Carol Duboc’s “Smile”

Carol Duboc new release Smile available online Mother’s Day, May 12, 2013. In stores May 21, 2013. Pre-Order…

Carol Duboc
Carol Duboc

Music Therapy: Duboc delivers a revealing “Smile”

Jazz singer-songwriter teams with Jeff Lorber for a deeply personal album about the demise of her marriage

Los Angeles, California (22 May 2013): Thinking that everything had fallen apart, the tears streamed down Carol Duboc’s face as she wrote the lyrics to “Smile,” the title track to the soulful jazz vocalist’s stunning sixth album that was released Tuesday (May 21) by Gold Note Music. She gazed at her young daughter’s smile and found hope. Hope infuses the painfully honest and courageously candid collection Duboc penned and produced with fusion pioneer Jeff Lorber about coming to terms with the end of her marriage. The shuffling beats of the funky first single, “Elephant,” one of Billboard BDSradio’s most added tracks this week, elusively dances around the realization that she and her husband faced: the amassed problems in the marriage were the elephant that could no longer be ignored.

Duboc and Lorber have a history of writing songs together that spans more than a decade yet became more frequent a few years ago when the chanteuse with the candied voice moved into a Los Angeles, Calif. neighborhood near Lorber’s home studio. They complement each other’s strengths as songwriters organically with Duboc coming up with catchy melodies and compelling storytelling lyrics for Lorber’s jazz-funk rhythms and grooves. Naturally turning to her own life for lyrical themes, Duboc delved into the flood of feelings that she was experiencing at the time in the troubled relationship. She intimately chronicled utilizing the process as a form of therapy allowing her to work through the morass. Despite the difficult subject matter, the songs are not bitter as Duboc instills a sense of hope into her melodies – perhaps because of her daughter’s presence. She remains poised throughout her cathartic emotional exploration.

“Smile” was recorded in the studio live with Duboc accompanied by a stellar ensemble consisting of Lorber (keyboards, Moog & guitar), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Grammy-nominee Brian Bromberg (acoustic bass), Jimmy Haslip (electric bass), 3-time Grammy nominee Hubert Laws (flute), Michael Thompson (guitars), Luis Conte (percussion) and Tim Carmon (piano). Her graceful, caressing and expressive voice nestles into the plush contemporary jazz rhythm beds, rides the R&B grooves, and adds depth to the urbane pop confections.

After “Elephant” opens Duboc’s diary, the comforting and inspiring title track emits radiant light in the face of challenging times as captured in the uplifting video ( The sultry “Unpredictable” is a tantalizing fantasy about a stranger on which Thompson’s cool jazz guitar riffs admonish the dangers of acting on the daydream. Duboc realizes her dream of scatting along with one of Laws’ solos on “Telepathy” although at the time she was preoccupied trying to read her husband’s mind. The sensual “Atmosphere” sets the mood for romance in the hope of rekindling the love. A brisk Latin jazz adventure, Duboc puts her fear of flying aside to offer a pledge of faith and trust on “Parachute.” An ethereal sonicscape spotlighting Bromberg’s nuanced acoustic bass heightens the sex appeal of Duboc’s enticing purrs and prowls on “Behind A Kiss,” which finds physical love on the other side of the tumult. On the jazzy “Gliding,” the singer yearns to fly free from her troubles underscored by Laws’ soaring and fanciful flute. Begging to know what “Nobody Knows,” Duboc’s marriage was rocked unexpectedly after she returned home from the studio one day to learn something shocking about her partner, which proved to be the beginning of the end. Duboc describes the buoyant “Mythological” as being a “great closer for this musical and emotional journey.”

To help launch “Smile,” Duboc will perform a pair of album release gigs backed by Lorber, Haslip, drummer Tony Moore and guitarist Adam Hawley this Sunday (May 26) at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, Calif. and in Hollywood on May 29th at the Catalina Jazz Club.

Ever since her 2001 debut album, “With All That I Am,” Duboc has consistently set the bar high for her critically-acclaimed sophisticated urban-jazz tunes that have garnered gushing praise from the likes of the Los Angeles Times and JazzTimes. Laws appeared on that first album and remains a fixture on her recordings that over the years have spawned multiple Top 5 airplay singles at Radio & Records and included collaborations with Lorber, Gerald Albright and Patrice Rushen. Duboc’s gift for composing and arranging has enabled her to author songs on gold and platinum-selling albums by Patti LaBelle, Chante Moore, Tom Jones, Stephanie Mills, Jade, George Duke, Maurice White, and Fine Young Cannibals. Duboc was tapped as a special guest on several of the all-star Ladies’ Jazz series alongside Sarah Vaughan, Jane Monheit, Diana Krall and Dinah Washington. The beautiful blond Kansas City, Missouri native made her motion picture debut in 2005’s “Be Cool,” which starred John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Danny DeVito. Additional information is available at

