As we begin the second hour of tonight's show, we have a real treat. It is actually a brand new September 14th release of an album that has already risen to be this week’s Billboard number one jazz album. Sure to be one of the great celebrated duets of all time, jazz singer Diana Krall and 92 year old icon Tony Bennett have combined their incredible voices on this album of twelve songs. I will be playing selections from this fabulous album over the next several weeks. First up we have the title track to that brand new album Love Is Here To Stay composed by George Gershwin.
In our first hour you will hear the absolute latest in smooth jazz plus the Billboard top three songs for this week. Smooth Jazz has experienced a banner year. Highly successful festivals began with Seabreeze in Florida in April, continued all summer long throughout the country, and wound up with the largest of all, the Catalina Island Jazz Festival that this weekend is completing a two week long run featuring 28 of smooth jazz’s brightest stars.
New releases in smooth jazz just keep pouring in. More artists have been releasing new music this year than I have seen for many years. September 28th it was Paul Hardcastle’s turn. He is a British composer, musician, producer, and multi-instrumentalist playing the synthesizer, keyboards, piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, and percussion. He is very prolific releasing around 25 albums since 1984. He is perhaps best known for his Jazzmaster albums. His brand new album is titled simply Hardcastle 8. Last week we introduced you to an unusual album released September 21st from the guitar of Ken Navarro. He is accompanied by a full orchestra, something that reminds me of the highly successful albums with orchestration from Wes Montgomery in the mid 1960’s. His album is titled Music For Guitar and Orchestra. I will play selections from both of these brand new albums. I have more selections from new releases from Skinny Hightower, Kim Waters, the Jazz Holdouts, super producer Paul Brown, and Steve Oliver.
The second hour is primarily devoted to playing some of the really great classics from this format.
I wind it up tonight with smooth jazz pioneer and pianist, composer, and producer the great David Benoit. Beginning his musical career in 1976, he has done it all. Early on best known for his music with the Peanuts movies and TV specials, he has continued to contribute a tremendous amount of great music over many years. Last Friday he combined with guitarist Marc Antoine for a terrific performance at the 32nd Catalina Island Jazz Festival. From his album Inner Motion this song, and I love this title, is MWA, Musicians With Attitude. Joining him are Marcel East that wrote this song and Marcel’s brother bass player Nathan East, a founding member of Fourplay.