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Biography

Smooth Jazz Therapy is written and produced by that noted writer on smooth jazz and classic soul, Denis Poole.

Denis got hooked on soul music as a teenager and never really got unhooked. When, in the early sixties, pop music first exploded in the UK, artists such as Chris Farlow, Dusty Springfield and even the Beatles looked to the music already being produced on the east coast and in the mid west of the USA for material to cover. The success of these early attempts provided the opportunity for soul music in general, and Motown music in particular, to be heard in the UK and for artists such as Martha Reaves, The Supremes and Marvin Gaye to tour there. Once Denis heard these sounds and saw the tightly choreographed splendour of their performances then that was that.

Another layer was provided the first time he heard Junior Walker and the All Stars and realized that this was more than soul music. The soulful vibe of the saxophone, and its ability to communicate just as effectively with the listener as vocals ever did, set him off in search of what were still rare soul instrumentals. He loved what Isaac Hayes was doing with the arrangements on his expansive releases and considers to this day that the groove generated on the soundtrack from the 1971 movie Shaft was twenty years ahead of its time. Through the glorious era of Philadelphia and on into the eighties he arrived at yet another defining Denis Poole musical moment. The TV show ‘Taxi’ started to air on UK television and on the back of that the Bob James soundtrack from it, ‘The Genie’, crept onto the shelves of a few specialist record stores. That was when the door opened to a whole new genre and his love affair with what became smooth jazz really began.

Seeking out rare records on import became a passion and then, in the nineties, with UK radio station formats becoming briefly more sympathetic to fusion, new adult contemporary and finally the newly termed smooth jazz, everything, for a while at least, became more accessible. Even so, smooth jazz pretty much remained a hidden genre in the UK but Denis was helped by the increasing opportunities he had to travel to the USA, first for pleasure then on business. These visits offered readily taken chances to access the network of radio stations dedicated to smooth jazz and to see the artists perform.

He lives in rural North Yorkshire, England which, although hardly the smooth jazz capital of the universe, is still a great place to call home. When not combining his twin passions of music and writing, Denis loves movies and cites Woody Allen’s Manhattan as his all time favourite.

Denis writes from the heart and with a passion for music of many genres. His work can be found at a number of specialist smooth jazz and soul web sites including www.smoothjazznow, www.soultracks.com and at www.smoothvibes.com where he has written The Secret Garden section since January 2000. In addition he is available to artists and publicists for the production of biographies, discographies and promotional material.

Contact him at denis.poole@yahoo.com.