This year's Capital Jazz SuperCruise VII took place November 2-10, 2013 on the Carnival Freedom sailing from Fort Lauderdale and visiting ports La Romana (Dominican Republic), Curacao and Aruba (both Netherland Antilles). This was my third SuperCruise.
The SuperCruise is dedicated not only to smooth jazz and related jazz styles, but also to R&B and NeoSoul. It certainly features well known established artists, but also gives aspiring artists a chance to perform in the so called Underground Lounge, a venue which is dedicated to the newer generation of artists. This year, as expected, I heard some great music by people like Jeannette Harris, William Green, David P. Stevens, Jeff Bradshaw, Elan Trotman, Jarrod Lawson, Pete Belasco, Ty Causey, Rahsaan Patterson, Joey Sommerville, Jonathan Fritzen, Maimouna Youssef and others there. The same band supported all of those players and did a great job, playing everything from funk to r&b to jazz to deliver what was required.
On the big stage, we got Incognito (with singers Tony Momrelle, Vanessa Haynes and Natalie Williams, in addition Deborah Bond joined in for one song) which opened the cruise and were very well received. Richard Elliot and Rick Braun were in a playful mood and delivered a powerful show that was truly exciting. Take 6 and Chrisette Michele did a solid show. Another notable show was the one by Stephanie Mills, followed by Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, two classic acts that delivered some serious old school vibes. Other highlights were the show by Najee, Alex Bugnon & Phil Perry who provided two hours of musical bliss, while the Donald Byrd Tribute Show done by Spur Of The Moment plus a host of guests was just awesome. Other notable shows were by legendary pianist Bobby Lyle (who also played the Hammond B3) and saxophonist Paul Taylor, who is one of the mainstays of smooth jazz. A smashing fusion show was done by the Jeff Lorber Fusion (featuring Sonny Emory, Eric Marienthal and Jimmy Haslip). Last but not least, I would like to mention the gospel show done by Marvin Sapp and a powerful contemporary r&b show by Anthony Hamilton that concluded the cruise.