Cool Jazz - Released February 14, 2019 | Vainn Music Inc

Cool Jazz - Released January 27, 2019 | Tranquil Society

Download not available

Cool Jazz - Released January 23, 2019 | Tranquil Society


Cool Jazz - Released November 2, 2018 | Dugnad rec


Cool Jazz - Released October 23, 2018 | DJ I.N.C


Cool Jazz - Released October 19, 2018 | DJ I.N.C


Cool Jazz - Released September 28, 2018 | DJ I.N.C


Cool Jazz - Released April 14, 2018 | Awe Now Music


Cool Jazz - Released January 5, 2018 | Black Vine Records


Cool Jazz - Released November 18, 2017 | M1u


Cool Jazz - Released June 18, 1999 | Warner Jazz

Since his late teens, Kenny Garrett has lived the kind of life most musicians only fantasize about. He's been a sideman for legends like Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Emerging in the mid-'80s as one of contemporary jazz's most exciting and eclectic new solo artists, the saxophonist's albums have earned him worldwide recognition, four-star reviews, and top spots on reader polls and Rolling Stone's "hot list." Known for years primarily for his adventurous playing and sparkling improvisations, Garrett finally came into his own as a composer with his 1997 Grammy-nominated Warner Bros. release Songbook -- his first album comprised entirely of his own compositions. The concept behind Simply Said, Garrett's latest Warner Jazz release, must have been to further reflect his growth as a songwriter, keeping memorable melodies as the focus while exploring -- as the stylistically diverse performer has always done -- new exotic, rhythmic possibilities within the jazz framework. While Garrett has been very successful in the past covering the classics of influential artists (as he did on his previous Warners projects, 1993's Black Hope, 1995's Triology, and 1996's Pursuance: Music of John Coltrane), his growth as a songwriter has unleashed a desire to journey beyond what people might expect based on past projects. While Garrett kept his playing simple on lush, hypnotic ballads like "Can I Just Hold Your Hand?," "Sounds Like Winter," and "Words Can't Express," he and his core unit of gospel pianist/organist Shedrick Mitchell, acoustic bassist Nat Reeves, and drummer Chris Dave can't help but stir up the fires of the unexpected throughout the rest of the collection. Playful titles like "Organized Colors" (a nearly ten-minute piece incorporating a multitude of shades from silky and seductive to swinging and percussive), "Delta Bali Blues," "G.T.D.S" (aka "Give the Drummer Some"), and the whimsical piano, sax, and percussion jam "Charlie Brown Goes to South Africa" reflect the spirit Garrett was after here. Simply Said also features guest appearances by drummer Jeff Watts, electric bassist Marcus Miller ("G.T.D.S"), and Pat Metheny (who plays an atypical harmony role on "Yellow Flower" and "Sounds Like Winter"). ~ Jonathan Widran

Cool Jazz - Released May 16, 1997 | Warner Jazz

Songbook is the first release by alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett to feature his frequent touring quartet -- pianist Kenny Kirkland, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts and bassist Nat Reeves -- on a program that consists entirely of Garrett's own compositions. Always inventive, curious, daring, and exuberant, Garrett's Songbook proves him worthy of the alto legacy that most people (both fans and musicians) seem to agree he carries, as he demonstrates what sounds like the uncanny ability to play two-faced -- one face looking forward to the freshness of new concepts and creations as yet undiscovered, yet with another face which simultaneously looks back to the fine, fierce alto tradition of Phil Woods and Charlie Parker. The band stretches out luxuriously in the Miles Davis tribute "Before It's Time to Say Goodbye," this first recording of Garrett's perennial in-concert crowd pleaser "Sing a Song of Song," "Ms. Baja" and "Brother Hubbard," and Garrett simply sounds like a true master. Garrett also pays tribute to Woody Shaw with "Wooden Steps." ~ Chris Slawecki

Cool Jazz - Released September 30, 1994 | Concord Music Group

Taken in small doses, Boney James can be enjoyable to listen to. The Grover Washington-influenced saxophonist always sounds soulful, sincere, and passionate playing over R&B-ish rhythms. The problem is that James sounds virtually the same on every song he plays, and the individual tunes lack any personality of their own. So listening to four minutes of Boney James will tell listeners everything that he will play for the next 40 minutes; it does not change or evolve. And James' recordings do not stand out from each other, so the music on Trust is very similar to that found on all other Boney James CDs. If you enjoy one Boney James record, you will like them all, but is there any reason to own more than one or two? ~ Scott Yanow

Cool Jazz - Released October 4, 1996 | Concord Music Group

Working with producer Paul Brown, Boney James' Boney's Funky Christmas is an entertaining set of loose, funky and bluesy interpretations of both classic Christmas carols ("The Christmas Song") and more obscure contemporary selections like "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas." Two selections, "This Christmas" and "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?," are sung by Dee Harvey and Bobby Caldwell, respectively, but the star of this show remains James and his saxophone, who breathe new life into these holiday cuts. ~ Thom Owens

