Saxman, Mike Phillips, shows his scathing abilities, along with sidemen, Flow, Crazy and G Money. "Crazy" displays a harmonizing flow of sax, a funky backbeat and smooth vocals backing the long stretches of Mike Phillip’s sexy tones. A stealthy percussion keeps the up-tempo beat on "Heartbeat of the City." A true city-fied feeling, from the ground up. Smooth, gentle vocals work with the gentler side of Phillips’ sax for an intriguing, intimate appeal during "If It Takes All Night."
Again, sultry saxman Phillips takes the listener on a journey during "Minnie," sharing the smoothness with a gentle percussion and persuasive vibraphone sound. Picking up the rhythm, "G-Money" allows a deeper, longer show of notes on sax before "Don’t Panic." "We Are One’ has a familiar sound as the group plays in sync. Keyboards reach high and low for this tune. Getting down and getting funky, "Uptown on a Saturday Night," makes you want to get up and shake something.
This CD is well rounded, with some slow jams, a few ‘get up and boogy’ tunes and a few sultry, sexy, ‘come here’ songs. Gentle backgrounds, subtle vocals, masterful sax all work together, keeping this disc interesting.
Uncommon Denominator follows Phillips’ debut CD, You Have Reached Mike Phillips, which was released three years ago. If Phillips sound familiar, it could be you heard of him from his TV show, Mike’s World on BET. Or you might have heard of him as he toured with Prince’s band. Now with Hidden Beach Projects, Mike Phillips continues sharing his touch and his talent through his music.
Jeff Lorber’s presence can be heard throughout this disc, since he wrote and produced several tracks.