Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Suzanne Vega, one of the most distinctive and successful female singer/songwriters of the past 20 years, was in the studio last month recording her Blue Note debut. Since her last album was released in 2001, Vega has been writing new material in her signature style of poetry meets pop. There is an intriguing theme of New York City interwoven into many of the new songs and the album will feature her folk aesthetics along with string orchestrations and electronic beats on certain tracks. The album is being produced by Jimmy Hogarth, the talented UK-based upstart who has recently helmed recordings for Sia, James Blunt, Corinne & KT Tunstall. They resume recording and mixing in London in the New Year


Ramsey Lewis will record his Blue Note debut and first ever solo piano album this February in Chicago. The program will combine the jazz, soul, gospel and classical sensibilities from the consummate pianist and will feature a wide range of repertoire. Included will be John Coltrane’s Dear Lord, Benny Golson's Classical Dreams, and an African folk hymn by Ramsey, along with pieces that Lewis was commissioned to write for the Joffrey Ballet which will premiere at Ravinia on June 22nd.


The man known as the "Godfather of Soul" has died. The agent for music legend James Brown says the performer died early Monday morning at an Atlanta hospital. Brown was admitted Sunday with pneumonia, but doctors say he died of heart failure. His agent says Brown initially seemed fine, and was even telling people he planned to perform as scheduled in New York on New Year's Eve. He was considered one of the most influential musicians of the past half-century. His high-energy performance style paved the way for scores of acts that followed in his footsteps. Brown was 73-years old. James Brown was next due to perform in New York City on New Years Eve.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Diana Ross is a global entertainment icon, a legendary musical treasure whose music has, for decades, inspired romance, happiness and joy. For her new studio album, Diana Ross has drawn inspiration from romantic songs that have touched her heart through the years, and she has dedicated the album to this most powerful universal emotion: love. I Love You, to be released by Manhattan/EMI in CD and deluxe CD/DVD packages and digitally on January 16, presents 14 songs personally selected for the album by Diana Ross in appreciation of their timeless, classic expressions of love and romance, including a brand new song, I Love You (That's All That Really Matters), a gentle ballad that captures the emotion of romance. The CD's package includes stunning photos by Herb Ritts, Randee St. Nicholas and Douglas Kirkland and a letter to fans from Diana Ross, who executive produced I Love You.
The package also contains notes from the album's co-executive producer, Marylata E. Jacob, a Grammy-nominated music supervisor and producer whose professional relationship with Diana Ross spans 22 years, Peter Asher, who produced nine of the album's tracks, and who has collaborated with Diana Ross on many of her most cherished recordings, and the producer of five of the album's tracks, Steve Tyrell, has produced many recordings with Diana Ross including Big Bad Love with Ray Charles, and in 2005 produced her duet with Rod Stewart, I've Got A Crush On You, the lead single from Stewart's Thanks For The Memory: The Great American Songbook . I Love You"s deluxe edition adds a DVD with a photo gallery and an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the new album.

Beginning and closing with Harry Nilsson's Remember, the song that inspired Ross' vision for her new album, I Love You takes the listener on a vibrant journey through many of music's most timeless and recognizable affirmations of love. All of the songs chosen for the album are important and meaningful to Diana Ross, from the sweet bounce of More Today Than Yesterday, to the sultry allure of I Want You, a song first recorded by Marvin Gaye that was co-written by Ms. Ross' brother, T-Boy Ross.

"We wanted to create the quintessential album to be played at celebrations of love and life: weddings, family gatherings, intimate moments," explains Marylata Jacob. I Love You is Diana's personal offering to honor these celebrations of love, from the glance of your first true love, through the joy of children, and love everlasting." Recorded at multiple studios in Southern California, New York and London, I Love You features soaring orchestral arrangements to accompany the broad range and sensitivity of Ms. Ross' vocals, one of the world's most cherished musical instruments. The best players and singers from Los Angeles, New York and London were involved with the new album, and Ms. Ross attended every session, from the initial demos to tracking, overdubs and mixing.

"When I was in the studio, sharing these songs, I was filled with strong emotion," says Ms. Ross. "These songs, these singers, these musicians and all my fans are a gift of love to me." Says Peter Asher, who returns to working with Diana having produced her 1991 hit album, The Force Behind The Power, "I am proud that not only have Diana and I remained friends for 41 years, but that I have again been given the opportunity to work with her extraordinary voice in the studio. Her contribution in the studio was very significant, above and beyond her singing -- itself seemingly unchanged by the passing years in its emotional intensity and brilliance, yet having gained a certain wisdom and clarity that makes you believe every word she sings. On this record she tells us an eternal story, and does so with ineffable brilliance and accuracy."

The Songs:
Remember by Harry Nilsson inspired the album and its concept as Diana Ross listened to it while reminiscing over her family's photo albums. Its dreaminess conjures up memories of love and present feelings. Diana Ross feels a connection to Nilsson's work, as she has often performed songs from Nilsson's acclaimed musical, "The Point," in concert.

More Today Than Yesterday is a classic first performed by Spiral Staircase in the late-1960s. Destined to be an audience favorite at Diana Ross' concerts, the song is also one of her favorites. Diana Ross' fun and bouncy new recording of the song is an inspired tribute to the joy of everlasting love.

I Want You, first recorded by Marvin Gaye in 1974, was co-written by Diana Ross' beloved brother, T-Boy Ross, with Leon Ware. Ross delivers a smoldering, sultry take on this track that honors the original while making it wholly her own.

I Love You (That's All That Really Matters) is a new original song, a gorgeous, heartfelt ballad. The writer, Fred White, has been touring with Diana Ross as a back-up singer for six years. His experience of her live persona and vocal range inspired this song, written specifically with Ross in mind. Ms. Ross fell in love with the song, saying, "To be loved for who you are is the deepest expression of the purest love, wholly selfless and spiritual."

What About Love was written for Oprah Winfrey's stage production of "The Color Purple." The composers are Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. Diana Ross' relationship with Brenda Russell and her great friendship with Oprah inspired Ross' interest in the soundtrack, and she selected this powerful and moving song of love.

The Look of Love - Ross captures all of its romance and anticipation. This classic song was written by two of the finest song writers of all time, Hal David and Burt Bacharach.

Lovely Day has a groove and a simple lyric that has universal appeal. "This song makes me dance," Diana Ross says. "Everyone wants a lovely day." Written by Bill Withers.

Take My Breath Away is the decade's quintessential love song. Ross adds her own signature style to it with her new recording. The original recording is by Berlin.

Only You - A new version decidedly Ms. Ross. Growing up in Detroit, listening to records while slow dancing under a single source of light was as close to heaven as it could get for Diana Ross, her own personal experience of young love.

