Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Harvey Mason - "Chameleon" - Releases on Concord April 29th, 2014 #jazz

 Harvey Mason, the GRAMMY-nominated drummer of Fourplay, was one of the cornerstones of Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters ensemble. Chameleon also features some of the brightest young jazz talents on the scene today, including several NEXT Collective alumni: trumpeter Christian Scott, bassist Ben Williams, pianist/keyboardist Kris Bowers, and guitarist Matthew Stevens.
“..a gem that reminds us why we loved Harvey in the first place!”
“Co-produced by Chris Dunn, Chameleon showcases some of the most talented young musicians in jazz today…Chameleon features seven of the era’s most enduring classics infused with modern day shine, including an imaginative new arrangement of Mason’s signature song and title track. For this new version of ‘Chameleon,’ Mason invited Bill Summers to reprise his famous hinedewho intro to ‘Watermelon Man,’ a song from Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters LP which Mason played on and arranged.”
“A blend of R&B, urban and cutting-edge jazz, Chameleon takes its inspiration from the title track, which Mason co-wrote with Herbie Hancock. It is a knowing nod to Mason himself, aptly dubbed the ‘Chameleon’ for his uncanny ability to perform so many styles of music.”
“While the personnel includes a handful of the drummers’ contemporaries (Jimmy Haslip, Bill Summers, John Beasley and Jackson), the fresh twist on these tunes is that Mason is playing with some of today’s brightest young jazz stars, some of whom he had not met before the live in the studio recording began.”
“Sophisticated, funky, and polished…Mason adds his own exclamation point with this solo effort that demonstrates his musical genius not only as a member of Fourplay but singularly as a bonafide legend”
Smooth Jazz Ride
“The sound is crisp, the funk is fresh and the lyrical sense of purpose never waivers. Harvey Mason opens a new chapter in his prolific career with arguably his best solo release yet. Still a member of Fourplay, Mason never misses a beat. While the year is still young, Chameleon is one of finest releases across any genre for 2014. You can go home again!” *****

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - April 14th, 2013 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
3 - 3 - Keiko Matsui - "Soul Quest" - (Shanachie)
4 - 5 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
5 - 6 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
6 - 4 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
7 - 7 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
8 - 10 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
9 - 8 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
10 - 9 - Steve Cole - "Pulse" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
11 - 13 - Andre Delano - "9 Mile Road" - (Woodward Avenue)
12 - 14 - Dianne Reeves - "Beautiful LIfe" - (Concord)
13 - 15 - Jumaane Smith - "I Only Have Eyes For You" - (Jumaane Smith Music)
14 - 16 - Jessy J - "Second Chances" - (Shanachie)
15 - 11 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
16 - 25 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
17 - 19 - Herb Albert - "Steppin' Out" - (Shout Factory)
18 - 17 - Kim Scott - "Rite of Passage" - (Independent)
19 - 18 - Citrus Sun - "People of Tomorrow" - (Dome)
20 - 23 - Althea Rene - "In The Flow" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Jackiem Joyner - "Evolve" Releases April 29th on Artizen #jazz

Genre-blurring saxophonist Jackiem Joyner ( takes his R&B, jazz, hip-hop, gospel and rock alchemy to imaginative new places on “Evolve,” his fifth album that will be released April 29. With his sweet and sticky sax melodies and impassioned horn play front and center, Joyner’s intricate rhythms and audacious soundscapes are equally present day and futuristic. Case in point: the album opener and first single, “Generation Next,” performed live in this clip with his band. Joyner and company rip through an edgy funk rock groove adorned with soulful horn harmonies. Pre-order "Evolve" from

“Evolve” is the first album that Joyner, a Billboard chart-topping award-winner, wrote and produced entirely on his own. The experimental second cut, “Europa,” showcases Joyner trekking the outer edge on soprano sax with a gentle assist from keyboard artist Keiko Matsui. Prominent often intertwined bass grooves play a leading role on “Double Bass.” Joyner’s sax unlocks a wealth of emotion on the majestic “Breathe.” The title track rockets through the stratosphere free to fly fueled by a vital sax lifeline. “Born To Fly” continues the adventurous exploration propelled by an aggressive attack replete with distorted electric guitar and shrill turntable scratches.

On the second act of the album with the mood shift signaled by “Interlude,” Joyner mines his R&B roots beginning with “Later Tonight,” a sensual Quiet Storm serenade. Tension builds on “See Through Me” providing a revealing look into the artist’s soul as the layers are slowly and deliberately stripped away.  Grammy-nominated saxophonist Gerald Albright, Joyner’s idol while growing up, duets with the young protégé on “Big Step.” The closing number, “A Gentle Walk On Water,” sets Joyner’s sax amidst a barren yet beautiful piano and string backdrop.

