The title of young saxophonist Marcus H. Mitchell's R&R
may say rest and relaxation, but it's an attention-getting mix of smooth jazz, soft vocals and urban funk. Innovative and current, it's soulful and ageless as well.
The 23 year-old Mitchell plays like a seasoned veteran who has been on the jazz scene for years despite releasing his debut, Jumpin', on his 24th Music label, in 2005. Mitchell is a true workhorse who has shared the stage with greats including Peter White, Kim Waters, Destiny's Child, The Rippingtons and Paul Taylor.
R&R starts with "Saturday Night, featuring a superb piano solo from veteran keyboardist/producer Jeff Lorber. A smooth yet lively mix with the drums, bass and guitar all in perfect company with Mitchell's sexy and sassy alto. "Summer Breeze calms, with Yvette Thomas' mellow vocals. The funky "Diamond In The Ruff gets a little urban, with Mitchell 's tenor spicing it up to perfection. "Deep Concentration slows it down a notch, with drummer Derrek Freeman nicely complimenting Mitchell's tenor.
The title track evokes just thatrest and relaxation, with a mellow yet vibrant quality, featuring bassist Ronald Finney and guitarist Beau Tally. Mitchell, again on tenor sax, paints a tranquil scene worthy of the track's name. "Groove Lounge cranks it up, where all that's needed is Mitchell's funky saxophone and some drum and keyboard programming to get the groove going. It has a catchy melody, highlighted by M. Anthony Hemmings' superb programming. "Makin'Moves takes off where "Groove Lounge left off. It's funky, hip and fun.
Blackbuddafly is featured on "When We First Met, a soulful mix of vocals and sultry music, which perfectly compliments the lyrics. "Outstanding, featuring vocalist Tara Aldridge, blends Mitchell's sweet alto sax with sexy lyrics like "ooh you knock me out and "you blow my mind. "SharpShooter is another example of Mitchell's prowess; his tone and style are impeccable throughout this excellent CD. "Just Groovin' ends the album, a fun tune that builds up to a memorable finish.
The urban feel of R&R's incomparable musicianship, sexy vocals and smooth and funky vibes make for an album sure to appeal to fans of smooth/contemporary jazz.