Hardcastle started his breathtaking career with the dance hit
Rainforest reaching #1 on the 12" sales chart in the USA in 1984.
His tremendous success was the song 19 in 1985, in many countries
a further #1 hit. In 1991 Hardcastle began his Jazzmasters
project fostering a smooth jazz community worldwide. The first album of
this serial was released in Japan and The Japanese radio stations spread
the word. Soon the sound arrived in USA and many listeners had to
struggle for their album 'til it was finally released in USA in 1992.
This hybrid of dance music and
smooth jazz quickly climbed the charts and received high acclaims by
many fans finally crowned with Billboard Magazine’s 2008 Smooth Jazz
Artist of the Year. Paul is just nominated again for Best
International Artist and Best International Group for the up-coming
American Smooth Jazz Awards in 2010.
Jazzmasters VI was released
in July, 2010. Paul Hardcastle wrote, mixed and produced all tracks
taking the lead on keyboards, guitar and percussion. Paul is joined on
his newest project by Becki Biggins (vocals), Paul Hardcastle jr.
(sax), Maxine Hardcastle (backing vocals), Chris 'Snake' Davis (sax,
flute, Shakuhatchi) and Rock Hendrix (sax).
The relaxing character of the album,
in Europe they call it chill-out, is announced with the spacey
introduction Awakening Thoughts. The idea for Touch and Go
was developed with a sax riff Paul Hardcastle jr. showed his
dad. This tune is after The Circle Hardcastle jr.'s sophomore
collaboration with his father sharing the merits with Chris Snake
Davis, who performs a majestic flute.
After an interview, Paul Hardcastle
had given for American radio, he had the grandiose idea to re-work his
answers into a new song. One Chance was created together with
featured singer Becki Biggins. Becki has won the 2009 American
Billboard Best Smooth Jazz Artist Award with Paul Hardcastle for the
album Hardcastle V. This high-talented vocalist has already two
solo albums to her credit (First Love and The +ve). The
full version of One Chance contains snippets of the original
interview. My favorite is the musical box like intro of this song.
On the contemplative Cloud
Watching Paul Hardcastle gives his guitar some Asian flavor by
modulating the sound. With keyboards and Snake's sax he builds a
complex atmosphere, one of the typical and signature Hardcastle sounds
fading into reverberation. The great talent of Becki Biggins to
present a theme with accurate softness and precision like on I Really Like.
Play a piece like Solar Sky
and you immediately know, this is a Paul Hardcastle song. His intimate
knowledge of programming is unsurpassable. This track features the
great Rock Hendrix on sax. As you can hear on I Can't Get By
are vocoder and synth also an essential part of Paul's equipment. But
the warm vocals of Becki Biggins really fill the song with color.
We shouldn't underestimate the
complexity and efforts Paul Hardcastle brings into songs like In
the Key of Time. Chris 'Snake' Davis excels on soprano sax. A
unique dialog between bass drum and Becki Biggins, The Vision
transports a pure message. There is life after the death.
On the spherical Dimensions of
Light Chris Snake Davis and Paul Hardcastle create a stunning mood
of mellowness. Very appealing for smooth jazz romantics. With the
heartfelt ballade So Into You Becki Biggins fills the audience
with enthusiasm. Return of the Rainman was already released on
the albums Hardcastle 5 and The Collection. As
additional bonus Paul serves his listeners a reprise.
As Paul Hardcastle says, you have
only one chance. Paul has certainly took his chance and is today's one
of the most popular and successful smooth jazz artists. Just one day
after its release, his new Jazzmasters VI project has already claimed
the number one spot on iTunes list of top jazz albums.
Buy the album in all stores
Title: Jazzmasters VI
Artist: Paul Hardcastle
Genre: General Jazz
Label: Trippin' N Rhythm
01 Awakening Thoughts [1:36]
02 Touch and Go [4:34]
03 One Chance [3:34]
04 Cloud Watching [5:29]
05 I Really Like [3:57]
06 Solar Sky [4:17]
07 I Can't Get By [4:20]
08 In the Key of Time [4:50]
09 The Vision [4:09]
10 Dimensions of Light [4:30]
11 So Into You [3:48]
12 Return of the Rainman (reprise) [4:16]
13 One Chance (full version) [5:57]