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Monday, June 29, 2015

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - June 29, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Boney James - "Futuresoul" - (Concord)
2 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Coast To Coast" - (Independent)
3 - 3 - Jeff Golub - "The Vault" - (eOne Music)
4 - 4 - The Sax Pack - "Power Of 3" - (Shanachie)
5 - 8 - Maysa - "Back 2 Love" - (Shanachie)
6 - 9 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
7 - 6 - Bluey - "Life Between The Notes" - (Shanachie)
8 - 5 - Julian Vaughn - "Limitless" - (
9 - 7 - James Lloyd - "Here We Go" - (Shanachie)
10 - 10 - Jessy J - "My One And Only One - (Shanachie)
11 - 11 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
12 - 14 - Jesse Cook - "One World" - (Entertainment One Music)
13 - 13 - Peet Project - "Love" - (Beagle Beat Records"
14 - 12 - Nick Collionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
15 - 20 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
16 - 15 - Gregg Karukas - "Soul Secrets" - (Nightowl)
17 - 52 - Najee - "You, Me and Forever" - (Shanachie)
18 - 19 - Brian Simpson - "Out Of A Dream" - (Shanachie)
19 - 16 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
20 - 17 - Nelson Rangell - "Red" - (Independent)

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Najee - "You, Me and Forever" - Released on Shanachie Records #jazz

Multi-platinum seller, recipient of multi-Grammy nominations, the NAACP Image Award and the Soul Train Award, Smooth Jazz icon Najee has shared the stage with such greats as Prince, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Lionel Richie and his beloved mentor, George Duke!  You, Me and Forever is the highly anticipated follow up to Najee’s much loved The Morning After which was #1 both on the Billboard chart and at Smooth Jazz radio!  As the title implies, the album represents Najee’s exploration into the world of sensuality and romance, interspersed with some fantastic spirited grooves that have made Najee a favorite the world over.  Featuring keyboard great Alex Bugnon, and Kenny G’s longtime collaborator and music director Robert Damper, Najee explores such classics as Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Wave,” Ambrosia’s “The Biggest Part Of Me” plus some great Najee originals.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - June 22, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Boney James - "Futuresoul" - (Concord)
2 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Coast To Coast" - (Independent)
3 - 3 - Jeff Golub - "The Vault" - (eOne Music)
4 - 4 - The Sax Pack - "Power Of 3" - (Shanachie)
5 - 7 - Julian Vaughn - "Limitless" - (
6 - 9 - Bluey - "Life Between The Notes" - (Shanachie)
7 - 5 - James Lloyd - "Here We Go" - (Shanachie)
8 - 8 - Maysa - "Back 2 Love" - (Shanachie)
9 - 6 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
10 - 12 - Jessy J - "My One And Only One - (Shanachie)
11 - 10 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
12 - 16 - Nick Collionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
13 - 13 - Peet Project - "Love" - (Beagle Beat Records"
14 - 20 - Jesse Cook - "One World" - (Entertainment One Music)
15 - 19 - Gregg Karukas - "Soul Secrets" - (Nightowl)
16 - 18 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
17 - 17 - Nelson Rangell - "Red" - (Independent)
18 - 15 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' (Shanachie)
19 - 11 - Brian Simpson - "Out Of A Dream" - (Shanachie)
20 - 27 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)

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Boney James’ “futuresoul” scores 5th week at #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Albums chart #jazz


Four-time GRAMMY nominee and multi-platinum selling sax-man Boney James continues his artistic evolution with the dynamic futuresoul. Fusing his love for vintage soul music with his mastery of modern production, Boney has created another genre-bending work following on the heels of his 2014 GRAMMY-nominated album The Beat.

“The forms I’m working with are rooted in my early influences,” says James, dropping names like King Curtis, the Stylistics and Earth, Wind & Fire. “But recently I’ve been listening to contemporary artists like Tinashé, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding, and I’m inspired by the sound of their recordings. The production is so cool and evocative. As I started the new record, I was in my backyard studio messing around with this “gearhead” stuff I’ve collected. Ideas started flowing and it sounded like modern soul music to me. I thought to myself, ‘What is this?’… And then it hit me: ‘futuresoul.’”

His 15th CD, futuresoul contains 10 original songs produced and written or co-written by James. Released by Concord Records May 4, 2015, futuresoul features vocalist and Mint Condition frontman Stokley on “Either Way,” a collaboration enabled by Twitter. Says James, “Like my recent duet with Raheem DeVaughn, I was able to meet Stokley on Twitter and send him the music for this track. He wrote the brilliant lyric and sent me a finished vocal all via email!”

Also featured is rising-star trumpet player Marquis Hill (2014 winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition) on the plaintive “Far From Home.”

Other notable collabs on the record are title-cut “futuresoul,” co-written and co-produced by neo-soul mainstay Dwele, and “Drumline” and “Watchu Gon’ Do About It?” with co-writer/co-producer Jairus Mozee (Anthony Hamilton, Robin Thicke).

futuresoul is the follow-up to The Beat (2013), nominated for the GRAMMY for Best Pop Instrumental Album, which prompted The New York Times to praise “The relaxed charisma of Mr. James’ tone…”

The ‘analog’ tone of the sax combined with the ‘digital’ sounds of modern production contribute to the sonic tension that fuels futuresoul.

Born in Lowell, Mass. and raised in New Rochelle, NY, Boney became seriously interested in music in the mid ‘70s, a very vibrant and freewheeling period for popular music. “You could hear different genres all over the radio. It was a great time to be a young musician.”

Following early pro gigs, (including sideman stints with Morris Day, the Isley Brothers, Randy Crawford and Teena Marie) James released his debut album as a leader, Trust, in 1992.

