Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chuck Loeb Salutes Pat Martino On Current Album

Guitarist Chuck Loeb says that he wanted to create an album that in some ways would reflect on his life as a musician and a person at this stage. For his new set, Presence, the veteran performer says he returned to the style of some of his earliest albums and also paid tribute to his musical influences.

Loeb includes a salute to veteran guitarist Pat Martino on the new album. On the track, titled "Mr. Martino," Loeb says he doubled the sound of his guitar solo to emulate a signature recording by Martino. The technique demonstrates Loeb's inventiveness on his instrument, as he explains: "I doubled the whole thing. In other words, when I say I doubled it I mean I learned my solo, then I played the exact same solo again as a double, so it's got this sound of denseness to it, of two guitars playing together. And I did that because one of my favorite recordings of his is something called 'Desperado' and he played a 12-string guitar with that same sound."

Loeb is getting airplay for the track "Good To Go," which stands at Number 15 on the national smooth jazz airplay chart this week.

By: Janine Coveney

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Victor Fields | ‘Thinking of You’

There are reasons why it’s called smooth jazz. One is the smooth sound of sultry vocalist Victor Fields. With his fourth album in stores, the artist, called a “soulful singer with a jazzy feel,” has got the genre covered – literally.

The new disc, titled “Thinking of You,” is a collection of covers and features a dynamic list of musicians and producers, including Chris Comozzi, keyboardist Jeff Lorber, saxophonist Richard Elliot and flugelhorn player Rich Braun.

This album is more than a remake of classic soul hits, though. It’s an enlightening piece of work that led the veteran singer to find his own identity. After creating his first through third albums with certain goals in mind, Fields said that this was the first time he just walked in the studio and laid down a record with no agenda.

“The very first record I started out with, Kashif was the producer. It was a very Urban AC (Adult Contemporary) CD,” he described. “The second project, I moved back to the Bay Area. It was something that I didn’t plan, but something that felt natural. I wanted to be more grounded, so I went into more of a jazz thing. But I think there is still a lot of soul still left in me and I didn’t really understand that until we were talking about the next album.”

What Fields referred to was the development, or lack of development to some degree, of this project. He sat down with his producer who simply suggested that he “have some fun” in doing the new project.

“Having fun equated to some classic R&B tunes, like ‘Lovely Day’; songs that I just thought were great songs,” Fields explained. “I think that you can take a writer like Bill Withers and can put him on the same level as Paul McCartney and Leonard Bernstein. He’s one of the most underrated contemporary songwriters.”

Fields continued that the disc made him feel like he was coming into his own because of the energy in creating the disc.

“You can feel it in the new CD; you can feel the energy,” he said. “The way people stretched and contributed on this record ... it’s like everyday was fun. The first day we went in and did ‘Lovely Day’ and it had so much beautiful energy. This is the kind of music I like.”

Since he’s now coming into his own, EUR’s Lee Bailey asked the singer how he would describe his sound:

“I’m just a student of voice,” he said modestly. “I got into this thing; I took some voice lessons and got very serious about singing all types of music; from Negro spirituals to jazz to R&B to pop. The word eclectic has been used and I understand that because of the diversity of my repertoire and all the types of music that I’ve done. I’ve done all that. I’m very much into melody. I’m kind of a classic. I just really paid attention and respect a lot of the real classic singers and try to incorporate that into my [music].”

No matter what he considers his genre, the Brooklyn-born singer, who considers himself both an R&B and smooth jazz artist, said he realizes his sound is shaped by listeners and his fans.

“In the bio, I’m trying to describe where I’m going, but my audience is telling me where I need to be. That’s what I mean when I say that I’m evolving and I’m fitting into a spot, I’m in a natural place. I mean that I didn’t do anything for radio; I didn’t do anything for marketing. I’m just doing fun.”

Fields promised that his next project would probably be more original material, but said that the style would stay the same – a hybrid of R&B and jazz. But he is definitely content with his current project’s stylings.

“It just felt freer, lighter. At the end of the day I liked every song. I didn’t analyze, I didn’t think, I just sang. And I said, ‘This feels good and this is where I need to be.’,” he said.

To get more on Victor Fields and check out the music from “Thinking of You,” visit his website at

By Kenya M Yarbrough -

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Chieli Minucci | "Sweet Surrender

Produced by Chieli Minucci 6/02-1/07
Executive producer Danny Weiss
Mixed & Mastered by Paul Wickliffe at Skyline Productions
Recorded by Paul Wickliffe at Charlestown Road Studios, NJ
Additional recording and all pre-produciton by Chieli Minucci at Baci Studios, NYC
Additional recording by Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Studios, NYC
Additional recording by David Mann at Studio 107, NYC

1. Guitarzzz, 2. Mystical, 3. Astralcats, 4. Sweet Surrender, 5. Ascension, 6. Chant, 7. Cry Of My Soul, 8. Play With Me, 9. Rush Hour (Dawn), 10. Rush Hour (Rush), 11. Children's Day, 12. New Bop, 13. Au Naturale,

All titles composed & arranged by C. Minucci (ASCAP)
Published by Chieli Music (ASCAP)except Chant, written by Philip Hamilton & Chieli Minucci. Published by Milimaya Music (BMI) & Chieli Music (ASCAP)

Chieli, keyboards, vocals, programming
Jerry Brooks............bass
Lionel Cordew.........drums
Jay Rowe.................acoustic grand piano, keyboards
Philip Hamilton.......percussion, vocals
David Mann.............saxophones, flute

Additional musicians
Will Brock.......background vocals on Sweet Surrender,
Play With Me, & Guitarzzz
Dave Anderson......fretless bass on Cry Of My Soul & Chant
Wayne Batchelor...double bass on Au Naturale
Ada Luz Jiron, Julietta, Danny Madden........additional vocals on Chant

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Joey DeFrancesco | 'Live At Yoshi's"

Joey DeFrancesco, "Live at Yoshi's". DeFrancesco's eighth release for Concord, "Live at Yoshi's" delivers an outstanding live collection of standards, which he refers to as his "authorized bootleg.”

