April 25, 2010

Gregg Holsey--Can't Stop

This cool and airy CD, Can’t Stop, from bassist/vocalist Gregg Holsey has a suave, rather debonair R&B/smooth jazz swagger to it that instantly reminds one in spots of the good ol’ Earth, Wind & Fire years, especially when listening to track one, which is also the title track and bears an uncanny resemblance to EW&F’s “That’s the Way of the World.” Nice R&B phrasing and hook.

The entire CD is a very tasteful easy one. While there’s nothing exceptionally innovative or groundbreaking here, it’s an album you can easily display in your library as one that upholds the appeal of “smooth.” Tunes like “Just Cooling,” “Guitar Man,” and “Missing You” do a decent job of blurring the line between R&B and jazz while adding the sweet touch of memorable melodies with some sharp horn action. “The One” has an appealingly bouncy rhythmic groove to it. It could have been almost tropical if he’d gone with what appeared to be developing in the piece. Nonetheless, as a smooth mid-tempo jam with a nice feel, it works.

The one real stand-out observation about this album would be the competent blend of catchy melodies with that laid-back aura about it all. It’s what keeps you connected to the project and listening. Holsey definitely does his part to exclaim that the breath of life in smooth jazz is not exhausted by any means. Take this one on that coastal drive with the top down, and just bask in the glow of the sun and the draw of the smooth melodies that have always served as the signature for smooth jazz.

Posted by Ronald Jackson at April 25, 2010 3:13 AM