Welcome to the latest issue of Denis Poole’s Secret Garden, the page that offers a British perspective on all that’s good, and not so good, in the world of smooth jazz and classic soul. Window Shopping is the latest CD release from Buffalo, New York sax man Jack Prybylski (purr-bill-ski). It was his 2002 effort Soho Strut that started to get him noticed and which garnered the Internet radio single ‘Mandalay Bay’ but now, with excellent support from none other than Ken Navarro, Window Shopping has the potential to move Prybylski to the centre of where it’s at in the world of contemporary jazz. Prybylski first came to Navarro’s attention when a mutual friend suggested that he should contact Jack for ideas on Internet radio resources. The two hit it off and when Jack asked if Navarro would play a part with the new CD he was delighted to accept. This involvement has extended to production, mixing, performing and, in addition, writing the tune ‘Bright Spot’ that has been selected as the first from the album to be lifted for radio play.
The influences that came Prybylski’s way as he grew up listening to bands with big horn sections and to players like Tom Scott permeate his current work and the opening track, the up beat ‘Night Flyer’, has Scott written all over it. However Prybylski can do mellow with the best of them and the restrained ‘I Need You’, where Navarro’s guitar adds hugely, checks all the right boxes of romantic smooth jazz. In similar vein is the title track. Its beauty comes courtesy of Navarro and its full sound is delivered on the wave of a pleasing sax riff and cool Hammond B3 from Jay Rowe. The one vocal track on the album, ‘Don’t Say No’, has JJ Moscato doing the honours and engendering something of an Ambrosia feel while the smoky ‘3 Cats’, bound together with a tight beat, is both laid back yet melodic.
Prybylski provides a jazzy twist to his generally regulation cover of the Stevie Wonder staple ‘I Wish’ and drifts a little off message with the experimental rendition of ‘Space Lion’ from the Japanese anime concept Cowboy Bebop. Bringing it closer to home Ken Navarro kicks open the door on ‘Santa Faustina’ with his urgent Latin playing before handing off to Prybylski who, with his own full sound, keeps the vibe very much south of the border. All that said the killer cut remains ‘Bright Spot’. This text book example of mid tempo contemporary jazz stands out as one of the best tunes of 2006.
For more on Jack Prybylski and to buy Window Shopping go to www.jackprybylski.com
Do you have any comments on what you have found in this months Secret Garden? Do you have a favorite Smooth Soul Survivor that you would enjoy being featured in a future edition? If so please contact the Smooth Jazz Vibes Guest Book or e-mail me on DenisPoole2000@Yahoo.com.Posted by Denis Poole at November 11, 2006 12:33 PM