Monday, June 30, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - June 30, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
3 - 4 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 10 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
5 - 3 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
6 - 11 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
7 - 6 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
8 - 5 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
9 - 9 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
10 - 7 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
11 - 12 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
12 - 13 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
13 - 8 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
14 - 17 - Harvey Mason - "Chamelion" - (Concord)
15 - 15 - Down To The Bone - "Dig It" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
16 - 16 - Richard Smith - "Tangos" - (Chillharmonic Music)
17 - 22 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
18 - 23 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
19 - 21 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Playa Blanca (Soul Italiano) - (Next Age Music)
20 - 14 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
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, June 24, 2014

Jeff Lorber-Chuck Loeb-Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - Out today on Shanachie ! #jazz #video

While humanity has long marveled over the Seven Wonders of the World, super-group Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb and Everette Harp, easily stand as high priests in the temple of contemporary jazz.  These three colossal architects of the contemporary jazz scene have collectively sold millions of records, amassed numerous prestigious industry awards and produced or shared the stage for some of the biggest names in music including U2, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, The Isley Brothers, Billy Joel and Chaka Khan, to name a few.

Just in time for summer, Lorber, Loeb and Harp have crafted the perfect soundtrack, Jazz Funk Soul.  After spending time on the road with one another touring, transferring the magic from the stage into the studio seemed like the next logical step. “Making this album seemed like a natural extension of the fun and high level of creativity that was taking place on stage each night,” shares Chuck Loeb. “I love this aggregate of players,” declares saxophonist Everette Harp. “We are very different personalities, but we all respect where each other comes from.” Pianist Jeff Lorber adds, “After collaborating on the road, it became clear that the chemistry and complimentary talents we had should be used to make a great record. This is the first time I’ve recorded in a band situation with other leaders and I found it to be a rewarding experience.”

Jazz Funk Soul is like a cosmic musical reaction resulting in the perfect amalgamation of jazz, R&B, soul and funk that swings from the opening note to the album’s final chorus. Each a dazzling virtuoso, accomplished bandleader, composer, arranger and producers in their own right, Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb and Everette Harp join forces to produce ten memorable originals with sublime arrangements that defy category. Jazz Funk Soul is replete with irresistible melodies, unforgettable grooves, exhilarating solos and charged interplay.
Jazz Funk Soul opens with the percolating, buoyant, funky and rock-tinged “Speed of Light,” penned by Jeff Lorber. The shimmering number sets the scene for a riveting musical expedition with all the right nuances for a thrilling ride. “Swingette” is a spicy and bluesy composition that allows the band to stretch out and have some fun. Everette Harp confides, “The opportunity for expression on this CD was so immense. The songs lend themselves to so much freedom to explore and challenge our creativity when soloing. Playing with Jeff and Chuck helps me to be even more creative.” Just as the title suggests, “Adrenaline” finds the threesome shifting gears and kicking it up a notch. This Lorber burner builds to a break-neck tempo without losing its intense fire.

Jazz Funk Soul marries the best elements of diverse musical styles to create a cohesive set and brilliant musical dialogue between the trailblazers. “Everyone contributed songs and helped to bring a little taste of what each of us do into the mix,” shares Harp, who co-wrote the composition “Silent Partner” with Chuck Loeb. The pensive ballad shines light on Harp’s wistful and emotive saxophone and Loeb’s sustained and cascading guitar lines. Harp and Lorber collaborated on the blissful disco-tinged and sweat-inducing “Telephone.” If you do not get on your feet and feel revived after this number-you had better call a doctor! Jeff Lorber’s buttery keys add just the right reprise in all of the right spots.  He shares, “I think there was a friendly competition which helped get the best writing and performances out of each of us.”

Jazz Funk Soul also features the intoxicating “We Were There,” which adds an element of romance while the driving R&B flavored “Line Drive,” commands your attention from beginning to end. “Serious Business” affirms that Lorber, Loeb and Harp have an agenda and that it is all in the groove! This hard-swinging and tight arrangement makes it the perfect song for the album’s first single. The mellow and lyrical “D.C.” is another winner while the percussive, bluesy and soul drenched “Raccoon” brings the album home on a high note.

