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Smooth jazz is comprised of blended sounds, hummable melodies, fluid embellishment, and a steady comfortable one-two-three-four beat. In the same way that the music fades in and out to create 3- to 4-minute excerpts, the listener’s attention tends to come and go. Thus, smooth jazz finds a home wherever and whenever folks want relaxing background music that suits their purpose. Saxophonist Ed Calle includes electronic sounds from bass & keyboard synths, programmed and mechanical drum patterns, and background vocals to support a session made up mostly of his own compositions. Opting for tenor sax on most tracks, Calle’s third release as a leader places him before the ensemble to float a melody while the others blend. Born in Venezuela, raised there and in Spain, schooled in Miami, and learning while working with Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine, the saxophonist credits many influential sources, including Michael Brecker and Grover Washington, Jr. More biographical information about the artist may be found at A HREF="http://www.edcalle.com">http://www.edcalle.com .
Guests include Arturo Sandoval, who performs a brief bullfight trumpet cameo on "San Sebastian." The piece is a stirring Spanish composition that features the acoustic guitar of Rene Luis Toledo alongside the leader’s tenor saxophone. Calle plays soprano sax on two tunes: "Home Again" and "Sunset Harbor." Guest pianist Jim Gasior provides a lovely interlude on the sweeping "Marianne," which resembles a comfortable folk tune. Paquito Hechavarria’s percussive Afro-Cuban piano interlude on "Rum & Coke" stirs things up a bit, as does the Latin beat of "Sunset Harbor." A 14-piece ensemble supports Calle and Hechavarria on "Rum & Coke." The tune and the band light up with an attitude that resembles the classic 1958 Champs song "Tequila." "Colour My World," a hit for the pop/rock band Chicago, is presented tenderly by Calle’s tenor sax with his own alto flute interlude. The laid-back easy-listening atmosphere of all the other tracks is comfortable on the ears but contains very little improvisation to hold one’s interest.
Track Listing: Strollin
Personnel: Ed Calle- soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, alto flute, EWI, vocals, synthesizer bass; Paquito Hechavarria- acoustic piano; Jim Gasior, Mike Levine, Doug Emery, Steve Roitstein- keyboards, synthesizers; Dan Warner, Lindsey Blair, Rene Luis Toledo, Hiram Bullock, Tommy Anthony- guitar; Julio Hernandez, Rafael Valencia- electric bass; Tim Devine, Lee Levin- drum programming; Richard Bravo- percussion; Sam Levine- triangle; Arturo Sandoval, Tony Concepcion, Jim Hacker, Jason Carder, Alan Hood- trumpet; Dana Teboe, John Hutchison, John Kricker- trombone; Joe Barati- bass trombone; Wendy Pederson, George Noriega, Rita Quintero, Tommy Anthony- vocals.