Monday, June 09, 2008


The nationwide radio campaign for Present Tense Jazz's release of its second CD "Smooth Talkin'", which hit the airwaves in March, 2008, is gaining wide acceptance in the radio community. Currently over 60 stations and syndicated programs are airing the singles 'Smiles,' and 'Smooth Talkin,' resulting in PTJazz climbing the smooth jazz charts. Currently, PTJazz is No. 5 on the Smooth Jazz Indie Charts, No. 36 on the Smooth Jazz Top 50, and No. 29 on the Music Choice Smooth Jazz Charts. Present Tense Jazz's Smooth Talkin' CD builds on their debut CD entitled Night Shadows which was released in 2003.

The independent grass roots project was produced by Richard J. Frank and Ronnie Kaufman, and it features 12 original compositions plus a unique arrangement of Steven Tyler's (of Aerosmith fame) classic 'Dream On.' The influences of Present Tense include Chick Corea, Joe Sample, Boney James, Dave Matthews, Sting, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms, plus numerous classic rock and R&B masters. Richard Frank's background is a musical rainbow which includes rock, jazz, pop, classical, and ethnic musics. He has toured nationally with Harry James Orchestra and played the symphonic repertoire with the American Youth Symphony under Mehli Mehta. Ronnie Kaufman's roots stem from numerous GAP Band recordings and tours, Rene and Angela, and numerous gospel and R&B projects.

Smooth Talkin', featuring Smooth Jazz stalwarts Eric Marienthal on sax, and Alex Acuna on percussion, has been charting briskly on smooth jazz stations and is currently on radio stations and syndicated programs from California to Maine and Washington to Florida. The Los Angeles based ensemble is excited to present its refreshing "smooth jazz jam band" sound to the world.
"We've created a fresh and organic groove jazz sound to 'advance' the current smooth jazz medium," states producer/bassist/composer Richard J. Frank. "We are a band first and foremost. Present Tense Music is about creating accessible compositions that groove hard - in a jam band style."

Music Connection Magazine sums it up, "Each musician in this group can stand on his own, and all are allowed to shine singularly. In fact, each instrument is so much a part of the total sound that without any one piece it would change significantly."

Rather than imitate other smooth jazz artists, Richard and Ronnie approach this project in a much more 'live' fashion - certainly a different twist to the many bands of this genre today. "All of the primary tracks - piano, bass, and drums - were simultaneously recorded live in a sound studio. So what we created is a tight, interactive experience," states Ronnie Kaufman. He continues, "With Richard utilizing the upright bass in non-traditional playing style, and acoustic drums and piano, in combination with smooth R&B grooves, a unique sound emerged."

The results are obvious: the band achieved an infectious smooth jazz sound with the added infusion of R&B, classic rock, improvisation, and jam bands characteristics. Additionally, Present Tense Jazz has been making a mark in the Southern California area as "Leaders in R&B Pop Jazz" as they perform for numerous private events and parties, clubs, and festivals. Upcoming public performances include The City of Los Angeles Pershing Square series on Thursday, June 26, 2008, and the City of Glendale Verdugo Park concert on August 13, 2008. News of these shows, plus videos, and their music charts can be found on their website.

Garnishing accolades from the Southern California jazz community, Present Tense Jazz won Best Fusion Artist from the Long Beach Jazz Search, Finalist with the Great American Song Competition for 'Smiles' written by Richard, and collected two nominations for Best Jazz Artist from the Orange County Music Association and the Los Angeles Music Awards. According to Matt Cibula of Music, "This is a group to watch closely."

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