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  • Jonathan Widran

BLAKE AARON, "Feels So Right"

There’s only one phrase that fits when two prolific, relentlessly creative hit making forces of musical nature like guitarist Blake Aaron and keyboardist Greg Manning join forces – “Feels So Right.” Released in late summer and reaching the Top 2 (and maybe soon #1!) on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart just as we’re turning our attention to the first post-pandemic holiday season, the intensely upbeat, funky and freewheeling, horn-drenched jam hits that festive sweet spot that shouts “groove happy summer” to our restless hearts and tapping feet yet also fits perfectly with the joyous mistletoe and lights of Christmastime.

A spirited classic genre collaboration on par with great previous ones like Boney James and Rick Braun, and Rick Braun with Richard Elliot, the Manning produced and mixed track features Aaron’s inimitable snappy, melodic electric crackle, the keyboardist’s simmering old school vibes, David Mann’s sparkling sax (in soaring tandem accenting with Trevor Neumann’s flugelhorn) and later in the track, lively backing vocals emphatically gracing us with images of “sunshine” and “starlight.”

While we can definitely feel all our hopes and dreams for a more optimistic future on this soulful, hard-hitting song, the track also reflects the excitement both Aaron and Manning are no doubt feeling considering their tear of success these past few years with similarly infectious singles. For the record: Aaron’s 2020 album Color & Passion scored three #1 Billboard hits (“Groovers and Shakers,” “Fall For You,” “Sunday Strut”) and “Drive” was the #1 single on the Radiowave/Groove Jazz charts.

The success of “Feels So Right” caps a dynamic roll for Manning that includes “Top Down” being the Song of the Year on Billboard’s Smooth Jazz chart and more recently, “Sunrise Boulevard,” which topped the Billboard, Mediabase and the Smooth Jazz Network charts.


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