Today’s Smooth Jazz mix was inspired by hearing “Riviera Paradise” by Stevie Ray Vaughan. While hearing the song during the week on satellite radio, I was unaware who the artist was. When I saw that it was a Stevie Ray Vaughan track, I was intrigued. I knew a little about his music, but I thought it was more blues and rock based, and didn’t feature much in the way of contemporary jazz. I also knew he was a great guitar player, but never knew how that played into a track like “Riviera Paradise.”
I loved the song so much that I made it one of the centerpieces of this mix. I paired it with Stanley Clarke’s “East River Drive,” one of my favorites by the jazz bassist. Clarke at that point had been doing a lot of film scoring, most notably for John Singleton’s movies Boyz N The Hood and Poetic Justice. The album today’s track is contained on, also called East River Drive, contains themes from both of those movies; but it’s this track that has stuck with me over the years. I think it makes a great companion piece with Vaughan’s, and have put them in the center of the playlist, back to back.
As always, I’ve listed the songs in today’s playlist in case you are unable to hear any of the songs.
This week’s mix:
- “Easy Street” by Eric Marienthal
- “Ocean Parkway” by Spyro Gyra
- “Backstreet” by David Sanborn
- “Greene Street” by Grover Washington, Jr.
- “Ferry Avenue” by MFSB
- “7th Avenue South” by Jonathan Butler
- “Riviera Paradise” by Stevie Ray Vaughan
- “East River Drive” by Stanley Clarke
- “Bleecker Street” by Boney James
- “Fullerton Ave.” by Brian Culbertson
- “Pacific Coast Highway” by Nils
- “Columbus Ave” by Jeff Lorber featuring Art Porter
- “Lake Shore Drive” by Art Porter
- “101 Eastbound” by Fourplay
A running theme among the other songs included here include titles that refer to roadways. Streets, highways, roads and avenues are all included in the titles. Some of the artists are familiar to those who follow my blog and Smooth Jazz Sundays in particular, but I have a few newcomers, such as Eric Marienthal and Nils.
The Spotify version of the mix is featured here, for those who use the service:
I hope you enjoy today’s smooth jazz mix, and as always thanks for reading and listening.