Thursday, August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul" has died at the age of 76

Aretha Franklin, the former gospel singer who went on to reign over the music industry as the Queen of Soul with hit songs such as “Respect,” “Chain of Fools” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” has died. She was 76.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Pianist-composer Jim Wilson embarks on an evocative journey of “Remembrance” #jazz

His tenth collection of soul-stirring cinematic portraits will be unveiled September 28
preceded by the radio single, “Thank You For Being A Friend.”

Along life’s journey, we may be lucky enough to meet someone who inspires us, has a lasting impact and transforms how we love and live our life. Pianist Jim Wilson said goodbye to his inspirational figure last year when his aunt passed away at age 97. He wrote “The Girl From Eastland County” for Aunt Billie Jo for his forthcoming tenth album, “Remembrance: A Collection of Cinematic Portraits,” but the presence of the woman who embodied unconditional love is felt throughout the redolent session of poignant piano poetry that drops September 28 from Willow Bay Music. Remembering another dear confidante, Andrew Gold, Wilson offers a sprightly instrumental remake of the late singer-songwriter’s worldwide hit “Thank You For Being A Friend,” which was remixed for radio airplay by the track’s guitarist Chris Standring.

On “Remembrance,” Wilson pours his seemingly endless fount of sweeping melodies and grandiose harmonies to craft vivid sonicscapes rendered with heart and emotion. Inherently expressive and sentimental, his exquisite piano strikes resonant notes that penetrate deep to the core. The color and scope applied to Wilson’s canvases vary, sometimes favoring a full palate of lavish orchestrations such as on opener “Shadow Falls,” the title track, “Under A Highlands Moon” and “Denouement”; other times choosing dreamlike ambient hues (“Tangerine Moon” and “Diogenes Lantern”); or opting to leave his reverential pencil sketches sparsely adorned (“In The Stillness” and “Home is Where the Heart Is”). Whether the accompaniment be minimal and atmospheric or illumined by noteworthy musicians including keyboardist Brad Cole (Phil Collins), drummer Charlie Morgan (Elton John), Irish flutist Eric Rigler (“Titanic” soundtrack) and noted session players Troy Dexter(guitar) and Neil Stubenhaus (bass), Wilson’s aim is to connect and lead his listeners on an affecting path of discovery.

“I’ve always been told that my music has a visual quality to it, but I wanted to take it to a new level with this record, creating a collection of ‘cinematic portraits’ that take the listener on an emotional journey. ‘Remembrance’ has a reverent, contemplative feel that serves as centerpiece for the rest of the album. What matters most is that this music enriches the lives of those who hear it,” said Wilson, who concluded by addressing the role his aunt still plays in his life. “I strive to be more like her in every aspect of my life.”

Wilson grew up in Amarillo, Texas, but he is a longtime Los Angeles-area resident. Three of his albums hit the Billboard Top 20 - “Northern Seascape,” “Cape of Good Hope” and “A Place In My Heart” - and two of his concerts have been made into PBS specials, including “A Place In My Heart.” His work as an innovator pioneered and revolutionized MIDI adaptors for piano by allowing it to interact with computers and synthesizers. He taught Paul McCartneyElton JohnJackson BrowneBurt BacharachCarole King and many others how to use the MIDI-piano. As a television composer, Wilson wrote music for the CBS series “Frank’s Place” and has performed on ABC and QVC. His previous albums include appearances by David SanbornStephen BishopJ.D. SoutherChris Botti and Dan Fogelberg. In addition to solo performances, Wilson has long served as keyboardist and music director for Bishop, for whom he is presently touring and opening.                

Wilson’s “Remembrance” contains the following songs:

“Shadow Falls”
“The Girl From Eastland County”
“In the Stillness”
“Tangerine Moon”
“Home is Where the Heart Is”
“Diogenes Lantern”
“Under a Highlands Moon”
“Thank You For Being A Friend”

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - August 13, 2018 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns II: From A to Z - (Concord)
2 - 2 - Chris Standring - "Sunlight" - (Ultimate Vibe)
3 - 5 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
4 - 3 - Nick Colionne - "Be Urself - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
5 - 6 - Lindsey Webster - "Love Inside" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
6 - 4 - Vincent Ingala - "Personal Touch" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
7 - 7 - Euge Groove - "Groove On" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
8 - 13 - Nils - "Play" - (Baja/TSR Records)
9 - 10 - Eric Darius - "Breakin' Thru" - (SagDarius Music)
10 - 8 - Michael Franks - "The Music In My Head" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
11 - 14 - Brian Simpson - "Something About You" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
12 - 9 - Jessy J - "Live ?At Yoshi's" - (Changi Records LLC)
13 - 12 - Gerald Albright - "30" -(Bright)
14 - 11 - Brian Culbertson - "Colors Of Love" - (BCM)
15 - 19 - Doc Powell - "Steppin' Out" - (DPR)
16 - 21 - Paul Brown - "Uptown Blues" - (Woodward Avenue)
17 - 17 - Manhattan Transfer - "The Junction" - (BMG)
18 - 24 - Rhythm Jets - "Rhythm Island" - (Infinity Jazz Records)
19 - 25 - Alexandra Jackson - "Legacy And Alchemy" (Legacy And Alchemy)
20 - 20 - Walter Beasley - "The Best Of Walter Beasley" - (Affable)

