Showing posts from July, 2015

Smooth Sailing: Jazzy Pop & Mellow Soul

Back to the boat and enjoy this new Smooth Sailing trip! The closing track is a Ronnie McNeir cover that is on a fine new compilation, called 'Simply chilled beats'. Next week we will move from the sailing boat to the dance floor again.

Simply one of the greatest guitarists in jazz history, George Benson is an amazingly versatile musician, whose adept skills find him crossing easily between straight-ahead jazz, smooth jazz, and contemporary R&B. Blessed with supreme taste, a beautiful, rounded guitar tone, terrific speed, a marvelous sense of logic in building solos, and, always, an unquenchable urge to swing, Benson's inspirations may have been Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery, but his style is completely his own. Not only can he play lead brilliantly, he is also one of the best rhythm guitarists around, supportive to soloists and a dangerous swinger, particularly in a soul-jazz format. Yet Benson can also sing in a lush, soulful tenor and it is his voice that ha…

Summer Night Disco

'Moonride' by Universal Love (which sounds a little bit like 'Love Train' by the O'Jays) and 'Come inside' by The Shades of Love are from ‘Disco 2: A Further Selection of Independent Disco, Modern Soul & Boogie 1976-80’ that came out on Soul Jazz Records last Friday. It contains rare, classic and in-demand tracks from the mighty vaults of semi big disco labels, such as New York's Salsoul and Miami's TK Records. Besides those tracks, there are killer virtually unknown tracks, released on tiny bespoke one-off labels, now (almost) impossible to find, neither in the history books nor in record shops.

More or less by accident George McCrae had a worldwide hit with 'Rock Your Baby' on the just mentioned Miami-based TK label in 1974. The song was written and produced by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch (KC & the Sunshine Band). It was originally intended as a single for George's wife Gwen, but she called in sick the day the studio w…

Smooth Sailing: Laid-Back Rock & Soulful Pop

Uh, laid-back rock? Soulful pop? What kind of music to expect then? Well, this is probably the most archetypical yacht rock mix that I’ve done so far. Yacht rock has been made famous by acts like The Doobie Brothers (Michael McDonald), Loggins & Messina, Steely Dan and Hall & Oates. DJ Supermarkt, known for his 'Too slow to disco' compilations, calls it 'music you can almost dance to'... This Smooth Sailing episode is partly based on the top 100 yacht rock by Hello Loser:

Some quotes from the website:
“Hello It’s Me” takes us through an awkward breakup phone call with a girl, except this time it’s the guy who still wants to be friends. What makes the breakup so awkward is that he actually wants to give the girl her “freedom” which makes it sound more like a hostage situation than a loving relationship.


“You know that I’d be with you if I could.
I’ll come around to see you once in a while,
or if I ever need a reason to smile.
And spend the night if you …

Smooth Sailing: Tropical Soul & Latin Flavors

The sunny month of July is Smooth Sailing month! One of tracks is from Les Baxter. He is a pianist who composed and arranged for the top swing bands of the 1940s and 1950s, but he is better known as the founder of exotica, a variation of easy listening that glorified the sounds and styles of Polynesia, Africa, and South America, even as it retained the traditional string-and-horn arrangements of instrumental pop. Exotica became a massively popular trend in the 1950s, with thousands of record buyers listening to Baxter, Martin Denny, and their imitators. Baxter also pioneered the use of the electronic instrument the theremin, which has a haunting, howling sound. The exotica sounds make you think of tropical islands, blue seas and sandy beaches. Some of the tropical ingredients were copied by Dr. Buzzards Original Savannah Band and more seventies disco acts (that are gathered on ‘Cocktail disco’, a compilation from Dimitri From Paris). And many lounge acts used the typical exotica sound…

Smooth Sailing: Cool Lounge & Hot Buttered Soul

The birds are dropping dead from roofs because of the heat in the Netherlands, so take a swim and enjoy this new episode of Smooth Sailing! The godfather of dance, Giorgio Moroder, just released a new album, called 'Deja vu', at the age of 75. Moroder was born in Ortisei, Italy, on April 26, 1940. When he moved to Munich, Germany, he established his own studio, Musicland, and recorded his debut single 'Looky, looky' in 1969. His first album, 'Son of my father', was released three years later. Around that time Moroder was introduced to fellow musician Pete Bellotte, with whom he formed a production partnership. In collaboration with singer Donna Summer, the duo was to become one of the most powerful forces in the disco-era. Their success beginning with 'The hostage' and 'Lady of the night', followed by their much copied sensual 'Love to love you baby' and their all-time classic 'I feel love', which would become a blue print for e…