We return with Smooth Jazz In The Mix 8! This series is recognized as the best beat mixed smooth jazz. This is the next release by Exotic DJ, and staying true to the format, you get the familiar ebb and flows. The mix starts out with a downtempo beat, and as it progresses, we end up with some truly funky grooves. By the time it is over, you are ready to head out to the party!
We kick it off with Down to the Bone, with “Timeless.” This is one of their better songs, and it is a perfect track to kick off the mix.
Next, we have Lars Bartkuhn & His Passion Orchestra, with “Thought Of You.” You probably said to yourself, “Who?” I found this track on a compilation album from the Hed Kandi series. They mainly release house compilations, but on occasion they release a chilled out album. I immediately took to this track. They classify it as Nu Jazz, but this groove definitely belongs in the mix. Candy Dulfer is up next with “N.J. Turnpike,” and these first three songs have a unique feel and they fit together nicely.
The next section contains some jazz heavyweights. Paul Jackson, Jr. and Gerald Albright are two of the legendary smooth jazz artists. Incognito is sandwiched in between these two, and they are one of my favorite bands. Their sound is so funky; it is usually difficult to insert them in the mix. It is very interesting to state that a band’s music is too funky!
Jessy J appears for the first time in the mix series. She has a unique Latin-inspired style that just makes you feel good!
If you are looking for some of the smooth jazz all stars, look no further than this next block. Richard Elliot, Boney James and Peter White are at the top of the game. These three artists have been a staple in the mix series, and for good reason. They all have the groove that I look for in a smooth jazz track. Coincidentally, I have seen all three in concert, and if you ever get the chance to do so, please see any one of these artists live.
The next block features the groups. We have the Rippingtons, Fourplay, Tom Scott & The L.A. Express, and Dave Koz & Friends. I have been a fan of the Rippingtons’ diversity for quite some time now, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you. A friend of mine had recently turned me on to Tom Scott & The L.A. Express. I honestly had no idea what I had been missing. Fourplay and Dave Koz & Friends are two of the super groups, with great artists and great music.
We close it out with a couple of remakes. We have a Luther Vandross tribute with “The Night I Fell In Love,” by Najee, who also makes his first appearance in the mix. To close it out, we have “Pick Up The Pieces” an amazing remake by two of the best horn players out there, Kenny G & David Sanborn.