Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kim Waters celebrates 25 years of love & sax on "Silver Soul" September 2nd #jazz

Lasting romance should be celebrated, especially when it comes to monumental moments such as anniversaries. For 25 years, urban-jazz saxophonist Kim Waters (www.KimWaters.net) has ardently set the mood with musical overtures, vows and come-ons that have been embraced to the tune of four No. 1 albums, 14 No. 1 singles and 16 Top 10 singles. The September 2 release of his 20th album, “Silver Soul,” commemorates a quarter century of romance on a disc of new R&B, contemporary jazz and pop gems that he produced, wrote (ten of the twelve songs) and performed (saxes, background vocals and all the instrumentation except for guitar).
Like many writers, Waters wants his listeners to interpret his compositions rather than spell out the specific meaning behind the songs. Perhaps a hint of mystery heightens the romance although it is no mystery that the sweeping, cinematically sweet soprano sax valentine “A Song For Dana” is about his wife and collaborator, vocalist Dana Pope, who occupies the spotlight on the amorous pledge “Anything You Need.” The first single and session starter, “Dreaming Of You,” on which Waters gets an assist on piano from his daughter Kayla Waters, is an exuberant paean redolent of falling in love. Waters has long displayed a proclivity for crafting infectious hooks. “On A Mission” serves as a prime example on which the gifted technician who orates though a variety of saxophones fervently explores the full potential of the groove with his tenor horn. A pleading sax is reinforced with a beautiful piano melody and vocal chorus sung by Waters on the seductive “Stay Together.”
Originally from the Baltimore, Maryland area, Waters was mentored by and shared friendship with nearby Washington, DC go-go pioneer Chuck Brown, who receives a tribute on the bouncy energizer “Go-Go Smooth.”  Waters currently resides near Austin, Texas in the enclave of Round Rock spawning the radio-friendly excursion “Cruising Round Rock.”
Delving back into his romantic muse, Waters gives the John Legend smash “All Of Me” a stirring soprano sax treatment as arresting as the original. Perhaps the most stunning cut is “Fireflies” on which the Disney star and Hollywood Records vocalist Zendaya revisits her own illuminating recording for a breathtaking duet with Waters that soars sensually aboard a cascading track that ebbs and flows. The passion continues on the steamy “Let’s Make Love” making its intentions known on the vocal chorus. Changing the mood, “High Stride” lifts the tempo with a lilting strut led by tenor sax. Waters and R&B crooner Eric Roberson co-wrote “Laying Beside Me,” which closes the record with what bodes to become an urban AC hit. In fact, the entire album sounds like a collection of multi-formatted radio singles, something Waters deliberately set out to do when writing the music.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - July 28, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 4 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
5 - 5 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
6 - 11 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
7 - 6 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
8 - 10 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
9 - 7 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
10 - 15 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
11 - 16 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
12 - 19 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
13 - 9 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
14 - 8 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
15 - 12 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
16 - 18 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
17 - 13 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
18 - 14 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Playa Blanca (Soul Italiano) - (Next Age Music)
19 - 20 - Jazzmasters - "The Jazzmasters VII" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
20 - 23 - Richard Smith - "Tangos" - (Chillharmonic Music)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Unforgettable all-star lineup leads to a record sell-out and a second sailing of The Smooth Jazz Cruise #jazz

