Posts Tagged ‘ Smooth Jazz ’

Jef Kearns – Jazzy AF

Amazon best-selling Canadian solo artist Jef Kearns is transforming the flute from a background instrument to a serious soul voice in R&B and hip-hop. His goal, even from an early age, was to create a distinct and instantly identifiable flute sound with enough presence to command attention—just like an R&B singer’s voice. Jef’s cover of Warren G‘s “Regulate” was featured in XXL Magazine’s “20 Covers of Hip-Hop Songs Using Instruments” and his cover of Kanye West‘s “Slow Jamz” in Mashable’s “14 Bizzarly Awesome Rap Cover Videos.”

Over his two decades as a professional musician, Jef has built what would be considered an impressive online following for any independent artist. His YouTube channel has exceeded 1.3 million views. For a solo flute player it’s unprecedented. Kearns’ professionally produced discography includes two full albums, On the Level ( 2009), and Soulfisticated (2013), and an EP called The Flute (2016), and eight stand-alone singles.

His follow up album, Jazzy AF is a modern pop instrumental album layered with jazzy melodic phrasings. All songs are written by Jef Kearns and Douglas Romanow, except Reverie (written by Jef Kearns) and Axel F (written by Harold Faltermeyer.) The album will be released August 28th, 2020.

Andrey Chmut – Soulmate

Starting a career as a saxophonist in the smooth jazz genre is a courageous undertaking these days. Ukraine born saxophonist Andrey Chmut didn’t hesitate to long to build his own solo career. He joined the touring band of highly rated Ukrainian bass player Artem Lebedev. He also contributed to Valeriy Stepanov’s first CD New Beginnings. From there it was no time-consuming way to his first very own debut album Smoothability (2018) on Skytown Records.

Two years later he is back with his sophomore album Soulmate (2020) on the same label. You can already pre-order the album on Amazon.com.

 

Wade C. Long – Nostalgia

It is amazing how many great singers come out of the quiet city of Cleveland, Ohio. The town on the North Coast has been the home of many memorable vocalists. Add to that list singer-keyboardist Wade C. Long, who grew up in Believeland and is now based in L.A. The former church musician has made a career as a producer for several artists and groups over the years, and in 2014 years ago he released is debut EP, Love Is. After releasing the soulful Rise in 2018, Wade had the pleasure of co-writing and co-producing the new single “When I Think of You” for his cousin and Grammy Award winner Joe Little III, of The Rude Boys.

Wade is now coming back in early 2020 with 3 brand new singles of his own. “Bulljivin'” is a throwback to early 80s Funk and Soul, reminiscent of bands like Cameo and Con Funk Shun. “Norm’s Place” is a sensational Smooth Jazz track, perfectly fit for your Sunday afternoon drive. The lone new vocal piece is “Since I’ve Found You”, a ballad that celebrates falling and staying in love. Now he tops the whole with his new album Nostalgia (2020).

Buy the new album (mp3) on Amazon.com.

David Bach – Fierce Heart

From my recent review of David Bach’s collection album Perficiendi I quote the following overview of David’s solo albums: Window On The West (1998), 5Thousand Words (2001), A Deep Breath (2005), Live at Baker Park (2008), Otherworld (2013) and Perficiendi (2020). His newest album Fierce Heart is already available on bandcamp, the official release date is July 17, 2020.

The album contains seven originals written by David and three covers. The album involves a large number of musicians, who are listed in detail below in the album information. Fierce Heart puts the listener in the right mood for David Bach’s new album, with slow tempo he wins the hearts of the fans. The piece has the impression of the soundtrack of a film with historical references.

Gymnopedie is the name for a nude dance or festival in ancient Greek. French composer and pianist Erik Satie has written three compositions of this theme. David Bach has chosen Gymnopedie No. 1, but makes out of more tranquil piece a vivid lively cover featuring Brian Falkowski on flute given the tune a Latin touch to the end.

