April 30, 2007

What We're Listening To * April

B E V E R L Y * P A C K A R D

Jean Luc Ponty, Ponty Plays Zappa: King Kong

T Square, Wordless Anthology I

T Square, Wordless Anthology II

Brian Tarquin, Last Kiss Goodbye

Harry Hmura, Passion

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

Ronny Smith, Simply Stated (K&A)

Keiko Matsui, Moyo (Shout Factory)

Carmen Cuesta-Loeb, You Still Don't Know Me (Skip)

Terje Lie, Traveler (TCat)

The Bad Plus, Prog (Do the Math/Heads Up)

P E T E R * B O E H I

Allistair Elliott - Urban Nights (2007)
Great smooth jazz album by Canadian trumpet player Allistair Elliot featuring first rate playing, original material and some well selected covers. Thumbs up!

Drew Davidsen - This Journey... (2007)
Hip guitar playing over contemporary grooves full of catchy melodies, very nicely done, several songs have been added to the playlist of SmoothVibes radio. Check it out!

Blue Latitude - El Encanto (2007)
Beautiful batch of music with a latin twist, featuring top notch playing throughout and a great cover of the Crusader's "Soul Shadows". Not to be missed!

Bobby Blackston Band - Elevations (2007)
Warm, funky and mellow smooth jazz album full of great tracks. It is one of those gems to be found on your endless searches at CDBaby.com. Take it from me!

Jeff Lorber Fusion - Soft Space (1978)
A seminal album of the contemporary jazz scene dating back to 1978, only available on LP, featuring Joe Farrell and Chick Corea. This great album already shows the Jeff Lorber trademark playing and has aged very well. Take this trip down memory lane and be delighted!

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

Duncan Millar, Good To Go (Instinct Records) 2001

Mitchel Forman, Chuck Loeb, Wolfgang Haffner, and Jerry Brooks, Metro Live at the A-Trane (Marsis Jazz) 2004

Harry Hmura, Face to the Sun (Stormcloud Records) 2006

John Tropea, Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blues (Video Arts Music) 2005

Nils, Ready To Play (Baja Records) 2007

D E N I S * P O O L E

'Closer' by Four80East from their brand new CD En Route. With an aura all its own, mellow haunting guitar and sexy wordless vocals, this is where chill meets seduction to terrific effect.

'Strawberry Letter 23' by David Wells from the CD More Love More Power. A cover of this seminal tune is well overdue and the major radio impact it is currently enjoying owes much to Wells soulful and passionate approach.

'Springtime Breeze' by Jeffery B Suttles from the CD Time To Suttle Down. Suttles and Rafael Padilla generating some massively urgent percussion and an outstanding Rhodes solo from Patrice Rushen are just two of the reasons why this one is almost indescribably good.

'That's How Heartaches Are Made' by Deniece Williams from her album Love Niecy Style. A hit for Baby Washington in 1963 this is a marvelous example of uncomplicated yet emotional soul that here is afforded a whole new dimension by the harmonica playing of Stevie Wonder.

'Nothing That I Do' by Dee Lucas from his hot new album Something To Ride 2. Fashioned around a cool vocal from Terri Carroll and built on a sultry vibe that is straight from the street this is where urban jazz meets quiet storm to sensational effect.

J O N A T H A N * W I D R A N

Jeff Golub, Grand Central (Narada Jazz)

Jeff Lorber, He Had A Hat (Blue Note)

Four80East, En Route (Native Language)

Chuck Loeb, The Love Song Collection (Shanachie)

Jackiem Joyner, Babysoul (ARTizen)

Posted by Beverly J. Packard at 1:07 AM

April 27, 2007

New Grover Washington Jr. Live CD To Be Released

A new CD by the late saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., capturing a live performance in 1994 at the famed Monterey Jazz Festival, will be the first release by a new record label created in conjunction with the festival’s 50th anniversary in September.

The never-before-heard release – Washington’s one and only performance at the festival, held five years before his death at age 56 from a heart attack – will be offered by Monterey Jazz Festival Records in partnership with the Concord Music Group. Washington’s CD, which is untitled at this point, will be released on July 31, along with other never-been-heard live recordings from Monterey by Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Shirley Horn.

You can expect more releases, as the festival has more than 1,600 tapes with more than 2,000 hours of concerts in its archives. In fact, the next round of recordings is expected to offered in September.

The band features Washington on tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones; music director Bill Jolly on keyboards and vocals; Donald Robinson on keys; Richard Lee Steacker on guitar; Lanar Brantley on bass; Steven Wolf on drums; and Pablo Batista on congas and percussion.

