156

Michael O'Neill: Never Too Late

By

Sign in to view read count
Veteran guitarist Michael O'Neill brings to this album a set of enviable credentials. He worked with Stevie Wonder in the 1980's and has been with George Benson for the better part of 14 years. With that length of time, one expects to hear some of the master guitarist's style and approach in O'Neill. It's there, but O'Neill is no Benson clone by any means even as a member of the George Benson/Earl Klugh school of jazz. The O'Neill compositions, which are the bulk of the list (all but two), come from the smooth jazz school. This means that while the music overall is attractive to the ear, i. e., soothingly pretty and breezy, each tune lacks that individuality that sets it apart from the other selections. There's the ever present keyboard, played by a revolving door set of practitioners, including O'Neill taking a turn at the electronic gizmo. There are changes in rhythm and dynamics, but they are subtle to be sure. One gets a true sense of the breadth of O'Neill's skills when he turns down the amps for a lovely solo rendition of the Lennon/McCartney classic "Yesterday." "Echoes of Seville" offers rhythmic, romantic guitar playing and "I Ain't Lyin'" will get your foot tapping. But for the most part, O'Neill follows a road being trod by many of his contemporary/smooth jazz fellows. Like the fusionists of the 1970's, they are attempting to incorporate pop sounds and electronic wizardry into the genre without corrupting it. It is instructive that O'Neill is not only listed as a performer, but as one of the engineers as well. But if smooth jazz is your thing, then this album is a must.


Track Listing: Never too Late; Visions; Echoes of Seville; I Ain't Lyin'; Always Love; For You; Winds of Summer; Dreams of Love; Passages; Sidewalk Strut; Cruisin' on Down; Yesterday

Personnel: Michael O'Neill--Guitar/Vocal/Keyboards; Gregg Karukas--Drums/Keyboard/Midi Programming; Carl Anderson--Vocal; Alphonso Johnson, Keith Jones, Andrew Ford, Larry Kimpel, Hussein Jiffrey, Jimmy Earl--Bass; Land Richards, John Lewis, Land Richards, Walfredo Reyes, Jr., Dave Rennick, Gerry Brown--Drums; Bobby Lyle, John Balbuena--Keyboards; Freddie Ravel--Synth/Keyboards; David Witham--Piano; Chris Ho--Organ/Keyboards; Walt Fowler--Horn; Dio Saucedo--Tambourine/Percussion; Dino Soldo--Sax; Kevin Ricard--Percussion; Thom Hall--Keyboards/ Clavinet; Chris Bleth--Flute; Gary Bias--Sax/Flute

| Record Label: Merrimack


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 "Fierce Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Fierce Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A." CD/LP/Track Review The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.
by Paul Naser
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Process And Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks" CD/LP/Track Review Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Joy Comes Back" CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Ubuntu" CD/LP/Track Review Ubuntu
by James Nadal
Published: September 8, 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!