D E N I S * P O O L E
'Close Your Eyes' by Theresa Grayson from the CD Live2Love. With mellow cuts such as this, Grayson might just be positioning herself to capture the market in the contemporary jazz version of quiet storm.
'C'est le Funk' by niVO DEUX. This teaming of guitar player Emmanuel 'U-Nam' Abiteboul with sax player and vocalist Shannon Kennedy has already made a mark with the big and bold 'Love's No Distance'. Now they are back with the even more supercharged 'C'est le Funk'.
'Sabata' by bass player Roberto Vally from his solo CD Boom Boom Boom. Whenever chill merges with contemporary jazz the result is invariably spectacular and this is certainly the case with the sensational 'Sabata'. With a chill vibe and delicious accordion from Enrique Martinez this one is very special indeed.
'Poolside' by sax-man Andrew Neu from his latest release Everything Happens For A Reason. With an infectious smooth jazz hook, guitar from Steve Oliver and the most velvety horn section you will hear anywhere, this is a track that really hits the spot.
'Different Sun' by Scott Allman, from his latest album Next Stop Home. This is a collection that demonstrates the delightful light and shade of Allman's musical personality while the track in question features the ubiquitous Darren Rahn whose playing perfectly complements Scott's splendidly rippling keys.
J E F F * D A N I E L S
Hiroko Kokubu, Bridge (Jvc / Xrcd) (1998)
Issei Noro Inspirits, Moments (AVEX) (2009)
Andre Berry, Off The Beat 'n' Path (Lbg Records) (2010)
Kirk Whalum, Romance Language (Rendezvous) (2012)
P E T E R * B O E H I
Marqueal Jordan - Catalyst (2013)
Saxophonist Marquel Jordan has been playing with Brian Culbertson for years, with the change of the lineup, he was dismissed and now has to stand on his own. This is his first significant solo release, and it is a winner. He is a serious player and the songs have a lot of depth, still they are accessible and groovy. Guest players include Chris "Big Dog" Davis, Frank McComb and Brian Culbertson, he does a great cover of Grover's "Maracas Beach" and a beautiful vocal with "Between The Sheets" featuring his soulful voice. This is the release that impressed me the most in the past few weeks and I look forward to hear more from this rising star. Thumbs up!
Aston Grey Project - Chill Lounge (2013)
Led by pianist Aston Grey, this band delivers a broad range of classy music, the gamut runs from acoustic jazz to smooth jazz to latin to lounge, featuring in addition to the piano of the leader sax, trumpet, guitar and the occasional vocal track. This is a beauty of a record, very recommended!
Darryl Evan Jones - Relentless (2013)
Flautist Darryl Evan Jones released his latest album with the financial help of his fans, and the result is another smashing album featuring some more clean flute playing. Most songs are uptempo and groovy, some feature a rock guitar to propel the groove. Vocalists Mocha Brow, Maritri and Andrae Alexander take care of the vocal tracks. My favorite tracks are the funky "Breathe" and "Hang In There" which both flow nicely. Good work!
The Jazzinvaders feat Dr. Lonnie Smith - That's What You Say! (2013)
This is a great jazz-funk album with lots of burning organ provided by living legend Dr. Lonnie Smith on the hammond B3. The band is on fire, and the horn driven songs groove along in a mighty fashion. This is a jolly good record!
Frank McComb - Live In Johannesburg (2013)
Keyboardist/singer Frank McComb recorded this live album in South Africa backed by an outstanding band, and it is another testimony of his artistry. He does an extended version of Donny Hathaway's "The Ghetto" that is just mind-boggling. Lots of great keys and soloing by all involved, so this is another must-have album from his catalog. Watch out for his Live@The Bitter End/Remembering Donny release due out soon.