To Be Loved was written by the legendary Berry Gordy, Jr. and was originally recorded by Jackie Wilson in 1958. It is the ultimate declaration of love, and Ms. Ross deftly balances the emotion of the song's sensitive lyrics with an upbeat and boundless delivery.
I Will - Paul McCartney's simplicity of lyric and song melody made it a welcomed song for the heart of I Love You. Ms. Ross' sweet vocals and Peter Asher's long history with the Beatles brought a lovely perspective of range and depth to the new recording.

This Magic Moment, originally recorded by the Drifters, is made brand new with Ross' rendition. With its calypso-leaning arrangement and backing vocals, Ms. Ross' new version really pops.
You Are So Beautiful - The song was chosen for its universal message of love and kindness. "It reaches out and speaks not only to lovers, but to relationships of all kinds, mother to child, child to grandparent, sister to sister, friend to friend," says Ross.

Always And Forever was written by famed songwriter Rod Temperton and originally recorded by Heatwave. Ms. Ross brings her brilliant sensitivity and gorgeous vocal delivery to the timeless love song for a magical contemporary classic.

Closing the new album's romantic journey is a reprise of the song that started it all, Remember.
"We must remember love in the past, nurture it in the present, and dream of it in the future," says Ms. Ross.

Diana Ross: "I Love You"
1. Remember
2. More Today Than Yesterday
3. I Want You
4. I Love You (That's All That Really Matters)
5. What About Love
6. The Look Of Love
7. Lovely Day
8. Take My Breath Away
9. Only You
10. To Be Loved
11. I Will
12. Magic Moment
13. You Are So Beautiful
14. Always And Forever
15. Remember Reprise
I Love You Deluxe Edition CD/DVD: DVD contents: The Making Of I Love You + Photo Gallery


We've compiled a list of recommended U.S. Smooth Jazz radio stations for your listening pleasure...

www.wclk.com WCLK-FM 91.9 Atlanta GA
www.1075swjzz.com WJZZ-FM 107.5 Atlanta GA
www.smoothjazz1043.com WSMJ-FM 104.3 Baltimore MD
www.baton-rouge.com WBRH-FM 90.3 Baton Rouge LA
www.wnua.com WNUA-FM 95.5 Chicago IL
www.wnvw.com WNVW-FM 107.3 Cleveland OH
www.columbusjazz.com WJZA-FM 103.5 Columbus OH
www.lighthouseradio.com KYSJ-FM 105.9 Coos Bay OR
www.smoothjazz1075.com KOAI-FM 107.5 Dallas TX
www.daytonjazz.com WDSJ-FM 106.5 Dayton OH
www.wvmv.com/ WVMV-FM 98.7 Detroit MI
www.wsbc.com/ WSBZ-FM 106.3 Ft Walton Bch FL
www.wxjz.com/ WXJZ-FM 100.9 Gainseville FL
www.khjz.com KHJZ-FM 96.5 Houston TX
www.wjyzradio.com/ WJYZ-FM 100.9 Indianapolis IN
www.smoothjazz1053.com WJSJ-FM 105.3 Jacksonville FL
www.wjzlonline.com/ WJZL-FM 92.9 Lansing MI
www.1057theoasis.com/ KOAS-FM 105.7 Las Vegas NV
www.947wave.com/ KTWV-FM 94.7 Los Angeles CA
www.love94.com WLVE-FM 93.9 Miami FL
www.wjzi.com WJZI-FM 93.3 Milwaukee OH
www.krvr.com/ KRVR-FM 105.5 Modesto CA
www.cd1019.com WQCD-FM 101.9 New York NY
www.weibfm.com WEIB-FM 106.3 Northampton MA
www.wloq.com WLOQ-FM 103.1 Orlando FL
www.102kjjz..com KJJZ-FM 102.3 Palm Springs CA
www.wjjz.com WJJZ-FM 106.1 Philadelphia PA
www.kyot.com KYOT-FM 95.5 Phoenix AZ
www.smoothjazzreno.com FM 92.1 Reno NV
www.kssj.com KSSJ-FM 94.7 Sacramento, CA
www.kbzn.com KBZN-FM 97.9 Salt Lake City UT
www.kmgq1063.com KMGQ-FM 106.3 Santa Barbara CA
www.smoothjazz1053.com WSJF-FM 105.5 St Augustine FL
www.kifm.com KIFM 98.1 San Diego CA
www.kblx.com KBLX 102.9 San Francisco CA
www.kjzy.com/ KJZY-FM 93.7 San Francisco CA
www.kwjz.com/ KWJZ-FM 98.9 Seattle WA
www.wsjt.com WSJT-FM 94.1 Tampa FL
www.smoothjazz1059.com Smooth Jazz 105.9 Wash DC


Medeski Martin & Wood are scheduled to return to Mexico in February for an upcoming concert still to be announced. Concert dates for March and April 2007 have been announced as follows: March 7 - Asheville, TN @ The Orange Peel; March 8 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse; March 9 - Jacksonville, FL @ Langerado Music Festival; and April 27 - Princeton, NJ @ McCarter Theatre. Other select tour dates are still in the works including summer festivals in Europe others still to be confirmed. John Medeski has just returned from three concerts in Milan, Italy with the Campbell Brothers. Medeski will be performing in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia in April with guitarist Marc Ribot and artist Auktyon. The trio recently recorded together in New York last September. Then in July 2007, John Medeski and John Scofield will tour as a duet. Check back here for more information as we receive it.


Thievery Corporation has released a new 12 inch vinyl remix taken from their recent compilations Versions, Originality. It’s a dubbed out sub-heavy collaboration between Thievery Corporation and legendary reggae toaster Sister Nancy. On the flipside comes the swirling echo and reverb of Amerimacka (Thievery Corporation Remix), originally appearing on Thievery’s album The Cosmic Game this time through the echo chamber for a brand new dub version. Thievery Corporation have also remixed Tamarindio by Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada. The track features boom-bap drum rhythms, sly funk guitars, keys, and soaring flute passages from the original track while Thievery’s remix picks up the pace with a steady breakbeat groove and trademark psychedelic atmospheres. Thievery Corporation are set to appear at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. with four shows from Dec. 20 through 23.