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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Friday, August 10, 2018

8.24.18 release by Debra Mann 'Full Circle The Music of Joni Mitchell' on Whaling City Sound #jazz

Joni Mitchell's metamorphosis from acoustic chanteuse of folk music to sophisticated performer of jazz (accompanied by geniuses like Pastorius, Shorter, Metheny, and Brecker) made an indelible impression on Debra Mann. "Joni's lyrics, combined with her gorgeous melodies, carried on the wind of her unique voice, struck deep chords of feeling within me."
Mann was first introduced to the music of Joni Mitchell in a poetry appreciation class in junior high school. "We listened to songs by various artists and discussed the hidden meaning in the lyrics." She hadn't heard of Joni Mitchell until then, but once she had, her world would be forever changed, as she was awakened to her own emerging voice as a musician. "I was of the impressionable age of fifteen, when I had a great curiosity and openness to the world and was sorting out the landscape of life and love, with its hopes and promises, as well as its disappointments. Joni's music helped to frame and clarify that world through her honest self-reflection and keen insight."
Fast forward a few years. Mann has graduated from Berklee College of Music, performed at Boston's Symphony Hall, as a featured guest soloist with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra, performed at the request of Frank Sinatra, and performed with her trio on Ron Dellachiesa's WGBH radio program "Music America" in celebration of Women's History Month. Mann, a piano and voice teacher (Brown University and Wheaton College), continues to perform in clubs and concert halls throughout New England. Five years ago, she began performing interpretations of Mitchell's music with her jazz quintet. The concept caught on quickly.
Full Circle: The Music of Joni Mitchell (Whaling City Sound) reflects on a lifetime of admiration for an artist who has been uncompromising in her approach to music, and celebrates the occasion of Mitchell turning 75 years old this year. "This is very inspiring material to work with, " says Mann. "Joni's music stirs powerful emotions with its universal themes and timeless beauty."

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Monday, August 06, 2018

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - August 6, 2018 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns II: From A to Z - (Concord)
2 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Sunlight" - (Ultimate Vibe)
3 - 4 - Nick Colionne - "Be Urself - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
4 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Personal Touch" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
5 - 5 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
6 - 6 - Lindsey Webster - "Love Inside" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
7 - 8 - Euge Groove - "Groove On" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
8 - 10 - Michael Franks - "The Music In My Head" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
9 - 7 - Jessy J - "Live ?At Yoshi's" - (Changi Records LLC)
10 - 10 - Eric Darius - "Breakin' Thru" - (SagDarius Music)
11 - 11 - Brian Culbertson - "Colors Of Love" - (BCM)
12 - 14 - Gerald Albright - "30" -(Bright)
13 - 12 - Nils - "Play" - (Baja/TSR Records)
14 - 29 - Brian Simpson - "Something About You" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
15 - 16 - Julian Vaughn - "Bona Fide" - (Trippin 'N'Rhythm)
16 - 13 - Jeff Ryan - "Up And Up" - (Woodward Avenue)
17 - 15 - Manhattan Transfer - "The Junction" - (BMG)
18 - 17 - Michael Lington - "Silver Lining" - (Copenhagen)
19 - 34 - Doc Powell - "Steppin' Out" - (DPR)
20 - 69 - Walter Beasley - "The Best Of Walter Beasley" - (Affable)

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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Friday, August 03, 2018

The Braxton Brothers return in the service of a "Higher" melody #jazz

"The Only Woman In The World" will invigorate soul-jazz radio playlists ahead of the release of the twins' sixth album, dropping August 24.

There is a reason why the bass and saxophone melodies Nelson and Wayne Braxton aka The Braxton Brothers write are so lyrical. They compose by writing lyrics first, a unique twist for an R&B-jazz instrumental twosome that uses vocals on only two of the twelve new songs they wrote and produced for their sixth album, "Higher," which drops August 24 from Braxton Productions.

