Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Saxophonist ShaShaty set to embark upon a “Dream Ride” leading to a “Brighter Day” #jazz

 Vibrant radio single precedes the artist’s Steve Oliver-produced album, due March 3.

It’s a new dawn for veteran contemporary jazz saxophonist ShaShaty, who will release his sixth album entitled “Brighter Day,” on March 3 on the newly formed A.H.I. Records. His first collection comprised entirely of original songs in more than a decade, the set showcases the artist who had a hand in writing seven of the disc’s eleven songs that were produced by guitarist-vocalist Steve Oliver, writer or co-writer of ten songs for the record. The energizing excursion “Dream Ride” bodes to illuminate radio playlists ahead of the album’s street date when the single is serviced to stations for airplay early next month. The video for the single will premiere at Universal CityWalk in Universal City, California where ShaShaty has been a featured performer over the past decade. 
Instead of limiting himself to a singular sax voice, ShaShaty’s dynamic multihued approach places him front and center on the melody-rich jazz, pop and R&B outing playing tenor, alto and soprano sax. Fellow sax player Will Donato bolsters the horn section parts on “Dream Ride” and Spyro Gyra drummer Bonny B dispenses deft beats on four cuts. Taiwanese vocalist Usay Chu makes her U.S. recording debut by gracing a pair of tunes – “Song Of Hope” and “A Million Miles” – with her ethereal wordless vocalizations. Making “Brighter Day” a standout session is the chemistry between ShaShaty and Oliver. The hornman’s impassioned and emotive play flourishes in the company of the guitarist who has a masterful command of buoyant harmony. Tracks have a robustly full sound from which potent hooks connect and enveloping melodies leave a lasting impression. The power-packed pop gems that comprise “Brighter Day” also have depth and provide a varied listening experience that audaciously ventures into funky trip hop territory (“Let’s Go!”), explores an off-kilter staccato rhythm (“Late On 91”), mines an Indian motif (“Mumbai”), serves a sublime sax and guitar call-and-response chorus (“August”), romances on amorous overtures (“My Heart Yours” and “I’m Always Near”), takes off on a whimsical flight of fancy (“Brighter Days”) and closes with a blissful meditation (“Float Away”). 
I haven’t recorded an original project in quite some time. My previous two projects consisted of classics from the past few decades. Those interpretations were part of a period of growth and self- discovery for me musically, especially when reimagining so many beloved works. I found myself in a new, fresh space and realized it was time to reach deep inside to see what would emerge creatively. Steve Oliver and his amazing production work provided the skilled hand to help me realize ‘Brighter Day.’ I’d love for this instrumental pop project to be the vehicle that opens new horizons for many new listeners - even from other genres and cultures - that may not have necessarily been contemporary jazz followers before, but now call themselves fans,” said ShaShaty, who will perform material from “Brighter Day” on Valentine’s Day at Rideau Vineyard in Solvang, California.
A Miami, Florida native who is a long-time Los Angeles resident, ShaShaty has vast stage experience performing on concert dates and festival bills with the likes of Carlos Santana, The Mavericks, The Bee Gees, Gloria Estefan, Michael McDonald, Peter Cetera, George Benson, Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum, Brian Culbertson and Boney James. In addition to garnering radio spins throughout the U.S., ShaShaty has played on national television on “Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda” and on a PBS special alongside GRAMMY® winner Al Jarreau. ShaShaty, who released his self-titled debut album in 1993, serves as host of “Vineyard Jazz,” a wine and music lifestyle program being developed by A.H.I. Records for syndication. Please visit for additional information.
“Brighter Day” contains the following songs:
“Dream Ride”
“Let’s Go!”
“Song Of Hope”
“Late On 91”
“My Heart Yours”
“A Million Miles”
“I’m Always Near”
“Brighter Days”
“Float Away”

