You know Peter White when you hear him, you know Paul Taylor when you hear him, serious followers of smooth jazz know Keiko Matsui’s beautiful Far East melodies and her gentle keystrokes when they hear them, and you certainly know the tell-tale soulfully sweet sax of Marion Meadows, one of the true masters of this rich sound we’ve come to appreciate as smooth jazz. From his 1991 For Lovers Only release to this splendid group of compositions set forth here on Secrets, set for release in late April, Meadows has proven time and again that his love of music and his cool, pristine approach to its beauty is not a “secret” but something he lives to share openly and with all the daring that his marvelous sax can muster.
Secrets is a most creative, organic collection of moods and styles (no studio “additives” or “preservatives” such as drum machines and overdone synths), ranging from his tell-tale mid-tempo cuts like the opening and title track and “Soul Sugar,” as well as “The Child In Me” (each of which comes at you with a different degree of smooth and suave self-assurance) to a mellow and rather spiritual nod demonstrated on “You Lift My Heart” (sung by Charlie Karp) to the exotically rhythmic “Sand Dancers,” which requires a different style of dancing shoe (or maybe no shoes at all) with its swaying and very melodic island flavor. Then, there’s the “slanky” funky-with-attitude “Playtime” (clearly one of my favs here) with its catchy hook and robust, effective vocals by Will Brock, who also wrote the tune. Yes, this production has the complete Marion Meadows feel, and, as we've come to regularly expect, it feels great.
The artist sums it all up this way: “ I’ve been involved in a lot of projects, both my own and group efforts, and my main objective is to keep growing as an artist and engage the fans who have invested so much emotion in my music and my career.” As one who’s followed and invested such emotion in this incredible talent, I can offer my thanks to his dedication. Secrets, once on the streets, won’t be one for long. Just let it hit the airwaves, and stores may have a hard time keeping this one in stock.