What We're Listening To ** September 2012

D E N I S * P O O L E

�Metropolis Night� by Croatian sax-man Igor Gerzina from the CD Metropolis. In terms of contemporary jazz strongholds, this former Yugoslavian republic may not be the first to come to mind yet this is a collection that might well change all that. My own personal favorite is �Metropolis Night� which, segueing between an approach that is entirely off the chain and one somewhat more melodic, proves to be a total triumph.

�Lately� by Anita Baker from the soon to be released CD Only Forever. Baker�s distinctive tones have been lighting up the world of smooth soulful contemporary jazz since she made her debut in 1983 with The Songstress. Only Forever will be released on October 23 and if the sumptuous �Lately� is anything to go by it�s going to be something special.

�Breakthrough� by Julian Vaughn from the album of the same name. This sublime cut features Tobbi White Darks on vocals and with Darren Rahn making a fulsome contribution on sax this massively soulful song is totally to die for.

�Feels Like Heaven� by Neamen Lyles from his hot new album So Free. With a melodic swagger that checks every contemporary jazz box imaginable this track is yet another reason why Lyles (who is an experienced teacher and clinician at the Arizona Jazz Institute in Tucson, AZ) may not be back at school anytime soon.

�Master Blaster (Jammin)� by saxophonist Elan Trotman from his new release Tropicality. Co-produced by Peter White this is a collection that gives a nod to Trotman�s Barbadian roots and the Caribbean connection extends to this, the first single, which is Trotman�s juicy interpretation of the Bob Marley classic.

P E T E R * B O E H I

Matt Marshak - Colors Of Me (2012)
Guitarist Matt Marshak delivers another great slice of organically sounding, funky and groovy smooth jazz with lots of hammond b3 and horns. Catchy melodies and top-notch playing yield another winner. Thumbs up!

Euge Groove - House Of Groove (2012)
This latest release by saxophonist supreme Euge Groove is a laid-back yet still groovy affair, it is beauty and perfection rolled into one, the songs are catchy and go down like good wine. Smooth jazz bliss!

Jeff Kashiwa - Let It Ride (2012)
Saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa comes up with another solo release, it offers more of Jeff's gutsy sax playing supported by a cast of great players, it's another solid slice of smooth jazz. Good stuff!

Dean Brown - Unfinished Business (2012)
Guitar player Dean Brown takes no prisoners on his latest release, it is a funky affair running the gamut from funk to jazz and blues, featuring the adventurous guitar of the leader and an all-star cast. Just excellent!

Jim Hall & David Matthews Orchestra - Concierto De Aranjuez (1981)
My nod to the past goes to this LP from 1981, featuring guitarist Jim Hall with the David Matthews Orchestra, going through a catalog of great compositions, most notably the classic "Concierto De Aranjuez", which is a track I always love to go back to. Stood the test of time!

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

John Dukich, Down in Brazil (Ferential Studios) (2012)

Jonathan Butler, Grace and Mercy (Rendezvous Music) (2012)

U-Nam, Weekend in L.A (A Tribute to George Benson) (Skytown Record) (2012)

Jeff Kashiwa, Let It Ride (Native Language Music) (2012)

Four80East, Off Duty (Boomtang Records) (2012)