Wednesday, August 31, 2011

George Benson - "Guitar Man" Releases on Concord Records 10/4/11 #jazz [video]

Legendary Musician George Benson Returns with Guitar Man on October 4
See the preview video at JazzHQ on Facebook
On October 4, 2011, National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master and Grammy-winning legend George Benson brings his guitar to the forefront in his newest album Guitar Man. The 12-song collection includes a mix of jazz and pop standards -- some in a combo setting and some solo, but all of them tied together seamlessly by Benson's soulful and exploratory signature sound. Lending a hand on this recording is a solid team made up of veterans and newcomers alike -- pianist Joe Sample, keyboardist and musical director David Garfield, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Harvey Mason. Williams is one of the hottest up-and-coming new artists on the jazz scene. Mason is a regular member of Fourplay, and a studio collaborator with Benson all the way back to Benson's 1976 blockbuster album, Breezin'.

In a career that spans five decades, more than 30 recordings as a leader and ten Grammy Awards, Benson has used his jazz roots as the foundation for an engaging mix of pop, R&B and other shades that add up to a style that appeals to a broad mainstream audience. Along the way, he has also established himself as a formidable jazz singer -- one whose biggest career hits have showcased his vocals. But Guitar Man is just what the title implies -- an album that highlights Benson's unparalleled guitar playing, perhaps more than any other album he has released in decades.

For the new project, the crew came together in the studio with a minimum of prior rehearsal time but an eagerness to jump in and lay down tracks in something very close to the live experience -- what Benson describes as an "old school" approach. The impromptu sensibility comes across in the final product, much of which came together with minimal takes in a single day of recording.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - August 29, 2011 #jazz

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Cindy Bradley - "Unscripted" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
2 - 2 - Jackiem Joyner - "Jackiem Joyner" - (Artistry/Mack Ave)
5 - 3 - Paul Hardcastle - "Hardcastle VI" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
3 - 4 - Boney James - "Contact" - (Verve)
4 - 5 - Nils - "What The Funk?" - (Baja/TSR)
11 - 6 - Nick Colionne - "Feel The Heat" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
9 - 7 - Dave Koz - "Hello Tomorrow" - (Concord)
8 - 8 - Michael Franks - "Time Together" (Shanachie)
13 - 9 - Jonathan Butler - "So Strong" - (Rendezvous/Mack)
6 - 10 - Euge Groove - "S7ven Large" - (Shanachie)
12 - 11 - Andy Snitzer - "Traveler" - (Native Language)
10 - 12 - Matt Marshak - "Urban Folktales" - (
7 - 13 - Paul Taylor - "Prime Time" - (Peak)
18 - 14 - Down To The Bone - "The Main Ingredients" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
14 - 15 - Bob Baldwin - " 2/Revibe (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
15 - 16 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Friday Night"[single] - (Woodward Avenue)
20 - 17 - Nate Harasim - "Rush" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
17 - 18 - The Rippingtons - "Cote d'Azur - (Peak/Concord)
16 - 19 - Brian Hughes - "Fast Train To A Quiet Place" - (Sylvan House)
22 - 20 - Oli Silk - "All We Need" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythym)

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Embracing Nicole Henry #jazz

The song stylist sells out a pair of New York City shows on the eve of the release of her critically-acclaimed new album, Embraceable

Glowing reviews have embraced the arrival of the fifth album from song stylist Nicole Henry, which was released Tuesday (August 23) by ArtistShare. On Monday night, Henry performed many of the songs from Embraceable at a pair of sold-out, standing room-only shows to enraptured audiences at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola.

Henry was backed at Dizzy’s by a gifted combo, including Grammy nominated guitarist Julian Lage, bassist Larry Grenadier (Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Fly) and drummer Eric Harland (Joshua Redman, McCoy Tyner, Charles Lloyd), each of whom performed on Embraceable. Rounding out the ensemble were pianist Aaron Goldberg (Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Madeleine Peyroux) and saxophonist Dayna Stephens (Roy Hargrove, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder).