Last year when Joey DeFrancesco set up shop for a four-night engagement at Yoshi’s, the San Francisco Bay Area’s premiere jazz club in Oakland CA, he had no intention of making an album, but renditions of standards “Cherokee,” “Ceora,” “I’m in the Mood for Love" and more, capture the essence of classic jazz in a live setting. “These songs have been played a million times,” says DeFrancesco, “but the level of live playing here is what gives the music its bebop and post-bebop beauty. We’re all playing in the moment—balls to the wall.”

You can check out Joey DeFrancesco's official site and myspace page here:

Streaming Audio:

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Smooth Jazz Chart | Week Ended 2/26/07

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Kirk Whalum - "Give Me The Reason"; Patti Austin - "So Amazing" - VA - Forever, For Always, For Luther II - (Rendezvous)
2 - 2 - Peter White - "Playin' Favorites" - (Columbia)
6 - 3 - Boney James - "Shine" - (Concord)
3 - 4 - Mindi Abair - "Life Less Ordinary" - (GRP)
4 - 5 - Eric Darius - "Just Getting Started" - (Narada Jazz)
5 - 6 - George Benson & Al Jarreau - "Givin' It Up" - (Concord)
8 - 7 - Chuck Loeb - "Presence" - (Heads Up)
7 - 8 - Wayman Tisdale - "Way Up" - (Rendezvous)
11 - 9 - Walter Beasley "Ready For Love" - (Heads Up)
9 - 10 - Kenny G - "I'm In The Mood For Love...The Most Romantic Melodies Of All Time" - (Arista)

Find these top-ten and more at

Visit to view the latest complete top 50 chart.
Visit to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Acoustic Alchemy's New CD Due In June

Acoustic Alchemy has completed a new album called This Way, which follows the band’s American/English project from 2005. Once again, the group led by the British guitar duo of Greg Carmichael and Miles Gilderdale recorded most of the album at the legendary Hansa Haus studios in Germany, but also utilized two studios in London and one in York, England.

The album includes all original songs, with titles including “Love Is All There Is,” “Who Knows,” “Slampop,” “Tied Up With String” and “Only In My Dreams.” In addition to guest stars Rick Braun on trumpet on the song “Carlos and the King” and Jeff Kashiwa on saxophone on the tune “Egg,” band members include Neil Cowley on piano, Snake Davis on sax, Terry Disley on piano, Greg Grainger on drums, Fred White on trumpet and Julian Crampton on bass.

This Way will be released on June 5.

This Way Track Listing

1. Love Is All There Is (G.Carmichael/M.Gilderdale) - 4:22
2. Ernie (G.Carmichael/M.Gilderdale) - 6:34
3. Who Knows (G.Carmichael/M. Gilderdale/A.H.White) - 3:56
4. Slampop (G.Carmichael/M.Gilderdale) - 4:47
5. Out of Nowhere (G.Carmichael/M.Gilderdale) - 3:38
6. This Way (G.Carmichael/M.Gilderdale) - 4:41
7. Tied Up With String (G.Carmichael/M.Gilderdale) - 5:12
8. Only In My Dreams (G.Carmichael/ M.Gilderdale) - 5:52
9. Carlos the King (G.Carmichael/ M.Gilderdale) - 5:52
10. Egg (G.Carmichael/M.Gilderdale/A.H.White) - 5:11
11. Now I'm On My Way (G.Carmichael/M.Gilderdale) - 4:44

Posted by Brian Soergel
Brian Soergel's Smooth Jazz Scoop

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ramsey Lewis Stays On His Toes

At 72, smooth jazz legend Ramsey Lewis is showing no signs of slowing down. Besides hosting two radio shows, touring with his trio and recording (his 76th album, One Voice, came out in 2005), Lewis is working on some original music for a new ballet for the Joffrey Ballet. He is collaborating with famed choreographer Donald Byrd for production's June premiere at the Ravinia Festival outside of Chicago.

So how does the father of seven and grandfather of 13 juggle all those responsibilities? Lewis told Scripps-Howard News Service, "At this point in my life, I wound up doing not one, not two, but several things that I love, and I'm just crazy enough to try and squeeze them all in my schedule. So far, it's working, but maybe it's...because I have so much fun with all of them. When you're having fun and feel good about what you're sleep well at night and you're ready to get up in the morning and do it all over again."