Track Listing

Black Frost - 8:19
Gramercy Park - 5:58
Brand New Age - 5:58
When I Fall in Love 6:54
Please Send Me Someone to Love 5:00
Take Five (Take Another Five) - 10:50
Winelight - 1:23
Inner City Blues - :46
Jammin’ - :59
Ain’t No Sunshine - 1:07
East River Drive - 2:03
Inside Moves - 1:11
Lock It in the Pocket - 1:00
Just the Two of Us - 1:53
Sausalito - 4:58

Posted by Brian Soergel at 3:46 AM

April 22, 2007

Mindi Abair Taking Over Chris Botti Chill Show

After hosting the nationally syndicated radio show Chill With Chris Botti Abair_Outside.jpg since September of 2004, trumpeter Chris Botti has decided to hand over hosting duties to saxophonist Mindi Abair. Mindi, who says she excited about her new job as she loves chill music and has always aspired to get into radio, will officially take over the first week of May.

Abair and Botti have already co-hosted a few shows together this month that were recorded from Botti’s room at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Chill music, which developed on the beaches in Café del Mar on the Spanish island of Ibiza, draws its roots from smooth jazz, dance, electronica, pop, new age, trance and techno music. Today, the music is best-known through artists such as Praful Zero 7, Adani & Wolf, Tosca and Moby.

The new "Chill With Mindi Abair" radio show is a product of Rendezvous Entertainment, Broadcast Architecture and Crystal Media, the same group that syndicates The Dave Koz Radio Show.

Posted by Brian Soergel at 6:50 AM

April 16, 2007

Will Downing Diagnosed With Debilitating Muscle Disorder

Vocalist Will Downing has cancelled touring for the immediate future after being diagnosed with a disorder called polymyositis, a debilitating chronic inflammatory disease of the muscles that can possibly lead to the point where those afflicted are no longer walk or move their bodies. Its cause is unknown. Downing, 46, has been hospitalized since January.

Although polymyositis can occur at any age, it mostly affects adults in their 40s and 50s. It is more common in blacks than in whites, and women are diagnosed more often than men. According to the Mayo Clinic, periods of remission, during which signs and symptoms improve spontaneously, rarely occur in polymyositis. However, treatment can improve muscle strength and function.

Downing says that he first came down with symptoms over the holidays when he felt extremely tired and sick. He adds that his fear of doctors kept him from discovering what his affliction was. However, the singer says he is now in rehabilitation and working to get himself back in shape. He’s moving slowly, but he’s moving nonetheless and is thankful for that and for the fact that his voice so far has not been affected.

Downing says he still plans to release a new CD this September on Peak Records, which was co-founded by Russ Freeman of the Rippingtons.

Our best wishes go out to Will and his family as he learns to live with the disease.

Posted by Brian Soergel at 4:43 PM

April 12, 2007

Don't Miss Jay Rowe's Smooth Jazz for Scholars Benefit

JayRowe.gifJay Rowe, pianist and keyboard player from Milford, Connecticut, announces the 5th Annual Benefit Concert for the Milford Public School System Music Department, to be held SATURDAY APRIL 28TH, 2007 at 8:00PM in The Parsons Complex in Milford, Connecticut. Located at 70 West River Street in Milford, doors will open at 7:00 PM. General admission is $40.00. For tickets and information, call (203) 874-4150 or see below.

A host of talented and familiar artists comprise the line-up for this benefit, including Ken Navarro, Marion Meadows, Chieli Minucci, Nelson Rangell, and F.U.Jazzboy featuring Rohn Lawrence, Jay Rowe, Dave Livolsi, Timmy Maia, and Trever Somerville.

Having attended this benefit twice, I can say this is a great night of music and fun for a worthy cause, and Rowe is the one who pulls it all together. He's an extremely happy player, often searching the faces of those in the audience to make sure they're having as much fun as he is. His smiles and excitement are contagious!

Many fans are familiar with Jay Rowe as an accomplished sideman. He's performed with artists such as Heads Up recording artist Marion Meadows, Angela Bofill, Private Music recording artist Phil Perry, Schanachie recording artist Chieli Minucci and Special EFX, Positive Music recording artist Ken Navarro and Atlantic recording artist Wayman Tisdale. He has also composed music for GRP/Schanachie recording artist Nelson Rangell, Marion Meadows, and Peak recording artist Dotsero. He has performed at Jazz Festivals around the continent including Newport Beach, Catalina Island Jazztrax Festival, the Greater Hartford Connecticut Jazz Festival, and the Berks Jazz Festival. Jay has performed with the Sax Pack tour group with Jeff Kashiwa and Kim Waters.

