Best Smooth Jazz Vocalists and Contemporary Jazz Artists
We are back with the next installment in the Smooth Jazz Mix Series! Smooth Jazz In The Mix 9, the vocal edition. We have the best smooth jazz vocalists and contemporary jazz artists for your listening pleasure. I had to bring back the slow jams, because we are missing that right now. I have some new ones, and some classics. I am sure that you have not heard some of these in years! Let’s take a look.
We have an all-star effort from Dave Koz’s latest release. All You Need Is Love is a remake of the Beatles’ classic song. Dave Koz did it big, as the lineup for this song includes Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Johnny Mathis, Richard Marx, Eric Benet and more. This is how you perform a remake!
Norman Brown supplies his own vocals with Never Again. I absolutely love the groove behind this song. Along with the guitar solo, this is one you will get into!
Richard Elliot is next with Brand New Love Affair. This features vocals by Sue Ann Carwell. Sue Ann has carved her niche as a background singer, but she has also released a few albums. She has also worked with Jesse Johnson and was a member of Prince’s camp.
Soul On Soul is a track by Rick Braun from the Full Stride Album. Maysa delivers a strong performance on this track from 1998. Next up we have an interesting pairing. The Rippingtons are known for their fusion/funky tracks, but on I Found Heaven, they worked with Howard Hewitt. Actually, I recently discovered this one, and was pleasantly surprised. Besides, any music playlist is always better when Howard is singing on it.
Our next track, Fall Again, is just strong. This is what you call a slow jam! This is one of Kenny G’s best offerings. Couple that with Robin Thicke, and you have a winner.
It is time for a Pop Quiz! Can you name a Lee Ritenour Song? Although you probably know him better from Fourplay, Is It You is a classic song with vocals by Eric Tagg. If you have not heard this recently, just close your eyes and feel that groove.
One of the reasons I love music, is because it is subjective. There’s different types of music that appeal to different types of people. Even in the Jazz genre, there are many styles out there, and people have their favorites. Next we have No Ordinary Love, by who I consider to be the greatest Jazz vocalist of all time……Sade. To me, there is no one better.
Bobby Caldwell is up next with one of the classic vocal jazz tracks. What You Won’t Do For Love is timeless. There have been a few attempts to remake this, and all of them fall short. There are some songs you do not touch. This is one of them.
Ride, by Chris Standring is a breath of fresh air. If you have heard his other offerings, they are really funky. I absolutely love this track, with British singer Lauren Christy supplying the vocals.
I will now take care of the rest of the remakes here. Just The Two of Us, I’m Gonna love You Just A Bit More Baby, Silky Soul, and What’s Goin’ On, are remakes that are done right. When you have Regina Belle, Will downing, Musiq Soulchild, and Take 6 singing these songs, you have a grand slam.
Incognito is one of my favorite bands, and I had a hard time deciding which song to drop in the mix. It was between Deep Waters, and Still A Friend Of Mine. Coincidentally, those two songs are on the same album, Positivity. Still A Friend Of Mine won out……just barely, but you cannot go wrong with either one.
Next up, Jonathan Butler and Najee. Najee actually is featured on Sarah Sarah, so we just continued the groove and dropped So Hard To Let You Go to have a double play.
Brian Culbertson teams up with Brian McKnight for On The Floor. This is a stepper’s delight that pushes the tempo….
Last, but certainly not least, we have George Duke. Perhaps the best piano man who ever lived. You’re The Only One In My Life has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. This is off of the album, Night After Night. Hear me out….I have listened to a lot of Jazz, and I can say with confidence that this is the best jazz album EVER! If you get a chance to listen, please do. It has it all, Funk, Fusion, Slow Jams, everything.
Smooth Jazz In The Mix 9, the vocal edition