February 14 is Valentine’s Day. Trust the voice of experience. Don’t forget. Just another of the public services offered to you by KKRN radio. The first year I met the woman that would become my wife, like a fool, I did not want to commit very heavily. I gave her a card that said You Me Whee, Whee spelled W h e e. Fortunately she stuck with me anyway. In honor of Valentine’s Day and with all my love to my beautiful wife Joyce, i would like to play the title track from pianist Brian Culbertson’s wonderful 2018 Valentine’s Day release of the album The Colors Of Love, a song that became a Billboard number one.
On January 17th an album became the first of two new smooth jazz albums released this year. Smooth jazz pianist, composer, and Dave Koz’s long time musical director, Brian Simpson has combined with guitarist Steve Oliver. Oliver lives in Banning, California and can often be found performing close to his home in the Palm Springs area. From that great brand new album Unified, I have their song Celestial Body.
The second of two January 17th new releases is from Lawson Rollins, a guitarist and composer from North Carolina noted for his virtuoso fingerstyle technique and melodic compositional skills. His new album titled True North offers 12 new original compositions that showcase the guitarist at his peak. From True North I have With The Wind.
This coming Friday, February 14th Valentine’s Day, the group Special EFX will release a new album titled Hanky Panky Boys. Formed in New York in 1982, this group has released really good music ever since. This group features the smooth romantic guitar of Chieli Minucci, winner of three Emmy Awards for his work in television. Appearing as The Special EFX Allstars, this group was a big hit at last October’s Catalina Jazz Festival. I have an early release from what will be the title track to Hanky Panky Boys.
In the middle of the first hour, I will play Billboard's top three in smooth jazz for this week to be followed by more new releases.
I have a very special close to this show by an artist that was one of the best. This is from way back in 1965. I owe learning about this artist, the incomparable jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, to my wife Joyce that I met that same year, 1965. She had all his records and I became a huge fan after listening to her play those records. Many regard Montgomery as the best jazz guitarist of all time. In the mid 1960’s, to the dismay of jazz purists, he abandoned pure jazz for pop jazz. He recorded popular songs of the period with his own orchestral arrangements such as the Beatles song Yesterday. This brought him great commercial success and a much wider audience. Wes Montgomery was crucially important to smooth jazz development and his influence on later jazz and smooth jazz artists continues to this day. His sound was mellow because he played directly from his soul and because his thumb developed a callus that produced a softer sound. He developed this technique after a neighbor complained about him practicing all day, Can you even imagine complaining about music being played by this great artist. I would have loved to listen to him all day long. Others felt the same way. I recall one of the most memorable comments I ever saw from one of his fans. He said Wes Montgomery was his safe place while he was in Viet Nam. When he needed peace and quiet, he would put on a Wes Montgomery record, remember record players and records, and the ugly war would be gone for awhile. For good listening it just does not get any better than this song performed by his quartet. From his classic album Bumpin’ I am playing Here’s That Rainy Day.
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