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After Hours by Jamie WilliamS

What a way to realize a lifelong dream: bumping heads with producer Veit Renn known for work with *Nsync and Backstreet Boys, who then introduced saxophonist Jamie WilliamS to Academy Award winner, "Dreamgirl," Jennifer Hudson. It’s like placing the ribbon on the package as WilliamS worked on his debut album After Hours.

Ten years in the making, this album was worth the wait, as WilliamS delivers a well rounded, enjoyable album bringing together a little smooth jazz, a bit of funk, some romance and a taste of old school.

Opening with "2 Cool", WilliamS blows a gentle, yet intense, alto sax, with hype track backing by Oddz ‘N Endz and Bradley Catron on guitar, lending a hip-hop flavor to this album. WilliamS’ sax is mild and mellow for "Better Than Life," allowing Catron a little more space on guitar, on this romantic tune written for WilliamS’ wife, Ana. Picking up the rhythm, WilliamS sax interplays with John Alred on trombone and Charlie Bertini on trumpet. Jim Gasior rolls out a hot piano solo on "Shut Up & Dance," a fiery tune commanding attention, making one want to get up and shake something.

Featuring a gentle drum roll by Dru Betts, and a somber horn arrangement, the title track, "After Hours" takes the listener to a romantic interlude with a graceful trombone, sax and trumpet melting coolly together. Sax notes gently linger as one holds onto the night. Robust, "Can U Feel It?" is made even hotter with the scathing lead and background vocals of Robert "RAab" Stevenson creating a modern, seething, hip vibe. Another shaker, "Over The Top," swelters with Charlie Bertini’s hot trumpet backed by WilliamS’ sax, until WilliamS steps up front, swinging full force. A hearty backbeat kept by Dru Betts on drums makes this tune truly "Over The Top."

Mid-tempo, "Calculated Risk" is slamming as WilliamS blows unfettered. A hot guitar solo by Bradley Catron adds another dimension to this already colorful soul-jazz vibe. A special pleasure, Academy award winner, Dreamgirl Jennifer Hudson, adds infectious vocals to Stevie Wonder’s "Overjoyed," bringing this already revered song into a new sphere. What a delight, hearing this young star’s voice backed by WilliamS soulful sax.--each note delivered with impeccable precision and all the feeling Stevie Wonder had in mind when writing this dynamic tune. . On a more rousting note, "S.O.S." takes off with a powerful horn section, written by Bradley Catron, joined by funky keyboards and funky sax.

Barry Williams on bass guitar lends a deep note to the spirited "Tropica," written by WilliamS and Veit Renn. WilliamS alto sax keeps this lively tune in sync with Bradley Catron’s guitar strings. Bringing the album to a perfect close with vocals rapturously delivered by Robert "RAab Stevenson’s, WilliamS alto sax keeps the groove as Betts keeps the beat for a romantic stroll through the heated emotions of "Love." Seeing David Sanborn in action launched WilliamS’ desire for being an artist. WilliamS has jammed with trumpeter Roy Hargrove, Miami Sound Machine, Jon Secada and Hiram Bullock.

This may be WilliamS debut but, it is clear WilliamS will be around for a long time. His audience has much to look forward to.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jamie WilliamS
  • CD Title: After Hours
  • Genre: Various Jazz Styles
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Jamie WilliamS Music
  • Tracks: 2 cool, Better Than Life, Shut Up & Dance, After Hours, Can U Feel It?, Over The Top, Calculated Risk, Overjoyed (featuring Jennifer Hudson), S.O.S., Tropica, Love
  • Rating: Five Stars
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