Natalie Cole, David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Boney James, Brian Culbertson, Candy Dulfer, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Joe Sample, Peter White and more will headline two Caribbean voyages in 2015
While sailing into placid blue-green Caribbean waters last January, The Smooth Jazz Cruise encountered a tidal wave of demand for cabins for the 2015 sailing. On just the second day of the 2014 venture, next year’s cruise sailing January 11-18, 2015 showcasing more than twenty of the brightest stars in contemporary jazz and R&B sold out. To make sure that no one would be left stranded ashore, cruise producer Entertainment Cruise Productions, working with cruise line Holland America and the enthusiastic cooperation of the artists and musicians, swiftly put together a solution to rescue the lengthy waiting list of enthusiasts from all over the world eager to be part of the luxurious musical vacation adventure. Six days later, The Smooth Jazz Cruise 15.2 sailing March 1-8, 2015 was conceived. 
Spending a week at sea performing, meeting and hanging out with fans aboard Holland America’s m/s Eurodam while visiting exotic Caribbean ports during the traditional January time slot fits nicely into the musicians’ schedules because most don’t tour or release new albums immediately after the holiday season, but rounding up everyone six weeks later in March, including such Grammy winners, legends and chart-toppers as Natalie Cole, David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Boney James, Brian Culbertson, Candy Dulfer, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Joe Sample, Peter White and many others, could have been difficult.
“We called all the artists’ agents and managers and they were happy to hear about the unprecedented demand so everyone was ready and willing to sign up immediately,” said Entertainment Cruise Productions’ Executive Director Michael Lazaroff of the cruise that will depart Fort Lauderdale and visit Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Croix and the private island Half Moon Cay. “The Smooth Jazz Cruise is simply the best entertainment in the world of smooth jazz. No other festival or event can boast this level and depth of talent, fun and excitement. As it’s affectionately known, it is ‘The Greatest Party at Sea.’”
Capturing the unique spirit of the perennially sold-out cruise that many guests embark upon year after year has been a bit of a challenge as well. Offering live music plus DJ Biz Markie in six different venues large and intimate on top of informative panels, theme parties and autograph sessions with the artists, it is more than a music festival and more than backstage experiences with fan favorites. It is more than a vacation in the Caribbean with a dazzling array of amenities and delectable dining. It is more than a week of pampering during which everyone is treated first class by the Holland America staff. For the past twelve years on 17 full-ship charters, The Smooth Jazz Cruise has delivered unforgettable music and lifestyle experiences. Something special happens when passionate guests devote the entire week to being immersed in the music. A new video clip that provides a glimpse into the magic that occurs on every sailing is as close as one can get without leaving shore. It can be viewed at http://www.thesmoothjazzcruise.com/Videos/PreCruise2015.
To reserve a cabin for The Smooth Jazz Cruise, call toll-free 888.852.9987 in the U.S. and Canada and 800.852.99872 internationally. Additional information is available at www.TheSmoothJazzCruise.com.
About Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC
The world leader in full-ship charter music cruises, St. Louis, Missouri-based Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC (ECP) owns, produces and promotes The Smooth Jazz Cruise and The Jazz Cruise (www.thejazzcruise.com), and is proud to partner with Time Life for the Soul Train Cruise (www.soultraincruise.com), Malt Shop Memories Cruise (www.maltshopcruise.com), The Country Music Cruise (www.countrymusiccruise.com) and The Signature Jazz Cruise on Seabourn (www.signaturejazzcruise.com). Pleasing guests is Entertainment Cruise Productions’ most important goal and objective while providing luxurious vacation experiences featuring marquee stars from their respective music genres in an extraordinary setting for devoted passengers, many of whom make the fun and exciting cruises an annual affair. Additional information is available at www.ecpcruises.com

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Critical acclaim for Gerald Albright's "Slam Dunk" (release date 8/5) #jazz

“Albright’s decision to play the bass on Slam Dunk might have been the result of a fit of nostalgia, but the move added a challenge to the creative process, and Albright responds with highly competent bass playing and creative and inspired sax playing. It reminds his fans of the broad talent that this music man possesses and gives a fresh, personal sound to this solid release. Recommended.”
Soul Tracks
“Albright’s 17th project, it continues his well-developed mixture of smooth jazz, and adult contemporary music. He delivers the expected full, warm tones on his tenor and alto saxes — and also shows off his flare on bass, recalling the likes of Louis Johnson and Marcus Miller…an always solid, and often inspired, collection…”
Something Else! Reviews
“Co-produced by Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis, Slam Dunk continues Albright’s reign as one of the most compelling and consistent artists in jazz. In addition to showcasing his amazing sax prowess, Albright displays his skills as bassist and vocalist on Slam Dunk, with ebullient arrangements of classic covers as well as his own compositions.”
“[Albright’s] latest Heads Up collection Slam Dunk, in addition to featuring covers of classics by Collins and James Brown and a guest appearance by Peabo Bryson, is influenced directly by the classic R&B he grew up with – James Brown, the Philly International sound and Motown. He collaborates for the first time with top urban jazz producer Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis. The set also features Albright’s talented vocalist daughter Selina Albright”
Jazz Monthly
“Overall, Gerald Albright has assessed how to tap into the musical inspirations presented to him and has exploited that creativity. By making Slam Dunk happen today, out of that will grow his next level of aspirations. And that is how Gerald Albright has risen to great heights over the past four decades.”
“Very few artists can be proficient behind the scenes as a studio musician, and then break out with a successful career as a solo artist. Gerald Albright is one such artist.”
iRock Jazz
On August 5, 2014, the Grammy-nominated saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist/composer 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.

