|New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
While many artists thrive on consistently making the top of the charts, there are a few who still manage to stay relevant long after their hit making heyday. Gregory Abbott won international acclaim in 1986 for his debut single, "Shake You Down," that was ranked #22 on Billboard's "50 Sexiest Songs of All Time." But even when the small streak of hits in the mid-eighties faded out, the New York City native continued to flex his songwriting, producing and musicianship skills, along with his go-to groove ballads - whether soul, contemporary jazz, or Spanish and Caribbean influences - that have sustained his career over more than three decades.
Those grooves go on for Abbott's return to Top40-Charts, his first since 2012's Drop the Mask, providing a much-needed dose of affirmation. His latest single and our First Listen spotlight, "Chill
" (Mojo Man Entertainment) echoes a "Don't Worry, Be Happy" lesson: "Cause it's a long, long journey/You really should chill/Look for a sign/Don't let your life get blurry." Adding to the smooth jazz recipe is saxophonist Gerald Albright, injecting lots of bluesy energy to Abbott's crisp production.
In retrospect, Abbott's commitment to his craft all these years comes down to living in the groove and counting his many musical blessings. Now let us just chill.