Bill Heller has been the keyboardist for the innovative contemporary jazz group, The Rippingtons, for over two decades. Also in-demand as a session musician, Bill has many projects under his belt during his music career. A talented songwriter and producer, he has released two solo albums including his recent project Passage. Coool CAT's award-winning program director, Ray White, caught up with Bill before he hit the stage to talk about his new album, his long standing relationship with Russ Freemen and The Rippingtons, and many other happenings in his life. Your "Hostess with the Mostess," Lisa Davis, features the classic Motown group, The Temptations - who have brand new music out featuring Smokey Robinson, in our showcase segment. Smoothing your way for 30 awesome minutes, presented by your friends at Classic Artists Today.
Pieces of a Dream celebrates 45 years in 2021, bringing audiences the best in contemporary jazz and R&B. Co-founder Curtis Harmon beats the skins and provides the backbeat for their awesome sound. 22 of the bands albums have landed on the charts with the latest being On Another Note. Coool CAT's executive producer Ray White caught up with Curtis in February of 2012 talking with him about his relationship with the legendary Grover Washington, Jr., their Soul Intent album and other highlights from their storied history. Be sure to listen to more insights from the band on Episodes 30 and 96. Our "Hostess with the Mostest," Lisa Davis features chart-topping contemporary jazz guitarist Nick Colionne in our showcase segment. Nick's latest album Finger Painting was named due to the visualization of his Epiphone ES 175 guitar as a musical paintbrush painting all the colorful notes he plays. You're leading source featuring the best from the world of Contemporary Jazz... the Coool CAT!
Paula Atherton can consistently be found towards the top of the smooth jazz charts, showcasing her talents on the saxophone, flute and on vocals. In the past 5 years she's emerged as a star in this music genre. On this episode, multi-award winning program director Ray White catches up with Paula before she takes the stage to talk about the development of her music career, her latest #1 hit "Summer Song", importance of band members and colleagues as team players, components that make a #1 song and much more! Paula's latest album is Can You Feel It. Listen to more from Paula on Episode 074. In our showcase segment, show hostess Lisa Davis features Paul Brown, whose latest album is Ones Upon A Time and also the dynamic Brian Culbertson, who recently released Music From The Hang! The best in Smooth Jazz... we have it here on the Coool CAT!!
Ivan Neville, the son of Aaron Neville, has been on the national music scene since the mid-1980's having played with The Rolling Stones and Bonnie Raitt. After releasing several solo albums, he launched the band Dumpstaphunk - whose first project was released in in 2007. This "phunky" band has a new album out titled Where Do We Go From Here. On this episode Classic Artists Today's executive producer Ray White, fills in for Lisa Davis, and talks with Ivan about the new album and his family heritage. You'll also find Ivan on Episode 038! In our showcase segment, we focus on new projects by rhythm and blues legends, The Spinners, who just released their first new album in over 30 years - Round The Block and Back Again. We'll also feature the Grammy award winner Macy Gray! Funk city...right here on the Coool CAT.
Ken Knox, of Chairmen of the Board, has played a key role in the band for over 40 years. The vocalist/songwriter/leader, is fronting the band into their 5th decade of pleasing audiences everywhere. Inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 1999, the band was formed in Detroit in 1967. Multi-award winning program director Ray White caught up with Ken in May of 2018, just before the band took the stage. They talked about southeastern U.S. "beach music," former lead singer General Norman Johnson - who passed away in 2010, and Ken's role in continuing the bands' legacy today. You'll find Part 1 of our interview and much more on Episode 044. Chairmen of the Board's brand new single is Jack and Jill. In our showcase segment, your "hostess with the mostess," Lisa Davis, highlights Kool and the Gang and their co-founder Dennis D.T. Thomas who died on August 7, 2021. Their latest album is Perfect Union. Soul, R&B, and "Beach Music" at its' best...on the Coool CAT!
Bob James is a giant among Jazz musicians today. Discovered by Quincy Jones in the early 1960's, Bob has been tapped for almost every jazz award in that music genre. Along with his extensive solo work, Bob has collaborated with well over a hundred other musicians on recording projects. He's also received worldwide acclaim with his group Fourplay, who has released over a dozen albums -with the latest title Silver. Bob's latest release, On Vacation, is a collaborative effort with Till Bronner, a trumpeter from Germany. Award-winning program director Ray White releases Part 2 of his May of 2017 interview with Bob (you'll find Part 1 in Episode 015.) In this episode Bob shares his insights working with the late Grover Washington, Jr., recording Feels Like Making Love, and the formation and success of Fourplay. In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis features a saxophonist/vocalist whose recent albums and songs have elevated towards the top of the smooth jazz charts - Paula Atherton. Her latest release is Can You Feel It. The legendary artists and rising stars...right here on the Coool CAT!
