How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
P>Smooth jazz, contemporary jazz, fusion or what I like to call it, the new beach music, Scott Wilkie's second album for Narada is another set of never getting to the point compositions. All of the songs on the play list were written and arranged by Wilkie and all sound the same. It seems these young players look and see how successful Kenny G and his followers are and feel that's the path they want to take. They certainly avoid playing any music but their own thus avoiding being compared, favorably or unfavorably, with other jazz musicians. This album is pretty music, but seamless pap. No form with the same "stream of consciousness" rhythm. There are the usual sound enhancing electronic equipment and gizmos. The one tune I found that had some jazz character and rhythm to it was "In Comes The Ausgang" which flirts with boogie woogie. But even here, Wilkie can't resist the temptation of hauling out the synthesizers returning to the synthetic sounds that equipment creates.
Wilkie has a reasonable music resume. Born in Detroit (which produced several outstanding jazz icons), he studied classical music. But then in high school he discovered the "joys" of electronic music and hasn't turned away since. On this album, he is joined by other members of the smooth jazz fraternity like Eric Marienthal and Lenny Castro. If smooth/fusion/contemporary/new age, whatever, is your bag, you will like this one. As for me, "sixth floor, please". Visit Scott at his web page, www.scottwilkie.com.
Track Listing: Sign of the Times; The Chicken; NB2000; Pier 39; In Comes the Ausgang; The Gnu Won; Fruit Sandwich; Back from the Beach; Summer Vacation; Whale Song
Personnel: Scott Wilkie - Piano/Organ/Synthesizer; Matthew Von Doran - Guitar; Alec Milstein - Bass; David Owens, David Derge - Drums; Lenny Castro - Percussion; Eric Marienthal - Sax; Paul Jackson, Jr - Guitar; Ken Ross - Trumpet; Nathan Brown - Bass