A testament to their respect within the music community, Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb and Everette Harp call upon a few friends for their all-star gathering homecoming. Jazz Funk Soul features special guest saxophonist Dave Mann, percussionist Lenny Castro, bassists James Genus, John Patitucci and Jimmy Haslip, drummers Brian Dunne, Lionel Cordew and Gary Novak, guitarist A. Ray “The Weeper” Fuller, trumpeter Till Brönner and flutist Mark Hollingsworth.

Pianist, composer and producer Jeff Lorber has been a major innovator on the creative music scene for over three decades. Along with maestros Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample and Bob James, Lorber is a groundbreaking Fender Rhodes pioneer. Having produced for everyone from Dave Koz to Kenny G, the Grammy nominated pianist’s long running acclaimed ensemble, Jeff Lorber Fusion, was a major force in contemporary jazz’s early beginnings. The Berklee College of Music alums latest release is his Grammy nominated Hacienda.

A member of the world-renowned super-group Fourplay (along with Bob James, Nathan East and Harvey Mason), guitarist, composer and producer Chuck Loeb has had an enviable career that has spanned four decades. Few artists can boast to have worked with such diverse stars as Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, Anita Baker, Freddie Hubbard and Stan Getz (who happened to have been the best man at Loeb’s wedding!) Dubbed the “Clark Kent Of Jazz Guitar” by The New York Times, the in-demand producer has provided the Midas Touch for pianists Bob James and Keiko Matsui, singers Jon Lucien and Michael Franks, saxophonists Kim Waters and Gato Barbieri and fellow guitarist Larry Coryell, to name a few. The Grammy nominated Berklee College of Music graduate’s latest solo release is Silhouette.

Everette Harp’s soulful and trademark blend of jazz, R&B, funk and pop have made him a favorite among fans, fellow musicians and critics alike.  Harp’s impressive career that has allowed him to collaborate with everyone from Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Luther Vandross and Patti Labelle to George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel and Kenny Loggins. Harp has left an indelible imprint on the scene with his own unique, muscular and soulful approach. His work on TV has brought his saxophone into the homes of millions who have heard him playing the theme songs for such popular TV shows as Entertainment Tonight and Soul Train. He also holds the distinction of being a former member of the posse on the first Arsenio Hall Show.  A graduate of North Texas State University, Harp hosts the radio program Smooth Jazz Odyssey with Everette Harp on WLOQ in Orlando, FL. His latest solo release is First Love.

Chuck Loeb sums it up best, “The Music is fresh, inventive, and just plain fun. Collaboration is at it’s best when the result is greater than the sum of its parts and I think that’s what we got here – Jazz Funk Soul!”

Release Date: June 24, 2014
Shanachie Records

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Las Vegas Jazz Festival lineup a guaranteed winner #jazz

