Monday, March 31, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - March 31st, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Keiko Matsui - "Soul Quest" - (Shanachie)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 5 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
5 - 4 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
6 - 6 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
7 - 7 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Soul Italiano" (Med Groove) - (Next Age Music)
8 - 9 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
9 - 8 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
10 - 19 - Dianne Reeves - "Beautiful LIfe" - (Concord)
11 - 21 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 16 - Kim Scott - "Rite of Passage" - (Independent)
13 - 10 - Steve Cole - "Pulse" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
14 - 12 - Andre Delano - "9 Mile Road" - (Woodward Avenue)
15 - 14 - Chieli Minucci & Special EFX - "Genesis" - (Shanachie)
16 - 18 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
17 - 20 - Jumaane Smith - "I Only Have Eyes For You" - (Jumaane Smith Music)
18 - 11 - Jeff Golub - "Trains Keep A Rolling" - (eOne)
19 - 13 - Jessy J - "Second Chances" - (Shanachie)
20 - 24 - Cal Harris Jr. - "Remix: Shelter Island f. Euge Groove" - (CHI Int'l Music)

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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Sam Rucker - "Tell You Something" - Release on Favor Productions - June 3rd - #jazz

 Inspired sax with a hip-hop lean
Sam Rucker urges “Be True 2 Who U R” ahead of the June 3 release of “Tell You Something”
Hip-hop producer turned contemporary jazz saxophonist Sam Rucker has something to say. Blending jazz, hip-hop, soul and gospel, he communicates through inspirational instrumentals that meaningfully resonate with listeners. Nearly three years in the making, his sophomore album, “Tell You Something,” is slated for release from Favor Productions on June 3 and includes contributions from Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Tom Browne and Alyson Williams on the set mixed and mastered by Euge Groove.    
Rucker produced “Tell You Something” featuring eight originals that he wrote or co-penned. The tracks harness the rhythms and intensity of hip-hop, melodic phrasing typical of R&B, rousing gospel affirmations and improvisational jazz nuances. A fan of vintage R&B, Rucker was honored to share production chores with Connors on instrumental renditions of three classics: “Before I Let Go,” “Footsteps in the Dark” and Connors’ signature hit, “You Are My Starship.” Lyle’s keyboard wizardry is on full display on each cover tune with gregarious solos while Browne’s regal trumpet adds a touch of class along with a fervent solo to “Starship.” Williams’ glorifies “Before I Let Go” and “Footsteps” with her lustrous voice. But it’s one of Rucker’s own empowering compositions, “Be True 2 Who U R,” that will be the first to receive airplay from the radio-friendly disc when it is serviced to stations in May. Rucker, who plays keyboards as well as tenor, alto and soprano sax on the record, elects to use his soprano horn over the chunky hip hop beats on the single.   
“My desire as an artist is not only to entertain, but to be a communicator – to connect with the listener in such a way that they are encouraged and inspired by my music. Even as an instrumentalist, I believe my music speaks lyrically and I use it to convey uplifting messages. I wrote ‘Be True 2 Who U R,’ ‘No Other Way’ and ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Like It’ to inspire confidence in one’s individuality. My music has a unique fingerprint and the songs on the album celebrate what the Creator put in me to share with the world. ‘Tell You Something’ and ‘A Million Ways’ convey my gratitude for the gifts He’s given me. ‘Brighter Day,’ ‘Love’s Melody’ and ‘A Long Way to Go’ were written to offer compassion for the sacrifices and struggles that we face in life and touch that place in our soul where adversity rests. ‘Brighter Day’ advocates that a brighter day will come if you keep the faith. The covers I selected pay tribute to some of the great R&B artists that shaped my listening while growing up. One of whom, Norman Connors, I had the pleasure of working with on this album,” said Rucker, a Virginia Beach, Virginia native who studied music while attending nearby James Madison University.
Shortly after releasing his 2011 debut album, “Heat from the Heavens,” that introduced his formula of “hip-hop grooves + jazz melodies + a splash of inspirational lyrics,” Rucker met Connors and planning commenced straightaway for “Tell You Something.” The saxman toured as a member of Connors’ Starship Orchestra through 2012. Over the years, Rucker has performed with Peter White, Ronnie Laws, Phil Perry, Cindy Bradley, Ivan Neville, Howard Hewett and Gerald Veasley as well as Groove, Browne and Williams. His work as producer spans hip-hop, gospel and spoken word. Rucker gigs throughout Virginia and looks to expand his routing nationally with the successful release of “Tell You Something.” For more information, please visit and
The cuts contained on “Tell You Something” are:
“Tell You Something”
“Before I Let Go”
“A Million Ways”
“You Are My Starship”
“Be True 2 Who U R”
“Ain’t Nothin’ Like It”
“Footsteps in the Dark”
“Brighter Day”
“No Other Way”
“Love’s Melody”
“A Long Way to Go”
“Tell You Something” (album version)

