This CD is a Smooth Jazz Lover's dream. Higher Octave Music has a 15 year history and a roster of artists on the cutting edge of today's jazz taste. Smooth Grooves 3 is a c…
This CD is a Smooth Jazz Lover's dream. Higher Octave Music has a 15 year history and a roster of artists on the cutting edge of today's jazz taste. Smooth Grooves 3 is a compilation of various label artists that embody the smooth jazz sound. This is the fourth of five samplers representing the styles Higher Octave music is known for.
The CD kicks off with fiery Latin jam, Café Carnival (from the album Panorama). In addition to Chaquico's acoustic energy, the tune features a scalding electric guitar solo which harks back to his work with Jefferson Starship. Café Carnival is fun! The salsa beat is coated with a honeyed sax melody which is as seductive as a glimpse of a tanned leg from the ruffles of a red salsa dress. If you rode the wave of recent Latin pop hits like Ricky Martin, you'll like this funky, yet mellow tune.
Down To The Bone sax man Shilts combines intensely rhythmic Acid Jazz and retro soul elements in the second cut. There's No Wonder (from See What Happens) has slamming sax riffs that are reminiscent of an older man schoolin' a younger man on life. The Sax waves the flag of experience in the air like a bullfighter. It flares saying, I've done this, and I've done that and if you want to be half as good, you'd better listen to me boy. While the oldster shows off his skills the young man imitates them, in a sort of call and response.
William Aura and 3rd Force have been one of Higher Octave Music's mainstays. Tropical, hypnotic and funk- flavored Dance with Me (from Collective Force) is reminiscent of a "cool daddy" smoothing the brim of his hat as he slides on to the stage of a little smoky jazz cellar. The quartet is five minute into the set, but he raises his horn with such cool audacity; you'd think it was planned that way.
Promise Me, a stellar track from sax man Jimmy Sommers label debut 360 Urban Groove is brassy retro funk featuring a playful melody by Sommers. Cut four begins with an up tempo rhythmic beat, then the sax winds snake like around it, tempting you to follow it convolutions and surrender to the beat.
Paprika Soul takes their style of old school groove for " Rio Dawn" (from the self-titled album Paprika Soul.) This tune begins with a haunting twinkle of an opening, before an onslaught of horns give it a fast almost progressive sound. Improvisation characterized by dueling horns and drums and a repetitive and an adventurous melody, seasoned with a little Latin beat.
Woodwind virtuoso Bryan Savage plays both sax and flute. His whimsical swirling flute melody on Zuma Beach (from Rush Hour) is nature-scaped funk groove. It starts with a solid repetitive melody phase, and then gets more adventurous. The strong beat, sounds like an advancing army, but then the sax slides in. The ragtime, percussive piano is addictive. It wanders a little giving you a breather, before it drawing you back in. This is definitely a head nodding song.
Cut number seven is the duo, Yulara / Flyin High (from Future Tribe) brings World Beat influence to their music. The tune begins with moody dream ambience before evolving into amore percussive tune. It feels as if you are being transported on a magic carpet. The sax is beautiful and flowing reminiscent of Kim Waters or Kenny G.
Canadian guitarist Brian Hughes' strutting electric guitar piece Man About Town (from Shakin Not Stirred). This tune certainly holds up to the sophistication it claims. Its slinkiness has smooth operator written all over it. The repetitive melody seems to suggest; I'm a devil. Enter at your own risk.
Under the name Natural High, Keyboardist and guitarist Tim Best, another member of Down to the Bone recorded his own project Pacific. If you like Down To The Bone, you'll like this cut, featuring the smooth melody and driving funky beat for which the group is known. The difference here is Best's Keyboard is framed and showcased. When you hear this you'll know it deserves to be.
One of Smooth Jazz early success stories, Acoustic Alchemy's sound has evolved along with the genre. The Beautiful Game swirls an irresistible Reggae groove, steel guitar and acoustic. Already a favorite among Smooth Jazz radio listeners, this tune has it all. It's a beautiful song with just the right mix of yearning, heart plucking guitars and percussive reggae beat. This is not just head nodding and toe-tapping music. You'll want to move your whole torso to the beat, and if you can't quite do the "whine" like the islanders do it, this slower pace might just give you a good beat for practice.
I would definitely recommend this CD it's like your favorite smooth Jazz station on a good day with no commercials.