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Cameo, Keith Sweat, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Eric Benét, Anthony Hamilton, Ledisi, Will Downing, Brian Culbertson, Euge Groove and more will put the soul into the September 19-21, 2014 music festival.
Since the roots of jazz are in rhythm and blues, it should be no surprise that a stellar cast of Grammy-winning and chart-topping R&B and funk artists have been booked to perform at the Las Vegas Jazz Festival slated for September 19-21, 2014 outdoors on the spacious grounds of the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa. Tickets start at $65 for a single-day ticket and range up to $975 for a 3-day seat in the pit and are available now online at or by calling the event’s promoter and producer at 602.244.8444.
Attracting festivalgoers from all over the country for a weekend of live music and lush living at the premier resort, the Las Vegas Jazz Festival opens with a classic R&B pairing of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Cameo on Funky Friday establishing the tone for a weekend of old school revelry. Sax showman Eric Darius will be the first artist to storm the stage at this year’s event.
R&B crooners Keith Sweat, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Eric Benét top the Seductive Saturday marquee with each culling material from his own extensive hit-filled songbook. Soul-jazz saxophonist Euge Groove always delivers a power-packed performance swirling R&B, jazz and gospel. The music begins with the first ladies of urban-jazz Jazz in Pink featuring Gail Jhonson and Karen Briggs with special guest Jeanette Harris.
Soulful Sunday showcases sophisticated solo sets from vocalists Anthony Hamilton, Ledisi, Will Downing and Leela James. Contemporary jazz dynamo Brian Culbertson will serve up masterfully performed contemporary jazz instrumentals and funk grooves. Rising saxophone stars Elan Trotman and Jessy J shall share the stage with singer Selina Albright for a run through of their radio singles and fan favorites. 
Located 15 minutes from the Vegas Strip, the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa mixes elegance and excitement along with luxurious amenities that include a rejuvenating spa, a pool with waterfalls and whirlpools, flourishing floral gardens, eleven restaurants  and a casino all set amidst a prestigious collection of golf courses. A large portion of the festival patrons come for the entire weekend in order to immerse themselves fully in the music and lifestyle. A limited number of resort and ticket packages are available by emailing or by calling the box office at 602.244.8444.
Phoenix, Arizona-based is one of the preeminent 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 for adult audiences are the Arizona Jazz Festival (, San Diego Jazz Festival ( and the Las Vegas Jazz Festival (’s sister company for events at sea, will launch the maiden voyage of the Maxwell + The 7 Seas Cruise ( May 3-10, 2015 hosted by the Grammy-winning balladeer.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - June 23, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
3 - 4 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
4 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
5 - 5 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
6 - 6 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
7 - 11 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
8 - 18 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
9 - 12 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
10 - 27 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
11 - 15 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
12 - 7 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
13 - 9 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
14 - 8 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
15 - 10 - Down To The Bone - "Dig It" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
16 - 17 - Richard Smith - "Tangos" - (Chillharmonic Music)
17 - 17 - Harvey Mason - "Chamelion" - (Concord)
18 - 16 - Najee - "The Morning After: A Musical Love Jorney" - (Shanachie)
19 - 19 - Herb Albert - "Steppin' Out" - (Shout Factory)
20 - 14 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - Release on Artistry Music July 8th. - #jazz

Summertime means gathering your friends and throwing on some feel-good music for some carefree fun. That pretty much sums up the sound and spirit of “Can You Feel It,” the first contemporary jazz album in five years from trumpet-flugelhorn star Rick Braun ( will be released July 8. 
Turning to his 20-year-old breakthrough hit-filled album, “Beat Street,” for inspiration, Braun packed the new record full of horn section parts and rounded up the boys including Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson, Euge Groove, Jeff Lorber, Philippe Saisse and Elliott Yamin along with some of the finest backing musicians on the contemporary jazz scene. Braun produced his sixteenth album fostering a true live sound by removing all the sequencing except on one track. The result is an organic, buoyant and melodic romp led by Braun’s expressive trumpet and regal flugelhorn harmonies. He even dispenses salvos of valve trombone, which adds distinctive shades of soul. The taut rhythms and grooves on the ten original songs – nine of which were written or co-written by the horn man - are sculpted from blocks of funk, R&B and contemporary jazz while the collection’s lone vocal is a rollicking rendition of the soul classic “Take Me To The River.”
“Can You Feel It” is brimful of excitement and energy capturing the trademark Braun sound that his adoring fans across the world know and love. He opens the disc with the title cut that is crammed full of horn section parts with the lyrical trumpet lead riding the crest of a funky R&B groove. Culbertson guests on “Back To Back” featuring the keyboard sensation’s signature sound merged with the trumpet on the brisk energizer. A longtime Al Green fan, Braun invited soul singer Yamin and saxophonist Groove to jam on the jukebox joint “Take Me To The River.” Lingering memories of a romantic vacation with his wife inspired Braun to pen “Mallorca,” a sultry and exotic contemporary jazz tryst. The first radio single, “Get Up and Dance” is a lively frolic with Koz during which the trumpet and sax engage in a playful discourse that bodes to become the 2014 summer anthem. Saisse wrote the stunning “Another Kind Of Blue,” a gorgeous yet somber reflection with a sweeping silver lining chorus. Braun’s evocative flugelhorn conveys layers of emotional depth on the R&B ballad. Braun and keyboard pioneer Lorber join forces on “Delta,” a punchy R&B-funk-jazz hybrid. Tension builds on the gentle “Silk,” one of Braun’s earliest ideas when he started composing material for the set. Speeding from the start, “Radar” is another Braun and Lorber co-write with trumpet blazing the way. The rhythm section carves a nice pocket for Braun’s trumpet lead on “The Dream” that he accentuates with flugelhorn flourishes. The boisterous album closer, “Dr. Funkenstein,” attacks instantly with a monster funk prescription powered by fiery horns, rousing Hammond B3 organ blasts and old school R&B guitar licks.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jersey Boys: Music From The Motion Picture And Broadway Musical - Available from Rhino June 24 #jerseyboys


