WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE!

Tony Craddock, Jr. & Cold Front – H2O

March 7, 2018

Mar. 7, 2018

Saxophonist Tony Craddock, Jr. and his band Cold Front have been providing live quality smooth jazz for the Washington, DC area for quite awhile now. Now issuing his latest recorded release H2O, he delves a bit deeper into his light and airy jazz repertoire to offer more new and classy tracks along with interesting and impressive covers.

Craddock’s style is not of the in-your-face variety but rather of a soothing, caressing, and gentle approach. Here, he offers a subtle touch of eclecticism with tracks like the light, samba-kissed “Irony,” the easy “Living Water” featuring guitarist Ken Navarro, and a very creative cover of “Amazing Grace” featuring the iconic Kirk Whalum and a clever jazz/blues twist to the classic spiritual. Another smart interpretation is that of “Can You Stand the Rain,” and an inspiring up-tempo “Sunrise” featuring the strong, attractive vocals of Ashli Rice. Read More

Marion Meadows – Soul City

March 1, 2018

Mar. 1, 2018

Sometimes, when listening to a superior artist with superior skills in playing, writing, and in firm acuity, I can get so lost in the magic of it all that I become at a loss for words to describe the level of awe the artist inspires. There are only a few in my world, and veteran saxman Marion Meadows has been one for decades. Is that what it takes to be such a consummate master – years at this? Maybe, but this cat started out in the strong lane back in 1992. Here with his latest and 14th offering Soul City, he again simply dazzles, mesmerizes, and commands the respect only one who lives this stuff can garner. Read More

Groove Frequencies – Groove Frequencies

March 1, 2018

Mar. 1, 2018

Now, here’s a ‘Hey!” CD. This sophomore and self-titled release from a group of powerfully adept musicians calling themselves Groove Frequencies is about as hot, funky and loaded with great contemporary jazz/R&B grooves as you could ever want.

A very refreshing and full-bodied release catering to the smooth in you, it features the group’s bassist, John Stewart, who also wrote and produced this fine project, saxophonist BillyRay Sheppard, guitarists Tim Perry, Parris Spivey, and Ryan Haynesworth, drummer Jay Williams, and keyboardist Dawoud Said. Stewart also doubles on keys on several tracks. Read More

Nils — Play

March 1, 2018

Mar. 1, 2018

Nimble-fingered smooth jazz guitarist Nils has been so busy with a ton of productions and compositions for other artists that it’s hard to imagine that he’d have time to focus on and crank out a new release of his own, especially in under three years’ time. Well, he’s done it, and it’s top-tier quality…again. The masterful artist/composer/producer now struts out Play, a solid collection of originals with a couple of covers tossed in for good measure.

With his foot-tappin’, finger-snappin’ rockin’, bluesy, soulful, jazzy blend, the guitarist lays out some grooves that are not only infectious and attractive but deep-hitting. Read More

Patrick Yandall – 10 South Riverside

March 1, 2018

Mar. 1, 2018

One of the most prolific, talented, and –in my opinion – somewhat unheralded guitarists in this jazz/smooth jazz genre is long-time artist Patrick Yandall. His smooth, textured sound and delivery have been recognized and appreciated enough for him to be featured in any all-star lineup of contemporary jazz artists anywhere. Yet, that distinction is not often bestowed upon him, despite having now cranked out 21 quality-filled albums and having received Grammy consideration in the “Contemporary Instrumental” category for his previous two releases. His music was once regularly featured on the former Weather Channel, as well. Read More

Scott Allman — Elevated

March 1, 2018

Mar. 1, 2018

Keyboardist Scott Allman is back with a very tasteful collection of contemporary jazz, new age, and fusion to tantalize your senses. The new album, Elevated, wears many hats, all very telling and appealing in many ways.

Featuring here on select tracks saxmen Darren Rahn and Jeff Kashiwa, guitarist Allen Hinds, and bassist Mel Brown, Allman puts together a very palatable project that can be easily visualized with one’s mind’s eye as he takes us on a few travels with this diverse music, the paths parting at points and ultimately meeting up again where it all comes together to paint a picture of a simply colorful, complete collage of music. Read More

Dan Siegel — Origins

March 1, 2018

Mar. 1, 2018

When you have over 20 solo albums and hundreds of other producing, arranging, composing and performing credits in your portfolio, I think it’s safe to say you have made quite a remarkable career out of music. Such is the case with veteran pianist/composer/producer Dan Siegel whose new release Origins has more than enough substance to satisfy any true jazz fan’s appetite.

With a great mix of jazz, blues, and Brazilian/Latin exoticism, Siegel takes you on a listening journey that becomes quite visual as his piano paints vibrant colors onto a far-reaching canvas of charismatic and expressive melodies. Read More

Paula Atherton – Shake It

February 18, 2018

Feb. 17, 2018

Some contemporary jazz artists just seem to carry a very valid “can’t miss” aura about them. The lovely and talented saxtress/vocalist Paula Atherton is certainly one of them in this writer’s humble opinion. Out with her fifth release, Shake It, she does, in fact, shake up the groove, the soul, and just plain comfy vibes nestled in all c-jazz fans. Of course, if you’re a fan of hers, you have come to expect this as simply part of her beautiful and powerful music and character. Read More

Brian Culbertson – Colors of Love

February 18, 2018

Feb. 17, 2018

As if keyboardist/pianist/producer/composer Brian Culbertson hasn’t already done enough to cement himself in the hearts, minds, and souls of more fans than I even care to estimate, the music wiz goes a step further with his latest release, which is dedicated to his wife Michelle with whom he’s just celebrated two decades of marriage. The album, released on Valentine’s Day, appropriately is entitled Colors of Love and features some of the sweetest soul-stirring acoustic melodies you could ever imagine. Mind you, while his piano lines are acoustic, he still offers his usual heavy and powerful trademark funk (albeit in a slower or more mid-tempo cadence), turning to synth bass, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hammond B3 organ, drum programming, and more. So, you get the best of both BC worlds here. Read More

Rob Zinn – Walk the Walk

February 18, 2018

Feb. 17, 2018

Seldom do artists come along with a debut solo album one year, follow that up with the sophomore release less than two years later, and both turn out to be wonderful and filled to the brim with well-produced, well-conceived tracks. Seldom will I go out on a limb and proclaim that such an artist will be among the elite artists in no time flat. Well, such is the case with trumpeter Rob Zinn, an artist who clearly has a vision and a knack for catchy, delicious melodies, strong hooks, and a solid body of work. Read More