Friday, July 31, 2015

Concord Music To Reissue Bill Evans Collection: The Complete Fantasy Recordings - #jazz


Concord Music Group is pleased to announce the reissue of The Complete Fantasy Recordings of Bill Evans. Released July 17th, the nine-CD box set celebrates one of the most influential jazz pianists in history with 98 studio and live performances: Evans’ complete body of work for the Fantasy label during the seven-year period closely preceding his untimely death in 1980. As a special bonus, a fascinating 1978 interview with Evans at the piano is included, conducted by Marian McPartland for her National Public Radio show. Completing the box is a 62-page illustrated booklet with an essay by music critic and biographer Gene Lees and detailed notes on each of the 11 sessions by longtime Evans manager and producer Helen Keane.  Previously out of print, the box set will return to store shelves in new, sleek and compact 5” x 5” packaging.

In these solo, duo, trio and quintet performances with the likes of Tony Bennett, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Gomez, Philly Joe Jones, Lee Konitz and Marty Morell, Bill Evans is revealed as a commanding artist at the peak of his powers. The Complete Fantasy Recordings includes such albums as Evans’ GRAMMY®-nominated label debut, The Tokyo Concert, his celebrated first duet album with Tony Bennett, The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album and Evans’ only solo recording for Fantasy, the GRAMMY®-nominated Alone (Again).

In his liner notes, Gene Lees writes of Evans, “I remember my amazement not so much at the brilliance of the playing—itself cause enough for wonder—as at the emotional content of the music…His playing spoke to me in an intensely personal way. And as the years have gone by, I have discovered that he had the same effect on many people.” Indeed, in the 35 years since his passing, Bill Evans’ legacy and influence continues to grow.

The Complete Fantasy Recordings joins several recent and forthcoming releases celebrating the career of Bill Evans. Aside from a handful of reissued albums on vinyl, fans can also look forward to CD box set reissue The Complete Riverside Recordings this fall, while highly acclaimed deluxe LP box sets The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 and The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings hit store shelves this past winter and spring, respectively.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Carol Duboc - "Colored Glasses" - CD Releases on September 18th - #jazz

 Groove therapy: contemporary jazz singer Carol Duboc keeps her diary open on “Colored Glasses”
Her seventh album, due September 18, is bolstered by collaborator Jeff Lorber’s R&B rhythms.

On Carol Duboc’s deeply personal 2013 release, “Smile,” the contemporary jazz singer-songwriter opened up in a way that she had never done so before, revealing the pain and heartache involved with dissolving her marriage while being the mother of a young daughter. She described writing the album with producer and jazz keyboards legend Jeff Lorber as therapeutic. Her therapy continues on “Colored Glasses,” a Gold Note Music ten-track disc written and produced by Duboc and Lorber set for release on September 18 and launched that evening with a Hollywood concert date that will be streamed online.
Two years on, Duboc’s new material details her struggles with cutting the ties of the relationship, one tinged by her partner’s delusional view of the world. Writing lyrics and melodies to rhythm tracks sent to her by Lorber, Duboc addresses the realities and realizations of moving forward with honesty and candor, even if she felt her ex was hiding the truth behind “colored glasses,” thus spawning the album’s title. But she acknowledges her own role as well.
“Some people refuse to see the world as it really is or life as it is, and to be honest, I was so caught up in the hypnotic love that I didn’t see things as they really are either,” admitted Duboc, who titled the first single “Hypnotic.” “I think this album is going to surprise people. It’s about letting go completely and moving on emotionally. And it may be the funkiest solo record I’ve ever made.”
Lorber’s R&B rhythms are lively throughout the soulful, sophisticated session of jazzy adult pop tunes. A marquee supporting cast brings high-caliber musicianship to the taut grooves with stellar performances by Jimmy Haslip (electric bass), Brian Bromberg (acoustic bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), guitarists Paul Jackson, Jr. and Michael Thompson, Hubert Laws (flute), Eric Marienthal (sax), Lenny Castro (percussion) and multi-instrumentalist Lorber on keyboards, piano, bass and guitar. Dave Mann punches up several cuts with crisp horns and vivid horn arrangements that add vibrancy, lushness and depth.
“Hypnotic” will be serviced to radio next month coinciding with the release of a video lensed on Venice Beach for the album’s “Wavelength,” a danceable guitar and horn-driven song about intuitive communication between partners. To mark the album’s release and celebrate coming through the other side of the relationship, Duboc will perform at the famed jazz joint the Baked Potato on the release date (Sept. 18), which will be streamed live on her website ( Lorber, Haslip and Thompson are among the musicians from the album’s lineup already confirmed to be backing the singer that night.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Duboc has been living in Los Angeles ever since she attended USC Thornton’s School of Music. Prior to launching her solo recording career in 2001with the critically-acclaimed “With All That I Am,” Duboc wrote hits on gold and platinum-selling albums, including records by Patti LaBelle, Chante Moore, Tom Jones, Stephanie Mills, Jade, Fine Yong Cannibals, Maurice White and the late George Duke. Possessing multimedia appeal, the photogenic blond had a supporting role on the silver screen in “Be Cool” alongside John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Danny DeVito.                  
The songs on “Colored Glasses” are:
“Every Shade of Blue”
“Celestial Skies”
“Colored Glasses”
“Walking in My Sleep”
“Code Red”