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - January 26, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
2 - 2 - Peter White - "Smile" - (Heads Up/CMG)
3 - 4 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
4 - 5 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
5 - 4 - Eric Darius - "Retro Forward" - (Shanachie)
6 - 11 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Fritzenized" - (Nordic Night Records)
7 - 6 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
8 - 7 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
9 - 8 - Gregg Karukas - "Soul Secrets" - (Nightowl)
10 - 18 - Brian Culbertson - "Live-20th Anniversary Tour" - (BCM Entertainment)
11 - 12 - Marion Meadows - "Soul Traveler" - (Shanachie)
12 - 29 - Kenny G - "Brazilian Nights" - (Concord)
13 - 25 - The Jazzmasters - "The Jazzmasters VII" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
14 - 14 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
15 - 9 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
16 - 10 - Keiko Matsui - "Soul Quest" - (Shanachie)
17 - 17 - The Stanley Clarke Band - "Up" - (Mack Avenue)
18 - 15 - Dan Siegel - "Indigo" - (DSM)
19 - 22 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Walking in Rome (Soul Italiano) - (Next Age Music)
20 - 16 - Joey Sommerville - "Overnight Sensation" - (Javox, Inc.)
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

John Coltrane "So Many Things: The European Tour 1961" 4-Disc Set coming March 10th #jazz

The John Coltrane Quintet featuring Eric Dolphy

A sequel to Miles Davis and John Coltrane "All Of You: The Last Tour 1960

"There are so many things to be considered in making music", John Coltrane told an interviewer during his first European tour as a bandleader in the autumn of 1961. "Many things on which I don't think I've reached a final conclusion." 

Indeed, the music Coltrane made on this trip took audiences to the very cutting edge, leaving many questions unanswered, even for the saxophonists most ardent fans. For some he had taken the fundamentals of modern jazz to breaking point, thrusting it into "the realms of higher mathematics", as one bewildered journalist put it.

To others, Coltrane was the voice of progress, bravely reasserting the exploratory nature of jazz, daring to push his core repertoire through a process of continual reinvention, taking himself, his fellow players and those who flocked to hear him on an impassioned journey of discovery, night after night. Coltrane's performances were now akin to opening Pandora's Box. "There are all sorts of moods involved", wrote one partisan jazz writer of the tenorists playing during the tour: "deep many things."

The impact of Coltrane and his regular quartet sidemen - pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Elvin Jones - was made doubly controversial by the leaders last-minute decision to add the formidable multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy, a musician who Coltrane regarded as a true kindred spirit but whose introduction the European audiences was to prove equally divisive.

Playing over 30 concert appearances in under three weeks, the band criss-crossed the continent from France to Finland, taking its message to far larger crowds than could be squeezed into its club sets back in the US.

These recordings have since acquired almost legendary status and have previously only been available in sporadic fashion, but for the first time ever, this new release collates tapes made by the quintet in Paris, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Stockholm, creating a truly sundering anthology of this short-lived band at its peak.

Newly remastered for optimum sound quality, along with examples of Coltrane's landmark compositions Naima and Impressions, this collection also includes the saxophonists only recording of Victor Young's theme Delilah and, as a bonus, a stunning rare "second house" performance of Coltrane's transformational anthem My Favourite Things taped in Stockholm.

This release features photographs, concert memorabilia and press clippings, and comes complete with an extensive booklet essay by award-winning British saxophonist and writer Simon Spillett.

John Coltrane (tenor and soprano sax) 
Eric Dolphy (alto sax, bass clarinet, flute)
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Reggie Workman (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)

CD 1:
L'Olympia, Paris, November 18th 1961 (First House)
1. Blue Train (Coltrane)
2. I Want To Talk About You (Eckstine)
3. Impressions (Coltrane)
4. My Favourite Things (Rodgers, Hammerstein)

L'Olympia, Paris, November 18th 1961 (Second House)
5. I Want To Talk About You (Eckstine)
6. Blue Train (Coltrane)

CD 2:
L'Olympia, Paris, November 18th 1961 (Second House, cont.)
1. My Favourite Things (Rodgers, Hammerstein)

Falkconercentret, Copenhagen, Denmark, November 20th 1961
2. Announcement
3. Delilah (Young)
4. Everytime We Say Goodbye (Porter)
5. Impressions (Coltrane)
6. Naima (Coltrane)

CD 3:
Falkonercentret, Copenhagen, Denmark, November 20th 1961 (cont.)
1. My Favourite Things (false starts)
2. Announcement by John Coltrane
3. My Favourite Things (Rodgers, Hammerstein)

Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki, Finland, November 22nd 1961 (Second House)
4. Blue Train (Coltrane)
5. I Want To Talk About You (Eckstine)
6. Impressions (Coltrane)
7. My Favourite Things (Rodgers, Hammerstein)

