Jeff Kashiwa's New CD Is A Stunner

Kashiwa_07.jpgGet ready to be blown away. Saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa has finished recording tracks for a brand-new CD titled Play!, which will be his sixth overall and fourth for the Native Language label. Kashiwa says the CD�s title comes from his decision to let his sax take on an even more prominent role than it has in the past. And, for the first time, Kashiwa only plays one sax throughout the CD, the deep-sounding tenor. Play! features all original songs, including �The Lucky One,� �Changes,� �Blue Jeans,� �New View� and �Remember When.� In addition, Acoustic Alchemy guitarist Miles Gilderdale co-wrote and performs on the the song �Movin� Up.�

"I was searching for a title for the CD,and I didn�t want it to be so thought-provoking and so heavy," Kashiwa says. "Not to belittle the music in any kind of way; I�m very proud of this album. But people always ask me, what�s the album like? And my answer is: I wanted to play more on this album. You know, dig in, really get into my horn and play, as if you were seeing me live. No more of the polite eight-bar solos. I really want to extend them."

Kashiwa's band includes Dave Hooper on drums, Melvin Davis on bass and Allen Hinds on guitar. Joining the core trio is guest Russ Ferrante of the Yellowjackets on keyboards. The new CD will be released on July 17th.

Having heard the CD in its entirety, I can tell you that it's one of the best sax records of the 2000s as Kashiwa forgoes the safe route and plays like his life depends on it.