Smooth jazz saxophonist Danny Lérman fuses flowing lyrical melodies with some embellishment to create a pleasant session. He’s backed by programmed hip hop beats, dreamy keyboard surroundings, and pulsating electric bass rhythms. Guest artists and a few creative arrangements make the session well rounded, but the emphasis is on the leader’s pleasant sound and well-groomed format. Lérman’s double major in music and finance at North Texas State would appear to be largely responsible for his decision to combine popular music with jazz. Details of the background for this Indiana saxophonist may be found at http://www.chartmakerrecords.com/lerman.html
Lérman’s saxophone takes center stage, presenting a melody while snappy drum beats, bass pulses, and keyboard swirls back him up. He embellishes some, builds each piece, works in some improvised fire, and fades quickly. "Never Can Say Goodbye" is the tune made popular by The Jackson Five, Isaac Hayes and others. "On Top of the World" is performed in a Kenny G wrinkle-free style, while "Black Orpheus" comes on strong with flamenco handclaps and a unique spirit. Straying from the mood intended by composers Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfa and Vinicius de Moraes, the song is played out as physical bullfight music that includes a fiery improvised acoustic guitar interlude from Fareed Haque. The title track, "Danny’s Island," has the spirit of a lively cruise line advertisement, emphasizing the baritone saxophonist’s heavy bottom line and keeping the horns contained as a tight unit. Dave Valentin’s spicy flute solo provides energy and fire. The album’s final track is a second take of "You Take my Breath Away" featuring the sensitive styling of singer Danny Boy. This is not the twenty-year-old Minnie Riperton hit, but a different "You Take my Breath Away," written by Steve Grissette and Maxx Frank. Danny Lérman has a pleasant approach to melody and provides enough spice to make the session enjoyable.