August 15, 2009

Jimmy Sommers - Time Stands Still

Welcome to the latest issue of Denis Poole’s Secret Garden, the page that offers a personal perspective on the very best from the world of smooth jazz and classic soul. First take fourteen timeless tunes. Then marry them up with some of the greatest contemporary jazz performers around today. What do you get? Time Stands Still the surprising yet wonderful new release from urban jazz saxophonist Jimmy Sommers. It’s an album that represents quite a musical departure for Sommers who’s previous CD, Sunset Collective, flirted outrageously around the margins of where contemporary jazz meets R & B, Latin and dance. The sensational outcomes that emanated from this stellar 2007 collection makes the wow factor of Time Stands Still that much more acute and leaves the listener to marvel at the breathtaking versatility which Sommers has now added to his undisputed creativity.

In fact Time Stands Still is a joy from beginning to end and, in the company of Chris Botti, Rick Braun, Paul Jackson Jr., Eric Benet and Bill Cunliffe, Sommers delivers some truly magical moments. Co-produced by Sommers and the legendary Jeff Carruthers Time Stands Still also benefits from the arrangements of the Grammy nominated Cunliffe who as writer and pianist is rapidly making a name for himself in the parallel worlds of jazz and classical music.

Time Stands Still opens with ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ that, thanks to Sommers sublime playing, glistens with sophisticated elegance. However, truth to tell, as with any compilation of classic compositions, it is less about the individual tracks and more about the overall impression that the entire body of work provides. It is also about personal preferences and in this respect the ultra cool ‘The Look Of Love’ and the familiar strains of ‘When I Fall In Love’ are right up there. However another Secret Garden favorite, and a glittering star in a dazzling constellation, is the Kern – Fields, Academy Award winning, song ‘The Way You Look Tonight’.

With romance dripping from every note, and the all pervading aura of a smoky late night jazz club, this extremely tender yet very different rendition sounds every bit as good as that first performed by Fred Astaire in the film ‘Swing Time’.

Released on nuGroove Time Stands Still is a wonderful antidote to the stressful world in which we all live and is worth checking out.

Do you have any comments on what you have found in this edition of the Secret Garden? If so please e-mail me on DenisPoole2000@Yahoo.com.

Posted by Denis Poole at August 15, 2009 6:44 PM