Like the mighty locomotive train that is its namesake, 8-piece band GroovExpress, made a mighty leap from #9 to #1 on Billboard magazine's Contemporary Jazz Albums chart for the week of September 15 with its third release, Amsterdaam. The soul-jazz fusion band's latest album had only been on the charts for four weeks before landing at the top of the chart. Led by producer/composer/engineer/guitarist Mykeljon Winckel, GroovExpress has been steadily building a loyal fan base over the last six years with its previous releases and live performances. Leading with first single "Geraldine," Amsterdaam jumped over more established American acts such as Dave Koz and Boney James to claim charts top honors.
Winckel could not be more pleased or surprised. "It was wonderful news to see a life-long dream come to reality," he ecstatically states. "This is awesome and amazing news, I knew when the album was completed we achieved something special, but number #1?!"
Impeccably radio-friendly, "Geraldine" and Amsterdaam are well on their way with their missions to garner GroovExpress deeper entrenchment into the international contemporary jazz world where guitars and saxes reign supreme.
GroovExpress is Mykeljon Winckel, guitars and vocals; Ernest Semu, Rhodes, Wurlitzer and piano; Anthony Hunt, organ and clavinet; Trinidad Sanchez III, electric bass; Isaac Sanchez, drums and percussion; "The Angel City Horns" (leader Chris Tedesco, trumpet and Flugelhorn; Robert Kyle; saxophones and flute; Jim McMillen, trombone) with additional percussion by Larry Salzman.
MJ and his "down under" cohorts were as influenced by annual jazz festivals as they were Casey Kasem's weekly radio show "American Top 40." A fusion of the two was an inevitable reality – Chicago crossed with the CTI crossover jazz productions of Creed Taylor. All of this is sunnily evident in the 11 tracks of Amsterdaam which additionally includes the evocative "Oriental Journey" and "Just Before the Light," the McCartney-esque "In My Heart," one vocal tune "All Night Long," a clever mashup of Robben Ford meets Eric Clapton titled "Blues on the Outside," and the Steely Dan influenced "Thin Blue Line" (‘The Dan' being especially inspiring to Mykeljon in his 5 years of music conservatorium study).
So, if you ever wondered what's goin' down at the intersection of L.A. Express & Oblivion Express, climb aboard GroovExpress for a smooth cruisin' adventure!