Smooth Monday Jams: Duets Edition

Sup y’all. Kim inspired me last week with his Canada-centric post to try and keep these consistently themed as long as the ideas are flowing. This week is all about the tenderest of smooth jams: the smooth duet.

Be sure to check out Sea Level this Wednesday March 6th at The Tender Trap. Come check us out and vibe to the smooth jams that will have you smiling throughout the rest of your week. 

Samantha Sang & The Bee Gees – "Emotion" (1977)

Samantha Sang sang the lead, while The Bee Gees provide a falsetto cloud of backing vocals as this tune floats into the sky. Emotional.

Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack – "Born To Love" (1983)

Peabo, a master of the smooth duet, teams up with Roberta, no duet rookie herself, and the results and unsurprisingly very smooth. That slap bass line hits so hard that DJ Premier had to sample it

Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney – "The Girl Is Mine" (1982)

Who says a duet has to be a man and a woman? MJ and Sir Paul prove that a couple o’ blokes can pull off a duet, albeit one of the goofiest tracks of all time (especially the dialogue at the end). Top level smooth though.

Cherelle & Alexander O’Neal – "Saturday Love" (1985)

Cherelle & Alexander O’Neal provide the perfect soundtrack to your groovin’ Saturday night on the town. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis on production. Flawless combination.

Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald – "On My Own" (1986)

I mostly picked this one because it’s one of the greatest videos of all time. Also, one man: Michael McDonald.
 

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Smooth Monday Jams: Canadian Edition

Hello! Kim Robinson here, one-half of the awesome party Sea Level that I put on with your regular scribe, Obey City.

For this week’s edition of Smooth Monday Jams, I’ve decided to take us on a journey northward to visit our pals in Canada. While some of the best smooth music has come from the states, there is no denying that the Canadians have a respectable catalog of smooth cuts. Here’s five songs that’ll tell you what some of our Canadian friends are aboot.

Dont forget: Sea Level has moved to Wednesdays at The Tender Trap, with the next party happening on March 6th! Come check us out and vibe to the smooth jams that will have you smiling throughout the rest of your week. Like Sea Level on Facebook to receive updates on our event

Destroyer – "Kaputt" (2011)

Dan Bejar of Destroyer excels at writing low-maintenance glam rock and indispensable smooth jams like the title cut from his album Kaputt. From the beginning of the track you know he means business with the filthy saxophone treatments sprinkled throughout. It’s a truly epic smooth jam that just keeps going on and on.

Feist – "One Evening" (2004)

Everyone knows Leslie Feist for the monster indie hit "1,2,3,4," but upon heavy inspection of her catalog we know that she’s a big fan of sultry R&B akin to Sade and Maxwell. Check this awesome video and song for this sleeper cut from the album Let It Die.

Gonzales – "Slow Down" (2008)

What can’t Gonzales do? Besides producing music for our previous artist Feist, he’s also worked with electroclash icon Peaches. On the side he plays amazing live solo piano recitals and records smooth jams for the intimate moments he’s created as a solo artist .

Joni Mitchell – "Coyote" (1976)  

You can’t go to Canada without visiting Joni. I’m a big fan of her early folk stuff, but have began to fully embrace her fusion-jazz work of the late ’70s. This track featuring the late, great bassist Jaco Pastorius was her first full jump into fusion, adding her beautiful vocals to a smooth jazzy landscape.

 

Drake – "Karaoke" (2010)

 

Produced by Sea Level fave Francis Starlight of "Francis & The Lights," this deep-cut was on Drake’s debut album, Thank Me Later. Over a smooth synth beat, Drake laments a lost love that doesn’t want the spotlight or attention of his new fame at the time. Sea Level would like to see more collaborations like this, especially when the results are this smooth. Thanks, Canada!

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Smooth Monday Jams: Warm Up Edition

Brooklyn-based DJ and producer Obey City has curated a “Smooth Jams” series of his favorite tracks. Today’s installment warms us up with some Canadian finds. Plug in your headphones and crank up that volume, because it’s time to get smooth. 