For more than 10 years, Rowe has performed as a solo pianist (with four CDs of his own). He also performs with his own group "The Jay Rowe Band". He has performed as the opening act for David Benoit, the Rippingtons, Bela Fleck and the Fleck Tones, Stanley Jordan, Jeff Lorber, and Candy Dulfer. Rowe's CDs include A Dream I Had, Jay Walking, Laugh Out Loud, and his latest which came out last year, Red, Hot and Smooth.. All his CDs are good, and in particular, his Red, Hot and Smooth is just that -- red, hot and smooth! I would definitely recommend that you add this CD to your collection.

Additional Ticket Information:
Online Orders: Mastercard or Visa.

Send checks or money orders (payable to Jay Rowe) to:
Attn: Jay Rowe
P.O. Box 3723
Milford, CT 06460

Ticket may also be purchased at these locations:

Cafe Atlantique Arciuolo's Shoe Store
33 River Street 74 Broad Street
Milford, CT 06460 Milford, CT 06460
(203) 882-1602 (203) 877-7463

The Canvas Patch Milford Fine Arts Center
5 River Street 40 Railroad Avenue
Milford, CT 06460 (at Milford Train Station)
(203) 878-7505 Milford, CT 06460
(203) 878-6647
Wednesday - Friday 10am-1pm

All others can be purchased at the door. Hope to see you there!!

For more information about Jay Rowe, please visit www.jayrowemusic.com

Happy Jazzin'

Beverly J. Packard
Jazz Circle Member of the Berks Arts Council
Reading, Pennsylvania

Posted by Beverly J. Packard at 5:01 AM

April 11, 2007

Chris Botti Going Italian For New CD

Chris Botti's upcoming CD will have an Italian theme. Botti has been in a London studio recording with an orchestra on 18 songs, although not at of them are scheduled to be included on the still-untitled project, scheduled to be released this fall. A few of the tunes being worked on include "The Mission," "Caruso," "Nessun Dorma" and "Don't Give Up,” the latter originally written and recorded by Peter Gabriel.

“The Mission” was written by famed composer Ennio Morricone for the 1986 motion picture starring Robert DeNiro. “Caruso,” written by Lucio Dalla 21 years ago to honor the famed Italian opera singer, has been recorded by many, including trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, guitarist and vocalist Oscar Castro-Neves and vocalist Josh Groban. And "Nessun Dorma” is an aria from the final act of Puccini’s opera titled Turandot and has been recorded by pianist Ramsey Lewis, vocalist Sarah Brightman and several others.

Posted by Brian Soergel at 2:53 AM

April 9, 2007

Jeffery B Suttles - Time To Suttledown

Welcome to the latest issue of Denis Poole’s Secret Garden, the page that offers a British perspective on all that’s good, and not so good, in the world of smooth jazz and classic soul. The explosive style of drummer Jeffery B. Suttles has been the soulful energizer for artists as diverse as Donny Osmond, En Vogue, Chante Moore, Sheena Easton and, most notably, Taylor Dayne. He appeared in the film Coming to America and has worked with everybody from Quincy Jones to Teena Marie. His debut CD, Time to SuttleDown featuring the all-star lineup of Patrice Rushen, Ronnie Garrett, Eddie Miller, Alex Al, Larry Kimpel and Andre Delano was released in 2006 but, inexplicably, slipped through the Secret Garden net. However this wonderful collection that includes nine of Suttles original compositions plus one excellent cover deserves some belated attention. It’s quite simply one of the best contemporary jazz CD’s of recent times.

The opening cut, the sensational horn driven ‘A Run In The Park’, has an infectious melody and leaves no doubt that Suttles knows his smooth jazz. In fact Suttles repeatedly proves this throughout. The mellow ‘Ride Above The Clouds’ is wonderfully constructed around the synthesizer and keys of Monty Seward while ‘From The Other Side Of The Canyon’ is a slice of ‘in the pocket’ mid tempo contemporary jazz that features cool sax from Alexander. The albums only cover, the Taylor Dayne hit ‘I’ll Always Love You’ is replete with the rhythm and melody that categorizes the best in smooth jazz and another fine example of the genre comes courtesy of ‘The Sunrise’. This time its Bill Steinway on keys that grabs the attention and his contribution is also significant on one of the albums standout tracks, the seductive ‘Sweet Pleasures’. Moody in the extreme and anchored by Alex Al on bass it has haunting flute from Donald Hayes at its centre, an outstanding solo from Steinway and some serious percussion from Rafael Padilla.