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The "Heart and Soul" of Jonathan Butler #jazz

The true measure of a great song is how it sounds after the accompanying instrumentation is stripped away. Singer-songwriter Jonathan Butler delivered a riveting performance last week on PBS’s Tavis Smiley Show (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/jonathan-butler-3/) with just his impassioned voice and nylon-stringed guitar. He premiered his forthcoming urban adult contemporary single “Heart and Soul” with a background vocal assist from his daughter, Jodie Butler, who co-wrote the song with him for the newly released “Living My Dream,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.
The new set produced by Butler (www.JonathanButler.com) is a mix of vocal and instrumental songs that can withstand the test of being distilled to their essence just like the two-time Grammy nominee did with “Heart and Soul” on national television. His first single, “African Breeze,” a festive frolic filled with rhythms and hues from his native South Africa, is No. 4 this week on the Billboard chart. The disc constructed of R&B, jazz, world music and gospel elements was recorded with a live band in the House of Blues Studios and includes collaborations with the late George Duke, Marcus Miller and emerging saxophonist Elan Trotman
Butler’s “Love & Soul” summer concert tour with Grammy-winning guitarist Norman Brown and acclaimed keyboardist Alex Bugnon continues through August before Butler leads his annual South African safari in September. While in South Africa, the artist will check in on the progress of the Jonathan Butler Foundation’s effort to provide music education to children with the purpose of keeping them away from addiction. Butler’s own life was saved and rescued from a life of drugs by music thus the foundation’s mission, “Purpose kills addiction,” is quite personal.

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New edition of the Arizona Jazz Festival is packed with soul #jazz

R&B veterans Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant, Charlie Wilson, Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Mint Condition, Kem, Fantasia and Jaheim join smooth jazz headliners
Boney James, Brian Culbertson, Mindi Abair, Peter White, Euge Groove and more

