Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Euge Groove - "Groove On" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
2 - 2 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
3 - 4 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Ballads" - (Nordic Night Records)
4 - 3 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
5 - 9 - Nick Colionne - "The Journey" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
6 - 5 - Najee - "Poetry In Motion" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
7 - 6 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
8 - 10 - Paul Hardcastle - "The History Of Paul Hardcastle (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
9 - 8 - Patrick Bradley - "Intangible" - (Patrick's Song Factory)
10 - 7 - David Benoit & Marc Antoine - "So Nice!" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
11 - 19 - Carol Albert - "Fly Away Butterfly" - (Carol Albert Music)
12 - 13 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Prototype" - (Shanachie)
13 - 17 - Eric Valentine - "Velvet Groove" - (Matcha Entertainment)
14 - 11 - Tim Bowman - "Into The Blue" - (IM Records/Purpose Music)
15 - 14 - Dave Bradshaw Jr. - "Flipside" - (Moku)
16 - 29 - Darryl Williams - "Here To Stay" - (Independent)
17 - 27 - Lawson Rollins - "Airwaves: The Greatest Hits" - (Infinita Records)
18 - 15 - Norman Brown - "Let It Go" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
19 - 36 - Cindy Bradley - "Natural" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
20 - 12 - Julian Vaughn - "Bona Fide" - (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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Under The Lake – "Jazz, Groove & Attitude" - Releases on Mind in Overdrive February 23rd #jazz

The jazz-funk outfit will release their fourth album on February 23, marking their 25th anniversary

Like the name of one of their seminal influences, The Crusaders, Under The Lake has crusaded in the name of rhythm and groove, making jazz-funk records that don’t fit neatly into any box. Powered by the dual-horn attack of tenor saxophonist David Evans and trombonist John Moak, and armed with eleven original new songs composed and produced by keyboardist Jayson Tipp, the Portland, Oregon-based group will release their fourth album, Jazz, Groove & Attitude, on February 23. The Mind In Overdrive label release that will be serviced and promoted on multiple jazz radio formats after the holidays coincides with the 25th anniversary of the band’s debut disc, “Dive In.”

Relying on live instrumentation consisting of warm and earthy horn harmonies, danceable rhythm guitar riffs, rubbery bass lines and sturdy drum beats, Under The Lake sounds like a throwback to the vintage soul-jazz bands that pioneered the growth of contemporary jazz in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Although the group’s previous three platters garnered generous radio spins and chart action throughout the world in addition to receiving the plaudits of critics – from JazzTimes, Jazziz and the New York Daily News in the U.S. to major media outlets in France, Germany and Canada – Under The Lake didn’t veer from their path in order to tailor their records for commercial purposes. The tunes on Jazz, Groove & Attitude average nearly six minutes in length. The music has a lively energy and soulful edges as melodies and grooves develop and flow freely and spontaneously with ample time to simmer before erupting into a boil. The focus track at radio will be “George Is His Name,” a cut inspired by the late George Duke. Another song of note is “LJT,” which was written in honor of Team USA’s Lee Evans, John Carlos and Tommie Smith who are remembered for turning their 1968 Olympics medal ceremony into a fist-raised protest.

Tipp said, “As a kid growing up in the ‘70s, the music that I enjoyed most tended to have a little more interesting chord changes and extended musical passages. When I began my recording career and formed Under The Lake in the early ‘90s, smooth jazz was at its height and we never fit neatly into that or any other format. After a couple of lengthy breaks as our lives went in divergent directions, I reformed the band with a plan to record again. I reflected on what music I really wanted to play and it just seemed natural to gravitate back to what had influenced me early on. Over the last several years, I had gotten a lot deeper into The Crusaders and Joe Sample’s catalog. As the band and material came together, having a tenor (sax) and trombone leading the melodies seemed to bring it all together.”

The rebooted Under The Lake lineup consists of Tipp, Moak (Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck, Randy Brecker, Diane Schuur, Branford Marsalis), Evans (Pete Fountain, B.B. King, Nicholas Payton, Gladys Knight, Four Tops, Temptations), drummer Brian Foxworth, bassist Kenny Franklin, guitarist Evan Mustard, alto saxophonist Nat Caranto and special guest Joe Powers on harmonica.
After 1993’s “Dive In,” Under The Lake followed up two years later with “Up For Air,” took a decade-long “life” pause and regrouped to issue “People Together” in 2007. The unit has performed at top West Coast festivals and venues, sharing the marquee with contemporary jazz forces Sample, Billy Cobham, Stanley Jordan and Keiko Matsui. To pave the way for “Jazz, Groove & Attitude,” Under The Lake will play First Taste Oregon in Salem on January 27 and headline a tribute to The Crusaders at the PDX Jazz Festival in Portland on the album’s street date.