CD 4:
Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden, November 23rd 1961 (First House)
1. Blue Train (Coltrane)
2. Naima (Coltrane)
3. Impressions (Coltrane)
4. My Favourite Things (Rodgers, Hammerstein)

Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden, November 23rd 1961 (Second House)
4. My Favourite Things (Rodgers, Hammerstein)

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - January 19, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
2 - 2 - Peter White - "Smile" - (Heads Up/CMG)
3 - 4 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
4 - 3 - Eric Darius - "Retro Forward" - (Shanachie)
5 - 5 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
6 - 6 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 7 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
8 - 8 - Gregg Karukas - "Soul Secrets" - (Nightowl)
9 - 9 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
10 - 12 - Keiko Matsui - "Soul Quest" - (Shanachie)
11 - 80 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Fritzenized" - (Nordic Night Records)
12 - 42 - Marion Meadows - "Soul Traveler" - (Shanachie)
13 - 10 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' - (Shanachie)
14 - 17 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
15 - 24 - Dan Siegel - "Indigo" - (DSM)
16 - 13 - Joey Sommerville - "Overnight Sensation" - (Peak/eOne_
17 - 11 - The Stanley Clarke Band - "Up" - (Mack Avenue)
18 - 39 - Brian Culbertson - "Live-20th Anniversary Tour" - (BCM Entertainment)
19 - 14 - U-Nam - "C'est LeFunk" - (Skytown)
20 - 19 - Patrick Bradley - "Can You Hear Me" - (Patrick Bradley)

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lawson Rollins - "Traveler" - Release on Infinita Records - 2/17/15 - #jazz

Have guitar, will travel
Lawson Rollins is a virtuosic tour guide on a musical exploration around the globe on his fifth album, “Traveler,” which will be released February 17.

Many people travel from an encapsulated distance, staying at posh brand name hotels and dining under the golden arches while others prefer to explore by blending amongst the natives for a more immersive and organic experience of the actual sights and sounds of a culture. Award-winning guitarist Lawson Rollins lives by the latter philosophy, taking his guitar with him to view and interpret his global journeys. Writing twelve expansive compositions that are wordless diary entries encapsulating his travels, Rollins’s virtuoso guitar parlance speaks a universal language on tales of exhilarating adventure, intriguing mystery and enticing romance on his fifth album, “Traveler,” which will be released by his Infinita Records label and distributed by Baja/TSR Records on February 17. Order "Traveler" from
Rollins’s traveling companion once again is platinum-selling producer-engineer Dominic Camardella, who has shared the helm on each of the guitarist’s previous releases that, like “Traveler,” are audacious border-crossing quests of melodic and rhythmic jazz and world beat. Joining them to create the intricate aural backdrops upon which Rollins unfurls masterful and impassioned fretwork on intercontinental and coast-to-coast exchanges was a noted ensemble comprised of Grammy-winning violinists Mads Tolling and Charlie Bisharat, Randy Tico (bass), Dave Bryant (drums & percussion) and Cameron Stone (cello). On select tracks they were joined by a horn section in addition to contributions from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy members Scotty Morris, Joshua Levy and Karl Hunter. Both Rollins and Camardella added keyboards and piano to the earthy mix on “Traveler” that Rollins describes as “a gypsy jazz amalgamation of travels.” 
A Billboard singles chart-topper (“Moonlight Samba”) who has hit both the contemporary jazz (Top 30) and world music (Top 10) albums charts while amassing nearly eight million YouTube views for videos showcasing the guitarist’s mesmerizing technique, Rollins says, "‘Traveler’ is a musical travelogue for me, chronicling some of my journeys in life and evoking some of the places I've lived, visited and returned to in my memory. The album starts with the African-flavored title track 'Traveler' and continues north to Spain ('Barcelona Express' and 'Meeting in Madrid'), France ('Cafe Paris'), Germany (‘Berlin Bossa’) and England (‘Across the Moors’), and then over the Atlantic to Louisiana ('Beyond the Bayou') where I lived for a time after college. Next, we head to California with 'Marching West' and 'Journey Home.' The album concludes with the modern, electronica-infused ‘Urban Trilogy’ that evokes my times spent in New York, London, Tokyo and San Francisco. On this journey, my guitar serves as a kind of filter through which my impressions of the world are processed and expressed in the language of music."   
Presaging the album release at radio is “City Electric,” a vibrant, pulsating EDM energizer unlike anything Rollins has ever recorded before. The single starts as one of the most added on this week’s charts. 
In December, Rollins won the prestigious 2014 USA Songwriting Competition’s best instrumental song and was the first ever instrumentalist to place third overall in the 20th year of the international contest that attracts 25,000 submissions from 80 countries. The complex and emotional “Shifting Seasons” appears on the artist’s 2013 release, “Full Circle.” Rollins has topped the most-played chart on SiriusXM Radio’s Watercolors resulting in a guest DJ hosting gig. The San Francisco, California-based musician debuted as a solo artist on 2008’s “Infinita” offering an inventive fusion of Latin, Indian, Persian, Arabic, South American and Euro stylings along with a guest appearance by Brazilian jazz vocal legend Flora Purim. Earlier in his career, Rollins partnered with Daniel Young to form Young & Rollins, a duo that crafted an eclectic mélange on four albums of salsa, bossa nova, flamenco, Latin and jazz grooves, hitting the Billboard Top 25. 
“Traveler” contains the following songs:
“Barcelona Express”
”Café Paris”
“Berlin Bossa”
“Meeting in Madrid”
“Marching West”
“Journey Home”
“Beyond the Bayou”
“Across the Moors”
-The Urban Trilogy:
“Ancient City”
“City Electric”  
For more information, please visit  

