May 18, 2010

Jaared - In Conversation

May 5, 2010. 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. With Jaared’s brand new album Manhattan Nights already garnering critical acclaim there was added significance to his appearances with Peter White’s band at the Pizza Express Jazz Club. I caught up with Jaared as he prepared for the third of seven dates at this famed London venue and understandably the conversation ranged from his work with Peter White to how Manhattan Nights had come to fruition.

Jaared told me that he first became acquainted with White during the 2002 Oasis Awards. Regular contact by e-mail quickly led to him being co-opted into Peter’s band and since then he has performed with him often. Parallel to this Jaared has also been building an increasingly successful solo career that started out as far back as 2001 with the Marcus Johnson produced Foreward. Hang Time (which included guest spots by Peter White, Ken Navarro and Roberto Vally) followed a year later while his 2008 CD Addiction found him partnering heavily with English keyboard player Oli Silk. It marked Jaared’s debut on Trippin n Rhythm Records and he has stayed with this label for his latest project.

In fact Jaared was quick to acknowledge the beneficial effects that the label has had on Manhattan Nights. First and foremost it was Trippin n Rhythm that suggested he should utilise the production skills of the consistently excellent Michael Broening. Jaared explained that the artistic relationship he and Broening now enjoy has been based entirety on mutual respect and fierce attention to detail. Not only that, it has laid a platform for what he hopes will be many collaborations to come. Being part of the Trippin n Rhythm roster also simplified the process by which Jaared could harness the talents of featured artists such as Cindy Bradley, Jay Soto and U-Nam. He summed up the way in which Trippin n Rhythm routinely operates as “giving the artistry of music making back to the artists” and confirmed that this is something he hugely appreciates.

Another feature of Manhattan Nights is the contribution of Tower Of Power founder member Greg Adams. I asked Jaared how this came about and he told me that he and Adams had been in contact for some time and were eager for the opportunity to work together. When Adams offered to arrange the horns for the album Jaared jumped at the chance but even he was surprised when Adams came through not only with some sumptuous arrangements but also input from fellow Tower Of Power luminary Lee Thornburg and acclaimed trombone player Nick Lane. The fact this brass section adds a rich veneer to several of the tracks has meant that when Jaared takes Manhattan Nights on the road he plans to have an eight piece backing band with him. First port of call will be a CD release event in Phoenix and new dates are continuously being added.

Finally I asked Jaared what to some may well be the $64,000 question. He clearly has a great singing voice and this is born out on Manhattan Nights by his faultless rendition of the Bee Gees ‘How Deep Is Your Love’. I queried with him why he has chosen to limits his vocals to only one track per album and he explained that although it placed him a little outside his comfort zone he has been pleasantly surprised at the positive reaction his singing has received. However, because he would never want to allow the vocals to detract from his billing as a saxophonist, ‘less is likely to remain more’.

Jaared is one of the most talented performers around and throughout our conversation also proved to be one of the most interesting. Equally adept in the recording studio or on the live stage he is rapidly evolving into a ‘must see’ act.

For more on Jaared go to www.jaared.com

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 May 18, 2010 10:58 PM