Over the following 23 years James has racked up sales of more than 3 million records, four RIAA gold albums, four GRAMMY nominations, a Soul Train Award, nominations for two NAACP Image Awards and 10 CD’s atop Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. In 2009 Billboard magazine named him the #3 Contemporary Jazz Artist Of The Decade (trailing just Kenny G and Norah Jones).
What’s in the future for futuresoul? Already making inroads at radio with the funky “Drumline” and the sultry “Either Way,” Boney will hit the road mid 2015 and continue touring throughout 2016.

Known for blurring the lines between genres, with futuresoul, Boney is doing the same between eras.
Let’s just call it “retro music for a modern age.”

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lee Ritenour Set To Release "A Twist Of Rit" On August 21, 2015 #Concord #jazz

Featuring John Beasley, Dave Grusin, Patrice Rushen, Ernie Watts,
Melvin Lee Davis, Michael Thompson, Wah Wah Watson, David T. Walker,
Makoto Ozone, Tom Kennedy, Dave Weckl, Paulinho Da Costa, Ronald Bruner Jr., Chris Coleman, Bob Sheppard and Rashawn Ross

“The concept for A Twist of Rit combines new material and tunes selected from earlier albums. We twisted, flipped and reconstructed those songs with a twelve-piece band. Several of the songs are from my very first album, First Course, recorded in 1975 and the Rit album in 1980.” 
- Lee Ritenour

GRAMMY-winning, guitarist Lee Ritenour, AKA Captain Fingers, has a wide-ranging array of material to revive, as evidenced by A Twist of Rit. 2015 commemorates 40 years since his debut recording, First Course, on Epic Records.  A Twist of Rit, set for release on August 21, 2015 via Concord Records, is a magnificent follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2012 album Rhythm Sessions.

A Twist of Rit spotlights Ritenour with several long-time musical cohorts, including keyboardists John Beasley, Dave Grusin and Patrice Rushen; saxophonist Ernie Watts; bassists Melvin Lee Davis, Tom Kennedy and Dave Weckl; and percussionist Paulinho Da Costa. That core group is augmented by drummers Ronald Bruner Jr. and Chris Coleman, along with Bob Sheppard on saxophone and Rashawn Ross playing flugelhorn. Joining Ritenour for the first time are guitarists Michael Thompson, Wah Wah Watson and David T. Walker, plus Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone.

A Twist of Rit features Ritenour’s soaring guitar lines with 12 of his compositions ranging from the funky fusion and sophisticated jazz that he has become so well known for. All of the material was captured by his longtime GRAMMY Award-winning engineer Don Murray and the tracks were recorded with everyone performing together, old-school, but with modern, state-of-the-art recording techniques. Another album highlight will be the debut of Hungarian guitarist Tony Pusztai, Grand Prize Winner of Ritenour’s biennial, 2014 Six String Theory Competition. Pusztai was selected from over 500 entries and 72 participating countries.

“People like Ernie, Patrice, Dave and John Beasley, who worked closely on [my album] Wes Bound – along with Melvin Davis and percussionist Paulinho Da Costa, go back with me to the very beginning,” Ritenour says. “Ernie had been on so many of my projects. And, of course, I couldn’t do this without Dave Grusin, who is my best buddy, and who has been involved in almost all of my recordings. All of these people are very close friends of mine. We’ve had this musical mafia for twenty, thirty, forty years.”

With his formidable fellow travelers, Ritenour revisits several selections from his iconic albums including First Course (1976), Friendship (1978) – an LP consisting of the Ritenour-led super-group that included Ernie Watts, Don Grusin, drummer Alex Acuna, percussionist Steve Forman, and bassist Abraham Laboriel – Rit, Vol.1 (1981), Earth Run (1986), Stolen Moments (1990) and This Is Love (1998).

Save for “Pearl,” a heartfelt, Latin-tinged tribute to Ritenour’s mother, as well as the mid-tempo, bouncy title track and the surging, organ-filled “W.O.R.K.n’ It” (Weckl, Ozone, Ritenour, Kennedy) – another version, “More W.O.R.K,” will be released on an upcoming 5-LP retrospective box set – the  rest of the album features the new-and-improved vintage Ritenour tracks. “When I first proposed this record to Concord, I didn’t want it to be perceived as a ‘best of’ rehash of my old tunes,” Ritenour says. “I love to write new material. So there is new material on the record. But I wanted to take a look at my earlier tunes – not necessarily the major radio hits – but in general, I wanted to take material that could have a fresh look today, that we could ‘twist,’ or flip. This is the first record where all of the tunes are mine. It was really fun to look back at my catalog, which stretches back forty years, and pick certain tunes to take a fresh start.”

From the LP First Course, “Wild Rice” and “Fatback” swing with some grooving, mid- and up-tempo Muscle Shoals-meets-Malibu horn lines, originally arranged by Tom Scott and re-arranged by Ritenour and Beasley that ring with the spirit of the late B.B. King and Steely Dan. Two more selections from First Course include the Crusaders-coded, Michael Omartian-arranged “A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That” and the funky, 9/4-time, Head Hunters-inspired “Sweet Syncopation.” The spry, festive “Bullet Train” from Friendship bounces with the air of a Brazilian love affair, and “Soaring,” from Earth Run, is rhythmically laced with a Latin lilt.

“Ooh Yeah,” from This Is Love, is reincarnated as a laid back, Quiet Storm selection, topped by Ritenour’s luscious, Wes Montgomery-esque chords. “Waltz for Carmen” from Stolen Moments, written for Ritenour’s wife, is an intricate duo featuring Tony Pusztai. “Tony, who is an insane classical guitarist from Hungary, has got some incredible jazz chops, too,” Ritenour proudly says. The zenith of the release is Ritenour’s re-imagination of “Countdown” from Rit, Vol 1., a surging, anthemic contemporary jazz classic of the highest order. “I did some sampling of my original recordings,” he says. “I was able to hunt down the original tracks and have them transferred to digital. We used a sample of the original “Countdown” vocoder [track]. As we were playing live, we were triggering the sample and playing along with it.”

