How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
On trumpeter/flugelhornist Gordon James' eponymous CD, he alternates between the currently popular muted trumpet (a la Rick Braun or Chris Botti) and the mellower flugelhorn. While there is sufficient variety on the program, most of the selections fall somewhere between smooth jazz and lite R&B, often with the rhythmic edge of drum programs. His solos, while not pushing the boundaries of adventurousness, are well-constructed and fit the moods of the tunes nicely. Many of the songs have a funky, soulful feel, often fueled by clavinet and synths. Half of the dozen tunes are competent James originals, and a couple of well-chosen covers ("Grazin in the Grass" and "Tutu") prove to be particularly good vehicles for James' solos. Other highlights include the interesting percussion programming on "Earth Tones," the gentle, introspective ballad "Pulse," and the pulsing rhythms, snaking lead line, and well-crafted solos on "Brazilian Nights." (Caress Music)
Tracks:Funky G.; Shades of Brown; On & On; Grazin in the Grass; TuTu; Earth Tones; Pulse; Brazilian Nights; Language of the Heart; Slinky; Only You; When Can I See You. (63:02)
Gordon James, muted trumpet, flugelhorn, piano, strings; James Lloyd, piano, organ, clavinet, synths; Eric Lackland, Mark Minchello, keyboards, synth bass, strings, drum program; Adam Klipple, keyboards; Karl Latham, Lionel Cordew, drums; Mike Hogan, John Benthal, guitar; Gregory Jones, Kim Clarke, Carl McNeill, bass; Cracker Beats, Alex Murphy, Willard Dyson, drum program; Alisa Ohri, Kelli Sae, James Robinson, vocals; Brian Nelson, hippie voices; Tom Timko, Rick Brunermer, tenor sax;