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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Horace Silver: The Hard Bop Grandpop

Read "The Hard Bop Grandpop" reviewed by Marc Davis

With musicians, and artists generally, there's a tendency to think the best work is the earliest.

It's usually true. Paul McCartney was never better than when he recorded with the Beatles. Chuck Berry's best work was the early hits like “Johnny B. Goode" and “Roll Over Beethoven." Tom Wolfe hasn't written anything as good ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dave Grusin: Now Playing: Movie Themes - Solo Piano

Read "Now Playing: Movie Themes - Solo Piano" reviewed by David Rickert

Successful film music is designed to enhance rather than dominate a scene, and thus many soundtrack albums, when removed from the context of the movie, are little more than nice background music. However, Grusin, a talented and well-known composer of film scores, has created new interpretation of some of the themes from his past work, many ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

George Benson: Irreplaceable

Read "Irreplaceable" reviewed by Brian Soergel

The title is ironic now, since this CD was originally to be a collection of all vocal tracks, but the singer/guitarist dropped three songs on the early version and included two songs produced by Paul Brown, “Arizona Sunrise" and “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," the latter of which is quickly climbing the smooth jazz charts. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dave Grusin: Now Playing

Read "Now Playing" reviewed by Mark Sabbatini

Pianist Dave Grusin built much of his reputation composing and playing scores for movies like On Golden Pond during the 1970s and '80s. His latest album is, depending on your point of view, either a trip down memory lane or another round of milking the cash cow.



Now Playing features fifteen solo performances ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Brown: Upfront

Read "Upfront" reviewed by Brian Soergel

You probably should have seen this coming, but it’s still somewhat of a surprise. When the king of smooth jazz producers decides to make an album, you figure it’s a vanity project. But what you get instead is one of 2004’s early surprises, top-to-bottom smooth jazz stunner brimming with bright melodies, good picking by Brown on ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

David Benoit: Here

Read "Here" reviewed by AAJ Staff

For his barely posthumous second tribute to long-time friend and inspiration Charles Schulz, pianist David Benoit gathers the talents of Christian McBride, Peter Erskine, producer Tommy LiPuma--and (through the wonders of technology) the late originator Vince Guiraldi--taking the famous “Peanuts" scores in authentic but subtly new directions.

Though Guiraldi himself contributes to his ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Count Basie: Swingsation

Read "Swingsation" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Known for his wide and wild orchestral arrangements, William “Count" Basie also demonstrates a calmer, more concentrated attitude on this first volume of GRP’s new “Swingsation" series (which also features classic collections of Ella Fitzgerald, Jimmie Lunceford and Lionel Hampton, among others). From a liliting take on Fats Waller’s “Honeysuckle Rose" (featuring sax man Lester Young, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Gerald Albright: Groovology

Read "Groovology" reviewed by Mike Perciaccante

Saxophonist extraordinaire Gerald Albright is back with his smooth grooves, hence the name of this, his ninth album. Chock full of passionate, fresh tracks and hooks that grab the listener and don't let go, Groovology delivers on every level.

Albright has brought in a top-flight roster of sidemen who bring on the funk, and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Marc Antoine: Cruisin'

Read "Cruisin'" reviewed by Philip Songa

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Kombo: Cookin' Out

Read "Cookin' Out" reviewed by Dave Hughes

Keyboardist Ron Pedley and guitarist Jon Pondel are back with their sophomore release under their latest collaborative name, Kombo, called Cookin’ Out. If you’re unfamiliar with these names, Pedley and Pondel used to be in a band with drummer Bud Harner (who, by the way, produced this CD) and bassist Marc Levine called Uncle Festive. They ...