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The Spirit of Jazz by Norman Weeks and Groove Tyme

Judging from what artist/release information I was able to dig up on this one, this appears to be pianist Norman Weeks’ first solo album. While he’s composed other tunes, sat in and even produced other recordings, nothing is available on his solo work until now. The Spirit of Jazz kicks off with a tune "Caribbean Night," that speaks directly to the spirit of jazz: Lively, rhythmic, and melodic. Weeks’ skill on keys is quite impressive and on display very early in this production.

Though his first love is piano, Weeks can play about 30 instruments, including the trombone, saxophone, flute, piccolo and the trumpet, so I think it’s safe to say he’s well-rounded. The compositions here are ripe with interesting and fresh R&B, Caribbean and even some bluesy, straight-ahead melody. His band Groove Tyme does a great job of supporting the artist in this endeavor. A standout here would be the strings found on cuts like the rousing "What Is This" and the smooth, soulful "Whispers." They truly add, as they always do, that ethereal, stylish touch that artists like Barry White and the Love Unlimited Orchestra so loved to use. Add some really catchy hooks and rhythm and you’ve got a piece of work worthy of your listening time. All in all, this is a very decent recording by a very competent musician with vision. It’s always great when those musicians with such skill rise out the shadows to claim a place in the sun. Weeks proves that he is deserving of such recognition.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Norman Weeks and Groove Tyme
  • CD Title: The Spirit of Jazz
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: self-published
  • Tracks: Caribbean Night, I Wrote A Love Song, What Is This, Wonder Why, Whispers, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, 7 Blues, Your Majesty
  • Rating: Three Stars
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