Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - January 25, 2016 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Fourplay - "Silver - (Concord Music Group)
2 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Coast To Coast" - (Independent)
3 - 3 - Dave Koz - "Collaborations" - (Concord)
4 - 19 - 3rd Force - "Glocal Force" - (Baja/TSR)
5 - 6 - Pieces Of A Dream - "All In" - (Shanachie)
6 - 9 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Fritzenized" - (Nordic Night Records)
7 - 4 - Nils - "Alley Cat" - (Baja/TSR)
8 - 5 - Ken Navarro - "Unbreakable Heart" - (Positive Music Records)
9 - 8 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Step It Up" - (Heads Up)
10 - 16 - Maysa - "Back 2 Love" - (Shanachie)
11 - 7 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
12 - 10 - U-Nam - "C'est Le Funk" - (Skytown)
13 - 20 - Julian Vaughn - "Limitless" - (
14 - 18 - Andy Snitzer - "American Beauty" - (Independent)
15 - 13 - Lawson Rollins - "Infinite Chill" - (Infinita Records/Baja TSR)
16 - 31 - Bill McGee - "Still Bill" - (804Jazz)
17- 11 - Boney James - "Futuresoul" - (Concord)
18 - 14 - Byron Miller - "Psycho Bass" - (Byron Lee Miller's Studio's LLC)
19 - 12 - Patrick Bradley - "Can You Hear Me" - (Patrick Bradley)
20 - 28 - Lindsey Webster - "You Change" - (Atlanta Records)

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - January 18, 2016 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Fourplay - "Silver - (Concord Music Group)
2 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Coast To Coast" - (Independent)
3 - 3 - Dave Koz - "Collaborations" - (Concord)
4 - 5 - Nils - "Alley Cat" - (Baja/TSR)
5 - 6 - Ken Navarro - "Unbreakable Heart" - (Positive Music Records)
6 - 4 - Pieces Of A Dream - "All In" - (Shanachie)
7 - 8 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
8 - 7 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Step It Up" - (Heads Up)
9 - 22 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Fritzenized" - (Nordic Night Records)
10 - 13 - U-Nam - "C'est Le Funk" - (Skytown)
11- 9 - Boney James - "Futuresoul" - (Concord)
12 - 16 - Patrick Bradley - "Can You Hear Me" - (Patrick Bradley)
13 - 10 - Lawson Rollins - "Infinite Chill" - (Infinita Records/Baja TSR)
14 - 20 - Byron Miller - "Psycho Bass" - (Byron Lee Miller's Studio's LLC)
15 - 12 - Phil Perry - "A Better Man" - (Shanachie)
16 - 17 - Maysa - "Back 2 Love" - (Shanachie)
17 - 18 - Lee Ritenour - "A Twist Of Rit" - (Concord)
18 - 15 - Andy Snitzer - "American Beauty" - (Independent)
19 - 102 - 3rd Force - "Glocal Force" - (Baja/TSR)
20 - 11 - Julian Vaughn - "Limitless" - (

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Greg Abate & Phil Woods with the Tim Ray Trio "Kindred Spirits" Live at Chan's #jazz

Greg Abate captures one of the final live performances of Phil Woods

Kindred Spirits Live, Greg Abate's new recording, captures one of the final live performances of legendary sax player Phil Woods.

Greg Abate boasts one of hard bop's best-known alto saxophones. In
fact, he's earned the nickname "the prince of bebop, " which makes
perfect sense if you've seen him perform or if you've heard any
number of his recordings. It won't take long, as you spin his new
recording, for you to hear the brio in Abate's work, the power and
passion behind his playing. He truly does his instrument justice.

It is something of an injustice that his bandmate on this recording,Phil Woods, is no longer with us to feel the love and hear the accolades bestowed on his and Abate's new work. Woods, who passed in late September, was throughout his career widely hailed as one of the prototypical practitioners on the instrument. Prior to his passing, Abate and Woods, backed by the Tim Ray Trio-which includes world-class talents Ray on piano, Mark Walker on drums and John Lockwood on bass-whipped up the ebullient vibes on Kindred Spirits Live at Chan's. Live is one of just a short list of Woods' last live sax performances caught on record, and essentially and unexpectedly, a recording dedicated to the jazz giant.

It goes without question that Woods enjoyed an illustrious career,
one that was both inspired and inspirational. He began playing the
sax at 12, developed his artistry in the wake of the incredible
legacy left by the king of bebop, Charlie Parker. Woods became one of
the instrument's true standard bearers and he mentored countless
young musicians throughout his life.