Produced by Grammy nominee Matt Pierson (Kirk Whalum, Jane Monheit, Joshua Redman), who corralled a collective of world-class musicians, Embraceable is being worked at multiple radio formats, including straight-ahead jazz and smooth/contemporary jazz, the latter of which was serviced Henry’s sterling and totally unique interpretation of the Bob Marley classic “Waiting In Vain.” USA Today’s Elysa Gardner wrote “The silver-voiced songbook interpreter adds Bob Marley to her repertoire, with typical elegance, on Embraceable.”

Profiled last week in a Sunday spotlight feature in the Miami Herald, the suburban Philadelphia native-Miami transplant will support Embraceable with a flurry of performances, events and a radio interview in her adopted hometown. On Sunday, Henry will perform at Unity Church in Fort Lauderdale. Next Monday, she will be interviewed live on public radio station WLRN. On the 30th, catch Henry on stage in Kendall at Blue Martini. An official album listening party will be held at The Stage on August 31st at which Henry will perform. The following night, Henry will dazzle the crowd at Loews Miami Beach.

Below are highlights from some of the early reviews of Embraceable:

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “It is true skill when a performer can create a memorable moment with new material. That is exactly what singer Nicole Henry does with the song ‘Even When You're Gone’ on her new album, Embraceable. In a presentation that is rich both in voice and grasp of song, she creates a story about loss that seems poetically deeper than the lyrics state.”

Smooth Jazz Daily: “Nicole Henry combines amazing beauty with blissful talent…Nicole Henry's Embraceable is an impressive artistic statement of an astonishing vocal talent. This lady inhabitates [sic] the songs like the divine Ella Fitzgerald.”

SoulTracks: “Nicole Henry possesses the kind of sing-the-phone-book voice that is both commonplace and necessary among interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Her phrasing is impeccable and Henry also has the kind of vocal pronunciation that ensures that her listeners will understand each word…Embraceable continues a trend of artists putting considerable thought into projects featuring pop standards. It features covers that have not been done to death and a new and attractive sheen on some well-loved songs. Embraceable also includes originals that sport top-flight lyrics and musical arrangements that draw from the church, the blues club and the Broadway stage. On all of this, Nicole Henry and her collaborators strike a great balance and Henry proves herself to be a fine interpreter and song stylist.”

The Smooth Jazz Ride: “With a touch here and there reminiscent of the sweet charm of the Dionne Warwick/Burt Bacharach glory years, the bluesiness of Joss Stone, and her own genuinely stirring soul sound, vocalist Nicole Henry drops in on us with a project that captures the attention almost effortlessly with her release, Embraceable. At times, spinning standards into soul-kissed beauties all her own and at other times using her pure vocals on her own originals (four in all), Henry spells sweetness and depth. Her spirited and uplifting vocals truly carry the day here easily. With special help from John Stoddart and Kirk Whalum on select tracks, this young lady does a wonderful job of combining soul, a bit of gospel, blues, and jazz in a signature fashion that offers as much by way of originality and imaginative interpretation as you could want.”

Hill Rag: “Vocalist Nicole Henry’s latest album offers a glimpse of the soul and elegance of this young, vibrant and contemporary jazz singer. Grammy nominated producer Matt Pierson produced the album in exquisite detail, showcasing such winners like ‘A Little Time Alone,’ ‘Even While You’re Gone,’ ‘Waiting In Vain,’ and ‘Embraceable You.’”

O’s Place Jazz Magazine: “This is her fifth release, arguably her best. Nicole continues to improve as a dramatic vocalist with her rich soulful voice. ‘Since I Fell for You’ is a perfect match for Henry and one of several standouts.”

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - August 22, 2011 #jazz

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Cindy Bradley - "Unscripted" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
2 - 2 - Jackiem Joyner - "Jackiem Joyner" - (Artistry/Mack Ave)
3 - 3 - Boney James - "Contact" - (Verve)
5 - 4 - Nils - "What The Funk?" - (Baja/TSR)
4 - 5 - Paul Hardcastle - "Hardcastle VI" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 6 - Euge Groove - "S7ven Large" - (Shanachie)
8 - 7 - Paul Taylor - "Prime Time" - (Peak)
9 - 8 - Michael Franks - "Time Together" (Shanachie)
6 - 9 - Dave Koz - "Hello Tomorrow" - (Concord)
10 - 10 - Matt Marshak - "Urban Folktales" - (
14 - 11 - Nick Colionne - "Feel The Heat" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
11 - 12 - Andy Snitzer - "Traveler" - (Native Language)
13 - 13 - Jonathan Butler - "So Strong" - (Rendezvous/Mack)
12 - 14 - Bob Baldwin - " 2/Revibe (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
16 - 15 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Friday Night"[single] - (Woodward Avenue)
15 - 16 - Brian Hughes - "Fast Train To A Quiet Place" - (Sylvan House)
17 - 17 - The Rippingtons - "Cote d'Azur - (Peak/Concord)
18 - 18 - Down To The Bone - "The Main Ingredients" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
20 - 19 - Walter Beasley - "Backatcha!" - (Shanachie)
19 - 20 - Nate Harasim - "Rush" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)