By: Cindy Grogan -

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New Releases | February

Blackbyrds, Happy Music: Best of [Fantasy, 2/27/07]
Paul Brown, White Sand [Concord Jazz, 2/27/07]
King Curtis, Soul Meeting "Japan" [Prestige, 2/27/07]
Barbara Dennerlein, Bebab "Import" [Another S, 2/27/07]
Herbie Hancock, Evening With Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea In Concert "Import-Remastered" [Sony, 2/27/07]
Bireli Lagrene, Djangology /To Bi Or Not To Bi [Dreyfus Jazz, 2/27/07]
Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, Sweet Surrender [Shanachie, 2/27/07]
Andy Narell, Tatoom: Music For Steel Orchestra [Telarc, 2/27/07]
Eddie Palmieri, Azucar Pa' Ti [Fania, 2/27/07]
Joe Zawinul, Brown Street [Heads Up, 2/27/07]
Patti Austin, Avant-Gershwin [Rendezvous, 2/27/07]

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Upcoming Jazz Releases | 2/27/07

Andy Narrell - Tatoom: Music for Steel Orchestra (Telarc)
Benny Reid - Findings (Concord)
Bireli Lagrene - Djangology / To Be or Not to Bi (Dreyfus)
Carlos Santana / Wayne Shorter - Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1988 (Image) - DVD-Video
Chet Atkins - Chet Atkins (MPI Home Video) - DVD-Video
Chieli Minucci & Special EWFX - Sweet Surrender (Shanachie)
Hays / Hicks / Williams - On the Wings of an Eagle (Chesky)
Joe Zawinul - Brown Street (Heads Up)
John Martyn - Empty Ceiling (NTSC/R0 - UK) (One World) - DVD-Video
Josef Vejvoda - One Minute Dance (Czech Republic) (Cube Bohemia)
Joshua Edelman - Calle Del Rosario (Union Music)
Kahil El'Zabar - Deeper Soul Remix Project (HBD Label Group)
Kosvanec & Friends - Prague Jazz (Cube Bohemia)
Marc Copland - Some Love Songs (Pirouet)
Oscar Peterson - What's Up The Very Tall Band (Telarc)
Otis Taylor - Definition of a Circle (Telarc)
Paul Brown - White Sand (Concord)
Phlogistone - L14 16 (Nagel-Heyer)
Sidney Bechet - Treat it Gentle (Kultur) - DVD-Video
Taylor Ho Bynum & Tomas Fujiwara - True Events (482 Music)
The Beatles - Archival Treasures 1964-1971 (K.C. Sales) - DVD-Video
Tim Hagans - Beautiful Lily (Pirouet)
Tony Oxley - Advocat (Tzadik)
Tuck & Patti - Pure Tuck & Patti (+1 bonus track) (Japan) (BMG)
Walter Lang - Lotus Blossom (Pirouet)

Art Pepper - Complete "Going' Home" Session (Japan) (Galaxy)
Art Pepper - Complete "Tete-A-Tete" Session (Japan) (Galaxy)
Art Pepper - Complete "Winter Moon" Session (Japan) (Galaxy)
Art Pepper - First Live in Japan (Japan) (Contemporary)
Art Pepper - Today (Japan) (Galaxy)
Bill Evans / Bob Brookmeyer - Ivory Hunters (Japan) (Toshiba)
Bill Perkins - Octet On Stage (Japan) (Toshiba)
Bill Summers - Feel the Heat (Japan) (Prestige)
Blackbyrds - Happy Music: The Best of the Blackbyrds (Fantasy)
Bobby Timmons - Got to Get It (Japan) (Milestone)
Bobby Timmons - Little Barefoot Soul (Japan) (Prestige)
Cal Tjader - Los Ritmos Calientes (Japan) (Fantasy)
Cal Tjader - Mambo with Tjader (Japan) (Fantasy)
Cal Tjader - Tjader (Japan) (Fantasy)
Charles Kynard - Professor Soul (Japan) (Prestige)
Dave Pike - Bossa Nova Carnival (Japan) (Newjazz)
Dave Pike - Rimbo Carnival (Japan) (Newjazz)
Donald Byrd - Byrd's Eye View (Japan) (Toshiba)
Eddie Palmieri - Azucar Pa' Ti (Sugar For You) (Universal Music France)
Frank Sinatra - Only the Lonely (Toshiba)
Freddie Roach - My People (Prestige)
Gary Bartz - Shadow Do (Japan) (Prestige)
Gene Ammons - Goodbye (Japan) (Fantasy)
Gene Ammons / Sonny Stitt - Soul Summit (Japan) (Fantasy)
George Braith - Laughing Soul (Japan) (Prestige)
George Shearing - Jazz Moments (Japan) (Toshiba)
George Wallington - Prestidigitator (Wounded Bird)
Herbie Hancock / Chick Corea - An Evening with Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea (remastererd) (Japan) (Sony)
Hugh Maskela - Hope (Japan) (Triloka)
Jack McDuff - Goodnight: It's Time to Go (Japan) (Prestige)
Jack McDuff - Honeydripper (Japan) (Prestige)
Jack McDuff - Hot Barbecue (Japan) (Prestige)
James Taylor Quartet - 1987 (BGP)
Joe Williams - Sing Along with Basie (Toshiba)
John Wright - Nice 'n' Tasty (Japan) (Prestige)
John Wright - South Side Soul(Japan) (Prestige)
Johnny Griffin - Grab This! (Japan) (Riverside)
Johnny Hammond Smith - Cooks with Gator Tail (Japan) (Prestige)
Johnny Hammond Smith - Stinger (Japan) (Prestige)
Julie London - London By Night (Japan) (Toshiba)
Julie London - Lonely Girl (England) (Revola)
King Curtis - Soul Meeting (Japan) (Prestige)
Larry Young - Groove Street (Japan) (Prestige)
Latin Jazz Quintet - Latin Soul (Newjazz)
Maynard Ferguson - Wow - The Formative Years (Living Era)
Maynard Ferguson - MF Horn 2 (Wounded Bird)
Maynard Ferguson - MF Horn 4 & 5 (Wounded Bird)
McCoy Tyner - Fly with the Wind (Japan) (Milestone)
McCoy Tyner - Trident (Japan) (Milestone)
Mike Boomfield - Count Talent and the Originals (Italy) (Akarma)
Mongo Santamaria - Jazz Explodes (Japan) (Riverside)
Nina Simone - Nina Simone Story (UK) (Charly)
Nino Rosso - Il Silencio (Netherlands) (Remember)
Patrice Rushen / George Benson - Prelusion (Japan) (Prestige)
Peter Erskine - Peter Erskine (Contemporary)
Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers - Tough! (Japan) (Prestige)
Ray Barretto - Irresistable (remastered) (Fania)
Ray Brown / Oscar Peterson - So What's Up? (Telarc)
Richard Groove Holmes - Living Soul (Japan) (Prestige)
Shirley Scott - Soul Searching (Japan) (Prestige)
Shirley Scott & Latin Jazz Quintet - Mucho Mucho (Japan) (Prestige)
Shirley Scott / Stanley Turrentine - Hip Soul (Japan) (Prestige)
Shorty Rogers / Gerry Mulligan - Modern Sounds (Japan) (Toshiba)
Sid Phillips & HIs Band - Sid Phillips & His Band (England) (Castle)
Soft Machine - Third (remastered plus bonus live cd) (UK) (Sony/BMG UK) - 2+ CDs
Soft Machine - Fourth (Remastered) (Sony/BMG UK)
Soft Machine - Fifth (Remastered plus on bonus track) (UK)) (Sony/BMG UK)
Soft Machine - Six (Remastered (UK) (Sony/BMG UK)
Soft Machine - Seven (Remastered (UK) (Sony/BMG UK)
Sonny Rollins - Cutting Edge (Japan) (Milestone)
Sonny Rollins - Easy Living (Japan) (Milestone)
Sonny Rollins - Next Album (Japan) (Milestone)
Sonny Rollins - Solo Album (Japan) (Milestone)
Sonny Stitt - So Doggone Good (Japan) (Prestige)
Sonny Stitt / Booker Ervin - Soul People (Japan) (Prestige)
Sonny Stitt / Brother Jazz McDuff - Meets Brother Jack (Japan) (Prestige)
Stanley Turrentine - West Side Highway (Japan) (Fantasy)
Trudy Pitts - Introducing the Fabulous Trudy Pitts (Japan) (Prestige)
Zoot Sims - Vol. 1 - New Beat - Bossa Nova (Toshiba)

