When I think of radio stations that have taglines like “the quiet
storm” I think of records like this one. It’s full of groovin’
jazz with electric guitar and walks the line between fusion and
contemporary straight-ahead jazz. The electronic drum machine and
backing vocals a la hip-hop lite is reminiscent of early to mid 90s
fusion—and that’s not a bad thing. Think Karl Denson or Norman
Brown with a bit more funk. My co-worker said the first track
would be a perfect track at the end of a Will Smith movie—an
observation that is not far off the mark as it does have a soundtrack
flavor to it. A lot of the guitar work seems to be inspired by
greats like Wes Montgomery and George Benson. The second track
sounds a lot like “Breezin’.” It even has some scratching like a
Soul Live record. From a sampling of only the first few songs the
listener will realize that there is a nice variety of tracks.
Track four and 10 are a little reggae, six is Latin influenced, and
seven is a harder funk/soul-like track ala Santana. Guitar and
other acoustic sounds are very good while the electronic sounds have a
slightly processed quality. None of the music is harsh or in your
face—it’s mellow and smooth and worth more than a casual listen.
If this disc doesn’t get a lot of airplay on the lite/smooth jazz
stations I’d be surprised. Check it out! Songs included
are: Sunshine; Swing Easy; On The Avenue; Rejuvenation; Just
about Everybody; Fuego; The Rhythm of the City; Fallen Heroes; Mother;
Victory of Righteousness; My Lover; JoenZe.