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Basia to release a live album and embark upon a U.S. concert tour #jazz

From Newport to London Greatest Hits Live & More Blessed with an instantly identifiable voice that made her a chart-topping, platinum-selling recording artist around the globe, Basia returned to her native Poland in June to record a live album, From Newport To London: Greatest Hits Live…And More, that will be released by eOne Music on September 13th in conjunction with a twenty-city U.S. concert tour. The jazzy title track with a European film noir air of mystery, one of three new studio recordings penned and produced by Basia and long-time collaborator Danny White, is the first radio single from the collection.

Recorded in Łódź, Poland, From Newport To London generously offers fifteen live songs, including signature hits “Cruising For Bruising,” “New Day For You,” “Promises” and “Time And Tide.” The disc also has an acoustic version of “There’s A Tear,” a new studio recording of a track that appeared on Basia’s 2009 release, It’s That Girl Again, with an entirely new arrangement. The other new song is “Wandering,” a love song about traveling through life’s ups and downs and getting through them by sticking together. It is a duet between Basia and prominent Polish singer Mietek Szcześniak.

“Since the release of our last studio album (It’s That Girl Again), Danny (White) and I have spent a lot of time playing concerts, but we also had some time to write a few new songs. The result of all the touring is that we formed a tight, experienced band that deserved to be documented by recording one of our live shows along with the new songs, which we could not wait for our fans to hear,” said Basia. “It was not easy to choose the songs for the live show, but we tried to include songs from every album we have made so far. Danny and I are very proud of our band. Every one of them had their spot where they could shine and shine they did!”

On tour, Basia will be backed by most of the same band that performed on the live album consisting of White (keyboards), Marc Parnell (drums), Giorgio Serci (guitar), Paul Booth (saxophone) and backing vocalists Veronique Clarisse and Annick Clarisse-Willequet.

The month-long U.S. trek launches September 6th in Minneapolis for the first of three nights at the Dakota Jazz Club. The itinerary visits major market cities including Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, DC (Alexandria), Philadelphia (Sellersville), a pair of New York City dates, Austin, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco before concluding at Seattle’s Triple Door on October 5th.

Unique in voice and style, Basia’s sophisticated brand of adult pop music borrows freely from exotic sounds and diverse cultures the world over. Breezy Latin rhythms, swinging jazz grooves of yesteryear’s Parisian cafes, soulful American R&B, and a splash of British pop gloss provide the backdrop for Basia Trzetrzelewska and White’s whimsical tales of love-struck romance, heartache and pensive poetry. Ever since her voice leapt from the recordings of British trio Matt Bianco, in which she first teamed with White, Basia quickly made a name for herself in a variety of genres. Partnering with White for her solo debut, Time And Time, she went #1 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz album chart and registered three adult contemporary hit singles. Her follow-up, London Warsaw New York, followed suit by reaching #1 and became her second platinum album. Broadening and enriching their sound by utilizing a full band, The Sweetest Illusion defied categorization, producing the #1 Billboard dance chart single “Drunk On Love.” A world tour that culminated with a two-week run on Broadway was captured for posterity on Basia’s first live album, Basia On Broadway. Additional information is available at

The songs contained on Basia’s From Newport to London: Greatest Hits Live…And More are:
“Third Time Lucky”
“Drunk On Love”
“Cruising For Bruising”
“How Dare You”
“If Not Now Then When”
“Love Lies Bleeding”
“I Must”
“New Day For You”
“A Gift”
“An Olive Tree”
“From Now On”
“Time And Tide”
“There’s A Tear”* (acoustic)
“From Newport To London”*
*denotes new studio recordings