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Fourplay | "Wish You Were Here"

Fourplay performs "Wish You Were Here" before a live audience at the Capitol Studios in Los Angeles.

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Benny Reid - 'Findings' Concord Jazz Debut CD Free Download

The upcoming Concord Jazz debut from 26 year old alto sax prodigy and rising jazz star Benny Reid, titled Findings, is set for release this coming Tuesday (Feb 27th). You can download the track “Dancing with my Father” for free right here:

A fresh and potent new voice on the modern jazz scene, 26-year-old alto saxophonist Benny Reid reveals a unique compositional vision along with an abundance of chops on his auspicious debut as a leader. A collection of six stirring suite-like compositions that unfold like richly appointed short stories, Findings is a fully realized work of remarkable depth and maturity that takes listeners on a musical journey traversing a whole range of emotions within each individual piece. And while the influence of Pat Metheny can be readily heard in the flowing melodicism, dramatic crescendos and overall uplifting nature of these half dozen tracks, Reid's own approach here is highly personal, inspired by a tragic event that forever changed the course of his life. ”The major inspiration for this record is my sister, who passed away when I was 13,” says the New Jersey native and current resident of Long Island City, Queens. “That is what drives me still. Back when I was a kid I promised myself, 'Some day I want to have her live through my music.' And now I am finally able to say, 'This is for her.'”...

Read the entire Benny Reid profile article at


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Brubeck Festival 2007

Dedicated to jazz, contemporary concert music, lectures and symposia, Brubeck Festival 2007 will be held from April 11-15 in Stockton, California. An annual event that celebrates the musical, intellectual, and philosophical ideas of Dave Brubeck, this year's festival is entitled Words with Music and honors the words and music of Iola and Dave Brubeck.

In its sixth year, the five day festival includes nine concerts, symposia and lectures centered on the University of Pacific campus. The festival's centerpiece performance is on April 13, with an evening entitled “The Dave Brubeck Songbook.”

The concert will open with the Dave Brubeck Quartet and Grammy-nominated vocalist Roberta Gambarini (”* a true successor to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae” Boston Globe) and concludes with a performance of the Cannery Row Suite, commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2006 and to be performed at Brubeck Festival 2007 by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Triple Play (including Chris Brubeck) and others.

Cannery Row Suite is “based on the John Steinbeck novel about the drifters and workers of old Monterey. . . [the work] includes a roadhouse blues number, a sing-along sea chantey and a pair of arias, wickedly difficult to pull off (Brubeck said he derived them from 12-tone rows) yet sounding a little like Gershwin” (San Jose Mercury News). The concert will be preceded by a presentation by Susan Shillinglaw, Scholar in Residence at the National Steinbeck Center.

Dave Brubeck, designated a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, continues to be one of the most active and popular musicians in the world today. Brubeck Festival 2007 is sponsored by the Brubeck Institute, which was established by the University of the Pacific in 2000 to honor its distinguished alumni Dave and Iola Brubeck. The mission of the Institute is to build on Dave Brubeck's legacy and his lifelong dedication to music, creativity, education, and the advancement of important social issues

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Paul Brown Inspired By Painting On New Album

Guitarist and producer Paul Brown was inspired to name his third solo album White Sand after seeing the artwork of another guitarist. The album is being released next Tuesday, February 27th, by Peak Records.