Read more …

Jacob Webb – All In The Details

Coming from Kansas keyboardist Jacob Webb now lives in New York, where he joined Philadelphia native saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Todd Schefflin. Together with Todd Schefflin (saxophone) he formed the group JT Project with already six released albums. Jacob has been fortunate in his career as a performer sharing the stage with artists such as Chrisette Michelle, Cheryl “Pepsi” Riley, Bill Cosby, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Garrett, Mulgrew Miller, and several other well-known artists.

The year 2018 marked a new chapter as Jacob pursued his debut Solo Album titled I’m Coming Home. This full length masterpiece showcases Jacob’s talents as a premier bassist in the Contemporary Jazz world. The album features a plethora of heavy hitter NYC based musicians! His sophomore album is All In The Details. It has taken over 2 years to complete but it’s finally here set to be released August 7th, 2020. Musicians on this album are including Judah Sealy, Vandell Andrew, Phillip Doc Martin, Jazmin Deborah Ghent, Adam Omar Hawley, Stantawn Kendrick, Sounds of A&R and many more.

You can already pre-order a physical CD here.

Paul Brown – Ones Upon A Time

Along with our friends at Woodward Avenue Records, we are excited to announce the release of double Grammy winner Paul Brown‘s new album, Ones Upon A Time, as well as the project’s first single, “Notorious”! Ones Upon A Time will be available worldwide on Friday, August 14.

Over the years since Paul Brown became one of contemporary urban jazz’s premiere hit makers as a producer and artist, it’s become harder to keep track of how many Billboard #1 smashes he has amassed since breaking through producing Boney James in the early 90s. Is it 60? 70? 75? The two-time Grammy winner makes it slightly (and soulfully, seductively and delightfully easier by gathering a batch of his favorite chart-toppers produced for himself and other artists (Boney, Bob James, Larry Carlton, Kirk Whalum, George Benson) and re-imagining them for his cleverly titled upcoming collection “Ones Upon a Time” – his tenth album as a solo artist.

If the sensual atmospheres and deeply inviting, seductive groove at the start of the set’s lead single “Notorious” sound familiar, it’s because it was not only a smash for Rick Braun 23 years ago (from his 1997 album Body and Soul), but has been a staple at hundreds of the trumpet great’s live shows during that time. And for good reason. In its initial iteration, it offered the perfect combination of sexy and invigorating, a showcase of Braun’s bright and sultry energy, combined with Boney’s sweet coolness. Brown’s new twist, where he carries the moody, slow burning melody on his 1963 Gibson Johnny Smith L5 guitar, takes the song multiple shades deeper both tonally and emotionally than the original version, arriving at a perfect blend of urban jazz and blues.

After building momentum over a simmering, funky groove by bassist Roberto Vally and drummer Gorden Campbell, Brown is joined by the steamy, edgy sax of Richard Elliot. Brown had seen Elliot play the Boney part numerous times live with Braun, and knew he was the perfect foil for this slower burning version. Not surprisingly, considering their decades long friendship and working relationship, the two work a symbiotic magic (with Elliot harmonizing off the guitarist’s steady flow) on their way to the glorious hook, It’s one that smooth jazz fans have heard a million times, yet it sounds completely fresh with this new rendering, which also features Lenny Castro on percussion and a shimmering key solo by Gregg Karukas. If you’ve been a fan of Brown’s productions and heart-tugging melodic guitar vibe over the years, “Notorious” will allow you to experience his vast artistry from an exciting new perspective. Once you hear it, it’s likely that you, like me, will be chomping at the bit for the release of the entire album.

– Jonathan Widran

Marcus Adams – Love Letters

A thrilling performer and one on the rise, vocalist and multi-instrumental soul/jazz artist Marcus Adams is a sign that the new crop of smooth jazz artists can certainly carry the torch. Working on his sophomore studio album, he combines R&B, Soul, and Jazz to create songs that takes the listeners on a musical ride of the highs of love and depths of pain in life. His friendship with Grammy nominated producer Demonte Posey led to the release of his heralded freshman release entitled Suddenly. The project propelled Adams into the national spotlight. The jump from a beloved local act in Milwaukee, WI to a favorite performer in jazz venues across the nation proved to be the right path for Adams to establish his unique sound and brand. Following the release, Adams toured the nation and created an avid and loyal following.

