Posts Tagged ‘ Jonathan Fritzén ’

Jonathan Fritzén – Magical

Jonathan Fritzén is Sweden’s premium export in Smooth Jazz. He is known by his albums Love Birds (2008), VIP (2009) and Diamonds (2010). He supported the release of his albums with numerous live performances in USA.

His newest project is entitled Magical and already in the top ten of the Billboard charts. As on his previous albums Fritzén is supported by famous artists like Boney James, Paul Brown, Jackiem Joyner, Darren Rahn, Malene Mortensen and Vincent Ingala.

The first track is the title song and also the first single frequently played on the remaining smooth jazz radio stations. It is debatable whether the composition talent or musical virtuosity of this artist is greater. Magical meets all the requirements of a capturing song and with Boney James on sax he has a suitable figurehead.

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Jonathan Fritzén – Magical

Recently named by legendary broadcaster Art Good as his debut artist of the year, Swedish composer and keyboard player Jonathan Fritzén is back, and then some, with his latest CD, the appropriately titled Magical. With featured performances from Boney James, Paul Brown, Jackiem Joyner, Darren Rahn and Vincent Ingala.

Magical is Fritzen’s fourth solo release and follows the highly acclaimed Diamonds which enabled him to reach #1 on both the Billboard airplay charts and the Amazon.com sales charts. Now Magical seems certain to cement his position as the master of delightfully accessible contemporary jazz.

Tracks include: Magical feat. Boney James, Love Will Overcome feat. Jackiem Joyner, Sweet Spot feat. Paul Brown, Electric, Nostalgia, To The Top feat. Vincent Ingala, Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind feat. Malene Mortensen, Turn Back Time, Nordic Light, Lullaby feat. Darren Rahn, and Angels.

Scheduled for release: August 21, 2012.

Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2011

The weather God was good to us. Bright shining sunrays flooded through the glass building of the Kurhaus Göggingen in Augsburg. On Friday, September 16, 2011, started the 4th annual Smooth Jazz Festival. We already arrived at the venue in the afternoon to meet Jessy J and Paul Brown for a small talk after the rehearsal in the inner courtyard of the Kurhaus. Peter Hoerd (GrooveFM) conducted the interviews, we hope to present you soon.

Promoter of this event was Christian Bößner, who lives in Augsburg and organizes since several years Smooth Jazz Festivals in Europe. This year was special, because Christian already promoted the Smooth Jazz In The Cube 2011, a festival in the Austrian mountains May 20-22, 2011 at CUBE Biberwier-Lermoos. The event featured Nils, Brian Culbertson, Jackiem Joyner and Nick Colionne, who thrilled the international audience with their exceptional performances.

Christian shows an admirable staying power and ability to assert the triumphal march of Smooth Jazz in Europe. Against all odds he makes it possible to host a great event with many International stars of the Smooth Jazz scene and this every year.

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Jonathan Fritzén – Diamonds

Lucky Sweden! They have ABBA, Roxette and Jonathan Fritzén. Hailing from Stockholm he started his solo career with the debut album Love Birds (2008), followed by his sophomore album VIP (2009). Now it’s time for the third punch, Diamonds (2010).

Like on his previous album Jonathan is joined by an International mixture of American and Swedish artists: Laila Adéle (vocals), Alex Al, Mel Brown and Erik Metall (bass), Koh (aka Mr. Saxman), Darren Rahn and Jessy J (sax), Sara Övinge (violin), Andreas Ekstedt (percussion), Alex Crown (guitar). Jonathan Fritzén performs piano, keyboards and programming.

The starting track Feelin’ The Groove features the lovely Laila Adéle. To give you a compass, Jonathan’s music is comparable with artists like Alex Bugnon, Nate Harasim or the early Rick Kelly (Soul Ballet). His piano touch is of a graceful ease and elegance.

This Way, That Way brings a welcome-back with upcoming smooth jazz star, producer and saxophonist Darren Rahn. Darren appeared in the recent time with artists like Jay Soto, Anthony James Baker, Nate Harasim, Tim Bowman, Michael Manson, dee Brown and a lot more.

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I Happened To Hear 06/2010

I’ve made it clear in the past how much I admire Jonathan Fritzén’s talent. You only need to look at my review of his first CD http://www.smooth-jazz.de/Chris/Lovebirds.htm.

2010’s ‘Diamonds’ kicks off with the buoyant ‘Feelin’ the Groove’ with background vocals by Laila Adéle on the chorus. The drum track and bass are crisp and this energy is evident through the whole album.

