Monday, October 15, 2018

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - October 15, 2018 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 3 - Vincent Ingala - "Personal Touch" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
2 - 4 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Impact" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
3 - 1 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
4 - 2 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns II: From A to Z - (Concord)
5 - 6 - Paul Brown - "Uptown Blues" - (Woodward Avenue)
6 - 9 - Brian Simpson - "Something About You" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
7 - 7 - Bob James - "Espresso" - (Evosound)
8 - 8 - Chris Standring - "Sunlight" - (Ultimate Vibe)
9 - 14 - Adam Hawley - "Double Vision" - (Kalimba)
10 - 5 - Nils - "Play" - (Baja/TSR Records)
11 - 13 - Kim Waters - "What I Like" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
12 - 18 - Paul Hardcastle - "Hardcastle VIII" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythem)
13 - 10 - Jazz Holdouts - "Summer Nights" - (Palm Beach Jazz)
14 - 12 - Patrick Bradley - "Intangible" - (Patrick's Song Factory)
15 - 11 - Jeff Ryan - "Up And Up" - (Woodward Avenue)
16 - 22 - Darryl Williams - "Here To Stay" - (Independent)
17 - 16 - Skinny Hightower - "One Way Street" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
18 - 24 - Blake Aaron - "Color And Passion" - (Innervision)
19 - 15 - Lindsey Webster - "Love Inside" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
20 - 17 - Brian Bromberg - "Thicker Than Water" - (Mack Avenue Records)


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Monday, October 08, 2018

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - October 8, 2018 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
2 - 2 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns II: From A to Z - (Concord)
3 - 9 - Vincent Ingala - "Personal Touch" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
4 - 4 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Impact" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
5 - 6 - Nils - "Play" - (Baja/TSR Records)
6 - 7 - Paul Brown - "Uptown Blues" - (Woodward Avenue)
7 - 8 - Bob James - "Espresso" - (Evosound)
8 - 5 - Chris Standring - "Sunlight" - (Ultimate Vibe)
9 - 3 - Brian Simpson - "Something About You" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
10 - 17 - Jazz Holdouts - "Summer Nights" - (Palm Beach Jazz)
11 - 12 - Jeff Ryan - "Up And Up" - (Woodward Avenue)
12 - 36 - Patrick Bradley - "Intangible" - (Patrick's Song Factory)
13 - 11 - Kim Waters - "What I Like" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
14 - 13 - Adam Hawley - "Double Vision" - (Kalimba)
15 - 10 - Lindsey Webster - "Love Inside" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
16 - 15 - Skinny Hightower - "One Way Street" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
17 - 16 - Brian Bromberg - "Thicker Than Water" - (Mack Avenue Records)
18 - 25 - Paul Hardcastle - "Hardcastle VIII" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythem)
19 - 18 - Herb Alpert - "Music Volume 3: Herb Alpert Reimagines The Tijuana Brass" - (Herb Alpert Presents)
20 - 74 - Dee Brown - "Remembering You" - (Innervision Records)


Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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Monday, October 01, 2018

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - October 1, 2018 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
2 - 2 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns II: From A to Z - (Concord)
3 - 4 - Brian Simpson - "Something About You" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
4 - 8 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Impact" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
5 - 5 - Chris Standring - "Sunlight" - (Ultimate Vibe)
6 - 3 - Nils - "Play" - (Baja/TSR Records)
7 - 7 - Paul Brown - "Uptown Blues" - (Woodward Avenue)
8 - 10 - Bob James - "Espresso" - (Evosound)
9 - 6 - Vincent Ingala - "Personal Touch" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
10 - 9 - Lindsey Webster - "Love Inside" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
11 - 12 - Kim Waters - "What I Like" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
12 - 11 - Jeff Ryan - "Up And Up" - (Woodward Avenue)
13 - 13 - Adam Hawley - "Double Vision" - (Kalimba)
14 - 14 - Nick Colionne - "Be Urself - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
15 - 20 - Skinny Hightower - "One Way Street" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
16 - 20 - Brian Bromberg - "Thicker Than Water" - (Mack Avenue Records)
17 - 15 - Jazz Holdouts - "Summer Nights" - (Palm Beach Jazz)
18 - 16 - Herb Alpert - "Music Volume 3: Herb Alpert Reimagines The Tijuana Brass" - (Herb Alpert Presents)
19 - 26 - Jazmin Ghent - "The Story Of Jaz" - (Independent)
20 - 18 - Darryl Williams - "Here To Stay" - (Independent)


Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 24, 2018 #jazz


TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
2 - 3 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns II: From A to Z - (Concord)
3 - 4 - Nils - "Play" - (Baja/TSR Records)
4 - 8 - Brian Simpson - "Something About You" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
5 - 1 - Chris Standring - "Sunlight" - (Ultimate Vibe)
6 - 13 - Vincent Ingala - "Personal Touch" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
7 - 5 - Paul Brown - "Uptown Blues" - (Woodward Avenue)
8 - 7 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Impact" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
9 - 6 - Lindsey Webster - "Love Inside" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
10 - 24 - Bob James - "Espresso" - (Evosound)
11 - 11 - Jeff Ryan - "Up And Up" - (Woodward Avenue)
12 - 12 - Kim Waters - "What I Like" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
13 - 10 - Adam Hawley - "Double Vision" - (Kalimba)
14 - 9 - Nick Colionne - "Be Urself - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
15 - 16 - Jazz Holdouts - "Summer Nights" - (Palm Beach Jazz)
16 - 19 - Herb Alpert - "Music Volume 3: Herb Alpert Reimagines The Tijuana Brass" - (Herb Alpert Presents)
17 - 23 - Brian Bromberg - "Thicker Than Water" - (Mack Avenue Records)
18 - 15 - Darryl Williams - "Here To Stay" - (Independent)
19 - 20 - Blake Aaron - "Color And Passion" - (Innervision)
20 - 26 - Skinny Hightower - "One Way Street" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)


Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Skinny Hightower – Retrospect - Released on Trippin 'N' Rhythm #jazz

While we fans of smooth jazz love the music our favorite artists create for our enjoyment, we sometimes don’t stop to think about the pressure they must feel to keep generating those good vibes in ways that don’t simply copycat what they or others have done. This is especially true of artists like composer, producer, keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Skinny Hightower, who scored a smash hit right out of the box with his #1 radio smash “Taboo” from his Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm debut Emotions. A musical risk taker by nature with an intense, military service enhanced work ethic, Hightower knew he had to create a follow-up that would not simply match, but surpass the magic of that album.
Hightower’s process of creating the amazingly diverse, dynamically melodic and richly textured 15 tracks of his new album Retrospect shows a fascinating progression from his initial instincts to the soulfully developed urban jazz masterpiece it became. He originally wanted to go way outside his comfort zone and produce a hip-hop/traditional jazz hybrid. Soon realizing that developing his solo career depended on his ability to resonate with listeners, he delved deeply into the work of his heroes (among them Joe Sample, Bill Evans and Quincy Jones). The keyboardist cites the diverse modal qualities Sample trademarked as the chief inspiration driving the vibe on Retrospect – most obviously on the opening track “Sample That,” which features deeply funky Crusadersesque chords and colorful riffs flowing freely throughout the soulful and buoyant tune.
The Sample influence is simply the foundation for an album that has all the pocket urban jazz sensibilities we love – lush, infectious melodies, sprinkles of cheerful improvisation, lighthearted grooves galore – but takes all those out into explorations that defy easy categorization. Driven by his mastery of his Yamaha MX and P115 keyboards, Hightower artfully and playfully builds on his piano and synth foundation with organ, Fender Rhodes and flute textures, explosive horn and string arrangements, bass and deep percussion textures.