Available From Rhino June 24
To accompany director Clint Eastwood’s big-screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys, Rhino will release the soundtrack to this highly anticipated film, which premieres on June 20 in theaters nationwide.

Jersey Boys tells the story of Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi, and Frankie Valli, four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. The story of their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the songs that influenced a generation, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Dawn,” “Rag Doll,” “Bye Bye Baby,” “Who Loves You,” and many more.

Relive those unforgettable songs with JERSEY BOYS: MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE AND BROADWAY MUSICAL, available June 24 for a suggested list price of $18.98 from Rhino. The album will be available digitally on the same day. Rhino also released the platinum-selling Original Broadway Cast Recording, which won the 2007 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Show Album.

While assembling the album’s 25 tracks, producer Gaudio carefully selected some of the best songs recorded by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and intertwined them with recordings by cast members from both the film and the stage musical. The soundtrack is full of surprises and makes a perfect audio companion for both new fans discovering the quartet though the film as well as long-time followers of The Four Seasons.

The soundtrack and movie will launch a busy summer for The Four Seasons. On July 1, Rhino will release three additional projects related to the group:

- Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – The Classic Albums Box is an 18-disc set that includes the vast majority of the group’s albums in mini jackets with original artwork, $99.98.
- Frankie Valli – Selected Solo Works is an eight-disc set that features many of Valli’s classic solo albums in mini jackets with original artwork, $49.98.
- Audio With A G: Sounds Of A Jersey Boy, The Music Of Bob Gaudio is a two-disc collection of legendary songs written by hitmaker Gaudio, performed by The Four Seasons and other artists, $19.98.

Track Listing
1. Prelude
2. “December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)” – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
3. “My Mother’s Eyes” – Frankie Valli
4. “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” – John Lloyd Young
5. “A Sunday Kind Of Love” – John Lloyd Young, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
6. “Moody’s Mood For Love” – John Lloyd Young
7. “Cry For Me” – Erich Bergen
8. “Sherry” – John Lloyd Young
9. “Big Girls Don’t Cry” – John Lloyd Young
10. “Walk Like A Man” – John Lloyd Young
11. “My Boyfriend’s Back” – Kyli Rae
12. “My Eyes Adored You” – John Lloyd Young
13. “Dawn (Go Away)” – John Lloyd Young
14. “Big Man In Town” – John Lloyd Young
15. “Beggin” – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, John Lloyd Young, Ryan Malloy
16. Medley – John Lloyd Young
a. “Stay”
b. “Let’s Hang On (To What We’ve Got)”
c. “Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me)”
d. “Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye)”
17. “C’mon Marianne” – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, John Lloyd Young
18. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” – John Lloyd Young
19. “Working My Way Back To You” – John Lloyd Young
20. “Fallen Angel” – Frankie Valli
21. “Who Loves You” – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, John Lloyd Young
22.  Closing Credits: “Sherry”/”December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)” – John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza
23. “Sherry” – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
24. “Dawn (Go Away)” – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
25. “Rag Doll” – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

About the movie “Jersey Boys”
From director Clint Eastwood comes the big-screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys.”

