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2011 CD Reviews - Archives

Artist: Wayman Tisdale 

Title: The Good Feeling

Release Date: November 22, 2011

Review By: Leila Holt

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Artist: Kim Waters  

Title:This Heart Of Mine  

October 28, 2011      

By: Leila Holt

Artist: George Benson 

Title: Guitar Man  

October 4, 2011       

By: Lynda Payton

Artist: Jim Peternik 

Title: Forces At Play  

Sep 27, 2011             

By: Darcella Curtis

Artist: Christian McBride Big Band 

Title: The Good Feeling

Release Date: September 27, 2011

Review By: Andrew Reeves

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Artist: Randy Scott

Title: 90 Degrees At Midnight  

Sep 27, 2011             

By: Norvell Molex Jr.  

Artists: Ramsey Lewis

Title: Ramsey, Taking Another Look         

September  20 2011  

By: Leila Holt

Artist: Stanley Jordan 

Title: Friends 

September 27, 2011  

By: Darcella Curtis  

See Review:

Artist: Trombone Shorty           

Title: For True          

September 13, 2011  

By: Lexi Lewis

Jessy J

Artist: Jessy J 

By: Cheryl Armour    

Title: Hot Sauce                

September 06, 2011

Artist: Kyle Eastwood

By: Andrew Reeves   

Title: Songs From The Chateau  

August 30, 2011

Artist: Nicole Henry 

Title: Embraceable    

August 23, 2011      

By: Cheryl Armour

Artist: Chuck Loeb

Title: Plain n' Simple            

By: Andrew Reeves      

July 26, 2011

Artist: Terri Lyne Carrington

Title: The Mosiac Project  

Release Date: July 19, 2011

Review By: Cheryl Armour

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Artist: Brian Hughes

Title: Fast Train To A Quiet Place

Release Date: July 12, 2011

Review By: Andrew Reeves

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Way It Used to Be

Artist: Patrick Cooper

Title: The Way It Use To Be

Release Date: July 12, 2011

Review By: Anderw Reeves

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Artist: Marcus Anderson

Title: Now

Release Date: June 28, 2011

Review By: Cheryl Boone

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Time Together

Artist: Michael Franks 

Title: Time Together  

Release Date: June 21, 2011

Review By: Gwendolyn Harper

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Artist: Cindy Bradley 

Title: Unscripted

Release Date: June 21, 2011

Review By: Sandra King

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Prime Time

Artist: Paul Taylor 

Title: Prime Time 

Release Date: June 14, 2011

Review By: Cheryl Boone

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Artist: Pat Metheny  

Title: What's It All About

Release Date: June 14, 2011

Review By: Melissa Berry

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Feel The Heat

Artist: Nick Colionne

Title: Feel The Heat

Release Date: June 07, 2011

Review By: Anderw Reeves

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Artist: Dave Grusin 

Title: An Evening With Dave Grusin

Release Date: April 26, 2011

Review By: Cheryl Armour

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   Artist: Jazz Roots 

Title: The Music Of The Americas

Release Date: April 5, 2011

Review By: Cheryl Armour

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Artist: Disney Various 

Title: Everyboy Want To Be A Cat

Release Date: February 15, 2011

Review By: Debra Goidel

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Artist: Elan Trotman 

Title: Love and Sax

Release Date: March 08, 2011

Review By: Debra Goidel

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Artist: Yellowjackets 

Title: Timeline

Release Date: March 15, 2011

Review By: Anderw Reeves

See Review:

The Road...

Artist: Steve Cole 

Title: Moonlight

Release Date: February 01, 2011

Review By: Anderw Reeves

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The Road...

Artist: Keiko Matsui 

Title: The Road...

Release Date: January 25, 2011

Review By: Dennis Kouchi

See Review

Artist: Marcus Miller

Title: A Night In Monte-Carlo

Release Date: February 1, 2011

Review By: Linda Michelle Eskew

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Artist: Jimmy Haslip


Title: Nightfall



Release Date: November 15, 2010

Review By: Melissa Berry

Artist: Cassandra Wilson

Title: Silver Pony

Release Date: November 09, 2010

Review By: Larohnda Roberts

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Product Details

Artist: Jowee Omicil

Title: Roots and Grooves

Release Date: November 09, 2010

Review By: Andrew Reeves

Artist: Will Downing

Title: Lust, Love & Lies

Release Date: October 05, 2010

Review By: Andrew Reeves

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Artist: Lizz Wright  

Title: Fellowship

Release Date: September 28, 2010

Review By: Andrew Reeves

See Review:


Artist: Jackiem Joyner 

Title: Jackiem Joyner

Release Date: September 17, 2010

By Cheryl Boone                      December 1, 2011


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It’s beginning to not only look a lot like Christmas, but also sound like it too.  Amongst the twinkling of Christmas Trees, Mistletoe and Holly, there are the sounds of classic and original songs that help to usher in the season.  With crooning, sexy vocals, easy laid back guitar sassy sax playing and hard hitting drumming, the music has never been cheerier or more festive.

