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Smooth jazz pianist Jim Chappell was born and raised in Michigan, initially influenced by the pop songcraft of the Beatles and Jimmy Webb. After spending the better part of his early adult years traveling across the country, he settled in Nashville and became a songwriter; finding the work unfulfilling, however, Chappell relocated to California, where he found work as an accompanist for the modern dance department at UCLA. He self-released his debut album, Tender Ritual, in 1986, selling over 12,000 copies of the record by traveling from store to store; Chappell then signed to Music West, where he issued a series of LPs including Dusk, Living the Northern Summer, and Nightsongs and Lullabies. Moving to Real Music, he scored his biggest hit to date with In Search of the Magic, followed in quick succession by Over the Top, Manila Nights, and Laughter at Dawn. Chappell's debut release for new label Gallery Records, Acadia, appeared in 1996. The pianist was then absent from the studio for a number of years before re-emerging after the turn of the millennium with 2003’s Serenity Rush on his Unspeakable Freedom Music label. Other Unspeakable Freedom releases would follow, including Coming Through in 2005, Sad Music Moods and Comfort Songs in 2008, Panorama in 2010, and A Morning Full of Mood in 2011.