Jonathan Butler is a multi-nominated Grammy singer-songwriter and guitarist who hails from Cape Town, South Africa. 12 of his albums have landed on the Top 20 charts in the jazz category. Many more on the R&B and Gospel charts. Jonathan sat down backstage with award winning program director Ray White, in December of 2010, to talk about his So Strong release, his holiday tour, the changes in South Africa, writing songs for other artists and much more! His latest album is Close To You. Coool CAT's Lisa Davis features saxman Euge Groove in our showcase segment. His latest album is Sing My Song. She doubles-up by also featuring keyboardist Brian Simpson, who just released All That Matters. Three of the very best in Contemporary Jazz, coming to you in this jam-packed episode.
John Oates' musical roots draws from his early days growing up in Philadelphia. He cut his teeth on Soul, R&B, and Blues music. The guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer hooked up with Daryl Hall (signing with RCA Records in 1972), to become arguably the most successful duo in Pop/Rock history. John didn't record his first solo album until 2002. Releasing nine to date, these albums feature songs that shows his passion for Americana, Roots, Soul, R&B and Blues music. In this February of 2010 interview with award-winning program director Ray White, John touches on his solo material, influence of soul and R&B music on his career and a wonderful compilation from Hall and Oates. John's latest solo album, with his band, is Live From Nashville. Your hostess Lisa Davis, features a member of The Sax Pack, Jeff Kashiwa, who has released 10 solo albums throughout his career - in our showcase segment. You'll also find Jeff's great sax work on 7 albums as a member of The Rippingtons. His latest solo release is Sunrise. Soul...R&B...Blues...Contemporary Jazz, we cover it all on this edition from the Coool CAT!
Kirk Whalum has a total of 12 Grammy nominations with 1 win to his credit. This jazz saxophonist and songwriter has toured or recorded with the likes of Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Bob James and BWB. Kirk was the inaugural jazz legend honoree of the National Museum of African American Music. Multi-award winning program director Ray White sat down with Kirk before he took the stage to talk about his special relationship with Bob James, tours with mega-stars, his museum induction and his latest release Humanite. In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis features the front man for Incognito - Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick, whose recent solo album is Tinted Sky. Also highlighted is saxophonist Steve Cole who has a brand new project, Smoke and Mirrors, that will be released soon. You'll also find Steve's great sax work in the band The Sax Pack! The coolest of Smooth Jazz and R&B...right here on the Coool CAT!!
Lonnie Listen Smith has played with many of the iconic jazz pioneers throughout his career. Launching his own band, The Cosmic Echoes, he recorded a number of albums regarded as classics in the fusion, smooth jazz and acid jazz genres. Lonnie's talents on keyboards and piano can be found on several dozen albums throughout his illustrious career. Award-winning program director Ray White sat down with Lonnie in October of 2014 reliving many of his career highlights. Our Coool CAT hostess, Lisa Davis, hooks you up with Jeff Lorber Fusion - whose latest album is Space-Time and also The Jazz Holdouts, who have that contemporary "chill" jazz groove in their music. Uncovering the wide spectrum of jazz, right here on the Coool CAT!
Mark Wenner has led The Nighthawks since they launched in 1972. An outstanding harmonica player and vocalist, Mark has had some super talented musicians in the band throughout the years including Warren Haynes, Jimmy Hall, Jimmy Thackery and Jimmy Nails. The blues and roots music played by The Nighthawks withstands the test of time. Award-winning program director Ray White caught up with Mark backstage in July 2019 to talk about the bands' All You Gotta Do release, how he chooses blues standards for his albums and shows, and about the current band lineup - and much more! Coool CAT's hostess, Lisa Davis, features the legendary guitarist Steve Cropper in our showcase segment. You'll remember Steve as a member of Booker T. and the MG's and The Blues Brothers. His brand new album is Fire It Up. Lisa also highlights Shemekia Copeland - the daughter of the great blues guitarist/singer Johnny Copeland. She just received the prestigious UK Blues Award for International Blues Artist of the Year. Shemekia's latest project is titled, Uncivil War. The Blues thrive on the Coool CAT!!
Paul Jackson, Jr. name is at the top of the list for projects looking for an accomplished guitarist. Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elton John and Dave Koz are just a few of the world-class acts he's played with. Paul's an accomplished composer, arranger and producer, too. He's recorded 8 solo albums during his career that touches on urban/fusion jazz and R&B. Multi-award winning program director Ray White spent time with Paul, in June of 2016, talking about his work with Michael and Whitney (among nearly 2,000 projects), his several Grammy nominations and his latest solo release - Stories From Stompin' Willie. In our showcase segment, your "Hostess With The Mostest" Lisa Davis, looks back at the marvelous career of a founding member of The Supremes, Mary Wilson, who passed away on February 8, 2021. Mary was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame over 33 years ago. She will be missed. Tributes and super coool guests, right here from the Coool CAT!
Gordon Bahary has had a marvelous musical journey teaming with music legends Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis and many others. His keyboard and synthesizer work transcends several music genres including R&B, Jazz and World Music. Multi-award winning program director Ray White talks with Gordon, in November of 2012, about his musical mentors, his current album Unbreakable and his early years in Twilight 22 - landing a Top 10 song on Billboards' R&B chart. In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis looks back at the phenomenal career of 25-time Grammy award winner, Chick Corea, who passed away on February 9, 2021. A pioneer in jazz music, Chick led several groundbreaking bands including Return To Forever and Chick Corea Elektric Band and has played with dozens of the giants in the jazz world. Coool CAT...Is where it's at!