Basia’s complete 2011 U.S. concert itinerary appears below:
September 6 & 7 Minneapolis, MN Dakota Jazz Club
September 9 West Bend, WI Kettle Morraine Fest
September 10 Chicago, IL House of Blues
September 11 Minneapolis, MN Dakota Jazz Club
September 13 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
September 15 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere
September 16 New York, NY Highline Ballroom
September 17 New York, NY B.B. King’s
September 18 Sellersville, PA Sellersville Theater 1894
September 20 Austin, TX One World Theatre
September 21 Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theatre
September 23 Las Vegas, NV Ovation@Green Valley Resort
September 24 Los Angeles, CA Club Nokia
September 25 San Diego, CA Humphrey’s Concerts By The Bay
September 27 San Juan Capistrano, CA Coach House
September 28 Fresno, CA Tower Theater
September 30 Sacramento, CA Harlow’s Club
October 1 San Francisco, CA Bimbo’s
October 2 Palm Desert, CA McCallum Theatre
October 4 Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
October 5 Seattle, WA Triple Door

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The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2013 is officially The Greatest Party At Sea #jazz

Special guest George Benson to make his cruise debut as part of the all-star lineup on the 7-day Caribbean cruise

Anyone who has ever sailed upon The Smooth Jazz Cruise knows why it has earned the moniker “The Greatest Party At Sea.” Beginning with the 2013 sailings - January 13-20 and January 20-27 - the week-long music theme cruise to the Caribbean featuring the brightest contemporary jazz stars will officially be renamed The Greatest Party At Sea. George Benson will be the special guest headliner, which will be the first time the iconic guitarist-singer has ever performed aboard a ship.

Departing from Fort Lauderdale aboard Holland America’s m/s Westerdam, The Greatest Party At Sea will cruise in luxury to Belize, Cozumel, and Key West. Guests will be treated to an extended stay in Cozumel, allowing the time to fully explore its exotic beauty and enjoy the full complement of excursions on offer.

But the primary lure to this cruise is the extraordinary music. In addition to Benson, legendary pianist Bob James, R&B vocalist Angie Stone and jazz violinist Ken Ford will make their debut aboard the full-ship charter previously known as The Smooth Jazz Cruise, which has been sailing annually since 2004, selling out many months in advance. Grammy winners David Sanborn and Marcus Miller will host the cruise while Jonathan Butler and Candy Dulfer will serve as special event hosts. Adding more star power to the list of performers are Rick Braun, Brian Culbertson, Richard Elliot, Jeff Golub and musical director Brian Simpson. Funny man Alonzo Bodden will provide comic relief. Cruise director Dane Butcher and radio personality Pat Prescott will also host the festivities.

“Our vision for The Smooth Jazz Cruise has never wavered. The name change simply reflects the broad and diverse talent that takes the stage as well as the wide and exciting array of opportunities presented to passengers. We promise to present the finest music and cruise experience in the world. Seeking and signing the very best artists in this genre may be the most important facet of that pledge. The lineup for The Greatest Party At Sea 2013 clearly reflects our dedication to excellence and our commitment to the most amazing people we have ever known - our loyal guests,” said Michael Lazaroff, executive director of Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC (Jazz Cruises), producer of The Greatest Party At Sea.

The Greatest Party At Sea is an experiential vacation that offers passengers a wealth of opportunities to meet and interact with their favorite artists off-stage in an out-of-the-ordinary setting. While sailing to picturesque ports of call in the Caribbean, guests enjoy nightly headline concerts with unique artist pairings in a large showroom theatre as well as in more intimate lounges that foster spontaneous collaborations. More laidback shows happen poolside day and night, and many guests dance until dawn in the ship’s nightclub. Daytime activities aboard the ship include cocktail parties hosted by the musicians, autograph and question & answer sessions, informative panels, sporting events, and contests. While in port, guests can indulge in a wealth of sun and fun relaxation and recreation choices as well as some of the finest shopping options in the world. The ship contains an abundance of opportunities for pampering in the spa and salon or to get a workout in at the health club. And with all the fine dining rooms, restaurants and room service available, cruisers often sign up for one of the many different fitness classes offered.

