Starportrait

 

Kevin Griffin - Plain & Simple


The beauty of this album develops like a blossoming flower. We know rather few about this young musician, who hasn't spread his personal facts over the net. So let us take a journey into unknown musical soundscapes. May be we get an image of his personality by his music.

Well, Kevin is obviously a gifted pianist as he shows up in the opening track All Of Thee Above. His fingers are gliding smoothly and easy over ivory and ebony. Supported by a rich background of strings Kevin paints a grandious picture of his skillfullness. Kevin doesn't limit his music to a plain radiolike style, but takes advantage of the rich well-known Jazz history, in which he is grown up. In the liner notes he thanks The Yellowjackets, Chick Corea, George Duke, Joe Sample, David Sanborn and Bob James and I believe, he would thank a lot more artists, if he had more place in his booklet.

Keep right is the next hearing-pleasure. This is a real solo piece for piano, bass and drums, on which all instruments take great part of. 

Like a classical reminisence starts Kevin the next piano solo Plain & Simple answered by Clay Bejamin's guitar. Kevin attaches big value to improvisation. So he leaves the melody path often for broad placed Jazz solos. 

Nothing Alike is a funky piece on wurlitzer and some keyboards. Reading his booklet one is wondering about the great instrumental park, which Kevin has assembled. Roland D-550, Ensonique TS 12, Kurzweil PC 88, Kurzweil micro piano module, Korg 01 WFD and so on.

Another funky fusionesque tune with rich distortion guitar parts and brass sounds is One After Another. Donald Hayes demonstrates his abilities on tenor sax. Darrell Freeman's slap bass and John "Lil John" Roberts drums set remarkable rhythms accents. Yes, you can hear a lot of jazzy drums on this album.

His mastership on Hammond B3 manifests Kevin on the organ tune In Between. Solo parts on organs are alternating with piano insets.

After such a lot Fusion Kevin returns to a smooth section on A New Beginning. Donald Hayes 's sounding sax with orchestral strings weavers a romantic mood.

Thoughtful and contemplative is the following solo piano interplay Impromptu. The term is used for romantic piano pieces of Chopin and Schubert and means musicaly extemporizing. 

Look Around is another journey into excessive masterful piano runnings.

On Around The Corner are impressing Keith Barnes on solo guitar, Micah Mabson on bass, Brien Andrews on drums, Trey Harvey on rhythm Guitar and of course Kevin on piano, keyboards and organs, building up a Fusion Jazz skyscraper. 

This album is obviously not a Smooth Jazz album even with the strong concentration of strings. Fans of Fusion Jazz will nevertheless have a great pleasure hearing the artistry of all musicians.

 

 

HBH

 

More info about Kevin Griffin at http://www.smoothvibes.com/jazznation.html.

More reviews are to find in the archive.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 


Archive

 

Above The Clouds - Above the Clouds 

Jim Adkins - Just Chillin

Chris Bangs - Takin' Care Of Business

Albert Calvo - Pass it on

Joe Carmouche - After Hours

Walter Duda - Daylight Again 

GrooveLogic - Follow The Groove

Gordon James - Gordon James

Elliot Levine - Urban Grooves 

Dave McMurray - Peace Of Mind

Darren Motamedy - It's all good

Dan Reynolds - To Be Sure 

Joe Sherbanee - The Road Ahead

Christoph Spendel - Flight 408

Spiceman - Spice Of Life

Chuck Smith - Basically Bass 

The Bliss - For Real

George Walker - One Way Or Another, The Blues

Tim Weisberg - Time Traveller