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dave Koz - "Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection" - Release on Concord, July 31st #jazz

Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection includes 15 tracks showcasing Koz’s work with numerous high-profile creative partners

Over the span of nearly 20 albums and an ambitious international touring schedule, Dave Koz has forged a distinctive sound that merges the best elements of jazz, pop R&B, soul and funk. In the 25 years since the release of his self-titled solo debut album, the acclaimed saxophonist has received nine GRAMMY® nominations, had seven albums top Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Along the way, he’s established an impressive body of work and built a fan base that stretches around the globe. But Koz would be the first to tell you that he hasn’t done it all by himself.

“How did I get here? I can tell you it was not entirely my doing,” says Koz. “You’ve heard the phrase, ‘It takes a village.’ That’s really what my career has been about. It’s been about really talented people – fellow musicians, managers, agents, producers, engineers, radio people, retailers and others – who have supported me along the way. I’m so proud of that, and so blown away by it. In this milestone year, I want to say thank you to all of them for helping me along this road. And I especially want to thank the fans who’ve been with me since day one. Every single one has been a collaborator with me.”

Koz celebrates and gives thanks for those many creative partnerships with Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection, a set of 15 tracks that includes material from his own previous recordings as well as recordings from projects with other artists. The album also includes three new tracks that send a clear message that there’s still plenty in store in the next 25 years. Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection is scheduled for release on July 31, 2015 via Concord Records.

“Some my favorite moments in the last twenty-five years have been collaborations with people whom I just love and treasure, and from whom I’ve learned so much – mentors and friends and people whom I never would have expected to meet,” says Koz. “And that’s the power of music. It will come up against any wall that can divide people and bring it right down.”

That unifying power is in evidence in the very first notes of “Good Foot,” a brand new track featuring keyboardist Jeff Lorber. “If you took Jeff out of the story of my career, there would be no story,” says Koz. “He was the first person to say to me, ‘You need to be a recording artist.’ The initial demos I made with him got me signed to Capitol Records, so he changed my life. It was very important to me that he be a part of this record. This song is actually something we wrote together a long time ago. We dusted it off and heard it with fresh ears and turned it into something new for this project.”

Another new track – and the first single going to radio – is the rousing “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher,” featuring vocalist Kenny Lattimore and trumpeter Rick Braun. “‘Higher And Higher’ is a great vehicle for the three of us,” Koz says. “Amazing horn parts for Rick and I to play, and a very soulful melody and lyric that Kenny just crushes! The saxophone and trumpet together have been such an amazing sound on so many hit records over the past several decades – be they pop, R&B or jazz. But it only works when you have the right combination of people playing the sax and the trumpet. Rick and I have played on each other’s records, we’ve written songs together and we’ve toured together. We have a musical kinship that spans so many years.”

“When Will I Know for Sure,” a selection from Koz’s 2010 album, Hello Tomorrow, features saxophonist Boney James. “The song was never released as a single, and it never really got its due,” says Koz. “But there was something that happened between Boney’s tenor sax and my soprano sax. It was an alchemic thing. I thought this album could be another opportunity for this great tune to be heard.”
Vocalist Michael McDonald and the Summer Horns – saxophonists Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliott – appear on “So Very Hard to Go,” a rendition of a classic Tower of Power hit that originally appeared on Koz’s GRAMMY®-nominated 2013 release, Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns. “Michael has always had the passion for Tower of Power, like I do and like most horn players do,” says Koz. “He delivered such an amazing performance on this track and the horn section of Mindi, Gerald, Richard and me turned it into something with a great groove all the way around.”

