What We're Listening To ** January 2014

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

Jeff Saxon, Blujanova (CD Baby) (2013)

Darryl Evan Jones, Relentless (CD Baby) (2013)

The Jazzinvaders featuring Dr. Lonnie Smith, That's What You Say! (Unique Germany) (2013)

Theresa Grayson, Live2Love (CD Baby) (2013)

Marqueal Jordan, Catalyst (CD Baby) (2013)

P E T E R * B O E H I

Level 10 - Vector (2014)
When I heard this band the first time, I sat up and noticed, they definitely stand out with their fresh and energetic playing, I had to get their album asap. This CD offers lots of sax-led melodic tunes with great piano solos, backed by a solid rhythm section, yielding some really uplifting results. The pure instrumental music moves between jazz-funk, latin and beyond, not unlike something Spyro Gyra would do. Solid stuff!

Dimitris Moutafis - Fretflesh (2013)
This bass player hails from Greece and delivers a great fusion album with lots of awesome bass playing, especially the fretless bass on the title tracks sounds beautifully. The groove is always there and his band is top-notch, especially keyboard and sax solos take the music to a different level. Thumbs up!

Levy's Jazz2Soul - Soultet (2013)
This saxophonist seemed to have come out of nowhere with this fresh contemporary jazz album, this CD is a joy from beginning to end with catchy melodies, groovy tempos and excellent playing by all involved. He does Grover's "Mr. Magic" justice. Very recommended!

Nighthawks - Rio Bravo (2014)
I am longtime follower of this German band featuring Dal Martino on bass and Reiner Winterschladen on trumpet, now they released their 6th studio album and it is another winner, providing more of their unique blend of chill, lounge, pop and jazz evoking images in your mind like a movie. Cool grooves!

Herbie Hancock - Flood (1975)
My nod to the past goes to keyboardist Herbie Hancock's Flood album, which was recorded live in Japan in 1975, backed by the original Headhunters band (Maupin, Jackson, Clark, Summers, McKnight). The band cooks like hell and more than once goes out into the stratosphere with Herbie pulling all the stops on his synths and keys on lengthy tracks. The album was only available in Japan as 2-LP set for years, now it has become available in the US as part of The Complete Columbia Albums Collection 1972-1988, I downloaded it from HDtracks as 24/96 high res audio file. Still mind-boggling after all these years!

D E N I S * P O O L E

'After All This Time' by Four80East from the CD Biblioteca. This 'best of' collection is a 'digital-only' offering targeted exclusively at Europe and containing ten choice cuts harvested from the band's considerable discography. The track in question can also be found on the duo's 2009 CD Roll On and just happens to be one of my all time favorite tunes.

'Let It Flow' by smooth jazz keyboard player Bobbi "Funkee Boy" Tammaro from his latest release Soul Purpose. The album features guest performances from luminaries of the genre such as Bob Baldwin, Najee, Nick Colionne and Cindy Bradley while 'Let It Flow' finds Funkee Boy in collaboration with none other than Warren Hill.

'Med Groove' by Italian keyboard player and composer Paolo Rustichelli. Despite its mid-tempo disposition this is a tune that betrays Rustichelli's penchant for blending smooth jazz with chill and electronica in the most wonderful of ways.

'Sunday Cruise' by smooth jazz flautist Althea Rene from her 2013 collection In The Flow. This sparkling cut is the latest from a CD that just keeps on giving.

'Fullerton Ave' by Brian Culbertson from his soon to be released project, Another Long Night Out. This is Culbertson's reimagining of the eleven songs he wrote and produced for his debut disc, Long Night Out in 1994 but this time around he is in the company of some of the most accomplished musicians in contemporary jazz. 'Fullerton Ave' is a case in point that not only includes backing from Paul Jackson Jr., Michael "Patches" Stewart, Eric Marienthal, Jimmy Haslip and Will Kennedy but also features Chuck Loeb on guitar.