Reflecting fondly on the occasion of Under The Lake’s silver anniversary while enthusiastic about what’s ahead, Tipp said, “Even after all these years, I still run into folks that remember the band or shows we’d done years ago. The music from the first few albums still gets played on various outlets. I think ‘Jazz, Groove & Attitude’ is the best collection of material I’ve assembled with some really talented musicians. I hope that people enjoy it, that it starts the ball rolling so we can build on the momentum, creating new opportunities for us to perform in front of more audiences in more places.”

“Jazz, Groove & Attitude” contains the following songs:

“Breaking Through”
“Good Things”
“November 30th”
“George Is His Name”
“Father’s Day”
“Second Time Around”
“Full Of Life”
“I Just Can’t Wait”
“Rise And Shine”
“September Groove”

For more information, please visit http://www.UnderTheLake.com.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr's Famed 'I Have a Dream' - NPR Video #MLKDAY

On Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, we remember the civil rights leader's most famous speech, and King's remarkable legacy. He was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta. He gave the "I Have a Dream" speech on Aug. 28, 1963 to 250,000 people who marched to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill that created a federal holiday to honor King, celebrated on the third Monday in January.


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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Lisa Hilton - Escapism (Ruby Slippers Productions) Released Jan 4, 2018 #jazz

For her 20th album Lisa Hilton wanted to provide uplift and relief, where listeners can be energized and feel rejuvenated, and this became the theme for the aptly titled ESCAPISM. Each composition seems to generate, by albums end, a mental release or escape all its own. “Artists have an important role in our culture and community--it is through art and music that our souls and spirits can be energized, balanced and entertained--we all need to "escape" or transcend our challenges. I want our music to be a positive force whether you\\'re listening on the subway, while at work or lounging on a tropical island! Our music embraces the good experiences in our world,” Hilton comments.

After working solo on last year's Day & Night release, Hilton brought back saxophonist JD Allen, trumpet and flugelhornist Terell Stafford, bassist Gregg August and drummer Rudy Royston into Avatar Studios. “Our engineer James Farber, a true sound icon, captured the incredible sound of these amazing musicians - all leaders in their own right,” Hilton enthuses. “I feel very fortunate to continue to work again and again with them." ESCAPISM is an audiophile's delight from the team of top engineers that Hilton has worked with for years: besides recording engineer Farber, it was mixed by 23-time Grammy® Award-winning engineer Al Schmitt at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood and mastered by multi-Grammy® Award-winners Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen.

The opening track, "Hot Summer Samba," twirls in multiple Latin rhythms and melodic ideas that Hilton composed to start the album moving. That track segues into the fast-paced trio work of "Meltdown." Hilton's melodic touch is evident in "Another Everyday Adventure," and the closer "Utopia Cornucopia," both soundtracks to finding wonderland anywhere, anytime and where you least expect it. Although Hilton does not record many covers, her arrangement of Lerner & Lane's classic "On A Clear Day" calms and inspires, suggested by the unsung lyrics "On a clear day...you'll feel part of every mountain sea and shore." The track highlights her excellent trio mates while showcasing Hilton's ability to the interpret classics in new ways. The jaunty solo piece, "Escape Velocity Blues," seems to channel Neal Hefti and Count Basie, but is all Hilton with her signature touch on the keys. The beauty of Allen's tenor sax and Stafford's clear flugelhorn, alongside her own performance, shine through on "Zero Gravity." The tracks "Too Hot" and "29 Palms" are envelopes to a different kind of space, reaching in evocative and seemingly narrative directions.

With all that continues to change in our world, ESCAPISM seeks a journey that is focused on the feelings and positive energy it creates. Hilton allows this journey to be constructed and articulated through her written compositions evoking a sentiment of peace, tranquility and upbeat energy.

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Urban-jazz bassist Darryl Williams shows he’s got staying power on new single #jazz

 “Do You Remember,” featuring saxophonist Michael Lington, follows the Billboard top 10 “Here to Stay.”