Thousands of concertgoers from all over the U.S. will be dancing in the desert October 24-26, 2014 when a stellar lineup of R&B and smooth jazz artists perform at the fall version of the Arizona Jazz Festival taking place at the posh Arizona Grand Resort & Spa. Tickets are on sale now for single-day and 3-day passes priced from $50 to $750 available at the festival’s website (www.ArizonaJazzFestival.com) and by calling event producer BTWconcerts.com at 602-244-8444.
The boys will be out to play when the Arizona Jazz Festival blasts off with perhaps the strongest opening night lineup in the semi-annual festival’s history. The cool cat in the hat, four-time Grammy nominee Boney James gets the event started with his soulful sax grooves that never fail to stir the crowd to spontaneously erupt into a fervent “Go Boney! Go Boney!” chant. Jaheim employs his distinctive husky voice to chronicle his pained upbringing and tales of ghetto life that have earned him three Grammy nominations. It is far from the end of the road for Philly’s finest Boyz II Men, a trio that harmonizes in perfect union while presenting their Grammy-winning songbook filled with R&B/pop vocal and a cappella hits. New Edition members Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant, each of whom has also scored solo hits, are touring as Heads of State and you can bank on a well-choreographed, high-octane show from these R&B superstars.
It will “Be OK” on Saturday when Grammy-winning alchemist Chrisette Michele takes the stage to sing her empowering love songs blending R&B, soul, jazz and hip hop. Equally capable of seducing with her proficient saxophone skills as well as her feminine wiles, Mindi Abair has it all. She will team with Booker T and Elliot Yamin for a hot buttered soul, blues and rock jam. Fantasia’s incomparable voice reflects the real-life pain that’s she endured molding her into a mesmerizing talent. At heart, crossover crooner Brian McKnight is a singer-songwriter able to captivate with compelling lyrics, rich melodies and an emotional vocal delivery. Those in attendance at last fall’s Arizona Jazz Festival are still abuzz over the show that “Uncle” Charlie Wilson put on. The BET Lifetime Achievement Award and Soul Train Icon Award winner marched through his hits backed by a skin tight band, elaborate dance routines performed with precision by an army of performers and enough costume changes to rival Beyoncé. Expect more of the same.
The energy continues on full blast Sunday with sax showman Eric Darius making sure that patrons will arrive early to catch the consistent crowd pleaser. British guitarist Peter White and sax powerhouse Euge Groove have racked up enough No. 1 hits between them to keep the festival going for days, but they’ll rip through their biggest and best in an afternoon session. Mint Condition keeps the endangered full band concept alive with a rich R&B sound spiked with funk, rock, Latin and reggae. Multi-talented keyboardist Brian Culbertson is responsible for 27 No. 1 hits and is out on his 20th anniversary tour while supporting his sixth album to debut at No. 1, “Another Long Night.” Kem’s suave and sophisticated voice melts into steamy, sensual grooves that have earned him a pair of Grammy nominations and a Billboard Music Award. The festivities conclude in old school party mode with Maze featuring Frankie Beverly who leads audiences through sing-a-long sets of the outfit’s enduring classics.
The Arizona Jazz Festival is a lifestyle experience as fans spend the weekend immersed in the music, the lavish resort’s first-class amenities and the adjacent food, fashion and crafts expo. The Arizona Grand Resort & Spa is the state’s only award-winning all-suite resort in Phoenix set amidst a challenging 18-hole golf course, spacious athletic club, luxurious spa and salon and a 7-acre water park. Six different dining options on the property enable festival goers to never have to leave the grounds during the weekend. A limited number of tickets and hotel packages are available through the festival’s website.    
About BTWconcerts.com
Phoenix, Arizona-based BTWconcerts.com 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 (http://ArizonaJazzFestival.com), San Diego Jazz Festival (http://www.SanDiegoJazzFest.com) and the Las Vegas Jazz Festival (http://www.LVJazzFestival.com). BTWconcerts.com’s sister company for events at sea, BTWatsea.com will launch the maiden voyage of the Maxwell + The 7 Seas Cruise (http://www.maxwellatsea.com/) May 3-10, 2015 hosted by the Grammy-winning balladeer.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - July 21, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 8 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
5 - 4 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
6 - 11 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 6 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
8 - 5 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
9 - 12 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
10 - 9 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
11 - 31 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
12 - 10 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
13 - 13 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
14 - 15 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Playa Blanca (Soul Italiano) - (Next Age Music)
15 - 7 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
16 - 24 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
17 - 14 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
18 - 20 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
19 - 27 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
20 - 21 - Jazzmasters - "The Jazzmasters VII" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio "Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio" available now on Concord Records #jazz

Jazz saxophonist Melissa Aldana is set to release her first record for Concord Music Group on June 24, 2014. The self-titled album Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio is the first recording of the three band mates together - Aldana, bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Francisco Mela. Recorded at Sear Sound Recording Studio in New York, the album consists of originals written by all three band members and includes two covers - the Harry Warren classic "You're My Everything" and Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now." Speaking on this new album Aldana says, "Pablo Menares & Francisco Mela both help bring a unique perspective to playing in the saxophone trio format. Our approach is very much coming from the core of the Jazz Tradition, not least from contemporary musicians such as Kurt Rosenwinkel & Mark Turner, but with Mela being from Cuba and Pablo and I both from Chile, there is no question there is a flavor of that as well."

In September 2013, Melissa became the first female instrumentalist and first South American ever to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Judges for the competition included Jane Ira Bloom, Branford Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter and Bobby Watson. In addition to a scholarship to the Monk Institute, Melissa won a recording contract with Concord Music Group.

Born in 1988, Aldana began to play the saxophone as soon as she was able. She was taught by her father Marcos Aldana, who was also a renowned jazz saxophonist and sought out teacher in their hometown of Santiago, Chile. By age 13, Melissa was frequenting the jazz clubs in Santiago with her father and by 16 was headlining the Club de Jazz de Santiago, which, at the time, was the center of the Chilean jazz community. In 2005, with help from Panamanian jazz pianist Danilo Pérez, she procured auditions at the Berklee School of Music and the New England Conservatory. She was accepted into both and chose to attend Berklee, from which she graduated in 2009.

After graduating, Melissa immediately moved to New York. With the help of mentor, the legendary George Coleman, and former teacher Greg Osby, among many others, Melissa recorded two albums Free Fall (2010) and Second Cycle (2012) for Osby's Inner Circle Music label, and quickly became a vital part of the New York jazz scene. She has since performed in such prestigious venues as the Blue Note, Lincoln Center and Smalls. After a 2013 performance at the Jazz Gallery, The New York Times touted, "...she moved toward a kind of music (including ‘First Cycle,' from her new record) that really felt like the current moment in jazz...Ms. Aldana worked over short motifs, using the full range of her instrument, articulating long and fast lines. But she also condensed her phrases into great wipes of sound up and down the horn, and clamped into the rhythm...She wasn't just exhibiting her own voice but embodying it..."