Now he opens the next chapter with Love Letters (2020).  Appearing on the CD are the artists Selina Albright, Marqueal Jordan, Ragan Whiteside, Merlon Devine, and Smooth Jazz producer Lew Laing. CD’s are on sale for $10. Inbox Marcus on Facebook for your personal copy.

Paul Messina – Nightwalk

Hot off The Bigger Picture, his multi-faceted 2019 dual album with bassist Mark R. Harris, multi-talented veteran flutist and saxophonist Paul Messina stirs up a similarly stylistically eclectic mix on his latest solo album Nightwalk. The engaging collection finds the Miami-based artist tapping into his freewheeling passions for funky jazz fusion, balmy Caribbean, Latin and Brazilian, exotic Eastern tinged sounds and magic and lyrical and mystical atmospheric chill-jazz. While alternating between his muscular sax and virtuous flute – sometimes playfully blending them on a single track – Messina and Platinum and Gold record winning producer/engineer Gary Vandy create their unique sonic world using synths and MIDI programming to artfully manipulate sound. Recommended by smoothjazz.com.

Buy the album on Paul Messina’s website.

Wednesday Ball – Breakaway

Wednesday Ball is a consummate professional. A dynamic vocalist comfortable in many styles including R&B, dance, and smooth jazz, she has contributed vocals to a GRAMMY award-winning recording and has shared the stage with many national acts. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, where she continues to teach, Ms. Ball received a Music Education degree from St. Mary’s University before embarking on her career as a recording artist.

In recent years Wednesday has performed in and around the San Antonio area at various clubs and music festivals either as a solo headliner or with her band “Wednesday Ball &The Show”. She is also an in-demand vocalist for national touring acts and has shared the stage with some of the industry’s most accomplished talent, including: GRAMMY winners Joe Posada and Roger Velasquez, Billboard R&B #1 hit trumpeter Tom Browne, and blues saxophonist Mindi Abair. Additionally, she has recorded or performed with contemporary jazz stars Steve Oliver, Slim Man, Marion Meadows, Marc Antoine, Will Donato, Kyle Turner and BillyRay Sheppard. This past July, Wednesday opened the 26th Annual Balcones Heights Jazz Festival.

Wednesday’s debut album “Breakaway”, released in 2018, was co-written and produced with Billboard hit smooth jazz guitarist Steve Oliver and features notable musicians in the format including saxophonists Will Donato and Chase Huna along with vocalist Shon “Demo” Reddick. The album has been recognized as a crossover R&B / smooth jazz release and has received airplay on many stations around the country, including by San Antonio’s own, smooth jazz radio host David Munoz.

Her album is available on Apple Music.

Anthony King – Short Stories

Anthony King is a drummer for Grammy Award winning vocalist Monet. Born into a musical family, he began playing drums from the age of five. He is a two time Gospel Emmy awards drummer of the year winner, toured for Motown and Poly Gram International records with former Prince vocalist Rosie Gaines, recorded with the Kenoly brothers, Jerry Shanahan, Randy Emata and many more. Over the last several years, Anthony has been working closely and recording with several Brazilian artists like Celso Pixinga, Mello Jr., Silvera and performs at The Bourbon Street Music Club in Sao Paulo, Brazil every other year as a featured artist. Anthony has been a very happy endorser with Axis Percussion since 1996 and has no desire to depart from this family-like relationship. Over the last few years, Anthohy is working getting Axis Percussion in Brazil and looks forward to the day when Axis arrives in Brazil and the drummers there can enjoy a true work of art!

His new album is pretty cool smooth jazz. One of the songs is named after the great Soichiro Ito, an avid friend of good music.

This smooth jazz album is on sale at Apple Music.