So far this year in January we had one new Smooth Jazz album release from Brian Culbertson and several early singles to be part of later album releases. As we get deeper into the new year, suddenly things are beginning to explode with lots of brand new Smooth Jazz. Over half of our first hour will be new 2022 music and the remaining time will be releases from late in 2021.
I will start with a fantastic new release from an icon, pianist, keyboardist, composer, arranger and producer Bob James. At age 82, he is still going strong .Discovered by Quincy Jones and Henry Mancini, he released his first album in 1963. His early music is credited with the development of both Smooth Jazz and with hip hop. He wrote Angela the theme for the TV show Taxi. In 1991 he became the leader of one of the longest lasting Smooth Jazz groups, Fourplay, a group whose debut album sold a million copies and remained number one on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart for 33 weeks. Since Foreplay guitarist Chuck Loeb’s death in 2017, James has often played as a trio with bassist Michael Pelazzolo and drummer Billy Kilson III. January 28th that trio released a new album with a great title reflecting Bob James’ preference for live performances. The title of his new album is Feel Like Making Live. The fourteen songs shine new light on landmark songs. Our first listen is their take on Rocketman.
Sure to be one of the year’s top new releases is from trumpeter Rick Braun. Braun played some of the songs on his Rick’s Cafe Live YouTube shows while refining them to perfection and seeking comments. That album titled simply Rick Braun was released February 11th. Our second listen to this fabulous new album is the trumpet of Rick Braun with Da Funk.
British guitarist Chris Standring is best known for his wonderful tune Bossa Blue that topped the charts for nine consecutive weeks. In 2020 his album Real Life produced two Billboard number ones with, who could ever forget this title, Is there A Doctor In The House and Shake You Up. This year he has a new single out that is once again climbing the charts. It will be in his new album titled Simple Things. I am playing that single, guitar of Chris Standring with Change The World.
Lisa Addeo is a piano player, singer, and songwriter whose tranquil works bridge new age, jazz, and easy listening. She is actually a protege of great pianist Liberace and early in her career she performed with him several times at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Addeo scored her very first Billboard number one with the title track from her September 2019 release of the album Listen To This. January 7th she released this single Deep Blue C. Accompanying Lisa is the trumpet of Ryan Montano.
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