April 10, 2011

What We're Listening To ** March 2011

P E T E R * B O E H I

Matt Marshak - Urban Folktales (2011)
Guitarist Matt Marshak delivers some great funky smooth jazz with his trademark guitar playing and some really catchy compositions on his latest release. Indie smooth jazz doesn't get much better than this. A force to be reckoned with!

Alex Bugnon - Going Home (2010)
Glad to see keyboardist Alex Bugnon resurface with a new release featuring some great cats (like Poogie Bell, Victor Bailey, Vincent Henry, Keith Robinson and others) on this album that features some more of his classic work on the keys. Doing what he does best!

Udi Levy - Ahava (2011)
Guitarist Udi Levy is currently located in NYC, his debut release is a mighty fine piece of smooth jazz with some Wes-inclined guitar playing. Laid back and still groovy, this one will have your head bop. Thumbs up!

Player A - On The Side (2011)
This group consists of some of Nashville's best session players, they set out to deliver a top-notch smooth jazz album full of catchy compositions and nice grooves. Delivered ready for radio (at least for those still operating)!

Sonny Fortune - Serengeti Minstrel (1977), Infinity Is (1978) and With Sound Reason (1979)
My nod to the past goes to saxophonist Sonny Fortune. Thanks to the Wounded Bird Label, the back catalog of this saxophonist from the 70ies has been released for the first time on CD and provides some great listening enjoyment, if you dare to immerse yourself into some more demanding stuff. But don't worry, the groove is right!


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

Dave Grusin, An Evening With Dave Grusin (Concord)
While this is a release that may appeal more to the appetites of traditionalists, contemporary jazz fans will find something to enjoy about it, as well. The accomplished pianist/composer/producer is in concert with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra and features such quality guests as Patti Austin, Jon Secada, Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres, and others.

Leila, Soul Ascension (Power of One Music)
A young Spaniard born in Argentina, Leila continues to demonstrate her grasp and command of American contemporary music. Her latest release is bound to enjoy success with her impressive vocals and mix of R&B, smooth jazz, Latin, world, and other genres. Saxman Eric Darius joins her on one track, “Sexy Saxophone.” A true double-CD treat.

Drew Davidsen, Spin Cycle (Creative Soul Jazz)
Guitarist Davidsen continues his tradition of providing smooth, melody-rich compositions.

Groove Skool Band, Limited Edition (independent)
Cool and smooth, with a distinctive funky edge where it’s called for, this Washington, DC-based band lives up to its self-description of providing the “smooth sound of hybrid jazz,” that mix of R&B, Latin, and contemporary jazz that has become so universally accepted now.

Tony Adamo, What is Hip (independent)
Joined on a few tracks with members of Tower of Power, Adamo continues his bluesy/jazzy style with tight originals and great interpretations on covers. The rhythm is snappy, bright, and full of character that Adamo always brings to every studio visit.


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

David Wells, Midnight Cruise (Independent) (2010)

Onaje Allan Gumbs, Just Like Yesterday (Pony Canyon) (2010)

Mike Ledonne, The Groover (Savant) (2010)

Jeffery Smith, Pleasure of Love (CDBY Records) (2008)

Ted Shumate, Mediterranean Midnight (Tribal Records) (2011)

Posted by Peter Böhi at April 10, 2011 6:01 PM