What We're Listening To ** May 2017

Pieces Of A Dream - Just Funkin' Around (2017)
This band is in the business for already 40 years and still going strong, being on top of their game and enjoying every minute of it. On this release, the band is delivering a variety of fresh, catchy smooth jazz tracks featuring the sparkling piano of James Lloyd and the drums of co-leader Curtis Harmon, supported by a great cast featuring Tony Watson Jr. on sax and David Dyson on bass. "On The Move" is smoking. Quality stuff throughout!

Till Brönner - Till Brönner (2012)
This album by German trumpet player Till Brönner must be one of his very best - at least in my book! Many of his smooth and vocal drenched other albums don't appeal a lot to me, but this one being deeply rooted in the 70ies jazz-funk of CTI and Blue Note with plenty of great horn playing checks all the right boxes with me, check out his take on Freddie Hubbard's "Gibraltar" or Dave Grusin's "Three Days Of The Condor". Get the deluxe edition with three additional bonus tracks, among them a lengthy version of "Little Sunflower". He is supported by an excellent band. Thumbs up!

Mattias Roos - Movin' Up (2017)
Swedish keyboardist Mattias Roos is quite similar to artists like Brian Simpson with his smooth, melodic keyboard playing, the music is very radio friendly and easy on the ear, U-Nam and Elan Trotman guest. Nice!

Dave Weckl Band - Multiplicity (2005)
This is a great fusion album by drummer extraordinaire Dave Weckl, all original material, the band is excellent and features Gary Meek on sax and Steve Weingart on keys. For the discriminating listener!

Arakawa Band (feat. Hitoshi Okano) - Hard Boiled (1981)
My nod to the past goes to this LP from 1981 by the Arakawa Band with special guest Hitoshi Okano on trumpet, lots of groovy jazz-funk tracks. Well worth hunting down!