In a groundbreaking move, CBS KTWV(the Wave)/Los Angeles names Grammy winning Warner Bros. recording artist Brian McKnight host of its morning show; McKnight will be joined by veteran morning personality Pat Prescott and producer Rosemary Jimenez. KTWV VP GM and CBS Los Angeles director of sales Dan Weiner says, "Brian McKnight is an amazing superstar whose mass appeal casts a really wide net for the Wave. His week of guest hosting was all we needed to know that his talent would not only super-serve our core but also help draw in an entirely new audience who follow his music across many different formats than just smooth jazz. He and Pat will make this a seamless transition from five years-plus of success with Dave Koz in the morning."Koz, who plans to embark on world tour in support of his forthcoming At The Movies CD, will sit in with McKnight for his first few shows. McKnight comments, "The Wave is one of my favorite radio stations, so to be joining the station is incredibly exciting. Pat and I have a lot of exciting things planned, and I can't wait to get started.""Brian is a world-class entertainer with the charisma and class our listeners have come to expect from the Wave's air talent," says VP of programming Paul Goldstein. "He's a natural for radio, a compelling communicator who knows how to draw listeners in and make them feel comfortable." McKnight has sold more than 16 million albums since his self-titled debut in 1991.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


The First Energy Berks Jazz Festival is set for March 16-25, 2007 in Reading, PA. Set to appear are Boney James, David Sanborn, Guitars & Saxes featuring Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, Jeff Golub and Tim Bowman, Dave Brubeck, Nelson Rangell, Philippe Saisse, Joyce Cooling, Pat Martino, Mindi Abair, Chuck Loeb, Ann Hampton Calloway, Gerald Veasley, Kevin Mahogany, David Lieberman, the Sax Pack featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters and Steve Cole, Warren Hill, Nick Colionne, Berks All-Star Jazz Jam featuring Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb, Gerald Veasley, Richard Elliot, Nick Colionne, Warren Hill and Joe McBride, Keb’ Mo’ Band, Tab Benoit, and Frank Bey & Swing City Blues Band.

Music director and keyboardist and keyboardist Jason Miles will produce some very special ensemble concerts, including a celebration of the life and music of Luther Vandross. Miles has assembled co-music director and keyboardist Nat Adderly Jr, Dionne Warwick, Doc Powell, Kirk Whalum, Walter Beasley, James ‘D Train’ Williams, Cissy Houston, Lisa Fischer, Paulette McWilliams, Buddy Williams, and Tinker Barfield.

The world premiere Soul Summit concert features Jason Miles along with Susan Tedeschi, Maysa, Richard Elliot, Derek Trucks Band vocalist Mike Mattison, Barry Danielian, Andy Snitzer, Steve Ferrone, Sherrod Barnes and turntablist DJ Logic.

Additionally, there will be an Afternoon and an Evening of Heads Up (Records) featuring legendary Philadelphia-based super smooth jazz group Pieces Of A Dream, Bobby Lyle, Marion Meadows, Alexander Zonjic, and Gerald Veasley.

The Downright Upright All-Stars will feature Brian Bromberg, Dave Wecki, Jeff Lorber, Gary Meek, and Randy Brecker.

The Tim Ries The Rolling Stones Project showcases Ries, the Stone saxophonist playing Stones’ classics with a jazz interpretation along with trombonist Mike Davis, vocalist Bernard Fowler, and guitarist Ben Monder.


Bass maven Stanley Clarke, a founding member of Return to Forever who,along with Jaco Pastorius, revolutionized electric bass playing in jazz,funk and R&B,has united with Heads Up International to form a partnership that will explore various audio and video opportunities. Mostly recognized for its roster of smooth-jazz luminaries such as the Yellowjackets, Mike Stern and Walter Beasley, the Cleveland-based Heads Up, which is a division of Telarc, plans to produce and release Clarke’s albums and videos over the next few years. Clarke already owns Roxboro Entertainment Group, which handles his publishing (as well as others) and will produce the bass virtuoso’s multiple projects, with the goal of maximizing Roxboro’s potential. The inaugural release, Night School: An Evening with Stanley Clarke and Friends, is due on Mar. 28, 2007 and features footage of performances by Stevie Wonder, Wallace Roney, Bela Fleck, Stewart Copeland and others at the third annual Stanley Clarke Scholarship Concert, intercut with commentary by Clarke on the value of education for aspiring musicians. Clarke’s new, as-yet-untitled CD project will follow Night School in June.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Jeff Golub (Narada Jazz), the Rod Stewart alum and tasty guitarist is putting the finishing touch on his latest installment for Narada Jazz. The album features a diversity of sounds and styles from Golub's pen along with some classic covers including Sly Stone's If You Want Me To Stay, The Four Tops Ain't No Woman which was produced by Rick Braun & features Richard Elliot on sax and The Beatles Something produced by Paul Brown. Golub mastered the album last week.


Jeff Lorber (Narada Jazz) is almost finished with the mixing stage of a truly all-star album produced by Bobby Colomby, the Blood Sweat and Tears founder who has produced everyone from Jaco Pastorius to Chris Botti. The versatile keyboardist is joined by a diverse cast of musicians including Botti & Randy Brecker on trumpet, Tom Scott, Gerald Albright & Kirk Whalum on saxophone, Hubert Laws on flute, Russell Malone on guitar and the Blood Sweat & Tears horns. Also, featured are Paula Cole & Eric Benet on a soulful duet ala Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell and Benet also lends his silky smooth stylings to a cover of Bill Wither's classic Grandma's Hands. Lorber will master the album this week.

Friday, December 15, 2006


The Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival is back. This time, event organizers promise that this coming year’s festival will be the biggest so far since it is celebrating its tenth year. The upcoming Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2007 will be held on January 25 to 27, 2007 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Grammy-winning artists such as Michael Bolton, Kenny Rogers, and Christopher Cross are set to perform at the festival. As part of the ten-year celebrations, the festival has added a special feature in the main event. Called The Art of Reggae, this additional feature is a special tribute performance honoring reggae music, the music native to Jamaica. World-renowned reggae artists like Shaggy, Wayne Wonder, Luciano, and Freddie MacGregor will spearhead the tribute performance. Other artists scheduled to perform at the festival include Ne-Yo, Cyndi Lauper, Earth Wind and Fire, Roy Ayres, Pieces of a Dream, Monty Alexander, Jamaica’s own jazz legend, among many others.

In line with the organizers plan of staging a bigger and better event, the festival is being moved to the Aqueduct on Rose Hall in Montego Bay, instead of holding it at the driving range at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course. Satellite concerts by the winners of the recently concluded Jazz Fest Quest, a regional US talent competition for unknown jazz, blues, Latin, and reggae musicians â€" will also be held at various locations in Montego Bay prior to the major event.

The Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival is considered as the premier entertainment showcase in Jamaica. Over the past years, it had bear witness to incredible performances by international artists such as Alicia Keys, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, James Ingram, Air Supply, George Benson, and Patti Labelle.


Larry Carlton, George Benson, Brenda Russell, Natalie Cole, Chris Botti, and Gerald Albright and others are nominated with Grammy nominations this year.

