J O N A T H A N * W I D R A N
Shannon Kennedy, Never My Love (Angel Eyes Creation Record)
Chris Botti, Italia (Columbia)
Dave Koz, Memories Of A Winter’s Night (Capitol)
Peter White Christmas (ARTizen Music Group)
B E V E R L Y * P A C K A R D
Rachel Z, Department of Good and Evil, 2007
Louie Shelton, Hot and Spicy, 1998.
Kirk Whalum, Cache, 1999
Special EFX, Collection
T Square, Wordless Anthology III
B R I A N * S O E R G E L
Jonathan Butler, Live in South Africa (Rendezvous): Glorious live music they way it should be. Includes a bonus DVD of live performances and insights into Butler's South African roots.
Marcus H. Mitchell, R&R (Lightyear): Saxophonist creates one of the most memorable, hummable songs of 2007: "Saturday Night," with keys work by Jeff Lorber.
Larry Carlton, Greatest Hits Rerecorded, Volume One (335): Can't wait for volume two. Features a new band and fresh arrangements of gems such as "Smiles and Miles to Go" and "Hello Tomorrow."
Jeff Oster, True (Retso): Fabulous trumpet music by Jeff Oster produced by new age icon William Ackerman.
Ben Tankard, Let's Get Quiet: The Smooth Jazz Experience (Verity): Soulful, sexy and catchy.
P E T E R * B O E H I
David Hughes - Foreign Shores (2007)
This album by bass player David Hughes is a monster! With a great lineup of top-notch guests he delivers an album that sparkles and delights. "Brazil" is a gem. Simply outstanding!
Randy Muller - Boom Chang Bang (2007)
Brass Construction's Randy Muller delivers an ultra-cool flute-led smooth jazz album with contemporary grooves and great songs. Absolutely solid and not to be overlooked!
Clifton deMarks - Classical Mode (2007)
This keyboardist comes up with a smooth jazz gem full of cool grooves, nice melodies and great keyboard playing. Very recommended!
Marcos Ariel - 4Friends (2006)
This album by Brazilian keyboardist Marcos Ariel is a beauty, light grooves and jazzy piano playing with easy-on-the-ear melodies yield very relaxing results.
Yutaka - Love Light (1981)
And as usual a trip down memory lane with this LP by Japanese koto and keyboard player Yutaka Yokokura. This album marks one of the early Grusin-Rosen Productions and has players like Eddie Daniels, Dave Grusin and Kazu Matsui on it. A classic of the genre!
J E F F * D A N I E L S
Najee, Rising Sun (Heads Up 2007)
Randy Scott, Breathe (MEGAWAVE RECORDS 2007)
T H E * J A Z Z * G Y P S Y
SOMETHING NEW: To remind me not to despise small beginnings
J Boykin – My Name is Jay (Soul Shine Records, 2007)
SOMETHING CONTEMPORARY: To keep me forever young
Norman Brown – Stay with Me (Peak Records, 2007)
SOMETHING FEMALE: To keep me bonded with my sisterhood
Ledisi – Lost & Found (Verve Forecast, 2007)
SOMETHING FROM AFRICA: To nourish my cultural heritage
Salif Keita – The Best of Salif Keita (Wrasse Records, 2004)
D E N I S * P O O L E
"Morning Noon Night" by Will Donato from the CD Will Call. This extremely atmospheric chunk of smooth jazz is, maybe, the best track on the album. Built on a decidedly sultry vibe it shimmers with the superb use of peripheral yet stunning backing vocals.
"Joy Ride" by Alan Hewitt from his CD Metropolis. As anticipation builds ahead of the release of Alan's new CD that is due out early in 2008, its worth looking back to this wonderful track that opens with a magical fifty five seconds of "in the pocket" piano playing that in turn sets up a truly exceptional slice of feel good contemporary jazz.
"The Wave" by Kirk Whalum from the 1988 CD And You Know That. Given the recent release of the Mosaic compilation The Ultimate Kirk Whalum its fitting to single out this track to demonstrate just how far ahead of its time the music of Whalum has often been.
"I’m Not The Same" by Les Sabler from the CD Sweet Drive. With Rahsaan Patterson and Toni Scruggs working their vocal magic this soulful smoker has spine tingling guitar from Sabler and a gentle melody that blossoms in the care of Gary Meek on sax.
"Ojal Valley" by Larry White from his brand new CD Coronado Breeze. Blissfully simple yet intoxicatingly haunting the tune is just one more reason why this album is so special.