Cool Jazz - Released October 23, 2001 | Concord Music Group

The masterful fusion of street funk, sensual R&B, and contemporary jazz that Boney James accomplishes on Ride continues to make him a favorite with listeners around the world. The multi-talented saxophonist, keyboardist, producer, and composer wrote or co-wrote nine of the songs for this ten-song program and features such stellar guest talent as Marcus Miller, R&B singer Jaheim on the title track, Dave Hollister's gospel-flavored street style heard on "Something Inside," and Trina Broussard's crystal-clear vocals on the opening track, "Heaven." Boney James recorded two of the songs live in the studio, seasons "This Is the Life" with a tropical flavoring complete with steel pans, and downright floors listeners on the groove-oriented "See What I'm Sayin'," with Marcus Miller's funky basslines doing the walking while Boney James' saxophone does the talking. Ride is more intense and funkier than James' duet collaboration with trumpeter Rick Braun on Shake It Up, but doesn't stray far from his ability to do just that. It's definitely a smooth ride and one listeners will enjoy. ~ Paula Edelstein

Cool Jazz - Released July 26, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

This 1961 release was intended to explore the humorous side of trombonist Frank Rosolino, relying as much on his vocals as his proven skill as an instrumentalist. Sticking mostly to standards and accompanied by a solid rhythm section consisting of pianist Victor Feldman, bassist Charles C. Berghofer, and drummer Irving Cottler, the leader's skills on trombone are never in doubt, but his prowess as an effective jazz vocalist is another matter. Although liner note writer Herb Heinman simply refers to his singing as "offbeat," his nasal sound and the considerable reverb added to every track grow quickly tiresome, although the cover photo is hilarious. Perhaps latecomers to Rosolino's music will have an even greater time thinking of him in a humorous vein; before shooting himself to death in 1978, he shot both of his young sons, killing one and blinding the other. ~ Ken Dryden

Cool Jazz - Released February 12, 2007 | Rhino Atlantic

Jimmy Giuffre's four Atlantic albums of 1958 are among his rarest and most satisfying releases. Unlike the other three, this particular set finds Giuffre (tripling as usual on clarinet, tenor and baritone) leading a somewhat conventional band, a seven-horn pianoless nonet. They perform 11 songs from the musical The Music Man, best-known of which are "76 Trombones," "Gary, Indiana" and "Till There Was You." The arrangements (all by Giuffre) swing, the beauty and joy of the melodies are brought out, and the leader (who takes all of the solos except on "The Wells Fargo Wagon") is in top form. A true rarity. ~ Scott Yanow

Cool Jazz - Released March 29, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic


Cool Jazz - Released March 22, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic


Cool Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Instinct Records

Smooth jazz presents something of a marketing quandary for both its practitioners and the labels that market them. On the one hand, it positions itself in the marketplace as a subgenre of jazz; on the other hand, serious jazz fans tend to look down their noses at its shiny surfaces, smooth textures, and harmonic simplicity. You could argue that smooth jazz is jazz for people who hate jazz, but the fact is that many of those jazz fans who affect a public attitude of snobbish superiority do get off on this stuff privately, especially when it's got a certain amount of depth and complexity to it, which it sometimes does. Shakatak is a good example of a smooth jazz outfit that makes music even jazz snobs can get behind. Yes, the keyboards and vocals are layered sumptuously and the chord progressions unroll with blissful predictability; yes, the bass and drums lay down a barely funky groove that keeps things upbeat without making you feel like you have to dance. But on songs like "Falling" and "Running Back to You," those chord progressions have a pleasing tendency to slide a bit sideways from time to time, and even the cheesy vocoder bits are more cute than annoying. And vocalist Jill Saward is never anything less than an utter treat to listen to. If it bothers you to call this jazz, then call it pop music for jazz fans who think they're too sophisticated for pop music. ~ Rick Anderson


Jazz in the magazine
  • Ralph Alessi and his Imaginary Friends
    Ralph Alessi and his Imaginary Friends Ralph Alessi's Imaginary Friends is in Hi-Res 24-Bit on Qobuz!
  • A Tropical Tale
    A Tropical Tale Leyla McCalla's The Capitalist Blues is in Hi-Res 24-Bit on Qobuz!
  • Blurred Boundaries
    Blurred Boundaries Anne Paceo's Bright Shadows is in Hi-Res 24-Bit on Qobuz!
  • To the Power of Three
    To the Power of Three Joe Lovano's Trio Tapestry is in Hi-Res 24-Bit on Qobuz!
  • Dandy Man
    Dandy Man Bryan Ferry is the ultimate dandy, the singer that never gets old and who does as he pleases.
  • A Night of Nat
    A Night of Nat In 2017, Gregory Porter released a tribute album - or rather a love letter, to the man he considers his ultimate hero: Nat King Cole.
  • Afternoon Tea and Vintage Cars
    Afternoon Tea and Vintage Cars Jools Holland, the musical virtuoso, director and well-loved host of the BBC 2 programme Later… with Jools Holland since 1992, joins forces with the first-rate vocals of Marc Almond and the musicia...
  • 360° vision
    360° vision After two staggering studio albums (When the Heart Emerges Glistening in 2011 and The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint in 2014) and one brilliant live album (A Rift in Decorum in 2017), all t...
  • Leaning back to the 60s
    Leaning back to the 60s Jose James is bringing back the great soul music of the sixties.
  • Perfect unison
    Perfect unison Fifteen years on from Changing Places, his first album for the label ECM, Tord Gustavsen is once again offering up an album performed with a trio, which seems to be the line-up most in keeping with...