Saturday, October 14, 2017

Saxophonist Justin Young’s “Blue Soul” powered by “High Definition” #jazz

The November 17 album release reflects his Motor City roots, driven by the set’s new single.
 
Justin Young is hungry. The energetic and enthusiastic saxophonist is all about hustle and hard work. For over a decade, he’s put out quality soul-jazz albums, but his forthcoming disc, “Blue Soul,” captures an artist hitting his stride on the cusp of a major breakthrough. Mining his Detroit roots, Young’s fourth album, due November 17 via JustnTime Records, features a dozen new songs recorded live in the studio with premier musicians, producers and songwriting collaborators. Paving the way for the collection is the new single, “High Definition,” a vibrant R&B/pop confection just shipped to radio stations, a tune that Young penned with fellow soul-jazz saxman Jackiem Joyner and keyboardist Matt Godina.   
 
The release of “Blue Soul” caps a lengthy recording odyssey for Young. His approach for this outing was purposely different and taps into the Motown lore that influenced his musical discoveries while growing up.
 
“I started work on this album three and a half years ago. There have probably been about 40 different songs written for this album. In the past, I would write twelve songs, and then enter the studio quickly and put out an album. But for ‘Blue Soul,’ I wanted to take a different approach and put the absolute best songs out, really push myself to elevate the standard this time around,” said Young, who had a hand in writing all but one song on the album. “‘Blue Soul’ goes back to my roots in music, Detroit, the home of Motown. I loved the creativity of musicians recording together in the studio, creating an amazing vibe. The opportunity to put high-quality musicians together along with amazing producers has always been my dream. I watched this growing up and listened to the Motown stories. ‘Blue Soul’ goes back to my love of jazz and soul music. It’s organic, it’s played by consummate musicians and it truly is soul music with saxophone at its beating heart.”
 
Throughout “Blue Soul,” Young’s alto, tenor and soprano sax is embedded amidst rhythms and grooves constructed by the likes of bassists Alex Al and Hussain Jiffry, and the late drummer to the stars, Ricky Lawson. Former Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist-vocalist Sheldon Reynolds is another notable player who fortified Young’s lilting harmonies and undeniable melodies. The first single, “Always There,” one of four cuts written and produced by Joyner - a Billboard chart-topper in his own right - hit the Billboard Top 25 and the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown. “Jazz Along The 101,” one of three tracks shepherded by gospel producer Noel Hall (Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond), kept Young’s momentum motoring along with both singles garnering daily spins on SiriusXM’s Watercolors. In response to Hurricane Harvey, he released the hopeful “Song For A Better Tomorrow” (https://youtu.be/PoL8NtcUwFw), donating the track’s proceeds to the American Red Cross. “High Definition” promises to take him into 2018 on a high note with a wealth of potential singles in the offing. 
 
Young began in music as a drummer and was introduced to a wide array of styles - from R&B and pop to jazz and gospel – by his father, Jim Young, who led and played in a variety of bands, encouraging his scion to play sax. Landing his first professional concert at age sixteen, Young put himself through Michigan State University by playing weekend gigs. He issued his debut album, “Rendezvous,” in 2003. After winning a competition at the famed Capital Jazz Fest in 2007, he released “On The Way.” A move to Southern California helped his following multiply quickly when he booked a year-long residency at Spaghettini, a hot spot for the contemporary jazz crowd south of Los Angeles. Gigs on the national festival circuit ensued as did subsequent recordings, “Home for the Holidays” and “Nothin’ But Love.” Young previewed music from “Blue Soul” at a Detroit show held at Chene Park last July with 5,000 people in attendance and at a sold-out date in August when he returned to Spaghettini. Now based near Seattle, he will support the new record with a series of local concerts at nearby wineries this fall. Resourceful and brand savvy, Young produces and plies his effervescent personality as the host of “The Justin Young Audio Experience,” a podcast that teaches musicians about the business of music. For more information, please visit www.JustinYoungSax.com.
 
“Blue Soul” contains the following songs:
 
“Always There”
“Nothin’ But Love”
“Razzmajazz”
“Jazz Along The 101”
“Paradise Found”
“New Life”
“Blue Soul”
“Sorento”
“Sweet Release”
“India”
“Song For A Better Tomorrow”
“High Definition”

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Monday, October 09, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - October 9, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 3 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
2 - 1 - U-Nam - "The Essential Collection" - (Skytown Records)
3 - 5 - Najee - "Poetry In Motion" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
4 - 4 - Maysa - "Love Is A Battlefield" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
5 - 6 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
6 - 2 - Chuck Loeb - "Unspoken" - (Shanachie Records)
7 - 7 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
8 - 13 - Michael McDonald - "Wide Open" - (BMG)
9 - 10 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
10 - 8 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
11 - 12 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Ballads" - (Nordic Night Records)
12 - 11 - Brian Culbertson - "Funk!" - (BCM Entertainment)
13 - 9 - Norman Brown - "Let It Go" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
14 - 17 - Lindsey Webster - "Back To Your Heart" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
15 - 18 - Cindy Bradley - "Natural" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
16 - 15 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
17 - 16 - Brendan Rothwell - "Time On My Hands" - (Brendan Rothwell)
18 - 14 - David Benoit & Marc Antoine - "So Nice!" (Shanachie Entertainment)
19 - 22 - Paul Jackson Jr. - "Storeis From Stompin' Willie" - (Branch Records Inc.)
20 - 21 - Michael Lington - "Second Nature" - (Copenhagen Music)


