Sunday, October 5, 2008
This Week's Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown
Part of the joys of driving on a Sunday afternoon (besides finding EDSA to be relatively traffic-free), is tuning in to 106.7 FM at 4pm and listening to Allen Kepler's Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown. In the 2-hour show, the acclaimed trumpet player lists the 20 biggest tunes topping the Smooth Jazz chart based on monitored airplay in the U.S.
Having discovered the show only recently, it has now become a favorite. And why not? I have been a smooth jazz advocate since the late 70s when jazz fusion made the music scene. Influenced by my sister Audrey with her LPs of Bob James and Joe Sample among others, I was easily hooked (you can imagine my sadness when 88.3 F changed format). The show on 106.7 lets me keep track of the freshest smooth jazz and quiet storm recordings, the newest artists in the genre, and the latest news about the music icons I've respected since the 70s.
This week, topping the Kepler's list again is Sax Pack's FALLIN' FOR YOU, a bouncy, breezy, brassy track from heavyweight saxophonists, Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, and Steve Cole. Other exciting acts in the list are fellow brass boys Dave Koz, Najee, Boney James, and Kenny G., as well as guitar greats Chuck Loeb and Earl Klugh, whose new album SPICE OF LIFE is a most welcome project since his last CD 9 years ago. Also in the list are vocalists Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) and gospel and soul legend, Al Green. My personal pick, however, is bassist Marcus Miller's FREE, a remake of Deniece Williams's popular smooth jazz recording, but this time interpreted through Corinne Bailey Rae's sultry vocals.
Check out below the this week's top 20: