Smooth Jazz Awards Collection Vol. 2

Collections like this one are always a good possibility to get a survey about new albums. If you are searching smooth jazz music, they give you worthy hints to artists, one may not know. Other fans buy collection albums to spare money. With Smooth Jazz Awards Collection Vol. 2 the label Native Language shows an exclusive taste. All tunes are outstanding and caracteristic for the relating artists.  

  • Everette Harp featuring Brian Bromberg - Rock With You

This extraordinary saxophonist known by albums like Better Days, Everette Harp or Common Ground joins the phenomenal lead bassist Bromberg to celebrate Michael Jackson's hit Rock With You. In earlier times devoted to straight ahead jazz they present a catchy smooth version of this popular song.

  • Urban Knights - Dancing Angels

The title song of their third album is represantative for the change of the musical style of this supergroup with Ramsey Lewis, Kevin Randolph, Sharay Reed, Calvin Rodgers and Stereo. The album is dedicated to the memory of Grover Washington Jr., one of the original members of this group. The tenor sax part is played by the incredible Dave Koz.

  • Chuck Loeb - Right Down Broadway

This tune is from Chuck's album Listen. Very dynamic and funky with a Phili brass arranged by David Mann this title shows all about Chuck's skills. 

  • Jeff Lorber - Snakebite

Jeff is another great artist and producer of this genre, who found after a long period of fusion jazz a new home in smooth jazz. Known by albums like West Side Stories, State of Grace, Midnight and Kickin' It this take is from his album Kickin' It featuring the famous Gerald Albright. Excellent Jeff's play on the Yamaha piano.

  • Richard Elliot - Moomba

Typical Richard, called Mr. Chill, is an agressive but non-offensive smooth style as shown on this tune from his album Chill Factor

  • Peter White - Caravan Of Dreams

This is Peter 's song after his fan club is called. A very atmospheric tune with a perfect arrangement, Peter's  dreamy acoustic guitar and Boney James' perfect sax accompany will catch your heart. 

  • Jeff Kashiwa - Power of midnight

Jeff, in former times member of The Rippingtons, joined with his solo album Another Door Opens the Native Language label. Currently he is together with Chuck Loeb and Jeff Lorber in the Hansa Haus in Bonn (Germany) recording his new album. After Walk A Mile, Remember Catalina and Another Door Opens this will be his fourth solo album. Power of midnight is taken from his third one.

  • Spyro Gyra - Westwood Moon

From their album Heart Of The Night (1996) we can listen to the smooth sounds of Jay Beckenstein's sax. Formerly known by their crossover contempoary jazz style the group is now influenced by the smooth jazz style. In 2001 they made the new album In Modern Times on the Heads Up label.

  • Euge Groove - Sneak a Peek

Euge Groove aka Steve Grove formerly a member of Tower Of Power replacing Richard Elliot had a tremendous success at mp3.com with his unpolished tunes before the producer Paul Brown refined them. After this mp3.com lost a great star and Warner Brothers signed this gifted musician. Euge is a nugget and I am sure we will listen to more great tunes in the future.

  • Joyce Cooling - Callie

This tune taken from her album Keeping Cool is a magnificant hit showing up Joyce's latin flavored guitar style. Cherished by many radiostations like JazzFM, WNUA 95.5 or KWJZ 98.9, which chose the song for their samplers Callie paved her ongoing success.

  • Shilts - There's No Wonder

Who knows the U.K. group Down To the Bones will also know the saxplayer Paul Shilts Weimar, their bandleader. Paul began backing many great American stars such as The Temptations, Four Tops, Drifters and Rose Royce before he played with David Bowie, Jimmy Paige and Bill Wyman. He was also member of the Brand New Heavies. I describe his style as smooth acid jazz.

  • Steve Reid - Pillow Talk

Like Jeff Kashiwa a former member of the Rippingtons the percussionist Steve Reid shared the stage with musicians like Supertramp, Miles Davis and the Rolling Stones. Steve is a maniac collector of instruments counting more than 600 his own. The song Pillow Talk is taken from his album Dreamscapes (2001) featuring Jeff Kashiwa as brilliant saxplayer. 

 

HBH

 

 

Listen to soundsamples here:
A short review about this albun is here: