Song of the Day: Through The Clouds – Jay Phelps (ft. Simon Jnr)

A household name in the UK jazz world, Canadian-born, UK-based trumpeter, DJ and composer JAY PHELPS teams up with Birmingham MC Simon Jnr ‘Through The Clouds’. It’s the second single from his forthcoming album ‘The Now’, releasing via Platoon in partnership with Black Lives In Music.

With a career spanning 20 years, Phelps has performed as a sideman with some of the world’s top names, including Amy Winehouse, George Benson and Wiz Kid. His work as founding member of award-winning contemporary jazz group Empirical in the late 2000s garnered international acclaim, an early precursor to the explosion of UK jazz that has since followed. As a bandleader, he’s explored multiple styles, threading together the jazz language and tradition with contemporary influences, always with one eye on the future.
His status as an innovator and enabler on the UK jazz scene has seen him host regular shows on Jazz FM and Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM, and draw praise from The Guardian, Jazzwise and London Jazz News.

The forthcoming LP ‘The Now’ brings together a cross-generational collective of musicians. It’s a journey from the underground, club-centric UK jazz scene, through to the house-filled streets of Detroit and progressive sonics of LA. Phelps continues on his mission as a connector of dots, bringing together multiple generations of musicians at the forefront of the UK’s jazz scene, including David Mrakpor (Blue Lab Beats), Tom Ford (Chris Dave, Reuben James) and Nicola Guida (Secret Night Gang). The record draws inspiration from hiphop, G-funk and broken beat, with Phelps and co weaving between styles through
conversational improvisation, thoughtfully crafted melodies and a combination of vocal and horn-led arrangements. Continuing with the west coast vibe explored on lead single ‘Finding Centaurii’,

‘Through The Clouds’ invokes shades of Anderson Paak’s jazz-fuelled soul-funk. Phelps’ playful muted
trumpet is paired with Ruta Sipola’s flute in conversation with Mrakpor’s vibraphone, with the instrumental finely balanced against Simon Jnr’s lyrical flow, setting an inspirational tone of breaking through and looking past adversity.

“I wanted the catchy melody to be traded around the band, as it’s the largest ensemble featured on the entire album. Simon Jnr came through and provided the lyrical masterpiece, which tied in perfectly to the themes I wanted to convey on the instrumental.” -Jay Phelps. Have a listen to

‘Through The Clouds’ below…

Song of the Day: Jazz Bar – Otysee

Independent composer and recording artist OTYSEE made his solo debut in 2019 with the single ‘Almond’. That track introduced a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist producer from Germany who deals in laid-back grooves. His mostly instrumental tunes mix elements of jazz, pop, and hip-hop into laid-back lo-fi vibe.

Since his debut, the prolific producer has amassed a remarkable volume of work. In less than four years, otysee has released four full-length albums and over fifty singles. Growing up in a musical household, the young artist learned to play a number of instruments. Prior to launching this current project, the multifaceted musician collaborated on a number of projects and worked as the drummer in a rock band.

‘Jazz Bar’ is the latest single from otysee, released last month via all major streaming services. A wah-wah electric guitar introduces the track as the beat drops on a downtempo jazz-hop groove. Piano, bass, drums and guitar accompany the soloist, conjuring images of a smoky late-night cocktail lounge.

Check out ‘Jazz Bar’ below….

Mark A. Walker Returns With ‘Duke’s Stroll’ (The Remix)

Steadily coming out of the shadows and into the spotlight from the smooth jazz community, bassist MARK A. WALKER returns with ‘Duke’s Stroll (The Remix). A highly sought-after performance and session musician with the Gospel, R&B/soul and jazz scene, Mark A. Walker has worked with notable artists/musicians, including Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway, Maysa, Richard Smallwood and Yolanda Adams.  

Handpicked as a lead musician for the single by Miparis Music Label Executive Michael Upshaw, Mark A. Walker perfectly ignites rhythmic passion in the tribute to the late great legendary George Duke, a highly respected multi-instrumentalist and artist known across multiple music genres around the globe.

For the remake of the blissful jazz instrumental piece, Mark A. Walker is surrounded by a stellar production team, led by Executive producer Michael Upshaw, which features multi Grammy award-winning arranger/ trumpeter Philip Lassiter and Grammy nominated producer Chris “BIG DOG” Davis as co producer/keyboardist.

A true force to be reckon with, Chris “Big Dog” Davis has produced 19 number #1 Smooth Jazz hits and has worked with the likes of Gerald Albright, Will Downing ,Maysa, Phil Perry, Glenn Jones, Chante Moore, Dave Koz, Najee, the late Nick Colionne plus many more. An 11-time Grammy Award Winning horn/string arranger, Phil Lassiter was the former section leader/arranger for Prince and the New Power Generation.