George Benson and Al Jarreau, who collaborated on their new CD Givin’ It Up, were nominated for 3 Grammy’s: Mornin’ for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, Breezin’ for Best R&B Performance By A Duo or Group WithVocals; and God Bless The Child, which features vocals by Jill Scott, for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. Saxophonist Gerald Albright was nominated for his album New Beginnings in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category. Also nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Album were Larry Carlton for Fire Wire; Fourplay for Fourplay X; and Spyro Gyra for Wrapped In A Dream. Other nominations include: Anita Baker for her song Christmas Time Is Here from the Christmas Fantasy CD; Corrine Bailey Rae for Record Of The Year and for Song Of The Year with Put Your Records On; Natalie Cole for Best Female R&B Performance for Daydreaming; Lionel Richie for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for I Call It Love; Luther Vandross for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for Got You Home from the CD The Ultimate Luther Vandross; Diana Krall for Best Jazz Vocal Album for From This Moment On. In addition, Good Morning Heartache, from Chris Botti’s To Love Again CD featuring vocals from Jill Scott, picked up a Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist nomination for Gil Goldstein and Greg Phillinganes; and Enya with Best New Age Album and Best Pop Instrumental Performance nominations for her album Amarantine. Singer/composer Brenda Russell was also nominated for Best Musical Show Album from the Broadway musical The Color Purple. The 49th Annual Grammy Awards will be held Feb. 11, 2007 in Los Angeles.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


The Savoy Label Group (SLG) is proud to announce that artists Andreas Vollenweider and Groove Collective have been honored with Grammy nominations. Andreas Vollenweider's The Magical Journeys Of Andreas Vollenweider (Kin Kou/SLG) has been nominated for Best New Age Album (category 44) and Groove Collective's People, People, Music, Music (Savoy Jazz Worldwide) has been nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album (category 45). The 49th annual Grammy Award winners will be announced February 11, 2007.

The Magical Journeys Of Andreas Vollenweider is a musical travelogue recorded around the world featuring the Grammy-winning artist as well as renowned guest artists including Carly Simon, Milton Nascimento, David Lindley and many others. The CD consists of music recorded in concert in exotic locales throughout Europe, America and Asia including Andreas' breakthrough performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Performances at the Rockpalast-Festival in Berlin, Tokyo's NHK Hall and the town square of Zurich Switzerland where Andreas performed as part of the 70th birthday celebration for the Dali Lama are also showcased.

Vollenweider has long been lauded for his distinctively inventive musicianship. He took up the harp as his instrument of choice and in the early 1970s invented the first electro-acoustic harp. Since the release of his debut album, Eine Art Suite XIII Teilen in 1979, the acclaimed harpist has sold over 20 million records worldwide and earned 5 multi-platinum awards in the US alone. He had two chart topping releases in 2005, his greatest hits retrospective Magic Harp and his all new Dualdisc release Vox.

For more than a decade, Groove Collective has been transcending categories with one goal in mind: to move listeners' minds and feet. This crew of New York City-based Jazz-Funk-Afrocuban-Electronic stylistic adventurers have been laying down grooves that buzz and always have the crowd on its feet and dancing. It is appropriate that they are newly signed to the Savoy Jazz Worldwide imprint as People, People, Music, Music takes the listener on a musical journey around the globe beginning with the Afro-pop sound of Forgotten Travelers, and continues into the Cuban jam Tito (a tribute to the legendary Tito Puente) and onwards to the smoky NYC jazz lounge vibe of Herbie Hancock's Speak Like A Child and the club beats of What If and Set Up.

Groove Collective are: Jay Rodriquez (saxophones, flutes, bass clarinet), Genji Siraisi (drums, programming, vocals), Fabio Morgera (trumpet, flugelhorn, effects), Chris "Ifatoye" Theberge (congas, bata drums, percussion), Barney McAll (Fender Rhodes, synthesizers, piano), and Jonathan Maron (bass). Special guests on the album include producer DJ Spinna, funk legend Fred Wesley, vocalists Eddie Bobé and DeLouie Avant, Jr., percussionist Tony Rodriguez, trombonist Reut Regev, guitarist Liberty Ellman and keyboardist Victor Axelrod.

Kin Kou and Savoy Jazz Worldwide are units of The Savoy Label Group (SLG). SLG is the North American unit of CME (Columbia Music Entertainment), the oldest music company in Japan. The Savoy Label Group is lead by Steve Vining. CME is headed by Chairman Strauss Zelnick, founder of Zelnick Media and former CEO of BMG Entertainment. Zelnick Media owns interests in and manages an array of media companies including music-related holdings such as CME, Savoy Label Group and Time Life.


Peabo Bryson, Deniece Williams, Stephanie Mills and James Ingram recently performed at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in New Jersey on December 11.

In addition to the recent signing of Shilts, ARTizen Music Group has signed Soul Ballet and Jackiem Joyner to the label and both are scheduled for album releases in early 2007. Shilts by the way is set for a pre-Christmas celebration at Spaghetti's in Seal Beach, CA on Saturday December 23rd with the Smooth Jazz All Stars and at the Miramonte Winery on December 30 in Temecula, CA. Shilts has also been booked for the upcoming Smooth Jazz Cruise hosted by Wayman Tisdale.

Rick Braun will be onboard the 2007 Smooth Jazz Cruise hosted by Warren Hill and Wayman Tisdale, January 20-27, 2007! These cruises sell out early, so be sure to book soon!

Tony Bennett: An American Classic is now available on Blu-Ray disc. Blue-ray special features include: high definition video, full-fidelity PCM stereo & PCM 5.1 surround sound, plus Dolby Digital surround sound.

Got a bunch of new tour dates for Richard Elliot to announce for you…Dec. 30 – Phoenix, AZ @ Celebrity Theatre; Dec. 31- San Diego, CA @ Hyatt – La Jolla; Jan 20 through 27 on the Smooth Jazz Cruise; Feb. 2 & 3 – Dana, CA @ Ocean Institute; Feb. 18 – Detroit, MI @ Seldom Blue; Mar. 17 – Cerritos, CA @ Cerritos Performing Arts Center; April 12 to 15 – Seattle, WA @ Jazz Alley; and Nov. 4 through 11 – the Dave Koz & Friends at Sea Cruise departing from Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.

San Francisco’s Smooth Jazz station KKSF is presenting a Cool Jazz Christmas concert at the Nob Hill Masonic Center on Friday, Dec. 15. The show’s lineup features David Benoit, Jonathan Butler, Michael Franks, and Kirk Whalum.

Singer Will Downing is working on a follow-up to his CD, Soul Symphony. According to Downing, "…it’s an extension of that. And it's very me, what I do, that combination of R&B with contemporary jazz overtones, but with better performances and better songs. I just mixed the first song, After Tonight. It's a sexual love song, and mid-tempo for me since I'm known for my ballads, and it's very radio friendly." Downing is currently on tour.

Fourplay recently finished a world tour that took them to South Africa, Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Europe and the US. They will soon reunite to appear at the upcoming Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February since they are nominated for Best Pop Intrumental Album, X (10).

BET J has veiled its special programming lineup of classic jazz favorites, star-studded music specials and original programming to celebrate the 2006 Holiday season. Included in their lineup is Najee Sax in South Africa and the Gerald Levert Special, which takes an intimate look back at the phenomenal life and career of the late singer who made a historic mark in the music industry.

If you don’t live in a market where Rafe Gomez and The Groove Boutique cool jazz radio show is being aired, it’s now available online. It streams live on WXJC.com in Gainsville, FL and airs on Saturday nights from 10 pm until midnite EST.

