Archive for May, 2022

Jonathan Fritzén – Piano Tales

275671821_10209264975138762_7680421981498575808_nI have been following Swedish smooth jazz artist Jonathan Fritzen since his first album ‘Love Birds’ came out in 2008. Now his seventh album has been released, of which the single ‘Keys To Paradise’ reached the top of the Billboard Smooth Jazz charts.

All tracks on this new album are his own compositions, but Jonathan also did the recording, mixing and production himself. The title of each track refers to the piano, and that comes from the aforementioned single.

Jonathan has also released a second single, ‘Hammers of Love’, which has entered the top ten on the Billboard Smooth Jazz charts.

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East Of West – Crossing Borders

277252078_10224085318738341_6496801940755800916_nEast of West: Two artists living at opposite sides of the continent came together to achieve one common goal, compose and perform their music. Steve Jeffrey, bassist, and John Cardoso, drummer, are the writers and producers of “Crossing Borders,” an inspiring compilation of contemporary jazz music. Steve and John originally joined forces in central California as band mates in the late 1980’s playing with local rock bands. Although both veered off toward separate career paths, they never lost contact with one another, thus forming a perpetual music bond. Steve moved to Boston to pursue a degree at Berklee College of Music, while John relocated to Los Angeles and graduated from the Grove School of Music and worked as a freelance drummer.

Due to a rare retinal condition, Steve unexpectedly started to lose his eyesight. Realizing he was unable to continue his musical compositions alone, Steve called his friend John for help. John immediately flew to Boston, which marked the beginning of a bi-coastal collaboration that became East of West. John selected the remaining professional musicians needed to complete the ensemble through his connections with instructors and several key people at Grove. Within the year, Steve found himself in Los Angeles recording “Crossing Borders.”

Upon completing the CD, John moved to the east coast to seal the geographic gap. Initial experimentation with “Crossing Borders” on MP3.com was the primary step in marketing the CD to generate interest. The success was astounding, which led John and Steve to begin mass production of the CD.

The album is still available on Amazon.com.

Jeanette Harris – Saxathrone

278688019_4804468352985507_1363423339954151214_nJeanette Harris grew up in a musical family. Her love for the music was awaken by her church organist father. Influenced by the music of Grover Washington Jr. she switched from piano to saxophone as her favorite instrument. After her graduation in Berklee she released her first album Here and There on the J&M Record label.

Next albums were Jeanette Harris Live at Platinum Live, followed by Reflections (2007), Saxified (2010), Smooth Holiday Greetings (2010), and Summer Rain (2013). Her next album Chocolate Vibez (2016) takes you on an unforgettable ride with nine original smooth jazz compositions that automatically demand repeat performances.

Her new album Saxathrone (2022) can be ordered on her website.

Marqueal Jordan – All We Have Are Moments

277167376_387199866559574_3787551898416164904_nChicago-based artist, and Los Angeles native, Marqueal Jordan is the rare musician who is blessed with the gift of being equally proficient as an instrumentalist and a vocalist. His distinctive saxophone tone and style, combined with his soulful vocals, places him in the tradition of legendary dual talents, George Benson, Donny Hathaway and Ronnie Laws.

Described by fellow saxophonist Mike Phillips as “one of the most versatile saxophonists in the game today”, Marqueal (pronounced Mar-KWELL) earned his reputation as an electrifying live performer after moving to Chicago in 1995. He was the front man for the Chicago-based funk unit, Fat Time, and became an integral member in numerous Jazz, R&B and Blues bands in the city. In 2008, Smooth Jazz star Brian Culbertson asked Marqueal to join his touring band and since then he’s captivated audiences around the world with his talents. As a sideman, he’s performed with an amazing list of major artists such as Oleta Adams, Gerald Albright, Patti Austin, Avant, Average White Band, Rick Braun, Peabo Bryson, Jonathan Butler, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Aretha Franklin, Savion Glover, Larry Graham, Buddy Guy, Lalah Hathaway, Al Jarreau, Earl Klugh, Dave Koz, KRS-ONE, Jeff Lorber, Maysa, Najee, Ray Parker, Jr., Phil Perry, Eric Roberson, David Sanborn, Jill Scott, Sinbad, Gerald Veasley, and Kirk Whalum.

He started his solo career with the debut album Catalyst (2013) followed by Intention & Purpose (2019). His newest project is All We Have Are Moments (2022). Stream this album on all digital platforms.

Jason Peterson Delaire – After Hours

280328984_4859805364118472_1850326239537617002_nJason Peterson Delaire, a member of the Peterson family of Minneapolis, is known as a prolific saxophonist, keyboardist and singer. He toured with such artists as Oleta Adams, Prince, Alexander O’Neal, Richard Marx, Solo, Donny Osmond, and Cherrelle and recorded with Michael Bolton, Alexander O’Neal, Prince, Donny Osmond, as well as Bobby Brown, Ben Sidran and Flyte Time Productions.

