Various Artists: Rendezvous Lounge (2004)
“Chill music" is rapidly becoming the next hybrid of smooth jazz and seems to be the perfect fit. It’s already a mainstay in Europe, heard in expensive restaurants and is starting to get heard on internet radio stations in the States. This compilation is a good starting point and features 14 deliciously intoxicating tracks compiled by Mark Gorbulew, a DJ at the Au Bar in New York and a veteran chill-music compiler.
Most of the artists will be unfamiliar to smooth jazz listeners except for Praful, whose smash hit “Sigh” is remixed to give it a Moorish/surf-guitar flavor. Every song is worth listening to, and the mood is overwhelmingly mellow and chillish, although there are some backbeats and the rock guitar in the White Nights’ “Natural True,” a bluesy trip. Here are some more highlights: the first single, “Time to Lounge,” has some playful wordless vocals and trumpet solos; “Paradise Island” has piano tinkling and acoustic guitar leads, wheeling gulls and a man’s voice chanting “sea,” “sound” and other subliminal asides to get you in the mood; Gorbulew’s own “Dreamsville” has tight rhythmic nodding and a killer piano hook by Jerry Friedman; “Pablo’s Blues” features a running vocal sample from long-ago bluesman Robert Johnson; and the delightfully droll “Monkey Business” keeps you smiling.
If you’re a smooth jazz fan tiring of the same old stuff, take a break on this “Lounge.”
Track Listing: Time to Lounge(Alkemx); Traveller's Delight (Plastyc Budda); Natural True (White Nights); Mezz Bar Blue (Astro); Paradise Island (Surfers); 7 Miles (Monte La Rue); Dreamsville (Mark Gorbulew); 4 Seasons 4 Loves (Redfish); Pablo's Blues featuring Robert Johnson (Gare du Nord); Sigh, Maneesh de Moor Remix (Praful); Ocean Beach, Cinematic Cyberphonia Remix (Black Mighty Orchestra); Monkey Business (Racoon); Change (Bugge Wesseltoft); Daylight, featuring Ernest Ranglin (Adani & Wolf)
Personnel: See above