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By classifying this album as smooth jazz, the liner notes do a disservice to the melodic, swinging and often funky guitar of Chicagoan Nick Colionne. I guess it's the presence of the electronic gizmo called keyboards that makes some automatically classify the musical output as smooth. Right from the opening chords of the first track, "Winelight", one gets the feel that Colionne is a descendant of guitar master Wes Montgomery, with more than a dash of soul added. "Black Cow" has a catchy little beat highlighted by call and response between the horn section of Steve Eisen, Mark Olsen and Mike Halpin and the guitarist. Colionne also tries his hand at vocalizing on the only standard on the album, "You Go to My Head" which he does in a pleasant, soft voice. There is also an instrumental version of this tune on the play list. Otherwise, the program is dominated by Colionne originals and other lesser known pieces. One of the more ear caching Colionne compositions is a bouncy, repetitive chordal variation on "Get This", which is especially down and dirty funky. Colionne shows his versatility by playing all the instruments on "The Seduction, "all" being the guitar and keyboard. Even when the material gets close to the smooth jazz, such as with "Steppin' Out", there is still enough character and substance in the arrangement to avoid falling totally into that saccharine swamp. This is a great album for dancing, giving the participants plenty of room for inspirational cavorting. Colionne has a web site at http://www.nickcolionne. com.
Track Listing: Winelight; Steppin' Out; 34; Right Here Right Now; Black Cow; Mr. Montgomery; Get This; You Go to My Head (Vocal); You Go to My Head (Instrumental); Strait Up; The Seduction
Personnel: Nick Colionne - Guitar/Vocal/Keyboards;"Downtown" Tony Brown, Ron "Thumbs" Hall - Bass; Matt Rose - Keyboards/Piano; Felix "The Cat" Pollard - Drums/Percussion; Wayne Stewart - Drums; Steve Eisen - Sax; Mark Olsen- Trumpet; Mike Halpin - Trombone;
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.