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Monday, April 07, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - April 7th, 2013 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
3 - 2 - Keiko Matsui - "Soul Quest" - (Shanachie)
4 - 5 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
5 - 6 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
6 - 4 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
7 - 16 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
8 - 9 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
9 - 13 - Steve Cole - "Pulse" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
10 - 11 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
11 - 8 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
12 - 7 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Soul Italiano" (Med Groove) - (Next Age Music)
13 - 14 - Andre Delano - "9 Mile Road" - (Woodward Avenue)
14 - 10 - Dianne Reeves - "Beautiful LIfe" - (Concord)
15 - 17 - Jumaane Smith - "I Only Have Eyes For You" - (Jumaane Smith Music)
16 - 19 - Jessy J - "Second Chances" - (Shanachie)
17 - 12 - Kim Scott - "Rite of Passage" - (Independent)
18 - 25 - Citrus Sun - "People of Tomorrow" - (Dome)
19 - 23 - Herb Albert - "Steppin' Out" - (Shout Factory)
20 - 20 - Cal Harris Jr. - "Remix: Shelter Island f. Euge Groove" - (CHI Int'l Music)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Les Sabler - "Jobim Tribute - Releases April 8th on New Vista Records #jazz

 A meditation on Jobim in the key of jazz
Guitarist Les Sabler pays homage to the Brazilian legend on “Jobim Tribute” due April 8
Before Les Sabler began recording “Jobim Tribute,” which will be released April 8 on New Vista Records, the jazz guitarist-vocalist walked a mile in the shoes of the iconic Brazilian composer known for writing exquisitely poetic romantic standards that popularized bossa nova. An inspired Sabler trekked to Brazil, visited the places Jobim frequented and absorbed the native culture and sounds. He voraciously studied recordings and read stacks of books about Jobim’s life. Sagely he knew that fostering authenticity on a collection of twelve Jobim songs involved more than just playing the right notes on his nylon string guitar or mastering the pronunciation of the Portuguese lyrics. Sabler, who produced the album, recognized that the most important ingredient was to capture the soulful passion inherent in the author’s touching melodies and sensually exotic rhythms. Pre-order "Jobim Tribute" on
The timing of Sabler’s record correlates to two milestones: the 50th anniversary of the classic “Getz/Gilberto” that spawned Jobim’s No. 1 hit “The Girl from Ipanema,” which helped weave bossa nova permanently into the fabric of American music; and the 20th anniversary of Jobim’s passing. When selecting material for “Jobim Tribute,” which is comprised of seven vocal tunes and five instrumentals, Sabler challenged himself by recording some of Jobim’s lesser known gems (“Esquecendo Voce” and “Janelas Abertas”) as well as popular favorites such as “Corcovado,” “Bonita” and “Fotografia.” The first single that was just shipped to radio stations for airplay is Sabler’s rendition of “A Felicidade,” a sweeping wave of joyous melody, nifty guitar fingerplay and an ethereal vocal chorus.        
Produced, arranged and performed in acoustic jazz settings, Sabler was accompanied by keyboardist Clay Perry (Julio Iglesias), acoustic bassist Byron House (Robert Plant’s Band of Joy), Brazilian drummer-percussionist Celso Alberti (Flora Purim, Stevie Winwood) and the late percussionist Joe Lala (CSNY, Bee Gees). Allon Sams scripted string arrangements as did Grammy-nominated arranger Tom Zink, who orchestrated a 4-piece string section that added emotional depth on three selections. 
Sabler explained that “My first trip to Brazil guided me to a deeper understanding of Jobim’s music from the places I visited followed by an immersion of his music, videos and books. During my trip, I was able to learn a lot more about the history of Brazilian music. I explored some of the places where Jobim used to hangout, including the restaurant where Heloisa Pinhiro walked by, who was the inspiration for ‘The Girl from Ipanema.’ I am passionate about this music and made it a goal to master and record it. After working on this project for several years, I am pleased to finally share it.”   
“Jobim Tribute” is Sabler’s seventh album. The Montreal native who studied music at Canada’s Concordia University and at the University of Miami, has created a catalogue of finely-crafted contemporary jazz recordings that summited sales and airplay charts in the U.S. and Canada while garnering award nominations, No. 1 most-played Canadian artist airplay honors and international acclaim. Most often playing electric guitar on earlier works, “Jobim Tribute” is his second consecutive record on which he exclusively plays nylon string acoustic guitar following 2010’s “Crescent Shores.”      
Earlier this week, the Tampa, Florida-based sports fan performed the American and Canadian National Anthems with Marshall Gillon on Opening Day for the Tampa Bay Rays followed the next night by performing the anthems prior to the Tampa Bay Lightning game. With the eyes of the world turning to Brazil for this year’s FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Sabler’s elegant “Jobim Tribute” is a perfectly timed soundtrack. For more information, please visit
Sabler’s “Jobim Tribute” contains the following songs:
“A Felicidade”
“Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)”
“Esquecendo Voce”
“Brigas Niunca Mais/Discussao”
“Se Todos Fossem Iguais A Voce”
“Por Causa De Voce”
“Janelas Abertas”
“Chega De Saudade”

