With their inaugural effort, this New Orleans based crew lives up to their group moniker! Guitarist Chris Cortez composed many of these works amid two pieces by keyboardist Dean Fransen and covers of Stevie Wonder’s “Go Home,” and Marvin Gaye’s classic, “What’s Going On?” The quintet along with guest musicians purvey a toe-tapping, finger-snapping potpourri of pop buttered funk, soul and contemporary jazz topped off by in-the-pocket grooves and memorable hooks. Cortez, who currently serves as the music director for the “Grand Casino” in Biloxi, Ms has performed with Herbie Mann, Les McCann, and many others. Meanwhile his band mates have performed with a legion of artists spanning trumpeter Randy Brecker, the late Rosemary Clooney, Mike Stern, and groups such as “The Platters.” To that end, the gist of this outing comprises punchy New Orleans style rhythms coupled with sleek jazz and funk type motifs. Trumpeter Jay Webb and Cortez render appealing unison lines and cheery lyricism on “Jammin With Jay,” while reworking “What’s Going On,” into a hip, soul/funk-drenched jazz vibe. They don’t reinvent the wheel here. However, the soloists are afforded lots of space to expound upon themes often flourishing with melodious passages and counterbalancing pastiches of sound. Ultimately, this group has concocted a tasty brew that should enjoy wide-ranging appeal. Recommended...
I love jazz because it's sophisticated, international, atmospheric yet free, cool and warm.
I was first exposed to jazz through the sultry voice and flawless swing of my mother.
I met Mark Murphy, David Linx, Kurt Elling, and Youn Sun Nah.
The best show I ever attended was Youn Sun Nah in Paris.
The first jazz record I bought was Native Dancer by Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento
My advice to new listeners: open your mind and your ears, forget about structure, feel the textures.
Go see live music and keep buying CDs!