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - March 24th, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Keiko Matsui - "Soul Quest" - (Shanachie)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 4 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
5 - 5 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
6 - 15 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
7 - 6 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Soul Italiano" (Med Groove) - (Next Age Music)
8 - 8 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
9 - 7 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
10 - 14 - Steve Cole - "Pulse" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
11 - 9 - Jeff Golub - "Trains Keep A Rolling" - (eOne)
12 - 11 - Andre Delano - "9 Mile Road" - (Woodward Avenue)
13 - 21 - Jessy J - "Second Chances" - (Shanachie)
14 - 10 - Chieli Minucci & Special EFX - "Genesis" - (Shanachie)
15 - 12 - Najee - "The Morning After" - (Shanachie)
16 - 17 - Kim Scott - "Rite of Passage" - (Independent)
17 - 13 - BWB - "Human Nature" - (Heads Up)
18 - 18 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
19 - 16 - Dianne Reeves - "Beautiful LIfe" - (Concord)
20 - 19 - Jumaane Smith - "I Only Have Eyes For You" - (Jumaane Smith Music)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Culbertson is going back to school #jazz

 Contemporary jazz star will return for “Another Long Night Out” at DePaul University School of Music 20 years after the release of the debut album that he recorded while a student of the university.

An accomplished alum currently possessing the No. 1 Billboard contemporary jazz album and single for two weeks and counting, multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson is heading back to the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago on Saturday, April 5 to perform an intimate show in the same room in which he played his first concert 20 years ago and 120 lucky students, fans and VIP donors will be present to mark the occasion.     
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Culbertson was a 20-year-old music major recording demos in the crowded Chicago apartment on Fullerton Avenue he shared with three roommates when the three tracks he sent to a record label exec in Los Angeles landed the student playing trombone in the university’s jazz ensemble a 6-album record deal. Since then, the massively popular keyboardist-producer-songwriter has amassed 27 No. 1 Billboard singles, including the aptly titled first cut, “Fullerton Ave.,” from his newly released 14th album, “Another Long Night Out,” a reinterpretation of the debut disc, “Long Night Out.” Culbertson will play a short set from the collection in the rehearsal room where he performed for the first time publicly as a keyboardist in 1994.

“Shortly after the album (“Long Night Out”) was released, the label called to tell me that they booked a bunch of shows for me to perform. So before going on my first tour, I decided to do a showcase at DePaul. I had never performed live as keyboardist before that concert so I was really nervous. Also, seated in the front row was a really cute music student that I met for the first time that evening. We’ve been married over 16 years now,” recalled Culbertson, who is in the midst of the “Another Long Night Out: Brian Culbertson’s 20th Anniversary Concert Tour.”

Guests of age attending the DePaul event will be able to taste the newly uncorked Culbertson Pinot Noir, which the artist custom blended in partnership with Jamieson Ranch Vineyards and Reata Wines of Napa, California where Culbertson founded and serves as creative director for a star-studded wine and jazz festival, Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, taking place for the third time June 11-15, 2014.

“Another Long Night Out” is the first album released on Culbertson’s own imprint, BCM Entertainment, and marks a return to his contemporary jazz roots after focusing on R&B and funk grooves on recent recordings. The set features collaborations with many of the renowned contemporary jazz musicians that influenced and inspired Culbertson while he recorded the original on a shoestring budget. Instead of playing most of the instruments himself as he did on “Long Night Out,” this time out he was joined by Lee Ritenour, Chuck Loeb, Eric Marienthal, Rick Braun, Russ Freeman, Patches Stewart, Candy Dulfer, Jonathan Butler, Will Kennedy, Jimmy Haslip, Paul Jackson Jr., Ray Parker Jr., Nathan East, Jeff Kashiwa, Ricky Peterson and a 33-piece orchestra playing arrangements by David Benoit and Culbertson. For additional information, please visit

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Billy Porter’s "Billy’s Back on Broadway" Releases on Concord April 15th, 2014 #jazz

 Billy Porter’s Billy’s Back on Broadway features ten Broadway classics with a new twist & special guest Cyndi Lauper!