Ritenour is able to draw upon a diverse body of work that reflects his polyglot musical upbringing. Born on January 11, 1952 in Los Angeles, Ritenour grew up listening to a wide variety of music. His father was an amateur pianist who exposed him to Peggy Lee, Ray Charles, Nancy Wilson, Erroll Garner and Stan Kenton while he took his first guitar lessons at eight. Ritenour experienced his first jazz “eureka!” moment three years later when his father took him to the record store.

“We bought three records by Howard Roberts, Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass. I was influenced heavily by all three guys,” Ritenour says. “A lot of people don’t know Howard, but he was an incredible studio player. And, of course, everybody knows Joe. My dad called Joe on the phone, and said, ‘I’ve got this fourteen year-old. Will you give him a lesson?’ So I went to Joe’s house a couple of times and we became friends. And I was also influenced by Wes’ rhythmic and melodic approach and his tone.”

Along with his love of R&B, rock and fusion, Ritenour started his career early. He played in a band that featured Patrice Rushen and Dave Grusin at the L.A. club The Baked Potato, while making a name for himself working with The Mamas & the Papas and Tony Bennett. Ritenour’s work with Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Dizzy Gillespie, Simon & Garfunkel, Herbie Hancock and Frank Sinatra, to name a select few, made him the most ubiquitous guitarist of his generation. In 1986, he received a GRAMMY Award for his collaboration with Dave Grusin on his recording Harlequin, and has been a perennial chart-topper in numerous critics polls. In the 1990s, he was a founding member of the contemporary jazz supergroup Fourplay, with Bob James, Harvey Mason and Nathan East.

A Twist of Rit aurally illustrates Ritenour’s delicate balance of maintaining his individuality while working with an array of diverse artists. “Even though I was a studio player, I was trying to establish my own identity,” he says. “The live thing is just as important as the studio thing. And when I did my first album, where a lot of the songs [on this album] are from, in 1975, I didn’t think I had a ‘Lee Ritenour sound.’ But then, a few years later, I listened to the record, and I realized that wow, I did have my own sound then.”

Along with A Twist of Rit, Concord Records will release a five LP vinyl box set of some of Ritenour’s classic records, including Wes Bound, Festival, Color Rit, Portrait and Earth Run. Ritenour will be touring and promoting these projects throughout 2015/16.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - June 15, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Boney James - "Futuresoul" - (Concord)
2 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Coast To Coast" - (Independent)
3 - 3 - Jeff Golub - "The Vault" - (eOne Music)
4 - 5 - The Sax Pack - "Power Of 3" - (Shanachie)
5 - 4 - James Lloyd - "Here We Go" - (Shanachie)
6 - 8 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
7 - 6 - Julian Vaughn - "Limitless" - (
8 - 15 - Maysa - "Back 2 Love" - (Shanachie)
9 - 7 - Bluey - "Life Between The Notes" - (Shanachie)
10 - 13 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
11 - 9 - Brian Simpson - "Out Of A Dream" - (Shanachie)
12 - 18 - Jessy J - "My One And Only One - (Shanachie)
13 - 12 - Peet Project - "Love" - (Beagle Beat Records"
14 - 10 - Peter White - "Smile" - (Heads Up/CMG)
15 - 16 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' (Shanachie)
16 - 14 - Nick Collionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
17 - 11 - Nelson Rangell - "Red" - (Independent)
18 - 20 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
19 - 17 - Gregg Karukas - "Soul Secrets" - (Nightowl)
20 - 23 - Jesse Cook - "One World" - (Entertainment One Music)

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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Jamison Ross - "Jamison" Release on Concord Jazz June 23rd - #jazz

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz introduced Jamison Ross as an incredible young drummer in 2012 after he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Three years later, Jamison, his joyous debut, presents him not only as a jazz musician who commands the drums, but also as a gifted composer, bandleader and more pointedly, a singer.

In fact, Ross sings on ten of the disc’s 12 sensational tracks. "When I won the Monk competition, basically no one there knew that I was a singer,” says 27-year-old Ross, before revealing that he began singing in his grandfather’s church while growing up in Jacksonville, Fla. "I grew up around the spirit of music with knowledge of how to present it but with hardly any level of formal education,” he recalls. "My family didn’t think about it too hard it; it was a just a part of who we were.”

It was Ross’ mother, Renee Ross, who encouraged him to buttress the musical gifts with formal training; Ross studied drums in elementary and high school. He went on to develop a higher level of understanding at Florida State University, where he received a B.A. in jazz studies. After relocating to New Orleans – where he currently lives – Ross earned a master’s degree in jazz studies.

After winning the 2012 Monk Competition, Ross toured and recorded with a variety of esteemed jazz artists including singer Cécile McLorin Salvant, pianists Jonathan Batiste, Dr. John and Jon Cleary; and bassist Christian McBride. Ross also continued working with singer and composer Carmen Lundy, who invited Ross to join her band prior to the competition.
On Jamison, Ross’ jazz erudition and his soulful singing mesh superbly.  Complementing him on the disc is a group of excellent jazz musicians – guitarist Rick Lollar, bassist Corcoran Holt, saxophonist Dayve Stewart, pianist Chris Pattishall, organist Cory Irvin, and trumpeterAlphonso Horne III – all of whom Ross has cultivated a bracing rapport dating back to his college years.  Also on deck is Batiste, who guests on four songs.

The disc begins with rapturous makeover of Muddy Waters’ 1977 classic, "Deep Down in Florida,” on which Ross brightens the rhythm and tempo with a roots informed groove. Batiste’s funky piano accompaniment, Lollar’s wailing guitar chords, and Holt’s fatback bass lines spur Ross’ intricate rhythms along while also buoying Ross’ yearning baritone vocals. "It’s no secret that I love the blues,” Ross says, "and this song demonstrates that.”

Jamison continues with a spellbinding interpretation of Cedar Walton’s "Martha’s Prize.” Here, Ross bolsters the swinging rhythm with a discreet bounce while Horne, Pattishall and Stewart take turns improvising the singable melody.

"Emotions” is the first original to appear. Ross first presented this captivating instrumental in 2008 when he participated in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program.  After hearing Washington, D.C.-based vocalist Christie Dashiell sing during one of his ensemble workshops, he wrote lyrics for it. The song became an instant hit among the other Jazz Ahead participants. "She sung the living daylights out of that song,” recalls Ross, who on this rendition handles the vocals while simultaneously supplying pneumatic danceable tom-tom rhythms atop an Ahmad Jamal meets Marvin Gaye arrangement.

Next, Ross pays homage to one of the greatest singing drummers – Grady Tate – on a winning makeover of Gary McFarland and Louis Savary’s 1968 soul-jazz classic, "Sack Full of Dreams.” Ross employs a relaxed swing while bringing a youthful radiance to the lyrics. The performance also features Holt thumping a delightful solo underneath Ross’ sparkling ride cymbal.

The old-school soul-jazz vibe continues with Ross’ frisky arrangement of Eddie Harris and Les McCann’s 1971 hit, "Set Us Free,” on which Lollar’s melodic and blues-laden guitar playing takes center stage alongside Stewart’s raspy tenor saxophone asides.

After the brief piano-vocal interlude "Sweet Surrender,” Ross delves deeper into the American songbook and delivers a fetching rendition of Guy Wood and Robert Mellin’s "My One and Only Love.”  Through Batiste’s elegant arrangement and Ross’ shadowy rhythms and soulful vocal interpretation, this new version bounces with a lithe R&B that will surely lure new listeners.
Ross pays tribute to Carmen Lundy with a glowing version of her 1994 composition, "These Things You Are to Me,” on which he evokes the song’s amorous sensibilities through his gentle rim-shot rhythms and sensual vocals. "Carmen gave me my first opportunity to tour as a jazz musician,” praised Ross. "I wish more people knew just how amazing of an artist she is.  Because of her, my motto is ‘All you need is for someone to give you one chance;’ and that’s what she did for me.”

Ross shines the light solely on his vocal and drums prowess with the enchanting solo two-minute piece "Jazz (Interlude),” which segues effortlessly into Ross’ "Epiphany,” a soul-bop original with triumphant hard-bop informed horn charts, driving rhythms and Ross’ warm wordless vocals. "Epiphany represents my development as a drummer and singer.  Exploring the possibilities of my voice coupled with my drumming has been fun and challenging.  I wouldn’t trade this journey for the world,” said Ross.

Jamison concludes with a song that helped seal the winning deal for Ross at the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition – the 1930’s classic "Bye Bye Blues.” Broken into two parts, the song begins with a vocal-piano duet between Ross and Batiste. Then it unravels slowly as a country-blues dirge, featuring Lollar’s howling guitar playing and Ross’ testifying crooning.
Just as he proved at the Monk Competition that one doesn’t have to display pyro techniques to win over listeners, Jamison eschews from callow virtuosity in favor of sleek, artistic maturity. "I grew up playing in church so chops are not a secret to me,” Ross explains. "My approach to drumming is about accessing the soulful sophistication of the music while dealing with the art of support. I’ve learned to never sacrifice the musical moments; I like to approach them all as unselfish as I can.  This way of thinking allows for my moment of authority to present itself.”

Still because many jazz fans know Ross primarily as a drummer, he was initially concerned that he had perhaps downplayed his drumming acumen too much.  But after a soul-searching conversation with his wife, Adrienne, he realized that he had nothing to prove regarding his drumming and that he should just be himself.  "With this record, there are no qualms about who I am as a musician or what my approach to the music is,” Ross enthuses. "On this record, I’m really ecstatic with what I’m presenting and who I’m presenting.  It’s Jamison.”

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Monday, June 08, 2015

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - June 8, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Boney James - "Futuresoul" - (Concord)
2 - 8 - Vincent Ingala - "Coast To Coast" - (Independent)
3 - 3 - Jeff Golub - "The Vault" - (eOne Music)
4 - 2 - James Lloyd - "Here We Go" - (Shanachie)
5 - 5 - The Sax Pack - "Power Of 3" - (Shanachie)
6 - 6 - Julian Vaughn - "Limitless" - (
7 - 10 - Bluey - "Life Between The Notes" - (Shanachie)
8 - 7 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
9 - 4 - Brian Simpson - "Out Of A Dream" - (Shanachie)
10 - 9 - Peter White - "Smile" - (Heads Up/CMG)
11 - 11 - Nelson Rangell - "Red" - (Independent)
12 - 21 - Peet Project - "Love" - (Beagle Beat Records"
13 - 16 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
14 - 20 - Nick Collionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
15 - 44 - Maysa - "Back 2 Love" - (Shanachie)
16 - 13 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' (Shanachie)
17 - 18 - Gregg Karukas - "Soul Secrets" - (Nightowl)
18 - 37 - Jessy J - "My One And Only One - (Shanachie)
19 - 17 - Diana Krall - "Wallflower" - (Verve/UMG)
20 - 22 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)

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Saturday, June 06, 2015

Passion World Is Grammy®Winning Vocalist Kurt Elling's Most Ambitious Project Yet #jazz

June 9th release features Arturo Sandoval, Sara Gazarek, Till Brönner, Richard Galliano, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and the WDR Big Band and Orchestra

Passion World, the fifth Concord album (and eleventh overall) from vocalist Kurt Elling, lives up to its title on both counts. Scheduled for release on June 9, 2015 on Concord Jazz, it is indeed his most “worldly” album to date, as Elling casts his net far and wide, from Brazil to Ireland, Germany to France, Scotland to Cuba to Iceland. And it is indeed all about “passions” – the forces that shake our souls. As one of the busiest touring jazz artists, Elling has encountered these passions around the world; he has observed how the same depth of feeling is shaped in different ways by each unique culture through which it is filtered. The result is an album vibrant with diversity and variety, and at the same time a singular celebration of what makes us all human. In terms of its conceptual scope and its breadth of influences, Passion World is the most ambitious project yet from the preeminent male vocalist in jazz.

