December 13, 2008

Jim Adkins -- City Streets

Jim Adkins is one of those gifted, quality musicians whose guitar has that calming tendency while losing none of the tell-tale soulful yet subtle funk thatís often intermixed in smooth jazz in varying degrees. Adkins has the right formula for the mix, and it works every time for me. With a magnetic style, beckoning hooks, and high-end melodies, he is noted for stroking the notes of a well-constructed chord as if he were stroking a delicate flower or a lovely woman. On his latest project, City Streets, the highs, the lows, the midrange are all perfectly calibrated and send forth such magical tone that itís no wonder that this guy stays at the top of his game with each recording.

City Streets is truly a continuation of Adkinsí clear insight and vision with respect to the smoothest of jazz guitar. The title and opening track is very indicative of the ride he will engineer when you hear this. This is all so cool-air refreshing, such that it will melt away your cares if only for the lilting time you spend with this recording. You almost have to set aside some Jim Adkins time each day to put things in proper perspective and maybe realize that there is a positive solution to whatever bugs you in your life at the moment.

There are several cuts here to absolutely love (I couldnít find one that begged exception). However, one that simply mesmerized me was ďMystic Vista,Ē which carries such a heady exoticism about it, even in its moderate tempo cadence, because of its eloquently structured melody, hook, and riffs. In one word: Wow! Then again, youíll find plenty on this set that strive to rival it, and, in the opinions of many of you, some cuts will rival it.

In my eyes, Jim Adkins has easily established himself as a serious force in this genre. In the eyes of his colleagues and fans, he definitely should be there. For smooth jazzers whoíve yet to experience him, Iím sure you will easily place him there after one good listen. Grab this one and covet it as a masterful production from a masterful artist who obviously aims to please.

Posted by Ronald Jackson at December 13, 2008 7:31 PM