Painter Andrea Razautti, also a guitarist and composer, asked Brown to produce music for him and when they met, Brown was blown away by his artwork. Inspired by the visual, Brown wrote the title track. Razautti in turn created an original piece that Brown used for the cover of White Sand. A reproduction of the original painting will be included in the final CD package. Brown explained: "It's a beautiful painting. And then it just set up the album so nicely, just this warm inviting white sand beach, and the music just really is right there with it."

Brown will celebrate his album release with a live show Thursday, March 1st, at the Vault 350 in Long Beach, California.

By: Janine Coveney -

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Al Viola, 87; longtime L.A. studio guitarist known for work with Frank Sinatra

Al Viola, a versatile guitarist best known for his long association with Frank Sinatra and his memorable mandolin playing on "The Godfather" soundtrack, has died. He was 87.

Viola died of cancer Wednesday at his home in Studio City, said his wife, Glenna.

Read the entire article at

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tia Fuller | 'Healing Space'

Call her a wide-eyed optimist, perhaps, but saxophonist/flutist and composer Tia Fuller truly believes that music can indeed serve as the perfect elixir, hence the title of her Mack Avenue debut, Healing Space, the follow-up to her independently released CD, Pillar of Strength. Conceived during a time of personal turmoil and transition, the disc explores themes of transgression, reflection and deliverance with 10 original compositions, seven of which were penned by Fuller. "My prayer is that this album serves as a healing agent for others and for people to feel uplifted when listening to it. To not only aid in one's healing, but wholeness and restoration...inspiring one to relentlessly press toward a breakthrough into the next level," Fuller says.

An uplifting spirit ignites Healing Space from the get-go on "Breakthrough," a bristling post-Motown bop excursion that not only highlights Fuller's bold and sassy alto tone and serpentine-like improvisations but also her invigorating interaction with her band mates, especially trumpeter and label-mate Sean Jones, who has featured her on his three Mack Avenue discs, Roots, Gemini, and Eternal Journey. Her sanguinity sparkles on the following "Just a Journey," a billowing mid-tempo groove, written by her sister Shamie Fuller-Royston, that shows that Fuller is just as commanding on the soprano saxophone as she is on alto. Fuller pulls another gem from big sis' songbook with the R&B-laden ballad "Ebonics," a tune that would fit nicely on a sophisticated, yet young-minded jazz radio format geared towards jazz listeners of the hip-hop generation. Except for the gentle and evocative "The Olive Leaf and Dove," written by Shamie and her drummer husband Rudy Royston, the remaining compositions are originals.

A 30-year-old jazz musician releasing a sophomore date absent of any standards is a bold move. Citing Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis as significant compositional influences, Fuller excels at economizing - getting to the essence of her material then expressing it in an unmistakably lyrical and cogent manner. Just witness the poignant twin compositions - "Katrina's Prayer" and "Katrina's Lullaby" for evidence. The former proceeds like a gospel hymn as Fuller unravels a plaintive melody reminiscent of the kind heard in most black American churches; the latter exudes a tranquil quality as if she's trying to soothe the physical and emotional scars of Hurricane Katrina's victims. "I wanted to offer something," Fuller says after witnessing the horrors of the catastrophe. "After sending a $70 donation to Red Cross, I felt like it wasn't enough. At that time, I wanted to provide a comfort zone for victims, that were directly and indirectly affected by the hurricane."

Product Description
With Healing Space, saxophonist/ flutist / composer Tia Fuller continues to build on the buzz she's created with her high profile performances in New York City. With a busy schedule that includes touring with pop sensation Beyonce Knowles, an ongoing role as educator and mentor, and being an "in demand" session player, Fuller finds time here to return to her first love; jazz.

On Healing Space, her Mack Avenue debut, Fuller is backed by a seasoned team of young, talented players including Miki Hayama (Piano & Keyboards), Miriam Sullivan (bass), Kim Thompson (drums), Khalil Kwame Bell (percussion), and Mack Avenue label mates Sean Jones and Ron Blake.

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Patti Austin Brings 'For Ella' On The Road

Patti Austin has gone live with songs off her Grammy nominated tribute, 'For Ella' and a collection of adventurous new arrangements of Gershwin classics featured on her forthcoming album 'Avant-Gershwin' out March 6 (Rendezvous Entertainment). Patti kicked off the tour in Philadelphia on January 14 and will be making stops nationwide performing songs off her two recent albums in addition to some of her contemporary hits (programs vary in each city) . Two special Los Angeles performances are scheduled, on April 15 Patti will perform with the USC Trojan Marching Band at Cerritos Performing Arts Center and on April 18 she will perform with the University of Southern California Big Band at the Bovard Auditorium. Patti will also be performing in the Legends of Jazz Tour with Ramsey Lewis, Al Jarreau & Boney James in the fall of 2007 (September 5 - October 21).

At a recent performance during Jazz at Lincoln Center's George Gershwin tribute concerts, Austin received a standing ovation for her uptempo rendition of "Lady Be Good." In a review of that show, the New York Times deemed her an "alluring vocalist."

Early reviews of 'Avant-Gershwin' describe the album as "a slice of jazz heaven" (USA Today) and "a wise and witty love-fest of Gershwin gems" (Downbeat).

A musical scholar (Patti holds an honorary doctorate from Berkley School of Music), Patti will also be teaching masters classes to music students. At USC (Los Angeles, CA) they will focus on Gershwin and at the Koger Performance Arts Center (Columbia, SC) they will provide an overview of Patti's musical knowledge. More classes to be announced soon.

