road and the encouraging radio hit You Got This.

Pre-order your copy at Amazon.