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Jango's new release,Dreamland, seems to have a split personality, with both halves positioned for the current "smooth jazz" format. The even numbered tunes are vocals, stylistically akin to late-70s/early-80s top forty pop tunes. "City of the 2nd Chance," "Dreamtown" and "Golden Fool" reflect an obvious Steely Dan influence, the cover "How Long (Has This Been Going On)" and "Too Much Time" bear remarkable similarity to Hall and Oates. Tunes such as this are now a staple on smooth jazz playlist. The odd-numbered tunes are instrumentals, and vocalist Steve Nieves switches to sax (usually soprano) to pursue the Kenny G-clone route. With the tone of the program constantly alternating between the two genres, there's no real continuity. And while it's all competently performed, one does wonder what Jango adds to the music scene that hasn't been done many times before. Is this what the group would really be playing given total artistic freedom, or is this a calculated effort to break onto the playlists? Will the real Jango please stand up? (Samson Music)
Tracks:Dreamtown Intro; City of the 2nd Chance; With Your Love (Victor's Song); How Long; 7th Journey; Dreamtown; Driftin'; Too Much Time; Kings Road; Message to Ramona; Sunset to the Sea; Goldon Fool. (51:54)
Steve Nieves, lead vocal, sax, percussion; Steve Le Gassick, keyboards; Nick Kirgo, guitars; Leon Johnson, bass; Dave Beyer, drums.
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.