What We're Listening To ** February 2011

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

Steve Cole, Moonlight (Artistry Music) (2011)

Dave Koz, Hello Tomorrow (Concord Jazz) (2010)

Ed Spargo, Too Much TV (Spice Rack Records) (2011)

Karen Briggs, Soulchestral Groove (CDBY Records) (2009)

Spyro Gyra, Spyro Gyra (AMHERST RECORDS) (1998)

P E T E R * B O E H I

Jimmy Haslip & Joe Vannelli - Night Fall (2010)
Yellowjackets bassist Jimmy Haslip teams up with keyboardist Joe Vannelli on this great fusion album, technically on the highest level with great musicianship and interesting compositions, one highlight is the vocal track "Deep Waters" featuring the outstanding vocal ensemble Perri. Top-notch music!

Nate Harasim - Rush (2011)
This is a beautiful, perfectly crafted smooth jazz album by keyboardist Nate Harasim featuring a bunch of great guest players, among them Darren Rahn and Steve Oliver, full of catchy melodies and groovy playing. Thumbs up!

Planet Zu - In The Light Of Day (2010)
This band is fronted by guitarist Dan Baraszu, funky grooves, fat hammond organ and catchy tracks keep your head bopping. Nice version of Santana's "Black Magic Woman". Good stuff!

Ed Spargo - Too Much TV (2011)
This excellent release by bassist Ed Spargo caught me by surprise, this one oozes quality from beginning to end and is one of the best releases of recent times. Cool grooves, keys, horns, always soulful. Very recommended!

Les Hooper Big Band - Look What They've Done (1974)
Les Hooper's big band project always have been funky, this early LP from 1974 delivers tight horn charts, burning solos and good compositions performed by a truly excellent big band. Definitely stood the test of time!

D E N I S * P O O L E

�Picking Up The Pieces� by Gianna from her album Something True. With a tasty �telephone� intro this is a track which fits firmly into the category of �late lounge� music. Not only that, it perfectly demonstrates why she is currently enjoying the kind of cult status unique to the British smooth soul and R & B market.

The title cut from Boney James� soon to be released CD Contact. A new album release from sax-man Boney James is always a special event. The velvety horn driven radio single is replete with Boney�s hallmark playing and is sure to do well.

�Awakening�, from Keiko Matsui�s brand new recording The Road. Much of the early buzz surrounding The Road has been all about the two tracks featuring Kirk Whalum. Both have already found a way to radio and although the lovely �Affirmation� is a convergence of Matsui�s melodic magic and Whalum�s cool sax, it is �Awakening� that stands apart as the collection�s outstanding track. As fine an example of her work as will be found anywhere this sparkling song is nothing short of incredible.

�Heaven In Your Eyes� by Elan Trotman from his forthcoming CD Love And Sax. Trotman calls upon bass player Alex Al, drummer Tony Moore and keyboard player Davy Nathan for this easy grooving number which also features a fine piano solo from the excellent Brian Simpson.

�Island Of Love�, from Damien DelRusso�s debut album, Looking Through Rain. DelRusso is a piano tuner, musician and composer who also happens to be almost blind. 2010 saw him release Looking Through Rain which contains eleven all original compositions and from which a $1.00 of each sale will be donated to The Foundation For Fighting Blindness