Monday, July 21, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - July 21, 2013 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 8 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
5 - 4 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
6 - 11 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 6 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
8 - 5 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
9 - 12 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
10 - 9 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
11 - 31 - Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - (Heads Up/CMG)
12 - 10 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
13 - 13 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
14 - 15 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Playa Blanca (Soul Italiano) - (Next Age Music)
15 - 7 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
16 - 24 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
17 - 14 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
18 - 20 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
19 - 27 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
20 - 21 - Jazzmasters - "The Jazzmasters VII" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio "Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio" available now on Concord Records #jazz

Jazz saxophonist Melissa Aldana is set to release her first record for Concord Music Group on June 24, 2014. The self-titled album Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio is the first recording of the three band mates together - Aldana, bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Francisco Mela. Recorded at Sear Sound Recording Studio in New York, the album consists of originals written by all three band members and includes two covers - the Harry Warren classic "You're My Everything" and Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now." Speaking on this new album Aldana says, "Pablo Menares & Francisco Mela both help bring a unique perspective to playing in the saxophone trio format. Our approach is very much coming from the core of the Jazz Tradition, not least from contemporary musicians such as Kurt Rosenwinkel & Mark Turner, but with Mela being from Cuba and Pablo and I both from Chile, there is no question there is a flavor of that as well."

In September 2013, Melissa became the first female instrumentalist and first South American ever to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Judges for the competition included Jane Ira Bloom, Branford Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter and Bobby Watson. In addition to a scholarship to the Monk Institute, Melissa won a recording contract with Concord Music Group.

Born in 1988, Aldana began to play the saxophone as soon as she was able. She was taught by her father Marcos Aldana, who was also a renowned jazz saxophonist and sought out teacher in their hometown of Santiago, Chile. By age 13, Melissa was frequenting the jazz clubs in Santiago with her father and by 16 was headlining the Club de Jazz de Santiago, which, at the time, was the center of the Chilean jazz community. In 2005, with help from Panamanian jazz pianist Danilo Pérez, she procured auditions at the Berklee School of Music and the New England Conservatory. She was accepted into both and chose to attend Berklee, from which she graduated in 2009.

After graduating, Melissa immediately moved to New York. With the help of mentor, the legendary George Coleman, and former teacher Greg Osby, among many others, Melissa recorded two albums Free Fall (2010) and Second Cycle (2012) for Osby's Inner Circle Music label, and quickly became a vital part of the New York jazz scene. She has since performed in such prestigious venues as the Blue Note, Lincoln Center and Smalls. After a 2013 performance at the Jazz Gallery, The New York Times touted, "...she moved toward a kind of music (including ‘First Cycle,' from her new record) that really felt like the current moment in jazz...Ms. Aldana worked over short motifs, using the full range of her instrument, articulating long and fast lines. But she also condensed her phrases into great wipes of sound up and down the horn, and clamped into the rhythm...She wasn't just exhibiting her own voice but embodying it..."

Pablo Menares is one of the most important bass players in Chile. His bass playing is considered to be elegant, musical and lyric, while firmly rooted in swing and polyrhythmic concepts. Menares has performed and/or recorded with all the leading jazz musicians in Chile and has also performed at major jazz festivals all over South America. Since moving to New York City in 2009 he has become a sought after bass player for both Jazz and Latin music. He has performed in many of NYC's most notable jazz clubs including Lincoln Center, Jazz Gallery, Smoke, Smalls Jazz Club, Fat Cat, 55 Bar and world famous venue Carnegie Hall. He has performed with such jazz luminaries as Sam Yahel, Arturo O'Farrill, Randy Brecker, Aaron Goldberg, Greg Hutchinson, Claudia Acuña, among others; and has toured throughout North America, becoming an increasingly important presence in the jazz and Latin music scene.

