2016 has been a great year for saxophonist Jessy J. She got married and on October 28th, released her debut holiday album, “California Christmas.” Jessy produced the project that she had been working on since 2014. She released it on her own label, Changi Records. The album was dedicated to her former manager, Stewart, who passed away last year. A few of Jessy’s friends including Jeff Lorber, Paul Brown, Steve Oliver, Michael Thompson, Maurice Smith, Jay Rowe, and more joined her on the album. Christmas is Jessy’s favorite time of year, and creating a holiday album that was a reflection of a “California Christmas” felt like a must to her. Covering holiday favorites with her own blues, tropical, jazzy sound makes this album a welcome addition to fans’ collections. Additionally, Jessy started a Pledge Music campaign–a great way for her to interact with fans.
In just a few days, multidimensional eclectic guitarist Rob Tardik will release his fifth album, “Moments.” That same day (November 13, 2015), he will also showcase the album at a release party at Spaghettini’s. Rob–once named the Canadian Smooth Jazz Guitarist of the year–is very intentional with his music. “Moments” very vividly emulates Rob’s musical maturity over the years as well as his ability to consistently connect with people. Every album is written to take the listener on a journey; a journey that is positive and uplifting. Rob wholeheartedly believes that we all experience defining moments in life that define us as individuals. “Moments” is a reflection of some of those experiences for Rob. Rob wrote and produced “Moments” with Steve Oliver, Gabriel Mark Hasselbach, and Nate Harasim. The extensive collection of songs features Will Donato and Walle Larson. The first single, “Sip and Salsa,” is gaining popularity on the airways.
Sha Shaty has been a part of the music scene for a very long time. However, his latest album is a reflection of a new beginning, thus aptly titled, “Brighter Day.” The masterpiece is comprised of all original music produced by Steve Oliver, a long-time fellow artist. Sha Shaty approached this album as he always has, appreciating his gift and using it to make the world a better place. He loves the process of creating, and “Brighter Day” is an expression of him evolving as an artist and “an extension of him.” The first single, “Dream Ride,” is inviting with just the right tempo enhanced by saxophonist, Will Donato. Also joining Sha Shaty on the album is drummer from Spyro Gyra, Bonny B, and vocalist, Usay Chu. He believes that “music should be a part of lifestyle,” and “Brighter Day” is a shining example of music variety at its best–full of depth and rich with layers that will captivate and stimulate listeners. Familiar fans as well as new fans will enjoy the unpredictable journey that is a “Brighter Day.”
When I hear the name Nicholas Cole, a few words come to my mind. Words such as gifted, grounded, humble, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, AMAZINGLY talented. Cole has landed on the contemporary jazz scene and shown that he’s the future generation. His friend Brian Simpson says “Nicholas is the best young songwriter of contemporary jazz that I’ve come across in the last several years….and he will definitely play a huge part in the future.” He is a composer, producer, and performer. He collaborated with Michael Stever, Tim Bowman, Vincent Ingala, Steve Oliver, Julian Vaughn, Marcus Anderson, and Lynne Fiddmont on his current CD “Endless Possiblities.” His knowledge and awareness of different genres of music gives him the ability to be innovative and continuously evolving. The future is very bright for Nicholas, and I look forward to following his journey.