First hour new releases. I have one for you just released the final day of August that promises to be a great one. I have previously talked about Paul Brown, an extraordinary producer that in the past was in high demand by many smooth jazz artists due to his ability to put together exactly what was required to make a song a hit. He as a producer has had an amazing over 40 number one hits with a who’s who of smooth jazz artists.
Then in 2004, he moved out from behind his producer’s chair with his guitar to become a performer as well as a producer. With his expertise with both skills, he has been highly successful. This new album, Uptown Blues, his eighth album, will for sure will be a big hit. One song Boogaloo, an early release has already climbed the charts to number three last week.
The really good musicians are lucky enough to be doing exactly what they love and never even consider quitting. Such is 78 year old multiple Grammy award winning jazz keyboardist Bob James. Discovered by Quincy Jones and now making great music for 55 years, he is the founder and a 28 year member of Fourplay.
Fourplay is on hiatus since the death of guitarist Chuck Loeb but James promises the return of the group soon. Right now he is leading the Bob James Trio and just released a brand new album August 31st. The album is titled Espresso.
Also playing selections from new releases from Eric Darius, Brian Simpson, Jeff Ryan, Josh Vietti, Steve Oliver, and Threestyle.
Billboard top three in smooth jazz for this week.
The second hour is devoted to the best of the classic old in smooth jazz.
The recent passing of Aretha Franklin reminded me of the great Carole King’s influence on music of many formats. Many of her songs were recorded and became huge hits by other artists. One of Carole King’s songs You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman was later a huge hit and a signature song for Franklin.
King’s career began in the 1960’s, not by performing but by writing numerous hit songs for other artists. King's success as a performer in her own right did not come until the 1970s, when she sang her own songs, accompanying herself on the piano, in a series of albums and concerts.
After experiencing commercial disappointment with her debut album King scored a monumental breakthrough in 1971 with the album Tapestry that produced that Aretha Franklin song. King co-wrote all the songs on this album and it is one of the best sellers of all time with over 25 million copies sold. This album received four Grammys in 1972 including album of the year, song of the year for You’ve Got A Friend, record of the year for It’s Too Late, and best female pop vocal performance.
Carole King has had a remarkable influence on many types of music. On this show I have played several smooth jazz versions of her songs. In 1974 smooth jazz was not yet recognized as a format. That year her album Wrap Around Joy had another big hit. King composed the music and David Palmer of Steely Dan wrote the lyrics. This I think will fit in very well with our show. Carole King sings that hit, Jazzman.