It is also Elling’s most star-studded album, featuring a small battalion of guest collaborators working in tandem with the singer’s much-traveled quintet (keyboardist Gary Versace, guitarist John McLean, bassist Clark Sommers, drummer Kendrick Scott). The guests include the brilliant veteran trumpeter Cuban émigré Arturo Sandoval; the widely lauded young vocalist Sara Gazarek; German trumpet star Till Brönner; French accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano; the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and its founder-leader, saxophone savant Tommy Smith; and the world-renowned WDR Big Band and Orchestra from Germany, featuring pianist Frank Chastenier.
For most of us, “passion” conjures up love, at its most dramatic and exotic. “These are by and large compositions about romance,” says Elling, a GRAMMY winner in 2009 (and ten-time GRAMMY nominee during his career). "Romance is one of the things that most countries share, and I've noticed how different communities have their own ways of singing about love and heartbreak. So the nature of songs I have performed in France, for instance, reflects being cool when romance is done. In chanson, the French teach us the value of nonchalance. In lyrics from Cuba or Latin America there is an overwrought, almost threatening response to a broken heart, while in Brazil they sing of the love that remains after the object of love has gone. They mix happiness and sadness together and call it saudade. In Italy or Germany, the lyrics reveal the kind of statuesque and heroic, almost operatic, nature of the broken heart.”

But sometimes the heartbreak stems from circumstances beyond the bubble that surrounds two lovers, and Elling nods to that as well: witness the poignant “Where The Streets Have No Name,” U2’s ode to lives lost in war and politics, newly arranged by guitarist John McLean. Witness also “Bonita Cuba,” born of a fortuitous ocean-liner booking. On the last evening of a recent Caribbean jazz cruise, Elling heard Arturo Sandoval playing this melody from his adjacent cabin. “I said, ‘Arturo, that’s so sad. Is that a tradition of yours, to play down the sun?’ But he said, ‘No, I was thinking about Cuba, and about friends back home I haven’t seen in decades. I was thinking about my mother and father. I got them out, and they always thought they were going to go home – but they’re buried in America.’” Elling asked if he might put lyrics to this melody, and “Bonita Cuba” took shape. Recorded at Sandoval’s house, with the trumpeter’s rhythm section, “the song redeems some small portion of the vast, lost expanse of 90 miles that continue to separate Sandoval from his homeland, and gives the sadness room to sing,” in the words of liner-notes writer Andrew Gilbert.
Many of the other songs on Passion World also have noteworthy origins. Elling learned “Loch Tay Boat Song” back in college when he spent a year abroad studying at Edinburgh University, and it has percolated in his mind ever since. On perhaps the loveliest track on the album, the devastating “Where Love Is,” he sings a James Joyce poem that blends abject misery and pure joy, set to music by Irish composer Brian Byrne. Elling discovered “After The Door,” a Pat Metheny song originally titled “Another Life,” when he heard it as “Me jedyne niebo,” sung by Polish vocalist Anna Marie Jopek (whose husband wrote the Polish lyrics). As a prelude, Elling worked with the noted bassist and arranger John Clayton to craft “Verse,” the brief plaint that also serves to introduce the entire album. The durable “La Vie En Rose” features an Elling vocalese lyric written over a Wynton Marsalis solo on that tune, from a recording that featured Marsalis in concert with Richard Galliano. And Galliano’s own composition “Billie,” dedicated to Billie Holiday, inspired the vocalist to write lyrics as well, for the tune now titled “The Tangled Road.”

It was in fact Elling’s desire to work with Galliano that prompted the initial public performance of the “Passion World” concept for a Jazz at Lincoln Center concert in 2010. “I needed a vehicle that suited the two of us,” Elling explains. “I already had a couple things in French, and a couple things in Portuguese, from Brazil. That was the start of it. Then I wanted to learn some of Galliano’s tunes, to potentially write new lyrics for them – to honor his contributions as a composer – and then I realized how many countries I hadn’t reached out to yet. So as we continued to tour, I continued to look for new material.

An iTunes bonus track, “Parisian Heartbreak,” features Elling’s lyric to a composition from Galliano.
“These are all pieces that I gathered to perform as either encores or as what I think of as ‘charmers’ – songs from each local situation that would allow me to extend a hand,” says Elling, whose international performances are indeed famous for his inclusion of regional color and the infusion of native languages. “Part of my joy as a singer is to give gifts to people, and one way I try to connect to them is to add something in French, or German, or whatever. It’s the one time during a performance where people see me being very vulnerable in their context, instead of them feeling vulnerable in ours. And if I mess it up, they seem to appreciate that I tried.”

On Passion World, Elling stretches further afield than on any of his previous efforts, placing his enormous talent in a context that includes but does not restrict itself to jazz per se. Most of the songs on Passion World do not come from the jazz canon, and because of this, the album may be especially welcoming to new listeners. “I’m just following my curiosity,” he allows. “It’s a beautiful thing to have time in the world, as a singer and as a musician, to make friends with people of the musical caliber of a Tommy Smith, an Arturo Sandoval, a Richard Galliano, a Till Brönner. These guys are fully jazz musicians, and they are pulling themselves closer to jazz from various regional contexts – and pulling jazz into those contexts, because jazz has the flexibility to move across borders.”
Elling fans will note that on Passion World, the singer abstains from the high-flying scat improvisation that stands among his great contributions to jazz in this century and that remains a vital component of his artistic arsenal. But as he reminds us, “One doesn’t have to scat to be a jazz singer. And in this case, I think the spirit of improvisation is present in what I’m doing. The actual display of virtuosity is for people like Smith and Sandoval to unveil. On this record, I’m just trying to sing real good.”

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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Legacy Recordings Releases "Bessie" (Music from the HBO® Film) #jazz

Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is proud to announce the digital release of Bessie (Music from the HBO Film). The official soundtrack for the HBO film was released on CD on Tuesday, June 2.

