Written by The Jazz Gypsy
Photographs by Kendall Dixon
Take a hot and sunny day, add in the beautiful blue waters of the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, dot the shoreline with classic California palm trees, mix in two of the hottest saxophone players in the business and shake it up with a few thousand avid smooth jazz fans and you’ve got the perfect beach party.
Sunday, September 23, 2007, 3,000 smooth jazz fans from San Diego to Los Angeles defied the severe weather warnings that predicted tropical rains and came out en masse for an afternoon of sax on sax. Produced by KiFM, San Diego’s Smooth Jazz 98.1 The Breeze, the sold out event was held at the historic Oceanside Pier in Oceanside, CA. Kelly Cole, on air radio personality from the station opened the show and introduced Peak Recording artist saxophonist Paul Taylor.
Taylor immediately laid down a sensuous tone for his set as he launched into "Here We Go", from his new 2007 release, Ladies Choice, that is currently in the top 10 on the national smooth jazz charts. From there, the audience snapped their fingers, swayed their arms and swiveled their hips to three additional songs from Ladies Choice including the title song, “Ladies Choice”, “Love of Your Own”, and “Long Distance”. Also, to the sheer delight of the crowd, Taylor performed his ever popular “Pleasure Seeker”, (Pleasure Seeker, 1997), “P.T. Cruiser” (Hypnotic, 2001) and “Exotica” from Taylor’s first release in 1985, On the Horn.
Taylor’s fluid, smooth style, warm charisma and hypnotic rhythms completely enchanted the audience that gave him several standing ovations. Taylor’s band included K.T. Tyler (bass), Ray Mouton (guitar), Boy Katindig (keyboard), and Terrell Martin (drums). Lauren Evans’ lead vocals on “Love of Our Own” and “Long Distance” added a rich, crisp yet sultry sound.
It’s always a pleasure to see Taylor perform, especially since his style and sound is the ultimate personification of smooth jazz. The fans showed their appreciation during the show and afterwards as they formed a long line for autographs, and cd purchases.
During intermission, Mark Vrabel from the All Star Smooth Cruise announced that Haven Entertainment was giving away a free cruise for two at the end of the concert. Both Paul Taylor and Boney James will be performing on the All Star Smooth Cruise, hosted by Norman Brown, which departs from San Diego in January 2008. Other artists on the cruise or scheduled to perform at the land concert prior to sailing to Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, are Kenny G, Patti, Austin, Nick Colionne, Warren Hill, Chieli Minucci, Marion Meadows, Four Play, Larry Carlton, Shilts, Steve Oliver, Alan Hewitt, Acoustic Alchemy, Althea Rene, Kool and the Gang, The Four Tops and The Spinners.
At approximately 5:00 pm with the sun still ablaze in the background, Mike V, Musical Director and Lenny B, on air radio personality from KiFM, introduced two-time Grammy nominated sax star saxophonist Boney James who was greeted with a standing ovation. James’ band, comprised of Eric Daniels (keyboard), Mike Feingold (guitar), Sam Simms (bass), and Omari Williams (drums), served up a funky back beat that kept the crowd spontaneously jumping up to dance despite the “Dance Police” that kept trying to keep people in their seats. It was a loosing battle…..because everybody knew it was a beach party not a wake! Even Boney encouraged everybody to keep on groovin’ as he left the stage to serenade the guests in the VIP section before catapulting to the top of the stairs to perform in the midst of enthusiastic fans in the bleachers.
Boney’s extended 11-song set included "Into the Blue", "All Night Long", "Stone Groove", "In the Rain", "Let it Go", "Metropolis", "Aguas De Marco", A medley of "Ain’t no Sunshine", "Creepin'" and "Sweet Thing", "Total Experience", "See What I’m Saying" and "Grazin’ in the Grass". Although the party ended at the beach at about 6:20 pm, I’m sure the smooth vibe continued well into the night. Now that’s a beach party!
The happy winner of the All Star Smooth Cruise hosted by Norman Brown was a smooth jazz fan from Chino Hills, CA.
The Jazz Gypsy Tip: Boney’s new Christmas cd was just released on September 19th and features duets with R& B stars Chante Moore, Angie Stone and Anthony Hamilton. Trumpeter Rick Braun also reunites with James on this holiday classics cd.Posted by JazzGypsy at September 25, 2007 4:59 PM