Jonathan Fritzen - Magical

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.

When Jonathan Fritz�n�s highly acclaimed Diamonds made #1 on both the Billboard airplay charts and the Amazon.com sales chart it prompted legendary broadcaster Art Good to name Fritz�n as his �debut artist of the year�. Maybe he was unaware that Fritz�n�s first recording actually came in 2008 with the sumptuous Love Birds. With every one of its eleven original compositions reaching to the very core of what great smooth jazz should be it announced him as a performer of tremendous promise. Less than a year later Fritz�n returned with the equally impressive VIP. Now, with the imminent release of his latest CD, the appropriately titled Magical, Fritz�n seems all set to embark on another chapter of what is proving to be an outstanding career.

With Magical Fritz�n�s talents as a composer, producer and performer are again all brilliantly on display. A case in point is the easy grooving title cut that finds Fritz�n at his outstanding best and sublimely in tandem with sax-man Boney James who predictably leaves his mark all over this wonderful tune.

When Jackiem Joyner takes over on sax for the feel good flavor of �Love Will Overcome� he assists Fritz�n in checking every smooth jazz box imaginable while elsewhere the deliciously languid groove of �Sweet Spot� owes much to the fabulous interplay between Fritz�n and Paul Brown. Staying in mellow mode, the hugely cinematic �Angels� proves just how effective Fritz�n can be when shifting to a romantic vibe and this is also evident with the stunning �Nostalgia�. It combines elements of chill with marvelous melody in a way that only he can and in similar vein is the extremely sensuous �Nordic Night�. Later, when Fritz�n calls on Darren Rahn (who also mixes the album) for the intensely poignant �Lullaby� his contribution on sax serves as the perfect accompaniment to this heartfelt song and with �Cant Get You Out Of My Mind� it�s the vocals of Danish singing star Malene Mortenson that pave the way to more of Fritz�n�s superb playing on keys.

In the final analysis if anyone really wants to know what Jonathan Fritz�n is all about they need look no further than the fabulous �Turn Back Time�. This vibrant number has that same catchy quality that typifies much of his best work and when the rapidly emerging Vincent Ingala becomes the last of four saxophonists to guest on �Magical� his performance for �To The Top� helps to create more of the delicious up-tempo same. However, all things considered there is nothing to surpass the rhythmic splendor of the superb �Electric�. Without doubt a contemporary jazz classic in the making, this is a track that is certain to make it into my top twenty of 2012.

With a street date of August 21, Magical comes hugely recommended.

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.