In this age of collaboration, the Sax Pack Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, and Steve Cole epitomizes what it truly means to put the product before egos, each certainly being able to claim a heavyweight status in the field of smooth jazz. The fact that these icons chose to produce this recording in the "old-fashioned" manner of being in the studio all together, face-to-face, and shunning the age of technology wherein tracks are e-mailed in and personal contact is frowned upon as an aging form of communication, proves that these guys truly have fun doing what they do and thrive on the energy shared in such a setting.
The Sax Pack is the brainchild of Rippington alumnus Kashiwa who professes to being a longtime fan of the revered Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.) of days past. As he puts it: "I love the way the Rat Pack took the part that usually happens backstage and brought it to the forefront for the audience." That show of transparency is certainly appealing to most fans and will surely prove to be a wise decision for this talented trio of saxmen.
The self-titled album is comprised mostly of original material. There’s the already popular opener "Fallin’ For You," the smooth, melodic, and rhythmic "A Little Bit Closer" and the funky "Maceo" a tip of the hat to former James Brown saxman Maceo Parker and the bluesy "Goin’ Home." Of course, these are but a small representation of the whole sterling production. The set also includes a few covers (War’s "The World Is A Ghetto," the classic "Tequila," and Michael Henderson’s "You Are My Starship") done as stylishly as you would expect from such a stylish group.
The combination of creativity and smoothness makes each and every one of the tunes on this album a part of a wonderful and magical musical tapestry. The Sax Pack: Another team effort success story.