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Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - October 2, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 3 - U-Nam - "The Essential Collection" - (Skytown Records)
2 - 2 - Chuck Loeb - "Unspoken" - (Shanachie Records)
3 - 4 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
4 - 1 - Maysa - "Love Is A Battlefield" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
5 - 6 - Najee - "Poetry In Motion" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
6 - 9 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
7 - 5 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
8 - 8 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
9 - 17 - Norman Brown - "Let It Go" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
10 - 7 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
11 - 10 - Brian Culbertson - "Funk!" - (BCM Entertainment)
12 - 18 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Ballads" - (Nordic Night Records)
13 - 13 - Michael McDonald - "Wide Open" - (BMG)
14 - 11 - David Benoit & Marc Antoine - "So Nice!" (Shanachie Entertainment)
15 - 16 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
16 - 14 - Brendan Rothwell - "Time On My Hands" - (Brendan Rothwell)
17 - 12 - Lindsey Webster - "Back To Your Heart" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
18 - 15 - Cindy Bradley - "Natural" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
19 - 19 - Nick Colionne - "The Journey" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm")
20 - 21 - Roberto Tola - "Bein' Green" - (Roberto Tola)


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Monday, September 25, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 25, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Maysa - "Love Is A Battlefield" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
2 - 1 - Chuck Loeb - "Unspoken" - (Shanachie Records)
3 - 8 - U-Nam - "The Essential Collection" - (Skytown Records)
4 - 4 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
5 - 3 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
6 - 14 - Najee - "Poetry In Motion" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
7 - 5 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
8 - 7 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
9 - 6 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
10 - 9 - Brian Culbertson - "Funk!" - (BCM Entertainment)
11 - 13 - David Benoit & Marc Antoine - "So Nice!" (Shanachie Entertainment)
12 - 10 - Lindsey Webster - "Back To Your Heart" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
13 - 15 - Michael McDonald - "Wide Open" - (BMG)
14 - 12 - Brendan Rothwell - "Time On My Hands" - (Brendan Rothwell)
15 - 11 - Cindy Bradley - "Natural" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
16 - 18 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
17 - 37 - Norman Brown - "Let It Go" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
18 - 22 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Ballads" - (Nordic Night Records)
19 - 17 - Nick Colionne - "The Journey" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm")
20 - 21 - Michael Lington - "Second Nature" - (Copenhagen Music)


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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Selina Albright’s successful “Conversations” makes Christmas Tour with Koz “Possible” #jazz

  Multi-format radio play, favorable reviews and a busy concert calendar boost the R&B-jazz singer’s debut album.
 
It is mid-September yet R&B-jazz singer Selina Albright has already booked her holiday season travel plans thanks in part to a pair of buzzworthy singles at multiple radio formats along with enthusiastic reviews for her debut album, “Conversations,” which was issued on the Golden Rays Music label. Albright was invited to embark upon a 24-city U.S. concert tour as the featured vocalist on the Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour during which the smooth soul singer will share the spotlight with the charismatic saxophonist and his fellow contemporary jazz luminaries David Benoit, Rick Braun and Peter White. The tour kicks off November 24 in Atlanta and wraps December 23 in Cerritos, California.   
 
Even before “Conversations” dropped, Albright, who co-produced three songs and wrote the album’s candid and confessional lyrics that she describes as “like my own therapeutic diary,” captured attention and charted at smooth jazz outlets globally with the lead single, “Eat Something,” an empowering mid-tempo R&B ode to self-love that celebrates comfort and security in a romantic relationship by packing on a few pounds. The song, bolstered by slick guitar licks from Kay-Ta Matsuno, immediately connects with listeners – especially women – who called radio stations to request the cut that premiered nationally on SiriusXM Watercolors’ Dave Koz Lounge. “Eat Something” has now crossed over to urban adult contemporary (UAC) radio - including at SiriusXM’s UAC programming – and is gobbling up airplay.  
 
While the first single continues its chart ascent at UAC radio, smooth jazz programmers have embraced the follow-up, “Possible,” another affirmation of self-acceptance. Albright explains, “I wrote ‘Possible’ with hope of finding that one person who would make me feel loved and accepted just as I am. Now that I’m married to that person, I've found that it’s equally important - if not most important - to accept myself. That’s when the light bulb truly came on for me! My heart and mind opened to new possibilities, and I was able to experience the freedom and fearlessness I was put on this earth to achieve. I believe we all have to peel our own layers of doubt away and be true to ourselves in order to live our lives to the fullest. This is why the (accompanying) music is minimal for much of the song. I needed the focus to be on the message so that listeners could celebrate - not suppress - their zest for life.”
 