I liked the ‘picked’ bass sound on the chunky ‘Dance with Me’ and it turns up again on the funky ‘Undercover’. Fritzén goes for the Marcus Johnson urban groove sound on ‘Stockholm Nights’ and achieves an even darker and deeper sound on my personal favourite ‘Vibrations’.

You romantic guys won’t be disappointed by the gentle ‘Melting’ and ‘You’ll be Mine’. I was also interested to see that Jonathan has teamed up with some new-generation sax stars: Jessy J, Darren Rahn and Thailand’s Koh Mr Saxman. All make solid contributions and this is the company that this talented composer and multi-instrumentalist should be keeping.

I greatly enjoy the way Fritzén consistently keeps these productions clean and uncluttered: even on the busiest rhythm tracks, the piano is out front and unruffled and clear as a bell. Nothing out of place. This man’s career is taking off: check his tasteful website http://www.jonathanfritzen.com/index2.html and see him on tour this summer if you can. Meantime, you can hear and buy downloads on Amazon.

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Jonathan Fritzén – Diamonds

The key attribute of any truly successful artist is the ability to consistently write music of the quality that can shape a career. This doesn’t always come easy but in the case of writer, producer and keyboard player Jonathan Fritzén he really has hit the ground running. His 2008 debut Love Birds announced him as a performer of tremendous promise and every one of it’s eleven original compositions reached to the very core of what great smooth jazz should be. Nevertheless it seemed incredible when less than a year later he returned with the equally impressive VIP.

But that is far from the whole story. Brand new for 2010, and with a street date of June 19 comes the highly anticipated and delightfully accessible Diamonds. Fritzén’s musical evolution has been a learning experience and although with Love Birds he handled the entire project himself, (including writing, producing and playing all eight instruments) by the time VIP came along he had gained both the contacts and the confidence to include several guest artists. Not least in this respect was sax-man Michael Lington and, most notably, Jay Soto who added a typically tight guitar solo to the totally ‘in the pocket’ title cut. When released as a single this infectious tune hurried to a top-10 placing on the Billboard charts and in total the album spent 40 weeks on the SmoothJazz.com Top 50.

Now, with Diamonds Fritzén is continuing his exciting musical journey. Described as his most personal project yet, he has composed all ten tracks, produced throughout and in common with VIP engaged the services of some really outstanding guest artists. Laila Adéle, who featured on VIP, makes a welcome return while both Alex Al and Mel Brown contribute on bass. Sax duties are shared between Koh (aka Mr. Saxman, with whom Fritzén recently worked in Thailand), the ubiquitous Darren Rahn and rising smooth jazz starlet Jessy J.

Indeed her performance on the sultry ‘Fly Away’ is something to savor while a special mention must go to the soul drenched ‘You’ll Be My Mine’ where not for the first time Adéle steals the show. Rahn, who also mixed the album, provides an input to the mid tempo ‘This Way That Way’ that is sure to make it a favorite of the airwaves but that said the first single to be serviced to radio is ‘Dance With Me’ which finds Fritzén at his rhythmic best.

Jonathan Fritzén was born in Stockholm to a Swedish mother and an American father. He grew up in a musical family and as a young child started playing drums. He later added piano, bass, guitar, flute and vocals, whilst during his formal training at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm he became one of the first students to receive a Masters degree in jazz. By the age of 22 Jonathan had performed on national Swedish television several times and toured with some of the countries most respected jazz musicians. Three years later he recorded Love Birds and in so doing made his mark as the first Swedish pianist to release a smooth jazz CD. The rest, as they say, his history and with Diamonds he is all set to write a new chapter. It is a further manifestation of the innate ability Fritzén has to weave rhythm and melody into everything he does and is sure to be one of the albums of the year.

I Happened To Hear 11/2009

This 5-track EP taken from the album of the same name comes from Christian singer, composer, pianist and producer Eric Copeland. It contains the lyrically very clever ‘The Jazz in Me’ which grows on me the more I hear it with a vocal delivery reminiscent of Michael Franks, and some scatting.

There’s a funkier feel on ‘My Steps are Ordered’ with some very nice piano sounds. ‘Come to Me’ is a mellow piano-led song with gospel undertones and surely has the potential to be a radio hit – I wish the guitar/vocal scat break had been a bit longer…

The Latin feel on the vocal ‘Have Thine Own Way’ is enhanced by the sweet acoustic guitar. The elegant production on this song lets the Christian lyrics speak for themselves.

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