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Nite Flyte: Ascension

Robert Spencer By

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Ascension ! What! Nite Flyte, smoothies extraordinaire, covering Coltrane's most ear-stretching avant-garde piece of all?? Fear not, friends of Mr. Smooth. Other than a loose album-long concept ("Lift Off," "Take Me Up," ), this smoothie document bears no resemblance whatsoever to Trane's fabled Sixties freak-out. No, Nite Flyte's Ascension is a freak-out for the Nineties, a feast for folks who couldn't care less about anything - not Clinton, not Monica, not Saddam, not Kosovo - except where and when they'll get another chance to shake that booty. Crank up this cd in your changer and you won't care about anything else, because you won't be able to resist this groove. Try it, my friend. It can't be done.

We have here guitarists Mark Jaimes and Tony Campbell, saxer and flautist Phil Brown (backed by additional saxers Simon Bates and Christian Brewer), trumpeter Ruth Thomas (on one track: "4AM"), pianist and vibester Norris Jackson (on another track, variously named "30,000 Feet" and "Coast to Coast") and drummer Ross Tarquin. And they are smooth, ladies and gentlemen. Campbell and Jaimes are accomplished instrumentalists who manage to infuse a certain high-gloss passion into these funky grooves. Nobody misses a step.

This is, simply put, smooth jazz at its best. There are no distracting pyrotechnics or instrumental self-indulgences. Everything is in place, and in service of the dance groove. You won't be able to sit down.


Title: Ascension | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Instinct Records


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