The biographic film Bessie, starring Queen Latifah as blues legend Bessie Smith, premiered on HBO, Saturday, May 16.

An evocative collection combining historic and contemporary recordings, Bessie (Music from the HBO Film) debuts seven new Queen Latifah performances including "Young Woman Blues," "Preachin' The Blues," "Long Old Road," "Down Hearted Blues," "Work House Blues," "Weepin' Woman Blues" (a duet with vocalist Pat Bass) and "Gimme A Pigfoot and A Bottle Of Beer (2015 Remix)."

Bessie (Music from the HBO Film) premieres "Gimme A Pigfoot and A Bottle Of Beer (2015 Remix)," a postmodern reworking of Bessie Smith's original recording featuring newly recorded vocals, ad-libs and raucous banter by Queen Latifah set to enhanced instrumentation remixed and produced by Adam Blackstone and Queen Latifah.  "Gimme A Pigfoot and A Bottle Of Beer (2015 Remix)" is a dream collaboration between the Empress of the Blues and Queen Latifah that exemplifies the brilliance of each of the artists while celebrating the musical soul that unites their eras and generations.

"This is a project that has been close to my heart for many not only star as Bessie Smith but to also produce the film and the soundtrack is a dream for me.  Recording this music was an incredible journey and I am proud to be a part of it all." - Queen Latifah

The album features modern performances of blues, jazz and swing classics including "Prove It On Me," performed by Carmen Twillie; "See See Rider," performed by Tamar-Kali; "Laugh Clown Laugh," performed by Cecile McLorin Salvant; and two new instrumental arrangements from Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks: "I've Got What It Takes (But It Breaks My Heart To Give It Away)" and "Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight."

Legacy Recordings' Bessie (Music from the HBO Film) is rounded out with authentic period recordings from Fats Waller & His Rhythm ("A Good Man Is Hard To Find"), Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra ("[What Did I Do To Be So] Black And Blue"), Sippie Wallace ("I'm A Mighty Tight Woman") and Kid Ory's Creole Orchestra ("Ballin' The Jack").
Various Artists

Bessie (Music from the HBO Film) 
(Legacy Recordings)
1) Young Woman's Blues - Queen Latifah
2) Hot Time In The Old Town  - Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks
3) Prove It On Me -  Carmen Twillie
4) Weary Blues - Louis Armstrong & His Hot Seven 
5) Weepin' Woman Blues - Queen Latifah & Pat Bass
6) See See Rider - Tamar-kali
7) Ballin' The Jack - Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band
8) Down Hearted Blues  -  Queen Latifah
9) A Good Man Is Hard to Find -  Fats Waller & His Rhythm
10) Preachin' The Blues - Queen Latifah
11) I've Got What It Takes (But It Breaks My Heart To Give It Away) - Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks
12) Work House Blues - Queen Latifah
13) I'm a Mighty Tight Woman - Sippie Wallace
14) (What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue - Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
15) Laugh, Clown, Laugh - Cecile McLorin Salvant  
16) Long Old Road - Queen Latifah
17) Gimme A Pigfoot and A Bottle of Beer (2015 Remix) - Bessie Smith featuring Queen Latifah       

An HBO Films presentation, Bessie stars Oscar® nominee Queen Latifah ("Chicago") in the title role and focuses on legendary blues singer Bessie Smith's transformation from a struggling young vocalist into "The Empress of the Blues," one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and an enduring icon today.

Directed by Dee Rees from a screenplay by Rees and Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois, with a story by Rees and Horton Foote, Bessie is executive produced by Richard D. Zanuck, Lili Fini Zanuck, Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone and Randi Michel. Ron Schmidt produces.
The film also stars Michael Kenneth Williams as Bessie's husband, Jack Gee; Khandi Alexander as Bessie's older sister, Viola; Tory Kittles as Bessie's older brother, Clarence; Mike Epps as Richard, a bootlegger and romantic interest; Tika Sumpter as Lucille, a performer and romantic interest; Oliver Platt as famed photographer and writer Carl Van Vechten; Bryan Greenberg as renowned record producer and music critic John Hammond; with Charles S. Dutton as Ma Rainey's husband, William "Pa" Rainey; and Oscar® winner Mo'Nique as blues legend Ma Rainey.

Bessie offers an intimate look at the determined woman whose immense talent and love for music took her from anonymity in the rough-and-tumble world of vaudeville to the 1920s blues scene and international fame. Capturing Bessie's professional highs and personal lows, the film paints a portrait of a tenacious spirit who, despite her own demons, became a celebrated legend.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

David Benoit - "2 In Love" - Release on Concord Records June 15th - #jazz

For three decades, the GRAMMY®-nominated pianist/composer/ arranger David Benoit has reigned supreme as one the founding fathers of contemporary jazz. But, like an actor who has been known primarily for one role, he wanted to show other dimensions of his artistry, influenced by Stephen Sondheim, Burt Bacharach, Dave Grusin and Leonard Bernstein.

“I’ve done records where I had a token vocal tune, all the way back to my first album,” Benoit says. “But I never did an entire record [with vocals]. So the thought here was to do something really different.”

The result is Benoit’s thirty-fifth recording as a leader and his first with a vocalist. 2 In Love, set for release on June 16, 2015 via Concord Records, features Jane Monheit, the GRAMMY®-nominated, cool-toned chanteuse from New York, who burst on the scene in 1998 as the first runner-up in the Thelonious Monk International Vocalist Competition. (International release dates may vary)
“Concord suggested Jane Monheit,” Benoit says. “She was the perfect vocalist. I like to make records a certain way: I prefer to go in live and record it all at once. And a lot of vocalists can’t do that: they need to edit, fix and use auto-tune.  But Jane doesn’t need to do any of those things. Many of the keys were difficult, but she sang everything live. Jane also has a background in Broadway, which is another part of my lexicon that I’ve not explored. She was up to the task and easy to work with. She made it a complete, perfect package.”

