Each month we’re going to feature a few songs or albums that we’re listening to here at Teen Jazz. We’ll showcase the playlists of our host, Shannon Kennedy, as well as a few of our Teen Jazz Artists, Contributors and Influences. We hope you enjoy getting an inside look, and even more importantly, we hope you discover some great music!

Shannon Kennedy // Teen Jazz Host

David Sanborn “Believer” from Backstreet

I am a huge fan of this track from David Sanborn (and of Sanborn in general). I have a playlist of songs that I could listen to all day on repeat and “Believer” is probably one of my favorites.

Reggie Padilla Almost Home

Reggie Padilla is a talented up and coming artist residing in Honolulu, Hawaii. His debut album Almost Home features a collection of beautifully composed and arranged tracks – we recommend either “It Never Occurred to Me” or “Outside In” as a great place to start.

Yvonnick Prené & Padam Swing Wonderful World

As I mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of jazz manouche (so much so that I’ve even recently started studying the music), and one of our artists recently released a fantastic album in the genre. We definitely recommend checking out harmonic player Yvonnick Prené’s latest release. Review available here.

Arno Haas Magic Hands

In November of last year, saxophonist Arno Haas released his debut album. It’s a blend of funk, jazz and smooth jazz and there are some great tracks. I particularly like the closing track “All for You.” Review coming soon.

Justin Klunk // Teen Jazz Artist

Dave Matthews Band Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King

Back in 2009, Dave Matthew’s saxophonist, LeRoi Moore, passed away after an unfortunate ATV accident. Before that time, I had never checked out DMB before, and what had piqued my interest in them was talk going around that Jeff Coffin, someone who I had been a fan of for a while, was going to filling in potentially permanently. I bought the record and it captured me. From the songwriting down to the production, I was in love with the album! The horn lines on “Shake Me Like a Monkey” and the drum sounds and groove on “Why I Am” made me fall in love with the band. To this day, I still will play this album down and still be in love with it! Highly recommend this album to those of you who aren’t already DMB fans! And then check out their live album “Europe 2009”, Jeff Coffin takes some amazing sax solos.

Justin Timberlake – “Take Back the Night

I’ve been a fan of Justin Timberlake for a while now! I’ll be honest, I haven’t checked out his music in a while since he went on hiatus, but ever since he announced his new album, I’ve been revisiting his older work and checking out the newer releases. I gotta say, I fell in love with this track when I first heard it. Yeah, its quite reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s work off of “Off The Wall”, but there’s something about how this song flows that just keeps my foot tapping, and I like it!

Trombone Shorty – “Do To Me” from Backatown

The thing I love about Trombone Shorty, is his ability to blend all of his influences into a style of music he can call his own. I don’t hear anyone play music like he does. Pop and R&B oriented songwriting, with his soulful trombone playing, and topped of with Orleans-flavored horn arrangements creates a sound that I fell in love with right away. I was instantly pulled in by his style and uniqueness and the fact that he also works with so many artists like Jeff Beck and Kid Rock. I still haven’t found another artist that I really felt like does anything like him, and I’m perfectly okay with that.

Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours

I actually heard this tune after listening to Bruno Mars’s “Treasure”, and although there was controversy between the two artists debating on copyright infringement, I loved both tracks! Breakbot’s track stuck out to me a little more for a couple reasons. The production of the bass and drum sounds on this track is great and its a vibe that I would like to incorporate with my own work. Also, the lyrics and melody of “Baby I’m Yours” seem to resonate with me really well! The whole album is just a fun experience!

Prince – “Chelsea Rodgers

All I can say is, FUNKY! One of my buddies showed me this Prince track off of his album, “Planet Earth”. Instantly, the bass tone caught me, the horn parts kept me, and when the horn solos kicked in, game over! The first thing I did after listening to the track was transcribe Mike Phillips’s sax solo. It was too funky to not transcribe! I’d highly recommend the album to anyone who digs Prince.

Brandon Willis // Teen Jazz Artist

For the past few months I have been listening to a lot of traditional jazz. I listened to Eric Marienthal in the GRP big band for quite some time, as I am just enamored by his technical proficiency and musicianship. For the past few days I have been listening to Steve Cole’s new CD “Pulse.” He has been one of my favorite tenor players since I started playing. I love the way he emotes when he plays, yet is technically amazing as well. I also like that he co-wrote his title track with keyboardist Nicholas Cole. He is another amazing young talent that I would love to work with in the future.

Carson Freeman // Teen Jazz Influence

I’ve been listening to the music of jazz saxophonist Eric Alexander. I am learning a lot from his fluid phrasing and his incredible swing feel.

For the past few years I’ve been a huge fan of swing era jazz, especially the big bands of clarinetists Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw.

One of 2013’s greatest albums in my opinion (shared by many) is Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. I’ve been enjoying this lately.

The Creative CollectiveThis month’s playlist on Teen Jazz is a part of The Creative Collective Link Up. You can learn more here.
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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.