Archive for the ‘ Smooth Jazz ’ Category

Groove55 – Jazzful Spirit

JazzfulSpiritThe principal Groove55 members, consists of Yves Adam (alto, tenor & baritone sax, as well as clarinet) a graduate of McGill’s music faculty in jazz performance and former saxophone teacher at The Montreal International Jazz festival Blues Camp, and currently teaching in a high school music program. Jacques Mignault (Keyboards) studied alongside Art Roberts at Montreal’s Concordia University; he would later go on to win the inaugural grand prize of the Roland Synthesizer music contest among seven hundred entrants spanning over twenty-two countries that was judged by the late great Oscar Peterson. Nicolas Chourot (Guitars) has been a favourite of Montreal’s International Jazz Festival. He played with many African and Fusion groups in time, and you can hear the influences. Nicolas appeared first on the 4th Groove 55 album “New Beginning”.

Groove 55 presents its 6th album, called “Jazzful Spirit”. The album contains twelve songs, some of which are pure fun, and some of which are more into the Jazz Realm. The first song (We Are) Brothers speaks of friendship and true respect in family brotherhood. It is a trippy and funky song written and performed by Yves Adam on alto sax and Jacques Mignault on keyboards and drum programming, and featuring Peter Dowse on bass. Sweet Potato features the baritone sax skills of Yves Adam, with Lewis Orenstein on bass and Jacques on keys and drum programming.

Sunset Drive is another collaboration between Yves Adam on tenor sax, Peter Dowse on bass and Jacques on keys and drum programming. Someone To Love features Quebec acclaimed singer Jean-Claude Béliveau and Mike Di Nardo on backup vocals. The song is played by well known Montreal bassist Wayne Smith, Nicolas Chourot on guitars, and Jacques on keys and drum programming. Angel Heart is a ballad on which are playing Bill Bennett (Mango Taxi) on bass and fretless, Yves Adam on his first instrument, the clarinet, and Jacques doing the rest of the tracks.

Waltz For Jaco is in honor of Jaco Pastorius, one of the greatest bass players ever to have lived. This song features Éliane Doucet on trumpet, a 16 years old, vision impaired girl whose talent will captivate you. Well known Montreal session drummer Joann Blondin handles the drums here, with Wayne Smith on bass. Yves Adam is on sax and horn arrangements, and Jacques is on keys. In Your Eyes is a Peter Gabriel song which we adapted to our style. Nicolas Chourot is on guitar, Christian Proulx on guitar as well and Yves Adam on tenor saxophone. Jacques arranged and played the rest of the instruments. My Favourite Things, a Hammerstein classic, is given an Acid Jazz feel with Yves Adam on clarinet, Peter Dowse on bass and Jacques on keys and drum arrangements. Continue reading

Demetrius Nabors – Perseverance

PerseverancePianist, composer, producer and arranger Demetrius “Krayon” Nabors is well known and in demand in the Detroit area and on the national contemporary jazz scene.  Demetrius’ influences include gospel, jazz, classical and blues which can all be heard in his compositions and performances.  He is a two-time Detroit Music Award Winner in the Outstanding Gospel/Christian Musician category. Armed with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Jazz Studies from the University of Michigan, Demetrius’ talents have taken him to Europe and Africa as well as on national television (the former “Arsenio Hall” show).

Demetrius’ discography includes three critically acclaimed releases, “The Journey Within Part I” (2011), “Christmas with Krayon” (2012) and “The Journey Within Part II” (2014).

His new release, “Perseverance” (July 23, 2021) was borne of Demetrius’ experiences during the turbulent time of 2020. With COVID-19, police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement and his own personal health struggles, Demetrius felt compelled to put his emotions to music. Demetrius said, “I always pray before I begin to compose.  I began to hear a melody and within 20 minutes the entire title track came pouring out of me in complete form.” The album features Robert Skinner, Gary Johnson, Jeffrey Ponders, Nate Winn, Randy Scott, Joe Foster, Jeff Canady, Althea Rene, Marquis Johnson, Desean Jones, Frank Walton, Khristian Foreman, Anesha Birchett, Kris Johnson, Alan Evans, Daryl Dixon, Doobie Powell, Marcus Devine, Myron Bell, and Takara Montgomery.

Get it now here.

