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R&R by Marcus H Mitchell

One listen to R&R, the latest CD set to be released June 19th by young saxophonist Marcus H. Mitchell, is guaranteed to get your attention. The title may say rest and relaxation, but this music is sure to get you moving, at least a little. Mitchell has created a wonderful mix of smooth jazz, soft vocals and urban funk that is not only innovative and current, but soulful and ageless as well. Featured on this CD is the great Jeff Lorber, who lends his talents to the track "Saturday Night."

Mitchell may only be 23 years old, but he plays like a seasoned veteran who has been on the jazz scene for years. He released his debut CD Jumpin’ in 2005 under his own label 24th Music. Mitchell is a true work horse who has shared the stage with such greats as Peter White, Kim Waters, Destiny’s Child, The Rippingtons and Paul Taylor, to name a few.

R&R starts off big with "Saturday Night," which features a superb piano solo from Jeff Lorber. This tune creates a smooth, yet lively mix as the drums, bass and guitar are all in perfect company with Mitchell’s sexy and sassy alto saxophone playing. "Summer Breeze" calms with mellow vocals provided by Yvette Thomas. Getting a little urban is the funky "Diamond In The Ruff," which captures Mitchell spicing it up to perfection on tenor saxophone. "Deep Concentration" slows it down a notch with some nice rhythmic drumming from Derrek Freeman to compliment Mitchell’s tenor saxophone.

The title track "R&R" evokes just that, rest and relaxation. This is nice and mellow, but very vibrant in its quality. Listen for Ronald Finney’s fine bass playing on this and also a nice guitar solo from Beau Tally. Mitchell, again on tenor sax, paints a tranquil scene worthy of this tracks name. Cranking it up is "Groove Lounge," where all that’s needed is Mitchell’s funky saxophone and some drum and keyboard programming to get that groove going. This song has a catchy melody highlighted by superb programming from M. Anthony Hemmings. "Makin’ Moves" takes off where "Groove Lounge" left off. It’s funky, hip and fun.

Blackbuddafly is featured on "When We First Met." For that soulful mix of vocals and sultry music which perfectly compliments the lyrics, this song is it. Next is "Outstanding," with vocals this time from Tara Aldridge. Mitchell’s alto sax is sweet, blending lusty notes with sexy lyrics; "ooh you knock me out" and "you blow my mind." "SharpShooter" is yet another shining example of Mitchell’s prowess with his instrument. His tone and style are impeccable throughout this excellent CD. And, ending things is "Just Groovin’," a fun tune that builds up to a fun finish which will surely be remembered.

R&R has lots going on with its incomparable musicianship, sexy vocals, smooth and funky vibes and all with an urban feel to it that will definitely capture your attention. A must have CD that will please even the pickiest jazz aficionado.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Marcus H Mitchell
  • CD Title: R&R
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: 24th Music
  • Rating: Five Stars
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