KKBT-FM (Los Angeles) has dropped the Tom Joyner Show from its schedule, as the syndicated program’s last broadcast on KKBT-FM will be Friday, Dec. 15. It hasn’t even been six months since the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show replaced former NBA star John Salley in the a.m. drive-time slot on KKBT-FM (100.3 The Beat), but Joyner is reportedly the latest victim of major management and format changes at the station this year. The Beat’s program director Kevin Fleming told the Los Angeles Times that its final broadcast for The Tom Joyner Morning Show will take place tomorrow (Dec. 15). While no official replacement has been named for the soon-to-be empty slot, rumor has it that former KJLH-FM morning drive host Cliff Winston will end up filling the vacancy. Additionally, KKBT-FM will reportedly drop "The Beat" moniker and replace it with "Magic 100.3."


SoulTracks.com, America's most popular soul music website, has announced the winners of its 2006 Readers Choice Awards. Thousands of readers from around the world voted for the top independent soul music artists and albums of the year. SoulTracks (www.soultracks.com), America's most popular soul music website, has announced the winners of its 2006 Readers Choice Awards in international broadcasts on NeoSoulCafe (www.neosoulcafe.com), SolarRadio (www.solarradio.com), and the syndicated Michael Baisden Show. The SoulTracks Awards are the largest international awards dedicated to independent soul music - i.e., music released by artists independent of the major international record labels.

"Last year the participation in our Awards by readers was impressive, but this year we were happily overwhelmed by the response, with thousands and thousands of soul music fans from around the world voicing their opinions, more than a doubling of the number of voters from 2005," said SoulTracks publisher Chris Rizik. "It is further confirmation of both SoulTracks' growth and the continuing development of soul music, which is among the fastest rising musical genres in the world."

The biggest winner in the 2006 SoulTracks Awards was singer Eric Roberson, who landed the Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year awards for his album, The Appetizer. Soul songstress Amel Larrieux released the album Morning during 2006 and was voted the "Female Vocalist of the Year" by SoulTracks readers. The Duo or Group of the Year award was won by the reunited Brand New Heavies, who released their Get Used to It in 2006. And the winner of the Radio Station of the Year award was Dallas-based Neo Soul Cafe©. Veteran jazz/soul singer Angela Bofill was presented with the first Lifetime Achievement Award ever awarded by SoulTracks, celebrating her legendary three decade recording career.

A complete list of the top five finalists in each category can be found by visiting http://www.soultracks.com/award_winners_2006.htm .


KTWV 94.7 The Wave (Los Angeles) morning show hosts Dave Koz and Pat Prescott recently hosted the second annual tribute to Luther Vandross, along with performances by many smooth jazz artists. Among the many artists performing were: Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp, Ray Fuller, Michael Lington, Patti Austin, Dave Koz, Robert Wilson, Cookie Brown, Wayman Tisdale, Brian Simpson, and Ronnie Laws. The November 30 concert coincided with the release of the second volume of the 2005 Grammy-nominated Luther Vandross tribute Forever, For Always, For Luther. Upcoming in 20057 will be an all-star Forever, For Always, For Luther tour that is tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2007.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Van Morrison At The Movies: The Soundtrack Hits is set for release on February 13 by Manhattan/EMI Music Catalog Marketing. It’s a collection of 19 of Van Morrison’s best-known songs that have been featured in films, including Gloria, Wild Night, Brown-Eyed-Girl, Moondance, and others. The cinematic qualities of Van Morrison’s songs make it no surprise that he is one of the most popular choices for movie music. His compositions have graced the soundtrack of many box office hits over the years. His songs have been used in movies such as, The Outsiders, An American Werewolf In London, An Officer And A Gentleman, French Kiss, Fever Pitch, The Last Waltz, King Of Comedy, and Pope Of Greenwich Village. In the meantime, Van Morrison has been confirmed for the following concert dates:

Dec. 30 – Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay
Jan. 2 – Kissimmee, Silver Spurs Arena
Jan. 26 – Brighton, Dome
Jan. 27 – Brighton, Dome
Feb. 7 – Belfast, Waterfront
Feb. 8 – Belfast, Waterfront
Jan. 21 – Los Angeles, Gibson Amphitheatre
Jan. 23 – San Rafael, Marin Center
Apr. 6 – Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
Apr. 7 – Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
Apr. 13 – Oxford, New Theatre
Apr. 14 – Cardiff – Millennium Centre


Al Green was in the studio in New York City this past October beginning an exciting new album for Blue Note. The conceptualization for the record is a fresh take on vintage soul. A bridge between the legendary soul man's classic stylings and the sounds of today's R&B and hip-hop is being facilitated by drummer/producer Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson of The Roots and keyboardist James Poyser who has produced Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Anthony Hamilton and many others. The crew will also be joined by the Al Green of this generation, D'Angelo, and other very special duet partners to be announced soon.

Friday, December 08, 2006


The No. 1 selling instrumental smooth jazz artist of all time, Kenny G, will join Broadcast Architecture's team of radio hosts on its Smooth Jazz Network's nationally distributed weekend evening shows beginning Jan. 6, 2007. The renowned saxophonist will be heard 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. BA president Allen Kepler comments, "Ranking among the top 25-selling recording artists in U.S. history, Kenny has made a huge mark on the music world. As he continues his illustrious recording career, hosting this new network show will deepen Kenny's relationship with his fans across the US. Working with Kenny is a dream come true for me personally."

Kenny G shares, "I am really excited to be a part of this new network. I think it is a great way for me to personally be in touch with the people around the country that have supported my music for many years. Allen Kepler's enthusiasm is addictive and I look forward to working with him to create something new and exciting on a national level. This is going to be a wonderful collaboration but the most important thing is that we are all going to be sharing a lot of good music with the entire country."Kenny G's musical career continues to flourish with last week's release of his CD I’m In the Mood for Love… The Most Romantic Melodies of All Time, which entered the contemporary jazz chart at No. 1 (his 12th No. 1) and came in at No. 37 on the Billboard Top 200.

Kenny G will embark on a tour that includes five concerts celebrating the King of Thailand's 80th birthday, as well as a U.S. tour in January 2007. Kenny G joins other smooth jazz artists-turned-radio-hosts Ramsey Lewis, Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson, Norman Brown and Paul Hardcastle.