It's not a coincidence that Abate himself, an individualist on the
instrument, pays a deep artistic debt to the fine work of Phil Woods
and Parker before him. This recording, in consummate Abate fashion,
is tasteful and powerful, as well as an emotional send-off to a
musician the likes of which we will not witness again. Still you can
hear him side by side with Abate, onstage, brimming with the noise
and notes from two great saxophones. This music, like so much of
Woods' work, will surely live on forever.

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Friday, January 08, 2016

Esperanza Spalding Emerges With "Emily's D+Evolution" March 4th Concord Records #jazz

Esperanza Spalding’s new project Emily’s D+Evolution, set for release March 4 on Concord Records, is a fresh artistic vision for the 4-time GRAMMY winner, a daring tapestry of music, vibrant imagery, performance art and stage design. Co-produced by Esperanza and Tony Visconti (David Bowie), the album is an electrifying take on the power trio adorned with backing singers and touches of synthesizer, “as if to fly the pirate flag of the Black Rock Coalition” according to The New York Times.

Esperanza assembled a new band for Emily’s D+Evolution including guitarist Matthew Stevens (Christian Scott) and drummer Karriem Riggins (Madlib, Erykah Badu). She recorded some of the album’s eleven tracks in front of a small audience in a Los Angeles studio. The result is otherworldly cosmic soul, kinetic songs that burst with energy and life. Album opener “Good Lava” offers a grand salvo: sinewy riffs doubled on electric bass and distorted guitar with melodies that stick and float across registers. NPR Music has the video premiere for “Good Lava” and an interview with Esperanza about the new album here.

Emily’s D+Evolution was first revealed last year via a series of high profile shows including a performance in front of a capacity crowd at the Prospect Park Bandshell for Celebrate Brooklyn! and the Essence Festival in New Orleans. Esperanza debuted the new album track “One” in October with a special performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live from BAM in Brooklyn.

Esperanza Spalding, who has performed everywhere from the Oscars to the White House, will tour extensively in support of Emily’s D+Evolution including a headlining hometown show at NYC’s historic Apollo Theater on April 14.

1. Good Lava
2. Unconditional Love
3. Judas
4. Earth To Heaven
5. One
6. Rest In Pleasure
7. Ebony and Ivy
8. Noble Nobles
9. Farewell Dolly
10. Elevate or Operate
11. Funk The Fear
12. I Want It Now

4/9 - Northampton, MA - Calvin Theatre
4/10 - Greenvale, NY - Tilles Center for the Performing Arts
4/12 - Boston, MA - Shubert Theater
4/14 - New York, NY - Apollo Theater
4/16 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre
4/17 - New Haven, CT - College Street Music Hall
4/19 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
4/20 - Durham, NC - Carolina Theatre
4/22 - Atlanta, GA - Center Stage
4/23 - Clearwater, FL - Capitol Theatre
4/24 - Miami, FL - Knight Center

Esperanza Spalding on the Web:

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Thursday, January 07, 2016

Mark Etheredge - "Connected" Releases February 26 on Vipaka Records - #jazz #video

Overcoming connectivity issues: jazz keyboardist Mark Etheredge connects with GRAMMY®-winning producer Paul Brown to create “Connected,” due February 26
Emitting an abundance of light on the front and back covers, contemporary jazz keyboardist Mark Etheredge describes his forthcoming “Connected” as the happiest album he’s ever made. Listening to the ten-song Vipaka Records release produced by two-time GRAMMY® winner Paul Brown, the upbeat melodies and optimistic grooves are spirit-raisers, written by a man who is quite comfortable in his own skin. But the inspiration behind the project that is scheduled for release February 26, 2016 is anything but comfy. While growing up, the tall and gawky Etheredge was bullied. He felt alone and disconnected. One of four boys born to a father who was a minister, Etheredge grew up singing and playing in church yet as he discovered his sexual identity, he felt further isolated. He was different and he knew it.      

“I had a deep feeling of being disconnected from humanity. Later, I realized that these feelings were all in my head. We are all connected in this world, and what we do affects each other. ‘Connected’ is a celebration of our human connection - across geography, race, language, class, gender, sexual orientation and beliefs,” said Etheredge. "I've wanted to make an album like this for a long time. Working with Paul Brown and the high caliber of musicians was a real treat for me, and I'm thrilled to share this album with listeners."

