August 31, 2006

What We're Listening To - August

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

GilParrisCDCover.jpgGil Parris, Strength, released August 22, 2006, 215 Records. Get ready, here's a guitar player who has stormed back onto the contemporary (smooth) jazz scene with the signature sound found on his earlier release, Gil Parris, 1998. His bluesy, funky playing incorporates jazz, rock, blues and smooth jazz and is admired by people like Jeff Golub and Chuck Loeb, to name a few. Produced by talented David Mann, the CD is an exceptional blend of hard grooving and also tender, romantic melody lines easy to fall in love with. Features guest appearances by Bob Baldwin on keyboards, Randy Brecker on trumpet/flugelhorn, and David Mann on saxophone. It had to be difficult to decide which songs to plug for airplay; it's filled with great tunes from beginning to end. The first two to be chosen are 'Jazz Night Out', the first track, and 'Together Again' (my personal favorite).

Steve Reid, Bamboo Forest. After seeing Steve Reid (percussionist extraordinnaire) recently on the Rippington's 20th Anniversary tour, what a pleasure to go back and listen to this CD, which was ahead of its time.

Rippingtons, 20th Anniversary CD and DVD, 2006. A great new CD, typical of the Rippingtons stellar talent. The DVD is a must-see for anyone who enjoyed this band for years or who has discovered them recently and wants to go back to their roots. It's Russ Freeman at his best, talking and reliving the times from the band's inception up to now. You'll learn a lot.

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

Eliane Elias, Around the City (RCA Victor): The veteran Brazilian pianist and vocalist has created her most modern, chill-worthy CD. The lead track, "Running," is divine.

Lee Ritenour, Smoke 'n' Mirrors (i.e./Peak): More guitar magic from Captain Fingers, influenced by world music.

Michael Manson, Just Feelin' It (215 Records): The smooth jazz session steps out on his own again with another fine solo effort. Heads up, Wayman Tisdale fans.

Oli Silk, So Many Ways (Trippin N Rhythm): The British keyboardist is a perfect fit for the label boasting Paul Hardcastle. If fact, if you love Hardcastle's groove and dreamy lyrics, you'll love Silk, too.

Doc Powell, Doc Powell (Heads Up): More great guitar smooth jazz from a master. So melodic, and so enjoyable.

P E T E R * B O E H I

Dave Dunop - The Hang (2006) Cool, slick and smooth trumpet playing over contemporary grooves. Just the kind of stuff that gets soaked up by SmoothVibes radio. Excellent!

Ray Garand - Skylark (2006) Another solid smooth jazz album by Canadian guitar player Ray Garand featuring catchy songs and cool guitar playing. Top class!

Timothy Bowman - Circles (2006) Pretty impressive debut album by guitar player Timothy "TimBo" Bowman offering lots of smooth guitar playing in a Wes Montgomery style over thick contemporary grooves. Very nice!

Oli Silk - So Many Ways (2006) Half of the duo Sugar & Silk this great keyboard player offers his debut solo album boasting memorable melodies and catchy keyboard playing. Jaared guests. Don't miss it!

Jasper Stone - Shine Your Light (2001) Catchy keyboard and synth playing over contemporary grooves characterize this smooth jazz album by this great artist. Very recommended.

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

Bob James, "H" (Warner Brothers/Tappan Zee)

Alphonse Mouzon, The Best of Alphonse Mouzon (MPC Records)

Brian Augers Oblivion Express, Straight Ahead (Castle Music/Sanctuary Records)

Hubert Laws, Land Of Passion (HLaws Music/

Bob James & David Sanborn, Double Vision (Warner Brothers)

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

Mindi Abair – ‘Flirt’ from It Just Happens That Way 2003 GRP
This playful melody is not new to radio airways. ‘Flirt’ is an example of Abair’s niche for good song writing.

Philippe Saisse – ‘Masques’ from Masques 1995 Polygram/Verve
Philippe Saisse, the gifted and talented pianist, keyboardist, producer, arranger, and songwriter, with this chanson mystique or mystic song.

Christian Scott – ‘Like This’ from Rewind That 2006 Concord Jazz
Mellow and relaxing melody with sensual harmonies... We, as listeners, can only imagine how this song ends.

Jose Valentino – ‘Velvet Nights’ from Flute on Fire 2005 (no label)
Valentino, a name that will be repeated, a young flute virtuoso opens his first album with this up beat tune.

Big Sam’s Funky Nation – ‘Funkin' @ The Butt’ from Take Me Back 2006 (no label)
BSFN knows what it means to miss New Orleans and reminisces with this song ‘Funkin’ @ The Butt’ a tribute to a jazz club “The Funky Butt” once located on N. Rampart.

D E N I S * P O O L E

'Still Thinking About You' from the soon to be released CD Just Feelin It from bass guitarist Michael Manson. This one is all mellow groove and loveliness!!

Lynne Fiddmonts debut CD Flow is sensational and the best track on it is the wonderful 'Say'.

Listening to Fiddmont made me hanker for those great female soul singers from the late 70's and early 80's so one of this months choices is the result of the search I made for them. Tucked away in the Denis Poole collection was 'Don't Let It Go To Your Head' by Jean Carn from her 1978 album Happy To Be With You. Who said nostalgia isn't what it used to be?

Narada has an incredible compilation out right now. Its a double CD titled Sweet + Sexy and it counts for two of this months choices. From the Sweet disc comes 'When She Smiles' from Jeff Lorber and turning to things more sexy my pick is 'Temptation' from Jeff Golub.

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

J Thompson, Inside World (AMH Records)

Patrick Yandall, Samoa Soul (Zangi Records)

Marilyn Scott, Innocent of Nothing (Prana Entertainment)

Jazzmasters V (Trippin N’ Rhythm)

Joyce Cooling, Revolving Door (Narada Jazz)

Posted by Beverly J. Packard at August 31, 2006 2:07 AM