To say it’s been a good year for Billy Porter would be an understatement. The Broadway star achieved critical acclaim for his role as “Lola” in the Cyndi Lauper/Harvey Fierstein hit musical Kinky Boots, which celebrates its one year anniversary in April. Porter, who won  a Tony Award in 2013, as well as a Grammy for the show’s original cast album, is now planning to release his first solo album in nearly a decade. Billy’s Back On Broadway, his April 15 release on Concord Records, features 10 classic Broadway tunes with a new, inspired twist.

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Track Listing for Billy’s Back on Broadway:
1. But the World Goes Round
2. Everything’s Coming Up Roses
3. Don’t Rain on My Parade
4. On the Street Where You Live
5. I’ve Gotta Be Me
6. I’m Not My Father’s Son
7. Happy Days/Get Happy (w/Cyndi Lauper)
8. Luck Be a Lady
9. Take the Moment
10. I Am Changing

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jackiem Joyner - "Evolve" - Release on Artizen, April 29th, 2014 #jazz

The evolution of an imaginative young artist is fascinating to behold, especially those refusing to play it safe after achieving success and notoriety. Jackiem Joyner (, an award-winning chart-topping saxophonist, is stretching the limits of what urban contemporary jazz grooves can be while moving towards a more organic live sound on his fifth album, “Evolve,” which will be released April 29. He wrote and produced the highly-rhythmic 11-song CD we sent you featuring collaborations with multiple Grammy-nominated saxophonist Gerald Albright and internationally renowned keyboardist Keiko Matsui.  
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Joyner has always had knack for crafting catchy R&B-pop melodies and his deft touch with honeyed harmonies remains. What changed are the inventive rhythms and textured sonic-scapes he’s constructed under his gentle yet impassioned horn play. The futuristic aural backdrop stands in stark contrast to the visceral sound of his sax.  
First cut from “Evolve” going to radio is “Generation Next,” a musical declaration from Joyner that the next generation of jazz artists is here to stay. You can view a live performance clip of the single to get a taste of how Joyner mixes and matches jazz, R&B and instrumental pop with searing rock guitar.

Joyner debuted in 2007 when he was named Debut Artist of the Year for his first offering, “Babysoul.” His sophomore set, “Lil’ Man Soul,” spawned a pair of No. 1 Billboard singles, including “I’m Waiting For You,” which won Song of the Year honors at the 2009 Smooth Jazz Awards. The momentum continued even before he reached the age of 30 when two singles from his self-titled third album shot up to No. 2 and No. 3 on Billboard. Switching gears, Joyner embraced his church roots in 2012 with the gospel jazz record, “Church Boy.” It will be intriguing to hear where the popular concert performer ventures next. Please listen to “Evolve” and consider Joyner for a feature, interview, performance, album review and/or an appropriate roundup piece. I’ll follow-up soon. Thanks for your open ears.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - March 17th, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 1 - Keiko Matsui - "Soul Quest" - (Shanachie)
3 - 5 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 3 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
5 - 4 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
6 - 6 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Soul Italiano" (Med Groove) - (Next Age Music)
7 - 7 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
8 - 8 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
9 - 10 - Jeff Golub - "Trains Keep A Rolling" - (eOne)
10 - 11 - Chieli Minucci & Special EFX - "Genesis" - (Shanachie)
11 - 14 - Andre Delano - "9 Mile Road" - (Woodward Avenue)
12 - 12 - Najee - "The Morning After" - (Shanachie)
13 - 9 - BWB - "Human Nature" - (Heads Up)
14 - 13 - Steve Cole - "Pulse" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
15 - 16 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
16 - 18 - Dianne Reeves - "Beautiful LIfe" - (Concord)
17 - 15 - Kim Scott - "Rite of Passage" - (Independent)
18 - 26 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
19 - 23 - Jumaane Smith - "I Only Have Eyes For You" - (Jumaane Smith Music)
20 - 32 - Cal Harris Jr. - "Remix: Shelter Island f. Euge Groove" - (CHI Int'l Music)

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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Thursday, March 06, 2014

