May 6, 2005

Hidden Tracks Revealed

More and more smooth jazz artists are opting for hidden tracks to express themselves.

Although with the advent of the CD they might not be so hard to find anymore, more and more smooth jazz artists are including hidden tracks at the end of their albums.

First up this year was saxophonist Mindi Abair, who included the six-minute “26 Hemenway” on her most recent project called Come As You Are. On the song, Mindi displays her traditional jazz skills as she pays homage to one of her favorite players, the late Cannonball Adderley. The song, co-written by Rusell Ferrante of the Yellowjackets, gets its title from the address where Mindi lived while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston.

"I just thought, wow, this has to be on the record," says Abair. "And I know this wasn't what people are expecting from me, to hear this traditional jazz, fast swing kind of thing. But I just thought, it is a part of who I am and I just think we should put it on there and make it this fun, special little hidden track. I felt like fans who go the extra mile and just let the CD play will get a nice little surprise."

Chuck Loeb followed Abair with an untitled track at the end of his new When I’m With You album. The jazz-funk song, which clocks in at four minutes and thirty seconds, features guitarist Loeb on the bass.

Then there’s guitarist Chieli Minucci, who actually put four hidden tracks on his CD called Got It Goin’ On, which you’ll only hear if you keep playing the CD in order without skipping around tracks in your CD player. They are actually more like interludes than hidden tracks. The last hidden track comes more than two minutes after the end of the last song, “Still Waiting.”

Finally, on saxophonist Steve Cole’s brand-new CD, Spin, a hidden track appears more than 30 seconds after the final song. The track, which is more than three minutes, is a chill-music groove with strings and Steve’s sax playing.

So keep on listening when it appears your CD is over – you just never know what will pop up.

Posted by Brian Soergel at May 6, 2005 5:53 AM