Contemporary Jazz

VOICES Notes and news on Contemporary Jazz releases

Groovy Love

11 FEB 09 JONATHAN WIDRAN

When contemporary jazz artists aren't grooving and funking out, they're busy creating tracks that provide the perfect soundtrack to a sweet, romantic evening, whether it's Valentine's Day or not. Almost any album from superstar saxman Boney James' 17-year catalog would make the perfect musical Valentine, but his just released Send One Your Love was timed and toned perfectly for the 2009 holiday.

Complementing a handful of richly rendered '70s urban love classics are originals like the opening track, "Wanna Show U Sumthin'," a coolly swaying slow dance tune -- with dreamy, "come hither" vocals by Sue Ann Carwell -- that sets the tone for the passionate vibe of the collection.

Concord Music Group's rich roster of similarly soulful sax artists makes choosing a mix of V-Day tracks easy. Walter Beasley's new disc Free Your Mind is geared towards stress-busting, and one of the ways he achieves that is with slow burning, sultry chill-outs like the title track, one of five irresistible gems penned, penned, produced and performed on by Beasley's labelmate James K. Lloyd of Pieces of a Dream.

No track from 2008 caught the ear of hopeless, cheek to cheek romantics more than Jessy J's full on seduction "Tequila Moon," the title track from her Peak Records debut that spent seven weeks atop the Radio & Records airplay chart. On this gently exotic cut, she invites the listener to enjoy a balmy, slightly breezy evening with her low toned tenor melody, laid back percussion and producer Paul Brown's gently jangling guitar.

in this playlist.



Jeff Lorber - Hacienda