This weekend I was up in Montreal for a gig. The weather there was not smooth at all…more like bone chilling. Is poutine a smooth snack? I’m not really sure. However, I did manage to get some record shopping in and picked up a couple smooth gems for ya’ll.

Be sure to check out Sea Level on its new nights. Begining in April, Sea Level will move to the second Wednesday of the month at the Tender Trap in Brooklyn. However the next one lands on Wednesday March 6th. Free smoothness for all begins at 9 PM. I promise you’ll hear songs like this and many more to start your work week off on a smoother note. Hope to see all you smoothies there.

 

Crackin’- "Dont You Wish You Could Be There" (1977)

Saw this cover with a rose bursting from an egg and I had to buy it. Classic AOR west coast smooth vibes all over this one.

 

 

Boule Noire – "Aimer D’Amour" (1978)

Apparently this record is easily found all over Quebec but I had never heard of Mr. Noire before. Sorta sounds like a french version of this

 

 

Shakatak – "Easier Said Than Done" (1981)

First of all look at this band’s name real quick – Shakatak. It’s definitely pronounced the same way as Shaq Attack, the nickname of former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. Now listen to this jam – sort of Bob James-esque light jazz/funk/fusion. Shaq would love this.

 

 

Janet Jackson – "Someone To Call My Lover (Velvet Mix)" (2001)

Always been a fan of this song but this remix – my god. Takes it to new levels. Jermaine Dupri does a pretty solid Devante Swing/Timbaland drum programming impersonation and mixes it with some gorgeous chord changes behind the already lush vocals from Ms. Jackson herself. Velvet indeed!

 

 

Craig David – "What’s Your Flava (Markus Enochson Broken Soul Mix)" (2009)

Ok, so I technically picked up the original 12" of this song by Craig David – but this version is far less known and much smoother. Shout outs to DJ Steve for putting me onto this a couple years back.

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Smooth Monday Jams: Check Your History

There are still a lot of people out there who have a negative connotation when the words "smooth" and "music" are combined, and I’m the first to say that not all smooth music is necessarily good. This isn’t your generic, corny smooth jazz CD or your boring easy-listening station (although there are some gems in those genres, as well). I’m attracted to the smooth tracks from all genres, of which there are more than you can even imagine. To ease the pressures off your Mondays, I bring you the “Smooth Jams” series, my favorite smooth tracks of the week.

Be sure to check out Sea Level tonight and every first Monday of the month at Tender Trap in Brooklyn. Free smoothness for all begins at 9 PM. I promise you’ll hear songs like this and many more to start your work week off on a smoother note.

Software – "Island Sunrise" (1988)

Shots out to Mamiko Motto for putting me onto this one (tune into her show Hepcat Radio on NTS every Wednesday 8-9 PM GMT). Anything beginning with the sounds of the ocean is off to a good start, but the ethereal pads, synthesizer chimes, and overall musicality of this track makes me melt.

Mya – "Smilin" (1997)

This unreleased gem by Mya is produced and arranged by Devante Swing, one of the most under appreciated musical geniuses of our time. Check your history!

Toro y Moi – "Touch" (2012)

Whoever said that no one is making any smooth jams anymore, is straight up wrong. Toro Y Moi serves up a tasteful and laid back groover. (pro-tip: mix into this.)

Toto – "Human Nature" (1983)

Toto basically recorded this entire song before showing it to Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones. I love this version almost as much as the hit most people know off Thriller. Toto were the unsung smooth heroes of the late ’70s and early ’80s: they were studio musicians on so many of the best tracks.

The Doobie Brothers – "Minute by Minute" (1978)

Gotta end with some yacht rock from one of the godfathers of smooth, Michael McDonald. AND I SAY CHURCHHHHHHHHH (shout out Meek Mill).