Francisco Mela is a favorite among jazz's elite instrumentalist, including Joe Lovano, Kenny Barron and McCoy Tuner, all of whom cite his charisma, sophistication and life-affirming spirit as an extension of his incredible talents as a composer and drummer. Born in 1968 in Bayamo, Cuba, Mela moved to Boston in 2000 to pursue a degree from Berklee College of Music. Since then, he's made quite a name for himself by becoming an integral part of Joe Lovano's quartet, joining McCoy Tyner's trio and developing himself as a band leader. Mela has released three albums, all receiving compelling critical acclaim. His latest project, Cuban Safari, is an amalgamation of his favorite bands that inspired him to become a drummer - Miles Davis' fusion group featuring Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett, Weather Report, and the Latin- jazz super group Irakere.

1. M&M 4:57
2. Turning 5:45
3. You’re My Everything 5:34
4. Bring Him Home 5:09
5. Tirapié 6:08
6. Peace, Love & Music 5:49
7. Perdón 4:17
8. New Points 6:39
9. Dear Joe 3:57
10. Ask Me Now 4:15

Find out more about Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - July 14, 2013 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 5 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
5 - 4 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
6 - 9 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
7 - 7 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
8 - 17 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
9 - 9 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
10 - 8 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
11 - 10 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 13 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
13 - 12 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
14 - 11 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
15 - 16 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Playa Blanca (Soul Italiano) - (Next Age Music)
16 - 15 - Down To The Bone - "Dig It" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
17 - 14 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
18 - 18 - Harvey Mason - "Chamelion" - (Concord)
19 - 20 - Richard Smith - "Tangos" - (Chillharmonic Music)
20 - 19 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)

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Richard Elliot - "Lip Service" - Release today Juy 15 on Heads Up #jazz

Richard Elliot has been blowing audiences away with his talent for more than 30 years and is now set to release Lip Service, an album that celebrates romance, on July 15. Currently playing on the “Summer Horns” tour with fellow saxophonists Dave Koz, Mindi Abair and Gerald Albright, Elliot has delivered a 10-song album featuring seven new original compositions and three covers of soul and pop hits from the ’80s (“Shining Star” by The Manhattans), the ’90s (“Anytime” by Brian McKnight) and today (“When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars). In collaboration with contemporary jazz guitar giant Paul Brown, this is the 17th solo project by Elliot.

“It’s not a radical departure,” Elliot says with a chuckle, “just a softer edge. The intensity is still there, just channeled in a different way. I’ve been madly in love with my wife Camella for 20 years (courtship and marriage combined). Romance has always been an important part of our relationship. With five children, there’s never a dull moment in our home but we always take time away for us…something we never had to work at. It just gets better every year - and that’s not lip service!”

A Southern Californian to the core, slow burning intensity has been Richard Elliot’s stock-in-trade since debuting as a member of the novel Chapman Stick-based quartet Kittyhawk in 1979 at the age of 19. With influences ranging from Grover Washington, Jr. to John Klemmer, his broad range of saxual expression knows no bounds. He has topped charts and toured the world as a leader as well as with innovative groups such as Guitars & Saxes and Tower of Power.

Complete Track Listing:

  1. Desire (4:16)
  2. Lip Service (4:35)
  3. Givin'It Up (4.01)
  4. Sweet Spot (3:58)
  5. Sookie Sookie (3:38)
  6. All the Way (4:16)
  7. When I Was Your Man (3:35)
  8. Shining Star (4:52)
  9. City Lights (4:02)
  10.  Anytime (5:27)

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Kim Waters - "Silver Soul" - Release Sept 2nd, on Red River Entertainment #jazz

The romance continues: urban-jazz saxophonist
Kim Waters will mark his 25th year with the release of
“Silver Soul” on September 2
The first single, “Dreaming Of You,” is the No. 2 most added radio track this week.
 With persistence, patience and passion, romance grows stronger, richer and sweeter each year and for 25 years, urban-jazz saxophonist Kim Waters has written, produced and performed chart-topping candlelight compositions that explore the excitement, exoticism and mystique of love. He will clank glasses on September 2 to celebrate the silver anniversary with the release of his aptly titled 20th solo album, “Silver Soul,” to be issued by Red River Entertainment.
Order "Silver Soul" from by clicking here.