The classic ballad “(I Love You) for Sentimental Reasons” features rock and pop icon Rod Stewart on vocals, and originally appeared on Stewart’s Stardust: The Great American Songbook Vol. 3, released in 2004. “I always enjoyed the musical relationship Rod and I developed over the course of the four American Songbook recordings that I played on,” says Koz, “so I thought this track would be a fun one to include here.”

Stevie Nicks appears on “Let Me Count the Ways,” a track from Koz’s 1996 album, Off the Beaten Path. “Stevie’s been a friend for a long time,” says Koz, “but she’s also this superstar of rock and pop, and getting her to come in and sing on that album back in 1996 was a big coup. She came into the studio and recorded it on the night before my birthday, and she just slayed it. The memory of her bringing a cake into the studio on the night we recorded is part of why that song is so special for me.”
Trumpeter Herb Alpert lends a hand with “This Guy’s in Love with You,” the Burt Bacharach/Hal David song that Alpert himself had a hit with in 1968. The version on this collection is from Koz’s Hello Tomorrow. Koz recalls: “I sent Herb the track and I said ‘You need to tell me right now whether I’m making the biggest mistake of my life. Should I sing this song, or should I just play it instrumentally?’ Herb said, ‘Not only do I think you should sing it, but if you want, I’d love to play on it as well.’ It turned out to be this great memory – collaborating with the same guy who’d had such a big hit with the same song more than a generation earlier.”

The lively “Linus and Lucy,” featuring David Benoit, is a track from an anniversary compilation called 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas, released on Peak Records in 2005. The project featured renditions of Vince Guaraldi’s classic Peanuts Christmas music by numerous artists. Koz and Benoit teamed up to deliver a lively rendition of the signature Peanuts tune that has become an iconic holiday favorite. “That version of that song was only heard on that 2005 compilation,” says Koz, “so a lot of my fans never knew that I had done it. So I decided to put it on this collection because I’m so proud of the collaboration with David.”

“Can’t Let You Go (The Sha La Song),” from Koz’s 1999 album, The Dance, features the legendary vocals of Luther Vandross, whose performance here is as brilliant as it is minimalist. “Luther’s star has not waned a bit since his passing several years ago,” says Koz. “He’s still revered as one of the greatest vocalists of all time. He actually never sings any words in this song. He just sings sha-la’s in a bunch of different ways. That was the genius of Luther Vandross. He could take something as simple as sha-la and turn it into a vocal masterpiece.”

The stirring rendition of the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” which originally appeared on Koz’s The 25th of December, features a crew of nine vocalists and musicians, including Johnny Mathis and Stevie Wonder. “This track was like a Christmas version of ‘We Are the World,’” says Koz. “It all leads to the payoff when Stevie Wonder’s voice comes in, and we do a harmonica/saxophone trade at the end. To me, if you can say on an album called Collaborations that you had the honor of making music with Stevie Wonder, how much better does it get?”

Koz originally recorded the jazz waltz version of “Game of Thrones Theme (The Smooth Version)” for a YouTube video with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. “At millions of hits, this song brought jazz to a whole new audience of younger people who may not have been exposed to it otherwise,” says Koz. I was so proud of it, but if you weren’t already a Postmodern Jukebox fan, you may never have heard of it.”

The poignant “Cryin’ for Me (Wayman’s Song)” features country artist Toby Keith. Originally released on Keith’s 2009 album, American Ride, the song was written and recorded in tribute to athlete and musician Wayman Tisdale, who died earlier that year. “Toby invited Marcus Miller and me to play on the tribute to Wayman, who was a dear friend. It’s a beautiful song, and it was a huge country hit for Toby. After the album came out, I went on the Country Music Awards and played it with him. We got to be friends in the process, and I really love the song.”

