Country journeyman Kenny Rogers' long-time guitarist Randy Dorman shows he has a smooth jazz jones.
Randy Dorman is a session player's session player. Over the past twenty years he has performed with the biggest names in Country Music, including Ray Charles (yes, Brother Ray), Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Faith Hill, just to drop a few names. First tapped by Kenny Rogers in 1977, Randy has never looked back. I suspect that Mr. Dorman could play any type music he would like, but when he is out on his own, he favors Jazz in all of its flavors. Before signing on with Kenny Rogers' Dreamcatcher Label, Dorman made four recordings for independent labels, all of jazz standards.
For his new recording, No Boundaries, Mr. Dorman has opted to perform nine original compositions. A unifying theme to the entire recording is Mr. Dorman's obvious respect for the Latin elements in music. He employs such nuances in several of the pieces, including the upbeat "Rhythm of the Night," the wistful ballad "A Song for My Daughter," and the cozy "Cozy." "Kickin' Butt" is about the closest thing to mainstream jazz that No Boundaries has to offer. It smacks of Droman's country soul and sounds like the logical evolutionary endpoint of New Grass and Texas Swing had they met and had a baby called Country Be Bop.
On the whole, this disc is pleasant, if not inspiring, smooth jazz with a Barbeque twang and a whiff of mesquite smoke. This disc will appeal to all fans of Kenny Rogers' crossover music as well as adventuresome smooth jazz fans looking for something a little different.
Personnel: Randy Dorman: Guitars; Lynn Hammann: Drums; Warren Hartman: Keyboards; Chuck Jacobs: Bass