PHILIP LASSITER – CHILL MODE
A sweetly soulful set from trumpeter Philip Lassiter – a jazz musician at heart, but one who's blowing here with a strong range of contemporary R&B elements! Phil's trumpet is often processed a bit – with a cool, compressed sound that fits right in with the well-produced mellow grooves – handled by James Poyser, Jae Deal, Rodley Lil Rod Jones, Bobby Sparks III, and others – sometimes with a bit of vocals from Josephine Rojer, sometimes with more than enough "voice" from Lassiter on his horn! The set's got a nicely different vibe than other efforts of this nature, and is much deeper and is light years from too-familiar smooth jazz. Titles include "Bob Ya Head", "Cheers 2 Life", "Jungle Feva", "Chill Mode", "Hopscotch", and "Smilin Profilin". ~ Dusty Groove
ERIC ALEXANDER TRIO – JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS
A totally wonderful setting for the tenor genius of Eric Alexander – a freewheeling trio, which is a format we're not sure we've ever heard him in before – really stretching out in an amazing way, with the sense of of imagination that we've always loved in his music, but with a depth that takes him farther than most of his usual recordings too! We're not sure what happened, but there's a new sort of edge in Eric's horn – one that might well come from the sublime work of Dezron Douglas on bass and Neal Smith on drums – but which might just be Alexander deciding to take off and really blow us away – which he does throughout the set, with a sense of spirituality that we haven't heard from him before. The whole thing's amazing – and titles include "Wise One", "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", "You Say You Care", "Beautiful Love", "Bessie's Blues", "Russian Lullaby", and "We've Only Just Begun". ~ Dusty Groove
LORI JENAIRE - FRUITION
Vocalist and songwriter Lori Jenaire is emerging dramatically on the music scene, rapidly carving her niche in the world of neo-jazz and soul, as she boldly steps in the footprints of, Phyllis Hyman, Anita Baker and Sarah Vaughn. Lori Jenaire is a statuesque 6-foot-tall beauty with scintillating vocals who conjures up images of divas from an era past. With her sophomore release, aptly titled, “Fruition,” on NBE Records, Jenaire co-writes the majority of the album and takes the jazz/R&B world by storm with her remake of the Mamas and Papa’s smash ‘California Dreamin’. Since Fruition’s release, she has consistently been on the R&R Jazz Indicator charts steadily climbing from her debut at No 26 and reaching No 7 on the Smooth Jazz.com indie chart. Radio & Records Magazine’s Carole Archer describes Jenaires’ California Dreamin as “a swingin’ and sultry version, that delivers big time”.