P E T E R * B O E H I
Craig Sharmat - So Cal Drivin (2009)
Funky, upbeat, groovy, cool and hip smooth jazz album by guitarist Craig Sharmat which is not just suitable for cruising in LA - guests include Rick Braun, Greg Mathieson, Philippe Saisse, Andy Suzuki and others. A gem!
Tom Baxter - Sugar On The Bone (2009)
Funky and groovy trombone-led smooth jazz album featuring top-notch guests like Randy Crawford, Wilton Felder, Michael Lington, Everette Harp and Val Davis. Very recommended!
Rob Tardik - The Right Time (2009)
Guitarist Rob Tardik delivers a great smooth jazz album with a tight band full of catchy compositions. Don't miss it!
Dee Brown - A Little Elbowroom (2009)
This is a laid-back, polished and ultra-smooth album by guitarist Dee Brown that just makes you feel good. Thumbs up!
Justin Young - Nothin' But Love (2009)
Newcomer Justin Young on the saxophone comes up with another great release showing that he can compete with the best of the genre. Players include Ricky Lawson, Alex Al, Sheldon Reynolds and Darrell Crux among others, so you know it is top-notch!
D E N I S * P O O L E
The intoxicating ‘Open Road’ by Tom Braxton from his new CD Endless Highway. With interplay between guitarist Derrick Winding and Braxton that is magical, and a percussive energy from Len Barnett and Rico Gonzales to savor, this mid tempo smoker is amongst the standout smooth jazz tunes of 2009.
‘One Wish’ by Hiroshima, from the band’s re-imaged retrospective Legacy. One of three tunes lifted from the 1985 release Another Place this is a complete showstopper. Funky yet enthralling, it has a vibe to die for and all the attributes of being seriously addictive.
‘Beauty And The Beast’ by Mike Catalano from the excellent A Manhattan Affair. This sensitive take on the tune from the 1991 Disney motion picture of the same name finds the unmistakable Bob James on Fender Rhodes, Chuck Loeb on guitar and great sax from Lou Marini.
‘Breaker One-9’ by guitar player and vocalist Carlyle Barriteau from his album Groovin’ At Sunset. Replete with a sunshine filled smooth jazz groove and co-written with bass player Roberto Vally it’s a tune to instantly confirm Barriteau as a consummate purveyor of sweet sounding ‘west coast’ contemporary jazz.
The atmospheric ‘Brief Encounter’ by UK based funk band Dr Sax from the CD Take It To The Bridge. With a great vocal from Steve Williams this is arguably the albums best track.
R O N A L D * J A C K S O N
Euge Groove, Sunday Morning (Shanachie) -- The sax giant is back from recently wrapping up a European tour with Tina Turner and unleashes a sensational set of new grooves on us. This time, however, you may notice a slightly more laid back approach, but the quality, the feel, and the oomph are, as always, firmly intact.
Craig Sharmat, So Cal Drivin (Scoredog Music) -- The guitarist showcases his debut release here, which has a most apropos title, considering the mood he instills in the album.
Vision Jazz, Distant Visions (Vision Jazz) -- If a new and refreshing jolt to the genre is what the doctor is ordering, this group just may have that prescription in stock. This is their debut effort and features veteran saxman Greg Vail.
Johannes Linstead, Mistico (Earthscape Media) -- As if Johannes Linstead fans didn’t already know it would happen again, the Canadian guitarist is once more igniting passion, desire, and dreams through his exotic and fiery handling of the Spanish guitar.
Fabio Mignola, Take Me Higher (Bonmusic) -- With a bright Mediterranean flair and Brazilian moves intermingled with some truly fine smooth highlights, guitarist/composer Fabio Mignola oftentimes reminds one of the illustrious Marc Antoine, but with a vision all his own.
B R I A N * S O E R G E L
Poncho Sanchez, Psychedelic Blues (Concord)
Lawson Rollins, Espirito (Infinita)
Spencer Day, Vagabond (Concord)
Everette Harp, First Love (Shanachie)
J E F F * D A N I E L S
Matt Marshak, Family Funktion (Nuance Music) (2009)
Max Middleton, Land of Secrets (RL-2) (2009)
Redtenbacher's Funkestra, Falling from Insanity (2009)
Kevyn Lettau, Walking in Your Footsteps (Cats and Dogs Music) (2009)