Jazz and R&B stars set to groove Memorial Day Weekend in San Diego #jazz

 Maxwell, Brian Culbertson, Charlie Wilson, Ledisi, Mint Condition, Robert Glasper, Anthony Hamilton and Boney James among the performers at the Payne Pest Management San Diego Jazz Festival taking place May 23-25, 2014.
With much of the nation presently suffering through the worst winter in decades, perhaps planning to party in luxury Memorial Day Weekend with a stellar slate of jazz and R&B favorites will help make the snow, ice and frigid temperatures a bit more bearable. The second edition of the Payne Pest Management San Diego Jazz Festival returns to the posh Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in sun-soaked Carlsbad, North San Diego County May 23-25, 2014 for a memorable three-day weekend of live music, dancing and warm weather fun with thousands of festival goers from all over the U.S. Tickets are on sale now and available online at or by calling 602.244.8444
Grammy-winning soul balladeer Maxwell headlines opening night crooning a seductive set from his hit-filled R&B-pop songbook, a favorite mood-setter for the ladies and Lotharios. Energetic contemporary jazz-R&B multi-instrumentalist hitmaker Brian Culbertson bodes to make it “Another Long Night Out” when he performs cuts culled from his similarly titled new album. Emerging saxophonist Dominic Amato warms up the crowd.
Day two gets underway with jazz, R&B and hip hop mixologist Robert Glasper who is touring in support of “Black Radio 2,” the follow-up to his Grammy-winning disc. Up next, Mint Condition serves a refreshing taste of Saint Paul, Minnesota that incorporates the best of old school and new school R&B, funk and soul with tinges of jazz, Latin and Jamaican rhythms dynamically performed by a skintight band. Out promoting her forthcoming album, “The Truth,” 8-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ledisi offers a smooth blend of sophisticated soul seasoned with jazz nuances. “Uncle” Charlie Wilson will show them how it’s done old school-style when the 2013 BET Lifetime Achievement Award winner and 7-time Grammy nominee turns it out during his headline set featuring a dazzling cast of musicians and dancers along with nearly as many costume changes as BeyoncĂ©.
The Sunday program begins with a riveting show from R&B-soul singer-songwriter Leela James, a force of nature new school performer cut from the same cloth as such classic vocalists as Aretha, Stevie, Chaka and Marvin. After, soul-jazz saxman Boney James will set “The Beat,” his Grammy-nominated disc that spent seven weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart. Grammy-winning gritty-voiced R&B-soul singer Anthony Hamilton is the festival’s closer.
Phoenix, Arizona-based festival producer will soon announce additional artists.    
Tickets for the Payne Pest Management San Diego Jazz Festival start at $50.00 for a single-day seat and go up to $750.00 for a three-day Skybox ticket. Hotel and ticket packages are also available through the San Diego Jazz Festival website. 
In addition to the lifestyle expo providing a myriad of food, clothing, arts and culture choices adjacent to the concert grounds, weekend events include a Friday Night After Party (free for those with ticket stubs for that evening), a Saturday Night All-Star Jam ($25.00) including some of the festival’s performers and a Sunday morning Gospel Brunch ($55.00). 
The Payne Pest Management San Diego Jazz Festival is a music and lifestyle experience attracting a diverse adult audience with many coming for the entire weekend in order to enjoy the extensive array of activities and amenities offered at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa that cater to mind, body & sport. Guests relax and play on the internationally renowned golf course and tennis courts, sparkling pools and adventurous slides, state of the art fitness facilities and the No. 1 Wellness Spa in the nation according to Spa Magazine.   

Phoenix, Arizona-based is one of the premier concert producers in the Southwest. Among the star-studded jazz and R&B concerts and multiday music and lifestyle festivals that the company promotes at first-class resorts are the Arizona Jazz Festival (, San Diego Jazz Festival ( and the Las Vegas Jazz Festival (’s sister company for at sea events,, will launch the maiden voyage of the Maxwell + The 7 Seas Cruise ( in 2015.

About Payne Pest Management
One of the 100 largest pest control companies in the United States with over 35 years of experience, the family owned and operated Payne Pest Management is a full service termite and pest control company servicing residential and commercial properties in San Diego, Irvine and Los Angeles. For more information, please visit

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Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" Release on Heads Up May 27, 2014 #jazz #video

Mindi Abair is one of the most dynamic performers on the music scene today.  In addition to her acclaimed solo work, she was the featured saxophonist on the 2011 and 2012 seasons of American Idol, jammed with Paul Shaffer on the Late Show with David Letterman and joined rock legends Aerosmith for their 2012 summer tour. More recently, the powerhouse saxophonist/vocalist received a 2014 GRAMMY nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category for Summer Horns, a #1 recording with her friends Dave Koz, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot.
Several more friends join Abair on Wild Heart, her new album that includes guest performances by – and songwriting collaborations with – Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, Trombone Shorty, Max Weinberg, Waddy Wachtel and others. Produced by Abair and Los Angeles production trio The Decoders, Wild Heart is set for release May 27 on Heads Up, a division of Concord Music Group.

“I’ve had all these friends in rock ’n’ roll and pop for so many years. I’ve been a part of their music and careers, but I never quite knew how they could fit into my career.” Abair says. “I’ve worked hard to write songs that had more of an organic spirit about them – a little more rock ‘n’ roll, a little more soul, and a lot more abandon.”

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