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Yorkers come to Golub’s aid one final time #jazz

January 21 all-star concert planned to memorialize the guitarist and benefit his family sells out.  

When the newly blind guitarist Jeff Golub stumbled and fell onto New York City subway tracks where he was clipped and dragged by a train in 2012, New Yorkers came to his aid. When word spread throughout the New York City music community last month that Golub was on his death bed, New Yorkers bought concert tickets to the January 21 all-star benefit concert put together by Marquee Concerts and Smooth Jazz New York in order to raise money for Golub’s family. Although Golub succumbed to complications from a rare degenerative brain disease on New Year’s Day turning next week’s event at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill in Times Square into a memorial show, New Yorkers scooped up the remaining tickets to make sure the concert that will feature performances by more than two dozen luminaries sold-out to provide maximum assistance to Golub’s family.
At the time of the subway scare, which was chronicled extensively in the New York media, Golub dismissed the incident that he was lucky to escape with only minor scrapes and bruises as “stupid blind guy stuff.” However, losing his vision the year before due to collapsed optic nerves turned out to be a harbinger of a far more serious problem for the Akron, Ohio-born musician who has called New York City home since the 1970s. Golub began struggling with his balance and speech during a 2013 national concert tour in support of his final album, the playfully titled “Train Keeps A Rolling,” that adversely impacted his ability to perform. It got to the point that management had to pull Golub off the road. The guitarist’s motor skills continued to deteriorate, but it wasn’t until last November that he was finally diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), an incurable and aggressive brain disease.  
Known for playing with soulful intensity and a bluesy touch, Golub’s diverse resume boasts longtime stints as a sideman to Rod Stewart, Billy Squier, Peter Wolf and Tina Turner as well as a 20-year solo recording career as a chart-topping contemporary jazz artist thus the lineup for the memorial benefit concert will present a multi-genre lineup of Grammy winners, nominees and hit-makers. Slated to take the stage are (in alphabetical order) Mindi Abair, Rick Braun, Randy Brecker, Henry Butler, Christopher Cross, Mark Egan, Richard Elliot, Bill Evans, Steve Ferrone, Euge Groove, Dave Koz, Chuck Loeb, Chieli Minucci, Philippe Saisse, Kirk Whalum and over a dozen more musicians.     
Last Thursday (January 8), Whalum presided over Golub’s funeral held at the New York Society for Ethical Culture where a throng of artists and the city’s busiest session players gathered to pay tribute to the late guitarist, his wife Audrey Stafford Golub, and sons Matthew (14) and Chris (12). Among the many performers filling the ceremony with heartfelt song were John Waite, Marc Cohn, Whalum and Cross.
Although tickets to the memorial concert are gone, those who wish to contribute to Golub’s family can by sending a check made out to Jeff Golub Medical Expenses and mailed to:
Judy Miller
PO Box 115
Boxford, MA 01921
For more information about the memorial concert produced by Marquee Concerts, please visit and for additional information about Golub, go to

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Timeless Momentum presents Jerry De Villiers Jr – The Turning Point Archives In stores now.

