D E N I S * P O O L E
‘One Night In Paris’ by Dave McMurray from his excellent CD I Know About Love. This mellifluous track, embellished by the vocals of TIYI Adjovi and superb flute from McMurray, is right up there with the albums best.
‘Just To Fall In Love’ by Najee from his latest release The Smooth Side Of Soul. Here Najee’s playing on flute is wonderful and is complemented in no small measure by the outstanding vocals of Phil Perry.
‘Saxdance’ by Reinhold Schwartzwald from his recently re-released collection Sunset. Produced by the legendary Patrice Rushen, this gorgeous tune opens with a rhythm reminiscent of what Quincy Jones used to routinely do for Michael Jackson, and develops into a wonderfully commercial smooth jazz tune, that is sure to do well.
‘Venice Street Fair’ by Brian Auger from his highly acclaimed new album Language Of The Heart. Motivated by the Annual Street fair in Venice Beach, CA, where Brian now resides, this deceptively easy grooving number is added to in no small measure by a guitar solo from Jeffrey ‘Skunk’ Baxter that is right on the money.
‘91 North’, by Rahni Song, from the CD Breakin’ The Rules. Rahni Song (aka Rahni P. Harris, Jr.) really has a lot going on. Active as a producer, composer, arranger, songwriter, recording engineer and educator, his resume includes extensive work with legendary funksters Bootsy Collins and George Clinton. His new CD, Breakin’ The Rules, is fine example of the urban direction in which contemporary jazz is currently flowing and contains a number of what can accurately be described as truly outstanding tracks. Amongst these is the first tune to be selected for radio, the sumptuously turned down ‘91 North’. It finds Rahni (who is immaculate on keys) in the substantial company of sax-man Marion Meadows.
J E F F * D A N I E L S
Bob James & Keiko Matsui, Altair & Vega (Ent. One Music) (2011)
Roy Ayers & Wayne Henderson, Step Into Our Life / Prime Time (Cherry Red UK) (2011)
Billy Cobham, Live in Leverkusen (Bhm/ZYX) (2011)
Haakon Graf, License To Chill (Nordic Records) (2010)
P E T E R * B O E H I
Noel Elmowy - Feelin' Good (2003)
This is a standout album that is dear to my heart, featuring Australian piano player Noel Elmowy with an all star cast, among them Gerald Albright. Fresh, upbeat, catchy instrumentals of the highest order. Outstanding!
Michael Ghegan - Michael Ghegan (2003)
This is a beautiful sax led smooth jazz album by Michael Ghegan - who toured with Keiko Matsui - that stood the test of time. Slick production, cool grooves, soulful playing and great songs. Very recommended!
Will Downing - Yesterday (2012)
This is one of the smoothest, velvetiest and most soulful slices of music you will encounter these days by master singer Will Downing, this 4 track EP is part of a trilogy. Pure soul bliss!
Mario Biondi & Duke Orchestra - I Love You More (2007)
Mario Biondi - Yes You (2010)
Those are two great live 2CDs sets by Italian singer Mario Biondi, both are with full orchestra covering jazz and soul, his great taste is reflected in his choice of covers - among them Bill Withers' "I'm Her Daddy" and Gil Scott-Heron's "Winter In America". Both albums are an uplifting celebration of music.
Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson - Live & More (1980)
Call me a helpless nostalgic, but they don't make music like this anymore, please give me a time machine to transport me back to "Love In Every Season/I Believe In You" right in the middle of the screaming audience. A classic!