Designated as a smooth jazz musician his solo project In My Life (2009) is although pure R&B. Well, the influence of Prince on DeLaire’s music is undisputable. His newest project is the EP After Hours (2022). DeLaire’s multi-faceted five track EP showcases two distinct sides of his artistry. First, there’s his blistering funk sax vibe on the high-octane radio airplay chart hits he scored with veteran guitarist Chris Camozzi, with titles that collectively tell a story of a fun night on the town. He balances those with his sparkling magic as a singer/songwriter, including a universal love anthem featuring Oleta Adams, Jarrod Lawson and Rockie Robbins) and a gorgeous, romantic ballad.

Get the album on Apple Music.

Lou Guldemond – In Time

LOUGULDEMOND_IN TIME_DIGIPACK.inddDutch jazz guitarist Lou Guldemond plays currently with his own band and the band Licks And Brains. His debut album That’s It! was released in 2012. His new album In Time was released in May, 2022.

Lou is accompanied by Arjen Mooijer (piano, synthesizer), Boudewijn Lucas (bass), Rolf Delfos (sax), Karel Boehlee (piano), Jel Jongen (trumpet, trombone), Jim Guldemond (guitar), and Michel Van Schie (drum programming, additional keyboards).

Lou has written and arranged all songs. Additional arranging are created by Michel Van Schie and Arjen Mooijer. The title song opens the album with popular riffs giving signs to welcome the smooth jazz audience.

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Sam Levine – Best of Sam Levine: Hymns & Gospel Favorites

BestofSamLevineSam Levine is known for his tender and heartfelt renditions of contemporary hits. Sam has been featured in live performances with such superstars as Whitney Houston and Al Jarreau, has recorded with Michael McDonald, The Neville Brothers, and Amy Grant, and has contributed musically to such motion picture soundtracks as Honeymoon in Vegas and Sweet Dreams.

He currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Lee, and their children, Sybil and Reed.  His newest album is called Best of Sam Levine: Hymns & Gospel Favorites (2022).

Buy this CD at Barnes & Noble.

WaKaNa – A Sunny Day

asunnydayFuttsu City, Chiba, Japan born saxophonist WaKaNa succeeded with her first solo project Saxcess Story (2018). The album was produced by keyboardist Greg Manning, who also performs on six of the eight tracks. Her newest album is A Sunny Day (2022).

WaKaNa invited to the project a great amount of musicians, which are listed in the credits. The album opens with the 2022 version of Dance with Sea Firefly. The uplifting single has already made a good impression on the radio stations last year.

The upbeat mood continues with Just You, a piece penned by Italian saxophonist Rocco Ventrella. Both perfectly interact in this buoyant tune that brightens the day like the sun at the beach of Bari.

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Ricardo Martinez – 143rd. Street

143rdStreetRicardo Martinez has been in the music business for 30+ years, working in every imaginable situation. From touring the world with pop sensation Chayanne to playing Jazz gigs at local clubs, from writing songs to playing banjo at the opera and everything in between. This also includes recording sessions from jingles to big-budget projects with different artists, playing in diverse showcases all over the country, performing at the most famous venues in the world, arranging music for different bands, producing demos and tracking final basses at his home studio, as well as commercial studios. Ricardo has 9 Grammy participation credits (7 nominations and 2 wins) and is the first-call bassist for many national and international artists.

Now he is releasing his debut album 143rd. Street (2022). After 15 years in the making, it is a collection of 11 songs (9 originals and 2 covers arranged and adapted by the artist) and a gathering of great musicians, including world-renowned musicians such as trumpet player Jose Sibaja, among others, and a host of amazing musicians from different parts of the world, as well. All songs were written by Ricardo Martinez, except Tell me by Ilan Chester and Red Baron by Billy Cobham.

Stream or download the album at Amazon.

Angela O’Neill and the Outrageous8 – Light At The End Of The Tunnel

LightAtTheEndOfTheTunnelAmerican singer Angela O’Neill is always swinging and founded the octet Outrageous8 in 2015. That band consists of top studio musicians, who really know what swing is.

This is also their third release, which shows them in an adventurous, ambitious mood after 2 years of isolation due to Covid-19. The members of Outrageous8 are all veterans of the Los Angeles jazz and big band scene.

O’Neill says she wanted to capture the pent-up emotions and frustrations of the pandemic on this album. The title refers to the recordings of the music in the garden of singer Al Timss. That music and the vaccinations were the green light to be optimistic about the future.

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