Patti Austin has crossed numerous music genres over the course of 16 solo albums and has performed her award-nominated hit songs on the Grammy's ("Baby Come to Me") and the Oscars ("How Do You Keep the Music Playing"). In addition to her own CD 'Avant-Gershwin, ' Patti also performed on and contributed to the 2006 Luther Vandross tribute album "Forever, For Always, For Luther Volume II" as well as the 2006 critically acclaimed "Ray Sings, Basie Swings" project and is featured on the new George Benson/Al Jarreau project.

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Philippe Saisse Says Cover Tunes Provide Comfort In Uncertain Times

Keyboardist and composer Philippe Saisse is faring well in the smooth jazz realm with his latest single from the Philippe Saisse Trio album The Body & Soul Sessions, released last year by Rendezvous. The tune is a cover of Bill Withers'"Lovely Day," which was first a hit in 1978.

Though as a composer and producer, the French-born Saisse has recorded plenty of original music, he says that the popularity of remakes and cover tunes has to do with the current climate of the country, which is currently waging a war overseas. Familiar music provides a certain comfort, he explained: "Incredible composers who've had many, many hits and have given us classics -- I'm thinking of Hall & Oates and Barry Manilow and Rod Stewart and everybody has been doing covers. And I think there's a mood in the country of being so insecure about the zeitgeist of what's happening ... and this conservatism has only pushed people into producing really what the audience wants to hear and where they're comfortable in what they're listening to."

Saisse's version of "Lovely Day" has landed at Number 24 on the smooth jazz airplay chart this week.

By: Janine Coveney -

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Paul Brown Explains His 'Rhythm Method'

Paul Brown is poised to hit the smooth jazz radio charts with his new single "The Rhythm Method," from his forthcoming album, White Sand. The hip, laidback groove was co-written by the guitarist-producer with collaborator D.C., who worked with Brown on his previous album, The City.

Brown says "Rhythm Method" was one of the first pieces he completed for White Sand: "That was the first one actually that we wrote for this record. And I had this one, and it was kind of like this herky-jerky, R&B kind of a track, and I didn't really know what to title it. But just the herky-jerkiness of it led me to call it 'The Rhythm Method.'"

White Sand will be released February 27th on the Peak Records label.

By: Janine Coveney -

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Brian Bromberg | 'Downright Upright'

Retro-inspired grooves can mean a lot of things—it depends on how far back one wants to go.

On Downright Upright, bassist Brian Bromberg takes a retro tour of the era when Freddie Hubbard and Herbie Hancock were reaching a peak. Joe Zawinul and Eddie Harris were changing the scope of jazz. Weather Report was in, and jazz was changing rapidly. The umbrella was opening up to include innovative ideas and comfortable melodies that lingered in the mind for a lifetime.

Working with a crew that normally reserves its studio and stage time for smooth jazz or a similar, pop-inspired, contemporary form, Bromberg brings his big bass and piccolo bass aboard for a veritable party. He and his sidemen inject plenty of life into the scene on Downright Upright, honoring the jazz legends who have paved the way. These are no mere sidemen with Bromberg, either. Each brings a veteran’s feel for contemporary jazz to the session, giving the bassist a rich palette from which to select. George Duke’s piano solo on “Chameleon,” for example, provides one of the session’s high points. The others join Bromberg in creating several more plateaus on a session that comes recommended for its broad appeal and for its unmistakable groove.

The bassist solos frequently on both his acoustic bass and his electric piccolo bass with an expressive nature that finds him tearin’ up the strings passionately. The sound of the smaller instrument resembles that of a bass guitar as Bromberg applies it to “Chameleon,” “Leisure Suit,” “Slow Burn” and “Cold Duck Time.” His five original compositions maintain the momentum found in the album’s first three tracks, while his covers of older familiar tunes prove satisfying.

Bromberg’s “Sunday Mornin’” and “Shag Carpet” capture a pure gospel mood that rocks the roof beams, while Dave Grusin’s “Serengeti Walk,” a smooth jazz outing that features guitarist Lee Ritenour, simmers in the afternoon sun. As evidenced by Downright Upright, retro grooves from a lyrical bassist like Brian Bromberg can seem as natural as sunshine on Hollywood Boulevard at noon. The mood that he creates, however, could steal the hearts of millions.

Visit Brian Bromberg on the web.
Brian Bromberg at All About Jazz.

Track listing: Cantaloupe Island; Mercy Mercy Mercy; Cold Duck Time; Sunday Mornin’; The Hacha Cha Cha; Chameleon; Serengeti Walk; Leisure Suit; Slow Burn; Shag Carpet.

Personnel: Brian Bromberg: upright bass, piccolo bass; Rick Braun: trumpet, flugelhorn; Boney James, Gary Meek, Kirk Whalum: tenor saxophone; Lee Ritenour, Gannin Arnold: guitar; George Duke: piano; Jeff Lorber: piano, organ; Vinnie Colaiuta: drums.

