July 31, 2006

What We're Listening To * July

J O N A T H A N * W I D R A N

Greg Vail, The Gospel Truth Revisited (Greg Vail Music)

Jack Prybylski, Window Shopping (SuShan Music)

Bill Cantos, Love Wins (GIC Productions)

Andy Snitzer, Some Quiet Place (Native Language)

Wayman Tisdale, Way Up! (Rendezvous)

B E V E R L Y * P A C K A R D

Kirk Whalum, The Babyface Songbook, Rendevous. What a powerful yet very tender sound all the way through this CD. The memorable songs of Babyface -- 'Can We Talk,' 'I'll Make Love To You,' 'When Can I See You,' 'Someone to Love,' 'Not Gon' Cry,' 'Whip Appeal,' and more. Kirk's playing is just superb and he plays with musicians Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Norman Brown Gabriela Anders for a truly awesome final product. The blending of Kirk and Dave Koz on their saxophones on 'Someone to Love' is one of the best duets I've ever heard.

Doc Powell - CD of the same name. Coming out August 22, 2006, Heads Up. Great listening all the way through. Powell's beautiful melodies and relaxed style of playing will draw you right in. Features Brian Culbertson, Kirk Whalum, Bobby Lyle and many other talented musicians. Includes two fine renditions of Carole King's 'It's Too Late," both plugged and unplugged versions. On this CD Powell has decided to blend electric and classical guitars and the combination is one you won't want to miss.

Philippe Saisse Trio, The Body and Soul Sessions, Rendevous. I'm just getting to know this keyboard player (go to his site and you'll see he's much more than that!). What a talented, consummate musician and this CD in particular showcases how he takes songs which are familiar to us and truly makes them his own, in unique and wonderful ways. Songs like 'Do It Again,' 'September,' 'Lady Madonna,' 'Fire and Rain,' and 'We're All Alone.' David Finck on acoustic bass and Scooter Warner on drums and percussion. If the songs have some meaning for you and you love an innovative piano/keyboard player, this is a CD you will likely cherish.

Wayman Tisdale, Way Up, Rendevous. This CD features a whole host of great players: Jeff Lorber, Dave Koz, Bob James, Kirk Whalum, George Duke, Jonathan Butler, Eric Benet, and Tom Braxton, but there is still plenty of room throughout the CD for the indelible signature style of Tisdale's bass playing. Always energetic and fun with plenty of talent, Tisdale does take us Way Up but also includes 'Get Down On It.' He does just what track 8 says he will: 'Tell It Like It TIS.'

Janita, Seasons of Life, 2006, Lightyear Entertainment. Never far from my rotation of CDs, these very soulful songs allow me to sing along and reminisce about my own 'seasons of life.'


B R I A N * S O E R G E L

Jazzmasters, Jazzmasters V (Trippin N Rhythm): Paul Hardcastle reunites with vocalist Helen Rogers and Snake Davis for more mellow tunes.

Patrick Yandall, Samoa Soul (Zangi): Underrated San Diego smooth jazz guitarist delivers more peppy music perfect for the beach.

Bakithi Kumalo, Transmigration (GuruProject): Bass grooves from a South African legend who performed on Paul Simon's Graceland. Some of the best smooth tunes of the year.

Palace Lounge Presents, Cafe D'Afrique Vol. 2 (Savoy Jazz): Groovy and chilled beats.

Mark Egan, As We Speak (Wavetone): Contemporary jazz from a master who's performed with Pat Metheny. Two-disc CD with John Abercrombie and Danny Gottlieb.


P E T E R * B O E H I

Shilts - HeadBoppin (2006)
Sax player and member of Down To The Bone steps out to the spotlight with this truly great and picture perfect smooth jazz album. Two thumbs up!

Dwayne Dolphin - Ming (2006)
Bass player Dwayne Dolphin comes up with a spirited, solid and deep contemporary jazz album with is very recommended. Don't miss it.

Donald Harrison Electric Band - 3D, Vol. 1 (2006)
Sax player Donald Harrison delivers a polished smooth jazz album with cool sax playing over contemporary grooves. Most of the songs were added to the playlist of SmoothVibes radio.

Forecast - featuring J.S. Floyd (2006)
Cool, groovy smooth jazz album with memorable compositions, catchy hooks and great soloing by all involved. A real gem not to be overlooked!

Alan Hewitt - Metropolis (2006)
Pretty melodies, smooth sounds and a relaxed mood are conveyed by this beautiful album by keyboard player Alan Hewitt. A true favorite of us at SmoothVibes radio.


J E F F R E Y * D A N I E L S

SteveClark.jpgSteve Clark, Can U Hear Me Now? (Hop-N-Bop Records)

Chris Standring, Soul Express (V2 Records)

David Sanborn, Straight To The Heart (Warner Bros / Wea Records)

Maysa, Sweet Classic Soul (Shanachie Records)

Kenny Wright Experience, Comin' At Ya (Knee Deep Records)


K A L E N * M A R I E * G R A N T

Chris Botti - 'Good Morning Heartache' from To Love Again (The Duets) 2005 Columbia
This great collaboration with Neo-Soul artist Jill Scott displays the traditional in a smooth kind of way.

Marion Meadows - 'Suede' from Player's Club 2004 Heads Up
Meadows' sensual and almost provocative style added to the poetic melody of 'Suede' making it great work to listen to during the afternoon rain.

Warren Bernhardt - 'Felinicity' from Family Album 1993 DMP
I heard this on the radio and it replayed in my head for hours. I went to almost every music store in the area and was not able to find this album.

Randy Crawford - 'Cajun Moon' from Naked and True 1995 Mesa/Bluemoon
This mystic song gives an explanation to why love has gone under the strong gospel-like vocals of Randy Crawford.

Philippe Saisse Trio - 'Do It Again' from The Body and Soul Sessions 2006 Rendezvous
Philippe Saisse has played for, produced for, and arranged for many artists over many genres, and this arrangement of 'Do It Again' hits the spot.


D E N I S * P O O L E

'Inner City Blues' featuring Ronnie Laws and The Sounds Of Blackness from the excellent project by Jason Miles, To Grover With Love.

Temptation by Jeff Golub from the 2005 album of the same name and a tune that from time to time creeps into my head.

'Crystal Blue Persuasion' from the self titled CD by Jill Jenson. This cover of the Tommy James and the Shondells hit is worth checking out.

'Deja Vu' by Peter White from his new and already successful CD Playin Favorites. Its an album of covers and this one, taking the excellent Isaac Hayes composition as its source, is way better than Whites current radio number one from the same album.

'Positive Vibe' by Pamela Williams from the album Elixir. Its the second radio single from this album and confirms Williams as the queen of urban smooth jazz.


Posted by Beverly J. Packard at July 31, 2006 4:33 AM