Pablo Menares is one of the most important bass players in Chile. His bass playing is considered to be elegant, musical and lyric, while firmly rooted in swing and polyrhythmic concepts. Menares has performed and/or recorded with all the leading jazz musicians in Chile and has also performed at major jazz festivals all over South America. Since moving to New York City in 2009 he has become a sought after bass player for both Jazz and Latin music. He has performed in many of NYC's most notable jazz clubs including Lincoln Center, Jazz Gallery, Smoke, Smalls Jazz Club, Fat Cat, 55 Bar and world famous venue Carnegie Hall. He has performed with such jazz luminaries as Sam Yahel, Arturo O'Farrill, Randy Brecker, Aaron Goldberg, Greg Hutchinson, Claudia Acuña, among others; and has toured throughout North America, becoming an increasingly important presence in the jazz and Latin music scene.

Francisco Mela is a favorite among jazz's elite instrumentalist, including Joe Lovano, Kenny Barron and McCoy Tuner, all of whom cite his charisma, sophistication and life-affirming spirit as an extension of his incredible talents as a composer and drummer. Born in 1968 in Bayamo, Cuba, Mela moved to Boston in 2000 to pursue a degree from Berklee College of Music. Since then, he's made quite a name for himself by becoming an integral part of Joe Lovano's quartet, joining McCoy Tyner's trio and developing himself as a band leader. Mela has released three albums, all receiving compelling critical acclaim. His latest project, Cuban Safari, is an amalgamation of his favorite bands that inspired him to become a drummer - Miles Davis' fusion group featuring Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett, Weather Report, and the Latin- jazz super group Irakere.
1. M&M 4:57
2. Turning 5:45
3. You’re My Everything 5:34
4. Bring Him Home 5:09
5. Tirapié 6:08
6. Peace, Love & Music 5:49
7. Perdón 4:17
8. New Points 6:39
9. Dear Joe 3:57
10. Ask Me Now 4:15

Find out more about Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - July 14, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 5 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
5 - 4 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
6 - 9 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
7 - 7 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
8 - 17 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
9 - 9 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
10 - 8 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
11 - 10 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 13 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
13 - 12 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
14 - 11 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
15 - 16 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Playa Blanca (Soul Italiano) - (Next Age Music)
16 - 15 - Down To The Bone - "Dig It" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
17 - 14 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
18 - 18 - Harvey Mason - "Chamelion" - (Concord)
19 - 20 - Richard Smith - "Tangos" - (Chillharmonic Music)
20 - 19 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - Release today Juy 15 on Heads Up #jazz

Richard Elliot has been blowing audiences away with his talent for more than 30 years and is now set to release Lip Service, an album that celebrates romance, on July 15. Currently playing on the “Summer Horns” tour with fellow saxophonists Dave Koz, Mindi Abair and Gerald Albright, Elliot has delivered a 10-song album featuring seven new original compositions and three covers of soul and pop hits from the ’80s (“Shining Star” by The Manhattans), the ’90s (“Anytime” by Brian McKnight) and today (“When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars). In collaboration with contemporary jazz guitar giant Paul Brown, this is the 17th solo project by Elliot.

“It’s not a radical departure,” Elliot says with a chuckle, “just a softer edge. The intensity is still there, just channeled in a different way. I’ve been madly in love with my wife Camella for 20 years (courtship and marriage combined). Romance has always been an important part of our relationship. With five children, there’s never a dull moment in our home but we always take time away for us…something we never had to work at. It just gets better every year - and that’s not lip service!”

A Southern Californian to the core, slow burning intensity has been Richard Elliot’s stock-in-trade since debuting as a member of the novel Chapman Stick-based quartet Kittyhawk in 1979 at the age of 19. With influences ranging from Grover Washington, Jr. to John Klemmer, his broad range of saxual expression knows no bounds. He has topped charts and toured the world as a leader as well as with innovative groups such as Guitars & Saxes and Tower of Power.