By Jim Santella -

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Smooth Jazz Chart | Week Ended 2/19/07

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Kirk Whalum - "Give Me The Reason"; Patti Austin - "So Amazing" - VA - Forever, For Always, For Luther II - (Rendezvous)
2 - 2 - Peter White - "Playin' Favorites" - (Columbia)
6 - 3 - Mindi Abair - "Life Less Ordinary" - (GRP)
5 - 4 - Eric Darius - "Just Getting Started" - (Narada Jazz)
3 - 5 - George Benson & Al Jarreau - "Givin' It Up" - (Concord)
4 - 6 - Boney James - "Shine" - (Concord)
7 - 7 - Wayman Tisdale - "Way Up" - (Rendezvous)
8 - 8 - Chuck Loeb - "Presence" - (Heads Up)
10 - 9 - Kenny G - "I'm In The Mood For Love...The Most Romantic Melodies Of All Time" - (Arista)
9 - 10 - Gregg Karukas - "Lookin' Up" - (Trippin' n' Rhythm)

Find these top-ten and more at

Visit to view the latest complete top 50 chart.
Visit to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Brainy Jazz Meets Gut-Level Expression

George Benson's 1976 mega-hit Breezin' helped kick-start "smooth jazz," that not-so-distant cousin of "easy listening." It also neatly divides the guitarist and singer's career into Before and After: Benson had been recording for more than a decade when Breezin' lifted him into the stratosphere, and most of those early records — including this spry date, which he recorded at age 23 — are more musically adventurous. Not surprisingly, they're also mostly overlooked.

Benson grew up in Pittsburgh and got his first break playing in trios led by torrid organ virtuoso Jack McDuff. In those groups and others he co-led with organist Lonnie Smith, Benson became a baron of boogaloo, whose solos mixed grind-it-out blues phrases with sweet, disarmingly pretty melodies. John Hammond brought Benson to Columbia to record a test single, and by the end of the session, Hammond ordered a full contract and work on It's Uptown was underway.

Read the entire article By Tom Moon at NPR

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Dave Koz Grabs Top Spot With Cinema Salute

Saxophonist Dave Koz's long-awaited new album, At The Movies, has nabbed the top spot on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart as expected. The album was able to unseat chart king Kenny G's latest outing in its first week on the chart.

The out-of-the-box showing for At The Movies is good news for Koz, who gave up his annual summer and holiday tours last year as well as his local radio morning show in Los Angeles in order to devote more time and attention to the production, packaging, and marketing of the release.

Koz is climbing the national smooth jazz airplay charts with his version of "It Might Be You" from the film Tootsie. The instrumental track features guitarist Peter White, while the vocal version features India.Arie.

By: Janine Coveney -

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

New Releases | February

Will Bernard, Party Hats [Palmetto, 2/20/07]
David Binney, Oceanos "Import" [Criss Cross, 2/20/07] b>
Seamus Blake, Way Out Willy [Criss Cross, 2/20/07]
Brian Bromberg, Downtown Upright [Artistry Music, 2/20/07]
Randy Crawford, Feeling Good [Pra Records, 2/20/07]
Tia Fuller, Healing Space [Mack Avenue, 2/20/07]
Hubert Laws, Afro Classic [Mosaic Contemporary, 2/20/07]
Mark O'Leary, Waiting [Leo Records, 2/20/07]
Adam Rogers, Time And The Infinte [Criss Cross, 2/20/07]
Blackbyrds, Happy Music: Best of [Fantasy Records, 2/27/07]
Paul Brown, White Sand [Concord Jazz, 2/27/07]
King Curtis, Soul Meeting "Japan" [Prestige, 2/27/07]
Barbara Dennerlein, Bebab "Import" [Another S, 2/27/07]
Herbie Hancock, Evening With Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea In Concert "Import-Remastered" [Sony, 2/27/07]
Bireli Lagrene, Djangology /To Bi Or Not To Bi [Dreyfus Jazz, 2/27/07]
Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, Sweet Surrender [Shanachie, 2/27/07]
Andy Narell, Tatoom: Music For Steel Orchestra [Telarc, 2/27/07]
Eddie Palmieri, Azucar Pa' Ti [Fania, 2/27/07]
Joe Zawinul, Brown Street [Heads Up, 2/27/07]
Patti Austin, Avant-Gershwin [Rendezvous, 2/27/07]

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Upcoming Jazz Releases | 2/20/07