While most of the tunes on “Connected” offer a treasure trove of lilting piano and keyboard harmonies, the tension is palpable on “Lost In The Shuffle,” an instrumental account of Etheredge’s bullied past provoked by Brown’s menacing electric guitar and horn section stabs from saxophonist Greg Vail and trumpeter Lee Thornburg. It took decades before Etheredge could feel at ease composing a soaring affirmation like “Be Who You Are.” Championing our differences and connectivity, the disc’s deep-pocketed title track will be the first single shipped to radio after the New Year for airplay (watch the video for “Connected” here The urbane outing produced to sound live also makes room for the lighthearted with the carefree romantic romp “Groovin’ With My Baby”; the rousing “For Your Love” highlighting ace guitarist Chuck Loeb (Fourplay);  the frivolously-titled “Bing Bang Boom,” which packs an explosive wallop along with combustible Latin sounds; and incorporates R&B and gospel into the mix with Andy Suzuki’s soul-stirring tenor sax appeals as Etheredge demonstrates his proficiency on the Hammond B3 and Wurlitzer on “Soul Clap Honey.”

Throughout the album, drummer Gorden Campbell, bassist Roberto Vally and percussionist Richie Garcia form a taut rhythm section from which Etheredge’s nimble and vibrant piano and keyboard melodies leap to the fore, bolstered by Brown’s guitar prowess.                  

“Connected” denotes a return to instrumental music for Etheredge following 2012’s adult contemporary vocal session “Change Coming,” which was driven by “The One,” a single graced with backing vocals from dance music diva Jeanie Tracy that received international airplay. His debut date, “As Dawn,” was a New Age record released at the height of the genre’s commercial power and reissued in 2010. “Connected” is Etheredge’s first collection recorded in Los Angeles after his relocation from the Bay Area two years ago, leaving a job in the tech space to fully focus on following his musical muse.    

“I realized I wanted to do something more meaningful, make a more positive impact on the world and share my passion for music,” said Etheredge, who will be performing at album release concerts at Spaghettini near Los Angeles on February 28 and at Bay Area jazz club Angelicas on March 19.

Etheredge’s “Connected” album contains the following songs:

“Groovin’ With My Baby”
“Be Who You Are”
“Roger That”
“Connected” featuring Paul Brown
“Lost In The Shuffle” featuring Paul Brown
“Cherry Cha”
“For Your Love” featuring Chuck Loeb
“Bing Bang Boom”
“Soul Clap Honey”

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Monday, January 04, 2016

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - January 4, 2016 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Fourplay - "Silver - (Concord Music Group)
2 - 1 - Vincent Ingala - "Coast To Coast" - (Independent)
3 - 3 - Dave Koz - "Collaborations" - (Concord)
4 - 4 - Ken Navarro - "Unbreakable Heart" - (Positive Music Records)
5 - 6 - Boney James - "Futuresoul" - (Concord)
6 - 8 - Pieces Of A Dream - "All In" - (Shanachie)
7 - 10 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Step It Up" - (Heads Up)
8 - 5 - Nils - "Alley Cat" - (Baja/TSR Records)
9 - 9 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
10 - 12 - Four80East - "Positraction" - (Boomtang)
11 - 13 - Julian Vaughn - "Limitless" - (
12 - 15 - Gerald Albright - "Slam Dunk" - (Heads Up)
13 - 11 - Lee Ritenour - "A Twist Of Rit" - (Concord)
14 - 14 - Lawson Rollins - "Infinite Chill" - (Infinita Records/Baja TSR)
15 - 16 - Patrick Bradley - "Can You Hear Me" - (Patrick Bradley)
16 - 22 - U-Nam - "C'est Le Funk" - (Skytown)
17 - 17 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
18 - 7 - Maysa - "Back 2 Love" - (Shanachie)
19 - 19 - Euge Groove - "Got 2 Be Groovin'" - (Shanachie)
20 - 20 - Byron Miller - "Psycho Bass" - (Byron Lee Miller's Studio's LLC)

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Friday, January 01, 2016

Natalie Cole, Grammy Award-Winning Singer, Dies at 65

Natalie Cole, a buoyantly jazzy singer who became a millionselling, Grammywinning pop hitmaker with her 1975 debut album and went on to even greater popularity when she followed the example of her father, Nat (King) Cole to interpret prerock pop standards, died on Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 65.

The cause was “ongoing health issues,” her family said. Ms.Cole had undergone a kidney transplant in 2009 and had suffered from other ailments recently, forcing the cancellation of tour dates in November and December.

 Ms. Cole had a light, supple, perpetually optimistic voice, full of syncopated turns and airborne swoops, drawing on both the nuances of jazz singing and the dynamics of gospel. It brought her millionselling albums in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s as she moved from the sound of her own generation to that of her parents.