Since approximately 60% of the passengers are returning guests, special rates are offered for their loyalty with the steepest discount provided to those who have sailed with the program four or more times. To reserve a cabin from the U.S. and Canada, guests can call toll-free 888.8JAZZ.US (888.852.9987). International guests – and there are usually two dozen countries represented on each sailing - can call toll-free 800-8JAZZ.USA (800.852.99872). For more information about The Greatest Party At Sea, please visit

About Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC (Jazz Cruises)
The largest private music charter company in the world, St. Louis, Missouri-based Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC (Jazz Cruises) owns, produces and promotes The Greatest Party At Sea (The Smooth Jazz Cruise) and The Jazz Cruise (, and is proud to partner with Time Life for The Malt Shop Memories Cruise ( and an R&B/soul music cruise soon to be announced. Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC (Jazz Cruises) prides itself on providing first-class musical vacation experiences featuring marquee stars from their respective genres for loyal passengers, many of whom make the cruises an annual affair. With its current slate of excursions, Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC (Jazz Cruises) will have produced 35 full-ship charter cruises. Additional information is available at

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Acoustic Alchemy - "Roseland" Heads Up Debut CD 9/27 #jazz

The story of Acoustic Alchemy has always been about innovation and adaptability. In the nearly 25 years since their first recording, the UK-based group has crafted a sound that maximizes the potential of not only the acoustic guitar but also its electric counterpart – and in so doing they’ve explored the subtle corners where jazz, pop, world music and other genres intersect. Along the way – with the help of a massive worldwide following created by consistent touring – they’ve weathered personal setbacks, dramatic shifts in musical trends, and in recent years, sweeping changes in the music industry.

The next step in this ongoing journey is Roseland, their new recording on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group. The 13-song recording – licensed to Heads Up by Acoustic Alchemy’s newly formed label, Onside Records – is set for release on September 27, 2011.

“We’re very excited about this recording,” says Acoustic Alchemy co-founder Greg Carmichael, who specializes in nylon string guitar. “It represents an entirely new chapter for the band. By establishing a new label, we’re taking more control of our own direction, and by partnering with Heads Up and their resources, we can reach the broadest possible audience worldwide.”

While they may call themselves Acoustic Alchemy, Carmichael and his creative partner and co-pilot, Miles Gilderdale, exercise plenty of creative license by injecting generous elements of electric guitar into the mix on Roseland. This sonic edge comes courtesy of Gilderdale, who was an electric player first and foremost before joining the band in 1996. Together, Carmichael and Gilderdale explore elements of jazz, rock, country and reggae – all of which makes for an album that’s both eclectic and yet cohesive at the same time.

Also along for the ride is the band’s usual touring lineup: keyboardist Fred White, bassists Gary Grainger and Julian Crampton, and drummer Greg Grainger. Other assistance in the sessions comes from Hammond organist Ricky Peterson (Bonnie Raitt, David Sanborn, Joe Sample), pedal steel player Frank Mizen, drummers Dan Mizen and Sam Hobbs and a full complement of horn players.

Roseland was recorded in Gilderdale’s newly constructed home studio in York, England, a place where the band could be creative without the pressure of a ticking clock. “We used the studio as a place to write,” says Carmichael. “We would just throw ideas at each other. You try things as you go along. That’s the beauty of having your own studio. You can try an electric guitar solo here, a steel-string solo there, a trombone solo somewhere else, whatever you like. It may have taken us a little longer, but if something didn’t work, it didn’t matter. We just tried things until we found what did work.”

In the end, it all works very well, beginning with “Marrakesh,” the breezy and uptempo opener that positions Carmichael’s catchy steel-string melody front and center. The followup, “One for Shorty,” is a jaunty shuffle that balances the guitar work with tasty lines from Peterson’s Hammond organ.

The quiet and contemplative “Templemeads” is Carmichael’s ode to the scholar in his family and the things he has learned from her. “Templemeads is an area in Bristol, not far from Wales,” he says. “My daughter just finished studying there. She has a masters degree in chemistry. She has introduced me to quite a bit of music over the years, so I wanted to write a song that gave her a bit of recognition.”

