November 28, 2003
Jason Miles: Maximum Grooves due in March 2004Smooth Jazz News
I just received the jazz releases schedule 2004 from Telarc Records. There are mainly mainstream jazz releases but among those there is one of interest for our readers. It is Jason Miles' upcoming Maximum Grooves featuring saxophonists Michael Brecker and Walter Beasley, guitarist Jeff Golub and vocalist Cassandra Reed among other high-profile artists. The CD combines great smooth jazz melodies with contemporary rhythms using loops and live musicians together. Sounds good to me!
November 14, 2003
Marc Antoine's Mediterraneo and A Smooth Jazz Christmas tourSmooth Jazz News
The new world music-influenced CD from Latin-jazz guitarist Marc Antoine, Mediterraneo, is romancing radio listeners, record buyers, concert goers and music critics from coast to coast. “Funky Picante,” the first single from the Paris-born, Madrid-based artist’s new collection, is spicing up the Top 20 on Radio & Records’ smooth jazz radio chart, while the album crashed the shores of Billboard’s Top 10 Contemporary Jazz Album Chart.
Antoine recently wrapped a six-week U.S. concert tour along with Dave Koz, Chris Botti and Jeff Lorber. Saxman Dave Koz happens to be the co-founder of Rendezvous Entertainment, the record label that released Antoine’s album this fall. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, Antoine and Koz team with Chris Botti, Brian Culbertson and Bobby Caldwell for A Smooth Jazz Christmas, a solidly-booked concert trek comprised of 21 concerts in 19 cities in 24 days before Christmas. The stellar group of musicians will be performing holiday standards along with tracks from their current CDs and recent hits.Continue reading "Marc Antoine's Mediterraneo and A Smooth Jazz Christmas tour"
November 09, 2003
David Garfield - Giving Back (Creatchy Records)Peter's Smooth Jazz Page
While riding my mountain bike uphill listening to studio ace David Garfield's latest release Giving Back on my iPod I was really having a great time. This album is varied, interesting, boasts top notch playing from an incredible lineup of L.A.'s best session musicians (Gerald Albright, the Brecker Brothers, Walt Fowler, Vinnie Colaiuta, Hiroshima's June Kuramoto, Ricardo Silveira, Airto Moreira, Paul Jackson Jr., Lee Ritenour etc. etc.) and doesn't shy away from some really demanding playing. The opening track "Desert Hideaway" is the first highlight with its catchy melody and great solos by Michael O'Neill on guitar and Will Lee on bass. The smooth "Laws Of Love" is a beauty with Larry Klimas and Walt Fowler playing the melody together on sax and flugelhorn. "Tune For Tony" is a wild jam featuring two drummers splitting the drum patterns between themselves while the Brecker Brothers really stretch out. Steve Lukather adds his rock guitar the way he did on previous Garfield albums. There are some vocal numbers on the CD as well and they have hit potential. Especially "The One With The Broken Heart" featuring Bill Champlin and some great background singers lift this catchy pop song to a new level. The Isley's "For The Love Of You" featuring Alex Ligertwood is a delight as well. I could go on and comment the rest of the great tracks on this album which range from smooth jazz to soul/pop and back to funk, latin and weird jazz. A standout CD which is highly recommended to the true music lover who knows no boundaries!
November 08, 2003
Contempo November 2003Contempo
Ask smooth jazz whiz kid-turned genre star Brian Culbertson about his chief influences, and you might expect the keyboardist to list guys like Joe Sample, George Duke and Chick Corea — melodic and improvisational innovators whose success paved the way for his own. He’ll get to that list eventually, but there’s no doubt that growing up in Chicago, horn players and horn bands were the true catalyst for his ultimate musical development. His father Jim, a high school jazz band director, was a trumpet player and Culbertson — who started playing trombone so he could join a school band himself - couldn’t get enough of Chicago, Tower of Power, Maynard Ferguson, David Sanborn and The Brecker Brothers.
Is that perhaps the reason that his series of bestselling recordings over the past decade feature so many sax-keyboard lead melodies, brass sections and horn harmonies? Come On Up, his latest hit on Warner Bros, features longtime Culbertson compatriot and fellow Windy City native Steve Cole (who was the keyboardist’s sideman while cultivating his own solo career) on two key tracks, including the raucous first single “Say What?” and Rick Braun on the moody “Last Night.” Or does the overwhelming success of sax (and Braun’s trumpet) on smooth jazz radio mean that a keyboardist must have that sound to receive airplay?Continue reading "Contempo November 2003"
November 07, 2003
Smooth SailingSmooth Sailing
Mr. Everything Dave Koz returns with a CD in three acts, while Marc Antoine and Ken Navarro make more great guitar music. Read all the reviews in Smooth Sailing.Continue reading "Smooth Sailing"
October 23, 2003
The Secret Garden Checks Out Rick Braun In BostonSecret Garden
Boston is a strange city in many ways. Not only does it boast a baseball team that is allegedly cursed never again to win a major trophy it is also one of the few cities not do have a dedicated smooth jazz radio station. Despite one recent failed attempt Boston is a smooth jazz dry city making it that much more difficult to find the promotion to attract the sort of live acts that cities like Chicago routinely do.
Consequently such events are joys to savour and one such tasty morsel came along on September 22 with the appearance of Rick Braun at the intimate Scullers Jazz Club.Continue reading "The Secret Garden Checks Out Rick Braun In Boston"