Adam Rogers Trio - Time and the Infinite (Holland) (Criss Cross)
Antoine Herve - Road Movie (Nocturne)
Arturo Sandoval & The Latin Jazz Orchestra - Arturo Sandoval & The Latin Jazz Orchestra (Spain) (Melanga)
Banu Gibson - Let's Face the Music and Dance (Swing Out)
Barrelhouse Buck McFarland - Alton Blues (Delmark Records)
Bobby Shew - Cancaos De Amor (Torii)
Brennan / Cline / Patumi / Theissing / Voirol - Shooting Stars & Traffic Lights (Leo)
Brian Bromberg - Downright Upright (Artistry)
Cowboy Roy Brown - Street Singer (Delmark Records)
Craig Taubman - Friday Night Live (Rendezvous)
Cuong / O'Leary / Rainey - Waiting (Leo)
David Binney - Oceanos (Holland) (Criss Cross)
David Hazeltine - Vol. 2 - Blues Quarters (Holland) (Criss Cross)
Dean Schmidt - I Know Nothing (OA2)
Don Moore - Axe Attack
Esther Ofarim - In New York (Germany) (Bureau Bros)
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble - Live at the Ascension Loft (Delmark)
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble - Hot 'N' Heavy : Live at the Ascension Loft (DVD 1574/DE 574) (Delmark Records) - DVD-Video
Eyehategod - For the Sick: A Tribute to Eyehategod (Season of Mist)
Fabio Morgera - Voice WIthin (Kufala)
Fat Kid Wednesday - Singles (Nocturne)
Free Zen Society - Free Zen Society (Thirsty Ear)
Gino Sitson - Bamisphere (18th & Vine)
Grant Stewart - In the Still of the Night (Sharp Nine)
Gratkowski / Mengelberg - Vis-a-Vis (Leo)
Hal Galper - Agents of Change (Fabola)
Hawkwind - In Concert: Out of the Shadows (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Helen O'Connell - It's All Yours (Flare)
Hetero Skeleton - En La Sombra Del Pajaro Velludo (Load)
Hod O'Brien - Live at Blues Alley - Third Set (Reservoir)
J.J. Grey and Mofro - Country Ghette (Alligator)
Jaki Byard - Sunshine of My Soul: Live (High Note)
Jeff Baker - Shopping for Your Heart (OA2)
Jimmy Burns - Live at B.L.U.E.S. (DVD 1789/CD DE 789) (Delmark Records) - DVD-Video
John Pisano - John Pisano's Guitar Night (Mel Bay)
Johnnie Taylor - Live at the Summit Club (Concord)
Jordi Matas - Racons (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Mark O'Leary - Waiting (Leo)
Martha Reeves - In Concert (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Melvin Rhyne - Front and Center (Holland) (Criss Cross)
Musica Cubana - Live in Amsterdam (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Nanny Assis - Double Rainbow (Blue Toucan)
Neil Cowley Trio - Displaced (Hide Inside)
Nigel Clark - In Concert: Live from Scotland (Arkadia)
Play-Along Recordings - Vol. 1 - Standards: New York Session (Jazzmasteries)
Play-Along Recordings - Vol. 2 - Improvise on the Modes (Jazzmasteries)
Play-Along Recordings - Vol. 3 - Play the Blues (Jazzmasteries)
Randy Crawford & Joe Sample - Feeling Good (PRA Records)
Ray Lema - Paradox (Pid)
Samo Salamon Quartet - Two Hours (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Seamus Blake - Saturnalia (Holland) (Criss Cross)
Si Zentner / Ralph Marterie - Big Band (Select O Hits) - DVD-Video
Steve Kuhn - Live at Birdland (Blue Note)
Suenos Latin Jazz - Azul Oscuro (Motophone)
Tex Beneke / Gene Krupa / Jerry Wald - Big Band (Select O Hits) - DVD-Video
The Free Zen Society - The Free Zen Society (Thirsty Ear)
Thomas Marriott - Both Sides of the Fence (Origin)
Tia Fuller - Healing Space (Mack Avenue)
Viktor Krauss - II (Back Porch)
Will Bernard - Party Hats (Palmetto)

Ahmad Jamal Trio - Complete Live at the Pershing Lounge 1958 (remastered and expanded) (Spain) (Gambit)
Ahmad Jamal Trio - Complete Live at the Spotlite Club 1958 (remastered and expanded) (Spain) (Gambit)
Antonio Carlos Jobim - One Note Samba (Australia) (Universal)
Antonio Carlos Jobim & Luis Foriano Bonfa - Antonio Carlos Jobim & Luis Foriano Bonfa (UK) (E!)
Astrud Gilberto - September 17 1969 (Remastered) (England) (Revola)
Benny Golson - Many Moods of Benny Golson (Arkadia)
Billie Holiday - Lady Day (Australia) (Rajon)
Dexter Gordon - Duels (Australia) (Sage)
Dinah Washington - Evil Gal (England) (E!)
Dizzy Gillespie - Live in Berlin (Australia) (Verve)
Django Reinhardt - I Got Rhythm (Australia) (Rajon)
Eartha Kitt - Thad Bad Eartha (Revola)
Fran Warren - Look for Love (Flare)
Grant Green - First Recordings (remastered and expanded) (Spain) (Gambit)
Hampton Hawes Quartet with Jim Hall - All Night Session (Spain) (Definitive)
Harry Constellation Roche - Spiral / Sometimes (Remastered) (UK) (E!)
Hawkwind - Live 1984-1995 (remastered) (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Heinz Schonberger - Holiday for Swing (Montpelier)
Johnny Taylor - Live at the Summit Club (Concord)
Lennie Tristano - Abstraction & Improvisation (England) (Fivefour)
Main Stream Power Band - A Date With Swing (Montpelier)
Mambo Jambo - Moambo Jambo (Australia) (Rajon)
Maynard Ferguson - MF Horn 3 (Wounded Bird)
Milt Jackson - Da Capo (England) (Fivefour)
Peggy Lee - Lover (Australia) (Rajon)
Ralph Flanagan & His Orchestra - Always (Sounds of Yesteryear)
Ralph Flanagan & His Orchestra - Dancing in the Dark (Montpelier)
Ralph Marterie - Caravan (Montpelier)
Sarah Vaughan - Divine One (Australia) (Rajon)
Stan Getz - Cool Mix (Australia) (Saga)
Teddy Powell & Sonny Dunham - Live 1942-43 (Montpelier)
Tony Hymas - Hope Street (Nocturne)
TOny Hymas - Hope Street MN ( (Nocturne)
Zoot Sims - Zoot Suite (Japan) (Highnote)

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Slim Man | "Secrets Of Your Heart"

"Secrets of Your Heart" from...'Solstice'.
It's already been called..."a heartbreaking work of staggering genius."
Who said that? Slim Man himself!

The CD features the soul-stirring acoustic guitar of Marc Antoine on three songs, and the Slim Man band--John E, George, Kevin, and Hit Man Howie Z--isalso featured. 'Solstice' is reminiscent of the Slim Debut CD 'End of the Rainbow' -- more pop than jazz.

This CD has a killer version of Tim Hardin's 'If I Were a Carpenter' as well as a moving rendition of Nik Kershaw's 'Wouldn't It Be Good'.

This CD also contains a song (Summer Days) that Mr. Man wrote for Angela Bofill's first album 'Angie'. This re-make has been titled 'Summer's Almost Gone', and we don't want to say it's better than the original, which was produced by Dave Grusin, but it's darned good!

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