The songs comprising Duboc’s “Smile” are:







“Behind A Kiss”


“Nobody Knows”


A conversation with Guitarist Peter White

While growing up in England, Peter White learned to play many instruments including the piano. He realized after watching The Beattles, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton on a black and white TV, that he wanted to emulate them. He learned to play on an acoustic guitar. Soon after, he purchased an electric guitar. After an infamous incident that sent his electric guitar into flames, he elected to go back to the acoustic guitar. Fortunately for Peter, that accident turned into a blessing.

After many years playing as a backup musician, Peter realized that he wanted “his” music to be heard. Thus, he launched a solo career. He calls collaborating with other artists such as Boney James, and David Sanborn just to name a couple, a “joy” and a “blessing.” His latest CD is titled “Here We Go,” on which he once again worked with some “high-profile” musicians.

Peter has gone into his personal treasure chest of unreleased songs, updated them, and is creating new music. He is looking forward to playing in Charlotte, NC at the Uptown Jazz Fest in June. He welcomes fans comment’s and email’s, and is excited about meeting them.

Click to listen to interview.

Peter White
Peter White
Peter White
Peter White

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Flautist Althea Rene

The Jazz Queen interviewed Flautist Althea Rene on Talking Smooth Jazz blog talk radio. Althea is an accomplished Flautist with an extensive background in music. Her current CD is titled “In The Flow”, and is currently #4 on the Billboard Follow Althea on Twitter @flautistdiva.

Click below to hear the interview.


The website for Talking Smooth Jazz is June 8, 2013 is the 5 year anniversary of the site. “Talking Smooth Jazz is an internet radio talk show hosted by the Jazz Queen and Mike Reynolds. We provide the premiere online platform for regional, national, and international smooth jazz artists to share their music and a chance for thousands of fans to meet them. If it’s smooth jazz, then the Jazz Queen and Mike Reynolds are talking about it on Talking Smooth Jazz. We look forward to Talking Smooth Jazz with you.”

You can follow Talking Smooth Jazz on Twitter @Jazz_Queen, and on Facebook Talking Smooth Jazz.

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One on One with Brian Culbertson

I’m thrilled to share with you an interview I had with the one and only Brain Culbertson. I’m a “HUGE” fan, so that made it even more of an honor for me. He was very gracious to take the time out of his busy schedule. He shared with me his concept behind the 2nd Annual Napa Valley Getaway that he hosts. He gave me some insight on how his CD “Dreams” evolved, and talked about his collaborations with a few of the finest vocalists and musicians. We also shared our admiration for the legendary David Sanborn, and how he influenced us both at an early age.

Brian loves playing in Charlotte, NC, and is looking forward to performing at the Uptown Jazzfest on Friday June 21st.

Click below to hear our interview.

The man himself....Brian Culbertson
The man himself….Brian Culbertson
Brian's band
Brian’s band

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Napa Valley Jazz Getaway June 5-9

Idyllic Napa Valley will serve as the beatific backdrop for a festival of wine and jazz next month when the second Napa Valley Jazz Getaway ( takes place June 5-9 featuring a luminous lineup of performers topped by the event’s Founder & Artistic Director Brian Culbertson ( The soulful hit-making multi-instrumentalist will be joined by Grammy winners Take 6, Ray Parker Jr., Norman Brown and Kirk Whalum united with Rick Braun as BWB, funksters Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, saxophonists Eric Darius and Michael Lington, guitarist Nick Colionne, R&B vocalist Selina Albright, keyboardist Cecil Ramirez, party band DW3 and special guest comedian Sinbad. With this much talent on display, it’s no wonder that the VIP and Silver ticket packages sold out months ago.

Over 1,200 festival goers from all over the nation will flock to California wine country for concerts at the Napa Valley Opera House and Lincoln Theater while more intimate shows will be held at several wineries including Silver Oak and Chimney Rock. VIPs will be treated to a solo piano performance by Culbertson staged in the wine cave at Miner Family Winery, which was one of the most buzzed about shows at last year’s inaugural event.

The Napa Valley Jazz Getaway is a not-to-be-missed interactive lifestyle experience at which fans can share their passion for wine and jazz with the musicians while dining, during wine receptions and tastings, at autograph sessions, at a golf tournament at Silverado Resort & Spa, and at casual post-concert hangs at the Westin Verasa Napa. Prior to the June 8th concert, a silent auction and wine reception will be held in support of music education to benefit The GRAMMY Foundation at which many of the winery partners will provide complimentary pourings.

