5

Jay Smith Group: Unashamed Portrayal

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
California-based keyboardist Jay Smith's worldly musical views radiate mightily, as he borrows from the past and reformulates a refreshingly modern vibe, spanning jazz-fusion, blues-rock and more. He also injects panache into the proceedings and garners top-notch support, while fusing a coalition of memorable melodies with a rather ferocious improvisational element. The keyboardist incorporates a vastly entertaining subsystem with penetrating frameworks amid various climactically oriented rhythmical drivers.

Smith is a catalyst and colorist, and weaves around blistering solo spots by guitarist Andre Bush and the horn players. The keyboardist also merges a touch of playful insanity into a few segments. On "Elephant Shoes," the musicians kick it off with a Ravel "Bolero" motif, segueing into a regal thematic opus spiced with a brawny shuffle groove, complemented by a Latin-jazz vamp and catchy licks. Smith is no softy, however, as he reformulates the primary theme with rolling waves of fluent single-note clusters, performed on piano.

Bush's soaring, extended-note hard-rock blues spots add a sense of antiquity into certain aspects of the production. and Smith's busy yet productive mode of attack is underscored by unadulterated passion. The band conveys quite a bit of impact via weighty choruses, blaring horns parts and edgy funk breakouts. On "The End," Smith and Bush kick out the jams to contrast an album largely modeled with sustainable works, thought-provoking arrangements and harmonically attractive developments. They pull out the proverbial stops with an assertive 'tude on this well- rounded outing. Smith obviously didn't slap this album together without putting a great deal of forethought into the overall game plan.

Track Listing: Alegna; Elephant Shoes; Static; Break; Alegna-Trio; Past; Something for Cara; The End.

Personnel: Andre Bush: guitar; Jay Smith: piano, keyboards, synth; Jay Jay Hicks: bass; Jonathan Weinmann: drums; Chris Nguyen: saxophone; Joe Vasquez: trombone; Mark Manda: trumpet; Fernando Montoya: upright bass; Nunzio Urbina: percussion.

Title: Unashamed Portrayal | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Groove

Groove

Jay Smith Group
Too Many Notes

Break

Break

Jay Smith Group
Unashamed Portrayal

Album Reviews
Take Five With...
Read more articles
Too Many Notes

Too Many Notes

Self Produced
2015

buy
Too Many Notes

Too Many Notes

Self Produced
2014

buy
Unashamed Portrayal

Unashamed Portrayal

Self Produced
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Play The Bird And The Bee Album Reviews
Play The Bird And The Bee
By Dan Bilawsky
June 15, 2019
Read Appleblueseagreen Album Reviews
Appleblueseagreen
By Dan McClenaghan
June 15, 2019
Read The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings Album Reviews
The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings
By Doug Collette
June 15, 2019
Read Arc Album Reviews
Arc
By John Eyles
June 15, 2019
Read In The Face Of Chaos Album Reviews
In The Face Of Chaos
By Dan Bilawsky
June 14, 2019
Read Time Changes Album Reviews
Time Changes
By Karl Ackermann
June 14, 2019
Read Blacks And Blues Album Reviews
Blacks And Blues
By Chris May
June 14, 2019