Starring in the film, John Lloyd Young reprises his Tony Award-winning portrayal of the legendary lead singer of The Four Seasons, Frankie Valli. Erich Bergen stars as Bob Gaudio, who wrote or co-wrote all of the group’s biggest hits. Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza star respectively as Nick Massi and Tommy DeVito, the other two original members of The Four Seasons. Christopher Walken plays local mobster Gyp DeCarlo.

Eastwood directed “Jersey Boys” from a screenplay and musical book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, song music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe. The film is produced by Eastwood, Graham King and Robert Lorenz, with Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tim Moore, Tim Headington, James Packer and Brett Ratner serving as executive producers.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a GK Films Production, a Malpaso Production, a film by Clint Eastwood, “Jersey Boys.” Opening nationwide on June 20, 2014, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

This film has been rated R for language throughout. (trailer)

Jersey Boys: Music From The Motion Picture and Broadway Musical:

Frankie Valli – Selected Solo Works:
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – The Classic Albums Box:
Audio With A G: Sounds Of A Jersey Boy, The Music Of Bob Gaudio:

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Gerald Albright's "Slam Dunk" set for Aug. 5 release on Heads Up #jazz

On August 5, 2014, Grammy-nominated saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist/composer Gerald Albright releases Slam Dunk and continues his reign supreme as contemporary jazz’s most compelling and consistent artist. Fans will hear his searing and soulful sax lines on this twelve-track recording. And, they’ll be in for a surprise, as Albright shows off his chops as a bassist, along with his ebullient tenor, baritone and soprano saxophone arrangements on his own compositions, and his super covers of classics by Phil Collins (“True Colors”) and James Brown (“It’s a Man’s, Man’s Man’s World”), with special guest vocalist Peabo Bryson.

Slam Dunk is synonymous with my previous records, in that it has the direct influence of James Brown, the Philly International sound, and the Motown sound,” Albright says. “But what we wanted to do on this record was to take those instruments that are normally in the background – bass, flute and horns – and bring them up front. In terms of being a bassist, I was inspired by Louis Johnson [of the Brothers Johnson] back in college. A lot of people don’t know that I play bass, flute and some of the other instruments…so we decided to make it – no pun intended – a slam dunk project, and bring all of those elements to the forefront.”

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Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - June 16, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 4 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
3 - 2 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 3 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
5 - 5 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
6 - 6 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
7 - 7 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
8 - 11 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
9 - 10 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
10 - 8 - Down To The Bone - "Dig It" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
11 - 9 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
12 - 17 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
13 - 16 - Harvey Mason - "Chamelion" - (Concord)
14 - 12 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
15 - 13 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
16 - 21 - Najee - "The Morning After: A Musical Love Jorney" - (Shanachie)
17 - 14 - Richard Smith - "Tangos" - (Chillharmonic Music)
18 - 19 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
19 - 18 - Herb Albert - "Steppin' Out" - (Shout Factory)
20 - 22 - Paolo Rustichelli "Playa Blana (Soul Italiano) - (Next Age Music)
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Ask Mindi Abair A Question - First Live Twitter Q&A, Wednesday June 18, 9:30AM (PST) #askMindi #jazz

To mark the release of her new album Wild Heart, Mindi Abair has announced she will do her first-ever live @Twitter Q&A on Wednesday, June 18th at 9:30am (PST).

Mindi 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 was released May 27, 2014 on Heads Up, a division of Concord Music Group, and is currently #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart.

Fans can send in questions to Mindi via Twitter by using the hashtag #askMindi

Follow Mindi on Twitter HERE:

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Monday, June 09, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - June 9, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
3 - 2 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
4 - 5 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
5 - 4 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
6 - 8 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
7 - 9 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
8 - 11 - Down To The Bone - "Dig It" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
9 - 6 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
10 - 12 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
11 - 7 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
12 - 10 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
13 - 31 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
14 - 15 - Richard Smith - "Tangos" - (Chillharmonic Music)
15 - 16 - Jessy J - "Second Chances" - (Shanachie)
16 - 23 - Harvey Mason - "Chamelion" - (Concord)
17 - 14 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
18 - 19 - Herb Albert - "Steppin' Out" - (Shout Factory)
19 - 26 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
20 - 13 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
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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Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden - Last Dance on ECM #jazz

