4

Brian Simpson: Just What You Need

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
Brian Simpson: Just What You Need The raison d'être behind Brian Simpson's Just What You Need is not as audacious as to reshape jazz as we know it, but to provide some easy listening while we're waiting. The ambitions here are a bit more modest as Simpson, who is best known as Dave Koz's bandleader, brings together an accomplished crew of studio veterans in a setting where they can groove with each other. There are few surprises and fewer risks taken and while everything is certainly pleasant enough the overall accomplishment may not linger in the memory.

Whether or not the world needs another version of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "The Girl From Ipanema" it gets one with Simpson joined by his main man, Koz who plays some very pretty tenor sax. Simpson likes playing with horns as half of Just What You Need features tenor saxophonists (Koz, Gerald Albright and Elan Trotman ) and with Ron King accompanying on trumpet, they add to the overall cool mood of the album. Guitarists Jonathan Butler and Marc Antoine drop by to infuse a bit of six-string juice to the proceedings.

As a pianist, Simpson is competent and professional, if not particularly dazzling and "competent and professional" are the watchwords here. Jeff Robinson adds some warm and heartful vocalizing on "What You Need" and Simpson picks up on the upbeat mood with a spirited solo and steps up his game beyond simply being an efficient craftsman.

By the standards of smooth jazz Simpson and company deliver the goods with cool professionalism, and while Just What You Need is enjoyable it never veers into being essential. It's like the cool refreshment of an ice-cream cone on a hot summer's day; satisfying without being substantial.


Track Listing: Wherever You Go; Just What You Need; Emerald City; Soul Embrace; A Love Like This; The Girl From Ipanema; D'Groove; In the Rain; Castaway; You Gotta Be

Personnel: Brian Simpson: piano, keyboards; Jonathan Butler: lead guitar (1); Nicholas Cole: keyboards, programming (1, 3); Darrell Crooks: guitar (1, 3), Alex Al: bass (1-3, 5-9); Brian Kilgore: percussion (1-9); Elan Trotman: tenor sax (2, 5); Ron King: trumpet (2, 3, 7); Michael Broening: keyboards, programming (2); Yarone Levy: guitar, acoustic guitar (4, 6); Nate Harasim: keyboards, programming (4); Dave Koz: tenor sax (6); Michael White: drums (6); Gerald Albright: tenor sax (7); Gerey Johnson: guitar (7); Mark Antoine: acoustic guitar (8); Oliver Wendell: keyboards (9); Jeff Robinson: vocals (10); Ray Fuller: guitar (10); Larry Kimpel: bass (10); Ronnie Guitierrez: percussion (10)

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Shanachie Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Once & Future" CD/LP/Track Review Once & Future
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Jim Olin
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Insufficient Funs" CD/LP/Track Review Insufficient Funs
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Leap Of Faith" CD/LP/Track Review Leap Of Faith
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "East West Daydreams" CD/LP/Track Review East West Daydreams
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Prospect" CD/LP/Track Review Prospect
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!