Candy Dulfer, Brass Construction and Shaun Murphy join us on Best of the Coool CAT - Volume 2. Interviews and much more from these stalwarts of Soul, Funk, Contemporary Jazz and Blues! A great sampler of our Sittin' In With The Coool CAT syndicated radio shows | podcasts. Hear the entire shows from our most listened to episodes (from 51 to 99): Candy Dulfer (Episode 056), Brass Construction (Episode 063) and Shaun Murphy (Episode 066) at sittinginwiththecooolcat.libsyn.com and on most streaming and podcast services. Your "Hostess with the Mostest" Lisa Davis joins multi-award winning program director Ray White, bringing you the best interviews and more from musicians who have garnered numerous Grammy and other music awards and are in dozens of Hall of Fame's! Spread the word... we're hanging with some very Coool CAT's!!
Karen Briggs is known internationally as a virtuoso violinist with an eclectic range of musical styles. She's appeared in nearly two dozen music video concerts and recordings and has several solo releases. You may have seen this "Lady In Red" in the fantastic Yanni concert "Live From The Acropolis." Multi-award winning program director Ray White caught up with Karen in June of 2012 to talk about her music and worldwide travels and adventures. Her Soulchestral Groove album is a "must have" release. Lisa Davis features Jazz/R&B superstar Norman Brown, who's recently released Heart to Heart, along with the amazing saxman Jeff Kashiwa in our showcase segment. Jeff's current release is Fly Away. We have the hottest contemporary jazz musicians...right here on the Coool CAT!
Bettye LaVette was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2020, after launching her career in 1961 with a song that landed on the Top 10 of the R&B charts. Throughout her career she's combined elements of Soul, Blues, Rock and Roll, Funk, Gospel and Country music in a way that's made her very unique as a vocalist. Besides recording, Bettye had a six-year run on Broadway. She's been nominated for numerous Grammy awards and took home various other music awards during her career. In our February of 2011 interview, multi-award winning program director Ray White talked with Bettye about her Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook release and highlights from her illustrious career. Bettye is up for another Grammy with the recent release of her Blackbirds CD. Lisa Davis features 13-time Grammy nominee, and former lead vocalist for the Gap Band, Charlie Wilson, in our showcase segment. Also featured is 5-time Grammy winner Robert Cray, whose latest album is titled That's What I Heard. The Blues, R&B and much more... we have it covered on the Coool CAT!
Grammy nominee Richard Elliot had his musical breakout when he joined Tower of Power in the mid-1980's. Throughout the years he's been at the forefront of the contemporary jazz scene. Richard's released over 20 albums during his career, including a handful that hit #1 on the charts! In our March of 2015 interview, multi-award winning program director Ray White sat down with Richard backstage to talk about the major influence that Tower of Power had on his career, insights into his Lip Service release, and giving back through his work at charity events. Richard's brand new album is titled Authentic Life, and is climbing the jazz charts. In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis features 13-time Grammy nominated R&B and jazz recording artist Ledisi, who also landed several acting roles. Her latest CD is The Wild Card. Smooth jazz and R&B at its best, right here on the Coool CAT!
James Lloyd, co-founder of Pieces of a Dream, has a dynamic on-stage presence that has excited fans worldwide since 1976. Influenced by the late Grover Washington, Jr., the band has released 20 studio albums throughout the years. Every single one has landed on the music charts! Besides his extraordinary keyboard skills, James is also a producer and songwriter. Coool CAT executive producer, Ray White, hung out with James in November of 2017 to talk about his on-stage antics, debut solo album - Here We Go, and Pieces of A Dreams' Just Funkin' Around release. The bands latest album is On Another Note. Lisa Davis, your "Hostess with the Mostest," features another great keyboardist, Brian Simpson, in our showcase segment. On his latest album he is joined by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter/producer Steve Oliver, who has scored multiple hit singles on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. Their latest collaboration album is titled Unified. We're tickling the ivories on this episode from the Coool CAT!
Dave Alvin, singer/songwriter and guitarist, landed on the national music scene as a founding member of The Blasters in 1979. Throughout the years he's concentrated on his solo career, leaning towards Blues and Americana music. In 2001, Dave won a Grammy for his Public Domain album. Multi-award winning program director Ray White caught up with Dave before his show in Asheville, NC, in June of 2011, to get his insights into playing with his brother, the "roots music" movement, and his Eleven Eleven release. Dave's latest effort is titled, From An Old Guitar. In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis features the phenomenal blues vocalist Shaun Murphy, whose recording career started in 1971 with Motown Records and has garnered numerous blues awards and 3 Grammy nominations throughout her career. Her latest album is Flame Still Burns. We'll also feature Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. Rick's harmonica playing is over the top on his high-energy blues tunes. Their latest album is Contemporary. Blues is the essence of much of the American music genres, and we have the best here on the Coool CAT!