The original version of ‘Duke’s Stroll’ received high praise from radio stations across the UK, claiming the top spot of CHBN’s radio playlist charts for four consecutive weeks as well as receiving firm support from radio stations across UK, including Phoenix FM, Chocolate Radio, Pulse 98.4 and  Sonic Nation with Jeff The Fish.

‘Duke’s Stroll’ (The Remix)  was released on 17th February via Spotify and Apple Music

Connect with Mark A. Walker via:


Song of the Day: Daydreaming – Dexter Moore

With so much uncertainty in the world today, American artist/keyboardist DEXTER MOORE’s latest single, ‘Daydreaming’ brings along hope and aspirations. The immediately uplifting smooth jazz instrumental invites us to let loose of all the woes and just enjoy life while we can!

“‘Daydreaming exemplifies how music can bring out the best in people – the ideas…the passion…the inspirations to always show your best light. Hopefully, I did my best to inspire my listeners with this jazzy, melodic and groovy track…Enjoy!” – Dexter Moore.

Born in Philadelphia, Dexter Moore grew up in a musical household – his father is an organist and his late mother was a pianist. With two brothers, who are both drummers, and his sister a singer, it came to no surprise that Dexter Moore started performing from the age of 11.

Like many promising musicians, Dexter Moore’s initial exposure was at his local church. Through his connections with fellow musicians, Dexter was introduced to Gabriel Hardeman at a jam session – his meeting with the acclaimed gospel singer/musician would significantly change his career…

To date, Dexter Moore has toured in Europe as well as throughout the USA and has been privileged to play behind some of the industry heavy-weights in both Gospel and secular music; including Yolanda Adams, BeBe Winans, CeCe Winans, Vicki Winans, Hezekiah Walker, Norman Hutchins, Edwin Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, Zahmu, Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, Miles Jaye and Teddy Pendergrass.

With over 30 years’ experience performing with other artists as a sideman and accompanist, Dexter Moore now wants to share his keyboard talents to the world as an artist.

‘Daydreaming’ is out now across various music platforms.

Connect with Dexter Moore via:


Pollena Offers Optimism In Dark Times With EP, ‘Rising.’

Following earlier tips from the likes of BBC 6 Music, Line of Best Fit, Notion, Radio 1/1Xtra, Under the Radar, Beats Per Minute, Earmilk – to name a few – London-based artist formerly of neo-soul outfit Girlhood – POLLENA returns with her debut EP ‘Rising’ on Team Talk Records.

Pollena isn’t afraid to tackle a darker world in her debut EP, finding power in the fight for a better life. ‘Rising’ stands out by giving us a reason for optimism even – especially – in challenging times. Featuring raw and honest themes delivered with Pollena’s signature rich, smooth vocals, the EP blends genres, from neo soul to house, electronica and RnB, in an accomplished celebration of individuality, resilience and vulnerability and a call for hope.

Co-written and co-produced with Barney Whittaker aka Footshooter, following the success of their previous collaboration ‘Stand Up’, ‘Rising’ reveals a fresh and rejuvenated sound for Pollena that melds together elements of neo-soul, house and RnB.

The leading ‘Black Holes’ is an exploration of spacey synths, glowing keys, and commanding bass lines accompanied by powerful yet ethereal vocals. “I’m searching for a way out of the darkness, trying to hold on to a glimpse of light through connection. ‘Black Holes’ speaks to our innate desire to feel whole and an understanding that good times shared together are the answer.” Pollena.

The following ‘Diamonds’ is a glowing house and UK garage-inspired bop with a powerful message. “I’m sick of society pressuring us into lives we don’t want. We blindly follow the paths set out for us and do what’s expected, we simply don’t have to. I want ‘Diamonds’ to encourage listeners to fight for a better life.” Pollena

‘Lemons’, the first release prior to the EP’s launch, reveals waves of sun-kissed harmonies accompanying glowing jazz keys and a rich, Latin-inspired rhythm to create a summer vibe full of hope and optimism. “I want to celebrate living a life that feels true to me and inspire others to do the same. ‘Lemons’ is all about slowing down and connecting with what makes you happy.” Pollena

Rounding up the EP is the hazy, lo-fi ‘Bask In Blue’. A mellow R&B beat blends warm, soulful harmonies with balmy keys. “Bask in Blue tells a story of letting uncomfortable feelings in and embracing sadness whilst holding onto the hope that things can change.” Pollena

So if you’re suffering from the January blues, I reckon this mini EP will offer up some comfort. Have a listen below…

Must Listens: Black Holes, Lemons