The rollicking “Think Big,” another selection from Koz’s Hello Tomorrow, features trombonist Brian Culbertson and slide guitarist Keb’ Mo’. “Both of those guys are amazing instrumentalists, each with their own unique voice,” says Koz. “This is a song that Brian and I wrote. It’s a New Orleans-style, fun-loving romp. It’s a kitchen-sink kind of song, and everybody just had a lot of fun with it.”
“Apartment 2G: I Hear Her Playing Music” is a track from Barry Manilow’s 2001 concept album, Here at the Mayflower. “He wrote this song about a woman in an apartment who would listen to my music late at night,” says Koz. “I went into the studio to play on the track and listened to the song, and towards the end I hear this line that goes: ‘I hear her playing Dave Koz in the middle of the night.’ I just said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ And Barry said, ‘Yeah, that’s you.’ Barry’s an amazing musician. He’s at the top of his game at 72, and he’s filling arenas. I just have so much admiration and respect for him. I knew I wanted to have a song with him on this collection. This was the first thing we worked on together, so it always holds a special place in my heart.”

The set closes with a soaring rendition of “Let It Go,” the hugely popular anthem from the 2013 Disney film, Frozen. This last track, co-produced by Carl Sturken (who also plays keyboards and guitar) and Evan Rogers – both of whom produced tracks on Koz’s very first album in 1990 and several since – puts Koz in the launch position for the next chapter in an already highly successful and multi-faceted career.

“So many people have recorded this song, but to my knowledge, no one has ever done an instrumental version of it,” he says. “It’s not a sung version, but hopefully you can feel what the song is about by the way it comes across on the saxophone. And what a great message, whether it’s for kids or people my age or senior citizens. It’s about truly letting yourself be who you are. That’s why the song has a lot of resonance for me personally. Getting to the point where I can be comfortable and confident in my own shoes has been a long journey. It’s a message that, no matter how old we get, we can always use some reinforcement.”

“And the moment when you reach that point is the moment when you are most open to engaging with others and creating something entirely new,” says Koz. “There’s a message in this album about opening your heart, opening your mind, opening your arms to the idea of working with others,” he says. “The art of collaboration has been a theme that has run through my entire career and my entire life. It’s a lesson I’ve learned over and over again about how important it is to keep yourself open so you can truly understand other people, walk in their shoes for a minute and become a better citizen of the world in the process. It’s a message that I think is a bit lost in the noise right now. This record is my way of inviting people to open up a little and become better human beings.”

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - July 27, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Coast To Coast" - (Independent)
2 - 1 - Boney James - "Futuresoul" - (Concord)
3 - 4 - Najee - "You, Me and Forever" - (Shanachie)
4 - 5 - The Sax Pack - "Power Of 3" - (Shanachie)
5 - 3 - Maysa - "Back 2 Love" - (Shanachie)
6 - 6 - Jeff Golub - "The Vault" - (eOne Music)
7 - 10 - Jessy J - "My One And Only One - (Shanachie)
8 - 7 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
9 - 9 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
10 - 8 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
11 - 17 - Nick Collionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 18 - David Benoit - "2 In Love" - (Concord)
13 - 12 - Gerald Albright - "Slam Dunk" - (Heads Up)
14 - 13 - Jesse Cook - "One World" - (Entertainment One Music)
15 - 16 - Bluey - "Life Between The Notes" - (Shanachie)
16 - 24 - Gregg Karukas - "Soul Secrets"- (Nightowl)
17 - 31 - Ben Tankard - "Full Tank 2.0" - (ben-jammin')
18 - 14 - Peet Project - "Love" - (Beagle Beat Records"
19 - 19 - Jazmin Ghent - "Boss" - (Independent)
20 - 30 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)

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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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Buddy Guy - "Born To Play Guitar" - Sony release on July 31st - #jazz

New Studio Album, Guest Appearances by Van Morrison, Joss Stone, & More. 
Plus Songs Dedicated To B.B. King and Muddy Waters. 
Album Set For Release Friday July 31st and Available For Pre-Order Now!

Sony Music Entertainment Australia is proud to announce Buddy Guy, the legendary award winning blues icon, is set to release his brand new studio album BORN TO PLAY GUITAR on Friday July 31st 2015. The follow-up to his 2013 double disc release, RHYTHM & BLUES, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Blues Albums chart, BORN TO PLAY GUITAR is produced by Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter and Buddy’s long-time collaborator Tom Hambridge.

