Denny Jiosa
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Denny Jiosa

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1995 | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1995
Band Jazz Rock




" / reviewed by Ronald Jackson"

Feb. 14, 2009 - A great many in the music industry are already aware of the prowess of this refined smooth jazz guitarist with the “touch,” Denny Jiosa, and here he puts forward a sterling effort with Dreams Like This, a stirring dose of smooth jazz, with a touch of straight-ahead thrown in for good measure.

The grooves are undeniable as his sure-fingered style brings sparks and full-bodied hooks and melodies in abundance. The combination of drive and obvious self-assurance makes this a project of considerable note. Tunes like “Forward Motion” and his intuitive rendition of Bobby Hebb’s 1966 classic “Sunny” (with Bobby Hebb joining him here with a vocal scat, no less!) just celebrates the vibrancy of well-played smooth jazz guitar.

One of my personal favs here would be “Embracing the Fire” with its driving, hot riffs. A real mover and shaker for me. Another piece with a purpose would be “Mysteriosa” with its smoky sax accents by Jeffrey Scot Wils. The soul-wrenching, rather melancholy and bluesy offering “Wounded Warriors” also weighs in to get its somber point across quite effectively, and the album is clearly well-served by the melodious “In the Mind’s Eye” with its attractive, rather mesmerizing hook.

Jiosa does consistency really well, based on what I’ve heard from him in the past. Dreams Like This continues the journey along the path he’s laid out for himself. A path that appears pretty clear of obstacles like boredom and mediocrity and paved with brilliance.

"JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE / reviewed by Brian Soergel"

It's been six years since we're heard from Nashville-based guitarist Denny Jiosa, a former staple of smooth jazz radio with hits such as "Lights of The City." His fresh new CD is the project he says he's always wanted to release. Although fans will instantly be familiar with Jiosa's fluid and smooth guitar style and knacks for hooks, he's also dived into Latin and a touch of straight-ahead with "The Glass Half Full," "Tranquillo" and a tribute to hero Wes Montgomery called "East of Montgomery."
There's even cinematic soundscape with the title track, its 7/4 time held down by drummer Chester Thompson.
The CD also offers a version of one of the most popular songs of all time: Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" from 1966. The twist here is that Jiosa corralled Hebb into singing on the song, although Hebb rightly realized that everyone's heard the familiar vocals so much he decided to scat along instead. Good move. With all that's going on with the CD, the best songs are still Jiosa's versions of the killer strikeout pitch, the haunting, emotional tracks like "Midnight at the Wall" and "Wounded Warriors."
Dreams Like This is a beefy, compelling contemporary jazz CD that rises above most in the genre. - JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE

"20th CENTURY GUITAR / reviewed by Robert Silverstein"

A renowned musician in the world of mainstream and smooth jazz, guitarist Denny Jiosa can always be counted on to come up with a winning strategy. On his 2008 CD, Dreams Like This, Jiosa teams with a bunch of top players and the results make for a solid set of breezy guitar instrumentals. The follow up to his 2002 CD, Body2Body, 2008’s Dreams Like This features a fresh round of Jiosa originals with a definite highlight being a cover of the Bobby Hebb 1966 song classic, “Sunny” which features Hebb on cameo vocals. Commenting on working with an icon of ‘60s pop, Jiosa adds, ‘Bobby Hebb, the original artist and composer of “Sunny” came to my studio to listen to my version of his song. He gave me an overwhelming approval and even agreed to sing on the track!’ On Dreams Like This, Jiosa keeps his sunny side up on an album of albums that should have across the board appeal among guitar enthusiasts. - 20th CENTURY GUITAR

"VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE / Reviewed by John Heidt"