A retrospective album from fusion guitarist and composer Jerry De Villiers Jr is released on CD for the first time

Good things never get old and it is with great excitement that the new label Timeless Momentum launches a CD from Canadian guitarist and composer Jerry De Villiers Jr.

Jerry was heavily active in the Montreal jazz scene in the 1990s having performed and recorded with various musicians including Alain Caron and James Gelfand. Caron's first album alone made quite an impact around the world and De Villiers Jr became noticed as a unique player with an incredible sound and a highly melodic phrasing. During those years, Jerry was also busy composing, recording and performing his personal music under the project name of Turning Point.

Due to various circumstances, none of the music Jerry recorded in studio with Turning Point was ever released on CD. In the late 1990s Jerry took a few years to pursue opportunities in television and film scoring. He wrote and performed the music for the hugely popular theme song to the four time Emmy Award winning show Arthur, sung by Ziggy Marley and more recently by Chance the rapper. Jerry worked on and scored for movies such as Art of War, Screamers and Cause of Death, amongst others, and composed the award winning soundtrack to the popular Quebec blockbusters Les Boys.

Recently, Jerry has been slowly returning to his first passion of jazz fusion through collaborations with bass player and composer Antoine Fafard. Antoine's album projects have been featuring artists including Terry Bozzio, Jerry Goodman, Simon Phillips, Chad Wackerman and Dave Weckl. The album Ad Perpetuum released in 2014 with Vinnie Colaiuta on drums features Jerry in its entirety and includes guest appearances by Gerry Etkins and Gary Husband. More recordings with Fafard and Husband are in the works and due to be released sometime in 2015.

The music on The Turning Point Archives consists of seven studio tracks recorded during 1995 and another seven pieces captured live in 1994. On the live tracks, Jerry is supported by Magella Cormier on drums, Mathieu Cormier on bass and Gerry Etkins on keyboards, while the studio pieces include a collection of various collaborators.

The music that had been kept archived for 20 years is a gem that is still relevant now and will continue to be in the years to come. The Turning Point Archives is available on CD from December 1st 2014 in stores including Abstract Logix and Audiophile Imports.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - January 12, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
2 - 1 - Peter White - "Smile" - (Heads Up/CMG)
3 - 3 - Eric Darius - "Retro Forward" - (Shanachie)
4 - 4 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
5 - 5 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
6 - 6 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 8 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
8 - 7 - Gregg Karukas - "Soul Secrets" - (Nightowl)
9 - 9 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
10 - 13 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' - (Shanachie)
11 - 10 - The Stanley Clarke Band - "Up" - (Mack Avenue)
12 - 12 - Keiko Matsui - "Soul Quest" - (Shanachie)
13 - 15 - Joey Sommerville - "Overnight Sensation" - (Peak/eOne_
14 - 18 - U-Nam - "C'est LeFunk" - (Skytown)
15 - 11 - Gerald Albright - "Slam Dunk" - (Heads Up)
16 - 14 - Dave Koz & Friends" - "The 25th of December" - (Concord/CMG)
17 - 19 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
18 - 22 - Lebron - "Shades" - (Cutmore Recors)
19 - 21 - Patrick Bradley - "Can You Hear Me" - (Patrick Bradley)
20 - 29 - Chieli Minucci & Special EFX - "Genesis" - (Shanachie)
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Culbertson celebrates a milestone anniversary “Live” #jazz

