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Simple Life by B.D. Lenz

Simple Life is the third album released by B.D. Lenz and his group, and it is their first since being signed on to jazz label Apria Records. It features ten original compositions by the band, with a mixture of jazz, funk, latin, and rock sounds. A contemporary jazz guitarist based in New Jersey, Lenz is widely hailed in the northeast, and his group has made many notable performances along the east coast. He began playing the guitar at 14, and has studied with such figures as Mike Stern, pianist Charlie Banacos, and Vic Juris.

Lenz has had experience in a wide variety of music genres, having played in pit orchestras, rock bands, pop bands, and jazz combos. In addition, his band mates came from versatile backgrounds.

This wide range of music experience pays off on Simple Life, a hodgepodge collection of different beats which is surely to treat any lover of the eclectic. Lenz seems to have a consistent funk beat to his playing, and this, combined with smooth sounds of the sax and calculated rhythms of the bass, lends some fresh air to contemporary jazz. I must say that the first three tracks were a bit too repetitious. As the album progresses, however, the band makes up for this by exposing us to this delightful fusion of sounds and styles.

I recommend this to anyone who savors contemporary jazz, especially that which is eclectic in nature.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: B.D. Lenz
  • CD Title: Simple Life
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Apria Records
  • Tracks: Famous Last Words, Juxtaposition, Look Around, Do You Ever Think About Me?, We All Fall Down, Along The Way, Mumbo Jumbo, Mother Mary, Smooth Sailing, and Julia’s Song
  • Musicians: B.D. Lenz (guitar), Geoff Maltoon (saxophone), James Rosocha (bass), Tom Cottone (drums), and Joe Mekler (percussion)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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