 U.S. Release date: June 17, 2014
"When we play together it's like two people singing" - Keith Jarrett
"Keith really listens, and I listen. That's the secret. It's about listening." - Charlie Haden

Here is a last dance, from partners of old. Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden have made exceptional music together in a wide range of contexts. Haden was, with the late Paul Motian, a member of Jarrett's first great trio, and recordings such as 1967's Life between the Exit Signs (on the Vortex label) already provided a map of territory to be explored. Jarrett's early choice of partners was inspired: as a prodigiously gifted young player, he was liberated and challenged by his association with musicians of broader experience. And with Haden, the bassist of whom Ornette Coleman famously said "he plays the music, not the background", Jarrett could go anywhere - from melodic free playing to original compositions to forays into the American songbook. That range of options widened still further when saxophonist Dewey Redman was added to the group, completing what has come to be regarded as one of the most influential bands of the era, Jarrett's 'American Quartet' - heard on a string of releases for Impulse and the classic ECM recordings The Survivors Suite and Eyes of the Heart (both recorded in 1976).

Haden was also featured - along with Jan Garbarek and Keith Jarrett himself - on Arbour Zena (1975), Jarrett's ravishingly beautiful album of compositions for string orchestra and soloists (recently reissued - as LP, CD and high-resolution download - to a new round of critical acclaim). And when Haden came to make his first album as a leader with Closeness (1976, A&M / Horizon), Jarrett was one of his duo partners.

After the disbanding of the American Quartet, the paths of Haden and Jarrett continued along parallel tracks. Both Jarrett, in his trio with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette, and Haden in his Quartet West with Ernie Watts, Alan Broadbent and Larance Marable would look again at the world of standards from contemporary perspectives.

Early in 2007 Jarrett was invited to contribute some reminiscences to "Rambling Boy", director Reto Caduff's documentary about Haden. This led to some informal playing together, which both enjoyed greatly. Jarrett then invited Haden to come over to his home for four days of recording in March 2007. Out of this work came the album Jasmine and now Last Dance, with a program selected by both participants.

The scope of the duo project is widened here to include jazz classics like Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight" and Bud Powell's sprightly "Dance Of The Infidels". Love songs, however, are to the fore in this selection, with tender versions of "My Old Flame", "My Ship", "It Might As Well Be Spring", "Everything Happens To Me", and "Every Time We Say Goodbye" as well as versions of "Where Can I Go Without You" and "Goodbye", every bit as touching as the Jasmine renditions.

Last Dance
Keith Jarrett: piano
Charlie Haden: double bass
Track List:
1. My Old Flame
2. My Ship
3. Round Midnight
4. Dance Of The Infidels
5. It Might As Well Be Spring
6. Everything Happens To Me
7. Where Can I Go Without You
8. Every Time We Say Goodbye
9. Goodbye
U.S. Release date: June 17, 2014
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Monday, June 02, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - June 2nd, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 3 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
3 - 2 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 4 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
5 - 11 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
6 - 8 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
7 - 5 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
8 - 6 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
9 - 23 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
10 - 9 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
11 - 10 - Down To The Bone - "Dig It" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 13 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
13 - 7 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
14 - 20 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
15 - 16 - Richard Smith - "Tangos" - (Chillharmonic Music)
16 - 15 - Jessy J - "Second Chances" - (Shanachie)
17 - 14 - Najee - "A Musical Love Journey" - (Shanachie)
18 - 17 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
19 - 28 - Herb Albert - "Steppin' Out" - (Shout Factory)
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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Ground Breaking & Pioneering UK Groove-Masters Incognito Celebrates 35th Anniversary With "Amplified Soul" #jazz

New CD Features Appearances By Carleen Anderson (Brand New Heavies, Young Disciples),
Deborah Bond (Chaka Khan, Sade, Anita Baker) Original Jamiroquai Drummer Nick Van Gelder, Saxophonist Nigel Hitchcock (Ray Charles, Tom Jones, James Brown) & Longtime Incognito Collaborators Imaani, Tony Momrelle & Vanessa Haynes & More!!