The first live recording from the multi-genre multi-instrumentalist aims to get radio to “Think Free”
Years ago, a young ambitious musician-songwriter-producer emerged from Chicago who went on to architect 27 No. 1 Billboard singles along with a half-dozen albums that debuted at No.1 that changed the status quo with a creative and fresh alchemy of astutely performed contemporary jazz, soulful R&B and horn-powered funk. Decades later, his ability to achieve and balance commercial success and the respect of his peers is perhaps as admirable as his hit-making consistency and the meticulous approach he uses to craft infectious melodies and compelling rhythms. The above description could easily apply to the works of his role models, Maurice White and Quincy Jones, but here we refer to Brian Culbertson.  
From the 1994 debut of “Long Night Out,” released while the keyboardist-trombonist was a DePaul University music major recording demos in the bedroom of his crowded apartment that landed him a six-album record deal, right up through his 14th album, 2014’s “Another Long Night Out,” Culbertson has injected a much needed jolt of lyrical harmony and deft musicianship along with a flair for lively showmanship that meshes to form an aesthetic that raises the bar on a musical genre. To commemorate his 20th anniversary as a recording artist, Culbertson marched his well-drilled band out on a coast-to-coast concert mission last year that was preserved for posterity on his first live album recorded during a sold-out, eight-show stand at the famed Yoshi’s nightclub in Oakland, California last September.  The resulting double CD set, “Live - 20th Anniversary Tour,” was released Monday - Culbertson’s 42nd birthday - on his own BCM Entertainment label.
Featuring a crack eight-piece band, many of whom are musicians out of Chicago and have been playing with Culbertson for years, “Live” is a spirited and at times sweaty celebration of jazz, fusion, R&B, romantic piano pop and deep funk grooves that barely let up for air bolstered by crisp horn section arrangements reminiscent of the mighty Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power.
One could say that “Live” is a statement album. Forget what you thought you knew about so called “smooth jazz.” Seldom does a contemporary jazz artist dare to release a live record these days making it even more of a treat that Culbertson & Company was able to bottle the magic, charismatic energy and excitement of their live show on this recording. The 21-song session - 22 songs if you include the CD exclusive bonus track, “Forever” - rifles through Culbertson’s chart-topping original compositions and introduces a vibrant new number, “Think Free,” the album’s initial radio single written by Culbertson and Sheldon Reynolds especially for the occasion. Culbertson’s set list also pays tribute to his influences – White’s Earth, Wind & Fire (“Serpentine Fire”) and Jones (“Secret Garden”) – along with the rump-shaking party starter “Hollywood Swingin’,” a Kool & The Gang classic. 
“I just wanted to capture the raw dynamic energy of our live show. My band members are each incredible talents in their own right and I’m happy to be able to showcase them, which in turn makes the entire project more exciting and daring,” said Culbertson, who is also a lifestyle curator who founded and serves as artistic director of the starry Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, the fourth annual wine and music festival presented by Lexus in the heart of California’s stunning wine country slated for June 10-14, 2015.
Culbertson’s touring band consists of Marqueal Jordan (vocals, tenor sax & percussion), Eddie Miller (keyboards, Hammond B3 organ & vocals), Michael Stever (trumpet & keyboards), Adam Hawley (guitar & background vocals), Rodney Jones Jr. (bass) and Chris Miskel (drums). For the “Live” recording, they were supplemented by the firepower of Doug Beavers (trombone & additional percussion) and Doug Rowan (Bari sax).
“Live” contains the following songs:
Disc 1
“City Lights Intro”
“Always Remember”
“Hollywood Swingin’”
“Do You Really Love Me”
“Come To Me”
“All About You”
“Let’s Get Started”
“Fullerton Ave.”
“Beautiful Liar”
“Get It On”
“Skies Wide Open”
“Another Love”
Disc 2
“Think Free”
“On My Mind”
“Secret Garden”
“Serpentine Fire”
“Funkin’ Like My Father”
“City Lights Outro”
“Our Love”
“Forever” (CD bonus track only)
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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - January 5, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Peter White - "Smile" - (Heads Up/CMG)
2 - 3 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
3 - 4 - Eric Darius - "Retro Forward" - (Shanachie)
4 - 7 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
5 - 11 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
6 - 5 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 8 - Gregg Karukas - "Soul Secrets" - (Nightowl)
8 - 16 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
9 - 6 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
10 - 14 - The Stanley Clarke Band - "Up" - (Mack Avenue)
11 - 10 - Gerald Albright - "Slam Dunk" - (Heads Up)
12 - 12 - Keiko Matsui - "Soul Quest" - (Shanachie)
13 - 13 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' - (Shanachie)
14 - 1 - Dave Koz & Friends" - "The 25th of December" - (Concord/CMG)
15 - 20 - Joey Sommerville - "Overnight Sensation" - (Peak/eOne_
16 - 18 - Herb Alpert - "In The Mood" - (Shout Factory!)
17 - 19 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
18 - 15 - U-Nam - "C'est LeFunk" - (Skytown)
19 - 23 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Hacienda" - (Heads Up)
20 - 22 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord Music Group)
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Monday, January 05, 2015