One of the brightest stars in the contemporary jazz galaxy, award-winning musician, songwriter and producer Culbertson is a consistent chart-topper with a catalogue that spans 13 solo albums along with hits that he wrote and produced for other marquee artists. Known for distilling a soul-splashed vintage of shimmering jazz, funk grooves and sophisticated R&B-pop, creating the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway has enabled the dynamic artist to prove his mettle as a lifestyle curator. Culbertson is a consummate entertainer who has a hot new band and a slamming show that is certain to get and keep people on their feet each time they hit the stage in Napa.

Arturo Sandoval

I had the pleasure of hearing the legendary Arturo Sandoval perform a few days ago. It was a performance like I had never seen before. Arturo was born in Cuba, and started studying the trumpet at the age of 12. He is the protege of Dizzy Gillespie, and when you listen to his music, you can hear the Gillespie influence. It didn’t take long for Sandoval to grasp the reigns of the world of jazz. He does it all. Not only did he master the trumpet, but he is also a classical pianist, and composer. Adding to his list of accomplishments, Arturo was nominated 17 times for a Grammy, and has won 9. To add to that collection, he has an Emmy, and 6 Billboard Awards. Sandoval is still making amazing music, and performing while also writing a book to be released soon titled “The Man Who Saved Me.” It is a book about the relationship he shared with Dizzy Gillespie.

My experience while listening, and observing Arturo perform was breathtaking. I don’t even think that’s descriptive enough to portray my feelings. His voice is an instrument, and he know how to use it like one. He doesn’t fail to miss a single note on the music scale. Amazing!! I enjoyed his ability to be extremely diverse in his performance. Unlike any other artist I’ve ever seen. He sang, he played the trumpet, he played keyboards, and he played percussion. It was electrifying to watch him on stage with non-stop, unwavering energy from start to finish. Each of his band members were equally as awesome in their individual solos. Did I mention that Sandoval even scatted during a song? That was one of those “WOW” moments for me. I was blown away. I thought to myself, what else can he do? Well, he showed me what else he could do. While performing a single song, he went from playing the trumpet, to the keyboard, to percussion, to singing. He just went back and forth from one to the other. I was mesmerized. I left Arturo Sandoval’s performance knowing that I had been in the company of one of the best artist ever.


Jonathan Butler

Soul of Summer a multicultural affair

U.S. concert tour featuring Jonathan Butler, Sheila E. and Elan Trotman launches May 25th in San Diego

Los Angeles, CA (14 May 2013): The spirit of spring is followed by the Soul of Summer, which this year will take on an international flair. The third edition of South African singer-songwriter-guitarist Jonathan Butler’s summer concert trek will feature multi-talented Latina Sheila E. and Barbadian saxophonist Elan Trotman. Backed by a 3-piece band and Butler’s daughter Jodie Butler on background vocals, the set list will showcase the artists’ hits along with a few cover tunes. The Soul of Summer 2013 will debut at the San Diego Jazz Festival on May 25th with dates booked across the U.S. into August.

“I’m excited to get on the road with Soul of Summer 2013. This year, we have the Latin flavor of Sheila E., the Caribbean flavor of Elan Trotman, and with my South African roots, it creates a great world music experience. Music can be a unifying force and unity is the spirit of Soul of Summer,” said Butler after the outfit’s first rehearsal at which they created the 14-song set list.

Butler’s Soul of Summer excursions are collaborative by nature. Each artist will have time during the show to perform individually, but the magic comes from the pairings when Butler, E. and Trotman will share the stage in various combinations to play their chart-toppers, fan favorites and Grammy-nominated singles, including Butler’s “Sara Sara” and “Lies” and E.’s “Glamorous Life.”

A two-time Grammy nominee, Butler became a child star while growing up under Apartheid and was the first black artist to be played on radio stations in South Africa. His 17-deep album catalogue is a study in diversity as Butler refuses to limit the scope of his musical vision that spans contemporary jazz instrumentals, soulful R&B, sophisticated pop and stirring gospel. Blessed with an impassioned voice that cries for justice, romantic pleas for love, and worshipful praise, Butler is dually noted for his nifty guitar-play on both nylon string and electric. Whether in a full band setting or stripped down to his roots as a spellbinding singer-songwriter, Butler pours his heart and soul into his live shows that uplift, enlighten and inspire. His latest recording, the gospel offering “Grace and Mercy,” was released last fall and continues to spread the word at radio. Butler will release a Christmas album this fall.

