Doc Powell and his all-star cast of guest musicians gets you into the groove right away on his new album, Cool Like That, and he never lets up.The album opens with Push, an up-tempo groove that features Kirk Whalum on tenor sax and guitarist Powell heating up the room. Doc adds a vocal scat to the slick title song. Though mellow by comparison, Listen Up adds an element of funk while staying in the pocket of cool jazz.Treading firmly in the hip-hop, neo-soul and jazz forms, Grammy-nominated Powell combines the funkiness of his Inner City Blues (1994) and the coolness of Laid Back (1996, his biggest hit to date) with an affinity for classic rock, a taste of East Coast fusion and a spiritual, African-flavored journey.Cool Like That features saxmen Michael Lington, Ron Brown and Grammy winner Kirk Whalum, keyboardist Kevin Toney, trumpeter Mark Ledford; bassist Reggie Hamilton and percussionist Munyungo Jackson, among others.After the cool Sweet-6 and moody Soul Cry Out, Powell and friends raise the bar with a stylish cover of the Beatles’ Let It Be.Gary Taylor joins the crew for the R&B-tinged, soul-jazz vocal, You Mean More to Me. The ensemble returns to upbeat funk with Hatujambo (We Are Well) , an African-inspired melody. Powell then checks into some regional cool with To the East, which features Ledford on muted trumpet.T.C. Berreal provides the stylish vocal on another take of Let It Be.Finishing this set is the funk-driven More to Me, an instrumental spin on You Mean More to Me.
Artist / Group Name:Doc Powell
CD Title:Cool Like That
Record Label:Heads Up
Tracks:Push, Cool Like That, Listen Up, Sweet-6, Soul Cry Out, Let It Be (instrumental), You Mean More to Me, Hatujambo (We Are Well), To the East, Let It Be, More to Me
Musicians:Michael Bereal, Rhodes and piano; Freddie Flewellen, bass guitar on Push; Reggie Royal, acoustic piano; Doc Powell, guitar, vocal scat on Cool Like That and, on several tracks, additional instruments; Munyango Jackson, percussion and, on Hatujambo (We Are Well), Moroccan drums; Kirk Whalum, tenor sax on Push; Ron Brown, tenor sax and bass clarinet on Cool Like That, and soprano sax on Sweet-6; Reggie Hamilton, acoustic bass on Cool Like That, Moog bass on Sweet-6 and bass solo on To The East; Mark Ledford, trumpet on Listen Up and To The East; Michael Lington, tenor sax on Listen Up; Kevin Toney, acoustic piano on Sweet-6; Fernando Pullum, trumpet on You Mean More to Me and More to Me; Gerald Spikes, tenor sax on Hatu Jambo (We Are Well); Marquel D. Carter, additional bass on To the East