Ronny Smith’s current record Simply Stated has a velvety refinement and butter-whipped fluidity that awakens good feelings in the listener. Produced by Ronny Smith, who also handles the guitar parts and keyboard programs, the album officiates a smooth jazz fest creating a lightly sweetened atmosphere and moments of thermal bliss that wraps family and friends in love. The gentle interaction and periods of bubbly engagements from the instruments are comfortable and exudes of happy feet. Contributing to the mix are Vernell Mincey on drums, George Campbell on saxophone, Gerald Chavis on flugelhorn and trumpet and Conley Whitfeld and Dexter Whitaker on bass, whose parts are so much a part of the music patterns that they morph into each other. This understated quality in the instruments enhances the songs calming flux and serenity which is a recurring theme throughout the album.
The album opens up with a sheen of leisurely grooves on "Bossa Awhile," which has a savory smoothness like sipping a cup of mocha choco laitte. You can’t help but want the moment to last longer. Smith adorns the cool jazz tempo of "Chillin’ After Eight" with soft frothy horns and gently lounging guitar strokes chiseling sweetened hooks which give the music a sundown calm. "Majorca Remix" has a cocktail vibe with Latin curves and light splashing waves along the melodic phrases. The ascending and descending guitar chords on "Josey" form rumples along the rhythmic loops creating a cheerful exchange. The upbeat rhythmic steps of "Laidback Remix" support the guitar swells and its fluttering resonance as the lovely flowing movements of "She’s So Special Remix" are tenderly entwined.
The gist of Simply Stated is to make restful and reposing melodies that encourage a friendly atmosphere and cheerful conversations, like in the title track which puts the listener in a good mood. The guitar expressions are gentle and the tempos are prolific at creating an easy coasting motion like in the track "Fallin’ In Love With Jesus," which maintains a gentle calm that carries the warm R&B vocals of singer William Banks, who gives this melody the voice of Southern blues-soul. The song is dedicated to Smith’s parents who raised him in Baltimore, Maryland.
Simply Stated is Ronny Smith’s fourth album following his demo Long Time Comin’ in 2001, Laid Back in 2002 and Got Groove in 2005. Like Charley Pride, Smith developed an instinct for playing the guitar by listening to the chordal work of his favorite artists like Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, and George Benson. It is a process of stars making more stars and Simply Stated has the making of fostering aspiring stars.