The urban-jazz artist tops three national charts with the title track to his forthcoming album.
R&B-jazz guitarist Gregory Goodloe is typically lowkey and chill, but he was especially humbled when he received the call that his single, “Stylin’,” went No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart. The song, written and produced by hitmaker Darren Rahn and showcasing Goodloe’s electric jazz guitar bravura, serves as the title track to the guitarist’s upcoming album, due this fall.
Goodloe’s sound straddles jazz straight-ahead and contemporary, jacked with a swig of hip hop swagger. Packaged with Rahn’s glossy pop sensibilities and a soul-powered R&B groove laid down by an agile rhythm section - bassist Mel Brown, drummer Tarrell Martin and wah guitarist Allen Hinds - the winning combo sent “Stylin’” to the top of the Billboard chart, Goodloe’s first. It also topped the Mediabase and Smooth Jazz Top 20 charts.
“In today’s modern world and culture, I wanted to bridge the gap between the standard jazz flow of Wes Montgomery, the smooth flow of George Benson and the hip hop culture of Jay-Z. ‘Stylin’’ is a means of expression in today’s music and culture,” said Goodloe. “Going number one is a dream come true, an unexpected blessing of God’s grace and very encouraging.”
Goodloe is working with Rahn to finish the album. “I nicknamed Darren ‘Dr. D’ because when he and I go into the lab (studio), it’s total chemistry between us.”
While Goodloe plans to ride the hot “Stylin’” single well into the peak of summer, he’s got something planned to cool things down before the album drops. He wrote “Cool Like That” with soul-jazz icon Bob Baldwin, which will be the next single.
“‘Cool Like That’ captures the true essence of soul-jazz in a cool, laidback style,” said Goodloe, who gigs a couple times a month in the Denver area, his hometown.
As an accompanist, Goodloe has flanked an interesting mix of R&B, jazz and gospel greats spanning R&B crooner Howard Hewett, soul balladeers Surface, R&B heartthrob Tank and original Earth, Wind & Fire keyboardist Larry Dunn; smooth/contemporary jazz luminaries Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson, Norman Brown and Ben Tankard; and non-secular giants Shirley Caesar, John P. Key, The Rance Allen Group and Angela Spivey. He’s also served as music director for soul-jazz chanteuse Aysha.
A self-taught musician and a US Army veteran, Goodloe wrote, produced and played all the instruments except for a couple of keyboard parts on a 2010 demo collection titled “It’s All Good” in order to introduce himself as a solo artist. He didn’t pursue airplay until 2016 with the Rahn penned and produced single, “All The Way,” which earned most added status on the Billboard chart. Goodloe and Rahn reteamed the following year for another radio single, “Get’n It,” which featured the same musicians who play on “Stylin’.” Along with earning most added honors, the cut rose to No. 5 on the Billboard New & Active chart. Both singles appear on Goodloe’s “Get’n It” album (2017).