Welcome to the latest issue of Denis Poole’s Secret Garden, the page that offers a British perspective on the very best from the world of smooth jazz and classic soul. With the title track from Rick Braun and Richard Elliot’s much awaited duets album already taking the airwaves by storm there seems little doubt that R n R will prove to be one of the smooth jazz events of 2007. Due in record stores across the USA on August 28 R n R is a feisty collection of horn driven grooves that checks all the right boxes and which is enhanced by a stellar line-up of guest musicians that includes Greg Karukas, Jeff Lorber and Chris Standring plus production input from Jeff Lorber, Philippe Saisse and Rex Rideout.
Succulent zesty numbers abound and this is typified both by the title track and with ‘Curve Ball’ where Elliot and Braun give each other the space in which to individually shine while still coming together to generate what is in every respect a veritable horn fest. ‘Down and Dirty’ is a funky swinging number that is right on the money. It evokes, in places, a Tower Of Power kind of a vibe and this essentially retro feel is also evident with the jazzy ‘Q It Up’ and the in the pocket ‘Da JR Funk’. Given that Elliot had such a lengthy tenure with Tower Of Power this is hardly surprising but, that said, R n R is by no means a visit to nostalgia-ville. Examples of up to the minute contemporary jazz are everywhere. ‘Better Times’ has a deliciously sultry groove, ‘The Stranger’ is smoky, jazzy and could well become addictive while the heartfelt ‘Que Paso’ gives Braun and Elliot the chance to take it south of the border. ‘Two Hearts Tango’ with its tight romantic groove and full bodied yet tender playing from Braun and Elliot is seriously good and ‘Sao Paulo’ makes its physical debut after previously only being available as a download from the ARtizen Music Group website. In fact it has become a surprise smash and has enjoyed an extended stay on the top thirty chart of most played on smooth jazz radio.
Personal favourites include the lusciously opaque ‘Sunday Night’ and the stunningly mellow ‘Sweet Somethin’. Anchored by the pulsing bass of Nate Philips and replete with the velvety horn of Braun and Elliot this is smooth jazz how it’s meant to be.
R n R will be released on Braun and Elliot’s own label, the ARtizen Music Group. Place your order now and for more go to www.artizenmusic.comPosted by Denis Poole at July 24, 2007 10:12 AM