Joe Blessett makes an interesting case for going into the studio and doing your own thing.  His sixth release as a solo artist has him everywhere, laying down music tracks on several instruments, voicing over for effect, mixing, and even marketing his own product.  The result is a pastiche of music that runs from smooth to funk, and tracks that run in and out like a fever dream. 

 Get ready to listen to a great set of music compositions by Hart Ramsey which are rich with melodies that are simply awesome. Not only that, the motivational notes inside the CD jacket will inspire all who read them.

It's been two years since vocalist Anders Holst released a recording and his newest one, Soho Suite, may very well be his best. Originally from Sweden, Holst is now based out of New York. In the style of Kenny Rankin, Holst has a rich lower tenor voice that is full of deep romantic leanings that falls into either the smooth jazz or adult contemporary vein. Recorded with a variety of Swedish backing musicians and vocalists, every track is richly produced, but not over produced and is so popular these days in the smooth jazz world.

In this, the age of being able to record your own CD in your basement, the adage, “just because you can record your own CD doesn’t mean you should,” has never been more true, especially in the smooth jazz realm. The market has been flooded with, let’s face it, tons of just terrible recordings, mostly done by artists playing all the parts themselves on their keyboard workstations. None of the above applies to the new CD by saxophonist Neamen, So Free.

The blistering new album from rising sax-star Aaron Bing is titled 'Rebirth' and in many ways that's exactly what it represents. Bolstered by a discography that stretches back to 2005 and his debut release 'Always' Bing has come roaring back with a collection as good as anything you will hear this year. When recently I got the opportunity to talk with him from his home in Jacksonville, FL I was eager to understand the creative process that underpinned this latest project.

Self-taught native Washingtonian Jeff Logan today lives in Maryland, near where we grew up. While he has a day job as an administrator in Prince George’s County detention center, Logan has opened concerts for artists such as Martha & The Vandellas and Junior Walker & The All-Stars. This, his seventh release, finds Logan playing all of the instruments as well as releasing the CD on his own BASS-mint Records. With 12 tracks, 10 of them originals, Logan has recorded a sweet recording of subdued instrumental R&B.

Player A is a loose collection of studio musicians out of Nashville who have come together under the direction of keyboardist, producer and Creative Soul label President Eric Copland. While all of the musicians on the disc are heavy hitters, there is no way they are household names unless you like to read liner notes on the records of others because it’s there where you’ll find their names. The cast of musicians rotates and revolves depending on the composition, but the one stable element throughout is Copeland’s playing, his compositions and arrangements; besides the two covers, one by the Brothers Gibb, “Staying Alive,” and the pop chestnut “Windy.”

Primarily known as a session musician, pianist Eddie Gip Noble has worked with artists such as Gerald Albright, Patti Austin, Wayne Henderson, Etta James and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. In The Lite Of Things is Noble’s second release, following 2004’s Love T.K.O. Like a number of keyboard oriented albums by Kim Pensyl, this recording was totally done by Noble, playing all of the parts on a keyboard workstation. In this case it’s the Korg Triton Studio Musicworkstation Sampling Keyboard. There is one exception. On “I Don’t Want To Be Alone Tonight,” Noble adds a guitarist and vocalist to great effect. The material covered on this R&B uptempo-oriented smooth jazz recording is all covers, save for one Noble original.

 During the numerous theoretical waves of music and its major influences, the annals of music's scrolls have recorded many activists of the art of sound which have risen to become the statesperson of their chosen pulpit. Rock and roll had the Beatles, Nirvana, and Elvis taking front stage; the classics waltzed in Brahms, Beethoven, and Chopin; however jazz has eclipsed some of the most divinely unique and innovative conductors to have ever dueled with a music sheet. That said Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is affording serious listeners an encouraging collection of push-n-plays for the holiday season. This year they are announcing a diverse mixture of celebrated artists from a vast array of genres under the marketing umbrella called... The Complete Columbia Albums Collections! One such artist with an ability to shift the tectonic plates of any level of listenership with his horn's, is the purist of smooth spins forever known as saxophonist Grover Washington Jr.; the man whose diverse appeal to this day still embraces generations.

I'm often asked where I think jazz is headed and which jazz musicians are pushing the envelope without boring the listener.