Saxophonist, composer and producer Kim Waters is a trendsetter in the world of contemporary jazz. He has scored ten ..1 hits, recorded 13 chart-topping albums and sold over a million records, placing him among the top 5 best selling instrumentalists in contemporary jazz. During his 16-year career, Kim Waters has paved the way as one of the premiere architects for Urban Smooth jazz, a soulful blend of R&B and jazz, of which he is the reigning king! Waters’ model handsome good looks coupled with his impeccable fashion sense and masterful fusion of distinct musical styles have made him one of the most sought-after musicians in contemporary jazz.
"When I first emerged on the scene as a recording artist, there was no smooth jazz but there was support for my music on R&B and Urban radio and that support has only continued to grow," says Waters, who in recent years has enjoyed considerable airplay on Urban AC radio with his projects like Streetwize and Tha’ Hot Club, which reinvent chart-topping hip hop, R&B and reggae hits with a jazzy twist. For Waters his formula is simple. “I make music for everybody from eight to 80! There are several ingredients that are integral parts of my music mix. There’s got to be a perfect blend of romance and groove and a singable melody that catches the ear.” Kim Waters’ 2004 CD, In the Name of Love, held a spot in the top 25 of Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts for six months and stayed on that chart for an entire year.
The saxophonist’s highly-anticipated CD, All For Love, finds the consummate hit-maker doing what he does best -- creating dreamy melodies, sultry ballads, funky dance-inspired tracks and soulful R&B grooves.
Kim Waters’ thirteenth recording as a leader, All For Love, is a collection of ten songs, mostly original compositions, that illuminate the saxophonist’s trademark eloquent and warm sound and his ability to craft an engaging mix of mood-drenched ballads and funky up-tempo numbers. Waters’ sixth CD for Shanachie Entertainment is dedicated to his wife Penny and twin teenage daughters Kayla and Kimberly. All for Love’s first single at Urban AC Radio is a mesmerizing cover of Aretha Franklin’s classic “Day Dreaming” featuring singer Maysa. The singer says of Waters, “He is multi-talented. I have seen him in production mode and I have great respect for his playing. Not only is he a crowd pleaser but he is also technically a great musician.” “Steppin’ Out” written by Waters along with saxophonist David Mann is the first single for Smooth Jazz Radio. Its lyrical melody and gritty R&B lines along with its swinging groove are sure to catapult this memorable song to the top of the charts. Other stand-out tracks include the tender and catchy “She’s My Baby,” written by Waters along with one of his favorite collaborators Dave Darlington, and the title track, a melodic and sultry ballad written by Waters.
There are also upbeat and uplifting numbers like “Dream Machine” penned by label mate and guitarist Chuck Loeb and Waters’ own “Happy Feeling.” In the words of Jazziz Magazine, “The man can play, and his relatively subtle approach to this music continues to add a sense of sensibility to the smooth-jazz airwaves….”
“In the tradition of his main influence, Cannonball Adderly, Kim Waters possesses that special ability to communicate with a broad audience while ‘saying something’ at the same time,” says Shanachie Entertainment’s Jazz A&R Danny Weiss. “In his collaboration with Maysa on the Aretha Franklin classic ‘Day Dreaming,’ he can do a tasty Jill Scottish treatment of a classic, and on a song like ‘Sideways’ he can stretch the boundaries and still "communicate" and keep the groove going. Kim Waters has a special knack for zoning in on the groove and the melody. It sounds simple, but it isn't. With All For Love, he has refined it to an art form.”
Kim Waters is the epitome of cool. He says, “I'm really easy going, nothing really drives me crazy.” JazzTimes Magazine hails Waters' sax stylings as "effortlessly expressive” and Sister 2 Sister Magazine declares “His playing is timeless.” As much as Kim Waters is at home in the studio, he is equally at ease during his live performances. Maintaining a hectic touring schedule Waters did not even let a broken ankle slow him down from a recent tour. His agility on stage and his inviting nature with his audience makes each of his shows a thrilling and unique experience. “My live shows are where the music really comes alive,” he says. "I love playing live shows and the more I do, the better I get in terms of taking chances with the music, developing the show, and giving the fans a new experience.” The Washington Post said after one of Waters’ live shows, “In a world overcrowded with smooth-jazz reedmen, Waters is as smooth as they come…Waters did not disappoint his fans.”
Born into a musical family, the Maryland native picked up his first instrument, the violin, at the age of eight. "That didn't go over well with the fellas," says Waters, who later found his calling on the alto and soprano saxophones at 13. Shortly afterwards he began playing in a band with his brothers James (who played bass guitar Waters last CD In the Name of Love) and Eric and his old friend, pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Over the years, Kim Waters has been called on to perform with or open shows for the best including Al Green, Isaac Hayes, Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Riley and Guy, and Gerald Albright to name a few. Waters who is the ultimate family man has built a family room that would make any guy envious. Believe it or not he has built his own watering hole attached to his house that is a favorite destination spot for his friends and neighbors. When he is not playing, on tour or hard at work in his recording studio you can often find him there being the perfect host.
The former all-star high school basketball high point guard slam dunks another winner with All for Love and it is truly from the heart. Waters concludes, “The most rewarding things is to be able to contribute something of value to the world which affects people positively and makes them happy and music has that ability like nothing else.”
Initially classically trained, Steve had the honor of performing as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the age of 18. Despite his success in the classical realm, Cole opted to focus on his true musical loves, Jazz, Pop and R&B. Steve began gigging frequently on the local Chicago music scene as a session player, playing on countless national commercial spots, contributing to a number of soundtracks on the A&E network, as well as composing and performing music with keyboardists Bob Mamet and Brian Culbertson.
Cole’s solo career began in earnest after his first solo album, 1998’s "Stay Awhile", turned out to be a smooth jazz sensation, featuring a pair of #1 NAC smashes, "When I Think Of You" and "Say It Again," as well as the top 5 hit, "Where The Night Begins." The success of this debut album culminated at the 2000 Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards where Steve was the recipient of the Prism Award for Best New Artist.
Cole followed the record’s success by performing and recording frequently, both as band leader and featured guest, with such artists as Boz Scaggs, Junior Wells, Waymon Tisdale, KMFDM, Rick Braun, Peter White, and Brian Culbertson. In addition to his roadwork, Cole has also lent his special sax touch to such records as Larry Carlton’s "Fingerprints", Brian Culbertson’s 1999 release, "Somethin’ About Love” , and Jeff Lorber’s “Kickin’ It.”
The release of Cole’s second album, "Between Us," quickly posted two #1 Hits with “Got It Goin’ On" & "From The Start". On his critically acclaimed Third album "NY LA," Steve reached the top of the charts with "Off Broadway," and his rendition of the TLC classic "Waterfalls" earned rave reviews in Billboard Magazine.
Steve's newest album, "TRUE" is Steve Cole’s funkiest album yet, with plenty of R&B, soul, and jazz influences. Cole effortlessly bridges the gap between instrumental virtuosity, seamless ensemble playing, and a high-caliber creative chemistry that runs the stylistic gamut. Steve has assembled quite a group of musicians, world class and highly regarded players join Steve in what’s regarded as his finest album yet.