“Silver Soul” is most definitely an urban adult contemporary album with a wealth of R&B vocals and sultry grooves although almost half of the dozen cuts produced by Waters are instrumental numbers certain to woo his contemporary jazz fan base like the highly rhythmic first single with the grandiose hook, “Dreaming Of You,” is already doing. The tune showcasing his daughter Kayla Waters on piano was the second most added track on playlists this week according to BDS Radio.

Waters isn’t a word man, but his melodies convey intimacy while redolent of ardor and seduction. In addition to playing most of the instruments on “Silver Soul,” Waters emotes using the voice of his impassioned sax – tenor, alto and soprano – employing his masterful command of the instrument to serenade with harmonic poetry and aural overtures. The album is comprised of eight songs that Waters wrote and a pair of R&B vocal tunes that he co-wrote: “Anything You Need” featuring Waters’ wife, Dana Pope, and “Laying Beside Me” spotlighting crooner Eric Roberson. A tandem of compelling covers – a soprano sax take of John Legend’s hit “All Of Me” and “Fireflies,” illuminated by a stunning lead vocal by Zendaya – completes the session.   
“’Silver Soul’ is really a thank you to my audience that has been with me thus far throughout my 25-year musical journey as a recording artist. I took my time writing the material because I wanted it to be an album of hits with every song sounding like a single,” said Waters, who will tour through the end of the year in support of the disc playing headline shows with his band and on a variety of all-star package dates with the likes of Grammy nominee Maysa, Nick Colionne, Brian Simpson, Marion Meadows and Phil Perry.    
Love and romance has been Waters’ muse throughout an accomplished recording career that began with 1989’s “Sweet & Saxy.” The Maryland native has thrived becoming a staple on the urban-jazz landscape with a deep catalogue that boasts 14 No. 1 singles, four No. 1 albums, 16 Top Ten singles and crossover sets that have logged time on the Billboard 200, urban, contemporary jazz, Heatseekers and Top Independent Albums charts. For more information, please visit
“Silver Soul” contains the following songs:
“Dreaming Of You” (featuring Kayla Waters)
“On A Mission”
“Let’s Stay Together”
“Go-Go Smooth”
“Anything You Need” (featuring Dana Pope)
“Cruising Round Rock”
“All Of Me”
“Fireflies” (featuring Zendaya)
“Let’s Make Love”
“High Stride”
“A Song For Dana”
“Laying Beside Me” (featuring Eric Roberson)

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Rick Braun dances to the top of the Billboard chart #jazz

The jazz-funk trumpeter’s “Can You Feel It” album hits the streets as the rapidly rising
“Get Up And Dance” is ready to sashay off with the No. 1 singles crown.