Vincent Ingala – Fire & Desire

vincent-ingala-fire-and-desire-20210723041510To live a life of filled with passion and purpose is one of the greatest gifts of all. The wise, young and chart-topping multi-instrumental genius Vincent Ingala seems to have mastered this feat. A Billboard Smooth Jazz Artist Of The Year, Ingala has garnered 18 Top 10 Smooth Jazz radio singles and ten #1 radio hits. “I believe it is our job as musicians to simply make music that people enjoy, and hopefully along the way, bring some happiness and inspiration into their lives,” shares the Prospect, CT native. “That is certainly my hope for when Fire & Desire is heard.”

September 17, 2021 Shanachie Entertainment will release the multi-instrumentalist’s third recording for the label and seventh as a leader. The charismatic and handsome Ingala has endeared fans, contemporaries and critics alike with his consummate musicianship, fun-loving stage presence, energized and inspired performances and all-around passion. “My earliest memories are of banging on pots and pans until my parents had to buy me a drum kit and from there it was like a domino effect.” From banging on pots to churning out hits, Ingala is a chameleon in the recording studio. Like an alchemist, he concocts the perfect elixir of his broad musical influences spanning the worlds of Jazz, R&B, Disco, Pop and beyond.

On the exhilarating Fire & Desire, Ingala confidently dons multiple hats. He plays every instrument heard on the new album from saxophones and keyboards to drums, guitar and bass. He also produced, recorded and mixed the album, as well as composed all of the songs with the exception of Jimmy Roach’s “Disco Sax,” recorded in tribute to tenor titan Houston Person. Due to the challenges of the past year, Ingala was able to hone in and devote his undivided attention to Fire & Desire. “If anything, the most positive result of recording during the pandemic was the amount of time I had to dedicate to this project alone without any other distractions that could affect the flow.” Continue reading

Dean James – GroovySax

71hoBqk7frS._SX522_When it comes to one of the most distinctive sounds in what we call todays smooth jazz genre, Dean James comes to mind front and center. The sultry, soulful & smooth sound of his Alto & Soprano sax continues to leave a lasting impression for his most devoted as well as new listeners. With James 5th CD GroovySax in the making along with his soon to be released single entitled DJ’s Groove, James is sure to reach the masses drawing his audience closer while guaranteed to pull at they’re heartstrings.

GroovySax is a compilation of arrangements with many different elements including jazz, R&B, Latin-jazz & funk. All written, arranged and produced by James with the exception of multi-talented musician , writer, producer Cory James at the drivers seat producing the first single of this long awaited CD.

This album is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

Will Sumner – Ocean Street

71F1D5rc45S._SL1500_Ocean Street is the latest, highly anticipated work to be released from renowned jazz guitarist, composer and producer, Will Sumner. With nine CDs now in his multi-layered portfolio, the first single titled, Building Castles from this new album has been a breath of fresh air. After a year of chaos in all of our lives, Will focused his talent in 2021 on creating these mostly upbeat tunes with his signature complex modulations.

Born in Los Angeles, attending college for music in Boston and then spending his young adult life in Minnesota, Will played the clubs and led jazz bands for decades as he worked toward composing his first album, Tropic Zone released internationally to critical acclaim in 1980. Working alongside Prince, Yanni, The Peterson Family and many others on the Minneapolis music scene at the time, he started to receive industry recognition for his lush, heartfelt themes played over hot Latin rhythms, beautiful slow grooves and, of course, funky, driving electric riffs.

Eventually, a move  back to Southern California brought with it the opportunity to dive into film scores, trailers and commercial work, but his heart soon brought him back to his first love, jazz guitar. The So Cal vibe inspired him to launch his next few CDs including: Tracks and Yuletide Jazz, followed by Coast Drive, Pier Groove, Endless Sumner and Ride the Wave, just to name a few. All have been extremely well-received by the smooth jazz scene and are still getting airplay today on radio, iTunes, smoothjazz.com and numerous other music outlets.

Welcome to Ocean Street now on sale on Amazon.com.

Greg Chambers – No Looking Back

nolookingbackStruck by personal fate and affected by pandemic isolation, saxophonist Greg Chambers has maintained a positive attitude toward music and life. No Looking Back is his credo and also the title of his album, which will be released this year.

As with his previous productions, this time he has also placed emphasis on good quality and has secured this commitment with numerous professional musicians as listed in the credits.

He already expresses his joie de vivre with the opener Let’s Dance. That way Greg manages to get people of the ground. No Looking Back shines with outstanding sax harmonies and an eclectic melody.

