P E T E R * B O E H I
Slim Man - Live (2012)
This great live CD by Slim Man (aka Tim Camponeschi) with his long time band members delivers some great live performances, some of them featuring guitarist Marc Antoine, and it is a winner combining jazz, soul and pop to an irresistible mix of music, graced by the smooth vocals of the leader. The release of this CD was successfully funded via Kickstarter (with a little help from yours truly). Thumbs up!
The Rippingtons feat. Russ Freeman - Built To Last (2012)
More magic by Russ Freeman on guitar with his Ripps, in parts supported by an orchestra, delivering their trademark sound featuring great compositions and playing, you can't go wrong by getting their music. Classic stuff!
Gerald Albright & Norman Brown - 24/7 (2012)
Saxophonist Gerald Albright hasn't sounded so fresh in a long time like on this collaboration album with guitarist Norman Brown, this is a perfect slice of smooth jazz with catchy compositions and superior playing by all involved. Simply excellent!
Bruce Riley - Smooth Jazz and Smooth Jazz 2 (2012)
Despite the generic titles, these are very worthwhile CDs featuring groovy, accessible instrumental music with top-notch playing, there is no background info on the artist on CDBaby, but nevertheless, the stuff is good! Take it from me!
Greg Errico - Giants (1978)
My nod to the past goes to this LP by drummer Greg Errico, this album features Carlos Santana on guitar, Lee Oskar on harmonica and Herbie Hancock on keys, it delivers some funky instrumentals and grooving latin tracks, my favorite is "Kilimanjaro" and "Fried Neckbones And Home Fries". Track it down!
D E N I S * P O O L E
�Just Give Me A Minute� by sax-man Shilts, from his latest album All Grown Up. As Shilts moves further from his Down To The Bone phase he is now delivering cutting edge contemporary jazz that is always compelling and never too smooth. A case in point is �Just Give Me A Minute� which with a down and dirty beat is entirely to die for.
�Its Real� by trumpet and flugelhorn player Gabriel Mark Hasselbach from his new CD Kissed By The Sun. This rhythmic, mid-tempo number features Rob Tardik on guitar and is a real personal favorite.
�Yes You Have� by Sean O�Bryan Smith from the album Reflection. This thoughtful number from one of the best bass players in the business includes soul-tinged vocals from Gary Brown. With a free flowing melody that you will want to return to often it is one reason among many why you should check out this interesting collection.
�Electric� by the incredible Jonathan Fritz�n from his brand new project Magical. With Fritz�n�s talents as a composer, producer and performer all brilliantly on display this is proving to be one of the albums of the entire year. Although crammed with standout tunes there is nothing to surpass the rhythmic splendor of the superb �Electric�. Without doubt a contemporary jazz classic in the making, this is a track that is certain to make it into my top twenty of 2012.
�Star Of The Story� by Rahni Song from his current CD Breakin� The Rules. Seems like producer, arranger, songwriter and recording engineer Rahni Song, has been drip-feeding an appreciative audience with a sequence of singles from this fine album. First came the fabulous �91 North� which is already inked in as one of my tracks of the year while other gems include a wonderful cover version of the Roberta Flack � Donny Hathaway classic �The Closer I Get To You� and �Barry�s Medley� that Song uses as his own evocative tribute to the great Barry White. Now comes the sumptuous �Star Of The Story� that includes luscious vocals from Berklee School Of Music graduate Chantel Hampton. This smooth and soulful cut is a real winner.
J E F F * D A N I E L S
Mike Stern, All Over the Place (Heads Up) (2012)
David Benoit, Conversation (Heads Up) (2012)
Shilts, All Grown Up (Blanket Records) (2012)
Yonrico Scott, Be in My World (Blue Canoe) (2012)