Further in, the band heads for the islands – in a technologically enhanced sort of way – with the reggae-flavored “Ebor Sound System,” a track that includes some intriguing synthesized guitar sounds. The hypnotic “Sand on Her Toes” settles into a Latin rhythm with a sparse arrangement that allows plenty of room for both the acoustic and electric guitar work to shine through. The title track picks up the tempo, with an energized backbeat.

“Stealing Hearts” veers toward country music, thanks in large part to Frank Mizen’s work on pedal steel. “Frank absolutely seals that track,” says Carmichael. “He’s a British guy, but he really captures that American country sound.”

 “Right Place – Wrong Time” leans toward straightahead jazz, followed by “A Kinder Loving,” a ballad that starts quietly and eventually evolves into a more rhythmic piece full of optimism and promise – the kind of thing one would expect to hear from a musical collective with decades of experience and still plenty of open territory ahead.

“For a lot of people, instrumental music is just a sound that plays in the background,” says Carmichael. “But we put a lot into it – not just with this record but with every record we’ve ever made. I’d like to think that after all these years, we’ve learned how to take people on a journey. A lot of our fans have said that we do that for them. As long as they keep coming back, and as long as they want to stay on that journey, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing.”

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jessy J - "Hot Sauce" - Release on Heads Up 9/6/11 #jazz

Free MP3 from Hot Sauce:
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Featuring GRAMMY hitmaker Paul Brown, guitarist Ray Parker Jr, keyboardists Joe Sample and Gregg Karukas, and drummer Harvey Mason

A rich, delicious blend of ten fiery tunes including 'Eg' White's "Leave Right Now" and Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood"

Nothing wakes up food like hot sauce -- and nothing will wake up your ears like Jessy J's new album. A special blend of ten fiery tunes, this Hot Sauce is seasoned with authentic Latin zing and packed with real jazz flavor.

Set for release on September 6, 2011, on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, the accomplished saxophonist/singer/composer's third album spotlights her collaborations with some of today's most prominent contemporary jazz musicians, including guitarists Paul Brown and Ray Parker Jr, keyboardists Joe Sample and Gregg Karukas, and drummer Harvey Mason of Fourplay. Hot Sauce showcases eight originals -- from mild to wild -- along with adventurous new arrangements of Francis Anthony 'Eg' White's pop hit "Leave Right Now" and Duke Ellington's jazz classic "In a Sentimental Mood."

Jessy returns to the studio with mentor and GRAMMY-winning hitmaker Paul Brown, who produced her acclaimed 2009 release, True Love. In addition to handling production duties, Brown co-writes and performs on the album. "I first met Paul in 2006, and we have a strong friendship," says Jessy. "Paul brings the best out in me. Our collaborations are highly productive, and they always sound amazing."

Drawing on a wealth of influences, Hot Sauce combines jazz with Latin rhythms and spotlights Jessy's stylish vocals and lush, sultry saxophone playing. "My previous recording, True Love, was an instrumental pop album," she says. "This time I had a chance to work with some legendary musicians, and I believe I was able to show my growth as an artist."

"Remember the Night" kicks off the album with its seductive melody floating over a softly percolating beat. "I've always loved the music of D'Angelo (the neo soul singer, songwriter and record producer), and he inspired me to try something with an after party or club vibe. I wanted this track to sound like a late night jam session. That's why I call it 'Remember the Night.'"

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - August 15, 2011 #jazz

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Cindy Bradley - "Unscripted" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
2 - 2 - Jackiem Joyner - "Jackiem Joyner" - (Artistry/Mack Ave)
3 - 3 - Boney James - "Contact" - (Verve)
5 - 4 - Paul Hardcastle - "Hardcastle VI" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
4 - 5 - Nils - "What The Funk?" - (Baja/TSR)
9 - 6 - Dave Koz - "Hello Tomorrow" - (Concord)
7 - 7 - Euge Groove - "S7ven Large" - (Shanachie)
8 - 8 - Paul Taylor - "Prime Time" - (Peak)
11 - 9 - Matt Marshak - "Urban Folktales" - (
10 - 10 - Michael Franks - "Time Together" (Shanachie)
6 - 11 - Andy Snitzer - "Traveler" - (Native Language)
15 - 12 - Bob Baldwin - " 2/Revibe (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
13 - 13 - Jonathan Butler - "So Strong" - (Rendezvous/Mack)
16 - 14 - Nick Colionne - "Feel The Heat" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 15 - Brian Hughes - "Fast Train To A Quiet Place" - (Sylvan House)
18 - 16 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Friday Night"[single] - (Woodward Avenue)
17 - 17 - The Rippingtons - "Cote d'Azur - (Peak/Concord)
14 - 18 - Down To The Bone - "The Main Ingredients" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
21 - 19 - Nate Harasim - "Rush" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
20 - 20 - Walter Beasley - "Backatcha!" - (Shanachie)

