All musical genres fall prey to formula. Smooth Jazz, with its high radio-visibility quotient, perhaps succumbs more often than others. It’s refreshing, then, when a group brings something different to the table. Happily, this is the case with Citrus Sun.
Produced by guitarist Jean Paul Maunick, founder of the popular Acid-Jazz band Incognito, Citrus Sun is a well-founded ensemble of players whose attention focuses on details, rather than grandstanding. In addition to fellow Incognito members Julian Crampton on bass, and Richard Bailey on drums, former Average White Band guitarist Jim Mullen furthers the British soul perspective in the music. Mullen’s work throughout is a joy to hear, his light, soulful tone enlivening such tracks as “Tanya’s Song” and “Somewhere, Nowhere.” A four-man horn section is used with taste rather than blast, as on “What It Is,” where they mesh well with Dave Baldwin’s imaginative synth colors.
Also notable is Graham Harvey’s electric piano, whose sound harkens back to the days of Joe Sample’s work with the Crusaders. The group’s refusal to bother with the dictates of broadcast architecture is amply exemplified by the eight and a half-minute closer, “Mellowed.” The track opens with a long, almost progressive-rock-like fizzle of synth and programmed keyboards, and proceeds to groove along nicely until a mid-section of glistening interstellar space prompts a band member to say, “What’s going on here? It’s an interesting picture.” Interesting, indeed.
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.