How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Take one part fusion, one part acid jazz and two parts funk mix in a blender of electronically created instrumentation and out comes the smooth jazz of a group called Citrus Sun. This new musical unit was put together by Jean Paul Maunick, the father of the British Jazz/R&B/Soul Band, Incognito. Among its members are Average White Band Member Jim Mullen, whose guitar plays a major role in the funky R & B sound that permeates this session.
Although smooth jazz is the term the producers of the album have used to classify the effort, at times it sounds like the space jazz of the late Sun Ra. Of greater is that this smooth jazz album differs from many others of that genre in several important respects. The music has character and substance rather than just an endless stream of sound without dynamics or pause. There's a beat and from time to time the listener will find a foot tapping. Some humor is present, not the moody introspection too often found in smooth jazz. There is much more room given to the brass then is usually the case. "Where the Wind Blows" is absolutely jazzy featuring a melodic trumpet by Dominic Glover going back and forth with the keyboards of Graham Harvey. "What It Is" has an ear catching bouncy tempo with call and response between the horns and keyboards all urged on by Richard Bailey's enthusiastic drums.
The album is not entirely lacking in smooth. It's there in "Budapest" with the ubiquitous instrumental of smooth jazz choice, the soprano saxophone taking the lead. Here it's played in true Grover Washington, Jr. like manner by Ed Jones. Of course, there's the required "we're deep in the jungle" track with "Mellowed" that brings in all the electronic equipment the track can bear. But there's enough interesting and compelling material to put the first efforts of this new group into the recommended category. Visit the Heads Up web page at http://headsup.com.
Track Listing: Make Me Smile; Tanya's Song; Budapest; Another Time, Another Space; Where the Wind Blows; So What Can I Do?; Blue Orchid; Somewhere, Nowhere; What It Is; Full Circle; Mellowed
Personnel: Gary Sanctuary - Keyboards/Vibes; Julian Crampton, Gary Crockett - Bass; Richard Bailey, Neil Robinson - Drums; Graham Harvey - Piano/Fender Rhodes/Keyboards/Drum & Percussion Programming; Ed Jones - Soprano & Tenor Saxophone; Fayazz Virji , Matt Coleman - Trombone; Dominic Glover - Trumpet/Flugelhorn/Keyboards/Programming; Jim Mullen, Chris Robinson - Guitar; Jean Paul "Bluey" Maunick - Acoustic Rhythm Guitar; Max Beesley, Karl Vanden Bossche, Thomas Dyani - Percussion; Simon Cotsworth - Drum Programming; Tim Vine - Wurlitzer Piano/Synthesizers; Dave Baldwin - Synthesizer; Andy Ross - Sax/Flute; Jay Glover - Trombone/Keyboards/Programming