"Yes, it is a different way of writing for instrumentalists, but for us, first and foremost, we never want to be background music. The purpose of our music is bigger. We feel that we have a higher responsibility. New music and new melodies move through us, giving people a reason to feel joy, have a good time, free them from stress, anxiety and problems; and show the listener love," said Nelson Braxton, who worked on the album during his global travels while taking in views of the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, The English Channel, The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Focused on their penchant for crafting irresistible melodies, The Braxton Brothers' message is a higher love. Preceding the album release is the high-energy, feel-good first single, "The Only Woman In The World," which ships to radio and goes for radio playlist adds in late July. Nelson, a bassist, wrote the exuberant song around 3am on a guitar during a Minnesota blizzard while on a tour bus passing the hours before he could call his wife back home. Such stories are typical of The Braxton Brothers' inspirations. They describe their recordings as "photos that document our lives." Nelson's supple basslines and Wayne's gregarious tenor and alto sax share euphonic, evocative tales of elated reunion ("Back In My Arms"); inner beauty vs. outer facades ("Beauty"); pursuing goals with faith ("Where I Wanna Be"); finding satisfaction in being loved ("Just To Be Loved"); the encouragement to look up when you're down in a dark place ("What Would I Do"); and the comforting reassurance of having a loved one close and present ("I'll Be Here").

The Braxton Brothers hitch their rich, indelible harmonies to funky R&B grooves, dynamic pop-rock rhythms, sensually soulful urban beats and breezy reggae vibes. Nelson, a longtime touring member of Michael Bolton's band, flexes his dexterous multi-instrumental prowess on "Higher" via bass (rhythm and lead), keyboards, percussion, drum programming, electric and acoustic guitar. Wayne, who has a history of working with Sheila E., handles saxophones, drum programming and background vocals. Chris Camozzi, Errol Cooney, Kay-Ta Matsuno, Ryan Parrino and Andy Quinn spike the tracks with electric and acoustic guitar.

"Higher" is a return to the smooth/contemporary jazz sandbox The Braxton Brothers are best known for playing in. Their last such outing was 2004's "Rollin'," which cemented their presence as genre staples on radio playlists, national charts and concert stages. The duo that debuted with 1996's "Steppin' Out" explored a decidedly different path on their last offering, the jazzy acoustic R&B set "True Love" (2013). They are currently planning an album release concert celebration around their September birthday in San Diego where they are based. Along with designing a show they describe as "new level," they're lensing videos for selections from the new album.

"Shooting videos allows us to share more about ourselves and allows people to connect with the music more deeply," said Wayne Braxton. "After growing, maturing and preparing, we reconnect with our roots on ‘Higher.' Our songs are about the melody, not just a vibe, and this album is full of fun, memorable melodies. A vital aspect of our music has always been about the ability to move and impact people, to touch them...touch their hearts. We are conduits for the music. It's not for us to figure out the meaning of it. That's up to each listener. ‘Higher' is about love on a higher level. Can we love on a higher level?"

The Braxton Brothers' "Higher" contains the following songs:

"The Only Woman In The World"
"You Care About Me"
"Back In My Arms"
"Something In My Heart"
"Because Of You"
"A Stronger Love"
"Where I Wanna Be"
"Just To Be Loved"
"What Would I Do"
"I'll Be Here"

# # #

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Cincinnati Solo Bass Artist, Nate White, Releases 3rd CD Titled "Up Close" #jazz

Phat Bass Entertainment, Inc. announces that Nate White (, a Cincinnati based solo bass artist with decades of performing, writing, and playing for crowds and fans across the country, this week will be releasing his 3rd CD for worldwide listening: "Up Close."

Due for release this summer 2018, the new CD's single, titled "Migration" will be available for downloading on August 3, 2018; also listen out for Nate White "Migration" on Jazz Radio August 13, 2018.  For more radio information go to:

White wrote, recorded, arranged, mixed, and performed on all of the tracks, with other writers such as DJ and producer Nick Luscombe out of the UK, and producer Tony Heath A.K.A. Tony Heat, Atlanta, GA. Other musicians include Randy Villars, Paul "PC" Caver, Dave Stewart, Iva Durand, and Eliot Slaughter out of Cincinnati and Dayton, Oh.

"In order to promote the upcoming launch of 'Up Close,' we're going on a 30-city tour with GAB Productions Inc. throughout the fall of 2018 to bring our new, soul-filled and passionate music to willing listeners across the country," said White.

"My fans love my funky bass, and all of the social media support I receive every day encourages me to make even more heart-filled music for my listeners."

"I put my heart and soul into the creation of this CD, and I had my fans in mind the entire time I created it," said White.

White is also the legendary bass player for the 70's group "RAMP," which was produced by Roy Ayers. His music is described as R&B, Funk, and Jazz rolled into one.

Nate has shared the stage with artist such as:

Michael Henderson, the Jazz Quartet "Gratitude," George Johnson of the "Brothers Johnson," Reggie Calloway former leader of "Midnight Star," Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp, Euge Groove, Phil Perry, Aubrey Logan, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Gerald Albright, and the nine GRAMMY®-nominated, platinum-selling artist, Dave Koz.

As the opening act for Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns Tour Louisville, KY, Iroquois Amphitheater, Saturday, July 14, 2018, Nate debuted the single titled "Migration," which will be available worldwide for digital downloading on August 3, 2018.

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