J O N A T H A N * W I D R A N
Eric Darius, Just Getting Started (Narada jazz)
Jason Miles, What's Going On? (Narada Jazz)
Bob James, Urban Flamingo (Koch Records)
Incognito, Eleven (Narada Jazz)
B E V E R L Y * P A C K A R D
Harry Hmura, Face to the Sun (soon to be released!)
Carpenters, 35th Anniversary Collection
The Richard Smith Unit, Puma Creek
Paul Jackson, Jr., Never Alone
B R I A N * S O E R G E L
Various Artists, Unwrapped Vol. 4 (Hidden Beach): The fourth installment of Unwrapped features a Latin-y read of the Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” If that doesn't sound good to you, you probably won't dig this jazz-meets-hip-hop collection.
Maysa, Sweet Classic Soul (Shanachie): The husky vocalist crafts beautiful music from some of her favorite artists. Howabout these? “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face,” “Betcha By Golly Wow” and “Love Won’t Let Me Wait.”
Willie and Lobo, Zambra (Narada): More of the best Gypsy smooth jazz on the planet, produced by trumpeter Rick Braun. Braun also wrote a song dedicated to victims of last year’s devastating hurricane called “Balada Para Katrina.”
Victor Fields, Victor (Regina Records): Nothing harsh, very mellow. In addition to originals, the soulful vocalist tackles Vince Gill’s “Colder Than Winter,” Stevie Wonder’s “Golden Lady” and the jazz standards “Lush Life” and “Night and Day.”
Tom Shuman, Deep Chill (JazzBridge Music/Monogram Records): The Spryo Gyra keyboardist steps out with his fourth solo CD with help from saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa, guitarists Peter White and Chuck Loeb.
P E T E R * B O E H I
The Clients - Red Lounge (2004)
Jazz-Funk band from Switzerland offer a nice selection of danceable instrumentals with great sax and trombone playing sometimes reminding me of the Crusaders. Check them out at www.theclients.ch
TFOXX - Now Can U Feel Me (2005)
Guitar player TFOXX joined forces with keyboard player Allon Sams to deliver this beautiful slice of smooth jazz in the spirit of Norman Brown. Don't miss it.
Michael Ross - Reloaded (2005)
Guitar player Michael Ross comes up with a new album full of memorable melodies and top notch guitar playing. Just love it!
Michael Manson - Just Feelin' It (2005)
Polished smooth jazz album by noted bass player Michael Manson with many of the genre's best players (Paul Jackson, Jr, Kirk Whalum and the like) guesting. Exclusively available at his website.
D E N I S * P O O L E
'Gimme Your Groove' by Gail Jhonson from her excellent CD Keep The Music Playing. This is a real piece of buried treasure from Norman Browns musical director and keyboard player.
'Hold On' by Tony Whitfield from his current release Pleasure Sensitive 2. One of the smoothest racks you will hear this year.
'Third Times The Charm' by Bob Baldwin from All In A Days Work. A wonderful top notch tune that is vintage Baldwin.
'Love TKO' by Hall and Oates from Our Kind Of Soul. These guys had a radio resurgence in 2005 and tracks like this explain why.
'Summer Nights' from Nils from his hugely succesful album Pacific Coast Highway. Its nice to see this one riding high in the radio play list charts after tipping it last year as the best track on the CD.