Michael Buble’s "Christmas", with his charm, undeniable swagger, perfect diction and velvety voice takes us on a musical sleigh ride with jazz, orchestral, and big band backgrounds on such favorites as “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”, “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” and “I’ll be home for Christmas”.  Imagine walking in a “Winter Wonderland” and wishing all the folks you pass a “Holly Jolly Christmas” while listening to “Silver Bells”.    “Frosty The Snowman” takes us back to our childhood, and with Andrew Sisters quality, the Puppini Sisters adds a modern, boogie woogie touch to “Jingle Bells”.  Michael’s rendition of the prayer “Ava Maria” is angelic and powerful while “Silent Night” features a children choir that is magical. “All I Want For Christmas” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” both cater to our romantic side.
Nicole Henry’s "Set for the Season" (Live in Japan), shows the international and multifaceted singer’s emotional, deep and jazzy flair. “My Favorite Things” has a new life breathed into it with an arrangement that is unique.  “Christmas Time Is Here” has a tranquil appeal while “Rudolph The Red-nose Reindeer” still has a playful, charming quality to it with a grown up sound.  Everyone’s favorite, “The Christmas Song” shows Nicole’s passion and ability to make the classic her own.  The conversational “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, is enchanting and “O Holy Night” is heartfelt and poignant.  Nicole is both charismatic and sultry, bringing sensuality, fun and a love for the season to each tune in this collection.
Chris Standring, along with longtime friend and vocalist Kathrin Shorr, put a new twist on their  "Send Me Some Snow" cd. Foregoing the usual tried and true Christmas traditional songs, the duo opted for a collection of original yet vintage sounding pieces that they penned together.  Capturing a feel of days of yesteryear, the jazzy title track, “Send Me Some Snow” goes a step farther than just wanting a white Christmas.   It’s a simple request for Santa to skip the normal presents but bring temperatures cold enough to produce the snow that both chills the body, yet warms the spirit.  “Someone’s Gonna Get Something (For Christmas)” is a dreamy desire of a woman to be proposed to. Though the season for many is a time for family, merriment and cheer, it’s not like that for all.  That sense of downheartedness is felt in “Christmas Ain’t Christmas Without You”.  With big band tones, Chris’ crisp, lucid notes and Kathrin’s folksy yet soulful voice, “Mistletoe Moon” describes the way some boys are, but what girls ultimately want, not just at Christmas, but all year long.  If you desire something new for your listening ear this holiday season, you’ll enjoy Send Me Some Snow.
Dave Koz, the man who for the last 14 seasons has taken to the road with friends for an annual Christmas Tour, has also found time to release "Ultimate Christmas".  Joining Koz on this cd, which features songs from his past three Christmas albums, are some of smooth jazz’s best vocalist and musicians such as Brenda Russell, Kelly Sweet, Kimberly Locke,  Peter White, Rick Braun, Brian Culbertson and David Benoit.  Dave brings the tried and true classics from “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”, “Sleigh Ride”, “Silver Bells” to “Winter Wonderland” and “Deck The Halls”.  He also has something for everyone including “Eight Candles (A Song for Hanukkah)”.  Ultimate Christmas is reflective of the most joyful, merry, peaceful and enchanting time of the year and should be added to everyone’s Christmas collection. 
Drummer Ricky Lawson does a nice re-release of his 2008 “Ricky Lawson's Christmas With Friends".   Ricky’s friends include the likes of Richard Elliott, Philippe Saisse, Rick Braun, and Paul Brown to name a few.  Appropriately renamed Ricky Lawson “Holidays With Friends” , Ricky adds three new songs to his former lineup; “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”, “Silent Night” and “Little Drummer Boy”, on which he is clearly at ease.  “O Christmas Tree”, is upbeat and jazzy, while “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is heartwarming.  Ricky closes out with  the song whose  lyrics continue to be baffling to most, “Auld Lang Syne”.  Should old acquaintances be forgot? No, not if you spend the holidays with family, loved ones and Ricky.
Tender Loving Christmas
With the twinkling of lights from a beautiful Christmas tree and your loved ones and closest friends near,  add the delicate, sensitive and affectionately smooth sound of Marcus Anderson, and you have the recipe for a "Tender Loving Christmas".  Marcus starts things off with a very cheery and upbeat “Let It Snow” then he takes a walk in a “Winter Wonderland”. The title track, “TLC” written and arranged by Marcus, seem to capture the true meaning of what the holiday season is all about, as Matt Marshak adds his easy guitar lines to make this one of the smoothest songs included in this project. The Charlie Brown classic, “Christmas Time is Here” takes us back to our childhood. While no one can forget the Peanuts gang skating on the pond, Marcus manages to keep the familiar, but still add his own special touch.  His incredible flute playing stands out and gives an air of romance to the timeless favorite. Next in line is “Do You Hear What I Hear” which features Pieces Of A Dream’s James Lloyd, which is sure to be a favorite.  The Cd delivers the comforting and inspirational and the reason for the season with “Go Tell It On The Mountain”, “Silent Night” and “Away In A Manager”, proving that Marcus has the ability to make any song his own. Now if you’ve still somehow missed the essence of Tender Loving Christmas, lend your ear to “The Christmas Song/Have Yourself A Merry Christmas” melody.  The vocals are inviting while Marcus compliments them with some of the sweetest notes to ever come out of his sax.  TLC not only delivers the songs we grew up loving, but has taken away the predictable and the normal and added surprises and novelty.  Make sure you add this to your collection….you won’t be disappointed as I am sure it will become a Smooth Jazz classic Christmas CD.

Though each of the six cds reviewed are unique to each other in style or delivery, they all convey a love for Christmastime and it’s allurement. 

From everyone at Smooth Jazz Magazine,  Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.









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          Joe Crocker
     Dies 1944 - 2014










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