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439

Article: Album Review

Brian Lenair: The Journey

Read "The Journey" reviewed by Brian Soergel


Brian Lenair is a new name on the R&B saxophone scene, and he shows his chops on this fourteen-song CD, featuring nine that he wrote. His first single, “Gone Ridin'," is a toe-tapping soprano sax ride that sounds a bit like Kim Waters. It's a good song. The challenge for smooth sax players with R&B leanings ...

529

Article: Album Review

Soul Ballet: DreamBeatDream

Read "DreamBeatDream" reviewed by Brian Soergel


The dreamy, sexy music that Soul Ballet offers comes courtesy of Rick Kelly, who imagines Soul Ballet as a conceptual process. What kind of process? Well, it you like downtempo instrumentals with elements of classical, rock, new age and smooth jazz music, Soul Ballet is your musical nirvana. This is the style of romantic of music ...

334

Article: Album Review

Boney James: Pure

Read "Pure" reviewed by Brian Soergel


Saxophonist Boney James is one of the few smooth jazz artists who is able to cross over into the R&B genre, which is one reason why his latest CD, the follow-up to 2001's Ride, entered the Billboard Top 200 charts at No. 66. He's able to do this party because he picks either established artists or ...

374

Article: Album Review

Fourplay: Journey

Read "Journey" reviewed by Brian Soergel


Fourplay has always been misunderstood by many jazz critics, who misinterpret the band's easygoing groove as background music. But while Fourplay has always remained true to its name--with seductive rhythms to get you in the mood--on its new CD, its seventh in thirteen years, more than ever the band combines those seductive sounds with some real ...

237

Article: Album Review

Michael Lington: Stay With Me

Read "Stay With Me" reviewed by Brian Soergel


Saxophonist Michael Lington pulls it all together on his fourth CD, a work that should lift him from the fringe and put him on stage with the top tier of smooth jazz talent. What makes this recording so good? Lington's a passionate player who's had some tasty hits before, of course, but here he picks ten ...

384

Article: Album Review

Joyce Cooling: This Girl's Got to Play

Read "This Girl's Got to Play" reviewed by Brian Soergel


Guitarist Joyce Cooling continues her particular smooth jazz style on her fourth CD, with plenty of tight grooves, clean electric and acoustic guitar runs, an occasional blues, rock or Brazilian aside, and several chances to display her jazz-style vocals. Cooling and partner/producer/keyboardist Jay Wagner breeze through nine diverse tracks that have plenty of hit potential, beginning ...

497

Article: Album Review

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. ...

627

Article: Album Review

Pete Belasco: Deeper

Read "Deeper" reviewed by Brian Soergel


Pete Belasco has created the perfect smooth-jazz-with-vocals CD: The vocals aren’t strategically sprinkled amid instrumental tunes to attract the coveted wider demographic. Anyway, most of these attempts to grab ears inevitably fail and are as unwelcome as a deadbeat relative in the spare bedroom. Belasco’s feathery falsetto is what the CD’s all about, and every vocal ...

300

Article: Album Review

Bob Baldwin: Brazil Chill

Read "Brazil Chill" reviewed by Brian Soergel


The music of Brazil has always tempted smooth jazz musicians. It can be sexy, dreamy, rhythmic, soulful, sexy and even more sexy. Pianist Bob Baldwin traveled to steamy Rio de Janeiro to record Brazil Chill, which is all smooth jazz and shouldn’t be confused with “chill music.” It’s in Brazil that Baldwin recruited some of the ...

292

Article: Album Review

Kim Waters: In the Name of Love

Read "In the Name of Love" reviewed by Brian Soergel


Coming off two No. 1 hits, saxophonist Kim Waters is now undoubtedly one of the top names in smooth jazz. His newest CD should do nothing to bring him down. Fans of his megahit “The Ride” will be pleased to find a remixed version of it here, which closes the project. Waters is all about hits, ...


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