Back with his first contemporary jazz foray in five years, trumpeter Rick Braun appears to be wasting no time in his quest to add more No. 1 hits to his burgeoning catalogue of chart-toppers. “Get Up And Dance,” his fun-filled frolic with sax sensation Dave Koz that bodes to become the song of the summer, is already No. 3 on the Billboard singles chart this week, the first cut issued from Braun’s sixteenth set, “Can You Feel It,” which was released today by Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Records.       
Braun produced and wrote or co-wrote nine songs on the new session that revisits the spirit of his twenty-year-old breakthrough collection, “Beat Street,” reflects his past playing in War and conjures the mighty Tower of Power. After satisfying his creative itch to croon jazz standards on a pair of recent albums, Braun entered the studio focused on delivering a high-powered horn set filled with jazz-funk joints recorded with friends. The vibrant harmonies and funky grooves are performed in a live setting center staging Braun’s trumpet, flugelhorn and newest weapon, valve trombone, which bursts forth from a rhythmic panorama of rapid fire horn section revelry. The eleven-song record showcases Braun collaborating with some of the finest instrumental artisans including Koz, charismatic keyboardist Brian Culbertson (“Back To Back”), sax heavyweight Euge Groove (“Take Me To The River” and “Dr. Funkenstein”), fusion pioneer Jeff Lorber (“Delta” and “Radar”), old soul singer Elliott Yamin (“Take Me To The River”) and keyboardist-arranger Philippe Saisse, who played on five tunes, co-penned the title track and authored the disc’s lone ballad, the beauty “Another Kind of Blue.”   
The revered headliner will support “Can You Feel It” with concert dates through the end of the year with his own band, with Groove and guitar star Peter White as Jazz Attack, and with Grammy winners Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown as BWB with whom he will play an August 17 show at The Hollywood Bowl. Braun concludes the year with his annual New Year’s Eve fundraiser at the JW Marriott Star Pass Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona sharing the bill with White, sax powerhouse Richard Elliot and special guest vocalist Larry Braggs on an evening themed “A Night in New Orleans.” The event benefits the Autism Society, a nonprofit organization tasked with improving the lives of those affected by the autism spectrum disorder, which includes Braun’s teenage daughter.
Below is a sampling of the initial album reviews:
“’Can You Feel It’ is a musical celebration of the past, present and future. The sixteenth release for Rick Braun may be his best work in a career that shows no signs of slowing down. One of the better contemporary releases of the year!” – Critical Jazz
“The music is joyful, fun, energetic and earthy and hits you in your tone center via Rick’s melodic trumpet, funky R&B grooves, harmonic wizardry, and emotional, expressive flugelhorn playing.” - AXS
“There is a constant groove throughout, with the funk guitar and layered horns of the title track, the spirited R&B of Al Green’s ‘Take Me to the River’ (with Elliot Yamin doing the disc's only vocals) and Latin beats on the smooth ‘Mallorca.’ Even on the melodic ballads ‘Silk’ and ‘The Dream,’ the rhythm never stops.” – Allentown Morning Call
The contempo-jazz trumpeter leans toward a Tower of Power vibe with lots of younger players and plenty of funk.” – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A return to the groove-oriented, largely instrumental jazz of his early work.” – All Music Guide
“’Can You Feel It’ starts with the explosive, funky title track and continues with cool mid tempo, warm ballads, and popping upbeat tunes.” – O’s Place Jazz
“This may indeed be Rick’s best release to date, and it shows that he’s on the top of his musicality!” – Smooth Jazz Europe
“The hottest funk album this year.” – Smooth Jazz Daily
“It will be one of the most important albums of this 2014. Indisputable.” – No Solo Smooth Jazz
“Rick Braun has been giving us music for over twenty years now. We have watched him grow, mature, take detours to other musical endeavors, take chances, and dazzle us with his performances and creativity. He is the complete package.” – SmoothViews
“Braun’s longevity in this business is testament to his undeniable appeal as a charming and engaging artist, as well as being one who knows the wide spectrum of this music intimately — and what moves and motivates people, peers and fans alike.” – The Smooth Jazz Ride
“When it was all said and done, Rick Braun’s intent to create organic music with his friends and create a funky album with a real experience was accomplished.” – Pink and Blue Notes

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Monday, July 07, 2014

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - July 7, 2013 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Nathan East - "Nathan East" - (Yamaha Entertainment Group)
2 - 2 - Mindi Abair - "Wild Heart" - (Concord)
3 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Don't Talk, Dance!" (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 7 - Ken Navarro - "Ruby Lane" - (Positive Music Records)
5 - 4 - Brian Culbertson - "Another Long Night Out" - (BCM)
6 - 10 - Bob Baldwin - "Twenty" - (City Sketches)
7 - 5 - Paul Taylor - "Tenacity" - (eOne)
8 - 11 - Incognito - "Amplified Soul" - (Shanachie)
9 - 6 - The Rippingtons - "Fountain Of Youth" - (Peak/eOne)
10 - 13 - Cindy Bradley - "Bliss" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
11 - 12 - Dave Koz & Friends - "Summer Horns" - (Concord/CMG)
12 - 9 - Steve Oliver - "Best Of So Far" - (SOM)
13 - 17 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
14 - 8 - Nick Colionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
15 - 15 - Down To The Bone - "Dig It" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
16 - 19 - Paolo Rustichelli - "Playa Blanca (Soul Italiano) - (Next Age Music)
17 - 26 - Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp - "Jazz Funk Soul" - (Shinachie)
18 - 14 - Harvey Mason - "Chamelion" - (Concord)
19 - 18 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
20 - 16 - Richard Smith - "Tangos" - (Chillharmonic Music)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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