Along with Monheit, Benoit also enlisted the help of three lyricists: Mark Winkler, Lorraine Feather and Spencer Day. “Mark is my long-time collaborator,” says Benoit. “And I’ve known Lorraine (daughter of jazz critic Leonard Feather) for thirty-five years. Then, there’s Spencer Day: I was really impressed with him. What a nice, young man and fantastic singer. He brought some new blood to the table.”

This terrific triad breathed lyrical life into Benoit’s songs and helped showcase Monheit’s considerable skills as an interpreter. “I met them all,” she says. “They did great work and made it very, very easy for me to do my job.”

Supported by an alternating rhythm section featuring drummers Jamey Tate and Clayton Cameron, percussionist Lauren Kosty, guitarist Pat Kelley and bassists David Hughes and John Clayton (of the Clayton Brothers), Benoit and Monheit swing and sing on ten tracks imbued with, to use Duke Ellington’s elegant phrase, “the feeling of jazz” in ballad, mid-tempo, neo-classical-, Latin-, pop- and Broadway-styled genres that range from the bossa nova-buoyed title track to the optimistic, piano-driven “Love Will Light the Way.” Violinist Michelle Suh and cellist Cathy Biagini add their impressionistic airs to the waltz “Dragonfly,” the evocative, 5/4 time-signatured “Something’s Gotta Give” – originally from a play co-written by Benoit and Winkler about Marilyn Monroe – and “The Songs We Sang,” a beautiful melancholy ballad, originally titled “Out of Tune,” about a couple that wrote hit songs and are trying to reignite their magic.

On the ebullient “Fly Away,” Monheit flexes her considerable vocal muscles. “I had a really great time wailing on that one,” she says, “because it’s a style of music that I don’t often get to sing.”
“Barcelona Nights,” is pulsed by an infectious Latin groove, which was inspired by a visit to Spain by Benoit and his wife. “I talked to Lorraine about it,” Benoit says, “and she came up with a beautiful lyric.” On the Pat Metheny-esque “Love in Hyde,” which was previously published under the title “A Moment in Hyde Park,” Benoit showcases his spirited piano prowess. “I recorded it on my second album, Life Is Like a Samba, with a big orchestra. And I always wanted to redo it,” he says. The album concludes a heartfelt solo piano performance of “Love Theme from Candide”/”Send in the Clowns,” by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, dedicated to the memory of Benoit’s mother, Betty June Benoit (1929–1997).

“Those were my mom’s two favorite songs,” Benoit says. “My friend David Pack (who started the group Ambrosia) introduced me to Lenny, and we worked on a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall. I got to know him a bit. So it was always my destiny to do something with “Candide.” And I felt it would make a nice segue into “Send in the Clowns.”

In addition to his obvious skills as a soloist, 2 In Love also highlights Benoit’s overlooked gifts as an accompanist. “He’s a wonderful piano player,” says Monheit. “He has a great understanding of singers, and that makes him a very good accompanist.” When he was coming up, Benoit worked with singers Patti Austin, Connie Stevens, and Ann-Margaret. But he credits Lainie Kazan as his biggest influence in the fine art of vocal accompaniment. “I was twenty-one when I started with her,” he says. “She literally taught me how to accompany singers.”

Benoit’s work with singers is but one more intriguing aspect of his multi-talented musicianship. He was born in Bakersfield, California, and grew up in Los Angeles. Benoit was bitten by the jazz bug after watching a Charlie Brown special on television and listening to the music of Vince Guaraldi in 1965. “I was already a fan of the comic strip,” he says, “but when I heard that jazz piano trio, that was the defining moment when I decided that I wanted to play like Vince Guaraldi.”

At the age of thirteen, Benoit studied privately with pianist Marya Cressy Wright and continued his training with Abraham Fraser, who was the pianist for famed conductor Arturo Toscanini. He also studied music theory and composition, and later studied orchestration with Donald Nelligan at El Camino Junior College and film scoring from Donald Ray at UCLA. He studied conducting from Heiichiro Ohyama, assistant conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic, and furthered his musical education with Jan Robertson, head of the conducting department at UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara symphony orchestra music director Jeffrey Schindler.

After working with Lainie Kazan as her musical director/conductor in 1976, Benoit released albums on the AVI label from 1977 to 1984. He later released several chart-topping recordings for GRP, including Freedom at Midnight (1987), Waiting for Spring (1989) and Shadows (1991), which both topped Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Charts at #5, #1, and #2, respectively. His other noteworthy recordings include Letter to Evan (1992), his tribute to another piano influence, Bill Evans, and Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: Fifty Great Years (2000). Benoit also recorded with Russ Freeman on their album The Benoit/Freeman Project (1994), and on their follow-up collaboration, 2 (2004), which was released on Peak Records. His other recordings for the label include American Landscape (1997) and Orchestral Stories (2005), which featured his first piano concerto, “The Centaur and the Sphinx,” and a symphonic work, “Kobe.”. In 2012, he released Conversation on Concord’s Heads Up International imprint.

Benoit received three GRAMMY® nominations in the categories of Best Contemporary Jazz Performance for “Every Step of the Way” (1989), Best Large Ensemble Performance for GRP All-Star Big Band (1996), and Best Instrumental Composition for “Dad’s Room,” the latter from the album Professional Dreamer (2000). In 2010, Benoit received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Smooth Jazz Awards, and he’s worked with an impressive potpourri of musicians including the Rippingtons, Emily Remler, Alphonse Mouzon, Dave Koz, Faith Hill, David Sanborn, CeCe Winans and Brian McKnight.

Benoit’s film scores include The Stars Fell on Henrietta (1995), produced by Clint Eastwood, and The Christmas Tree, produced by Sally Field, which was voted Best Score of 1996 by Film Score Monthly. He has served as conductor with a wide range of symphonies including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Asia America Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. A long-time guest educator with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, he received that organization’s Excellence in Music Award in 2001. His musical selections have been featured on The Weather Channel and his version of Vince Guaraldi’s “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” is included on compilation The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz 11 (2008). Benoit also currently hosts a morning radio show on KKJZ 88.1 FM in Long Beach, CA.

