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Rick O'Dell & The Smooth Crew
Chicago, IL, USA
The people who brought you Smooth Jazz on 87.7FM
Interests: Smooth Jazz music, artists, concerts, happenings
Recent Activity
It won’t be long before you’ll be needing a book to take with you to the dunes or the Dells or to read out on the deck. I’ve got one for you, but it comes with a warning. Get it now and you’ll be done with it even before our... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2017 at Chicago Smooth
I love all kinds of music, but there is something about smooth jazz and especially Dave Koz’s music. They brings me such joy, and whenever I see him live it always brings me to tears. If you have not had the chance, please do. He is the benchmark of how... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
I can see that October is going to be one of those months – with so much happening that by the end of it, we will be happily exhausted with our stomach muscles toned and tightened from so much hopping up and down in excitement. Tonight, it was the Cubs... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
Remember the piece of office equipment that was on every executive’s desk in the 1980s, the one that you talk into and then someone else listens to and transcribes from? It’s not what I would consider a musical instrument, but then again, how many drum solos are performed on desk... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
It was announced this week that Vanessa Williams is not only going to be a judge for this year’s pageant, but also the Chief Judge. Now there is a controversy hinging on who will apologize to whom before Vanessa is welcomed back to the organization. Rewind to 1984, when Vanessa... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
Jazz happens every day. Some days it takes me from the present moment to other moments in my life. Listening to the stream, a song caught my attention, so I went to see what the title and artist were by way of TuneGenie. That was when the fun started. Seeing... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
Chicago loves its jazz. We celebrate it over the Labor Day weekend every year with a public festival on the lakefront. And we have Duke Ellington to thank for it. The Duke’s death in the summer of 1974 sparked several Chicago musicians to stage a festival to honor his legacy.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
They call this part of the year the "dog days." When I was a kid, I thought it was because of the heat, when the only things dogs would do was find a shady spot, stick out their tongues and pant. But that’s not the case. It’s because of the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
We think about them frequently, even write songs about them. Just ask Andreas Vollenweider while he’s "Dancing with the Lion" or Gregory Porter when he sings "Be Good," which is subtitled "Lion’s Song." You can stretch the point with Warren Berhardt’s "Felinicity," because a lion is a really big cat.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
Patti Austin, one of several August birthdays For four very important dates! I missed the birthdays of some very influential people (jazz and otherwise) who were born in the early days of the month of August. On the 1st of August, we needed to acknowledge Francis Scott Key. Not jazz,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
No, she wasn’t a smooth jazz artist, but her father was a member of a boy band that was dominant in the '80s and '90s, and her mother was powerful songstress who crossed genres (including Smooth Jazz) with stunning ease. When Whitney Houston sang, we all held our breath and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
July is a very fertile month for smooth jazz performers. Chicago is also fertile ground. Case in point: Verdine White of Earth Wind and Fire. On stage he’s the tall, thin one on the electric bass, his long hair and magic fingers flying in passionate fury. Verdine’s musical career started... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
Once upon a time in Chicago, there was a woman who loved music. At an early age she was given various musical instruments by her father in an attempt to see which one would sing out the songs that he knew were in her heart. Like Stevie Wonder, she was... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
If I said that he cast his fate to the wind and Charlie Brown answered, who would you guess? If you needed another clue I would say that, with his handlebar mustache and horn rimmed glasses, if he bent over his keyboard, he could have be a grown up version... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
It started back in 1969 when he played Woodstock. For many folks Carlos and his band were the gateway into the world of jazz. As for me, I was raised on a steady diet of jazz from a very early age, so Santana’s fusion of Latin, jazz and rock music... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
He plays piano, trumpet and electric bass. He has more than 100 published works recorded by his own music company and over 150 compositions/arrangements in his catalog. He’s used his last name to do some great puns that mix art and music on three of his first solo albums, Pensyl... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
On July 9th, John Tesh celebrated his 63rd birthday. And why should we care? Although he is better known for his time on Entertainment Tonight, he is also a keyboardist, composer and smooth jazzer. Back in 1987, Tesh asked his friend Yanni if he could join the band as a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
How did I miss my favorite horn player’s birthday? Because I am too full of barbeque, potato salad and corn after the holiday. I know July 6th is far enough away from the feast to have recovered and it’s not the best excuse, but it’s the one I’m sticking to.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
This is the birthday of our nation. There are hundreds of folks telling you what this means in word and deed and song and fury. Some of us are relaxing, some of us are working, some of us are serving, but we are all seeking a common goal. We are... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
What do you get when you subtract 1935 from 2015? 80. What do you get when you add 50 to 30? You get 80. What do 3, 7, 33, 1, 13, 12, 9, 2 add up to? Why 80 of course. And why is 80 such an important number? Because... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
Most people think only of Christmas and New Year’s as days that have Eves. But in the Chat Box at we often give that status to other days. It speaks of a time of anticipation; it notes a time of joyful expectation. Who doesn’t smile when they hear "Friday... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
If you think it is a new thing, I understand. So did I. But it started back in 1979, when three music powerhouses lobbied President Jimmy Carter to designate the month of June Black Music Month. Who was the trio that got us a whole month to appreciate and enjoy... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
Stevie Wonder. How can you write a short piece about Stevie Wonder? His name says it all; he is a musical wonder. From his days at Motown as an 11 year old prodigy to headlining the Calgary Stampede this summer, Stevland Hardaway Morris, does it all. Composing music and lyrics,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
Mindi Abair would be a centerpiece of one heck of a fantasy band In the days of the Big Bands, some of the organizations had virtual revolving doors when it came to the people who played together. Creative minds and bold personalities often clashed, sometimes mixing into a soup of... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2015 at Chicago Smooth
Daniel Ho was smoothing it out on our Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch playlist as a sololist, his guitar singing about a girl named Lia, so I Googled him. His Grammy is for Best Hawaiian Music Album and his song "Pineapple Mango" is called the ukulele experimental anthem. But his time... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at Chicago Smooth