Wow! What a crazy week it has been but it's a really good kind of crazy. Just when I thought it could not get any better, there was a big surge in brand new smooth jazz releases. In the first two weeks of October there were five brand new albums released. In addition there were two singles that were released that will be part of forthcoming albums. How will I cover it all for you? I will do my best. I think this week I will shake up the format a little and move Billboard’s top three to the start of the second hour so that I can play all new releases the first hour.
Let’s start with the singles. Perhaps the best I have heard this year is a fabulous song from the keys of Mark Etheridge and the guitar of Paul Brown. I have mentioned before that as a record producer and guitarist Paul Brown has been more successful than anyone else in knowing what it takes to produce a hit. There is no release date for this album by Etheridge but if this song is any indication it will be a blockbuster. Have a listen to these two great talents on their fabulous brand new song Resonance.
The second newly released single is from saxophonist and flautist Najee with the guest sax of Darren Rahn. This soon to be album does have a release date set of November 15th. The album will be titled Center Of The Heart and this great new release is Face To Face.
On to the five newly released October albums. One of those new albums is from saxophonist Dave Koz. It is a Christmas album that I will not be playing until December.
On last week’s program closing classic among classics segment, I focused on a highly successful group from Buffalo, New York, Spyro Gyra formed by saxophonist Jay Beckenstein and keyboardist Jeremy Wall 40 years ago in 1979. This stellar band’s popularity has reached increasing heights over the years and they are still going strong. Their first album release in six years on October 11th, Vinyl Tap, is all cover songs. Our first listen is their cover of a Paul McCartney, John Lennon tune You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.
Releasing great music since 2005 with two Billboard number ones and two number twos, hip and smooth saxophonist Jackiem Joyner also released a new album October 11th titled Touch. Our very first listen to this great new album is Close 2 You.
Grammy award winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum toured with Whitney Houston for seven years. He also worked extensively with Luther Vandross and Babyface, worked on a number of motion picture scores, and has had a very successful solo career. He was responsible for my initial interest in smooth jazz. I have seen him perform live twice at very memorable concerts. Released October 11th, his new album is titled Humanite. For our first listen, I selected a song where he combines his very distinctive sax with the keys of the fabulous Keiko Matsui. From Humanite this song is titled SJL.
On October 4th pianist Brian Culbertson released the album Winter Stories. It was inspired when Culbertson went for a winter time walk along Lake Michigan from his Chicago home. For his new album he added an acoustic bass and drums with his first foray into a traditional jazz sounding album. This song is something I feel in Chicago he must see often. This is Flurries.
I have more new releases from Rick Braun, David Benoit, Joyce Cooling, Herb Alpert, Althea Rene, and Daniel Ho.
This week the second hour will open with Billboard's top three songs in smooth jazz. The remainder of the hour is devoted to classics in smooth jazz.
This show's classic among classics segment will focus on early work from Jazz bassist Brian Bromberg.
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