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.
More info about Kevin Griffin at http://www.smoothvibes.com/jazznation.html.
More reviews are to find in the 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