Watch for new music from these longtime artists

By Phillip Martin

The year 2016 is nearly halfway over, and a few longtime contemporary jazz artists are recording or will release new music soon. In my latest new music watch, I focus in on Nathan East, The Rippingtons, and Joyce Cooling.

Nathan East records with Barbra Streisand, announces his own new solo record

On the eve of Memorial Day, this past week, a photo of bassist Nathan East and Barbra Streisand showed up on Facebook. SmoothJazz.com Global Radio’s page originally shared the photo (screen-captured below). The bassist of smooth jazz group Fourplay apparently has been recording new music with Streisand.

Nathan East and Barbra Streisand take a break in the studio to let fans know about the new music they are making. Post shared by SmoothJazz.com Global Radio and originally posted by East on Facebook. Screenshot by Phillip Martin.
Nathan East and Barbra Streisand take a break in the studio to let fans know about the new music they are making. Post shared by SmoothJazz.com Global Radio and originally posted by East on Facebook. Screenshot by Phillip Martin.

In addition to working with the multi-award-winning singer and actress, East announced he will release his own new solo album. His second solo album will be out this fall on the Yamaha Entertainment Group of America label, according to prweb.com. The website reported the news on May 27. East’s new album will reportedly feature a more contemporary jazz sound than his first solo album and will have guest artists from his past. 

East’s first solo album, which was self-tilted and released in 2014, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s jazz charts and No. 1 on SmoothJazz.com’s “Top 50” chart for 36 weeks.


New Music by The Rippingtons hit the airwaves, due out late June

Sirius XM Watercolors shared on Facebook this past Wednesday that the station was playing a new single by The Rippingtons. “Wild Tales” is already considered a hit. The band’s entire new album, titled True Stories, will be out June 24 but is available now for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes.

The Rippingtons, featuring Russ Freeman, share artwork from the band's new album due out later June.
The Rippingtons, featuring Russ Freeman, share artwork from the band’s new album due out later this June. Screenshot by Phillip Martin.

The Rippingtons celebrate 30 years ever since its leader and guitarist Russ Freeman formed the band. Throughout these years, the band has produced music that crosses over smooth jazz and jazz fusion. Plus, music from the band did appear often during The Weather Channel’s “Local on The 8’s” segment prior to Universal purchasing the network.


Joyce Cooling updates, settles fans uneasiness

Apparently fans of jazz guitarist Joyce Cooling have been anxious to know about her latest projects. Some might say her fans’ uneasiness is justified, given that her latest release, Global Cooling, was seven years ago.

However, Cooling finally eased those fans’ restless minds this past Wednesday.

In her first Facebook post since March, she acknowledged that some fans have asked “What’s up?” She then said that “we’ve been having a ball recording” and that her friend from Spain visited the studio to record drums. Her friend Danny can be clearly seen laying down some percussion in the photo post.

Danny Montgomery came over to Joyce Cooling's to record drums during a laid-back session for her new music.
Danny Montgomery came over to Joyce Cooling’s studio to record drums during a laid-back session for her new music. Cooling originally posted this photo on Facebook. Screenshot by Phillip Martin.

Cooling has won numerous awards, including the Gibson Best Guitarist of The Year. She taught herself the guitar, learning to play it by ear, according to her biography. She initially played a straight-ahead / bebop style of jazz but is now recognized as a contemporary jazz player with a funk and pop flavor. Some jazz stars she’s played with include Joe Henderson, Al Jarreau, and Lee Ritenour. Cooling is also a national advocate for the National Alliance for Mental Health.

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