Gino Rosaria – Still Waters Run Deep

Don’t be fooled by the quiet facade. Pianist Gino Rosaria has an uncommon depth that stems from being a native of culturally diverse Curaçao, possessing a master’s degree in classical music performance and having a love of jazz. Each element helps shape the music he composes, produces and plays as a first-call session musician and sideman. Crafting his third album, “Still Waters Run Deep,” dropping July 12, is a purposeful leap into the soul-jazz sea as a solo artist with something to say. Collecting playlist adds and earning most added status on the Billboard chart, the set’s first single, “Night Groove,” is a slick R&B ride with Rosaria’s shimmering keys engaging in melodic banter with Marcus Anderson’s saxophone.

In addition to Anderson, Rosaria’s collaborators on “Still Waters Run Deep” include an array of chart-topping smooth/contemporary jazz artists such as saxophonist Elan Trotman, drummer Eric Valentine, flautist Althea Rene, multi-horn man and arranger David Mann, Roman Street’s acoustic guitarist Noah Thompson, and electric guitarist Adam Hawley, who co-wrote and co-produced “Night Groove” and the disc’s likely second single, “Sunday 3PM.” Rosaria’s compositions were inspired by such collaborations, adventures with his three-year-old son, Simon, and recognizing that it was time to make his own unique musical statement.

“I knew it was time for me to step out as a solo artist. I’ve been putting it off for a long time and playing with other artists. I have some good material to release to the world. Because of my Caribbean and Latin roots, I think I have something special to offer musically. I don’t know how to explain it except by showing it through my music. My time has come to step out onto that stage, not as a sideman, but as Gino Rosaria, The Pianist,” said Rosaria, who moved to the US from Curaçao in 2003 and resides in Pensacola, Florida. Continue reading

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Derek Dabbs – Reflections

If you like smooth jazz with a touch of soul a hint of funk and large amount of love, then Dallas born pianist, composer, and producer Derek Dabbs has the sound for you! Add his name to the “A” list of smooth jazz artists, as he has developed a sound that is instantly recognizable. It was he who played the unforgettable solo on Shirley Brown’s gold selling single “Why You Wanna Love Me Like That”, now with the release of Derek’s “State of Mind Album” you are sure to enjoy the Jazzpel track “He will take care of you”.

Derek has shared the stage with many top R&B and Funk ensembles — James Brown, Jonathan Butler, Lucky Peterson, Little Milton, The BarKays, Ike Turner, Shirley Brown, and J. Blackfoot to name a few. In addition to his prolific piano style, which has been compared to Joe Sample and Ramsey Lewis, Derek has also been making a name for himself as a composer, writing and producing songs for many R&B groups and movie soundtracks. Dabbs is a seasoned veteran destined to influence the next era of smooth jazz with his stellar piano style that crosses over radio formats and stylistic barriers. A female fan said: “He just makes you feel all fuzzy and warm inside.” Derek’s sound touches everyone. Derek will be an artist who takes center stage in THIS Millennium!

His album Reflections is just released. Get the album at Amazon.com.

Craig Sharmat – Nouveau

Guitarist Craig Sharmat is a great number in the area of film and television music. His compositional field of activity extends to trailers for films such as King Kong, Ghost Rider, Eragon, Anchorman or TV series like CSI Miami. His scoring work he is mostly known for are America’s Most Wanted, Alone, Who the Bleep Did I Marry and a host of other shows. More than his second mainstay, rather his passion is his career as a solo musician.

After his debut album So Cal Drivin (2009) he released Outside In (2010) and Blue Horizons (2013). What lasts long will finally be good with Nouveau (2019), the aptly title of his new album. While his earlier albums reflect more on smooth jazz themes, and his album Blue Horizons traveled the world, Craig now reveals his pronounced tendency for Django Reinhardt’s heritage. Django was a Belgian-born Romani-French jazz guitarist and composer, regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century.

In creating his new album, Craig relies on the collaboration of proven professional musicians from the Californian scene, such as Greg Manning, Brian Mann (keyboards), Hussain Jiffry, Kim Collins (bass), Eric Valentine, Rayford Griffin (drums), Mark Hollingsworth (sax), Chris Tedesco (trumpet), and George Quirin (flamenco guitar). Ludovic Beier (accordina) is from France, and Christiaan Van Hemert (viola, violins) from The Netherlands, Nick Coventry (violin) lives in Tucson, AZ. Craig comments: “I wanted influence from players outside of So California as Gypsy Jazz was created in Europe and filtered back to the United States.”

