Showing posts from August, 2016

The Smooth Operators Present Mellow Radio Moods Vol. 2

The Smooth Operators, Martijn Soetens and I, try to reproduce the FM radio sound of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s with our series Mellow Moods

In 1982 singer/songwriter Paul Davis signed with Arista Records and cut his most successful album, Cool Night, which peaked at number 52 on the LP charts and included three hits singles, "Cool Night," "'65 Love Affair" (which was his highest charting single, rising to number six), and "Love Me or Let Me Be Lonely." However, despite its success, Cool Night proved to be Davis' last album; he popped up on the country charts in the mid- to late '80s, singing duets with Marie Osmond (1986's "You're Still New to Me") and Tanya Tucker (1988's "I Won't Take Less Than Your Love"), but after being shot during an attempted robbery in Nashville in 1986, Davis stepped back from the spotlight and concentrated on songwriting rather than performing. In the new millennium, …

Tropical Chill Out Grooves

The Olympic Games in Rio and the upcoming tropical weather in the Netherlands inspired me to create this cloudcast! The track by Musique is one of the tracks in the Get Down, the new series on Netflix. It's basically a story about girls loving disco and guys enjoying hip hop, but very well done. The track by Harari is on a new compilation called ‘Boogie Breakdown’ (‘South African Disco from 1980 to 1984’), out on Cultures of Soul on September 23rd:

“A period of true innovation and new possibilities – as well as isolation and political instability – the early 80s in South Africa saw the emergence of numerous talented, innovative artists, whose efforts soon gave rise to the big-selling ‘bubblegum’ sound of the mid-80s. As the decade wore on, this sound shed its American roots and took on more local influences, becoming ever more electronic and less funky, to become the kwaito of the 90s and ultimately the house music of today. It all started with the arrival of synthesizers and the …

Smooth Sailing: Soft Sounds & Summer Soul

Probably the only song on which Scott Walker sounds funky is ‘Use me’ (composed by Bill Withers) from the lp ‘Stretch’ (never re-issued on cd, as far as I know). A handful of songs from the album, like Tom T. Hall's ‘That's How I Got to Memphis’ and Mike Newbury's ‘Sunshine’, are genuine country songs, and the remainder of the album consists of mainstream pop and folk-rock songs that are quite similar to his previous seventies albums. The difference is that Walker sounds more committed on this record from 1973, singing with a greater passion than on any record since 'Til the band comes in' three years earlier. It turned out that Walker was unhappy with his career in the 1970s and after a short period with the reunited Walker Brothers, he took a different musical direction. It is still a pity that he does not use his sublime baritone voice anymore.

I set sail for some pretty unknown musical territories this time, so I hope you will enjoy this 2-hours part of Smoot…

The Smooth Operators Present 'Mellow Disco Moods Vol. 2'

Yvonne Elliman achieved world fame as a singer when 'If I can't have you' reached number one on Billboard in 1978. While she was in high school in Hawaii, Elliman sang in a group called We Folk. When a London club owner heard her voice on tape, he asked her to sing at the Pheasantry folk club, located on Kings Road in Chelsea. Songwriters Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice discovered her there around 1969/1970. The duo offered her the role of Mary Magdalene for their musical 'Jesus Christ Superstar', which first came out only on album. Elliman won a Golden Globe award for her character in the film version of it. The musical also gave her a hit with 'I don't know how to love him'. The single became the title of her debut album in 1972. A year later Pete Townshend (The Who) helped Elliman with  'Food of love', her next album. During this time, she appeared in the American production of 'Jesus Christ Superstar' on Broadway, where she met late…

Smooth Sailing: Lazy Waves & Laid-Back Songs

I try to prove a point made by Kenny Loggins in a recent television interview. He says that yacht rock is a combination of (West Coast) rock, R&B and smooth jazz. “It’s that term that started on the internet,” Loggins explains. “It’s a term that embraces the period of pop music where we sort of channelled into a kind of smooth jazz kind of thing.”
The inclusion of smooth jazz into Loggins’ music began on his first two solo albums, ‘Celebrate Me Home’ and ‘Nightwatch’, on which he was helped by keyboard player Bob James, then known for hits like 'Westchester lady' and 'Nightcrawler'. He was Kenny Loggins' producer and that time at the forefront of the development of smooth jazz. James would later start one of the genre’s best-known and popular groups, Fourplay.
“The music sort of evolved… we were moving into that area,” says Loggins. “It was a fun ride. It’s kind of coming back into the window a little bit.”

International jazz-funk band Incognito join forces ag…