Archive for August, 2021

The Dave Erickson Project – Upside

UpsideThe nice thing about smooth jazz is that you can always get to know new musicians. The Dave Erickson Project consists of the Quartet Dave Erickson (guitars), Chuck Leichner (keyboards and acoustic piano), Deon Kuhl (drums), and Rick Brough (bass). Living in Denver and  inspired by the magnificent Colorado mountains the group is ready for new deeds. Their debut album Pinnacle (2013) offers twelve slightly catchy tracks.

Their sophomore album is Open Sky (2020) and consists of five tracks. Now they return with the EP Upside (2021) offering again five tracks.

Listen to the album here.

Lawson Rollins – Rise

Rise+coverGuitarist Lawson Rollins has already captivated audiences and critics alike with a multitude of albums. Infinita (2008), Espirito (2010), Elevation (2011), Full Circle (2013), Traveler (2015), Infinite Chills (The Remix Sessions) (2015), 3 Minutes to Midnight (2017), Airwaves: The Greatest Hits (2018), Dark Matter: Music For Film (2019), True North (2020)  are to be mentioned.

With the release of Rise, Lawson Rollins offers a bold collection of ten original songs that showcase his signature virtuoso guitar style and eclectic compositional flair for melody and rhythm. Lawson explores new collaborations with Haitian vocalist Jeff Pierre, saxophonist Mary Fettig, and Grammy winning violinists Charlie Bisharat and Mads Tolling on several tracks, while deepening his connection with regular band mates Stephen Duros, Davo Bryant, and Dan Feiszli throughout the album. Each song finds Lawson rising to his peak abilities as a guitarist and composer. Lawson states, “This album was forged during the unprecedented difficulties the world has seen over the past year, but as the Latin motto “Ad Astra Per Aspera” proclaims, we can reach the stars through difficulty. It is in that spirit that this album was made.”

Buy the album Rise on

Nicholas Payton – Smoke Sessions

SMOKE-SESSIONSFor a young Nicholas Payton, Miles Davis’ 1966 album ‘Four’ & More, captured live two years earlier at Lincoln Center’s Philharmonic Hall, provided a template for what music could – and should – be. Now long established as one of the most renowned musicians and composers on the scene, Payton has convened two of the legendary musicians who played with Davis on that album, bassist Ron Carter and special guest saxophonist George Coleman, to craft some exemplary sounds of his own.

With Smoke Sessions, set for release on October 29, 2021 via the label of the same name, Payton finally realizes his long-cherished dream of leading a session with Ron Carter on bass. To reignite the chemistry of the album he’d fallen in love with decades before, he also invited George Coleman to contribute to a pair of tunes. (A third contributor to ‘Four’ & More, pianist Herbie Hancock, is represented by the composition “Toys,” but Payton fills the keyboard chair on the date as well as playing trumpet). Rounding out the quartet is the esteemed drummer Karriem Riggins, a longtime collaborator of Payton’s who helps ensure that the music bridges generations as well as styles.

“Miles Davis’ ‘Four’ & More was the album that really inspired me to take up music seriously,” Payton explains. “Ever since then, Ron Carter has been an idol and a favorite musician of mine. As long as I’ve been leading bands I’ve patterned my choice of bassists by the metric of how much Ron they have in their playing. When I’ve looked for pianists in my band over the years, it’s often predicated on how much Herbie they have in their sound. So this album is really a dream come true for me.” Continue reading

Scott Fuller – Summer Gold

a4110818322_16Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Scott Fuller began his music career playing clubs, hotels & cruise ships.  Before leaving for Nashville in 04′ Scott teamed up with with Neal Cavanaugh (Dirty Dancing) to form Cavanaugh & Co., a successful Clio award wining music house. Long time friend Chris Camozzi (Michael Bolton, Barbra Streisand) recruited Scott to help co-write songs for three of Chris’ contemporary jazz albums. The song “Swing Shift” became a #1 hit for Chris and Scott topping the Billboard charts for 4 straight weeks in 1998. In the 90’s Scott also collaborated with the amazing vocalist Cecily Gardner. The two wrote many songs in the pop/adult contemporary category. Those song demos were eventually discovered by label owner Gabriel Raya in Madrid, Spain. He remastered those demo’s into “Gardner and Fuller Original Demo’s for his Contante y’ Sonante label. This album featured Cecily and the amazing voice of Warren Weibe. Cecily and Scott had the good fortune to meet Warren in L.A. and invited him to sing on some of the demos. Warren was a talent that comes only once in a lifetime, his vocal genius was admired by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Burt Bacharach, Celine Dion and David Foster.

