B R I A N * S O E R G E L
Greg Adams, East Bay Soul (Ripa): Adams' fifth solo CD features his rollicking Easy Bay Soul band. There's even some rap.
Gabriela Anders, Bossa Beleza (E1): The Argentine native now living in New York sings in Spanish, Portuguese and English.
Matt Marshak, Family Funktion (Nuance): The guitarist returns with another upbeat winner.
Jesse Cook, The Rhumba Foundation (E1): Canadian Jesse Cook turns on the flamenco heat with orginals and a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Cecilia. Best smooth track: "Bogota By Bus."
J E F F * D A N I E L S
Christoph Spendel, Summer Notice [IMPORT] (Blue Flame) (2009)
The Sax Pack, The Pack Is Back! (Shanachie) (2009)
Bob Baldwin, Lookin' Back (Nu Groove Records) (2009)
Rick Braun, All It Takes (Artistry Music) (2009)
P E T E R * B O E H I
Brian Bromberg - It Is What It Is (2009)
This is a smashing album full of energy and joyful musicianship of the highest order, it is a breath of fresh air among all those ultra-smooth albums without rough edges that seem to be the order of the day, kudos to Brian for keeping up the banner of true musicianship. The lineup is superb and features the best of the best, but above all rides the hard hitting bass of the leader keeping things together. Premium quality!
Jeff Golub - Blues For You (2009)
This is another great album of an artist staying true to himself, more so, giving us the kind of music that probably is closest to his heart, and it shows. Whenever I see him live, I get a feeling of honest musical expression, and this album has been done in this spirit. Some raunchy blues tunes, a truly outstanding cover of Albert King's "I'll Play The Blues For You" among guests like vocalists Peter Wolf, Billy Sqier, John Waite and Marc Cohn make this a great piece of music, Kirk Whalum guest on another track. As the marketing blurb says: "The CD is hitting the sweet spot between jazz, blues & rock." But the emphasis is definitely on the blues!
Dan Siegel - Sphere (2009)
A great new CD by keyboardist Dan Siegel which was produced by Brian Bromberg, so you know we get the real deal. The players are top notch, among the guests are Tom Scott and Larry Carlton, the playing is acoustic and warm, but still groovy and melodious yielding some very accessible results. Another return to true musicianship and honest musical expression. Thumbs up!
Drew Davidsen - Around (Again) (2009)
Guitarist Drew Davidsen comes up with a smooth jazz gem in the shape of this CD. His releases always struck a chord with me, but with this one he has surpassed himself. Mellow grooves, natural and warm playing and great melodies prevail. Gerald Veasley and Jay Rowe guest on the album. With this release, Drew Davidson has joined the top players of the genre. Don't miss it!
The Chris Hinze Combination - Bamboo Magic (1978)
As usual, my nod to the past goes to Dutch flautist Chris Hinze's "Bamboo Magic" from 1978, recorded in New York and featuring some of the finest session players, among them Richard Tee and Michel Brecker. I am so thankful that the soundtrack to my youth was filled with such great music!
D E N I S * P O O L E
‘Anytime’ by Art Sherrod Jr from his forthcoming album Seasons. Featuring vocalist and keyboard player Frank McComb this turned down chiller takes Sherrod, with sensational consequences, deep into quiet storm territory.
‘1000 Miles’ by Joe McBride from his current album Lookin For A Change. This reworking of Vanessa Carlton’s 2002 blockbuster shimmers with McBride’s sensational playing and immaculate bass from Roger Hines. In every respect it is a wonderful piece of work.
‘Mission 2 Mars’ by Peter White from his brand new album Good Day. This innovative yet feisty track features the masterful production touches that makes Philippe Saisse the ‘go to guy’ for so many of the genre’s current A-list performers, a thumping beat, and keyboard interjections from Saisse that are absolutely to die for.
‘Heading Wes’, by Galaxy Lounge, from the CD Welcome To The Party. Over the years a plethora of contemporary jazz artists have, each in their own way, tipped a hat to the great Wes Montgomery and here Galaxy Lounge, aka Jon Grindstaff, provides his own tribute to the legendary guitar ace.
‘Dedication’ by guitarist Mark Harper and the late Wayman Tisdale from Harpers up-coming album The Mark Harper Project. Currently being serviced to radio, this sumptuous duet is a fitting tribute to the humanity of Tisdale and a sneak preview of what, for Harper, may prove to be a notable solo career.
R O N A L D * J A C K S O N
Kloud 9, Everything is Good 2Nite (Shanachie)-- A "best of" compilation from the R&B duo with some really smooth remixes and bonus tracks (including a remake of Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall").
Aaron Bing, Secret Place (Century) -- Flavorful CD from a saxman who will remind one of Kenny G, one of his major influences. A must-listen!
Jesse Cook, The Rumba Foundation (Coach House) -- Jesse Cook at his finest, with Latin grooves of a Colombian flavor. He traveled to Bogota to join forces with a group called Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto. The result is astounding. Due out on September 29.
Avenue H, Off the Floor, (self-produced)--Debut album from a group of serious funksters who combine jazz, funk, and world in a blazing show of excellence.
Karen Devroop, Reminiscing, (self-produced)--Another hot debut from a hot new artist (by the way, the first name is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable). Devroop hails from South Africa. With a saxful of smooth goodies, he (that's right--he) captivates with a catchy and mellow groove to be remembered.