Saxophonist Stacy Dillard loads his songs with good vibrations, exhibiting playful frolics and animated motifs that put quite a zing in the listener’s steps. Dillard’s latest release, One from Smalls Records has easy ambling grooves coursed by bassist Amin Salim and drummer Donald Edwards, cropped in Dillard’s springy saxophone twirls and dazzling guitar twists from Craig Magnano as keyboardist James Hurt fills the spaces between the instrument parts with patches of frothy trimmings like in "Ageless." Recorded in one day on November 3, 2008, One has a spontaneous edge in its smooth jazz flares that induce the listener’s thoughts with happy feelings.
The peppy hooks in "The Three Sides (Of Faith) imbue a warm, fuzzy feeling, and the chime-like sprinkles in the keyboards prancing along "Still Waters" produce a dreamy vibe partnered with the languid drones of the saxophone. The serpentine swagger and syrupy glaze of the sax in the title track has an optimistic pull, and the bushy-bop twitters of the sax in "Over And Over" bend and wiggle with the agility of Dizzy Gillespie. The warm temperature of the saxophone puffs in "Stizzozo" has a hypnotic charm, and the torchlight shimmers of "MoMo’s Smile" are modeled to a soul-jazz lift.
Produced by Luke Kaven, One has a dazzling décor and a smooth jazz veneer. It is music that nurtures the soul and resonates of good vibes from the moment you enter the album until you exit it. Whatever promises Dillard has made, he keeps them in One.