the tony windle situation
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the tony windle situation

El Dorado Hills, California, United States | INDIE

El Dorado Hills, California, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz New Age


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"Jazziz says - All Pleasure"

Like fellow up and coming smooth jazz keyboardist Scott Wilkie, Sacramento based Tony Windle has wised up tremendously by turning away from overly synthetic keyboard sounds and playing more acoustic piano on Right There (Go Smooth) the far superior follow-up to Unframed Picture. He gives into such electro temptation on the first cut, bouncing a cutesy flute flavored synth line off the rich soprano melody of Jeff Kashiwa on "4th Avenue," then exploring a series of other quirky tones. A bass heavy funk cover of Michael Jackson's "Baby Be Mine" forms the bridge to the more organic tunes, opening with a swirling synth circus before easing into a playful piano melody. "Spring's Hope," the first smooth jazz tune Windle ever wrote, borrows seriously from the classic David Benoit sound, elegant and angst free and ultra melodic. Throughout the rest of this compelling disc, Windle creates a unique balancing act between emotional balladry and hardcore R&B with a wistful piano melody on top. The lush, orchestrally enhanced "Up Home" enters Windle into the ring for a future film composing, blending simple emotional statements with harmonic ideas touching on his Irish heritage. Following this with the slamming, percussive "Shuffle Shack" - on which Windle blends dancing piano lines, Hammond B-3 harmonies and the searing soprano sax of Scott Reams - is a jolt, but at least we're getting diversity. A similar contrast is created by juxtaposing the power ballad "Never Never Land" (featuring a Richard Elliot like tenor fire by Greg Vail) and the jubilant Latin jam "Shaker Kids." Windle seems a bit all over the map, but as long as he's stroking the ivories and resisting the machinery, he's all pleasure. - Jonathan Widran - Jazziz Magazine / Jonathan Widran

"Gavin says - Right There!"

"Here's proof positive that you don't have to be a star to attract star power. Right There, the second CD for (someone with a name you might not recognize) keyboardist Tony Windle is replete with visits from members of the Smooth Jazz A-Team: Jeff Kashiwa, Greg Vail and Mambo Hernandez. The honest and energetic renderings to be found on the tracks "4th Avenue" and "Spring's Hope" are most notable and deserving of immediate attention. There's more than enough talent in the fingers and brain of Tony Windle to take care of things without all of the high-priced help, although their contributions are noteworthy and, as Windle would say...right there." - Steve Williams, PD (KSSJ) - Gavin Magazine

"UK - Secret Garden Reviews Tony"

Back in April The Secret Garden brought you news of Tony Windle and his then current release Unframed Picture. An album full of promise and an unexpected but highly enjoyable excursion into film and television theme territory it certainly raised expectations for his next offering and now here it is. The album is titled Right There and there can be little doubt that the release signals a coming of age for the highly talented Windle.
Again demonstrating his virtuosity, with the vast majority of the tracks written and produced by him, the recording not only delivers more great theme tune potential it also rewards the listener with what can genuinely be described as high quality smooth jazz.
The credentials of Windle’s work are further confirmed by the musicians that he can routinely attract to play with him. Unframed Picture featured the sax playing of Eric Marienthal and the percussion of Mombo Hernandez. This time around Hernandez is back sounding as good as ever and Tony has come up trumps with the incorporation of Rippingtons collaborator Jeff Kashiwa.
He appears as soon as track #1 ‘4th Avenue’ as featured artist on a tune written by Windle recalling on a street where he lives. Good competent smooth jazz that has definite radio play potential. Talk of radio exposure is really not ‘pie in the sky’. Word must certainly be getting around with a track from the album due to be played in the UK on Jazz FM on 12 August.
Based on what we usually expect from Tony Windle track #2 is something of a surprise but it works absolutely brilliantly. It is a smooth jazz reworking of Rod Tempertons ‘Baby Be Mine’ from Michael Jackson’s classic album Thriller. Greg Vail is featured on alto sax and without going over the top this could be the surprise smooth jazz hit of 2000. It sure deserves to be.
Track #3 is another little gem from Windle, this time the first smooth jazz track he ever wrote way back in 1988. Nice guitar playing by Steve Giovenco and a gentle Latin feel makes this another good and competent piece of smooth jazz. Music to chill out by on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Track #4 and we are right back in film score land. ‘Up Home’ is a truly haunting track fit to grace the weepiest of movies. The piece is taken from an inspirational idea surrounding a place on the coast owned by Mombo Hernandez and his wife Kim. If the place is as beautiful as the music then it must really be worth seeing.
Suddenly we are seriously upbeat with track #5 ‘Shuffle Shack’ that is described by Windle himself as fun. It is fun but is really driven along with some great sax playing by Scott Reams. Pull back the roof on the convertible; let the wind race through your hair and drive.
Track #6 brings back Jeff Kashiwa as featured artist on the title track ‘Right There’ while Track #7 brings us more theme music potential with ‘Never Never Land’ and the sax playing of Greg Vail.
Mombo Hernandez is handed the feature spot on the next track ‘Shaker Kids’, a catchy little number that again would sit beautifully as the theme to a TV series.
A more serious approach to theme music comes with track #9 and ‘My Dream’. Easy paced and well produced it has Tony Windle written all over it.
Tony explains that track #10 ‘Campfire In The Mountains’ evokes the memories of thousands of kids who have enjoyed the truly American experience of summer camps. For those of us outside the US, for whom the concept of summer camps is a closed book, the feeling for the experience is left undoubtedly stronger for hearing this tune. On a purely musical level this again has outstanding theme tune potential.
The eleventh and last track on the album ‘Sunday Brunch’ recalls Tony’s first exposure to smooth jazz as he waited on tables at a weekly smooth jazz Sunday brunch event. It inspired him to go with the flow of this special genre of music and, if this latest album is anything to go by, has rewarded fans of smooth jazz everywhere with a talent that will endure. - by Denis Poole