The daughter of Latin jazz patriarch Pete Escovedo, E. is a dynamic drummer, percussionist and vocalist who had her commercial breakthrough as a protégé of Prince with whom she still occasionally collaborates. Proudly braiding elements of her Hispanic heritage to funk, jazz, soul, fusion and gospel, she captivates with her high-energy performances and rhythmically-astute beats that have enabled her to play with some of the biggest names in popular music while collecting her own #1 Billboard hits and multiple Grammy and American Music Awards nominations along with an MTV Best Video Award win. The stunning beauty, a multimedia star that has graced the silver screen and small screen, released a concert DVD, “Sheila E. Summer Tour 2012 – LIVE in Lugano, Switzerland” last December.

Trotman is a feted newcomer winning fans and plaudits for the good-natured spirit of the Caribbean that he brings to R&B and contemporary jazz grooves. The saxman who attended the Berklee College of Music on a scholarship from the government of Barbados released his sixth album, “Tropicality,” earlier this year, which he wrote and produced with guitar star Peter White. The disc containing performances by an array of accomplished musicians is a celebration of island life that also chronicles Trotman’s journey from Barbados to Boston.

The Soul of Summer 2013 band is comprised of bassist and musical director Dan Lutz, drummer Jay Williams, and keyboardist Dennis Hamm.

The 2013 itinerary for Soul of Summer featuring Butler, E. and Trotman is:

May 25 Carlsbad, CA San Diego Jazz Festival

July 10 Detroit, MI Chene Park

July 17 New York, NY Spirit Cruise Ship

July 20 Norfolk, VA Norfolk Jazz Festival

July 27 Temecula, CA Thornton Winery

August 2 Austin, TX One World Theatre

August 3 Houston, TX Houston International Jazz Festival

August 10 Kettering, OH Festival of the Vine

August 11 Richmond, VA Richmond Jazz Festival

Additional dates will be added, which will be posted at

He may not…, but he is…

He may not own a Grammy. He may not have ever topped the billboard charts. However, he is one of the best singers God put on this planet. His is the first singing voice I fell in love with, and I’ve been loving it for almost 45 years. If I had to choose a musical idol, it would without a doubt be him. He started to sing at a very early age. It was apparent to his Mother and everyone else that he had a gift. Having recognized his talent, his Mother took him to appear on a show back in the 50’s called “The Old Rebel and Pecos Pete Show” that aired on WFMY-TV in Greensboro, NC. It was one of the first kids shows. It captured an audience of thousands of kids. Even though it was during the days of racial unrest, kids from all ethnic backgrounds came together on the show. WRAL out of Raleigh, NC once hosted a variety show on Saturdays that spotlighted various individuals and groups in the late 60’s. He was a featured guest on that show as well. If I had a wish, it would be that I could find some footage and photos from those days. To have watched him over the years perform as an adult is one thing, but to see and hear him singing as a child would be the BEST THING EVER. Believe me, I’ve tried to recover anything I could from the archives, but to no avail.


Below are 2 video clips. Please forgive the random “other” people you may see. They just couldn’t resist rudely popping in and out of my view. It’s not my “best” taping as you will see. However, I did the best I could while surrounded by party goers. LOL!

Takeover…..take me away!!!

I’ve spent the afternoon in my car being serenaded by the “smooth” sounds of INNERTWYNED. I’ve heard the CD so many times that I can whistle and hum every single note on it. That’s how much I LOVE IT!! You can never tire from listening to it, and it will never get old. Every time I think I’ve picked out my top 2 or 3 songs, I continue to listen and realize that there is NO way I can pick just 2 or 3. They all rank #1 with me. It’s unusual for a CD to have me from start to finish.

The title “The Takeover” is so appropriate because that’s exactly what it does. It transforms you and takes you to a place where only you and the music exist.

Hey, that’s me that shows up occasionally in the video, on the front row, at the bottom right side of the screen. Yes that was me with my blue purse in my lap. LOL! I still remember hearing the music coming from the speakers outside on that beautiful evening.

Update with an Introspective View of Rob Bacon

When I last mentioned Rob Bacon, I told you about the exciting news of his upcoming album set to be released in the Fall. Now, I have the privilege of sharing the news about his upcoming tour dates and giving you a look into the incredible musician and man behind the music.

Rob will be on tour with Chaka Khan on May 10, 2013 at Bill Harris Arena in Birmingham, AL. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out the show. He’ll also be appearing with her on May 18, 2013 in Chicago.

He will also be on tour with Ray Parker, Jr. and Raydio from May 22-26, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. He’ll return and continue on “The Beat” tour. 

I could tell you all about Rob and his career thus far, but i’m gonna let you see him for yourself. Who is Rob Bacon??? Click the links below to find out. Get comfortable and enjoy the introduction. I promise you will be astounded by the man given the name “Fonksta.”

Rob and Chaka