“The biggest similarities between Ms. Cole and her father are in attitude. Instead of working toward catharsis, they aspire to a genteel elegance, balance and good feeling,” Stephen Holden wrote in The New York Times in 1993. “But where the ultimate direction of the father’s singing was an easy chair on a moonlit porch, his daughter’s tenser, more brittle singing evokes an urban, indoor setting. To the decorous phrasing of a big band singer she brings a steady current of soulmusic sassiness.”
Ms. Cole was equally at home in the popsoul of her No. 1 1975 hit, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” and in her technologyassisted duet with her father in 1991, based on his 1951 recording of “Unforgettable.”

Both songs brought her Grammy Awards. The “Unforgettable...with Love” album, on which Ms. Cole sang her father’s hits, also swept the top Grammy Awards — including album, record and song of the year — and sold 7 million copies in the United States alone.

Yet over a long career, Ms. Cole recorded a broad selections of material, including Tin Pan Alley staples, songs written for her and songs by, among others, Fiona Apple and Bruce Springsteen. Her most recent album, in 2013, was “Natalie Cole en EspaƱol,” a collection of Latin pop favorites that was nominated for Latin Grammy Awards.

Ms. Cole repeatedly overcame personal setbacks.

Her first run of success in the 1970s was followed by struggles with heroin, alcohol and crack cocaine addiction in the early 1980s, a period she wrote about in her 2000 autobiography, “Angel on My Shoulder.” (She played herself in “Livin’ for Love: The Natalie Cole Story,” a TV movie based on the book.) She went through rehab in 1983.

“I just can’t have fun with drugs the way some people can. They can get high or have a drink and go home. I’m not like that,” she told The Los Angeles Times in 1985.

In 2009, as a result of hepatitis C that she believed she had contracted through past intravenous drug use, she underwent chemotherapy and a kidney transplant. Her 2010 book, “Love Brought Me Back,” chronicled the search for a donor. But she continued to perform well into 2015.

Natalie Cole was born on Feb. 6, 1950, to Nat Cole and his wife, Maria Cole, who had sung with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Natalie grew up surrounded by music and celebrities, and she made her recording debut as a child, singing with her father on a Christmas album. But after Nat Cole’s death in 1965, she turned away from music. She majored in child psychology and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1972.

But she was soon singing in clubs — though she resisted singing her father’s material.
“I had to do my own songs in my own way,” she told Rolling Stone in 1977. She was noticed by producers based in Chicago, Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy, who wrote much of her early material. She married Mr. Yancy in 1976, the first of three marriages.

Ms. Cole is survived by her son, Robert Yancy, and her two sisters, Timolin Cole and Casey Cole.
Capitol Records, which was also Nat Cole’s label, signed Natalie Cole and released her 1975 debut album, “Inseparable,” which drew comparisons to Aretha Franklin from reviewers and included the Top 10 single “This Will Be (an Everlasting Love).” She was named Best New Artist at the 1976 Grammy Awards, where “This Will Be” also won as “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female.”
Ms. Cole’s third album, “Unpredictable” in 1977, was also a Top 10 pop album. She showed off her acrobatic live vocals on “Natalie Live” in 1978 and made a duet album, “We’re the Best of Friends,” with the R&B crooner Peabo Bryson in 1979. But her pop profile dwindled, in part due to her drug problems.

Her career was revived in 1987, after rehab, with “Everlasting,” which included three Top 10 pop singles: “Jump Start,” the ballad “I Live for Your Love” and her version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac.”

Yet it was with “Unforgettable...With Love” in 1991, leaping back to a previous generation’s songs, that Ms. Cole would establish her latterday career. “Unforgettable” reminded both radio programmers and the record business that there was a large audience for music offering comfort far from the cutting edge.

“The shock of it all is that this record is getting airplay,” Ms. Cole said in an interview at the time. “It’s absolutely shocking to see it between Van Halen and Skid Row on the charts, totally out of its element. It should be encouraging to record companies and my contemporaries.”
Yet the Grammy sweep for “Unforgettable” in 1992 drew some criticism, particularly since the Song of the Year was four decades old. In 1993, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences changed the Song of the Year rules to make songs eligible only in the first year they were recorded or rose to prominence.

But Ms. Cole’s new direction continued to yield both hits and awards.

Her 1993 album “Take a Look” and a 1994 Christmas album, “Holly & Ivy,” both sold half a million copies; “Stardust,” another collection of standards from 1996, eventually sold a million copies and brought her a Grammy for another duet with her father, “When I Fall in Love.” Her 2008 album, “Still Unforgettable,” was named Best Traditional Pop Album.

Ms. Cole also did some acting, appearing in television series including “Grey’s Anatomy.”

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