Denny Jiosa is a player of immense chops and fire, and while jazz dominates this album, Jiosa is also at home with R&B and pop,and cuts like "Forward Motion" give him a chance to show off his inventive soloing and strong use of melody.
Almost every cut here sticks. Jiosa is a master of the light funk that dominates smooth jazz, but on "I Am Roxane," his fiery playing overrides any mixed emotions about the genre. His soloing mixes single lines with octaves, and there's even fuzzed-out rock. Effortlessly, both from a compositional and playing standpoint, he then glides right back into octaves to wrap it up. He shows off a lovely ballad touch on several tunes, including "Wounded Warriors," with it's great melody and fine playing. Same goes for his chordal work on the lovely "The Glass Half Full." The CD has a bonus cut that pays homage to Wes Montgomery, from whom Jiosa takes a lot of cues; "East of Montgomery" is an old-school jazz piece and the connection is obvious. Like the latter-day Wes, he plays with fire, grace, and blazing technique! - VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE

"Jazz For Dummies"

Dirk Sutro, the author of JAZZ FOR DUMMIES states, “While some of the
players are a little too smooth for my taste, some other artists in the
contemporary jazz category make more challenging music.” He lists Denny
Jiosa among his favorites in the company of such stellar musicians as
Fourplay, Spyro Gyra and Joe Sample. - Dirk Sutro


“An incredible jazz ensemble and delightfully entertaining”
Fred Puglia, Decatur Celebration<p>

“An electrifying show!” Peter Woolfolk,Tennessee Jazz & Blues Society<p>

“Stunning performance...just fabulous!” Jane Olds,Clearwater Jazz Festival<p>

“His performance was a great blend of contemporary and traditional jazz,
with improvising reminiscent of Wes Montgomery! Music Boulevard - Various


See Video here:

Moving Pictures / 1995 / Top 10 NAC
Inner Voices / 1996 / Top 5 NAC
Jazzberry Pie / 1998 / Top 20 NAC / Smooth Jazz
Among Friends / 1999 / Top 20 Smooth Jazz
body2body / 2002 / Top 20 Smooth Jazz
Dreams Like This / Top 4 Smooth Jazz
On The Edge

Radio Hits:
Lights of The City
Taking the Backroads
Evening Drive
Angels Kiss and more!!



* "One feels the influence of Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, and Jeff Beck!"
Judge Fredd / Guitar Xtreme Magazine

* "One of America's top jazz rock instrumental guitar exponents, Denny Jiosa returns with Jiosa – On The Edge. That Jeff Beck side of his playing – the more cutting edge Jiosa – comes out in full force! " Robert Silverstein/

* "Anyone familiar with his past work won't be surprised to hear the immediately memorable ballad 'Redemption' which is more Jeff Beck than smooth jazz. "
Vintage Guitar Magazine/ John Heidt

Jazz-iz Magazine - "If Eric Clapton played smooth jazz, he'd sound like Denny Jiosa. Jiosa simmers rather than overpowers. Denny proves he has both smooth and real jazz chops."

...Denny is on a path that appears pretty clear of obstacles like boredom and mediocrity and paved with / Ronald Jackson

"what smooth jazz COULD be" Brad Stone / KSJS / San Jose, Ca

Energetic, innovative, fresh, pleasurable, dazzling, vibrant,
improvisational, lyrical, masterful…these are just a small
sampling of the terms that have been used to describe guitarist Denny Jiosa’s music by some of the nation’s most formidable music critics.With five exceptional CDs already under his belt, Jiosa stands out in today’s field of instrumental musicians as one who refuses to compromise and always surprises. His latest release, Dreams Like This, on Sonic Canvas Records,Jiosa once again breaks new musical ground. When Jazziz Magazine compared his playing to Eric Clapton’s they also stated that he “simmers rather than overpowers,” and this has never been more evident than on this recording. With every listen to every song, there are new layers unearthed, new amazing intricacies.Jiosa describes Dreams Like This as the record he always wanted to make. “I feel that Dreams Like This is moving me in a new musical journey forward. New music, new label and new challenges!” Denny Jiosa has always believed that if you follow your heart, your dreams will come true and with Dreams Like This, he proves that his musical dreams and aspirations have no limits.