For any number of years, smooth jazz has rapidly become one of the most popular styles of music around today. Over time and upon further examination, most of what can be considered a major contribution to jazz has been smooth. In addition, the musicians who have arisen from this form of music have constantly struggled to achieve some type of notoriety. For the most part, the impact of smooth jazz upon society as a whole has been phenomenal. But every now and again, an artist comes along who seemingly rises above the frey with a unique statement to make. In this particular instance, saxophonist Eric Darius has stepped out with a new release entitled 'Night On The Town.'
21-year old Eric Darius has been creating musical magic for over 5 years. Since the onset of his career, Eric has consistently proven himself to be one of the most prolific young talents around today. Born in Lutz, Florida, Darius has made quite a name for himself as one of the most distinctive voices in his chosen field of endeavor. Influenced by John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Kenny G and David Sanborn, his multi-faceted career also includes playing flute as well as the piano. He has performed in New York City's Lincoln Center, Montreaux Switzerland's jazz festival and in Japan through Florida's Cultural Exchange Program. He has even performed with Paquito D'Rivera, Richard Smith and Wynton Marsalis, all of which has contributed to the recording of 'Night On The Town.'
This latest offering from Mr. Eric Darius is a unique blend of smooth and contemporary jazz. With this release, Eric Darius displays the talents that have allowed him to become somewhat of a sensation. His improvisational abilities coupled with his smooth approach to jazz has made ' Night On The Town' an enjoyable listening experience. Although the CD cannot be considered a monumental effort as a jazz release, it does have merits musically. Eric offers an effervescence that allows him to exhibit an array of skills that often limits a musician of Eric's young years. Throughout the recording, he employs the funkiness of R&B rhythms as well as the smoothness of contemporary grooves to make his statement. Overall, the special relationship that Eric Darius provides in bringing jazz together as one unique Listening experience is impressionable. With this recording added to Eric's resume, he will continue to rise above the frey as a musician of considerable note. If there is a questionable observation to be made regarding Darius' musicianship, it would be to expand the depth and scope of his abilities. He should not just limit himself to smooth jazz alone, a more positive impact could be made if other forays into jazz were at hand. By my estimate, 'Night On The Town makes a definite statement regarding the promise of Eric's up and coming career.