ABOUT CHARLEY LANGER
Since the release in 2010 of his acclaimed debut album, Never the Same, Charley Langer has kept busy, gigging on the Northern California winery circuit with guitarist Kurt Shiflet and performing in the award-winning tribute band, Steelin’ Dan. Never the Same earned the multi-talented saxophonist a sizeable fan base. Its title track received significant airplay on smooth jazz radio and the Weather Channel.
Langer is blazing into 2017 with an exuberantly infectious, playfully grooving new full-length album, Happy Hour. While he refers to the eclectic Never the Same as “an art project with some very hot players,” he has upped his game with radio-ready, urban jazz magic, courtesy of fresh collaboration with guitarist and producer Nils—one of smooth jazz’s top artists and producers.
The 10-track collection showcases the saxman’s powerhouse alto on five tracks penned by Nils and five co-written by Langer and Nils. While some tracks find Nils backing Langer as a one-man studio band (guitar, keys, synth bass, and drum programming), others feature the cream of the crop of L.A.’s contemporary jazz scene, including keyboardists Johnny Britt and Nate Harasim, bassists Darryl Williams and Reggie McBride, drummers Gorden Campbell and Richard Rightman, and percussionist Oliver C. Brown.
Langer credits his wife with the name for the title track, as the couple loves going to happy hour at local restaurants. The music is embued with joy and optimism. “I wanted the album to have an upbeat, uplifting vibe,” says Langer. Songs like “Set Me Free,” “Big Sur,” “J Street Groove,” and “This One’s for the Girls”—which I dedicate to my wife and daughters—reflect the positive energy I envisioned.”