B R I A N * S O E R G E L
Greg Adams, Cool to the Touch (Ripa): The veteran trumpeter has hands-down released his best CD yet. Cool, funky and smooth, it's a tonic for those pining for some upbeat Chris Botti material.
George Duke, In a Mellow Tone (BPM): The title says it all. What a great CD, featuring a warm version of "Spring Is Here" and a new jazzy version of "Sweet Baby." There are also a few stellar new tunes. The master of funk shows he can slow it down.
Alan Broadbent, Every Time I Think of You (Artistry): The Grammy-winning pianist provides warm and inviting jazz with bassist Brian Bromberg and drummer Kendall Kay. A string section adds lushness.
Sebastian Lorefice, Short Stories, Infinite Corridors (Arc Sound): There's a lot going on in this CD by the veteran Australian musician, who fuses lounge jazz, Latin, space music, electronica and other styles in a satisfying mix. There are some rough experimental edges, but this is definitely different. Check out samples at cdbaby.com.
Everett B. Walters, Always High Reaching (Petey Pete): The group's name is actually a jumble of the names of two brothers, Harold Walter Brown III and Mike Everett Brown. Hip and definitely in-the-pocket, the CD delivers funky smooth jazz mixed with a few soulful vocal tunes. Especially compelling is "And the Story Goes," which the Brown brothers wrote for pianist Brian Simpson and here offer a version just as tasty as his.
P E T E R * B O E H I
Howard Isaacson - Dream World (2002)
Easy smooth jazz album full of nice melodies and top notch playing by saxophonist Howard Isaacson. Quality stuff!
Joel Del Rosario - Calm In The Storm (2006)
Very competent contemporary guitar playing, well produced and arranged, nice melodies and cool grooves make this one a winner.
Alphonso Thomas - While We Still Can (1997)
Young sax player comes up with a groovy album full of memorable instrumentals and soulful vocals, with an urban touch. Not to be overlooked!
Willie Bobo - Lost And Found (1970)
This lost gem in the shape of unreleased tapes hidden in the closet of Willie Bobo's widow and discovered by his son now see the light of day on CD for the very first time. Groovy, funky, vintage latin stuff of the highest order.
J E F F R E Y * D A N I E L S
David Benoit, Full Circle (Peak Records)
The Rippingtons, Anniversary (Peak Records)
Fourplay, X (RCA)
Bob James, Lucky Seven (Koch Records)
K A L E N * M A R I E * G R A N T
Eliane Elias – ‘Running’ and ‘Jammin’’ from Around the City (2006 RCA Victor)
Elias gives the world another taste of her Brazilian flavor. ‘Running’ seems to even have a techno feel to it while ‘Jammin’’ is definitely a different take on Bob Marley’s idea, but it will get a few head nods and foot taps from listeners.
Shilts – ‘I Knew You’d Like This’ from Headboppin’ (2006 ARTizen Music Group)
Paul “Shilts” Weimar has played in many places and for many people all over the realms of jazz and pop music. He knew we’d like the sixth cut on his latest project. Well… it made my playlist.
Maysa – ‘The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face)’ from Sweet Classic Soul (2006 Shanachie Records)
Maysa, a recording veteran, takes us through the classic soul hits in one album. Her rich and lustrous voice covers Stevie Wonder’s ‘All I Do’, the Stylistics’ ‘Betcha By Golly Wow’ and Roberta Flack’s ‘The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face)’. These covers are as nice as their originals.
Herbie Hancock w/ Christina Aguilera – ‘A Song for You’ – from Possibilities (2005 Hear Music)
Herbie Hancock gave us a serious musical treat with this project last year. Christina Aguilera’s vocals on this song still has singers warming up their pipes to have such a full, sensual, but effective sound as she has in this song.
Dave Brubeck – ‘Take Five’ from Time Out (1959 Legacy Recordings)
Every now and then it is good to get in touch with something old, something traditional, something unique, but still something so revolution during it’s time.
J O N A T H A N * W I D R A N
Patrick Yandall, Samoa Soul (Zangi Records)
Marilyn Scott, Innocent of Nothing (Prana Entertainment)
Jazzmasters V (Trippin N’ Rhythm)
Joyce Cooling, Revolving Door (Narada Jazz)
B E V E R L Y * P A C K A R D
Chris Korblein - Love Notes
I recently discovered this artist and find his CD very enjoyable. Another talented guitar player whose song Boys Night Out is a dynamite track which has been doing very well.
Jay Rowe - Red, Hot and Smooth
Keyboardist for Special EFX who has a few CDs of his own, Jay is one of the most happy, enthusiastic players you'll see on stage. This CD, his latest, gives me a whole new appreciation for his talent not only in playing but in composing. Great melodies that make you want to pop this one in often!
Josh Groban - Live At The Greek (CD and DVD)
As seen on the PBS Great Performances series, Josh is at his finest in connecting with the crowd in LA, despite singing in Italian or Spanish much of the time. Accompanied by a full orchestra of talent and spellbinding violin solos. Features Josh playing one song on the piano and one song where he plays the drums.
Philippe Saisse Trio - Body and Soul
So enjoyable to listen to -- the more one listens, the more evident is Saisse's absolute command of the piano. Masterful arrangements of standards from the past that we all cherish.
Jeff Golub - Out of the Blue
In studying about Philippe Saisse, I found that he produced and played on this CD, long one of my favorites. Now I have even more reason to know why it is such a standout in my collection.