BA's Smooth Jazz Network lineup is set as:
Monday - Friday:
6 a.m.-10 a.m. Ramsey Lewis
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Miranda Wilson
3 p.m.-7 p.m. Dave Koz
7 p.m.-midnight Annie Ashe
midnight-6.am. Billy Raven

6 a.m.-10 a.m. Brian Culbertson
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Kenny G
2 p.m.-7 p.m. Norman Brown
7 p.m.-midnight Paul Hardcastle
midnight-6a.m. Billy Raven

The pre-launch of the network is already underway with the Ramsey Lewis morning show on the air at Clear Channel's WNUA/Chicago, WLVE/Miami, WDSJ/Dayton, KIJZ/Portland, KMYT/Temecula and KABQ/Albuquerque. Smooth Jazz format veteran/evening host Annie Ashe is also on the air at WNUA, WZJZ/Ft. Myers, WDSJ, KMYT, KIJZ and KABQ

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Andre Delano – First Christmas
Anthony Pope – With All My Heart
Barbara Lewis – Hello Stranger/Workin’ On A Groovy Thing
Bliss – The New House
Brian Culbertson – Soulful Christmas
Brian Kelly – Pools Of Light
Caterina Valente – Fire & Frenzy/South Of The Border
Chic – Believer
Chic – Take It Off
Earth, Wind & Fire – In The Name Of Love
Ed Taylor – Taylor Made
Edo Castro - Phoenix
Electro-Bossa Songbook Of Guns N’Roses (Various Artists)
Esther Williams – Let Me Show You
Forever, For Always, For Luther: Volume II (Various Artists)
Gabor Szabo – Gypsy ‘66
Gigi Mackenzie – Skylark
Gladys Knight – Before Me
Gladys Knight & The Pips – Everybody Needs Love/Feelin’ Bluesy
Gladys Knight & The Pips – If I Were Your Woman/Standing Ovation
Gladys Knight & The Pips – Knight Time/A Little Knight Music
Gladys Knight & The Pips – Silk & Soul/Nitty Gritty
Hall & Oates – Home For Christmas
John Fluker – J Is For Joy
Johnny Clegg – One Life
Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra – Moving Out Of The Country
Kenny G – I’m In The Mood For Love
King Errison – Magic Man/L.A. Bound
Lenny Welch – It’s All About Love
Lynne Fiddmont – Flow
Mambo Zombies – South-Side Christmas
M’Shell Ndegeocello – Article 3
Nate Wingfield – Rhythm Tree
Peggy Lee – Christmas With Peggy Lee
Quincy Jones – This Is How I Feel About Jazz/Go West Man
Rhonda Smith – RS2
Steve Cole – True
Talia – My Notes
Talking Book – Chasing The Green
Tom Ze – Dance-eh-sa – Dance Dos Herdeiros Do Sacrificio
Waldino – Feel The Magic
Wayne Jones – Forgotten Melody
William Woods – The Hear And Now
Zanussi Five - Alborado


New releases to look out for in 2007 include albums from Spyro Gyra, Pieces Of A Dream, Jaco Pastorius Big Band, Marion Meadows, Nestor Torres, Bobby Lyle, Mike Stern, and Doc Powell.

Lenny Williams, former lead singer of the Tower Of Power during its most prolific period, has just released a new solo CD, It Must Be Love. His single, Tuesday, has just been added to the playlist at SoulRadioOnline.com, in heavy rotation. Williams is next scheduled to perform on December 7 at the San Leandro High School in Northern California, and it’s a benefit concert for the Keep Music Rockin’ Foundation.

Brian McKnight’s new Marvin Gaye-inspired CD, Ten, is in stores now, featuring the singles, Used To Be My Girl and Find Myself In You.

The Average White Band performed in Las Vegas on Dec. 1-2 at Rock’s Lounge at the Red Rock Hotel & Casino, and most impressively admission was free to all who attended!

The Godfather of Soul James Brown headlines a New Year’s Eve concert at the BB King Blues Bar & Grill in New York City. Brown will perform two shows at 8 and 10 pm.

Gilles Peterson is set for an exclusive DJ set at Hiro Ballroom in New York City on January 24, 2007. He’ll be joined by additional acts still to be announced.

Mr. Scruff appears at Cielo in New York City on February 15, 2007.

The Cool Jazz Christmas Tour featuring Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, David Benoit and Michael Franks are on the road through the end of December. Here’s a listing of where they are headed to next: Dec. 8 – Naples, FL @ Philharmonic Center for the Arts; Dec. 10 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Broward Center for the Arts; Dec. 15 – San Francisco @ Nob Hill Masonic Center; Dec. 16 – Dallas, TX @ The Majestic Theatre; Dec. 20 – Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Arts Center; and Dec. 21-22 – Cerritos, CA @ Cerritos Center for the Arts.


When Jamiroquai exploded onto the music scene with When You Gonna Learn in 1992, few thought that his vintage jazz-funk, sweet horn grooves and quick dance moves would survive 14 years, let alone sell over 20 million albums, receive Grammy & MTV Awards and see Jay Kay & Co. embark on world tours, successfully spanning the globe several times over. High Times: Singles 1992-2006, is a timely reminder of the sheer strength and depth of Jamiroquai's back catalogue, which is presented in all its glory with two new tracks: The funky and hard-edged Radio, and lead single Runaway, a blistering mix of disco strings and infectious bass lines.

One of the UK's greatest musical exports of the past 20 years, Jamiroquai's career took a new direction when the anti-war anthem Too Young To Die, went Top 10 in England in 1993. By the time the inner-city social commentary of his sophomore album Return Of The Space Cowboy hit the shelves Jamiroquai became the face of British urban music. However, it was 1997's Traveling Without Moving, that took Jamiroquai over the top and to the masses. After the dust settled, the album, singles and the irresistibly catchy Virtual Insanity video directed by Jonathan Glazer, had netted 5 MTV Awards, a Grammy, put Jamiroquai on the cover of USA Today and sold more than a million albums in America. Global hits such as Cosmic Girl and Deeper Underground followed, as well as Jamiroquai classics like Little L, Canned Heat, and Love Foolosophy.

The special edition of High Times: Singles 1992-2006, comes with an extra disc of various Jamiroquai remixes (including David Morales, Masters At Work and Bob Sinclar) and videos. In an era when everything's a sanitized sound bite, Jamiroquai are the one band who can be relied upon for their full, frank and unedited opinion. As High Times: Singles 1992-2006 proves with every single frenetic track, music, like the rest of life, would be a hell of a lot duller without them.

Jamiroquai is currently touring and gearing up for their last two shows of the year. They next appear west of the Mississippi at Sam Bond’s Garage in Eugene on December 6, and then in New York at Arlene’s Grocery on December 11.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


A new Internet radio station, SoulRadioOnline.com has gone live on the airwaves. The programming is focused on horn-driven soul, funk and jazz, in the spirit of artists such as Tower of Power, James Brown, Edgar Winter, Candy Dulfer, Maceo Parker, Jack Mack & The Heart Attack, Earth, Wind & Fire and many more. Beyond the familiar, SoulRadioOnline.com will endeavor to expose its listeners to artists from every corner of the world. They will also take special effort to play rare tracks, both old and new. The Las Vegas-based enterprise is a collaborative effort of Raoul Fernandez and Andy Ebon, and is broadcast via Live365.com. The Live365 hosting is advertiser-supported, allowing listeners to enjoy the programming for free. Listeners who would like to eliminate the advertising can do so for a small subscription fee. Here are some of the artists in current rotations: Average White Band, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Bruce Conte, Candy Dulfer, Chase, Cold Blood, Delta Wires, Doctorfunk, Dr. Hector & The Groove Injectors, Dr. John, Edgar Winter’s White Trash, Frank Biner, Fred Ross, Greg Adams, Huey Lewis, Jack Mack & The Heart Attack, James Brown, Lenny Williams, Lon Bronson Allstar Band, Maceo Parker, Mic Gillette, Michael Ruff, Mingo Fishtrap, New York Horns featuring Tom Bowes, Otis Redding, Rocco Prestia, Santa Fe, Sly & The Family Stone, Strokeland Superband, The Fabulous Chickenhawks, The Sons of Champlin, The Spyders, Tower of Power, Was Not Was, Wayne Cochran, and Zen Blues Quartet.