As a session player Scott has worked with Neal Schon (Journey), Victor Fields, grammy winner Laura Sullivan and Day One. in 1995 Scott co-wrote “Crying in my Sleep” with Neal Cavanaugh and “super producer” Narada Michael Walden (Areatha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey etc.) .

2021 brings the release of Scott’s very first solo album titled “Summer Gold”. Over three years in the making, this collection represents Scott’s love for melody, arrangement and subtlety. Drawing on his love of intelligent pop and contemporary jazz he combines 6 originals with 4 carefully selected cover songs. Scott inlisted the incredible talents of Cecily Gardner, Chris Camozzi, Robert Sall, Norbert Stachel, Tollak Olestad and his daughter Katie Fuller. Future projects include: a folow up album with Cecily Gardner that will include more hidden gems from thier back catalog. A long awaited release of a 2004 Christmas album featuring Chris Camozzi, John Lee Sanders and Dallis Craft. Scott also has much more material waiting in the wings for a second solo release.

Buy the album on bandcamp.

Rei Narita – The Color of Soundscape 2021

236065007_4030790997019917_8682828886532376628_nJapanese pianist and composer Rei Narita is one of the rare artists in Japan addicted to smooth jazz. He started to play the piano in the tender age of 15. He delivered the musical background for several NHK documentary programs, participated to compilations of King Records and further TV and movie productions.

His solo career began with the album The Color of Soundscape in 2011 and continued with the album The Color of Soundscape II in 2015. Next album was The Color of Soundscape 2020. His style is influenced by The Rippingtons, Brian Culbertson, Rachel Z and many more of the smooth jazz scene.

His newest album is The Color of Soundscape 2021, available here.

Larry Carlton & Paul Brown – Soul Searchin’

SoulSearchinjpgWhat do you get when two of the greatest creative musicians of our time join forces for a friendly fire no holds barred guitar showdown? You get Soul Searchin, an electrifying meeting of the minds that surpasses expectations and showcases unbridled joy and virtuosity.  Grammy-winning guitar extraordinaires Larry Carlton, who has played on over 100 Gold and Platinum albums and Paul Brown, who has scored 60 #1 radio hits, join forces for a set of ten thrilling originals on their first co-led album together.

Carlton, who was a member of the pioneering super-groups The Crusaders and Fourplay and who is a successful TV and Film scorer (including TV show themes “Hill Street Blues,” “Who’s The Boss” and film “Against All Odds”), first collaborated with Brown in the 90s when Brown produced tracks for his Finger Prints album. “Paul’s engineering and production speak for themselves but his guitar playing and creativity in writing is also very appealing to me,” says Carlton, a 19 time Grammy nominated and four-time Grammy winning artist.

Brown’s extensive credits include work as an engineer having engineered for R&B divas Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross, among others. Brown confesses, “Larry and I had been toying with the idea of doing a CD together for a few years. I always thought our styles and sounds would be beautiful together. From a production, writing, arranging and playing point of view, this is as good as it gets for me.” Collectively between Carlton and Brown, the dynamic duo has collaborated with everyone from Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan and Quincy Jones to George Benson, Patti Austin and Norman Brown, to name a few. The goal for Soul Searchin’ was simple. Paul Brown explains, “We hope it will be musical bliss and that you will allow it to take you on a ride and your mind and ears will be happy, happy, happy!”

Continue reading

Dee Brown – Deep Secrets


That’s the good book on the cover of groove jazz guitarist dee Brown’s forthcoming album, not a tantalizing spy novel titled “Deep Secrets.” But like a thrilling page turner, Brown delves into mystery on his fifth album that drops September 3 on Innervision Records. He ponders God’s mysteries on the collection of R&B, jazz, soul and gospel songs that he wrote and produced with GRAMMY nominated producer Valdez Brantley with production and mixing assistance from Billboard chart-topper Blake Aaron, multiple GRAMMY nominee Darren Rahn and Nate Harasim.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets,” said Brown quoting from the book of Corinthians about his inspiration for the album.

The Detroit-area native began writing music for the new set a couple of years ago and after losing his mother to whom the album is dedicated, he turned to his faith for inspiration. When COVID-19 hit accompanied by quarantine and restrictions, Brown’s recording process had to shift into remote mode with the musicians recording their tracks in their home studios and emailing them to Brown and Brantley (piano, keyboards, strings and programming). With Brown’s electric guitar seemingly issuing lyrical admonitions, the first single, “Smooth Talk,” hit the Billboard top 30 last fall. He again quotes scripture to reveal the song’s origins.

