Diverse collection of soulful contemporary jazz sparkles with sterling production and stellar performances
For his fourth album, guitarist Les Sabler shifts into high gear on Sweet Drive, a scenic and expansive contemporary jazz, R&B and adult pop excursion scheduled for national release September 25th from The Music Force record label. Riding shot gun is bassist Brian Bromberg, who produced the disc. The album’s first radio sojourn will be “Club Street,” a kinetic electric guitar and sax thrill ride that alters its pace between mellow straightaways and careening downhills that goes for playlist adds September 10th.
Sabler is serious and passionately committed to taking his music career to the next level. As an independent label artist, he’s fully invested in himself. To realize his vision for Sweet Drive, he astutely surrounded himself with some of the best musicians in contemporary jazz, including Brian Bromberg, Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal, Ricky Peterson, Vinnie Colaiuta, Alex Acuna, and Gary Meek. Adding vibrant brass were Jerry Hey and the Seawind Horns. Rahsaan Patterson, Toni Scruggs and Richard Jackson season the tracks with soulful vocals. The dozen songs consist of four covers and eight originals, including Sabler’s “Food Chain.” From cut to cut, Sabler mixes tempos, sounds and styles, which are underscored by an array of guitar “voices” that range from cool-toned jazz and edgy electric rock fusion to gentle acoustic and vulnerable nylon-string guitar. His ambitious goal was to challenge himself to elevate his artform while striving to emulate the lofty standards established in the vintage contemporary jazz records from the 1970’s that sparked his interest in becoming a musician. Listeners are treated to an interesting, varied and cohesive body of music that achieves the artist’s agenda adeptly.
“This is an important record for me and I put everything into it. There were no compromises,” said Sabler. “I put a lot of thought into the song selection and trusted Brian (Bromberg) to guide my performances. With the gifted players he assembled, it inspired me to bring my ‘A’ game. The records and the artists that influenced me most were the ones from the mid-70s like early George Benson, Larry Carlton, and Lee Ritenour, who blended a variety of styles while balancing their (musical) chops with commercial accessibility. That’s what I set out to accomplish on Sweet Drive.”
Put a guitar into the hands of the mellow, soft-spoken Montreal, Quebec native and he comes alive. To Sabler, making records is the necessary path one must tread in order to reach his true destination: playing guitar on center stage. He already has a couple of local gigs lined up in October in his adopted hometown of Tampa, Florida to support the album release and he’s looking forward to adding more dates.
After graduating as a jazz major from Concordia University, Sabler did his graduate studies at the prestigious University of Miami jazz department. In 1989, he scored and produced an original soundtrack for the Canadian Television Network’s documentary, Lost Treasures of the Titanic. Sabler’s recording career began the following year with the release of Hidden Treasures, which received attention from contemporary jazz and smooth jazz radio. He released Time For Love in 1995, which also garnered radio play. His 2003 debut for The Music Force/Sin-Drome, Bridge The Gap, spawned a #1 hit in Canada along with significant radio spins in the U.S. Over the years, Sabler headlined and opened concerts for such notables as Jeff Lorber, Spyro Gyra, Richard Elliot, Michael Lington, Diane Schuur and Fattburger. Additional information is available at www.lessabler.com.
Sabler’s Sweet Drive contains the following songs:
“You’ve Got It Bad Girl”
“Can You Stop The Rain”
“I’m Not The Same”
“Who Am I?”
“Biggest Part Of Me”
“Could You Be”