328

Marc Antoine: Cruisin'

Philip Songa By

Sign in to view read count
Consider his name and you'll most likely guess that he is French. Listen to his music and you'd be forgiven for mistaking him to be Latin American. This mystery man is French jazz guitar man Marc Antoine (not to be confused with Puerto Rican crooner Marc Anthony). I was introduced to the sound of Marc Antoine via his collaboration with Dave Koz on the song "You Are Me, I Am You" from Koz's album The Dance (1999).

A year later Antoine released Universal Language, whose most memorable track is the also Latin-tinged "Palm Strings" (wordplay on the town of Palm Springs, California). But beyond that I did not know much about him. Well, since then Antoine has released another album simply titled Cruisin'. Quite often it is hard for one to go out and spend hard-earned shillings on an artist one isn't sure about. I am glad to say that with Cruisin' I was not disappointed. The collection is a gem for the guitar lover, and more especially those that love Latin rhythms. Because while Antoine is unabashedly French—a crazy Frenchman, he calls himself—he has mastered Latin jazz rhythms to the hilt and wrote the majority of the tracks on the 10-track album.

Cruisin' takes you through a kaleidoscope of feelings and heights right from the start. The opening salvo is Antoine's take on the song "Mas Que Nada" on which he gets some heavyweight assistance on vocals in the form of Patti Austin. He follows that with the breezy "On The Strip", before switching into cruise mode with the delightfully funky title track "Cruisin'." He delivers more Latino vibe on "Sierra Bella", "Java Montmarte" and slows the tempo somewhat with the laid-back "Indian Summer". But Antoine is not through yet, delivering a stellar flamenco performance on "Fuego", before easing out with the mid-tempo ballad "Primo," featuring the vocal talents of David "Khalid" Woods. This particular track is reminiscent of Carlos Santana's comeback hit "Smooth."

Other songs on the album are "Just Chillin" and "Caribbean Morning." Antoine and his crew really deliver the goods on Cruisin'. On second listening it was all I could do to keep still and refrain from shouting for joy, for Antoine does create some awesome musical magic with his g-strings. (Guitar strings, that is!).

His previous albums are Madrid, Classical Soul, Urban Gypsy and Universal Language.


Track Listing: Mas Que Nada; On The Strip; Cruisin'; Sierra Bella; Just Chillin'; Java Montmarte; Indian Summer; Carribbean Morning; Fuego Primo.

Personnel: Ricky Peterson: piano and keyboards, Alex Al: bass, Lil' John Roberts: drums, Luis Conte: percussion and others.

Title: Cruisin' | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: GRP Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Port Of Call" CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "Going North" CD/LP/Track Review Going North
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Boston, 1954" CD/LP/Track Review Boston, 1954
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Code Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Sunset
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "Madjafalao" CD/LP/Track Review Madjafalao
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.