“The song has to do with people who try to convince you to do things you don’t really want to do. Romans 16 says, ‘Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words, they deceive innocent people,’” said Brown about the cut that fades with a soul-powered saxophone solo by Michael Parlett.

The next album preview came a few months later when the feel-good groove “The Prize” was released for airplay. Sunny and sublime, it’s another tune that has spiritual roots.

“The prize is what we are all striving for. To paraphrase Corinthians, ‘Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? We do it for an eternal prize. I run with purpose in every step,” said Brown.
Bassist Darryl Williams and drummer Tony Moore carve a deep, tight groove on “Love You Too,” released last March as a single, garnering over 100,000 YouTube views. And now comes “Tie The Knot,” the fourth single from “Deep Secrets,” which goes for playlist adds on September 6. Soul trumpeter Lin Rountree serves as a standout counterpart to Brown’s cool-toned guitar come-ons.

Brown’s subjects throughout “Deep Secrets” explore passions and habits (“Controlled Passion”), the spiritual quest (“Make Up Your Mind”), purpose (“Wake Up”), divine will (“Surrender”), and his first grandchild (“Pretty Girl (Skyler)”). William Murphy III wrote the gospel standard “Praise Is What I Do,” an epic seven-minute sermon that finds Brown’s guitar emphatically preaching from the pulpit amidst a sweeping orchestral opening, Gerard Brooks’ impassioned lead vocals, a celestial gospel choir and Merlon Devine’s soprano sax illuminations.

Brown debuted as a solo artist on 2007’s “No Time To Waste” and released his first album for Innervision Records, “Brown Sugar Honey-Coated Love,” seven years ago. His singles have consistently found their way onto the charts over the years. In concert settings, the guitarist has performed or shared the stage with legends, hitmakers and award winners – from Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Jeffrey Osborne, BeBe Winans and Ohio Players to Bob James, Spyro Gyra, Gerald Albright, Brian Culbertson, Najee, Paul Taylor, Paul Brown, Mindi Abair and Alexander Zonjic, among others.

“Deep Secrets” contains the following songs:
“Love You Too”
“Smooth Talk”
“The Prize”
“Make Up Your Mind”
“Wake Up”
“Praise Is What I Do”
“Deep Secrets”
“Controlled Passion”
“Tie The Knot”
“Pretty Girl (Skyler)”

For more information, please visit

Source: Great Scott Productions

Camera Soul – Esagerato

esageratoItalian brothers Piero and Pippo Lombardo founded in 2011 the group Camera Soul. This formation is specialized on jazz, funk and soul especially in the style of Earth, Wind & Fire, George Duke or Stevie Wonder. Their first album was Words Don’t Speak (2011), followed by Not For Ordinary People (2013), Dress Code (2015), Connections (2017), and Existence (2019).

Their newest project is Esagerato (2021). The title means in Italian “exaggerated”. The new album is created by Pippo Lombardo (music, keyboards and arrangements), Piero Lombardo (music and lyrics), Maria Enrica Lotesoriere (lyrics, voice and choirs), Alex Milella (guitars), Beppe Sequestro (bass), Fabio Delle Foglia (drums), Piero Dotti and Elio Arcieri (background vocals), Leo Gadaleta (strings and string arrangements), Daniele Scannapieco (tenor sax). The brass session consists of Alberto Di Leone (trumpet), Gianni Binetti (alto sax), Bruno Tassone (tenor sax) and Antonio Fallacara (trombone). The lyrics of Dancing in the dark are by Kathryn Ballard Shut.

Opener of the album is the title song. A piece in which the group shows everything it has in it. A stirring melody, virtuoso mastery of the instruments and a voice that makes you sit up and take notice.

Read more …

Ray Mahumane – 20/20 Vision

2020VisionBorn in 1969 to a German-Mozambican family in Dresden, he first picked up the guitar at the age of 19. This awakened the passion to express his feelings on this instrument and brought him to further deepen and develop his skills and talent. He took private jazz lessons, studied musicology for a few semesters at Heidelberg University and gained experience in sessions.

Today he works as a freelancer live (e.g. CeBIT, Clubschiff AIDA, Landespresseball Stuttgart) and in the studio e.g. B.  His debut album is 20/20 Vision.

The album is available for download here.

Rod Tate – Back Together

BackTogetherAs an artist, performer, songwriter and musician Rod Tate‘s goals are to continue to learn, grow, and to touch lives positively through his musical expressions. As a songwriter, Rod’s motto is: ” This music is intended to soothe your soul and speak love to your spirit “. Rod also aspires to have his music in movies, commercials, and television programming.

Back Together is his 38th album and available on Rod’s website.