The virtual one man ensemble knows the value of brilliant musical friends, however, and invites funkified, Ukranian-born saxophonist Konstantin Klashtorni to the party early on. On “From The Heart,” Hightower swirls his playful riffs and soaring synth textures around an infectious melodic motif, then invites “K” to bounce off him in a spirited call and response pattern. “K” also chimes in with a killer solo that brings emotional texture to the mix. “K” later appears on the sensually romantic, chill flavored “Hold On,” doubling his horn and shooting off Hightower’s key melody to create a fascinating intertwining conversation.
The other prominent featured performer on Retrospect is electric guitarist Almon Johnson, who adds a rock intensity that brings Hightower’s productions to the level of classic jazz fusion, He jams on the high octane, piano pounding romp “California Dreams,” the old school soul-jazz propelled “One Way Street” (which starts out wistfully cool, then becomes increasingly edgy) and “Time Marches On,” which is one of the tunes that finds Hightower taking us back to church, with his bright organ swirls in a tight urban jazz pocket. Drummer Nate Smith holds down the groove on “Sample That,” “California Dreams,” the fiery and furious, blues flavored title track “Retrospect” (featuring more of Hightower’s stellar organ excitement), the trippy and exotic, soundscape colored “Stand Alone” and the alternately elegant and edgy, old school horn fired party tune “Bongo’s Groove.” The only other track featuring a guest is “Next To You,” an easy flowing retro-soul ballad with a tight bass groove (generated by Hightower) and the lush, ethereal lead vocals of Bebe Merrills.
The handful of other tracks are perfect, self-contained representations of the multi-textured, hard grooving magic that Hightower and his keyboards are capable of. Retrospect wraps with three of these, alternating moods between the bold and unbridled (“Optimistic”), ambient elegance and introspection (“Joyful Memories”) and cheerfully jubilant on the pop, rock and jazz hybrid throwback “Poppa J.” Two of Hightower’s most fascinating and unexpected moments along the way are the brief classically influenced “Retrospect Sonata Interlude” and a trippy, hypnotic re-imagining of Thom Bell’s “People Make The World Go Round” featuring the keyboardist carrying the shimmering melody on vibraphone (which he played in his high school band) and a bit of flute sweetening.
In line with its title theme of looking back while looking forward, Retrospect is a timeless work of art that can be appreciated on a multitude of levels. If smooth jazz needs inspiration for a unique and meaningful future, its artists need look no further than Skinny Hightower – an extraordinary artist who defies the norm by following his own muse and drawing on his limitless creative potential rather than simply following the hit making patterns of the past.
Jonathan Widran Smooth Jazz Daily > https://smoothjazzdaily.wordpress.com/


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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

GRAMMY® Award-winning Yellowjackets Return with New Album & Collaboration with Vocalist Luciana Souza on Raising Our Voice #jazz

The Yellowjackets have consistently forged ahead in their evolving artistic statements. The band has recorded close to 30 albums, been nominated for 17 GRAMMY® Awards, and has adventurously amplified the eclectic, electro-acoustic soundscape, creating a unique jazz sound since its fusion beginnings.


"The band keeps moving forward," says saxophonist Bob Mintzerwho joined the group in 1990. "It's one of the few partnership bands in the last four decades. It's democratic, laissez-faire and accommodating to everyone in the band to contribute. We're constantly reinventing ourselves as a reflection of what's happening in the world."

For their fourth Mack Avenue Records album, Raising Our Voice, the Yellowjackets once again ups the ante with bold new strides by inviting vocalist extraordinaire Luciana Souza to collaborate with the group for seven of its thirteen tunes as well as subtly taking a resistant stand against the status quo of the cultural and political undercurrent of our times. As a relative outsider, Souza contributes wordless vocals as well as songs sung in Portuguese and English. She was quickly won over by the band.

"They're killers," she says. "They're so serious yet also so much fun. We laughed a lot during the sessions. Their curiosity is alive, and their joy is to make great music. I was originally going to just do three songs, but it ended up that I'm on over half the record."


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Monday, September 17, 2018

Singer-Saxophonist Danny Bacher - A New Voice in Jazz Steps Out #jazz

It’s evident from the get-go that Danny Bacher is an ascendant star. His humor, his delivery, his talent, his joie de vivre appear instantly and plentifully on his new album Still Happy, a rather odd title, considering he’s just arrived on the scene and that he’s, well, pretty happy already, it seems.

Bacher honed his chops in the New York City jazz world, and he brings with him the confidence of someone who’s weathered the storm and is now better for it. His performance on the new album is seasoned and all-pro, a mix of youthful vigor and finger-popping vet. He bounces from oldies and goodies to classic takes on the Great American Songbook, all the while infusing them with dazzle and style. 

Produced by Jeff Levenson, the session features top talent, including Allen Farnham on piano, Dean Johnson on bass, Alvester Garnett on drums, Rolando Morales-Matos on percussion, and horn players Charles Caranicas and Harry Allen. Surrounded by quality, Bacher’s voice and soprano sax truly rise to the occasion, especially on the predominantly upbeat material, like “Laughing at Life,” Bernstein’s “Lucky to Be Me,” “Hooray for Hollywood” and the title track. Bacher is always at home on the stage and presents his case with elegance and class, not to mention a little laughter.

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