Two For Tuesday: Chieli Minucci and Special EFX

Chieli Minucci is the leader of the group Special EFX as well as having a solo career of his own. They’ve recorded 30 CD’s, eight of which are solo efforts by Minucci. He has recorded with a number of jazz and pop artists, and composed for film and TV. He won Daytime Emmys in 1998, 2007 and 2008 for his compositions for the daytime drama The Guiding Light.

Here’s the title track from Minucci’s 2003 solo album, Night Grooves.

From Special EFX’s latest album, 2017’s Deep As The Night, the title track. This was the #1 Smooth Jazz Song for last year.

According to his website, he and Special EFX will be appearing in Tokyo at the end of this week, and will be touring through the US through October. He’s present on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, so if you’re active on one or more of those platforms you’ll be able to follow him.

Chieli Minucci and Special EFX, your Two for Tuesday, June 25, 2019.

Two For Tuesday: Paul Jackson Jr.

I forget where I first heard of Paul Jackson Jr., but it was not long after he had released his 1993 album, A River In The Desert, that I bought a cassette of it and stuck it in the tape player of my car, where it stayed for a month because I was just amazed at what a fantastic guitarist he was. He was a session player for a bunch of rock, R&B and smooth jazz artists before going off on his own. He’s recorded eight solo albums (one of which was 1990’s Out Of The Shadows), and he played for a time with the Tonight Show Band when Jay Leno was the host.

His most recent album is 2016’s Tales From Stompin’ Willie. Here’s the first track, “Sassay.”

From his 1993 album A River In The Desert, here is “The Flavor.”

His website hasn’t been updated in a while, but you can find his music on YouTube and Spotify, and you can get updates on Facebook and Twitter, though he doesn’t seem to update them frequently.

Paul Jackson Jr., your Two For Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

Two For Tuesday: Joyce Cooling

Joyce Cooling’s been off the smooth jazz radar for a while. Her last album, Global Cooling, was released in 2009, and since then she’s been quiet. I got an email from her (probably her publicity department) yesterday, announcing that “she’s back!” and has a new website and a new EP that’s scheduled to come out in September. I couldn’t be happier.

I first heard of Joyce when I was in Borders Books & Music (remember them?) and looking at a display of New Releases, when I came across a CD (remember them?) with a picture of an attractive woman playing guitar on the cover. The album was Joyce’s fifth album, 2004’s This Girl’s Got To Play. I just had a feeling that I would really enjoy her guitar playing and the music that was contained on the album, so I bought it and brought it home. And, when I heard “Expression,” the first track, I was in love. Well, that might be exaggerating, but only a little.

Joyce’s next album was 2006’s Revolving Door. She made a video to go along with “Cool Of The Night,” one of the more popular tracks on the album.

Joyce and her producer/collaborator/keyboardist, Jay Wagner, are based in San Francisco. Together they opened The Rhythm Kitchen, their “their brand new music production space dedicated to recording, performing, and lots more.” She has been a national advocate for mental health organizations such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) since 2006. I’m looking forward to the release of Living Out Loud, her new EP, on September 20. You can sign up to receive updates from her on her website, follow her on Facebook, and listen to her on YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Music and iTunes.

Joyce Cooling, your Two for Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

Two for Tuesday: Jeff Golub (Encore Presentation)

This originally ran on October 15, 2013.

Smooth jazz guitarist Jeff Golub has been recording since 1988, but got most of his early notice with the band Avenue Blue, with whom he’s recorded several albums, the eponymous first album in 1994, Naked City in 1996, and Nightlife in 1997. He’s recorded nine solo albums, the latest one being Train Keeps A-Rolling, with British keyboardist Brian Auger, released this past August. Jeff’s website is at jeffgolub.com.

Today’s first selection is “Simple Pleasures,” from 2005’s Temptation, featuring Rick Braun on trumpet.

Our second selection is “Droptop,” from 2000’s Dangerous Curves.

Jeff passed away on January 1, 2015, from a rare brain disease, progressive supranuclear palsy. May he rest in peace.

Jeff Golub, your Two for Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

Two For Tuesday: Peter White (Encore Presentation)

Another Encore Performance, this from from June 2013.

It’s closer to Wednesday here, but I have a couple here from smooth jazz guitarist Peter White. Peter got his start working with Al Stewart (of “Time Passages” fame), and worked with jazz singer Basia in the 1990’s. He’s recorded 13 albums since 1990 and gets a significant amount of play on smooth jazz stations. He and saxophonist Mindi Abair have worked together often in the last few years, including a Christmas concert series with trumpet player Rick Braun.

The first song is “Bueno Funk,” from his 2001 album Glow. It was recorded in July 2011 at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, NV, and features Peter on acoustic guitar, Euge Groove on saxophone, Greg Karukas on keyboard, Darryl Williams on bass, Ross Bolton on guitar, and Darryl Williams on drums. The second is a cover of the Isley Brothers’ “Who’s That Lady,” also from Glow, recorded in September 2011 at the Kettle Moraine Jazz Festival. It features White, Karukas, Evan Knight on saxophone, Khari Parker on drums and vocals, and Sharay Reed on bass.

Peter White’s website is here, and you can find his music on YouTube and Spotify.

Peter White, your Two For Tuesday, May 28, 2019.