All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
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.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.