Wish You Were Here is the latest full-length from songwriter/composer Tom Graf. Graf is an industry vet -he co-wrote Merry Clayton's "Yes" from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack in 1987 -and he has been known to create headturning music. He is an accomplished talent who considers jazz as one of his first loves. On Wish You Were Here, Graf weaves together his lyrical skills with various stellar vocalists.
"No One Loves You More," featuring Marc Russo and Kimiko Joy, boasts infectious grooves music and charismatic singing. The song is a profession of love that is somewhat dependent and possessive. Although the track is a bit emotional, it sends out a strong message of unconditional love, a love that would want you to be always there, but will never get in your way if you decide to go and leave.
"Goodbye," featuring Erik Jekabson and Joy, is actually reminiscent of Boyz II Men's "4 Seasons of Loneliness" because of similar elements used in the music. It is dreamy, easy to listen to, and more on the side of blues. It discusses the struggles of one-sided love, its joy, sorrow, and beauty. The performances are quite captivating.
The title cut is reflective and dramatic with a weighty melody that perfectly captures a person's need to be with someone that he/she loves. It's the perfect album ender.
Each track is full of catchy lyrics and mesmerizing hooks. One can initially think that this album is just sad and blue, but digging deeper, there is actually a message of hope and love engraved in every track. This CD has a strong identity that will definitely be engraved into the hearts of its listeners.
Track Listing: No One Loves You More; Sittin' and Talkin'; Deluxe Waterbed Blues; Bella Bossa; Goodbye; Coffee and Donuts II; Wish You Were Here.
Personnel: Kimiko Joy: lead vocal; Marc Russo: alto sax; David K. Mathews: keyboards, piano, Hammond B3, rhodes, song arrangements; Ray Obiedo: e guitar, song arrangements; Marc van Wageningen: bass; Peter Michael Escovedo: drums and percussion; Leah Tysse: vocals; Annie Stocking: vocals; Sandy Cressmen: vocals; Nicolas Bearde: vocals; Bryan Dyer: vocals; Mike Olmost: trumpet; Tony Peebles: tenor sax; Mike Rinta: trombone; Deszon Claiborne: drums; Norbert Stachel: flute; Erik Jekabson: flugelhorn solo; Charles McNeal: tenor sax; Sandy Griffith: vocals.
There is a freedom and a sense of exhilaration in Jazz that is not found in any other music. Jazz is about finding freedom and a personal voice within a structure, and that is what
appeals to me most. I had a late start in jazz.
I was first exposed to jazz without any formal training by watching videos of Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Thelonious Monk in my 20's.
Later, I met Ahmad Jamal, Kenny Werner, Chick Corea, Martial Solal, Bernard Maury, Fred Hersh, Barry Harris, among many other musicians over the years.
The first jazz record I
bought was Keith Jarrett, The Melody at Night, with You and it is still one of the solo piano masterpiece in my view.
My advice to new listeners... Just enjoy it!
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