Andre Delano steps up on sax for the rhythmic ‘In A Short Time’ and, injecting a smoky vibe that is reminiscent of Tom Scott, also features on ‘The Cheetah’. This is a track that shows off Suttles funkier side yet whatever the mood ‘Time to SuttleDown’ is all about the rhythm. The title cut is a case in point where, driven relentlessly on by the guitars of Wali Ali and Torrie Ruffin and held down by Suttles on drums, the tune is liberated first by an incredible vibe solo from Ndugu Chancler then by the sultry jazz piano of Patrice Rushen. It’s another of the albums many standouts but even better is ‘Springtime Breeze’. With Suttles and Padilla again generating some massively urgent percussion and an outstanding Rhodes solo from Rushen the result is almost indescribably good.

Time to SuttleDown is a must for any lover of the contemporary jazz scene. With every track Suttles makes a great statement on the drums and shows that as well as being one of the best sidemen around he can shine just as brightly as a leader, arranger and composer.

Do you have any comments on what you have found in this edition of the Secret Garden? If so please contact the Smooth Jazz Vibes Guest Book or e-mail me on DenisPoole2000@Yahoo.com.

Posted by Denis Poole at 4:25 PM

April 7, 2007

City Of LIghts Jazz And R & B Festival

Friday April 20th, and Saturday, April 21st The City Of Lights Jazz And R & B Festival will hosts its Fifteenth Annual outing at Hills Park At Summerlin in Las Vegas. Some of the acts on Friday will be The BarKays, and George Duke. Saturday will feature Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, and Peter White, and many more.

Brian Culbertson rolls into town and will perform one night only in the Chrome Showroom at the Santa Fe Hotel on Friday the 13th.

Two names who have emerged from three decades of great hits, and have always been format crossover favorites are Isaac Hayes, who will be at Texas Station Hotel on Arpil 28th, and The Alan Parsons Project, at Boulder Station Hotel on the same night.

Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns are still tearing it up on Monday nights at the Palms Hotel. Their live recording sounds like a chapter out of the Tower Of Power songbook.

Rocky Gordon's new CD is slated for release toward the end of this month, which features three songs produced by Tom Schuman of Spyro Gyra. Speaking of Tom, he was the guest artist on Monday night, April 2nd, with Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns, and ripped through some great solos while performing with the band.

The Jazz Masters photo, which included many jazz musicians of high stature, was taken on the campus of UNLV on Saturday, March 31st. Featured musicians were legendary names like Gerald Wilson, Jimmy Wilkins, Marlena Shaw, Bill Trujillo, and singer Joe Williams widow, Jill, who held a picture up of her late husband for the photo. The historic moment was reminiscent of Art Kane's famous 1958 photo of the 57 jazz musicians who gathered together on 126th Street in Harlem at 10am for that one day.

Posted by Danny Desart at 3:54 PM

April 6, 2007

Please support our own SwissGroove.ch Internet radio

LogoSwissGrooveOur Internet radio channel SmoothVibes, hosted by SwissGroove.ch, needs your support! This radio channel (which can be accessed using the buttons on the right column on the main page) provides a great mix of smooth jazz, lounge, r&b/soul, brazil, latin and classic jazz spanning a wide range of styles and periods in time. We strive for the best music experience for the open minded listener - not only selection-wise but also sound-quality-wise.

In spite of all our efforts to find sponsorship partners, we are, like last year, short of money to keep SwissGroove running troughout 2007. We therefore kindly ask for your financial support to help SwissGroove continue through this year. The goal is to collect at least 9,000 US Dollars by May 4th 2007, SwissGroove's 4th anniversary.

The money you donate will be spent on royalty fees, bandwidth & stream-server hosting. All other expenses (work, CDs, etc) are covered by the team at SwissGroove.

As our loyal and trusted listeners, we count on your support. Donate now and we'll ensure the continuous operation of SwissGroove & SmoothVibes audiochannel throughout 2007, soothing your body, mind & soul!

More information can be found at http://www.swissgroove.ch/en/services/donate.php Thank you very much!!!

Posted by Peter Böhi at 8:45 PM

April 5, 2007

Denny Jiosa Offering Free Downloads

Guitarist Denny Jiosa has released five great smooth jazz CDs, including his last in 2002 titled Body 2 Body. He has spent the past few years producing and appearing on other’s CDs, but is now working on a new one of his own. To get his fans excited about his new project, the Nashville-based musician has started an online campaign called the JiosaJazz A-List. Those who subscribe to the mailing list at jiosajazz.com will receive monthly free downloads of Jiosa's past music, special discounts to members only and pre-release availability of Jiosa's upcoming music.

The first song to be offered as a free download is one of his best: "Lights of the City," taken from his 1996 CD titled Inner Voices. The song was Jiosa’s biggest smooth jazz hit.

Posted by Brian Soergel at 3:08 AM