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Smooth Jazz Awards Collection Volume 2 by National Smooth Jazz Awards

This compilation CD is a good release for the person who has received a taste for smooth jazz from the radio and wants to get to know more artists that don't get a lot of air time. Saxophonist Everett Harp, bassist Brian Bromberg and keyboardist Jeff Lorber provide a smooth cover of Michael Jackson's classic Rock With You. The rest of the CD features previously released tracks from some of smooth jazz' most significant performers. Peter White, Richard Elliot and Spyro Gyra are featured as well as some of the newcomers that have coming along in the past couple of years like Joyce Cooling, Euge Groove and Jeff Kashiwa.

Also on this CD are tracks that feature performers that should have more exposure. Percussionist Steve Reid, formerly of the Rippingtons, has been making a name for himself with his group Bamboo Forest. He is featured in the track Pillow Talk from his CD Dreamscapes. The group Shilts, who released the CD See What Happens, is featured on the track There's No Wonder.

Smooth Jazz Awards Collection Volume 2 was released to celebrate the third annual National Smooth Jazz Awards, which were presented early in March in San Diego. The CD was released before the awards show took place. This is where I feel there is some discrepancy. One of the most significant parts of releasing a CD that tries to spotlight the performers in an awards ceremony is to present samples of what they did during the year that helped them get nominated for the award. The artists were on the CD, but in some cases, the CD features performances from before the time period. Peter White's track Caravan of Dreams came from the release of the same name. The CD that he released during the previous year was Glow and should have featured a track from that CD.

Also worthy of note here is that the performer that received the most awards in the show, trumpeter Rick Braun, did not have his own track on the CD. That is the problem you have when you release a CD that salutes an awards ceremony before the ceremony takes place. Since the National Smooth Jazz Awards were to be shown in May on BET and BET on Jazz, it would have been much better to release this CD around the time the telecast would be broadcast. That way, whoever won the awards could be featured on the CD. Also, instead of using previously released tracks, the producers could use some of the performances that took place on the show. If the show featured once in a lifetime performances from people who don't normally perform together, that would make the CD a must buy for smooth jazz fans. It would show that smooth jazz musicians are some of the best and most cooperative in the business and would do anything to further the popularity of smooth jazz. That is what the National Smooth Jazz Awards are all about.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: National Smooth Jazz Awards
  • CD Title: Smooth Jazz Awards Collection Volume 2
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Native Language
  • Rating: Four Stars
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