Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
401

Marion Meadows: Secrets

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Marion Meadows: Secrets Regardless of the genre, an acoustic drum kit generally makes for a better sound than an electronic program. However, when the latter is done well, the difference can be staggering. That's one factor that makes Marion Meadows' Secrets function.

Meadows began playing saxophone at age eight. His studies led him to appreciate such greats as Stanley Turrentine, Duke Ellington and Coleman Hawkins. He has also studied Joe Henderson, Dave Liebman and Eddie Daniels. On Secrets, Meadows is accompanied by a variable lineup. The rhythm section for most tracks consists of Micheal Broening, keyboards and programming, Freddie Fox on guitar and Mel Brown on bass. Broening also wrote six of the ten original songs.

The title song features an easygoing groove. The backup ensemble of Broening, Brown, Fox, and drummer Michael White, is effective, with Maria Meadows offering some wordless vocals. The soprano sax is smooth without sounding trite or sugary.

Trumpeter Jesse McGuire joins for "Let the Top Down," another laid-back, Sunday drive kind of song, with Fox's guitar effects giving it a soulful edge. Though Broening's programming takes the place of drums, it does so superbly: with subtle changes in how the tom rolls and varied cymbal sounds are made, it seems like the real thing.

"Sand Dancers" has a slight Latin feel. The lineup here consists of composers Orly Penate and Roberto Vazquez, who handle a variety of keyboard and programming duties, including horn synths; percussionist Tony Verdejo; saxophonist Anthony Church; and trumpeter Ted Zimmerman. The result is a song that sounds like a fuller band. The congas add a really nice flavor here, and the keyboard solo provides one of the highlights, along with Meadows' lead.

Meadows co-wrote the delightful "Flirt" with Broening. Apart from covers of songs by Bobby McFerrin and Pat Metheny, the other tracks were written by some of the musicians who appear on them. Though Meadows is clearly the focal point of Secrets, it's the ensemble work of the other musicians that helps it break from the mold of so many other smooth jazz instrumentalist efforts. Meadows plays with passion and energy throughout, but it's less about him and more about the overall sound.


Track Listing: Secrets; Let the Top Down; You Lift My Heart; Soul Sugar; The Child in Me; Sand Dancers; Playtime; Flirt; Friends; Urban Angels; The Shade Tree; Here to Stay.

Personnel: Marion Meadows: saxophone, clarinet (9, 10); Maria Meadows: vocals (1), background vocals (3); Michael Broening: keyboards and programming (1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10); Freddie Fox: guitar (1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10); Mel Brown: bass (1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10); Michael White: drums (1, 8); Jesse McGuire: trumpet (2, 9, 10); Brian Keane: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, keyboards and drum programming (3); Charlie Karp: lead vocals (3); Chip Shearin: bass (3, 9, 12), keyboards (9, 12), piano (12); Orly Penate: keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and percussion programming (6), strings and horns arrangement (6); Roberto Vazquez: piano and horns (6); Anthony Church: saxophone (6); Ted Zimmerman: trumpet (6); Tony Verdejo: additional percussion (6); Will Brock: keyboards, guitar, bass and drum programming (7); Brian Chartrand: vocals (9); Rachel Eckroth: Rhodes and Wurlitzer (9), B3 and Rhodes (12); Brian Morgan: guitar (9, 12); Steve "Jabari" Kersey: drums (9, 12); Philip Hamilton: vocals (10); Sean Thomas: vocals (11); Johnny Britt: vocals (11), trumpet and "all other instruments" (11); Jay Rowe: piano solo (12); Perry Hughes: guitar solo (12).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Heads Up International | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Secrets
Secrets
Heads Up International
2009
buy
[no cover]
In Deep
RCA
2002
buy
[no cover]
Next To You
RCA
2000
buy
[no cover]
Pleasure
RCA
1998
buy
[no cover]
Body Rhythm
RCA
1995
buy
[no cover]
Forbidden Fruit
RCA
1994
buy
Ahmad Jamal Ahmad Jamal
piano
David Sanborn David Sanborn
saxophone
Jeff Kashiwa Jeff Kashiwa
saxophone
Wayman Tisdale Wayman Tisdale
bass, electric
Paul Taylor Paul Taylor
saxophone
Chuck Loeb Chuck Loeb
guitar
Kenny G Kenny G
sax, soprano
Everette Harp Everette Harp
saxophone
Dave Koz Dave Koz
saxophone
Alex Bugnon Alex Bugnon
keyboard

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus
Support our sponsor

Sponsor: Motéma Music | BUY IT  

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.