Buddy has today revealed the album cover and track listing for BORN TO PLAY GUITAR and the album features guest appearances by Van Morrison, Joss Stone, Kim Wilson and Billy Gibbons. Morrison joins Buddy on the heartfelt ‘Flesh & Bone’, a song dedicated to the late great B.B. King. On ‘Come Back Muddy’ Guy reminisces about the good ole days with his friend Muddy Waters.
BORN TO PLAY GUITAR is released Friday July 31st and is available for pre-order now

BORN TO PLAY GUITAR Track listing:
1. Born To Play Guitar
2. Wear You Out feat. Billy Gibbons
3. Back Up Mama
4. Too Late feat. Kim Wilson
5. Whiskey, Beer & Wine
6. Kiss Me Quick feat. Kim Wilson
7. Crying Out Of One Eye
8. (Baby) You Got What It Takes feat. Joss Stone
9. Turn Me Wild
10. Crazy World
11. Smarter Than I Was
12. Thick Like Mississippi Mud
13. Flesh & Bone with Van Morrison (Dedicated to B.B. King)
14. Come Back Muddy (Dedicated to Muddy Waters)

About Buddy Guy:
The recent recipient of the 2015 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Buddy Guy’s incredible career spans over 50 years with just as many albums released. Career highlights include 7 Grammy Awards, 28 Blues Music Awards, Kennedy Centre Honours, NARM Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievement, Billboard Music Awards' Century Award for distinguished artistic development, Presidential National Medal of Arts, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to name a few.

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Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - July 20, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Boney James - "Futuresoul" - (Concord)
2 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Coast To Coast" - (Independent)
3 - 3 - Maysa - "Back 2 Love" - (Shanachie)
4 - 6 - Najee - "You, Me and Forever" - (Shanachie)
5 - 4 - The Sax Pack - "Power Of 3" - (Shanachie)
6 - 5 - Jeff Golub - "The Vault" - (eOne Music)
7 - 8 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
8 - 9 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
9 - 13 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
10 - 12 - Jessy J - "My One And Only One - (Shanachie)
11 - 10 - James Lloyd - "Here We Go" - (Shanachie)
12 - 16 - Gerald Albright - "Slam Dunk" - (Heads Up)
13 - 15 - Jesse Cook - "One World" - (Entertainment One Music)
14 - 17 - Peet Project - "Love" - (Beagle Beat Records"
15 - 11 - Julian Vaughn - "Limitless" - (
16 - 7 - Bluey - "Life Between The Notes" - (Shanachie)
17 - 14 - Nick Collionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
18 - 21 - David Benoit - "2 In Love" - (Concord)
19 - 22 - Jazmin Ghent - "Boss" - (Independent)
20 - 26 - U-Nam - "C'est Le Funk" - (Skytown)

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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Monday, July 13, 2015

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - July 13, 2015 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Boney James - "Futuresoul" - (Concord)
2 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Coast To Coast" - (Independent)
3 - 5 - Maysa - "Back 2 Love" - (Shanachie)
4 - 3 - The Sax Pack - "Power Of 3" - (Shanachie)
5 - 4 - Jeff Golub - "The Vault" - (eOne Music)
6 - 8 - Najee - "You, Me and Forever" - (Shanachie)
7 - 7 - Bluey - "Life Between The Notes" - (Shanachie)
8 - 6 - Rick Braun - "Can You Feel It" - (Artistry)
9 - 15 - Michael Lington - "Soul Appeal" - (Copenhagen Music)
10 - 11 - James Lloyd - "Here We Go" - (Shanachie)
11 - 9 - Julian Vaughn - "Limitless" - (
12 - 10 - Jessy J - "My One And Only One - (Shanachie)
13 - 12 - Paul Brown - "Truth B Told" - (Woodward Avenue Records)
14 - 14 - Nick Collionne - "Influences" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
15 - 13 - Jesse Cook - "One World" - (Entertainment One Music)
16 - 19 - Gerald Albright - "Slam Dunk" - (Heads Up)
17 - 16 - Peet Project - "Love" - (Beagle Beat Records"
18 - 18 - Gregg Karukas - "Soul Secrets" - (Nightowl)
19 - 17 - Jonathan Butler - "Living My Dream" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
20 - 25 - Blake Aaron - "Soul Stories" - (Innervision)

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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