Phillip Martin first listened to smooth jazz when his father played CD albums in the late 1990s by Marion Meadows and Lee Ritenour. Martin particularly remembers listening to “Wes Bound” by Ritenour while riding with his family to Indianapolis for the 2003 Circle City Classic. Ever since that ride, he has been hooked on smooth jazz.
Martin has been a fan of other music genres. He grew up listening to classic songs his father would play by Motown groups like Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and The Temptations. From middle school to his senior year in high school, he became a fan of country music after listening to WKKJ 94.3 FM, a radio station near his hometown. At one point in high school, he even tried listening to heavy metal. However, none of those genres satisfied Martin like the binge on the often catchy and relaxing smooth jazz.
Even before that night ride to Indy, Martin had an affection for the sounds of smooth jazz. Back in 2001, he listened to “Angel Of The South” by Acoustic Alchemy in the music section of a Barnes & Noble in Easton Town Center near Columbus, Ohio. The latin-inspired sounds that flooded his ears, enveloped by soft headphones, right away made Martin a fan of the English ensemble and similar-sounding artists.
Later on, Martin further expanded his exposure to smooth jazz after he got his first mp3 player in high school. The ability for him to store and listen to dozens of tunes helped him enjoy his favorite artists in a more ethereal fashion. Listening to the Watercolors station on Sirius XM also helped him enrich his following of smooth jazz. Sirius XM serviced music stations on DirecTV during this time, which exposed Martin to artists like Brian Culbertson, Boney James, Joyce Cooling, and Euge Groove without subscribing to satellite radio. In his sophomore year of college, Martin purchased his first CD albums — Roseland by Acoustic Alchemy and Dreams by Brian Culbertson. Ever since then, he has become a collector.
Now that Martin has several albums in his growing collection, he is reviewing his CDs. In the ethereal age of music, he is also reviewing albums on the mp3 format available online or streaming services like Spotify.
For the sake of storytelling, Martin will try to connect fond memories and personal experiences with particular songs he chooses to write about. In this blog, you may likely discover nuances about his laid-back personality. Such a persona for comfort and lounging teams perfectly well with his love for the soothing sounds of smooth jazz.
For the record, Martin has attended one concert. He saw Brian Culbertson and Boney James in the Chicago Theater on Friday, July 17 in 2015. That is certainly not the last concert he plays to attend. When a smooth jazz artist or band is nearby, he plans to see them in person in the near future, life permitting.
One final thing to note is Martin’s education. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism, which he earned after graduating from Bowling Green State University. Although he chose not to become a professional journalist or public relations rep., writing remains a hobby for him (In fact, he’s been working on a fantasy/science fiction novel over the past three years.). Mound City Jazz has become a public site for Martin to merge his two big hobbies of writing and following smooth jazz.