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Incendio – Summoning the Muse

The acclaimed Los-Angeles-based group Incendio performs original “world guitar” compositions, featuring incredible guitar-playing across a variety of genres: latin, middle-eastern, and celtic grooves. Formed in 1999, the group has 10 CD’s and 2 DVD’s available internationally, variously hitting the Billboard, CMJ, NAV, and Amazon.com charts. Averaging over 150 shows a year since 2000, INCENDIO’s live performance is an explosive improvisatory journey, garnering tremendous audience response in such diverse venues as the National Gallery of Art, Reston Town Center, Strawberry Music Festival in Yosemite, the Sundance Film Festival, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, California World Festival, the Beishan World Music Festival in China, the national Levitt Pavilions and many more across the U.S. Their ninth international release, the recent Christmas-themed “O Night Divine”, came out in December 2015.

Their previous release, June 2013’s “The Shape of Dreams”, stayed at or near the top of the Amazon flamenco and world charts for the remainder of that year. They have reached over 96 million spins on Pandora alone, and can be heard on terrestrial radio as well as many other streaming services. The group will promote their new 2019 CD “Summoning the Muse”, across the USA this summer. This album settled between Flamenco and world music is recommended by smooth jazz expert Ronald Jackson (The Smooth Jazz Ride).

The album is available on Amazon.com.

Alex Milan – Worth The Wait

Alex Milan, plays smooth jazz but loves all genres. He started at the age of 8 and never looked back. Alex has been writing, composing and producing original songs for the last several years on saxophone and piano. Let’s take a journey, tell our stories and make some memories along the way…Alex Milan- heart, soul, jazz.

Worth The Wait is smooth jazz with R&B flavor. Now on sale at CDBaby.

Althea Rene – Flawsome

Born on December 25th in Detroit, Michigan Althea Rene began her musical journey at the tender age four-year-old. She studied classical music while attending Howard University. For more than 10 years she worked as a Wayne County Deputy Sheriff (in Detroit, Michigan) during the day and performed in jazz clubs at night. Today. she is a full-time performing/recording artist that gained musical inspiration from her father Dezie McCullers (one of Motown’s original Funk Brothers).

Althea developed her own creative style. Some regard her as a “master of her craft” and one of the world’s most exciting solo improvisational flutists. The multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated saxophonist Najee playfully refers to her as the “Maceo of the flute”.

In May 2013. she released her CD entitled “In the Flow”. Collaborating with Grammy award-winning Producer Michael Broening. she co-wrote the title track that reached the number one spot on both the Billboard and Smooth Jazz Charts. Althea Rene is the first flutist in history to have a “number one” ranked single on the Billboard chart. With a passionate mission to mentor women in the entertainment industry, Althea Rene authored an autobiography entitled “Becoming Chocolate Barbie – a guide for professional women in the music business” in June 2018.

Her creative advocacy for woman’s empowerment is evident in her scorching hot June 2019 CD release: “Flawsome”. The title of her eighth CD project is a newly coined expression that describes something that is extraordinary because of its imperfections. This project features an iconic lineup of guest artists like Maysa, Jeanette Harris, Euge Groove, and Gerald Albright. The album was produced by Chris “Big Dog” Davis.

Purchase the new album here.

Sekou Bunch – The Next Level

New York City born bass player Sekou Bunch worked together with Tom Browne, when he recorded the hit Funkin’ For Jamaica. has performed and/or recorded with Quincy Jones, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Roger Daltry, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, Ray Charles, Chaka Khan, Paul Anka, George Benson, Wayne Shorter, the Winans, Lionel Richie, Toni Braxton, Freddie Hubbard, Roberta Flack, Liza Minneli and many others.

In 1991 he released his first solo debut album Sekou. His sophomore album The Next Level followed in 2008 on Trippin ‘n Rhythm. The album contains a harmonious balance of covers and original compositions. Starter is a rendition of Sun Goddess, the original 1974 classic collaboration of Ramsey Lewis & Earth, Wind & Fire. Sekou has assembled the perfect team with a strong Everette Harp on sax and an overtopping Stanley Clarke on tenor bass, and vocalists Fred White and Lamont Van Hook serving the typical EWF voicing.

The romantic Smooth Sailing is star-studded with singer Angela Winbush and saxophonist Boney James. The jazz standard Take Five, composed by Paul Desmond and originally recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet for their 1959 album Time Out, is a frequently covered cultural asset of the jazz community. On Take Five / In Three George Duke shines on piano, while Sekou with his defined bass caresses the tones with relish.

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