Alphonse Mouzon: Love Songs and Ballads
When I reviewed Alphonse Mouzon's last album entitled Turning night into day I was amazed at the line-up of stars appearing on his album, well this greatest hits album includes an array of stars which I have never seen before, just look at the list of saxophonists which have appeared on his albums. Its like a who's who of CJazz.
Alphonse has selected 15 cuts from his previous releases and added two new songs from his forthcoming Smooth as Silk set and remixed five of his tracks to collate an outstanding collection of summer sultry music. This multi-talented musician also mixed most of the arrangements.
The music is predominantly sax led starting with a new composition "You made my dream come true" featuring Paul Taylor on sax with the dreamy vocals of Alexandra Brown and Lynn Davis.
"Happily in Love" is the second new cut from Alphonse's forthcoming album and features Nelson Rangell in a mid tempo ballad again with Alexandra and Lynn providing the background vocals.
The album is ideal for your late night listening to unwind to after a hectic day or for those Saturday night dinner parties. CJazz is now so popular in the USA as a bespoke category of music but I have been promoting and listening to this style of music since the early days of Tom Scott, Blue Magic, Chuck Mangione, Crusaders and all that lies in between. This music is timeless and has been this way for more than three decades.
Mouzon is a truly gifted musician who I associate more playing on other CJazz stars albums, but who feels just at home on drums and percussion as he does on piano, organ or even flugelhorn.
This selection will delight all sax fans with the myriad of stars who have appeared on his current and past albums. The musicianship, as you would expect, is from the top drawer from start to finish, the arrangements melodic and rhythmic.
A few of the tracks veer off the saxophone track, namely the beautiful "Two lonely hearts" and "Alison" featuring the acoustic guitar of the Rippington's Russ Freeman and Lee Ritenour on "Morning Sun" which still has not dated since its release in 1982.
The albums only vocal led mid tempo track is "It's Not Over Yet" featuring Phillip Ingram and Kirk Whalum on saxophone and comes from Alphonse's Survivor set in 1992. Phillip sounds so much like brother James and "Tender Is The Night" man Phil Perry.
It's hard for me to pick a favorite killer cut from this 17 track oasis but if push came to shove, it has to be the funky "What Are You Doing Later On" which sees Alphonse playing a Hammond type sound interchanging with Eric Marienthal on sax. If I didn't know this was an Alphonse track, I would have said it was Germany's own Barbara Dennerlain who is in my opinion a pretender to the throne of "The Cat" Jimmy Smith. Alphonse, is a truly gifted all round musician and he deserve all the success with this album.