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Steve Cole

The title of Steve Cole's third recording, NY LA, may trip on the East Coast-meets-West Coast hipness factor of his fresh and crackling brand of smooth sax jazz, but the soul in his music definitely has more than a few touches of the R&B/blues influence of his hometown, Chicago. The saxman's trademark sound is a sizzling mix of modern funk textures and neo-soul sensibilities mixed with quick, catchy hooks and feisty horn textures on the choruses. He's primarily a tenor player, but keeps the listener compelled with tracks that cater to his skills on alto and soprano as well. His rise to genre stardom perfectly paralleled smooth jazz's tendency in the latter '90s and beyond to embrace the old and new R&B grooves.

The son of a semi-pro clarinet and sax player, Cole trained classically, first on the clarinet before switching to the sax in high school. He continued his musical studies at Northwestern University and was among the winners of the annual Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Young Artists competition. Even while earning a degree in economics and later an M.B.A., he switched his musical focus to his truer loves, R&B and jazz, and became a staple on Chicago's club scene. He's kept great company over the years, starting with Junior Wells and pianist Bob Mamet. Cole's smooth jazz breakthrough was his several-year side gig with Brian Culbertson, which led to his working with the keyboardist (also a Windy City native) on tracks that evolved into Stay Awhile, one of smooth jazz's biggest sensations of 1998. The success of his debut and its three hit radio singles also ensured Cole's success at the 2000 Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards, where he won the Prism Award for Best New Artist.

In between Stay Awhile and 2002's Between Us (also produced by Culbertson), Cole kept busy playing with his own band and as a sideman with Dave Koz, Marc Antoine and Peter White (on a U.K. tour), Rick Braun, and Larry Carlton. Between Us featured the hit singles "Got It Going On" and "From the Start," as well as a snazzy cover of TLC's "Waterfalls." Cole's most enduring relationship is the one with Culbertson, and his sax graces three of the keyboardist's hit recordings. Culbertson helms some tracks on NY LA, but Cole expands beyond his usual sonic edges by also working with fellow saxman David Mann and the tandem Sonic Soul, who introduce vocals to the Cole mix for the first time. NY LA was recorded in both cities with top sidemen like bassist Will Lee, guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr., percussionist Lenny Castro, and former Miles Davis keyboardist Darren Johnson. Rather than simply repeat the creative ideas of Cole's first two hits, the album effortlessly bridges the gap between instrumental virtuosity, seamless ensemble playing, and a high-caliber creative chemistry that runs the stylistic gamut. Cole subsequently released two albums during the 2000s: Spin in 2005 and True in 2006. In 2011, Cole delivered the orchestral covers album Moonlight, featuring songs by James Taylor, Burt Bacharach, Sarah McLachlan, Paul McCartney, and others. Cole returned in 2013 with the more contemporary funk and smooth jazz-oriented Pulse. ~ Jonathan Widran
full bio

Comments

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Saw you in person love your music. Awsome sound. Keep doing your thing.
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Loving this Steve yes I have been a fan for many years & forever Thanks for the gift❗️����
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Very good stuff man I love the music. Nice to listen when reading a good book, and when I come from the gym. Just wow
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Great elevator music!
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Love you and your music
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Well put together awsome
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Wow...SC you did it again!!!
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huggiepamper 1 9 3 7
Good, clean sax sounds! Love ya, Steve!
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I like i feel i could be so good an be glad to have this on my list.
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That's what I'm talkin bout that's the s*'"!!' YES
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Butterfly go on with your bad self! Steve cole!! I just love it!! :)
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I love his song when I think of you,handsdow n ! ! ! ! :-) :-)
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riverwynn
Wow - luv this!
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bksehl
A great jazz artist!
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catholland3
wheres song title Moonlight ?
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fbelk5
See him @ Cal State Bakersfield Jazz Festival 05/11/2012, great jazz had the whole audience up & dancing, great weekend...
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Excellent!
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Never heard of him 'till Pandora. Great music! LOVE The Real Me. So perfectly jazzy.....
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truesep
Smooth and refreshing
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music for the soul
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I want to here or please add When I think of you on Pandora thanks
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i like it
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He has a sweet balance. Play sax man!!!!!!!!! ! !
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invinceable2 0 1 3
AWWWWSOMMMMM E ! !
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play that sax man!!!!!
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I was a fan of Steve before he went solo and was playing with Brian Culbertson, who is my fav jazz piano player. Steve is the best smooth jazz sax player out there. MORE STEVE COLE ON PANDORA! And Pandora is freakin' awesome! Spencer!
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invinceable2 0 1 3
He makes me stop and wonder, what is jazz.

THIS OF COURSE!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
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hold2luv
He and other artists listed in his biography are cool cats to listen to.
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invinceable2 0 1 3
I love him like a brother!!
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PLEASE add more Steve Cole on Pandora!
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Wow, wow, and wow. My new favorite jazzer.
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His resume speak's for itself, His playing backs it up.
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Need more Steve Cole on Pandora
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Play that funky music steve cole
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Excellent music. Smooth with a hint of soul.
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zeeke666
Very Nice I can dig it.

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