Steve Tyrell - "That Lovin' Feeling" - Release on Concord Records - February 10, 2015 #jazz

The Renowned Singer’s Ode To What He Calls “The Great American Songbook 2” Features Classics By Carole King, Leiber and Stoller, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Burt Bacharach and Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich – And Guest Appearances By Dave Koz, Neil Sedaka, B.J. Thomas, Bill Medley, Chuck Leavell and Judith Hill
Album Set for Release February 10, 2015

Ever since his glorious surprise version of “The Way You Look Tonight” in the 1991 film “Father of The Bride” paved the way for his extraordinary second career as a GRAMMY Award winning vocalist/producer, Steve Tyrell has been setting A New Standard (the title of his 1999 debut album) for interpreting the Great American Songbook – most notably on Songs of Sinatra (which reached #5 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart) and his most recent Concord Records release, It’s Magic: The Songs of Sammy Cahn (#2). On his 11th album, That Lovin’ Feeling, he celebrates what he calls “the Great American Songbook 2; the next generation of the Songbook,” recording seminal rock era classics penned by legendary songwriters (many renowned for hits penned at New York’s famed Brill Building) who are also cherished longtime friends.

While sharing the enduring magic of timeless songs by the songwriting teams of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil and Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich as well as Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, Toni Wine and Carole Bayer Sager, That Lovin’ Feeling sets itself apart from most tribute recordings with spirited guest vocal appearances by Mann, B.J. Thomas, Neil Sedaka and Bill Medley in addition to renowned backup singer Judith Hill (featured in the Oscar winning documentary “20 Feet From Stardom”) and Tyrell’s daughter Lauryn Tyrell. The set also includes key instrumental contributions by Stoller, keyboardist Chuck Leavell, saxophonist Dave Koz and even playful hand claps by Jeff Barry.

Though the singer has ventured beyond the classic Sinatra era at times to bring his charismatic gravelly charm to projects celebrating the music of Disney and Burt Bacharach, That Lovin’ Feeling is a unique, highly personal project. The generous 15-track set is an intimate, decidedly jazzy, window into Tyrell’s storied roots in the music business, dating back to the 60’s when the Houston native, still in his late teens, moved to New York and began working in multiple capacities (A&R, promotions man, artist producer) at Florence Greenberg’s Scepter Records.

During that era, Tyrell worked with and/or became close friends with the already established hit-making team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, as well as upstarts cramped in tight Brill Building spaces whose songs came to define a generation: Carole King/Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich and Neil Sedaka. Putting his own natural, charismatic flair on some of their best loved works, Tyrell – who produced the collection with Jon Allen, with stunning arrangements by co-producer Bob Mann - pays homage to all of them in fresh ways, including, on certain tracks, asking them to participate in the recording itself.

The initial concept of That Lovin’ Feeling emerged from Mike Stoller’s 80th birthday concert in New York last year. The singer was asked to provide the band and sing, and he was joined by many of the original artists in performing Leiber and Stoller classics to pay tribute to the songwriter. The amazing night of musical celebration was capped by the whole company of the show coming out to join Ben E. King’s performance of “Stand By Me.” Stoller and his wife, musician and vocalist Corky Hale, were invited to join in. “It was a real thrill to sing that song with my childhood idol that night,” says Tyrell.

Tyrell was also inspired to explore this era of his musical life and record this album by the immediate Broadway success of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” He taps into King’s heart-spun magic via the vibrant opening track “Jazzman” (featuring Grammy nominated saxman Dave Koz), and an easy-swinging romp through “Up on the Roof.” Reflecting the depth of Leiber and Stoller’s enduring catalog, the singer creates infectious twists on The Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby,” “Hound Dog” (featuring keyboardist Chuck Leavell and some of the original lyrics from the pre-Elvis Big Mama Thornton version) and an intimate reading of “Stand By Me” featuring Stoller himself on Hammond B-3 and a cool new piano chord figure the songwriter introduced on the 2011 Grammy Nominations Concert, when he played the song with Usher.

“Steve’s a good friend and my favorite singer of popular songs, and that goes from rock and roll and R&B to Cole Porter and Gershwin,” says Stoller. “It was a thrill to be asked to play on ‘Stand By Me’ and it was just great fun to listen to him talk about this project and listen to him recording in the studio. This whole project has that sense of fun sprinkled all over it.”