It took ten years for urban-jazz bass player Darryl Williams to write, record and release “Here to Stay,” his Billboard top 10 single and the title track to his second album. This week’s releaseof the follow-up single, “Do You Remember,” proves that he doesn’t plan to go away anytime soon. Plucking rubbery basslines on piccolo and electric basses on the slick jazz-funk energizer that he wrote and produced, Williams is joined on the dancefloor filler by chart-toppers Michael Lington (saxophone) and Adam Hawley (guitarist).   
Williams’ return to center stage as a frontman with the “Here to Stay” set resulted in a 2017 Best New Artist nomination from the Smooth Jazz Network. The first-call bassman calls the collection that he produced with sax powerhouse Euge Groove “a labor of love,” featuring eight of his hand-penned originals along with a pair of remakes that have personal meaning to the San Diego native who currently resides in Temecula. A stellar list of his regular employers were quick to return the favor by making guest appearances on “Here to Stay,” including Groove, who ignites a pair of tunes including the title cut, two-time Grammy-winning guitarist and producer Paul Brown, jazz-funk keyboard pioneer Jeff Lorber, saxmen Marcus Anderson and Elan Trotman, and keyboardists Jonathan Fritzen, Greg Manning and Scott Wilkie. The disc’s lone vocal number, a faithful rendering of The Emotions’ “Don’t Ask My Neighbors,” is soul kissed by R&B crooner Ashling Cole. Williams remembers his late mentor, Carl Evans Jr., by revamping the former Fattburger leader’s sweetly redolent “The Doctor,” which is graced by Michael Paolo’s caressing soprano sax.
“While to some people, ‘labor of love’ is an overused cliché, it certainly applies to ‘Here to Stay.’ I began writing songs for the collection in 2007 before moving my family to Temecula from Las Vegas. The compositions were inspired by different experiences we went through in our journey throughout that period. It was an important and formative time in my career as well. That’s when I first started playing in Euge’s (Groove) band and did a tour with Jeff (Lorber) a couple years later. In between is when my very good friend and mentor Carl (Evans Jr.) passed, which was devastating. ‘Do You Remember’ was one of the last songs I wrote for the record and it was inspired by reflecting on how far I’ve come from growing up as a kid in Los Angeles and San Diego to playing in a funk band with my brother as a teenager. It took me ten years to finish this album and while it takes me back in time, the reaction from fans, radio and reviewers has me looking forward with excitement. I couldn’t be more proud of this album,” said Williams.        
Williams was a teenager when he opened for R&B acts Lakeside and Al Green along with gospel legend Shirley Caesar. After studying jazz at San Diego State University, Williams went from regular gigs backing many of San Diego’s most prominent homegrown talent to the neon lights of the Las Vegas strip where he accompanied such nationally-renowned headliners as Clint Holmes, Angela Bofill, Tevin Campbell, Howard Hewett and Keith Washington, and did a road stint with Chaka Khan. After moving back to California in 2008, Williams dropped his debut album, “That Was Then,” garnering praise from JazzTimes and national airplay on SiriusXM. He has become a fixture on the smooth/contemporary jazz scene where he has shared the stage with the genre’s heavy hitters: Richard Elliot, Peter White, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, Brenda Russell, Darren Rahn, Jessy J, Everette Harp and Jeff Kashiwa. He has also recorded with Jackiem Joyner, Blake Aaron, Nils Jiptner, U-Nam and Kay-Ta Matsuno.        
For additional information, please visit http://darrylwilliamsmusic.com/.

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Monday, January 08, 2018

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

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Rick Braun - "Around The Horn" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
2 - 3 - Euge Groove - "Groove On" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
3 - 2 - Boney James - "Honestly" - (Concord Music Group)
4 - 6 - Paul Brown - "One Way Back" - (Woodward Avenue)
5 - 9 - Paul Hardcastle - "The History Of Paul Hardcatle (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
6 - 4 - Nick Colionne - "The Journey" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 7 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Prototype" - (Shanachie)
8 - 10 - David Benoit & Marc Antoine - "So Nice!" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
9 - 8 - Norman Brown - "Let It Go" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
10 - 11 - Najee - "Poetry In Motion" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
11 - 14 - U-Nam - "The Essential Collection" - (Skytown Records)
12 - 12 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Ballads" - (Nordic Night Records)
13 - 13 - Maysa - "Love Is A Battlefield" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
14 - 17 - Carol Albert - "Fly Away Butterfly" - (Carol Albert Music)
15 - 15 - Brian Simpson - "Persuasion" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
16 - 16 - Chuck Loeb - "Unspoken" - (Shanachie Entertainment)
17 - 24 - Eric Valentine - "Velvet Groove" - (Matcha Entertainment)
18 - 19 - Gerald Albright - "G" - (Bright)
19 - 23 - Special EFX - "Deep As The Night" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
20 - 53 - Main Street Beat - "Jackiem Joyner" - (Mack Avenue/Artistry)

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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Saturday, January 06, 2018


Airwaves: The Greatest Hits chronicles a decade's worth of  radio  hits from Lawson Rollins’ seven solo albums, including the Billboard Top 30 contemporary jazz radio charting songs "Island Time," "Moonlight Samba," "Infinita," "Flight," and "Daybreak."

Two new bonus tracks were recorded exclusively for this album:  the contemporary jazz future hit  "World of Wonder" (featuring the Billboard #1 jazz fusion group 3rd Force) and the classically-inspired, world-music composition "Prado" (featuring 2-time Grammy Award winning Danish violinist Mads Tolling).

Airwaves showcases the melodic, tuneful side of Rollins' music that has set radio airwaves afire since his 2008  debut solo album Infinita. Although Rollins is noted for his fleet-fingered flights of virtuosity, showcased in his viral video hits, such as “The Fire Cadenza,” that have received over 10 million views on YouTube alone,  his radio hits find him purely in the service of the melodies and song craft.

Many of the radio edits are markedly different from the album versions and feature performances not heard on the albums and never before made available, such as  “In Motion (radio edit)” which showcases an exclusive appearance by Billboard #1 saxophonist Praful.   All the tracks have been freshly remastered at world-renowned Sterling Sound in New York.

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