Posts Tagged ‘ Smooth Jazz ’

Boney James – Honestly

It’s been a full quarter-century since a young saxophonist and composer released his debut recording as a leader, Trust. Now, on September 1, 2017, Boney James will release his 16th album, this one titled Honestly. If you sense a direct line between those titles, you’ve already come a long way toward understanding what motivates the four-time GRAMMY nominee and multi-platinum-selling musician.

“I’m fighting the good fight to be my own artist and not be pigeonholed,” says the genre-blurring James. “With a record’s title I always try to find something that will communicate the feeling I get when I listen to it. The feeling I get with this music is a sense of sincerity and intimacy. The word ‘honestly’ really reflects how I aspire to live my life and create my music. One of the great things about music is how powerful it is. It can totally transport people. These are interesting times we are living in and the one thing I can do with the skills that I have is to make music that evokes a feeling and takes people somewhere… to do what I can to try and make the world a more pleasant place.”

Honestly follows futuresoul, James’ 2015 release which spent eleven weeks at #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. The New York Times raved, “Boney James performs with panache…His arc as a soloist is emotional…he can paint a scene.” Honestly, says James, is quite different sounding than the previous record. “It’s more exposed,” he says of the 10-track collection. “Some of the arrangements are not as dense. A number of the songs have a more buoyant, cheerful, happy quality to them.” James produced the record and co-wrote all but one track, his interpretation of the Johnny Mercer-Hoagy Carmichael classic ‘Skylark.’ Continue reading

Jonathan Fritzén – Ballads

Over the past ten years, Smooth Jazz fans who like to get a groove on with infectious keyboard melodies have enjoyed being “Fritzenized,” that is, having their hearts, souls and dancing shoes infused with Jonathan Fritzén’s blend of lush ballads and all-out party jams.

The multi-faceted, Swedish American composer and keyboardist’s sixth album Ballads showcases the gentle, graceful side of his musical personality. On a mission to “bring calm, clarity and the rejuvenation of both mind and soul,” to a challenged world, he complements his gorgeous piano and keyboard melodies with artful touches of electric guitar, exotic percussion, sweeping synth textures and violin. Fritzen’s original Ballads will bring peace to your days and love to your nights!

This album is available at Amazon.com.

Peet Project – The Bad Boys of Budapest

Hungary has a lot to offer, its specialties, its nature, the beautiful capital. However its famous export is music. In the smooth jazz genre a new Hungarian group has established, Peet Project. The group comprised currently of violinist, composer, producer Peter “Peet” Ferencz, saxophonist Attila Závodi, keyboardist Olivér Magán, bassist Martin Gudics, and drummer Marcell Gudics.

Everything started with their debut Pink Spirit, released in 2010. Their sophomore album Turn You On already followed in 2011, then Overseas (2013) and Love (2015). Their newest endeavor is entitled The Bad Boys Of Budapest (2017) and offers guest appearances by keyboardist Jonathan Fritzén, saxophonist Dave Koz, bassist and singer Gáspár Laci and singer James Copley from the band Electro Deluxe.

Downtown Therapy is the music the community need, crisp like a freshly laid egg, with the dynamic of the youth and the violin in the lead, a rare sound in the world of smooth jazz. The group has no reservations to pop music as it provides with Don’t Wanna Know, which could easily make the jump into the charts with intelligent instrumentation and astounding energy.

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Will P Lyte – Lyte EFX

Willie Polite aka Will P Lyte is a passionate musician performing music since his youth, during his military service and later in the creative arts ministry at Right Direction Church.

Lyte EFX is his debut album offering a variety of grooves and rhythms (smooth jazz, latin groove, West Indies rhythm, Funk and Go Go) from the heart of a percussionist. Get this album at CDBaby.

Buff Dillard – Feel My Passion

Buff Dillard has just released his ninth album Feel My Passion (2017). Jazzful Hymms (2008), Genesis (2009), Awaken (2010), Christmas Moments with Buff Dillard (2011), Against All Odds (2012), and Mr. Bonejazz (2015) are some of the others.

In the smooth jazz domain are the saxophonists the kings. Trombonists have to struggle for acknowledgement, even those who have like Buff an academic qualification. So bringing his instrument to the front of the stage, was his premier impetus. With much energy and pleasure he is pushing forward his life target.

Feel My Passion is the aptly title of his new effort. Buff is supported by his friends like Davien Bailey (trumpet), Nicci Canada, Ryan B. (vocals), Derek Harling, Tony “Teaspoon” Witherspoon (keyboards), Paul Dozier (guitar), Clayton Turnage, Calvin Napper, Brian Houze (drums), and Melvin E. Gray (bass). Buff has written and produced all tracks with the exception of three covers.

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Brendan Christopher – Four From The Sun

B. Christopher, like most composers, is not a household name. However, if you own a television, you have probably heard his music. With over 3,000 placements annually on virtually every channel, it would be difficult not to hear his work.

The balance between melody, technique, composition and improvisation is not an easy one to strike. But when listening to Christopher, one would think otherwise. With one foot in modern jazz, the other in the blues and an innate sense of melody, his instrumental offerings are sure to please even the most discerning pallet. It is these qualities that helped attract some of the biggest studio musicians in the business to this project. Names like Nathan East, Anton Fig, Gerald Albright, Shawn Pelton, Andy Snitzer, Stu Hamm and Kenny Aronoff have all lent their talents to his recordings.

It’s been a steady evolution from the smoky blues clubs that shaped the soul of an extraordinary player into the polished session musician we hear today. In a world filled with talented musicians, there are a rare few that stand apart from the rest. For an artist to honestly tell their story, technical prowess is not enough. The real story is in the soul and conviction with which one tells it with. Christopher is one of the rare few that delivers the complete package.

The new album Four From The Sun by The B. Christopher Band with special guests include Nathan East (bass), Stu Hamm (bass), Anton Fig (drums), Shawn Pelton (drums), Andy Snitzer (tenor sax) is now available at his website.

Andre Cavor – Road Trip

Cleveland based saxophonist Andre Cavor follows with Road Trip (2017) his idols Kirk Whalum and Jonathan Butler on their path to the ideal blend of smooth jazz and gospel music.

Andre started his journey performing sax in church and then founded The Cavor Project, an 11 piece ensemble spreading a good reputation around the area. This album mirrors his biographical development shifting Cavor’s artistic life to a new level.

In the implementation of the project Andre is perfectly supported by the producer Darren Rahn. Darren contributes his high level of artistry, experience and the certain refinement of a genius as composer, arranger, producer and musician.

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