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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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - August 8, 2011 #jazz

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
2 - 1 - Cindy Bradley - "Unscripted" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
1 - 2 - Jackiem Joyner - "Jackiem Joyner" - (Artistry/Mack Ave)
4 - 3 - Boney James - "Contact" - (Verve)
3 - 4 - Nils - "What The Funk?" - (Baja/TSR)
8 - 5 - Paul Hardcastle - "Hardcastle VI" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 6 - Andy Snitzer - "Traveler" - (Native Language)
6 - 7 - Euge Groove - "S7ven Large" - (Shanachie)
9 - 8 - Paul Taylor - "Prime Time" - (Peak)
5 - 9 - Dave Koz - "Hello Tomorrow" - (Concord)
10 - 10 - Michael Franks - "Time Together" (Shanachie)
12 - 11 - Matt Marshak - "Urban Folktales" - (
16 - 12 - Brian Hughes - "Fast Train To A Quiet Place" - (Sylvan House)
22 - 13 - Jonathan Butler - "So Strong" - (Rendezvous/Mack)
11 - 14 - Down To The Bone - "The Main Ingredients" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
14 - 15 - Bob Baldwin - " 2/Revibe (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
20 - 16 - Nick Colionne - "Feel The Heat" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
19 - 17 - The Rippingtons - "Cote d'Azur - (Peak/Concord)
21 - 18 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Friday Night"[single] - (Woodward Avenue)
24 - 19 - Drew Davidsen - "Spin Cycle" - (Creative Soul Jazz)
15 - 20 - Walter Beasley - "Backatcha!" - (Shanachie)

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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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Russ Hewitt - "Alma Vieja" In Stores Now #jazz

‘Alma Vieja’ is the latest CD from guitar virtuoso Russ Hewitt. Replete with his rumba flamenco playing and lightning guitar runs, the album follows Hewitt’s 2008 debut ‘Bajo el Sol’ which was typified by fierce Latin rhythms and infectious contemporary jazz grooves. It garnered the kind of critical acclaim to suggest this talented player was already on the road to musical stardom.

‘Alma Vieja’ features some notable guest artists and among them are Grammy award-winning violinist Charlie Bisharat and, perhaps most notably, contemporary jazz saxophonist Michael Lington. In fact it’s Lington who features on my selection ‘Pacific Sunrise’ which is also the first single to be released to radio. With Lington’s status in smooth jazz coupled with Hewitt’s fine playing the easy grooving ‘Pacific Sunrise’ should certainly attract some attention.

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Celebrating Satchmo #jazz

Though he broke down many cultural and creative barriers, Louis Armstrong was much more than a pioneer. He was a virtuoso, an icon and arguably the first superstar of jazz. For his birthday (Aug. 4th marks his 110th) and to celebrate his life, Concord Music Group is highlighting some of his greatest works -- Mack the Knife, Live at the 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival, and Louis Armstrong With King Oliver.

These three albums give a nice sampling of Armstrong's ability. Both Mack The Knife and 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival are live performances, captured just one year apart. Filled with standards made unique by his horn and vocals, the collections show why Armstrong was able to break racial barriers with his music -- his arrangements on classics like "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Mack The Knife" were flawless and infectious.

Louis Armstrong & King Oliver (originally released as King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band) finds the artist paired with another pioneer, Joe "King" Oliver. King, a cornet player and bandleader, mentored Armstrong and helped shape the trumpeter's sound. Recorded in 1923 and '24, this set of songs plays like a fascinating musical documentary in the roots of jazz and features a young Armstrong as a band member on cornet.

Check out these titles and join Concord in celebrating Louis Armstrong's integral part in music history.

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