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Tenor saxophonist Amadee Castenell plays smooth jazz with support from electric bass & guitar, keyboards & synths, and a drummer's back beat rhythms. Melodic, with acoustic piano fills and guitar doubling, Castenell's tenor takes center stage throughout the session. The leader has recorded with Lee Dorsey, The Neville Brothers, Dr. John, and Johnny Adams; her reverence of the melody is no surprise. Castenell's tone is full and bright; the emphasis on a melody is quite appropriate.
Bill Summers supplies a driving conga beat on "Always There For You" and "Afro" Williams does the same for Castenell's "Buda." The latter includes Chris Severin's driving electric bass riff as well. "The End of the Day" houses a spiced-up rhythmic concept familiar through contemporary blues while the band lays down a charged background for Castenell's tenor. Picking up the flute for pianist Chuck Chaplin's "Angels," the leader floats aloft over an exciting Brazilian samba atmosphere.
With Allen Toussaint, Castenell composed "Alley Cat Strut" to highlight his soulful expression and charming lightweight movements. The saxophonist's debut recording session as leader swings rhythmically, maintains popular harmonies, and gives full attention to his likable tenor sound.
Track Listing: Just Like You; In the Hood; Crystal; Always There for You; Angels; Amacasino; You Dirty F Minor, You; Buda; The End of the Day; Shine; Alley Cat Strut; Maui Moon.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.