Brian Soergel

Brian’s Contributions

Euge-groove_span3

January/February 2010    Currents

Sunday Morning
Euge Groove

No one in smooth jazz does the dramatic sax growl and the flutter note better than Euge Groove. There’s a modicum of that on his sixth solo CD, but Sunday Morning is mellower than usual; Groove reins in the in-your-face funk with 10 songs that cater to contemplative...

Everette-harp_span3

January/February 2010    Currents

First Love
Everette Harp

It’s probably true that all saxophonists thrown into the orderly smooth-jazz genre desire to bust out with a trad-jazz project that displays their influences and years of training. Of course, you’ll see this at live shows, which are regularly raucous jams...

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December 2009    Currents

More to Say
Terri Lyne Carrington

Pop-culture junkies may recall that Terri Lyne Carrington was the drummer who held down the groove for the Posse on Arsenio Hall’s popular talk show from 1989 to 1994. She’s gained well-deserved respect since then for her composing and producing skills...

Karl-densons_span3

December 2009    Currents

Brother’s Keeper
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe expands with the first KDTU CD in seven years, one that takes Denson in a surprising new direction, veering sharply from jam-heavy funk and into a more personal style that bears the influences of Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye...

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December 2009    Currents

Marcus Johnson
Poetically Justified

Marcus Johnson’s a master at the sort of sophisticated, smooth piano jazz heard best underneath the chatter at late-night cocktails. But on his 11th CD he also keeps his ears tuned to what’s happening today, injecting enough urban-music staples to earn a...

Hiroshima_span3

November 2009    Currents

Legacy
Hiroshima

This is a best-of with a twist. Featuring remakes of compositions from veteran fusion band Hiroshima’s first decade, Legacy is the debut entry in what leaders Dan Kuramoto and June Kuramoto say could be an ongoing series covering the group’s 30-year history...

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November 2009    Currents

Lookin' For A Change
Joe McBride

Joe McBride went looking for a change, found it, and listeners will be rewarded with a treat unlike anything the veteran pianist has done before. McBride is no slouch on vocals, but he is, after all, primarily a purveyor of acoustic contemporary jazz. Here...

Sherrywinston_span3

November 2009    Currents

For Your Love
Sherry Winston

It can be tough to cover a well-known pop song on the flute and not make it sound like something you’d hear at a high-end department store, but Sherry Winston succeeds wonderfully on Beyoncé’s “Naughty Girl,” her flute working its Middle Eastern snake-charmer...

Braun_cd_span3

October 2009    Currents

All It Takes
Rick Braun

All It Takes re-establishes veteran Rick Braun as the leading force of trumpet-led contemporary jazz. After a CD of covers and a high-energy duet CD with saxophonist Richard Elliot, Braun returns with worth-the-wait music coming almost four years after his...

Najee_cd_span3

October 2009    Currents

Mind Over Matter
Najee

Najee’s first album since 2007’s straightahead-influenced Rising Sun marks the popular saxophonist’s return to the cool and sophisticated urban sounds he’s known for. In fact, Najee calls it a “friendly album,” one influenced by responses received onstage...

White_cd_span3

October 2009    Currents

Good Day
Peter White

It’s a Good Day indeed for fans of Peter White’s sweet-sounding contemporary jazz/pop on the nylon-string guitar, as this is his first CD of original material in five years. An accomplished musician, White doesn’t veer from paths taken before, and there’s...

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April 2009    Currents

Memories of Summer as a Child
The Beyman Bros

If you happened to stumble upon a new ambient-folk/bluegrass instrumental CD spearheaded by satirist Chri-stopher Guest of This Is Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman, we’d excuse your guffaw. But Memories of Summer as a Child is no joke. We think. Guest...

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April 2009    Currents

Star Power
Norman Connors

More than 30 years after “You Are My Starship” crowned Norman Connors a new quiet storm hero, Connors is now an old-school hero with an up-to-date project. Who’d have guessed that he’d include an updated version of his big hit? How about tight, New Jack...

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April 2009    Currents

No Regrets
Randy Crawford & Joe Sample

As soon as Randy Crawford’s vocals grace “Everyday I Have the Blues,” you realize that they’ve maintained their magic, only now they are seasoned with a sexy, come-hither huskiness. Crawford, of course, is still remembered fondly worldwide for her distinctive...

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April 2009    Currents

Love Birds
Jonathan Fritzén

If Oli Silk is the British version of Brian Culbertson, Jonathan Fritzén is the Swedish edition of Brian Culbertson, the 36-year-old American pianist known for his melodic and much-imitated style. That style puts memorable pop music, much of it love songs...

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April 2009    Currents

More Tales Remixed
Incognito

Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick’s Incognito has always been equal parts R&B, soul and funky beats throughout its 30 years. The British band has legions of fans in the dance and concert realms as well, and it appears this remixed CD of Incognito’s latest studio...

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About Brian Soergel

Brian_soergel_thumb

Soergel, who relaxes by playing his Seagull guitar and Kala Brand ukulele, began writing about contemporary jazz in the late ’80s. Formerly an entertainment editor and writer for several daily newspapers, he now focuses on smooth-jazz full-time from his Pacific Northwest office for the Smooth Jazz Network. Soergel also authors the Currents column for JT.