Complete Track Listing:
  1. Desire (4:16)
  2. Lip Service (4:35)
  3. Givin'It Up (4.01)
  4. Sweet Spot (3:58)
  5. Sookie Sookie (3:38)
  6. All the Way (4:16)
  7. When I Was Your Man (3:35)
  8. Shining Star (4:52)
  9. City Lights (4:02)
  10.  Anytime (5:27)

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Kim Waters - "Silver Soul" - Release Sept 2nd, on Red River Entertainment #jazz

The romance continues: urban-jazz saxophonist
Kim Waters will mark his 25th year with the release of
“Silver Soul” on September 2
The first single, “Dreaming Of You,” is the No. 2 most added radio track this week.
 With persistence, patience and passion, romance grows stronger, richer and sweeter each year and for 25 years, urban-jazz saxophonist Kim Waters has written, produced and performed chart-topping candlelight compositions that explore the excitement, exoticism and mystique of love. He will clank glasses on September 2 to celebrate the silver anniversary with the release of his aptly titled 20th solo album, “Silver Soul,” to be issued by Red River Entertainment.
Order "Silver Soul" from amazon.com by clicking here.

“Silver Soul” is most definitely an urban adult contemporary album with a wealth of R&B vocals and sultry grooves although almost half of the dozen cuts produced by Waters are instrumental numbers certain to woo his contemporary jazz fan base like the highly rhythmic first single with the grandiose hook, “Dreaming Of You,” is already doing. The tune showcasing his daughter Kayla Waters on piano was the second most added track on playlists this week according to BDS Radio.

Waters isn’t a word man, but his melodies convey intimacy while redolent of ardor and seduction. In addition to playing most of the instruments on “Silver Soul,” Waters emotes using the voice of his impassioned sax – tenor, alto and soprano – employing his masterful command of the instrument to serenade with harmonic poetry and aural overtures. The album is comprised of eight songs that Waters wrote and a pair of R&B vocal tunes that he co-wrote: “Anything You Need” featuring Waters’ wife, Dana Pope, and “Laying Beside Me” spotlighting crooner Eric Roberson. A tandem of compelling covers – a soprano sax take of John Legend’s hit “All Of Me” and “Fireflies,” illuminated by a stunning lead vocal by Zendaya – completes the session.   
“’Silver Soul’ is really a thank you to my audience that has been with me thus far throughout my 25-year musical journey as a recording artist. I took my time writing the material because I wanted it to be an album of hits with every song sounding like a single,” said Waters, who will tour through the end of the year in support of the disc playing headline shows with his band and on a variety of all-star package dates with the likes of Grammy nominee Maysa, Nick Colionne, Brian Simpson, Marion Meadows and Phil Perry.    
Love and romance has been Waters’ muse throughout an accomplished recording career that began with 1989’s “Sweet & Saxy.” The Maryland native has thrived becoming a staple on the urban-jazz landscape with a deep catalogue that boasts 14 No. 1 singles, four No. 1 albums, 16 Top Ten singles and crossover sets that have logged time on the Billboard 200, urban, contemporary jazz, Heatseekers and Top Independent Albums charts. For more information, please visit www.KimWaters.net.
“Silver Soul” contains the following songs:
“Dreaming Of You” (featuring Kayla Waters)
“On A Mission”
“Let’s Stay Together”
“Go-Go Smooth”
“Anything You Need” (featuring Dana Pope)
“Cruising Round Rock”
“All Of Me”
“Fireflies” (featuring Zendaya)
“Let’s Make Love”
“High Stride”
“A Song For Dana”
“Laying Beside Me” (featuring Eric Roberson)

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Rick Braun dances to the top of the Billboard chart #jazz

The jazz-funk trumpeter’s “Can You Feel It” album hits the streets as the rapidly rising
“Get Up And Dance” is ready to sashay off with the No. 1 singles crown.