Born in Long Island, NY, Jane Monheit heard a wide range of singers, from Ella Fitzgerald to Bonnie Raitt, and also listened to Broadway pop and classical vocalists. Monheit started her professional career while she was a student at Connetquot High School in Bohemia, NY, where she graduated in 1995. She studied at the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts and was awarded their distinguished Alumna Award. She was also a student at the Manhattan School of Music and studied under voice instructor Peter Eldridge. She graduated with honors in 1995 with a BA in Music and received the William H. Bolden Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Jazz.

Monheit burst on to the national scene as the first runner-up in the 1998 Thelonious Monk Institute’s Vocal Competition behind veteran singer Teri Thornton. In 2000, she released her first recordings as a leader on the N-Coded label including Never Never Land, Come Dream with Me (2001), In the Sun (2002) and Live at the Rainbow Room (2003). She also recorded for Sony, Epic and EmArcy, and released two recordings on Concord, Surrender (2007) and The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me (2009), which featured the ballad “The Rainbow Connection.” Monheit has worked with Ramsey Lewis, Steve Tyrell, Tom Harrell, Terence Blanchard, Ivan Lins, Mark O’Connor, and Freddy Cole, and appears on Memphis pianist Harold Mabern’s new album, Afro Blue, and with Brazilian bossa nova icon Wanda Sá on her latest release, Live in 2014. Monheit also garnered two GRAMMY® nominations for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for her rendition of the Judy Collins ballad "Since You've Asked", from the album Live at the Rainbow Room (2003), and “Dancing in the Dark,” from Taking a Chance on Love (2005).

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New Release from Laura Tate "I Must Be Dreaming (A Tribute to the Music of Mel Harker) #jazz #country #rock n roll

 Singer & Actress Laura Tate pays tribute to songwriter Mel Harker in this fantastic collection of Jazz, Country and Rock-n-Roll songs.

There is simply no one else like her. With a heart the size of Texas, a mesmerizing voice and a zest for living that is irresistible, Laura Tate inspires; through her music, her words and her deeds.  There is a spark behind those violet blue eyes that seems to say, “I’m living my life on my own terms… with love and laughter and passion.  Want to come along?”  And, yes, we do… and with the new CD release, “I Must Be Dreaming,” we most certainly do.

Whether she is singing Broadway hits or ballads, pop favorites or original compositions, Laura brings heart and soul to her performance and recordings. The versatile singer, actor, producer, and community advocate continues to mesmerize audiences in both intimate cafes and huge concert halls, reaching each listener with her smooth sultry torch singer voice and warm stage presence.
Laura's lifelong singing career has taken her throughout the country, including singing and acting in theatrical productions in Dallas, Nashville, New York and Los Angeles. She is in much demand in her new adopted hometown of El Paso as the headliner for large fundraising concerts and special events.
Actor  As a working actor in Los Angeles, Laura Tate has co-starred in network television programs on ABC, NBC and HBO. For two years, she performed in a touring theatrical group, developing shows in Dallas or other cities and then taking them on the road with various productions. During her career, Laura has performed in Los Angeles, New York City and Nashville including live theater roles in numerous venues. 

Laura was trained at Herbert Berghoff Studio School of Acting, New York City, and Stella Alder School of Acting, New York City.  She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild/ American Federation of Radio and Television Artists, and Actors Equity Association.
While in Los Angeles, Laura Tate started out working in craft services on set, learning every aspect of music production, and worked her way up to production assistant, assistant director and eventually directed music videos, documentaries, and commercials in California, Tennessee, and Texas. Her own director credits include music videos for the Bellamy Brothers, Nashville Bluegrass Group, and others.

Her production work led to directing and producing documentaries, one of which received national acclaim and won the PBS Golden Apple for Education. That documentary, “Held in Trust,” told the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, the first black graduates from West Point, and was narrated by Ozzie Davis and Colin Powell. The film was later inducted into the Smithsonian Institute Film Archives.            
Laura Tate’s commitment to important humanitarian and educational causes is a driving force in her life. With her ability to move gracefully from corporate fundraising and Junior League social events to singing gigs in hometown bars and cozy cafes, Tate inspires everyone she meets with her natural compassion and dedication. 
Dan Lambert, Entertainment Weekly, El Paso:  The first time we met I knew from the way Laura carried herself and the way she talked that she knew what she was doing…. And that voice!
Ronda Espy, past vide president of Chrysalis Records and Trustee of NARAS (National Academy of Recording Artists and songwriters), said of Laura Tate and the album I Must Be Dreaming, “Fantastic!”

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Monday, June 01, 2015

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - June 1, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Boney James - "Futuresoul" - (Concord)
2 - 8 - James Lloyd - "Here We Go" - (Shanachie)
3 - 3 - Jeff Golub - "The Vault" - (eOne Music)
4 - 2 - Brian Simpson - "Out Of A Dream" - (Shanachie)
5 - 4 - The Sax Pack - "Power Of 3" - (Shanachie)
6 - 7 - Julian Vaughn - "Limitless" - (
7 - 6 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
8 - 24 - Vincent Ingala - "Coast To Coast" - (Independent)
9 - 5 - Peter White - "Smile" - (Heads Up/CMG)
10 - 14 - Bluey - "Life Between The Notes" - (Shanachie)
11 - 10 - Nelson Rangell - "Red" - (Independent)
12 - 13 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
13 - 9 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin' (Shanachie)
14 - 11 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Walking in Rome (Soul Italiano) - (Next Age Music)
15 - 15 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Fritzenized" - (Nordic Night Records)
16 - 16 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
17 - 18 - Diana Krall - "Wallflower" - (Verve/UMG)
18 - 17 - Gregg Karukas - "Soul Secrets" - (Nightowl)
19 - 12 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
20 - 25 - Nick Collionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)

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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