The enduring success of Incognito has been one of the great stories to emerge from the UK music scene over the past three decades. The pre-eminent funk/jazz/soul/dance outfit in the world, spearheaded by ground-breaking mastermind and UK groove-master Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick, marks a milestone and celebrates their 35th Anniversary with their 16th studio album Amplified Soul. Order "Amplified Soul" from

Musical genius/chameleon Bluey has collaborated with a who’s who list in music including James Brown, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Chaka Khan, R. Kelly, Leon Ware, George Duke, Phillip Bailey Steve Gadd and Maxi Priest, among numerous others. Bluey pioneered the ‘Acid Jazz’ movement and laid down the blueprint for the neo-soul scene to follow. At a time when drum machines and sampling dominated the airwaves, Bluey and Incognito reminded us of the sheer beauty of the human soul and instrumental virtuosity. They scored hits with versions of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” and Ronnie Laws’ “Always There,” selling more than a million records in the process! Bluey reflects, “We have a sound of our own and we are not trying to follow anyone else’s groove! Incognito has never been a band that tries to dazzle with flashiness and technical prowess, we groove to make you move, we shift to uplift and we use captivating melodies to tell our stories.”

Now celebrating three decades of effortlessly churning out mind-blowing and chart-topping hits, Incognito kicks it up a notch and delivers Amplified Soul on their highly anticipated latest effort. Amplified Soul was recorded and mixed at the legendary Livingston Studio in North London. It is the same studio where The Buena Vista Social Club’s eponymous multi-million selling debut was mixed and Björk’s 1993 debut was also recorded. Incognito creates their own historical magic at the same studio with Amplified Soul. The album is an electrifying collection of virtually all original soul drenched, jazz infused funk anthems that are sure to stand the test of time.  The album features Incognito favorites and vocalists Imaani, Tony Momrelle and Vanessa Haynes and new addition Katie Leone. They are joined by legendary singer/songwriter Carleen Anderson (Brand New Heavies, Young Disciples) and Deborah Bond (Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Sade). Incognito also welcomes shining newcomer, 22 year old Australian singer Chiara Hunter

“I get sheer joy from making music. I have massive gratitude that I am able to make a living from my labor of love” shares Bluey who cites the live music scene in the UK as a main inspiration. Relocating to London from his native Mauritius (a small island in the Indian Ocean) at age ten, Bluey recalls the sounds of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Santana, Earth Wind & Fire and Kool & The Gang making a profound impression.  There was also a vibrant UK music scene that helped to mold and motivate the young Bluey to reach new heights.  “My first band was New Life with David Grant,” recalls Bluey. “His cousin later managed Light Of The World (forerunners of the late 70s/early80s UK funk/jazz movement). I worked in his record shop in Tottenham and we’d rehearse upstairs. Some of the future Light Of The World musicians would pop in to jam. I switched from bass to guitar when Paul ‘Tubs’ Williams came in; he was only 14 and blew everyone’s minds. Spawning a new band, the name Tower Block was changed to the more uplifting Light Of The World and in 1978, Chris Hill’s Ensign imprint promptly signed them. We ended up at Phonogram Studios and could suddenly buy any equipment we wanted in their shop. No one stopped to think I can buy a car! All we could see was wah wah pedals and phaser units!” The self-titled LOTW debut was a landmark for UK jazz funk featuring extended high-energy club hits.

With guitarist, producer and band leader Bluey at the helm on Amplified Soul, Incognito features the fiery rhythm section of keyboardist Matt Cooper, bassist Francis Hylton, drummer Francesco Mendolia and young percussion sensation Joao Caetano. Their seamless and irrepressible and funky grooves are punctuated by the trademark Incognito horns and the results are sublime. There are guest spots by original Jamiroquai drummer Nick Van Gelder on two cuts, seasoned alto saxophonist Nigel Hitchcock, synthesiser wizard Ski Oakenfull, Elements Of Life percussionist Roberto Quintero, and frequent Incognito collaborator Richard Bull, among many others.

