June 19, 2011

What We're Listening To ** May 2011

D E N I S * P O O L E

‘Just Let Go’ by Patrick Bradley from the CD Under The Sun. Boosted by the star quality of Dave Koz on sax and with sultry vocals from Irene B, this is a song that shows off the more chilled out side of Bradley’s musical persona.

‘Stargazing’ by Bryant Thompson from his brand new album Puzzle Pieces; Smoothly guided by Ron James on alto sax; this melodic gem checks most every smooth jazz box imaginable.

‘Urban Funk’ by Yancyy from his ultra hot CD Sax Chronicles Volume 1. This streetwise cut may well have had the expression ‘urban jazz doesn’t get better than this’ written specifically for it.

‘Rainforest/What's Going On’ by Paul Hardcastle from the much awaited Hardcastle 6. Undoubtedly the best track of 2011 so far, this wonderful blending of his own 1984 blockbuster with what is arguably the late Marvin Gaye’s greatest song proves to be a triumph of Paul Hardcastle’s production genius. Not only that, with snippets and flavours from Hardcastle’s biggest hit, ‘19’, sax from Rock Hendricks and vocals provided by Maxine Hardcastle, this one is out of this world.

‘Music Is The Key’ by Down To The Bone from the band’s debut on Trippin N Rhythm, The Main Ingredients. This is a track that puts DTTB right back to their ‘Manhattan To Staten’ best. In fact this edgy cut says everything about what this legendary collective is all about.


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

Cindy Bradley, Unscripted, (Trippin N Rhyythm Records)

Boney James, Contact, (Verve)

Cole Jacobs, Atomic Escalator, (Independent)

Paul Taylor, Prime Time, (Entertainment One)

Patrick Bradley, Under the Sun, (Independent)


P E T E R * B O E H I

Spring Island - Get Movin'! (2010)
Excellent band from Budapest, Hungary playing picture perfect smooth jazz, special guest is vibes player Dave Samuels. Strong material, top-drawer musicianship and the right spirit make this a superior release. Don't miss it!

Kiku Collins - Red Light (2011)
Female trumpet player Kiku Collins comes up with a great new laid-back release full of top-notch horn playing, complete band and great material ranging from funky to latin to smooth. Her tone is full and well controlled, this lady can play! Very recommended.

Player A - Our Own Devices (2011)
This group consists of some of Nashville's top studio players who have set out to deliver a polished, radio friendly smooth jazz release. The playing and production are top-notch, the songs are catchy and well delivered, I only wished they would stretch out a bit more. But nevertheless, very enjoyable!

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke & Lenny White - Forever (2011)
Original Return To Forever members join together for some awesome playing, mostly straight ahead acoustic jazz which was recorded during the RTF Unplugged tour, but on the second CD, there are also some groovier fusion tunes to be found. Guests include Jean-Luc Ponty on violin, Chaka Khan on vocals and Bill Connors on guitar. World-class stuff!

The Brecker Brothers - Straphangin' (1981)
My nod to the past goes to the Brecker Brothers - Michael on sax and Randy on trumpet - who deliver some great funky fusion jazz of the highest order, players are the best of the NY scene and this album remains a classic of the genre. This album is part of the "Original Album Classics" series, you get a box set containing their first 5 CDs for a bargain price, so it's time to revisit their music!


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

Bob James & Jack Lee, Botero (Video Arts Japan/Zoom (2010)

New Foundation, Goin' Places (Comerboy Jazz / Boom Camp Records) (2011)

Euge Groove, Seven Large (Shanachie) (2011)

Eumir Deodato, Crossing (Smc Recordings) (2011)

Dr. Lonnie Smith, Rise Up! (Palmetto Records) (2009)

Posted by Peter Böhi at June 19, 2011 1:58 PM