What We're Listening To ** May 2016

Nia - Nia (2015)
Nagashima Tomoko is Nia. Her self titled debut album was composed, arranged, and produced by jazz trumpet player Takuya Kuroda. It was recorded in NYC and delivers neo soul with quirky and very jazzy vocals, the music has strong jazz undercurrents and employs real instruments, there are several nice solos by all involved. Check it out!

Arno Haas - Back To You (2015)
German saxophone player Arno Haas delivered another picture perfect smooth jazz album, recorded in the US with a long list of top-notch players. Groovy and catchy tracks with lots of great playing by all involved. Very recommended!

Donald Hayes - Front Ground (2016)
Sax player Donald Hayes delivers a really nice smooth album that pushes all the right buttons, guests include Wayman Tisdale, John Stoddart and many more. Thumbs up!

Snarky Puppy - Cucha Vulcha (2016)
This band is on a roll, their latest release is a really spirited and decidedly groovy affair, this band of master players continues to evolve and deliver gem after gem. Don't miss it!

The Atlantic Family - Live At Montreux (1978)
My nod to the past goes to his classic 2LP set which was recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival and features AWB, Klaus Doldinger, Don Ellis, Sonny Fortune, Ben E. King, Herbie Mann, Luther Vandross and many more. Long extended versions with tons of solos, especially notable is their rendition of "Pick Up The Pieces" clocking in at over 21 minutes. Pure mayhem!