“Amplify My Soul (Part 1)” opens the journey and pays homage to the likes of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder as singer Tony Momrelle conjures up the magic of sweet 70s soul and sets the tone for the riveting set to follow.  Singer Vanessa Haynes delivers superb vocals on the spunky “I Couldn’t Love You More” and Imaani  entices with the sensual “Rapture” as her smoky and enticing vocals beckon “We’re taking flight, into the light, far into the atmosphere…” If ever Incognito had a festival crowd anthem, then “Hands Up If You Wanna Be Loved” is it! Katie Leone not only sings “Hands Up If You Wanna Be Loved” in her bluesy and sassy way… She demands it!

The album’s first single, “Hats (Makes Me Wanna Holler)” is an-irresistible uptempo kicker that dares you to sit still.   One listen and you too will soon want to holler! Amplified Soul’s lone cover, Atlantic Starr’s “Silver Shadow,” gets a total live makeover. Where the original used strings and programmed drums, this version punctuates with a mule-like kick from the horn section and live percussions and drums.  Proving to be an old soul, young singer Chiara Hunter invites you in with her warm tone and crystal edge on the beautifully penned “Deeper Still.” “Amplify My Soul (Part 2)” revisits the opening sequence led by a stunning tenor saxophone solo from a bygone age that is unafraid to probe the inner spaces between every chord to great effect. Tony Momrelle steps up once again on “Something ‘Bout July,” a soulful ditty with a hint of Samba overtones that takes a complete left turn on the outro, complete with solo exchanges from keyboard wizard Matt Cooper and Bluey’s guitarist uncle Gerard Maunick, who had inspired a young Bluey to pick up the guitar at the tender age of seven in Mauritius fifty years ago. The song is about falling utterly in love. The person in question who remains nameless is referred to by the month in which they met. Katie Leone keeps the love flowing on the bluesy “Day Or Night” singing “And I want to lose myself inside this feelin’, the kind of feelin’ that you get when you look into the sun.” The song “Wind Sorceress,” is the second of the album’s two instrumentals. The trumpet floats majestically over a simmering groove and soars like an eagle in the b sections that opens up all too briefly like the windows of the soul… Incognito as we know it proves why they are Jazz Funk at it’s best!

A spiritual and mesmerising vocal follows from Carlene Anderson, who also co-wrote the lyrics and melody to the thought-provoking and conscious “Another Way.” Amid the chaos of our divided planet she asks us to unite and bring about some vital changes. She requests us to bring pressure on the old guards to change their ways… “let us try levelling the playing fields, surely we can repair that broken wheel, if we stay the same old way how can we heal, Let us try another way.” Deborah Bond graces Amplified Soul on “I See The Sun.” The inspirational song shines brightly illuminating hope and inspiration for those in need of upliftment and promises that with love, understanding and knowledge, better days are ahead. The words say “I go from day to day, and yeah I have some bad days, you’re probably not a stranger to them too, but more and more I get a feeling, an awakening, it’s unexplainable and it takes the fear away.”  Tony Momrelle and Vanessa Haynes join forces on the pulsating and groovalicious “Never Known A Love Like This.” Tony and Vanessa’s passionate and engaging exchange on the track’s tight and flawless groove that dares you not to dance. Although Vanessa Haynes has been a long time Incognito collaborator, she truly makes her mark on Amplified Soul and the stand out “The Hands Of Time.” Bluey shines light on wisdom gained from life experience  and Vanessa croons, “Maybe someday you’ll look back, with the understanding why we do the things we do. It’s always easier to see, when your soul has grown and time sets you free”. “Stop Running Away” is the album’s closing track and delivers a last minute surprise in the form of Bluey’s falsetto lead vocal that will have you making comparisons with the late Curtis Mayfield. The soul searching and introspective lyrics make a simple request of us all to look inside to find the answers to their own truths. You could say that has been Incognito’s mission all along!

Amplied Soul is a fitting celebration of one of most creative and inspiring unites on the creative music scene. Bluey declares Amplified Soul as an extension of the ethos of Incognito. He concludes, “This is a labor of love and gift to those who have supported us over the years”!

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