Unframed Picture - 1997
Right There - 2000



Tony Windle’s music can be heard across the country -in elevators, dentist’s offices, and supermarkets. Kidding aside, we’re told it’s perfect for dinner, romance or the “smooth ride home.” What is the music of Tony Windle? Ask his Mom, and she’ll tell you it’s amazing – best on Earth! “Smooth and exciting” says one listener. But really, what is his music? - Wordless expressionism? Baked into genres of Smooth Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, and Adult Contemporary – whatever you want to call it, Windle’s music is exactly New Adult Contemporary Instrumental Pop, with a dash of jazz and ambient, and a pinch of funk. So there!

Now that you are thoroughly confused, Tony Windle, taking his stance behind a mound of keyboards, is truly an entertainer. At 30 years old, Windle has been a musician for 23 years, and a ham for all 30. His Italian grandfather was a professional musician, geared with a mandolin, guitar and violin. He was Windle’s first musical influence. “Papa would dress he and I as clowns, and we would go out and sing ‘Show me the way to go home’ – my first act, and I was wearing makeup!” Entertainers tell stories of youth when they were forced to practice the piano while their friends played football after school. Quite honestly, Windle had no idea what a football was, or is – still. Always happy to practice the piano, Windle chose to create his own arrangements of his lessons, usually aggravating the teacher to the brink. Windle’s influences are unique: Harry Nilsson, Electric Light Orchestra, The Beatles, Chopin, Bach, and of course… Jazz. “Music was always flowing through the stereo,” says Windle. “With those types of influences, it’s no wonder why my music is what it is.” “I have no time for words – I have taken all of the elements of music that I truly love, and have come up with a style that is my own.” Windle states that his music is designed for the listener, thus allowing them to come up with their own personal meaning about the music. “Music means something different to each individual – they give me the canvas, I paint the picture, they frame it… simple.”

Doing time in Casino rock bands, and winning two Sacramento music awards with a country band along with being nominated for Best Jazz artist of Sacramento, two years in a row, Windle had come full circle with his debut album Unframed Picture. Receiving national smooth jazz airplay, Unframed Picture quickly grabbed listeners. The radio single, a cover of Three Dog Night’s “One” (written by Harry Nilsson), boasts the musical talent of sax superstar Eric Marienthal, and smooth jazz percussion staple Mombo Hernandez. Marienthal performs on three album tracks, along with a host of fine talent. “The album is as eclectic as me, it will definitely keep your attention,” says Windle. From powerful pop to heartfelt ballads, Windle’s debut is a perfect companion for today’s listener. “A debut to remember” – Jazziz Magazine.

Right There! is Tony Windle’s newest release. Crossing the genres between new age and smooth jazz, Windle gives his listeners another helping of fine instrumental compositions. “4th Avenue” is the first single form the album. Currently receiving International airplay, “4th Avenue” boasts the saxophone talent of Jeff Kashiwa, known for his work with The Rippingtons, and his #1 solo venture; Greg Vail, saxman from the Peter White band; and returning to the mix, percussionist Mombo Hernandez, and guitarist Steve Giovenco.

With 11 NAC savvy songs, & his newest single “Spring’s Hope” currently chartbound, Right There is posed to be another successful chapter in Tony Windle’s career. As Jazziz stated in their recent review of Right There: “He’s all Pleasure.”