What We're Listening To ** August 2014

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

Gerald Albright, Slam Dunk (Heads Up)

Richard Elliot, Lip Service (Heads Up)

Matt Marshak, Lifestyle (Nuance Music Group)

Ciro Hurtado, Ayahuasca Dreams (independent)

Euge Groove, Got 2 Be Groovin' (Shanachie)


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

Al JarreauMy Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke (Concord) (2014)

Leela JamesFall For You (Bmg Rights Management) (2014)

Eric EssixThe Isley Sessions (CD Baby) (2014)

Paul BrownTruth B Told (Woodward Avenue Records) (2014)

Billy CobhamTales From The Skeleton Coast (Creative Multimedia Concepts) (2014)


P E T E R * B O E H I

Piero Masciarelli - Be Bop Dance (2014)
This Italian guitar player delivers a great funky guitar album in the tradition of acid-jazz, featuring his Wes inclined guitar playing over organic grooves, one standout track is the vocal "The Bridge" that delivers a contemporary feeling. Thumbs up!

Patrick Bradley - Can You Hear Me (2014)
Keyboardist Patrick Bradley comes up with a smooth jazz gem, produced by Jeff Lorber and featuring some excellent players like Jimmy Haslip, Eric Marienthal, Rick Braun, Dwight Sills, Dave Koz and more. The music ranges from laid-back to funky and groovy, it boasts nice melodies and cool solos, providing lots of smooth jazz bliss. Very recommended.

Gerald Albright - Slam Dunk (2014)
Our favorite sax man Gerald Albright released another beautiful smooth jazz album full of memorable tracks, his playing is simply impeccable and beautiful, his rendition of the JB classic "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" is breathtaking. Stunning!

Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra - When The World Was One (2014)
Trumpet player Matthew Halsall delivers a brilliant acoustic jazz album that took me by surprise. It is spacious, relaxed, and still it has a nice groove, featuring great jazz players playing lengthy solos that build nicely, the music is spiritual jazz in the tradition of the early 70ies, with harp and flutes, this music takes me to a higher plane.

Soul Jazz Unit - Old School Recipes (2013)
My nod to the past goes to this album by this organ led trio from Italy, they deliver organic jazz-funk in the tradition of the 60ies and 70ies. Their great cover of Billy Cobham's "Red Baron" will put a smile on your face. Check them out!


D E N I S * P O O L E

'Summer Of Love' by guitarist Pete Gitlin. Complete with a totally appropriate 'psychedelic' intro and outro, this warmly inviting number serves to celebrate the mood of that original summer of love.

'Guaraldi' by Bill Heller from the CD Find The Way. Heller is the long-time keyboard player for the Rippington's and here with a little help from fellow band member Jeff Kashiwa (who comes up big on both flute and sax) he perfectly evokes the aura of this fabulous band.

'Summer Breeze', the latest 'stand-alone' single from Croatian sax-man Igor Gerzina. Not to be confused with the Isley Brothers classic of the same name, this mellifluous yet hard driving cut benefits from vocals by Valerija and is sure to be a contender for my top tracks of 2014.

'Dreaming Of You' by Kim Waters from his latest album, Silver Soul. Showcasing daughter Kayla Waters on piano, this is the kind of easy grooving cut that keeps audiences coming back for more.

'Give Me Your Love' by Mariea Antoinette from her soon to be released CD No Strings Attached. Mariea, who is perhaps best known for her dual talents as principle harpist in the Southeast Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra and integral part of the all star touring female jazz soul group Jazz In Pink, delivers a seductively sexy song that could well be the surprise package of the entire year.