D E N I S * P O O L E
'Lip Service' by Richard Elliot from the album of the same name. Some albums just fit with the mood of the moment and this is certainly the case with Elliot's latest release. Not only does it satisfy the thirst smooth jazz fans currently have for big horn driven extravaganzas but also revisits a couple of old school classics of the sort that have enjoyed something of a resurgence in the recent past.
'Split Decision' by Gerald Albright from the CD Slam Dunk. No one does lusciously smooth R & B like Gerald Albright yet in terms of personal favorites, the groove-drenched splendor of this wonderful tune is very hard to beat.
'Pocket Full Of Funk' by vocalist and powerhouse saxophonist Paula Atherton from her latest project, Ear Candy. Heavily influenced by classic funk and Philly soul, this fine collection finds Paula in the star-studded company of Nick Colionne, Cindy Bradley, and Gail Jhonson all of who add icing to what is a very tasty cake.
'A New Beginning' by composer and keyboard player Jonathan Fritzén from his brand new project, Fritzenized. This masterpiece of rhythm and melody finds Fritzén at his excellent best and seems all set to accelerate his already meteoric assent to the very top of the smooth jazz tree.in contemporary jazz.
J E F F * D A N I E L S
Reggie Codrington, Always In Motion (Rec Booking, Inc.) (2015)
Ron Aprea, Remembering Blakey (CD Baby) (2013)
Piero Masciarelli, Be Bop Dance (Irma records) (2014)
Afro Elements, Out of the Centre (UYM/Splash Music Productions) (2014)
P E T E R * B O E H I
Akira Jimbo - Jimbo de CTI (2015)
Japanese drummer legend Akira Jimbo offers his interpretation of the timeless CTI catalog playing songs by Deodato, Airto Moreira, Freddie Hubbard, Antonio Carlos Jobim and others on this latest release in the "Jimbo de" series, this time recorded in the U.S. in a trio setting with Abraham Laboriel on bass and the outstanding Otmaro Ruiz on keys. Don't miss it!
Marion Meadows - Soul Traveler (2015)
This latest release by mellow saxophonist Marion Meadows hits all the right spots and delivers another slice of his trademark playing, it features some top-notch guests like Najee on flute, Elan Trotman and Vince Ingala on saxes and Joey Sommerville on trumpet, among other players. No surprises here, but definitely another solid effort by this veteran of the scene. Thumbs up!
Mark Egan - Direction Home (2015)
Fretless bassist Mark Egan comes up with a new album featuring drummer Danny Gottlieb and pianist Mitch Forman, the songs are funky and groove along nicely, with a dynamic band of this calibre you can't go wrong. Recommended!
496 West - Auxiliary Lane (2014)
After their self titled debut release from 2012, I was delighted to see this underrated smooth jazz band release their sophomore album with Auxiliary Lane and haven't been disappointed. The songs are strong, groovy and each member of the band delivers. Check them out!
Duke Pearson - It Could Only Happen With You (1974)
My nod to the past goes to this Brazil jazz album by pianist and arranger Duke Pearson featuring performances recorded in 1970 but not released on the Blue Note label until 1974. It features Flora Purim on vocals and delivers lots of great easy flowing latin tracks with some cool solos by a bunch of top-notch jazz players. Sadly it was the last album of his career. Released in Japan on CD.