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - March 31st, 2013 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Keiko Matsui - "Soul Quest" - (Shanachie)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 5 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
5 - 4 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
6 - 6 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
7 - 7 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Soul Italiano" (Med Groove) - (Next Age Music)
8 - 9 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
9 - 8 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
10 - 19 - Dianne Reeves - "Beautiful LIfe" - (Concord)
11 - 21 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 16 - Kim Scott - "Rite of Passage" - (Independent)
13 - 10 - Steve Cole - "Pulse" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
14 - 12 - Andre Delano - "9 Mile Road" - (Woodward Avenue)
15 - 14 - Chieli Minucci & Special EFX - "Genesis" - (Shanachie)
16 - 18 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
17 - 20 - Jumaane Smith - "I Only Have Eyes For You" - (Jumaane Smith Music)
18 - 11 - Jeff Golub - "Trains Keep A Rolling" - (eOne)
19 - 13 - Jessy J - "Second Chances" - (Shanachie)
20 - 24 - Cal Harris Jr. - "Remix: Shelter Island f. Euge Groove" - (CHI Int'l Music)

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Sam Rucker - "Tell You Something" - Release on Favor Productions - June 3rd - #jazz

 Inspired sax with a hip-hop lean
Sam Rucker urges “Be True 2 Who U R” ahead of the June 3 release of “Tell You Something”
Hip-hop producer turned contemporary jazz saxophonist Sam Rucker has something to say. Blending jazz, hip-hop, soul and gospel, he communicates through inspirational instrumentals that meaningfully resonate with listeners. Nearly three years in the making, his sophomore album, “Tell You Something,” is slated for release from Favor Productions on June 3 and includes contributions from Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Tom Browne and Alyson Williams on the set mixed and mastered by Euge Groove.    
Rucker produced “Tell You Something” featuring eight originals that he wrote or co-penned. The tracks harness the rhythms and intensity of hip-hop, melodic phrasing typical of R&B, rousing gospel affirmations and improvisational jazz nuances. A fan of vintage R&B, Rucker was honored to share production chores with Connors on instrumental renditions of three classics: “Before I Let Go,” “Footsteps in the Dark” and Connors’ signature hit, “You Are My Starship.” Lyle’s keyboard wizardry is on full display on each cover tune with gregarious solos while Browne’s regal trumpet adds a touch of class along with a fervent solo to “Starship.” Williams’ glorifies “Before I Let Go” and “Footsteps” with her lustrous voice. But it’s one of Rucker’s own empowering compositions, “Be True 2 Who U R,” that will be the first to receive airplay from the radio-friendly disc when it is serviced to stations in May. Rucker, who plays keyboards as well as tenor, alto and soprano sax on the record, elects to use his soprano horn over the chunky hip hop beats on the single.   
“My desire as an artist is not only to entertain, but to be a communicator – to connect with the listener in such a way that they are encouraged and inspired by my music. Even as an instrumentalist, I believe my music speaks lyrically and I use it to convey uplifting messages. I wrote ‘Be True 2 Who U R,’ ‘No Other Way’ and ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Like It’ to inspire confidence in one’s individuality. My music has a unique fingerprint and the songs on the album celebrate what the Creator put in me to share with the world. ‘Tell You Something’ and ‘A Million Ways’ convey my gratitude for the gifts He’s given me. ‘Brighter Day,’ ‘Love’s Melody’ and ‘A Long Way to Go’ were written to offer compassion for the sacrifices and struggles that we face in life and touch that place in our soul where adversity rests. ‘Brighter Day’ advocates that a brighter day will come if you keep the faith. The covers I selected pay tribute to some of the great R&B artists that shaped my listening while growing up. One of whom, Norman Connors, I had the pleasure of working with on this album,” said Rucker, a Virginia Beach, Virginia native who studied music while attending nearby James Madison University.
Shortly after releasing his 2011 debut album, “Heat from the Heavens,” that introduced his formula of “hip-hop grooves + jazz melodies + a splash of inspirational lyrics,” Rucker met Connors and planning commenced straightaway for “Tell You Something.” The saxman toured as a member of Connors’ Starship Orchestra through 2012. Over the years, Rucker has performed with Peter White, Ronnie Laws, Phil Perry, Cindy Bradley, Ivan Neville, Howard Hewett and Gerald Veasley as well as Groove, Browne and Williams. His work as producer spans hip-hop, gospel and spoken word. Rucker gigs throughout Virginia and looks to expand his routing nationally with the successful release of “Tell You Something.” For more information, please visit and
The cuts contained on “Tell You Something” are:
“Tell You Something”
“Before I Let Go”
“A Million Ways”
“You Are My Starship”
“Be True 2 Who U R”
“Ain’t Nothin’ Like It”
“Footsteps in the Dark”
“Brighter Day”
“No Other Way”
“Love’s Melody”
“A Long Way to Go”
“Tell You Something” (album version)

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