For Jonathan Butler, living his dream is now a breeze
The singer-songwriter-guitarist’s “Living My Dream” album is released today as “African Breeze” storms the Billboard Smooth Jazz Singles chart.
Butler’s multihued music has always crossed genres and topped charts in multiple radio formats thus a pair of singles from “Living My Dream” are being highlighted for airplay. On the instrumental side, Butler’s celebratory South African walkabout “African Breeze” is already blowing up the charts and is poised to enter the top 10 this week on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Singles chart while the apologetic vocal paean “Heart and Soul” makes its initial plea for spins to urban adult contemporary programmers.
Finally arriving at a place in his life where he felt comfortable saying it, Butler, who grew up living under Apartheid and was the first black artist played on white radio stations in South Africa, embraced his blessings as the fulfillment of his dreams. Whether they are R&B vocal tunes or contemporary jazz instrumentals, the original compositions that comprise the new disc are meditations on love of family, country and spirit. Alternately playing nylon-string and electric guitars, Butler’s nimble fretwork poetically communicates while exploring beatific melodies in contemporary jazz settings that afford the artist ample room to improvise. He wrote the spiritually entitled “Be Still” with Duke and “Let There Be Light” with Miller, the latter graced with the delicate touch of Trotman’s saxophone. On the urban vocal numbers, Butler uses his soulful, life-worn voice to affirm his blessed life (“Living My Dream”), playfully pursue (“Song For You”), seduce (“Night To Remember”) and declare his love and loyalty to the women in his life: his wife and daughters (“All About Love”).
To support “Living My Dream,” Butler has U.S. concert dates booked now through the end of August as a co-headliner of the Love & Soul Tour during which he shares the stage with Grammy-winning guitarist-vocalist Norman Brown and keyboardist Alex Bugnon. He will spend most of September back in South Africa leading his fourth annual Jonathan Butler on Safari. Butler will be interviewed and perform on the Tavis Smiley Show airing on PBS television stations in mid-July.
Below please find excerpts from some of the early album reviews:
“Solid original material, amazing guest artists and a sound that never gets in the way of the music. Take everything you love about Butler's previous work and bits and pieces can be found here. A lyrical mosaic drawn from places far past the soul. As close to perfect as one can get.” – Critical Jazz
“Living My Dream is a sleek, welcoming, soulful, contemporary jazz experience that exemplifies Butler’s lifestyle… The music will appeal to a wide range of contemporary jazz lovers who expect superior music, unpretentious lyrics and virtuosic performances.” - AXS
“Living My Dream paints the very vivid picture of a man in absolute celebration of his life and music.” – The Smooth Jazz Ride
“Closing in on 30 years of impressive and at times downright inspiring albums, Living My Dream draws in all of these genres into one cohesive recording, resulting in his most extraordinary soundtrack testimony since 2005’s Jonathan…And what a precious gem she is.” – Mainly Piano
“Jonathan Butler's blend of South African music with smooth jazz, R&B and Gospel makes Living My Dream so unique.” – Smooth Jazz Daily
“The album opens with a strong, jaunty 'African Breeze' - the set's catchiest instrumental.” – Soul and Jazz and Funk
“Mr. Butler’s latest album is about celebrating one’s life as the strongest antidote in overcoming most of life’s obstacles.” – Hill Rag
For more information and tour dates, please visit www.JonathanButler.com.