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Akio Sasajima – Images of Lennon / McCartney

71dC7XQ8oiS._SL1500_Akio Sasajima  is a jazz guitarist born in Japan and currently based in Sapporo. His playing style incorporates bebop, hard bop, and jazz fusion. He recorded several albums as a leader for Muse and Enja in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

His latest smooth jazz project is Images of Lennon / McCartney (2015) on which he transformed memorable songs of the Beatles to his stylish guitar arrangement.

Get this album on Amazon.com.

Tim Bowman – Smooth Vibes, Vol. 1

Smooth-Vibes-1Award winning veteran guitarist, songwriter, band leader, producer, entrepreneur Tim Bowman has just released Smooth Vibes, Vol. 1 on his I.M. Records label distributed by Purpose Jazz/Eone. Smooth Vibes, Vol. 1 is a 10 song collection of many of Tim’s favorite songs that were in his music vaults, all written by Tim.

Smooth Vibes, Vol. 1 is an intimate project which emphasizes the intricacy of Tim’s guitar playing as well as his composition skills all totally curated by Tim.

Smooth Vibes, Vol. 1 is full of many highlights from the melodic groove of the first song “Table for Two” to the beautiful bluesy love song “For You My Love” and including the songs with special guests “Yes, No and Yes” featuring the smooth vocals on Tim’s long time friend Howard Smith and “The Gift” which features jazz great Kirk Whalum on saxophone. This project is perfect for any smooth, relaxing and meditative playlist. In these times sometimes we have to force ourselves to take a step back and relax whether at home, dining or taking a long drive on the road. “Smooth Vibes” helps us get there.

Smooth Vibes, Vol. 1 follows Tim’s 5th number 1 Billboard Jazz single “Fireball” and is his first full length since 2017’s “Into The Blue” whose combined songs have over 3 million streams to date.

Stream his new album on all major digital platforms.

Mark Jaimes – Hear At Last

HearAtLast_Two people have significantly influenced the musical life of British guitarist Mark Jaimes. One was the lead singer of the group Simply Red Mick Hucknal, with whom he toured for several years as a guitarist and also recorded various records. The second was the legendary producer, songwriter and musician Rod Temperton, with whom he had made first contacts before the latter prematurely departed from artistic life.

He met a variety of smooth jazz musicians as the house guitarist at Pizza Express, whose respective performances he ably supported. It was radio DJ and promoter Jimi King who motivated him to finally start a solo career. It was the Corona crisis that ultimately gave him the time to realize this project at last.

Hear At Last will be released this month. Mark has written most of the tracks, one with Oli Silk and two with Danny Saxon. The album also contains a cover of a famous Rod Temperton track. Mark performs on the album guitar, bass and programming. Further musicians are Danny Saxon (keyboards, backing vocals, programming), Oli Silk (keyboards), Westley Joseph and Oscar Seaton (drums), Dwayne “Smitty” Smith (bass) and Patti Austin (vocals).

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Didier Labossiere – Soarin’

didier_labossiere_soarinDidier Labossiere was born on November 18th, 1973 in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Miami, Florida. The son of Haitian immigrants, Didier’s heritage is deeply rooted into his music, from the jazz sounds of Chicago to the Caribbean and Latin sounds of Miami, which had a major influence on his musical development. Didier fell in love with music at the age of six. He began his music education in high school under his mentors Ralph D’ Ovidio and Ed Manina at North Miami Senior High. After high school Didier continue to perfect his craft and study under many musicians such as Gary Keller, Richi Perri, Neal Bosanti, Mike Rossi and Randy Emerick.

Soon after, Didier began his professional career with the cultural group Koleksyon Kazak, a Haitian roots band that blended Jazz with traditional Haitian country music. An aficionado of diverse sounds and styles, Didier has played with bands that range from Bebop, Jazz, Urban, Tribal Funk and R&B with various bands such as the Jazz Five, The John Chapman Jazz Ensemble, The Baboons, Drummer Duffy Jackson and Joey Gilmore. Didier also was the lead and front man of his own band called D-Jazz Funk. Throughout his career Didier has had the opportunity to perform with the legend David Lee Roth of Van Helen, the world renown organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and Mike Longo of the Dizzy Gillespie Band. Didier has been with the Valerie Tyson Band for 17 years and is currently the musical director of the band.

His debut album is Soarin’ which was recorded in 2021. Stream it on all digital platforms.