The daughter of multiple Grammy nominee and contemporary jazz sax titan Gerald Albright, Selina grew up in the company of her father’s colleagues, but has relied on the power and grace of her vocal gifts to pave her own way. For more than a decade, she has toured and recorded with a wide array of notables in jazz, R&B and EDM. In recent years, she’s been featured on Benoit’s A Charlie Brown Christmas Tour and is fond of touring during the holiday season.
 
"I really love touring during Christmas because I see nothing but smiles from the stage. It's as if barriers can finally come down for the season, and we can all relax and focus on what's important: friends, family, love and music!” said the radiant and shapely Albright, who continues her Conversations Tour until the Christmas tour commences. "Dave Koz, Peter White, Rick Braun and David Benoit have been part of my adoptive musical family for years. So for me, the Koz Christmas Tour will be a special reunion when we can celebrate each other's talents while on stage together. This is one tour that I know the people will feel the joy and love in the music! And, of course, music aside, the food enthusiast in me cannot wait to enjoy the local cuisine in each city we visit."
 
“Conversations” was produced by Chris “Big Dog” Davis, James “JRob” Roberson and Albright, and contains performances by Gerald Albright, White, Matsuno, Randy Ellis and David P. Stevens. Below are excerpts from a sampling of album reviews:     
 
“One of the brightest new stars in that crossover galaxy somewhere between contemporary jazz and R&B.” – Smooth Jazz Therapy
 
“Selina blossoms fully as a transcendently soulful, urban jazz/R&B singer-songwriter.” – SmoothJazz.com
 
“Albright brings her brand of fiery, soul-reaching music right to where you live, keeping you riveted to her charm. This is her debut album, but those of us who’ve witnessed her live knew what to expect when she finally unleashed this beauty.” – The Smooth Jazz Ride
 
“Albright channels her R&B side that shares her heart on both sleeves. Backed by production from James Roberson and Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis, Albright’s flexible pipes and songwriting unquestionably steals the spotlight.” – The Urban Music Scene
 
“Selina delivers her own therapeutic diary, in a soft soul and sultry jazz setting.”- Keys & Chords
 
“Selina pushes the envelope in R and B with a stylish nod to jazz with a really identifiable vocal sound.” – The Hollywood Times
 
 
For more information, including a complete concert itinerary, please visit www.SelinaAlbright.com.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 18, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Chuck Loeb - "Unspoken" - (Shanachie Records)
2 - 2 - Maysa - "Love Is A Battlefield" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
3 - 3 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
4 - 11 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
5 - 4 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
6 - 5 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
7 - 6 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
8 - 15 - U-Nam - "The Essential Collection" - (Skytown Records)
9 - 8 - Brian Culbertson - "Funk!" - (BCM Entertainment)
10 - 7 - Lindsey Webster - "Back To Your Heart" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
11 - 13 - Cindy Bradley - "Natural" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 14 - Brendan Rothwell - "Time On My Hands" - (Brendan Rothwell)
13 - 10 - David Benoit & Marc Antoine - "So Nice!" (Shanachie Entertainment)
14 - 9 - Najee - "Poetry In Motion" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
15 - 27 - Michael McDonald - "Wide Open" - (BMG)
16 - 12 - Roberto Tola - "Bein' Green" - (Roberto Tola)
17 - 16 - Nick Colionne - "The Journey" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm")
18 - 30 - Richard Elliot - "Summer Madness" - (Heads Up/Concord)
19 - 19 - Ben Tankard - "Full Tank3:CanTANKerous - Ben-Jamin Music Universal)
20 - 24 - Carol Albert - "Fly Away Butterfly" - (Carol Albert Music)


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Monday, September 11, 2017

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 11, 2017 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Chuck Loeb - "Unspoken" - (Shanachie Records)
2 - 2 - Maysa - "Love Is A Battlefield" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
3 - 3 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
4 - 6 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
5 - 5 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
6 - 4 - Nathan East - "Reverence" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
7 - 11 - Lindsey Webster - "Back To Your Heart" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
8 - 12 - Brian Culbertson - "Funk!" - (BCM Entertainment)
9 - 19 - Najee - "Poetry In Motion" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
10 - 9 - David Benoit & Marc Antoine - "So Nice!" (Shanachie Entertainment)
11 - 13 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
12 - 10 - Roberto Tola - "Bein' Green" - (Roberto Tola)
13 - 14 - Cindy Bradley - "Natural" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
14 - 14 - Brendan Rothwell - "Time On My Hands" - (Brendan Rothwell)
15 - 17 - U-Nam - "The Essential Collection" - (Skytown Records)
16 - 7 - Nick Colionne - "The Journey" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm")
17 - 23 - Michael Lington - "Second Nature" - (Copenhagen Music)
18 - 16 - Darryl Williams - "Here To Stay" - (Independent)
19 - 18 - Ben Tankard - "Full Tank3:CanTANKerous - Ben-Jamin Music Universal)
20 - 8 - Ragan Whiteside - "Treblemaker" - (Randis Music)


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