November 6, 2010

What We're Listening To ** October 2010

B R I A N * S O E R G E L

Michael Paulo feat. David Benoit, Michael Paulo with the Magenta Orchestra (Apaulo)

Ulla Haesen, Love, Tears & Joy (Ulla Haesen)

Walter Beasley, Backatcha! (Shanachie)

Drew Davidsen & Friends, We 3 Stringz (Creative Soul Jazz)

Nils, What the Funk? (Baja/TSR)

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

Kenny G, Heart And Soul (Concord Records) (2010)

Heart Ramsey, Change It to My Heart (Prayer Closet Music) (2008)

George Duke, Deja Vu (Heads Up) (2010)

Larry Carlton & Tak Matsumoto, Take Your Pick (335 Records/Vermillion Records) (2010)

Tim Bowman, The Collection (Trippin' 'N' Rhythm) (2010)

P E T E R * B O E H I

Oli Silk - All We Need (2010)
This is one of the best smooth jazz albums of recent times, done by UK keyboardist Oli Silk. It is funky, groovy, mellow, sweet and boasts great playing by all involved. Thumbs up!

Walter Beasley - Backatcha! (2010)
Excellent album by saxophonist Walter Beasley doing what he does best in impeccable style, featuring great melodies and top-notch playing. Catchy stuff!

Tom Browne - S'Up (2010)
Welcome return by this great trumpet player with a groovy album featuring Fred Wesley and others. In large parts funky and raw, it is just what the doctor ordered!

Banda Black Rio - Movimento (2002)
I just have rediscovered this gem from Brazilian jazz-funksters Banda Black Rio. They sound like a mix of EWF and Tim Maia, with lots of horns and jazzy solos. A classic!

Billy Cobham - A Funky Thide Of Sings (1975)
My nod to the past goes to this classic album by drummer extraordinaire Billy Cobham which was one of the defining albums on my jazz journey as a listener. It stood the test of time and still grooves like hell. Powerful stuff!

D E N I S * P O O L E

‘Jump Start’ from Nils from his current CD What The Funk?. This is first single to be serviced to radio and, at the time of writing, is already making a major impact on the chart of most played on the smooth jazz airwaves. The fact it features live strings from Dov & The Lovestar Strings only adds to the magic but other notable contributions come from bass player Reggie McBride and the excellent Oliver Brown on percussion.

‘Make Me Smile’ by Chieli Minucci & Special EFX from the album Without You. This breathtaking transformation of the 1992 Special EFX tune ‘You Make Me Blue’ is quite something. The original version was recorded during the period when Special EFX was first experimenting with the smooth jazz format and this sumptuous adaptation benefits from the superb violin of Alan Grubner.

‘Love TKO’ by Fourplay from the brand new Let’s Touch The Sky. This stunning rendition of the Teddy Pendergrass blockbuster is given new meaning by former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard who became known to Nathan East (and Fourplay as a whole) after appearing with him at an event in Washington DC. Without doubt this is the best cover of the year so far and arguably of any other besides.

‘Our Love’ by Brian Simpson from his highly acclaimed new release South Beach. A metaphor for everything great smooth jazz should be, this mellifluous masterpiece finds Yarone Levy in tremendous form on guitar while Steve Alaniz contributes some stunningly soulful sax.

‘Expansions’ by the interestingly named fo/mo/deep from the band’s latest project Eclecticism. Delivered in both vocal and instrumental form, this brilliant take on the Lonnie Liston Smith classic is a tune that evokes the great days of jazz fusion and then some.

Posted by Peter Böhi at November 6, 2010 9:33 PM