Multi-talented artist Paul Hardcastle will join the elite team of radio hosts on Broadcast Architecture Smooth Jazz Network's nationally distributed weekend evening shows beginning Jan. 2007. World-renowned composer, producer and performer; Hardcastle will be heard 7 p.m.- midnight Saturday and Sunday evenings. BA’s president Allen Kepler states, "Paul is a very dynamic and creative person. He gained worldwide notoriety with the smash hit '19' in the mid-80s. In 1991 he reinvented himself with debut of The Jazzmasters, and his first smooth jazz single Lost Summer redefined the sound of smooth jazz and continues to impact the format. Even today, you hear his 1980's dance hit Rainforest, as well as numerous Hardcastle and Jazzmasters releases from the past 15 years on most smooth jazz stations. Paul is a perfect team mate as we push smooth jazz into a new era of success with our smooth jazz network." Hardcastle shares, "I am very excited to be part of the new team. The idea of playing other people's music really appeals to me. This is why I was really happy to be invited to become involved in this exciting new project."


The 41st Montreux Jazz Festival is scheduled for July 6-21, 2007 and we can easily bet that Montreux favorites Nile Rodgers and Chic will return once again for a sizzling performance.

Elektra Records has announced that they will release Love Songs by Natalie Cole on January 30, 2007. This collection from both Elektra and Rhino will include Cole’s two hit duets with Nat King Cole, Unforgettable and When I Fall In Love.

A number of major artists, including Richard Elliot, Peter White, Rick Braun, Nick Colionne, Hiroshima, Dazz Band, and George Duke have signed up for the 15th Annual City Lights Jazz Festival 2007. Other performers include Stone Soul Picnic, BarKays, Jonathan Butler, Urban Jazz Coalition, and Philippe Saisse. The event is scheduled for April 20-21, 2007 in Las Vegas.

Toto will headline the 5th edition of the Annual Dubai International Jazz Festival 2007 in Dubai. Toto recently released their latest album, Falling In Between, after nearly seven years of studio inactivity.

Joe Sample and Randy Crawford team up for an upcoming album due for release in early 2007. The pair are currently on tour together.

Upcoming 2007 CDs are due from Maxwell, Ronny Jordan, Jason Miles with Candy Dulfer, Keiko Matsui, Norman Brown, Dave Koz, Acoustic Alchemy, Chuck Loeb, Walter Beasley, Freddie Ravel, and Chieli Minucci with Special EFX.

The Second Annual Valentine’s Day Weekend with Phil Perry Fan Cruise sets sail February 16-19, 2007. Click to www.jazzfesttravel.com/perry_cruise.htm for more information.

Bassist Marcus Miller will host the North Sea Jazz Cruise, July 5-17, 2007. Originating in Copenhagen, the ship will make stops in Oslo, Stockholm, and Munich.

Emmy-award winning singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester returns to radio with a beautiful, brand new Christmas song, co-written with Canadian songwriter, James Collins, My Christmas Song For You. This moving, jazzy tune was recently released on Sony-BMG Canada's Platinum Christmas III. The song is now available worldwide on iTunes, Pure Tracks, and Rhapsody. Also, check out Manchester’s latest album, When I Look Down That Road.

Earth, Wind & Fire return with another brilliant release, In The Name Of Love, which features the band’s core line up of Maurice White, Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson. As is the case with the best of their 70's recordings, this project is filled with commanding, dazzling romantic ballads (Bailey can still hit the high notes to send shivers up and down the spine) and old-school horn driven funk that will have you groovin'. Co-written by Maurice White and Brenda Russell, Change Your Mind is the first single and is the very definition of "smooth vocal." Round and Round and Cruising are also flawless radio-friendly ballads.

World famous BBC1 radio DJ Gilles Peterson can be heard on the 24/7 chill music station broadcasting out of Santa Fe, New Mexico - blu 102.9 (KLBU) every Sunday night at 5 pm. Here’s a sampling of some the tracks played on the December 3 broadcast: Hypnotic Brass EnsembleJupiter; Exploding Star OrchestraCosmic Tomes part 3; El Michels AffairDuel Of The Iron Mic; Menahan Street BandKarina; SaroosDuring This Course; RitonHungry Ghost ; 4HeroSink Or Swim; and Sunshine StateDay Job (Alister Johnson mix). In case you can’t listen on Sundays, there is a rebroadcast every Wednesday at 9 pm and they also stream via the Internet.

Rafe Gomez of The Groove Boutique has been added to the roster of the Berks Jazz Festival (Reading, PA) in March 2007, and to the Seabreeze Jazz Festival (Destin, FL) in April 2007. The Groove Boutique originates out of New York’s Smooth Jazz WQCD-FM (101.9) and is syndicated around the country. For more information click to www.grooveboutique.com

Bela Fleck & The Flecktones will perform at the 34th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June 2007. Bela Fleck will also collaborate with jazz piano master Chick Corea, and he will also perform with the new quartet formed by Abigail Washburn, the Chinese-influenced Sparrow Quartet.

Monday, December 04, 2006


To celebrate Smokey Robinson's 50th anniversary as a recording artist, Reelin' In The Years Productions and Universal Music Enterprises on November 21, 2006 released "Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Definitive Performances 1963 - 1987" on DVD. Featured for the first time on DVD are 15 classic full-length performances from Motown's pioneering vocal group taken from television appearances spanning their entire career. Also included are three performances of top-ten hits from Smokey Robinson's solo years. Issued with the full cooperation of The Miracles and their estates, this is the first official DVD anthology of classic archival television performances by the group. Continuing in the tradition of "Marvin Gaye -- The Real Thing In Performance 1964 - 1981" and "The Temptations -- Get Ready! The Definitive Performances 1965 - 1972," released earlier this year, the Smokey Robinson & The Miracles DVD includes a wealth of classic performances with re-mastered sound and video, plus, as an extra-special bonus, Smokey Robinson and original Miracles Pete Moore and Bobby Rogers reunite to give their first-ever in-depth interview about the history of the group -- more than 70 minutes of stories about The Miracles, Motown, and their incredible songs!