Tyrell’s rich history with Barry Mann includes being the singer/songwriter’s artist manager, producing a solo recording for Scepter and later forming a company that included publishing and music supervising services. Tyrell’s joyful immersion into the Mann & Weil catalog includes the lush Dusty Springfield originated ballad “Just A Little Lovin’” featuring Judith Hill; “Rock & Roll Lullaby,” a poignant story song about a child growing up with a teenage mother, performed as a duet with its original artist, B.J. Thomas; “On Broadway” (co-written by Mann & Weil and Leiber and Stoller), performed as a conversational, strutting pop-blues duet with Barry Mann; and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” ranked by BMI as the most played song of the 20th Century, in soul stirring tandem with Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers.

“Cynthia and I have known Steve for 50 years and he’s like a brother to me,” says Mann. “With this album, I feel like he’s saying, these are the contemporary standards, the Songbook of a different generation. I particularly love his take on ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, doing it half pop, half jazz.”

Jeff Barry comments that he loves the way Tyrell turns “Be My Baby” and “Chapel of Love,” the girl group classics he wrote with his wife Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, into pieces that make sense from the perspective of a mature male. “Steve gives them a whole new slant,” he says, “which makes me feel good as a writer. He definitely made them his own.” These infectious gems are also lovely showcases for the vocal talents of his daughter Lauryn Tyrell, who does backgrounds on both. Tyrell rounds out the set with the Burt Bacharach-Bob Hilliard tune “Any Day Now” (whose original version was recorded by Scepter artist Chuck Jackson) and a simmering, horn-fired version of Neil Sedaka’s “Laughter in the Rain” that Sedaka, who duets on the track, emphatically calls “a new jazz standard.”

Tyrell has enjoyed a multi-faceted five decade career that has included producing everyone from B.J. Thomas, Rod Stewart, Diana Ross and Bonnie Raitt to Linda Ronstadt, Aaron Neville, James Ingram, Dolly Parton, Chris Botti, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles; working as a music supervisor for films by Steven Spielberg, Steven Soderbergh, Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer; penning the #1 pop hit “How Do You Talk To An Angel”; and performing with symphony orchestras all across America. Most of his previous solo albums have gone Top Five on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. But as he says in his colorful liner notes to That Lovin’ Feeling, “This is the most fun album I have recorded to date…and it’s the closest to the real me.”

“It’s a thrill to work on the arrangement of a song I’ve always loved and suddenly the headphones are on and I’m in the moment, actually singing it,” Tyrell says. “Yes, it’s fun, but it’s also a privilege. I view my career like that of a visual artist who gets to make paintings. Recording my own albums is always been something I’ve wanted to do, and I would probably keep doing it even if people didn’t think I was any good! When I make an album, it represents a moment in my life and all the things I was thinking about. It was wonderful to work intimately with the songwriters, who I knew could bring fresh insight to me as I recorded their songs. These sessions took me back to a lot of special moments in my life. ‘Rock and Roll Lullaby’ was the last record I made for Florence Greenberg at Scepter. B.J. and I are brothers, friends, we’ve fought wars together…and when I heard his voice come in, it broke me up and I started to cry. I’ve been around a long time, and that never happened before.” 

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Thursday, January 01, 2015

Jeff Golub loses battle with rare disease #jazz

Guitarist Jeff Golub passed away today, after suffering from a very rare disease called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, or "PSP." PSP is a progressively degenerative brain disease that has no treatment or cure.

Born in 1955, Jeff Golub studied music at the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston. He has released 11 solo albums as well as 3 CDs as the leader of the instrumental band Avenue Blue. His most recent album was 2013’s “Train Keeps A Rolling” with Brian Auger. The contemporary jazz and blues guitarist is also well known for his work with Billy Squier as well as Rod Stewart, performing with Stewart on four albums and five world tours. After suddenly losing his sight in 2011, Jeff continued to perform through 2013 and then began to experience a rapid health decline.

A Special All-Star Benefit Show had been scheduled on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 8pm, to benefit the ailing guitarist and his family. A stellar line up of musicians will perform in the Friends of Jeff Golub All-Star Benefit Concert at B.B. Kings Blues Club & Grill in New York City’s Times Square. Click here for more information about the show.

Click here to find out how you can help Jeff's family.

For those interested in learning more about PSP, the best resource is

Thanks to for the original post of this obituary.

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