Back with his first contemporary jazz foray in five years, trumpeter Rick Braun appears to be wasting no time in his quest to add more No. 1 hits to his burgeoning catalogue of chart-toppers. “Get Up And Dance,” his fun-filled frolic with sax sensation Dave Koz that bodes to become the song of the summer, is already No. 3 on the Billboard singles chart this week, the first cut issued from Braun’s sixteenth set, “Can You Feel It,” which was released today by Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Records.       
Braun produced and wrote or co-wrote nine songs on the new session that revisits the spirit of his twenty-year-old breakthrough collection, “Beat Street,” reflects his past playing in War and conjures the mighty Tower of Power. After satisfying his creative itch to croon jazz standards on a pair of recent albums, Braun entered the studio focused on delivering a high-powered horn set filled with jazz-funk joints recorded with friends. The vibrant harmonies and funky grooves are performed in a live setting center staging Braun’s trumpet, flugelhorn and newest weapon, valve trombone, which bursts forth from a rhythmic panorama of rapid fire horn section revelry. The eleven-song record showcases Braun collaborating with some of the finest instrumental artisans including Koz, charismatic keyboardist Brian Culbertson (“Back To Back”), sax heavyweight Euge Groove (“Take Me To The River” and “Dr. Funkenstein”), fusion pioneer Jeff Lorber (“Delta” and “Radar”), old soul singer Elliott Yamin (“Take Me To The River”) and keyboardist-arranger Philippe Saisse, who played on five tunes, co-penned the title track and authored the disc’s lone ballad, the beauty “Another Kind of Blue.”   
The revered headliner will support “Can You Feel It” with concert dates through the end of the year with his own band, with Groove and guitar star Peter White as Jazz Attack, and with Grammy winners Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown as BWB with whom he will play an August 17 show at The Hollywood Bowl. Braun concludes the year with his annual New Year’s Eve fundraiser at the JW Marriott Star Pass Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona sharing the bill with White, sax powerhouse Richard Elliot and special guest vocalist Larry Braggs on an evening themed “A Night in New Orleans.” The event benefits the Autism Society, a nonprofit organization tasked with improving the lives of those affected by the autism spectrum disorder, which includes Braun’s teenage daughter.
Below is a sampling of the initial album reviews:
“’Can You Feel It’ is a musical celebration of the past, present and future. The sixteenth release for Rick Braun may be his best work in a career that shows no signs of slowing down. One of the better contemporary releases of the year!” – Critical Jazz
“The music is joyful, fun, energetic and earthy and hits you in your tone center via Rick’s melodic trumpet, funky R&B grooves, harmonic wizardry, and emotional, expressive flugelhorn playing.” - AXS
“There is a constant groove throughout, with the funk guitar and layered horns of the title track, the spirited R&B of Al Green’s ‘Take Me to the River’ (with Elliot Yamin doing the disc's only vocals) and Latin beats on the smooth ‘Mallorca.’ Even on the melodic ballads ‘Silk’ and ‘The Dream,’ the rhythm never stops.” – Allentown Morning Call
The contempo-jazz trumpeter leans toward a Tower of Power vibe with lots of younger players and plenty of funk.” – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A return to the groove-oriented, largely instrumental jazz of his early work.” – All Music Guide
“’Can You Feel It’ starts with the explosive, funky title track and continues with cool mid tempo, warm ballads, and popping upbeat tunes.” – O’s Place Jazz
“This may indeed be Rick’s best release to date, and it shows that he’s on the top of his musicality!” – Smooth Jazz Europe
“The hottest funk album this year.” – Smooth Jazz Daily
“It will be one of the most important albums of this 2014. Indisputable.” – No Solo Smooth Jazz
“Rick Braun has been giving us music for over twenty years now. We have watched him grow, mature, take detours to other musical endeavors, take chances, and dazzle us with his performances and creativity. He is the complete package.” – SmoothViews
“Braun’s longevity in this business is testament to his undeniable appeal as a charming and engaging artist, as well as being one who knows the wide spectrum of this music intimately — and what moves and motivates people, peers and fans alike.” – The Smooth Jazz Ride
“When it was all said and done, Rick Braun’s intent to create organic music with his friends and create a funky album with a real experience was accomplished.” – Pink and Blue Notes

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Monday, July 07, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - July 7, 2014 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 7 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
5 - 4 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
6 - 10 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
7 - 5 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
8 - 11 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
9 - 6 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
10 - 13 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
11 - 12 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
12 - 9 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
13 - 17 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
14 - 8 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
15 - 15 - Down To The Bone - "Dig It" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
16 - 19 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Playa Blanca (Soul Italiano) - (Next Age Music)
17 - 26 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
18 - 14 - Harvey Mason - "Chamelion" - (Concord)
19 - 18 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
20 - 16 - Richard Smith - "Tangos" - (Chillharmonic Music)
Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Have A Happy And Safe 4th Of July [Video] #jazz

I, Sam the Eagle, present a musical salute to America.
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