What We're Listening To ** July 2013

R O N A L D * J A C K S O N

Urban Jazz Coalition, One Step Closer, Continuum Music Group

Walle Larsson, One Step Closer, Dockside Records

Keiko Matsui, Soul Quest, Shanachie Records

Jeff Lorber Fusion, Hacienda, Heads Up/Concord Music

Patrick Yandall, Soul Grind, Innervision Records

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

Drum Project feat. ChiomaLove Will Conquer All (AlexChri AC Production) (2013)

Keiko MatsuiSoul Quest (Shanachie) (2013)

OrganissimoWaiting For The Boogaloo Sisters (Big O Records) (2003)

David DysonUnleashed (Lohandfunk) (2008)

Keyan Williams & T.U.S.P.The Art Of Living (Keyan Williams & T.U.S.P) (2006)

Rocco VentrellaSweet Temptation (Innervision Records) (2012)

P E T E R * B O E H I

Keiko Matsui - Soul Quest (2013)
Celebrating her 25th year of recording in the US, japanese keyboard player Keiko Matsui releases another masterpiece with Soul Quest, featuring more of her trademark playing, she is supported by a cast of stellar players like Chuck Loeb, Kirk Whalum, Narada Michael Walden, Marcus Miller and others. Quality stuff from beginning to end!

Althea René - In The Flow (2013)
Althea René is one of my favorite flute players, she has this 70ies/funky Blue Note/Bobbi Humphrey groove down like no other, and this new release is a joy to listen to. Her sound on the flute is warm and full, and the grooves and moods are just right, top-notch music I cannot stop listening to. Thumbs up!

Kim Scott - Rite Of Passage (2013)
Another great flute player is Kim Scott, she released her second CD Rite Of Passage and it is a winner. Mellow flute, catchy melodies and tasteful production yield another great album. Don't miss it!

Jeanette Harris - Summer Rain (2013)
I have been following the career of this saxophonist for a while, Jeanette Harris belongs to the few women on the sax that really deliver and can compete with the best in the business. This new CD is no exception, cool and groovy smooth jazz instrumentals make a mighty fine release. Recommended!

Himiko Kikuchi - Reverse It (1984), Woman (1983), Don't Be Stupid (1980), All Right (1981)
Sticking with the "female musicians" theme, my nod to the past goes to one of my favorite japanese keyboards players, Himiko Kikuchi. I found four of her 80ies releases on CD on eBay, and all are brilliant. Melodic funky fusion with lots of great solos by all involved, music that stood the test of time!

D E N I S * P O O L E

'Hot Keys' by keyboard player Mark Adams from his latest CD, 'Conversations'.  He has worked and performed with the likes of Ronnie Laws, Erika Badu, Maysa and Jocelyn Brown while as a solo artist Adams already has the albums 'Asceticism', 'Feel The Groove' and 'Something's Going On' to his name.  'Hot Keys', it has the sort of soul jazz groove that the genre is currently crying out for and comes highly recommended.

'Easy Street' by the always excellent Paul Hardcastle from his latest release 'Hardcastle VII'.  Some say that the music of Paul Hardcastle is predictable but when it comes as good as this I, for one, cant get enough of it.  Chilled out music for what is turning out to be a red hot summer

'Nothing But You' by Maysa from her excellent new CD 'Blue Velvet Soul'.  Not only is this a song capable of energizing even the most tired of dancing feet, it is also rapidly evolving into a firm personal favourite.

'Maker Of Love' by Boney James from his current release 'The Beat'.  Built around a mash-up of Latin and R&B music, this is an album that, for me, has not delivered the sort of 'complete' collection that Boney's long-time followers are accustomed to.  However, one thing for certain is that no-one does urban contemporary jazz the way Boney does urban contemporary jazz and a case in point is 'Maker Of Love' that is not only the best track the 'The Beat' has to offer but also one of the best of the entire year.

'Crazy' by guitarist Rick McGuire from his new extended player 'Required Jazz'.  It is his fifth release, contains 3 songs and is his first excursion into the world of instrumental smooth jazz.  'Crazy' is the project's first single and as well as having that distinct funky Minneapolis sound is also a fine recommendation for a recording on which McGuire plays lead and rhythm guitars plus bass and drums.