South African expatriate Jonathan Butler isn't really a jazz artist, but his laid-back, slightly jazz-tinged approach to R&B/pop has earned the singer/guitarist/songwriter/producer a lot of supporters in the urban contemporary, adult contemporary, quiet storm, and smooth jazz/NAC markets. Butler has enjoyed a following since the late '70s, although he reached his commercial peak in the late '80s, and he continues to tour and record in the 21st century. Born in Cape Town, South Africa in October 1961, Butler was only a child when he started singing and playing acoustic guitar. Butler, who was the youngest of about 12 children, absorbed a variety of music when he was a kid. He was an admirer of South African stars like singer Miriam Makeba, but he was also hip to the American soul and jazz artists who lived thousands of miles away in the United States. Stevie Wonder became a major influence, and so did former-hard bop-guitarist-turned-R&B/pop-singer George Benson.
French artist Colleen is fearless in her willingness to explore new sounds and new ways of creating music as a solo performer. On her new album A flame my love, a frequency she introduces the most drastic change to her music since she began singing on her fourth album. A chance encounter with a Critter and Guitari synthesizer at King Britt’s Philadelphia studio on the Captain of None album tour cracked the compositional model wide open. Colleen bought a Critter and Guitari Pocket Piano with the aim to use it through a newly-acquired Moog filter pedal to create new and interesting rhythms to accompany her voice and viola da gamba. But it turned out the sounds of this viola and rhythm combination was not what she was looking for, so in typical Colleen fashion, she set the viola da gamba aside altogether and picked up an additional Critter and Guitari synth, the Septavox, dug out her her trusted Moog delay and dove right in.