December 28, 2009

What We're Listening To ** December

D E N I S * P O O L E

‘True Reality’ by Dee Brown from his sophomore CD A Little Elbow Room; Released on nuGroove, and with Nate Harasim on keyboards plus Darren Rahn on sax, this is a real gem.

‘Go’ by Brian Culbertson from the exquisite Live From The Inside CD and DVD combination. Co-written by Culbertson and ex Earth Wind & Fire mainstay (and now Culbertson band member) Sheldon Reynolds this original tune has that infectious swagger and feel good vibe characteristic of Culbertson’s best music.

‘As You Like It’ by Euge Groove from his great new album Sunday Morning. A new release from Euge is always a special occasion and here his imaginatively sensitive playing has never sounded better. A certainty for most played on smooth jazz radio in 2010.

‘Groovy Nights’ by Fabio Mignola from his CD Take Me Higher. It finds Swiss born Mignola conjuring up a Peter White like groove that has ‘radio ready’ written all overt it.

‘Yesterdays’ by Tracy Hamlin from her exciting new release Better Days; A wonderful example of smooth R & B, this deliciously chilled out cut is co-written by Hamlin and Phil (Big Dog) Davis.

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

Bobby Caldwell, Timeline: The Anthology, Pt. 1 (Sin-Drome Records) (1998)

Jowee Omicil, Roots & Grooves (BBjuiss Records) (2009)

Shakatak, Afterglow (101 DISTRIBUTION) (2009)

Four80East, Roll On (Native Language) (2009)

Fourplay, Snowbound (WEA/Reprise) (2009)

P E T E R * B O E H I

Alex Malheiros & Banda Utopia feat. Sabrina Malheiros - The Wave (2009)
Alex Malheiros is the bassist of the legendary Brazil jazz-funk band Azymuth, together wih his band Banda Utopia and his singing daughter Sabrina Malheiros he delivers a great slice of smooth, contemporary latin jazz with a dash of chill/lounge. Thumbs up!

Dr Sax - Take It To The Bridge (2009)
This band has been a great discovery for me with their own brand of cool and sexy songs and instrumentals. Top notch arrangements and playing. Goes down like good wine!

L.A. Ensemble - Samba Modern (2006)
Guitarist Akio Sasajima from Japan releases a great collection of cover tracks in an easy latin/samba groove not unlike something Lee Ritenour might have done in the past. A great find!

Trippin 'n' Rhythm Records - The Very Best Of Christmas (2009)
This is my favorite Xmas record of this year with a great selection of funky Xmas tracks by Paul Hardcastle, Gregg Karukas, Tim Bowman, Cindy Bradley, Jaared, Oli Silk, U-Nam and others. Groovy baby!

Shakatak - Live In Japan (1984)
My nod to the past goes to this Japan-only released 2LP-set from 1984 featuring the band during their prime time, especially mind blowing is a lengthy bass solo that still impresses me today. I also got the Laserdisc of that concert called "Twilight Visions". Memories...

R O N A L D * J A C K S O N

Mark Drummond & Grooveometric, Yuletronica (Mark Drummond Creative) -- A unique and funky twist and interpretation on some classic Christmas tunes.

Dee Brown, A Little Elbowroom (NuGroove Records) -- Here, during the Christmas season, the sophomore release from this guitarist comes neatly wrapped in grooves and moves that are sure to find a home with most smooth jazzers.

Michael Ross, A Special Thing (MIHI Records) -- A smoky, seductive slice of smooth jazz with a Will Downing flavor.

Al/Capone, Mr. Smooth (Cc Ent/Copycats) -- This group's debut release, featuring renowned producer Jason Miles (To Grover, With Love), is as well-rounded and stylish as you could hope to hear in smooth jazz today.

Drew Davidsen, Around (Again) (Creative Soul Jazz) -- Full of flavor, memorable hooks, solid rhythms, and an unimposing sweetness in its approach, this CD leaves such a pleasant imagery in your head long after the final chord of the final track.

Posted by Peter Böhi at December 28, 2009 5:43 PM