"Smokey Robinson & The Miracles -- Definitive Performances 1963 - 1987" begins with a staggering performance of their 1962-63 hit "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" filmed at the Apollo Theatre during the famous 1963 Motortown Review. The DVD then progresses through the group's entire career with Smokey leading The Miracles through classic performances of "Shop Around," "Mickey's Monkey," "Ooo Baby Baby," "The Tracks Of My Tears" and "Going To A Go-Go." Also featured is a performance of "I Second That Emotion" from "The Mike Douglas Show" in 1968 and the #1, million-selling hit "The Tears Of A Clown" filmed in 1970 when the song was just beginning its climb up the charts.

Also featured on the DVD are performances by The Miracles after Smokey left the group and featuring Billy Griffin on lead vocals. Included from the Griffin-era Miracles are performances of "Do It Baby" and their #1 hit, the multi-million-seller "Love Machine," both from 1976. Rounding out the DVD are three classic performances from Smokey's solo years: "Cruisin'," "Being With You" and the GRAMMY® award-winning "Just To See Her."

Interspersed between the performances are segments from the historic Smokey Robinson & The Miracles reunion interview, conducted exclusively for this DVD. Featured for the first time anywhere are over 70 minutes of interviews where Smokey and original Miracles Pete Moore and Bobby Rogers recount the history of the group from their early childhood days as friends through the early years of the Miracles and the formation of Motown, all the way up to the present. Also included are the stories behind each song on the DVD as well as other amazing reminiscences including stories about their first performance at the Apollo Theatre and Motown's legendary studio band "The Funk Brothers."

In addition to the television performances, the bonus section of "Smokey Robinson & The Miracles -- Definitive Performances 1963 - 1987" DVD includes a host of unique bonus content including an audio-only feature of eight original a cappella (lead and background vocals only) performances of The Miracles' classic hits discovered in the Motown vaults, and now available on this DVD for the first time anywhere. Fans will feel as if they're in the original Motown recording booth with the group when they hear The Miracles' original vocal masters for "Ooo Baby Baby," "My Girl Has Gone," "The Tears Of A Clown" and five more.

"Smokey Robinson & The Miracles -- Definitive Performances 1963 - 1987" also features a 24-page booklet with an extensive essay by GRAMMY® award-winning writer, Rob Bowman, including rare photographs and memorabilia. Also part of the bonus features section are additional interview segments from the historic Smokey Robinson & The Miracles reunion interview as well as a picture-in-picture section where the viewer can experience the reunited Miracles watching the 1963 performance of "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" for the first time in over 40 years.

For "Smokey Robinson & The Miracles -- Definitive Performances 1963 - 1987" every effort has been made to locate the best possible sound and video; each of the performances has been re-transferred and re-mastered from the best-quality, original masters (some resting in the television vaults for over 40 years). In the case of lip-sync performances, the original Motown stereo master recordings have been used, replacing the original mono broadcast sound and making for a much more enjoyable viewing and listening experience.

Reelin' In The Years Productions LLC is the largest music footage library in the world, housing over 10,000 hours of performances from all genres of music covering the last 50 years. Reelin' In The Years Productions' "The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1969" three-volume DVD series has received critical acclaim, commercial success and numerous industry awards. "Volume One" was nominated for a GRAMMY award in the category of "Best Long Form Music Video," and "Volume One" and "Two" received The Blues Foundation's prestigious 2004 Keeping The Blues Alive (KBA) Award as well as Honorable Mention in Mojo Magazine's Honors List for best DVD of 2003. Other DVD releases include "Marvin Gaye -- The Real Thing In Performance 1962 - 1981," "The Temptations -- Get Ready! The Definitive Performances 1965 - 1972," "Marvin Gaye -- Live In Belgium 1981," and "Muddy Waters Classic Concerts." Current DVD projects include the first nine DVDs in the Jazz Icons series featuring classic concerts from the '50s and '60s from jazz legends including Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. In addition, Reelin' In The Years Productions has provided footage for numerous DVDs including the platinum-selling "Led Zeppelin," "AC/DC -- Family Jewels," "The Police -- Synchronicity Concert," and "Elvis Costello -- The Right Spectacle -- The Videos."


Guitarist Chuck Loeb is set to release his next CD Presence on Heads Up International on January 24, 2007. The first single from the album Good To Go has already been released to smooth jazz radio. Loeb is scheduling 2007 dates as he will be touring in support of the CD upon its release. This is Loeb’s first release since he recently signed with Heads Up International, joining a label roster that includes Philip Bailey, Michael Brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, Hiroshima, Hugh Masekela, Marion Meadows, Andy Narell, Spyro Gyra, Nestor Torres, Gerald Veasley and the Yellowjackets, among others.


Demonstrating that one can be inspired to greatness by simply returning to their roots, contemporary jazz saxophonist Steve Cole released his fifth album, True, from Narada Jazz/Blue Note Label Group. Cole produced the collection and composed or co-wrote the nine new R&B, jazz, funk, dance and pop songs that comprise the disc. Through his previous albums, Cole established himself as a core artist in contemporary jazz. His consistency as a songwriter and producer also merits recognition and respect as he's scored four No 1 radio hits and ten Top 5 singles since his 1998 debut. True promises to add to Cole's impressive accomplishments.

The album title refers to a return to innocence, a return to the music that inspired Cole to explore his passion for jazz-funk made popular by artists such as Eddie Harris, Grover Washington, Jr., David Sanborn, Junior Walker and George Benson. It was an era of well-crafted songs, live production and expressive music that emerged from the core of the artists' being. Those were the ingredients Cole used to create True. He pushed himself to reach new heights delivering unadulterated artistry and organic musicianship. He was inspired by the music that emerged from his hometown of Chicago where he still resides. On the album, Cole salutes seminal Chicago pioneers such as jazz-funk legend Quincy Jones and soul icon Curtis Mayfield along with clubby house music, which emerged from the Chicago underground. But broadening his saxwork and improvising were equally important objectives for Cole on True. He sought to produce the record as "live" as possible, fostering the setting for expansive soloing. A talented cast of musicians helped make True a reality, including Jeff Golub, Steve Rodby, David Mann, Ricky Peterson, Lenny Castro and Khari Parker.

Last month, the house music-inspired cut Metro, boasting an extended sax solo that's both expressive and functional, was serviced to smooth jazz radio stations where it is presently garnering airplay. The early reaction to the album from music critics has been enthusiastic. All Music Guide said, "If the title of this superior collection is indicative of the true persona that's here to stay, then genre fans will be in for a powerful adventure\'85 Cole has scored many hits while on the road to finding his true voice, and with any luck, he'll stay right there as the perfect antidote to his less imaginative contemporaries." JazzReview wrote, "In this watershed album, Cole lets down his hair and goes for it, showing his talent in featured solos- blending textures, melodies and awesome extremes Cole states, 'A lot of the substance of a player is evident once they get off the melody and start improvising.' That's exactly what Cole does on True, adding fresh notes, compelling hooks and smooth grooves."


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