When I first learned that I would be reviewing this CD, I can’t tell you how honored I felt! Being the proud owner of several Pieces projects, I’m also very happy to see that these true heavyweights in smooth jazz are as consistent as ever. You just can’t go wrong with these guys. Thick and rich melodies, catchy hooks, superb vocals, and talkative horns mark this latest offering from the dynamic duo & company.
James Lloyd still ranks among the best and funkiest on keys, while Curtis Harmon remains a huge force to be reckoned with on drums. Add to that the powerful vocals of Ramona Dunlap, and you’ve got an instant recipe for yet another musical success! The entire CD is powerful, and I only offer a mere sampling here.
The up-tempo "House Arrest" starts us off at track 1 with some heavy duty horn work and Harmon’s solid drumming. The song clearly exclaims "We’re so having big fun." Track 3 ("Triflin’") finds Harmon laying down some serious backbeat while Ramona Dunlap bemoans a certain "player’s" dirty, underhanded ways. "Sincere," at track 4, saunters in with its smooth, soulful beat and some really great "get atcha" sax work by Greg Riley. The group’s cover of Christopher Cross’ "Sailing" (track 5) is at once soothing, swaying, and riveting. Taking its position at track 6, the high-stepping "Wake Up Call" is quite appropriately named, moving and shaking all over the place. Just try to sit still on this one! Track 9, "In That Mood," is a sultry, seductive "midnight" song, also appropriately named. Just ask your significant other! Then, there’s the laid-back, yet teasingly funky, title track (track 10), showcasing Lloyd’s masterful piano stylings.
All in all, this is another fine moment for Pieces and yet another addition to their "dazzle ‘em" collection of hit albums.